L'Ecclesia Ogdoadica est une branche de notre Tradition se consacrant à la culture et la transmission des aspects religieux provenant de l'ancienne spiritualité hermétique.
Pendant la Renaissance italienne, un philosophe byzantin du nom de Gemistus Pléton voyagea à Florence et initia certaines personnalités à la tradition hermétique. Lui-même était l'héritier des religions méditerranéennes antérieures au christianisme. Il écrivit un livre intitulé « Le Livre des Lois » dans lequel il donna des informations précises sur les rites, les traditions et les enseignements des Mystères antiques. Certains de ses écrits furent brûlés par l'Inquisition. Heureusement pour nous, il avait déjà transmis son autorité et ses connaissances aux chefs de la nouvelle Académie Platonicienne de Florence, elle-même placée sous la protection de Cosme de Médicis.
Cette transmission a sauvé la succession religieuse et spirituelle de Gemistus Pléton. L'Ecclesia Ogdoadica fut réorganisée au sein de l'Aurum Solis pour pratiquer et étudier cette tradition religieuse que l'on appelle aujourd'hui le paganisme. Bien sûr, le paganisme est un mot vaste. Dans notre cas, il s’agit de la religion pratiquée par les hermétistes, les théurgistes et les néo-platoniciens.
Les Prêtres et Prêtresses de l'Ecclesia Ogdoadica sont des initiés de l'Aurum Solis qui ont décidé de suivre ce chemin religieux. Ils accomplissent des cérémonies religieuses telles que les mariages, les bénédictions, la consécration d'une maison ou d'un autel de famille, la divination, etc., pour eux-mêmes, mais également pour le bénéfice de leurs frères et soeurs. Ils peuvent utiliser la puissance de ces cérémonies auprès de leur famille proche, même si la famille n'est pas initiée.
Principaux objectifs de l'Ecclesia Ogdoadica
Nous devons rappeler que cette branche n’est ouverte aux compagnons initiés qu’après quelques mois de travail dans le cursus de l’Ordre.
Parmi les objectifs, nous pouvons souligner les éléments principaux ci-dessous :
- Apporter un sentiment de révérence, de respect et d'adoration à nos relations avec les immortelles divinités et leurs mystères.
- Aider chaque pratiquant à développer une réelle tolérance vis-à-vis des autres êtres humains.
- Promouvoir et pratiquer les idéaux de la religion hermétique connue sous le nom "d’Ecclesia Ogdoadica" à travers ses rituels.
- Rechercher la richesse spirituelle et l'excellence humaine, en assimilant les valeurs enseignées dans les saintes Ecritures Hermétiques et en les pratiquant dans la vie quotidienne.
- Apprendre et étudier les Saintes Écritures Hermétiques qui sont : le Corpus Hermeticum (Corpus d'Hermès, qui contient ce texte lui-même, les Écrits d'Asclepius et certains des Fragments d'Écrits de Stobaeus) et les Oracles Chaldéens. Tous ces documents sont présentés dans la traduction validée par l'E.O. (Au fur et à mesure que les recherches archéologiques et scientifiques découvrent des textes plus anciens portant sur ce sujet, d'autres textes de la Tradition Hermétique peuvent être ajoutés au Corpus principal).
- Effectuer les services religieux et les cérémonies nécessaires (mariages, services de culte, bénédictions de la maison, etc.)
- Développer, encourager et enseigner le respect de tous les hommes et toutes les femmes indépendamment de l'origine ethnique, de la couleur, de la croyance, du statut social, de l'orientation sexuelle ou des capacités physiques.
FAQ about the E.O.
Did the Hermetic Religion of the Ecclesia Ogdoadica existed before Christianity?
Before Christianity, western religion was not organized with a central political government as it has been the case after for monotheistic religions. Every area, city had its own temples welcoming one or several of the immortal divinities. Everyone was able to worship the God or Goddess he wants when he wants. This religion had no specific names because it was not limited to a specific divinity.
During the 5th century, the emperor Justinian forbade these very ancient cults, killed or banished the Priests and Priestesses who didn’t accept the conversion and destroyed or stole the temples. Clandestinely and secret were the solution used to save this precious inheritance. Country people discreetly continued to perform their worships and it is why these beliefs were named paganism (from the word pagan meaning country man). Modern Wicca is also one of its manifestation.
On their side, the initiates to the schools of Mysteries, continued to be loyal to their divinities, performing secretly their rites and celebrations. Among us, the initiates belongings to the Hermetic Tradition included this ancient religious inheritance in the golden chain which be developed through the years to Pletho and to us. Today this part of the chain is named Ecclesia Ogdoadica and has been reorganized within "Mediterranean Yoga - Aurum Solis."
Who are these immortal divinities?
The initiates and religious belonging to the hermetic Egypto-Hellenic tradition always claimed the existence of a unique principle above everything. The whole cosmos exists and works according his laws.
However, as the tradition shows, several divinities exist. They were, are and will be in relation to the world of men and women. Closer to you, even among us, they escort you all along your life. They have often specific fields or abilities (health, fate, justice, etc.), so they can help you to understand and give directions to your life.
Consequently, everyone is able to choose the divinity which corresponds the best to him, to have more than one or even changing the divinity worshipped when this is needed. But this is a serious matter. So, it is possible to pray the Immortal Divinities, to make offerings and eventually develop a spiritual relation with them.
As a Mediterranean and western tradition, the hermetic tradition has always been in close relation to the immortal divinities coming from the great civilizations such as Rome, Greece, Egypt, and Sumer.
Is it a reconstruction of ancient rites?
No, because the chain of the religious and hermetic initiates has never been cut. Rituals and celebrations performed in secret since more than 1500 years as still practiced. However, this is not a Greek or an Egyptian religion per se. Such thing never existed.
The Ecclesia Ogdoadica performs the religious rituals as the initiates perpetuated them. They were sometimes adapted to the time, but the occult pattern which give their efficiency on the invisible plan was never lost.
Are Christian rituals the heirs of these earlier religions?
Originally Christian rituals were composed from two sources: Hebrew religion and information given by some initiates to the ancient Mysteries who betrayed their oath of secret. Parts of the ancient Mysteries and cults were used by the new growing religion of this time. Then, they were adapted and developed according very different religious concepts.
The rituals used by Ecclesia Ogdoadica rites are truthful in regard to this origin and lineage.
What are the rites and celebrations of Ecclesia Ogdoadica?
As in the past, the celebrations correspond to the important moments of the life as birth, wedding, daily life, etc. Other rituals give the opportunity to ask questions to a divine oracle, ask for blessings and purification of the house, etc.
All the rituals are performed by a Priest or a Priestess who received the power and the spiritual authority to do so and under the aegis of the Immortal Divinities.
Is the Priesthood limited to men?
No; Remember that they are Gods and Goddesses and that men and women can learn and practice "Mediterranean Yoga - Aurum Solis" either as a student or a teacher. Consequently, they can become Priestesses or Priests. However, it is essential to point out that Priestesses are not feminine copies of a male clergy. Differently than most of the major religions, the Hermetic Religion is not patriarchal.
Is Ecclesia Ogdoadica a new Gnostic Church?
As you can read in the writings of the ancient hermetic initiates, their religious tradition which perpetuated the cults to the Immortal Divinities was not what has been called later “gnosticism”. All the contemporary churches called today “Gnostic” are coming from an European creation at the beginning of the 19th century. Looking to be rooted in a more ancient history, these Gnostic Churches obtained the apostolic succession of the Roman Catholic Church. This is why we can see the priests dressed like Christian religious.
To know what ancient Gnosticism is, can be a very difficult matter. Studies from scholars can give you a correct idea of it. In antiquity gnostic groups were many. Some of them were linked to the new monotheistic religion of this time while others were used by Pagans to practice their cult under symbolic veils.
The gnostic groups close to the religious Christian power believed that the soul was jailed in the physical body. To be free and ascent to the divine, everyone was supposed to banish body, world and nature.
On the contrary, an optimistic gnosis was developed by other gnostic groups. In this case the vision of the world and body was very different. The Byzantine philosopher Pletho brought to the Renaissance this hermetic vision. The Ecclesia Ogdoadica continues this lineage common to its founding fathers. The soul descends in the body to develop a strong new experience. The body, world and nature are not obstacles but are wonderful opportunities to have experiences and develop our abilities. They are sometimes the origin of pain when you are unbalanced but can be also the origin of pleaser and joy. The search for beauty, the balance inwardly and outwardly are ways which help you to progress close to the divine, origin of the soul. Then the rejection of what you are, or the original sin are not a solution to understand the precious experience you are living. On the contrary the solution to be closer to the divine is to manifest physically and spiritually the higher qualities you have.