A spiritual tradition often involving Occult or metaphysical themes.

It finds its counterparts in the East, for example, Taoism in China, Zen in Japan or even Sufism in the Middle East.

Some of the tradition is derived from Judaic sources in this case the Qabalah (also Kabbalah & Cabala), although it would be an error to think this is pure Orthodox Judaism. Also involved are the Tarot, Astrology, Alchemy and Hermeticism.

Mystery Schools which have taught the tradition stem back into the distant past, but they always had for their motto "Know Thyself".

The A.:A.: is one such school and has a system of magical grades through which to document the progress of the aspirant.

An accreted historical syncretism of occultism, religion, magick, myth, scholarship, mysticism, and chutzpah.

What modern practitioners sometimes refer to as a unitary "tradition" is the result of centuries of mystics picking and choosing deities, symbols, rituals, and ideas from literally dozens of disparate cultures and traditions.

Thelema (the basis of A∴A∴, which Otto Omicron mentions) and its forerunner the Golden Dawn, for instance, incorporate aspects of:

... plus appropriate bits of Yoga, Taoism, and Zen as understood by 19th-century Englishmen. The chutzpah comes in when folks like Israel Regardie or Aleister Crowley construct tables of correspondence among the symbols of all the above systems, summarizing a few thousand years of several cultures' religions and mysticisms into one great surreal multiplication table.

(Even the less esoteric of today's occult groups -- the neopagans, for instance -- cheerfully fuse many historically separate traditions into a thoroughly modern syncretism. A chant to Kore (aka Persephone) is accompanied by Native American drumming and followed by an invocation to Freya or Brighid.)

There is, of course, nothing whatsoever wrong with practicing syncretism, and potentially a great deal right with it. The collection of memes from disparate sources greatly enhances each individual's ability to find useful or accurate memes. I suspect, though, that it is a historical error to claim that your (or your teacher's) particular favorites of the beliefs and practices of the human race's last few thousand years constitute a single unbroken tradition.

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