What is Mount Nysa?
Mount Nysa was a legendary mountain in the ancient Greek world, believed to be the birthplace of the god Dionysos and home to his maenads, or wild female followers. According to myth, Mount Nysa was covered in lush forests and greenery, and was said to be the location of a sacred grove and temple.
The mountain throughout history was associated with the feminine divine and the cycles of nature; she was a source of healing and transformation for those brave enough to ascend her slopes.
As a mythical place, Mount Nysa is nowhere.
In this way, Mount Nysa is everywhere.
What is a Mystery School?
In contrast to public, civic religion, mystery religions of the ancient Mediterranean world centered around secret rites meant to transform the initiate. Mystery religions were often exclusive in nature, with initiates required to undergo a process of instruction before participating in the group's rituals.
Two of the most influential mystery religions in the ancient world were the Eleusinian Mysteries of goddesses Demeter and Persephone and the Mysteries of Dionysos.
Mystery rites played a significant role in the development of religious thought in the ancient world. They were associated with the development of philosophical and spiritual traditions such as Platonism and Neoplatonism. Mystery religions were also a source of inspiration for many later spiritual traditions, such as Christianity, and continue to be a point of fascination for scholars and modern practitioners of ancient Mediterranean religions.
A mystery school, then, is an institution dedicated to teaching and imparting knowledge of the divine and these mysteries of the universe. These teachings involve periods of preparatory training, initiation ceremonies, and oaths of secrecy.
ὦ μάκαρ, ὅστις εὐδαίμων τελετὰς θεῶν εἰδὼς βιοτὰν ἁγιστεύει καὶ θιασεύεται ψυχὰν ἐν ὄρεσσι βακχεύων ὁσίοις καθαρμοῖσιν, τά τε ματρὸς μεγάλας ὄρ- για Κυβέλας θεμιτεύων, ἀνὰ θύρσον τε τινάσσων, κισσῷ τε στεφανωθεὶς Διόνυσον θεραπεύει.
Blessed is he who, being fortunate and knowing the rites of the Gods, keeps his life pure and has his soul initiated into the Bacchic revels, dancing in inspired frenzy over the mountains with holy purifications, and who, revering the mysteries of great mother Kybele, brandishing the thyrsos, garlanded with ivy, serves Dionysos.
(Βάκχαι Εὐριπίδου 72-82; trans. T. A. Buckley, 1850)
Devotees of The Theoi [Gods]
& Seekers of Their Mysteries.
Mt Nysa Mystery School does not ascribe strictly to any one methodology, but takes a blended approach to the Ancient Hellenic Religion and Mysteries.
At times we are Reconstructionists, in the sense that our practice is rooted in historical source, cultural specificity, ritual orthopraxy, and intensive study, with reverence for the values and traditions of the ancients.
At times we are Revivalists, in the sense that we seek to piece together lost Mysteries, adapt ancient wisdom for the needs and realities of the modern world, and welcome individual expressions of spirituality.
At all times, we aim to be a starting point for those who feel drawn to Ancient Hellenic Religion, Priesthood, and/or Mysteries, but who may feel intimidated or out of place in other spaces.
We do not claim to possess secrets, ancient initiations, or unbroken lineages behind our doors.
Rather, we study with an attitude of reverent curiosity, working to revive traditions long-buried for the glory of the Immortals and the benefit of all.