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                                      The Heirophant 

                    "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


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