The Mystery Religions of the Ancients – part 3

[The framework of this Lecture is from Chapter 2 of MYSTIC MASONRY (1897) by J.D. Buck, revised and expanded with the teachings of Gnosis, the 4th Way and the writings of J.M. Ragon]

.: Click HERE to listen to this lecture :.

A Brief Summary of Some Symbols in the ‘Mysteries of Mythra’

Before we go any further, lets do a brief summary of the Cult to Mithra or Mithras. There was a series of tests that a candidate had to pass through, some of which are explained here:

“There are twelve [tests] according to the known passage of the commentator Elias of Crete upon the third prayer of St. Gregory of Nazianzus; and according to the testimony of two other commentators of this prayer, Nonnus and Nicetas, these tests take eighty days.

According to these testimonies “one is first exerted to cross a great stretch of water by swimming; then one is precipitated into fire, and [from which] one is only pulled out with pain. One had to pass a certain [amount] of time in the desert, suffering hunger and thirst, enduring finally the harshness of cold, the tiring [experiences] of running, and the lashings of the whip.”

Here are already eight of these rough and painful tests, and by examining then the monuments [of the temples dedicated to Mithras], we will not have [any] trouble finding others in order to complete the number of these works of Mithra [and] the number of which brings [one back], according to all appearances, like those of the twelve labors of Hercules, to the journey of the sun through the twelve signs of the zodiac.”

-paraphrase from Ch.5 of Memoire sur le culte de Mithra:
son origine, sa nature et ses mysteres
by Joseph Freiherr von Hammer-Purgstall

Their doctrine can be summarized as:

  • Mithras is born from a rock.
  • He is depicted in his temples hunting down and slaying a bull (in the ‘tauroctony’).
  • He then meets with the sun, who kneels to him.
  • The two then shake hands, and dine on bull parts (the ‘Banquet of the Sun’).

Being born from the rock is related to the Rock or Stone of the Philosophers, the cubic stone or angular stone which we have just studied. We have already studied, in the previous class, that the symbol of the Earth is the Bull. Therefore the symbolism of the “slaying of the bull” means to ‘kill the earth’ or the ‘complete dominion of matter’. Mithras then meets the sun, who (as we have mentioned in the previous class) is the local ‘central fire’ of our solar system. When the sun kneels before him, it means that he has dominated a certain aspect of the fire. By shaking hands and dining on bull parts, it means that they have dominated the ‘earth’, the physical world, matter.

There was a picture in the Mithraic Temples of a naked lion-headed human figure (or ‘Leontocephaline’):

    • He is entwined by a serpent, (or two serpents, like a caduceus) with the snake’s head often resting on the lion’s head.
    • He is usually represented having four wings, two keys (sometimes a single key) and a scepter in his hand.
    • Sometimes the figure is standing on a globe inscribed with a diagonal cross.
    • In the figure shown here, the four wings carry the symbols of the four seasons and a thunderbolt is engraved on the breast.
    • At the base of the statue are the hammer and tongs of Vulcan, as well as the rooster and the wand of Mercury.

The serpent is related to another symbol of the ancient mysteries which we also see in the Bible, the tempting serpent of Eden who caused the ‘fall’ of Adam and Eve, as well as the bronze serpent which healed the Israelites in the desert.

[Note: The Nehushtan (or Nehustan, Hebrew: נחושתן or נחש הנחושת), in the Hebrew Bible, was a sacred object in the form of a snake of bronze upon a pole. The priestly source of the Torah says that Moses used a ‘fiery serpent’ to cure the Israelites from snakebites. (see Numbers 21:4-9)]

The four wings correspond to the 4 elements, the keys correspond to the “esoteric keys” of the mysteries and the scepter is the ‘staff of the patriarchs’, that corresponds to the spinal column. But the most relevant symbol for us is the Lion head because (as we have seen in the previous class) the lion corresponds to fire, symbolizing that this person has succeeded in converting the earth (or bull) or physical matter into the fire (or lion) or spiritual substance.

The Alchemical Symbolism of the Ancient Mysteries

“The ancient hermetic philosophers said that the universal substance takes three forms and three modes in exteriorizing itself.

1st Active and moving form: the Sulfur
2nd Passive and mobile form: the Mercury
3rd Balanced and mixed form: the salt

For the modes of the universal substance, this is what they called the four elements, they are analogous to oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon…”

-paraphrase from Letter #17 from Eliphas Levi to his student the Baron Spédalieri

“Light is one and four in its manifestations. It is active or passive, visible or concealed. It is the first, real and living, substance having in itself the principle of its movement. It is a Substance of which the visibility, palpability, etc., are only accidental conditions. A Substance of which we can only conceive of its molecules, even if they are hypothetically primitive, as external aggregates and modifications of the original substance, because the every body has its parts, because every part is a body and, consequently, dividable, etc.

A Substance which is the perpetual result of its own productive force. Like a Serpent which devours itself and which comes out of itself. What God creates eternally on the first day and even before the first day. Since the book of Genesis is not past history, it is the revelation of eternal work. The light exists because God wills that it to be, and all things begin and end in it.

God is the reason of being for the light; the light is the exterior manifestation of the eternal verb of God. The light is pregnant with understanding and it gives birth to reason, because it is fecundated by the spirit.

The universal light is the astral light in the stars, it is the vital or magnetic light in the beings which produce the stars. It links all the beings together, because everything comes from it and comes through it. …it is in each one a particular mode [or type] of universal vital force.”

-paraphrase from Letter #15 from Eliphas Levi to his student the Baron Spédalieri

“The ancient hermetic philosophers had as their principle only the one substance, which is diversified through movement, and receives diverse appearances according to the exact angle of its polar attractions (each molecule of the substance was magnetized and polarized like the worlds).

They believed in perpetual movement, which is the supreme arcanum of physics, and thought reasonably that through the artificial direction of natural forces one can (in a certain circle and according to a certain measure) speed up or slow down movement.

However, this secret is simply that of creation. The Great Work is then not the chemical art of creating gold: it is the art of directing the natural fire as the gardener directs the water in order to fructify the plants. – With the help of this direction, one does not create minerals [or earthly metals], one kills them.”

-from Letter #17 from Eliphas Levi to his student the Baron Spédalieri

The Ancient Mysteries used the symbols and the images of the mysteries of nature in the establishing the doctrines of the teachings. And one thing that was emphasized throughout was the idea that there was a Work that needed to be accomplished.

The Purpose of Initiation

Mystery Schools taught transcendental principles because of their eternal value, and not as certain phrases or concepts to be memorized and then easily neglected or forgotten.

In the Ancient Mysteries: Life presented itself to the candidate as a problem to be solved. The solution to this problem constituted all genuine initiation, and at every step or “degree” the problem expanded.

As the vision of the candidate enlarged in relation to the problems and meaning of life, the candidate’s powers of apprehension and assimilation also increased proportionately.

The lower degree(s) of initiation concerned the ordinary affairs of life:

  • a knowledge of the laws of nature and nature’s processes of movement or change
  • the association of this knowledge to the candidate’s physical body and the surrounding world.

When the candidate had learned these principles and adjusted his/her life to their application, then the candidate was passed on to the following degree(s). Here, the candidate learned the nature of the soul and the process of its development, and was shown the exercises for the unfolding of the superior faculties of the soul…

If the candidate was found capable of grasping these principles, and kept the “vow” or ‘oath’ in the previous degree(s), then the candidate discovered the progressive development within him/herself of senses and faculties pertaining to the Superior Dimensions of the Universe. But, the candidate’s progress would be instantly arrested, and the teachers would refuse all further instruction, if he/she was found negligent of the ordinary duties of life, the duty to their family, to their neighbors, or to their country. One must be in balance and not neglect the Physical World just because one is studying the Superior Worlds.

“INITIATION is your life itself, it is profoundly internal and profoundly individual.”

-paraphrase from Ch.4 of Manual of Practical Magic (PDF) (1954) by Samael Aun Weor

“Those who resolve to lay the heavy cross of Initiation upon their shoulders will find themselves persecuted and even hated by those spiritualist brethren who live talking daily about initiation.”

-from Ch.21 (Section 8) of The Major Mysteries (1956) by Samael Aun Weor

“In this day and age, the Masonic Lodge grants its degrees based on money and social status. Many people sell initiations. Many people are bestowed with initiations. All of this is exploitation and black magic.

Authentic degrees and authentic white initiations are received in the consciousness. These initiatic ceremonies are performed within the superior worlds. They are intimate experiences of the consciousness. They must not be revealed, nor spoken about. No one can grant initiations to anyone. Initiation is attained through life itself.

In this day and age, everybody wants to be a master. We say that there is only one master, the internal Christ of every human being who comes to the world. Only HE is the Master…”

-paraphrase of Ch.21 (Section 7) of The Major Mysteries (1956) by Samael Aun Weor

The Higher Degrees and their Requirements

In the Mysteries one becomes an unselfish Servant of Humanity as a whole; and no longer has the right to play favorites (favoring friends or family over strangers). And in the higher degrees, one might be restricted from using the soul’s powers even to preserve one’s own life. Both the Master and the Powers belong to Humanity. Remember how the people called upon Jesus to “save himself and Come down from the cross,” if he were, in fact, the Christ? This doctrine of Supreme Selflessness has not been very well understood by the Christian world.

While it is a Divine Attribute to be a Christ, it is something that is latent in all of humanity, and must be developed… This development is something very hard to accomplish in an ordinary lifespan. The incarnation of the Christ within oneself is the result of persistent effort guided by an inner drive to stop at nothing (this is why the candidate has to be “prepared”). The Messiah, or Cosmic Christ, is idealized and worshiped in all religions, but under different names and appearances corresponding to the culture & the time period.

“If we do a comparative study of religions, we will find in all of them the worship of the Christ; the only thing that varies are the names given to the Christ.

Jesus has the same attributes as Zeus, Apollo, Krishna, Quetzalcoatl, Lao-Tzu, Fu-Xi (the Chinese Christ), Buddha, etc.”

– paraphrase from Ch. 7 of The Revolution of the Dialectic by Samael Aun Weor

The Christ is the Allegorical Messenger who comes to save his people from doom or destruction, from a ruthless tyrant or enemy, or from a monster, but he must sacrifice himself in order to accomplish this… It is only in the Esoteric side of Religions, in the Mystery Schools, where we learn the process of development necessary for the incarnation of the Christ and this is what all the symbols of all the Religions are ultimately trying to teach us.

Ancient Christianity

It should be kept in mind that in the Ancient Mysteries, and in all of the great Religions, there was always an Exoteric (or public) portion given out to the world, to the uninitiated, and an Esoteric (or private) portion reserved for the initiate. The private, secret or esoteric knowledge was revealed by degrees, according to the candidate’s demonstrated ability to receive, conceal, and rightly use the knowledge imparted.

Few professed Christians are aware that such was also the case with Christianity during the first two or three centuries of the Christian Era. St. Augustine (354-430), an important figure in the development of Western Christianity, said that what we now call Christianity already existed centuries before the birth of Jesus.

“For what is now called the Christian religion existed even among the ancients and was not lacking from the beginning of the human race until ‘Christ came in the flesh’. From that time, true religion, which already existed, began to be called christian. …For this reason, I said: ‘In our times, this is the Christian religion,’ not because it did not exist in Former times, but because it had received this name in later times…”

-from Ch.12 of The Retractions (427) by St. Augustine

“And the Word [Logos] was made flesh and dwelt among us…”

– John 1:14

“In the early days of Christianity, there was an initiation like those of the pagans. Persons were admitted on special conditions only. To arrive at a complete knowledge of the [Christian] doctrine, they had to pass three degrees of instruction. The initiates were consequently divided into three classes:
1. the first, Auditors;
2. the second, Catechumens;
3. and the third, the Faithful.

… in the grand mysteries of that religion, the incarnation, nativity, passion, and resurrection of Christ, none were initiated but the Faithful. These doctrines, and the celebration of the Holy Sacraments, particularly the Eucharist [the bread and the wine], were kept with profound secrecy.”

-from Ch. 26 of Morals and Dogma (1871) by Albert Pike

The Esoteric Christianity of the Past

“The Basilideans, a sect of Christians that arose soon after the time of the Apostles, practiced the Mysteries with the old Egyptian legend. They symbolized Osiris by the Sun, Isis by the Moon, and Typhon by Scorpio, and wore crystals bearing these emblems, as amulets or talismans, to protect them from danger, upon which was also a brilliant star and the serpent.

These talismans were copied from those of Persia and Arabia, and given to every candidate at his initiation. They all claimed to possess a secret doctrine, coming to them directly from Jesus Christ, different from that of the Gospels and Epistles, and superior to those communications, which, in their eyes, were merely exoteric.

They did not communicate this secret doctrine to every one; and among the extensive sects of the Basilideans, hardly one in a thousand knew it (as described by Irenaeus). We know the name of only the highest class of their initiates. They were called Elect, or Elus, and ‘Strangers to the World.’

They had at least three degrees the Material, the Intellectual, and the Spiritual, and the lesser and greater mysteries; and the number of those who attained the highest degree was quite small.

…[Other Christian groups called these] three Degrees, or grades, Purification, Initiation, and Accomplishment or Perfection

The Apostolic Constitutions, attributed to Clemens, Bishop of Rome, describe the early church, and say: ‘These regulations must on no account be communicated to all sorts of persons, because of the mysteries contained in them.’

[for more information about this topic see Secret Discipline (1855) by Theodore Temple]

…[Another famous Christian] Tertullian, who died about A. D. 216, says in his Apology:

“None are admitted to the religious mysteries without an oath of secrecy. We appeal to your Thracian and Eleusinian mysteries; and we are specially bound to this caution, because if we prove faithless, we should not only provoke Heaven, but draw upon our heads the utmost rigor of human displeasure. And should strangers betray us? They know nothing but by report and hearsay. Far hence, ye Profane! is the prohibition from all holy Mysteries.”

Clemens, Bishop of Alexandria, born about 191 A.D., says, in his Stromata, that he can not explain the Mysteries, because …[that would be like putting] a sword into the hands of a child…

…Origen, born 135 A.D., answering Celsus, who had objected that the Christians had a concealed doctrine, said:

“Inasmuch as the essential and important doctrines and principles of Christianity are openly taught, it is foolish to object that there are other things which are concealed; for this is common discipline with that of those philosophers in whose teachings some things were exoteric and some esoteric; and it is enough to say that it was so with some of the disciples of Pythagoras.”

The formula which the primitive church pronounced at the moment of celebrating its Mysteries, was this:

“Depart ye Profane! Let the Catechumens, and those who have not been admitted or initiated, go forth.”

Archelaus, Bishop of Cascara in Mesopotamia … said:

“These Mysteries the church now communicates to him who has passed through the introductory degree. These are not explained to the Gentiles at all; nor are they taught in the hearing of Catechumens, but much that is spoken is in disguised terms, [so] that the Faithful, who possess the knowledge, may be still more informed, and those who are not acquainted with it may suffer no disadvantage.”

Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, born in the year 215 … says in his Catechesis:

“The Lord spake in parables to his hearers in general; but to his disciples he explained in private the parables and allegories which he spoke in public… Just so the church discovers its mysteries to those who have advanced beyond the class of Catechumens: we employ obscure terms with others.”

St. Basil, the great Bishop of Caesarea, born in the year 326, and dying in the year 376, says:

“We receive the dogmas transmitted to us by writing, and those which have descended to us from the Apostles, beneath the mystery of oral tradition; for several things have been handed to us without writing, lest the vulgar, too familiar with our dogmas, should lose a due respect for them. . . . . This is what the uninitiated are not permitted to contemplate; and how should it ever be proper to write and circulate among the people an account of them?”

St. Gregory Nazianzen, Bishop of Constantinople, A. D. 379, says:

“You have heard as much of the mystery as we are allowed to speak openly in the ears of all; the rest will be communicated to you in private; and that you must retain within yourself. . . . . Our mysteries are not to be made known to strangers.”

St. Ambrose, Archbishop of Milan, what was born in 340 … says in his work De Mysteriis :

“All the Mystery should be kept concealed, guarded by faithful silence… It is not given to all to contemplate the depths of our Mysteries. . . . . that they may not be seen by those who ought not to behold them; nor received by those who cannot preserve them.”

…and in another work [St. Ambrose says]:

“He sins against God, who divulges to the unworthy the Mysteries confided in him. The danger is not merely in violating truth, but in telling truth, if he allow himself to give hints of them to those from whom they ought to be concealed. . . . . Beware of casting pearls before swine!. . . . . Every Mystery ought to be kept secret; and as it were, to be covered over by silence, lest it should rashly be divulged to the ears of the Profane. Take heed that you do not incautiously reveal the Mysteries!”

St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, … says in one of his discourses:

“Having dismissed the Catechumens, we have retained you only to be our hearers; because, besides those things which belong to all Christians in common, we are now to discourse to you of sublime Mysteries, which none are qualified to hear, but those who, by the Master’s favor, are made partakers of them. . . . . To have taught them openly, would have been to betray them.”

And he refers to the Ark of the Covenant, and says that it signified a Mystery, or secret of God, shadowed over by the cherubim of glory, and honored by being veiled.”

-from Ch. 26 of Morals and Dogma by Albert Pike

The purpose of all these quotes from important Christians (many of them Bishops and/or Saints), from the first 500 years of the Christian Era, is to show that the Mysteries were an integral part of Ancient Christianity and that every religion has its esoteric and its exoteric part. This is why the Bible quotes a parable of Jesus saying:

“And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:

“A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?

And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

Now the parable is this: The seed is the Word [Logos] of God.”

– Luke 8:4-11

The ‘Christic Doctrine’ of Esoteric Christianity

“The holy Christic doctrine was preserved in secret within the Mysteries of Egypt, Troy, Rome, Carthage, Eleusis, etc. The greatest thing that Christ did was to make the ancient doctrine public on the roads of Jerusalem.”

– paraphrase from Ch.1 in The Book of the Virgin of Carmel by Samael Aun Weor

It is beyond controversy that with the early Christians:

  • there was an exoteric and an esoteric doctrine;
  • that the esoteric doctrines were communicated orally in the mysteries of initiation;
  • and that these mysteries conformed to those of the so-called Pagan world.

Something further may be shown as to the origin of the Christian Mysteries. In the year 525 BC, Cambyces, called “the mad,” led an army into Egypt, overran the country, destroyed its cities, palaces and temples, scattered its priest-initiates, and reduced the country to a Persian province. Many of its priests took refuge in Greece, and conveyed there the Egyptian Mysteries, which Pythagoras had journeyed to Egypt to obtain half a century earlier.

In the time of Plato, a century later, these Mysteries were flourishing, and from them Plato learned his sublime philosophy. At the beginning of our era the Mysteries had declined. There remained, however, the Gnostics, the Essenes, and the Therapeutae of Alexandria, and the Christian mysteries were undoubtedly present in these sects.

Jesus of Nazareth and the Council of Nicea

As we mentioned in the first class:

“…there is only one great Religion, and that is the TRUTH. …The truth wants to know itself in each human being. Jesus of Nazareth is a living embodiment of the TRUTH. Jesus Incarnated the TRUTH.”

–paraphrase from the first part of Christmas Message 1961-62 by Samael Aun Weor

“Jesus was not the first one who incarnated the Truth, and nor shall he be the last. The Hierophant Jesus has the same attributes of Zeus, Jupiter, Apollo, Krishna, Quetzalcoatl, and like them, he also had his Immaculate Conception in the Womb of a Virgin.

Mythology says that Jesus was born on the 25th of December (the birth date of the God Mithra) in the town of Bethlehem, a town that did not exist in those times. The name Bethlehem is derived from the word Bel or Belen, the Sun God of the Babylonians and Germans. The term Bethlehem indicates the Cosmic Christ, the Sun God, the Solar Logos.

…The entire life of Jesus, Iesus, Zeus, and Jupiter, is similar to the life of Krishna in India, to that of the other Christified Beings of the world. That is why the Gospel of Jesus is similar to that of Krishna. There are no differences in hierarchy in the Cosmic Christ. We are all ONE in the world of the Truth.

However, it is good to clarify that the Buddha Jesus is the most exalted Master of the universe. Buddha is the Realized Spirit in every Perfect Man. Christ is the Truth. The birth of Jesus the Christ —and his life, passion, death, and resurrection— should be lived by everyone who Christifies himself.”

–paraphrase from the third part of Christmas Message 1961-62 by Samael Aun Weor

“At the Nicene Council celebrated 325 A.D., two things were recognized:

1st A man who INCARNATED the TRUTH,
2nd A Doctrine.

The man was the Hierophant Jesus. The Doctrine was the Primitive Gnostic Christian Esotericism. Jesus is the Christ because he Incarnated the Christ. Jesus, Iesus, Zeus and Jupiter is the New Christ-Man who in fact initiated a new Era.

The Council of Nicea was a necessity of the time because the ancient Religious form of Roman Paganism had entered into complete degeneration and death; it was becoming necessary to dress the Universal Cosmic principles of the Cosmic Religion with a new Religious form.

The Council of Nicea was definitive: the Religious principles were dressed up in new clothes in order to initiate a new Era, and [that] is how Christianity was born.”

–paraphrase from the fourth part of Christmas Message 1961-62 by Samael Aun Weor

After the first Council of Nicea 325 AD, less and less was heard of the earlier doctrines, and with the burning of the Great Library of Alexandria: Catholic supremacy and the dark ages obliterated the records of ancient wisdom in Western Europe…

[for a movie about the burning of the library of Alexandria and the life of Hypatia see Agora (2009)]

So different groups emerged to offer those sincere seekers access to the Mysteries, such as the Templars, the Alchemists, the Rosicrucians, the Masons, etc. While in other parts of the world, other Messengers and Religious Forms emerged or continued in order to give the people Spiritual guidance and to provide those sincere seekers access to the Esoteric Teachings.

The Cult to Fire

“The religious form of Paganism degenerated and died, but its principles continued in Christianity. During the latter times of Paganism, people laughed at … the Priests … That is the end of every Religious form; when the multitudes do not respect a Religious form, it disappears.

The God Khristus (Christ) comes from very ancient Cults to the God of Fire. The interlaced P and the X represent the P (Pyre) and the X (Cross). This is the Hieroglyph to produce the Fire. That cult reappeared with the famous council of Nicea.

It is necessary to produce the Fire, to work with the Sacred Fire in order to achieve Christification.”

–paraphrase from the fourth part of Christmas Message 1961-62 by Samael Aun Weor

Remember the X or ‘Chain of Gold’ from the Doctrine of Hermes (in the previous class)?

But this cult to fire is not a superficial worship of fire, but has a deeper meaning which must be understood in light of the teachings of the Ancient Mysteries.

The Sacred Fire or ‘Chain of Gold’ as explained by Gnostic-Rosicrucianism

Now lets look again at the Hermetic ‘Chain of Gold’, that was mentioned in connection with the Egyptian Mysteries (in the previous class), and how this Solar Transformation (Light/Fire) is explained by Arnoldo Krumm-Heller in the Christian Mysteries:

“The soul of all matter is LIGHT.”

-from the Introduction to The Zodiacal Course (1931) by Arnoldo Krumm-Heller

“In the beginning, Life brought about the genesis of matter. Life was created from itself. Life is the Light that blooms from the same Vital Fire that separates it into its particles.

But as these particles were already Light (in their formation) and Life at the same time, and had their origin in the First Cause, it is a consequence, then, that the Light in itself is God

…What is our Life in itself? This has not yet been defined. One could say that our personal life is a constituent part of the Universal Life and that this manifests itself through Light and Heat, although at first, it is the Light that flows from a Spiritual Sun. From that Light (or Spiritual Sun) everything, the entire Creation, is made.”

-from the Ch.1 (Aries) of The Zodiacal Course (1931) by Arnoldo Krumm-Heller

“At the core of each seed there is some Sun, and therefore we call this life, because life comes from the Sun, but not the Planet rather the radiant, Bright Light, which manifests itself and expresses itself through the Sun.

Gnostics know this force as the CHRISTONIC FORCE, because the word Christ (from the greek) means not only Messiah [or anointed one], but also Light, and Redeemer, and is the christic or christonic force that redeems us from within, [that] we save and we sublimate when the vibrations of Leo are connected in our Heart with those of the Leo-heart of our planetary system, that is to say, the Central Sun, the Father.”

-from the Ch.5 (Leo) of The Zodiacal Course (1931) by Arnoldo Krumm-Heller

“The Gnostic Church teaches the Mystery of the Bread and the Wine. The grains contained in Bread, were grown and matured through the solar force; and Wine, made from Grapes that grew on the Vine, were developed and transformed in order to be consumed together in the Holy Eucharistic Unction.

“This is my Body (the Bread); and this is my Blood (the Wine)”, is said in the Sacred Rites of all Religions, and they are taken together. In a similar way our solid part and the liquid that we carry within, have been transformed through the lymph system, through the organic Sun, that is to say, the Heart Chakra, which forms and transforms everything within our organism.”

-from the Ch.5 (Leo) of The Zodiacal Course (1931) by Arnoldo Krumm-Heller

The Central Sun or Fire of our human organism is the Heart. And so Krumm-Heller says:

“Consciously, then, the Disciple should approach this moment by looking for Initiation within oneself, because it is the Sun, within ourselves … that offers this to us.”

-from the Ch.5 (Leo) of The Zodiacal Course (1931) by Arnoldo Krumm-Heller


The Philosophy of the Ancient Mysteries (that we can see in different forms throughout the world) was one of overcoming or dominating nature, including so-called ‘human nature’ (which is symbolized as the control of the ‘fire’ by the ancients) and this is done by appealing to the transcendental laws of the universe and by emphasizing the transformative power of self-sacrifice.

Next week, we are going to talk about Freemasonry as a more recent Mystery School, and we’ll talk about its legends and its symbolism.

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