Posts Tagged ‘mystery tradition’

Last Tuesday, we covered the various definitions of the Avalonian tradition. But there was one thing I left out, mainly because it seemed to be a consistent factor in most Avalonian groups, even if not explicitly mentioned. Well, that and because it is a pretty sizable subject on its own.

But don’t worry, that one thing won’t remain a mystery. Hmmmm – or will it?

The Avalonian path of today includes theories and practices that identify it as one of the Mysteries, or as one of many lanes in the wide highway known as the Western Mystery Tradition (also called Western esotericism, Western mysticism, Western Hermetic Tradition, and many other names).

Teacher and author Mara Freeman says:

“The goal of the Mysteries is the conscious realization of the self as connected with all beings, visible and invisible, on the great Tree of Life, and ultimately with the Divine Source. From this realization comes the power to mediate spiritual energies into the physical world for healing, both personal and planetary.”

This far-reaching tradition has roots that stem from Hermes Trismegistus (a representative that combines the Greek god Hermes and Egyptian god Thoth), Greek philosophers, Jewish and Christian mystics, Freemasons, Gnostics, and others.

A standard definition for this tradition says it is a spectrum of esoteric knowledge and practices used to further personal gnosis. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary (OED), gnosis means “special knowledge of spiritual mysteries,” and is derived from the same-spelled Greek word gnosis, which means “investigation or knowledge.” Further, the OED states that esoteric comes from the Greek word esoterikos, meaning “belonging to an inner circle,” and from esotero, or “more within.”

This is all rather fitting for a legendary island that can only be reached by those trained to lift the veil of mist that hides it from the mundane world.

It also supports my experience in the Avalonian tradition, which requires study, searching, practice, and intention to develop a spiritual path based on the myths of Avalon, Arthur, and the Celts as those, too, are heavy with hidden symbolism and meaning. No one can do this work for you. One can be mentored on this path, but this path should never have shepherds leading mindless sheep. We are each our own shepherd.

Going back to the practices of mystery traditions, they include (but are not limited to):

• Alchemy

• Astrology

• Divination (notably Tarot with its symbolism)

• Herbalism

• Meditation

• Trance work

• Ritual magic

It is interesting to consider that as we progress toward the Aquarian age, many of these practices are becoming common. Astrology has long been popular, and herbalism and meditation are hitting their stride as well. Does this mean that esoteric knowledge is becoming exoteric, or something belonging to the outer circle? Mundane?

Given that not everyone approaches these practices with spiritual intention, I doubt that is the case. But what do you think: Are a larger percentage of people engaging in the Mysteries now than in past centuries?

If yes, why do you think this is the case: widespread book publishing, the Internet, or for other reasons?

Until next time, bright blessings to you!



Online Etymology Dictionary:

Avalon Mystery School:


© 2011 PJ Graham

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