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The Temple of the Pagan Way (Uranus):
Structure and Organization

by the Council of Elders

[Editor's Note: The following information is excerpted from an introductory booklet prepared by the Council of Elders of the Temple in 1974.]

Structure and Range of Study

URANUS is a Temple of Initiation and as such its members are  willing to  share destiny with others. It is not a secret organization requiring dire oaths and sworn allegiance to protect the so-called 'secret truths of the universe.' Most of these occult secrets are readily available in  any good public library.  However, it is asked that our particular methods of working not be given to any who are not prepared for them, and this is left to the discretion of the teacher himself. Likewise, the initiatory  system is not used to perpetuate the existence  of ego-enhancement systems which require blind obedience of their members in order to obtain higher initiations. We seek only to follow a path of light.

Membership

The  first step towards membership and initiation in the Temple is a  series of Ethics classes, which serve to introduce those interested to the basic ethical philosophy and teachings. Upon completion, the seeker is qualified to  accept the ritual of dedication whereby one publicly states acceptance of Paganism  and the Arts Magickal as one's way of life and is prepared to study and advance in accordance with the ancient wisdom. Dedication qualifies  the student to enter upon the next area of study which consists of six weekly classes and assignments  which prepare the dedicant for eventual initiation. These classes teach a system of spiritual exercises, ritual practice  and instruction.

Active members are expected to regularly attend Moon Rituals and the eight major festivals of the  calendar year. In addition, monthly dues are required of active members; these are adjustable in case of  hardship. Inactive members are those who do not regularly attend Temple services but do attend major festivals. Once initiated, members  are eligible to participate in all activities for as long as they wish to associate  themselves.

The system of Initiation is comprised of five degrees that correspond with the five classical elements of the Wise, with each degree lasting  approximately one yeear.

The First Degree is the degree of Earth.  Here the student is taught the meaning of that element and as much as possible about the tools which will enable him to direct and control his life. Introductory occult  material and exercises are including during this first  year. Second Degree is the degree of Water, learning and exploring the emotional and psychic self. Third Degree is Fire, when transformation of self through magickal work and exercise  occurs. Fourth Degree, Air, expresses the  use of the tools learned and the ability to move easily within philosophy and magickal life. Fifth Degree, Spirit, teaches the completed use of all the previous degrees.

After these years, additional  areas of study are  available for advanced work. For those who wish to dedicate their lives to service, study for the priesthood is available to suitable initiates of the second degree. Much is demanded of those who feel this vocation; service   is expected to be first in the life of the priest or priestess. Long hours and much responsibility are the basic requirements.

Organization

The Temple is administered by a High Priestess and a High Priest. They are  chosen by the  membership from among the ranks of the priesthood whenever the need arises. The High Priestess and Priest are responsible to the Council of Elders which is composed of senior members of the community. The  supreme authority and ruling body of  the Temple is the General Council which is composed of all active members. The priesthood, however, is generally responsible for the religious life of the Temple.

[Editor's Note: Ordination to the Priesthood was always a component of Second Degree Initiation in the Temple, and remained so even after the institution of the separate "priesthood" referred to in the two paragraphs above shortly after the Temple's name change. One major effect of the change was that - prior to the institution of this separate priesthood - any Second Degree Initiate was eligible for election to the office of High Priestess or High Priest if that office became vacant. After the institution of this separate priesthood, candidates could only come from within the ranks of that body, rather than from the ranks of all Initiates of the Second Degree or higher.]


Written by the Council of Elders, Temple of Uranus
Edited for HTML publication by Dianis Lucien
updated: May 15, 1998
document TPW-HIST © 1974 Temple of Uranus

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