I'm what you could call a mid-level student of a few different occult practices, as well as being an avid researcher of ancient
pratices/religions....there are a few very obvious points embedded here, so here's a breakdown of the "ritual text."
The Owl is in His leafy temple
Let all within the grove be reverent before Him.
Lift up your heads oh ye trees
And be lifted up ye everlasting spires
For behold here is bohemia's shrine
And holy are the pillars of this house.
Weaving spiders come not here!
The owl, whatever manifestation you choose, represents wisdom. Not exactly earth-shattering there. Wisdom is of course a stated "sacred persuit" in
several ancient religions and groups...most rooted in the cult of Isis. With the cult of Isis it is with a mystical bent, and the focus of the
religion was death and resurrection. The original cult of Isis (as in ancient egyptian, not the roman incarnation) is thought by some scholars to have
been an influence on the formation of judaic faith. Later evolutions of the cult are also thought to have been possible influences on christianity and
the knights templar, who worshipped sophia, or wisdom.
So from the owl, we have the worship of wisdom, with possible ties to the cult of Isis and the practices of the knights templar.
The reference to nature seems to point to the cult of isis again, as Isis was a nature goddess.
Terming themselves "bohemian" they acknowledge that they are acting in ways that are outside of social accepted behavior.
"And holy are the pillars of this house." This is a very important line. Firstly, it made me think of freemansory, the pillars of jachin and boaz.
But where does freemasonry get this practice from? Their story says the pillars originated with the construction of King Solomon's temple, a temple
of the jews, who came from where before settling in canaan? That's right, Egypt. So, again, we are back to egypt. Isis is the greek aset, which means
"pillar or throne." The sacred egyptian pillar was the djed pillar, often used in later egyptian times as a symbol for Osiris, and as a symbol for
strength and stability. Earlier uses for the djed pillar are indeterminable at this time, but if you look, you'll find the speculation runs far and
So, from this, we are again have ties to knights templar, through freemasonry, (if you're not familiar with this connection, it's a great one to
research,) and through freemasory, back to egypt, to Isis and osiris. Hmmmm.....
Final line of this snippet is a reference to spiders and webs....most likely just a simple statement that traps and convoluted plans and deceptions
have no place in their fellowship.
So snippet one states that they are a united group who worship knowledge, and either are worshippers of Isis, or bored men who threw bits and pieces
of mysticism together and just happened (not so surprisingly, as most mysticism has a common root,) to pick points that all tie back into Isis.
With the ripple of waters
The song of birds
Such music as inspires the sinking soul
Do we invite you into Midsummer's joy.
The sky above is blue and sown with stars
The forest floor is heaped with fragrant grit
The evening's cool kiss is yours
The campfire's glow
The birth of rosy fingered dawn.
For behold, here is Bohemia's shrine
And holy are the pillars of his house
Shake off your sorrows with the city's dust
And cast to the winds the cares of life.
But memories bring back the well-loved names of gallant friends
Who knew and loved this grove
Dear boom companions of a long ago
Aye, let them join us in this ritual!
And not a piece be empty in our midst.
All of these battles to hold
In this gray autumn of the world
Or in the springtime of your heart.
Lines 1-14 here are just saying, rather long-windedly, "welcome everyone to our nature retreat, all's swell, forget about the cities and their
responsibility and enjoy what this place has to offer." Note that again we also have the "holy pillars." Repetition is used in incantation, etc, to
place emphasis, so I do honestly believe we are looking at the pillars of jachin and boaz here, or a reference to the pillars that spawned them. Of
note, jachin and boaz signify strength, establishment, and stabily. Certainly things those in power would desire.
The remaining lines of this snippet are interesting. They call to "memories" of friends, and ask that they join so that "not a piece be empty." A
couple meaning to take from this: one, that everyone there think back on those "gallant friends" who are now just memories, so that all are full
with the memories of old friends, or two, that they are actually calling out the bring back the spirits of the dead. Obviously, while option two
sounds exciting, most likely option one is the intent. The battles line is unclear at this point, probably referring ahead to the battle against
"dull care" and the last two lines extoll the inner self while noting that the world is in it's "grey autumn."
so from snippet two we have a group of men who are getting away from the world, remembering old friends, and are either involved in freemasonry or a
related group, or are perhaps isis worshippers. And don't forget, from snippet one, they worship knowledge.
Attend our tale
Gather ye forest folks!
And cast your spells over these mortals
Touch their world-blind eyes with carry-on
Open their eyes to fancy
Follow the memories of yesterday
And seal the gates of sorrow.
This section really leads me to believe that whatever rituals are practiced at Bohemian Grove, they are a mash-up of various mysticisms. Why? Because
now we are waxing druidic, calling on the fairy folk of the forest. On the interesting side, it is requested of the forest folk to change the
perception of those gathered from the cares of the world to "fancy" and to return them to the memories of yesterday, and "seal the gate of
After this section, it is beginning to look as if the BG Owl ritual is a constructed ritual put together to "bring back" or "go back into" how
things were in a time now past. The "gate of sorrow" lines leads me to think this ritual came about because of some change in the world of these
members at some point in the past that did not go as they wish. The other option is that this is still meant as a genuine religion, and the memories
of yesterday refers to forgotten knowledge and the sorrow refers to the straying of mankind from this knowledge, a common concept in mysticism. I
think option one more likely, because this ritual seems to draw influences from many areas, but option two is viable as well.
It is a dream
And yet, not all a dream
Dull Care in all of his works
As vanished Babylon and goodly Tyre
So shall they also vanish
But the wilding rose blows on the broken battlements of Tyre
And moss rends the stones of Babylon
For beauty is eternal
And we bow to beauty everlasting
For lasting happiness we turn our eyes to one alone,
And she surrounds you now.
Great nature, refuge of the weary heart,
And only balm to breasts that have been bruised.
She hath cool hands for every fevered brow
And gentlest silence for the troubled soul.
Her councils are most wise
She healeth well
Having such ministries as calm and sleep
She is ever faithful
Other friends may fail
But seek ye her in any quiet place
Smiling, she will rise and give to you her kiss
So must ye come as children
Little children that believe do not ever doubt her beauty or her faith
Nor deem her tenderness can change or die
Bohemians and priests!
The desperate call of heavy hearts is answered.
By the power of your fellowship, Dull Care is slain
His body has been brought yonder to our funeral pyre
To the joyous singings of a funeral march;
Our funeral pyre awaits the corpse of Care
O thou, thus ferried across the shadowy tide
In all the ancient majesty of death
Dull Care, ardent enemy of beauty
Not for thee the forgiveness or the restful grave
Fire shall have its will of thee
And all the winds make merry with thy dust
Lines 1-10 state that "Dull Care," which would seem to be a representation of the "real-world" lives of those gathered, has harbored a dream that
has some reality. Like vanished babylon and tyre, Dull Care's dreams will vanish. I would say these dreams that are not wholly dreams are the dreams
of success these men have had. Thusly, they have had some success, so there is a reality there, but it will fade in time, just like the ancient
Of note, while a reference to Babylon isnt earth-shattering, but rather more of a cliche, Tyre is surprising. Tyre is of course where the architect of
Solomon's temple was said to be from. So, again, another freemasonry tie. Wild roses in babylon could also refer to rosicrucians (sp?) who are
perhaps an offshoot of freemasonry, and more of the mystical bent. Perhaps these Bohemians are a gathering of the powerful from a collection of secret
societies, working together? Or, again, maybe it's just coincidence and they just happened to grab mystical symbols that are so widespread.
The remainder of this snippet just states that nature is the remedy for the mundane world, and that it is the bane of "dull care" and thus they are
going to symbolically burn dull care as a sacrifice.
When will ye learn
That me ye cannot slay?
Year after year ye burn me in this grove
Lifting your puny shouts of triumph to the stars.
When again you turn your faces to the marketplace
Do you not find me waiting as of old?
Fools to dream you conquer care.
just a reply by dull care that he is inescapable and will be waiting for them again when they leave the grove.
Say Thou mocking spirit!
It is not all a dream
We know thou waiting for us
When this out sylvan holiday has ended
We shall meet thee and fight thee as of old
And some of us prevail against thee
And some thou shall destroy
But this too we know
Year after year within this happy grove
Our fellowship bans thee for a space
Thine malevolence which would pursue us here
Has lost its power under these friendly trees.
So shall we burn thee once again this night
And, with the flames that eat thine effigy
We shall read the sign
Midsummer sets us free!
straightforward for the most part again, replying to dull care that they know he will return, and that some will succumb to him, others won't. Only
thing of interest here is that statement that they will "read the sign" as he burns. perhaps poetry, perhaps this ritual is used to try to gain some
glimpse of things to come.
Ye shall burn me once again!
Not with these flames!
Which hither ye have brought
From regions where I reign
Ye fools and priests
I spit upon your fire!
Dull care replies again. Basically says "can't touch me, I have power over your flames." Interesting that he states that the flames are from
"regions where I reign." Referring to fire sparked by modern means, or that he is a representation of the devil?
O Owl! Prince of all mortal wisdom
Owl of Bohemia, we beseech thee
Grant us thy council
Let it be in the world
Where care is nourished
On the hates of men
And drive Him from this grove.
One flame alone must light this fire
One flame alone must light this fire
A pure eternal flame
At last, within the lamp of Fellowship
Upon the altar of Bohemia.
O Great Owl of Bohemia!
We thank thee for thy adjuration.
Begone detested care!
Once more, we banish thee!
Begone Dull Care!
Fire should have its will of thee!
Begone Dull Care!
And all the winds make merry with thy dust
Hail, fellowship's eternal flame!
Once again Midsummer sets us free!
Nothing much here. They ask the owl of wisdom for guidance, he says burn him in a spirit of fellowship, rather than hatred. This pretty much clears up
the "region where I reign" from the previous snippet. If you want to look at it with a mystic bent, could be constued to say "start the fire with
combined mystical power, not natural flame" but thats none too likely.
So, after breaking it down, there are two primary possibilities from this ritual.
One, this group is a long running old boys club, which gathers to forget real life for a time and to get out in nature and get recharged, and they
just happen to have some hokey rituals that are a mash up of various schools of mysticism, and possibly had a negative occurance in the past, or
Two, it's a gathering of the top powers in a wide range of cults and/or societies of a mystical bent, who are gathering together to share power and
freedom in the pursuit of wisdom and enlightenment.
My guess is that it's option one, and the items in the ritual that seem to have some mystic validity are just happenstance, perhaps because some of
the founding members were probably masons and/or members of a mystic cult. Does this mean that all the atrocities claimed don't happen? not
necessarily. It just means that this ritual is not proof of anything, and seems to be harmless and hokey, with no definate thread of anything tying it
together, and nothing ominous at all contained in it.
If you read all of this, thanks! It's a heck of a read, but as the words of this ritual are one of the few concrete pieces of evidence, I felt it
deserved an in depth look.
[edit on 20-5-2005 by saturnine_sweet]