Long before Christianity came into being, the Ancient Mysteries were at the heart of every society, in all parts of the world, from the earliest of time through classical Greek times. Each Mystery selected candidates for initiation into the local Mystery. The candidates studied and trained at a Mystery Center. These Mystery Centers existed along side of and, usually, integrated with the local religion.
What happened when Christianity arrived? At first, the message of Christianity found resonance with the Ancient Mysteries. Those schooled in the Mysteries were among those first to join Christianity seeing the new religion as the fulfillment of what had been anticipated. The Christian Mysteries came into being through the disciples themselves because of their training with the resurrected Christ as well as through Saint Paul who also was initiated by the resurrected Christ. Hints of such special training exist in letters written during the first century of Christianity (see Secret Mark).
Then came the first split in the second century AD when so-called heretical Christian streams that hoped to carry forward the Mysteries were ex-communicated. Leaders of Christianity saw the coming of Christ as the beginning of something totally new such that all adherence to the old deters from the true Christian mission. Later, in the seventh century, Emperor Justinian so despised the Mysteries that he saw to it that they were utterly destroyed. Even St.Paul’s Christian Mystery Center, the School of Athens once run by Dionysius the Aeropagite, was closed. Thousands of temples throughout Christendom were torn down by jubliant Christians who no longer understood the Mysteries and saw them as the old way now replaced by the new, by Christianity. Orthodoxy and the Christian advancement of the Mysteries went separate ways. What was left of the Christian Mysteries became cloaked in secrecy. Again and again groups would arise with some outward expression of these early Christian Mysteries only to have this new embodiment ruthlessly exterminated.
What were these Mysteries before Christ? Did they help prepare for the coming of Christ and, once He came, to understand Him and His deed? What were the Christian Mysteries and how were they different from the Ancient Mysteries? Who developed them? What role have they played in history and society? What does a renewal of the Christian Mysteries mean?
This website contains written articles and lectures devoted to leading one to an inner answer to these questions.
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