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Book The Zelator: A Modern Initiate Explores the Ancient Mysteries by Mark Hedsel (2000-01-06)

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The Zelator: A Modern Initiate Explores the Ancient Mysteries by Mark Hedsel (2000-01-06)

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  • Weiser Books (1768)
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Review Text

  • By Yelena Shekhtman on August 10, 2013

    This book is told by the plural "we" narrator, where the initial dual authorship is joined by the editor/commentator to such a degree that the line between the author and the commentator is essentially blurred, indeed turning into one "triple" narrator. Remembering Tolstoy with the never ending personalities he kept discovering within his psyche (Socrates only one of them), this is a legitimate poetic license. The Zelator is an oasis in the desert for a thirsty soul, validating the often socially underplayed/neglected The Way of the Fool--in life one usually prefers playing the sad role of the literature's greatest fool, King Lyre, than putting on motley of the King's wise Fool.... No one willingly acknowledges being the Scarecrow begging the dubious Wizard for brains. Who wants to be the entombed Fool Fortunato from Poe's famous story?--obviously, the role of the brilliant (but self-fooled) mastermind Montresor is so diabolically alluring! The book emphasizes Western esotericism and outlines the contours of the yellow brick road leading to the shining gems of its Emerald City--hopefully, the real one where one doesn't need to put on the green glasses. Of course, the road is full of dangers, tests and obstacles. One needs a moral compass, courage and many good friends on this way. I felt grateful to the author(s), cautioning about different vibrational structures of the Eastern mystery schools and why to some of us this might be not the way. I wish I could ask Ovason a multitude of additional questions!

  • By David Black on February 9, 2017

    Exactly as described

  • By Lyndsay James on August 29, 2014

    I purchased this book for my fiance in New Zealand (it wasn't available there) and we'll be reading it together although I first read it a dozen years ago. Great work.

  • By TOPPER on November 25, 2011

    epic propotions, a journey, thru many landsof thought,I only wish he wrote more than one book..A MAGIC BOOK...IN THE ART OF LIFE..

  • By Truth Seeker on October 5, 2010

    There were parts of it that I loved, like his description of Florence in Chapter 7. It made me want to move there. There were parts of it that shocked me, like what happened to his wife and her lover. There was a lot of it that bored me because he spent so much time cataloging every occult historical site, every bas relief on every building, every inlay in every courtyard in Europe and America. I guess somebody has to do it. Also, he has the annoying habit of referring to himself in a way to make you think there are two people involved, but it was him referring to himself from the standpoint of another part of himself. I've never encountered this before. I had to ask a friend who had read this book what was going on.There is a lot of occult information scattered throughout the book if you can bring yourself to wade through it. If you are really into the occult and want to know all there is about a lot of things or have a need to know where every occult historical site is, and its meaning, I recommend this book. I am going to keep my copy in my library for reference because I feel there could come a time when I may need some of the information that is in it, but I can't bring myself to read every word of it all at one time.

  • By Guest on January 20, 2014

    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.


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