Initiation is a time-honored practice in which a master of the occult tradition can transmit the ability to draw on the creative vibrancy of the subtle realms to overcome many limitations of the physical experience and accomplish great feats of transmutation to a younger person serving in apprenticeship. These people had honed their expertise in alchemy and demonstrated miracle-working feats over many lifetimes of exceptional dedication.
In those early days, to enter a mystery school you had to surrender completely to the discipline required. Many came forward, sometimes from far places, seeking out these hidden centers of elevated learning. If they were sensitive enough, they found the door and knocked. They were then told to remain outside until they were ready. So they waited, perhaps for many months. They sat there in the burning heat and the grim cold until the time they were admitted, and certainly not all remained.
The training was arduous, for it was meant to lead them toward their first major initiation, and because these could not be taken later in life (due to the stresses on the physical frame), the journey very often began in the teenage years. The initiates were led through preparatory initiations to underpin or open specific capabilities of a subtle nature, such as the clairvoyant ability and a subtle understanding of color and sound. The potential for enlightenment was brought forward from earlier lives, and between the twenty-first and twenty-eighth years, a whole range of abilities would be refined and linked into higher sensitivities.