I’m about half way through Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey Into Christian Hermeticism. This is a very deep and esoteric book, one that deserves a full review when I’m done. For the time being, suffice to say that it is without a doubt the most scholarly, original, and incomparably erudite book on the Tarot I have ever read. A couple of conservative parts have made me angry, a great many others have given me chills of realization and joy, still more or pure genius. All of it is extremely thought provoking.
One of the things the anonymous author perfectly explains is that Hermeticism is the art of seeing in all four ways without contradiction — gnostically, magically, scientifically, and mystically. This is one of several inner meanings of the Hermetic Quaternary, which is of course “To Know, To Will, To Dare, to Keep Silent.”
A number of things become apparent when I apply all four types of vision to the holiday known as Christmas.
I see that Christmas was and always will be. Every religion that exists has a Christ figure, an Osiris, a Krishna, or a Dionysus. Even Buddhism has a Maitreya and Wicca a Horned God of death and resurrection. I see that modern humanity has lost track of the ancient view that men and women who do great things can become divine, as exemplified by biblical figures like Enoch and Mary the mother of Jesus, Athenian heroes and heroines like Lycurgus and Phya, and so on. I see that a culture without the sacred respiration of the seasons — without death and resurrection, without suffering and redemption — has expired and breathed its last. And lastly, I see that redemption and rebirth is an actual possibility for everyone, at any time and at any moment.
I’m so thankful that I’ve had these visions well in advance of the holiday. Now I can relax, slow down, and allow myself to experience the mysteries of the season, the eternal Christmas Mysteries.