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.


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

torsdag 10 juli 2014

The Scarab from the North

IN THE PAST I have been accused of worshiping Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers. Although I do respect the man’s work with the modern hermetic revival my greatest hero is actually the great Polish Adept and alchemist Michael Sendivogius (1566–1636) who was referred to as Heliocantharus Borealis (“scarab from the north” or “the worshiper of the northern sun”). He was well aquainted with John Dee and Edward Kelley, as well as a favorite in the courts of the Bohemian Emperor Rudolf II and the Polish (and Swedish) King Sigismund III Vasa. He is also one of the few proto-modern Adepts who reputedly succeded with the Great Work of producing the Philosophers Stone, which is on record at the beforementioned courts in Prauge and Cracow. With an Polish ancestry and being a permanent resident of Sweden I feel a strong spiritual sympathy with this cosmopolitan Scarab from the North

On my Gyllene Gryningen Blog I have written about Sendivogius before, in my quite popular essay The Rosicrucian Kingdom of Poland. But here I would like to address a point in that great Polish Adepts writing which bears quite some significance on the current state of the Order in Scandinavia or Hyperborea. Let me quote from Sendivogius’ preface to his Tractatus de Sulphure Altero Naturae Principio (“A Treatise on Sulphur and Other Natural Principles”) from 1613: 
The times are at hand when many secrets of Nature will be revealed to men. The Fourth or Northern Monarchy is about to be established; a happy age is coming; enlightenment, the Mother of Sciences, will soon appear; a brighter Sun than in any of the preceding three Monarchies will rise and reveal more hidden secrets. This Monarchy (as the ancients foretold) God’s Omnipotence will found by the hand of a prince enriched with all virtues who, it is said, has already appeared in this present age. In this our northern region we see a prince of uncommon wisdom and valour, whom no king can surpass in victories or in love of men and God.
There is no doubt that in this Monarchy God will reveal to us more secrets of Nature than it took place in the pagan darkness or under the rule of tyrants. Philosophers used to describe these Monarchies not according to their powers but by their placement and the parts of the world they cover. On the first place they place the Eastern, then the Southern, then the Western and finally the Northern and last one which is expected in these countries and about which I will speak at length in my Harmonia.
In this Northern coming polar Monarchy (as the Psalmist says) mercy and truth will meet together, peace and justice will kiss each other, truth will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from heaven. There will be one Shepherd and one fold, and knowledge will be the common property of all without envy. I look forward to all this with longing. (Translated by A.E. Waite.) 
Now, this sentence bears a direct reference to the first Rosicrucian Manifesto published one year later, in 1614, entitled Fama Fraternitatis, which states that 
In Politia we acknowledge the Roman Empire and Quartam Monarchiam [“Fourth Monarchy”] for our Christian head. 
The reference to “a brighter sun” that will rise in Sendivogius preface is clearly and actually a reference to the statement in the Fama of the appearance of an “Aurora, or some clearness, or divine light in the sky”. Let me quote that important paragraph from the Fama in full for greater elicudation:
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.
Thus, what we see here in both Sendivogius words and that of the Fama Fraternitatis, which were published simultaneously, is a reference to a Nascent Aurora of the North. This Aurora mentioned in the Fama is clearly the Aurora Borealis (“Northern Light”), announcing the advent of the Forth Monarchy as foretold by Heliocantharus Borealis. In the Hermetic Order of the Nascent Aurora (H∴O∴N∴A∴) we have set as our mission to manifest a Novo Aurora Nascente in Hyperborea which from a spiritual point of view sets out to epitomise what that great Polish Adept and our Rosicrucian predeccessors prophesised exactly four Centuries ago, starting with the Vernal Equinox of 2014.


torsdag 5 juni 2014

The Dark Night of the Soul, Initiation and Magic

ONE MAY hear today that it is impossible to experience the Dark Night of the Soul as a Magician or Theurgist, who contrary to a genuine Mystic supposedly doesnt renounce the material world. However, my own experience and the experiences of other initiates proves beyond any doubt that it is possible and even constitutes a requirement to become a successful Magician or Adept. Thus a Magician, as well as the Mystic, is capable of experiencing the Dark Night of the Soul; all genuine Hermetic initiation creates that effect. I have had several in the past and will probably have several more in the future. 

However, I wouldnt, as often is seen in discussions, equate the Dark Night with depression per se as it is the direct effect or consequence of initiation and spiritual pursuit, not simply the result of coping with the general hardships of life. Thus one has to separate clinical depression and ordinary or mundane melancholy from the apparent melancholy or frustration affected by the Dark Night of the Soul.

All spiritual paths and the followers thereof distance themselves from the material world to a certain extent, Theurgy as well as Mysticism. Perhaps the modern or post-modern image of the Theurgist (such as in Neo-Paganism) klings to the material world, but if you look at the ancient Theurgists, such as the pagan neo-platonists (who invented the term) they certainly didnt follow the path of wordly matters. I doubt that they themselves (i.e. the neo-platonists) made this post-modern dichotomy between Mysticism and Magic. The reconstructed paganism of today is not the paganism of the ancients, such as the Hellenistic neo-platonists.

Thus the path of Theurgy and Alchemy is about leaving the material and searching the spiritual in a gradual ascension. The Dark Night, which is experienced along this path (to test ones commitment) is about feeling being renouced by God, the experience of lost contact or communication with the Higher Self (or with the Holy Guardian Angel for that matter), the feeling of being alone in the spiritual plane, a spiritual void; loosing your motivation of pursuing the Great Work. Oftentimes one looses focus from the spiritual and start to kling to the material; a species of renouncement of the spirit. It is the counter initiatic force which drags one back to the material; it is a counter-force necessary for the refinement of the soul.

The very essence of the Dark Night of the Soul is the process of first gaining connection and communication with the divine and then to lose it. Thus, this process may be likened to losing a lover or friend, a true crisis of a spiritual nature. Everline Underhill wrote a very good definition in her book Mysticism
The Dark Night of the Soul, once fully established, is seldom lit by visions or made homely by voices. It is of the essence of its miseries that the once-possessed power of orison or contemplation now seems wholly lost. The self is tossed back from its hard-won point of vantage. Impotence, blankness, solitude, are the epithets by which those immersed in this dark fire of purification describe their pains.
Some post-modern neo-pagans hold that the Christian and Neo-Platonic division between Spirit and Matter is a faulty one, that everything belongs to the whole, that matter is equally spiritual as Spirit. These voices dispute an apparent dualism imposed by the idea of a spiritual ascension, such as expressed in traditional Hermeticism and Qabalah.

For me spirit and matter are simply two designations of two opposite poles on a contiuum of frequencies which we may refer to as substance. There is only one substance which transcends the duality of matter and spirit, yet there is a difference of quality between the finest segment of substance (i.e. spirit) and the coarsest (matter), although both partake of the same ALL. Alchemy is about changing of the frequency of vibration from coarse to fine, or the reverse. However, the Adept knows that spirit is above matter in a hierarchical order. Spiritual development for me is evolution of consciousness which entails the raising of the vibratory pitch gradually. The Great Work is about spiritualisation of matter, i.e. not to abandon matter but to live in it according to spritual principles, not materialistic and wordly. An Adept is not a man or woman of this saturnine world; he may rule it but he is a child of the Sun, of the Solar World. In a way, the Children of Key XIX of the Tarot reflects the stature of true Adepts.
The Eastern principle of Maya, or the sense of illusion, only concerns the reduction of existance to what is tangible, denying the spirit behind the matter. An Adept doesnt deny the existence of matter but he or she sees it as the outward expression of spirit. As an Adept one tries to raise oneself from the purely Saturnine bodily existance and to awaken the Solar body within oneself. The restoration, or Tikkun ha-Ohlam, is about raising the sparks from the entrapment of fallen matter and to retreive them back to their source in the Light. Tikkun ha-Ohlam according to Isaac Luria and Nathan of Gaza epitomize the goal of the Great Work.

The original question was if the Dark Night of the Soul phenomena can also be applied to Theurgy and Magic. Well, I guess it depends upon which perspective you have on matter. One that recognises that spirit pervades matter and is the source behind it – the one that advocates a Path of Return to a more primordial state – surely can incorporate a Dark Night. But if ones spirituality is matter-based, if it doesnt entail sacrifice and renouncement of purely materialist pursuits (such as wordly power, social standing and riches) perhaps one may escape the Night. Thus the question is not a dichotomy between mysticism and magic but rather between one type of magic and another type of magic.

The traditional view on Theurgy has its basis in Neo-Platonism, which (through its theory of emanation) in fact incorporates the belief in ascension and gradual purification onto spirit. This is also the doctrine of the Holy Qabalah; the Tree of Life is a species of a Jacobs Ladder, which initiation tries to emulate. That is why the Dark Night of the Soul is a very real experience in a Golden Dawn initiatory context. 

Some clarifications (2014-06-06)

I believe that some clarifications are due because of some possible misunderstandings made by Frater Barrabbas regarding what I wrote in the above paragraphs. I regard the experience of the Dark Night to be a integrated and necessary part of intitiation, and the outcome of the disintegration of the component parts of the initiate or solve phase of initiation; the alchemical nigredo. It is also a recurring phenomenon, as night follows day, and becomes day again after night, etc.; the alchemical process is a repeated circulation of solve et coagula

But the loosing of faith is unmistakable in this natural process – however, it doesnt have to be that one looses faith in Godhed per se, but it may be limited to loosing ones  faith in the initiatory path, in the system in which one is working, a loosing of faith in the tradition that you are adhering to – i.e. one may loose ones faith in the religion without loosing ones faith in the spiritual dominion or God.

There is also the phenomenon of losing ones faith in oneself as an initiate, the reduction of ones own worth as a spiritual person; the feeling of being unworthy as an Adept which makes it akin to depression or melancholy, but still being induced by the spiritual pursuit and initiatory process itself. Perhaps the mystic and magician experiences a somewhat different Dark Night, because the initiatory path is not only based on faith alone, but also on empirical experience. But it is possible to loose ones faith in or sense of the meaning of it all; one may ask oneself: Is it worth all the effort and all the sacrifice?

With detachment or renounciation of the material I actually refer to the life of wordliness and the life of the profane, not the reduction of the worth of matter itself or the elements themselves; when you enter the path of initiation you have to leave your old life behind, sacrifice what you have gained before, what is considered to be valuable in the consensus mind of the profane. To live a spiritual life is not to live a mundane and wordly life; it is a life subjected to higher principles than that of money, riches and wordly power. 

Initiates are seldom successful in the eyes of the profane, although the initiate may be very satisfied with his or her life regardless. It is because the initiate denounces the limited worldview of the materialist; he or she doesnt measure success with the contents of ones  wallet, or the social standing, or how many likes one receive on Facebook. The path of the initiate is not the path of egotism or petty prestige; although the initiate still has a functioning ego or self, it has to be subjected to the principles of the Higher Self.

Quite often the initiate may become shunned or feared because he or she has choosen a different path of life with entirely different values, which makes him or her dangerous because he or she is a threat to the current world order. Initiates are radical and by their very nature subversive, however not necessarily consciously, but because they are not any longer part of the general paradigm of their times.

I wonder if much of the opposition that I have encountered during the recent days against the though of the Dark Night being part and parcel of initiation is not the result of the post-modern fear of melancholy, the manic quest for happiness and success which is fed to out brains from media and Western authorities. I am not suggesting that this is a kind of fear which has motivated Frater Barrabbas to oppose my position, but perhaps some of his more zealous supporters. Post-modern neo-spirituality and self-help books is part of a general prosperity theology” which reflects the post-modern commersialist western culture.

In our post-modern society we are taught that feelings of depression, grief and sorrow is something dysfunctional and bordering on antisocial. Therefore, there is the common opinion that it is good to take medication when you are feeling low on a regular basis or during prolonged periods, so that you may return to a prosperous life as a producer and consumer. There is a common fear of the dark and night in our post-modern society as a outcome of this, as it berieves you of your expected success in life. 

The initiatory process goes contrary to this general and consensual opinion; there is ebb and flow in all parts of nature – we are all mano-depressive to a certain extent, as we as microcosms reflect the fluctuations of the macrocosm. Thus the Dark Night is nothing to be shunned or avoided; rather it is to be embraced as a sign post of successful initiatory work. I have written before on the subject of depression as a way to self-knowledge. I am not advocating a romantic view on suffering; what I am saying it that Darkness cannot be avoided and has to be embraced instead of fearfully escaped to be able to be worked through.

Thus, my major point is that the Darkness of the Soul is as natural as Light or Illumination of the Soul; remember that the night is never as pitch black as just before the dawn. However, eventually the sun sets in the West and the Illumination of the soul is temporarly lost (regardless if it it induced by a loss of faith in God, in the Tradition or in Oneself), only to be regained again, and again. This is an ongoing process of cyclic development; thus the Dark Night is a companion on the path of the initiate as is the Light of Day. It is part of the ongoing natural process. 

Image of the Tarot Key No. XIX The Sun’ is ©Tomas Stacewicz.