R.J. Stewart and the Old Ones

In this essay from 2006, R.J. Stewart discusses some of his teachers in occultism, particulaly Ronald Heaver (that’s Mr. Heaver to you), also known by the pen name of “Zadok.” (Bill Gray also figures in the essay, hence the plural.)

Before recounting my meetings with Ronald Heaver, I would like to share some brief insights regarding the teaching methods and general consciousness of the older generation of mentors in Britain. I am referring to those who, like Ronald Heaver, had come through both the 1st and/or 2nd World Wars. Few of them are left now. Many people today do not understand how different their methods were from those familiar to us in the last 20 years of spiritual, pagan, and New Age revival. There is, as a result, romanticizing, even fantasizing, about some of the founders of our spiritual and magical revival, and especially that powerful branch that relates so strongly to Glastonbury and the Sacred Mysteries. . . . .

Some of the methods of that older wartime generation of spiritual mentors may seem strange to us, but were essential to them in their day. This background, both individual and cultural, is helpful to our understanding of Ronald Heaver’s life and work, as he was of that generation, though in many ways he rose above it, despite a most difficult and dramatic life.

Firstly, many of these older generation teachers, mentors, and mystics of the British inner tradition, be they known or unknown, would teach different, even contradictory things, to different students. Therefore, students learning individually from one teacher, would each receive variations or even contradictions of the core teachings. This method was widespread, and was not as frivolous as we might think. Another method, which was well known, though supposedly secret, was to give an initiation or a confirmation of spiritual power, then tell the recipient that only he or she had received it. Years later, the recipients (plural) would find others who had had the same experience! There are typically certainly key secret phrases and dramatic unique subtle sensations, so no one (but no one) can fake receiving such spiritual empowerments.

In other words, you didn’t download the “Glastonbury” app and have instant knowledge, apparently. (Grumble grumble.)

Interesting stuff, worth reading.

2 thoughts on “R.J. Stewart and the Old Ones

  1. Sage BrightHeart

    I enjoy reading R.J. Stewart’s essays. He did one in PanGaia or New Witch, a few years back, on Good vs. Evil that was provocative and thought provative.

  2. Pitch313

    Stewart’s bigger point may be that all of us learn–and have no option but to learn–from the teachers and teachings we encounter.

    Even misleading teachers and spurious teachings may lead us to true and accurate understandings.

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