The ritual is a procedure that can have a different function depending on the objective, the circumstances and the type of the same ritual.
The characteristics that can be taken from the ritual, may be very different; sometimes the function can be almost exclusively ceremonial, otherwise, in its most transcendent and mystical functions, can be structured in an allegorical manner, giving rise to symbolic representations or can be structured more simply, through a more direct use of symbols and a simpler operativity.
In the latter case mentioned, the ritual essentially performs the function of establishing a connection with spiritual entities of any nature or with the G.A.O.T.U. or the "One", or what is also called the "Universal Consciousness", depending on the desired definition, but can also be used to obtain a more direct contact with our spiritual component, which can be invoked exactly like any other spiritual entity.
Rituals can be collective or individual, generally, during the path of initiation, rituals should first be individual, for the Novices,in order to give them time to cultivate the basic skills and master the basic notions; at a later time, after an initial path of individual work, the Novice is introduced to the collective rituals, in order to form the Initiate with the most intense and significant experiences, then, after a certain period of time and with the acquisition of different degrees, not it will be anymore strictly necessary, the participation to collective rituals on the basis of a mandatory frequency regularity, except for the higher degrees starting from 4° to upwards, which are degrees tight to more important responsabilities toward the Order; once achieved the 3rd degree, it's not mandatory to participate in a stable frequency to collective rituals, if the person cannot continue to pursue the path to the further levels for some reason, depending on himself or because of the Order's decision.
Once achieved the 3rd degree, the Order will decide if the Member will be suitable to pass fron the Order of the Temple to the Order of the Lily, getting the 4th degree; in any case, also if the Order's decision will be to hold the Member in the 3rd degree, it will be equally already achieved a certain kind of experiential baggage and awareness, which once obtained, the following experience could be pursued also in a more independent way, through individual practices; reached this milestone, the collective ritual will still remain a chance for growth and an opportunity to further expand personal experience.
Before begin to learn and practice any kind of ritual, it is good to understand the basic operating element, namely that the ritual is served in the "material world", but where it really takes place is in a dimension which is not visible, and that we reach through our spiritual component, which works as a "bridge"; then, when for example we trace and gaze to a symbol on the floor, that symbol does not really acts in the place where it is; that symbol acts within us, in our inner being, or to say it better, in our spiritual component, and from there, its effect extends to the "non-visible dimension" where are all spiritual beings, including our own; space and time intended as coordinates relative to the material universe cannot be applied to the aforementioned dimension; for these reasons, when an entity is visibly manifested in this material reality this does not really happens in that place, where we are with our body, but in another dimension, where the conscience of the spirit invoked, and the Initiate's, meet; vision occurs then through mystical ecstasy which is the altered state of consciousness that makes more invasive the influence of our spiritual component to our brain, increasing the receptivity, so the ability to perceive external inputs, also from several dimensions, which are perceived by our spiritual component that sends the image to the brain; while this process takes place with your eyes open, it will seem that the invoked spirit entity stands in our own room.
Considering the huge impact, especially at the beginning, of this type of experience over the person, the program that we use, to introduce Novices to the real practice, is very cautious and gradual, so we have the opportunity to be able to identify in time any psychological effect that might reveal the incompatibility of the subject to the aforementioned practice.