Personalized Training in Meditation, Ritual and Tarot

The Hermetic Rose Correspondence Course in the Western Mysteries introduces students to the fundamentals of the Western Mystery Tradition through the tarot. The tarot’s major arcana cards form the basis of a valid initiatory path when the potent symbolism of the cards are skillfully used as doorways into the deep interior of the self and the collective imaginal world. Pursued in earnest this course is a spiritual pilgrimage through the inner worlds of the Western Mysteries.

What You Can Expect to Receive from this Course

The rewards of this course are knowledge, skill, spiritual nourishment and personal growth. More specifically with sincere and consistent effort you can expect to:

  1. Learn how to use western active and passive meditation techniques. Meditation may help  you experience inner peace, feel a closer connection to Deity, and access the personal and collective creative unconscious (inner planes).
  2. Gain experience with ritual practices of the Western Mystery Tradition. Ritual is symbolic action done with intent. Within the Western Mysteries ritual is used to focus mind, imagination and desire towards experiencing the numinous and the divine, and participate in acts of creation, healing, communication, adoration and celebration.
  3. Develop a personalized integrated spiritual practice that may include both forms of meditation as well as ritual depending on personal focus. At the end of the course you will have a well established practice to build upon.
  4. Become knowledgeable about the symbolism and the meanings of the major arcana cards, as well as the major traditions that are encompassed by the Western Mysteries so that you have a deeper understanding of the tradition to which you have been drawn.
  5. Learn how to use the tarot for divination and have at your disposal 22 unique spreads for specific purposes each of which can be starting point to further exploration through meditation and ritual.
  6. Create an indispensable correspondence journal containing associations, meanings and personal insights you have gleaned from the cards through monthly readings. At the end of the course you will have an indispensable resource for understanding future readings and for understanding your personal symbolic language.

Most importantly by the end of the course you will have an evolving map of your innerworlds that you can plumb to seek wisdom and support in your continued search for self-knowledge and the expansion of consciousness through the integration of the inner and the outer, the dark and the light. Through all of this, you will be working the tradition that is the Tarot.

How the Course Is Structured

The Hermetic Rose Correspondence Course in the Western Mysteries is a two-year course comprised of 26 lessons (3 Provision lessons, 22 Journey lessons, 1 completion lesson). It is recommended that students start each lesson on the new moon. At a minimum students should expect to spend 15-30 minutes a day on the required practices that are given at the end of each lesson. Students send a short report upon completion of each lesson to their mentor who responds with comments, and answers to any questions.

Provision Lessons

The three Provision lessons are as their name implies lessons that give you provisions for the journey to come. They are an introduction to the tarot and the Western Mysteries and equip you with knowledge, maps and tools. You will begin using your deck right from the start.

Provision 1: Tarot Basics. This lesson introduces the tarot covering its structure, its history and how it has become a repository of the esoteric wisdom of the West. The practices for this lesson aim to familiarize you with your deck and your correspondence journal.

Provision 2: The Western Mysteries. This lesson describes the Western Mystery Tradition, its history and how this “alternative spiritual tradition” has continued to flourish. This lesson also examines how the tarot fits into the Western Mysteries as a valid initiatory path and tradition in its own right. Practices continue to focus on familiarizing you with your deck.

Provision 3: Symbol, Pattern and Myth. The previous two lessons provided the maps that you will need for the journey ahead—maps of the tarot and the Western Mysteries. This lesson gives you a better understanding on how to use symbol, pattern and myth as navigation tools. The major arcana cards are dealt with in some detail explaining number and mythic patterns found in these twenty-two cards. This lesson also teaches you the basis for correspondences and how to use the “Symbol Wheel” to discover deeper meanings within each of the major arcana cards, and in fact all of the cards.

Journey Lessons

The twenty-two Journey lessons are the core of this course. Each lesson comprises a 20-30 page knowledge paper covering one major arcana card beginning with the 0-Fool and ending with the XXI-World.

This course emphasizes the importance of each card’s “primary symbol group”, the core collection of symbols that have gathered around each card since the tarot’s inception. By considering the early tarot decks we can retrieve the original message which in many instances profoundly deepens the modern understanding of the card. Through study and engagement of each card’s primary symbol group the Western Mysteries are revealed.

Kabbalistic and astrological associations are considered part of the “extended symbol group”, complementary associations from other traditions and are also touched upon.

Each monthly lesson also includes instructions for the month’s meditation and ritual practices, and a tarot reading (layout and instructions) designed around the mysteries of the lesson’s tarot key.

Concluding Lesson

Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, outlined three main stages of the mythic quest: departure, initiation and return. In the final stage, he or she who has returned from the quest gives back to the community by teaching what he or she has learned. Following in this vane, in the second half of this course students begin a specialized study. In the end students may be invited to share their project with the Hermetic Rose community. In order to keep a tradition vital, there must be those that actively contribute pushing at the edges and weaving the tapestry that is the Tradition. The final lesson is devoted to this important task.

Practices: Meditation, Ritual and Divination

As you carry out the practices for each lesson, you gain a living experience of the Western Mysteries. The practices ground the philosophic content of the lesson and give you concrete ways of applying the information in your life. As you interact and play with the ideas and symbols surrounding each tarot key, you activate the living archetype behind the painted symbol, often initiating personal change. In this way you begin to know the card and its mysteries from the inside out, rather than merely know about it.

The practices fall into three basic categories: meditation, ritual and divination.

Meditation

Beginning with the Journey Lessons you will begin using two types of meditation techniques: via positiva and via negativa. Via positiva is a technique often described as “active meditation”. This form of meditation approaches the inner worlds through the creative imagination. You will also become familiar with a “passive” meditation practice grounded in stillness and surrender, via negativa, and you will develop a routine incorporating both forms of meditation. If you already have a meditation practice, you can consult with your mentor regarding how to integrate these other practices.

Ritual

Also, beginning with the Journey lessons you will be given instructions around ritual practice. Basic magical skills such as creating sacred space, use of ritual tools and more will be taught. If you already have a grounding in ritual but still feel this course can benefit you, you may work with your mentor to modify the monthly practices so that they will challenge you appropriately and meet the needs of your further training.

Divination and the Readings

In this course divination is approached as in ancient times, not as a simple foretelling of the past, present or future, but as a means of receiving guidance and teaching from the Gods, your Higher Self, etc. The monthly readings are designed to personalize the teachings as they apply to you and your life.

Part of the course work involves creating a correspondence journal. You will record in your journal each time a card appears in a reading noting associations, meanings and insights you are drawing from the card’s appearance.

As your correspondence journal grows with personal insights from the monthly divination, it will quickly become a valuable personal resource in furthering your understanding of the symbolic vocabulary of the tarot as it relates to your life—better than any book that offers generic meanings.

The Mentoring Relationship

Upon acceptance to the course, you will be matched with a mentor. The mentoring relationship is an age old partnership between one who has more knowledge, experience and skill (in this case of the Course) and one who has less but who shows promise and desire. The role of the mentor is to teach, be supportive and offer appropriate challenges along the way. Effort is made to match students with an appropriate mentor.

Currently, the Director of Studies, Kate Warwick-Smith mentors all students. Only a limited number of student spaces are available.

Sending Reports to Your Mentor

Each month you will send a report to your mentor. What is to be included in your report varies from lesson to lesson, but in general each month you will send a summary of your meditation work and magical workings and the results of your divination together with a short paragraph on what you took away from the reading.

Feedback

Mentors respond to your reports with supportive feedback. Mentors do not offer interpretations of your readings, but may respond to specific questions and offer suggestions for further personal exploration if it seems appropriate.

Progress

It is a given that progress cannot be measured in any quantitative way. In fact progress may very well be a misnomer with regard to spiritual work. Every person’s journey is different. However, continued participation with the course work and regular communication with one’s mentor is expected. If no word is heard after two months from a student, a mentor will attempt to make contact. If there is no response then the student will be dropped from the course.

Ultimately it is the inner fire of enthusiasm for the Work that fuels your progress. You must be the one to put your foot to the path to begin. If you engage in the world of the tarot you can expect to have movement in your inner and outer worlds.

What Is Expected of the Student

  • Commitment to increasing self-knowledge
  • Effort, discipline and consistency in pursuing the practices
  • An open and inquiring mind

Prerequisites

None.

What This Course Is Not

This course does not teach you how to divine the future with tarot cards nor train you to be a professional tarot reader; although divination is part of the course it is not the focus. This course does not promise to teach you to become psychic, although your psychic abilities may become more finely tuned. This is not a course on the Kabbalah although some basic terms and concepts are covered.

Books and Materials

  • You will need a Rider-Waite tarot deck. (You may wish to use a deck other than the Rider-Waite. This is fine, but it will work best if you use it side by side the Rider-Waite deck.)
  • You will also need a notebook or binder to serve as your Correspondence Journal. The Correspondence Journal is covered in Provision Lesson 1.
  • There are no required books. However, there will be recommended reading lists available to you.

Cost

Lessons come in packages of three. Each package costs US$105.

As a student you will have access to the Hermetic Rose Student Portal where additional resources and material for download can be found, and where you can join the student forum.

Enrolling

If you are ready to enroll in the course, follow these three easy steps:

1) Fill out the short form below, then click “Student Application” and you will receive an application immediately by email.

2) Fill out the application and return it to kate@hermeticrose.com or to the mailing address provided on the application. You will receive confirmation that your application has been received. Once reviewed you will be notified within a week as to whether you have been accepted into the course.

3) Once accepted you will be sent a link for purchasing the first three lessons via PayPal or credit card with instructions on how to contact your mentor. (If you prefer to send a check, a mailing address is also provided.)
Once payment is confirmed you will receive instructions for accessing the Students Only area of the Hermetic Rose website. Approximately three days before the New Moon you will be sent an email with a link to your first lesson.