Belief In Set

by Don Webb

One of the most misleading simplicities often heard of the Temple of Set is that there is some test of faith required at a certain level of membership. This suggests some silly scenario of waking up one morning to say, “This is it. I believe in Set. Hallelujah!” and then contacting three Masters of the Temple to be Ordained to the Priesthood.

Indeed this silliness has been said so many times that I was actually approached at a Conclave by an Adept, who told me gleefully that she was ready for the Priesthood, because she “believed in Set.”

“That’s nice,” I said to her, “But does Set believe in you?” It took a moment or two for her to realize that I was serious and expected an answer.

In Setian practice two things are noticed by everyone that achieves the Grade of Adept:

There are certain patterns in our lives that continue to influence the world—learning to go with our patterns is the Key to changing both the Self and world. Now this doesn’t mean we allow our unconscious lives to rule us, but that we use patterns in our lives for rationally chosen Noble aims. We may be said in this practice to be the future of mankind, if you value Tim Leary’s remark that in the future what is now called luck will be called skill.

Our magical Workings really do effect things in accordance with our will, but in fashions Mysterious and Joyous to us.

Some will come to see that they are the Objects of another’s magical Working as much as the Subjects of their own. They will come to see in patterns of world history, in the cycles of events in the Temple, and in the weird coincidences that make up the history of the magical world that there is a Magician who has similar powers and effects as we do, but rather a larger goal. There is no Need to have this breakthrough early, and if one goes by “faith” other than by developing a sensitivity to Magic this wonderful Shock will never be yours.

But this Knowledge separates out people. For some people it is merely interesting—like reading about the history of the Internet.

For others there is a growing sense of similarity in goals to this elder Magician. They also enjoy releasing energies and efforts that help others awaken to the two principles mentioned above. From this class the Priesthood comes. But a desire to help out others is not enough to become a Priest.

Some of those touched by this desire look to those principles and realize they will get more out of their efforts if their efforts are timed with, and in Resonance with, the elder magician. They can get better results in magics applied to further human evolution Working with Set, and these results can be See and evaluated by the Masters of the Temple.

So, in one sense, the Priesthood does believe in Set—much as a sailor would “believe” in the ocean. But there is a difference between a sailor and a man who owns an ocean front tavern, but who never takes a boat out. Both may “Believe” in the ocean, but the belief of the one doesn’t change his life, whereas for the other it is the most important thing in his life.

Some of the sailors only understand the sea well enough to work in a ferry between an island and the mainland, others take long voyages; some are confused about where they are going (like Columbus), others amaze everyone (like Magellan).

Priests are sensitive to Set. It take years of self-improvement and developing both rational and super-rational faculties to enter into this state—and like the sailor, dangers may await. Priests are not “true believers.”

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