Main CategoriesMythology and ArchetypesPrimitive and Derivative Religions Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries, The

Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries, The

Product no.: 0-913510-29-7
These observances represented the spiritual life of Greece for 2000 years - the appointed means for regeneration through an interior union with the Divine Essence.

Product is in stock
$17.00

Additional product information

Publisher's Synopsis

THE most famous of the ancient religious Mysteries were the Eleusinian, whose rites were celebrated every five years in the city of Eleusis to honor Ceres (Demeter, Rhea or Isis) and her daughter, Persephone. The initiates of the Eleusinian School were famous throughout Greece for the beauty of their philosophic concepts and the high standards of morality which they demonstrated in their daily lives.

The rites of Eleusis were divided into what were called The Lesser and the Greater Mysteries:

"The Lesser Mysteries were designed by the ancient theologists, their founders, to signify occultly the condition of the unpurified soul invested with an earthy body, and enveloped in a material and physical nature...

The Greater (Mysteries) obscurely intimated, by mystic and splendid visions, the felicity of the soul both here and hereafter when purified from the defilement of a material nature, and constantly elevated to the realities of intellectual (spiritual) vision."  

Reviews
"The mystics of Eleusis also laid stress upon the evil of suicide, explaining that there was a profound mystery concerning this crime of which they could not speak, but warning their disciples that a great sorrow comes to all who take their own lives. This, in substance, constitutes the esoteric doctrine given to the initiates of the Lesser Mysteries. As the degree dealt largely with the miseries of those who failed to make the best use of their philosophic opportunities, the chambers of initiation were subterranean and the horrors of Hades were vividly depicted in a complicated ritualistic drama. After passing successfully through the tortuous passageways, with their trials and dangers, the candidate received the honorary title of Mystes. This meant one who saw through a veil or had a clouded vision. It also signified that the candidate had been brought up to the veil, which would be torn away in the higher degree. The modern word mystic, as referring to a seeker after truth according to the dictates of the heart along the path of faith, is probably derived from this ancient word, for faith is belief in the reality of things unseen or veiled.

The Greater Mysteries (into which the candidate was admitted only after he had successfully passed through the ordeals of the Lesser, and not always then) were sacred to Ceres, the mother of Persephone, and represent her as wandering through the world in quest of her abducted daughter. Ceres carried two torches, intuition and reason, to aid her in the search for her lost child (the soul). At last she found Persephone not far from Eleusis, and out of gratitude taught the people there to cultivate corn, which is sacred to her. She also founded the Mysteries. Ceres appeared before Pluto, god of the souls of the dead, and pleaded with him to allow Persephone to return to her home. This the god at first refused to do, because Persephone had eaten of the pomegranate, the fruit of mortality. At last, however, he compromised and agreed to permit Persephone to live in the upper world half of the year if she would stay with him in the darkness of Hades for the remaining half.

The Greeks believed that Persephone was a manifestation of the solar energy, which in the winter months lived under the earth with Pluto, but in the summer returned again with the goddess of productiveness. There is a legend that the flowers loved Persephone and that every year when she left for the dark realms of Pluto, the plants and shrubs would die of grief. While the profane and uninitiated had their own opinions on these subjects, the truths of the Greek allegories remained safely concealed by the priests, who alone recognized the sublimity of these great philosophic and religious parables."         ~The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Manly P. Hall

Excerpt
"Let us enter the mystic temple and be initiated, though it must be supposed that, a year ago, we were initiated into the Lesser Mysteries at Agra. We must have been mystes (veiled), before we can become epoptes (seers); in plain English, we must have shut our eyes to all else before we can behold the mysteries. Crowned with myrtle, we enter with the other initiates into the vestibule of the temple, blind as yet, but the Hierophant within will soon open our eyes.

But first, for here we must do nothing rashly, first we must wash in this holy water; for it is with pure hands and a pure heart that we are bidden to enter the most sacred enclosure. Then, led into the presence of the Hierophant, he reads to us, from a book of stone, things which we must not divulge on pain of death. Let it suffice that they fit the place and the occasion; and though you might laugh at them, if they were spoken outside, still you seem very far from that mood now, as you hear the words of the old man (for old he he always was), and look upon the revealed symbols.

And very far, indeed, are you from ridicule, when Demeter seals, by her own peculiar utterance and signals, by vivid coruscations of light, and cloud piled upon cloud, all that we have seen and heard from her sacred priest; and then, finally, the light of a serene wonder fills the temple, and we see the pure fields of Elysium, and hear the chorus of the Blessed; then, not merely by external seeming or philosophic interpretation, but in real fact, does the Hierophant become the Creator [demiourgos] and revealer of all things; the Sun is but his torch-bearer, the Moon his attendant at the altar, and Hermes his mystic herald. But the final word has been uttered 'Conx Om Pax'. The rite is consummated, and we are epoptes forever!"

Author Taylor, Thomas
Book Type Hardcover
Page Count 177 pp.
Publisher Wizard's Bookshelf 1987
Browse these categories as well: Primitive and Derivative Religions, Gods, Goddesses and Archetypes, Kahunas, Native Priests and Pantheism, Neoplatonism and Greek Philosophy

We also recommend