Mystery Schools of the Western Mystery Tradition

The following is a guest post by author, teacher and founder of the Euypsychia Institute.

By Jacquelyn Small

“Robbed of its mystical tradition, an outer system  is like a rose without its perfume.”                                                                                                               – Esoteric Historian Caitlin Matthews

During times of rapid change and radical uncertainty, such as we are experiencing today, an inner process activates to link us back to the wisdom of our ancestors and open the way to the gods. Throughout history, the esoteric Mystery Schools are the preservers of this sacred inner wisdom, transmitted afresh for every Age.  The Ancient Wisdom teaches us the sacred meaning and purpose of our spiritual/human lives, and how to read the symbolic realities, which reside closer to our Source than our ordinary intellectual understanding does.  Our intuition knows this deeper work quite well, though our intellects often don’t have a clue!  So we just need to be reminded. 

A sacred Mystery is not just a lofty idea; it is a spiritual event – like a death and rebirth experience – which creates a shift in our psyches and moves us to a new place in consciousness. The ancient Mystery Schools are the timeless reliable “technicians of human consciousness” that restore the balance between our outer and inner realities anytime we start to run off-track. Mystery Schools are here for “old souls” who come together to help manifest a certain aspect of the evolutionary process for the sake of the world.  They are the inner side of “tribes” who come together to live in a different dimension of higher consciousness than we rarely experience in our ordinary daily lives.  And this Ageless Wisdom cannot really be taught; it can only be caught — gleaned from the crucible of each one’s own committed desire to become “a seeker on the Path,” and to remember who we truly are – spiritual beings living in an oh-so-human world. 

This time-honored esoteric wisdom is the ground floor of all the true religions and philosophies that have impacted our world. Its sacred knowledge holds steady a unitive consciousness that honors all spiritual paths and supports the inviolable laws of the universe.  Yet, our brave ancestors who were the guardians of the Ancient Wisdom often had to remain hidden as a matter of life and death, because the Ageless Wisdom teachings were forbidden by the early Fathers of the Orthodox Church.  This timeless wisdom of the subjective and higher worlds shows us how to access God directly without any outer religious authority’s indispensable demand for a priest or a holy mediator.  You can see why this was a threat to the Church authorities. 

When honored and followed as truth, these teachings imbue our lives with magic, enhanced creativity, and a sense of sacred purpose to our human lives.  And today, this spiritual path of Self-realization — known as ‘the Path’, or ‘the Way’ — is open to all who seek knowledge of this esoteric inner work, regardless of creed or religion.The metaphysical Sacred Arts of the Western Mystery Tradition are the “tools of the trade” for this deeper way of knowing ourselves and our world.  These sacred technologies include high magic, numerology, Tarot, sacred geometry, esoteric astrology, shamanistic soul retrieval, Native and Celtic rites of passage, alchemy, esoteric psychology and healing, Gnosticism or Mystical Christianity, the Mystery of the Holy Grail, Ancient Greek Pageantry, Mythical Symbology, Goddess Invocations, and Pathwork of the Jewish Kabbalah’s eternal Tree of Life.  There are more, I’m sure, but these are the ones I am familiar with. 

I am a teacher of Tarot, numerology, and esoteric psychology, trained by advanced Initiates in the Hermetic Orders of the Golden Dawn, the Builders of the Adytum, and the Theosophical teachings of the Master Djwhal Khul through the writings of Alice Ann Bailey. Eupsychia’s work is part of the Group of World Servers with a specific purpose of helping heal humanity’s emotional body that has been damaged by the conditions we’ve all undergone while living here on Earth.  Our work helps us heal and awaken to our whole nature, which is both human and divine.  I have been guided in doing this Eupsychia work for over 35 years. Musical breathwork is one of the most efficient and simple methods for entering into this blessed inner work. The word “Eupsychia” means “psyche’s well-being” in Greek.   

In the 4-day Eupsychia Mystery School, I teach you to read the Tarot cards and to understand their higher symbolic meanings, which gives you the wisdom of the 7 powers we have as God-made human beings; knowledge of the 7 law of the universe that guide our awakening process while here on Earth; and carries us through the first Initiations we undergo as seekers on the Path of Return to our Source. You will also learn to read the symbolic realities of number, the 12 astrological houses, and geometric design. You will leave this program able to do Tarot readings for yourself and others, based in the deepest understanding of who we are, and what our current task or issue is for our unfolding personal selves. The lineage of the Western Mystery Tradition can be traced back to Atlantis, Eden, ancient Sumeria, and the paradisal arctic Hyperboreans.  Some of the following may serve as a reminder of your soul’s own former training and ancestry:

.  the Greek Eleusinain and Orphic schools who utilized pageantry and ecstatic non-ordinary states to access the mystery of death/rebirth, art, and beauty; 

.  the Egyptian Hermeticists or Initiates of Isis and Osiris with their specific techniques for translating wisdom from the higher worlds into ordinary life, often through the arts; 

.  the Persian Zoroastrians known for battling the tension of the opposites of good and evil, or the higher and lower worlds; 

.  the Celtic Orders who sought the Mystery of Middle Earth and the Mystery of the Grail; 

.  the Knights of the Templar who were sacrificed by the Romans for their belief in spiritual knowledge transmitted directly; 

.  the Gnostic Christians and Essenes who underwent the Christian initiations and knew the real Jesus and Mary Magdalene and the true mission of The Christ who teaches us to ‘Know Thyself’; 

.  the Jewish mystics, begetters of the sacred Kabbalah and its eternal Tree of Life that teaches us the Divine Plan, “As above, so below”;

.  the Alchemists who created the philosopher’s stone, or the center of the Self, by ‘turning lead into gold’ through a purifying process of turning one’s shadow nature into light;

.  the Goddess Traditions of Greece and  Rome, that teach us the inner qualities and rites of passage of the unfolding feminine principle essential to balance masculine power and authority; A re-emergence of this great metaphysical Tradition is occurring now for today’s troubled world.  So you may be feeling the Call to re-unite with your own inner terrestrial/celestial lineage, pre-coded in your DNA. All this knowledge and wisdom already resides within you, only to be accessed by psycho-spiritual processes and the symbolic Sacred Arts that can reach deeply enough into your unconscious mind to access your very essence.

If this work is something that moves you, please consider joining us in our Mystery School work.

Warmest love, 




What You Need To Know About Integrative Breathwork and Why You Need to Do It

By Jacquelyn Small,

Founding Director of Eupsychia Institute

Breathwork is an ancient spiritual practice in both Eastern and Western traditions, widely known for its healing and transformative abilities.

This process of deep inner work raises our consciousness beyond society’s mass consciousness, or any programming we may have received.  It is an evocative experiential method that reveals to us our own rich subjective life where our honest truth resides.  We can become more conscious of what ails us, and gain access to the beauty and wisdom of our core Self. We’ve found that this process will take you into whatever dimension of consciousness you need to visit in order to broaden or heal.  This process can enhance any method of therapy people are utilizing and offers an experiential sense of anyone’s form of religion.

This journey inward can heal our self-defeating lifestyles by helping us make them conscious and releasing any pent-up energy collected around our unhealed issues. It has the power to heal our personal past, including early childhood trauma inflicted on us before we had language to process it.  This is because this method accesses and releases “cellular memory” where any suffering that still exists in body/mind may still reside.

Breathwork can also carry us into the expansive collective mind of humanity where universal spiritual awareness can be made known, bringing us a sense of our larger story as a human soul traveling through space-time.  When we can experience that we are “bigger than we look like,” and realize we are here for a divine purpose, a spontaneous healing can occur.  This is the beginning of a stronger spiritual life.

Through the use of music, deep breathing, and symbolic artwork, the deeper strata of the unconscious mind can open and pour out its creative gifts.  The two-hour musical journey (a carefully designed variety of evocative instrumental music and chanting) serves as a projection screen. It provides a way for participants to free associate so that they can recall whatever it is they need to make conscious and clear.  The merging of psychological health and our inner spirituality is the key to living beyond soul loss, emotional pain and addiction.

Eupsychia’s philosophy is that healing ourselves and helping others is all one process. Direct contact with the God-within, acceptance and forgiveness, self-empowerment, and finding one’s soul purpose and true life’s work are the focus of this work.

You will feel so good in this caring community that is created by sharing in this powerful inner healing and awakening.  You’ll be in a group of soul brothers and sisters you will feel you’ve always known.  Our world is starved for this kind of meaningful relating today.  So join us if you can!




The Great Inner Hoax: Are Those Stories We tell Ourselves Really True?

By Leslie Rouder, LCSW, Cht.

Today, while out walking, I came upon a beautiful white feather that reminded me of when I was a 4 year old child playing at the beach with my mother.  I remember picking up a beautiful feather on that day that happened to be lying in the sand.  I was delighted in my discovery of my treasure and anxious to bring it back to her. She was waiting on a nearby blanket with my lunch.   But to my shock and amazement, when I brought her my wonderful discovery, she became angry at seeing me carry a “filthy” feather from the sand.  She took the feather, threw it down into the sand, and told me to go wash my hands so that she could give me lunch.  I could not understand why she did not find this object of beauty as fascinating as I did.  Off I went to the ocean to wash my hands only to notice another, even more beautiful feather in the sand.  So, without being able to resist, I took this even more beautiful feather back to my mother, who (in her frustration) once again became angry, threw it into the sand and slapped my face telling me to go wash my hands again.


It’s not so much the events of our lives that shape us, as much as the meaning of those events as we remember them, while creating those self-limiting stories in our minds that we carry with us over the years.  The story that I made up about that event with my mother so many years ago was that I was not lovable or O.K. enough.  There must be something very wrong with me.

I did not pick up a feather again that day, after that slap to my face.  Nor can I remember ever picking up a feather again for about 50 years.  But in the past couple of years of my life, I have made a conscious decision to pick up every beautiful feather I see,  take the time to admire it, and sometimes even bring it home, where I place it with my other treasures of nature. 

In my bedroom, there is an alter in which I have a statue of Buddha.  In his hands I have strategically placed one of my favorite feathers.  Beside this statue sits a photo of a 4 year old girl standing alone on the beach, holding her gaze to the heavens.  That little girl in the photo is me. 

In the world of archetypes, which are universal patterns of behavior that are embedded in (what Carl Jung referred to as)  the “collective unconscious”, there are 2 universal archetypes that come to mind when remembering this story.  The first being the Magical Child, who sees the potential for sacred beauty in all things and holds on to the belief that anything is possible.  This is the child who sees the world through curious eyes while being both enchanted and enchanting to others.  She embodies the qualities of wisdom and courage. 

The second archetype is that of the Wounded Child, whose spiritual journey takes her through the path of forgiveness.   She is the child of compassion, in that through her painful experiences she awakens a desire to be of service to other wounded children.  She must learn to forgive so that she can arise from her wounds victorious.  If she doesn’t, she will never transcend her painful memories or fully emerge into her higher purpose. 

We all have memories that we create stories around.  I had to consciously re-write that old story to one that made more sense.  My mother was an ordinary mortal who was inpatient with her 4 year child that day on the beach.  It had nothing to do with my value as a person or my worthiness to be loved.

What old self-defeating stories might you be holding onto in your life?  If there are any, perhaps now is the time to re-write them for yourself and to consider paying tribute to the archetypes of the Wounded and Magical Child in you.  Guard and protect the part of yourself that sees life through the eyes of the curious Magical Child, the part that recognizes beauty and revels in the mystery of it all.

I am thankful that my own Wounded Child was able to heal through my ability to forgive, let go of the past and see my mother (who has long since passed away) through the eyes of compassion.  I am even more grateful for my Magical Child, who was able to remember and recapture a part of my childhood that allowed me to delight in the beauty of nature again and to use my life, in my work as a therapist, to help others embody the qualities of wisdom and courage in facing their own difficult memories and life adversities, while deeply honoring the gifts of these 2 wondrous archetypes. 


 Leslie is a transpersonal therapist working in the South Florida area.  For more information about her work or to read additional articles, you may visit her website at 

The Integrative Breathwork Process; Its Description and Purposes

As February is quickly approaching, I am beginning to get really excited about our upcoming weekend breath workshop, with Jacquelyn Small of the Eupsychia Institute.  Jacquelyn is a wonderful teacher (and has been my mentor for many years) as well as the author of many books on psycho-spiritual integration.  This is a great opportunity for those of you who want to access alternative ways of accessing the psyche, while deepening your inner work. The workshop will take place at the Bridge Hotel in Boca Raton on the week end of the 24th -26th. For many of you who are familiar with the integrative Breathwork process, which was developed by Jacquelyn, I know you are already looking forward to joining us.  For those of you who are not familiar with Breathwork, I asked Jacquelyn if she would write about the Breathwork process, and in response, wrote the following article;


By Jacquelyn Small

Today, many people are seeking more fulfillment in life. Today’s chaotic technological world is often too much for human psyches to contend with, without possessing more inner strength. Many therefore are yearning to find inner peace, more healing of one’s past, and are seeking more spiritual meaning and connection so they can align with their true purpose in life.

Turning inward to become conscious of what ails us, and further, to access the beauty of our inner core Self, is the healer of all human dysfunction and self-defeating lifestyles. This means we need methods that can take us inward to learn about our rich subjective life. The crying need is to gain a more universal understanding of reality and of human nature, which automatically grounds us in our truth and natural confidence.  If you recall, this was the quest of the Holy Grail.

Years ago, I discovered a method which is a powerful psychic opener that broadens our view of who we are and why we are here. I’ve named it Integrative Breathwork. It’s an adaptation of Holotropic Breathwork I co-taught with Stanislav Grof, M.D. for six years during the late ’80’s and early ’90’s. Through the use of evocative music, deep breathing, meditative contemplation, and symbolic artwork, the deeper strata of the unconscious mind opens and pours out its gifts. It is in this rich subjective life that all new creations first begin to stir, and to which we must continually return to be made afresh for every age.

Breathwork is an ancient spiritual practice in both the Eastern and Western spiritual traditions. It has the power to heal our personal past and to carry us into the expansive collective mind of humanity where all the great minds, universal spiritual teachings, our ancestral heritage, and our future unformed blueprints can be accessed. The fact that people have high moments of great revelation, inspiration, and ecstatic “peak experiences” during this process is proof that wisdom lives within us all.

The two-hour musical journey is a carefully designed variety of evocative music with no words that serves as a projection screen – a way to free associate so participants can feel and recall whatever it is they need to make conscious and clear. In an Integrative Breathwork session everyone has a different experience. For example, one person might go back in time and recall a serious automobile accident and release the pent-up terror they’ve been holding, while another might travel out-of-body to a sacred temple and relive a powerful spiritual initiation. This method transcends time and space, producing a mild, non-ordinary state of consciousness so we can experience these higher worlds directly.

Practiced within a safe therapeutic setting and with proper guidance, Integerative Breathwork accesses the brain where memory and emotion converge.  I know of no other therapeutic method more effective for experiencing the full gambit of our sacred human experience.

What people don’t realize is that we haven’t just repressed our old family issues and neuroses; we have repressed the remembrance that we’re divine as well, and that we have the power to be co-creators in the world.

We hope that you will join us for this very unusual and meaningful weekend with members of your soul family.  The time is right to do this enlightening inner work.

Nine Questions That Will Help You Thrive in 2012

By Leslie Rouder, LCSW, Cht.

Happy New Year!  It’s the start of a new 12 month cycle and the opportunity to set our intentions for 2012. I know we all want to thrive in our lives and in thinking of ways to help with this effort, I recently read a wonderful article by Tom O’Connor in which he asks some very self-empowering questions regarding achieving positive changes. Tom reminded me of a great quote by Tony Robbins who said, “Success leaves clues”.   But for many of us, we don’t know where to look for those clues or know the right questions to ask in order to find them. So, in an attempt to find those clues, I wrote the following article and listed 9 of those self-empowering questions to assist us in establishing a forward direction to our lives and to help us to thrive in 2012.

Continue reading

Keeping New Year’s Resolutions; A Third Chakra Challenge

By Leslie Rouder, LCSW, Cht.

Believe it or not, it’s that time of the year for making New Year’s resolutions once again.  Research shows that although making these resolutions are helpful, only a small percentage of people actually keep them. In fact, according to Dr. John Norcross, a professor at Scranton University, who has conducted several studies on this subject, only 46 % of those who make New Year’s resolutions actually keep them six months later. And only 40% even bother to try to come up with them.  So what’s up with our inability to keep promises TO OURSELVES???

Let me first say that people who make very explicit clearly written resolutions are 10 times more successful in achieving their goals than those who do not.  So, in thinking about attempting this challenge, it would make sense to be very clear in writing your resolutions on paper. However, for many people with a poor history of keeping promises to oneself (which looks like most of us) it does not seem likely that many of us would embrace this challenge. 

So, I asked myself, what is this lack of “will” that seems pervasive amongst the majority of us, and why and how do we give up our personal power?  A lot of this may simply be that we take on goals that are not very realistic, or that we do not know how to implement them.  But, in thinking about this from the perspective of our personal power being a form of energy, how do we lose this energy and give up our personal power, over and over again, in our life time? 

For those who are familiar with the chakra system, which are the 7 power centers in our body, the idea of personal power is certainly a third chakra issue.  The third chakra is located in our solar plexus and is considered the magnetic core of the personality and ego.  The sacred truth of this chakra teaches us to honor oneself. It is the teacher of self-respect, self-esteem, ambition, and self-discipline. Its primary fears are around criticism, worrying about what other people think of us, embarrassment, failure, and what we look like. It also presents to us as fear around growing old, getting fat or bald, or feeling like an imposter.

So in considering this, one might see the connection of how a weakness in our third chakra might be detrimental to our keeping (or even attempting) to make any resolutions or promises to one ’s self.  But the more important question is; how do we fix it?  How do we repair this leakage in this energy system, so that we strengthen our self-esteem, which allows us to transcend the obstacles that we face in our lives?

In considering this answer, I turned to Dr. Caroline Myss, who is an expert on energy healing and the Chakras for guidance. In order to repair and enhance our self-esteem (and ultimately our inner power) as it relates to the third chakra, Dr. Myss developed 4 stages of inner development which I have listed below;

 1.       Revolution

Revolution is that act of developing one’s own inner guidance outside of the ideas and beliefs or our group or “tribe”.  It’s the act of finding one’s “inner voice” and honoring its truth. Its power is in our development of our own inner authority.

 2.      Involution

Involution is the process by which we evaluate our life in terms of how the world is meeting our needs, as well as our life’s mission. It is the practice of self-examination and inner knowledge. It means developing the stamina to respond to the answers, when they come, because along with self-knowledge, comes choices and ultimately actions as well as the knowledge that we are responsible for our lives.

 3.     Narcissism

The third stage of narcissism is about developing the energy to not only hear one’s inner voice, but act upon it.  It provides us with the necessary ability to go against the norm or the tribe. It gives us the ability to stand our ground in the face of opposition, develop appropriate boundaries, and re-create our lives in ways that honor our inner truth.

 4.    Evolution

This is the stage of internal development, in which one stays on course with one’s mission while maintaining one’s principles, dignity, and faith, regardless of any outside criticism or resistance. Even Mother Teresa, in her early days was considered to be narcissistic and was almost forced from 2 religious orders as a result of her strong calling to service the poor in ways that went far beyond that of the other sisters.  She was greatly criticized for what they perceived as self-absorbed and narcissistic in her desires.  After a process of deep spiritual reflection, she acted on her intuitive guidance allowing her spirit to take command and step into the life she felt was her calling. 

 In considering the above four stages of development, one realizes that this is not so easy.  It means courageously taking on the spiritual task of self-inquiry and symbolic insight.  It means facing our inner conflicts, fears and secrets. It means dying to old habits and beliefs, respecting our strengths and weaknesses, developing our independence, giving ourselves permission to be ambitious, listening and honoring our inner voice, and having faith in the process of transformation. 

Maybe a simple New Year’s Resolution is not so simple at all, because in keeping those promises to ourselves, we are ultimately challenging the development of our personal power and the strengthening of our connection to our third chakra.  Maybe the energy that most of us use to keep those promises is shear will.  (And, as statistics have certainly shown us, shear will is not always enough.)  Perhaps we need to look inside for the true obstacles that keep us from holding on to our resolutions and achieving our goals.   And so, I end this article with the hope that this holiday season, we can all reflect on the lessons of the third chakra,  and the long standing words of Polonius, “To thine own self be true.”

Wishing you all a Happy Holiday Season! 

Change; Making Friends with Fear

By Leslie Rouder, LCSW, CHt.

Lately I have been thinking a great deal about change and fear. I know I am supposed to be writing about ADD, but the thoughts and feelings around the idea of change and fear keep flowing into my mind; so I have decided to share some of my thoughts about this, knowing that change and fear is something that is universal to us all.

Change is the one universal thing that each of us experience daily in our lives. But the really big ones, which create tremendous fear, are the ones that have the most potential for our inner growth and transformation.

I can honestly say that I have lived a courageous life for the most part; having taken big leaps of faith when many would have taken an easier road, (having made major life decisions on my own most of my life, starting my own company at 27, moving to a new state and starting a new career at age 40,  facing cancer and my own mortality at 50) but I can also say that fear has also been a pervasive companion along the way, and a formidable one at that. And I have noted, as I have grown older that making changes has been increasingly difficult for me. Accepting change that I have no control over is a bit easier because I understand the dynamic of change and the cycles that exist in life in terms of death and re-birth. But the stepping out into the future creating the change (not just accepting it) seems to be the place that has been most difficult for me.

Having just resigned from my position of 11 years, this past July, as a director at a University, so that I might pursue my private practice full time, is the perfect example. I felt the rumblings of this fear, recognizing its arrival a couple of years back, when I first thought of creating a new life for myself. Anxiety and fear were the motivating energetic forces that moved me forward every day. In truth, I wished that I could just be OK with the status quo. After all, wasn’t this the worst economic times in the history of my entire life? Wasn’t I lucky to have such a stable solid job? What if it didn’t work out and I had to look for another job in this depleted job market? Wasn’t it foolish to take a risk at the ripe age of 57, when folks would rather hire a much younger less “seasoned” professional? What if I felt too isolated working totally alone? On and on my mind went, feeding this fear, while imagining all the possible negative scenarios.

And then I considered 3 things;

1. My mother. My mother collapsed while blowing out the birthday candles on her birthday cake while at work on her 53rd birthday, never to return home again, having died of a brain hemorrhage 6 months later.
2. My father. Who, while going for his regular morning walk one Saturday morning, died on his feet at 69 of a massive heart attack.
3. My Aunt Hellen. My father’s twin sister, who gently reminded me of the above. And her words to me, “don’t let fear paralyze you”.

Maybe the last gift my parents gave me was the realization that life does not go on forever and that all we know for sure is that we are here right now at this moment. Perhaps risking change for the sake of a better life is worth taking, while we can, even if it feels frightening and looming to us, because not risking it may mean that we might not ever have that chance again. And so, having made friends with fear, recognizing its intrinsic intelligence, listening to its message of wisdom and transformation, I reluctantly let go of the past and allowed life to move me forward to the place I am now. Working for myself, growing my practice, finding a new way of being and defining the parameters of my life in a whole new way. Easy? No. Worth it? Definitely!


Hanging in the Dangle Between the Old and The New

Life transitions and times of transformation are something that my friend and mentor, Jacquelyn Small, often refers to as “hanging in the dangle”.  

I asked her if she would write a description of this concept for my newsletter, which is all about transformation.  She graciously responded with the following article:

Transformation does not occur incrementally like skill building does, where we get better and better at something everyday. Transformation is shifts in consciousness that happen through sequences of death and rebirth;  we die to the old and awaken to a whole new way of being.  And believe me:  this is not always fun!  When we die to some way we’ve always been, there nearly always follows a feeling of depression.  Continue reading