“Thunder rolled, lightning flashed, the veil of the Temple was rent from top to bottom. The venerable initiator, in his robes of blue and gold, slowly raised his jeweled wand and pointed with it into the darkness revealed by by the tearing of the silken curtain” ‘Behold the light of Egypt!’ The candidate, in his plain white robe, gazed into the utter blackness framed by the two great Lotus-headed columns between which the veil had hung. As he watched, a luminous haze distributed itself throughout the atmosphere until the air was a mass of shining particles. The face of the neophyte was illumined by the soft glow as he scanned the shimmering cloud for some tangible object. The initiator spoke again: ‘This Light which you behold is the secret luminance of the Mysteries. Whence it comes, none knoweth, save the “Master of the Light.” Behold Him!’ Suddenly, through the gleaming mist a figure appeared surrounded buy a greenish sheen. … The neophyte stepped back in awe, partly blinded by the glory of the revealed figure. … The form before him was considerable larger than that of a mortal man. The body seemed partly transparent so that the heart and brain could be seen pulsing and radiating. … The initiator, raising his wand, cried out in a loud voice: ‘All hail Thee, Thoth Hermes, Thrice Greatest; all hail thee!’”. ~Manly P. Hall
Veil of the Temple
One of the first questions many will have about this initiation is: “Why bother to put up a veil if it is just going to be torn away at the beginning of the initiation?” The answer is that it is symbolic of a very real veil that blocks most of us from spiritual truth And that is “torn away” by the process of spiritual initiation, awakening, and continued spiritual development.
Thunder Rolled, Lightning Flashed
There is no special significance to this that I can see, except to impress upon the initiate that something very important is about to happen. Thoth / Hermes, it seems, liked to make an entrance. It is possible, I suppose, that the sudden entry of a high-level spiritual being into the low realm of matter might result in thunder and lightning much like a volcano erupting can do, but I have never heard of this happening when other such beings appeared. “Thunder rolled, lightning flashed.” is not a phrase you generally associate with spiritual matters.
Robes of Blue and Gold
There is definite significance to the colors chosen for the robes of the initiator, who was probably a high priest. Blue is a spiritual color, so signifies that the wearer is a
spiritual leader and that the ceremony about to happen is spiritual in nature. Gold can represent royalty or wealth, but in mystery schools and spiritual schools, it represents the sun. So when we consider the color of spirit and the color representing the sun being used together, it is clear that the message is that this is a ceremony of the Spiritual Sun. It is not sun worship as practiced by some primitive peoples, but an awareness and use of the Spiritual Sun as a gateway between the physical and spiritual realms.
The initiate, on the other hand, is in plain white. In this case, it represents innocence and purity.
While I admire Manly Hall as a great historian of the spiritual, I don’t know how spiritual he himself was. In any case, he either wasn’t aware that many things in the mystery schools were never put into writing unless coded in some way, or he chooses not to mention it. In any case, they wanted to say things in a way that the true meaning could be grasped by the initiate, by not by others who were not spiritual students. So here they talk of a “luminous haze” arriving, according to Hall, and whatever ancient book he found it in. When you check the reasons above for the blue and gold robes, then think about it, you may realize that what is happening here is the sunrise. Just before the sun comes above the horizon, there is a hazy light, and is often the time when spiritual initiates started their sun gazing. That Thoth Hermes appeared at this time tells us he represented the Spiritual Sun. Saying that thunder rolled and lightning flashed may be allegorical rather than literal, but it does add to the mystery of Hermes.