The Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) System of Initiation
The structure of OTO is based on a staged series of initiations or degrees which are conferred ceremonially. In the Rituals of these degrees, OTO seeks to instruct the individual by allegory and symbol in the profound mysteries of Nature and thereby to show the candidate’s proper course in the “Path of Eternity”. OTO degrees are divided into three Triads. 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. It is said to symbolize 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 OTO
- Vouched for by two 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 from the Lodge Master, the Initiation Secretary, or other officer of the Lodge (any member can help you contact them). Your application must include the signatures of two sponsors of I° or higher. Payment of $105 for the initiation will be required before you take your initiation. You will be contacted by the Initiation Secretary with the date of the ceremony. The wait time is typically between six to eight weeks.
Before you can apply for initiation, you will need to develop a level of personal familiarity with at least two members. The Lodge 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 and our solstice and equinox rituals. (See our Facebook page or Lodge Calendar posted on our website 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 USGL 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 Lodge membership which will enable you to attend member only events, get discounted entrance to lectures and other events at the Lodge, receive a free copy of the Horizon Journal “The Sky’s Embrace” and be able to attend the monthly Lodge meetings.
- Attend future Minerval initiations
- Receive the USGL 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 Horizon Lodge, the monthly dues are $20. If this is not financially feasible, then certain exceptions can be made at the discretion of the Lodge Master.