Fama Fraternitatis - 1614

Wiewohl wir nun wohl wissen, daß es umb ein ziemliches noch nicht an dem, da wieder unserm Verlangen oder auch anderer Hoffnung mit allgemeiner Reformation divini et humani, solle genug geschehen, ist es doch nicht unbillich, daß, ehe die Sonne auffgehet, sie zuvor ein HELL oder dunkel liecht in den Himmel bringt und unter dessen etliche wenige, die sich werden angeben, zusammen tretten, unsere Fraternitet mit der Zahl und Ansehen des gewünschten und von Fr.R.C. fürgeschriebenen Philosophischen Canons, einen glücklichen Anfang machen oder ja in unserer Schätz (die uns nimmermehr aufgehen können) mit uns in Demut und Liebe genießen die Mühsamkeit dieser Welt überzuckern und in den Wunderwerken Gottes nicht also blind umbgehen.

Vi vet dock att det enligt vår åstundan och andras förväntningar efter någon tid kommer en allmän reformation av både gudomliga och mänskliga ting. Ty innan solen går upp, upplyses himlen av
MORGONRODNADENS ljus. I väntan på denna reformation församlas några få som med sitt antal skall utöka vårt brödraskap, höja dess anseende och stärka dess förhoppningar och ge de av Fr.R.C. föreskrivna Filosofiska Canons en lycklig begynnelse. I all ödmjukhet och kärlek skall dessa nytillkomna tillsammans med oss dela våra skatter, som aldrig skall förgås, och så lindra denna världens möda och inte längre vandra ovetande om kunskapen om Guds underbara verk.

Howbeit we know after a time there will now be a general reformation, both of divine and humane things, according to our desire, and the expectation of others: for it is fitting, that before the rising of the Sun, there should appear and break forth AURORA, or some clearness, or divine light in the sky; and so in the mean time some few, which shall give their names, may joyn together, thereby to increase the number and respect of our Fraternity, and make a happy and wished for beginning of our Philosophical Canons, prescribed to us by our brother R.C. and be partakers with us of our treasures (which never can fail or be wasted) in all humility, and love to be eased of this worlds labor, and not walk so blindly in the knowledge of the wonderful works of God.

Definition

Det brittiska ordenssällskapet Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn och den tyska Frimurarlogen L'Aurore Naissante, vilket grundades i London 1888 respektive Frankfurt-am-Main 1807, delade på samma hebreiska namn Chevrah Zerach Bequr Aur, förevisat i gyllene gult vid bloggens huvud, vilket ordagrannt kan översättas till “Stigande Gryningsljusets Sällskap”. Denna tyska Rosenkorsiska Frimurarloge i Frankfurt, vilket måste anses vara det ursprungliga modertemplet till GOLDEN DAWN, kallade sig på tyska även Loge sur Aufgehenden Morgenröthe, vilket kan översättas till “Gryende Morgonrodnadens Loge”. Detta skiljer sig åt från den engelska seden att översätta orden Bequr Aur till “Golden Dawn” eller “Gyllene Gryningen”. Med anledning av Rosenkorstraditionens tyska ursprung är en mer korrekt översättning av Bequr Aur, genom franskans L'Aurore Naissante och tyskans Aufgehenden Morgenröthe, inget annat än GRYENDE MORGONRODNADEN. Denna hänvisning till ett stigande gryningsljus, morgonrodnad eller aurora är en klar hänvisning till den allmäna reformationen omnämnt i det ovan citerade stycket från Fama Fraternitatis. Denna blogg har dock valt att behålla den försvenskade anglo-saxiska termen GYLLENE GRYNINGEN för att denna, invand som den är, lättare associeras med den Rosenkorsiska tradition som här ämnas att framställas.

Licht, Leben, Liebe

söndag 31 maj 2009

Secrecy and the Golden Dawn

o

1. The heated debate which has followed the profanation of the secret Alpha et Omega document The Book of the Tomb, recently publicised by Nick Farrell who for the last year or more has announced that he will publish the entire corpus of the Rosicrucian Order of the Alpha et Omega, including its initiation rituals, has left me in a state of bewilderment. For me it feels surreal to even have to debate such a fundamental principle as that of secrecy and silence. Is the time out of joint, to use the words of Shakespeare, or is it simply me desperately clinging to the past, not being able to catch up with the tides of change?

2. The Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega (or H.O.G.D./A+O) has severely criticized Mr. Farrell for doing so, and for his future plans of further profanation. And rightly so; there is no reason for me to deny that I fully concur in this criticism. But the actual publication isn’t the most surprising, but rather the choir hailing Mr. Farrells actions. And furthermore, which is even more disturbing, the following criticism against the Ros. Cruc. Order of A∴O∴ for condemning these kind of actions. So suddenly, we have become the “villains” in this drama in trying to defend the integrity of our Order, accused of withholding information from the public!

3. So basically it boils down to the fact that there are people out there who consider it being everyone’s personal responsibility, according to one’s own conscience, to decide to follow or not to follow the obligation of secrecy. Therefore, according to the choir of liberals, it is nobody’s right to judge the profaner, not even the Order who’s been victimized with profanation of its documentation. To be honest I find this notion to be not only extremely disturbing but also downright absurd.

4. This last example of profanation made by Mr. Farrell is only part of an ongoing frenzy of publication on the internet of hitherto secret documentation from all remaining branches or derivatives of the Golden Dawn, i.e. the Alpha et Omega, the Stella Matutina (Whare Ra) and A.E. Waite’s Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, and of lately also the Sun Order (Chromlech Temple). This has been going on since the middle 1980’s when Israel Regardie published The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic, but has taking on a new spin after the turn of the Millennium.

5. People often justify this kind of profanation with providing sources for historical reseach, or serving the “Golden Dawn Community”. However people often forget that all three branches of the Golden Dawn tradition, i.e. the Alpha et Omega, the Stella Matutina and the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, are still living and breathing bodies. If we were talking about a dead tradition, no longer living, growing and developing, a simple historical curiosity, I wouldn’t mind providing documentation for historical research. But as we all know this is not the case; the Golden Dawn is not in the least passé.


6. The “Golden Dawn Community” can broadly be divided into two main bodies, the solitary practitioners taking published literature as their source material on the one hand, and on the other the Orders and Temples, i.e. working groups. The latter category can further be divided into publicly known organisations with an internet presence and private Temples working unofficially. Most working groups, either big name Orders or independent Temples, draws information from both published sources and unpublished documents from the late 19th and early 20th Century, from all three Golden Dawn derivatives. Unpublished documentation is circulating and is already shared between Temples and Orders. One such good example has been The Book of the Tomb, where several different versions have been known to be circulating.

7. Thus the only part of the “Golden Dawn Community” which really are “benefited” from this kind of publication of secret documentation is the solitary worker. Personally I regard this to be a personal choice working outside of a working Golden Dawn Temple as most people are able today to become initiated physically if their reasons for it are sincere enough. Thus people not choosing initiation, for whatever personal reason, must take the consequences of being restricted to published literature. For me this is only natural; an example of cause and effect. Simply speaking: If you don’t want to be part of the team, you cannot expect to share all the benefits together with the initiates; you can’t eat your cake and have it too.

8. So what I am basically saying is that the justification for profanation falls flat on both accounts. So what we are talking about here is a clear breach of obligation, which cannot be justified by this kind of rationalization by any means, provided it has been done by an initiate of the Golden Dawn. Unfortunately in most cases initiates are responsible for this kind of violation of secrecy, a fact which is really disturbing. I could have understood this if it was made by a uninitiated historian, such as Francis King, but this is often not the case at all.

9. The problem is however that some initiates who are prone in doing this has been initiated in a irregular fashion taking modified oaths of secrecy clearly providing them with the responsibility and opportunity to decide for themselves if and how they should uphold this secrecy; some Temples doesn’t even require secrecy as mandatory. In my opinion this is clearly a serious deviation from the hallmarks not only of the Golden Dawn but the whole of the Hermetic tradition. Temples of this kind cannot expect to receive and share any unpublished material, as they have deviated to far from the very foundation of Hermeticism.

10. What is the first lesson taught to the initiate, to the Neophyte? That of secrecy and of silence. What is the main and pivotal godform of the Hall of Neophytes and one of the Signs of that Grade, who’s name also constitutes the Grand Word of the Neophyte? Harparcrat, the Egyptian god of silence.

11. How is it then that Adepts of today so easily forget about the very first principle that is supposed to be taught to the new member? Is it perhaps a desire of fame, glory and fortune? People are of course ready to pay a lot of money to receive Hermetic secrets without any effort. The temptation may become to strong for the weak hearted.

12. But what about the four Virtues of the Adept? To Will (Velle), to Dare (Audere), to Know (Scire) and to Keep Silence (Tacere), who are corresponding to the Elements thus: Fire (Velle), Water (Audere), Air (Scire), and Earth (Tacere). Again, to follow the course of the Grades in the Golden Dawn and that of Zelator, which is the actual “first” Grade of the Outer Order corresponding to the Earth Element, the first principle for the initiate is to master the principle of Silence.

13. The four Elements and the corresponding virtues constitute the four pillars of the Outer Order which uphold the Inner Order and its sacred mysteries. Take away one of these pillars and the structure will collapse. I would even state that Secrecy constitutes the very foundation upon which the Temple is built. Remember what is said in the Zelator Ceremony: Except Adonai build the house, their labor is but lost that build it.

14. In gematria Adonai (ADNI) amounts to 65, which also is the numerical value of Haws (HS), i.e. “To keep silence”. So here we have a confirmation in Gematria that the house, i.e. the egregore of the Temple, must be built by the power of Silence. But as I already have pointed out, this principle is taught already in the first or preparatory Grade of Neophyte, which may be viewed as the foundation upon which the other Elemental Grades rest. Thus, the first three paragraphs of the original obligation of the Neophyte concerns secrecy and states:
I, in the presence of the Lord of the Universe and of this Hall of Neophytes […], do of my own free will and accord hereby and hereon most solemnly pledge myself to keep secret this Order, its name, the name of its members, and the proceedings which take place at its meetings, from all and every person in the whole world who is outside the pale of the Order, and not even to discuss these with initiates, unless he or they are in possession of the password for the time being. Nor yet with any member who has resigned, demitted or been expelled.

I furthermore promise and swear that I will keep any information relative to this Order, which may have become known to me Prior to the completion of the Ceremony of my admission and I also pledge myself to divulge nothing whatsoever concerning this Order to the outside world in case either of my resignation, demission or expulsion therefrom, after the completion of my admission.

I further undertake that any such ritual or lecture and any case, cover or box containing them shall bear the official label of the Golden Dawn. I will not copy myself nor lend to any other person to be copied, any ritual or lecture, until and unless I hold the written permission of the Praemonstrator to do so, lest our secret knowledge be revealed through my neglect or error.
15. And then regarding the modern view of nobody having the right to condemn the actions breaching this sacred vow, the obligation clearly states:
…these points I generally and severally, upon this sacred and sublime symbol [i.e. that of the Red Cross surmounting the White Triangle] swear to observe without evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation of any kind whatsoever; under the no less penalty on the violation of any or either of them of being expelled from this Order, as a willfully perjured wretch, void of all moral worth, and unfit for the society of all right and true persons, and in addition under the awful penalty of voluntarily submitting myself to a deadly and hostile current of will set in motion by the chiefs of the Order, by which I should fall slain and paralyzed without visible weapon as if slain by the lightning flash. (My emphasis)
16. At the end of the Admission ceremony of the Neophyte the Kerux says while mixing the fluids to create the semblance of blood (echoing the old use of blood letting):
As this pure and limpid fluid is changed into the semblance of blood, so mayest thou perish if thou betrayest thine oath of secrecy to this Order by word or deed.
17. I believe the original view held in the Order was quite clear regarding this kind of breach of obligation, reading the above paragraphs. If anyone is shocked by this blunt warnings and threats they should be aware that this in pure sweet talk compared to the obligation of a Entered Apprentice in Freemasonry. And Freemasons truly understand the significance of secrecy, at least that is my experience in Sweden. Lastly, even the beautiful Eucharist shared between members at the closing of the Neophyte Grade is an admonition of silence and secrecy:
Nothing now remains but to partake together in silence of the Mystic Repast composed of the symbols of the Four Elements and to remember our pledge of secrecy.
18. There is no way of coming around this fact that the obligation of the Neophyte, which is reaffirmed again and again through each advancement of Grade, is binding the initiate into not revealing anything pertaining to the Order. Now, today it is difficult to follow this requirement to the letter. The Golden Dawn tradition has been profaned by a good company of former Order members and oath breakers, such as Aleister Crowley, Israel Regardie, Paul Foster Case and Dion Fortune.

19. Aleister Crowley profaned the Qabalistic system of correspondences, along with parts of the Enochian Magical system and initiation rituals. Israel Regardie published almost everything that he had received from his Temple (Hermes of the Stella Matutina in Bristol) as a Zelator Adeptus Minor. Paul Foster Case and Dion Furtune didn’t publish anything beyond what Crowley already had published, with the exception of Case profaning the Golden Dawn correspondences between sound and colour.

20. Israel Regardie is the Adept known to have publicised most of this material, and verbatim, in his The Golden Dawn: An account of the teachings, rites and ceremonies of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn between the years 1937-40. With the exception of Dion Fortune the other three mentioned Adepts were against this publication made by Regardie. Crowley was the one most severe in his criticism, which may appear quite hypocritical considering the fact that he had published most of it already in his periodical organ The Equinox between the years 1909-13. The main difference being that The Equinox had a much lesser circulation and originally mainly amongst initiates of the A∴A∴. Regardie’s publication was in contrast made for the public. Obviously The Equinox also soon found its way to a broader audience.


21. Now, regarding Israel Regardie’s publication there is much controversy regarding it being justified or not. My personal position, which doesn’t necessarily reflect that of my own Order, is that Regardie was motivated by a strong desire to save this noble tradition from oblivion. He considered, quite wrongly as it seems in retrospect, that the particular Temple who initiated him was about to perish because of mis-management. What Regardie didn’t know was that there were several Temples operating in the Alpha et Omega at the time which probably would have continued in a traditional fashion wasn’t if for Regardie’s decision to profanize the material. In fact the Hermes Temple which initiated Regardie was one of the longest surving of the original bodies, permanently closing its doors in the late 1960’s, by then working mostly with the Alpha et Omega rituals and curriculum.

22. So in my opinion Regardie did the Order a great disservice, although the Golden Dawn tradition probably never would had exerted such a great impact and influence upon western esotericism hasn’t it been for Regardie and his books. Perhaps I, and others with me, wouldn’t had found this beautiful and venerable tradition if it wasn’t for Regardie. So personally I hold no grudge against Regardie, even though he partly is to be blamed for the highly confused state of today’s Golden Dawn community. But in contrast to Regardie’s original motives in the 1930’s no one can invoke his old justifications in doing something similar today, as obviously the situation is quite different nowadays and perhaps because of books like The Golden Dawn, but sadly enough some individuals continues Regardie’s legacy in furthering this profanation.

23. So considering the fact that much of the material of the Golden Dawn up to and including the Zelator Adeptus Minor level of working is published and widely circulated today puts the original obligation in a somewhat delicate position. There have thus resulted two extreme polarities in dealing with this fact. One such is the extreme traditionalist stance that regards the original obligation to still be in effect, prohibiting their members to read any published literature. On the other hand we have the “open source” stance who regard all material to be part of public domain and for open scrutiny by anyone, initiate or non-initiate. This latter category considers that all hieretho unpublished material of the Golden Dawn should be made public for the benefit of all. Then there is the middle position as represented by my own Order.

24. In the Rosicrucian Order of A∴O∴ the General Reformation anno 1999 was made in response to this situation of our Tradition being made public domain and being in a such strong position in the overall occult community of the West. We found that most students already were proficient in Ceremonial Magic and was already implementing techniques traditionally belonging to Adepts of the Golden Dawn while in the Outer Order. Consequently most of the published material of the Inner Order Theurgical system soon was implemented in a systematical magical training program to prepare the initiate for yet more advanced training in the reformed Inner Order, to meet the needs of the modern initiate.

25. I personally strongly support this middle position, which is reflected in this blog and also in the training of initiates in my Swedish Temple. I believe we must also be allowed to openly discuss and cite the material as published by authors such as Crowley, Regardie, Case and Fortune, and also modern authors, without being accused of breaching our obligations. In this I also consider it being everyone’s own right to publish or discuss one’s own original written material based upon the Golden Dawn tradition. As an example of this, all quotations in this essay are taken from Israel Regardie’s book The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic, published in 1984.

26. On the other hand, I am strongly and definitely against any further profanation of unpublished documentation originally written for the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (pre-1900), and the post fin-de-siècle derivatives, i.e. for the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega and the Sun Order (because of its close ties with the A∴O∴), for the Stella Matutina, and also for A.E. Waite’s Holy Order of the Golden Dawn and Fellowship of the Rosy Cross. And this, in my opinion, applies to the initiate regardless of whatever branch of the Golden Dawn he himself belongs to; the Obligation of the Neophyte doesn’t only concern the sanctity of the organization administring the initiation, but to the whole of the Golden Dawn. The Hall of Neophytes is alike in all these three members of the body of the Golden Dawn. Thus you as an initiate of a Stella Matutina derivative Temple cannot escape the responsibilites of the Oath of Secrecy just because some papers happen to be labeled “A∴O∴,” and vice versa.


27. Why then all this secrecy, some of you may ask? Let me explain. There are several levels too look upon this often misunderstood matter of secrecy and silence. First of all it’s similar to copyright. For an Order to be able to offer its members something unique and worth while the investment of time and money it has to have its material protected. As copyright law is quite a new and modern invention, the only means traditionally to protect material is to use the seal of secrecy. Thus today’s situation in the Golden Dawn may be compared to the current legal process against Pirate Bay; the Golden Dawn has been hijacked by pirates and buccaneers!

28. The other and more important aspect, especially regarding the initiation rituals, is the element of surprise. For them to create the most optimal environment the element of surprise is a very important factor which mustn’t be underestimated. This is also the argument oftentimes used by Freemasons to protect their secrets.

29. On yet another and even more important level, which is related to the preceding one, is that the training and study program is supposed to be assimilated in parts. Especially the practical Theurgical and Alchemical training relies upon it being assimilated, integrated, and implemented in definite stages, i.e the Grades. This becomes even more important in the higher and more advanced level of training dealing with alchemy.

30. Let me here quote an Alchemical Master’s view regarding the importance of secrecy in relation to advanced training:
The primary function of secrecy in esotericism is not to manipulate others, which has unfortunately been done and continues to be done in bad faith by persons who are not Hermetic Masters. A true Hermetic Master never causes his students to suffer, but maintains secrecy of the more advanced practices rather to protect the body, soul, and mind of the Apprenctice not yet prepared to assimilate these techniques, which when practiced by individuals not yet evolved enough would certainly destroy them.

No Hermetic Master who is a true Master would ever give everything all at once to an Apprentice. It is the proper development and spiritual maturation of the Disciple over time that determines their capacity to assimilate more advanced spiritual techniques with their attendant higher states of awareness and realization.

Aspirants today are unwilling to sweat on the books and in the laboratory as have done all true Children of Hermes and thus have discovered the true significance of every term and all of the sequences to put into operation the secrets of the Great Work.

But today, in the age of the Internet, aspirants want easy, immediate, and complete access to information. Above all, they do not want to sweat and work! Of course not. They want to be able to go to a bookstore and buy a book like they do with Regardie’s Golden Dawn, or even better yet, Google a website and voilà ... to become a Hermetic Alchemist reading in clear text all of the secrets of the Royal Art!

Such is the mentality of the 21st Century. But with Hermetic Alchemy, alas, this is not possible. In the Sacred Science, not everything can be given to everyone even if it is revealed because: the Science can not be given, but rather...it must be conquered. And everything not successfully conquered on one’s own remains shrouded in mystery waiting to be discovered, and becomes “secret” only to the degree that it does not become conquered and discovered by hard work and research.
31. The words of a Master. To this I would like to add that the highest secrets of Hermetic Alchemy, to which the Master is referring, has always been guarded by the strictest veils of secrecy. I have been told by my Alchemical teacher that people not understanding this important principle will never receive the keys to unravel the entangled symbolism of Alchemy. And without the true keys Hermetic Alchemy will always be a book sealed with seven seals; the symbols of alchemy will forever be a maze instead of a doorway to proper understanding of these sacred mysteries.

32. The aspirant is thus tested not only of his or her spiritual maturity during the initiatic processes of the First and Second Orders, but also of his or her ability to understand and uphold the sanctity and integrity of the Order through the Principle of Secrecy and Silence. Thus the two first Orders of the Golden Dawn are used to weed out those unworthy to receive the highest Hermetic Mysteries. That is how it always has been done and continues to this day.


33. Then lastly I would like to bring forth yet another perspective which sadly enough hasn’t been grasped even by a few professed Adepts of our tradition, or perhaps this esoteric principle has been very much understood and is used as a weapon in this current War of Roses.

34. I am talking about the creation and maintaining of the hermetically sealed vessel of the egregore, i.e. the group soul. In esoteric lodges secrecy creates a strong and subtle vessel which are able to attract and contain force invoked. This is one important significance of the principle of Harparcrat, which is clearly seen in the Z-2 working of invisibility attributed to the Hebrew letter Shin.

35. Why do you think S.L. MacGregor Mathers changed the Outer Order Rituals of the Rosicrucian Order of the Alpha et Omega in 1909? Because of the previous Horos scandal, which revealed portions of the Neophyte Ritual, and the profanation of the Rituals which soon followed with the publication of Aleister Crowley’s The Equinox. I also recall Francis King mentioning the mysterious Hermanubis Temple created in 1939 in his Ritual Magic in England, which I will quote here:
In view of Regardie’s publication of the initiation rituals of the Stella Matutina the new Chiefs [of the Hermanubis Temple] made some changes in these ‘so that the Temple members might develop a group-mind of their own’, but these were of a very minor nature.
36. This principle of secrecy and silence of the collective may and should also be implemented in the personal magical process of the initiate. I even hold that the positive outcome of this initiatic process depends upon the Principle of Silence. That’s the reason why it is already taught in the Grade of Neophyte and permeates its symbolism.

S∴R∴

lördag 23 maj 2009

Was Jacob Frank a Rosicrucian?

o

The strong ties between the Sabbatian Qabalah of Jacob Frank (1726–1791) and the Golden Dawn has already been established and substantial evidence put forth in my previous essays, such as The Sabbatian Qabalah and its relation to the Golden Dawn, The Sabbatian roots of the Golden Dawn which is also corroborated by the scholarly findings of Olen Rush, which I have quoted at length in The origins of the Qabalah of the Golden Dawn and The Frankist Qabalah. We thus know that Frank’s cousin Thomas von Schönfeld (1735-1794), a.k.a. Moses Dobrucshka or Junius Frey, was one of the founding members of the Asiatic Brethren, which was the short name for Brotherhood of St. John the Evangelist from Asia in Europe. So here we already have a strong link between the Qabalistic Frankist movement on one hand and the Rosicrucian Asiatic Brotherhood on the other.

So the question still remains. Was the link between the Frankist and Rosicrucian movements only maintained by the intermediary of the cousin von Schönfeld, or was there a more direct connection? Was Jacob Frank himself a Rosicrucian initiate?

In the wake of my previous essay regarding the Golden Dawn and conspiracy theories, where I discussed the possibility of Jacob Frank being a Freemason and Rosicrucian, some very interesting information surfaced. First we have to make clear that there were in Germany two great Rosicrucian fraternities, the already mentioned Asiatic Brethren but also the Gold- und Rosenkreutz Orden. Actually, the Asiatic Brethren was a schismatic offshoot of the Gold- und Rosenkreutz Orden, created in 1780 by Hans Heinrich von Ecker und Eckhoffen, who previously had been an initiate of the latter and much older organization. Together with Hebrew Qabalists, such as Ephraim Hirschfeld and Thomas von Schönfeld, he created the Asiatic Brethren as a much more eclectic version of Rosicrucianism compared to the much more Christian Esoteric orientation of the Gold- und Rosenkreutz. If Jacob Frank was to belong to anyone of these two big name Orders, he would naturally has been a member of the former. But was he actually?

First off Terry Melanson presents some tentative information which might point to this effect:
…some tantalizing clues are found in [Alexandr] Kraushar’s Jacob Frank: The End to the Sabbataian Heresy (University Press of America, 2001). […] when he discusses Frank’s activities in Brunn (or Brno), Moravia, […] we read such things as: “Franks activities involved … alchemy: successfully persuading his followers that there were certain herbs that, when spread over iron, transmuted that metal into gold; also that there was a ‘certain substance’ giving eternal life…” “Before the element of magic was used by Frank in an attempt to practice alchemy for the purpose of creating gold, the master passed for a doctor, restoring health to the sick by the use of means known only to him” (296); “…when he was feeling better, he began to think about ways to locate new sources of income, to create gold through alchemy. He reminded himself how he had toiled over alchemy with Rabbis Issachar and Mordechai…” (303); “he gathered his brothers, and encouraged them to pursue the knowledge of how to make gold … At Frank’s court, there began the preparation of ‘gold drops’ as a medication ‘for all diseases’” (304).

All this takes place while in Brno from the mid-1770s to about 1786. There’s no mention of alchemy or gold-making, before or after. […] the fact that Frank started speaking of alchemy and gold-making during his stay at Brno is significant and worthy of further investigation.
As I already have stated in the previous essay, this fascinating account of Jacob Frank’s dabbling with Alchemy doesn’t present any actual proof of him being a Rosicrucian. Alchemy was very popular in Germany during the 18th Century, as opposed to France where the enlightenment had ended the openly practice of the Royal Art, which by now had became superseded by modern medicine. But the situation was very different in Germany where Alchemy prevailed and probably were as big as Homeopathy is today in 21st Century Germany. So, even if the practice of Alchemy was a sign of the true Rosicrucian, most Alchemists probably were not. So we have no proof yet of Jacob Frank being a Rosicrucian, even if the plausibility has been raised.

Now, Olen Rush, who has asserted that Jacob Frank was involved in Freemasonry, has presented some fascinating information independed of any Freemasonic connections which corroborates Mr. Melanson’s earlier account:
Yaqov Frank did indeed practice Alchemy. He had Alchemical laboratories first in Brunn and later in Offenbach. It is also significant that Frank stated in the “Book of the Words of the Lord”:

”Just as the entire world seeks and wishes to make gold, so I wish to transmute you to refined gold”.

This was taken to be an instruction to his disciples (Ma'aminim).

[…]

However, there is another tradition that most likely had some influence in the circle of the Asiatic Brethren.

Rabbi Chayim Vital, of blessed memory was the direct student of the G_dly Light, Rabbi Isaac Luria (the “Arizal”), may his memory last forever. Rabbi Vital recorded the teachings of the Holy Arizal. He also practiced Alchemy. After Rabbi Vital passed away, his son Schmuel was the “guardian” of the teachings of the Holy ARI, and his father's (Rabbi Chayim Vital) writings. Schmuel was a guest for some time at the home of the Chelebi Raphael Joseph in Egypt. The Chelebi was one of the first and foremost supporters of the Messiah, “Shabtai Tzvi”. There is a long standing Alchemical tradition in Northern Africa, particularly in Morroco, and especially in Fez. There was also an Arabic Alchemical influence in these same areas with some crossover to the Jewish Alchemists... as late as the 1920's.

If we also note that Lord Frank was closely allied with the Donmeh Circle that emerged from Osman Baba (Baruchiah Russo), there is also a possibility of a combined Arabic and Jewish influence from the Mystical groups within Islam. Particularly, since they were closely allied to circles of Bektashi Sufis. Now there are interesting activities of the Donmeh in certain “guilds”, and there is also Frankist and Donmeh involvement in Free Masonry. As Lord Frank stated in “The Book of the Words of the Lord”:

”Now Freemasonry will have to do what those two did” (paraphrase).

The two being referred to are:

”The First”, i.e. “Shabtai Tzvi”, and

”The Second”, i.e. “Baruchiah Russo”.

These were repeatedly called “The First” and “The Second” by Frank. These were the first two Avatars of the Sabbatean Faith that were originally contained within their “Shell” (i.e. “Yeheshua Ben Meriam”).

Now, if we begin to examine the “Aesch Mezareph” it will be seen that in many ways the book requires a Lurianic interpretation to make sense […] often resembling some of Vital's descriptions in several parts...

[…]

The syncretic methods of the Frankists are evidenced by their unique synthesis of the Mystical aspects of all 3 Abrahamic Faiths. It is very plausible that because of the interconnections of this group and their underground network of communication that a similar process occurred with the Alchemical aspects of the Asiatic Brethren, and more specifically with Lord Frank.
So here we have established the idea of a strong Alchemical tradition behind or parallel with Lurian and Sabbatian Qabalah, through Rabbi Chayim Vital (who according to Mr. Rush wrote on the subject of Alchemy) and Chelebi Raphael Joseph, the latter being a possible link of a Jewish (i.e. non-Rosicrucian) Alchemical transmission between the Lurianic and Sabbatian Qabalah. We already know that Jacob Frank in fact was working with Alchemical processes for the ten year period while in Brunn and then afterwards also in Offenbach. These facts alone surely makes his brand of Qabalah as very suited for mixing with the Rosicrucian-Alchemical tradition. But still non of this is any proof of Jacob Frank being a initiate of the Rosicrucian tradition in the real sense of the word.

What’s interesting though is that I myself have seen many parallels between Lurianic Qabalah and Alchemy, having knowledge of both systems. “Arzial” is very Alchemical in his exposition of the Qlippoth and the description of the Restoration, which ideed can be compared to the Alchemical principle of Solve et Coagula. The freeing of the sparks is clearly analogical with the sublimation of Sulphur and Mercury, and the purification of the Salt from the Caput Mortum. The Caput Mortum actually representing the Qlippoth. Thus Lurianic Qabalah comes into new light or becomes easier understood through the analogy of Alchemy and Spagery. So all these obvious connections, both in history and in theory, has now established a clear Alchemical nature in Lurianic Qabalah, which was transmitted to the Sabbatian and especially Frankist Qabalah. But again, what all this proves is that there has always existed a Hebrew Alchemical tradition parallel to the Hermetic-Rosicrucian Alchemical tradition. But could there also have been a connection between these two in some point of history?

Its very likely that Jacob Frank at least was involved in some form of Freemasonry, as he made some references to it in his writings, one previously quoted by Mr. Rush and the other thus: “[The] G_ds of FreeMasonry will have to do for us now”. I furthermore found a very interesting reference to a “Freemasonic Lodge” on the Donmeh West forum written by Professor Harris Lenowitz:
In 1786, having bankrupted Brunn, he [i.e. Jacob Frank] moved to Offenbach and carried on in the same manner, appearing in public, but always in a state of pomp and ceremony, and in an exotic costume; he was the pet of the Prince of Ysenburg. During the years in Brunn and Offenbach Frank was closely tied to the founders of the Freemasonic lodge known as the Asiatic Brothers, contributing ideas to their constitution and adopting some of the practices, garb and style of Freemasonry.
Holy cow! So if Professor Lenowitz is correct about this information Jacob Frank was directly involved with the founding and operation of the Rosicrucian society known as the Asicatic Brethren, who were created six years prior to him moving to Offenbach. No wonder he practiced Alchemy in Brunn and Offenbach! The Asiatic Brethren continued the Rosicrucian Alchemical tradition of the Gold- und Rosenkreutz, at least to some extent. So, considering these facts as presented by Professor Lenowitz, we must conclude that Jacob Frank not only practiced Alchemy for at least a decade, but that he himself also most probably was a Rosicrucian initiate!

S∴R

torsdag 21 maj 2009

Att återbörda Osiris lemmar

O

Ibland hemfaller jag åt nostalgiskt svärmeri. Idag, Kristi Himmelsfärds Dag, är just en sådan tidpunkt då jag kan känna mig mer sentimental än annars. Jag erinrar mig Kristihimmelsfärdshelgen för åtta år sedan och frammanar känslor av nostalgiskt vedmod. Jag minns hur vår forna Orden samlade bröder och systrar från hela Sverige och Norge under en reträtt i Småland för att frammana en sann känsla av BRÖDRASKAP. Jag minns en tid av storhet och omnipotens, en tid av oskuldsfullhet. Dem av oss som var med och deltog i Adepternas Spel minns dock dess ödesdigra budskap om vad som komma skulle. Ingen av oss kunde dock förutse den snara ankomsten och själva kraften i den söndrande processen, eller så valde vi helt sonika att blunda för den. Drygt ett år senare förlorade vårt BRÖDRASKAP sin oskuld; en period av Apofis Förgörarens herravälde inleddes vilket sannerligen skingrade Osiris sargade kropp över hela vårt land under de följande två åren.

Detta var i sanning den största orsaken till det nödgade behovet hos ALPHA ET OMEGA TEMPEL NR. 9 att dra sig tillbaka från all officiell verksamhet och kontakt med den yttre världen i en period av sex år. Detta är den oundvikliga baksidan av den prövning som följer på en allmän reformation; en ovillkorlig process som följer cykliska mönster och som leder till splittring och sönderfall. Detta är ett faktum som har ansatt Rosenkorstraditionen sedan den allmänna reformationen 1777, då några bröder i GOLD- UND ROSENKREUTZ ORDEN bröt sig ur och bildade ASIATISKE BRÖDERNE. På samma sätt splittrades HERMETIC ORDER OF THE GOLDEN DAWN lite drygt hundra år senare i STELLA MATUTINA och ROSICRUCIAN ORDER OF ALPHA ET OMEGA. Exakt hundra år senare drabbades den svenska GYLLENE GRYNINGEN för samma obönhörliga fenomen. Det är en underdrift att påstå att detta var en i synnerhet smärtsam process för alla inblandade parter.

Den gemensamma nämnaren för all denna dissonans, för alla inblandade parter, är en tendens att undgå att ta till sig den största av lärdomar som tillkommer den mindre Adepten; ödmjukhet. I dess ställe inställer sig arrogansen och egots inflation vilket utgör den huvudsakliga drivkraften i denna söndrande process. Detta är en tid av yttersta mörker för en egregore. Men det är i tider som dessa tröstrikt att veta att natten är som mörkast strax innan gryningen.
Ty innan solen går upp, upplyses himlen av MORGONRODNADENS ljus. (Fama Frat.)
Trots att BRÖDRASKAPET ser med allvar på dessa skeenden så inser dess Adepter ändock att de är nödvändiga steg i dess periodiska utveckling, som markeras av dess cykel på 111 år. En reformation är en smärtsam och prövande process som efter en inledande kreativ period ofta leder till dissonans inom dess led, och tyvärr också till en period av stagnation och död, innan en ny MORGONRODNAD kan inträda.

Sålunda, för att undvika ett fullständigt sönderfall av egregoren i Sverige kände vi oss nödgade att träda tillbaka i tysthet för att återställa det splittrade kärlet; att återigen göra det till en värdig bärare av den GRYENDE MORGONRODNADENS strömning och av L.V.X.

En sådan period av egregorens mörka natt kräver också ett obarmhärtigt skärskådande av ens egna motiv och drivkrafter. Ingen är utan skuld i en sådan smärtsam process. Mästaren åskådliggjorde detta väl när han sade:

Den som själv är utan skuld kaste första stenen. (Joh 8:7)

Men nu, sedan Vårdagjämningen 2009 och ett decennium efter den Allmänna Reformationen anno 1999, när tiden äntligen har blivit mogen för vårt BRÖDRASKAP att återigen träda ut i dagen och möta den yttre världen, skall detta göras i en anda av förlåtelse; i sann kristen agape. Såsom vi har förhoppning att ni skall förlåta oss, skall vi förlåta er. I en anda av samförstånd och kärlek skall Osiris sargade kropp av Isis åter förenas till ett, inte nödvändigtvis i det fysiska utan snarare till anden. Vi måste låta allt som har varit höra det förgångna till.

Liksom den föregående avspjälkningsprocessen för drygt hundra år sedan bidrog till en positiv eller kreativ utveckling av GYLLENE GRYNINGENS tradition så är jag säker på att vi även idag kommer att föra denna ännu vidare och längre, tillsammans och var för sig. Även om vi har olika synsätt i hur denna reformation skall tillämpas i detalj är vi fortfarande barn av samma 111 strömning. Förutsättningen för denna gynsamma utveckling i Sverige är dock ömsesidig respekt och ett erkännade av varandras rätt att tolka vår traditions öde utifrån våra respektive unika utgångspunkter. Inte minst måste vi odla detta samförstånd av hänsyn till våra respektive medlemmar och till alla som söker sig till våra respektive Tempels portar.

Det kan inte ha undgått någon läsare av denna blogg att vår Orden på ett internationellt plan har tagit initiativet till en fredsprocess inom GYLLENE GRYNINGENS samhälle. Något liknande initiativ är dock överflödigt för Sverige och övriga Skandinavien, ty någon konflikt har inte i praktiken rasat sedan den inledande Apofisfasen dog ut för fem år sedan. Istället har våra respektive kroppar verkat i tystnad och oberoende i förhållande till varandra valt att fokusera på sina respektive viktiga uppgifter, att till det yttersta av sin förmåga administrera den Hermetiska Invigningsvägen för Det Stora Verket, och föra vår tradition till den Nya Tidsåldern.

Idag är situationen i vårt avlånga land mycket gynnsam för den aspirerande studenten. Och som jag tidigare har sagt så är jag såsom svensk stolt över att man inom vårt land kan få ta del av så olika delar av den Hermetiska Traditionen och Västerländska Mysterietraditionen, och att det finns en stor mångfald av initiatoriska organisationer. Vad få av dessa sökande dock vet är att flera av oss har ett gemensamt ursprung i GYLLENE GRYNINGEN och den specifika 111 strömningen som har varit verksam här i Sverige sedan 1994. I tider som dessa, när vissa av oss hemfaller åt nostalgi, är det väl att ägna en god tanke och sända en stråle av äkta kärlek till sina ”forna” bröder och systrar. Låt oss göra Kristihimmelfärdsdagen till en åminnelsens dag och erinra oss om att vi alla i våra hjärtan är bröder och systrar även idag, oavsett i vilken form vi har fortsatt att vandra på Återvändandets Väg.

Sub Umbra Alarum Tuarum, Yeheshuah!

S
∴R

onsdag 20 maj 2009

Golden Dawn and conspiracy theories

o

Recently my lectures on The Red and Golden Cross and The Sabbatian Qabalah and its relation to the Golden Dawn was commented upon on a scholarly Illuminati conspiracy blog named Roots of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn by Terry Melanson, a Christian author with an obvious aim bent on destroying the reputation of the Bavarian Illuminati, the Rosicrucians and Antinomian Kabbalists, who says regarding his choice of subject matter:
I don’t “like” the Bavarian Illuminati and their machinations for power, their subversion of society from the inside out, the professed anarchy and proto-communism in the higher degrees. I don’t “like” the Golden and Rosy Cross and their mystical obscurantist con-game. I don’t “like” Sabbatai Zevi nor Jacob Frank and the results of their messianic, revolutionary, antinomian creed.
However delighted over the keenness on making a connection between the Gold und Rosenkreutz, the Asiatic Brethren, the Frankists and the Golden Dawn, and the flattering attempt in using me as a source for his theories, and regardless of the sheer entertainment value in the writing, unfortunately I believe Mr. Melanson oftentimes takes his conclusions a little bit to far and becomes lost in pure speculations. Let me cite the pertinent portions which needs to be addressed directly. First off, the die hard “Jesuit” connection:
In my book over the Bavarian Illuminati it was established that the Gold- und Rosenkreutz [Golden and Rosy Cross] were […] also aligned with the obscurantists of religious orthodoxy, the Jesuits, and recruited members from among its ranks.
There is absolutely no substantial evidence of this Jesuit connection with the Gold und Rosenkreutz. The only circumstantial evidence being that both the Jesuits and the Rosicrucians where the target of Bavarian Illuminaty vitriol, that both the Jesuits and the Rosicrucians were the sworn enemy of the Illuminati. After the schismatic breakup between the Gold und Rosenkreutz and the Asiatic Brethren, both organizations used that same allegation against each other, which for me is proof enough that the Jesuits wasn’t held in high regard amongst the Rosicrucians. Mr. Melanson easlily forgets that the Catholic Church was on no friendly terms with the Rosicrucians, a fact that becomes clear in reading Christopher McIntosh’s seminal and important work The Rosy Cross and the Age of Reason. Mr. Melanson goes on:
As mentioned in Illuminati Conspiracy Part Two: Sniffing out Jesuits and documented in my book Perfectibilists, “ex”-Jesuit Ignatius Franciscus Franck [Ignaz Franck] (1725-1795) was not only the persecuting hand against the Illuminati in Bavaria, but he was also the Zirkeldirektor of the Munich Golden and Rosy Cross.
This is perhaps correct information, and the reference made by Mr. Melanson is also corroborated by McIntosh, but one cannot help to wonder why this Ignaz Franck was an ex-Jesuit? Is it, as Mr. Melanson has pointed out for me, a reference to the official dismanteling of the Jesuit Order in 1773? Or is it perhaps a reference to the fact that one couldn’t be a member of both organizations? Even if the Jesuit Order officially were dismantled in Bavaria, it still existed in Prussia and Russia. Perhaps in his hatred against the Illuminati Franck found the Rosicrucians a much more efficient organization to battle the Bavarian Illuminati, especially when Jesuit Order activities were forbidden i Bavaria? The situation in Bavaria was thus unique and I suspect that one cannot find any equivalent Jesuit-Rosicrucian connection (if there even were any) in Prussia, the home of the Gold und Rosenkreutz.
The 18th Century Rosicrucians had established circles in Vienna, Prague, Frankfurt-am-Main, Marburg, Kassel, Hamburg, Sulzbach, Munich, Regensburg and Augsburg, among others. The latter city was also a stronghold of the Jesuits. When their order was nominally abolished in 1773, many of them took refuge in Augsburg and published pamphlets against the Freemasons, the Enlightenment and especially the Illuminati (see R.R. Palmer, The Age of Democratic Revolution: A Political History of Europe and America, 1760-1800 – II: The Struggle, Princeton University Press, 1970, pp. 452-53). Although documented membership in the Golden and Rosy Cross is fleeting and haphazard at best, the fact that the Jesuits and the Rosicrucians made Augsburg their home – both having pitted themselves against the rationalists and the Illuminati - is significant and warrants a thorough investigation.
Here again Mr. Melanson is making simplistic speculations and conjectures. So what that both Jesuits and Rosicrucians shared the same city? Mr. Melanson easily forgets that the Gold und Rosenkreutz regarded itself as part of the Freemasonic community. Its Grades was regarded to be a species of Freemasonic High Degree system. To become a member of the Golden Rosy Cross, one had to be a Master Mason. So the papal ban against Freemasonry was definitely not in favor of the Gold und Rosenkreutz. So in this respect, the Golden Rosicrucians and Jesuits only shared one common enemy, the Illuminati, not the Freemasons (who hadn’t anything to do with the Bavarian Illuminati).
I don’t think it’s likely that the Golden and Rosy Cross had a membership comparable to that of the Bavarian Illuminati (2,000 to 3,000), however, [Klaus] Epstein [in his book The Geneis of German Conservatism, Princeton University Press, 1966, in a note on … [page 107] …, mentions a membership estimate claimed for the Rosicrucian order (in 1777) of 909 juniores, 844 theoretici, 833 practici, 822 philosophi, 799 minores, 788 majores, 777 adepti, 77 magistri, and 7 magi.
This figure of 5856 members is taken directly from the “Tableau” called For the Harmony of the Brothers of the Rosie and Cross after the Universal Reformation under the heading Number of Quorum. Anno Domini 1763, as reproduced in Der Resenkreutzer in seiner Blösse by Magister Pianco. This may or may not be an “ideal” number of members of each Grade of the Fraternity. Here it is also interesting to use Christopher McIntosh and the aforementioned book as a source reference to be able to estimate a figure. MacIntosh uses simple math, estimates the number of probably operative “circles” (the name for working alchemical groups in the Gold und Rosenkreutz) and estimates a figure well over 1000 members, probably several thousands. An estimation of 8000 members is also mentioned in this connection, although “this has the ring of exaggeration” according to the author.
The highest adepts [of the Gold und Rosenkreutz] remained hidden from the rank and file; and the magestri and magi, in particular, were elevated to the level of demigods. “Our magi do not carry on ordinary magic,” Epstein quotes from the Golden and Rosy Cross’ statutes:

“Our magic is the truly divine magic, which allows us to talk personally with God, as Moses and Isaiah did of old, or to send our messages through spirits which have been purified by the fire of God. We possess the two main secrets of Jehovah, i.e., how to create and destroy all natural matter. We can transform water into blood, as did Moses; we can turn a flourishing city into debris by the sound of trumpets, as did Joshua. We can give commands to the sun, the moon, the stars and the wind, and we can raise men from the dead as did the prophets of old” (Epstein, pp. 108-9).

Needless to say, this is obviously the origin of the so-called Secret Chiefs of the Golden Dawn. The Strict Observance of the 18th Century had similar beliefs: they called their invisible masters, Unknown Superiors.
In this instance Mr. Melanson is correct. Let us now see what he finally has to says against the Frankist Kabbalah:
The work of Gershom Scholem and Jacob Katz has established beyond doubt that Jacob Frank’s nephew and intended successor, Moses Dobruska, was a conduit for authentic Sabbatian/Lurianic Kabbalah via the Asiatic Brethren. Yet in Du Frankisme au Jacobinisme, Scholem writes that before 1780 Dobruska had also become a regular Freemason, as had other members of various Frankist families (p. 28). And on p. 29, he mentions the Golden and Rosy Cross by name – that the Frankists, extravagant Catholic monks (who had much sympathy for the Sabbatians through extensive travel in the Orient), and the adventurers from the Golden and Rosy Cross, got along well because of their shared syncretistic tendencies.

Since we know that Frankists joined Freemasonry proper and belonged to dedicated occult groups such as the Asiatic Brethren, they probably had been initiated into the Golden and Rosy Cross as well. And if you were seriously interested in alchemy during the 18th Century, affiliation with the Rosicrucians was almost required. It is for this reason that I think it’s possible that Jacob Frank himself might have been a member of the Golden and Rosy Cross.
How much I wish this to be true, there is absolutely no substance at all in this assertion. As being part of the regular German Freemasonic community, directly recruiting its membership from Master Masons (especially from German Templarism), the doors to Rosicrucianism was barred from Jews, until the advent of the Asiatic Brethren. The Frankist “Freemasons” must have been a reference to members of the Asiatic Brethren, who abolished the requirement of being a Freemason prior to initiation. Much later in 1807 the Jewish Freemasonic Lodge L'Aurore Naissante or Sur Aufgehenden Morgenröthe was created by the Asiatic Brethren to remedy this lack of Jews in Freemasony. Mr. Melanson continues:
First, some tantalizing clues are found in Kraushar’s Jacob Frank: The End to the Sabbataian Heresy (University Press of America, 2001). Krausar’s book uses standard chronological methodology, and when he discusses Frank’s activities in Brunn (or Brno), Moravia, for the first time in the text we read such things as: “Franks activities involved … alchemy: successfully persuading his followers that there were certain herbs that, when spread over iron, transmuted that metal into gold; also that there was a ‘certain substance’ giving eternal life…” “Before the element of magic was used by Frank in an attempt to practice alchemy for the purpose of creating gold, the master passed for a doctor, restoring health to the sick by the use of means known only to him” (296); “…when he was feeling better, he began to think about ways to locate new sources of income, to create gold through alchemy. He reminded himself how he had toiled over alchemy with Rabbis Issachar and Mordechai…” (303); “he gathered his brothers, and encouraged them to pursue the knowledge of how to make gold … At Frank’s court, there began the preparation of ‘gold drops’ as a medication ‘for all diseases’” (304).
This is a very fascinating account of Frankist involvement in Alchemy that I didn’t know of. But Alchemy was also, as McIntosh has pointed out, influential on the German Pietist movement, which in turn influenced the Rosicrucians. Alchemy in 18th Century was probably as big as Homeopathy is today in Germany, i.e. not being restricted to Rosicrucians. So dealing or dabbling with Alchemy is no proof of being a Rosicrucian.
All this takes place while in Brno from the mid-1770s to about 1786. There’s no mention of alchemy or gold-making, before or after. And there was a Golden and Rosy Cross circle in Brno at the time, founded by Count Karl Josef von Salm-Reifferscheidt (1750-1838) at his chateau. Count von Salm was Master of the Lodge Zur aufgehenden Sonne im Orient [The Rising Sun in the Orient] of the Templar Strict Observance, and had been a representative for Austria at the Wilhelmsbad Masonic Congress in 1782.

I have not been able to uncover whether Jacob Frank had been acquainted with either Count von Salm or his circle of Rosicrucians, but the fact that Frank started speaking of alchemy and gold-making during his stay at Brno is significant and worthy of further investigation.
All this is just circumstances. Again, German Freemasonry (and especially the Templar version of it as the Strict Observance) was definitely barred from Jews, even if they had converted to Christianity. Anti-Semitism wasn’t invented in 20th Century Germany.
That Frank had mentioned toiling over alchemy with Rabbis, does not discount (on the basis that he received this knowledge from them) a connection with the Golden and Rosy. After all, Scholem had specifically mentioned the Frankists and Rosicrucians as getting along well; and though Jews at the time weren’t exactly welcomed into regular Freemasonry, the Rosicrucians can be expected to have actively sought Jewish initiates, Kabbalistic Rabbis, Baal Shem and the like.
Unfortunatly only Rosicrucians belonging to the Asiatic Brethren, who had Jews as founding members, hence the strong emphasis not only on Kabbalah but on Frankist Kabbalah. Here Mr. Melanson also supports my view on the attitudes of Freemasons against Jews.
In any case, the Sabbatian elements detected in the Golden Dawn teachings probably descend from both the Golden and Rosy Cross and its Dobruska-influenced offshoot, the Asiatic Brethren.
Here Mr. Melanson again makes a correct assumption. As I wrote in my essay on Frankist Qabalah and the Golden Dawn, Jean-Pascal Ruggiu once made a remark regarding a Gold und Rosenkreutz Ms. containing information of a Frankist nature. So there probably was some Frankist influences already in the Order of the Golden Rosy Cross. But this is not at all strange considering the close approximity to Poland; the fact is that Poland was the center of Kabbalah in 18th Century Europe and also a stronghold for the Frankist movement.

S∴R

lördag 16 maj 2009

The Grand Square of Magical Squares: A review of Magic Squares and Tree of Life by Nineveh Shadrach

o

Most books published these days are just rehashes of information given by previous authors, perhaps sometimes with a minor element of originality. But now and then there appears a book that’s wholly original and presents a whole new perspective on our Tradition. One such book have just reached publication, Magic Squares and Tree of Life: Western Mandalas of Power by Nineveh Shadrach. This book is published through Ishtar Publishing, a Canadian based publishing house specializing in occult literature, with important and revealing publications such as the rituals of Arthur Edwards Waite’s Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, or the highly illuminating Tarot courses by Paul Foster Case, previously only reserved for members of the B.O.T.A.

Nineveh Shadrach is an Adept of the Arabian Magical tradition but has also in the past been involved with the Golden Dawn and the more mainstream version of the Western Mystery Tradition. This blend of the Arabic and Western magical traditions in one and the same person makes one very interesting author, which becomes quite clear in reading this interview with Mr. Shadrach. Although I haven’t yet read any of his previous publications, such as Love, Healing, Prosperity Through Occult Powers of the Alphabet, and the co-authored Secrets of Ancient Magic: Path of the Goddess, Magic That Works: Practical Training for the Children of Light, and Magick Manuscript Collection Volume One, reading the abovementioned text I’m sure that they all bring out new revelations which may enrich the Western Tradition substantially and raise the scholarly level of all its students.

Nineveh Shadrach has also translated such texts as the Book of Deadly Names As Revealed to King Solomon, and as of lately the Emerald Tablet of Hermes, using the original Arabian text of Book of Causes by Apollonius of Tayana. This latest translation is a great gift to the western occult community, such as the Golden Dawn. What becomes quite clear, in reading Magic Squares and Tree of Life is that there is no real distinction, besides language barriers, between the European and Arabic traditions; they are both part of the “Hermetic” Western Mystery Tradition.

There even are proponents of the idea that the Rosicrucian tradition, the blossomed flower of the Western Tradition, has clear Arabic roots. This is of course substantiated by the original Rosicrucian manifesto Fama Fraternitatis, which depicts the pilgrimage of Christian Rosenkreutz, the mythical founder of the Rosicrucian Fraternity, in Arabia and North-Africa. He, according to the Rosicrucian legenda, was initiated by the Sages of Damasco (or “Damcar”). Even if it constitutes a mythical depiction of the origins of the Rosicrucian tradition, myths and legends oftentimes has a real foundation in facts. Reading books like Nineveh Shadrach’s Magic Squares and Tree of Life makes me more convinced of the clear connection between the Middle East and Europe. We probably wouldn’t have had any Western Occult Tradition at all in Europe, if it wasn’t for the Arabic Nation and its scholars of high learning.

Hadn’t it been for these Arabian scholars and Sages the original Hermetic and Platonic traditions of Hellenic Alexandria probably would have been lost through Christian inquisitions. Most of the Alchemical tradition in Europe stems from renaissance translations of Arabic texts. What authors like Nineveh Shadrach reminds us all of is that most of the Hermetic Magical tradition unfortunately still remains veiled to the Western mind through confusion of tongues. The richness of Arabic magical and mystical lore still awaits to be disclosed for students of the Western Mystery Tradition. In this respect Mr. Shadrach makes the occult community a great service in translating these obscure Arabic texts into plain English. This alone raises Mr. Shadrach’s books high above the mediocrity of modern and common occult lore.

Each book by this author is to be awaited with great anticipation, as this Adept is one of the very few that even bothers to translate this ancient material, being of Arabic descent and an initiate of the Western Mystery Tradition. He is therefore the only one to my knowledge being in the unique position to be able to deliver. It is therefore a great honour for me personally to be the very first to review this seminal and highly important piece of work, and furthermore feeling gratitude towards Mr. Shadrach for being so kind in providing this service to my readers.

Magic Squares and Tree of Life deals with the subject of “magical squares”, and is to be regarded as a companion to the upcoming series of books by Mr. Shadrach entitled The Occult Encyclopedia of Magic Squares. Each volume in this latter series will comprise around 700 pages. The next volume will continue with other traditional correspondences found in the Golden Dawn and other facets of the Western Mystery Tradition. The volumes to follow will pull from rare and currently untranslated Hebrew encyclopedia of Divine names and angels. This is then followed by Divine names used in Arabic occult lore as well as names of djinn and angels used in that facet of the tradition, plus lunar mansions and stars. This voluminous Encyclopedia will span over several thousands of pages jam-packed with magic squares and numerical keys to angels and djinn associated with each.

This Encyclopedia will be followed by a book tentatively entitled: How to Unleash the Power of Magic of Squares or Complete Guide to Occult Secrets of Magic Squares. This volume will, according to the author, provide an in-depth analysis of the various magic squares in the Encyclopedia, their methods of construction, applications in magic, and what to do with those numbers and so on. It will basically give the Adept all the needed information to use The Occult Encyclopedia of Magic Squares and Magic Squares and Tree of Life in practical magic and general Theurgy.

The complete set spanning all those various volumes will fill a much needed gap in current English corpus. I have seen a sample volume of The Occult Encyclopedia of Magic Squares presenting the Magic Squares for all the correspondences of the Zodiac listed in Godwin's Cabalistic Encyclopedia, and all I can say is that it looks highly intriguing; the “must have” factor is raised to a maximum. How about a book which consists of individual magical squares for each spirit which is to be found in the Decans and Quinances of the Zodiac, cross referencing them with the Planets and the Elements!

Now, as to the Magic Squares and Tree of Life it definitely cannot be regarded just as an appetizer for the much larger work The Occult Encyclopedia of Magic Squares, as the former book deals with the “Magical Square of Magical Squares”, i.e. a Grand Square of a sorts consisting of a pattern of 100 x 100, i.e. 10.000 individual squares. This of course is a very important revelation as this Hekatontad Magical Square is supposed to contain, according to Arabic tradition, all Magical Squares and also the secret name of God! The original Arabic text, which is also the main source of Mr. Shadrach’s book, promises anyone wearing it the protection of God, which would make him imperishable, imperious and invincible. In short, it is supposed to be the very “Holy Grail” or “Stone of the Wise” of Hermetic Magic.

In the well written and much substantial introduction the author also makes interesting cross references between the traditions of Ismaili, Hermetic Alchemy, Qabalah, Agrippa and the Pythagorean School. Mr. Shadrach makes a very scholarly and initiated exposition of the esoteric philosophy of numbers, tracing them back to the mystery schools of Chaldea and Greece. An interesting comparison is made between the Golden Dawn sequence of the Elements according to the Qabalistic attribution to the Tetragrammaton, i.e. that of Fire, Water, Air and Earth, and the Hermetic one according to the Alchemical view of subtlety, i.e. that of Fire, Air, Water and Earth.

Regarding the Hekatontad Magical Square it is based upon the perfect number 10 of the Pythagoreans, which attributed it to the holy Tetractys, which, according to the author, is based upon the monad and recurring cycle, which manifests again as the number 100. This number through numerology is related to the Arabic letter Qaf, which is the exact equivalent of the Hebrew Qoph. Mr. Shadrach goes into quite some detail in describing the mysteries of this letter, a fascinating account in it self. It reveals a great erudition on the author’s part.

The Tetractys

Then Mr. Shadrach goes into the detailed description of the simple method of how to construct such a 100 x 100 Magic Square. It is based upon the Magical Square of 5 x 5, i.e. the equivalent of the Mars Square. But it soon turns out that it is not the Mars Square at all, as the numbers are arranged in a different way as compared to Agrippa’s system, even though each line adds up to 65. The only thing that can be said in critique against this book is that Mr. Shadrach never gives any explanation of how this 5 x 5 square is created. This would be appropriate and also interesting to know.

The rest of the book deals with the 10 different variations of the 100 x 100 Square, attributed to each Sephirah upon the Tree of Life. The key to the construction of these Sephirothic Magical Squares is the numerical value of the sentence created from the name of each Sephirah and the Divine name attributed to it.

In conclusion this latest and brand new book by Nineveh Shadrach is a very well researched piece of work that will complement beautifully the existent tradition in the West of Magical Squares. It has a definitive place in the bookshelf of every serious Golden Dawn Adept who has an interest in delving into the mysteries of the Magical Squares and their construction. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the next book in the series, The Occult Encyclopedia of Magic Squares, to be released soon through Ishtar Publishing. Considering the high quality of Magic Squares and Tree of Life, this indeed sounds like a very promising book.

S∴R∴

torsdag 14 maj 2009

Rudolf Steiner and the Golden Dawn

o

This essay was inspired by a some words coming from Samuel Robinson regarding the Stella Matutina teachings of implement handling, which he claims didn’t at all originate in the Golden Dawn but came directly from Rudolf Steiner. This intriguing comment made me want to look into this subject as most information, and especially of that kind which calles itself the “oral teachings” of Whare Ra, almost has become gospel because of it being disseminated in litterature. As I started to collect facts and doing my research, this project just grew larger and larger, as I was able to extract information from my main sources, i.e. The Magicians of the Golden Dawn: A Documentary History of a Magical Order 1887-1923 (1978, Samuel Wiser, York Beach) by Ellic Howe, Ritual Magic in England (1887 to the Present Day): The Golden Dawn & Other Magical Orders (1970, Neville Spearman, London) by Francis King, Secret Rituals of the Golden Dawn (1973, Aquarian Press, Denington Estate) by R.G. Torrens and Ordo R.R. et A.C. (1976, R.A. Gilbert) by Arthur Edward Waite.

I first thought that it would be just another of my all to lengthy essays, but it has become almost like a thesis. For easy reference I have therefore organized it somewhat as a thesis, with an introduction, followed by a historical account, and then a presentation of the contents of Rudolf Steiner’s teachings which found its way to the Golden Dawn (or rather the Stella Matutina), followed by a discussion where I problemize the whole subject matter, and ending with a conclusion. For easier reading I recommend skipping the lengthy history section and go directly to the section called “The Teachings of Rudolf Steiner” and start the reading from there. If you are not convinced by my conclusions and findings, I recommend wading through the section called “Historical outline” where everything will start to dawn upon you.

I honestly didn’t know that I would reach such conclusions, of which I personally still feel ambivalent. I must confess that I really like the Stella Matutina tradition, it being the first version of the Golden Dawn which I (like most of us) became aquainted with through the works of Israel Regardie, and that I still deeply respect the Whare Ra and all the work being done there by its highly proficient Adepts. But I cannot look away from facts which stares me in the eyes. The fact being that the Stella Matutina deviated much further from the original Golden Dawn tradition than I ever could have dreamt of.

I suspect my findings will be hard to digest in many stomachs. Believe me I’m not doing this out of disrespect for anyone. I have seen certain patterns in the material which I wish to lay bare for you to judge and scrutinize for yourself. I believe many of you won’t look upon the Stella Matutina with the same eyes anymore. I know that I won’t.

Two things has resulted from writing this essay: a marked and growing distancing from the Stella Matutina and a growing interest and faschination of Rudolf Steiner’s version of the Memphis & Misraïm Rite and his form of Rosicrucianism.

Addendum No. 1 (May 15th, 2009): I have inserted two interesting quotations of Tony Fuller regarding the Steinerian teachings of the Stella Matutina. Mr. Fuller, being a historian specializing in the New Zeeland tradition of the Golden Dawn and also being initiated into the Adeptus Exemptus 7°=4° Grade by old Whare Ra Adepts, must be regarded as the foremost authority on the subject of the Stella Matutina and the Whare Ra.

Addendum No. 2 (May 23th, 2009): I have inserted some remarks made by Mikael W. Gejel, the Grand Master of the Swedish Misraim Society, one of very few organizations still working the Steinerian Misraïm Rite. So naturally his opinions must be regarded as being initiated. However the recount of my discussion on Wikipedia with Mr. Gejel about the “Etheric Link” in the section “The Teachings of Rudolf Steiner” is part of the original text. 

Introduction

I have often though about the fact that Rudolf Steiner for a time was regarded to be a “Secret Chief” and his branch of the German O.T.O. (Ordo Templi Orientis), and its Freemasonic Memphis & Misraïm Rite, to be regarded as the “Third Order” of the Golden Dawn offshoot Stella Matutina, headed by Dr. Robert William Felkin.

I remember reading about this fact for the first time in Ellic Howe’s seminal, but highly biased, account of the history of the Golden Dawn, i.e. The Magicians of the Golden Dawn, and later in Francis X. King’s highly sympathetic reading Ritual Magic in England. I remember that I was appalled by this information; how could Dr. Felkin allow himself to be so duped by a Theosophist and Rosicrucian wannabe as Rudolf Steiner?

Over the years my respect for Steiner and his works, especially his western form of Theosophy called “Anthroposophy”, has grown considerably, especially when I first read that the French Rosicrucian and Alchemical society called Freres aines de la Rose-Croix, or F.A.R+C., listed Steiner as one of their former Grand Masters, right after MacGregor Mathers and William Wynn Westcott!

So today I do regard Rudolf Steiner as a real Rosicrucian, albeit of a totally different current as compared to the Golden Dawn. In my opinion blending Memphis & Misraïm, and especially Rudolf Steiner’s take on that Rite, with the Golden Dawn is like blending water with oil; they don’t mix particularly well. Let me explain why in this following essay, presenting both the history of Dr. Felkin’s dealings with Rudolf Steiner and the following consequences that have come out from all that and effected the particular branch of the Golden Dawn which are known to us as the Stella Matutina. 

Historical outline

Let us first look into the facts of how Felkin first came into contact with Rudolf Steiner. According to the above mentioned sources (i.e. Howe and King) Dr. Felkin, during a trip to Germany in 1906 met a professor, his adopted daughter, and another gentleman near Hannover, who he thought of as Rosicrucians. According to Felkin, reminiscing in 1912 to the Amoun Temple in a lecture, they showed every sign of being such:
They were very secretive, and averse to giving much information, because they said that although they knew him as a scientific man, he was not a Mason, nor did he belong to any occult society that they had knowledge of.
What made Dr. Felkin especially convinced of their authenticy was the fact that the professor’s adopted daughter claimed to be a niece of the original Freulein Sprengel, or “Soror Sapiens Dominabitur Astris”, or so he thought. He was given her first name of “Anna” and was told that the aunt in question was a member of the same Rosicrucian Order as the professor’s daughter.

Dr. Robert William Felkin

In this essay I will also cite some pertinent parts, relevant to our discourse, from the notebook of Arthur Edward Waite, which deals with his meetings with Robert Felkin, later published as Ordo R.R. et A.C. Regarding Anna Spregel, Waite gives us the following information:
October 14th 1910: In Germany, FR [Finem Respice; Dr. R.W. Felkin] met Fraulein Anna Sprengel, c 65, supposedly niece of original and a patient of FR (treated at a distance). FR thinks Anna Sprengel may be name used by different people not related for occult reasons (one at a time). Meeting either in Amsterdam or Berlin, in here SA [Sapere Aude; William Wynn Westcott] was at time, but FR couldn't arrange meeting because QL [Quareo Lucem; Mrs. H.M. Felkin] wouldn't let FR out of her sight − SA saw her and wouldn't go for SDA [Sapiens Dominabitur Astris; Freulein Sprengel] meeting on account of Mrs. Westcott. In the same way QLs presence stopped FR meeting 3rd Order people.
Later, in june 1910, Dr. Felkin received the address to Rudolf Steiner from Dr. Wilhelm Hübbe-Schleiden. Obviously, Steiner had already gained an impressive reputation amongst German contemporary occultists. He was the Secretary General of the German branch of the Theosophical Society under Annie Besant, but more significantly he was heading a western style lodge of the aforementioned Memphis & Misraïm (which I henceforth will abbreviate as M&M). In 1906 he was granted a charter from Theodor Reuss, the Grand Master of the O.T.O. and M&M in Germany and Austria, to run a Chapter and Grand Council called “Mystica Aeterna”. They also admitted both male and female members. In time, Mystica Aeterna became the “Cognitive Cultic Section” (also called the “Misraim Service”) of the Esoteric School of the German Section of the Theosophical Society.

Rudolf Steiner & Annie Besant

Dr. Felkin met Steiner in 1910 and obviously was greatly impressed by him, being seen as the hitherto missing link to the historical German Rosicrucian fraternity and therefore corroborating with Felkin’s conceptions of what the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order was supposed to be. Supposedly Dr. Felkin was persuaded also by his discarnate and astral teacher Ara Ben Shemesh (abbreviated as A.B.S.), the “Arab Teacher”. However, it seems that Steiner had a representative in London, as Waite recounts the following in his notebook:
October 14th 1910 (cont.): News from 3rd order is: Old retired London clergyman belongs to conclave in question FR has his name and address. Another name and address were given him, but he is to wait until approached by this person. FR was believed by 3rd Order to be involved with A[leister] C[rowley]. Other info. from Third Order hindered by presence of QL.
Here we also have a reference to Aleister Crowley who was a member of Theodor Reuss’ O.T.O. by 1910 and two years later was granted a charter to open a British branch of the O.T.O. called Mysteria Mystica Maxima. The “Third Order”, i.e. the O.T.O., obviously knew of Crowley’s earlier dealings with the G.D. Today it feels quite surreal to know that the O.T.O. was regarded as a “Third Order” in one of the important branches of the Golden Dawn!
December 12, 1910: One Prink, a theosophist of Amsterdam, claims to know SR [Sacramentum Regis; Arthur Edward Waite], publisher of T[eosophical] Soc. there is Ginzel. T.Soc. people & 3rd order object to SR revising rituals, because they feel nothing Rosicrucian should be printed (nor had been on their part). GD rituals thus not Ros[icrucian]. SR pointed out that English GD was no concern of theirs; they agreed so but said they did authorise GD. One original pre−l885 member was East end clergyman mentioned in Life of Anna K[ingsford] (later edition only) − members included HPB [Helena Petrovna Blavatsky], SA, Papus [Gérard Encausse], Anna Kingsford & Maitland. [...] GD had no German connection. 3rd order works Outer Temple in Germany on GD & Sephirotic lines. Thus SDA neither did nor could license a temple.
It is clear from reading these lines by Waite, that he was highly skeptical about Felkin’s new acquaintance. It seems that Steiner's Theosophic Rosicrucians, i.e. the Misraim Service, held the view that rituals shouldn't be printed in written format and memorized instead (this notion will occur again through Waite's notes). Strangely enough, there is a reference to Steiner’s M&M Rite working according to the Sephirothic initiatory system, an notion that Felkin later will reject as will be seen.
December 23, 1910: FR says there are several German external temples; the Second order begins with a ritual corresponding to 5=6, it has six steps or degrees. In 3rd Order is nothing beyond 8=3 (SR says this is Daath) [...] FRs American trip on account of EOL's claim about Graal. He has entered something and got further than EOL [Ex Oriente Lux; Nevill Meakin] − more later. [...] No 3rd Order in America but in Germany at Nuremberg and somewhere near the source of Danube.
The reference of six degrees of the Steinerian M&M, or Memphis Service, is clearly a error; it in actuality had nine degrees (as did the O.T.O.). Perhaps Steiner reserved his highest three degrees for his own German people, having Felkin outside the loop? We know that Felkin only claimed to have received the VI° or 8°=3° from Steiner.

Be there as it may, in late 1910 Felkin, not being able to personally attend the instruction of Steiner, consulted A.B.S. about his choice of representative, Nevill Meakin. Meakin, who supposedly was the author of the revised Portal Grade Ritual as published in Israel Regardie's books, was approved by A.B.S. and soon was sent to Berlin as Felkin’s emissary. Prior to his departure he was conferred the Grade of Adeptus Minor, in a Ceremony where A.E. Waite himself acted as Chief Adept. So, obviously, Waite initially saw some prospect in the dealings with Steiner; at least he didn’t want to be left behind if Felkin actually had met the true Rosicrucians. According to the above cited lecture by Felkin:
These Fratres than said that in order to form a definite etheric link between themselves and Great Britain it was necessary for a Frater from Great Britain to be under their instruction for a year…
Edward Waite continues in his notebook:
March 16, 1911: EOL gone to Cairo, largely on Bahai business, but has had 3rd Order papers on Tree of Life. These to he transcribed and shown to SR.
Meakin embarked on a journey which was supposedly to be a reenactment of the pilgrimage of Christian Rosenkreutz as described in the Fama Fraternitatis. According to the Felkin lecture:
Frater E.O.L.…commenced his teaching at once, and after residing for some time in North Germany and Austria, he was sent to Constantinople…
Waite continues with his narrative:
July 31, 1911: EOL may get professorship of history at Southampton on return. Now in Constantinople. Will get 1st degree of German Ros.[icrucian] initiation from the 3rd order at end of August.
Earlier that month A.B.S. again was consulted, who for some reason was against Meakin going to Constantinople. Instead he ought to, according to A.B.S., have gone to Damascus, which I don’t doubt, was identified as the mysterious city of “Damcar” of the Fama. Felkin continued his narrative thus:
[E.O.L.] finally returned to Germany, where, having passed his tests, he was invited by special dispensation into the first few grades of the Rosicrucian Society, corresponding to our 6°=5°.
This of course being the IV° of Steiner’s Mempis Service. It seems that Meakin received his III° on his return to Berlin. Waite continues:
Sept.15, 1911: 3rd Order will allow EOL to talk to FR on some things as they know of SR. EOL at Grade corresponding to Tiphereth. System is ascent of Tree by Middle Pillar− Grades are Malkuth, Yesod and Tiphereth. Following grades are Daath & Kether or (if direct line abandoned) Geburah & Chesed. Rituals revised following leaks in France c 1840. EOL heard terms like Malkuth & Yesod in ceremonies. The rituals have become more Masonic and are removing those things leading to lower Magia, thus paralleling changes made in England by SR. Due to the same pressures, 3rd Order aim at reducing ritual. EOL has met Steiner & trusts him but says he veils things. There was a leakage in 1777. EOL told of old Passwords etc. Says he met over 1,000 claimed Rosicrucians, but only 100 genuine.
It is interesting to note that the degrees of Steiner's Mystica Aeterna or Memphis Service was assumed to follow the Middle Pillar, i.e. I° corresponding to Malkuth, II° to Yesod, III° to Tiphareth, and the rest following in ascending order from Geburah and onwards. It is also clear that the IV° could both be regarded as corresponding to Geburah or Daath, and V° to either Chesed or Kether. I cannot wonder why this ambiguity? Was is Steiner experimenting or Felkin speculating? I believe the latter.

The reduction of Masonic ritual clearly marks the shift of Steiner towards what was to become the Anthroposophical Society, which was wholly absent of any Masonic style ritual. But there still was room left for Masonic regalia:
Addenda: (a) EOL saw no vault or pastos. Grades are mainly Christian, officers' clothing like that of Royal Arch, Masonic postulants preferred. They regard English order as derived from external Temple.
The German activities of Rudolf Steiner was of a more classical Masonic flavor compared to the Golden Dawn, i.e. with aprons, etc., which echoes their M&M nature. I’m not surprised about the lack of Vault, and also the pastos. In the III° of most Freemasonic systems, even though the symbology of a coffins exists, the candidate is placed in a wrapping upon the Trestleboard if not in an actual coffin. Hence, this clearly shows Steiner working on old Freemasonic lines.
Sept. 25th 1911: German brotherhood does not wish for jurisdiction over English temples. EOL named FR & SR Temples, plus Edinburgh and Resurgam's. EOL's initiation took 3 hours but in full would have been 26 hrs. Despite FR's wish to have SR shown that the 3rd Order existed and was ancient, SR said that all EOL could do was describe the initiation he had received in Germany via FR. Words "Rosy Cross" come from Rosa and Tau, which is Provencal for rose, or they were Ros−Taw, i.e. Dew of the Rose (but no Provencal connection shown). The one Head Lodge meets when required in various places. Inner Grade people start temples in various countries − numbers are largely German but also French, English, Danish, Austrian, Italian & Russian. As original Inner members died out same temples were left to die away, others became purely outer. No set archives. Link between Head Lodge and others by "Etheric currents", occult practices depending for success on such currents and on its good intent. [...] Members, largely Fourth degree & equivalent to 6=5, called together hurriedly for EOL's initiation, which was a shortened form of 3½ degrees; third like Tiphereth using our implements, fourth something like Geburah apparently involved coming out of a tomb. They divide Annie Bessant's 33 degrees into 9 because 33 was a blunder for 3*3=9 (which says little for their Occult knowledge). EOL says SR's folding Ros.[icrucian] diagram correct but they have Zelator equal to Malkuth (he thinks) and Theoricus, Practicus & Philosophus arc put together in No.2 as a portal to no.3 − all very muddled. EOL thinks they don't keep minutes, not needing them being occultists. Their promised teaching is a kind of marriage of occultism & Mysticism. IF they are genuinely old it would be fine to have material not had by SA. 3rd grade has no vault but mise−en−scene provided astrally; ritual was in a small chamber but EOL was hoodwinked and moved about often so had no idea of size. At one point he had impression of being thrown down but only a short fall.
It is clear that Dr. Felkin still hasn’t fully grasped or decided for himself how the initiatory scheme of Steiner is corresponding with that of the Golden Dawn. As will become clear later in this essay, Felkin (I suppose through Meakin’s intervention) later believed I° to correspond with all four Elemental Grades (i.e. 1°=10°, 2°=9°, 3°=8° & 4°=7°), and the Portal with II°. A much more neat and logical arrangement, as echoed in the Stella Matutina Portal Grade Ceremony (see discussion below).

The reference to Annie Besant's 33 degrees concerns the fact that she operated irregular Co-Masonic lodges from the French Le droit Humane, which allowed women to become members, obviously working the Scottish 33 degrees system. Besant was also the current leader of the Theosophical Society, with which Steiner gradually distanced himself because of the Krishnamurti-affair, eventually leading to his schism and the creation of Anthroposophy in the following year.

This last paragraph clearly depicts Meakin’s IV° (corresponding to 6°=5°) as it was supposed to take a whole day (which is the normal way) but instead took 3 hours. The reference to the “Dew of the Rose” is directly taken from the Rose Croix 18° of the Scottish Rite, to which Steiner’s IV° corresponds according to Alex Sumner. It is also interesting to note that Steiner’s M&M Rite supposedly used implements similar to them used in the Golden Dawn, which I take is a reference to the “Lotus”, “Phoenix” and “Winged Globe” Wands. If this is the case, it clearly wasn’t taken from Theodor Reuss. The “coming out of a tomb” of the IV° clearly echoes Felkin’s and also Waite’s later Adeptus Major 6°=5° Ceremonies, as well as the lengthy nature of them both. Sadly enough, but as earlier stated not surprisingly, the M&M of Steiner obviously lacked the use of a Vault in its corresponding degrees.
Sept.26, 1911: EOL chose to take a year's exercises rather than immediate initiation. FR saw 3rd order man & his daughter in Hanover after postal comm. in London. Nothing then as he wasn't a mason but once he was went again to Berlin & Amsterdam. Then took Meakin (EOL) to Germany with previous result. EOL had final preparation of 14 hrs. with 20 min. break. EOL then took proposals from German 3rd Order to FR who turned them down. FR asked SR to join him and go to Germany for initiation. − the year's probation not being needed for SR. SR would get the true initiation. But SR said his members were of different calibre from FR's "babes" and would need evidence of 3rd order. FR thought 7 or 8 of his people could be linked up in the chain. Would call one morning at P.R. to give facts to Vigilate [Mrs. Helen Rand]. Didn't want to tell MWT [Ma Wahanu Thesi; Marcus Worsley Blackden] personally. Germans say SDA [Sapiens Dominabitur Astris; Freulein Sprengel] story (i.e. Woodford & SA) true but will send no more warrants as they have been lost. They recognise I[sis]−U[rania] which is in FRs hands. No temporal password given to external temples but a word goes etherically. Novitiate Exercises very simple. [...] In answer to SR, FR thought that entering chain didn't involve risk of astral control. Since no connection between German brotherhood and Cipher mss. SDA had no power to warrant a Temple working non−German order degrees. FR has met the London 3rd order person who has only the 3rd degree now held by EOL. [...] FR stressed he would always pass on what he knew as agreed in concordat. After leaving FR, SR saw QL who agreed his opinion of EOL's proposals − SR said his people would want evidence. SR suspects that FR is concealing part of his plan, (statement re SDA's mss may be fraud on part of Germans − the watermark question shows it all up).
The note about the Hannover meeting is of course a reference to Dr. Felkin meeting the Rosicrucian gentleman and his daughter, the niece to Anna Spregel, in 1906. It seems that Waite is making some sorts of a resume of the events during the last year. It’s also obvious that Felkin is staring to plan a stay in Germany for himself.

Obviously Rudolf Steiner didn’t recognize the G.D. Cypher Mss., but on the other hand did recognize the Freulein Sprengel story by Westcott to be true! One year later Felkin used this information about SDA when he agreed upon giving William Wynn Westcott a affidavit to the effect that the latter had received “correspondence with Anna Sprengel and had permission from her to form a Society of the said G.D. in England”. Waite, always suspicious of the authenticity of the Cypher Mss., now suspects the Germans to be fraudulent and behind their creation, even though they themselves denies its authencity.
Oct 9, 1911: SR met FR at Sancta Maria Preceptory and they went part of the way home together. Conditions (preparation for Entrance) must be met before anyone can enter German Brotherhood. FR would make everything clear to SR's people. Four of FR's put up for entrance into German Br. If SR joined he could put forward his own candidates. Must join the single Head Lodge − no subscriptions mentioned. Meets twice a year, lately at Genoa soon at Prague. FR will send photo. of cipher mss. page to Germans though it doesn't concern them. SR would wish to bring in (should anything come of it all) MWT, Regnum Dei and Vigilate. Connection at SR's temple depends on nature and objects of German order. FR still awaits papers, London agent not yet authorised to give him any.
Dr. Felkin never gave up proselyting A.E. Waite to become a member of Steiners group. Of course, he wouldn’t succeed, Waite being not as susceptible to fancy as the former.
October 12, 1911: FR called on SR and Vigilate unexpectedly bringing curious pack of Tarot Trumps. SR could only identify three of them − Sun, Moon, possibly Venus & the Hermit. Also brought various Sephirotic Trees, redrawn from rough sketches of EOL. One with GD attributions may have been "improved" by FR. FR knew nothing of the Trumps. [...] The German Br. has reps. in various countries who bring postulants to Head Lodge.

November 10 1911: German fraternity only 10 or 11 years old. Prob. connects with ancient orgs. as do English Temples. Has no early archives. EOL showed SR Tarot cards made by him to order attributions. Showed Sephiroth in form of Cubes made from numbers derived from the letters of the Sephirotic names; also series of Figures allocated to Tarot. Derived trad magical squares of planets. Advised SR against going to Germany as he would have to wait years for each grade. EOL has taken pledges, and is under obedience of German Br. FR taken no pledges. The probationary practices produce equilibrium; Tattwas used in Germany but not (he thinks) Enochian system. Colour systems used. Aim was to read Akasic records. SR asked, and EOL agreed that final aim was Divine Union. EOL spoke of some German Br.[others] as Holy men; thought occult practices wouldn't hinder Divine Union. (SR is sure old grade sequence abandoned). EOL sure that German 3rd degree is our 5=6 in some form. He spoke of the tomb (and thus 6=5) but may have meant the vault, though the Temple itself is seen as the v[ault]. EOL interested in historical side but not other German brethren. FR only can give out knowledge from Germany. Candidates of 5=6 grade would have to be instructed by FR. EOL thought this instr. could be in either SR or FRs temple. SR assured EOL of his and Vig.[ilate's] interest. EOL assumed SR would approach them on his own initiative. Exercises easy for the clairvoyant, but FR said exercises easier if one was not clairvoyant. Germans have old passwords: they cosm 7 temporal passwords at solstices not Equinoxes. Fraternity connected with E[soteric] S[ection] of Theos.Soc. and thus with Co−masonry, but this unofficial. Members may be in both. Theos. connection has led to stressing of Eastern ideas, this now discouraged.
Actually, Steiners Rosicrucian group was only five years old, as a charter from Theodor Reuss wasn’t grated before 1906. Thus this fact makes the Misraim Service 17 years younger compared to the Golden Dawn, which make’s me wonder how a young Order such as Steiner’s may serve as a “Third Order” to a much older one like the Golden Dawn?

I’m not surprised that Enochian wasn’t used in Germany, as it more or less belongs to the English Rosicrucian tradition. It is clear that the exercises as taught by Steiner more resembles eastern yogic techniques; all these references to Akasic records and Tattvic clairvoyance bears this out, even though Steiner was moving away from purely eastern methods and thinking as in the Theosophical Society. The connection between the Theosophical Society and the Mystica Aeterna grew stronger over time and soon became part of it, thus renaming itself to the “Misraim Service”. I believe the assertion of Steiner’s rite being part of Co-Masonry to be wrong; M&M and Co-Masonry were two distinct things, even if there are superficial similarities.

It is also interesting to note that the Germans under Steiner used the simple cubical Temple or Hall as a layout for the “Vault” of “Tomb” of Christian Rosenkreutz. I wonder why this wasn’t regarded as a major flaw in the eyes of Golden Dawn Adepts such as Felkin and Meakin? The use of Solstice as a time for change of temporal passwords are interesting to note; it seems Steiner laid lesser emphasis on the Equinoxes compared to G.D., another major discrepancy which should have alerted Meakin and Felkin, as well as the difference in the Tarot attribution as mentioned below:
November 13, 1911: EOL doesn't know about Tarot attributions in German Order; thinks they differ from ours. Fraternity called Rosy and Golden Cross; Steiner is a member but EOL doesn't agree with all he says (some or which is wrongly reported). Germans Chief not known to SR but thinks reorganised in 1890 by Steiner. Germans would rather EOL was their channel than FR but he has stayed loyal to FR (which is a pity). French members would be known to SR but [Paul] Sedir not of them. English member is one Piper. Germans wanted EOL, FR and SR to form a triad in England. Word of the Order is Ros−Tau; sign similar to first part of Adeptus minor ritual of 1777; Point of left index finger against left side of heart, 2nd finger out at an angle. Second part of sign unknown− in to EOL. Some masonic words are used (e.g. Shiboleth) and masonic signs (as EAD). Sign of 3rd degree referrs to solar plexus and contemplation. Their first degree has word alluding to Fire like 1777 word of Zelator and Fire pillar is shown. 2nd degree (water) shows water pillar, thus pillars are separated − which would be wrong in our symbolism. Death symbol, in 3rd degree, − how can this for Tiphereth? But they may not use Sephirotic system. SR believe Ros.[icrucian] connection begins with his 5=6 and they prob. have little of earlier sequence. German E[soteric] S[ection] of Theos.Soc. is Co−masonic but they have had an overdose of A.B. Lower grades wish to break free of Theosophy yet they are keen on Atlantis! No alchemical activity. Concerned with healing through Steiner's influence. Last reformation was 1900 so Steiner may be behind it all. Older members carried aver (one French one is 70+). Schure prob. a member. EOL thought SR should inform his own people; will be seeing English member of German order soon and would take questions from SR. Healing by Colour − EOL in red one of the coloured rooms. FR has told his members and pledged them to secrecy − anxious that SS[Sub Spe; John Brodie-Innes] shouldn't know. EOL promised to tell SR about the other order he is in for which he went to Germany.
The though of Steiner being a reorganizer of Chiefs in 1890 or a reformer in 1900 is quite amusing considering the fact that he took interest in esotericism not prior to the year of 1901, and then definitely wasn’t in a position to reform anything as a Neophyte.

Reading this paragraph it's obvious that Nevill Meakin was the principle contact between Rudolf Steiner and Robert Felkin, and that Steiner even favored the former. But it is also clear that Meakin was having second thoughts about Steiner as a true Secret Chief. The reference to “Rosy and Golden Cross” is similar in nature to the Golden Rosy Cross (i.e. Gold und Rosenkreutz), which used the Latin name of “Ordo Rosae et Aureae Crucis” (abbreviated as R. et A.C.) which translates exactly as the former English rendition. The many references to the year 1777, the year of the reformation of the Golden Rosy Cross, also is interesting which indicates that Steiner at least had some knowledge of older German Rosicrucianism. It is obvious that the Gold und Rosenkreutz is under discussion as the Juniorus password actually is Aesch, i.e. that of “Fire”.

The Masonic references here are many. “Shiboleth” must refer to the II°. “EAD” is a Masonic abbreviation of “Entered Apprentice Degree” and thus refers to the sign of the I°. The attribution of fire to I° and water to II° (the R. et A.C. password being Maim i.e. “Water”) points to the fact that Steiner tried to correspond his degrees to the Gold und Rosenkreutz degree system and creating a blend between it and the “Craft Degrees” of Freemasonry. He has for example retained the death symbolism in the III° or Master Mason. The referenced to Fire and Water pillars in that order is perhaps foreign to the Golden Dawn, but not to the Golden Rosy Cross. Waite does speculate that Steiner is not using the Sephirotic system, and he is right about this I believe; Steiner is more trying to follow the Gold und Rosenkreutz system which, to my knowledge, didn’t correspond their Grades with that of the Tree of Life, an idea which more was a child of the 1888 year reformation, i.e. that of the Golden Dawn.

But the similarities between the Misraim Service and the Gold and Rosy Cross seems to end with the Grade system, as Waite notes that there is no alchemical activity, as was the case with the Golden Rosicrucians, but instead lays its emphasis on Steinerian healing (se below under the heading “Teachings of Rudolf Steiner”).
November 24, 1911: FR claims to have seen tomb of Phrygian at Haarlem and other tombs having RC and hexagram on them. Germans claim CRC real person, FR says of 13th cent. FR told Vigilate current solstitial password was CEHURUDWIN meaning of which he knows not. FR doesn't know how psychic and occult practices can lead to Divine Union but believes that is the aim. FR agreed that Steiner prob. at the back, even poss. a Chief. FR admitted that he had before said he knew not of Steiner connection − he has met S.[teiner] in person. FR agreed that headship bias prob. 7 plus 8th in Heaven (CRC) to make ogdoad. FR agreed that Sephirotic system seemed absent. Germans have grades equal to 8=3 and 9=2 but not 10=1 (in 1777, still recog., 9 is Magus) Our own system connects with number 11. No grades corr. with Daath but FR thinks our supernals Sequence may be rep. by a Daath degree. Germans have 3 processes, each a triad with occult interpretation of Craft signs, attributions to centres in the body. Thus 3x3 (=9) processes, the 33 of Scottish Rite being a confusion of this. References prob. to 9 1777 grades however, FR confused. Germans use ERO signs instead of LUX, which Vigilate says is Gnostic corr. to AUM. Signs thus: hand uplifted, thumb & forefinger uplifted=E; hand down, th. & ff ext.=R Hand over middle of body, th. & ff. joined=O. How first two correspond to letters not clear. Steiner said to have mission to take Theosophy from Eastern hold. Convention of T[eosophic] S[ociety] shortly prob. will break with A.B. [Annie Besant]. Letters from FR are long in replying as all three chiefs must see them. Each period is 120 years, last ended in 1890 (but why not 1897 which would follow 1777?) […] EOL received at Munich. EOL & FR wrote to 6 people in Berlin, Munich, nr. Paris etc. German lecturing to FRs people was old GD member but progressed nowhere; joined at same time as Crookes. SR stressed importance of historical connection, but while SR was out FR told Vigilate that Germans wouldn't like mere historical interest. Steiner occult concerns with Akasic records, Atlantis etc. […] 3x3 processes should be given in 9 installments, involving a simple ritual: In any Temple. Hierophant seated in E. Another officer (corr. to Hiereus) in W. Two pillars, blue and red, in N. Candidate between them. Blackboard in S. with sign on it. Process is (a) visualising, (b) transcribing the symbol within one, (c) placing certain letters on the symbol. Triadic division of process I. This or later process used to ascertain cosmic or general world−events of past, present or future. Another process: In early morning find rose in garden with dewdrop on; remove it with tip of tongue where it is retained while pronouncing 3 certain words. (!!) This rubbish is supposed to be true and ancient occultism!. SR suggested to FR that position of red & blue pillars could be worked out from ours − black corr. with blue; black is Queen scale Binah colour, while in SR's scheme Binah is deep sea blue (Mary blue). SR pointed out paucity of ritual in 1777 higher grades. QL told SR that FR had been seeking German Order for years but only last year had found it.
Suddenly the Steiner connection becomes an embarrassment, as Felkin tries to erase his trail by claiming he didn’t know of it until now. We all know it’s a lie. Here we also see for the first time the Steinerian (and Felkian) notion of the real existence of Fra. C.R.C. (i.e. Christian Rosenkreutz), and that he may still guide the Order as an ascended master of some sorts.

It is probably, from reading the paragraph above, that Steiner didn’t envision any Sephirothic system of initiation. Waite and Felkin now are of the view that Steiner is doing a reenactment of the old Gold und Rosenkreutz system. Here Felkin also proposes that the whole Supernal Triad may be substituted with Daath, i.e. the 8°=3° being the highest Grade. The reference to three processes of three degrees, or three distinct groups of degrees, is often found in Freemasonic systems such as the Swedish Rite, or the O.T.O., as well as in the G.D.

Steiner uses a 120 instead of 111 years cycle, which confuses Waite who knows that the year of 1777 is important because of the reformation. Again the red (fire) and blue (water) symbolism is confirmed in the Memphis Service Lodge room, again referring to a synthesis of Freemasonic and Golden Rosicrucian 1° and 2°. Strangely enough the Pillars are placed in North, which defies normal Freemasonic procedure. Waite is not impressed with certain Steinerian processes, again relating to Akasic records and clairvoyance.

Mikael W. Gejel have some suggestions which may solve the mysterious “ERO” puzzle. According to him this is a classical case of confusion of languages; an englishman would mistakenly assume a german pronounce the syllables “IAO” as “ERO”. Mr. Gejel states that Steiner intended the syllables for I.A.O. The hand movements accompanying I and A are correctly described by Waite, which solves the sentence: “How first two corresponds to letters not clear”. Now Waite continues:
December 14, 1911: SR suggested that working with German fraternity should be on a Masonic basis; recognise respective claims, mutual acquaintance of rulers, and nature of grades. SR asked FR how he could still use DDCF [Deo Duce Comite Ferro; Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers] originating rituals when both are anxious for this connection to be done with. FR hopes to have rituals from Germany but SR pointed out that they would be no use unless Sephirotic. SR again pointed out that SDAs Hanover fraternity would give her no power to warrant London Temples, unless German grades were also Sephirotic. SR wants to know how it is that DDCF could have had no German connection if Germans use similar rituals? (e.g. Adonai Ha−Aretz process).
Again the absence of the Sephirothic structure is emphasized. It is clear that both Felkin and Waite are convinced that Steiner is working in a different system not relating to the Tree of Life. Waite stresses the fact that Steiners rituals are not compatible.
February 16, 1912: Has sent SRs letter to Germany. Smith of Steiner mission in London not in German order. Ros.[icrucian] Lodge prob. to foward aims of "The occult Wisdom" student soc− aimed at freeing German Theos. from Besant. At German Theos. Convention December before this was proposed by Baron Walleen. They wish to quit Adyar because: Prominence of Eastern traditions, attitudes of A.B. (and that she isn't a true occultist), dislike of E.S. [Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society] and of A.B.'s claim to be John the Baptist, as of claim that Alcyone is Christ − who cannot reincarnate. Dislike of Leadbetter and his alleged incipiant divinity. A[nnie] B[esant] attacks German theos. in Vahan. Walleen in outer German order, but soon taking 4=7. His no, in 66; FR trying to arrange for us to meet him. FR has received some documents at last. […] FR hasn't read Steiner and knows not of pan−spiritism hypothesis. FR thinks Steiner hostile to Leadbeater. German Ros.[icrucian] meeting next Whitsuntide in Sweden − FR to attend, with QL. FR has said nothing of Germans to Non Sine. Smith working in London Ros.[icrucian] Lodge with one Collison.
By now Steiner was planning to leave the Theosophical Society and the Besant-Adyar movement, to create a “International Bund” of “Esoteric Masonry”, using a traditional hermetic initiatory pattern. In a letter to the Danish Baron Wallen, a disciple of Steiner, quoted in full by Francis King in his Ritual Magic in England, Meakin expressed his deep concerns of how the creation of this “Bund” would appear in the eyes of the British, regardless if they were theosophists or Freemasons; the first category would simply regard the breakaway as a arrogant schism, the latter as the creation of yet a pseudo-masonic and illegitimate body. According to Meakin, both him and Felkin would feel compelled to choose between Steiner and the approval of British Freemasonry. Apparently, and according to King, this letter had an effect on Steiner who instead created the Anthroposophical Society (which lacks any Freemasonic references) when he finally broke away from the Theosophical Society.
April 26, 1912: FR thinks Germans unwilling to put things in writing and they find his German difficult. He has had no German rituals but has had planetary diagrams, long ms. from Austria with Tarot reference in it and a typed document he will show to SR. Germans haven't answered over photograph cip or over SRs ideas on Masonic connection. FR has all materials for first German practice; SR should have practice details in June and should tell this to Vigilate. EOL's presence necessary as QL knows nothing, Germans don't like SRs seeing CRC as a myth in his book. SR said that if Ros.[icrucian Order] came into being historically then it had a founder, but Fama was a Legend. SR said evidence needed if German claim that origin was 13th C. was to he accepted. SR had to be careful in his book because of his Masonic pledges. FR agreed that there was difficulty over SR's great interest in historical reality question but they agreed to differ over occult side. SR doesn't think much of German Rosicrucian intelligence as a result.
The rift between A.E. Waite and Steiner's Rosicrucian group now becomes more accentuated. Even if Felkin had received very little written information he still believes in Steiner and recognizes him as a “Secret Chief”. As Steiner's teaching is more of a word of mouth character this creates a difficult situation.

According to the astral teacher A.B.S. it now becomes necessary for Robert Felkin and his wife to meet Steiner and take training from him personally instead of through the intermediary. Brodie-Innes, who at the time was standing with either leg in the Stella Matutina and Alpha et Omega camp, was now also becoming highly skeptical of Felikin’s German connection and reaffirming his loyalty to MacGregor Mathers. In a letter to Brodie-Innes dated 11 June, 1912, Felkin says:
I…have felt from the time I first knew anything about the origin of the …[Order]…that it was very doubtful if it had any real connection with the real Rosicrucian Order at all. […] I at last have come on the track of what I think is the real thing and I am on the way to get what I want but I am hampered in getting full information by being unable to go over and spend the necessary time myself.
A.E. Waite himself was also getting more and more skeptical, as may be seen in this quote from his notebook:
June 11, 1912: By arrangement with QL, SR mentioned guardedly that FRs portal ritual was changed; reminded FR that he had said Paroketh veil should be shown in Temple. FR did not remember, but "changed colour very much getting his white and old look." FR said change was to conform with German sequence but refused to show ritual to SR as he didn't accept the Germana. SR said he still had open mind but needed evidence, should see FRs ritual under pledge of secrecy − FR to think about this.
As can bee seen, the Portal Grade Ritual as revised by Meakin, was already implemented. It is also very clear that the changes were motivated to conform the Golden Dawn tradition and system of initiation to that of Steiner’s “sequence”, i.e. his 9 degrees system. Apparently this was the last contribution of Meakin. Even if much in this new and revised version of the Portal Grade Ceremony is superior, in my opinion, to the original version of the G.D. and the A.O., I will have reason to return to the problems attributed to the “conformation” in my later discussion below. This, I believe, outweights any improvements made by Meakin as it affects the overall initiatic system of the Golden Dawn in a erroneous way.

During their stay in Germany Dr. Frelkin, according to Francis King, seems to have received some form of medical treatment according to Steiner’s ordination, during which “colored lights” were played on him and healing ceremonies conducted in his presence. Felkin later reported to Miss Stoddard that both he and Mrs. Felkin visited five different “Rosicrucian” Temples during their trip to Germany in June and July 1912, and that he himself had received the Magister Templi 8°=3° Grade and his wife the Adeptus Exemptus 7°=4° Grade through initiation. These rituals were not in written format but were to be memorized. Waite noted this in his diary, confirming the information given to Miss Stoddard:
August 1st, 1912: FR and QL visited on their Journey: Cologne, Ulm, Stuttgart, Munich, Vienna, Passau, Regensburg, Nuremberg and Berlin. Both received into 4 grades & something said quietly to FR alone so that others, inc. QL should not hear. (SR couldn't see how unless they were deaf) QL is as consequence a Master Mason! 4th grade corr. to Master Mason and our 6=5. 1st Grade is Entered Apprentice and grades 0=0 to 4=7; thus 3rd grade prob. 5=6 and Fellow Craft. 3rd grade has trial by 4 elements or corr. with Neophyte. What of 2nd grade? Pres. Portal. Although shortened, ceremonies took 5½ hours. FR is now, says SR, pledged to secrecy over this affair. QLs presence hindered FR. 4th grade: candidate given 3 blows by persons rep. (a) WM, SW & JW (b) Hierophant, Hiereus & Hegemon (c) Ormuzd, Ahriman and Lucifer. After struck doing, candidate placed in Coffin which is screwed down. Organ plays, loud voices; brought out, sees fire then darkness and he is alone, Then sufficient light for him to see he is alone; glass for reflection in front of him. FR received 5th and part of 6th degrees, QL didn't. 5th degree (like our 7=4) is that of Teaching Adept. Candidate placed in coffin, taken Into vault, then brought out so that all see it is empty then candidate shown at a height above people as risen adept. Chief Adept higher again in cloud of incense which is driven away and celebrant revealed. Gives T.[eaching] Ad.[ept] warrant to candidate. Both FR and QL preferred their own degrees. Nothing is put in writing. SR thinks rituals modern because of Akasic records ref. FR admits revised c 1900. FR agreed that Steiner's manner might not−be liked; Steiner is uncouth, not so pleasant as DDCF, after power and has great occult power. FR saw three temples, only one purely Ros.[icrucian] One had crucifix and Lords Supper + Madonna on walls. Here go German Theos.[ophists] who want Steiner knowledge − when they go further enter another ro0m and have 1st grade. These must be Steiner creations, being German T.[heosophical] S.[ociety] places save the one purely Ros.[icrucuian] On Ros. matters Steiner under direction of inner group, through whom pres. he was initiated. Doesn't fit S.[teiner’s] claims to he overshadowed by Christ and CRC or are these claims made only by others? All this contradicts FRs story of one Head Lodge. Reincarnation of CRC to take place between 1936 and 1950 (so much for Count Rakocszi!) Germans demonstrated clairvoyance to FR, describing SS [Brodie-Innes] to him. Both FR and QL felt a presence during their receptions, people were excellent, FR and QL seem to have benefitted. [...] FR says new Theosophical Rosy Cross uses GD rituals taken from Equinox pub. − but could have come; from Theos. members of GD. Story of 3 Temples and part or 8=3 (6th) grade repeated by FR to QL.
The clearly Masonic contents of the M&M Rite is again quite obvious, but Waite is here wrongly assuming the Steinerian IV° and 6°=5° corresponding to the Master Mason degree and his III° and 5°=6° to the Fellow Craft. But here also the I° is now corresponding with the Elemental Grades (and 0°=0°). He also rightly assumes the Portal Grade corresponding with II°. I do understand why Waite is assuming the IV° to be equivalent of the Master Mason degree; because of the “three blows”. The concept Ormuzd, Ahriman and Lucifer is a clear reference to Steinerian philosophy. The description of the IV° bears striking resemblance to Felkin’s later 6°=5° Ceremony. The V° has a clear image of the ascension of the Exempt Adept (se discussion below) but differs somewhat from Felkin’s later renditon of the 7°=4°. The initiatory status of the Felkins are here confirmed, i.e. Dr. Felkin receiving the Grade of 8°=3° and his wife that of 7°=4°.

Mr. Gejel however considers Waite's appreciation of Steiner’s sequence of degrees as muddled. III° doesn’t, according to Mr. Gejel, involve any trial by four Elements. Instead the I° has, which fit it well with the Felkian G.D. rendition of Malkuth as the “First Grade”. Furthermore, the degree in which the candidate is given three blows and is placed in a coffin is not the IV°, according to Mr. Gejel, but the III° as in the ordinary Master Mason’s degree.

Here Waite also spots the Theosophical contents of Steiner’s rituals and Dr. Felkin acknowledging them to be of a recent origin, but the revision of rituals made by Steiner is again set to early; must have been made after 1906 and not circa 1900. The reference to Brodie-Innes is interesting and shows that he was regarded as an important figure in the Stella Matutina. After the return from Germany Felkin and Brodie-Innes broke connections and the latter instead fully engaged in Dr. Berridge’s Alpha et Omega Temple besides his own Sun Order or Chromlech Temple, which later became strongly associated with the A.O. Brodie-Innes would soon also revive his Amen-Ra Temple in Edinburgh under MacGregor Mathers’ jurisdiction. Waite continues recounting later talks with Felkin on the subject of the Rosicrucian M&M Grades:
August 13, 1912: 5th grade given to FR in whispers, 6th grade account given privately. 2nd grade corr. with Fellow Craft and Portal. Teaching warrant verbal only. 6th grade enables Adept to communicate power, via unseen forces with whom he is linked. CRC reinc. from 1939 to 1950. FR hadn't heard of Lalcovich in German Ros.[icrucian Order] [...] Grades in Germany meant to represent progress into manifestation. From unmanifest state, via development in manif. through Lemuria & Atlantis − first circumamb. is done backwards to rep.[resent] going back through earlier states. Masonic unclothing rejected by Germans. Thus new idea, as suggested by MWT. Collson in Germany, prob.[ably] taking degrees equivalent to what he has in SM.
Now finally Waite acknowledges the II° as being corresponding with Fellow Craft degree and the Portal of the Vault of the Adepti, which indirectly aligns the III° with the Master Mason degree. Again, as in the former paragraph, much emphais is laid on Steiner teaching verbally, not in written format. Here is also a clear reference to the “astral link” which enables the Exempt Adept to channel powers from higher forces. This force is of course none other that Father C.R.C. (i.e. Christian Rosenkreutz) himself, which both Steiner and Felkin believed would appear as in a second coming somewhere between 1939 and 1950. It is also of interest to note that Dr. Felkin was convinced that some sort of concordat had been established between him and Steiner, where according to the Felkin narrative:
Anyone conversant with German, French, Italiano or Dutch, who is a full 5°=6°, may be sent abroad with an instroduction signed by F.R., and should it be considered that a candidate is sufficiently developed, one or more grades may be given him. This is not essential, as, if the new methods are carefully introduced into our curriculum, the candidates will progress just as well without the necessary of going abroad.
After their trip to Germany Dr. Felkin, his wife and daughter (Miss Ethel Felkin) went to New Zeeland during autumn 1912, during which time they founded the Smaragdum Thalasses Temple, which later would become known as the Whare Ra. Six months later they returned to England in time for the Vernal Equinox Ceremony in 1913, because of the sudden and unexpected death of Nevill Meakin, the Chief of the Stella Matutina in England, something that apparently was prophesied by A.B.S. because of Meakin attracting “destructive forces” by misdirection of his efforts. Waite here continues in his notebook:
October 8, 1912: FR back from N.Z. for Vernal Equinox of 1913. SR given details of death of EOL, which death was itself painless. [...] Following EOLs death, FR now has many German papers; he may have not been sent them because he may not have been persona grata (as sugg. by Lucem Spero) All these docs. placed in tin trunk at FR's bank.
It seems that Felkin inherited all papers which Meakin had received from Steiner and his Rosicrucian group. Waite clearly alludes to the fact that Felkin never was on close terms with his master.

Upon Felkin’s return Brodie-Innes had declared himself to be Chief Adept in Anglia and Scotia, and also deputy Archon Basileus in Britain (the title of the head of the A.O.), also claiming to have received new Theoricus Adeptus Minor material which would be granted to any Temple acknowledging him a such. Felkin only acknowledging Steiner as Chief of course ignored Brodie-Innes. By then Steiner had started to distancing himself from his Masonic dealings and now began to lay more emphasis on his newly created Anthroposophical Society.
May 7th, 1913: Meebold Emissary of Steiner, very keen to propagate Steiner views in England. Belongs to Steiner org.[anization] known to FR who had opened comm.[unication] by writing to Steiner. Thinks FR didn't understand what he saw; FR felt he couldn't carry on his group and appealed to Steiner. Mss. from Germany only those sent by S.[teiner] to anyone. CRC date is 13th cent. but gained from Akasic Records. As long as FR keeps his Order he will get nowhere with Steiner. FR is not link between English and German Ros.[icrucians] FR's mss. can be bought in Germany by Steiner students − told to SR by a Steinerite member of his own. Meebald says Steiner casts aside old systems, hence math. attributions not from him. Prob. done by EOL. Early in Steiner period, Meebold became a Ros.[icrucian] in Rome but broke up order by disputing their knowledge. People concerned emotional but well−meaning and serious. M[eebold] says we can get reality by disbanding and joining Steiner. To M. only Steiner possesses truth. M. insisted on reason against emotionalism; also need for inspiration which S.[teiner] has. (yet SR knows no−one more emotional that Meebold) SR asked if Germans were on point of discovering real tomb of CRC (as claimed by FR) − M. scorned this. SR repeated to M. tale of Steiner's being old school Ros.[icrucian] sent to wean Theos.[ophy] back to Christianity. Prob.[ably] says M. reincarnated Ros.[icrucian] saw in Steiner a person with knowledge. Meebold staying with Mrs. Dalby who has sent Vigilate her resignation, this being imperative. (Insisted on by Steinerites says Per Deus to Vig.) Either Meebold exceeds his instructions or Steiner's statements to SR do not represent his rule.
It is clear here that Waite is regarding Felkin to be at a dead end with Steiner, who refuses to give him any substantial and secret teachings only for the select. Hence no real use as a “Secret Chief”. Obviously Felkin believes that Steiner somehow holds the notion of a real and original Tomb of C.R.C., which is denied by a local Steinerite. Already in 1913 Steiner tried to convince the initiates of the Stella Matutina to disband their Order and to join his Anthroposophical Society.

In 1914 Rudolf Steiner distanced himself wholly from all Masonic activity such as the M&M, in the aftermath of his breakaway from the Theosophical Society and founding of the rival Anthroposophical Society, and the outbrake of the Great War. He later denounced that he ever had initiated Dr. Felkin and his wife to anything. In his memories, Shadows of Life and Though, A.E. Waite recounted a meeting with Steiner in 1912 where the latter completely denied that he had conferred any grades whatsoever upon either Dr. Felkin or his wife, although he confirmed that the Felkin couple had “witnessed certain things – no matter what they were – of a ceremonial kind”; Steiner clearly distanced himself from Robert Felkin and the Stella Matutina.

On 17th March 1914 Dr. Robert Felkin wrote a statement which he issued to his Adepts finally revealing the results from his search after the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order. The first paragraph of this statement reads:
As is well known to one of you, for some years I was much troubled about the origins and genuineness of the Order Stella Matutina and R.R. et A.C. Circumstances arose in 1906 which led me to the conclusion that either I must find out the whole truth of the matter or drop the whole of my connection with the Orders. From that time to the present I have used every effort and have spent a good deal of money, if so be, I could come into real contact with what we have been led to suppose was the Third Order. I have been able to do this to my own satisfaction.
Felkin also informed his Adepts that he had introduced Nevill Meakin to the “Third Order”, and to its “Secret Chief” Rudolf Steiner, and that he himself later had received the grade equivalent to the G.D. Magister Templi 8°=3°, and that his wife had received the equivalent of the Adeptus Exemptus 7°=4°, hence being superior to both MacGregor Mathers and Brodie-Innes, the former being merely a 7°=4° while the latter being an advanced student of the Adeptus Minor 5°=6° Grade. In his statement Felkin continued:
I am told that neither Woodman, Westcott nor Mathers are or ever were real R.C.’s at all. [Sic!]

Morover I am forbidden to work with Mathers or with anyone working with him. For this reason I cannot, as I told him, work with our Frater S.S. [Brodie-Innes]. I understand that lately he, Frater S.S., has said that he was initiated many years ago in Germany. This, I am told is untrue as far as the real Order is concerned. And if it is true, why did he write to Germany and ask for initiation in 1912? I and Q.L. saw his letter, which was not replied to.
So basically, Felkin only recognized the Steinerian M&M group, under licence of Theodor Reuss and the O.T.O., as the only rightful heir to the original German Rosicrucians of the 17th Century!

It's obvious from reading this highly entertaining account that A.E. Waite and John Brodie-Innes had every right to be skeptical about Felkin's proceedings with Steiner. It's is clear to me that neither Steiner’s take on Rosicrucianism, nor that peculiar system of the Memphis & Misraïm that he developed, has much to do with the Golden Dawn. Although interesting as Rudolf Steiner seems to be, especially his Anthroposophical philosophy, his teachings are alien to the Rosicrucianism of the Golden Dawn.

Later, even after Steiner had officially renounced both Dr. Robert Felkin and anything related to the Golden Dawn, Felkin still was wrapped up in his Rosicrucian-Steinerian fantasy when he wrote a memorandum on 9 June 1918 recounting a second trip to Germany together with his wife and Miss Stoddart (one of the Chiefs of the Stella Matutina) in early August 1914, supposedly under the invitation of the “true” German Rosicrucians:
From what I was told abroad I was under the impression…that a few, I was told twelve, were to be picked out of all the Temples to help C.R.C. when he again manifested in 1926-33 or 35. The whole of that was to have been told me face to face in 1914 when we went to Germany. We had tickets there which took us to a place S.S.E. of Austria, where we were to have been met and been taken to the Old Vault, and also to have met several Hidden Chiefs.
Unfortunately the Great War erupted and the plans had to be cancelled. But Felkin did write his own version of a Adeptus Major 6°=5° Ritual during these perilous times, which was used for the first time in London, 16 October 1914, when the famous poet William Butler Yeats was advanced into that Grade.

It is possible that Felkin actually met Steiner or people from his M&M group during this trip in 1914, as he continued his involvement in the Masonic rites for a couple of years even after the foundation of the Anthroposophical Society, before he altogether ceased his involvement in the M&M in 1914 with the eruption of war. The reference to Austria also bears out this fact, as Steiner was an Austrian. According to Peter-R. Koenig:
Steiner stops the meetings of the Esoteric School [at summer 1914] and ceases use of the expression "Misraim Dienst" [Misraim Service] (which counts 600 members) in Germany because War conditions make it impossible to hold closed meetings safely. Anyway, at around this time Steiner begins to terminate private consultations and meetings since sufficient published material required for training purposes is present.

On the occasion of his visit in Oslo [in 1921], Rudolf Steiner gathers all members of "Mystica aeterna", without rituals and without ceremonial habits and although two or three new members are accepted [as a sign that the old form of the Misraim-Service definitely is left], declares the work of the "Erkenntniskultische Arbeitskreis" (= Misraim Dienst) solemnly dissolved.
So it seems that the Great War ended Rudolf Steiner’s active involvement in the M&M. I also believe that all contact with “The Third Order” now was terminated on Robert Felkin’s part, even if he himself though of the Stella Matutina as being in contact with Steiner and his Anthroposophical Society as late as 1920. In a statement issued as of 18 June, 1916, before the final departure to New Zeeland, Dr. Felkin proclaimed the creation of three new bodies in Britain, the Hermes Temple in Bristol and two separate Daughter Temples in London, of which the first would be:
…confined to the members of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, who have taken at least Grade 4. I may mention here that the reason why I am obliged to form it is as follows: When E.O.L. and I made our arrangements of recognition by our Continental Fratres, they stipulated, and he agreed, that the Masonic Rosicrucians, of whom there are large numbers, should be given the opportunity of being linked with us.

With regard to the… [other] …daughter Temple, there are some fifty or sixty members of the Temple which used to be ruled by S.R. [i.e. Waite] and a number of the members of the Anthroposophical Society who are seeking admission. It has been pointed out to me, that as these people have worked on different lines from us, it would not be well to admit them to the S.M., as they would undoubtedly cause confusion in the S.M. Temple. I therefore propose that they should for a Temple of their own…
One of Steiner’s own men who infiltrated the Stella Matutina, H. Collison, expressed the former’s sentiments on the Stella Matutina and Felkin in a letter on 1921:
The following is what I gathered from an interview with Dr. Steiner in Holland last March.

1. Dr. Felkin was a spectator at one of Dr. Steiner's ceremonies in Munich several years ago. No grades have been given to him by Dr. Steiner. No grades were given to him in Munich. But Dr. Steiner gave Dr. Felkin a great deal of instruction, such as he gives to other people who desire it.

2. Several visits have been paid by various enquirers to castles and other places in Austro-Hungary, but there has never been any true or practical result from these researches.

3. Dr. Felkin was anxious to get a charter from Dr. Steiner and made many attempts to gain this and be appointed his sole representative in England... Dr. Steiner said that he was unable to grant this request.

4. Dr. Steiner cannot say that the forces in the Order are good or bad, but in all spiritualistic practices under the old form of clairvoyance which is resorted to in the Felkin Order, self-deception is very possible and forces may enter which are beyond the power or understanding of those physically present.

5. The Order is decorative and useful to those who need it and are able to distinguish between mere ornament and reality.
So, as can bee seen, we must conclude that Steiner’s personal involvement was scarce in the years between 1912-14, and non existent after that. We also must conclude that Steiner’s own views on the Golden Dawn as a workable vehicle for expounding the mysteries as low or insignificant. But this didn’t hinder Felkin to expand upon the teachings of Steiner and the process of its integration into the Golden Dawn. In November 1915 Dr. Felkin gave this fascinating account of Christian Rosenkreutz and how all of this related to the Golden Dawn system of initiation:
First I will try to explain what I think most of you do not quite realise. The actual as well as the nominal Head of the Inner Order, is out Father in God, C.R.C. himself, who gives us directions and instructions from time to time through Members who are clairvoyant and clairaudient to such an extend that they are able to receive them.

In addition to them there are certain Members who still function on the material plane; most of these live very secluded lives and can only be met with after much difficulty has been overcome. E.O.L. met some of them when he went abroad on pilgrimage before passing beyond. Q.L. and myself have also met them at various times and received instructions and help (in 1904, 1909 and 1912).

These members form what has been known to us as the “Third” Order and it is their business to look after the various Temples and to give advice when required. Most of them live abroad in various countries but one lives in England and I have called him “The Unknown” or “Epopt”, because for most of you he must remain behind the veil.

We have been told by some of these that C.R.C. himself expects to manifest again on the material plane before very long. I do not know whether he will return as an infant, or whether as sometimes happens he may assume a suitable body which has already reached maturity.

Hitherto we have spoken loosely of Three Orders. Now it will be possible to define a little more clearly the different Grades, since during the last three years we have received several of the Higher Grades, which we hope to pass on to those who are ready for them before we leave you [i.e. for New Zealand].
All these notions of an actual “second coming” smells very Steinerian to me; this is what happens when theosophical notions of avatars (as with Annie Besant and Jiddu Krishnamurti, the supposed reincarnation of Christ) are blended with traditional Rosicrucianism. Notions like this can easily develop into sectarian fundamentalism and has nothing to do with the Golden Dawn. Dr. Felkin continued laying out his new system in the following manner, relating the different Orders to the Sephiroth of Tree of Life:
Kether 10 = 1. Our Father C.R.C. (Sixth Order).
Chokmah and Binah, 9 = 2. Members on the Material plane, but secluded (Fifth Order).
Daath, 8 = 3. Members who may be contacted actively (Fourth Order).
Chesed, 7 = 4. Your own highest Members (Third Order)
Geburah, 6 = 5. Next highest Members (Third Order)
Tipareth, 5 = 6. (Second Order).
0 = 0 to Portal inclusive (First Order).

Finally I think you would find it of great assistance if you could set aside one or two of the more clairvoyant and clairaudient Members to act as a sort of Delphic Oracle. The duty of these Members would be to go to the Vault, either alone or together as may seem best, and get direct instruction from C.R.C. himself.
In a letter written by Felkin on 7 November 1915 he expounds somewhat on the subject of the Epopt:
With regard to the Epopt, I regret that it is impossible for me to give you further information at present, except that he has attained a high Grade (hence the suggested title, which in fact means “one who has been initiated in the Greater Mysteries”). He will not act until I actually leave and he does not wish to be known at present. Even when he takes office it will be with the proviso that only a few of you shall be in personal communication with him and the general Members will not be told who he is.
We may only speculate about the true identity of this “Epopt”, but I highly suspect that this is a reference to one of Steiner’s representatives in England.

The Teachings of Rudolf Steiner


I wonder what else was transferred into the Stella Matutina from the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, besides these lofty and fanciful claims in the last paragraphs of the former section? I must conclude that the amount of instruction and influence must have been quite substantial, at least in the higher Grades of the Stella Matutina. Dr. Felkin apparently obtained from Steiner certain “continental processes”, which according to Ellic Howe “appear to have resembled yoga exercises of some kind. Advanced members of the Stella Matutina were not allowed to send details of them in the post or carry written notes on their persons”. A document issued in 1915 states:
Inner Order, is our Father in God, C.R.C. himself, who gives us directions and instructions from time to time through Members who are clairvoyant and clairaudient to such an extent that they are able to receive them.

After all these processes have been successfully accomplished and the student has become clairvoyant, there are three other methods which may be given which will enable the student to get visions in the Akasic Records at definite periods of the world’s history. These three processes are indicated upon the diagrams which may only be shown in the Temple. […] The first symbol should enable him to read the Akasic Records before Christ, the second one at the time of Christ and the third one at the present time.
Miss Stoddart in her book The Trial of the Serpent, using the pseudonym of “Inquirer Within”, writes regarding the Rosicrucians of her time, i.e. the members of her own Order or Stella Matutina and that of Steiner’s, that they, likewise as the Rosicrucians of old:
…not only studied, but went about doing good and healing the sick and diseased, …[and] now …are concerned in the study and administration of medicines (such as Steiner!), and in their manufacture upon old lines; they also teach and practice the curative (also magical) effects of coloured light, and cultivate mental processes which are believed to include spiritual enlightement (Steiner’s processes for rousing the kundalini) and extended powers of the human senses, especially in the directions of clairvoyance and clairaudience.
Reading the quotations taken from A.E. Waites notebook above it's quite obvious that the Stella Matutina Adeptus Major 6°=5° Ritual was heavily influenced by Rudolf Steiner and his rendition of the Memphis & Misraïm IV° Ceremony, i.e. the lying in the coffin, etc. According to Francis King Dr. Felkin supposedly based this said ritual, and the following Adeptus Exemptus 7°=4° and Magister Templi 8°=3° Grades, on Steiners corresponding Grades of IV°, V° and VI°, blending this German source material with extracts from Mabel Collins’ Light on the Path and the Egyptian Papyrus of Ani. Notice also the reference to the “link” from the entry of August 13th 1912 of Waites notebook. This is the “etheric link” which often has been connected to the Adeptus Exemptus 7°=4° Grade of the Stella Matutina; a separate ritual was performed in the Tomb of Fra. C.R.C. for select Adepti Exempti called The Transmission of the Etheric Link, which basically constituted a invocation of Christian Rosenkreutz.

To emphazise this latest statement I will recount a discussion I had on Wikipedia with the Grand Master of the Swedish Misraim Society, Mikael W. Gejel, which is heavily influenced by Rudolf Steiner and his Anthroposophical take on the M&M. According to Gejel Robert Felikin never lost faith in Rudolf Steiner, even after the latter severed all connection with the Stella Matutina. Gejel also states that the material as handed down from Steiner was continued and is used even today. He also states that the latter part of Felkin’s Adeptus Exemptus 7°=4° Grade is crowned by the so called “etheric link to Christian Rosenkreutz”. This corraborates what I described in the last paragraph.

Recently Samuel Robinson, who formerly has been the household mate of Pat Zalewski and under his personal tuition, made some very interesting comments regarding the views of ritual conduct and handling of ceremonial implements as expressed in the latter’s book Ritual Commentaries (or Z-5):
For the most part Whare Ra studied the auric effects of the tools and this came from Steiner and not Felkin or the G.D at all. I have seen the Steiner papers used for his Memphis Misraim rite where he discussed the auric effects of the grip, tools, wands, swords and movements etc, the methods are the same and it was introduced later by Felkin.
Regarding these papers written by Steiner about ritual Samuel Robinson further states:
Half of them appear in 'Freemasonry and Ritual Work' by Steiner, the other half belong to a private collector, both are being used in Steiners' Masonic Ritual still being worked in a few countries in Europe.
Tony Fuller, the renown Golden Dawn scholar who personally has known serveral Whare Ra Adepts, has the following to say regarding Steinerian practices within the Stella Matutina:
Although relations between Whare Ra and the Anthroposophists always remained close the Steiner influence declined over the 50 odd years after R.W. Felkin's death. At the house of a senior Whare Ra person (Ewen Campbell 9=2) I was shown by his family four original handwritten manuscripts taken from discussions with/lectures from Steiner with many coloured illustrations and additional notes made by Campbell. But by the times of the 1950's knowledge of most of the Steiner additions had been lost and no one was 'receiving' the Processes. Prior to this each member was given individually by the Chief (Felkin then Mrs Felkin) a unique version of the Processes calculated just for that person and it was written on a tiny piece of blue paper. Within Hermes, Bristol, the Steiner influence had declined even earlier and under Mrs Carnegie Dickson it had moved back to a more Mathers oriented Order.

...there is little indicaton of any Steiner influence in the the First Order but more so within the Second and particularly the Third Orders. There are a few indications that the height of the Steiner influence coincided with the strong presence of many Anglo-Catholic clergy within the S[tella] M[atutina]. The latter also declined, particularly after Felkin's death and, there are a few tentative indications, following an investigation by a committee of the Archbishop of Canterbury which apparently took a dim view of the involvement of its priests in occultism. I suspect that there was a significant involvement of Anglo-Catholic clergy within Anthroposophy at this time.

Discussion

The major influence of Rudolf Steiner that I can detect in the Stella Matutina, putting all this information together and trying make any sense of it, is the actual initiatory system. To me it is clear that both Dr. Robert Felkin and Neville Meakin saw direct parallels between the Golden Dawn and the Memphis & Misraïm Rite, as it was envisioned by Steiner through his nine degrees system of the Misraim Service. This latter system bears clear resemblances, but is not identical to the O.T.O. system of nine operative degrees as envisioned by Theodor Reuss.

Personally I regard Steiner’s Mystica Aeterna as an independent body of the O.T.O., not just for the fact that Theodor Reuss gave Rudolf Steiner his charter to operate the M&M, nor simply just because Steiner, according to Samuel Robinson, also had received the O.T.O. Seal from Reuss. For one thing it is a fact that the O.T.O. and the Misraim Service both had the same number of degrees (and both using Roman numerals) and being reminiscent of each other, and the first three being equivalent with the “Craft Degrees” of Freemasonry. But interestingly enough, which Samuel Robinson has been so kind to point out for me, it was Steiner who revised the old 99° system of the M&M into 9 degrees, something which Reuss eventually decided to copy because of its success. Furthermore the name “Mystica Aeterna” has a typical O.T.O. quality to it. Last and not least for the fact that they both admitted both male and female, and that there is some evidence that Steiner referred to his group as “Esoteric Rosicrucians”, which was a name given to initiates of the VIII° of the O.T.O.

But there were also some discrepancies between the O.T.O. and the Misraim Service. According to Alex Sumner, in commenting the above mentioned book Freemasonry and Ritual Work, Steiner envisaged IV° (equiv. to 6°=5°) as equivalent to the Rose-Croix 18° of the Scottish Rite and the V° (equiv. to 7°=4°) as a version of the Royal Arch Mason degree of the York Rite. This is however disputed by Mr. Gejel, who states that Steiner's IV° actually is Royal Arch and his V° Rose Croix. Mr. Gejel notes that the misunderstanding probably stems from a mistaken headline on page 234 in Freemasonry and Ritual Work, containing the collected works of Rudolf Steiner on the subject of Masonic Ritual.

The Misraïm Degrees upon the Tree of Life

So, as we will see, Meakin and Felkin attributed the nine degrees of the Misraim Service with the Tree of Life thus: The first three degrees (corresponding to the “Craft Degrees” of Freemasonry) with the Middle Pillar Sephiroth from Malkuth to Tiphareth, IV° & V° with Geburah and Chesed respectively, and that of VI° to VIII° with the Supernal Triad. I wonder what ever happened to the IX° in the Meakin-Felkin arrangement? This omission of the highest degree of the Misraim Service makes it apparent that this whole scheme is an ill advised attempt to force a union upon the O.T.O. and G.D. initiatory systems.

It has unfortunately also become clear to me, during the research for this essay, that Neville Meakin’s real motivation for changing and expanding upon the contents of the Portal Grade was to adapt the G.D. system of initiation to that of Rudolf Steiner’s Misraim Service. What I am referring to in particular is the notion that the Outer Order Elemental Grades are corresponding with Malkuth and constitute a “First Grade”, while the Portal Grade is corresponding with Yesod to form a “Second Grade”, thus indirectly referring to Tipharet as the “Third Grade”. Using this version of the Portal Grade as the missing link between the Outer and Inner Orders, Felkin now was able to use Steiner’s IV°, V° & VI° and adapt them to the 6°=5°, 7°=4° and 8°=3° respectively.

In my humble opinion, this constitutes a grave fallacy on Felkin’s and Meakin’s part. It shows a deep misunderstanding of the Memphis & Misraïm Rite in the first place, as I cannot suspect that both these gentlemen didn’t know of their own system, i.e. the Golden Dawn. Fist of all, the application of the Misraïm degrees in this manner to the Three of Life feels overly forced; there are no ground for this being the original intent of Rudolf Steiner. On the contrary, I suspect that Felkin knew that he couldn’t throw out the Baby with the bathwater, i.e. dispensing with the Tree of Life as the initiatory pattern, in trying to adjust the Misraim-degrees to the G.D. scheme. Reading the contents of A.E. Waite’s notebook from December 12, 1910 and onwards, it seems to me that either Steiner did actually work with a Sephirothic system or Felkin somehow lied to Waite (or to himself) regarding all G.D. references (including using G.D. implements) within Steiner’ Lodges to make his continental connections more appealing. I suspect the latter. As one reads the account by Waite it becomes clear that it dawns upon his mind that there is no actual correspondence between the Sephiroth and Steiner’s nine degrees. To this also Felkin finally admits. So what it all amounts to is Felkin making a Golden Dawn interpretation of the initiatory system of the Misraim Service.

Secondly, the first degrees of the Misraim Service, O.T.O. and all other versions of the Memphis & Misraïm Rite, as well as all high degrees systems of Freemasonry, as I already has pointed out on several places, corresponds directly with the three “Craft Degrees” of Blue Lodge Masonry, i.e. that of Entered Apprentice (I°), Fellow Craft (II°), and Master Mason (III°). Now, the Rosicrucian Sephirothic Grade system, i.e. that of Zelator to Magus (and Ipsissimus), has always been regarded as a high degree system from the very beginning, i.e. the general reformation of 1777. To become a Juniorus (i.e. Zelator) in the old Gold und Rosenkreutz Orden (the very organization who invented these Grades in the first place), as well as Zelator in the later Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (S.R.I.A.), one had to be a Master Mason (i.e. that of III°) before even entering the Order; the G.D. Grade of Zelator is thus to be considered as a high degree Grade being placed just above “Craft Masonry”.

In my opinion the G.D. 0°=0° of Neophyte was created to be a substitute to these three “Craft Degrees”, as both men and women was admitted as members. Thus in preparation for the 1888-year reformation the reformers abolished the Freemasonic requirement and created the Neophyte Grade as a preparation in its stead. Being a Freemason myself, and having passed through and seeing many candidates passing through the Craft Degrees, I can see many parallels of structure between them and the 0°=0° of the G.D., especially the I°. All major ingredients are present there, the blindfold, the symbolical binding with a cord, obligation, circumambulations, reception into the light, the symbolical blood shedding, etc. I can also detect all three “Craft Degrees” present in the 0°=0°; this may also be said of the I° (birth) in which is contained the seeds or formulas of the II° (adult life) & III° (death). Thus when the candidate is led into the Hall of the Neophytes, and passes the Portal for the first time, he is symbolically born; he is here referred to as “Child of Earth”. The circumambulations and reception into the light constitutes the adult or mature life, while the symbolical blood shedding in the end and partaking of the Eucharist, symbolizes death and resurrection.

Thus, to apply the Memphis Service and O.T.O. degrees systems as parallel to the Golden Dawn is to relegate the latter to a status compared to the Freemasonic Craft Degree system. As a Freemason, having first hand experience of the “Craft Degrees” I cannot disagree more; the Elemental Grades are not corresponding with the I°; in my view the Neophyte Formula more amply fits with it. The Portal Grade isn’t even close in symbology nor content to the Fellow Craft degree of II°. While I can see some superficial likeness between the Adeptus Minor and the Master Mason reception, because of the death and ressurection of Hiram Abiff, I still hold that the 5°=6° is on a higher level of arc compared to the III°; the ceremonial and grade formulae often recur on different levels, as with all human development, but to say that adolescence is the direct equivalent to the oedipal phase, because of the psychological link, is outright wrong and shows lack of understanding of psychoanalysis – the same may be said of Rosicrucianism in this regard.

However, it seems when reading A.E. Waites notebook, that Rudolf Steiner himself had another view of the I°-III° as compared to “Craft Masonry” being the outer court of the Rosicrucian Grade system. It seems he likewise tried to align the Gold und Rosenkreutz 9 Grade system, from Juniorus to Magus, with that of his own 9 degrees system. Thus I° would in Steiner’s view correspond to Juniorus, II° with Theoricus, III° with Practicus, IV° (and the Royal Arch degree) with that of Philosophus, V° (and the Rose Croix degree) with that of [Adeptus] Minor, VI° with that of [Adeptus] Major, VII° with that of Adeptus Exemptus, VIII° with that of Magister [Templi] and finally XI° with the exalted Magus Grade. This, in my opinion is a more logical way to correspond the old Rosicrucian Grade system if one want to, as Steiner obviously seemed to, make this correspondence. This fact of course makes Steiner’s take on the M&M quite interesting, much more so than how it was usually done in the O.T.O. during Reuss’ time. But on the other hand, in view of Meakin’s and Felkin’s own interpretation of G.D. correspondence with that of the M&M it makes everything even more confusing; in Steiner’s view the Adeptus Minor Grade is the equivalent of V° but according to Felkin of III°. Thus Felkin and Meakin distanced themselves from both the Golden Dawn and the Misraim Service, to create a new and unique hybrid that is neither G.D. nor the M&M.

However according to Mikael W. Gejel there seems to be a indirect or tentative correspondence between the Golden Dawn Grades (and the Sephiroth) and Steiner's Misraim Service. Let me quote Mr. Gejel as he explains this better than me:
Steiner's nine dregrees corresponds to a. the planets and b. the subterranean spheres. E. g. the first degree corresponds to the Earth (the whole earthly development through Lemuria, Atlantis, old India, old Persia, etc.), the second (with Isis as one of the main characters and the water pillar) to the Moon, the third degree (death and resurrection) to Mercury, the fourth to Venus, etc.
Although Mr. Gejel has stated to me that Steiner never explicitly used the Tree of Life as a foundation for his initatic system, he did use the Ptolemaic system of Earth, Planets (according to speed) and fixed stars (i.e. the Zodiac). Incidentally, the Tree of Life uses these same attributions in the Hermetic Qabalah, as used in the Golden Dawn. To me it more seems to be a coincidence, but corroborates my views about the true attribution of Steiner’s degrees according to the Gold und Rosenkreutz Grade system. But still I hold that it is a mistake of Steiner to correspond the three “Craft Degrees” to the first three Grades of the Gold und Rosenkreutz Orden, as the latter originally were supposed to be a direct continuation of the former.

Lastly, even if I can accept the fact that the Elemental Grades may be regarded as partaking in the four parts of Malkuth, and hence in a sense “never quittet” it, I maintain the opinion that the correspondence of the Portal Grade to Yesod and to Luna is flawed and foreign to the original intention of the Ceremony of the Portal. In viewing the Portal Grade, and the transition to the Inner Order and Tiphareth (i.e. 5°=6°), one must envision it in relation to the Elemental Grades as corresponding to the lowest four Sephiroth on the Tree of Life. Hence, the Portal Grade was never envisioned as taking part of any particular Sephirah; it was regarded as partaking of the Path of Samekh, the Arrow of Saggitarius, the Path of the Rending of the Veil. The Portal Grade formula is all about the transition from Yesod to Tiphareth; it is a dynamic and moving formula, as opposed to static and containing as in the Sephirotic Grades. In actuality, the Portal “Grade” is not a Grade proper at all but instead a state of transition between the Outer and Inner Orders through the Veil of Paroketh; the member is technically still regarded as being a Philosophus or 4°=7°. This last assumption is confirmed in the old Portal Grade Ceremony of the G.D. and the A.O., and as well and further corroborated in A.E. Waite’s rendition of it, written in 1910 for his own Holy Order of the Golden Dawn.

It is however also true, as also Samuel Robinson has pointed out to me, that the Misraïm Rite (or Egyptian Freemasonry as it is often called) in certain ways was a forerunner to the Golden Dawn. For example, prior to the G.D. creating its 0°=0° Egyptian Freemasonry used the Hall of Maat in its , echoing what I wrote above regarding the G.D. 0°=0° as corresponding with I° or Entered Apprentice. In certain degrees the M&M also uses the Officers of Hegemon, Hiereus and Hierophant. I have been told that Westcott brought in some elements from the Memphis & Misraïm tradition, being himself an initiate of that Rite. Jean-Pascal Ruggiu already noted in 1996, in his seminal paper Rosicrucian Alchemy and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, that the author of the Golden Dawn Cypher Mss., Kenneth MacKenzie, himself being a initiate of the M&M, held Cagliostro (the founder of Egyptian Freemasonry) in high regard, having him elevated as the spiritual Chief of MacKenzies organization Fratres Lucis (i.e. the Hermanubis Temple No. 2). So Im not surprised that these common Elements may be spotted between the M&M and G.D.

The Seal of the Rite of
Memphis & Misraïm

However, I still maintain that this influence never had such implications as compared to when it came into the hands of Felkin and Meakin, after their submission to Rudolf Steiner. In a sudden blow, the entire initiatic system was altered because of these changes made in the Portal Grade, and further being enhanced with the creation of the Adeptus Major 6°=5° and Adeptus Exemptus 7°=4°, designed after the model of Steiners IV° and V°, and even the Magister Templi 8°=3° after the directions as suggested in his VI°. Thus, what we now see after 1912 is a great rift, greater that ever, between the Alpha et Omega and the Stella Matutina; the A.O. continuing the original G.D. current while the S.M. now becoming a strange mix of the G.D. and O.T.O., becoming foreign to them both in the process.

But on the other hand I must hand it to Dr. Felkin that there are some merits to his design of the high Adepti Grades (6°=5° and 7°=4°) as to what they represent. In my own understanding of the Three Adepti Grades I envision the 5°=6° as embodying the Passion of the Christ, i.e. his suffering up to and including the crucifixion. This may also include his actual physical death, as the Candidate when bound to the Cross of Obligation (and of Suffering) is symbolically pierced with the dagger on the six points of the Stigmata, including the heart that clearly represents the death of Christ referring to the Roman soldier piercing his side with a spear. This also directly relates to the killing of Osiris by Apohis (or Seth) and the scattering of his members across the nation.

Next, in the 6°=5° I envision it as corresponding to the phase between the death and resurrection of the Christ. This involves the part when his disciple Joseph of Arimaetha takes down the body of Jesus from the cross, winds it in linen clothes and places it in the sepulchre. This of course relates to Isis gathering the members of Osiris and the embalming (i.e. wrapping in linen bandages) by Anubis of his body. Furthermore the vigil of the Adept refers to the descent of the Christ into the Netherland, or Hades, where he makes a new covenant with the dead souls to rise with him on the Final Day of Judgement, which of course directly relates to the Osirian mythos. This assumption is somewhat corraborated by a statement made by W.W. Westcott in the Flying Roll No. XVI - The History of the Rosicrucian Order - where he corrolates the 6°=5° with the 120 years of silence and secrecy where Fra. C.R.C. remained hidden in his Tomb, being the period from 1484 to 1604. It is described as:

...a degree of death and solmnity—referring to the precedent stage of obscuration, dur­ing which silent study and meditation may be considered as the typical condition.
Finally, Christ (in a similar fashion as Osiris) is resurrected on the third day and expounds the secret doctrine to his disciples, before his final transfiguration. Here it is interesting to note that Osiris actually is resurrected as Horus, which conquers his nemesis Seth. This of course refers to the Martial nature of the 6°=5° and the work of subduing and integrating the powers of darkness (i.e. the Qlippoth) within the Adept, directly corresponding with the descent of Christ into Hades and freeing of the dead souls. This work being fulfilled, the Adept becomes liberated from karma, i.e. Exempt. This is the nature of the 7°=4° which symbolically corresponds with the transfiguration and ascension of the Christ, where he is placed on the right side of his Father’s throne to judge the souls of men on Judgement Day when they are supposed to be resurrected. This of course directly relates to Osiris becoming the God of Death and Resurrection, the Lord of the Hall of Judgement and of Maat.

Reading Dr. Robert Felkins 6°=5° and 7°=4° I find them corroborating these assertions, down to the point of the Candidate symbolically being embalmed before laid in the Pastos. The only conclusion which I can draw from all this is that the initiatory cycle of the Golden Dawn having some correspondence with that of Rudolf Steiner’s Misraim Service. But I cannot regard them as equal because of the fact that I must reject the idea of the three “Craft Degrees” corresponding with the Elemental Grades, Portal and Adeptus Minor respectively. Therefore the IV° and V° must also be placed below Tiphareth on the Tree of Life and corresponding to the level of the Outer Order, perhaps the IV° corresponding with the Elemental Grades and the V° with the 5°=6°? This last suggestion at least echoes Steiner’s own views on the subject.

Conclusion

So, considering these facts, I cannot make any conclusions other than that the Stella Matutina tradition in general, and the Whare Ra teachings in particular, cannot be regarded as traditional Golden Dawn, but rather must be regarded as a fusion or synthesis of Rudolf Steiner on one hand and the Golden Dawn as presented by MacGregor Mathers and W.W. Westcott on the other. Suffice to say, anything that is added and cannot be recognized from the original Golden Dawn papers in any of the teachings of the Whare Ra, be it propounded as “oral teachings” or actual surviving copies of official documents from the Whare Ra, must be surmised as having Steinerian content, at least in potential.

But it must also be stated, that reading official Whare Ra documentation and curriculum, it becomes clear to me that the Steinerian influence is absent in the Outer Order, and even in the Adeptus Minor 5°=6° Grade of the R.R. et A.C., at least up to the Th.A.M. level. The fusion becomes more pronounced in the Adeptus Major 6°=5° Grade, and probably is most present in the Adeptus Exemptus 7°=4° Grade. So I must conclude that the Whare Ra kept its doctrine very orthodox until the initiate entered the higher levels of the Second Order or R.R. et A.C. But all this is limited to the personal teachings of individual members. Regarding the initiatory system of the Stella Matutina as a whole, i.e. the very foundation of the tradition of any initiatory society, the Steinerian nature is present from the very start, because of the changes made to the Portal Grade Ceremony, which I hold transforms the four Elemental Grade into sub-grades of a Steinerian “First Grade”, while the Portal itself now has become a “Second Grade”. I am convinced, however, that lots of unwritten or oral tradition of a Steinerian nature also was transmitted in the training of officers, but this doesn’t contradict my conclusion as Whare Ra seemed to have the principle of only using Adepts as Officers in the Outer Order Ceremonies.

It is also clear that the Elemental Grades and the Adeptus Minor Grade of the Stella Matutina are following the Golden Dawn tradition. The greatest and in my opinion most controversial change has been limited to the Portal Grade, which becomes the “missing link” which binds the old Outer Order with Felkin’s reformed Inner Order, in which he developed new rituals for the Adeptus Major and Exemptus Grades, directly inspired by Steiner’s corresponding degrees, as Felkin saw the underlying patterns and understood the correspondences.

Seeing that most of the existing Temples today draws heavily upon the Stella Matutina tradition, I wonder how they will relate themselves to these facts which I have laid bare here, of a significant deviation from a tradition which they profess to represent? Have they even bothered to reflect upon this at all before? If not, what will be the consequence of this new knowledge? What will happen to the identity of such a Temple? Will such Temples be able to perform the Ceremony of the Portal in the same way as they have become used to in the past?

S∴R∴