Dion Fortune and her Inner Plane contacts: Intermediaries in the Western Mystery Tradition

 

The above is the title of John Selby's Doctoral Thesis, 2008. This thesis comprises a detailed discussion of Dion Fortune's Inner Plane 'contacts' or guides, sometimes known as the 'Masters.' It  contains a great deal of fascinating information not available elsewhere and makes for a very interesting and informative read.

We are sure that all those who follow in DF"s footsteps will find much of interest in this comprehensive study. We are pleased to be able to provide Dr Selby's own abstract of his thesis below, and the full thesis can be accessed as a PDF at https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/handle/10036/41936

or by typing 'John Selby Dion Fortune', or the title of the thesis, into your computer's search engine. 

 

 

Abstract

Whereas occultists of the standing of H. P. Blavatsky, Annie Besant, C. W. Leadbeater, and especially Aleister Crowley have been well served by academic enquiry and by published accounts of their lives and work, Violet Evans, neé Firth (aka ‘Dion Fortune’), has suffered comparative neglect, as has her concept of the ‘Masters’ who inspired and informed her work. These factors, alongside the longevity of her Society of the Inner Light (still flourishing), are the catalysts for my embarking on this thesis. 

Chapter 1 discusses the method of approach, covers Fortune’s definitions of frequent occult terms, and compares observations of her work by fellow occultists and outside observers. 

Chapter 2 is a comprehensive review of mainly recent academic research into the role of intermediaries in magic and religion from ancient times, and serves as a background to Fortune’s own esoteric philosophy, showing that she was heir to a tradition with a long history. 

Chapter 3 reviews those features of her early history relevant to her occult involvement to and her literary output and training, with special reference to her teachers and collaborators. The composition and content of the Inner Worlds is contained in Fortune’s understanding of the Kabbalah and the glyph of the Tree of Life, which served as a most important framework for classifying the range of beings said to inhabit the invisible worlds. 

Chapter 4 therefore clarifies her contribution to Western Esoteric Kabbalah by comparing it with the work of others, showing how she consolidated and added to existing knowledge, producing what was acknowledged as a groundbreaking exegesis in its day. 

Chapter 5 compares Fortune’s viewpoint with that of major British occultists concerning the identity, nature and tasks of the Masters of Wisdom, leading into 

Chapter 6, which investigates techniques and methods that Fortune and others have found favourable for contacting them. 

Chapter 7 concludes by emphasising once again the relative neglect of Fortune’s work in contrast to that of Helena Blavatsky, and the major role in occultism that both Fortune and the Masters played.

John Selby

 

EXTRACTS FROM COMMUNICATIONS RECEIVED

 

 

These two communications concerning the work of the Guild of the Master Jesus were received by Dion Fortune during 1936

 

April 29th 1936

I want to talk to you first about the work in general and then about its Christian aspect in particular. Because it is only by considering the work in general that we can see the place of its Christian aspect. I want you all to have the scheme clearly in your minds, and then you will be able to see the part played by each aspect in relation to the whole, because each one of you has a partial aspect of the work to fulfil, and by your various contributions the whole is made up. No man can do another`s work: each is a part: none is the whole.

This work, as you know, is a pendant of the Greater Mysteries, wherein all these partial aspects are summed up and united into a single cohesive whole. When you come to the Greater Mysteries there is neither pagan nor Christian as you understand them, for the Greater Mysteries lie beyond the partial expression of things. Therefore the symbolism of the Greater Mysteries is neither pagan nor Christian but purely abstract.

To understand this, you must understand the nature of the Christ. The Christ is the redemptive force that harmonises the pairs of opposites in the Cosmos, and in the individual unites the pairs of opposites – the higher and lower nature. In other words, it is the exaltation of consciousness. The illuminating power of the Christ is not a person, but a potency – the aspect of the One God aptly called the Son.

The Christ is represented symbolically in Tiphareth – the illuminating aspect. The Redeemers and Saviours of all faiths are represented symbolically as Sun gods in Tiphareth.

Each of the great cultures have their Christs, their Avatars, who are incarnations of this force. There is one Jesus, but many Christs, and in the Greater Mysteries the Christ force is not the person of Jesus, nor Osiris, nor Apollo, but the Tiphareth potency manifested by the Redeemer and Saviour bringing Illumination.

And this is the key to the Lesser Mysteries. The three Paths of the Lesser Mysteries prepare the personality for union with the Higher Self. And these three paths are three modes of discipline – three ways of dealing with human souls, and souls must needs be approached by the door that is open. And with some it is by means of devotion that they rise into the higher consciousness, and some can only approach realisation by reason, and some are exalted by beauty. And these three paths meet in the Greater Mysteries. And there are these three paths because the needs of man are various, not because there are three Gods. 

Therefore we must take each man as we find him and deal with him according to his needs. And let us perfect each path after its kind, in no wise modifying a path, because each is true in its own way – each an aspect of the truth.

And you will find that the younger and less evolved souls are more extreme in type and less able to attain realisation outside their own limitations. And more highly evolved souls are more able to sympathise and understand the other aspects, but all aim at the same end – redemption and illumination.

The Redeemer is the equilibrator of the personality, harmonising it within itself. The Illuminator is the unifier of the Lower and Higher selves; and Adepthood unifies the macrocosm with the microcosm. Therefore remember, you keep each path true to type. But as they rise higher, they are made on in the Greater Mysteries. Therefore the Hermetic or central say must be kept free from Pagan or Christian symbolism or influence, it is purely intellectual.

Upon the Pagan aspect in the lower ranges are the Elemental forces – the Nature gods, and it rises through the Culture gods to the Greater ones. These are purer and of a more abstract nature and lead those who follow this path to the realisation of the One, passing through the Elemental forces, through Beauty, to Devotion. 

Equally with the Christian – in the lower rangers you have the ethical and moral teaching. You will find there are souls of a certain type who are drawn towards the central pillar of the Christian path which gives a broader range, and they will receive illumination through philosophical understanding of the significance of the Sacrament. Then again, you will have souls of a purely devotional type, who will aspire through love of service. Others, in whom the beauty aspect predominates, and they require the poetical aspect to give wings to their soul. 

And you get these three aspects on all three Rays, in their own manner.

This evening, however, as we are considering the Christian only, we see we have those who are at the level where they need devotional service. They do not want a profound philosophy, but a way of life to inspire their ideals. And on either hand are those that need something deeper. On the one side the philosophy of Christianity that approximates with the Hermetic and needs a deeper understanding of the significance of the Sacraments, and on the other those that love Beauty, and they find this in the ancient traditions of the Christian faith in these islands. And these three aspects are gathered up in the Graal ideal, which contains a way of life and aspires to the ideal symbolised by the Cup.

Therefore in the Guild of the Master Jesus you concentrate not upon the personality of the Master, but upon the Graal, because this represents a higher and more mystical symbolism than the incarnated personality. The person of the Master is the object of devotion of those who are purely devotional and ethical, who go by the way of the good life; but there are the other two aspects of the Christian, and these three can meet in the Graal.

For some people the cult of the Master Jesus is a way they can understand, but behind the Master shines the Light of the Graal, and the Master brings us the Graal, and the symbolism of the Graal is the cult of the Illuminati. Therefore take for your symbol – for your concentration – the Graal, which enshrines the Christian power -  and then shall come the fuller illumination.

The Graal is the Cup into which the power of the Holy Ghost is drawn, and in the Graal symbolism you find the esoteric significance of Christianity. And as you will remember, when you first designed your symbol, it was the symbol of the Cup.

 

September 25th, 1936

I have invited you to meet me tonight in order that we may discuss the development of the Guild of the Master Jesus.

There are certain things you want to bear in mind when developing this aspect of our work. You want to realise its significance and relationship to the work as a whole. First, you must realise that the keynote is given by the old Rabbis who said of God: “One is He, and His permutations are One.” All religions are different modes of presentation of the One – are permutations of the One. Whatever nomenclature employed, whatever symbols employed, it all amounts to the same thing in the end. They are various adaptations to men`s temperaments and circumstances; and their end is to bring men to God, they are not ends in themselves. Therefore remember that the Christian faith is one of the paths – not the only path, and men come to God by the path on which they find themselves.

Very well then, the Christian religion is for those to whom it is temperamentally suited – other paths for other temperaments. But as it is the faith of this land, the vast majority will find they are temperamentally suited to one or another of its presentations. And there are many ways of presenting it. The basic concept is common to all faiths, but the presentation can be adapted to a wide range of temperaments. You cannot approach that wide range within the confines of one sheep-fold, and we have our work to do in the Guild and it is highly specialised work, and there is no one else can do what we have to do, and it is not our task to do what is being done effectively by other people.

The Guild, then, is concerned with initiation by the Way of the Cross. That is to say, those persons who seek initiation and whose Master is the Master Jesus, are suitable for the discipline of the Guild; but behind the Guild is something bigger. Just as the Greater Mysteries are behind the Lesser Mysteries, so behind the Guild of the Master Jesus is the Church of the Graal. You have in the Guild and the Graal an exact analogy of the Lesser and Greater Mysteries. The Lesser Mysteries are concerned with the personality and the Greater with the higher self and the Cosmos. I do not propose at the moment to deal with the Lesser Mysteries and the Guild, but rather with the Greater Mystery aspect of the Church of the Graal.

Now the Guild and the Lesser Mysteries are concerned with the redemption of the personality, but the Greater Mystery aspect of the Christian tradition – the Church of the Graal – is concerned with the descent of the Pentecostal power of the Holy Ghost, and the object of adoration in the Church of the Graal is the Third Person of the Trinity, and its sacred symbol is not the Cross but the Cup.

So you get the two aspects of antithesis – the pairs of opposites – wanting one particular aspect, but the equilibrium is found in the soul of the initiate – the perfected man. For the aim here is the same as in the Hermetic mysteries – the perfection of man, but we approach that goal after another manner.

The Cross is the symbol of sacrifice and it is only be sacrifice that power is generated. It is an extremely important symbol, but if you meditate on it too much you bring destruction. We destroy ourselves by over-much sacrifice, and that is the bane of the Christian religion.

The Cup is the symbol of receptivity. We lift the Cup to receive the wine – the down-pouring of the Holy Spirit. In the symbol of the Cross adoration is to the Second Person of the Trinity; and we have to realise there is not power without sacrifice, and in devotion to the Master Jesus the personality is sacrificed to free the individuality. But that aspect alone is too negative; we must also have the Graal aspect of adoration to the Third Person of the Trinity – the lifting of the Cup for inspiration.

The Crucifixion is only completed with the Resurrection and Ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit. That completes the Christian cycle. But in the exoteric church, the cycle is completed with the Ascension – the withdrawal, and we are left to await the Second Coming, which ever recedes into the distance like the horizon.

The real key, then, to the Guild is in the Graal and the object of meditation should be the Graal and not the Cross; the descent of the Holy Spirit and not the historical Jesus; the present, not the past nor the future. If you train your students to meditate on the Cross you will bring them to suffering – too much suffering – if they meditate on that alone. The Cross is an important symbol and one cannot experience the higher aspect of the Ascension without it, but one can have too much of it, my children. The focus and nucleus of your work should be the Graal – the adoration of the Third Person, not the Second.

For this purpose there should be a meditation system, and this should start where the exoteric teaching ends. It should start with the Resurrection and Ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit as a wind that bloweth where it listeth – and tongues of fire conferring power, and the bringing of the Graal to these Islands. And it should develop through all the Graal Mysteries – the removal of the Cup into the care of the Fisher King – and its Quest and Vision.

Therefore teach in your inner group of the Guild the Graal and not the Cross, for from the Graal comes illumination.

And I am particularly anxious that the art of prayer and meditation should be most carefully taught in the Guild. Doctrine matters little. Teach them how to approach the light and they will learn by themselves. Train most carefully, just as carefully as for the Lodge. There should be no distinction in the training. It is most important. There should be a regular system of the visualising of symbol pictures just as in the Lodge and there should be group meditation to build the atmosphere, (and now that you have certain members drawn from the Lodge to form the diaconate of the Guild, they will put the power into it. Gather these persons together in group meditation. Those of your Guild members who are suitable can be admitted to this circle and trained therein. Thus you will make the Guild into a potent thing). Remember, ceremonies are magical, they are more than congregational worship. They are the link between the seen and the unseen, and the ceremonies of the Guild should be worked in the same magical way as those of the Lodge. Then they will be a channel of power from God to man.

 

In answer to question re meditation and training:

Commence with the Annunciation – the Angelic contacts.

The Birth in the stable.

The visit of the wise men.

The Flight into Egypt.

The Child Jesus in the Temple.

The withdrawal to the Essenes.

The return and the Baptism by John.

The Temptation in the Wilderness.

 The Mission.

The teaching on the Mount.

The Transfiguration.

The passing on to Gethsemene.

The Crucifixion.

The holy women at the foot of the Cross.

The Resurrection.

The Ascension.

The Descent of the Holy Spirit.

Take all the events right through. It is the Master Jesus who prepares character. Without His influence something is lacking, but go on to the coming of Power. Do not take your Guild on to meditation on the Crucifixion. It is too profound.

We have covered much this year and everything is coming together into shape.

 

Instructions on Meditation for the Guild of the Master Jesus

 

The development of mental impressions by means of “Ideal Construction”

Heaven is a field into which the imagination of man throws the seeds”. (Paracelsus)

There is a physical world in which we live and move and have our being. There are also the mental and the spiritual worlds. In them, while still in the flesh, we can also live and move and have our being – consciously”.

 

In the outer court you were taught the power of the human mind and its effect upon man`s life and destiny. You learned that “as a man thinks, so he becomes”. The future is moulded by the thoughts of the present.

In the Guild of the Master Jesus you must learn how to use the technique taught in the outer court. Man is an expression of that Divine Power which is ever pressing out into fuller manifestation. Divine Power can be drawn upon consciously by the trained mind. It is sympathy that completes the circuit of power which starts with the Unmanifested God of God, Light of Light, and which ends, or rather “earths” in the trained member of the Guild.

Clear visualisation by itself is not enough; sympathy by itself is not enough; the two must be combined, until by constant daily practice, adoration is the result. In adoration, subject and object become one. In this identity of the worshipper and the worshipped is that bliss which is often called Nirvana – here and now. It cannot be explained, it can only be experienced.

Trained minds – in and out of incarnation – have built up in the Sanctuary of the Master Jesus a reservoir of spiritual power for the use of all who are able to turn it on consciously, and who have created the vessel which shall contain it.

Adoration turns on this force; the trained and prepared subconscious mind of the worshipper receives and stores up for daily use this divine power. Constant daily use ensures a steady flow from this reservoir into the subconscious mind, and keeps the latter clean and sweet. Unused spiritual power – like water in a cistern with no exit – soon grows stale and profitless.

Remember the mxim: “Do ut des” – “I give that thou mayest give”.  You have got to create an out-flow in order to get some more.

 

Course 1

 

1st Meditation. Building the Astral Sanctuary.   [1 weeks work]

Seated in front of your shrine, with the “central symbol” exposed to your gaze, concentrate upon the sanctuary at H.Q. and build up in your mind`s eye a clear picture of it. In your imagination link your symbol to the altar of the sanctuary with a thread of golden light. Hold the two pictures steady and then draw the influence of the Master Jesus into your sanctuary and then into yourself. This will make your private sanctuary a centre of power.

At least a week should be spent on this exercise. It is the foundation of all the work that comes after. The student is advised to return to it again and again at intervals. A sound plan would be to use this meditation every Monday morning in order to strengthen the link forged by the Sunday service and by the Communion.

 

2nd Meditation. Invoking the Divine Master of Love and Compassion into this sanctuary.   [1 weeks work]

Visualise the sanctuary at H.Q. but this time see the Risen Christ standing behind and above the altar. Build the figure life-size. Formulate this so clearly that the eyes come to life and look into your eyes. Meditate upon the ideas of: The joy of the Risen One. Life`s labours well finished.  Well done, thou good and faithful servant.  The Master hath need of thee.

 

Notes on Meditations 1 and 2.

Meditation 2 should take at least 7 days.

Next, for one week, use Meditations 1 and 2 on alternate days.

Then, for a week, combine 1 and 2, so that you have not only built the Divine Master and His Shrine, but also the Shrine filled with the power of the Master Jesus.

 

Meditation 3. Building the Image of the High Priest of the Sanctuary.   [2 weeks work]

Read all you can about Melchizedek the King of Salem.

Visualise as clearly as you can the country he lived in, his dress etc., and what we know of his work.

Visualise the Priest of the Most High God. Seek for that of which he is the symbol.

Visualise him as the High-priest of your shrine.

Invoke him into it and venerate him as the prototype of our great High-priest – eternal in the heavens.

Visualise yourself as the priest or priestess serving under him.

Relate him to the Master Jesus through Psalm 110, and Hebrews, chapters 5, 6, 7.

 

Meditation 4. [1 weeks work]

Study the Book of Daniel with the object of seeing Daniel as a great ruler and teacher.

Then visualise him and the surroundings in which he lived, in the same way as that given in Meditation 3. Meditate on how the story of the training of Daniel the teacher might influence you.

 

Meditation 5. [1 weeks work]

Same exercise, but see this great teacher as standing in the room beside your shrine. See yourself sitting at his feet receiving instruction. Work on the lines of Meditation 3.

 

Meditation 6. [2 weeks work]

Visualise the Archangel Gabriel who was Daniel`s teacher. Then meditate upon the fact that he will accept you as a pupil if you are prepared to work for him. Consider his functions. How often is he mentioned in the Bible? Where has this idea come from? 

 

Meditation 7. [2 weeks work]

Visualise the Archangel Michael who was Daniel`s protector. Consider his functions, and read all that you can find out about him.

 

Meditation 8. The Revelation.   [1 months work]

Take the first chapter of the Revelation of St John the Divine as a whole, and build up a mental picture of the happenings described in this chapter. Relate the symbolism to that of the Gospel of St John, and use it to throw light on the functions of the Risen and Living Christ.

 

Meditation 9. The Revelation, continued.

Take each symbol given in this chapter, build it up clearly, and see what meaning you can draw from it as esoteric symbolism. [1 weeks work]

Take these symbols of the Risen Christ and relate them to the work and teaching of Jesus as given in the three Epistles of St John. [3 weeks work]

 

Meditation 10. [about 2 months work]

Revise the nine meditations which have been given you. Spend not less than four days on each. Your object should be to see what progress you have made in the art of Mystical Meditation. 

Finish with three weeks meditation on the “Elder Brethren” and seek to discover how each of us can serve them.

 

 

SKELETON FORM FOR ESSAY ON COURSE 1 OF THE GUILD SYSTEM OF MEDITATION

 

Part 1. General Considerations.

State the reasons why you have joined the Guild of the Master Jesus, and undertaken its system of training.

What effect do you consider its methods of training should have on: 1. The outer life that is led among one`s fellow men?  2. On that inner and concealed life that finds it expression in the sanctuary in your home?

What do you know of the Masters behind the Guild?

 

Part 2.  It has been said:

“There is nothing which approaches in sympathy the Divine, though in the smallest degree, to which the Divine is not immediately present and united.”

“Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

“The mind touches that which it thinks about.”

 

What bearing have these sayings on the system of religious meditation you have been taught, and on the use of ritual and meditation in the Guild services?

 

Part 3. 

If we examine the writings of the great religious mystics, we can sum up the essence of what they have to tell us concerning the religious life as follows: In religious mysticism, as a practical system of training the soul, the chief task is the realisation of the Presence of God, without – in the world, within – in the soul of man: the Presence of God Imminent and God Transcendent. How has the system you have been taught helped you in “the Practice of the Presence of God?”

Explain what the phrase: “The Practice of the Presence of God” conveys to you. How do you actualise this ancient mystical teaching?

 

Personal. What has this course meant to you?

 

INSTRUCTIONS

This essay is not an examination in knowledge; its object is to discover if you are ready spiritually for the more advanced teaching which is given in Course 2.

Do not hurry over its composition, but meditate carefully on each point before you write about it.

Each part is well worth a week`s steady meditation before you begin to write about it – in the form of notes. Your answers should be built up from your notes.

The length of the essay should be not less than 2000 and not more than 4000 words.

Be tidy in your writing and phrasing.

 

 

MEDITATION INSTRUCTIONS FOR MEMBERS. PART 2.

 

In Part 1 you were taught how to combine visualisation and sympathy in order to induce that frame of mind which is called “Adoration”, and which is designed to enable the trained mind to become receptive to spiritual power.

In Part 2 you will be taught how to use “the Composition of Place”, in order that you may touch for yourself that Divine Power which gives life to the Guild and to its Ministrants and Members. 

Composition of Place should be developed in the following manner:-

 

Select your subject and then read about it until you can form a clear mental picture.

Having got your central event carefully memorised, elaborate the happenings. Get pictures such as those in illustrated Bibles. Examine the faces and then build them into your picture. See them standing there as in a picture.

Now see the characters in your picture move, walk and talk, and watch them doing this until the characters become alive to you – as the spectator.

Take one of the characters. See yourself playing that part.

Be the character instead of playing it. Live it.

 

This is an extremely potent system of mystical training, and it is not desirable that you should choose unhappy subjects, or ones that deal with evil things. The story of Hagar and the Angel (Gen. 16 and again 21) is a simple one with a deep meaning. So also is Moses and the Burning Bush (Ex. 3). These are suitable for the early stages of training.

 

The same scene should be built up day after day until you can absorb into your own soul, as a revelation, the spiritual experience that the story in question conceals.

 

Meditation 1. The Messengers.

Take your Bible (Old Testament only), look up the stories of the appearances of God`s Messengers (i.e. the Angels and Archangels). Select eight of the stories that appeal to you most strongly. Then visualise each selected story for one week. On the last two days of each week, see yourself taking the leading part in that story, and hear yourself talking (in whispers) to that angelic Messenger.

 

The object of this exercise is to get you to live yourself into these stories, and by so doing, to get personal contact with that Entity. [2 months work]

 

Meditation 2. [2 months work]

Taking Chapter 1 of the Book of Ezekiel, read it aloud carefully until the general picture is clear. Then use the composition of place until the picture comes up clearly as a whole to you – as a spectator. [3 weeks work]

Build the individual symbols in their correct colouring until they live and glow before your eyes. [3 weeks work]

Imagine yourself to be Ezekiel and try to see the vision as he saw it, and to feel the emotion that he must have felt. [2 weeks work]

 

Meditation 3. The Children of the Heavenly Hierarchies. [2 months work]

Get the Apocrypha, and turn to “The Song of the Three Holy Children”. Analyse the component parts of the heavenly hierarchies mentioned therein, and meditate on their significance. Use the Tor at Glastonbury and the Sanctuary at Chalice Orchard for the background of your composition of place. You will find that the phenomena mentioned can be grouped under the presidency of the Four Archangels. 

 

Meditation 4. [2 months work]

Take the life of the Master Jesus from the Annunciation to the discourse with Nicodemus, and pick out the four events that appeal most to you. Use the composition of place for meditating upon them. Spend two weeks upon each subject.

 

Meditation 5. [4 months work]

Spend one month on the revision of each of the previous meditations. Be thorough in this revision, for in it lies the key to success. At the end of this period you will be tested practically to see if you have reached the standard required.

EXTRACTS FROM COMMUNICATIONS RECEIVED

 

 

April 29th 1936

I want to talk to you first about the work in general and then about its Christian aspect in particular. Because it is only by considering the work in general that we can see the place of its Christian aspect. I want you all to have the scheme clearly in your minds, and then you will be able to see the part played by each aspect in relation to the whole, because each one of you has a partial aspect of the work to fulfil, and by your various contributions the whole is made up. No man can do another`s work: each is a part: none is the whole.

This work, as you know, is a pendant of the Greater Mysteries, wherein all these partial aspects are summed up and united into a single cohesive whole. When you come to the Greater Mysteries there is neither pagan nor Christian as you understand them, for the Greater Mysteries lie beyond the partial expression of things. Therefore the symbolism of the Greater Mysteries is neither pagan nor Christian but purely abstract.

To understand this, you must understand the nature of the Christ. The Christ is the redemptive force that harmonises the pairs of opposites in the Cosmos, and in the individual unites the pairs of opposites – the higher and lower nature. In other words, it is the exaltation of consciousness. The illuminating power of the Christ is not a person, but a potency – the aspect of the One God aptly called the Son.

The Christ is represented symbolically in Tiphareth – the illuminating aspect. The Redeemers and Saviours of all faiths are represented symbolically as Sun gods in Tiphareth.

Each of the great cultures have their Christs, their Avatars, who are incarnations of this force. There is one Jesus, but many Christs, and in the Greater Mysteries the Christ force is not the person of Jesus, nor Osiris, nor Apollo, but the Tiphareth potency manifested by the Redeemer and Saviour bringing Illumination.

And this is the key to the Lesser Mysteries. The three Paths of the Lesser Mysteries prepare the personality for union with the Higher Self. And these three paths are three modes of discipline – three ways of dealing with human souls, and souls must needs be approached by the door that is open. And with some it is by means of devotion that they rise into the higher consciousness, and some can only approach realisation by reason, and some are exalted by beauty. And these three paths meet in the Greater Mysteries. And there are these three paths because the needs of man are various, not because there are three Gods. 

Therefore we must take each man as we find him and deal with him according to his needs. And let us perfect each path after its kind, in no wise modifying a path, because each is true in its own way – each an aspect of the truth.

And you will find that the younger and less evolved souls are more extreme in type and less able to attain realisation outside their own limitations. And more highly evolved souls are more able to sympathise and understand the other aspects, but all aim at the same end – redemption and illumination.

The Redeemer is the equilibrator of the personality, harmonising it within itself. The Illuminator is the unifier of the Lower and Higher selves; and Adepthood unifies the macrocosm with the microcosm. Therefore remember, you keep each path true to type. But as they rise higher, they are made on in the Greater Mysteries. Therefore the Hermetic or central say must be kept free from Pagan or Christian symbolism or influence, it is purely intellectual.

Upon the Pagan aspect in the lower ranges are the Elemental forces – the Nature gods, and it rises through the Culture gods to the Greater ones. These are purer and of a more abstract nature and lead those who follow this path to the realisation of the One, passing through the Elemental forces, through Beauty, to Devotion. 

Equally with the Christian – in the lower rangers you have the ethical and moral teaching. You will find there are souls of a certain type who are drawn towards the central pillar of the Christian path which gives a broader range, and they will receive illumination through philosophical understanding of the significance of the Sacrament. Then again, you will have souls of a purely devotional type, who will aspire through love of service. Others, in whom the beauty aspect predominates, and they require the poetical aspect to give wings to their soul. 

And you get these three aspects on all three Rays, in their own manner.

This evening, however, as we are considering the Christian only, we see we have those who are at the level where they need devotional service. They do not want a profound philosophy, but a way of life to inspire their ideals. And on either hand are those that need something deeper. On the one side the philosophy of Christianity that approximates with the Hermetic and needs a deeper understanding of the significance of the Sacraments, and on the other those that love Beauty, and they find this in the ancient traditions of the Christian faith in these islands. And these three aspects are gathered up in the Graal ideal, which contains a way of life and aspires to the ideal symbolised by the Cup.

Therefore in the Guild of the Master Jesus you concentrate not upon the personality of the Master, but upon the Graal, because this represents a higher and more mystical symbolism than the incarnated personality. The person of the Master is the object of devotion of those who are purely devotional and ethical, who go by the way of the good life; but there are the other two aspects of the Christian, and these three can meet in the Graal.

For some people the cult of the Master Jesus is a way they can understand, but behind the Master shines the Light of the Graal, and the Master brings us the Graal, and the symbolism of the Graal is the cult of the Illuminati. Therefore take for your symbol – for your concentration – the Graal, which enshrines the Christian power -  and then shall come the fuller illumination.

The Graal is the Cup into which the power of the Holy Ghost is drawn, and in the Graal symbolism you find the esoteric significance of Christianity. And as you will remember, when you first designed your symbol, it was the symbol of the Cup.

 

September 25th, 1936

I have invited you to meet me tonight in order that we may discuss the development of the Guild of the Master Jesus.

There are certain things you want to bear in mind when developing this aspect of our work. You want to realise its significance and relationship to the work as a whole. First, you must realise that the keynote is given by the old Rabbis who said of God: “One is He, and His permutations are One.” All religions are different modes of presentation of the One – are permutations of the One. Whatever nomenclature employed, whatever symbols employed, it all amounts to the same thing in the end. They are various adaptations to men`s temperaments and circumstances; and their end is to bring men to God, they are not ends in themselves. Therefore remember that the Christian faith is one of the paths – not the only path, and men come to God by the path on which they find themselves.

Very well then, the Christian religion is for those to whom it is temperamentally suited – other paths for other temperaments. But as it is the faith of this land, the vast majority will find they are temperamentally suited to one or another of its presentations. And there are many ways of presenting it. The basic concept is common to all faiths, but the presentation can be adapted to a wide range of temperaments. You cannot approach that wide range within the confines of one sheep-fold, and we have our work to do in the Guild and it is highly specialised work, and there is no one else can do what we have to do, and it is not our task to do what is being done effectively by other people.

The Guild, then, is concerned with initiation by the Way of the Cross. That is to say, those persons who seek initiation and whose Master is the Master Jesus, are suitable for the discipline of the Guild; but behind the Guild is something bigger. Just as the Greater Mysteries are behind the Lesser Mysteries, so behind the Guild of the Master Jesus is the Church of the Graal. You have in the Guild and the Graal an exact analogy of the Lesser and Greater Mysteries. The Lesser Mysteries are concerned with the personality and the Greater with the higher self and the Cosmos. I do not propose at the moment to deal with the Lesser Mysteries and the Guild, but rather with the Greater Mystery aspect of the Church of the Graal.

Now the Guild and the Lesser Mysteries are concerned with the redemption of the personality, but the Greater Mystery aspect of the Christian tradition – the Church of the Graal – is concerned with the descent of the Pentecostal power of the Holy Ghost, and the object of adoration in the Church of the Graal is the Third Person of the Trinity, and its sacred symbol is not the Cross but the Cup.

So you get the two aspects of antithesis – the pairs of opposites – wanting one particular aspect, but the equilibrium is found in the soul of the initiate – the perfected man. For the aim here is the same as in the Hermetic mysteries – the perfection of man, but we approach that goal after another manner.

The Cross is the symbol of sacrifice and it is only be sacrifice that power is generated. It is an extremely important symbol, but if you meditate on it too much you bring destruction. We destroy ourselves by over-much sacrifice, and that is the bane of the Christian religion.

The Cup is the symbol of receptivity. We lift the Cup to receive the wine – the down-pouring of the Holy Spirit. In the symbol of the Cross adoration is to the Second Person of the Trinity; and we have to realise there is not power without sacrifice, and in devotion to the Master Jesus the personality is sacrificed to free the individuality. But that aspect alone is too negative; we must also have the Graal aspect of adoration to the Third Person of the Trinity – the lifting of the Cup for inspiration.

The Crucifixion is only completed with the Resurrection and Ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit. That completes the Christian cycle. But in the exoteric church, the cycle is completed with the Ascension – the withdrawal, and we are left to await the Second Coming, which ever recedes into the distance like the horizon.

The real key, then, to the Guild is in the Graal and the object of meditation should be the Graal and not the Cross; the descent of the Holy Spirit and not the historical Jesus; the present, not the past nor the future. If you train your students to meditate on the Cross you will bring them to suffering – too much suffering – if they meditate on that alone. The Cross is an important symbol and one cannot experience the higher aspect of the Ascension without it, but one can have too much of it, my children. The focus and nucleus of your work should be the Graal – the adoration of the Third Person, not the Second.

For this purpose there should be a meditation system, and this should start where the exoteric teaching ends. It should start with the Resurrection and Ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit as a wind that bloweth where it listeth – and tongues of fire conferring power, and the bringing of the Graal to these Islands. And it should develop through all the Graal Mysteries – the removal of the Cup into the care of the Fisher King – and its Quest and Vision.

Therefore teach in your inner group of the Guild the Graal and not the Cross, for from the Graal comes illumination.

And I am particularly anxious that the art of prayer and meditation should be most carefully taught in the Guild. Doctrine matters little. Teach them how to approach the light and they will learn by themselves. Train most carefully, just as carefully as for the Lodge. There should be no distinction in the training. It is most important. There should be a regular system of the visualising of symbol pictures just as in the Lodge and there should be group meditation to build the atmosphere, (and now that you have certain members drawn from the Lodge to form the diaconate of the Guild, they will put the power into it. Gather these persons together in group meditation. Those of your Guild members who are suitable can be admitted to this circle and trained therein. Thus you will make the Guild into a potent thing). Remember, ceremonies are magical, they are more than congregational worship. They are the link between the seen and the unseen, and the ceremonies of the Guild should be worked in the same magical way as those of the Lodge. Then they will be a channel of power from God to man.

 

In answer to question re meditation and training:

Commence with the Annunciation – the Angelic contacts.

The Birth in the stable.

The visit of the wise men.

The Flight into Egypt.

The Child Jesus in the Temple.

The withdrawal to the Essenes.

The return and the Baptism by John.

The Temptation in the Wilderness.

 The Mission.

The teaching on the Mount.

The Transfiguration.

The passing on to Gethsemene.

The Crucifixion.

The holy women at the foot of the Cross.

The Resurrection.

The Ascension.

The Descent of the Holy Spirit.

Take all the events right through. It is the Master Jesus who prepares character. Without His influence something is lacking, but go on to the coming of Power. Do not take your Guild on to meditation on the Crucifixion. It is too profound.

We have covered much this year and everything is coming together into shape.

 

 

The Mystical Church of the Holy Graal: Dion Fortune's Guild of the Master Jesus.

The 'Teaching Papers' Pt 1

 

In the introduction to her book Mystical Meditations on the Collects, Dion Fortune comments that her studies of the esoteric aspects of the great religions of the East inspired her to seek a similar esoteric aspect within the religion of the West although this was not immediately obvious. She noted that she found good evidence of an esoteric Christianity in the writings of the great mystics of the Christian faith such as, for example, those of Saint John the Evangelist (John the ‘Beloved Disciple’) who is acknowledged by many scholars as the author of the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation. 

Later in the book she says: “The writings attributed to Saint John bear the clear marks of a familiarity with the Greek Mystery schools and the mystical Qabalism of Israel. The disciple whom Jesus loved was undoubtedly aware of the existence of a Secret Doctrine within the exoteric systems of the day…...there are abundant signs throughout the writings attributed to him which indicate his realisation of a potent spiritual power behind the simple revelation which was given to simple souls.

“It is this Inner Light of mystical consciousness which must illumine the Church if it is to lead us from darkness to light, from death to life. There is a deeper significance in Christianity than is contained in the rationalisations of theology…..It is this deeper revelation which we need today if Christianity is to recover its lost influence over thinking men and women.”

As a means of putting these thoughts and ideas into practice, she initiated what became, during her lifetime, a significant element of the overall programme of magical work within her magical Fraternity and which she named ‘The Guild of the Master Jesus.’ Unlike the private rituals of the Fraternity, most of the work of the Guild was open to the public. She took the remarkable step of asserting that anyone who felt called to do so should be capable of celebrating the Holy Communion, and that this  ritual should not be reserved solely for priests of the church who had been authorised through the rite of Apostolic Succession - in other words the claimed continuous succession from the first apostles through a series of bishops. 

To support this radical step forward she wrote a series of lessons, instructions and meditations which provided a thorough training for anyone who wished to take a more active role in the Guild. Various graded ‘offices’ were created, such as Doorkeeper, Reader, Healer, Priest and Archpriest, and there was a ceremony of initiation for each office.

For many years these teaching papers have not been available to the public, yet the initiative of the Guild of the Master Jesus was of considerable significance to Dion Fortune’s magical thinking, and still has much to offer us. The Companions of Dion Fortune are very pleased to be able to present the Guild of the Master Jesus papers through this website. The papers will be published in installments over the coming months.

 

 

 

GUILD OF THE MASTER JESUS

ORGANISATION OF THE GUILD

 

Membership and Training of Members

 

Public Services

The public can attend any of the Sunday and other public services of the Guild.

 

Membership

Only members can attend the special ceremonies and the rites of admission to the various grade of membership.

Any associate of the Fraternity can become a member of the Guild provided three senior members of the Guild consider him, or her, to be suitable, and an annual subscription of 10s. 6d.  is contributed.

 

General Training

All members who wish to take advantage of the general training in prayer and meditation which is given in the Guild can do so. (Textbook: Mystical Meditations on the Collects by Dion Fortune).

Associates of the Fraternity who have completed the course of teaching given in Study Courses 1, 2 & 3 and whose interview has been satisfactory, and who wish to take up “the Mystical Path of the Cross” are eligible for the special advanced training in the Guild`s system of prayer and meditation. This training aims at producing lay workers who will be able to assist the priests in their work of teaching.

 

Grades

There are three stages in this training system:

The Seekers, who will wear a black ribbon;

The Servers, who will wear a blue (Mary) ribbon;

The Watchers, who will wear a purple ribbon.

 

The Seekers: Those who are searching for the Master by the desert road sides. They will be admitted at a ceremony based on the teachings of the Chaldean, and they will be taught to visualise Ritual 2 and given a few simple lectures on comparative religion to study, but no exam. An essay might be set.

The Servers: Those who study in the “House upon the Wall” of the city of the Winged Bulls. A ceremony will be woven about the story of the Three Children, about the prophet Daniel, and the Great Archangels, using Ritual 3 as the basis. Teaching will be on the visualising of 3. They will be given a few simple lectures on the general principles of theology. No exam, but to write an essay.

The Watchers: Their admission will be by a ceremony based on the story of the Graal, as in 4. In this grade will be taught, practically, composition of place, and they will make a study of the Glastonbury contacts, and of the various scripts which we have been given on these points from the inner planes. No exams, but an essay will be asked for.

When the course of the Watchers of the Graal has been completed, the Watcher will select (from an approved list) one of the great figures of the Celtic Church. He will, at a religious ceremony, offer his dedication and thus become a pupil of one of the Watchers of Avalon, and a dedicated member of the Guild.

From the dedicated members will be selected the teachers and workers in the Guild who are not in the priesthood. Some service of a definite nature should be exacted from them.

The whole course should take at least a couple of years to complete. A definite course of reading should be given, but no exams. A system of meditation should be kept up and recorded in a simple fashion.

Note: In all ceremonies these three grades will wear a grey robe with a cowl, a broad ribbon of the colour of their grade, and a badge of the Guild.

Altar fronts – the colours of the church year.

 

Priesthood: The priesthood of the Guild will be recruited from members of the Lodge who have completed the training given in the 3rd Degree. 

Men and women are equally eligible for the priesthood: males to serve the bread and wine, females to be lectors. 

At non-public ceremonies 4 Lodge members of the Guild, 2 men and 2 women, will sit within the Sanctuary for the purpose of visualisation. They will have cowl over head but faces not concealed at these non-public ceremonies.

 

 

THE MYSTICAL CHURCH OF THE HOLY GRAAL

The spiritual history of a race is written in its legends. Out of the forgotten past come stories of gods and men, and the stories contain truth. And as childhood memories are the things remembered when we come to die, so do these memories of the childhood of the race possess for us a profound validity.

They cause our hearts to burn within us because of the lost truth they contain; deep speaks unto deep in our own hearts when the racial memories awakes. A wise man said: “Let who will make the nation`s laws if I may make its ballads.”

In these dreams of a lost an forgotten beauty the heart remembers its hopes; and these hopes, remembered as dreams, are the deeds of tomorrow. It is the songs of ancient time that sing us forward into battle. Out of the misty and remote far past, when men walked with gods, come the dreams of the race. Laying ear to earth, we listen, and hear God talking with men.

Myths are not true as men count truth, proved in the written word or carven in stone; but they are true as the heart knows truth in the innermost. Dreams are made of enduring stuff, for they are the truths of eternity coming forth from the deep places of life. Let us remember the dreams and the dream-places, and the shadowy gigantic figures of heroes towering like clouds, for these things are truth in the heart.

Teaching

While no attempt is made to dogmatise in the Guild teachings – for personal religious experience is the goal that is set before the aspirant – certain broad general principles are laid down as the norm.

The Seven Principles

1. There is one great unmanifested Unity in which all manifestation lives and moves and has its being. It is the God-head of all religions.

2. Manifestation takes place through Three Great Principles:

The Creator, who remains Unchanging.

Life evolving Form.

Form developing consciousness of itself and its Creator.

3. There are many hierarchies of beings in the Manifested Universe besides man. These beings are God`s creatures just as man is God`s creature. Some of them are Archangels, greater than man; others are humble nature spirits who are of lesser status than man.

4. The created Universe has a subtle as well as a dense aspect. There is an invisible reality underlying all that we see. This subtle aspect is spiritual in its nature, and it is the realm of causation; the dense aspect is the realm of effects, in which we gain experience.

5. The Christ is a Principle, not a person. Jesus the Christ embodied this Principle. He is archetypal man who shows us the Father. He is our Master and the Initiator of those who seek initiation by way of the Cross.

6. Man is a spiritual being functioning by means of a conscious mind, a subconscious mind, and a physical body, which are developed out of and organised around his spiritual life principle. This spiritual nucleus of his being is eternal. The mental and physical organisations developed around it are transient, being cast off and renewed as the soul evolves through reincarnation. 

7. The destiny of man is to evolve to perfection through experience, and to come into perfect harmony with God and the Universe. This is achieved through experience in the dense world, and inspiration and illumination in the subtle world, the latter being received through the influence of the Christ Principle.

 

Admission to the Grade of Seeker

Ritual 2 – based upon the following script

The four kings fought with the five in the valley in the stony wastes. And after the battle, One came forth bearing bread and wine, and he is the father of the spiritual Israel, the King of Righteousness and Peace. Abraham is the father of the Israel after the flesh; but the Chaldean is the father of the spiritual Israel. The sons of Abraham are as the ands of the sea, as God promised; but the sons of the Chaldean are as the stars in the deeps of the sky at midnight. These are the spiritual Israel.

And all day long in the stony wastes the four kings fought with the five in the valley; and at dusk, when the battle was over, and the first stars came out, One came bearing bread and wine. And he moved silently over the desert sand and greeted him who was to be the father of Israel after the flesh, and said unto him – “Behold, thou art blessed of the Most High God”. And in the silence after the battle, with the first stars shining above, and the desert air cool in the dusk, the first Eucharist was made among men.

For the Chaldean was Priest of the Most High God; born without father, without mother, without descent, he came to men in the stony wastes of Chaldea; and he taught them wisdom and knowledge and is the Father of all them that know the stars.

Silently over the desert wastes he moved in the shadow when the stars were out, and came to the tents of the wandering men of the desert and taught them wisdom, for he is of those who brought gifts to humanity. None saw him come, none saw him pass. At the door of the tent in the dusk he stood, tall in the shadows; He spoke and passed, and none saw him go. In his white garment of straight linen he stood, strange among the men of the desert; and his face was golden and his skin hairless. He went by night bareheaded beneath the stars, and no man saw his face. The caravans with their bells, bringing spices from beyond Arabia, met him beside the desert road. And the camels with their bells stayed, and the men of the desert listened. Then, even as he came, so went he in silence. And the men and the camels went on to the walled city, and at the inn they told of the meeting in the darkness in the desert with him who was without father or mother and who taught the wisdom of the stars.

And we, coming by the desert way of the soul, with night fallen about us and far from the walled city, may find one waiting by the way, one who came without father or mother, tall and strange in his straight garment, with his golden hairless face and his bare sandalled feet upon the sand. He is the father of the spiritual Israel and he will teach us the wisdom of the stars.

Coming and going across the world, when the darkness overtakes us in the desert, then is the time when he that is without father or mother meets us beside the desert road, walks with us a little way, and goes as he came, in silence, leaving inspiration behind, for we have partaken of the desert Eucharist.

From the walled cities, after night has fallen, we can go out by the desert gate along the caravan road where the desert meets the sown, and there, amid the wind-driven sand, we may find him awaiting us; suddenly, in the darkness under the stars. And in the stillness of the desert by night we may learn the starry wisdom.

Let us go forth into the desert by night along the old and forgotten roads whereby the caravans brought spices from Arabia. The camels with their bells moving through the dusk, beside the cloaked men of the desert, silent on their sandalled feet. And on shall come among us bearing bread and wine, strange in his straight robe of linen, with his hairless golden face and his head bare to the stars and his feet bare to the sands of the stony waste.

Out across the wide plain leads the whiteness of the trodden way, where the caravans go, with their camels and bells. And beyond the sky line, hidden from our eyes by the curve of the earth, guarded by the mountains that bound the plain of Chaldea, is the Temple in the desert, where one waits us, bearing bread and wine.

The jagged line of mountains cuts the stars; its shadow flung far out across the sand; and there in the moonlight the white temple lies sleeping, with its domed roof and porticoed front, where one awaits us, the Chaldean who is King of Righteousness and Peace.

 

Admission to the Grade of Server

Ritual 3 – based upon the following script

Winged bulls guard the gate of the house of the Kings of Babylon, and the wide steps are of dark marble and the tall columns of dark granite. Within the courts are clear pools of sweet water, and overhead are the hanging gardens, perfumed in the dusk. Wind-blown torches give a golden light upon the rich cloths of the hangings.

The King is upon his jewelled throne, dark and terrible; but one stands before him in the straight linen robe of the prophet who fears him not. One who passes empty handed in integrity through the palace and goes unharmed by the claw of the lion; for he is a man of power; and he is God`s judge in the palace of the King.

He comes forth from the torchlight and the shining hanging of the palace, and his face is silver in the moonlight. He passes between the winged bulls, clad in the straight linen robe of the prophet amid the jewels of the palace of the King; and he goes by the dark courts and alleys of the city, barred with shadow in the moonlight, to the house upon the wall, and there, upon the roof, he communes with the stars.

And the great angels Gabriel and Michael come to him, and talk with him, for he is a man beloved of God, and the King has made him ruler over all the wise men of his realm and over the province of Chaldea.

The land of Chaldea is lost in the sands and forgotten, but there is a spiritual Chaldea of the heart, even as there is a spiritual Israel, and over it is set him whose name in Hebrew is Balteshazzar, God`s judge in the Palace of the King, and in Chaldea, Beloved of the Master.

We who are of the spiritual Chaldea can follow through the narrow ways of the city, barred with silver in the moonlight, and can mount by the narrow stair set in the thickness of the wall, till we come to that house-top beneath the stars. And there, looking over the domed roofs in the moonlight, we can talk with him who is set over us, our teacher and governor. And he will bring us to the mighty Angels, the Spirits before the Throne, that they may guide and protect us, for this is his duty.

 

Admission to the Grade of Watcher

Ritual 4 – based upon the following script

There are four mighty Archangels who stand round about the Church of the Graal and guard all them that worship therein; and they are the four spirits before the Throne.

To the East stands the mighty Archangel Raphael, all blue and purple, even like unto an opal. And in his right hand is a keen sword, and in his left the blue disc of the airy heavens; and his sign is the sign of the Eagle; and he calls upon God by the mighty Four-lettered Name of Y.H.V.H.

To the South stands the mighty Archangel Michael, all glorious in scarlet and gold and crimson. In his right hand the fiery sword that guards the gate of Paradise, and in his left the triangle of aspiring flame. His sign is the sign of the Lion and he calls upon God by His Name of Adonai, which means God made manifest in Nature, for Adonai is Lord of the Kingdom.

To the West stands the mighty Archangel Gabriel, all gloriously green and golden. In his right hand is a great sword, and in his left the silver crescent of the waters. His sign is the sign of the Man, even the Water-bearer, and he calls upon God by His Holy Name of Eheieh, the Ineffable One.

To the North stands the Dark Angel Uriel, who keepeth the Gates of Death. He is the Merciful One. In his right hand is the sword of Judgment, and in his leeft a square block of fine gold, for he is the Archangel of Earth, and gold is the ruler of earth. His sign is the sign of the Bull, and he calleth upon God by His great secret Name, Agla, which is the name upon the banners of the North.

And in the centre standeth the worshipper, lifting in his hands the Cup, the Chalice. And the Holy Spirit in flames of fire descends upon him, and the flames play round about him, warm and golden and lambent; and he chants the chant of the invoking flame:

O Holy Ghost, my soul inspire,

Thou Flame of Fire,

Descend on me.

The Church of the Graal is built without hands, eternal in the heavens. It is built by thought, eternal in each man`s heart. Each man is his own priest, and lifts therein the Cup of the Graal, and calls down the Flame of Fire, which is the Holy Spirit.

When he cries aloud in prayer and invocation, the four great Angels spread their glorious wings and lift their great swords and raise their symbols to heaven, calling upon God by His mighty Names of Power; and power comes down like a rushing wind, and like flames of fire, and all the place is filled with it.

And when he sits quietly in meditation, the four mighty Archangels stand around, their great wings folded, leaning on their swords, brooding over him.

And the Watchers come in silently and take their places, rank upon rank all round. They are those who guard the Church of the Graal; just men made perfect by the Way of the Cross. Into their care was committed the Graal by the aged hands of Joseph of Arimathea when his time came to die, and he was laid in the holiest earth in England.

And of these there are many, saints and soldiers, and good women. The three chief are Patrick and David and Colomba. Patrick, who broke the crowned heads of the great serpent Leviathan when he rose out of the Kingdom of the Qlippoth into the place of severest judgments; David of Wales, who knew all holiness, and Colomba, who sailed wild seas and brought them peace. Then there is Anselm the Bishop, Hugh the Builder, Arnolfus, Johannes, and many humble ones. And sweet St. Bride, spinning her wool in peace among the marshes.

And of the knights, all those who sought the Graal. Of these Arthur is the greatest, and beside him are Galahad and Percival, and all the chivalry of the Table Round to whom the Graal was an ideal. And their priest is Merlin, who had understanding. He it is who rules the spiritual Chaldea of these Islands.

And in the silence they hear the voice of running water where the Holy Well outpours upon its blood-red stones. And above their heads rises the Tor, crowned with its tower; and in the night sky above the Tor shines the Graal. And faint incense, lit by no earthly hands, comes drifting on the night wind from the marshes.

 

 

The Priesthood of the Guild

The Third Degree being completed, three Paths open before the initiate. These are the Ways of Wisdom, Love, and Beauty; or as they are called in the East, Rajah Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Hatha Yoga. These three Paths all lead to the same goal – the perfection of being. The choice of a Path depends upon the place from which the traveller starts, for they differ not in their goal but in their route.

The Path of Wisdom is for those who delight in intellectual achievement; it is the Path of study, research and experimentation. The Path of Beauty is for those who worship God made manifest in Nature, who wish to awaken the Old Gods by means of the rhythmic arts. The Path of Love is the way of the Cross – it is initiation through the Master Jesus. The soul knoweth its own way, and none can teach it. The choice of a Path depends upon temperament; choose therefore for thyself, and judge not for another. All shall meet in the end.

Having concluded the work of the Three Degrees, the time has come to learn further by putting them into practice. No new rite, therefore, admits to the Pronaos of the Temple; it is the place wherein experience is gained. But in the practical workings, natural aptitude must be considered, each one choosing according to his kind; each one knowing his own Master. Those initiates to whom Jesus Christ is Master form the priesthood of the Guild of the Master Jesus, and therein perform the practical work which brings through power into the sanctuary. To this end instruction is given.

Let whoso would be a priest of the Master learn concerning his tradition. It has for its holy books the tradition of Israel, of which those parts that are rejected as apocryphal are not without their value; for they have ofttimes been rejected for their profundity of wisdom by those who understood it not. These books are interpreted in the light of the Holy Qabalah, which is the mystical tradition of Israel. Further light may be sought in the Gnostic scriptures, which were the work of the Illuminati.

Likewise the great mystics of the Christian faith, have much to tell us that is of value, provided we have the keys thereto, and fall not into superstition, for they are the Masters of the Way of the Cross.

But in our relations with these, let us use wisdom and discretion, for those of the Catholic faith cannot be to us Masters unless we accept that faith. We may learn of them, but we cannot follow them, and if we invoke them, they will draw us after them. The Church of Rome permits no initiations save her own; therefore those who are not of her creed follow Christ by another Path.

For us it is the Way of the Graal. We seek our contacts with the tradition of Christ through the ancient Keltic Church of Britain, which, though it stands no more above ground, is eternal in the heavens. Our Holy Place is Glastonbury, “the holiest earthe in Englande”; and in its Avalonian aspect, as the centre of tradition and of the Table Round, we make contact with the Mysteries of Arthur. It is in the chivalrous rather than in the ascetic ideal that we find our pattern.

The symbol of the Guild is a Keltic cross with circle, mounted upon three steps, which are the Three Degrees of the Lesser Mysteries. The outstretched arms of the Cross represent sacrifice, and the circle superimposed thereon is the circle of eternal wisdom. Each member of the priesthood of the Guild should have a shrine wherein is this cross, together with such other symbols and holy pictures as may appeal to him. Before this he should keep flowers, a burning lamp, and incense for use in his meditations, for by the tendence of a shrine are the contacts thereof built up.

For the use of the priesthood there is the Chant of the Holy Spirit.

“O Holy Ghost, my soul inspire,

 Thou flame of fire,

  Descend on me.”

This, used after the manner of a mantram or litany, is powerful.

The daily devotions of the priest should be performed before his private shrine, and should be based upon the prayers employed in the rites of the Guild and the “Meditations upon the Collects”. He should seek by means of each prayer, used as an ardent invocation, to experience the power thereof.

Likewise should he work at the building of the church not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. To this end he should visualise the Isle of Avalon as it was in the days of the Coming of the Graal. He should see the Tor crowned with the circle of standing stones of the sun-worship,  below it, the Well of the Wisdom of Merlin. He should see the circular Church of the Graal that enshrined the Cup, from which shines an eternal light. Around it are the cells of the twelve anchorites. Beyond, among the marshes, is the hermitage of Bride. Through and around al come and go Arthur and his knights, showing forth the ideal of chivalry. These are the Holy Places of the initiates of the Master Jesus in these islands. Likewise also Iona, Lindisfarne and St. Albans. And in a lesser degree, Tintagel, Camelot and Caerleon. 

Now the Keltic Church was built by the wise men of old; men that had knowledge, and it stands eternal in the heavens. Those who have the sight can revive it today. Let us therefore look for this Church with the eye of faith that it may live, and be built again between heaven and earth that power may come down and men may worship.

In the working of the rites of the Guild we build this Church. Let us go forth by the pilgrim way up the Tor, and upon the crest rebuilt the Chapel of St. Michael, and above the tower, the Star of Bethlehem.

Within, the Chapel is even as our own sanctuary in black and silver, with the two pillars of positive and negative force and the Keltic cross between. But upon the altar stands the Very Graal, shining with an inner light, and above the altar descends the power of the Holy Spirit. These things we see with the inner eye, which is the eye of faith.

There are certain books which may be read with profit by the priesthood of the Guild. For the energising of devotion, read St. Thomas a Kempis; the Way of Perfection of St. Theresa; The Little Flowers of St. Francis; St. John of the Cross; the Thoughts of Pascal; the Journals of George Fox; Myers` “St. Paul”.

For technique read the Method of St. Ignatius; the Interior Castle of St. Theresa; The Science of the Sacraments, and The Hidden Side of the Christian Festivals, of Bishop Leadbeater. “Meditations on the Collects”.

For the tradition of Avalon, read “Avalon of the Heart”, Malory`s “Morte d`Arthur”, “The Priest of the Ideal” by Stephen Graham, “The Hill of Vision” by F. Bligh Bond, the Arthurian poems of Tennyson.

 

 

Ceremony of Dedication

 

This is the holiest earth in England. For here came Joseph the Arimathean, bearing the Cup which passed from hand to hand at that last sad meal in the upper chamber overlooking Jerusalem. The Cup that received the Blood when the Side was pierced with the spear.

All weary from his far sea-wanderings the old man came, and her his pilgrim staff struck root and budded and blossomed, as it does to this day.

Here was built the humble Church of reeds from the marshes, and the twelve anchorites, each in his cell, kept guard over the Holy Cup; wearing with their feet paths as they walked in meditation, even like the starry belt of the heavens where the sun moves in his circle.

And when evil rose like a tide over the earth will good men turned away from life in sorrow, angels came, and took the Cup away, for safety, and gave it into the keeping of the Fisher King in his treasury. And there it was guarded by three pure maidens, who brought it forth upon the feast of Christ; and whoso drank thereof, drank no more of any earthly wine.

And the Fisher King died of his sore wound, and darkness fell more deeply upon the earth, and the angels came again, and took away the Graal to the heavenly Jerusalem.

And there is stands to this day, glowing and shining in the Church not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

And even as the great Abbey was built about the little hut of reeds from the marshes, enshrining it, so does the Church of the Graal contain the Invisible Cup. Upon our altars it shines like the sun at midnight, and from it we partake of the sacraments of power.