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Oude en Nieuwe Mysteriën * Bastiaan Baan (isbn 9062385567 * 2003)

It seems that every esoteric society of the present day has to make a book about mystery-schools of which (of course) they are the last in line. We have Grace Knoche for the Theosophists, Conrad Dietzfelbinger for the Rosicrucians and (after several books by Rudolf Steiner himself of course) now Baan for the Antroposophists. This book in total is not really groundbreaking. It speaks about a few ancient mystery-schools (of Mithras, Egypt, Old and New Testament and Celts), the fire, water, air and earthproofs of initiation and of course Antroposophy. What did make a very good first impression is the introduction about the Extersteine in Germany. Baan says that this was a Germanic mystery-place and he has a few nice theories and especially a few nice photos! He has a photo of a ‘runesign’ inside of the stones and a photo of the inside of the ‘cathedral’. Also on the outside there is a “hangagod” (a hanging Odin) that I never heard about. Of course the stonecutting of Christ being taken off the cross is spoken about, especially the Irminsul that is in this picture. Also Baan quotes a woman who had some clairvoyant experiences while being inside the church which may (or may not) shed some light on the actions that took place inside the Extersteine while it was still a pagan sanctity.

The next chapter is about Mithras and Michael sanctities. This is a nice piece about the (a bit too obvious) similarities between the two cults, but the Michael temple in Monte Gargano, Italy which used to be a Mithraeum was something that I hadn’t heard about yet.
The rest is fairly standard, so all in all this is a mediocre book with a some very interesting information.

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