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The Songs of Initiation

   The 29th Psalm is the Song of the Seven Thunders. This Psalm was used by the early Church to commemorate the Feast of Pentecost. Thunder, a favorite simile of the Psalmist, represents the inner vibrational power which sustains the created universe. This vibrational power is no mere figure of speech; it is a statement of fact which every neophyte will one day experience both within himself and in the spiritual realms when free of the body, either as an Invisible Helper or as an Initiate, or, ultimately, after the death of the body if not before.

   The Hebrew word for thunder (voice of the Lord) is repeated seven times in this Psalm, and has reference to the seven body centers which are awakened to activity under the thunderous impact of the spiritual vibration.

   The 33rd Psalm represents particularly the ecstatic consciousness of the new-born. The mystics of India define Bliss Absolute as one of the three qualities of Pure Godhead, and it is this Bliss which finds expression in the Psalms, for Song is naturally the embodiment of supreme happiness. The magic letters JHVH are to be found in approximately every verse of this Psalm.

   Psalm 60 is the Song of the Lily Testimony or the Path of the Initiate. Psalm 56 is the Tune of the Swarm of Bees and typifies the way of Preparation for the Great Work. The sound of the vital body resembles the drone of bees. Again bees by their industriousness symbolize Virgo, and so, too, does the Lily, by its beauty and purity, symbolize this same glorious constellation. The women in the Temple of Diana of Ephesus were called bees, and Diana, like Isis, was associated with Virgo. We have seen what a large part the constellations Gemini and Virgo played in Israelitish history, and the importance of the Archangel of Mercury and of the Sun.

The Psalm of the Mystic Marriage

   Psalm 45 is the Song of Lovers or the Hymn of the Mystic Marriage. Among the Gnostics of the early Christian and pre-Christian centuries, the Mystic Marriage was the central mystery of the religious ritual. Its purpose was to marry the neophyte to his angelic counterpart who stood before the face of God, his representative in heaven, and whose beneficence overshadowed him all the days of his life.

   It is said that when Christ returns at his second coming, his garments will smell of myrrh. Myrrh was particularly a perfume used by women, and possesses a special healing potency. It is generally mingled with frankincense, as the two fragrances blend admirably; but myrrh has a peculiarly soft and healing fragrance, very different from the acrid smoke of frankincense, which has a resinous odor. It is true that the myrrh carries the vibration of the Master Jesus, and its combination with frankincense is cleansing to the atmosphere of the room in which it is burned.

   What is the gold of Ophir? Gold always means the Sun and the Christ Power associated therewith not only in symbolism but in fact. The Queen of Sheba is the type of Wisdom, and the King, associated traditionally with Solomon, who marries her, is the Initiate.

   This is the same Queen of the Ocean Light to whom Enoch refers in his Mysteries, and of whom be says that she bears every soul in her bosom to the Throne of God.

   To the feminine aspirant the psalmist speaks:

   The "daughter of Tyre" brings to mind King Hiram of Tyre, and the legendary daughters of Cain of whom also Enoch taught in his book of Mysteries. These are the daughters of the Prince of this World, who must "forget their own people" and "their father's house," renouncing the world with all its glories to become the servants of the Holy Spirit, bringing the gifts of their invention.

   "The King's daughter" stands in the place of the feminine neophyte; "the king" is the Angel Within, who stands ever before the throne of God as her representative. In the case of the masculine neophyte the "Daughter" or Bride represents the Angel Within, with whom he attains union through Initiation.

   The Mystic Marriage represents the culmination of the initiatory process; it is not achieved except in Initiation, and constitutes part of the initiatory process and ceremonies. This is the portion of the Christian Gospels which has been lost, or destroyed by evil forces; for the early Initiates understood that the work of the Christ culminated in His union with Sophia, divine Wisdom. This union could take place only after the Resurrection, for it is included in the work of the Ascension.

   Prior to the Mystic Marriage we have the whole experience of the life of Christ: the Birth under the Star through the Virgin Consciousness, the Childhood, the Baptism, Temptation in the Wilderness, Way of the Cross and the Crucifixion. It is in the Ascension that we experience the Mystic Marriage.

   The Birth under the Star is the Mystic Illumination, as in the lives of such Saints as Francis of Assisi. The Church accepts stigmatization as an end in itself, a favor conferred by God; but the esotericist knows that stigmatization is only a beginning of the real esoteric work, for in addition to the Stigmatic Star, we have the symbolism of the Rod that blossoms, and the Resurrection and Ascension. The Rod is the power of the spinal fire, and its rise is accompanied by the blossoming of the Roses or Lotuses. Psalm 77 embodies the rhythms which tend to accelerate the action of these Roses, or Centers within the aura. As a result of such activity, we become the "Little Ones," namely, Initiates: "I call to remembrance my song in the night; I commune with mine own heart, and my spirit made diligent search." It is then alone that we have the twelvefold power which is celebrated in Psalm 60:

   Then though the way be exceeding hard (Shechem) and the path rough (Succoth), Manasseh and Ephraim, the mental powers of Sagittarius, combined with the love of power of the heart (Judah) enable us to "do valiantly" as we sing: "Through God we shall do valiantly," whatever He gives us to do.

   Psalm 78 is devoted to the instruction of the "Little Ones". A secret key for those worthy to receive inner instruction is found in verses 5 and 6.

   Psalm 87 intones the powers of the inner work, "All my foundations (springs) are in thee": The processes of regeneration. The "mountains of the Sanctuary", or "holy mountains", have reference to awakened organs in the head of an illumined one.

   Psalm 89 is David's Covenant in which he describes the great power of the spoken word and the glory of the fully developed aura.

   Psalm 90 marks the way of the Few, the Elect, those who triumph over externals. This Psalm is used as a burial hymn in the Anglican church. Esoterically it refers to the Mystic Death.

   Psalm 31 is the song of complete consecration. It was quoted by Christ Jesus on the cross and by many Christians in martyrdom.

   Although this Psalm is generally understood to refer to the resurrection of the body after death, the esotericist understands that sleep also is meant, in which the flesh shall rest in hope, because through spiritual power the soul rises into the heavenly realms and the body is resuscitated during the night and made ready for another day. The powers of Initiation eventually bring incorruption to the body as we realize the truth of Life Eternal.

   The sevenfold purification, symbolized in the attributes ruled by the seven planets, the seven deadly sins, and so on, is chanted in the 12th Psalm:

   This purification is achieved on the Path of Initiation.

 — Corinne Heline

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Contemporary Mystic Christianity

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