Tag Archives: hermeticism

Hermetic Mysteries of Christmas Part 2

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about the mysteries of Christmas, and it turned out to be rather popular.  Since people seem to be interested, I thought I might expand and illuminate even further.

What exactly do we mean when we say “the mysteries?”  Well, a mystery — with a little “m” — is a riddle or a puzzle.  But when we say the Mysteries — with a big “M” — we are talking about the wondrous things we feel when we put ourselves inside a myth and allow ourselves to fully experience it as if we are present.  The word mystery comes to us from Greek musterion and Latin mysterium where it means “a secret rite or ritual.

Mysteries are at the center all of the great and enduring spiritual traditions.  When the Mysteries depart a tradition, its heart ceases to beat, the body of the teaching dies, and rigor is soon to follow.

The Masonic Mysteries consist of putting initiates inside the myths of Hiram, one of the architects of the Temple of Solomon.  The Wiccan Mysteries involve, among other things, experiencing various myths that unpack the Wheel of the Year and the natural cycles it symbolizes.  There are the Sikh Mysteries that involve singing of the divine names, Hindu Mysteries, Buddhist Mysteries, and so forth.  Cabal Fang also has it’s Mysteries, which we call “trials.”

Perhaps Christianity owes some of it’s enduring popularity to the fact that it is positively thick with Mysteries, having perhaps more Mysteries than any other tradition since Greco-Roman paganism.  One of the most powerful and pervasive is the Christmas Mystery.  If you would like to participate there are two very simple methods.

The first method is to begin by reading the nativity presented in the Gospel of Luke.  Then immediately close your Bible, assume your chosen meditative posture, and close your eyes.  Imagine the story as if you are a participant, letting it play out in your mind.  Imagine you are there, and really allow yourself to feel what it would have been like to have been present at the birth of Jesus.

The second method is of course to simply go to a public nativity scene and allow yourself to fully experience what it would have been like had you actually been present.

I would not dare put words in the mouth of the famous mystic Saint Francis of Assisi.  However I do believe that he was intentionally creating a great Mystery — that he really wanted people to be present in the moment of the birth of Jesus — when he invented the concept of a live nativity in 1223 AD.

 

For Hermeticists like myself, these Winter Solstice holidays are brothers and sisters in spirit.  So it doesn’t matter so much which Winter Solstice myth you choose — it can be the Death of the Oak King and rebirth of the Holly King, the birth of Horus to his mother Isis, the birth of Baldur to his mother Frigga, etc. — as long as you pick one and allow yourself to fully experience it.

Being fully “present” in the holiday is the best Christmas “present” there is.

 

 

The Hermetic Mysteries of Christmas

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.

The Hermetic Formula (and a WOD)

Hermes Trismegistus (courtesy of Wikipedia)

What is Hermeticism, and why should we care?

Hermeticism is a spiritual philosophy that claims to be the perennial philosophy, the Ageless and Primordial Wisdom.  Based on an ancient document known as The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, whose most enduring quote is the famous, “As above, so below,” Hermeticism forms the backbone of Western esoteric thought.

The historical influence of Hermeticism cannot be overstated.  There was a time when the world’s greatest thinkers were Hermeticists — Pythagoras, Isaac Newton, Carl Jung, Giordano Bruno, Aleister Crowley, Israel Regardie, Dion Fortune, Franz Bardon, John Dee, William Butler Yeats, and many more.  And when you consider that Freemasonry is essentially a Hermetic organization,  and that 14 U.S. Presidents, plus Franklin, Mozart, Twain, and Churchill were all masons, you can see that Hermeticism is one of the most important spiritual philosophies in history.

Mainly though, we should care about Hermeticism because it the Unified Field Theory of spirituality.  Its formula for success in all things is,

“To Know, To Will, To Dare, To Keep Silent”

and it equates to the four ways of seeing, which are,

Mystic, Gnostic, Magical, and Scientific.

The individual who has achieved, reconciled and sublimated all four ways of seeing has attained the Holy Grail, the Philospher’s Stone, the coveted AZOTH.

In other words, Hermeticism is the original human potentiality movement.  If you are interested in learning more, consider becoming a hermit brother or sister of Cabal Fang — the world’s only Hermetic martial art — by joining our distance learning program.

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An without further ado, here is your WOD:

  • Dumbbells (2 sets of 15 + 1 set to failure of Lat Raises, Kung Fu Curls, Ripcords, Hindu Squats)
  • Grappling Conditioner #3 (3 x 5:00/1:00. For each 5:00 portion, squeeze medicine ball with max power Rear Naked Choke grip and while completing 30 Rear Lungnes, 30 Knees, and Squats until round ends. Rest 1:00 and repeat, changing grips with each exercise)