By: Eric • August 16, 2022
Ancient Mystery Religions & Symbolism
In a mystery religion, an inner core of beliefs, practices, and the religion’s true nature, are revealed only to those who have been initiated into its secrets. The secret knowledge, or secret wisdom, is the important aspect. The word Occult means Secret.
Initiation is the key concept. To be initiated is a privilege. This privilege gives access to information, giving way to knowledge. And not all will be entitled to. this secret knowledge.
Kabbalah & Jewish Mysticism
The Kabbalah is at the root of Jewish mysticism. The word in Hebrew is for the concept of “receiving the tradition.” Up for debate, it is said this was written in the 1200s – though the tradition has been practiced since the Garden of Eden. Nonetheless, Kabbalah is “interwoven into Jewish religion and culture.”
There are four Jewish texts we are considering here:
- Torah: the first five books of the Old Testament (Books of Moses)
- Talmud: the book of rabbinical law within Judaism
- Zohar: the Kabbalah book of Radiance, or Illumination
- Sefer Yetzirah: the Kabbalah book of Creation, or Formation
Plainly stated, the Kabbalah is used to evaluate the Talmud, the Torah (first five books of the Old Testament) and other texts within Judaism.
There are four levels of interpretation that shall be applied to studying the Torah, each becoming more advanced and abstract. The four levels summarized:
- The direct meaning (“black and white”)
- The allegoric meaning
- The meaning when drawn aside passages written elsewhere
- The esoteric, hidden, metaphysical meaning
An example(of the direct, then the hidden): Exodus. Direct: Moses led his people from bondage. God parted the sea. Liberation. Now, the deep, esoteric: infact the Jews went to Egypt to gain access to resources, knowledge – like technology; stone masonry, irrigation techniques, etc.
There is a duality that is ever present in Kabbalah.
Hebrew Language & Gematria
The Hebrew language contains mathematical mysteries, which has made it appealing to the occult. Gematria is the assignment of a numerological scheme to letters of an alphabet. We can see here:
Throughout the Torah, there are numerically assigned schemes to the arrangement of the letters used that show a certain symbolic mysticism in the expression of the words of the faith. A simple example, is shown here:
Within the Jewish texts, Gematria is schematics throughout. There are many examples, we only need to see the basic one above to understand how it work. This is important to understand the nature of Jewish Mysticism.
Now, further into the view of this mysticism, there are uses of geometry, called Sacred Geometry, laced within Kabbalah. Keeping in mind the example above, this is the geometric expression of Father + Mother = Child:
Next, we have this mapping out of the Sephirot. The Sephirot are the ten sacred emanations of the “infinite” revealed in the Kabbalah.
The Jewish Kabbalah reveals a belief that God was shattered into pieces upon creation (Genesis). In order for the messiah to arrive, he must be restored whole. This will involve acts of holiness, called Tikkun.
Kabbalah states that God is spread throughout the universe in sparks of light. These sparks must be gathered to restore God. There is a correlation here with Diaspora; the Jews that have been scattered throughout the world after the destruction of the Second Temple of Solomon and the banishment from Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD.
There is a further correlation with need for the construction of the Third Temple of Solomon, which is the divine aim of Zionism.
The Jews believe that God is the Creator of the universe, as Freemasonry refers to this supreme being as the Architect of the Universe.
Freemasonry, which is heavily influenced by esoteric mysticism from Kabbalah, the rebuilding the Third Temple is called “The Great Work.”
The Tetragrammaton, is the Hebrew four letter word of God. This is not a coincidence, that within the Jewish faith, one must be initiated, to ever understand the pronunciation of “Yawweh.” Four letters, four levels of Kabbalah.
In Hermetic religion, the supreme Deity, or Principle, is referred to variously as ‘God’, ‘The All’, or ‘The One’. Many Hermeticists also align their beliefs and mystical ideas with other religions, including Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, mainstream Paganism, or Islam. This pluralism is related to a form of doctrinal essentialism, which holds that all great religions have equivalent mystical truths at their core, and that all religions are, in some way, compatible with the esoteric tenets of Hermeticism.
Hermeticism has its own form of Qabbalah and expressions of the Tree of Life:
Rosicrucianism is the belief structure of a secret society (Rosicrucian Order) that was purportedly created by an alchemist named Christian Rosenkreuz in late medieval Germany. This society was signalled by the Rosy Cross, which is a cross with a white cross at its centre, which some believe predate Christianity. As a secret society thought to hold power, the Rosicrucians have been linked with both the Knights Templar before and the Freemasons after. They are an order of sages and alchemists of thought, amassing information key to their brand of enlightenment and eventually set to disseminate this to individuals clever enough to seek them out. This privileged information, however, would otherwise be concealed from the ‘average’ man, its secret understanding of the relationship between nature, the world and an astral spirituality could by its value not possibly be understood by all. Yet the order is also interested in the “Universal Reformation of Mankind”. How can these two conflicting points be reconciled – a secret society and an interested in reformation for mankind? Through drastic change that will be the event that sees this society come into visibility.
Gnosticism is the belief that human beings contain a piece of God (the highest good or a divine spark) within themselves, which has fallen from the immaterial world into the bodies of humans. All physical matter is subject to decay, rotting, and death. Those bodies and the material world, created by an inferior being, are therefore evil. Trapped in the material world, but ignorant of its status, the pieces of God require knowledge (gnosis) to inform them of their true status. That knowledge must come from outside the material world, and the agent who brings it is the savior or redeemer.
Stone masons built castles, forts, barriers, towers. Freemasonry evolved from the guilds of stonemasons and cathedral builders of the Middle Ages. It can be argued that the Ancient, Free and Accepted ritualistic form of masonry formed as these masters of stone work – employing geometry and physics – were instructed to build walls around communities. With their knowledge of science, they know the concept of parallaxes and built towers at the corners of walls, in order for watchmen to better anticipate intruders from afar. This was heretical, blasphemous even, against the Church of England and the king. Therefore, they were banished, to be accepted in Scotland, becoming “Ancient, Free and Accepted.”
Relevance of These Examples
These have been introduced for we are going to see the presence of these sects, these groups, these beliefs, these symbols throughout this series: Sacred Destabilization.
Part Two coming soon.