About Ina Custers van Bergen

Ina Cüsters-van Bergen (Roermond, *1957) is the Director of Studies of the Academy for Hermetic Arts and Sciences. She has a background as a psychiatric therapist, NLP, Hypnotherapy, a Masterdegree in Occultism and is the author of numerous book on the  Western Mystery Tradition and the Hermetic Kabbala. She founded the first international acknowledged school for applied High Magic and practical Hermetics in the Netherlands; the Academy for Hermetic Arts and Sciences (1). This Western Mystery School has a direct lineage to the Golden Dawn via Dion Fortune, Ernest Butler and Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki (2).

Early Life

Ina Cüsters-van Bergen conducted research to Transpersonal Consciousness from a very young age on. At her seventeenth she started practicing Yoga and Zen Buddhism, she worked with the material of Fritz Perls and Eva Pierrakos and applied the methods of Bioenergetics of Alexander Lowen (4). This quest for obtaining Transcendental Consciousness brought her into contact with several eastern and western traditions, until she learned to know the work of Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki (heading the Servants of the Light School). She enrolled in the study course and developed fast: first to supervisor, later to European coordinator and Magister.

The Foundation of the Academy for Hermetic Arts and Sciences

The Academy for Hermetic Arts and Sciences started as the Temple of Starlight in November 2003 by Ina Cüsters-van Bergen and her team after having achieved her Magister Degree in the Western Mystery Tradition. This implied the authorisation of the foundation of a European school in the Western Mystery Tradition in the Lineage of Dion Fortune: the Academy for Hermetic Arts and Sciences (5).

Dolores Ashcroft Nowicki wrote about this in her foreword of the Dutch version of the book The Temple of High Magic:

“Ina Cüsters-van Bergen knows exactly whereof she speaks. She is fully trained in the Sacred Science of High Magic and went through the entire curriculum. She has worked with many students and initiates and has learned how to avoid the obstacles stumbled against by the reckless. The Sacred Science is a strenuous lover, because she will absorb all your time, energy, patience and dedication.” (6)

In 2005 the untwining process between the former Temple of Starlight and the Servants of the Light began, and the school became a fully independent institution in 2007, with Ina Cüsters-van Bergen as Director of Studies (7). This resulted in an academy with a lineage with the world-famous Golden Dawn, an English magical order that educated many well-known magicians and mystics (8). The Academy for Hermetic Arts and Sciences is the first training institute that combines High Magic and practical Hermeticism in the Golden Dawn tradition with modern transpersonal therapeutic techniques. This makes her unique.

The Academy for Hermetic Arts and Sciences is well-appreciated internationally by influential teachers in Magical circles, such as Gareth Knight, the keeper of records of the Society of the Inner Light. He has become well-known as the editor and archivist of the works of Dion Fortune:

“… Now in a later turn of the spiral path, it pleases me to witness the work of Ina Cüsters-van Bergen, that flows forth organically from the work that has been done previously. She presents the age-old principles of the Western Mystery Tradition for the twenty-first century. May her work be a guide for your aspirations and a lantern for your feet …” (9)

The Temple of High Magic

Ina Cüsters-van Bergen made her debut as an author and specialist of the Western Mystery Tradition in 2007 with her book “De weg naar de oude mysteriën”, later translated to English and published in 2010 under the title “The Temple of High Magic”, and in 2013 in Italian as “Il tempio dell’Alta Magia”.

This book is a thorough introduction and gives a slice through the Western Mystery Tradition. Meanwhile it is a practical workbook. International colleagues welcomed this book enthusiastically and with positive reviews, this includes a review in the Inner Light Magazine, the magazine of the Society of the Inner Light (10).


Momentarily Ina Cüsters-van Bergen works fulltime as the Director of Studies for Academy for Hermetic Arts and Sciences and its inner court, the Magical Order of the Temple of Starlight. She publishes in the Netherlands and internationally. She teaches and gives lectures in Dutch, German and English, organizes rituals and training courses in different countries. In her teachings she uses techniques like Pathworking, Mystery Play, Healings, Energy work, Thought forms, Mantra and various other auto hypnotic techniques (11).

Ina Cüsters-van Bergen is an advocate of professionalizing the Western Mystery Tradition (12). This is the reason for the foundation of the Academy for Hermetic Arts and Sciences (2019) as an outer institute of the order.

„It is of the utmost importance to develop quality criteria for the education in applied Hermetic Arts and Sciences, in order for the magical teachings of the Western Mystery Tradition to become accessible and applicable in our modern age so that our Western Society can benefit from these age old wisdom teachings.” (13)

Read more about Ina Cüsters-van Bergen’s publications at the section ‘Books’ of this website.


1 David V. Barrett, Secret Religions, 2011, pp. 238–239.

2 Gareth Knight, History of White Magic, 2011, p. 158.

3 http://www.ptahhotep.com/articles/Narmer_palette.html

4 Interview with Ina Cüsters-van Bergen, PDF

5 http://web.archive.org/web/20041213094043/http://servantsofthelight.org/aboutSOL/lodges.html#daughter

6 Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, Inleiding, in: Ina Cüsters-Van Bergen, De weg naar de oude mysteriën, 2007, pp. 15

7 David V. Barrett, Secret Religions, 2011, p. 238.

8 Ellic Howe, Magicians of the Golden Dawn. A Documentary History of a Magical Order, 1887–1923, 1978.

9 Gareth Knight, Foreword, in: Ina Cüsters-van Bergen, The Temple of High Magic, 2010, pp. xi-xii.

10 Review: The Temple of High Magic. Initiations in the Western Mystery Tradition by Ina Custers van Bergen, in: Inner Light Magazine 03/2010.

11 Ina geeft les in hoge magie – Ik wil de zwarte band onder de spirituele scholen zijn. Interview met Ina Cüsters-van Bergen, in: Paravisie 02/2011, pp. 59–61.

12 Ibid.

13 Ibid.