A great article and adressing things close to my heart!
Living in a country full of lodges (Sweden) and being an initiate of several, both Magical and Fraternal, i have often wondered why it seems so impossible for new ones to form?
I sometime think people are obsessed with lineages or the feeling of antiquity (wich seldom holds up to historical scrutiny anyway) rather than focusing on the “results” of potential new orders.
I have a great love for the “lodge model” of doing things and think formal,ceremonial initiation does indeed make a difference sometimes played down by many solitairy practicians.
When performed well and within a functioning order that is (this goes for Coven,Grove, Circle, Temple or whatever other term is used for an initiatory body too ofcourse).
Having said that, ofcourse any initiating organization would have to be in the know themselves when it comes to the system it teaches and initiates in.
Besides, just like the lodge idea has in history been used for a lot of purposes, so it could today. The idea is not only useful for people interested in magic but for anyone agreeing that a picture says more than a thousand words.
Imagine how much a picture in 3D, talking, walking, instructing, and presenting a whole landscape of symbolism, isolated from everyday life and to a large part interpreted by the canidate him/herself would be.
Then add the fact that a lot of the interpreting is done on a “deeper” level since allegory and symbols are among the main tools. The canidate being the main character and acted upon in tune with this symbolism.
All of this “reintegrated” to everyday life both during and after the ceremony.
I know orders for actors, choir singers, temperence activists, local historians, artists and many others in my country, all of them still active and having regular lodge meetings with officers, initiations and other ceremonies.
Still, i find myself strangely lonely in my passion for this???