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  An Article From:

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Summer 2000, Vol. 75, Number 3

“And now abideth...”

A Profile of Reverend Doctor Russ Durocher
Gnostic Priest, Teacher, Hermetic Astrologer
Introduction by Wm. H. Jeffrey

Some people do not feel awkward talking about themselves. If we encounter such a person, we may find they are not really talking about themselves, but about their work. They are sharing what they love. If, during such an encounter with such a person, we listen carefully, we may learn how a person sounds when they have found their cosmic work, and perhaps that person’s fire may ignite our desire to find our work. As a further treat, we will have the opportunity to learn how another sincere and dedicated human being sees and lives life.

When I asked “Dr. Russ” for information about himself for this profile, he offered not a list of credits, but a teaching which exemplifies what he is. To the extent that one comprehends what he has written, that is the extent one will see the author. Because of what Dr. Russ wrote, I felt it appropriate to present it to the reader as he did to me.

One comment that may help gain even more from this profile is that there are several functions of high ritual magic: The first is to provide a framework and discipline for one’s spiritual practice. The second is to produce results—to bring into manifestation what one desires. The third is to provide a common symbolic language that the conscious and unconscious minds can share and use to communicate. The fourth is to generally raise the vibratory frequency of the soul/subconscious by intentionally and regularly exposing it to high ideas and high ideals. The fifth is to bypass the censor function of the conscious mind, thus allowing ideas to be communicated undistorted between the conscious and unconscious minds. The sixth is to facilitate communication between the conscious and unconscious minds even when one is not engaged in the ritual. The seventh is to provide a common spiritual practice that can be the basis for a community’s work. The eighth, which is not obvious to a casual observer, is that rituals such as Dr. Russ uses, present over time a complete initiatic path which becomes impressed deeply on the soul/subconsciousness of participants.

From this point in the profile, except for the last paragraph, Dr. Russ speaks for himself (his work).

“I joined the Church of Light in 1981 after much independent occult and astrological study. After the initial neophyte level of involvement (conventions, correspondence with other members, etc.), it was clear to me that my proper role was (and is) a “low-profile” one—consisting of prospering the CofL with financial gifts and quietly bringing people drawn to my work into contact with Hermetic ideas. “My background is clergy-training in the Anglo-Catholic (High Episcopal) Tradition. After proceeding even further with study (CofL and other schools) I chose to leave the mainstream church to pursue an independent priesthood/ministry in the Gnostic/High Ceremonial Magic Tradition, coupled with a very active teaching ministry emphatically oriented toward the life-changing value of the Hermetic System of Astrology (interestingly, back in 1982 at the East Coast CofL convention in Albany, Allan Curthoys, while looking at my chart, told me that my work would be ceremonial magic; of course, it already had been during my time in the mainstream church).

“A particular specialty of focus is assisting students in the use of Jupiter energies to understand and successfully demonstrate true and lasting prosperity, not only in 2nd House affairs, but in all departments of life — in other words, Spiritual, Mental, Personal and Cosmic Alchemy. “Obviously, Course XVIII: “Imponderable Forces” is also quite important in my work, especially Serials 185 and 187; along with the Angelic references in Courses II, III, IV, VII, XVIII, XIX, and particularly XX, as well as Burgoyne’s writings.

“It’s my personal feeling that one of the things really lacking in so much of today’s metaphysical/occult work is authentic, enriching, well-understood and well-performed ritual. I have found repeatedly that affirmations and other mental alchemy techniques work so much more profoundly and fully when coupled with the illustrative drama of sense-involving ceremonial — and there is no more highly evolved and refined expression of this high ceremonial/magical approach than the stately and intricate rituals of the historic Christian Church (now largely abandoned in the unconscious attempt of “churchianity” to catch up to the Age of Aquarius). I hasten to add that this expression and intent can only be apparent when the mind is freed from the narrowness of orthodox dogma and blind belief, so that the traditional ritual is released from these shackles (and domination by the dogmatic members on the inner plane who still hold to the narrow beliefs) and able to soar and express the high vibratory levels of Gnostic/Hermetic understanding (in this, I am in concurrence with Zain’s ideas expressed in Course XVIII). However, I venture much further than Zain, in that I believe these Ceremonial Rites must be rediscovered and experienced as the Soul-Initiation Mystery Dramas they were designed to be, rather than as an expression of the decaying dogmas of “western priestcraft” holding blind believers in bondage to maintaining their clergy’s “special privilege.

“From this Soul-Initiation standpoint, Jesus of Nazareth is transformed from the vicariously atoning “Savior of the World” into the Hero of the Initiatic Alchemical Mystery Drama — the example of the high dominant vibratory rate toward which all on the Path of Unfoldment are striving. In other words, the Christ (Divine) Consciousness, expressed through the Nazarene is representative of the potential for us all. Jesus becomes the representation of each of us in our personal alchemical journey.

“The Angels, and the Archangels in particular, become quite significant as well. They represent the various aspects of transmutation necessary in our personal consciousness for this process of personal alchemicalization. The Archangels of the Four Seasonal Quadrants play the major roles: Michael, the Archangel of Fire and Ruler of the Autumn Quarter, who offers us the Sword of Truth (a bit of “C.C. Zain” i.e. “A Sword of Light”); Raphael, the Archangel of Air and Ruler of the Winter Quarter, who offers us the power of healing; Gabriel, the Archangel of Water and Ruler of the Spring Quarter (Easter, Resurrection), who offers us the means of discovering our own strength to fulfill our life’s mission (cosmic work); and Uriel, the Archangel of Earth, Ruler of the Summer Quarter, who guides us to the full appreciation of the love and beauty of Creation (expressed in the Ritual Mystery Drama in symbolic form, as well as in Nature Herself).

“The Gnostic “Christian” understanding (as opposed to the orthodoxy established for political purposes by the Roman Emperor Constantine, and destined to become the prevailing form) always maintained total agreement with Hermetic ideas and understood the Nazarene as the symbol of the Master Initiator/Hierophant/Teacher, contact with whom can only be established on the inner planes through elevation of the personal vibratory rate. Jesus himself said, “It is the Father within me, not I, who doeth the works.” And — “The works I do, you will do also, and greater works than these will you do.” Properly understood, these statements, cloaked in Piscean Age poetry and symbology, are speaking across oceans of time to the entire human race as it enters the Aquarian Age. The early Gnostics always understood the Nazarene’s message to be one of personal initiation into higher consciousness, and their suppressed scriptures (lost for 1700 years and rediscovered in Nag Hammadi, Egypt in the 1940s) substantiate this to an extraordinary degree.

“Therefore, the Eucharist (from the Greek: “thanksgiving”) is celebrated here in the High Ceremonial style: in colored vestments (derived from planetary vibrations), with processions, chants, incense, candles, icons (which are really a form of Tarot Arcana), bells, genuflections, elevations, consecrated bread and wine, etc., but free of dogma and within the context of the Gnostic, Hermetic awareness and understanding. Each Service concludes with the invocation of the Archangels for healing and upliftment of consciousness. Participants are taught that they are enacting their own personal alchemical drama, offering their personal subconsciousness a vivid symbolic “treatment” of great and profound impact and pronounced benefit in their personal unfoldment and successful demonstration of greater happiness, usefulness and spirituality.

“All of this is perhaps more “Order of the Golden Dawn” in approach and tone, than strictly Brotherhood of Light, but certainly free of the sojourns into the “gray areas” which were so attractive to certain members of that peculiar organization.

“Finally, in addition to all of this activity, I maintain a world-wide counseling/consulting service, helping clients with Hermetic Horoscope Readings and related tools. Much of my Horoscope Reading is done on audio cassette tapes and mailed out to clients in many places. I also do quite a bit of telephone counseling. (Here the specialty often is business, financial, career, prosperity-related.)”

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal....And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” King James Bible, 1 Corinthians 13.

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