“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” — Joseph Campbell
Eight years ago, I recorded a series of podcasts with my dear friend and brother, Jason Tournesol. The life of the Chasing Hermes Podcast was brief, but I considered every episode a treasure and a small contribution to the occult and esoteric community. The spirit of each podcast grew out of a passion nurtured over the decade spent as a member of a prominent Golden Dawn order. I always loved to teach. In those years, I expressed my true self the most when sharing with others what modest hermetic and esoteric knowledge I had learned. For years in this occult school, I taught in the open, and Chasing Hermes endeavored to bring the seeds of those esoteric lessons into an even more public forum.
Jason and I had plans for many more episodes, but our Higher Genii moved us in unexpected directions. Though I didn’t know it at the time, the end of Chasing Hermes would parallel the end of my outward participation in the Golden Dawn and the beginning of a new journey into the Greater Mysteries through initiation in the Heredom Group.
A desire for Illumination being my prime motivation, it was necessary for me to enter the cave, away from public participation, and throw myself completely into Hermetic initiation. Where my understanding from the Golden Dawn was principally intellectual and only moderately the product of compelling experience, I soon grew to have little interest in anything that couldn’t be repeatably demonstrated with concrete and accurate results. I continue to hold high regard for the Golden Dawn–a veritable portico unto the Greater Mysteries. But in retrospect, so much of what I taught contradicted an authentic understanding of reality. So much of what I taught was how to apply occult solutions to common-guy problems. So much of what I taught was anathema to the productive behavior of a genuine adept seeking Illumination and the accomplishment of the Great Work.
For the past seven years, I’ve been quietly guiding students with an advanced aptitude for Hermetic understanding in the system of initiation passed to me by Rubaphilos Salfluère. The system employed in the Heredom Group is potent. Extremely so. It is life altering. Extremely so. Consequently, even for the most advanced students, anything less than the absolute need for Illumination above all other earthly needs results in situations unsafe for the psychology of a wavering mind. Unfortunately, once signs of unproductive behavior emerge, the only responsible course of action for the initiator (or other guardians of the mysteries) is to ensure the eventual withdrawal of the student from the more extreme currents of initiation. However, even more unfortunate is the reality that there are few places to go for “nearly-ripe” individuals with a genuine yearning for Illumination and Spiritual Emancipation. And there are fewer still–if any–that teach the Hermetic Sciences without also encouraging beliefs and behaviors that undermine success in the Great Work.
It is for this reason that I’ve been moved by my Higher Genius to come out of my cave, as it were, and share with the broader public what I can to help fill this gap. I do not pretend to have all of the answers. Moreover, many of the answers I do have would be of little value for the wants of most occultists. Nevertheless, it is my hope that, even if in some small way, I might assist in the preparation of the sincere aspirant and provide a glimpse into the perspective of the Hermetically initiated.
I hope you gain some value from the posts and essays to come. Please feel free to join in any discussion or send me your questions, comments, or points of contention.