Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Jean-Louis de Biasi, author of Secrets and Practices of the Freemasons, The Divine Arcana of the Aurum Solis, and the forthcoming Rediscover the Magick of the Gods and Goddesses. Jean-Louis is also Lifetime Grand Master of the Ordo Aurum Solis and Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Cross.

Jean-Louis de BiasiAs a teenager, I was fascinated by photos of mysterious initiations and rituals. Even if Internet didn’t exist at this time, books about initiatic Orders provided some photos of these Mysteries: Freemasonry, the Golden Dawn, and Wicca constituted a large part of these publications.

When you read the descriptions of Qabalistic rituals from the 18th and 19th centuries, it is obvious that symbols are omnipresent. If you want to perform a magical ritual, you must first carefully prepare ritual clothing. Robes with golden embroidery, seals, and sigils must be prepared. Hats and fancy headdresses from the Hebrew or Egyptian traditions are cut and assembled. Multicolored magical tools of many kinds are made and consecrated. Then the temple is installed with complex symbols on the walls and on the floor. Altars and columns are erected, and all this installation is consecrated. Of course, everything is justified by the law of correspondences, and any mistake or mix-up can ruin the whole preparation. However, even if the magical operation fails, at least the photos will be great!

I must admit today that most of this scenery is useless, distracting, and sometimes even grotesque. I am still hesitating between circus and epic movies…Of course symbols and correspondences are helpful and interesting to use. It is true that theurgy requires the use of characters drawn on the floor, but too much is too much! If the main point is to organize a private play in order to be applauded by followers, the essential is missed. The Ego is coming back, growing as fast as the scenery. Sometimes you have to accept the simple fact that less is better!

I realized this fact being initiated in the early times of the Ordo Aurum Solis. The temple was almost empty. The ritual apparel was beautiful and simple. Every symbol or ritual tool was useful and removed after use. Two extremely efficient aspects were involved: simplicity and beauty! They are the keys that manifest an authentic ceremony. We are not building a royal palace, nor is performing a magical ritual is not the same as playing a role of priest in the Vatican.

The early Wicca emphasized skyclad rituals. Anyone who has been working in this way knows that the essentials are still there. Raising the invisible power is easy and efficient. If this is so, what is the need for so much in various magical rituals and Orders? It is not necessary to answer this question. We can recognize the trees by their fruits.

Simplicity allows us to focus on the essential. Just a few symbols increase the power of the ritual instead of diluting it.

Beauty raises our consciousness to the highest level, because beauty is the expression of the divine.

It is good sometimes to remove your clothes, go naked in your temple, and meditate on what is really essential in a spiritual quest. Then you will be able to identify the superfluous, and keep what is useful.

As humans, we need ceremonies, rituals, and celebrations. As spirits we need the freedom of the empty blue sky and the silence of the desert. As magicians we need to combine both and surrender the ego to rise to the divine!

Our thanks to Jean-Louis for his guest post! Visit Jean-Louis de Biasi’s author page for more information, including articles and his books.

Written by Anna
Anna is the Senior Consumer & Online Marketing Specialist, responsible for Llewellyn's New Worlds of Body, Mind & Spirit, the Llewellyn Journal, Llewellyn's monthly email newsletters, and more. In her free time, Anna enjoys reading an absurd number of books; doing crossword puzzles; watching ...