Archeosofica” is an esoteric school, inner and profound, a Study Center and, for those who wish it, also a non-profit cultural association (Archeosophical Society) which prepares, guides and perfects its followers towards the knowledge of themselves, of the higher worlds and  of God, thanks to the investigation and development of new senses, called “spiritual senses”, and leads them to High Initiation.

Posts Tagged ‘Small Mysteries’


To show the soundness of our exposition on the esoteric and Christian significance of the minor and major Mysteries, we quote a text translated from the Greek, whose author is Titus Flavius Clement of Alexandria in Egypt. Clement, called the Alexandrian, was born in Athens in 150 AD into a pagan family. From his competency, he seems to have been initiated into the Major Mysteries of Eleusis, and after he became an Apostle of the Christianity. He visited Magna Grecia, Italy, Syria, Palestine, stopping in 180 at Alexandria, attracted by the fame of Pantaenus, ‘the bee of Sicily’. At the school of Christianity called Didaskaleion, Clement was a listener. After a few years, Pantaenus took him as a teaching colleague. After the death of the former, in about 200, Clement became the head of the school and had Origen as a disciple. During the persecution of Septimius Severus (about 202-203) he retired to Cappadocia to stay with the bishop Alexander, and died a little before 216, as attested in a letter of the same Alexander who became bishop of Jerusalem (Eusebius – Ecclesiastical History – VI, 11, 14). The text that we quote, is in one of the volumes of Clement of Alexandria: Stromata, V, 11. “It is not without appropriateness that for the Greeks, the Mysteries start with purification, as for the Barbarians with the bath. After this, come the small Mysteries which have some foundation of instruction and preparation for what comes after. The great Mysteries refer to the totality of things. It is no longer a question of learning, but of intuitively seeing and contemplating the nature of things. We can acquire the purification through the confession, the contemplation (epopticòn), through the analysis, advancing towards the first contemplation by means of analysis, beginning from the objects which are underlying the being itself, eliminating from the body the physical qualities, removing the dimension of depth, then the dimension of width and, after this, the dimension of length. The step that remains is the monad, which has, so to speak, a position. If we remove this position, the monad is an object of thought (epinoèitai). If then, having removed that which is in the body and that which is called incorporeal, we cast ourselves into the greatness of the Christ, and from There advance in the wide-open immensity, in full holiness, we will arrive at the intuitive perception of the universal Master, having recognized not what is, but what is not. The form, the movement, the throne, the position, the right, the left of the Father in everything, should not be perceived, even though they are described, but what each of these things mean, it will be shown in its proper place. The first cause, then, is not in space but above the place, the time, the name and the thought. This is why Moses says: – Show yourself to me – indicating very clearly that God is not to be taught, not to be named, but must be known solely through the force that is in Him. Because the obscure and invisible research and the grace of knowledge come from Him through the Son. Solomon gives a very clear testimony, expressing himself thus: – The reflection (fronèsis) of men is not in me, but God gives to me the wisdom, and I know the holy things. – Then Moses, expressing the divine fronèsis through allegory, has mentioned the tree of the Life, planted in the Paradise: this Paradise could be the world in which all the things of creation germinate. In this, the Logos has blossomed, has become flesh, has borne fruit, and has given life to who has tasted (the fruit) for their good; because without the tree He could not have come to our knowledge, because our life has been suspended for our good. And Solomon has said: The Tree of immortality is for those who take it. And because of this he says: Behold that I set before your face the life and the death, to love God the Lord, and to walk in all of his ways, and to understand his voice, and to trust in life. If you transgress the decisions and decrees which I have given to you, you will be lost. Because this is the life, the length of your days, to love the Lord your God. And he further said: Abraham coming to the place which God had indicated to him, on the third day, looking up, saw the place from afar. Because the first day is that which is spent in the sight of the beautiful things, the second is the desire of the excellent soul; the third day, the mind (nous ) sees the spiritual things, the eyes of thought having been opened by the master who rose for this third day. The three days might also be the Mystery of the seal, the seal being the mark through which the true God makes himself known. Then, he sees the place from afar, because the location of God is difficult to occupy, the place that Plato has called the place of Ideas, having learned from Moses that it is one same place containing all things and their totality. On the other hand, with a great precision, it is said that he is seen from afar by Abraham, because it is in the Genesis; and it is an angel that serves him constantly as a mystagogue. Hence the Apostle: We see now as through an èsoptron (a glass), face to face, through these sole, sudden and incorporeal rays of thought. It is also possible, discoursing, to draw a divination from God, if one forces oneself, outside of all the sensations, to launch oneself towards the thing itself which is everything, and not to stay away from that which is, before rising on this thing which is the good, to take possession of it with the thought itself, arriving towards the end itself of that which can be taken by thought, according to Plato. Then Moses, not permitting to make altars and téménos in many places, but having established a sole temple of God, announces that the world is monogene (as Basilides says), and that there is but one God (which Basilides has not seen). And, since he did not want to enclose in one place He who cannot be enclosed, Moses has not put any statues, any images to venerate in the temple, indicating that God cannot be seen and described, leading in some way to the concept of the God of the Hebrews by the honor of the Name that is in the temple. But the words that impede the construction of temples and all sacrifices, indicates that the Omnipotent is not in a place, consists in this:  What house will you build to me? – says the Lord – The heaven is my throne, and so on. Equally on sacrifices: The blood of bulls and the fat of mutton I do not want.” Naturally, we could make a commentary on this precious document of Clement of Alexandria, of which we apologize for the arid literal translation, but we consider it superfluous, after having touched on various points concerning the minor and major Mysteries. Continue Reading


In the Islamic tradition, the states reached with the ‘small Mysteries’ are those of the primordial Man (el-insân el qadîm), while those states conquered with the ‘great Mysteries’ correspond to the universal Man (el-insân el-kâmil); two terms which correspond respectively to the true Man and the transcendent Man of the Taoism. The two phases of the initiatic process, characterized by the already discussed small and great Mysteries, recall the geometric symbolism described in the booklet of symbolics(1) concerning the Cross, and especially with respect to the ‘horizontal realization‘ (small Mysteries) and to the ‘vertical realization‘ (great Mysteries), the first considered as the basis of the second; the basis, represented in the traditional symbolism by the earth, corresponds to the human dominion, while the super-human realization is indicated in the ascent through the heavens, corresponding to the superior states of the being. An ascension, a celestial journey which is the active conquest: a conquest specified also by Dante Alighieri in canto XX, v. 94 of the ‘Paradise’, who when referring to the Gospels writes: “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence From warm love and from living hope, Which wins the divine will“; Dante recalls a great Christian Mystery expressed by the passage of Matthew, XI, 12: “The kingdom of heaven tolerates to be forced, and the violent conquer it“. “..The Law and the prophets have been until John; since that time the kingdom of God is evangelized, and everyone enters there by force” (Luke, XVI, 16). The Poet paraphrases the concept, saying that the ardent love of the Initiate, his living hope, wins the divine will; certainly not using a superior force as happens when man the prevails (overpowers) on the man, that would be absurd, because there is not and cannot be a man stronger than God, but he wins the will of God because it wants to be won. Other passages confirm this will of God: “To who that wins I will grant to sit with me on my throne” (Apocalypse III, 21). Observe the difference between the Initiates and the religious, but also the strict relationship between the mystical and the initiatic phase, as aspects of one and the same ascensional journey. If we return to the geometrical symbolism of the Cross, the horizontal realization is the presupposition of that vertical. The central point of the cross is the human state from which the direct communication with the superior states is possible, along the vertical axis. The Scriptures indicate the “terrestrial Paradise” as the stage of the way which leads beyond to the “Celestial Paradise“: the Celestial Jerusalem. The small Mysteries, from the traditional point of view, essentially involve knowing the nature, but the great Mysteries are the knowledge of what is beyond the nature. By knowledge, we mean that traditional, which is not the knowledge of the modern science, to be considered profane. In summarizing what we have written until now, the stages of the Initiation necessarily involve a variable hierarchy of grades which, according to ancient terminology, is epitomized in the small and great Mysteries and the Adeptate. That is, three stages of a complete initiation. One of the functions of the small Mysteries is to show to the miste the laws of the becoming, which guide and command the cosmology, and of giving back the primordial state. Preliminary steps, preparation to the great, a purely metaphysical conquest, the preparation of the small Mysteries is obviously made of rites of purification, of travels, of trials, of death, whose objective is to lead the ‘miste’ again to the alchemical prima materia, to the simplicity of the child, who then is able to receive the initiatic illumination. The disharmonic pre-formations must all be eliminated, so that the spiritual light can operate freely. It is, in the language of the Kabbalà, the dissolution of the rind, in the Hermetic jargon, this purification corresponds to the shedding of the metals; metals and rinds are psychic residues of the anterior states from which it is essential to free oneself completely. Without leaving from the Nature, the first trials allow the Initiate to escape from the domination of the senses. With the small Mysteries, the individual is liberated in his spirit from the time and from the multiplicity, but remains man in the Primordial state. The Primordial Man represents, for the initiatic work, the finality and the synthesis of the kingdoms of the nature. To the great Mysteries were, and always are, reserved precise spiritual purposes and the realization of the superior formless states, unconditioned or conditioned, up to the liberation from this world, and the union with the Principle of the whole manifestation: the Universal Man of the Islamic esoterics. In short, that which the traditions call by different names: supreme identity, beatific vision, light of glory. The pretension to communicate with the superior states is justified by the taking possession of an interior treasure which belongs virtually to every endowed individual. The revelation and the inspiration are corresponding  gifts which guarantee the existence of these superior states. The third state is of the Adept. It is confirmed, when the virtual state of union with the divinity has been made permanent. This permanence presupposes the Will of God, who wants the identity with the Universal Man, because he has sprang from his Eternal Love. Naturally, all this involves a qualitative jump in the very nature of the I, because the man, from human, must become superhuman, by a process of innermost transmutation.   (1) T. Palamidessi- THE WAY OF THE SYMBOLS AND THE SPIRITUAL TRANSMUTATION-  Booklet 14. Continue Reading


The distinction between ‘small Mysteries‘ and ‘great Mysteries‘ dates back to the Greek esotericism, but in reality it is always the same path followed by the man who wants to return to God, to be a part of his Kingdom. They are stages or grades of the same progressive Initiation. The small Mysteries are a preparation for those great, since the purpose of the ‘small’ is only a stage of the initiatic way. The small Mysteries are the preparation for the Mystery of the mystical death and of the resurrection. The genius of Moses, guided by the wisdom of the Egyptians, outlining the plan of the Genesis, has already given, in the myth of Adam and Eve, of the terrestrial Paradise and of the drama of the fall due to the famous fruit of the Tree of the Science of the Good and of the Evil, then with the intervention of the Cherubs armed with flaming swords in defense of the Tree of the Initiatic Life, we say has given the way to go to the ‘small’ and to the ‘great’ Mysteries. The small Mysteries synthesize all that which refers to the development, to the perfection of the human state considered in its integrality; traditionally, they designated the restoration of the ‘primordial state’. Generally, this is what the various esoteric schools aim at, and it is already a great conquest, but it would be a half-way journey. Much more was, and had to be, the state of Adam-Eve, archetype of the Humanity. If we read again the Mosaic passage of Genesis, II, 16:17, we would understand better what it means: “Jahve God commanded man: – Of all the trees of the garden you can eat (the fruit), but of the tree of the knowledge of the good and of the evil you must not eat, because on the day in which you eat, you must certainly die -“. The Archetypal Man, therefore, had to feed also on the fruit, on the juice of the Tree of the Life. Here is the fundamental theme of the ‘great Mysteries‘! Adam had to develop into a superhumanity, to be like God, to identify himself with Him by the will of God Himself, but he cut himself off from this possibility. If the minor (small) Mysteries are the restoration of the ‘primordial state’ (or Edenic), the ‘major (great) Mysteries’ can do much more because they relate to the realization of the superhuman states, taking the being from the point in which it has been left by the ‘small Mysteries’. The ‘great Mysteries‘ are the taking possession of the superior states of the being: knowledge of what is beyond the nature, pure immutable metaphysical knowledge, one in its essence, for its Archeosophical character; a taking possession of superhuman states and of the order of the pure spirituality, ably described by Clement of Alexandria in Stromata, V, 11, writing of the Initiation to the epoptate  (the state of who no longer reasons, but contemplates God in himself). “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing the good and the evil. And now let him not extend the hand and let him not take also of the tree of the life, so that he eat of it and live in eternity! ….. He drove out the man, and to the east of the garden of Eden, did place the Cherubs and the flame of the dazzling sword, to guard the way of the Tree of the Life.” (Genesis, III, 22 and 24). Only after the descent of the Messiah, the Son of God, the true Master, is the humankind permitted to feed itself again on all the fruits of the trees, including that of the life, but through the experience of the Ascesis, of the progressive Initiation, and of the stages called ‘minor mysteries’ and ‘major mysteries‘. Who can understand the Apocalypse of John, after having passed through the four Gospels, studied and lived, following a certain esoteric order, glimpses the ‘great Mysteries‘. […] The ‘great Mysteries‘ are concerned with the realization of the superhuman states, and to these Archeosophy wants to lead, taking the Disciple in his being, from where he has been brought and left by the ‘small Mysteries’, that is, at the center of the dominion of the human individuality. The ‘great Mysteries’ take the being beyond the dominion, to the final liberation, to the Supreme Identity, through the super-individual states, still conditioned, up to the unconditional state of the Supreme Initiation, conforming to what the Son of God has said: “….. I have given them (to the Initiates of the New Alliance) the glory you have given to me, so that they may be one, like we are one, I in them and you in me, so that they may be made perfect in unity, that the world may know that you sent me and you loved them, like you loved me” (John, 17: 22-23). All this is the same as to feed oneself with the fruit of the Tree of the Life. In the myth, this Tree is the personal Wisdom of God (Proverbs, 3: 18). (1) T. Palamidessi- THE WAY OF THE SYMBOLS AND THE SPIRITUAL TRANSMUTATION-  Booklet 14. Continue Reading


The program of universal salvation of the Christianity has some points of contact and affinity with the pagan Mysteries. This observation is possible if the several contents of the ancient mysteric religions are evaluated and compared with those of the Church. The Mysteries were born when the man(*) understood that his destiny is the death, with a state of crepuscular, nebulous and unhappy consciousness in a world of ghosts. Therefore, the effort of the philosophers and of the priests has always been that of discovering how to assure for themselves and for the others a conscious and happy life after the death: to discover the way to die self-conscious, awake and ready to be invested with the power of the Divinity. The ancient non-Christian Mysteries and the Christian Mysteries center around the most striking and ineluctable phenomenon, after the birth and the brief earthly sojourn: the death. To know the death and to defeat the death, escaping from the circuit of illusions of the terrifying world of the dead. In the East, at the same time as the dawning Church, many mysteric cults had come into existence, exactly to fight against the spiritual unconsciousness of the death and the awakening in a frightful, tormenting hereafter of demonic, ahrimanic persecution, numerous mysteric cults with rites that commemorated a mythical theme, and aimed to realize in the here and now, with the symbolism of the ritual, the subject they represented. In Egypt, for thousands of years there had been the Mysteries of Isis and Osiris; in Phrygia, the Mysteries of Cybele and Attis; in Persia, the Mysteries of Mithras; in Cappadocia, the Mysteries of Artemis; in Crete, the Mysteries of Zeus, and many others. The most evolved Mysteries were those of the Eleusinian. In all these, the common base was to obtain the immortality through the union with the God, to honor particular divinities, to share in their own divinity, to escape from the anguished experience of the intermediate state between the death and a new reincarnation (in this planet or in other worlds). To reach such a point, there were followed diverse ways and methods, notwithstanding the affinity of the principles. There had always to be an initiation, performed through a secret rite, preceded by a catechesis imparted by the hierophant or mystagogue, with fastings, abstinences, a sacred bath to renew, in a certain way, the birth. The Eleusinian misti bathed in the river Ilissos, near Athens; after, they attended the liturgical representation that concerned the birth of Dionysus from Persephone (Small Mysteries). With the Initiation, some men and women could escape from their own nature and conquer another, cease to be men to begin to be Gods. But in certain Sanctuaries, people went so far as to affirm with presumption that a bandit, if initiated, participated in immortality, whilst an Epaminondas, not initiated, would remain like any mortal. It was the undoubted merit of the Christianity, if certain titanic attitudes were unmasked. The Initiation, and the practices connected to it, have an effect on what in psychoanalysis is called, with different terms, the personal and collective unconscious, the dream, the complexes, etc. The human Initiation prepares for that which will arrive from God, but this arrives when the void is total. The bandit, the murderer, the sinner, cannot offer a void to be filled by the Intelligence and the Love of God. The exoteric Christianity and Archeosophy have everything to guarantee the good outcome of the Initiation, because they know how to remove and to sublimate, to transmute the world which is inside us and around us, centering the maximum of attention on the problem of the death and on the therapy related to it. (*) Please note: in the Italian usage “man” and “he” may intend both female and male. This usage has been maintained to stay as faithful to the original as possible. (Translator’s note) Continue Reading
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