NEW ORDER OF THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR
Our Order of Knights Templar is a new Order...
We have access to and study the so-called "direct lineage" stretching back to the days when the Templars were an exoteric force in Europe and the Holy Land, but we believe a newness is needed for the Templars in this Third Millennium. So our Order changed its name in 1998 to the New Order of Knights Templar. Other Templar Orders are really branches of freemasonry and some others use the title too freely, not truly reconstructing the actual mission and practices of the original Templars, as we attempt to do. Men (and women) today can still take up the sword and lance and become a Knight of Solomon's Temple, fighting the same battles and more, but on an esoteric level. Our Knights fight in tandem with the Ladies Templar, known officially as the Daughters of Tsion. (Male members of the Daughters of Tsion are called Clerics of Tsion, they are non-combatants). It is a balanced partnership of incredible power, both astrally and physically.
"Then everyone shall be rescued who calls on the name of the LORD; For on Mount Zion there shall be a remnant, as the LORD has said, And in Jerusalem survivors whom the LORD shall call." Joel 3:5 Hebrew Bible & Catholic Bible, different numbering for Protestant Bibles
What are the Daughters of Tsion? Who were they a thousand years ago and who are they today? They are the ladies and clerics who share in the exact mission of the Knight's Templar complementing the Knights, bringing crucial gender balance to that famous army of rightworkers*. Both groups are really the Knights Templar; the sub-title of the Daughters of Tsion is "The Ladies Templar." Both groups take the same lessons, meet astrally each day or each week to perfom the same power-prayers, contemplation exercises, or to recite a certain powerful affirmation or mantram. We all come together for sorties (combat missions), which are often at odd times of the day or week.
*Rightwork and right-workers are terms that are supposed to convey the biblical concept of "doing righteous works."
The differences between the Daughters of Tsion and the Knights of the Temple are purely gender oriented, although there are female combatants in our Order called Dames or Knightresses, and males in the Daughters of Tsion, called Clerics of Tsion. The Mystery School tries not to be too sexist about it, but the fact is that warrior knights going into bloody battle on horseback are indeed different from the ladies who stay on the battlefield's edge (or in the safety of a fortress) and support the combatants with their "feminine" magiks. The women (and clerics) provide this crucial support through prayer-songs, combat-prayer, blessing the weapons, wine and armor of the Knights, and by spiritually sheilding their chosen warrior.
The Knights/Knightresses in our order must become adept with the SPIRITUAL equivalents of the sword or bow. Most Knights, whether archers or swordsmen, have a physical example of their weapon to be consecrated regularly and used in athletic workouts with targets. The Daughters of Tsion and Clerics of Tsion non-combative individuals who work in tandem with the warriors, backing them up when they go off to defend against enemies.
Of course our enemies in the modern day are more spiritual than physical. Our New Knights Templar do spiritual (sometimes called astral) battle, and many of them "go out" on a nightly basis.
In our Order all "fighting" is spiritual only, though the Knights do practice the martial arts and spar together whenever possible. [We encourage them to take real live Fencing and Archery lessons. Many practice old fighting arts in organizations like the SCA or Amtgard.]
Our focus is on the spiritual battles of the world. As every adult and most children know, there are dark forces out there. Our Knights go into battle to deal with them, hopefully beating them back. "Occult wars," they used to call this. The Knights of the Temple couldn't function however if not for their Ladies, the Daughters of Tsion. These women provide the wind beneath their wings, so to speak. While the Knights are out "battling", the specially trained and very powerful Ladies/Clerics are behind in the "fortress" locked in power-prayer / combat support prayer mode. A primary difference in study focus is that the Ladies don't get into martial arts and warrior kick-ass-ness as much as they study supporting warrior activity and backing up a chosen Knight.
DAUGHTERS OF TSION
Historically, the Daughters of Tsion (besides being a very well kept secret) were made up of the following kinds of women: sisters, mothers and spouses---even daughters of the Knights, and sometimes girlfriends or just a female friend with whom they had a purely platonic relationship. During most of their public history the Knights were forbidden to marry and celibacy was required, the latter never seriously enforced. As the Order grew in the mid 1100's the Knights went along with the semblance of celibacy in order to appease the Catholic Church whose endorsement they needed to survive in dark age politics. If the all-powerful church didn't approve of your work, you were a heretical order and were burned at the stake. And besides, you couldn't survive economically, either! They were ostensibly a monastic order and did indeed live in preceptories (monasteries) all over Europe. Yet according to historians and Templar experts the first Grand Master, Hugh de Payens was married to a mysterious and beautiful heiress of the Saint Clair (Scottish Sinclair) family. See Dafoe and Butler's book, The Knights Templar Revealed, formerly titled the Templar Continuum, and required reading for our advanced Templar initiates. The existence of "Templar nuns" was an historical fact, one is pictured below left.
All of the rituals, practices and even daily services of the Knights Templar were performed in secret. This was highly unusual for monastic orders and is the source for all the mystery surrounding the Knights Templar as well as the source for their condemnation. Because of all the secrecy, they were easily accused of heresy. They no doubt were heretical, especially in their belief in the Sacred Feminine and reverence for God-the-Mother. The Knights had to keep such teachings secret because they knew it could get them arrested, tortured and burned at the stake.
This of course was the eventual fate of the Templar Knights. On Friday the 13th, 1307 those French Templars that hadn't slipped thru the net were arrested because the French King Philip IV and his hand-picked Pope decided to seize the Templar wealth. Templars were tortured, "tried" and 54 who refused to admit to the lies of demon-worship and spitting on the cross, were eventually burned alive. Friday the 13th has since been considered a horrid day, unlucky in the extreme, to all people of European descent.
What is little known is that the Knights took on female partners to help balance their work, to assist in their secret esoteric practices which included revering the Goddess. Whether these women were girlfriends, secret wives, or in some cases hired prostitutes, they were an integral part of the Templar mission, providing a necessary complement to the efforts of each male initiate. Interestingly, they didn't always become lovers with their partner. Many Knights had been married before joining the Order and some therefore had daughters suitable for this task. There is one legend of a 13-year old maiden, daughter of a Knight, who knew every one of the combat-prayer songs sung by the Daughters of Tsion while their men were in battle. When her father sadly fell in combat, her expertise was not wasted because a young Templar (perhaps in shining armor?) asked her to make the special alliance with him.
In our order some members come to us already as a couple, whether married or in a committed relationship. But many more members are singles, some with spouses in the "real" world who don't want to participate. Our singles perform the missions and the same work as everyone else and in some cases get to know a member of the opposite group and pair up. We encourage this pairing up and it is a requirement for the more advanced stages of the work so that members can practice the ancient magik and sacred balance of male-female energy complementing and working together. It is NOT matchmaking, and no romance is implied. If you can't get your significant other to sign up for this part of your study, don't worry. You will learn things from this platonic male-female harmony that you can take home and use in your relationship. This is serious light-working and right-working. Most paired-up members never meet face to face, though hopefully they develop a good email correspondence with their partner and we know some of them exchange phone numbers, naughty naughty. Okay, yes, one couple did meet here and end up getting married. Three years later they're still together so it must have been a good thing.
The partnering process doesn't occur until some weeks into the training. At first new members all work as a group, get acquainted, do some workings all together and then the members that have made it that far can study some partner methods by pairing up---if they want. We're certainly not going to force anyone to do this higher form of Knights Templar / Tsion great-working. Those who prefer being solitaire will have plenty to do, but still should learn the partner techniques. They just won't be able to try them out with a "real" person. Keep in mind that partnering is like dancing. It is not sex. You work together to create beautiful movement that while you're at it, gets you in shape and creates harmonious patterns with the music and with any observers. Dance and partner-magik are very similar metaphorically.
The Daughters of Tsion were a secret order of women who supported the work of the supposedly celibate all-male Knight's Templar. These men and women were ahead of their time. They knew that gender balance is important and makes for powerful rightworkings (righteous works). The Knights would go out of their fortresses and fight to the death in skirmishes and battles, putting their very lives at risk almost daily. Yet they seemed invincible, Templars seemed never to die or even get wounded. Wounds back then usually meant death, even simple wounds, because of infection. You got a scratch, you could die. It was quite expected for everyone who lived by the sword to die by it. As for the Templar secret invincibilty, you can guess the cause. It was due, of course, to the fact that they had this army of women, the Daughters of Tsion, backing them up, supporting them spiritually and yes, physically. The physical work of the Tsion women (and clerics) consisted of feeding the Knights and themselves, making and mending all garments and medicines. Spiritual duties consisted of praying over the Knights' food and wine, making special amulets and talismans for them to wear into battle, praying and singing powerful hex-songs whenever the men were engaged in combat.
There are so many ways in which we adapt this same team-warfare concept to today's battles, which as we stated repeatedly, are spiritual battles only. Ironically, these spiritual / astral battles are often more dangerous. You can't always
"see" the enemy or even name it. The enemy takes forms such as subtle perversion, rampant greed, modern slavery, evil corporations, commercialism in schools, not to mention hunger, women and boys bought and sold as sex slaves, group hatred---a negative cloud of consciousness in a group of people (say a terrorist group full of hate directed at Christians or Jews), racism, misogyny, child abuse, spouse abuse. Many of these evils can be traced to some group of people who has set themselves up as a harmful "army" against the enlightened. They even join forces at times when they sense the presence of the light-warrior groups such as the KT. We are not shy and will go into spiritual battle, via prayer and astral travel, not to mention letter writing and phone-calling if we have to! We pick a cause and fight it. And continue to fight it. One battle doesn't win a war, goes the saying.
Several of us have been working together for years, but not via email and internet. It's very hard to convert everything over to email, get the lessons written and on line, make sure people are trained enough to go into battle or in the case of the non-combative orders, ready to go into higher levels of astral work and magikal workings. It doesn't take too much training actually, it's really a screening process. We have to make sure that each new member of each order is what they seem. It's dangerous to work with someone who is unbalanced psychologically---(The cynic asks, aren't we all unbalanced, though?) And we definitely have to weed out megolomaniac (god-complex) types, or anyone who has a secret agenda, is habitually dishonest, has joined us for all the wrong reasons, etc.
COMBINING THE ANCIENT & NEW RELIGION
A student once asked "Why all the Holy Land Mediterranean names? Temple? Zion? They are Hebrew words and places. Aren't most of us English-speakers of European descent?" Yes, that's a crucial point. Most of us are indeed of European descent, at least partially. Our souls, though in modern trappings, resonate with the ways of our ancestors. But long ago the Europeans embraced the Judaic culture when they embraced Christianity, and this merging should not be viewed as a bad thing. It did cause many a crisis of conscience however, as countless Europeans feared they were betraying their ancestors' deities by accepting the Eastern God and his Father.
Like us, the Templars were Europeans living in a middle-eastern (Judeo-Christian-Islam) religious and political culture. Remember that Christianity itself was originally just an offshoot of Judaism and took 400 years to make its way to France and Germany, Spain and the rest of Europe. Scandinavia and parts of the British Isles didn't surrender their pagan gods to the christian sword until barely a thousand years ago in the 1100's. This is all historical fact. Our European ancestors were not middle-easterners but accepted a desert religion, many of them doing so under duress. But most Europeans, and many Scandinavians, saw similarities between their ancestral faiths and the New Religion of Rome, and didn't mind the merger which brought economic and political benefits to their regions.
However, they made sure they didn't lose all their pagan gods and customs. We still have the birthday of the Light-of-the-World near the winter Solstice, we still have tree symbols at Christmastime, fertility symbols as Easter, the Celtic Goddess Brighid in the form of "St. Bridget" and a thousand other pagan elements..... Christianity is what came out of this blending of faiths and is really a European pagan form of a desert religion. And how beautiful it is, this pagan Christianity with its solemn candlelit rituals and colorful ceremony, incense and altar "sacrifice".
The Order of the Knights Templar was born in Europe during what historians call the Dual Faith period. They were burned as heretics 200 years later when their paganistic elements supposedly outnumbered their christian practices. Pagan beliefs, the ways of their pre-christian foremothers and fathers, now called devil worship and heresy is what supposedly did them in. At least that's the excuse the Church authorities used so they could seize the incredible wealth of the Templars. Because of their unique position -- standing between two religious worlds, the old and the new each with cultural and spiritual value -- the Templars are the perfect embodiment of Pagan Christianity, exemplifying the dual faith. What they practiced could also be called Judeo-Christian Paganism, but we like to call it Esoteric Christianity or Alternative Christianity.
How did the Templars get so wealthy and powerful? The Templars were not racists who slaughtered Jews and Arabs. No, they made friends with them and learned banking from the Jews and Math and Science from the Arabs. If you recall your history class you'll remember that medicine and mathematics were dominated by the Arabic world up until around 1400 when a few backward but powerful Muslim clerics unfortunately convinced the Sultans to stop encouraging math and science. Sadly, the Sultans stuck their heads in the sand and religious fundamentalism created yet another crop of suppressive regimes. This watershed event put an end to a bright-minded Islamic culture that had taken the Arabic world hundreds of years to produce. The Arabic mind had given birth to the number zero and created for the world the set of Arabic Numerals we use today. (Some scholars now dispute this, claiming the Zero and the Arabic numerals originated in India). The Dual Faith period was a violent one, but also a time when Arabic was the language of science and math and Arab courts like Baghdad were centers of technology... and nobody tried to convert the whole world over to their religion.
The Templars learned banking (and Kabbalah) from the Jews. It was the Jews who started banking -- the lending of money and charging interest, once called usury and "un-Christian." The Templars learned banking and commerce from them and became shrewd businessmen as well as spiritually advanced for their time. They studied the Jewish banking methods, and set up a string of banks all over Europe and all along the road to the Holy Land. In Jerusalem stood their symbolic headquarters, Solomon's Temple---or we should say there it lay, for it was in ruins. But not as bad a ruin as today. Parts of the stables and the ancient women's quarters were still standing, though slowly crumbling away.
The Templars asked a number Jews to help them manage their new banks. After hours, the Templars learned Kabbalah from the bankers' wise Jewish elders and rabbis.
CASTLES IN THE HOLY LAND
When he was very young, barely twenty, Lawrence of Arabia went to the Arabian lands and Palestine for the first time in order to catalog the many Templar fortresses and castles. Then called Thomas Lawrence, he travelled to each Templar (and Crusader) ruined castle along the ancient caravan routes from Jerusalem through Syria up to Turkey. Most of the ruins he visited and photographed are still there.
Evidence of a small but significant Templar presence in Jerusalem is easily seen today.
Jerusalem has a few examples of Templar architecture and structural work. The most famous is the black wrought-iron fence built indoors around the holy rock of the Al-Aqsa shrine. According to Muslims the Al-Aqsa is not actually a mosque, but a shrine, "the dome of the Rock". It was built on the Temple Mount by a conquering Muslim who wanted to copy but out-do the most outstanding building in Jerusalem at the time -- the original Church of the Holy Sepulchre. He also wanted to occupy that holy ground so revered by the Hebrew people.
The Templars took control of the Dome during their stay in Jerusalem and converted it into a Christian church which it remained for over a hundred years. The Templar ironwork is still there to this day and the Muslim tour-guides point it out and explain how the Knights Templar installed it.
The Dome of the Rock sits on Mount Moriah, called the Temple Mount by the Jews because it is the place where Solomon built the first Temple and Herod built the Second. Islam reveres the spot as a sacred rock from which Mohammed sprung heavenward one night on a white horse. The rock is still there, visible to worshippers, but the Jews say it is holy not because of Mohammed but because it's the rock where Abraham was stopped by an angel from sacrificing his son to the God Yahweh, who was testing his faith. That holy rock and the "mount" which is really a nice big hill, was chosen later by David for the Temple spot. David's son Solomon did the building.
Across from this famous hill is another one almost the same height but having a smaller surface at the top. It is Mount Zion, spelled in Hebrew alliteration, Mount Tsion. Here the Knights Hospitaller (which absorbed many Templar properties after the Templars were suppressed in 1314) built a big hospital and monastery building full of long cavernous hallways with rounded gothic ceilings and some of the famous black wrought-iron bars and gate-work. This monastery still stands today and is now the modern Mount Zion Hotel.
Our group stayed there in 1994, and if peace comes again to Jerusalem, we hope to stay there again with some of you, our fellow Templars. You can feel the military order's presence -- sort of echoing. You are surrounded by fortress-style thick stone walls and the sunlight sneaks in thru iron grills making shadows and ghostly images seem to appear. See photos of the interior showing the awesome view of the City of David from the top of this famous hill.
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