relating to my comments about initiation above - it is sometimes said one has to, in some cases, deny the family .
here ya go :
Chapter LII: Family: Public Enemy No. 1
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
In your last letter you mention “family pressure.” Horrid word, family! Its very etymology accuses it of servility and stagnation.
Latin, famulus, a servant; Oscan, Faamat, he dwells.
A word ought to have more respect for itself!
Bless you, the whole strength of the family is based on the fact that it cares for the family only: therefore its magical formula thus concentrated is of necessity hostile to so exclusively individual an aim as Initiation.
Its sentiments are reciprocated.
In every Magical, or similar system, it is invariably the first condition which the Aspirant must fulfill: he must once and for all and for ever put his family outside his magical circle.
Even the Gospels insist clearly and weightily on this.
Christ himself (i.e. whoever is meant by this name in this passage) callously disowns his mother and his brethren (Luke VIII, 19). And he repeatedly makes discipleship contingent on the total renunciation of all family ties. He would not even allow a man to attend his father's funeral!
Is the magical tradition less rigid?
Not on your life!
The one serious grimoire of the Middle Ages is The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage. He makes no bone about it. He even condescends to point out the family as the most serious of all the obstacles to the performance of the Operation, and he gives the correct psychological reasons why this should be so. You said it yourself! “Family pressure” was your pungent and pertinent expression. Just so.
I think that “family” should include any body of persons with common interests which they expect or wish you to share. One's old school or university, the regiment, the golf club, the business, the party, the country: any of these may dislike very much your absorption in affairs alien to their own. But the family is the classic type, because its pull is so potent and persistent. It began when you gave your first yell; your personality is deliberately wrenched and distorted to the family code; and their zoology is so inadequate that they always feel sure that their Ugly Duckling is a Black Sheep. Even for their Fool they find a use: he can be invaluable in the Church of in the Army, where docile incompetence is the sure key to advancement.
In the Brahmin caste, the aspirant to Yoga makes it a rule to fulfill his duties to the family and the State; once those jobs are definitely done, he cuts the painter, and becomes Sannyasi. Many a Maharajah, many a Wazir, to say nothing of less responsible people, plan their lives from their earliest days of wearing the sacred Cord as Brahmacharyi, with these ambitions carefully mapped out; and when the right moment comes for him to disappear into the jungle—the rest is Silence.
But the condition of allowing such apparent laxity is this: That one should be as swift and terse as Trotsky in any similar situation.
If one's family were reasonable human beings, (But they never are, she sighed) one could perhaps do wiseliest by explaining the situation. “This Work of mine—you don't understand it, no need that you should—is the only important part of my life. I mean to be scrupulously careful of your feelings, and I see no reason why my chosen career should damage our relations. There is only one thing to remember: IF I ever get the faintest suspicion that you are opposing me, or condemning my plans, or interfering in any way, even with the best intentions, THEN—with a single blow I sever our relations, and for ever.”
This too is painful beyond words at first. Until the process starts, you have not the faintest idea of how you have wrapped yourself in layers of lies."