Who is Ina Custers van Bergen?
Ina Custers van Bergen (Roermond, *1957) is a Dutch Magistra, Occultist, Mystic, Reiki Master and international author. She is the founder and Director of Studies of the first internationally recognized school for applied hermetics in the Netherlands: the Hermetic Order of the Temple of Starlight.
The Hermetic Order of the Temple of Starlight has a direct lineage to the Golden Dawn, via Dion Fortune, Ernest Butler and Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki.
Ina Custers van Bergen uses ‘Unifying the Two Lands’ as her magical motto. This ancient Egyptian motto was used by the ancient Pharaos to connect upper and lower Egypt. Ina Custers van Bergen chose this maxim as her motto because it summarizes the work of the Magister: connecting the spiritual and material realities.
Ina Custers van Bergen started her spiritual development at an early age. At the age of seventeen she started practicing yoga and zen buddhism, she worked with the material of Fritz Perls, Eva Pierrakos and practiced the bio-energetics of Alexander Lowen. During her search she visited a range of eastern and western traditions, until she got to know the work of Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki of the Servants of the Light School of Occult Science (SOL). After having registered for the study programme she developed into supervisor and later to European coordinator.
The foundation of the Hermetic Order of the Temple of Starlight
The Hermetic Order of the Temple of Starlight (OTLA: Ordo Templi Lucis Asterum) was grounded by Ina Custers van Bergen in November 2003. At that moment – when she finished her study – she was authorized by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki to found a European daughterschool in the Western Mystery Tradition and Ceremonial Magic; the Hermetic Order of the Temple of Starlight.
Dolores Ashcroft Nowicki tells about this:
“Ina Custers van Bergen knows exactly what she is talking about. She has been fully trained in the Sacred Science (Magic) and finished the complete curriculum. She has worked with others and knows how to avoid the pitfalls that are waiting for the light-hearted. The Sacred Science is a demanding study, it asks time, effort, dedication, and patience.” (Translated from: Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, Introduction, in: Ina Custers Van Bergen, De weg naar de oude mysteriën, 2007, pp. 15)
From 2005 the Hermetic Order of the Temple of Starlight started the process of becoming independent of the motherschool Servants of the Light and became a fully independent school in 2007 with Ina Custers van Bergen as the Director of Studies. This was the foundation of a school in direct lineage of the Golden Dawn, the famous English magical order, that produced world-famous magicians and mystics. The Hermetic Order of the Temple of Starlight is in the first school for practical hermetics in the Golden Dawn lineage, founded in the Netherlands, and this makes it unique.
The school is internationally recognized by influential members of the hermetic community, one of them is Gareth Knight, the keeper of records of the Fraternity of the Inner Light, who is the editor of the legacy of Dion Fortune:
“Now, in a further turn of the spiral path, I have the pleasure of witnessing the work of Ina Custers van Bergen, which develops linearly from all that has gone before. She presents for the twenty-first century the age-old principles of the Western esoteric tradition […]. May her work prove a guide to your aspiration and a lantern to your feet.” (Gareth Knight, Foreword, in: Ina Custers van Bergen, The Temple of High Magic, 2010, pp. xi-xii.)
The Temple of High Magic (De weg naar de oude mysteriën)
In 2007 Ina Custers van Bergen debutes as author and specialist of the tradition with ‘De weg naar de oude mysteriën’ (‘The Temple of High Magic’). The book is a sound introduction and a survey of the Western Mystery Tradition. At the same time it is a practical workbook. The book is received with positive reviews by the international colleagues, in inter alia the Inner Light Magazine, the quarterly magazine of the Society of the Inner Light. In 2010 the translation ‘The Temple of High Magic’ is published in the United States.
At the moment Ina Custers van Bergen works fulltime als magister. She writes for esoteric magazines, lectures, leads rituals and gives workshops and Temple Retreats in different countries. She uses techniques like mystery drama, pathworking, mantra, working with thoughtforms, energy-exercises, vibration-exercises, healing and auto-hypnotic techniques.
Ina Custers van Bergen advocates the professionalizing of Hermetic schools that practice the Western Mystery Tradition. To this end she raised in 2012 Axis Mundi Academy. Also she is strongly committed to formulate quality standards in hermetic education and the development of training materials, in order for the almost forgotten Mystery Tradition to become accessible for the modern western society.