Some questions about membership.

Questions directed to the Star of Azazel.
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LoopGodel
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:32 pm

Some questions about membership.

Postby LoopGodel » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:37 pm

Hi there.

I have a few questions about membership, which I would appreciate some clarity on before I consider submitting my application.

1. Once you join, are you free to leave at any point, no questions asked?

2. How is ones personal information kept private? I don't know if you scan the application & store it on-line or whatever.

3. When one joins, does this mean that one is able to communicate with a more established member directly, rather than just the forum boards?

4. What does membership look like, in terms of time involvement, what is expected regarding constructive contribution from a member?

I am seriously considering sending in an application, so would appreciate hearing from someone regarding the above.

Thank you.

LoopGodel.
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Heith
Sodalis
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Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 12:54 pm

Re: Some questions about membership.

Postby Heith » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:23 pm

As head of lodge Phanes I will answer to your query with my best ability. Bear in mind that these are lodge Phanes & my take on your questions; other lodges may have slightly different ways of doing things. Overall we have fairly similar rules in all our lodges, but for example the criteria for being accepted a member may wary slightly.

LoopGodel wrote: 1. Once you join, are you free to leave at any point, no questions asked?
This is a strange thing to ask, especially as it is your very first question. It does make me wonder slightly what is the level of motivation in being in this or any occult society. Do you wish simply to test the door and run at the first sight of challenge or disappointment?

The Star of Azazel doesn't hold people hostage. In lodge Phanes we even expel inactive people, because we wish to focus our collective time and energy for the benefit of those who wish to put in the work themselves for the benefit of us all, not on passive freeriders. Often this is a hard and lonely path, like growing a garden in the desert. The fruits are ripened by man's own personal effort. It takes a hell of a lot of carrying water.

Any time a person leaves, I will ask them why, because of course I wish to know the reason for their going. This helps me to see more clearly how I as lodge guide can do a better job. It's also rude to leave and not say bye & why to others who put their time and effort into you. Other than that I have no reason to keep in touch with ex-members (unless we've become close friends) and neither have I time nor the interest to do it. As the more long term readers of our forums have noticed, some previous members are still active on our forum, partaking into our work in the form of conversation. In short, we are not fundamentalistic about this. The world is not black and white; occult work is not suitable for everyone and that's ok.
LoopGodel wrote:2. How is ones personal information kept private? I don't know if you scan the application & store it on-line or whatever.
I keep the written applications filed, and the group within Phanes who decide on applications read the applications. As we are in different countries, your application is scanned & sent to these people to read. Quite naturally the lodge members also know one another's identity, but to non-members we don't ever tell this information. I don't care if you are famous or a nobody, makes not the slightest difference to how we handle your application. If you are in a country where the danger of for example violent assault or persecution due to satanic connection is a actual threat, please let us know and we will keep all communication strictly online -so no written letters to you will be sent-, and of course you are responsible for having a safe internet connection at your end.

Joining any occult society is a leap of faith. And while it's good to be careful, in the end it does boil down to are you able and willing to trust us or not. With that said, I always encourage considering what one writes on our forums, how much personal information are you willing to put online.

LoopGodel wrote:3. When one joins, does this mean that one is able to communicate with a more established member directly, rather than just the forum boards?
We do not offer a pupil-teacher kind of relationship within Phanes, but of course you are free to email anyone you like, as they are free to answer to it when or if they like. For who can with authority teach another to understand themselves? And how would we elect such a teacher- should the person be older than the pupil? Or wiser, and how could that be measured? Or perhaps the longest term member we have? You see how very quickly this gets difficult; such relationships are very sensitive in nature as teaching position always has huge responsibility. Occultism is dangerous. We do not believe in handing down knowledge from "above". And although perhaps one should come to the work like coming to a temple, Lodge Phanes is a circle where we stand together, not a pyramid one climbs getting level this and that titles and following instructions others give. And that is usually the hardest part, because majority of people find it very difficult to function independently, regardless of what they say.

We all have equal opportunity to shine, one simply needs to find their way.

For those accepted as members, we offer a tutor. A tutor's task is to help the new person integrate in the lodge, learn how things function logistically and basically, to feel more at home. Anything outside of that is a plus. Our members may become close friends and converse in length between themselves, start work together, or they may not. It's impossible to predict these things.
LoopGodel wrote:4. What does membership look like, in terms of time involvement, what is expected regarding constructive contribution from a member?
Within Phanes, our members are:
- Minimum 18 years of age
- Partake actively in the work of the lodge, be that mundane (such as translating works, logistic stuff) or spiritual (development of self, partaking to possible group work).
- Communicate with others in a respectful way, always answer to the lodge guide/acolyte when they are asked something (we do this perhaps once a month)
- Understand that other members have personal lives & commitments outside of the fraternity as well
- Suggest, converse, develop, hopefully also participate on the forums because this is a good place to share and gain information with non-members and members in other lodges
- Above all things understand that man alone can raise himself; there is no outside power or person who can do that. The work is one's own, but its fruits are to be shared with the world. We seek to better ourselves as persons. We understand that our actions directly affect the world. We have full responsibility, and therefore, full freedom over ourselves.
- Yes it takes time and effort, depending on one's duties. The bigger the decision power or project, the bigger the responsibility and commitment need be. Often this means sacrificing one's own time. For myself as guide, this is work I do for others every day. I daresay our acolyte is in a similar position. But we do this willingly, as it is a form of karmayoga.

To what does one then need the fraternity? To nothing, or to everything: each person must themselves make that decision. It's hard studying things which are perhaps of no interest to people in our daily lives, to never having the possibility to mirror one's thoughts, to get feedback on them. It's also slightly safer studying or practising when one is a member so there is help or advise available if things go wrong. It's great to get new friends from all corners of the world, perhaps even (as has happened to me, not sure of anyone else!) forging such bonds of trust and love that one never thought possible. And to do that lonely journey of discovery knowing that tonight, my brothers and sisters recite the same hymn in candle lit rooms to reach closer to understanding.
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LoopGodel
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Re: Some questions about membership.

Postby LoopGodel » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:10 am

Good day Soror Heith.

Thank you for your extensive & clear response. Regarding my first question, as to whether one is free to leave at any time with no questions asked, I can appreciate that it may seem strange as an opening question, but I felt I needed to ask. My motivation was as follows.

All of my interactions with the Star of Azazel to date have been positive and having read quite a number of posts over the last week - as well as a significant portion of Fosforos - this suggests to me that I am dealing with an organisation/fraternity that has deep spiritual integrity, respects the liberty and sovereignty of the individual (is non-coercive) and seeks to support those of us on the Path. As many will be aware, this is not always the case with occult groups and in more extreme cases, a person attempting to leave a group could lead to them coming under magical/psychic attack.

As someone who is new to the Left-hand Path, if I had even a suspicion of such a tendency existing, I would have quietly left and allowed my account to become dormant. So please rest assured, I don't see Star of Azazel as being such an organisation. It is precisely because I am taking my explorations and contact with SoA seriously, that I am being completely upfront. Lastly, my phrase about "no questions asked", is somewhat misleading as I meant it figuratively rather than literally - in other words, I was asking if I would be free to leave without coming under any pressure to stay. I am relational by nature and so leaving a group without saying goodbye or explaining my reasons would be alien to me.

Regarding the answers to my other questions, this is what I was hoping and expecting to hear, from a fraternity that I believe to be serious about the Work. What you say is congruent with my values and aspirations.

Thanks again for your response.

LoopGodel.
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Heith
Sodalis
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Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 12:54 pm

Re: Some questions about membership.

Postby Heith » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:44 pm

No worries, good that you found it to be helpful.
LoopGodel wrote:As many will be aware, this is not always the case with occult groups and in more extreme cases, a person attempting to leave a group could lead to them coming under magical/psychic attack.
I am deeply sorry if you have been under the energetic influence or in contact with such occult groups. The damage this kind of thing can do is completely unacceptable.

Violence is a thing we take extremely seriously. An attack -be that physical or psychic- on another person is grounds to expel from the fraternity. Thus far we have been fortunate in our brethren; but then those prone to finding justification to violence or inflicting suffering would more likely seek out a different occult group that would be supportive of such things.

Our very basis states that:
Evil is always a consequence of error or inadequateness in some aspect, regardless of what the followers of this or that kind of morality call “good” or “evil”, or even if they use none of these epithets. True knowledge and true love always go hand in hand, and lack of empathy signals insufficient knowledge concerning the subtle laws of nature.

As such, violence is also the consequence of error or inadequateness. Fosforos speaks of this too. On your reading you'll soon get to that point, unless you already went past it as you are a fast reader by the looks of it.
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LoopGodel
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Re: Some questions about membership.

Postby LoopGodel » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:01 pm

Soror Heith, thanks for your follow-up comments. I myself have not been on the receiving end of such psychic attacks from a group; however, I am aware that such things can happen. As this is the first time that I have begun to engage a group with a Left-Hand Path orientation, I needed to come straight out with the question.

I greatly appreciate your response and the way you approached my question on this point, as I am seriously considering applying for membership.

Thanks,

LoopGodel.
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LoopGodel
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Re: Some questions about membership.

Postby LoopGodel » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:02 pm

For anyone asking such questions in the future, I would highly recommend that you read, "Book of the Gateways", which I read this weekend. Had I done so earlier, my questions & concerns would have been adequately answered in that in-depth document which explains the rules, ethics, structure & guiding philosophy of the Star of Azazel.

Best wishes.

LoopGodel.
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Smaragd
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Re: Some questions about membership.

Postby Smaragd » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:10 pm

LoopGodel wrote:For anyone asking such questions in the future, I would highly recommend that you read, "Book of the Gateways", which I read this weekend. Had I done so earlier, my questions & concerns would have been adequately answered in that in-depth document which explains the rules, ethics, structure & guiding philosophy of the Star of Azazel.
Yes, I'd recommend reading it too, although I don't think it holds the latest changes in structure. It's obviously beneficial to understand previous structures and some history of the society one is, or planning to be part of. Generating a bigger picture and some understanding of possible pitfalls do no harm. More information about the latest and biggest structural change can be found from here. I should add, as it's written in the latest post of that topic, that there are now two international lodges.

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