Category Archives: Caduceus: The Hermetic Quarterly

Rather, what may seem to be mystification is a way of making that information symbolic because it is hidden. Because it is hidden, it cannot be explained. Because it cannot be said, it stands in for, or acts as a pointer to, the unsayable. We map the extra, tacit, inarticulable dimension into the ordinary realm by the use of secrets. Or: the secret is the diagonal that allows the third, inarticulate dimension to be mapped into the plane, the domain of words.

Earl King, Jr., Having and Keeping Secrets: Some Words About Silence and The Hermetic Art of Secrecy

Hermetic quote King Having and Keeping Secrets Caduceus mystification making information symbolic hidden cannot be explained said unayable map inarticulable ordinary realm diagonal words

A thing is not esoteric because it is secret or kept hidden. It is esoteric because its existence is in some sense unmanifest, private, and by its very nature not available for examination from the outside: it is only available to participation, not, ultimately, merely to examination. In other words, the realm of the esoteric is, before anything else, the realm of consciousness, of experience.

Earl King, Jr., Having and Keeping Secrets: Some Words About Silence and The Hermetic Art of Secrecy

Hermetic quote King Having and Keeping Secrets Caduceus not esoteric secret kept hidden because existence unmanifest private nature not examination only participation realm consciousness experience

Chesed corresponds to the creative aspects of leadership, and early texts are one-sided in characterising this by love, mercy and majesty. Gevurah corresponds to the conservative aspects of leadership, to the power to preserve the status-quo, and the power to destroy anything opposed to it. These two aspects go hand-in-hand – try to change anything of consequence in society, and someone will invariably oppose that change. To bring about change it is often necessary to have the power to over-rule opposition. Consensus is an impossibility in society – there will always be someone whose opinions are at best ignored and at worst suppressed – and Chesed and Gevurah represent respectively the kingly obligation to seek what is good for the many (enlightened leadership of course!), and the power to judge and punish those opposed to the will of the king.

Colin Low, Introduction to the Kabbalah, “Gevurah and Chesed

Hermetic quote Low Introduction to the Kabbalah Gevurah and Chesed creative leadership love mercy majesty conservative leadership power preserve status quo destroy opposing consensus impossibility

Even though so many past and present conspiracy theories are exercises in paranoia rather than history, there have been real conspiracies down through the years; it’s worth remembering that even the Bavarian Illuminati did actually exist at one point, and attempted (however clumsily) a program of political subversion in late eighteenth-century Germany. Distasteful as it may be to modern scholarship, the material is there, and needs to be dealt with.

John Michael Greer, Caduceus III 2, An Embarrassment of Secrets

Hermetic quote Greer An Embarrassment of Secrets conspiracy theories exercises paranoia history real conspiracies bavarian illuminati did exist modern scholarship material needs dealt with

Initiation from Problems on the Path of Return by Mark Stavish, M.A. in Vol 3 No 1 of Caduceus.

“The writings of Von Durckheim combine depth psychology, Christian mysticism, and Zen practices in such a fashion as to allow for the realization of one’s interior life with Christ, a purpose in harmony with both Psychosynthesis, and tradition Western esoteric Pathworking. His writings are a significant contribution to this area, even though they use the language of orthodox Christianity, and are a valuable tool for bridging this gap between psychology, mysticism, and even esotericism.” [via]

Initiation from Problems on the Path of Return by Mark Stavish, M.A. in Vol 3 No 1 of Caduceus.

“These sudden flashes of insight and alteration of consciousness can in some instances be called initiations, some being minor, and others more significant. Unfortunately, the concept of initiation in esoteric circles is filled with many misconceptions, and in psychology, it has no equivalent term or phrase, although several might be suggested.” [via]

Initiation from Problems on the Path of Return by Mark Stavish, M.A. in Vol 3 No 1 of Caduceus.

“The initiator, and/or initiatic team, would proceed to create a condition wherein the energies of the psyche would be awakened and brought to the surface of consciousness. However, for this to work effectively, it requires that those energies being awakened in the initiate already be alive and well in the psychic body-consciousness of the initiator. This is a critical point, and the failure of this condition being met, is the principle cause for esoteric initiations as a whole being of questionable value.” [via]

Initiation from Problems on the Path of Return by Mark Stavish, M.A. in Vol 3 No 1 of Caduceus.

“Until this century, the most common method of esoteric learning was either through a teacher-student relationship, or affiliation with an esoteric lodge. The principle means of instruction and initiation was often ritualistic, and would involve one or more persons who has experienced ritual or its equivalent previously.” [via]