The Ordo Templi Orientis System of Initiation
The structure of Order Templi Orientis ("O.T.O.") is based on a staged series of initiations or degrees which are conferred ceremonially. In the Rituals of these degrees, O.T.O. seeks to instruct the individual by allegory and symbol in the profound mysteries of Nature and thereby to assist each initiate in discovering their own true identity. U.S. Grand Lodge website of O.T.O. further explains intitiation. O.T.O. degrees are divided into three Triads; and the first of these Triads is the Man of Earth (MoE) triad, and the first of these degrees is the Minerval (O°).
Man of Earth Degrees
0° – Minerval
I° – Man & Brother/Woman & Sister
II° – Magician
III° – Master Magician
IV°/PI – Perfect Magician & Companion of the Holy Royal Arch of Enoch/Perfect Initiate or Prince of Jerusalem
The Minerval Degree
The Minerval Degree (0°) is an introductory initiate degree, designed to allow the aspirant to decide whether or not to become a full member of O.T.O. (and symbolic of the first step in the journey of the Self in Eternity, where the Ego, a wandering God, is attracted to the Solar System).
Undergoing initiation into the Minerval Degree allows one to participate in the Mysteries of our Order in a non-binding way. Unlike initiation into the First Degree of the Order, the Minerval initiation does not establish any permanent bonds between the individual and the Order. The Minerval Degree does bestow a sense of what it is like to undergo initiation into the Order. It also frequently helps strengthen bonds with other members of the Order.
At least 18 years of age;
Not incarcerated or otherwise unable to make decisions for one’s self;
Capable of taking and keeping a binding oath to the Order;
Never previously initiated into O.T.O.; and
Vouched for by two O.T.O. members holding the I° or higher.
If you are interested in taking the Minerval Degree, begin by filling out and turning in the application. You can request one by contacting the Master and/or the Initiation Coordinator of Mithras Oasis (at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). Your application must include the signatures of two sponsors of I° or higher. Payment of $93 for the initiation will be required before you take your initiation (check or cash; if using PayPal or other app an additional sur charge may be added). You will be contacted by the Initiation Coordinator with the date of the ceremony, time to arrive, as well as the location.
Before you can apply for initiation, you will need to develop a level of personal familiarity with at least two members. The Oasis conducts many activities that are open to non-member guests at which you can meet such people and introduce yourself, e.g., public performances of the Gnostic Mass in Brooklyn, CT and our classes and other rituals in Watertown, CT (See our Calendar for upcoming events.)
Preparing for Initiation
Practically speaking, you do not need to do anything to prepare for your Minerval initiation. We recommend looking over the US Grand Lodge O.T.O. website. Reading Liber AL vel Legis (The Book of the Law) is strongly encouraged.
The Minerval Degree is an introductory initiate degree in which the aspirant is considered an “honored guest” of OTO rather than a full member. It is designed to allow the aspirant to decide whether to pursue full membership in the Order. It also allows a period of time for potential sponsors to decide whether to support an aspirant’s application for full membership. However, as a Minerval, you have the following privileges:
Seek Oasis membership which will enable you to attend member only events, get discounted entrance to lectures and other events sponsored by the Oasis, and be able to attend the annual/biannual Oasis member meetings;
Attend future Minerval initiations; and
Receive the U.S. Grand Lodge newsletter “Agape” and other occasional publications of the Order.
There are annual dues payable to the U.S. Grand Lodge in the amount of $42; in addition to these, if you decide to become a member of Mithras Oasis, we request that you select either an annual or monthly a donation that is appropriate to you & your finances (we strongly encourage a monthly donation between $11 and $25 either through PayPal, or cash/check made monthly or annually. If at the time you affiliate, or at any point in the future, your experience financial hardship, individualized exceptions to the donation requirement can be arranges at the discretion of the Master of Mithras Oasis.
There are two primary types of membership, initiate and ecclesiastical, corresponding to the two constituent rites of Ordo Templi Orientis, Mysteria Mystica Maxima (M∴M∴M∴) and Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica (E.G.C.). The two are initially independent, but become connected as one progresses through either rite.
Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica (E.G.C.) is the ecclesiastical arm of O.T.O. Apart from Initiation into the Order, the E.G.C. offers lay membership conferred through the sacraments of baptism and confirmation and is further explained at U.S. Grand Lodge website further explains the E.G.C. Lay membership confers no special privileges. Confirmed members of E.G.C. who are also Minerval initiates may enter the Novitiate and work toward ordination to the Diaconate or the Priesthood. There are further M∴M∴M∴ degree requirements for these ordinations.
Privacy: Membership in O.T.O. is private. Names and addresses of members are kept confidential from the general public and from the bulk of O.T.O. members. O.T.O. officers (including local body officers) are provided with information about members on a need-to-know basis. For example, a member wishing to attend an initiates-only event at a local body may have her membership status confirmed by Grand Lodge in response to a query by the local body master; similarly, Grand Lodge officers in the Treasury and newsletter offices will have access to the member information required to do their jobs.
There shall be no consideration of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation when considering the fitness of candidates for admission, advancement, or appointment to office within Ordo Templi Orientis U.S.A.
Those who live far from any O.T.O. body, or who are not prepared to become O.T.O. members for whatever reason, may support the work of the Order by becoming Corresponding Associates. Corresponding Associates may attend some O.T.O. activities, and receive occasional discounts from book sellers. Corresponding Associates also have the opportunity to correspond with O.T.O. members in the U.S.A. and other countries, by mail or electronically. Corresponding Association fees are $10.00 per year. Send a check or international payment coupon in US Dollars to:
Ordo Templi Orientis
P.O. Box 20565
Seattle, WA 98102
Please include your full name, mailing address, age and gender. Questions about Corresponding Association may be directed to email@example.com.