The Golden Chain and the Lonely Road

The Golden Chain and the Lonely Road

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The Golden Chain and the Lonely Road:
a typological study of Initiatory Transmissions within the Sabbatic Tradition
by Andrew D. Chumbley
Initiation, the passing‐on of power, the step of the mortal foot across the threshold
of the gods, the hearing of the watchword, the reception of the book, the dreamingdraught
sipp'd at midnight, the lonely stand in the heart of the Wild....many are the
ways of induction into the Circle of the Sabbat, many the waymarks ‐ the moments
of realisation ‐ that lead the Spirit through the winding ways of all ecstasy!
In its essence, initiation is the entrance of an individual into a Mystery and the
ingress of that Mystery into the individual; it is a simultaneous rarefaction and
reification; a nuptial union of Self and Other in the mirror'd circle of Gnosis. Whilst
the essence of the matter may be 'pointed to' by such a description, the truth of
initiation is of necessity a secret that cannot be divulged; it is the Grand Arcanum,
the Mysterium that forever dwells beyond... in Silence profound and deep. And yet,
by considering the outward appearances of initiation, the forms which it assumes in
terms of perceptible manifestation, we may enter into discussion and endeavour to
arrive at a comprehension of its diverse arcana.
If justice would be done to its subtleties the manifold complex of initiatory 'forms',
as extant within contemporary Cunning Craft praxis, deserves a broad and detailed
study. In the following pages an attempt will be made to accomplish this, to
distinguish between the 'types' of initiation which may occur for a Seeker upon the
Path of the Elder Craft, and furthermore to define the various strands of magical
transmission which may be considered as 'lineages' or 'chains of gnosis' in and of
themselves. In attempting to do this I shall admittedly be drawing directly from my
own experience, specifically from that which I have gained as the present Magister
of the Cultus Sabbati. Consequently, a subjective delimitation of the topic is
inevitable. Indeed, because the 'Tradition' of the Elder Craft is of so many guises and
localised variations, no definitive account of initiatory processes may even be
tenable. Undoubtedly omissions and generalisations will occur and for these I offer
an apology in advance.
Nonetheless, it is hoped that the broad schemata as given below will serve to clarify
and to deepen an awareness of the matter in ways hitherto unexplored. With this
intent the following article is offered as a stepping‐stone to the wiser future of the
Way and its children.
Passing the Fire‐brand of Tubalo‐Lucifer: Ritual Initiation
The customary method of entrance into the Sabbatic Tradition is via formal ritual
induction. This can take various forms, ranging from the simplest act of ritual
'authorisation' to the so‐called 'Grand Array' of the full Sabbatic ceremony. Within
the Cultus Sabbati there are various concurrent lineal streams, and it is from their
example that I shall draw in the discussion below.