Godwin’s Golden Thread is an impressive survey of its subject. In a brief and accessible form, he treats esoteric traditions from antiquity, through the Middle Ages and Renaissance, to modernity and the present. Although the book presumes shockingly little prior acquaintance with such material, he manages to avoid any tone of condescension, and he embroiders the necessarily broad outlines of such a high-level overview with many interesting details.
This volume is published by Quest Books, a Theosophical Society imprint, but it doesn’t pander to that organization. Godwin professes a metaphysical perspective in common with Paul Brunton (1898–1981, a pupil of Alan Bennett and later Ramana Maharshi), and he takes seriously—without conceding to—the anti-occultist esotericism of the Traditionalists.
As an introductory survey, The Golden Thread doesn’t provide the depth or originality one might be looking for in the course of academic research, but Godwin is careful to furnish extensive references for further reading. These notes enhance the value of the book as a historical primer in its field. I would recommend it to anyone with a preliminary curiosity about its subject, and it is sure to provide rewarding perspective for those who have a practical engagement with the Masonic, Rosicrucian, or Theosophical traditions. There are few books that cover so much ground with such clarity and ease. [via]
“The ancient sages of the Western Mystery Traditions passed on a knowledge beyond reason, allowing us to access transcendent states that reveal our own nature and that of the cosmos. Such sages exist in every age and elevate all of humanity, says Joscelyn Godwin, whether we realize it or not. Among those whose wisdom traces from antiquity to the present include:
the Gnostics, the alchemists
and the Rosicrucians, Freemasons, and Theosophists
Each stage is always with us, Godwin emphasizes, and so each offers a potential source of inspiration and action for today.” — back cover
You may be interested in Introduction to Tarot by Lon Milo DuQuette, offered through Thelesis Aura on three Fridays in February.
“Internationally acclaimed author, lecturer, and Tarot grandmaster Lon Milo DuQuette teaches the mysteries and practical application of one of the cornerstones of the Western Mystery Traditions: The Tarot”
“Ideal for beginners and advanced students alike. Supplemental material will be provided for download and students will have the opportunity to directly ask Lon questions. Lesson duration: 90-120 minutes. Class size limited to 200 participants.”