With the increasing popularity of Magic through the internet a lot of people are drawn to the mystery schools with ideas of their own what Magic is about. They try to dominate the discussion in groups and press their ideas onto the community. But Magic is Magic, its rules cannot be altered and that means that Magic is not for everyone.
As Western Mystery Schools we discriminate whom we accept as our students: a lot of changes happened the last few years. I believe every serious Western Mystery School is harassed on the internet in some way or another and this seriously disturbs context for new seekers who are trying to find their way. How did this happen, what is the current situation and how to proceed?
Surfacing from the Underground
When Magic surfaced from being an underground movement, it became mixed up with illegal groups. Other underground movements saw this as a chance to become accepted in the upper world as well; With all the popularity and the excitement, our temples became infiltrated by left hand path groups, ultra nationalist movements and attracted the mentally unstable. This caused enormous trouble and started rows and paranoia in the community. It was not clear whom could be trusted, because accepting the wrong student was enabling a schemer to become a member of your temple with the hidden agenda to blow it up.
It forced me to take a really good look at the different groups of people that were interested in Magic and I needed to think deeply about how to separate chaff from weed. I needed to know exactly what type of students became successful magicians and supportive members of the temple. I also needed to think of what function magic serves in the modern world and I excavated some jewels.
Purification and Transformation
A crucial factor in benefiting from magical work is in the purification and transformation process. This process cannot be done by reading books. This can only be done on a one-to-one basis, or in temple groups: under the guidance of an experienced tutor.
On a one-to-one basis, magical techniques can help people to heal bleeding psychological wounds: within a particular scope. It can help to explain certain very extraordinary, sometimes shocking experiences of the ‘Otherworld’, that cause people to start the search (and often this search gets stuck in the New Age movement).
Magical techniques included in the meditation process and applied in rituals can offer a new angle to process these extraordinary experiences and a person learns to contain, steer and apply this energy. Applied in the right way, this raw neurological energy pulse becomes real magical power, that will transform blockages into riches (turning Lead into Gold) and cause miraculous healing (the Wind has healing in its Wings).
In temple groups, people need to be willing to undergo and apply these internal transformations, by processing the transpersonal temple material and the psychic stuff that bubbles up on the magical energy. They need to be able to apply the outcomes to their own situation. We all have those personal wounds to a certain extent, there is no shame in admitting that, and there is a world to win by transforming that raw psychic material and put it to use.
Respecting the Temple Structure
A temple group can only work if the individuals act responsibly in dealing with their surfacing underground stuff, and do not project that onto their peers or to the leaders. It is of the utmost importance that temple functions are respected. The temple functions are no ego-boosters, but a responsibility: they are servants of the process. Temple initiates serve as projection screens for every member of the group to create awareness of ideal archetypes. The functions serve as transpersonal role models for development of every member. These projections are part of the process of the ‘Illumination of the Interior Stars’, that I describe in my book. Distributing them indiscriminately leads to ego-inflation and chaos. The people who hold the grades need to be able to carry the load and serve as role models.
The Great Work
If a person has the abilities to transform personal issues through the transpersonal magical techniques, then these techniques will generate a growth of the talents of that person and the melting down of previous blockages in a person’s life and a person really starts to blossom.
I have seen some real miracles happen and I am very proud of the results the people achieve that work hard at themselves in the Magical Order Temple of Starlight: they use magic as a toolkit to achieve extraordinary goals in their lives. They start to blossom in their own life and in this process the attitude of ‘what is in it for me’ changes to ‘I come to know in order to serve’; this is what the Great Work is all about!
I have tried to explain some aspects of these transformation processes in my teaching novel ‘The Mystery of the Sea.’ I wrote this book in a story form to enable people to identify more easily with the process. I hope sharing my two cents helps the community in developing a sane strategy to expand the community.
Ina Custers van Bergen