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RosicrucianHistoryand

Mysteries

by

ChristianRebisse

3

OriginallypublishedasRose-Croixhistoireetmystères. TranslationfromtheFrenchbyRichardMajka. © 2005 Supreme Grand Lodge Of The Ancient and Mystical OrderRosaeCrucis.AllRightsReserved. Thispublicationisforyourpersonal,privateuseonly,andmaynot beusedforanycommercialpurpose.Nopartofthispublication may be reproduced, distributed, displayed, or transmitted in any formorbyanymeans,includingphotocopying,recording,orother electronicormechanicalmeans,includinginformationstorageand retrievalsystems,withouttheexpressandpriorwrittenpermission of Supreme Grand Lodge Of The Ancient and Mystical Order RosaeCrucis,exceptinthecaseofbriefquotationsembodiedin reviews.Forpermissionrequests,pleasecontact:SupremeGrand Lodge Of The Ancient And Mystical Order Rosae Crucis, Inc.,

RosicrucianPark,1342NagleeAve,SanJose,California95191.

Theinformationinthisbookisdistributedonan“asis”basis,

withoutwarranty.Althougheveryprecautionhasbeentakeninthe

preparationofthiswork,neithertheauthornorthepublishershall

haveanyliabilitytoanypersonorentitywithrespecttoanylossor

damagecausedorallegedtobecauseddirectlyorindirectlybythe

informationcontainedinthisbook.

4

Wewouldlike

allhumanbeings,togetherorindividually,youngorold,

richorpoor,noblemenorcommoners,menorwomen,tobefullyeducatedandto become accomplished beings. We would also like them to be educated and informedcompletely,notonlyonsuchorsuchapoint,butalsoonallthatwill allowthemtoachievetheiressenceintegrally,toyearntoknowthetruth,notto bedeceivedbypretense,tolovegoodandnottobeseducedbyevil,todowhat shouldbedoneandtokeepfromWhatshouldbeavoided,tospeakwisely(and nottoremainsilent)abouteverythingwitheveryonewhenitisnecessary;lastly,to alwaystreatthings,men,andGodwithprudenceandnotlightly,andtonever strayfromtheirgoal:happiness.

—Comenius,17th-centuryRosicrucian

5

CONTENTS

Illustrations

Chronology

Introduction

1.EgyptandthePrimordialTradition

ThePrimordialTradition•TheGreeksandEgypt•Thot-

Hermes • Alexandria • The Corpus Hermeticum • Pax Romana•Alchemy,Magic,andAstrology•Neoplatonism• The Christians Before Hermes • The Sabaeans • Idris- Hermes•TheEmeraldTablet•ArabAlchemy•Magicand Astrology•EasternTheosophy

2.HermeticismandthePhilosophiaPerennis

Islam in Spain • Alchemy in Spain • The Picatrix • The Qabalah•Astrology•TheExpulsionoftheJews•The Academy of Florence • Philosophia Perennis • Natural Magic•AngelicMagic•TheVoarehadumia•DeVerbo Mirifico•HarmonyoftheWorld•OccultPhilosophy• GiordanoBruno•AlchemyandNature•Paracelsus•The DeathofHermes

3.TheCrisisoftheEuropeanConsciousness

The Infinite Universe • The Catalogues of the World • Human Anatomy Revealed • The Reformation • The Revolts•TheCounter-Reformation•TheWarsofReligion

6

•TheImitationofChrist•TheMysticWedding

4.TheNaometriaandtheAgeoftheHolySpirit

Simon Studion • The Age of the Holy Spirit • The Naometria Nova • The Third Elijah • The Lion of the Septentrion

5.TheEchoesoftheRoseCross

TheAdvertisementsfromParnassus•Apollo’sReform• TheFamaFraternitatis•ArabiaFelix•Fez,CityofGold• The House of the Holy Spirit • The Tomb of Christian Rosenkreuz • Paracelsus and Rosenkreuz • Adam Haselmayer•HermesandRosenkreuz

6.TheConfessioFraternitatis

TheMonad•TheConfessioFraternitatis•Millennialism• TheLiberMundi•TheBible•AlchemyandReforms•The FortressofTruth•TheSources•TheTübingenCircle• JohannArndt•TobiasHess•JohannValentinAndreae• AnInitiaticNarrative

7.TheEmeraldLand

The Spiritual Filiation • The Imaginal World • True Imagination • Initiatic Narratives • Perfect Nature • The OldSage•TheFriendsofGod•TheGreenIsland•The Fravartis•SpiritualKnighthood•TheAgesoftheWorld• TheParaclete•Hierohistory

8.TheChymicalWedding

7

JohannValentinAndreae•TheStory•ABaroqueOpera• InnerAlchemy•TheSpiritualWedding•TheCastleofthe Soul•TheSevenStages•KnightoftheGoldenStone

9.TheRoseinBloom

Michael Maier • Robert Fludd • Johannes Kepler • Frederick V • The Defenestration of Prague • White Mountain

10.ThePhilosophersandtheRose-Croix

RenéDescartes•TheThreeDreams•ThePlacardsinParis •PolybiustheCosmopolitan•Holland•TheAlchemical Temptation•England•TheFaerieQueen•FrancisBacon •TheTheosophists•NovumOrganum•TheBee•New Atlantis•TheRoyalSociety•Comenius•ThePansophy• TheCollegeofLight

11.RosicrucianismandFreemasonry

RosicruciansandFreemasons•BrotherI.O.•Anderson’s Constitution • Hiram and Rosenkreuz • The Egyptian Mysteries•TheNoachiteReligion•TheGoldenandRosy Cross•TheGoldenFleece•TheGoldenRosyCrossofthe Ancient System • The Essenes and Templars • Initiated KnightsandBrothersofAsia•TheRose-CroixDegree• SpiritualKnighthood•TheEnlightenmentandIlluminism

12.MagnetismandEgyptosophy

TheEnlightenment•Sensationalism•ManasMachine•

Magnetism•TheSocietyofHarmony•ArtandEgypt•

8

TheAfricanArchitects•PrimitiveReligion•Cagliostro• TheCondemnationofMagnetism•Somnambulism•The Pyramid of the Tuileries • Napoleon and Egypt • The FriendsoftheDesert•TheMemphisRite•TheRosetta Stone•TheSocietyofMagnetism•BetweenScienceand Tradition•TheSocietyofSpiritualisticMagnetizersofParis •TheChurchandMagnetism•JesustheEssene

13.InSearchofthePsyche

Hypnosis • Spiritualism • Allan Kardec • Zanoni • The S.R.I.A. • Helena Petrovna Blavatsky • An Adventure Among the Rosicrucians • The H.B. of L. • Psychic Researches

14.TheRoseGardenoftheMagi

MonteVerità•TheTemplarsoftheOrient•TheGolden Dawn•JoséphinPéladan•TheRosicruciansofToulouse• TheKabbalisticOrderoftheRose-Croix•TheRose-Croix of the Temple and the Grail • The Magic of Art • Symbolism•TheMagnificents•TheRosicrucianSalons• TheConfraternityoftheRoseWindow•CountFalkenstein

15.TheFirst“Rosicrucians”ofAmerica

The First “Rosicrucians” of America 144 Pietism • Boehmism and the Qabalah • Millennialism • The Philadelphian Society and English Millennialism • The DepartureforAmerica

16.HarveySpencerLewis

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TheMysticAwakening•NewThought•TheKybalion• TheNewYorkInstituteforPsychicalResearch

17.TheJourneytotheEast

TheOrient•TheManhattanMysticCircle•Egypt•The NewOntology•AMysticalExperience•TheJourneyto France•Toulouse,theRose-RedCity•TheInitiation•The SecretoftheOrigins

18.TheAncientandMysticalOrderRosaeCrucis

ThePhilomathicSociety•TheMartinistProject•TheVisit of an Old Lady • The Birth of AMORC • The First Rosicrucian Lodge • An Alchemical Demonstration • H. Spencer Lewis, Freemason • The First Rosicrucian Convention

19.InternationalAlliances

Theodor Reuss and the O.T.O. • The TAWUC • The

RosicruciansofFrance•TheJourneytoFrancein1926•

AndréLebeyandtheLeagueofNations•AReceptionat the Grand Orient in Paris • The Beginnings of RosicrucianisminFrance•NicholasRoerichandtheWorld Council•ThePolaires•TheFUDOSI•TheTriangleofthe FUDOSI

20.TheContemporaryEra

TheTeachingsofAMORC•AMORCintheWorld•The

FourthRosicrucianManifestoConclusionNotesThematic

BibliographyIndexofPersonalNamesviiiIllustrations

10

Conclusion

Notes

ThematicBibliography

IndexofPersonalNames

ILLUSTRATIONS

1.MichaelMaier,Symbolaaureaemensaeduodecimnationum,

1617.

2.TabulaSmaragdinaHermetis

3.ApolloniusdeTyana,fromJacquesBoissard,DeDivinationeet

magicis,1605.

4.OswaldCroll,BasilicaChymica,1609.

5.CorneliusHeinrichAgrippa.

6.CorneliusHeinrichAgrippa,DeOccultaPhilosophia,1510.

7.PortraitofParacelsusbyAugustinHirschvogel,1540

8.ValentinWeigel,Studiumuniversale,1695

9.Galileo,DialogueConcerningtheTwoPrincipalSystemsofthe

Universe,1635

10.OttoBrunfels,Herbarumvivaeeiconesadnaturaeimitationem,

1541

11.HenryIVofFrance.

12.SimonStudion,Naometria,drawingbyJakobLederlin.

13.SimonStudion

14.DetailfromSimonStudion,Naometria,drawingbyJakob

Lederlin.

15.FamaFraternitatis,firstRosicrucianmanifesto,1614

12

16.HeinrichKhunrath,AmphitheatrumSapientiaeAeternae,1603

17.TheRoseCross,fromthe1614editionoftheFama

Fraternitatis

18.JohnDee,MonasHieroglyphica,1564

19.TheophilusSchweighardt(DanielMögling),Speculum

SophicumRhodo-Stauricum,1618.

20.StephanMichelspacher,CabalaspeculumartisetNaturaein

Alchymia,1616.

21.Qaf,theCosmicMountain

22.HeinrichKhunrath,AmphitheatrumSapientiaeAeternae,“The

EmeraldTablet,”1603.

23.TheatrumChemicumBritannicum,texteditedandannotatedby

EliasAshmole,1652.

24.JohannValentinAndreae,ChymicalWeddingofChristian

Rosenkreuz,1616.

25.MartinLuther’semblem.

26.JohannValentinAndreae

27.Inscriptionsandcryptogramshownonthefountainofthe

ChymicalWedding(fourthday)

28.ChymicalWeddingofChristianRosenkreuz,drawingbyHans

Wildermann,1923

29.Thealchemicalflaskoftheroyalwedding,fromPandora,

1582.

30.JoachimFrizius,SummumBonum,1629

13

31.MichaelMaier.

32.RobertFludd.

33.RobertFludd,UtriusqueCosmi,1617

34.FrederickVandElizabethattheircoronation

35.FrontispiecefromNovumOrganumbyFrancisBacon.

36.RenéDescartes.

37.GabrielNaudé,InstructionàlaFrancesurlavéritédel’histoiredes

FrèresdelaRoze-Croix,1623.

38.DutcheditionoftheFamaFraternitatis

39.J.S.Torrentius.

40.FrancisBacon

41.DetailfromthefrontispieceofNewAtlantis,1627.

42.FrontispiecefromHistoryoftheRoyalSocietybyThomasSprat,

1667.DrawingbyJohnEvelyn.

43.ComeniusbyMaxSvabinsky.

44.Mayviolencesubsidefromthingsandmayeverything

flowfromitself”Comenius’emblem.

45.Rosicrucianmanuscriptofthe18thcentury

46.EliasAshmole

47.ReceptionoftheMaster’sDegree

48.Illustrationfroman18thcenturyRosicrucianritual

49.LodgeroomintheRosicrucianSovereignPrinceDegree.

50.MasonicJeweloftheRose-Croix.

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51.DetailfromAKeytoMagicandtheOccultSciencesbyE.Sibley,

c.1800.

52.Mesmer’stub

53.DrawingfromDifférentesmaniéresd’ornerlescheminées,

1769.

54.SceneryfromtheMagicFlute

55.FountainofRegeneration,detailofadrawingbyMonnet,

1797

56.Diagramofa“pyramid”oftheFriendsoftheDesert

57.TheFrenchconsulgeneralinEgypt

58.TheScalesofHealthfromHectorDurville’sTheTheoryand

PracticeofHumanMagnetism,1900.

59.AllanKardec

60.LevitationexperimentwiththemediumEusapiaPalladino,

1909

61.Zanoni,drawingbyRobertLanz

62.FranzHartmann.

63.CoveroftheofficialcatalogueoftheRosicrucianSalon,

1893

64.SymboloftheOrdoRosaeRubeaeetAureaeCrucis,by

SamuelMathers,c.1887-1888

65.JoséphinPéladan

66.SymboloftheKabbalisticOrderoftheRose-Croix

15

67.TheKabbalisticOrderoftheRose-Croix

68.SealoftheGrail,drawinghyFrançoisMerintierforthe

RosicrucianSalonof1893

69.Pietistcollege,17thcenturyGermanengraving.

70.RosicruciandocumentsphotographedbyJuliusFriedrich

SachseforhisbookTheGermanPietistsofProvincialPennsylvania

1694-1708

71.JohannesKelpius,drawingbyChristopherWitt,TheOriginal

Canvass.

72.EphrataCommunityatCocalicoCreek

73.HarveySpencerLewis

74.TheMetropolitanTempleofNewYork.

75.PhineasParkhurstQuimby.

76.NewYorkSundayWorld,January1907

77.MayBanks-Stacey

78.TheFuture,February1908

79.ClovisLassalle.

80.DrawingbyHarveySpencerLewisrepresentingtheplace

ofhisintiation

81.LetterwrittenbyHarveySpencerLewistohiswifeon

August13,1909,thedayafterhisinitiation.

82.AMORC’sfoundationcharterofApril1,1915

83.AmericanPhilomathicJournal,October1912

16

84.AmericanPronunziamentoNumberOne,February1915

85.TheNewYorkLodge.

86.AlfredE.Saunders.

87.LetterfromSârHieronymus(ÉmileDantinne)toHarvey

SpencerLewis.

88.ChartergrantedtotheGrandLodgeofDenmarkin1920.

89.TheodorReuss.

90.ExcerptsfromaletterwrittenbyCamilleSavoiretoHarvey

SpencerLewisonJuly12,1928.

91.HarveySpencerLewis.

92.RalphMaxwellLewis

93.ARosicruciantemple

94.OneofAMORC’sofficialsymbols

95.PositioFraternitatisRosaeCrucis.

17

CHRONOLOGY

This table brings together the important dates in the history of Western esotericism, as well as those dates concerning the emergence of various movements that are associated, rightly or wrongly,withRosicrucianism.

100B.C.

BeginningofGreco-Egyptianalchemy,ofwhichBolosofMendesis

oneofthemostimportantrepresentatives.

A.D.140

ClaudiusPtolemy,anAlexandrianGreek,writestheTetrabiblos,a treatise which codifies the principles of astrology. First Latin

translationin1535,byJoachimCamerarius.

260

Iamblicus, a Neo-Platonist, is initiated into the Chaldean and Egyptianrites,writesTheMysteriesofEgypt.

383

Emperor Theodosius promulgates an edict against non-Christian cults,resultingintheendoftheEgyptianreligion,butthetempleof

IsisatPhilaeisnotcloseduntilthemiddleofthe6thcentury.

18

500

6thcentury:AppearanceoftheSecretBookofCreationbyBalinus;

referencetotheEmeraldTabletandtoHermesTrismegistus.

1000

End of 11th century: Translation of Sefer ha Bahir (Book of Splendor),oneofthefirstbooksconcerningtheQabalahinSpain. 1100 12th century: Introduction of alchemy and the dawning of astrology and magic in the West by way of Spain, due to the translationsofArabtexts.

1200

MosesbenShernTovofLeonwritestheZohar.

1471

MarsilioFicinopublisheshistranslationoftheCorpusHermeticum,

beforetranslatingPlato.

1494

JohannesReuchlinpublishesDeVerbomirifico,akeyworkofthe

ChristianQabalahandthefirstEuropeanworkcompletelydevoted

totheQabalah.

1510

CorneliusHeinrichAgrippapublishesTheOccultPhilosophy(1510-

19

1530).

1558

PublicationoftheZoharatMantua,theninCremonain1560.

1564

JohnDeepublishestheMonasHieroglyphica.

1589

JohannHuserpublishestheCompleteWorksofParacelsusinBasel (15891591). A second edition is issued in 1603. 1602 Lazarus ZetznerpublishedtheTheatrumChemicum,atrueencyclopediaof alchemyinsixvolumes.

1604

SimonStudioncompletestheNaometriaNova.

1608

TheTübingenCircleisconstitutedintoasocietasincludingTobias Hess, Abraham Hözl, the pastor Vischer, and Johann Valentin Andreae.

1610

The manuscript of the Fama Fraternitatis (first Rosicrucian

manifesto)circulatesintheTyrol.1611Thefirstprintedreference

20

totheRosicruciansinatextbyAdamHaselmeyer,Apologiacontra

HippolyteGuarinoni.

1614

Isaac Casaubon proves that the Corpus Hermeticum is not of Egyptianorigin.

1614

Publication of the Fama Fraternitatis in Kassel (first Rosicrucian manifesto).

1615

Publication of the Confessio Fraternitatis in Kassel (second Rosicrucianmanifesto).

1616

PublicationoftheChymicalWeddingofChristianRosenkreuz(third

Rosicrucianmanifesto).

1616

Robert Fludd publishes Apologia Compendiaria Fraternitatem de RoseaCrucesuspicionisetinfamiaemaculisaspersamveritatisquasi Flucibus abluens et abstergens; beginning of the controversies betweenthephilosophersoverRosicrucianism.

21

1623

AppearanceoftheRosicrucianplacardsinParis:“We,Deputiesof

theprincipalCollegeoftheBrothersoftheRoseCross

1623

Gabriel Naudé publishes Instruction à la France sur la vérité de l’histoiredesFrèresdelaRoze-Croix.

1630

PetrusMormius,inArcanatotiusnaturaesecretissima,nechactenus

unquamdetecta,acollegioRosianoinlucempproduntur,mentions

theGoldenRosicrucians.

1638

First reference to the relationship between Rosicrucianism and MasonryinapoempublishedinEdinburghbyPerth.

1641

JohnComeniuspublishesTheWayoftheLight,wherethesubject

matteroftheRosicrucianmanifestosisdiscussedopenly.

1694

GermanPietistsledbyJohannesKelpiusdepartforAmericaaboard

theSarahMaria.

22

1710

Sincerus Renatus publishes Die wahrhafte und volkommene

Bereitung des philosophischen Steins der Brüderschafft aus dem

withanappendixofthe

OrdendesGuldenundRosenKreutzes

lawsandrulesunderwhichthefraternityoperated.

1717

FoundingoftheGrandLodgeofLondonandthatofWestminster;

beginningofFreemasonry.

1723

PublicationofAnderson’sConstitution.

1736

FirsteditionofRamsay’sDiscourse(beginningoftheScottishrite).

1757

FirstdocumentationoftheexistenceoftheChevalierRose-Croix

degree(EnfansdelaSagesseetConcordeLodge).

1777

JohannRudolfvonBischoffswerderandJohannChristopheWölner

reformtheGoldenRoseCrossoftheAncientSystem(referencesto

alchemy,Egypt,andtheEssenes).

23

1783

FranzAntonMesmerfoundstheHarmonySociety.

1784

AlessandroCagliostroinauguratesinLyonsLaSagessetriumphante

(EgyptianMasonry).

1784

ConventionofthePhilalethesinParis(1784-1787).

1785

PublicationoftheSecretSymbolsoftheRosicrucianofthe16thand

17th Centuries (first part) in Altona; it is the most important Rosicruciantextafterthemanifestos.

1806

AlexandreDuMögecreatesinToulouseanEgyptianrite,thatofthe

FriendsoftheDesert.

1814

The Bédarrides brothers create the Rite of Mizraim (Egyptian

Masonry)(1814-1856).

1838

Jean-ÉtienneMarconisdeNègre,breakingawayfromtheMizraim,

24

founds the Memphis rite (Egyptian Masonry). The two rites are

unitedin1881byGiuseppeGaribaldi.

1842

SirEdwardBulwer-LyttonpublishesZanoni,aRosicrucianinitiatic

novel.

1847

ExperiencesoftheFoxsistersinHydesville,NewYork,markingthe

beginningsofspiritualismintheUnitedStates.

1856

Allan Kardec publishes Le Livre des esprits, a textbook of spiritualism.

1856

ÉliphasLévipublishesDogmeetritualdelahautemagie;beginning

ofoccultism.

1861

P.BeverlyRandolphfoundstheFraternitasRosaeCrucis.

1866

RobertWentworthLittlefoundstheSocietasRosicrucianainAnglia

(S.R.I.A.)

25

1866

ExpansionofNewThoughtbythefollowersofPhineasParkhurst

Quimby.

1868

P.BeverlyRandolphfoundstheHermeticBrotherhoodofLuxor

(H.B.ofL.)(1864-1874).

1875

Mrs.MaryBakerEddypublishesScienceandHealth,withKeyto

theScriptures,theclassicofChristianScience.

1875

FoundationoftheTheosophicalSocietybyHenrySteelOlcottand

HelenaPetrovnaBlavatsky.1878

1878

Firmin Boissin initiates Adrien Péladan into the Rose-Croix of Toulouse.

1882

CreationoftheSocietyforPsychicalResearchinLondon.

1887

StanislasdeGuaitaandJoséphinPéladanfoundtheKabbalistical

26

OrderoftheRoseCross.

1887

S.L. Mathers, W.W. Westcott, and W.R. Woodman found the

HermeticOrderoftheGoldenDawn(1887-1888).

1888

FranzHartman,secretarytoHelenaBlavatsky,foundstheEsoteric

Rose-Croix.

1889

Papus launches L’Initiation, a magazine that is an organ of the MartinistOrder.

1891

JoséphinPéladanseparatesfromtheKabbalisticOrderoftheRose-

Croix to create the Order of the Catholic Rosicrucians of the TempleandGrail.

1892

FirstshowoftheRosicrucianSalonsinParis.

1909

HarveySpencerLewisisinitiatedintotheRosicrucianOrderin

Toulouse.

27

1909

ThetheosopherCarlLouisvonGrasshoff(MaxHeindel)foundsthe

RosicrucianFellowship.

1912

FoundationinLondonoftheOrderoftheTempleoftheRosy

CrossbyAnnieBesant,MarieRussak,andH.Wedgwood.

1913

RudolfSteinerbreakswiththeTheosophicalSocietyandfoundsthe

AnthroposophicalSociety.

1915

FoundationofAMORC(AncientandMysticalOrderoftheRose

Cross)byHarveySpencerLewis.

1915

ArthurEdwardWaitefoundstheFellowshipoftheRosyCross.

1915

Creation of the Order of the Lily and Eagle (Rose-Croix of the Orient)byDemetriusPlatonSemelasandMariaRoutchine.

1919

Jan Leene (Jan Van Rijckenborg ), one of the directors of the

28

RosicrucianassociationofMaxHeindel,foundstheAquariusBond,

thentheOrderofManicheans,whichlaterbecomestheLectorum

RosicrucianumandtheGoldenRoseCross.

1920

Creation of the Collegium Pansophicum in Berlin by Heinrich Tranker.

1923

ÉmileDantinnefoundstheRose-Croixuniversitaire.

1929

Jean Mallinger, Étienne Dantinne, and Léon Lelarge develop the OrdreHermétistetétramégiste.

1930

Zam Bhotiva (Cesare Accomani) launches the movement of the Polaires.

1934

Émile Dantinne, Victor Blanchard, and Harvey Spencer Lewis found in Brussels the FUDOSI (Universal Federation of the SovereignandInitiaticOrders).

1940

29

Decree of the Vichy government dissolving and forbidding

associationsofasecretnature(August13).

1949

OfficialdebutofAMORC’sactivitiesinFranceunderthedirection

ofJeanneGuesdon(reactivationofactivitiesafterWorldWarII).

2001

Publication of the Positio Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis (fourth Rosicrucianmanifesto).

30

INTRODUCTION

O NEOFTHEWesternworld’smostenigmaticinitiatory societies is the Rosicrucian Order. Goethe once asked, “Whothenhasweddedtherosetothecross?”Indeed,

theOrder’ssymbolunitestwoelementsofopposingessence:the cross, whose four branches recall the four cardinal points, symbolizes the material world, whereas the rose, whose subtle perfumerepresentstheunknowableaspectofthings,representsthe soul.TheRoseCrossthusrepresentsthemysteryoftheconjunction ofcontraries,themarriageofbodyandsoul. Yet the Rose Cross is not only a symbol relating to human

evolution;italsoconcernsthewholeofCreation.Duringthe17th

century,thegoldenageofRosicrucianism,peoplereadilyperceived intheweddingoftheroseandcrosstheprocessbywhichhumans helpnaturetofinditsownregeneration.Thisisundoubtedlywhat JoséphinPéladanwantedtoexpressinthemottoappearingonthe coverofoneofhisbooks:Adrosampercrucem,adcrucemperrosam,in ea,ineisgemmatusresurgam.“Totherosebywayofthecross,tothe crossbywayoftherose,init[therose],inthem[theroseand cross], I emerge once more as a precious stone.” Through the marriageoftheroseandcross—ofhumanbeingsandcreation—the Divine reveals itself in increasingly brilliant splendor. These few elementshelpustounderstandtheattractionthattheRoseCross symbolhasexertedforcenturiesuponsomanyseekerswhohave reflecteduponthemysteriesofGod,humanity,andtheuniverse.

31

Itallbeganin1614,withthepublicationoftheFamaFraternitatis,a

mysterioustextrevealingtoEuropetheexistenceofaRosicrucian fraternity.Inthemidstofaneratornapartbydisturbingscientific discoveries,bitterreligiouscontroversies,anddevastatingepidemics, thistextinvitedseekerstojoinafraternityfoundedbyChristian Rosenkreuz. The Rosicrucians offered to divulge their fabulous knowledge, whose virtues would allow a society in crisis to be restored.Thisfirstmanifestowassoonfollowedbyasecond,the ConfessioFraternitatis, and then by a third, the Chymical Wedding of

ChristianRosenkreuz,publishedrespectivelyin1615and1616.The

three works enjoyed considerable success. They circulated throughoutEuropeandsparkedthepublicationofaphenomenal

quantityofbooks.Soonafterwards,in1623,theParisiansmarveled

overplacardsonthewallsoftheircityannouncingthattheBrothers oftheRoseCrosswerestaying“visibleandinvisible”inthecapital. WhoweretheseRosicrucianswhoseemedtoremaininvisibleand unknowable? Where did they come from? Were they the ones heraldedcenturiesbeforebyJoachimdeFioreasthefoundersofa new religion, that of the age of the Holy Spirit, which Joachim describedasatimeofbliss?OrdidtheyembodyEliasArtista,the man who Paracelsus predicted would reveal to humanity all the secretsofnature?Whatwasthismysteriousuniversalknowledge thattheRose-Crossfraternityclaimedtopossess?Thesequestions

preoccupiedthespeculationsofnumerous17thcenturyresearchers,

philosophers, and scholars, including René Descartes, and Isaac Newton.

32

Forsomepeople,theRosicrucianOrderwasasoldastheworld; forothers,itaroseintheageofpharaohsandlaterbroughttogether theheritageofthePythagoreans,theEleusinianmysteries,theMagi ofPersia,theEssenes,theTemplars,andtheorderoftheGolden Fleece.SomesawinitsemergenceaJesuitplot.Alargernumberfelt thattheOrderdidnotexist,andthatitwassimplyalegendinvented

inthe17thcenturybyagroupofintellectualswhoweredetermined

to have their contemporaries reflect upon the general drift of society. Finally, a few people thought that it was a fraternity belonging to the invisible worlds, composed of “Unknown Superiors”watchingoverthedestinyofhumanity.

Sincethe17thcentury,manyauthorshaveponderedthehistoryof

theRosicrucians,withtheirbooksattestingtothecomplexmystery surrounding Rosicrucian origins. Many, confusing legend with history, have launched into unreasonable speculations. Others, satisfiedwithwhatmaybedemonstratedbyirrefutabledocuments, sometimesoverlookbasicpoints,astheyforgettheimportanceand value of the legendary in the very constitution of culture and, thereby,ofthatwhichunderlieshistoricalevents.Forthelastseveral decades,universitystudieshaveshedsomeparticularlyinteresting lightonsomeaspectsofRosicrucianismandhaveallowedusto reconsiderentirelyanumberofpointsofviewexpressedpreviously. However,muchremainstobedone. Thepresentworkdoesnotclaimtobeexhaustive,buttriesto differentiate between legend and history, facts and mysteries. It

involvestwobasicobjectives:1)tohaveRosicrucianismassumeits

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properplaceinthehistoryofWesternesotericismsothatitcanbe better understood; and 2) to place within this panorama the emergenceoftheAncientandMysticalOrderRosaeCrucis,known throughouttheworld bytheabbreviation A.M.O.R.C.Thelatter constitutesnotonlythemostimportantoftheRosicrucianorders, butalsooneofthemajorinitiatorymovementsofthemodernera. Thus,wewishtoshedfurtherlightonitsorigins. As the history of Rosicrucianism fits into that of Western esotericism, it is important to emphasize what underlies this concept. The adjective “esoteric” comes from the Greek word esoterikos,whichisderivedfromeso“within”andeis“into.”Theword literallymeans“towardtheinterior”anddescribesthatwhichisnot directly accessible. It evokes the concept of moving toward the center,theinterior.Thus,esotericismistheknowledgeofthatwhich relatestointernalthings,ofwhichtheintellectcantouchupononly toacertainextent.Inshort,itinvolvesagnosis,aknowledgethat leadstoatransformation,aregenerationofthesoul. Furthermore,asshownbyAntoineFaivre,esotericismconstitutes moreawayofapproachingmattersratherthanabodyofdefined doctrines. 2 Its fundamental elements, such as alchemy, magic, astrology,Qabalah,magnetism,andvariousspiritualtechniqueswith whichitisassociated,arenotreadilyapparent.Ithasbeenpieced togetherslowly,haspenetratedtheWestgradually,andhasbeen subjectedtovariousinfluences.Ourstudywillthusleadustoplaces ofitsbirth—mythicalandreal—andtothosecountriesandtimes through which it has traveled. Therefore, we will visit Egypt;

34

Greece; the Arab lands; Europe during the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Age of Enlightenment; France of the Belle Époque;andtheNewWorld.Whileonourjourney,wewillmeet such extraordinary individuals as Hermes Trismegistus, Marsilio Ficino,GiordanoBruno,JohnDee,TheophrastusParacelsus,Franz AntonMesmer,JoséphinPéladan,HarveySpencerLewis—notto mentionsomeoneasunexpectedasÉrikSatie.Wewillalsocome acrossnumerousinitiatoryorganizationsthathaveplayedamoreor less important role in Western esotericism or in the Rosicrucian movement. Finally,toguidethosereaderswhowishtodelvefurtherintothese subjects, we have also included a thematic bibliography, a chronology repeating the important dates in the history of Rosicrucianismoresotericism,andanindexofimportantpeoplein Rosicrucianhistory. Asyouwillnotewhilereadingthisbook,therootsoftheRose Crossliehiddeninthemistsoftime,becauseitsessencedoesnot relatetotheorderofmaterialthings.Thus,onceweseemtoreach itsroots,weareconfrontedwithamystery:thatoftheverygenesis ofhumanbeingsandofCreation.

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FIGURE1. MichaelMaier ,Symbolaaureaemensaeduodecimnationum,1617. 36

FIGURE1.MichaelMaier,Symbolaaureaemensaeduodecimnationum,1617.

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Chapter1

EGYPTANDTHE

PRIMORDIALTRADITION

Q UESTIONSHAVEOFTENarisenregardingtheorigins ofRosicrucianism.Althoughaconsensusofresearchers

placesitshistoricalbeginningsinthe17thcentury,weare

oftheopinionthatthegenesisofthismovementdatesfrommuch

fartherback.SuchwasthebeliefoftheGermanalchemistMichael Maier. In his work Silentium Post Clamores (1617), he described RosicrucianismashavingarisenfromtheEgyptians,theBrahmans, themysteriesofEleusisandSamothrace,theMagiofPersia,the Pythagoreans,andtheArabs.Severalyearsafterthepublicationof the Fama Fraternitatis (1614) and the Confessio Fraternitatis (1615),

IrenaeusAgnostus,inClypeumveritatis(TheShieldofTruth,1618),

feltnohesitationindeclaringAdamtobethefirstrepresentativeof theOrder.TheRosicrucianmanifestoslikewisemadereferenceto the same source: “Our philosophy has nothing new in it; it conformstowhatAdaminheritedaftertheFall,andwhatMoses andSolomonpracticed.” 1

THEPRIMORDIALTRADITION

Adam, Egypt, Persia, the Greek sages, and the Arabs were

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conjured up forgood reason byMichaelMaier.Healluded to a concept that was very wide-spread before the coming of Rosicrucianism. This concept—the Primordial Tradition—first appearedintheRenaissance, 2 especiallyaftertherediscoveryofthe Corpus Hermeticum, a group of mysterious texts attributed to an Egyptian priest, Hermes Trismegistus. From him, this idea of a primordialrevelation,ofwhichEgyptwasthecradle,wouldhave considerablerepercussions. OurintentionisnottodescribeEgyptianesotericisminfull,but rather to indicate how this heritage was transmitted. The route connectingEgypttotheWestislongandoffersavariedlandscape. Wewillnotdiscussallofitsdetails,becausethisdescriptionwould occupyanentirevolume.However,certainsalientpointswillallow us to understand Rosicrucian origins. While engaging in this undertaking it is necessary to follow a trustworthy guide, and Hermes appears to be the character most noted in the ancient writings.Indeed,thehistoryandmythsrelatingtothisindividualare particularlyrichininformationconcerningourpurposeathand. Sinceantiquity,Egypt’scivilizationhasbeenmuchadmired.Its mysteryschools,whichactedbothasuniversitiesandmonasteries, were the guardians of its wisdom. These schools experienced a

distinctivefloweringundertheruleofAkhnaton(1353-1336B.C.),

especially after he introduced the concept of monotheism. The Egyptianreligionisparticularlyintriguingbecauseofitsmysterious cults.AlthoughHermeshadsomeofhisoriginsinEgypt,inthegod Thoth,hewasprimarilyaGreekgod.HewasthesonofZeusand

38

of the nymph Maia. The Greeks considered him the god of shepherds, thieves, merchants, and travelers. He was also the inventorofastronomy,weightsandmeasures,themusicalscale,the artofgymnastics,andthecultivationofolivetrees.Mostofallhe wasthemessengerofZeusandtheshepherdwhoguidedthedead toward the world of Hades. His attributes were a caduceus and wingedsandals. IntheEgyptianpantheon,Thothenjoyedaspecialillustriousness. Hewasshownasanibisheadedmanorasababoon(cf.theBook oftheDead).Equippedwithapalette,reed,andpapyrus,hewas alwaysreadytotranscribethewordsofRe.Hewastheveryepitome ofascribe;hewasdescribedastheinventorofhieroglyphs.Thoth wastheprotectorofscribes,theteacherofmedicine,astronomy, andthearts.Heknewthesecretsofmagic;hewastheinitiator.On thestatueofAmenhotep,sonofHapu,ahighofficialandfavorite

ofAmenhotepIII(c.1360B.C.),itiswritten:“

butintothe

divinebook,Ihavebeeninitiated.OfThoth,Ihaveseenglory,and amongmystery,Iintroducedmyself.”

InaperiodasfardistantastheOldKingdom(2705-2180B.C.),

Thoth was already described as the messenger of the gods, a characteristichepreservedwhenpassingintotheGreekworldinthe guiseofHermes.Inhiscapacityofjudge,hestoodbetweenSeth andHorus.HewastheprotectoroftheeyeofHorus.

IntheMiddleKingdom(1987-1640B.C.),hepersonifiedwisdom.

HewasparticularlyhonoredinHermopolis,andthepriestsofthis city attributed to him the Book of the Two Ways, a text which

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describedthevoyagetotheafterlife.Theinscriptionsfoundinthe sarcophagiofthisperiodalsomentiona“divinebookofThoth.”At thebeginningofthisperiod,Thothappearedasthewriterofsacred writings, the all-knowing teacher, the one who knew the secret magicalrites.Itisalsoreportedthatthesacredtextswerefoundat thefootofhisstatue.Thissymbolicthemeisfoundmuchlaterin the story describing the discovery of the tomb of Hermes Trismegistus by Apollonius of Tyana. In the Book of the Dead, Thoth plays the role of judge when weighing the heart of the deceased. In the New Kingdom (1540-1075 B.C.), Akhnaton (1353-1336 B.C.)abolishedtheancientpantheonwheninstitutingthecultof Aton. Even so, Thoth preserved certain prerogatives during the pharaoh’sreign.AfterthedisappearanceofthefounderofEgyptian monotheism,Thothregainedhisqualitiesofall-knowingsageand the teacher of secrets. During this period, writings of an occult characterbecameimportant.ThisisundoubtedlywhyH.Spencer LewisregardedAmosis,thepharaohwhointroducedthisperiod,as beingtheorganizerofthebrotherhoodofinitiatesthatlatergave risetotheRoseCross.Moreover,hethoughtHermeswasasage contemporary with Akhnaton. The occult knowledge of the Egyptianswasconsideredsecret.Itwastransmittedby“housesof life,”sometimescalled“mysteryschools.” The opinions of the specialists are divided regarding the importanceofoccultismandmagicinthetimeofthepharaohs.Erik Hornung,anEgyptologistattheUniversityofBasel,feelsthattoo

40

manyhistorianshavetakenanoverlypositivistapproachregarding thismatter.Hedeclaresthatitis“undeniablethatatthebeginning oftheNewKingdom,atthelatest,aspiritualclimatepropitiousto theemergenceofHermeticwisdomdominated.”Emphasizingthe importantroleofJanAssmann,whoconcentratedonthissubject whilestudyingtheRamesideperiod,headdedthatatpresent“there prevail conditions much more favorable to the discovery of Hermeticism’spossibleEgyptianroots.” 3

IntheLateKingdom(664-332B.C.),Thothwasconsideredtobe

the teacher of magic. A stele calls him “twice great,” and he is presentedsometimesas“thrice(very)great,”oreven“fivetimes great”(cf.theStoryofSetne).InthePtolemaicperiod,theGreeks andRomanswerefascinatedbyHermopolisanditscultofThoth. There developed at this time an original synthesis between the EgyptiancivilizationandtheHellenisticculture.

THEGREEKSANDEGYPT

Considerable evidence relates to the relationships between the

sagesofGreeceandofEgypt.Inthe5thcenturyB.C.Herodotus

visited Egypt and conversed with the priests. In his history he discusses the Osirian mysteries celebrated at Sais. For him, the mysteriesofGreeceowedmuchtoEgypt.ComparingtheGreek andEgyptianpantheons,heobservedthatcertaindivinitiesofhis countryhadtheiroriginsamongthepharaohs. Thereexistedastrongtraditionwhichclaimedthatthegreatsages ofancientGreeceobtainedknowledgefromtheirEgyptianteachers.

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It was claimed that many among them were initiated into the mysteries,thusassuringthetransmissionofEgyptianlearninginto theGreekworld.AmongthemHerodotusspokeonlyofSolon(c.

640-558).InTimaeusandtheCritiasPlato(427-347),whohimself

hadgonetoEgyptandremainedtherethreeyears,spokeofthe discussionsthatSolonhadwiththeEgyptianpriests.InTheRepublic, he also emphasized the prestige of the Egyptian priests. Furthermore, he mentioned Thoth in the Phaedrus. Isocrates, a contemporaryofPlato,madeEgyptthesourceofphilosophyand indicatedthatPythagoraswenttheretobeinstructed.Apolloniusof Rhodes (295-c. 230) claimed that Hermes, by way of his son Aithalides,wasthedirectancestorofPythagoras. Diodorus Siculus (80-20) provided the greatest amount of informationconcerningtheinfluenceofEgyptuponthesagesof Greece. He based this partly upon what he had gathered in his encounterswiththeEgyptianpriests,andpartlyupontheAegyptiaca, aworkbyHecataeusofAbdera. DiodorusstatedfirstofallthatOrpheustraveledtoEgyptandwas initiatedintotheOsirianmysteries.Afterreturningtohishomeland

aroundthe6thcenturyB.C.,heinstitutednewritesthatwerecalled

theOrphicmysteries.Diodorusalsostatedthatritesobservedin EleusisbytheAtheniansweresimilartothoseoftheEgyptians.

Plutarch(c.A.D.50-c.125)laterremarkedthattheOrphicand

BacchicmysterieswerereallyofEgyptianandPythagoreanorigin. DiodorusalsoreportedonthetravelsofSolonandofThalesof

Miletus(624-548B.C.),whovisitedthepriestsandmeasuredthe

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pyramids.PlutarchdeclaredthatThalesbroughtEgyptiangeometry backtoGreece.DiodorusalsoclaimedthatThalesurgedPythagoras togotoEgypt,anditwasinthiscountrythatthelatterconceived theconceptofthemigrationofsouls.Iamblichuslateraddedthat Pythagoras had studied in the Egyptian temples for twenty-two years,and,afterhavingreceivedthistraining,heestablishedhisown schoolinCrotona,Italy,andhetaughtwhathehadlearnedinthe

Egyptianmysteryschools.Finally,Diodorusreportedthatinthe5th

centuryDemocritus(c.460-370B.C.),discovereroftheatom,was

taughtbythegeometersofthepharaoh,andtheninitiatedinthe Egyptiantemples.

OneofPlato’sfollowers,EudoxusofCnidus(c.405-355B.C.),a

mathematicianandgeometer,alsomadethevoyagetothelandof theNile.Whilethere,hewasinitiatedonboththescientificand spirituallevels.Plinyspecifiedthathewouldreportinhiscountry someimportantastronomicalknowledge,asthosewhichrelatedto the exact duration of the year (365 ¼ days). His hypothesis of homocentric spheres constituted the point of departure of traditionalastronomy.Plutarch,amemberofthesacerdotalcollege of Apollo in Delphi, where he was high priest, also sought knowledgealongthebanksoftheNile.Whilethere,hewasinitiated byClea,apriestessofIsisandOsiris.InhisbookIsisandOsiris, Plutarch spoke of the “works called Books of Hermes” and emphasizedtheimportanceofEgyptianastrology.Healsoreported thatmanyauthoritiesdeclaredIsistobethedaughterofHermes.

THOTH-HERMES

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In drawing a parallel between Zoroaster and Moses, Diodorus introducedaconceptthatwouldbeinconsiderablevogueinthe Renaissance,wherehespokeofaphilosophiaperennistransmittedby wayofthegreatsagesfromthebeginningsoftime.Beginninginthe 2nd century B.C., the Greeks claimed that Thoth had for a son Agathodemon,whohimselfhadengenderedasonnamedHermes. The latter, considered to be the second Hermes, was called

Trismegistus—thatis,“Thrice-greatest.”Thus,inthe3rdcenturyA.D

.theGreeksadoptedThoth,givinghimthenameofHermesand describinghimasTrismegistus—“Thrice-greatest.” AsThothwastheteacherofspeechandwriting,itwasnaturalthat theGreeksmadehimthefatherofHomer,theirgreatestpoet.In

the3rdcentury,HeliodorusindicatedthatHomerwasthesonof

Hermes and an Egyptian priest’s daughter. Eventually each era addedsomedetail,andlittlebylittlewasforgedtheconceptwhich statedthatEgyptwasthesourceofwisdomandknowledge.

ALEXANDRIA

WiththeconquestofEgyptbyAlexandertheGreatin333B.C.,

theassimilationoftheEgyptianculturebytheGreekworldwas accelerated. The focus of this activity occurred in the city of

Alexandria,foundedin331B.C.,wherethewatersoftheNilemixed

withthoseoftheMediterranean.AcrossroadsofEgyptian,Jewish, Greek, and Christian cultures, it acted over the centuries as the intellectual center of the eastern Mediterranean. Therapeutae, Gnostics,andvariousothermysticalmovementsdevelopedaround

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thiscity.Itslibrary,enrichedbymorethan50,000volumes,gathered

togetheralloftheknowledgeoftheera.Alexandriawasalsothe cruciblewhereGreco-Egyptianalchemyflourished. Thecitygavebirthtoanewscienceintheformofalchemy,a continuationofancientEgyptianpracticesthatwastransformedand revived by Greek thought. Its originality consisted of offering a concrete and universal discipline free from the grasp of religion. Hermes Trismegistus, represented by Alexandrian alchemists as beingthefounderofthisart,becamethenewtransmitterofthe ancienttradition.However,weshouldnotethatAlchemyalready existed in China and India. Among the Alexandrian alchemists, Bolos of Mendes (100 B.C.) was a notable figure, often being describedasthefounderofGreco-Egyptianalchemy.

In30B.C.,AlexandriabecamethecapitaloftheRomanprovince

ofEgypt.TheRomansassimilatedtheGreco-EgyptianHermeswith

Mercury,theirgodofcommerceandtravelers.Mercury-Hermeswas

themessengerofthegods,theconductororguideofsouls.Rome

rapidlyadoptedEgyptanditscults.

THECORPUSHERMETICUM

ThreecenturiesbeforetheChristianera,textsthatarenowcalled the Hermetica—because their authorship is attributed to Hermes Trismegistus—began to take shape. This literature expanded

considerablyfromthe1stcenturyB.C.,andintheNileDeltaregion

thecompositionoftheHermetica continued untilthe3rd century A.D.WritteninGreek,anEgyptianformofesotericismisquite

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apparent.ClementofAlexandria(A.D.150-220)spokeoftheforty-

twobooksofHermeswhichtheEgyptianscarriedaboutintheir

ceremonies.Iamblichusattributed20,000bookstoHermes,whereas

Seleucus and Manethro mentioned about 36,525. The most celebrated, written between the 1st and 3rd centuries, are the seventeen tracts which were gathered together under the title of Corpus Hermeticum. 4 They are composed primarily of dialogues between Hermes, his son Tat, and Asclepiu. The first of these treatises,Poemandres,discussesthecreationoftheworld. TheAsclepiusisalsoanimportanttextasitdescribesthereligionof the Egyptians and the magical rites they practiced for attracting cosmicpowersmeanttoanimatethestatuesofthegods.Finally,the fragmentsofStobaeusconstitutethethird group oftheHermetica. Thesearecomposedofthirty-ninetextsandconsistofdialogues betweenIsisandHorusregardingthecreationoftheworldandthe origin of souls. These texts, generally attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, claim to be translated from the Egyptian. In truth, theycontainfewauthenticEgyptianelements.Theyareessentially characterized by Greek philosophy, but also by Judaism and Zoroastrianism.Theydonotcomposeacoherentwholeandpresent numerousdoctrinalcontradictions.

PAXROMANA

Among the Greeks the influence of Egypt was felt primarily throughitsliterature,butamongtheRomanstheinfluencetooka differenttwist.Thelatterwerenotcontenttotraveltothelandof

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the pharaohs. In 30 B.C., after the suicide of Cleopatra and the conquest of Egypt by Octavian, the country became a Roman province. At the beginning of the 1st century A.D. the Romans controlled the Nile valley. They embraced its culture, and the emperor was compared to a pharaoh. The conquerors adopted certainritesofthelandtheyhadtaken,andthecultofIsisfounda homeinRome. RomeadoptedEgyptianarchitecture.Evennowwecanadmire oneofthelastremnantsofthisera,thepyramidofCaiusCestius. Another, now vanished, was erected in the necropolis of the Vatican.Thecityalsobristledwithnumerousobeliskstakenfrom Karnak, Heliopolis, and Sais. Visitors to Rome may still admire morethantenofthem.TheexistenceofanIsiaccollegeisattested

around80B.C.By105B.C.atempleconsecratedtotheworshipof

Isis was located in Pompeii. The Iseum in the Campus Martius, whichincludedatemplededicatedtoIsisandSerapis,remainedthe mostimportantevidenceofthepresenceofEgyptiancultsamong theRomans.Buttheencounterofthetworeligionsdidnotpass

smoothly,andCaesarbarelyfavoredthegodsofEgypt.Virgil(70-

19B.C.)andHorace(65-8B.C.)describedthebattleofmonstrous

divinities,asAnubisbrandishedhisarmsagainstNeptune,Venus,

andMinerva.Ovid(43-17/18B.C.)sawthingsinamoreflattering

light. The cult of Isis was tolerated in Rome, and Nero (37-66) introducedsomeIsiacfeastdaysintheRomancalendar.Marcus

Aurelius(161180)constructedatemplefortheEgyptianHermes.

In the 2nd century A.D. the Pax Romana established peace

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throughouttheMediterraneanworld.Inthisera,wefindaveritable

passionforpastcivilizations:theHindus,Persians,Chaldeans,and

abovealltheEgyptians.FascinatedbyEgyptiantemplesthatwere

stillinoperation,richRomansflockedtothelandofthepharaohs.

Apuleius,aLatinwriterintriguedbythemysteries,alsowentthere.

InTheGoldenAsshedescribedforustheEgyptianmysteriesinhis

colorfulmanner.

ALCHEMY,MAGIC,ANDASTROLOGY

Along with alchemy, magic and astrology assumed greater importance. Claudius Ptolemy (c. 90168), a Greek living in Alexandria, wrote the Tetrabiblos, a treatise that codified all the principles of Greek astrology (with Egyptian and Chaldean influences):signs,houses,aspects,elements.Ptolemywasnotmerely an astrologer, he was also an astronomer to whom we owe geocentrism and the theory of the epicycles which dominated science until the 17th century. It was Ptolemy who transmitted GreekastronomicalknowledgetotheWest.ClementofAlexandria

(c.150-213),aGreekchurchfather,drewinhisStromateisaportrait

oftheEgyptianastrologersofhistime,whoalwayshadtobeready torecitethefourastrologicalbooksofHermes. Olympiodorus (5th or 6th century) presented alchemy as a sacerdotal art practiced by the Egyptians. The Leiden and

Stockholmpapyri(2ndcentury)depictthemetallurgicalprocedures

aseffectivelybeinglinkedtomagicalformulas. 5 Inthe3rdcentury, ZosimosofPanopolissettleddowninAlexandriasoastodedicate

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himself to alchemy. The first well-known alchemical author, he bestoweduponthissciencehisconceptsandsymbolism.Buthis alchemicalwritingsdonotsimplyrevolvearoundlaboratorywork; they also discuss the transformations of the soul and entail a

mysticalquest.Alchemyexpandedsogreatlyinthe3rdcenturythat

EmperorDiocletian,disturbedbyapossibledevaluationofprecious metals, promulgated an edict prohibiting the practice and condemningalchemicaltextstotheflames.

NEOPLATONISM

NeoplatonistswereconsiderablyinterestedinEgypt.Iamblichus

(c.240-c.325),whowasinitiatedintotheChaldean,Egyptian,and

Syrianrites,isanenigmaticindividual.Someextraordinarypowers were attributed to the “divine Iamblichus,” the head of a Neoplatonistschool.Whileinprayer,hisbodywassaidtorisemore than ten cubits from the earth, and his skin and clothing were bathedinabeautifulgoldenlight.Egyptheldachosenspotinhis writings.InDeMysteriis(OntheEgyptianMysteries), 6 Iamblichus presented himself in the guise of Abammon, a master of the Egyptian sacerdotal hierarchy and an interpreter of Hermetic teachings. He also promoted theurgy and Egyptian divinatory

practices.Alittlelater,anotherNeoplatonist,Proclus(412-485),also

strongly affected by theurgy, believed himself to be part of the “chainofHermes.”HehadgreatinfluenceonSufismandonsuch ChristianthinkersasJohannesScotusErigena,MeisterEckhart,and manyothers.

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Nevertheless, this era saw Egypt fading away before an ever- expandingChristianity.Alexandriaplayedanimportantroleinthe many controversies that marked the beginnings of this religion

newlyimposedbyConstantine.Inthe3rdcentury,theEgyptians

abandoned hieroglyphs and adopted the Coptic script for transcribingtheirlanguage.TheCoptsadaptedthesecretknowledge of the pharaohs to Christianity. Soon afterwards, Emperor Theodosiuspromulgatedanedictagainstnon-Christiancults,thus markingtheendoftheEgyptianclergyandtheirceremonies.

THECHRISTIANSBEFOREHERMES

Christianity,whichbegantogainininfluence,wasnotunawareof Hermes. In the middle of the 2nd century a kind of Christian HermesappearedinthepagesofabookentitledTheShepherd,whose author was said to be Hermas. 7 It is a Roman work in which Hermas,the“messengerofpenanceandpenitent,”tooktheformof a prophet. The Shepherd is an apocalyptic work in which all the conventionsofthegenrearefound.IntheearlyChurchJesusis often presented as a shepherd, a role that is also attributed to Hermes.YetinthisinstanceitisnotJesusthatHermesdesignates, butthe“angelofthepenance.”Consideredforalongtimetobean integralpartofthecanonicalscriptures,TheShepherdpassedtothe

statusofapocryphalscriptureatthebeginningofthe4thcentury.

TheChurchfathersgenerallylovedtodelveintomythologysoas disclose the beginnings of the Gospel. Hermes Trismegistus

continuedtogarnerrespectamongthem.Lactantius(250-325),in

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hisDivinarumInstitutionum(DivineInstitutions),sawChristiantruth formulated before the advent of Christianity in the Corpus Hermeticum. He placed Hermes Trismegistus in the first rank of GentileprophetswhoforesawthecomingofChrist.St.Augustine (354-430), the Father of the Church, in his City of God, a fundamental treatise of Christian theology, made Hermes a descendentofGod.HehadreadtheAsclepiusinthetranslationby Apuleius of Madaura, but even though he admired Hermes Trismegistus,herejectedthemagicrevealedinthiswork.Clement ofAlexandrialikedtocompareHermes-LogostotheChrist-Logos. Emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363), the nephew of Constantine, attempted a brief return to the worship of the mysteries. He enacted measures against Christians and restored paganism.InfluencedbyNeoplatonism,heextolledancienttheurgy.

Thisreturnwasbrief,however,andby387theChristianpatriarch

TheophilusundertookthedestructionoftheEgyptiantempleswith the idea of transforming them into places of Christian worship. Nonetheless,ontheislandofPhilaeanEgyptiantemplecontinued to function. It was not closed until 551, by order of Emperor Justinian.ItwillbenotedthattheEgyptiantemplesremainedactive

betweenthe1stand6thcenturies—thatis,duringtheperiodwhich

coversthecompositionofthehermetica.Itisoftenremarkedthat these texts are pessimistic regarding the future of the Egyptian religion, which leads us to think that they were written in an Egyptiansettingbyapriestlyclass.FragmentsfromtheEgyptian wisdommayreposeintheHermetica,buttheyareexpressedinan

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indirect fashion, having been submitted to the process of Hellenization. AlexandriahadbeenthestartingpointwhereEgyptianteachings entered the Greek and Roman worlds. It was where the ancient traditionwasreformulatedbywayofalchemy,astrology,andmagic. Thispointofdeparture,afterhavingscatteredsuchwisdomintoa greater portion of the East, was already disappearing by the 6th century,andtheArabsnowtookupthetorch.

by the 6th century,andtheArabsnowtookupthetorch. FIGURE2.Fromthe17thcentury,thisimage,called

FIGURE2.Fromthe17thcentury,thisimage,calledTabulaSmaragdinaHermetis,

hasbeenoftenassociatedwiththetextoftheEmeraldTablet,asinAureumVelleus

(1599)orSecretSymbolsoftheRosicruciansofthe16thand17thCenturies(1785).This

illustration is not, however, an adaptation of the text that it is supposed to illustrate.TheoldestversionofthisimageseemstobethatofK.Widemann,a

ParacelsianfromAugsburg(1588-1589).ItsfirstprintedversionisfoundinAurei

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VellerisOderDerGüldinSchatzundKunstkammer,TractatusIII,1599,Rorschach.See

JoachimTelle,“L’artsymboliqueparacelsien:remarquesconcernantunepseudo-

TabulaSmaragdinaduXVIesiècle”andAntoineFaivre,“Notesurlapseudo-

TabulaSmaragdinaetsurLeSecretdessages,”inLesCahiersdel’Hermétisme,Présence

d’HermèsTrismégiste(Paris:AlbinMichel,1988)pp.184-235.

THESABAEANS

AlexandriawasseizedbytheArabsin642,adatewhichmarksan

endtothiscity’sdaysofglory.However,theconquestofthiscity wasnottheArabs’firstencounterwithesotericism.Rather,theyhad beenawareofHermeslongbeforethistime.Forexample,theyhad learnedfromtheSabaeans,inhabitantsofthemythicalkingdomof Sheba,whichwassupposedtobeaplaceofearthlyparadise.In ancienttimesitwasalsocalledArabiaFelix(HappyArabia)andwas said to be the land of the phoenix. Centuries later Christian Rosenkreuzwassupposedtohavevisitedtheareasoastogather togetherthemarvelousknowledgedepositedthere.TheBiblestates that the queen of this land, the queen of Sheba, visited King Solomon.Althoughthelocationofherlandwasnotspecifiedinthe OldTestament,theKoranindicatesthatitwasinsouthernArabia (modern-dayYemen). TheSabaeanswerenotableastrologers,andMaimonidesindicated that this knowledge assumed a predominant role among them. TraditionclaimsthatthemagiwhogreetedChristcamefromthis legendary land. The Sabaeans possessed both the Hermetic alchemicalwritingsandtheCorpusHermeticum.Beingknowledgeable in such subjects, it is they who introduced science into Islam,

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althoughtheythemselvesevolvedonthefringesofthisreligion.The

SabaeansclaimedtohaveoriginatedwithHermes,towhomthey

dedicatedaspecialcult.Theyproducedsomebookswhosecontents,

theyclaimed,hadbeenrevealedbyHermes,suchastheRisalatfi’n-

nafs(LetterabouttheSoul)andtheLiturgicalInstitutionsofHermesby ThabitibnQurrah,aneminentfigureofSabaeanisminBaghdad(c.

836-901).

IDRIS-HERMES

The7thcenturysignaledthebeginningsofIslam.Althoughthe

KorandidnotmakeanyreferencetoHermes,thehagiographersof Islam’searlycenturiesidentifiedtheprophetIdris,mentionedinthe Koran,withHermesandEnoch.Thisassimilationhelpedtolink Islam with Greco-Egyptian traditions. In Islam, Idris-Hermes is described as both a prophet and a timeless personage. He is sometimescomparedtoal-Khadir, 8 themysteriousintermediaryand sage who initiated Moses and who plays a fundamental role in Sufismasamanifestationofthepersonalguide. Abu-Ma’shar, an 8th century Persian astrologer who became celebrated in Europe by the name of Albumazar, drew up an account tracing the genealogy of Hermes. This text, which had immense influence in the Islamic world, distinguished three successiveHermes.Thefirst,HermesMajor,livedbeforetheFlood. IdentifiedwithThoth,heisdescribedasthecivilizerofhumanity,as he had the pyramids constructed and engraved the sacred hieroglyphs for future generations. The second Hermes lived in

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BabyloniaaftertheFlood;hewasamasterofmedicine,philosophy, andmathematics.HewasalsotheinitiatorofPythagoras.Finally, thethirdHermesisdescribedashavingcontinuedhispredecessors’ work of civilizing society. As a master of occult knowledge, he transmittedalchemytohumanity.

master of occult knowledge, he transmittedalchemytohumanity. FIGURE3.ApolloniusdeTyana,fromJacquesBoissard,

FIGURE3.ApolloniusdeTyana,fromJacquesBoissard,DeDivinationeetmagicis,

1605.

THEEMERALDTABLET

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InthesameerathereappearedtheEmeraldTablet,atextwhich assumed an important place in the tradition. The oldest known

version,inArabic,datesfromthe6thcentury.Manyarethosewho

cite this text without really knowing it; therefore, we feel that it wouldbeusefultopresentitinitsentirety. True,withoutfalsehood,certainandmosttrue,thatwhichis belowislikethatwhichisabove,andthatwhichisaboveis likethatwhichisbelowforaccomplishingthewonderofthe onething.Asallthingsarecreatedfromone,bythewilland commandoftheoneUnitedwhocreatedit,soallthingsare bornfromthisonethingbydispensationandunion.Itsfather isthesun,itsmotheristhemoon,thewindcarriesitinits belly,itsnurseistheearth.Thisisthefatherofallperfection inthiswholeworld.Itspowerisperfectwhenitischanged intoearth;soyoushouldseparatetheearthfromthefire,and the subtle from the thick or gross but lovingly with great understandinganddiscretion.Itascendsfromearthtoheaven andfromheavenagaintoearthandreceivesagainthepower oftheAboveandtheBelow.Thusyouwillhavethesplendor of the whole world. All lack of understanding and lack of abilitywillleaveyou.Thisisofallpowerthemostpowerful power,foritcanovercomeallsubtletyandcanpenetrateall that is solid. Thus was the world created. Thus many rare combinationsoriginated,andwondersarewrought,ofwhich thisisthewaytowork.AndthusIamcalledTrismegistus, havingthethreepartsofthewisdomofthewholeworld.All

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thatIhavesaidconcerningtheworkofthesunisfulfilled. 9 ThisworkisattributedtoApolloniusofTyana,aphilosopherand

thaumaturgistofthe1stcentury.AsJuliusRuskahasshown,thetext

comes to us through the translation composed by Sagiyus, a ChristianpriestofNablus.ItappearsinKitabSirrAl-Haliqa(The SecretBookofCreation)byBalinus(theArabictranslationofthe name Apollonius). 10 In this book, Apollonius relates how he discoveredthetombofHermes.Heclaimstohavefoundinthis sepulcher an old man, seated on a throne, holding an emerald- coloredtabletuponwhichappearedthetextofthefamedEmerald Tablet.Beforehimwasabookexplainingthesecretsofthecreation of beings and the knowledge of the causes for all things. This narrativewouldrecurmuchlaterintheFamaFraternitatis.

ARABALCHEMY

TheroleoftheArabsastransmittersofalchemytotheWestinthe Middle Ages is generally well known. They also left us with a vocabulary distinctive to this art (al kemia, chemistry; al tanur, athanor; etc.). Yet Islam’s role is not simply limited to that of transmission, as the Arabs conceptualized it in a form which, afterwards,wastoassertitselfeverywhere. 11 Theiralchemywasnot onlyanartofthelaboratory,itwasalsomeanttounveilthehidden laws of Creation, and it comprised a mystic and philosophical dimension. Although Arab alchemy claimed to be of Egyptian

origin,itspracticeoccurredaftertheArabconquestofEgyptin639

TheyreceivedGreekalchemythroughtheSyrians,buttheirfirst

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masters in this art were the Persians, who had inherited the Mesopotamianesoterictraditions. ThefirstknownArabalchemist,theUmmayadprinceKhalidibn

Yazid(?-704),wasinitiatedbyMorienus,aChristianofAlexandria.

WithinashorttimealchemyspreadthroughouttheIslamicworld andtheGreektreatiseswerequicklytranslated.Themostillustrious

figureofArabalchemywasJabiribnHayyan(diedc.815),knownin

the Western world as Geber. He advanced the fundamental concepts of the great work, and his reflections led to a spiritual alchemy on a grand scale. He is also credited with numerous discoveriesinalchemy.TheJabirianCorpusissaidtocontainmore than 3,000 treatises, most of which are apocryphal. They were probablytheworkofaschoolwhichformedaroundhisteachings. Arabalchemyhadmanymasters,ofwhomwewillmentiononlya few: abu-Bakr Muhammad ibn-Zakariya’, called alRazi or Rhazes

(850-923);Muhammadibn-Umailal-Tamimi,calledZadiththeElder

(10thcentury);abdAllahal-Jaldaki(14thcentury).Beforelongtheir

textspenetratedEuropethroughSpainandprofoundlyaffectedthe

LatinWest.

MAGICANDASTROLOGY

MagicalsooccupiedacentralpositioninArabspirituality.Islam madeuseofmagicalletters,muchliketheHebrewQabalah,for penetrating the Koran’s secrets. Moreover, Arab magic, which ChristianRosenkreuzinformedusmuchlaterwasnonetoopure, encompassed a wide range: astrology, medicine, talismans, etc.

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Astrologywasever-presentintheIslamicworld.Althoughsuspect

due to its pagan origins, it developed significantly from the 8th century,whentheTetrabiblosofPtolemywastranslatedintoArabic.

Astrology,intheeraofal-Mansur,thesecondAbbassidcaliph(754-

775),wasnotonlyindebtedtotheGreeks,butalsocameunderthe

influence of the Hindus, Syrian Christians, Judeo-Arameans, and undoubtedlytheEssenes.Ingeneral,thevariousesotericteachings played a fundamental role in Islam, particularly in the Shi’ite environment,asshownbyHenryCorbin. 12 Itiseasytounderstand why Christian Rosenkreuz came to the Arab lands to gather the essentialelementsfromwhichhewastoconstructtheRosicrucian Order.

EASTERNTHEOSOPHY

Aroundthe9thcenturyibn-Wahshiya,inatreatiseentitledThe

Knowledge of the Occult Unveiled, 13 presented many occult alphabets attributedtoHermes.Healsomadereferencetothefourclassesof EgyptianpriestsdescendedfromHermes.Thosewhobelongedto thethirdclass—thatis,thechildrenofHermesTrismegistus’sister —hecalledIshraqiyun(“oftheEast”).Someyearslater,Sohravardi(?

-1191),oneofthegreatestIslamicmysticsofPersia,revivedthe

expressionIshraqiyun(signifying“Easterntheosophists”)todescribe themasterswhohadexperiencedIllumination.Philosophyandthe mysticalexperiencewereinseparableinhismind,andinhisBookof OrientalWisdom 14 hedescribedthechainofpastinitiates,theEastern theosophists.ForhimthisexperiencewastiedtoHermes,whomhe

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made the ancestor, the father of the sages. These ecstatic philosophers, described as the “Pillars of Wisdom,” were Plato, Empedocles,Pythagoras,Zoroaster,andMohammed.Whatmakes Sohravardiparticularlyinterestingisthat,incontrasttotheauthors wehavediscusseduntilnow,hedidnotseektoestablishahistorical human filiation between Hermes and the sages of the different traditions, but a celestial initiatory filiation based on inner experiences. TheheritageleftbyHermesTrismegistusismanifold.Itstreasures (alchemy, magic, and astrology) constitute essential elements of traditional esotericism and have traversed many civilizations. Nonetheless, the latter have always considered Egypt to be the Motherofalltraditions.IntheMiddleAges,thisancientheritage penetratedtheWest,andbythetimeoftheRenaissanceittookona new aspect in constituting what is generally called “Western esotericism.”Itthendevelopedinaspecialwaysoastoreacha criticalthresholdonthebrinkofthepublicationoftheRosicrucian manifestos.

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FIGURE4.OswaldCroll, BasilicaChymica ,1609. 61

FIGURE4.OswaldCroll,BasilicaChymica,1609.

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Chapter2

HERMETICISMANDTHE

PHILOSOPHIAPERENNIS

I N THE PREVIOUS chapter we observed how Thoth journeyed from Egypt to the Hellenic world. The Hermetic sciences—magic, alchemy, and astrology—flourished in the

gardensofAlexandria.Thisheritagewasthenenrichedinthe6th

centurybytheArabs,whoaddedtheirownobservations.Butthen HermesTrismegistustraveledtotheChristianWest,withSpain,and laterItaly,shelteringanddevelopingHermes’ancientknowledge. Tothisnewstageinthehistoryofesotericismwewillprovidethe proper elements for interpreting the journey of Christian RosenkreuzandthecontentsoftheRosicrucianmanifestos.

ISLAMINSPAIN

In711theArabsinvadedSpain.Cordobasoonbecametheheart

ofMoslemSpainundertheauthorityoftheUmayyadprinceAbdal-

RahmanI.However,boththeChristiansandJews,whowerequite numerous in Spain, preserved their freedom of worship. This situation had positive repercussions, for it permitted cultural exchanges.SpaincontributedtospreadingthroughouttheWestthe entireculturalheritagearrivingfromtheArabcivilizationwhich,at

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thetime,wasmoreadvancedthanthatofEuropeinmanyaspects. A large quantity of Greek texts, preserved by the Arabs and unknownuntiltheninEurope,weremadeaccessiblethroughthe LatintranslationsmadebySpanishscholars. Esotericwisdomalso penetrated theWestbywayofSpain.In Toledo, a number of alchemical, magical, and astronomical texts were translated, and this city quickly acquired the reputation of beingthe‚Äúchairoftheoccultsciences.” 1 Thediscoveryofthe

bodyofSt.JamesatCompostelaatthebeginningofthe9thcentury

contributedtostimulatingtheChristianReconquistaofSpain,anevent thatonlycametoacloseseveralcenturieslater.Thiswasalmost accomplished in the 13th century, with the exception of the kingdomofGranada,whichhadtowaitanothertwocenturiesto

comeunderChristiandomination.But,beforethen,bythe11thand

12thcenturies,numerouspilgrimagestoCompostelafromallover

Europe put Spain in touch with the rest of Christendom, thus contributingtoanexpansionoftheesotericcorpus.

ALCHEMYINSPAIN

AsRobertHalleuxpointedoutinLaRéceptiondel’alchimiearaheen Occident (The Reception of Arab Alchemy in the West), the

translationofArabalchemicaltextsopenedthewaytoitsdevelop-

mentintheWest. 2 Spainwasthewaybywhichalchemyentered Europe.Alchemyisgenerallythoughttohavemadeitsdebutinthe West in 1144,the year when Robert of Chester, archdeacon ofPamplona,madehistranslationofMorienus.Theprefaceofthis

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textrecalledthelegendofthethreeHermes.Intheyears1140-1150,

anotherSpanishwriter,HugodeSantalla,translatedfromArabicthe SecretBookofCreation.Inthiswork,Balinus(i.e.,ApolloniusofTyana) recounted hisdiscoveryofthetomb ofHermesTrismegistus,in whichhefoundtheEmeraldTablet.InToledo,GerardofCremona

(114-1187)learnedArabicandtranslatedtextsfromtheimmense

body of works by Geberand Rhazes, while John of Toledo, a convertedJew,translatedtheSifr-al-asrar(TheSecretofSecrets)of thePseudo-Aristotle,afundamentalalchemicaltext.

THEPICATRIX

Parallelingthedevelopmentofalchemy,magicalsoexperienceda renewal in the 12th century. During the Middle Ages, it was essentiallylinkedtotheremnantsofpaganismanddidnotuseany direct sources. Its “vulgate” was based upon those passages

concerningthissubjectwhichIsidoreofSeville(560-636)included

inhisEtymologies.Fromthe12thcentury,andespeciallyinthe13th

century,thefundamentaltextsappearedintheWestbytheintro-

ductionofArabandJewishtreatises.Afterwardsmagicarrivedat thecourtsofprincesandkingsinascholarlyform,whichallowedit toescapethecon-demnationsoftheChurch. Alfonso X, Äúthe Learned,” king of Castile andLeon, had

translatedtheSeferRaziel,aJewishmagicaltreatise,andin1256he

also translated the Ghayat al-Hakim fi’l-sihr (Goal of the Sages inMagic),morerecentlyknownasthePicatrix.Thelatterisatextof exceptional importance, because “it inserts the vast magical and

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astrologicalheritageofantiquity,thenoftheMiddleAges,intoa theoreticalframework:theNeoplatonistphilosophyononehandand Hermetismontheother.” 3 ThisArabtreatise,attributedtoAbul’l-

QasimMaslamaal-Majriti,waswritteninEgyptbetween1047and

1051.Thistext,soontranslatedintoLatinbyAegidiusofTebaldio,

exertedconsiderableinfluenceonPeterofAbano,MarsilioFicino, and Cornelius Heinrich Agrippa. It deals with the sympathies existingbetweenplants,stones,animals,planets—andthewaythey shouldbeusedformagicalpurposes.Theauthoralsodiscussedthe power of magical images, which he claimed were invented by HermesTrismegistus.HealsostatedthatHermeswasthefounder ofAdocentyn,anidealcityexistinginEgyptbeforethetimeofthe Flood.Thiscitywasorganizedaroundasolarcultwhosepriestwas Hermeshimself.TommasoCampanellawouldlaterdrawuponthis textforvariousconceptsdiscussedinhisCityoftheSun. 4

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THEQABALAH

ThepresenceofJewsinSpainplayedanimportantroleinthe diffusionoftheQabalah.However,thisstudy,centeringaroundthe Sepherha-Bahir(BookofLight),originallydevelopedinLanguedoc,a

regionofsouthernFrance,intheearly12thcentury.ManyQabalists

weretobefoundinthisregion,suchasAbrahambenIsaac(died

1180),presidentofthetribunalofNarbonne,andIsaactheBlind

(1165-1235). Shortly afterwards, the Qabalah evolved in Spain, primarily in Catalonia (Gerona) and Castile (Toledo). There, the contemplativeaspectoftheQabalahoftheLanguedocwasenriched byJewishthoughtdescendedfromtheGreco-Arabictradition,as wellasbythedoctrinesofPlotinus.InZaragoza,AbrahamAbulafia (1240-1291), a great figure of the ecstatic Qabalah, perfected a technique of meditation on the Hebrew letters associated with

breathing.Soonafterwards,inthe13thcentury,thereappearedthe

Zohar,avoluminoustextwhichattainedconsiderablesuccessinthe

esotericworld.In1305,inValladolid,Spain,MosesofLeonclaimed

tohavepreservedtheoriginalcopyofthistreatise. 5

ASTROLOGY

Beginninginthe12thcentury,therefollowedLatintranslationsof

Arabic texts which were to be instrumental in the growth of

astrologyinEurope.AlthoughpresentintheWestfromthe6th

century,astrologywasheretoforearelativelyimmaturescience.The translation of texts such as the Kitabal Uluf of abu-Ma’shar

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(Albumazar) led to its further development. This book, which recountedthelegendofthethreeHermes,isasummaryofPersian, Indian,andGreekastrology.Accesstothebasictextsofancient astrologysetintomotionaconsiderableexpansionofthisbodyof knowledge,asevidencedbytherapidgrowthofcalendars,almanacs, predictions,andimageryusingplanetarysymbolism.Nonetheless,it

wasonlyinthe14thcenturythataLatintranslationofamajortext

ofastrology,theTetrabiblosofPtolemy,wouldappear.

THEEXPULSIONOFTHEJEWS

Afterthe13thcentury,whichmarkedtheheightoftheReconquista,

SpainabandonedthereligioustoleranceestablishedbytheMoslems. The Jews were already experiencing difficulties, being given the

choicebetweenconversion,exile,ordeath.In1391,manyallowed

themselvestobebaptizedsoastoavoidmassacre.Someofthem, theMarannos,convertedinpublic,butcontinuedtopracticetheir religion in secret. Afterwards came the expulsions, beginning in

1483inAndalucia,followedin1492withtheexpulsionofallthe

JewsbyFerdinandandIsabella.SomesettledinItaly,carryingwith themasecretwisdomthatflourishedonceagain.Thisheritagewas added to that already accumulated in Italy. In fact, in 1439, the EasternChristians,menacedbytheexpansionofIslam,endeavored toreachouttotheircounterpartsintheWest.Withthisgoalin mind, a number of Eastern scholars, such as the Neoplatonist GemistusPletho,cametoFlorencetoparticipateinacouncilof reconciliation.TheycarriedwiththemtoItalythetextsofGreek

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philosophers.Theattemptsatreconciliationwereundertakentoo latetopreventthecatastrophethatwouldverysoonoverwhelmthe ByzantineChurch:theseizureofConstantinoplebytheTurksin

1453.Aswewillseeinthefollowingchapters,itisnocoincidence

thattheauthoroftheChymicalWeddingmade1453theyearinwhich

Christian Rosenkreuz received the announcement of an intended weddinginavision.

THEACADEMYOFFLORENCE

ThecaptureofConstantinoplein1453allowedGreekculture—in

particulartheworksofPlato,whowasonlyknownfromvarious extracts—topenetrateItaly.CosimodiMedici,therulerofFlorence, wasawareoftheimportanceofthisevent,andsohecreatedthe PlatonicAcademyofFlorenceandrequestedthatMarsilioFicino

(1433r499)translatePlato.Anindefatigabletraveler,Ficinowould

provide the West with its first translation of Plato, as well as translations of Plotinus, Proclus, Iamblichus, and Dionysius the Areopagite.Soonafterwards,animportantdevelopmenttookplace. TheCorpusHermeticum,oftenmentionedintheMiddleAges,had disappearedandtheAsclepiuswastheonlytextstillextant.Then,in

1460,amonkintheserviceoftheMedicisobtainedamanuscriptof

theCorpusHermeticum.CosimoIconsideredthedocumenttobeso importantthatheaskedMarsilioFicinotointerrupthistranslation ofPlatosoastoworkuponthenewlydiscoveredmaterial.Shortly thereafter, in 1471, Ficino published the first translation of the Corpus Hermeticum. This edition garnered such a widespread

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readershipthatitwouldbereprintedsixteentimesuntilthe16th

century. 6

PHILOSOPHIAPERENNIS

FicinowasconvincedthattheoriginaltextoftheCorpusHermeticum had been written in Egyptian. Hermes Trismegistus was also describedasanEgyptianpriestwhohadoriginatedandtransmitted allofthesecretwisdom.Ficino,inhisTheologiaPlatonica,published in 1482, devised a family tree of philosophers to whom this knowledge had descended from Hermes: Zoroaster, Orpheus, Aglaopheme,Pythagoras,andPlato. 7 Thisvisiongavebirthtoanew concept,thatofthePrimordialTradition,aprimalrevelationthatwas perpetuatedfromagetoage,frominitiatetoinitiate.Thisconcept, previouslyendorsedbySt.Augustine,experiencedarenewaldueto

Ficino.Itwasformalizedin1540byAgostinoSteuco(1496-1549),

inhisconceptofPhilosophiaPerennis—theeternalphilosophy. Itisquiteunderstandablethatthisconceptofeternalphilosophy wouldfindsuchafavorablereceptioninFlorence.Itwasclaimed thataftertheFlood,NoahhadestablishedtwelvecitiesinEtruria (i.e.,Tuscany),andalegendevenclaimedthathisbodywasburied nearRome.FromthisarosethenotionthattheTuscandialecthad itssourceinEtruscan,andwasthusolderandsuperiortoLatin. 8 LittleeffortwasneededtoconnectFlorencewiththeverysources ofcivilization—andeventotheauthoroftheCorpusHermeticum— seeingthatHermesTrismegistuswasclaimedtobeacontemporary of Noah. These ideas, debated fiercely with in the Academy of

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Florence,wereparticularlycherishedbyCosimodiMedici,whofelt

thattheyprovidedproofofthesuperiorityofFlorenceandTuscany

overtherestofItaly.

NATURALMAGIC

AlthoughtheCorpusHermeticummentionedthesecretknowledgeof the Egyptians, it was rather imprecise concerning its

implementation.InTreatise13ofthecorpus,HermesTrismegistus

taught his son Tat the principles of mystical regeneration which could be obtained by suppressing the senses, in negating the ill- omenedinfluencesofthestars,andallowingtheDivinitytobeborn inman. 9 MarsilioFicinowasnotonlyapriestbutaphysician;and thus,hehadasenseoftheconcrete.Hesoughttheapplicationof thesetheoriesinNeoplatonism—butprimarilyinthePicatrix,the worksofabu-Ma’shar,andinthewritingsofhiscompatriotPeterof

Abano(1250-1316),whohadstudiedArabmagic.Ficinoarrivedata

“natural magic” which linked these theories with the Christian concept of the Creator’s Word. His natural magic achieved considerablerefinement.Hemadeuseofthesympathies—suchas the planetary characters inscribed in all the elements, minerals, plants, as well as perfumes, wines, poetry, and music (Orphic hymns)tocapturethespiritusmundi, 10 thesubtleenergiesofCreation. Marsilio Ficino is a prominent figure in the history of Western esotericism,notonlyforhisroleastranslatorandcommentatoron theancienttexts,butalsoforsuchworksasDeTripliciVita,which exertedgreatinfluence.AsAntoineFaivrehasremarked,thanksto

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Ficino“esotericismformeditselfintoaphilosophyuntilbeingmade anintegralpartofthethoughtoftheRenaissance.” 11

ANGELICMAGIC

Ficino’s most illustrious pupil was the child genius Pico della

Mirandola(1463-1494),who,whenmerelytwenty-threeyearsold,

hadalreadystudiedeverythingthenknownaboutvariousreligions, philosophies, and esoteric sciences. Although Ficino scorned the Qabalah, Pico della Mirandola discovered a complement to his teacher’sformofmagicinthistradition.Hebelieveditusefulto reinforcenaturalmagicbyuseofQabalisticmagicwhichwasbased ontheenergiesoftheempyrean.Thisknowledge,whichinvoked theangelsandarchangelsbytheirnamesinHebrew—describedas being the language of God—possessed considerable efficacy for him. Reviving the theories of St. Jerome and Nicholas of Cusa concerningthenameofJesus,hedemonstratedthattheQabalah allowedChrist’sdivinitytobeproven.Thus,Picoestablishedthe foundations of a “Christian Qabalah.” 12 A universalist in his thinking, he also wanted to demonstrate that all philosophical

systemsconverged.Forthatreason,in1486hepublished900theses

drawn from various sources. Among the arguments which he advanced, let us just mention that he declared magic and the

QabalahtobecomplementariesofChristianity(ThesisNo.7)and

thathecampaignedinfavorofQabalisticmagic(ThesisNo.11).

Picoproposedtodefendthesethesesinapublicdebate,butascan

beimagined,thereactionwasfierceandhewasforcedtofleeItaly

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to protect himself. Nevertheless, he was rehabilitated in June of

1493byAlexanderVI,apopewholookedquitefavorablyupon

magicandastrology.

THEVOARCHADUMIA

Duringthisperiod,Italybecameanactivecenterofesotericism. Venice played an important role in the dissemination of the Qabalah,astrology,thescienceofnumbers,andalchemy. 13 Afterthe

13thcentury,thealchemicalcorpustransmittedbytheArabswas

completelytranslatedandledtoafloweringofwritingscomposed by Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, Roger Bacon, Arnold of

Villanova,RaymondLully,andNicholasFlamel.Inthe14thand

15thcenturies,itwasaccompaniedbyarenewalofalchemythathad

adoptedtheChristianallegoryandtookonamysticalconnotation that was questioned by some people. Did it involve a “practicum expressedinreligiousterms,oramysticalexperienceexpressedin alchemical terms”? 14 This trend corroborated a movement that began in the second half of the 13th century with the Aurora consurgens (The Rising Dawn), a treatise attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas, which represented the alchemical process as an inner regenerativeexperience. 15 In 1478MichaelPantheuspublished in VenicealargetreatiseentitledVoarchadumiawhichemphasizedthe transcendental aspect of alchemy. Legend has it that the VoarchadumiawasaVenetiansecretsociety.Whateverthecase,many scholars journeyed to Italy to study the occult sciences. Among themwereJohannReuchlinandCorneliusHeinrichAgrippa,who

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bothcontributedtothediffusionofesotericismthroughoutEurope.

DEVERBOMIRIFICO

Included among the expelled Spanish Jews who settled in Italy after 1492 was Judah Abravanel (c. 1460-1523), a physician and Qabalist. A convert to Catholicism, he was passionately fond of Neoplatonism.Afterhisdeath,hisDialoghidiAmore(Dialoguesof Love) was published, a work in which he made a synthesis of NeoplatonismandtheQabalah,thuswideningthefieldopenedby PicodellaMirandolaandMarsilioFicino.Butitwastoafourth

individual,JohannesReuchlin(1455-1522),thatcamethehonorsof

synthesizingtheworkofhisthreepredecessors.Reuchlinjourneyed

toRomein1482tostudyHebrew,andhethentraveledtoFlorence

to meet Pico. Upon returning to Germany, he became an avid

promoteroftheChristianQabalah.Hepublishedin1494DeVerbo

MirificoinwhichheinvestigatedmorethoroughlyPico’sspeculations upontheWord,Leschouah.Theimpactofthisbookwasdecisive, becauseitwasthefirstEuropean workentirelydedicated to the

Qabalah.Itwascomplementedin1517byDeArteCabbalistica,one

of the fundamental texts of the Christian Qabalah. Important developmentswhichReuchlingavetoangelologycleanseditofthe demonologicalsuspicionswhichtaintedFicino’snaturalmagic.

HARMONYOFTHEWORLD

Naturalmagicemphasizedtheoccultsympathiesexistingbetween all things in Creation. This concept gained an added dimension

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throughtheeffortsofFrancescoGiorgi(1450-1540),aFranciscan

friar of Venice. In 1525 he published De Harmonia Mundi, an essentialtextoftheChristianQabalah.Hisoriginalityderivedfrom the fact that he combined Pythagorean numerological tradition,

alchemy,andthearchitectureofVitruvius(1stcenturyA.D.)with

the Qabalah of Pico della Mirandola and the Neoplatonism of Marsilio Ficino. This work exerted an enormous influence over EnglishRosicrucians,notablyRobertFludd,andoverthegroupof FrenchwriterscalledLaPléiade,duetothetranslationofLeFèvre delaBoderie.

LaPléiade ,duetothetranslationofLeFèvre delaBoderie. FIGURE5.CorneliusHeinrichAgrippa. OCCULTPHILOSOPHY

FIGURE5.CorneliusHeinrichAgrippa.

OCCULTPHILOSOPHY

ForJohannReuchlinangelicmagichadtakenonamoreprecise character, but it remained basically theoretical. It was Cornelius

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Heinrich Agrippa (1486-1534) who, by his practical training as a physician, moved magic towards a more concrete dimension by publishingagenuinehandbookofpracticalmagicentitledDeOcculta Philosophia. In its first edition of 1510, this book was strongly influenced by the Picatrix, Corpus Hermeticum, and the works of Ficino. In the second edition of 1533, the Qabalah assumed a greaterrole.WithReuchlin,magicwasamethodforunitingwiththe Divine,whereaswithAgrippamagictoucheduponothersubjectsin applying itself to the various problems of human existence. Therefore, his magic—whether “natural,” “celestial,” or “ceremonial”—lostthesubtletywhichMarsilioFicinohadgivenit. Agrippacombinedangelology,thescienceofnumbers,andArab

magicwhencomposinghismagicalsquares(seefig.6),planetary

seals, and tables of correspondences between plants, minerals, numbers,andangels.Agrippa’sbook,despitebeingplacedonthe indexofproscribedworksbyPopePiusVI,experiencedalevelof successwhichhascontinuedtothepresentday. 16

GIORDANOBRUNO

Giordano Bruno (1548-1600), a Dominican priest and a great traveler,wasoneoftheindividualswhocontributedenormouslyto the spread of esotericism in Europe. Strongly influenced by the writingsofhisItaliancompatriotsMarsilioFicinoandPicodella Mirandola,aswellasCorneliusHeinrich Agrippa,heassiduously readtheCorpusHermeticum.InhisbookSpacciodellaBestiaTrionfante

(TheExpulsionoftheTriumphantBeast,1584),hewentsofarasto

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claimthatEgyptianHermeticismwassuperiortoChristianity.Atthe beginning of this work, he describes a meeting of gods who assembledforthepurposeofageneralreformofhumanity,which implies a return to the Egyptian religion. 17 This theme for the necessityofuniversalreformhadgreatinfluence,notablyuponI

RagguaglidiParnaso(TheAdvertisementsfromParnassus,1612)by

TraianoBoccalini(1556-1613).Oneofthechaptersofthisbook

wasafterwardsused astheintroduction to theFama Fraternitatis. BrunowasclosertoFicinothantheChristianQabalists,andhewas notatallinterestedintheQabalah.Withhim,thefigureofthe Christian magus disappeared entirely. He preferred the Egyptian magicoftheAsclepius.HeclaimedthattheChristianshadstolenthe symbolofthecrossfromtheEgyptiansandprophesiedareturnto theEgyptianreligion.HelectureduponhistheoriesinGermanyat the court of Emperor Rudolph II and in England. A colorful individual,Brunowastheauthorofaseriesofbookswhichtouched upon a multitude of subjects. His theological and scientific conceptions—forexample,theuniverseconceivedasbeinginfinite, atheoryborrowedfromNicholasofCusa—gothimintotrouble with the Inquisition, and in 1600 he was burned at the stake in Rome.

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FIGURE6.CorneliusHeinrichAgrippa, DeOccultaPhilosophia, 1510. ALCHEMYANDNATURE

FIGURE6.CorneliusHeinrichAgrippa,DeOccultaPhilosophia,1510.

ALCHEMYANDNATURE

Hermeticism’sspreadintoGermanywaslimited.Yetitpenetrated the court of Rudolph II, nicknamed the “German Hermes,” influencing in particular the alchemist Michael Maier and the astronomerJohannesKepler,bothofwhomhadreadtheCorpus Hermeticum. European alchemy had two periods of greatness: the

12thcenturywhichmarkeditsgenesis;andtheRenaissance,whereit

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expandedrapidlyespeciallyinGermanywhichexperiencedinthe 16thcenturyaveritable“tidalwaveofthespagyricsea.” 18 Inthe latter period there appeared the great anthologies of alchemical

texts,suchasthecelebratedTheatrumchemicum(1602),aswellasthe

first alchemical dictionaries, which characterized the need for a thoroughinvestigationandsynthesiswhichhadalreadymanifested

itself.Hereitshouldbepointedoutthat16thcenturyalchemywas

enrichedbynewqualities.Thefabricationofgoldwasnowoflittle

concern.Instead,alchemymanifestedstrongspiritualconnotations,

stressedcertainmedicalapplications,andclaimedtobeaunifying

science.Alchemyalsosoughttoenterintoaconsiderationregarding

thehistoryofCreation,ofthetragiccosmogonywhichlednotonly

tothefallofman,butalsothatofnature.Thealchemististhusnot

onlyman’sphysician,assistinginhisregenerationandgivingbirth

againtohisspiritualcondition,butthealchemistisalsonature’s

physician,ashisconstantmissionistonursenaturesoastoperfect

it.Co-birth,rebirth,andnatureareintimatelylinkedinthisalchemy.

(Incidentally,theword“nature”comesfromtheLatinnatura,the

futureparticipleofnascorwhichmeans“tobeborn.”)

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FIGURE7.CompositioninspiredbyaportraitdrawnbyAugustinHirschvogelin

FIGURE7.CompositioninspiredbyaportraitdrawnbyAugustinHirschvogelin

1540.LucienBraunindicatesthattheabove-mentioneddrawingistakenfromBuch

MeteorumbyFranzHogenberg(1566),whileWalterPageldescribesitascoming

from Philosophia Magna by Theodor Birkmann (1567). Josephus Stellatus (C.

Hirsch),inPegasusFirmamenti(1618),thoughtthethreeballssurroundedbythe

crossesshownonthecoatofarmstoberoses,andtherebyconcludedthatthese were an allusion to the Rosicrucians. On the other hand, E.D. Hauber, in

BibliothecaMagica(1739),claimed—withoutpresentinganyconvincingarguments

—that the vignettes surrounding the portrait recalled Rosicrucianism. In 1946, JosefStrebelimproperlysawinthesevignettes“allRosicruciansymbolism”of Paracelsus, which the work of Walter Pagel, Paracelse (1962), contributed to popularize.

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PARACELSUS

Theophrastus Paracelsus (1493-1541) was the individual most characteristicofthisevolutioninscience.Hisworkrepresenteda gargantuanefforttomakeuseofalloftheknowledgeofhisera.He delved deeply into astrology, alchemy, magic, and popular traditions. 19 Asa physician,heprotested theideasofGalen who reigned supreme over a medicine that had been stripped of its effectiveness. In his Volumen medicinae paramirum and his Opus paramirum,hesetforththebasisofanewmedicine.Thetheoryof man as a microcosm, already popularized by Johannes Scotus Erigena,tookonamoreexactmeaningforhim.ForParacelsus, philosophywasthediscoveryof“invisiblenature.”Natureassumed an essential function for him, because God speaks to us both throughthescripturesandthroughnature.Thus,wemustattune ourselves by contemplating the Book of Nature. According to Paracelsus, man’s role is to reveal “nature in its light.” Nature remainsincomplete,initsunknowing;however,itsrevelationmay befoundinman,whoisbornsoastoleadittoitsperfection. Thealchemist,inseekingtounderstandnature’slaws,engagesina dialoguewithCreation.Throughthisexchange,nature’shiddenlight isrevealedandilluminateshumanity.Butthelattercannotarriveat this result without preparation, without regeneration. As Roland Edighofferhasremarked,Paracelsusdescribedinaspecialwaythis transformation of man in his Liber de resurrectione et corporum

glorificatiorte(1533).Herepeatedlycombines(seventeentimesinsix

80

pages)thesymbolsoftheCrossandRoseandconnectsthemwith

alchemicaltransmutationandresurrection.Paracelsuswrote:“True

goldisthatwhichemergespurifiedfromthefire

time of the resurrection, the impure shall be separated from the pure,itshallbebornwithanewbodywhich,becauseitwillbemore luminous than the sun shall be called the glorified body.” The

resurrectionofChrist“isanimagedeartous

weshallrise,astherosewhichisrebornfromasimilarseed.” 20 Paracelsuswasanindividualofconsiderabledepth,andifwehave emphasizedcertainaspectsofhisthinking,itisbecausetheyhada particularly important bearing on the Fama Fraternitatis and the ConfessioFraternitatis.

THEDEATHOFHERMES

fromhimuntohim

Thus,atthe

The contribution of various traditions in the context of Renaissance humanism had given rise to the idea of tolerance betweenallreligions,philosophies,andtraditions.NicholasofCusa hadformulatedsuchideasatthetimeofthecouncilofFlorencein

1439.Afterwards,PicodellaMirandolahadsoughttoharmonize

these diverse traditions. Others went much farther, such as Francesco Patrizi, who spoke of a universal philosophy, a

“pansophia,”andinhisbookNovadeUniversisPhilosophia(1591)he

hadthetemeritytoaskPopeGregoryXIVtoteachHermeticismin Christian schools for the purpose of bringing about the establishmentofatruereligion.Alas,suchavant-gardeideascarried little weight before the predominating politico-religious interests,

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whichhadalreadygivenrisetoaperiodofreligiousintolerance.The

WarsofReligion,beginningwiththe16thcentury,weresoonto

restraintheexpansionofHermeticism. Anotheraspect,whichpassedunnoticedatthistime,wouldsoon

bringintoquestionthematterofthe“Egyptianheritage.”In1614,

IsaacCasaubonwroteDerebussacrisetecclesiasticisexercitationesXVI,a workinwhichhedemonstratedthattheCorpusHermeticumwasnot of Egyptian origin and that it was written not by Hermes

Trismegistus,butbyChristiansfromaroundthe2ndcentury.This

revelationputahalttoHereticismintheRenaissance.Nevertheless, eventhoughitseverelyweakenedtheesoterictraditionelaborated uponintheRenaissance,itdidnotobliteratethefactthattherewas ineffectatransmissionofknowledgetotheWestcomingfroma remote past, of an “Orient of Light” in which Egypt may be consideredthecenterofattraction. Inanycase,itmaybesaidthatthefoundationofwhatconstituted the edifice of Western esotericism—alchemy, astrology, magic, Qabalah, science of numbers, and divination—was established in the Renaissance. Thus it is astonishing to note that Casaubon’s discovery coincided with a reorganization, a refoundation of WesternesotericismmarkedbythepublicationoftheRosicrucian

manifestosin1614.ChristianRosenkreuzwastoreplaceHermes

Trismegistus and Egypt was to leave the scene, but it would eventuallyreturn,asweshallseelater.Thisrebirthofthetradition, thisrenaissance,wouldcomeaboutinanatmosphereofcrisis.

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FIGURE8.ValentinWeigel, Studiumuniversale ,1695 83

FIGURE8.ValentinWeigel,Studiumuniversale,1695

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Chapter3

THECRISISOFTHE

EUROPEAN

CONSCIOUSNESS

I N EXAMINING THE origins of Rosicrucianism, we have probedtherootsofWesternesotericism.Itremainsforusnow toexaminetheenvironmentwhichallowedtheRosetobloom

ontheCross.Indeed,weneedtosketchafullpictureoftheerain whichtheRosicrucianmovementdeveloped,soastounderstand the extraordinary impact that the publication of the Rosicrucian

manifestoshadonEuropeancivilization.Atthedawnofthe17th

century, Europe was being fully transformed. In describing this situation, the phrase “crisis of the European consciousness” has oftenbeenused.AsAlexandreKoyréhaswritten,duringthisperiod “the European spirit underwent—or completed—a profound spiritual revolution, a revolution which modified the foundations and even the framework of our thinking.” 1 We mention these matterssoastopointouthowtheRosicrucianwritingsappearedto offerapossibleanswertothecrisisfacedatthattime. 2

THEINFINITEUNIVERSE

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Thedevelopmentofanewcosmologywasnotatallunrelatedto

thedisruptionscharacterizingthe17thcentury.Indeed,shortlyafter

the discoveries of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), astronomy renouncedthePtolemaicsystemwhichhaddominateduntilthen. Theimageofaclosedworldwasdisplacedbythatofaninfinite universe, where the Earth—and consequently humanity—was no longer in the center. At a single stroke, the theory of epicycles, which Ptolemy had used to explain planetary movements, was

demolished.ThisineffectualtheorywasmockedinChapter13of

theConfessioFraternitatis. This new vision of the world gave rise to three conflicting positions. The first, promulgated by Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), establishedanewscientificattitudeandopenedthewaytoarational vision of the universe, that of a world reduced to geometrical dimensions. Exploiting a recent discovery of the Dutch, Galileo constructedatelescopethatallowedhimtocombinemathematics andobservation.WecaneasilyimaginetheChurch’sattitudewhen confrontedwithhisvisionoftheworld—avisionsocontrarytothat oftheScriptures.ChurchmencondemnedtheCopernicansystem, andGalileowassoonforcedtorenouncesuchtheories.Thisevent, marking the rift between the Catholic Church and science, inauguratedalongperiodwhenscientificresearchwascrushedby dogmaticfanaticism.GiordanoBrunoandGalileoborethebruntof thishostility.

JohannesKepler(1571-1630)offeredathirdway.Acontemporary

ofGalileo,hewastheassistanttoTychoBraheattheimperialcourt

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ofRudolphII,the“GermanHermes.”Kepler’sviewoftheuniverse differedinthatitcombinedheliocentrismwiththeHermeticismof

theRenaissance.InhisMysteriumcosmographicum(1596),hemadethe

Sun the center of the World Soul, the source which imparted movementto theplanetarysouls.ButbeforelongKeplerwould change his mind regarding this matter, and when this work was

reissuedin1606,hefounditadvisabletoreplacetheword“soul”

with that of “force.” This change in attitude involved him in a celebratedcontroversywithRobertFludd. 3 This new vision of the cosmos suddenly disclosed a concept originallyposedbyDemocritus—thatofthevacuuminwhichthe universemoved.SincethetimeofAristotle,thissubjecthadbeen

consideredtobeoflittlemerit,butinthe16thcenturyitwasseenin

adifferentlight.Thistheory,whichchallengedtheomnipotenceof God,iseven nowcontroversial. 4 Thisisundoubtedlythereason whytheFamaFraternitatismakesthisstatement:“thevacuumdoes notexist.”Alloftheseelementschangedtherelationshipofhumans withtheuniverse.Thelatterwasdemythified,asitwasnowseenas avastmachinemadeupofcogwheelsthatcouldbeinvestigated usingone’sreason.

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FIGURE9.Aristotle,Ptolemy,andCopernicusonthefrontispieceofabookby Galileo,

FIGURE9.Aristotle,Ptolemy,andCopernicusonthefrontispieceofabookby

Galileo,DialogueConcerningtheTwoPrincipalSystemsoftheUniverse,1635.

THECATALOGUESOFTHEWORLD

Thesamesituationappliedtotheterrestrialworld,asitslimits

werepushedbackwiththediscoveryofAmericain1492andofthe

maritimeroutetoIndiain1498.Thesevoyagescontributedtothe

creation of the first semi-accurate maps of the world, such as

SebastianMünster’sCosmographiapublishedin1544,aworkwhich

experiencedimmediatesuccess,ortheequallycelebratedAtlasof GerhardusMercator.Theprogressofprintingengravedmaterials also led to the rapid expansion of scientific works. In the 16th century,thefirst“catalogues”enumeratingthemanynaturalriches

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oftheworldwerepublished.Representativeofthismovementwere theimmenseherbalspublishedbyOttoBrunfelsofStrasbourgand LeonhartFuchsofTübingen,aswellassimilarworkscompiledby KonradvonGesnerofSwitzerland;UlisseAldrovandiofBologna, Italy;andGuillaumeRondeletandPierreBelonofFrance.Inthis era,Europeanprincesalsolovedtocollectthemarvelsofnature— hencetheimportanceofcuriositycabinets,wherevariousoddities wereassembled.InthisregardEmperorRudolphIIisparticularly interestinginthatheassociatedthepossessionofsuchcuriosities withtheassumptionoftheirmagicalpowers. 5

HUMANANATOMYREVEALED

Ifthevisionofthemacrocosmchanged,thatofthemicrocosm also evolved. In 1543—the same year that Copernicus’ book on

heliocentrismappeared—AndreasVesalius(1514-1564)publisheda

pivotalworkinthehistoryofmedicine,DeHumaniCorporisFabrica. Thisvolume,whichisthesourceofhumananatomy,attackedthe

opinionsofGalen(c.131-201),longconsideredtobetheforemost

authority in medicine. Another group of writings which strongly influenced the evolution of medicine were those of Paracelsus.

From1560,JohannHuserbegantocompilethemanuscriptsofthis

medical pioneer, which eventually led to the publication of the complete works of Paracelsus in ten volumes (1589-1591). Also contributingtotheadvanceofmedicinewastheinventionofthe microscopebyZachariasJanssen,aspectaclesmakerofMiddelburg —although this invention is sometimes attributed to Cornelis

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Drebbelorothers.ShortlyafterwardsWilliamHarvey(1578-1657),

the “Copernicus of Medicine,” published his De Motu Cordis et SanguinisinAnimalibus,inwhichherevealedhisdiscoveriesregarding bloodcirculation. Theseelements,asawhole,helpedtomodifyhumanity’sviewof theuniverse.Nolongerdidhumanscontemplatethemysteriesofa worldtowhichavengefulGodhadexiledthem.Theologywasno longerneededtounderstandtheworld;rather,humansobserved, calculated,andunderstoodtheforcesrulingallcreation.Theroleof masterandpossessorofnaturehadbeenbestoweduponhumanity.

masterandpossessorofnaturehadbeenbestoweduponhumanity. FIGURE10.OttoBrunfels,

FIGURE10.OttoBrunfels,Herbarumvivaeeiconesadnaturaeimitationem,1541

THEREFORMATION

Whilesciencewasbeingtransformed,religionwasexperiencinga

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full-blown crisis. This was not an unprecedented event, as ChristianityhadalreadybeentornapartbytheWesternSchismin

1378,whenagroupofambitiouscardinalselectedtwopopes—one

inAvignon,ClementVII,andtheotherinRome,UrbanVI—each ofwhomexcommunicated hisrival.Thissorryspectacleofrival

popeslasteduntil1417.Furthermore,withtheinventionofprinting,

thecirculationofideasbecamemorefeasibleandthehumanismof theRenaissanceopenedtheWesttovarioussourcesofspirituality. Suchprincipleswereprobablynotirrelevanttothereflectionsof manythinkerswhentheyponderedtheirownnaturaeimitationem,

1541.religion.TheyeachquestionedthewaybywhichtheChurch

accomplisheditsministryandhowitwasoverlypreoccupiedwith temporalmatters. TheunityoftheWesternChurchwasonceagaintornasunderby theReformation,whichclaimedtobeareturntothespiritofthe

Gospels.In1517,Lutherpostedhisninety-fivethesesdenouncing

the commerce in indulgences and relics established by Rome. Reformersemphasizedthefactthatsalvationisagracederivedfrom one’sfaithandnotone’sworks,andtheyplacedtheauthorityofthe Biblebeyondthedogmasestablishedbyhumanbeings.Lutheralso accused the Church of keeping people steeped in superstition.

Withinafewyears,attheinstigationofHenryVIII(1532),England

separated itself from Rome, and the Nordic countries likewise droppedtheirallegiancetothePope.

THEREVOLTS

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Unfortunately, the Reformation gave rise to many excesses. Quarrelsquicklyaroseconcerninghowreformwastobeachieved. In the years 1522 and 1523 various German nobles wanted to spread the new “true faith,” and thus engaged in armed

insurrectionsagainsthigherauthorities.Rightafterwards,from1524

to1526,thePeasants’WarwrackedGermany,whenthepeasants

likewisetooktoarms.Beingoftheopinionthattheprincesand noblesofthisworldbarredtheirpathtotheGospel,andfeelingthat theirmissionwastoreestablishthetruefaith,theydidnothesitate to massacre all those opposing their aims. As can be seen, the Reformation generated innumerable political problems which threatened the equilibrium of the Holy Roman Empire. The

emperorswhosucceededCharlesVafter1556oscillatedbetween

religious tolerance (Rudolph II) and Catholic intransigence (Ferdinand II). The situation finally exploded in 1618 with the DefenestrationofPrague,whentheimperialgovernorswerethrown outthewindowofHradcanyCastlebyProtestants.Thisacthelped todragGermanyintotheThirtyYears’War,duringwhichalmost halfofGermany’spopulationwaskilled.

THECOUNTER-REFORMATION

TheCatholicChurchreactedtoProtestantcriticismsbystarting theCounter-Reformation,whichwasinauguratedattheCouncilof

Trent(15451563).Thiscouncilwascharacterizedbyatighteningof

discipline.TheInquisitiontookonanewlifeandtheCongregation

fortheDoctrineoftheFaithwascreated.Thelatterwascharged

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withpublishinganindexofprohibitedbooks—apracticewhichwas

onlydiscontinuedin1966.Innumerableesotericandscientificworks

writtenduringtheRenaissancewereplacedinthisindex.Events

suchastheseundoubtedlyforcedthepractitionersofesotericismto

formintosecretsocieties,closedtooutsiders.

THEWARSOFRELIGION

Germanyonceagainwasexperiencingafragilepeaceasaresultof

theConcordof1554andthePeaceofAugsburgin1555—butnow

itwasFrancethatburstintoflames.TheMassacreofVassyin1562,

whenFrenchProtestantswereslaughtered,launchedthereligious wars in France. The St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in 1572 marked a decisive turn in the conflict between Catholic and Protestantforces.Eachcampwasonthedefensive:theCatholics createdtheHolyLeaguetofighttheCalvinists,andontheother side Protestant princes throughout Europe united in opposition. FrancefinallyreturnedtocalmundertheruleofHenryIV.His accession to the throne in February 1594 raised great hopes throughout Europe, as many saw him as a person who could reconcileallofChristianity.OneofthesewasGiordanoBruno,who traveled throughout Europe preaching general reform. Having pinnedhishopesonHenryIII,BrunonowfeltHenryIVwasthe manofthehour.TommasoCampanellalikewisehadhighhopes thatthiskingwouldachievesuchreform. 6 Positions such as these were supported by a text circulating throughoutEuropeatthistime.ItdescribedHenryIVasthe“new

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David,”theking“oftheancientprophecies,”whowouldrestorethe unityofChristianitybeforethereturnofChrist. 7 Asweshallsee later on, Henry IV participated at this time in the creation of a

leagueofProtestantprinces.In1610,theassassinationoftheking

putadefiniteendtosuchhopes.Thebitternesswhichlaidwasteto EuropemaybenotedintheAdvertisementsfromParnassus,a book published in 1612 by Traiano Boccalini. This work, which is a diatribe against the Catholic hegemony established by the Habsburgs, made Henry IV into a veritable hero. The author appeared disillusioned at the chances for establishing universal reformleadingtopeaceinEurope.Itwasnotbyaccidentthata chapterfromBoccalini’swork,entitled“UniversalReformationof the Whole World,” was placed at the beginning of the Fama Fraternitatisinseveraleditions.

THEIMITATIONOFCHRIST

During the same period, Europe was harvesting the fruits of

movementswhich,sincethe12thcentury,hadattemptednewforms

ofspirituality.TheseincludedsuchgroupsastheBrothersofthe FreeSpirit,theFriendsofGod,theBeguines,andtheBeghards. Counted among them were such teachers as Meister Eckhart, Johannes Tauler, Heinrich Suso, and Jan van Ruysbroeck— individualsassociatedwithphilosophicprocedureandinnerquiet. TheDevotioModerna,amovementarisingintheNetherlandsat

theendofthe14thcenturythatsoughttoemphasizepietyandinner

asceticism,alsodevelopedinGermany.Thejewelofthisspiritual

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movementistheImitation ofChrist,a bookmuch esteemed by

17th-centuryRosicrucians.

ofChrist,a bookmuch esteemed by 17th-centuryRosicrucians. FIGURE11.HenryIVofFrance. THEMYSTICWEDDING

FIGURE11.HenryIVofFrance.

THEMYSTICWEDDING

Amongadvocatesofthisnewspirituality,especiallyprominentin the Protestant movement, three names must be mentioned. The

first,ValentinWeigel(1533-1588)isparticularlyinterestingdueto

hiseffortstosynthesizevariouscurrentsofhisage—thosederived from Eckhart’s lineage; those from the Paracelsian magico- alchemical movement; and those from the spiritualists Caspar

94

SchwenckfeldandSebastienFrank.Headvocatedaveryinternalized religiousmethod,centeredonaworkofinnertransformationand regeneration. He developed a theory of knowledge based on the ancientphrase“KnowThyself.” 8 Thesecond,PhilipNicolai(1556-

1608),wasapioneerofthe“newpiety.”Likehispredecessor,he

stressedtheprocessesofregeneration,which,inthisinstance,took theformofthemysticwedding.InhisbookTheMirroroftheJoysof the Eternal Life (1599), he described the seven phases of this regeneration.ThisauthorhadastronginfluenceonJohannValentin Andreae.ThethirdindividualwhoisofspecialinterestisJohann Arndt (1555-1621), considered to be the precursor of German Pietism.Hisbook,TrueChristianity,wasanimmensesuccess,going

throughmorethan300printings.Weowetothistheologianand

alchemist a commentary on Heinrich Khunrath’s Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae. Some excerpts of his writings regarding the “BookofNature”canalsobefound,almostwordforword,inthe Rosicrucianmanifestos. As with his two predecessors, Arndt strongly emphasized the necessity of rebirth. Johann Valentin Andreae considered Johann Arndt to be his spiritual father. As we have noted, the religious

situationinthe16thcenturywasanexplosiveone.Butwiththe

thirdgenerationofProtestants,doubthadsettledin.Protestantism, by attempting to justify its positions, had fallen into theological excessesthatplacedallblameonCatholicism.TheReformersnow questionedthemselvesabouttheneedforasecondReformation.

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FIGURE12.SimonStudion, Naometria ,drawingbyJakobLederlin. 96

FIGURE12.SimonStudion,Naometria,drawingbyJakobLederlin.

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Chapter4

THENAOMETRIAAND

THEAGEOFTHEHOLY

SPIRIT

A TTHEBEGINNINGofthe17thcentury,Germanywas

beset with pestilence and famines resulting from particularlyunfavorableclimaticconditions.Thepeopleof

thiscountrysoughtsignsofbettertimestocome.In1603many

detectedafavorableportentinthetrigonofJupiterandSaturn—in astrology, a very positive aspect of 120° between two planets— locatedinthetriplicityoffire(Aries,Leo,Sagittarius).Thefollowing year, a new star or supernova appeared in the same triplicity. JohannesKeplerinDeStellanovaetcoincidenteprincipioTrigoniignei

(1606)detectedinthisthesignofimminentpoliticalandreligious

changes.Hedrewparallelsbetweentheappearanceofthisnewstar andthebirthofanindividualwhowouldbetheinstigatorofanew religiousmovement.Thegoalofthispersonwouldbetoreconcile fellow Christians and to bring about “reasonable reform.” The secondRosicrucianmanifesto,theConfessioFraternitatis,referredto thisdevelopmentbyobservingthattheLordGodgaveproofsthat wemayreadintheheavens,intheconstellationsofSerpentarius

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andCygnus—i.e.,theSerpentandSwan

Intheyears1604and1605,theappearanceofacometexcited

people’s imaginations and gave impetus to a millennialist atmosphere.TheProtestantworldwasparticularlyreceptivetosuch circumstances, and many prophecies announcing the end of the worldwereincirculation.EvenLuther,inSupputatioannorummundi

(1540),recalledtheprophecyofElijah.Thelatterwasbasedonthe

announcement of the prophet Malachi: “Behold, I will send you Elijahtheprophetbeforethecomingofthegreatanddreadfulday of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children,andtheheartofthechildrentotheirfathers,lestIcome and smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:5-6). In the New Testament,St.JohnlikewiseannouncedthatElijahwouldreturnto

thesideofChristattheendoftime(Revelation11:3-6).Theone

whohadbeenraisedtowardheavenuponachariotoffire(IIKings 2:1-13) would return so as to prepare humanity. The Talmud expandedfurtherontheprophecyofMalachi,statingspecifically

thattheuniversewouldlast6,000years,attheendofwhichthe

millenniummarkingthecompletionoftimewouldbegin. TheQabalistsoftheRenaissancemadethistheoryfashionableby indulginginspeculationswhosepurposewastocalculatethisfateful

day.GuillaumePostelhadannouncedin1543thatthelastageofthe

worldwasimminent,andPicodellaMirandolahadindicatedthat 1583 would be the pantocratic year. For Luther, the year 1532

correspondedtotheyear5640,accordingtotheageofCreation.He

thought,therefore,thattheendoftimewasquitenear.ChapterIV

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ofthesecondRosicrucianmanifesto,ConfessioFraternitatis,alsomade referencetothisprophecybyspeakingof“thenextlightingofthe

sixthcandelabra”—inotherwords,tothefactthatthe6,000fateful

years were drawing near. Melchior Hoffman, an Anabaptist, also

foresawfor1533thebeginningofathousand-yearreignthatwould

marktheendoftheworld. In the 17th century many individuals engaged in such chronological speculations. Among them Simon Studion (1543-c.

1605)wasanoutstandingfigure,ashehasleftusavoluminousbody

ofworkdevotedtothissubjectthatisentitledtheNaometria.This textisofprimeimportancebecauseitsauthorwroteitinthevery sameregionandperiodthatRosicrucianismwasbornandbecause certain concepts he revealed were later found in the Fama FraternitatisandtheConfessioFraternitatis,thefirsttwo Rosicrucian manifestos.Acuriouscoincidencemaybenoted:thedateofthe symbolicopeningofChristianRosenkreuz’stombisthesameas

thatofthefinaldraftoftheNaometria:1604.Thesecharacteristics

have led certain historians to regard Simon Studion’s work as a Rosicruciantext.ArthurEdwardWaite,inhisbookTheRealHistory

oftheRosicrucians(1887),describedRosicrucianismasanextensionof

the Militia Crucifera Evangelica spoken of by Studion. But soon afterwardsWaiteabandonedthishypothesis.

SIMONSTUDION

Simon was the son of Jakob Studion, cook at the court of WürttembergatStuttgart. 1 Likemostofthosewhowerepartofthe

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17th-century Rosicrucian movement, Simon attended the highly renownedUniversityofTübingen.Whilethere,hestudiedtheology and devoted himself passionately to mathematics under a noted professor, Samuel Heyland. The latter, a famed astronomer and astrologer,introducedhisyoungstudenttothescienceofnumbers, whichweresaidtorevealthemysteriesofCreation.Simonwished

tobecomeapreacher,butin1565hewasforcedtorenouncethis

careerduetohisstammering.Instead,hebecameapreceptoratthe LatinschoolinMarbach,alittletownnearStuttgart. Atthistimehistalentsasapoetwererevealed,andhegaineda certain renown after writing a funeral eulogy for Johann Brenz

(1499-1570),oneofthegreatestLutherantheologiansoftheperiod.

Studion’smostimportantworkwasaLatinpoemcontainingover

10,000hexameters,whichhecomposedfortheweddingofDuke

LudwigofWürttemberginNovember1575.Inthiswork,healso

revealed his talents as a historian, as he included in his poem a genealogical study of the ruling family. Indeed, Studion was not simplyapoet,hewasalsoahistorianandapioneerinthefieldof archeology. The archeologists of Württemberg revere him as the truefatherofRomanarcheology.Tothisdayonemayadmirein StuttgartthecollectionofRomanantiquitiesheassembled,notably during his researches in Benningen. The respect he felt for past events was singular, because his researches led him to perfect a theoryforcalculatingthehiddencyclesofhistory.Herecordedhis reflectionsintheNaometria,apropheticandvisionaryworkinwhich heannouncedtheimminenceofgreatupheavals.

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NaometriaisaGreekwordthatmeans“measureofthetemple”or “the art of measuring the temple.” In the preface to his work, Studion informs us that it was “from the book of the art of measuringthetempleofGod,thealtar,andtheworshiperswhoare foundhere,withtheassistanceofarod.”WhattemplewasStudion speakingof?WasittheonethattheprophetEzekielhadannounced asappearingbeforetheendoftimeforbringingtogetherthechosen

ones(Ezekiel40-43)?

St.JohnalsoreferredtothistempleinRevelations.LikeEzekiel, hedescribedthevisionsheobtainedwhenhewastransportedto Heaven.TherehesawGodsittingonathroneinthemidstofhis heavenlycourtandholdinginhishandtheBookwithsevenseals. Whenalambopenedthesesealsoneaftertheother,extraordinary events occurred. After the sounding of the sixth trumpet, the visionarywasentrustedwiththegiftofprophecy.Hewasthengiven arodtomeasurethenewtempleofGod. IntheNaometria,SimonStudionrepeatedthisepisodeandadapted it.Thevisionary,who,intheRevelationofSt.John,measuredthe templewasassistedbytwowitnesseschargedwithprophesyingfor

1,260days.TheywereliketwotorchesstandingbeforetheGodof

the earth (Revelation 11:3-4). Although they were not named, traditionclaimsthattheywereMosesandElijah.IntheNaometria, Studion also mentions two witnesses charged with prophesying duringthetimeoftrial.ThefirstisLuther,whoattemptedtoput Christianitybackontheproperpath.Asforthesecond,itappears thatStudionassignedhimselfthisrole.Itmightevenbeaskedifhe

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is not also like “the man clothed in linen,” who, according to

Ezekiel(Ezekiel9:3)andSt.John(Revelation7:2-3),ischargedwith

surveyingthecitysoastotraceacrossontheforeheadsofthose whowouldbesparedthefinalpunishment.IntheNaometria,these chosenonesarecalledtheCruceSignati—inotherwords,thosewho aremarkedbythesignofthecross.Theyarebroughttogetherin the Militia Evangelica so as to prepare for the Age of the Holy Spirit.UndoubtedlyStudiondescribesthistemplebecausehefeels thattheendoftimeisnear,thatthetimeofthelastrevelationhas arrived,andthatthenewera—thatoftheageoftheHolySpirit— willsoonbegin.

willsoonbegin. FIGURE13.SimonStudion(1543-c.1605). THEAGEOFTHEHOLYSPIRIT

FIGURE13.SimonStudion(1543-c.1605).

THEAGEOFTHEHOLYSPIRIT

Inthe16thcenturythesubjectoftheAgeoftheHolySpiritwasas

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popularastheAquarianAgeispopularinourownera;itisnot surprising,therefore,thatStudionreferstoitconstantly.Duringthat period,manypeoplefeltthatthisagewasnear.Thistheory,which wasalsodiscussedintheRosicrucianmanifestos,wasdevelopedby

JoachimofFiore(1135-1202),anItalianmonkandtheologian.

Accordingtohim,thehistoryoftheworldhadunfoldedinthree successiveages.ThefirstwastheAgeoftheFather,whichstarted withAdam.ThiswasfollowedbytheAgeoftheSon,initiatedby JesusChrist;andthethirdwastheAgeoftheHolySpirit,which would bemarked bytheend oftime.With each oftheerashe associatedaflower.Thus,hegaveanettletotheAgeoftheFather, becauseduringthisperiodpeoplelivedinfear.WiththeAgeofthe Sonheassociatedtherose,whichrepresentedtheChristwhohad freedhumanity.Finally,heattachedthelilytotheAgeoftheHoly Spiritandmadethisperiodoneofcharitybywhichmanwould becomethefriendofGod.

AccordingtoJoachimofFiore,thisfinalagewouldbeginin1260.

HetookthisnumberfromtheprophetDaniel,whohadannounced thatthedurationoftheruleoftheimpiouswouldlastuntil“atime

andtimesandthedividingoftime”(Daniel7:25).Thisexpressionis

interpretedasevokingthreeandahalfyears—i.e,forty-twomonths

or1,260days(St.JohntookthisnumberfromRevelations).Joachim

ofFioreinterpretedthisnumberasrelatingtotheyear1260,which

markedtheappearanceofaNewChurch,onethatwasmorepure,

replacingtheonefoundedbySt.Peter.Thisnewreligion,monastic

andmysticalinnature,wouldbeadvancedbytheOrderoftheBoni

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Eremitae. Despite his audacious opinions, Joachim of Eiore was unconcerned.Itshouldbenotedthatthiseruditetheologianwasthe

friendofseveralpopes.However,in1215—aboutadozenyears

afterhisdeath—thefourthLateranCouncilcondemnedJoachim’s ideasasbeingsubversive. 2 Nonetheless,thetheoryofthethreeages

becamequitepopularandlasteduntilthe17thcentury.Thus,itis

not surprising that the theory is found in the Naometria. Simon Studion’s book also reproduced certain illustrations from the Vaticina sive Prophetiae Abbatis lochimi, a collection of predictions

attributedtoJoachimofFiore,whichwaspublishedin1598(seefig.

12).

ThesubtitleoftheNaometriaindicatesthatitisan“introductionto theknowledgeofsacredsecrets,associatedwithanexplorationof theunfoldmentofalltimeintheChurchofGodandofitsposition bythegraceoftheHolySpirit.”Theauthorindulgedinscholarly calculations,basedonvariousnumericalcyclesincludingthatofthe

1,260-yearcycle.Hedrewupnumeroustableswhereinthedatesof

greateventsinhumanhistorywereplacedinparallelcolumns.He tried to show that the year 1620 would feature the end of the Antichrist’s reign, the fall of the pope, and the fall of Islam.

AccordingtoStudion,theMessianictimewouldbeginin1623,and

he indicated that those individuals who had shown themselves faithfultoGodwouldbecomemembersofacompletelyregenerated religionandwouldbecalledtogetherinaNewTemple.Hisbook consistsofnumerousspeculationsregardingthemeasurementsof

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thissquaretemple.Itincludesdesignsofthedifferentpartsofthis structurebasedonthedescriptionsgivenbytheprophetEzekiel

(Ezekiel40-44).ItshouldberememberedthatSimonStudionwas

not the only person in Tübingen to meditate on the temple announced by the prophet. One of the key individuals in the emergenceofRosicrucianism,JohannValentinAndreae,workedon thissubjectforhisteacher,thetheologianMatthiasHafenreffer.

SimonStudionindicatedthatinJuly1586asecretconferencewas

heldinLüneburg,whichwasattendedbycertainGermanProtestant princes, as well as representatives of the kings of France and DenmarkandthequeenofEngland.Theiraimwastoformaleague ofevangelicaldefense—theCruciferaMilitiaEvangelica,alsocalled theMilitiaEvangelica—tocounteracttheharmfulschemesofan imperialisticCatholicleaguethatwasshamefullyusingChristianity tojustifyitsdemands.ThemissionoftheMilitiaEvangelicawasto prepare for the new era. Studion mentioned its next meeting in Constance, in a gathering that he saw as the second Council of

Constance—letusrecallthattheobjectiveofthefirst(1414-1418)

wastoputanendtotheWesternSchism.Withthisnewcouncil, SimonStudionundoubtedlyforesawthecomingofaChristianity unifiedthroughareligionoftheSpirit. Certain historians describe this conference as a Rosicrucian meeting.HadtheconferenceofLüneburgreallytakenplace?No oneknowsforcertain.However,inconsideringtheroleaccordedby theNaometriatothedukeofWürttemberg,itmaybeseenasan allegory relating to the union of Protestant princes, then in full

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gestation.Theunionwouldbefoundedafewyearslater,in1608,by

thedukeofWürttemberg.In1586,theyeartowhichSimonStudion

refers,thepreliminariestothiscreationfirstappeared.TheEarlof Leicester,actinguponQueenElizabeth’sinstructions,madecontact withmostEuropeanProtestantprincesforthepurposeofforminga Protestant league. As part of this mission, the Earl of Leicester continuedtheworkundertakenpreviouslybyPhilipSidney,who had met Emperor Rudolph II with the same purpose in mind. Furthermore, in 1597, Henry IV of France had sent Guillaume Ancel to Germany to bring about the creation of such an association.HenryIVdirectedthisgroup,butitwasFrederickof Württembergwhotookthelead.LetusrecallthattheNaometria wasdedicatedtothreemonarchs:KingHenryIVofFrance;King James I of England; and Duke Frederick of Württemberg. Moreover,StudionmadeFrederickthekeyindividualofthegreat universalreformationheannouncedintheNaometria.Hewasalso convincedthatWürttembergwouldplayamajorroleintheushering inofanewage.

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FIGURE14.DetailfromSimonStudion, Naometria, drawingbyJakobLederlin. THENAOMETRIANOVA Simon Studion was aware of Duke

FIGURE14.DetailfromSimonStudion,Naometria,drawingbyJakobLederlin.

THENAOMETRIANOVA

Simon Studion was aware of Duke Frederick’s interest in the occultsciences,thelatterbeinganAnglophilewhowasthereforein contact with the English Neoplatonic movements that had

developedundertheinfluenceofJohnDee.In1596,Studionsent

the duke the manuscript of the Naometria. Frederick was hardly preparedtogivehisundividedattentiontotheesotericspeculations of this text, as he had become wary of occultists. He had just arrestedGeorgHanauer,analchemistwhohadabusedhistrust,and in April of the following year Hanauer was executed. However, duringthisperiodsomecopiesoftheNaometriabegantocirculate, notablyamongthestudentsofTübingenUniversity.Thiswaswhen JohannValentinAndreaeandhisfriendTobiasHessbecameaware of this amazing text. Another individual, Philip Ludwig, count palatine of Neuburg, became fascinated with the Naometria and

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proposedtopublishit.Tosatisfytherequirementsofthisedition, Studionhadtorevampthetextcompletely.Thissecondversionof

hiswork,calledtheNaometriaNova,appearedin1604.

Bythattimethemanuscript,entirelyin Latin,comprised 1,790 pages.ItsdedicationtothemonarchsofEuropeisfollowedbyan introduction on the mysteries of the Holy Scripture and by a conversation between Nathanel and Kleophas, two witnesses to Christ’s resurrection. The work finishes with the Beatitudes—in other words, the Sermon on the Mount. The entire volume is illustratedwithmanydrawingsexecutedbyJakobLederlin.Atthe endoftheNaometriaNovaisfoundthescoreofamotetforsix voicescomposedbyJeanBrauhartwhichsettomusicanenigmatic text of Studion entitled “Up Towards the Imminent Destiny of PresentTime”:

TheNymphhonorstheLilies,

TheLion[honors]theNymph.

Alltheothercamps[honor]theLion.

Allofthemaremarkedbytheimageofthecross.

TheLilies,theNymph,andtheLionwiththeaidofGodwill

devastate

TheSun,theMoon,andtheBirdofQuirinus.

TheEarthwillcondemntothewheeltheLilies,

TheWaterofthesea[willcondemn]theLion,

TheGuardianoftheBearwillcondemntheNymphwithits

allies.

SimonStudionindicatedthatthispoemwasmeanttocelebratethe

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eternalfriendshipbetweentheLilies,theLion,andtheNymph.Was hespeakinghereofthefriendshipthatunitedtheliliesofHenryIV withthelionofEnglandandthelionofFrederickofWürttemberg? This text can also be interpreted as relating to the role of the ProtestantleaderFrederickofWürttemberg(thelion)indrivingout theHabsburgs,thecorruptRomanCatholics(theeagle),soasto usher in the era of the lilies characterizing the Age of the Holy Spirit. 3 ThetextoftheNaometriawasneverpublished,undoubtedlydue tothefactthatitsauthordiedintheyearfollowingitsfinalrevision, butfortunatelythelibraryofStuttgarthascarefullypreservedthe manuscript. What of the great upheaval announced by Simon

Studionfor1620?Admittedly,thefinalrevelationdidnotoccur;but

atthistimeGermanyenteredintooneofthedarkestperiodsofits history. On November 8, 1620, the terrible Battle of White Mountaintookplace,whichwitnessedthedefeatoftheProtestants bytheCatholics.TheHabsburgeagletriumphedoverFrederick’s

lion,leadingtothefrightfulThirtyYears’War(seeChapter9).

THETHIRDELIJAH

As noted previously, the name of Elijah was frequently used amongthoseindividualswho,sincetheRenaissance,hadhopedfor the coming of the revelation that would mark the end of time. However,Paracelsusgavethenameanewdimensionintheformof EliasArtista.InDeMineralihus,aworkrelatinghisowndiscoveries, Paracelsusannouncedthatnaturehidmanymoresecretsandthat

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Godwouldsoonsendapersonwhowouldrevealeverymarvel. ReturningtothissubjectinanotherbookentitledVondennatürlichen

Dingen(1525),hestatedthatthischosenone,characterizedasan

accomplished alchemist, would be called Elias. Another text, De

Tinctur(1570),longattributedtoParacelsusalthoughitwaswritten

thirtyyearsafterhisdeath,calledthismessengerArtista.Thuswas born the myth of Elias Artista, who would enjoy great renown amongboththefollowersofParacelsusandthefirstreadersofthe Rosicrucianmanifestos. Some of these individuals made the connection between the comingofEliasArtistaandtheestablishmentoftheAgeofthe HolySpirit,thethirderapreviouslyannouncedbyJoachimofFiore. Infact,whenthefirstElijahhadbeenraisedtowardtheheavens,a second Elijah would come in the person of John the Baptist to

precedetheSon(Matthew11:14;12:10-12).Moreover,thethirdage,

thatoftheHolySpirit,wouldbeintroducedbyathirdmanifestation of Elijah, who was regarded by some to be the Elias Artista announced by Paracelsus. As Antoine Faivre mentions in “Élie ArtisteouleMessiedesPhilosophesdelaNature,” 4 thereferences

toEliasArtistamultipliedatthebeginningofthe17thcentury.

ThemostcharacteristicworkofthisperiodwasDisquisitiodeHelia

certum(1606)byRaphaelEglinIconius.ThisParacelsian,aprofessor

oftheologyandalchemistatthecourtofMauriceofHesse-Kassel, seemedtohaveplayedakeyroleinthepublicationoftheFama Fraternitatis. In his work, he described Elias Artista as an ideal alchemistandexaminedthesupposedbenefitsmarkinghiscoming.

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Iconiusponderedwhetherheshouldbeconsideredarealbeingor whether he symbolized the “sidereal influence” that marked the goldenagesoontobeestablished. ForBenedictusFigulus,thehouroftherevelationhadsounded, and the time of Elias Artista had come. This alchemist of Utenhoven,incontactwiththeRosicrucianmovementofTübingen, feltthatthepersonageannouncedbyParacelsushadarrivedand wouldusherintheGoldenAge.Thisiswhatheexpressedintwo

workspublishedin1608:RosariumNovumOlympicumandThesaurinella

chymica aurea tripartita. Around the same time Oswald Croll, a celebratedParacelsianandphysiciantoChristianofAnhalt,statedin hisBasilicaChemicathatthethirdage,thatoftheHolySpirit,would bemarkedbythecomingofEliasArtista,therestorerofthe“light ofGraceandofNature. Theworkswehavecitedappearedduringtheperiodwhenthe Fama Fraternitatis was circulating in manuscript form. What is amazingisthatthisfirstmanifestodidnotmakeanyreferenceto Elias Artista, although he was constantly present in Rosicrucian circles. The question, therefore, is whether Elias Artista was transformedintoChristianRosenkreuz.Whateverthetruthofthe matter,suchdoubtswerekeptaliveafterthepublicationoftheFama Fraternitatis in 1614. The letter written by Adam Haselmayer, insertedintothefirsteditionofthisbook,probablycontributedto theestablishmentofthisopinion.Inthisinstancetheauthormade theconnectionbetweenEliasArtistaannouncedbyParacelsusand the coming of Christian Rosenkreuz. Many other works took a

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similarstand,suchasHeliasTertiusbyAdamBruxiusandIudicium

theologicumbyDavidMederes,publishedin1616.Thesetwoauthors

saw in the Rosicrucian fraternity the third Elijah prophesized by Malachi.AsAntoineFaivrehasstated,“Duringthesedecades,the nameofEliasArtistawouldoftennotdesignateanindividual,buta grouping of philosophers and scholars who are thought to have workedinfavorofaspiritual,religious,scientificrenewal.” 5 These elements would help to assure the great popularity of the newly formedRosicrucianmovement.

THELIONOFTHESEPTENTRION

AdamHaselmayer’sletterreproducedinthefirsteditionofthe FamaFraternitatisalsoreferredrepeatedlytoaprophecyverypopular in Europe at this time: that of the Lion of the Septentrion. IncorrectlyattributedtoParacelsus,itsoriginscanbeplacedaround 1605. 6 It announced an imminent upheaval, both religious and political,followingthediscoveryofthreeimmensetreasuresinItaly, Bavaria, and a place located between Spain and France. Those individualswhobroughtthetreasurestolightwouldusetheseriches for humanitarian ends. These treasures contained, among other things,abookcontainingthesecretoftheGreatWork,following Paracelsianprocesses.Theprophecyalsospokeofthewaragainst theAntichrist,anditattackedtheSophistsaswellasAristotleand Galen, two individuals criticized in the early pages of the Fama Fraternitatis. Undoubtedlythereasonforthesuccessofthisprophecywasthat

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it announced an era when a yellow lion would come from the Septentrion(North)andstrugglewiththeeaglebeforeestablishing an age of bliss. This prophecy could at times be read as an alchemical text (the lion and the eagle were used in alchemical iconographytorepresenttheprocessofunitingsulfurandmercury) andatothertimesinapoliticallight(thewarbetweentheeagleof HabsburgandthelionofFrederickV). 7 ChapterVIoftheConfessio Fraternitatis makes reference to this prophecy. A final prophecy deservestobenoted—namely,theonethatParacelsusannounced inhisbookAuroraPhilosophorum.Heindicatedthat,justasChristhad cometoredeemhumanity,attheendoftimeaverypureindividual wouldpurifyandliberateallCreationbyexudingrose-coloreddrops ofbloodbywhichtheworldwouldberedeemedfromitsFall. 8 Thisbriefsurveydemonstratesthecomplexityoftheerainwhich Rosicrucianismwasborn,dueontheonehandtothenewfindings ofscience,andontheotherhandtothereligiousconflictsthathad givenrisetotheexpectationoftheappearanceofanewreligion. Theseelements,combinedwiththeeschatologicalenvironmentthen prevailing,giveusaglimpseofthemanyfearsassailingthepeople who lived at the end of the 16th century. What solution would presentitselftofreethemfromthisimpasse?

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FIGURE15. FamaFraternitatis ,firstRosicrucianmanifesto,1614 114

FIGURE15.FamaFraternitatis,firstRosicrucianmanifesto,1614

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Chapter5

THEECHOESOFTHE

ROSECROSS

O N THE EVE of the publication of the Rosicrucian manifestos, Europe was embroiled in the strife engenderedbyitsmoralcrisis.Everyonewaslongingfora

“newReformation.”ItwasinthiscontextthattheRosicrucianssent out their call proposing new means for restoring harmony. In general, we can say that the Rosicrucian Order proposed Hermeticism as a solution for the enveloping crisis. With this intentioninmind,ananonymousmanifestousuallycalledtheFama Fraternitatiswas published in 1614 at the print shop of Wilhelm WesselinKassel,Germany.Thecompletetitleis:“Universaland GeneralReformationofthewholewideworld;togetherwiththe Fama Fraternitatis of the Laudable Fraternity of the Rosy Cross, writtentoalltheLearnedandRulersofEuropealsoashortreplyby HerrHaselmayer,forwhichhewasseizedbytheJesuitsandputin ironsonaGalley.Nowputforthinprintandcommunicatedtoall true hearts.” The text constituting the middle portion, the Fama Fraternitatis,hadalreadybeencirculatinginGermanyasamanuscript

since1610.Itistheonlypartthathasbeenretainedinmodern

editionsofthismanifesto.

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ADVERTISEMENTSFROMPARNASSUS

Introduced by a short preface, the first Rosicrucian manifesto consistedofthreedistincttexts.Thefirstexplainedthenecessityfor ageneralreformationoftheworld.Althoughnotindicated,thiswas

aGermantranslationofNotice77fromTraianoBoccalini’sbookI

Ragguagli di Parnaso (The Advertisements from Parnassus), a little

knowntextpublishedinVenicein1612.However,itisimportantas

itplacedtheRosicrucianprojectincontext—thatis,indescribing thenecessityforareorganizationofaEuropeinagony.Thus,itis pertinentthatwepresentheretheauthor’sintentions.Boccalini,a friendofGalileo,belongedtotheantipapalcircleoftheVenetian patriot and statesman Paolo Sarpi. Boccalini’s satiric work used mythologytodepictthepoliticalclimatethenprevailinginEurope. Hecriticized thehegemonyoftheSpanish Habsburgkingsover ChristianEurope.InmanyplacesHenryIVofFranceappearsasa hero,andoneofthescenesinthebookemphasizesthedespairfelt

afterhisassassinationin1610.

APOLLO’SREFORM

TheportionoftheAdvertisementsfromParnassusquotedintheFama FraternitatisdescribeshowApollolearnedfromEmperorJustinian thattheEarth’sinhabitantsweresufferinggreatdespairduetothe incessantquarrelswhichsetthematoddswithoneanother.Apollo was unstinting in his efforts to send countless guides and philosopherstohumanityinordertoteachthemexcellentmorals, and so he decided to propose a universal reform that would be

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conducive to restoring humanity to its original purity. To accomplishthisend,heassembledonParnassusthesevensagesof Greece,amongwhomwereCato,Seneca,Thales,Solon,andothers. Eachofthesagesmadehisproposals.Thales,whothoughtthat hypocrisy and deceit were the primary causes of evil among humanity,proposedthatalittlewindowbedrilledinpeople’shearts soastobringaboutcandorandtransparencyintheirrelationships. Atonceanobjectionwasraised:ifeachpersoncouldseeintothe heartsoftheprinceswhoruledthisworld,itwouldbeimpossible forthemtogovern!Thales’proposalwasimmediatelyshelved. Solonfeltthatdisorderswereprovokedbythehatesandjealousies ragingamonghumans.Thus,hecounseledthatcharity,love,and tolerancebespreadamongthem.Headdedthatifpropertycouldbe moreequallydivided,lifewouldbebetter.Butonceagainthecritics protested and the sages of Parnassus called Solon’s proposal “utopian.” Cato proposed an extreme solution: a new flood to removeinasinglestrokeall“evildoers.”Finally,aftereveryonehad expressedtheirideas,theprojectofApollo’suniversalreformended up in regulating the price of beans and anchovies. Through this satire, Traiano Boccalini illustrated how institutions—whether religious,political,orphilosophical—areincapableofmakingthings evolveforthebetter. 1

THEFAMAFRATERNITATIS

The pessimism of this text, which despaired of seeing peace restored to Europe, was followed by the optimism of the first

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Rosicrucianmanifesto.Aftertheinitialtext,theFama Fraternitatis itself appears. Although this piece of literature is quite short, constitutingsomethirtypagesinabookwhichincludesatotalof

147pages,theFamaconstitutestheheartofthefirstRosicrucian

manifesto.Inthiswork,thebrothersoftheFraternityoftheRose Crossappealedtotherulers,clerics,andscholarsofEurope.After having paid their respects to their progressive era which had witnessedsomanydiscoveriescontributedbyenlightenedminds, they emphasized that, unfortunately, these discoveries had not broughtthelightandpeaceforwhichhumanityhadhoped.They blamed the scholars, who were more concerned with obtaining personal success than with placing their abilities in service to humanity. Likewise, they pointed to those who clung to the old doctrines—suchasthesupportersofthepope 2 andthedefendersof Aristotle’sphilosophyandGalen’smedicine—inotherwords,those who refused to question authority. The Rosicrucian brothers discussedtheconflictbetweentheology,physics,andmathematics. TheirpositionwassimilartothatofCorneliusHeinrichAgrippa, especiallyinhisdefinitionofmagic,whichhedescribedasbeing genuinescience.AtthebeginningofthefirstbookofhisDeOcculta Philosophia,Agrippapresentedmagicasbeingtheacmeofallscience, sinceallphilosophyisdivided into threebranchesofknowledge which complement one another: physics, mathematics, and theology. 3 Followingthis“inventory”oftheirera,theRosicrucian brothers proposed to offer their contemporaries a regenerated knowledge.Thisknowledgeofinfallibleaxiomscametothemfrom FatherC.R.,thefounderoftheirfraternity,wholaiddownthebasis

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forauniversalreformmanyyearsbefore. Whowasthismysteriousindividual,FatherC.R.?Theanswerto this question occupies the remainder of the Fama Fraternitatis.It involves Christian Rosenkreuz, a young German, who, we are

informedbytheConfessioFraternitatis,wasbornin1378.Atsixteen

yearsofage,heaccompaniedabrotherofaconventwhowasin chargeofhiseducationonapilgrimagetotheHolySepulcherof Jerusalem.ThisjourneytotheEastwasatrueinitiaticjourneyfor youngChristian.ButontheirwaytoJerusalem,hiscompaniondied in Cyprus. According to mythology, Cyprus is the birthplace of Aphrodite (Venus), whose union with Hermes gave birth to Hermaphrodite,anandrogynouschild.ThisallusiontoCyprusin Christian Rosenkreuz’s biography is replete with alchemical connotations,andservedasthepreludeforthemeslaterdeveloped intheChymicalWeddingofChristianRosenkreuz.

ARABIAFELIX

Despitethedeathofhiscompanion,ChristianRosenkreuzdecided tocontinuehisjourney.However,hisdestinationwaschangedand hewentinsteadtoDamcar.Contrarytowhathassometimesbeen stated,DamcarisnotDamascus,butratheratowninsouthwestern

Arabia,asindicatedbyMercator’sAtlas(1585).Damcarwasalso

mentionedbyAbrahamOrteliusinhisTheatrumOrhisTerrarumasa citylocatedinArabiaFelix.Thisregion,celebratedforitsincense, wasthehomeofIsmaelism.Itwasknowntohavepreservedthe CorpusHermeticum. 4 InDamcartherewasauniversitywithnofewer

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than500students. 5 UnderthedirectionoftheBrothersofBasra,an importantencyclopediawascompiledherethatgatheredtogetherall forms of knowledge—both scientific and esoteric. In the 20th century, Henry Corbin, quite intrigued by this branch of Islam stronglytingedbyesotericism,tookdelightinimaginingadialogue between the Brothers of the R.C. and the “Brothers of a Pure Heart” of Basra. He detected in the two fraternities a similar purpose. 6 AlittleearlierÉmileDantinnemadecommentsalongthe samelines. 7 WhileatDamcar,ChristianRosenkreuzassociatedwith magiwhotransmittedtohimimportantknowledge,particularlyin physicsandmathematics,thusenablinghimtotranscribetheBook M—i.e.,theBookoftheWorld—intoLatin.Afterthreeyearsofstudy, Christiansetoutoncemoreonhisjourneys.Afterabriefsojournin Egypt,hearrivedinFez,Morocco.

FEZ,CITYOFGOLD

Accordingtothe16thcenturygeographerLeoAfricanus,Fezwas

animportantintellectualcenter.Studentsflockedtothiscity,which

possessedmagnificentlibraries.SincetheUmayyadera(A.D.661),

its schools taught the alchemy of Abu-Abdallah, Imam Jafar al- Sadiq, and Jabir ibn Hayyan (Geber), as well as the magic and astrology of Ali-ash-Shabramallishi. 8 Leo Africanus stated that at Fezaformoftheurgicalmagicwaspracticed,which,beginningwith a sort of circular pantacle traced on the ground, allowed the practitioner to approach invisible worlds. The Fama Fraternitatis informs us that the magic of these inhabitants of Fez was not

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altogetherpure.Nevertheless,whatmadealastingimpressionon ChristianRosenkreuzwasthespiritofsharingwhichreignedamong thescholarsinthiscity,incontrasttothesituationinGermany, where most of the learned tended to keep their secrets closely guarded. 9 InFez,ChristianRosenkreuzperfectedhisknowledgeof theharmonyofthehistoricalcycles.Healsounderstoodthat,as every seed contains a tree in embryo, in similar fashion the microcosm(man)containsthemacrocosmwithallitscomponents (nature, language, religion, medicine). The authors of the Fama

Fraternitatis had “aken this vision from Paracelsus, who, in his

inthissense,manalsoisaseedand

theworldisitsapple,andwhat’struefortheseedintheappleis equallytrueformanintheworldsurroundinghim.” 10 Afterhavingcompletedhisstudiesinmathematics,physics,and magic, Christian Rosenkreuz became acquainted with the “elementary inhabitants who revealed unto him many of their secrets.”ThelatterwereprobablythosewhichParacelsusdescribed inhisTreatiseonNymphs,Sylphs,Pygmies,Salamanders,andOtherBeings. These beings, which Paracelsus was said to have seen, did not descendfromAdam,althoughtheyhadahumanappearance,but hadadifferentorigin.Bycontactingthem,humanscouldlearnthe secretsofNature.

THEHOUSEOFTHEHOLYSPIRIT

PhilosophiaSagax,stated:“

After this initiatic journey to the East, Christian Rosenkreuz returnedtoEurope.Onhiswayhome,hestoppedinSpaintoshare

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withSpanishscholarswhathehadlearnedonhisjourney.Hesoon realizedthatthesescholarsdidnotwishtohavetheirknowledge questioned.TotheauthorsoftheFamaFraternitatis,thescholarsof Spainsymbolizedthosewhoarerestrictedtoadoctrinewhichthey donotwishtohavequestionedattheriskofseeingtheirauthority disputed. DisappointedbytheclosedattitudeoftheSpanishscholars,and havingbeenmetwithsimilarcriticisminothercountries,Christian RosenkreuzreturnedtoGermany.There,heundertooktoputinto writingthesumoflearningwhichhehadobtainedintheEast.His aim was to create a society capable of educating the princes of Europe,fortheywouldbecometheguidinglights.Afterfiveyears of work, Christian Rosenkreuz surrounded himself with the first groupofthreedisciplestoassisthiminhisprojects.Thuswasborn theRosicrucianFraternity.Together,theMasterandhisdisciples wrotethefirstpartoftheBookM.Thenthefraternitywasenlarged with four more brothers. They then moved into a new building calledtheSanctiSpiritus—“HouseoftheHolySpirit.”Thefraternity

remaineddiscreetandChristianRosenkreuzdiedin1484attheage

of106years.In1604,longafterthedeathofthefirstgroupof

Rosicrucians, the brothers accidentally rediscovered the tomb of ChristianRosenkreuzastheyweredoingworkontheirbuilding. Over the door of his tomb appeared the inscription: “After 120 yearsIshallopen.”Inthiscavern,conceivedasa“summaryofthe universe,”theydiscoveredaquantityofscientificobjects,heretofore unknown,andsometextscontainingalltheknowledgegatheredby

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theirMaster.

THETOMBOFCHRISTIANROSENKREUZ

Thediscoveryofamysterioustombholdingmanymanuscriptsisa frequent theme in alchemical literature. The example of Basil Valentine,involvingamanuscriptdiscoveredunderthealtarofa church in Erfurt is well known. The discovery of the tomb of ChristianRosenkreuzrecallsthatofApolloniusofTyana.Aswesaw in an earlier chapter, the latter had discovered in the tomb of Hermes Trismegistus the famous Emerald Tablet and a book explaining the secrets of the creation. 11 This symbolic system referredtotheconceptwhereinonemay“visitthebowelsofthe Earth; by rectifying thou shalt find the hidden Stone.” Gerhard

Dorn,inhisCongeriesParacelsicaeChemiae(1581),givesthismeaning

to Vitriol, 12 a word which is likewise closely linked with Hermes Trismegistus, since it is associated with an alchemical drawing

entitled“TheEmeraldTablet”(seefig.2).Moreover,theEmerald

TabletwhichHermesholdsinhishandsseemstoforeshadowthe BookTofChristianRosenkreuz. The room where the tomb of Christian Rosenkreuz was discoveredtooktheformofacupolaorheptahedron.Accordingto Frances A. Yates, the appearance of the tomb may have been suggestedbytheportaldepictedinPlateIVoftheAmphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae by Heinrich Khunrath (1603). 13 Placed in the centerofacavern,thetombinwhichtheperfectlypreservedbody ofChristianRosenkreuzreposedhadacircularform.Thetombwas

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covered by a brass plaque on which enigmatic phrases were engraved.Oneofthemproclaimed:“Thevacuumexistsnowhere.” Apart from the fact that it alludes to the controversy we have alreadymentioned,thisphraserecallsadialoguebetweenHermes andAsclepiusinTreatiseIIoftheCorpusHermeticum.Asweshallsee beforelong,thethirdRosicrucianmanifestoincludesmanyallusions totextsattributedtoHermesTrismegistus.

totextsattributedtoHermesTrismegistus. FIGURE16.HeinrichKhunrath, AmphitheatrumSapientiaeAeternae

FIGURE16.HeinrichKhunrath,AmphitheatrumSapientiaeAeternae,1603

PARACELSUSANDROSENKREUZ

Especiallynoteworthyamongthevariouswritingsrepresentedin

thetombofChristianRosenkreuzwereBookT,whichheheldinhis

hands,andwhatiscalledtheVocabularyofTheoph:Par.Ho.Thelatter

textisprobablyoneofthevocabulariesofParacelsus,inparticular

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theDictionariumTheophrastiParacelsicontinensohscuriommvocahularum

publishedin1584byGerhardDorn,adiscipleofParacelsus.Itmay

benotedthatParacelsusistheonlyauthorreferredtointheFama Fraternitatis. Moreover, many of the themes developed in this manifestocomefromhisworksorthoseofhisdisciples.TheBook M,whichwementionedpreviously,refersdirectlytohisideas.We will not delve into this subject here, as we will have a better opportunity to do so when discussing the Confessio Fraternitatis. Nevertheless, we need to point out the concept of Paracelsus’ alchemy found in this first manifesto, particularly in the way it viewedtheGreatWork—namely,asbeinga“preliminaryworkof little importance” in regard to the spiritual procedure of the Rosicrucians.Bythisstand,theRoseCrossdissociateditselffrom thealchemicalmethodspervadingGermanyinthiserathatgaverise toconsiderableexcesses. Afterhavinggatheredtogetherthetreasuresoflearningfoundin Christian Rosenkreuz’s tomb, the Rosicrucian brothers closed it again.Fortifiedbythislegacybaseduponimmutableaxioms,they felt ready to bring to fruition the “divine and humane general reform”previouslyenvisionedbytheirMaster.TheFamaFraternitatis reveals that, like the brothers who had discovered a treasure of knowledge after having smashed the wall which concealed the openingofthetomb,Europewouldopenitselftoaneweraby adoptingnewknowledgeafterhavingsetasideoldbeliefsthatacted like walls to its advancement. However, as the Fama Fraternitatis

not

states,theknowledgewhichtheRosicruciansproposedwas“

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anewinvention,butasAdamafterhisfallhathreceivedit.”Thus,it involves restoring a lost knowledge that some people are endeavoringtoperpetuate.Thefirstmanifestogavethenamesof various individuals who were the transmitters of this Primordial Tradition.ThesenamesrecallthosementionedbyMarsilioFicinoin asimilarcontext.

asimilarcontext. FIGURE17.TheRoseCross,fromthe1614editionofthe

FIGURE17.TheRoseCross,fromthe1614editionoftheFamaFraternitatis.

ADAMHASELMAYER

TheFamaFraternitatisendswithaninvitationtothemenofscience and to the sovereigns of Europe to join the Rosicrucian brotherhoodbysharinginitsreformingknowledge.However,this

appealispeculiarinasmuchasitspecifiesthat“

timewemakenomentioneitherofournames,ormeetings,yet

neverthelesseveryone’sopinionshallassuredlycometoourhands,

inwhatlanguagesoeveritbe,noranybodyshallfail,whosogives

buthisnametospeakwithsomeofus,eitherbywordofmouth,or

elseiftherebesomelet[i.e.,issued]inwriting.”Thisstatement

althoughatthis

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indicatesineffectthatthehouseoftheRosicrucians“shallforever remainuntouched,undestroyed,andhiddentothewickedworld .”ThismessagewasheardandtheopenletterstotheRosicrucians wereprintedatvariousplacesinEurope,suchastheonethatwas publishedattheendofthefirstRosicrucianmanifesto.Thetextof

thisletteriswhatAdamHaselmayer(1560-?)publishedin1612with

the title of “Answer to the Laudable Fraternity of Rosicrucian Theosophists,” after having read a manuscript of the manifesto

whichwascirculatingintheTyrolin1610,somefouryearsbeforeit

waspublished.ManyauthorshaveconsideredHaselmayertobean imaginaryindividual.Thisisnotthecase,asprovedbyCarlosGilly, who, after patient research, succeeded in reconstructing the biography of this Paracelsian, who was a great collector of alchemicalmanuscripts. 14 AdamHaselmayerwassoenthusiasticabouttheFamaFraternitatis that he asked Archduke Maximilian to subsidize research on the Rosicrucians.Thetextofhis“AnswertotheRosicrucianManifesto” is strongly influenced by the prophecy of the Lion of the Septentrion and by Joachimism. He made the Rosicrucians the forecastersoftheAgeoftheHolySpiritandfeltthattheywere “thosethatGodhaschosentospreadtheTheophrasticalanddivine

eternaltruth.”Heannouncedthat1613wouldmarktheendoftime

andthattheGreatJudgmentwouldtakeplacein1614.Hethus

thoughtthatattendingchurchwasuseless—anattitudewhichled himtobesuspectedofheresy.Refusingtoretractsuchstatements, Haselmayer was condemned to the galleys in October 1612. He

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remained there four and a half years, but during this period he seemedtohaveenjoyedspecialtreatment,becauseheremainedin contact by letter with many other individuals equally fond of alchemy.AccordingtoCarlosGilly,AdamHaselmayer’senthusiasm was excessive and was not in full accord with Rosicrucian philosophy.

HERMESANDROSENKREUZ

Asnotedpreviously,itwasinthiscontextofmoralcrisisthatthe firstmanifestoadvocatedaprogramofreforminwhichesotericism heldtheplaceofhonor.TheRosicruciansplacedthemselvesinthe mainstreamofRenaissanceesotericism,towhichwereaddedsome specificallyChristianmysticalpreoccupations.Wemayalsonotethat this first manifesto did not hesitate to distance itself from the “puffers”ofesotericism,justasitdidwithallossifiedreligions.The Rosicrucians wished to move closer to science, esotericism, and mysticisminanoptimisticprojectofreformstronglycharacterized byParacelsianism.InplacingitselfsquarelywithinthePrimordial Tradition, as it was defined in the Renaissance, the Rosicrucians relegated Egypt to a secondary role. The enigmatic Hermes Trismegistus, whose legitimacy was compromised by Isaac Casaubon in 1614, disappeared in favor of a more human personality,namely,ChristianRosenkreuz.

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FIGURE18.JohnDee, MonasHieroglyphica ,1564.Onthefrieze,whichsupportsa

FIGURE18.JohnDee,MonasHieroglyphica,1564.Onthefrieze,whichsupportsa

starryvaultedpediment,thereiswritteninLatin:“Hewhodoesnotunderstand mustremainsilentorlearn.”Thepillarontheleftisthatofthesunandfire,while the pillar on the right is that of the moon and air. From each star descends dewdropscollectedincups.Onthelowerpartofthedrawingappearthesewords:

“Goddispensesthedewoftheheavenandthefatnessoftheearth,”anallusionto

Genesis,chapter27,verse39.TheMonadisshowninthecenter,encircledby

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phylacterieswhichstate:“Mercuryshallbecometheparentofthekingofallthe

planetswhenheismadeperfectbyafixedpoint.”

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Chapter6

THECONFESSIO

FRATERNITATIS

I N 1615, THE year following the publication of the Fama Fraternitatis,WilhelmWesselpublishedasecondmanifestoin Kassel, Germany. Just as the previous manifesto had been

supplemented by the Advertisements from Parnassus, this second manifestowasaccompaniedbyatextentitledSecretionsPhilosophiae consideratio brevis a Philippo a Gabella. The full title of the latter translatedintoEnglishreads:“ABriefConsiderationoftheMore Secret Philosophy, written by Philip a Gabella, a student of philosophy,publishedforthefirsttimewiththeupdatedConfession oftheR.C.Fraternity.” 1 Theauthorofthistextremainsanonymous. In the introduction, he points out that this work involves a philosophical treatise, after noting “that it is embellished by the actions, studies, and knowledge of the R.C. Fraternity.” A short prefacefollows,signed“FraterR.C.”,whereintheauthorindicates thatthis“BriefConsideration”wasderivedentirelyfromHermes, Plato,Seneca,andotherphilosophers.

THEMONAD

However,this“BriefConsideration”isnotatallrelatedtoHermes

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oranyotherphilosophers,butisinsteadanadaptationofMonas

Hieroglyphica(1564),aworkbyJohnDee(1527-1608).Inthisbook,

theleadingalchemist,astrologer,andmathematicianatthecourtof QueenElizabethIofEnglandproposedtoexplainahieroglyph— namely, the monad—in twenty-four theorems. Following the methodsofCorneliusHeinrichAgrippa,whomhereadassiduously, John Dee composed this magical character by basing it on geometricalprinciples.AccordingtoPierreBéhar,themonad,apart fromitsmagicalaspect,isanalchemicalsymbolthatdesignatesthe Stone of the alchemists, the Mercury of the Sages. 2 The symbol composedbyJohnDeewasalsorepeatedinthethirdRosicrucian manifesto,theChymicalWeddingofChristianRosenkreuz,byJohann ValentinAndreae. The“BriefConsideration”wascomposedbeginningwithexcerpts takenfromthefirstthirteentheoremsoftheMonasHieroglyphica.The author repeats the passages dealing with the different parts composingthehieroglyphoftheMonas.Sometimes,thetermmonas isnotpreserved,butisreplacedbythewordstella.Theauthorofthe “BriefConsideration”presentshimselfasaneminentspagyristwho wishestocombinethetheoremsofJohnDeewiththeteachingsof BasilValentineconcerningVitriol.Histextisakindofalchemical treatisethatattemptstoteachhisstudentshowtoliveontherose, themostbeautifulandfragrantoftheflowers.Theauthorteaches themhowtomakehoneywiththenectarofthisflowerwithout being pricked by its curved thorns. This text is completed by a prayersigned“PhilemonR.C.”

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THECONFESSIOFRATERNITATIS

Thefirstmanifestoannouncedtheforthcomingpublicationofa “Confession”inwhichthirtysevenreasonsforwhichtheOrder existswouldbesetforth.Thesecondmanifestodidnotprovide thesereasons,butprovidedinformationthatattemptedtomakethe Famamoreclearbyreformulating“anythingtoodeep,hidden,and setdownoverdarkintheFama.”TheConfessioFraternitatis,orthe ConfessionoftheLaudableFraternityofthemosthonorableOrderoftheRosy Cross, written to the Learned of Europe, was divided into fourteen sections,althoughlatereditionsdidnotalwaysobservethisdivision. In this text, the Rosicrucians emphasize that they possess the antidote for the disease which gnaws at science and philosophy, becausetheyholdthekeytoallknowledge,whetheritbethearts, philosophy,theology,ormedicine.Theyalsogivenewparticularsas tothesourcesoftheirknowledge,indicatingthattheydonotsimply comefrominvestigationscarriedoutbyChristianRosenkreuz,but also from those revelations he obtained by divine illumination broughtaboutthroughthemediationofangels.

MILLENNIALISM

Whereas the text of the first manifesto, apart from Adam Haselmayer’sletter,didnotalludetotheprophecyoftheLionof

theSeptentrion,theConfessioFraternitatisspeaksofitbyannouncing

that“ourtreasuresshallremainuntouchedandunstirreduntilthe

liondothcome

coincidewiththenextfallofthepope(ch.5).Asawhole,wemay

3 andtheroaringofthislionwould

”(ch.6)

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saythatthisnewmanifestoismillennialistincharacter.Assuch,it was part of the anticipated reform movement we mentioned previously,inthechapterentitled“TheNaometriaandtheAgeof theHolySpirit.”Incomparisontotheoptimismdisplayedbythe FamaFraternitatis,whichforeseestheadventofanewageenriched by the contribution of fresh knowledge, the Confessio Fraternitatis appearsmorepessimistic.Itproclaimsthat“theLordJehovah(who facingtheLord’sSabbathisalmostathand,andhastenedagain,his periodorcoursebeingfinished,tohisfirstbeginning)dothturn

aboutthecourseofNature”(ch.1).Thisendoftimeisthatofthe

Millennium,theperiodof1,000yearswhichwillfollowthe6,000

yearsalreadyelapsed(inreferencetotheprophetElijah),because theRosicrucianshavereceived themission oflightingthe“sixth

candelabrum”(ch.4).ThisperiodcorrespondstoJoachimofFiore’s

thirdage—thatoftheHolySpiritortheopeningofthesixthseal. The Rosicrucians explain their revelation as being a final grace offered by God “to the world before her end, which presently

thereuponshallensue”(ch.7).Itwillpermithumanitytoenjoyfora

whilea“truth,light,lifeandglory,asthefirstmanAdamhad,which

helostinParadise”(ch.7).HeretheConfessioFraternitatisrevisitsa

theme presented in the first manifesto, that of the “primordial revelation”receivedbyAdamaftertheFall. It may be asked whether the authors of this manifesto really thoughtthattheendoftimewasnear.Thisagemaybethoughtof intermsof“metahistory”—touseatermcoinedbyHenryCorbin —rather than linear history. 4 This is not a question of an event

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arisingwithinhumantime,butonthetimeofthespirit,livedinthe interiorofasoulregeneratedbyillumination.Moreover,theConfessio FraternitatisspeaksoftheRosicruciansasbeingindividualshaving thefacultyofprojectingthemselvesintime,pastorfuture,todistant

lands(ch.4).

THELIBERMUNDI

TheConfessioFraternitatisreturnstoathemetoucheduponinthe firstmanifesto,thatoftheLiberMundiorthe“BookoftheWorld,” byspeakingof“thosegreatlettersandcharacterswhichtheLord GodhathwrittenandimprintedinHeavenandEarth’sedifice”(ch. 6). Here we discover an essential aspect of the thoughts of Paracelsus. For him, the only fundamental book, aside from the Bible,wastheBookofNature.“Thesecharactersandletters,as Godhathhereandthereincorporatedthemintheholyscripturethe Bible, so hath he imprinted them most apparently into the

wonderfillcreationofHeavenandEarth,yeainallbeasts”(ch.9).

Theconcept,derivedfromParacelsus,statesthatNatureisthekey

toeverythinginexistence,thatitisnotamechanicalsystemoflaws,

butalivingrealitywithwhichhumanitymayenterintoadialogue

forthepurposeof“co-birth.

THEBIBLE

AlthoughthesecondmanifestoassignsimportancetotheBookof

Nature,italsoinsistsupontheimportanceoftherevealedWordand

exhortsoneto“readdiligentlyandcontinuallytheholyBible.”It

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claims“thatfromthebeginningoftheworldtherehathnotbeen given unto men a more worthy, a more excellent, and more

admirableandwholesomebookthantheholyBible”(ch.10).As

with theFama,theConfessiovilifiesthepopebyaccusinghimof tyranny. When announcing the crushing of the pontiff, it states:

“Thereforeonedayitwillcometopassthatthemouthofthose

viperswillbestopped”(ch.11),andthenaddsthat“healsoshallbe

scratched in pieces” (ch. 5). These statements reflect themes frequently found in Paracelsus’ Pronosticationes and Practica. This stance,whichisquiteunderstandableinaProtestantenvironment thatconsideredthepopetobetheAntichrist,wastheoriginofthe stronghostilityofCatholicismtoRosicrucianism.Undoubtedly,ina move to put the earlier praise of the Arab civilization into perspective,thesecondmanifestoalsofoundfaultwithMohammed. However,thislastcommentmaybeareiterationoftheNaometria whichcondemns“thepopeandhissonofperdition,Mohammed.”

ALCHEMYANDREFORMS

TheConfessioFraternitatisreturnstothecriticismlodgedagainstthe pseudo-alchemists in the first manifesto. For Rosicrucians, true alchemy should lead to a “knowledge of Nature,” but this is secondary,astheprimaryaimis“thatwebeearnesttoattaintothe

understandingandknowledgeofphilosophy”(ch.11).TheOrder

also urgesoneto actcautiouslyin regard to theproliferation of alchemical texts that flourished at this time. Indeed, the most extensivepublicationofbooksconcerningtheGreatWorkoccurred

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duringthe17thcentury. 5

THEFORTRESSOFTRUTH

The Confessio Fraternitatis declared that the sages of the city of Damcarwould setan exampleforRosicrucians,“accordingunto whichexamplealsothegovernmentshallbeinstitutedinEurope.” These individuals were said to have a plan established for this purpose by Christian Rosenkreuz. As in the first manifesto, the Rosicruciansinvitedthepeopleoftheireratojointheirfraternity andproposedthattheseseekersunitewiththemforthepurposeof constructing a “new fortress of truth.” They promised health, omniscience,andinnercalmtoeveryonewhowantedtobeinitiated intotheheritageofallofNature’sbounties.However,theywarned those who were “blinded with the glistening of gold,” and who wantedtojointheirfraternitywiththeaimofobtainingmaterial profits,thattheywouldneverbeadmitted. Insummary,wecansaythattheConfessioFraternitatisplacesmore emphasisuponreligionthandidthefirstmanifesto.TheConfessio triedtorehabilitatetheheritageoftheRenaissancesoastoserve Christianmillennialism(withthedifferencethatitdidnotspeakof Christ’sreturn)andpresentedtheimminenceofthefinalrevelation undertheauspicesoftheRoseCross.

THESOURCES

Countlessscholarshavespeculatedastowhowrotethefirsttwo

Rosicrucianmanifestosandwhatthesourceswerethattheydrew

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upon.Wemaynoteheretheinfluenceofthemedievalera,asthe infallible axiomatics to which the manifestos refer recall the Ars

MagnaofRaymondLully,whoseworkswerepublishedin1598by

LazarusZetzner,thefamedpublisherofStrasbourg. 6 TheRhenish mystic had also considerably influenced the authors of the early Rosicrucianwritings,particularlybywayofJohannArndt,whoshall be discussed later. However, the Fama and the Confessio draw essentially from three currents of the tradition: Paracelsianism, contemporary Neo-Joachimism, and the Hermeticism of the Renaissance. 7 ItisnotbyaccidentthatParacelsusistheonlyauthorpraisedby the manifestos, as he constituted a primary source for the ideas presented in thesewritings.Theneed forsharingtheknowledge acquiredfromvariouspartsoftheworld,thefactthatmanisa microcosm,thereferencetotheLiberMundi,andtothedwellersof elementaryworlds—ormoreparticularly,themetaphoroftheseed

—arethemesinthemanifestosoriginatingwithParacelsus.Let11s

add that in Christian Rosenkreuz’s tomb there appeared a book calledtheVocabularofTheoph:Par.Ho.,identifiedasbeingoneofthe

dictionariesofParacelsiantermspublishedinthe17thcentury.Such

influencesareperfectlyunderstandableinthatParacelsiantextswere

widelyreadduringthetimeofthemanifestos.Between1589and

1591 Johann Huser had published Paracelsus’ complete works,

following the enormous task of researching his manuscripts. A

secondeditionwasthenissuedintenvolumesbetween1603and

1605 by Lazarus Zetzner, the future editor of Johann Valentin

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Andreae’sworks. Neo-Joachimism is ever-present in the manifestos. As we explained earlier, the theories of Joachim of Fiore experienced a

revivalofinterestinthe16thcentury,ashadtheProphecyofElijah

or that of the Lion of the Septentrion—along with the many predictionsofchannelingthepeople’saspirationforarenewal—a

reformationthatallowedthe16thcentury’snumerousconflictsto

becalmed.RenaissanceHermeticismisalsopresentinRosicrucian texts,particularlyinconnectionwithalchemy.However,itshouldbe notedthattheQabalah,bothJewishandChristian,occupiesaminor role here. Other influences are equally apparent, such as those regardingtime,whichispresentedasbeingcyclic.Thesetextscould very well refer to Ishmaelism, with Damcar being one of the sources.

THETÜBINGENCIRCLE

Thestudyoftheideasexpressedinthemanifestosallowsusto hypothesizeabouttheirauthors.Mostpresent-dayexpertsagreethat theywerenottheworkofoneperson,butratherofasmallgroupof students and scholars living in Tübingen, a university town in Württemberg.Thisgroupwascalledthe“TübingenCircle.”Itwas

formedaround1608andconsistedofaboutthirtyindividualswho

werepassionateaboutalchemy,Qabalah,astrology,naometry,and Christian mysticism. The most important individuals included Johann Arndt, Johann Valentin Andreae, Tobias Hess, Abraham Hölzel, the pastor Vischer, Christoph Besold, and Wilhelm von

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Wense. They conceived the project of another reformation, complementingthoseofLutherandCalvin,whichwerejudgedto beinadequate.Twoofthesescholars,TobiasHessandAbraham Hölzel, were previously involved in a movement for circulating esotericandmysticalworksamongthefacultyoftheuniversity.

esotericandmysticalworksamongthefacultyoftheuniversity. FIGURE19.TheophilusSchweighardt(DanielMögling),

FIGURE19.TheophilusSchweighardt(DanielMögling),SpeculumSophicumRhodo-

Stauricum,1618.

JOHANNARNDT

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Johann Arndt (1555-1621), considered by Andreae to be his spiritual father, was the group’s mentor. A pastor, theologian, physician, alchemist, and keen follower of Johannes Tauler and ValentinWeigel,hewastheauthorofacommentaryontheplatesof HeinrichKhunrath’sAmphitheatrumSapientiaeAeternael.Accordingto

aletterwrittenonJanuary29,1621,tothedukeofBrunswick,his

desirewasto lead studentsand researchersawayfrompolemical theologyandtobringthembacktoalivingfaith,toapracticeof piety.HewasthepopularizerofTheImitationofChrist.Hismystical tendencies are noticeable in his sermons on the Gospels or on Luther’sSmallCatechism, and in his collection of prayers entitled Paradies Gartlein Aller christlichen Tugenden (1612). He wrote a devotional text entitled Vier Bücher vom wahren Christentum (Four

BooksonTrueChristianity,1605-1610)thatwasoneofthemost

widelyreaduntilthe19thcentury.Bothamysticandanalchemist,

he attempted to integrate the Paracelsian heritage with medieval theology,andinthislatterwork,hedevelopedtheideaofaninner alchemy,ofaspiritualrenaissance.” Roland Edighoffer has shown that an entire passage of the ConfessioFraternitatisdiscussingtheBookofNatureistakenalmost wordforwordfromthefinalvolumeofArndt’sFourBooksonTrue Christianity. 8 InhisDeAntiquaPhilosophia(1595),Arndtemphasizes that wisdom is found not in speculation, but in the practical—a conceptalsofoundinthemanifestos.Heisconsideredtobeoneof the instigators of Pietism. In 1691, Johannes Kelpius and his followerstookArndt’sworkswiththemastheyleftfortheNew

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World.AccordingtoaletterfromJohannArndtfoundamongthe papers of the theosophist Christophe Hirsch, Johann Valentin Andreae acknowledged having written the Fama Fraternitatis with thirtyotherpeople.Anotherletter,sentbyJohannValentinAndreae tohisfriendJohnAmosComenius,madethesameclaim.However, somequestionshavebeenraisedregardingtheauthenticityofthese letters. 9

TOBIASHESS

TobiasHess(1558-1614)wasoneofthemostimportantmembers

of the Tübingen Circle—perhaps even its instigator. His preoccupationssynthesizedperfectlythevariouselementspresented inthemanifestos.Hess,whowasamemberofTübingenUniversity, aParacelsianphysician,Qabalist,philosopher,andadmirerofSimon Studion,JuliusSperber,andJoachimofFiore,probablyplayeda

fundamentalroleindraftingtheFamaandConfessio.In1605,hewas

accused of practicing naometry and continued to promote millennialismincertainpublicationswhereheexpressedhimselfto beinfavorofworldwidereform.TheFamarepeatedhisideawhich basically declares: “It is wrong to claim that what is true in philosophyisfalseintheology.”Hesswasalsoaccusedofbeingan instigator of a secret society. Even though his accusers did not provide the name of this society, it is probable that they were referring to the Rosicrucian Order, whose first manifesto was circulatingatthistimeinmanuscriptform. Tobias Hess was associated with Oswald Croll, a disciple of

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Paracelsus.Duetohismedicaltalents,HesshadhealedAndreaeofa terriblefever,andthelatteradmiredhimimmensely.Hessdiedin

1614,justbeforethepublicationofthemanifestos,andhisfuneral

orationwasdeliveredbyAndreae.Thistextwasprintedafterwards, andcuriouslyenough,asRolandEdighoffernotes,itincludedthe followingwordsinitalictype,TobiasHessandFama—theonlyones inthebook—asthoughtoemphasizealinkbetweenthetwo.An

astonishingfactshouldbementioned:In1616,Andreaepublished

anonymouslyTheca gladiispiritus(TheSheath oftheGloryofthe Spirit), indicating in the book’s preface that it was authored by TobiasHess.Interestinglyenough,forty-eightpassagesofthisbook aretakenfromtheConfessio!InhisautobiographyAndreaewould lateracknowledgethatallofthetextfoundintheThecawashis.Can wenotconcludefromthisthatHesswastheauthorofeitherapart ortheentiretyoftheConfessioFraternitatis?

JOHANNVALENTINANDREAE

As early as 1699, in his Unparteyische Kirchen und Ketzer Historie (HistoryoftheChurchandofHeretics),GottfriedArnoldclaimed thatJohannValentinAndreaewastheauthoroftheRosicrucian manifestos. For a long time this theory was considered to be authoritative.InAndreae’scasewearedealingwithaparticularly noteworthyindividualwhomwewilldiscussinfurtherdetailwhen wetouchuponthethirdmanifesto,TheChymicalWeddingofChristian Rosenkreuz.However,Andreaetookpainstodistancehimselffrom the Rosicrucians, and in one of his books, Menippus (1617), he

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speaksharshlyabouttheRosicrucianFraternitywhenhedealswith ludibrium—in other words, farce or mockery. Nevertheless, as FrancesA.Yatesindicates,thesetermsarenotforcefulpejoratives when spoken by Andreae, because he attached considerable importancetothemoralinfluencesofstoriesandthetheater. 10 His literaryoutputlikewisetestifiestothisinterest. 11 Itshouldbeadded that throughout his life, he did his best to organize societies or associationscorrespondinginmanywaystotheprojectpresentedin themanifestos.ItappearsthatAndreaebasicallytookan official positioninoppositiontothemanifestossoastoprotecthisreligious career. It may be said that unforeseen circumstances led to the publicationoftheFamaFraternitatisattheexactmomentwhen,after aseriesofdifficulties,Andreaefinallyobtainedthepostofdeaconat Vaihingen and married Elisabeth Grüninger, the daughter of a pastorandnieceofaLutheranprelate. Muchspeculationhasswirledaroundthesubjectofthepossible authors of the manifestos; however, none of them is entirely satisfactory.Althoughthe“author”oftheearlymanifestoshaskept hissecretwell,TobiasFlessandJohannValentinAndreaeprobably playedafundamentalroleindevelopingtheseworks.

ANINITIATICNARRATIVE

LetusreturntoChristianRosenkreuz,theindividualpresentedby themanifestosasthefounderofRosicrucianism.Arewedealing herewitharealoramythicalindividual?Asmanyhavestated,these texts do not recount the biography of one person, because they

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involveinitiaticnarrativesthatpresentmanyfacets.Whatcanbe generallysaidisthatthroughthetravelsofChristianRosenkreuz,his sojournsintheArablandsandtheninSpain,wemayrediscoverthe advanceswhichvariousesotericsciencesmadewhenpassingfrom theEasttoWest.Thesesciences,afterhavingexperiencedfurther development in Europe, were to come into full bloom under Paracelsus.Afterhisdeath,ValentinWeigelandotherindividuals succeeded in rectifying any flaws and enriched them with the mysticism of the Rhineland and Flanders. What Rosicrucians proposedwastorecoverthisheritageandincludeitinthebodyof knowledgeofanerathattheyenvisionedasbeingthedawnofa newage. Many elements contribute in proving that the manifestos are symbolicnarratives.Forexample,theimportantdatesinChristian Rosenkreuz’s life correspond to significant historical events. The

yearofhisbirth,1378,correspondstotheyearoftheGreatSchism

oftheWestinwhichAvignonandRomewereatloggerheads.And

thatofhisdeath,1484,correspondstotheyearthatMartinLuther

—theindividualwhoattemptedtoreformChristianity—wasborn.

AlthoughitisnowthoughtthatLutherwasbornin1483,hisown

motherwaveredbetween1483and1484,andLutherhimselfopted

for1484.Thereexistsanastrologicaltraditionbasedonthestudies

ofPaulusvonMiddleburgandJohannesLichtenberger,whosawhis birthsignintheconjunctionofJupiterandSaturnthattookplacein

Scorpioin1484.Equallysignificantisthatthewritingsrelatingto

Paracelsus’ texts were placed in Christian Rosenkreuz’s tomb in

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1484. But keep in mind that Paracelsus could not have written

anythingyet,seeingthathewasbornin1493!Thethemeofthe

discoveryofatombisarecurringsymbolinthetradition,andwe willhaveoccasiontoreturntothissubjectlater. Only one step separates symbol from invention, and certain authorsdo nothesitateto crossthethreshold.Severalhistorians havepointedoutthattheauthorsofthemanifestosdidnotneedto adapt the biographies of real persons to invent Christian Rosenkreuz. Paul Arnold has shown that several mystics bear uncannysimilaritiestoChristianRosenkreuz. 12 FirstthereisJoachim of Fiore, who undertook the foundation of a fraternity after his

travelstotheOrient.ThenthereareRulmanMerswin(1307-1382),

thefounderoftheFriendsofGod, 13 andGerhardGroote(1340-

1384),thecreatoroftheBrothersoftheCommonLife.Thelatter

grouppromotedtheDevotioModerna,aspiritualmovementwhich emphasizedtheinnerexperience.Themostbeautifulfloweringof thismovementisseeninTheImitationofChrist,abookwhichhad considerableinfluenceonRosicrucians. 14 PaulArnold’sobservations areofinterestinthattheparallelsbetweenthesepersonalitiesand ChristianRosenkreuzarestriking,eventhoughnotabledifferences do exist. In addition, many of the ideas promulgated by these mysticsarefoundinthemanifestos. It is possible to view such matters from another angle as the manifestoscanalsobereadastheaccountofaspiritualexperience. Theyfallwithinanindisputablehistoricalcontext,but,aswithall initiaticaccounts,theyareassociatedwithametahistorythatgoes

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