The Initiate is a well presented journal of Traditional studies, it is around 130 pages, published irregularly and a joy to read.
It opens with a challenging discussion of the dangers of ideals becoming ideology. It can easily be seen how the ideal of social justice, an admirable concern, ended up as the ideology of socialism with all its related destructive consequences. At the same time we must be very aware of the danger of this happening to Traditionalism and must consider how to live Traditionalism in the modern world in a way that doesn’t simply end up as naval gazing or endless intellectualism.
The first article begins with the traditionalism of Bhakti as found in the Srimad Bhagavatam and presents the first in a series based on this tradition.
Sergio Knipe takes a fascinating look at the cyclic view of history but not in the conventional sources such as the Vedic or Hesiod but in the Egyptian. This is an exciting look at the cyclic view of history in a different context and he furthers his examination by considering a Hermetic text and finally a Coptic Christian one. This is certainly an impressive piece of work.
Robert bullion introduces us to the new world of neo monasticism from a traditionalist viewpoint. He gives us a truly extensive background examining the fall of Rome and the rise of various monastic traditions such as the Egyptian. He considers in some detail Celtic neo monasticism which seems to have arisen spontaneously when the Romans left Britain and Ireland was essentially severed from the Christian west. He then continues to consider more modern forms include the community formed by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Taize community. He then takes a surprising turn and looks at the national anarchist movement which advocates a form of volkisch neo monasticism and various radical traditionalist groups who are also exploring this approach within their own unique way.
Charles Upton explores Sufism, knowledge and love, examining the various forms of knowledge and the way in which love is understood in both Sufism and Traditionalism.
David Griffiths offers us a fascinating and objective history of the world of witchcraft, examining social elements of the witch trials and cunning men. He then consider various theories which surround the history of witchcraft including feminist exaggerations about the numbers of women killed and the distortions of Margaret Murray, Charles Godfrey Leland and James Frazer. This is a superbly well researched, well referenced and informative essay. Griffiths argues persuasively that modern wicca is based is the fanciful theories of Murray, Leland and James Frazer and suggests that historically real witchcraft simply referred to magical practice not to some form of feminist paganism.
This is followed by a marvellous short piece by Julius Evola discussing his on meeting with Gerald Gardner and his scepticism over the claims of Wicca as a living link in a chain to primordial goddess worship cults, as usual Evola cuts to the chase.
There is a good selection of essays with a high level of discussion and debate and a good selection of book reviews.
Peter Widukind then takes us on a journey through magic and music with reference to science, psychology and magick. This is followed by a series of music reviews.
The Initiate Volume 2 ends with the challenging war protocol similar to the samurai codes of Japan but adapted for the Traditionalist in the modern world.