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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable, scholarly and fascinating, 30 May 2002
By 
Paolo Sammut - See all my reviews
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I think that this is probably one of the most important books on hermetic thought every to be published. David Ovason presents what is essentially the autobiography of Mark Hedsel an initiate of the "path of the fool" and describes the trials and ecstaties of a walker on the path of the mysteries. The book covers lots of detail on hermetic lore in Europe, esoteric symbolism and alchemy. I cannot recomend this book strongly enough
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars, 23 Oct 2007
By 
A. Beeton "adamblue" (UK) - See all my reviews
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The essence of this book can be taken from a quote from the introduction (p. 57): " originally the Christian church was privy to the secrets of human evolution, and guardian of this knowledge transmitted from the ancient mystery wisdom of Egypt ad Greece....it would be unrealistic to imagine that the church politic has been a trusted or efficient guardian of this ancient esoteric wisdom...[they have] forgotten that there is, inbuilt into certain souls, a wish to speed up their personal Spiritual development, in a direction which is no longer served by the church."

This is then a autobiography of a man's journey along a path which ends with him becoming a teacher. By reading this text we almost initiate ourselves into this esoteric world of which he writes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a book, 25 Jan 2009
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This review is from: The Zelator: A Modern Initiate Explores the Ancient Mysteries (Hardcover)
I first read this book soon after it was published. I read it so many times, that the original copy has fallen to pieces! This book, on one level a Biography, on another a textbook of hermetic science, is something very special. The author's journey resonates with me, as it must with all others, who don't want to be sleepers anymore.

As you explore other avenues, this book can be used as a reference point, it definitely is more than the sum of its parts. I only wish Mark Hedsel were still here to teach me more!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Veritable Treasure Trove, 20 Jan 2014
By 
Gary M. Vasey "Dr. G Michael Vasey" (Prague, Czech Republic) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Zelator (Kindle Edition)
The Zelator is a book that dropped in to my hands by accident. Bored, on a business trip to Toronto, I was browsing a low cost bookstore and came across the book. It sounded intriguing and so I bought it. This is the third time that I have subsequently read the book and, each time, I see more - I understand more. It is a veritable treasure trove of esoteric insights that have to be gleaned from the book - absorbed almost - from its pages. I suspect that much more is to be learned, considered and discovered in its pages.
The book is based on the diaries of an initiate - Mark Hedsel (most likely a pseudonym) - and edited along with an introduction and copies footnotes by David Ovason. The writing style seems a little dated and Hedsel uses `we' as opposed to `I' throughout which I assume to mean the combination of his higher self and his ego though I am still not quite sure. It is in place, tough to read as Hedsel often gets into streams of detail - some of which on the surface seems superfluous but which you eventually realise is absolutely relevant. Despite the heavy going, this book is an incredible read.
My overall reaction to the book to be honest is a cross between envy, nostalgia and a feeling of unworthiness. Why? Well, while Hedsel's life overlaps my own his was quite a different era when the oral tradition was still very prevalent. He studies under several teachers the like of which I have never met and I think he was very fortunate to have done so. These days, it's all internet and remote study for us solo students. Additionally, one suspects that he had the benefit of a classical education as opposed to what even in my day passed for a basic education; adequate but lacking the richness of the classics. Finally, there is a quiet authority about his words in which he hints and guides showing the way without necessarily providing the answers.
Hedsel's book is about initiation and about a specific path of initiation - that of the Fool. In the book, he makes no mention nor does he allude to any particular practices save meditation, yet he talks of magic. Unaffiliated with any particular school as the Fool he moves from teacher to experience following his own questions to an answer and, as he does so, he experiences a number of initiation experiences - fission - in which he sloughs off dark matter on his way towards the light. He in a sense is an example of how it might be done as a solo practioner.
I will be honest and say I adore this book. I will read it many more times seeking greater insight and following its clues and pointers. It is among the very small group of books that I regularly consult and I can highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reference book, 25 May 2013
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This is a book I keep coming back to, both to its text & images as well as to the bibliographical references.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Insight into the Secrets of Initiation, 20 Aug 2001
By 
Zipper (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
A fascinating insight into the ancient and elusive tradition of true initiation practised by the secret mystery schools to this day. This book gives the reader a rare glimpse of the initiate's journey on the evolutionary path to higher spiritual awareness and understanding of reality. With enlightening symbolic wisdom told through the personal experiences of a true initiate this is definately one book for the seekers shelf. Thanks to Mark Hedsel and David Ovason for providing a few more pieces of the puzzle.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Account of the Seeker, 20 Jan 2008
This review is from: The Zelator: A Modern Initiate Explores the Ancient Mysteries (Hardcover)
Mark Hedsel has written an intriguing account of his journey in his "Zelator." This remarkable book holds full of gems and insights as one will discover new knowledge that lies within.

This book will surely takes the reader to the experience the mysterious knowledge as well the esoteric path. In this work, one can see the keys to unlock the ancient mysteries and knowledge.

With little over eight chapters and roughly 460 pages as well the included fascinating pictures, this book is tough to read but well worth the read.

For any devoted esoteric seekers of the truth and knowledge, I would highly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the beauty behind "the way of the fool" !., 5 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Zelator: A Modern Initiate Explores the Ancient Mysteries (Hardcover)
JUST AWESOME !,JUST READ IT,HERE LAYS HOPE AND TRUTH BEYOND RELIGION,POLITICS,AND THE MATERIAL AND SPORTING GODS HUMAN BEINGS CHASE AFTER,I WAS HUMBLED,GIVEN HOPE,ASSURITY,AND MEANING AND PURPOSE VIA THE SECRET ANCIENT TEACHINGS THAT CAN BE EXPLORED BY THE INDIVIDUAL. there is a way !.
Tony.
p.s. I read this book for the first time in 1998,nothing has been the same since,what a journey !.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuine Wisdom and Puzzling Details, 15 Aug 2004
By 
Ian Millard - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Zelator: A Modern Initiate Explores the Ancient Mysteries (Hardcover)
The title refers to one of the "grades" of "pupils" or "seekers" after The Light in the Western Tradition of occultism. The book is a chronicle of learning or striving after learning or, perhaps better put, Enlightenment (cf. such as the works of Rudolf Steiner). Yet this particular seeker's path was not a smooth ascent to some Nirvana-- far from it.
The only annoying thing about this book is that the author never says "I" but always "he" or "the entity" or some such, which may be an attempt to suppress egoism but just makes the work a trifle hard to follow at times. A book for all serious libraries of the metaphysical.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy of Contemplation, 1 Dec 2007
Mark Hedsel had given a gift to seekers in this lovely book. Depending on where you are in your own road, the Zelator will seem a rambling account of a man's journey through life, or as a cornucopia of esoteric clues and signposts. The Way of the Fool is a path that must be discovered individually. Hedsel gently points the seeker in different directions but leaves it to them to follow up. Thus has ever been this esoteric path. I've read this book three times now. I'm sure I will read it many more, discovering something new each time. Highly recommended.
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