There is no one initiation which can contain all the world's wisdom and lessons. TTO wishes to revive side degrees, the tradition by which various optional or supplementary lessons in life and magic are presented under official auspices.
Beginning in the late 1800s many systems of initiations promised to consolidate the, by then wide and cumbersome, system of Masonic initiations into one streamlined degree.
This approach has good and bad elements. On the one hand, it allows for a series of well planned, well presented, central, and powerful rituals.
In a lot of ways it’s like the decision whether to make a series of books into a movie or series. As a series they can be explored and length, but each episode may receive less attention or have less impact. As a movie they are powerful, but may lose entire ideas or plotlines in being condensed to two hours. “All in one” initiation systems can leave some interesting, educational, and even powerful dramatic material which does not fit the central template discarded in the wastebasket.
The paradox is that the more streamlined and powerful the system is, the more it leaves out, and the more general “shorthand” it uses to present its core ideas.
The central approach also stifles creativity and innovation. Side Degrees were in many was a commentary on central degrees. They present an interesting, even divergent, interpretation or point of view.
Another issue is content. Historically some initiations contained sexual elements, or ordeals which not everyone could or would consent to. In some cases a given ritual would never be right for a specific person. While we absolutely oppose any situation in which individuals are forced, coerced, or otherwise obligated toward unwanted physical or intimate contact, in the right context, with consenting participants, such rites can be fulfilling. Their inclusion as side degrees allows for a thoughtful, consensual, experience which does not constitute a barrier to progress in the principal degrees.
Our intention is to revive side degrees, and maintain a list, and library of official side-degree material which conforms to modern standards of consent.