The Sabian Procedures
The Sabian procedures are arranged at all points to provide a private or a group rehearsal of spiritual experiences and insights, to the end that these may become increasingly a part of the aspirant's very being.
The Sabian lessons are designed to provide the greatest possible spread over all areas of experience in order to further a breadth of such rehearsal, and the method of study places the primary emphasis on the stirrings of interest within the aspirant's own consciousness in order to launch him on the way of Solar initiation. He is drilled continually in the fact that his illumination springs from resources lying at the core of his own being. There are weekly issues of lessons on the Bible on the one hand, and on philosophy and symbolism alternately on the other, and in these two series there is neither beginning nor end but rather a continuous rotation of the materials through an approximate twenty-year cycle in each case.
The study of astrology is optional. There are special lessons for the acolyte's orientation to (1) his own instinctive ritualization of his values, (2) the cycles of history, (3) the hidden powers of language, (4) the unrevealed potentialities of anything of immediate concern and (5) the cabalistic patterns behind all reality. There is additional instruction with which Sabian students are supplied in various special cases. Discipline letters and other materials are distributed to the members of the Assembly in regular course.
Authority under the Solar Mysteries flows into channels and personalities where its exercise is a maximum service to all concerned. Sabian procedure demands that individuals and groups mind their own business in every possible respect. Classes and other functions possess complete autonomy. As far as is practical the project maintains no headquarters and avoids unnecessarily centralized administration. It is very careful to avoid constituting itself a church, or a fraternal order or any form of organization in which there could be a hierarchy of superiors. There is a hieratic succession in the arcane tradition, but this has nothing to do with the chancellorship of the Assembly or the leadership in any enterprise seeking to instrument some phase of the vision.
There are recommended programs for all Sabian activities, with ritualistic forms to use in the various connections, and all details of procedure are made available for those inside or outside the Assembly who might find them valuable. The study class is arranged to encourage a full range of discussion in connection with the Sabian materials and to further a genuine rehearsal of spiritual experience.
The healing ministry is of fundamental importance in the Sabian project, and its efforts are centered in the healing meeting and the work in consciousness. Written healing slips are employed in this connection, but while they are encouraged they are not made obligatory. There is a chapel service to meet any demand for purely Sabian devotions.
There are rituals for the dedication of (1) a life, in some parallel with the baptism of the church, (2) a departure, in a measure of correspondence with the graveside rites of the church and fraternal orders, (3) a partnership, with some resemblance to a marriage ceremony but embracing business partners and any other possible relationship of personal intimacy, and (4) a project as special premises or enterprises.
The Full Moon Meeting each lunar month is the heart of the initiatory rituals in Sabian work, and is of special concern for the acolytes. The quarterly meetings on Palm Sunday or Easter eve, July 3rd, October 17th and December 31st are vital to the inner discipline and are of special concern to the legates. The acolyte meeting is classwork with a special ritual.
Important and central events in the life of Jesus, as particularly dramatized in the highly cabalistic Gospel of Matthew, are used to chart the steps of Solar initiation for the ritualistic purposes of the healing meeting. The section of Isaiah stemming from the Babylonian captivity is of high occult significance, and a paraphrase of the 44th chapter is employed to give a ritualistic depth to the Full Moon meeting. At that meeting the cycle of the lunar year is used to rehearse the ebb and flow in the seeker's transcendent or psychic sensitiveness, and the ceremonial charting of his progress through the zodiac permits the concomitant rehearsal of his struggle to fulfill himself through his own individual manifestation of the Solar Myth. The opening chapters of Ezekiel, including the prophet's master thesis, are used in similar paraphrase for the quarterly meetings in July and December as a catalyst in the legate approach to the Eternal Wisdom.
The neophyte, acolyte and legate pledges consist of three sections. The preamble presents the four basic principles operating on the level of obligation in each case. The actual obligation is a committal to progressively greater degrees of spiritual or immortal self-reliance, and the earnest is the token self-dedication in the three outer dimensions of Sabian discipline at the portal to the Solar Mysteries.