Seven Lessons of the Jackal - Inner Temple Retreat Autumn 2013 - Ina Custers van Bergen

Review: Seven Lessons of the Jackal


Going on an Inner Temple Retreat always brings about a very special feeling. To get away from it all, to completely immerse yourself in rituals and beauty and to work on understanding your own subconscious mind and bringing about changes in your life and your development is very attractive in nowadays hustle and bustle. The term “Inner Temple Retreat” may at first sound a bit strange. Our Inner Temple is our own mind and by retreating for a few days, we can really get to know what is in our minds, how it affects our lives and what we could do to change certain things. As most of this is at the subconscious or unconscious levels, we need special tools to get access to these parts of our Inner Temples. That is where ritual comes in, and the Inner Temple Retreats organized by the Hermetic Order of the Temple of Starlight are filled up with rituals, one more beautiful than the other.


This Inner Temple Retreat, "Seven Lessons of the Jackal" was in all its aspects as gorgeous as the previous ones I participated in. People from all over the world came to the abbey to be part of this event, and it is always great to work in such an international and inspiring group. All the work centered around the various aspects of the Egyptian deity Anubis, who is often by Egyptologists described as a rather sinister god who just "presides over the embalming of the corpse". His true function and character is immensely more complex and all-encompassing, however, as one of his many "names" is "Opener of the Way", for instance into our own subconscious minds.

So from Friday till Sunday, we built ourselves an ancient Egyptian Temple, devoted to this great and important god and in it we performed his rites and re-enacted his myths so that we could tap into this ancient "force" to help us "open the way" to our own minds and see what is there to see. From the start Friday night until the end Sunday afternoon, the work never stops, even at night during the temple vigils and in our dreams it continues. This very effectively ensures some highly intense experiences!

This temple space was, as always, envisioned by Ina Cüsters-Van Bergen and beautifully "made real" by the creative skills of Anke Oudshoorn, whereas I provided the "Sacred Oil of Anpu" to anoint the statues of the God we all had to bring. The beautifully decorated space itself, the gorgeous implements and ritual objects, the costumes of the participants, the smell of incense and oils, the fabulous music, all of this works together to really let us step out of the present and into an older world.


So what happens during this "Time out of Time"? In my case, I received many insights and images, some of them quite incomprehensible and abstract at this time. This feels a bit as if I am handed pieces of a big jigsaw puzzle without the proper picture to guide me. Experience has shown me that all this will be cleared up ad find its proper place in my mind in due time. Many of such ideas and insights happen during the night’s vigil or in your dreams. This workshop has also reaffirmed and strengthened my life as a Priest in the Old Mysteries, and has given me many clues and materials how develop this further.


This retreat also marked the celebration of Ina’s ten year anniversary as a Third Degree Initiate, and to commemorate this, all the currently active initiates had built a special Ritual Of Gratitude for her. This turned out to be a very beautiful and emotional event, which took a lot longer than we originally anticipated, but it was worth every minute. And much too soon, it was all over and we found ourselves reminiscing over first impressions, clearing away all the implements and hugging each other while saying our goodbyes.


I wish to thank everyone who contributed in however small way to this event. Special thanks go to Anke, for making such beautiful things, to my fellow initiates for coming together and creating such a beautiful special ritual and of course to Ina for being such a continuous source of inspiration and strength to me. And finally I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to Anubis, Opener of The Way for guiding me so well and without stumbling within his Realm and for allowing me to find Myself.





Afgelopen november ben ik voor de vierde maal bij de Temple Retreat geweest van de Temple of Starlight. Wederom ben ik getroffen door de schoonheid van de Tempel, de zorg voor alle attributen, en de magische sfeer welke de ruimte vult. Het doet intiem aan, persoonlijk, en ik voel me sterk betrokken bij de mysteriën die op het punt staan te voltrekken. Het is moeilijk in woorden uit te leggen, maar diep van binnen is er een weten dat dit authentiek is. Wat er ook gaat gebeuren dit weekend. Het is goed, en het ondersteunt mijn ontwikkeling. 

Tijdens de workshop maken we een hele mythologische reis, en worden we hier persoonlijk op meegenomen. We zien de oude beelden van de Egyptische Goden, die ons begeleiden op deze prachtige reis. Alle aspecten van het Leven komen we tegen, de mooie kanten, de donkere kanten, maar alles heeft een doel en een betekenis, die onze ervaring verrijkt. Ook na dit weekend bleven de energieën nog lang doorwerken, en het zal altijd een dierbare herinnering blijven op mijn pad. Dank je wel Anubis voor je wijze lessen. Dank je wel Ina Custers om dit toegankelijk te maken voor ons.