The Place of Empathy in the Esoteric Tradition of the ONA


Order of Nine Angles


Classic ONA Texts
The Place of Empathy in the Esoteric Tradition of the Order of Nine Angles

The Order of Nine Angles considers empathy to be important, and a natural human faculty; a faculty which enables an intuition concerning – a knowing, an experience of – other humans, other Earth-dwelling life, of Nature [1], and of the Cosmos (‘the heavens’) beyond the planet which is currently our home. The knowing that empathy provides is that of a-causality; of ourselves as a nexion, and of the non-linear connexions which bind all living beings because such beings are alive.

In effect, empathy provides a wordless (an esoteric) understanding – a perception – of the nature of living beings, and this perception compliments the perception of phenomena by means of the observations and experiments which forms the basis for scientific knowledge. Thus can empathy – when cultivated, developed, and used – extend the limited knowledge, and the limited understanding, of Reality that we may obtain from science.

In the ONA, the cultivation of the faculty of empathy is an essential part of the training of the initiate as it is considered to be one of the many esoteric skills which Adepts must possess, and – indeed – as one of the esoteric skills which distinguishes an Adept from a non-adept. Thus, when consciously cultivated and developed by esoteric means [2], empathy is a Dark Art; and the skill, the faculty, so used by an Adept is and has been variously described by the terms esoteric-empathy, dark-empathy, sinister-empathy, and sinisterly-numinous empathy.

The rudiments of this skill – of this particular esoteric Dark Art – can be learnt by undertaking the standard (the basic) Grade Ritual of Internal Adept, which Ritual lasts for one particular alchemical season (around three months) [3]. Mastery of this Dark Art involves – with one known exception [4] – undertaking the advanced Rite of Internal Adept, which lasts for a different alchemical season (at least six months, sometimes longer depending on geographical location). However, further development of this skill, this faculty, is, while exceedingly difficult, possible according to ONA tradition and involves a successful completion of the traditional, the Camlad (the Rounwytha) Rite of The Abyss [5], and it is this further – this advanced – development and then the use of the faculty of empathy which not only distinguishes the Magus/Mousa but which also provides them with a deep insight into the true nature of Reality and thence the beginnings of wisdom.

The esoteric technique that is the ONA Rite of Internal Adept has been shown, by many decades of experience, to work in cultivating the faculty of empathy, and thus in developing the skill of Dark Empathy. During this Rite, the candidate has nowhere to hide – they are alone, in a natural and non-urban environment, bereft of human contact; bereft of diversions and distractions; bereft of comforts and especially bereft of the modern technology that allows and encourages the rapid and vapid and mundane communication of abstractions and HomoHubris-like emotions and responses. All the candidate has are earth, sky, weather, whatever wildlife exists in their chosen location – and their own feelings, dreams, beliefs, determination, and hopes. They can either cling onto their ego (their presumed separate self-identity) and their past – onto the mundane world they have chosen to temporarily leave behind – or they can allow themselves to become attuned to the natural rhythm of Nature and of the Cosmos beyond, beyond all causal abstractions: beyond even those esoteric ones manifest, for instance, in the Septenary Tree of Wyrd, which are but intimations, pointers, symbols, toward and of the acausal essence often obscured by causal forms and by written and spoken words, and which acausal essence such a development of empathy provides a wordless and an esoteric understanding of.

Thus does this Rite affect, and change, the candidate, and thus does it serve as the foundation for the next stage of the journey, some years hence: the move toward, into, and beyond The Abyssal Nexion, and which nexion is where is the beginnings of wisdom can be found.

Anton Long
Order of Nine Angles
122 Year of Fayen


[1] We consider Nature to be a type of being. That is, Nature is something alive which has the property of existence; which changes, and which causes or brings about changes in those other types of living being – those species of living beings – which are part of Nature. That is, Nature is the animating force which imbues living beings here on Earth with the property of life and which causes or brings about changes in such living beings.

[2] This conscious cultivation and development of esoteric skills – in this case of empathy – is one of reasons for the existence of esoteric, Occult, groups such as the Order of Nine Angles. For such esoteric groups have the knowledge, the personal experience, the traditions, the techniques, to facilitate and encourage such skills, and which skills enable the interior, personal, alchemical, change in the individual – the journey from Initiate to Adept and beyond – which it is one of the aims of all genuine esoteric groups to encourage.

[3] The basic or standard Rite is given in ONA texts such as Naos, and involves the candidate in dwelling alone in an isolated wild area for at least three months.

[4] The one exception is the Rounwytha – the rare individual (who is usually of the female gender) who is naturally gifted with this still uncommon faculty. Refer to The Rounwytha Way In History and Modern Context.

[5] This Rite is given in The Abyssal Nexion, and involves the individual living in isolation in a dark cave or cavern for a lunar month.