"An official expounder ofsacred mysteries or religious cere-
monies,esp. in ancient Greece; an initiating or presiding priest" -
OED. I generally use it in the "initiating priest/ess" context (CM
heritage,that). Those who hold the power *and authority* to initiate
others into our particular Trad, are hierophants when they actually
exercise that power.
Most of usare explicitlyoathbound to ensurethat thecandidate
is a worthy person, properly prepared to receive what we are about to
confer,and that the rite of adoption/initiation is correctly done
according to Trad standards. Those Trads who've dispensed with oaths
still, implicitly,expect something rather similar.
When I consider acandidate for initiation,I first look tosee
whether I have a 'proper person' according the expectations of my Art.
Next I look to see whether the Lady's Initiation rests upon them.
Lastly, I look to see that s/he understands what s/he is about to
promise, and has the skills necessary to carry it out (the gumption to
stand by his/her oath is part of 'proper person', IMO). While the
marks ARE plain to see,speculation by the uninitiated notwithstanding
<g>, all three ARE judgement calls on my part. Then again, ANY
situation touching upon my Oath requires a judgement call on my part.
At1st Degree,Alexandriantradition permitsme toextend benefit
of the doubt in cases where the marks are recent enough that they
shine but dimly (or where the candidate's history leads one to suspect
s/he may not feel bound to stand by what s/he swears to). Gardnerian
tradition does not. Then again, H'Alexandrian tradition requires that
no benefit of the doubt be granted at 2nd Degree, whereas Gardnerian
tradition again contradicts. In either case, a 2nd of either Trad has
been put to the test and found fully appropriate to the Trad in the
judgement of his/her heirophant, we simply do it at different degrees.
(That's the theory,anyway, and why we come down so hard on those who