The Secret Room
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Imagine this was the meeting place of the Knights of the Round Table, the Knights Templar, the Freemasons, the Founding Fathers, and the Jedi Masters. The Arc of the Covenant and Holy Grail are altar and chalice here. The Oracle of Delphi and Merlin, the Wizard, sit atop ionic columns. There is a key to an unknown treasure. Under the floor, there are secret passageways to Batman's cave and Zoro's hideout.

The Holy Grail
"What would your life be like if from this moment forth you regarded your sufferings as refinements? Then the image of sacrifice and refinement would work deep in your mind and soul. The suffering, which is inevitable, would be the vehicle for the recasting of your nature. Then pathos might becomes mythos, and instead of suffering in the school of hard knocks, you would find yourself whipped into consecrated shape, becoming a Grail instead of a crushed plastic cup."
Jean Houston, from The Search for the Beloved.

Ritual bread mold, wood, carved on four sides
L. 14.25" W. 2.5", very old, Tibetan culture, Mount Kailash
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Dreaming Goddess Ganymede and Zeus The Mystery Box Inside the Mystery Box
"Take some gold which is called the male of the chrysokolla and a man who has been kneaded together. The gold of the Ethiopian earth produces it from its drops. A certain species of ant brings the gold to the surface of the earth and enjoys it. Put him together with his wife of vapour, till the divine bitter water comes out. When it has thickened, or colored red with the juice of the golden vine of Egypt, then smear it over the leaflets of the light-bringing goddess and also of the red copper or of the red Venus and then thicken it until it coagulates into gold."
-Olympiodoros, Byzantine alchemist.

Esoteric Tibetan Deity in full regalia

Cave Altar, Thailand.

Earth Goddess, closeup of Cave Altar, Thailand.
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The Eleusinian Mysteries: To Die is to be Initiated
The initiation seems to have taken place in three stages: the Dromena, the things done; the Legomena, the things said; the Deiknymena, the things shown. There followed a special ceremony known as the Epopteia, the state of "having seen," only for those initiated the previous year.
In the Dromena the initiates participated in a sacred pageant that reenacted the story of Demeter and Persephone, living through the feelings of sorrow, rage and rejoicing, probably carrying torches in the darkness to the sound of music and singing. Clement of Alexandria writes that "Demeter and Kore have come to be the subject of a mystic drama, and Eleusis celebrates with torches the abduction of the daughter and the sorrowful wanderings of the mother." Foucart believed that the Mystai also experienced a journey to the underworld through wandering in the dark in the lower part of the Telesterion, and that the initiates suffered the terrors of death as a condition of initiation. . . .

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The purpose and essential meaning of the mysteries was initiation into a vision. "Eleusis" means "the place of happy arrival" (this is where "Elysian fields" comes from). The term "mysteries" comes from the word muein, which means to close eyes and mouth, and indicates the veil of secrecy that was kept drawn over the ceremonies.

We can see from the account of the mysteries included here that two essential features of religious ceremony, possibly dating from Neolithic times, are present also at Eleusis--the sacred marriage and the birth of the divine child. This imagery--of the sacred marriage between opposites, between heaven and earth, body and soul, masculine and feminine, heart and mind, and the birth from that marriage of a new kind of human being, the divine child--is central to all mystic understanding of the work of the sacred feminine and is echoed in suggestive ways in the deepest insights of all the mystical traditions.
-Andrew Harvey, The Essential Mystics

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What is a Mason?
Masonic image
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The Illustrated Book of Signs & Symbols
Vietnamese Dragon
Dragon Fountain, Vietnam

All-seeing eye of the Dao Chai religion in Vietnam.
This image is an architectural detail from the Dao Chai temple in which costumed worshippers chant a utopian liturgy linking Christianity, Buddhism and Taoism.

 

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Shamanism and Ayahuasca
The ayahuasqueros are true technicians of psychedelic sacrality. Their approach- awed self-experiment and accumulation of a corpus of techniques experienced as valid- is no different from our own. Any approach that excludes these qualities will be too removed from the subject matter to offer a useful description. This is why anthropologists often miss the point. We should admit that we know no more of the topology of the collective unconsciousness than any other culture. No one is more knowledgeable in these things than a sincere person of any background can choose to become. It is shamanic personalities, grand exploring souls, who somehow rise above or find themselves beyond any but a universal set of values; they explore the deep waters of our collective being. They show the way, and to be with them is to be near the cutting edge. Shamanism in Peru is like European alchemy in that it utilizes psychic involvement in matter, but European alchemy became entrapped in a fascination with metals and purified elements. Psychedelic shamanism more happily centers its attention on living matter, specifically plants, where alkaloids and other biodynamic constituent congenial to the primate nervous system are encountered. Ayahuasca is such a plant, and its alchemy, jungle alchemy, is an immense panacea to those who use it regularly.

The Archaic Revival
Terence McKenna

Harper, San Francisco, 1991

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Medea’s Rejuvenation Ritual
The next full moon she issued forth alone, while all creatures slept; not a breath stirred the foliage, and all was still. To the stars she addressed her incantations, and to the moon, to Hecate, the goddess of the under-world, and to Tellus the goddess of the earth, by whose power plants potent for enchantment are produced. She invoked the gods of the woods and caverns, of mountains and valleys, of lakes and rivers, of winds and vapors. While she spoke the stars shone brighter, and presently a chariot descended through the air, drawn by flying serpents. She ascended it, and borne aloft made her way o distant regions, where potent plants grew which she knew hot to select for her purpose. Nine nights she employed in her search, and during that time came not within the doors of her palace nor under any roof, and shunned all intercourse with mortals.

She next erected two altars, the one to Hecate, the other to Hebe, the goddess of youth, and sacrificed a black sheep, pouring libations of milk and wine. She implored Pluto and his stolen bride that they would not hasten to take the old man’s life. Then she directed that Aeson should be led forth, and having thrown him into a deep sleep by a charm, had him laid on a bed of herbs, like one dead. Jason and all others were kept away from the place, that no profane eyes might look upon her mysteries. Then, with streaming hair, she thrice moved round the altars, dipped flaming twigs in the blood, and laid them thereon to burn. Meanwhile the cauldron with its contents was got read. In it she put magic herbs, with seeds and flowers of acrid juice, stones from the distant east, and sand from the shore of all-surrounding ocean; hoar frost, gathered by moonlight, a screech owl’s head and wings, and the entrails of a wolf. She added fragments of the shells of tortoises, and the liver of stags- animals tenacious of life- and the head and beak of a crow, that outlives nine generations of men. These with many other things “without a name” she boiled together for her purposed work, stirring them up with a dry olive branch; and behold! the branch when taken out instantly became green, and before long was covered with leaves and a plentiful growth of young olives; and as the liquor boiled and bubbled, and sometimes ran over, the grass wherever the sprinklings fell shot forth with a verdure like that of spring.

Seeing that all was ready, Medea cut the throat of the old man and let out all his blood, and poured into his mouth and into his wound the juices of her cauldron. As soon as he had completely imbibed them, his hair and beard laid by their whiteness and assumed the blackness of youth; his paleness and emaciation were gone; his veins were full of blood, his limbs of vigor and robustness. Aeson is amazed at himself, and remembers that such as he now is, he was in his youthful days, forty years before.

-Thomas Bulfinch
Greek Fables

Dolphin Books, Garden City, New York

 


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