What with tales of stone circles, visits to ancient sacred sites, references to arcane magical systems and the gods, you could be forgiven for thinking we are pagan. On the other hand, talks on esoteric Christianity, images of stained glass, and references to the Bible might give the impression we are religious. It is perhaps understandable that, as a School, we are a little hard to classify with a nice, neat, spiritual label as we are all these things… and none.
What are we then? The easy answer is to say that we are a school of consciousness… or a Mystery school… or that we teach esoteric psychology and magical techniques, but unless you are already au fait with these terms they say very little, are widely open to misinterpretation and might as well be written in a foreign language.
We come from widely different backgrounds and have followed traditional mystical and magical pathways seeking greater understanding of what most people would term the soul and its place within creation. As far as religious faith is concerned our personal views differ to some extent in the detail, but not at the heart…the One, by whatever name we choose to think of it, is at the centre of all we do.
Having said that, we do not require any student of the School to conform to any particular religion, sect or faith. The relationship with the divine is and must be a deeply personal one. There is no doctrine or dogma. We do not teach religion or faith but will draw upon many traditions to illustrate the journey.
We feel that the paths open to the seeker are varied and numerous… spokes on a wheel starting from different points at the rim of awareness and leading towards a single centre of illumination. Ours is not the only path. It is a path that, walked with dedication, will bring results. It will not suit everyone, though it is accessible to everyone and each brings their own unique perspective to the journey, making it individual. But it is not travelled in solitude. The course is supervised, which means that every student is accompanied on the journey by another… this is one of the reasons we call our students Companions.
What we teach within the School does not seek primarily to act upon that nebulous and greater reality that can only be taken on trust or touched through faith. Indeed, we ask Companions to believe nothing that they cannot experience for themselves on some level. The course is designed first and foremost to act within the confines of the world and open both it and each Companion to a wider vista of awareness and possibility, unlocking the inner strength of each of us. The course itself could be used purely for self-development. As with all things, it depends what we each bring to the table and what we seek. We do open the journey further… deeper… and explore those hidden realms that belong to the psyche… the soul… and the journey can open a way towards an inner light that changes the understanding of the very nature of being.
We teach in a variety of ways, basing each lesson upon a guided journey told as a story, with a ‘cast’ of characters…archetypes… that remain and unfold throughout the course. We use stories as they have a way of melding all the levels of learning by engaging the mind and the emotions. The story forms the central hub of the lessons, augmented by exercises designed to explore the way we think, the way we live, who we are and who we might become.
We have sought to open the Mysteries, releasing them from the accretion of academic speculation that has accumulated around them in many ancient systems, so that the jewel within can shine. The lessons are written in plain English. No previous knowledge is assumed or required. There are no ‘barbarous names of evocation’, no arcane languages to learn and no special equipment needed other than a cloth and a candle to use as a focus for daily meditation. Our events are open to all.
We do not waft around in robes looking spiritual. Robes are used at workshops when such things are useful as a symbol to mark the work done in a sacred space and with intent. They are as much a psychological device as a symbolic one and have the effect of allowing us to ‘change gear’, bringing together the threads of being to step outside of the norm for a little while. Nor do we have a hierarchical system where each degree is visibly marked. Knowledge can be shared in measured doses, understanding is a personal thing and comes when it is ready to flower. Grace given comes not from the School; initiation may be marked in ritual, but is the gift of a contract between the Companion, the higher levels of their own being and that which we look upon as divine.
Unlike many such organisations we make no money from the School, keeping costs as low as possible and operating on a not for profit basis. We live ordinary lives, serving the vision of the School and living the human joys and challenges that all of us face. It has been truly written that we are the first students of the School and we have seen our lives change, unfold and deepen in ways we could not have imagined. The world has become a richer, more beautiful place for us… vivid, alive and vibrant.
Spirituality is not a thing to do but to live. Our aim is to enable Companions to live ordinary lives in extraordinary fashion.