Sep 092018
 

The moment I step from the building and out into the dry, dazzling world, I behold a sea of olives undulating before me. It is a breath-taking panorama which stretches far as the eye can see. I could never grow weary of such a vista and I remain still for a few moments, breathing in the warm, sweet aura of tranquillity, giving thanks for the grace of the gods which brought me here to live my days.
Anyone who has been here understands that Holy Mount Parnassus is the closest place to Elysium on Earth. From it springs the fountain of all arts and poets, artists and musicians – devoted lovers of the Muses – all pay testament to the prophetic mouth of God that wields power and influence here.
The Sphinx which guards both the entrance to our temple and mysteries of the world is made of a warm-coloured stone. It blazes in the sun like fire and I incline my head as I walk past it down the gleaming marble steps, still surrounded by the monumental dedications of various cities.
It is not long before I have entered the walled kitchen yard, where I immediately see one of the Tetrarch’s slaves giving water to a package mule that is tethered to a small fig tree, already unburdened of the offerings he bore. My heart leaps for joy, breaking at once my serenity of mind and implacable demeanour. I am happy to see this faithful beast, for not only do I have quite some affection for the animal, but his owner is of the greatest interest to me as well.
His image appears at the front of my mind. Like rays of sun flooding into the Temple’s cool interior, it casts deep shadows into hidden places. The Tetrarch is the eldest son of the ageing Tagos of Thessaly, a great aristocrat of Greece. His tribe, the Aleudae of Larissa, was founder of the Amphictyonic League, one of the most powerful military forces in the world.
Now that Thessaly is the chief protector of Delphi, its surest and strongest ally, the Tetrarch – as leader of the cavalry – commands more respect than almost any other man who comes here. No other living man commands as much of my own respect as he does, except perhaps Cleisthenes of Sicyon.
The Tetrarch conducts much of his official business at the sanctuary, as do the governments of other city states, for all men come here to learn the secrets of Gods. There are also those who wish to meet with their muse, or listen to the poets, musicians, philosophers and other great men of this world share their inspiration.
I take a few moments to pet the placid animal, which is dozing peacefully in the dappled shade. His velvety-soft muzzle tickles my palm and he bows his head for me to scratch his dusty forelock at its peak. The warmth of the sun penetrates to my bones and for a moment I feel relaxed and carefree, as any other 19 year old girl on a halcyon summer’s day.
I do not intend to linger long, however, as my reason for being here is to prepare a special elixir for Timocrates, which will be used to facilitate his nightly travels through Psyche’s realm. Timocrates is a Saint of Delphi – one of the Thracids – and he has been my teacher and guardian for as long as I can remember. He is a highly learned man who is devoted to my education and well-being. I count myself fortunate it was him and not another the Gods decreed must raise me, for he has permitted me a degree of freedom that stricter Saints would not tolerate. I understand the value of this privilege and ensure the fruits of my mind are known to him alone amongst men, together with my lovely and graceful sisters, who are my dearest friends.
As the slave returns to wash the mule’s dust-caked flanks I make my way into the kitchen and examine a bundle of ingredients that were gathered on the seventh day of the moon. They are laid on top of a solid Myrtle-tree table, a gift to the sanctuary from Corinthian priests of Aphrodite. It is from these ingredients that I shall concoct the special elixir for my Earthly guardian.
Working steadily and also rather quickly, for it is a task I know well, I clean the plants and divide them into proportions, then place them together in a copper cauldron. I am vigilant about obtaining precise measurements for the preparation of such mixtures is a very exacting science.

May 112014
 

match_girlI see a great building, one enormous mass. In the front wall is a narrow arch with open doors; behind them, dark mists. In front of the high threshold there is a young girl… a pretty Russian girl.

A breeze comes from the dark and icy mists, a current of freezing air, bringing with it from the depths of the building the sound of a slow and muffled voice.

‘You who aspire to cross this threshold, do you know what awaits you here?’

‘I know,’ answers the young girl.

‘Cold, hunger, hate, mockery, scorn, injustice, prison, illness and even death?’

‘I know it.’

‘Do you expect to be shunned by everyone? Do you expect to be totally alone?’

‘I am ready. I know it. I shall bear all the suffering and all the blows’.

‘Even if they do not come from enemies, but from parents, from friends?’

‘Yes… even from those…’

‘Good. Do you accept the sacrifice?’

‘Yes’.

‘An anonymous sacrifice? You will perish and nobody… but nobody will evenknow whose memory to honour?’

‘I have no use for recognition and pity. I have no use for a name.’

‘Are you ready for crime?’

The young girl bowed her head. ‘Even for crime.’

The voice which was questioning her did not continue right away. At last it started again: ‘Do you know that one day you will believe no more in what you believe in now, and come to think that you have been a dupe and that it was for nothing that you have lost your young life?’

‘That too I know. Well though I know it, I wish to enter.’ The young girl crossed the threshold. A heavy curtain fell. Gritting his teeth, someone uttered behind her:

‘A foolish girl!’

At which, from another place, a voice replied:

‘A Saint!’

I. S. Turgenev, Poems en prose

Jan 062013
 

This devoted and favorite Apostle initiated by Jesus Christ Himself was called ‘Judas.’… Judas was not only the most faithful and devoted of all the near followers of Jesus Christ, but also, only thanks to his Reason and presence of mind all the acts of this Sacred Individual could form that result [of being] the source of nourishment and inspiration for the majority of them in their desolate existence and made it at least a little endurable.

[When at the Last Supper it was realized that more time was required to fulfill the sacred sacrament Almznoshinoo] Judas, now a Saint, leaped from his place and hurriedly said:

“I shall go and do everything in such a way that you should have the possibility of fulfilling this sacred preparation without hindrance, and meanwhile set to work at once.”

Having said this, he approached Jesus Christ and having confidently spoken with Him a little and received His blessing, hurriedly left.

Gurdjieff

Sep 022011
 

One night from out the swarming city gate
Stept holy Bajazyd, to meditate
Alone amid the breathing fields that lay
In solitary silence leagues away,
Beneath a Moon and Stars as bright as Day.
And the Saint wondering such a temple were,
And so lit up, and scarce one worshipper,
A voice from Heav’n amid the stillness said:
“The Royal Road is not for all to tread,
Nor is the Royal Palace for the rout,
Who, even if they reach it, are shut out.
The blaze that from my harim window breaks
With fright the rabble of the roadside takes;
And ev’n of those that at my Portal din,
Thousands may knock for one that enters in.

Bird Parliament, Attar

Mar 022011
 

That hero Sudyumna, accompanied by a few ministers and associates and riding on a horse brought from Sindhupradeśa, once went into the forest to hunt. He wore armor and was decorated with bows and arrows, and he was very beautiful. While following the animals and killing them, he reached the northern part of the forest.

There in the north, at the bottom of Mount Meru, is a forest known as Sukumāra where Lord Śiva always enjoys with Umā. Sudyumna entered that forest.

O King Parīkṣit, as soon as Sudyumna, who was expert in subduing enemies, entered the forest, he saw himself transformed into a female and his horse transformed into a mare.

When his followers also saw their identities transformed and their sex reversed, they were all very morose and just looked at one another.

Mahārāja Parīkṣit said: O most powerful brāhmaṇa, why was this place so empowered, and who made it so powerful? Kindly answer this question, for I am very eager to hear about this.

Śukadeva Gosvāmī answered: Great saintly persons who strictly observed the spiritual rules and regulations and whose own effulgence dissipated all the darkness of all directions once came to see Lord Śiva in that forest.

When the goddess Ambikā saw the great saintly persons, she was very much ashamed because at that time she was naked. She immediately got up from the lap of her husband and tried to cover her breast.

Seeing Lord Śiva and Pārvatī engaged in sexual affairs, all the great saintly persons immediately desisted from going further and departed for the āśrama of Nara-Nārāyaṇa.

Thereupon, just to please his wife, Lord Śiva said, “Any male entering this place shall immediately become a female!”

Since that time, no male had entered that forest. But now King Sudyumna, having been transformed into a female, began to walk with his associates from one forest to another.

Sudyumna had been transformed into the best of beautiful women who excite sexual desire and was surrounded by other women. Upon seeing this beautiful woman loitering near his āśrama, Budha, the son of the moon, immediately desired to enjoy her.

The beautiful woman also desired to accept Budha, the son of the king of the moon, as her husband

Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 9

Jan 092011
 

With respect to the magnificent quarternary of  traditional magic: “to dare, to will, to be silent and to know,” it is formulated – mutandis mutatis – by the Master in the following way:

Ask and it will be given you; Seek, and you will find; Knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, And he who seeks finds, And to him who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew vii, 7-8)

It is a matter of daring to ask, of the will to seek, of being silent in order to knock and of knowing when it is opened to you. For knowledge does not happen automatically; it is what is revealed when the door is opened. This is the formula of the synthesis of effort and grace, of the principle of work and that of receptivity, and, lastly, of merit and gift.

This synthesis enunciates the absolute law of all spiritual progress and, consequently, all spiritual discipline. It is the law which every Christian disciple, of every Christian spiritual school, obeys. And Christian Hermeticism, ie, the whole of traditional mysticism, gnosis, magic and occult philosophy, passed through baptism and transfiguration by the fire, light and life of Christianity, is in no way an exception here.

It should not be forgotten that Christian Hermeticism is not a religion apart, nor  a church apart, nor even a science apart….it is the connecting link between mysticism, gnosis and magic, expressed through symbolism – symbolism being the means of expression of the dimensions of depth and height (and therefore of enstasy and ecstasy), of all that is universal (which corresponds to the dimension of breadth), and all that is traditional (corresponding to the dimension of length).

Being Christian, Hermeticism accepts the cross of the universality, the tradition, the depth and the height of Christianity, in the sense of the apostle Paul when he said:

That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God. (Ephesians iii, 18-19).

This is the complete formula of initiation.

Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter VI The Lover

May 092010
 

Speaking next, a bearded poet,
Stroked his chin and touched the symbols
Woven on his woollen long-coat:
Winged heart, the moon and lone star.

“Heights are reached by native mystics,
Yet the greatest peak of learning
Is our own, and few have reached it;
Sufi spinners rise by turning.”

“Here upon our cloud, unknowing,”
Sighed the mystic Christian fathers,
“We see how all souls are growing,
Ever upward, past the dawn-star.

“Darkest night will never capture
Those who walk beneath the lantern
That was set by Christ. In raptures
Have our Saints recovered phantoms.”

“Mani of the Moon, the Mirror,”
Spoke his priest. “A silver sliver
Of the lamp which lovers worship;
Shines the light on true believers.”

“Brings to mind the Bodhisatva,”
Spoke the Buddhist, “of compassion.”
“From the Eastern land of ancients,
Where the bowl of Earth was fashioned.”