Foreword of the book "Rediscover the Magick of the Gods & Goddesses"
Where to start?
That’s a writer’s challenge whenever asked to contribute a foreword to a new book.
The Magick of the Gods is premised on the antiquity of the Western Esoteric Tradition, and of the Aurum Solis within that tradition. It’s specifically about particular magickal principles and certain techniques with elements specific to the A.S. tradition. It would be easy for someone to say, “Well, just start at the beginning.”
Everything has some kind of beginning, but in a case like this, a beginning point is hard to establish in historical fact. Many of the original resources that a historian uses were lost through time and ignorance and then by the deliberate destruction of writings deemed “heretical” in the early history of Christianity. This was particularly so at the time of its political union with the Roman Empire under the Emperor Constantine in the year 313 when thousands of sacred and esoteric writings were gathered and destroyed in order to create the single approved public text we know today as the “Bible.” The goal was to create a theocracy through control of a rigid theology and institution to manipulate the people. The agents of the Emperor and the “Church Fathers” were very successful in this.
In the centuries that followed more declared heretical writings were discovered and destroyed and their practitioners driven underground or executed. Even with advent of Protestant Christianity in 1517, such persecution continued into modern times. In 1600, astronomer Giordano Bruno was condemned by the Catholic Inquisition and burned to death for stating the Sun was a star among many.
Along with the establishment of the imperial Roman Catholic Church as a religious monopoly in Europe came the belief and intention of world domination, just as now proclaimed as the right and goal of some sects of Islam and as once proclaimed by the Jewish Moses: "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says, 'Every man put his sword on his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and each of you kill his brother and friend and neighbor.'" (International Standard Version (©2012)
Blind Faith in God as interpreted by proclaimed prophets, messengers, priests and preachers leads to abuse and inevitable conflict. Surely no God asks you to murder in “His Name,” nor to abuse women or hide their beauty. In seeing beauty in woman and in all of creation we awaken to beauty within and add to beauty without. No God or Goddess requires you to deny sensual pleasures or to call sex other than for procreation “sin.” There is no sin, no evil, no crime other than that executed by humans motivated by greed, hate, and blind obedience.
Two thousand years ago there were no universities in the Roman Empire which extended over most of Europe and into Egypt and parts of the Mediterranean Middle East. After the Empire’s collapse, the first European university appeared in 1088 in Bologna, followed by the Universities of Paris and Oxford in 1096 and of Cambridge in 1209. With scholars and students now researching, some of those early esoteric writings literally hidden underground were uncovered and students and scholars alike began to explore alternate views of the Universe and of the spiritual nature of life, existence, and of the person. Knowledge began the long journey to replace Blind Faith and required Obedience to ignorance and brutality.
But it was only with advent of the printed book that the back of the religious “Thought Police” was finally broken. (I have an original copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle printed in 1493) As “mass produced” printed books became increasingly affordable and available, so came public access to knowledge and its increasing spread beyond the limits of authoritarian “academia.” Still, it was not until the Europeans came to America to escape religious domination that the first free public school was founded in 1634 – free to the students and free from religious domination. True education became a reality. Here was the beginnings of the modern era when practical knowledge for everyday living enabled ordinary people to climb the economic and social ladder. Today, free public education and its requirement for all is nearly worldwide except in very strict and isolated Islamic communities.
Freedom from domination by the Church and the increasing access to information and knowledge through books and education marked the transition in human consciousness that is the “New Age.” Astrologically, it is described as the passing from the Piscean Age of blind faith to the Age of Aquarius and inspired spiritual knowledge formulated in rational thought. It is also the passing from the age of proclaimed authority in which “teacher knows best” to one in which the student becomes his own best teacher able to utilize the tremendous information and knowledge resources of this New Age. Good teachers today serve as helpful guides to the student’s personal study, and practice. We learn by doing, not just by listening.
It was the appearance of “phenomena” at the home of the Fox sisters in 1848 in rural New York State that gave birth to the modern religion of Spiritualism and in turn to the scientific investigation of psychic phenomena and the now recognized science of Parapsychology. Spiritualism focused on survival after physical death. Parapsychology’s main focus was on the physical demonstration and measurement of non-physical phenomena. Esoterics know that the Cosmos is far greater than the physical universe and that most psychic phenomena occur in higher non-physical dimensions and only reflect downward into physical manifestation.
During this same period, the wide spread news of psychic phenomena created the atmosphere in which esoteric knowledge moved from secrecy to accessibility. The old esoteric adage: When the Student is ready, the Teacher will appear is exactly correct. Learning, Growth, Development, Attainment are all your responsibility. Even with the benefit of good ‘teacher-guides, you learn through self-study, and by doing it yourself. You must practice and apply what you learn knowing that practice does perfect your initial knowledge through personal observation following by testing and new practice. Don’t blindly accept what others tell you: Use your mind and apply your developing intuition. All esoteric teachings have the same message: “Ye are Gods in the making.” Your destiny is to become more than you are, and your obligation in these critical times is to “Do it now!”
If we are the progeny of a Divine Creator, then nothing of our nature can be other than divine.” But becoming more than you are requires work and self-transformation. The body grows and becomes transformed through care, training and physical exercise; the mind grows and becomes transformed though education, training, and mental exercise; and soul and spirit likewise grow and become transformed through study, training and exercise. That is the system available to Aurum Solis students.
The author quotes Nietzsche – “If you want peace of mind, just believe. If you want the truth, you must search for it.” The system of training mind and imagination makes the search practical and real. Truth is not given to you despite the claims of priests and preachers that truth is within their faith. Through ritual and systematic meditation upon proven viable symbols, truth is progressively experienced and understood in personal context.
It is time for you to take the Next Step forward in your own growth and development, and in so doing you are taking the next step in human evolution that is the essence of the Great Plan from the “Beginning.” Even if we can’t point to a historic beginning in ancient times, we do know that the concept for this Magickal Tradition is very old. Regardless of age and place of origin, it is intrinsic to your very being. Some call it the “Path of Return,” knowing that our origin lies before, and “above,” physical manifestation and that our purpose in life – our very real “assignment” – is to grow, develop, and to “Become All that we can Be.”
As students of the Aurum Solis system, you become part of a band of independent workers participating in the “Great Work” that is the purpose of our being. You are not part of any band or congregation of disciples, guru followers, acolytes, chosen people, or any other kind of dependent on any external teacher, master, or authority. Your responsibility is to your own High Self, to all of Humanity, to the health of the planet, and to the Greater Cosmos in which we all have our being whether we prefer to call it (not Him, or Her) God or Goddess, Divinity, Creator, or Source.
It’s a great adventure, a wonderful journey, and I thank you and wish you bon voyage.
Carl Llewellyn Weschcke
Chairman, Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
7th Past Grandmaster Ordo Aurum Solis