Mysteries. The word has manna. Depth. Intrigue. It smells of magic.

At the autumn equinox, as we begin the slow solar slide into the darkness of the year, I find my thoughts often turn to Mystery and The Mysteries, for as Dionysos (a Mystery God Himself) says in Euripides’ The Bakchai, “Darkness inspires awe.”

Today, when we speak of the mysteries of this or that, we usually are referring to something important, yet a bit vague, unknown, or ill understood: the mysteries of the origin of the universe, the mysteries of life, the mysteries of the human psyche.

Yet the Mysteries that have my attention right now are the ancient Mysteries of the Goddesses and Gods. And while it’s true that our understanding of these Mysteries is incomplete, somewhat vague, and much is indeed unknown, when the ancients themselves spoke of The Mysteries, they had something rather specific in mind.

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