Schuré - The Great Initiates – 05 Reconstruction of an Initiation ceremony
Type of Spiritual Experience
More references to the Tarot - the Wheel of Fortune.
A description of the experience
The Great Initiates – Edouard Schuré
But the trials were not over. When he finished speaking, the pastophor opened a door leading to another long, narrow corridor, at the end of which glowed a red-hot furnace. "Why that is death!" exclaimed the novice, looking at his guide fearfully. "My son," said the Pastophor "death frightens only weak minds. I once crossed this fire like a bed of roses." And the gate of the hall of secrets closed behind the postulant. Upon approaching the fiery furnace, he saw it reduced to an optical illusion created by a light interlacing of resinous wood placed over iron lattice work in quincunxes. A path through the middle allowed him to pass by quickly. The trial by water followed the trial by fire. The aspirant was forced to go through a stagnant black pool, lighted by naphtha flames that flashed up behind him in the room of fire. After this, two assistants led him, still trembling, into a dim grotto where a soft couch could be dimly seen, lighted by the mysterious flickering of a bronze lamp hanging from the vault.
He was dried, his body was bathed in exquisite essences, he was dressed in fine linen and was left alone after being told, "Rest and wait for the hierophant."
Weak with fatigue, the novice stretched himself upon the sumptuous bed. After his varied emotions this moment of calm seemed sweet. The sacred paintings he had seen, all those strange faces, the sphinx, the caryatids, again passed before his eyes. But why did one of the paintings keep coming back to him like an hallucination? Again and again he saw arcanum X represented by a wheel suspended on its axis between two columns.
On one side sits Hermanubis, genius of good, handsome as a young Ephebe; on the other, Typhon, genius of evil, falls head downward into the abyss. Between the two, on top of the wheel, sits a sphinx holding a sword in its paw.