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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Mysteries



All Life, all Existence, and the entire Cosmos are mysteries and all our science and probing are likewise speculative and pragmatic. If a theory seems supported by observation, experiment, application and practical experience—if it works!—then we assume it to be correct. (Those of us old enough remember that some of yesterday's science is often today's folklore, and some things that were once fictional speculation are among today's science.)

Resolving these mysteries is not only the endless adventure of life, but for each of us it is a path to growth and development. Mysteries will always be with us, and will always challenge us even when we think we've solved one, another will pop up. And even those previously solved will open up further mysterious dimensions. As the Cosmos is infinite, so are its mysteries, and so is the human drive to grow and understand.

Carl Llewellyn Weschcke


The Ancient Mysteries were secret rituals performed by groups of initiates from the Mediterranean world in order to cause a special state of consciousness in the newly initiated recipient.

In ancient Greece, there were several groups of highly developed initiates. These groups were generally created around their interest in a particular Divine story, such as Orpheus, Demeter, Mithra, Isis, etc. These myths emphasized teachings about the after-life and personal destiny. In order to achieve an inner knowledge of these "truths," special rituals and initiations allowed the candidates to directly experiment with these teachings. After these ceremonies, personal fears regarding destiny and death were resolved (no longer traumatic) and the initiates were able to prepare for the end of their physical lives and rebirth through reincarnation (metempsychosis).

source: Secrets and Practices of the Freemasons, by Jean-Louis de Biasi. - Jean-Louis de Biasi


Review of the Golden Dawn Magical Tarot
Summary: A brilliant deck that is ideal for practitioners of ceremonial magick and for those following the system of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Will also interest those researching the link between earlier traditional Tarot decks and the ...
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"Qabalah" is a Hebrew word which means "tradition." It is derived from the root word "Qibel," meaning, "to receive." This refers to the ancient custom of handing down the esoteric knowledge by oral transmission. What the word Qabalah encompasses is ...
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The History of the Golden Dawn
The story of the Golden Dawn, like that of any human organization, is replete with high points and low points—with human achievements and human failings. There is no need for us to try to whitewash or sugarcoat the faults of some of the individuals ...
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The Moon
The 18th Major Arcanum image: a dog and a wolf baying at the rising moon by a body of water, or an owl flying beneath a full moon over water with swimming fish Hebrew letter: Qoph Divinatory meaning: delusion, the unknown, intuition Path on the ...
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The Path of the Shaman Then and Now
I recently heard a wonderfully simple definition of the word shaman. It was: "A shaman is one who helps people in their dealings with the other worlds." These other worlds are the realms above, beyond, and deep within the experiences of our lives. ...
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The Devil
The Devil card of the Tarot: The 15th Major Arcanum image: usually a conventional-looking devil with horns and hooves standing on an altar to which are chained a man and a woman, alternatively the Pagan’s Horned God Hebrew letter: ...
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Review of the Tarot of the Mystic Spiral
Summary: Use the Tarot of the Mystic Spiral to seek the underlying patterns of your life and of the universe. As you gain knowledge and control over your life, expand your understanding of the world and how it works. In-Depth Review: This is a ...
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Anahata - The Heart Chakra
Element: Air Color: Green Verb: I love Attributes: Love, balance, relationship, compassion We are now halfway through our seven-leveled chakra system. Below us are the first three chakras which relate to things and activities in the external ...
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Review of the Celtic Tarot
Summary: Beautiful deck made in the Rider-Waite-Smith pattern, but with a unique Major Arcana and a focus on Celtic myth and legend. Perfect for Celtic Wiccans and all Pagans drawn to Celtic lore. Beside being good for doing divination (especially ...
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Review of the Quantum Tarot (Version 2.0)
Summary: The Quantum Tarot is a magical blend of traditional Tarot and modern science. Featuring images from the Hubble Space telescope, myths join quantum theory on cards of natural beauty. Highlighted with subtle gloss printing, the images invite ...
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It seems strange, doesn't it? A patron saint of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and all other sexually fluid shades in-between. Popular opinion would have us believe that, by default, a saint would be against such liberal sexuality, but then again, just because an opinion is popular doesn't mean that it's true. In my book La... read this article
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The Green Witch Tarot
Learn more here: CLICK! The Green Witch Tarot is the a deck that I’ve been waiting for ever since Ann Moura wrote Tarot for the Green Witch...

Profiling the Chupacabra
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Nick Redfern, author of the new Chupacabra Road Trip. Is the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico home to...

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