The First Stage: The Dark Apprentice
This is the point at which one first comes to the path. Usually, the Initiation takes the form of some painful, wounding experience. Childhood rejection and abandonment, heartbreak from a lover, or deep personal loss are common Initiations. This makes the individual feel vulnerable, and they first reach through self-love to self-preservation. As they master the basic tools, their confidence increases. As the vulnerability fades away, they progress on to the next stage. The Apprentice, however, may become stuck if they fixate on Greed. The theme of this phase is self-reliance. However, it is at this stage that the individual learns to restrain excess, if this lesson is failed, the advancement is halted, because underlying the greed is a lack of belief in one’s ability to adapt to changing conditions – hence a lack of trust in the Self. Reversing back from the polarity at this point
Ideal Example: Malfoy from Harry Potter, Fez from That 70’s Show
Failed Example: Worm-tongue from Lord of the Rings. Yee god.
Victory Song: When Worlds Collide, by Powerman 5000
Failure Song: That one Offspring song about the guy with no self-esteem.
The Second Stage: The Dark Warrior
Having confronted vulnerability and gained confidence, the true Soldier emerges. Often, these Darkworkers are on fire for the cause, and may find themselves subconsciously aiding and protecting others on the path. Usually, this is where perception of the light is adjusted and realigned, meaning, the person’s worldview dramatically shifts. The dark gifts begin to emerge here, and are refined. It is interesting to note that on the Lightworker path, the Warrior phase is much higher up the chain. In any case, the Initiation for this phase is usually some form of higher-level conflict, with an external organization or individual. When victorious, the Dark Warrior begins to learn true belief in self, and ability to deal with obstacles. This surge of confidence can lead to Pride, and this is the weakness of this stage. Ultimately, the challenge of this phase is self-acceptance, and pride represents a lack of acceptance of the self, and it will stagnate the growth.
Ideal Example: The Punisher, Hillary Duff
Failed Example: Everyone who wears orange and has a gallery number
Victory Song: Dragula, by Rob Zombie
Failure Song: Pets, by Porno-for-Pyros
The Third Stage: The Dark Magus
This level is typified by the rapid acquisition of power, both inner and outer. One outer sign which distinguishes the Magus from the next level is that the Magus is usually still pursuing personal goals, but specifically goals which do not confront or change the world/society at large in some profound way. Slowly, this will start to shift over the course of the Descent. This level is generally characterized by a constant feeling of being out of balance, and it is the seeking and finding of this balance, through self-realization, that is the theme of this stage. The challenge of this stage is true self-mastery. The critical weakness is Wrath, which is the outer expression of a lack of self-control, stemming from a lack of self-trust. Dark Gifts are further revealed and developed at this level. The initiation of this phase is almost always ascetic, or a trial of suffering by which the Darkworker is acutely aware of the lack of something, and must amass the inner strength of denial to an astute degree. Literal or indirect feelings of isolation during this Initiation are not uncommon.
Ideal Example: Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character in Cruel Intentions. Her brother too.
Failed Example: Most of the people you find at a LARP, or play Dungeons and Dragons past the age of thirty-frikkin-five
Victory Song: Down with the Sickness, by Disturbed
Failure Song: Pick any Nine-Inch-Nails album.
The Fourth Stage: The Dark Prince(ss)
Known as the Dark Throne, this level is given special attention because of its rarity, and the critical function it serves. Perhaps one in 10,000 Darkworkers will reach this level of mastery, and serve as the field-marshals for the world. Having fully contacted, accepted, realized, and mastered the Self, self-love deepens to a level that is indescribable. However, this love of self is based in an absolute, resolving inner security, which distinguishes it from the other levels. Invariably, these Darkworkers have amassed considerable degrees of temporal and spiritual power. However, they will always use this power to shape the world in some notable way. While this urge is present in the Magus as a fleeting itch, in the Prince(ess) it becomes a compulsion. The Reason? The veil is beginning to part, and the practitioner is beginning to contact their own divinity, and like God, the Darkworker feels a powerful pull to create the world in their own image. The sudden shift into the upper charkas creates a serene countenance combined with a heightened sense of lust. The critical weakness of this stage is vanity, and many Prince’s stagnate here. While it can be a natural product of their heightened self-love, it is most often derived because they do not wish for the veil to part just yet, and cling to their beloved self. The Initiation for this stage is very steep indeed. The Darkworker is generally put through a series of choices which force him to sacrifice things which the Prince(ess) externally values in order to remain true to who they are in that moment. In short, all things fall before the altar of the Self. And, as you can tell, a fully realized Princess gives me a bit, fat, rubbery one.
Ideal Example: Lex Luthor from Smallville, Hillary Clinton
Failed Example: Xeres from Sparta, Mel Gibson, Steve Jobs
Victory Song: Touched, by V.A.S.T.
Defeat Song: Wicked Game, by Chris Isaac
The Final Stage: The Dark Sage
Little is known about the Darkworkers who have attained this esteemed view of the horizon of the Self. We know they often go into deep isolation, and withdraw from direct action in power games. Usually, they only come into the public eye for limited time periods, with massive, sweeping purposes that are hard to nail down. Often, I watch for Princes(esses) to suddenly disappear, and I know a Dark Sage has Descended. If you get the chance to obtain their instruction, it is invaluable. Here, the Self begins to fade from view and be replaced by the Infinite. Often, at surface glance, these individuals will react in ways that make them seem crazy, but this is the fading of duality itself. From Sages I have had the privilidge of meeting, I know that the Initiation requires, ultimately, the Sacrifice of Self. However, I know the true danger of this phase is that, fully unified and acting in ultimate power, Sages can loose themselves to Hedonism. More on this phase, I do not know, and if any levels exist beyond it, I am unaware of them.
Ideal Example: The Emperor from Starwars, Hugh Heffner, Eleanor Roosevelt
Failed Example: Every executive at Enron and Worldcom
Victory Song: Unknown
Failure Song: Unknown