Let us begin at the beginning. What is a Dramatic Ritual? It is a celebration of the Adventures of the God whom it is intended to invoke. (The Bacchae of Euripides is a perfect example of this.) Now, in the O.T.O., the object of the ceremonies being the Initiation of the Candidate, it is he whose Path in Eternity is displayed in dramatic form.
1. The Ego is attracted to the Solar System.
2. The Child experiences Birth.
3. The Man experiences Life.
4. He experiences Death.
5. He experiences the World beyond Death.
6. This entire cycle of Point-Events is withdrawn into Annihilation.
In the O.T.O. these successive stages are represented as follows:
1 0° (Minerval)
2 I° (Initiation)
3 II° (Consecration)
4 III° (Devotion)
5 IV° (Perfection, or Exaltation)
6 P.I. (Perfect Initiate)
Of these Events of Stations upon the Path all but 3 (II°) are single critical experiences. We, however, are concerned mostly with the very varied experiences of Life. All subsequent Degrees of the O.T.O. are accordingly elaborations of the II°, since in a single ceremony it is hardly possible to sketch, even in the briefest outline, the Teaching of Initiates with regard to Life. The Rituals V°–IX° are then instructions to the Candidate how he should conduct himself; and they confer upon him, gradually, the Magical Secrets which make him Master of Life.
It is improper to disclose the nature of these ceremonies; firstly, because their Initiates are bound by the strictest vows not to do so; secondly, because surprise is an element in their efficacy; and thirdly, because the Magical Formulae explicitly or implicitly contained therein are, from a practical point of view, both powerful and dangerous.
Aleister Crowley, “Magick Without Tears”