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The Western Mystery Tradition
The Wisdom of the Ages is the ground floor of all the true religions and philosophies that have impacted our world, open to all who seek knowledge of “the Great Work” of humanity’s evolution regardless of creed, culture, or religion. These esoteric principles hold steady a unitive consciousness that honors them all and supports the inviolable laws of the universe.
Members of the varying schools of the Western Esoteric Tradition teach us the science of the soul, which has flowed through time as our metaphysical lineage since our beginnings. These esoteric Mystery Schools are the preservers of this inner wisdom, transmitted afresh for every Age. The ancient Mystery Tradition and its sacred arts are the reliable "technicians of human consciousness" that restore the balance between our outer and inner realities anytime we start to run off-track. But this Ageless Wisdom cannot be taught; it can only be caught -- gleaned from the crucible of each one's own direct experience.
If you reflect for a moment, you will see how logical it is that when our world is in trouble, it's the inner life only that can guide us forward. And why would this be so? Because that which exists in our outer life is already created and therefore can never offer any new creation to move us forward; anything already created can only lead us back to what was. So today, our egos have run to the edge of their own demise, and we seek a deeper wisdom that already resides in the human psyche. It’s up to us to access these depths of Humanity’s collective psyche, where all wisdom that’s even been is stored. And it’s only the sacred arts that access the symbolic realities that can take us there.
You wonder why you yearn for an astrological or Tarot reading when your life no longer makes sense, or when great tragedies occur. This is the yearning of your soul, to seek and learn whatever soul lesson you are currently engaged in so you can move forward in the truth of your being. These psychospiritual methodologies reveal to you that which you must know in order to be fruitful in a given area of your life. All this knowledge and wisdom already resides within you. These potent “technologies of the soul” include astrology, numerology, Tarot, sacred geometry, high magic, shamanism, Native wisdom, alchemy, esoteric psychology and healing, Gnosticism, Celtic rites of passage, the Mystery of the Grail, mystical Christianity, and Pathwork along the Jewish Qabalah's eternal Tree of Life. And there are more.
Symbols are divine messengers from a higher dimension -- such as a Tarot trump, a geometric pattern, or an astrological sign – and they function like "enzymes" that stimulate your psyche’s (or soul’s) life. In your interaction with these symbolic figures and designs, you become "fertile,” which means more able to make discoveries and engender your soul’s creative ideas and artistic pursuits.
A Mystery is not just a stimulant to the psyche; it is a spiritual event -- such as a death or rebirth experience -- which creates an actual shift in your inner motivation and moves you to a new place in consciousness. Mystery School are composed of soul families who come together lifetime after lifetime to manifest a certain aspect of the evolutionary process for the sake of the world. These students of the Mysteries are already prepared for this work before they are born.
The lineage of the Western Mystery Tradition can be traced back to Atlantis, Eden, ancient Sumeria, and the paradisal arctic Hyperboreans. Archeological and historical findings, even cave drawings, legitimize the presence of these early High Beings here. These teachings are carried forward by many Western esoteric schools, such as: the Rosicrucian Order, Freemasons, Theosophists, the Alice Bailey teachings, Gnostics, Alchemists, Christian Mystics, Rudolph Steiner's Anthroposophists, the Hermetic Orders of the Golden Dawn and Builders of the Adytum (B.O.T.A.), the Goddess traditions and many of the Native traditions such as Shamanism rooted in the Inca, Maya, and Aztec cultures. A re-emergence of this great Tradition is occurring now for today's troubled world. So you may be feeling the Call to re-unite with your own inner terrestrial/celestial lineage, pre-coded in your DNA. Below, you may recognize your own former training and ancestry:
. the Greek Eleusinian and
Orphic schools who utilized pageantry and ecstatic
. the Egyptian Hermeticists or Initiates of Isis and Osiris with their
. the Persian Zoroastrians known for battling the tension of the
opposites of good
. the Celtic Orders who sought the Mystery of Middle Earth and the
. the Knights Templar who were sacrificed by the Romans for their belief
. the Gnostic Christians and Essenes who underwent the Christian
. the Jewish mystics, begetters of the sacred Qabalah and its eternal Tree of Life;
The ego learns through cognition; the soul remembers through "re-cognition" -- an "aha!" You will find yourself in one or several of these esoteric schools by a strong sense of "recognition," or an attraction to one or more of them.
To enter the Mysteries and work with them we must become our own authority. Only those who can keep full control of themselves while traversing the potent and sometimes chaotic inner worlds are acceptable candidates. Once a channel is established between the inner and outer Self, surges of energy are exchanged and the tension can be explosive -- a short circuit -- when subjective meets objective. So we want the circuits properly prepared and maintained before the switch is turned on.
To make oneself failsafe from pitfalls in working with the sacred arts, here are some ways of protection:
1) Establish a benevolent Deity-figure to relate to inwardly.
2) Clear your psyche of any psychological "unfinished business" that could cause your ego to be needy for power or feeling special.
3) Tie your practices to disciplines that bring out the best in you and hold you steady in transformational work.
4) Be loving, industrious and hard-working, willing to study and to do your own inner work.
5) Stay in good physical health.
Being attracted to the metaphysical factors that operate behind all in the physical world, should never stop us from being fully in this world or cause us to see the human world as "beneath us" or "improper" in any manner. This violates our sacred reason for being here. We've come to blossom the Human Kingdom in all its glory. Therefore, our willingness to be fully human is our most precious gift to our Creator.
In closing, I'm reminded of the words of the great writer and philosopher, Arnold Toynbee:
"At a time of crisis in any civilization certain individuals
turn from the outer world to the inner life of the psyche
and, discovering there a new way of life, return to the
outer world to form a creative minority which acts as a
leaven for the renewal of that civilization."
-quoted in Gareth Knight's A Practical Guide to
Qabalistic Symbolism, Vol. II, p. 9
Jacquelyn Small, LMSW, is the Founding Director of Eupsychia Institute, a national certification program in Soul-based Psychology and Integrative Breathwork and Music Therapy. She is the author of seven books on personal transformation. Visit her website: Eupsychia.com.