Photo by Jorge Lascar
Brother Virgil is an esteemed member of the Bull of Ombos Pylon and a resident of Central Texas. His personal magical blog can be found At the Void’s Edge. He recently got back to me with his answer to one of my questions for our members.
Q: What do you recall of your earliest impressions of the Temple of Set?
A: At first all I had to go by was my initial correspondence with Setians, which more or less fit with what I had expected of them: intelligent, dignified, respectful, coherent, and generally approachable or friendly. I took it as a good sign, but also knew there could be no substitute for getting real, in-person interaction with these people to get a real sense of the caliber of individuals I was dealing with.
For many new Setians, this first contact comes from a one-on-one meeting during the initial interview process or soon after formal entry into the Temple. For others, it’s at a local (or at least nearby) Pylon meeting. But I never had any of that. It wasn’t until I’d hopped on a plane and flown to an International Conclave I encountered my first fellow Setians in person.
What struck me immediately was the ecclectic mix of “types” represented within the Temple. It wasn’t all goth rockabillies, all hipsters, all heavy metal dudes, all clean-cut professionals, or all bookish scholars, although all these types and more were present. But that to me just underlined what I had come to understand about Setian philosophy: It wasn’t a cultural or sub-cultural posture based on one particular aesthetic, style of dress, or other superficial means of constructed identity. Rather, the various characters I encountered represented an array of examples of what the Left-Hand Path can look like in practice, a multitude of expressions of common core principles.
I was also highly vigilant about any potential warning signs of “culty” behavior, cringey grandiosity, delusion, or general toxicity in the Temple membership. I’d read enough and judged my correspondence enough to pretty much be optimistic, but knew that people will still surprise you. Happily, I found that the Temple’s screening and interview process does a pretty good job of weeding out unsuitable persons early on. Those who get in and stay in are there for the same reason I am: a knowledge base, a toolset, and a network of like-minded individuals cooperating for mutual benefit on an as-needed basis.
To this day my fellow Initiates continue to inspire me.