Tuesday, 10 November 2009
The Mystery School at Eleusis
For those of you new to this subject, I will try to outline what I mean by a Mystery School.
They in essence were schools that initiated people into the mysteries and wonders of nature, including dimensions that science today only suspect, exist.
In both Ancient Greece and Egypt, they were dedicated to the Esoteric Arts, and in the case of Egypt, tended to be focused almost exclusively on the Priesthood and the Royal House.
For the Greeks however access to this ancient and secret knowledge was available to all including slaves and latterly the Romans.
The greatest and most famous of all the Greek Mystery Schools was at Eleusis, approximately fourteen miles from Athens.
Eleusis was dedicated to the Goddess Demeter mother of agriculture and vegetation.
A ceremony took place once a year conducted by an hereditary priesthood known as the Eumolpedie.
It is known that anything up to three thousand people at a time attended initiation, involving a procession through sacred Athens, leading to purification in the sea and being sprinkled with pigs blood.
Having partaken of food and drink including a brew made from barley specifically grown, that contained a fungus with hallucinogenic properties, they were then lead to a sacred grove, where, the High Priest, through incantations, would tell them of the illusory nature of their existence and that this life was merely a dream.
The rites that followed, mirrored the growing season, from the planting of seed, nurturing of crops and ultimately the harvest. To divulge the secrets of the mysteries was punishable with death.
The initiated came away from the experience elated in the knowledge that their spirit was immortal.
The Mystery Schools of which there were a significant number were shut down with the advent of state sponsored Christianity and presented as works of Satan.
The good news is that similar beliefs are still held today by adherents of Esoteric thought and of course by native peoples around the world.
A wisdom that is at last coming out of the shadows!