The Zelator: A Modern Initiate Explores the Ancient Mysteries
From the dawn of history a small group of magi working within a specific magical tradition have believed they have been influencing the course of history, guiding mankind towards higher levels of conciousness. Theirs is a reincarnationist philosophy and they believe that, as initiates of the highest order, they return in local groups at key moments to conspire to change the course of events. Whether or not their beliefs are right, whether or not their magical practices work in the way they believe, this book seeks to prove that certain remarkable individuals, many of them famous in other areas - such as Leonardo da Vinci, Newton and Goethe, have undoubtedly held these beliefs.
The Zelator is a book that dropped in to my hands by accident. Bored, on a business trip to Toronto, I was browsing a low cost bookstore and came across the book. It sounded intriguing and so I bought it. This is the third time that I have subsequently read the book and, each time, I see more – I understand more. It is a veritable treasure trove of esoteric insights that have to be gleaned from the book – absorbed almost – from its pages. I suspect that much more is to be learned, considered and discovered in its pages.
The book is based on the diaries of an initiate – Mark Hedsel (most likely a pseudonym) – and edited along with an introduction and copies footnotes by David Ovason. The writing style seems a little dated and Hedsel uses ‘we’ as opposed to ‘I’ throughout which I assume to mean the combination of his higher self and his ego though I am still not quite sure. It is in place, tough to read as Hedsel often gets into streams of detail – some of which on the surface seems superfluous but which you eventually realise is absolutely relevant. Despite the heavy going, this book is an incredible read.
My overall reaction to the book to be honest is a cross between envy, nostalgia and a feeling of unworthiness. Why? Well, while Hedsel’s life overlaps my own his was quite a different era when the oral tradition was still very prevalent. He studies under several teachers the like of which I have never met and I think he was very fortunate to have done so. These days, it’s all internet and remote study for us solo students. Additionally, one suspects that he had the benefit of a classical education as opposed to what even in my day passed for a basic education; adequate but lacking the richness of the classics. Finally, there is a quiet authority about his words in which he hints and guides showing the way without necessarily providing the answers.
Hedsel’s book is about initiation and about a specific path of initiation – that of the Fool. In the book, he makes no mention nor does he allude to any particular practices save meditation, yet he talks of magic. Unaffiliated with any particular school as the Fool he moves from teacher to experience following his own questions to an answer and, as he does so, he experiences a number of initiation experiences – fission – in which he sloughs off dark matter on his way towards the light. He in a sense is an example of how it might be done as a solo practioner.
I will be honest and say I adore this book. I will read it many more times seeking greater insight and following its clues and pointers. It is among the very small group of books that I regularly consult and I can highly recommend it.