A descriptive term for the qualities of initiatic tests given to disciples in order to measure the state of their psyche and thus the quality of their psychological work. These tests are reflections of the qualities of the four elements of nature.
"The four ordeals within the White Lodge are in order to examine the white disciple’s morals. For instance, in the ordeal of fire, the disciple is attacked by crowds of enemies who insult him. Instead of returning insults, the disciple throws love towards his enemies. This is how he triumphs in this ordeal, when with serenity, he passes through the fire without becoming burned. The ordeal of water for the Gnostic in the White Lodge is given with the sole purpose of knowing what level the disciple’s altruism and philanthropy has reached. The White Lodge’s ordeal of air is given with the sole purpose of knowing the disciple’s capacity for resistance against great adversities, and for detachment from material things. Whosoever succumbs to the grave inconveniences of life fails in the ordeal of earth. There are many persons who have passed these ordeals within the very struggle of life, within the daily battle of obtaining their daily bread" - Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of Beelzebub
"In the solitude of these mysterious sanctuaries, the neophytes were submitted to the four Initiatic ordeals. The ordeals of fire, air, water and earth always defined the diverse purifications of the neophytes. The neophytes are submitted to the four Initiatic ordeals which are verified in the Internal Worlds. The human being still is not a king or queen of nature, but the human being is called to be a king in accordance to Melchizedeck. Disciples must be tested by the four elements in order to examine them. They are submitted to ordeals in the forty-nine regions of thought. These ordeals are for everyone, man and woman. One can help oneself by having pure thoughts, but this is not enough; meditation is necessary." - Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah