In the year 1614 a fictitious but mysterious book was published at Cassel. The anonymous, 147 page text bore the title:
Universal and General Reformation of the whole wide world; together with Fama Fraternitatis of the Laudable Order of the Rosy Cross, written to all the Learned and Rulers of Europe; also a short reply sent by Mr Haselmeyer, for which he was seized by the Jesuits and put in irons on a Galley. Nowput forth in print and communicated to all true hearts. Printed in Cassel by Wilhelm Wessel, 1614.
The essence of this text, known henceforth as the Fama Fraternitatis ('Fame of the Fraternity') was the mysterious story of the life of a certain Christian Rosenkreutz and his followers, who had dedicated themselves to a 'General Reformation', seeking to combine the Christian reformations of the sixteenth century with a Paracelsian philosophy of nature.
The Fama is a confessional text, in which the brothers of an alleged, order declare themselves to be Lutherans seeking no political goals, but hoping the 'truth' will prevail on its own merits. They protest against a false alchemy, concerned only with 'ungodly and accursed gold-making' and summon the learned to declare their mind 'in print'. They announce that an answer will be given, even if the fraternity is not in a position to reveal their names or meeting places.
People interested in alchemy and esotericism were the first to take up and spread the ideas disseminated by the original Tubingen circle. The most important sympathizers included Michael Maier, alchemist and personal physician of Emperor Rudolf II (see above, p. 83), as well as his friend, the English doctor and philosopher of nature, Robert Fludd (1574-1637), whose own writings made a significant contribution to Rosicrucian literature in England. Besides this more alchemical tradition, another more theosophical current combined-with the following of Valentin Weigel, Jacob Boehme and Christian mysticism via Abraham von Franckenberg (1593-1652)-to influence pietism. Both movements led to the formation of real Rosicrucian groups in the eighteenth century, often with a close link to lodges of Freemasonry.
The author of the initial Rosicrucian manifestos, Fama fraternitatis roseae crucis and Confessio fraternitatis roseae crucis (Kassel, 1614-15), is now generally agreed to be the theology student Johann Valentin Andreae, inspired by the apocalypticist Tobias Hess and indebted to the esoteric library of the law professor Christoph Besold, all living in the Lutheran university town of Tubingen. J. V. Andreae reveals in his autobiography that he is the author of the spiritual allegory The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosencreutz, 1459 (Strassbutg, 1616), setting forth an invitation to the marriage of a king and queen in a hidden castle, built above a crypt where Venus lies asleep. Andreae was ordained priest in 1613, and his subsequent silence on the authorship of the Rosicrucian manifestos - and his claim that the Rosicrucian fraternity was a "ludibrium," a playful fiction and hoax - is due to his having' to conform to his priestly role. However, several statements of the Fama are to be found also in his later work. The manifestos were read as they circulated in manuscript as early as in 1611 by Paracelsians in the ambience of the independent politician Prince August of Anhalt. And as thus, described by C. Gilly, in “Adam Haslmayr - Der erste Verkünder der Manifeste der Rosenkreuzer” (Amsterdam 1994) the manuscript copies of the Fama Fraternitatis where circulating among a circle of friends in Tübingen.
The sixteenth-century medical doctor Paracelsus' medical; "philosophical, and theological writings focus on the healing powers hidden in the natural juices, released as the light of nature - a light explained by his three principles: sulphur, mercury, and salt. Overview of Paracelisan thought:
It is clear from the first however, that the Paracelsian tradition employed the name of the master as a catchword for a series of evolving metaphysical views that reached well beyond the actual work of Paracelsus. (See Andrew Weeks, Paracelsus: Speculative Theory and the Crisis of the Early Reformation, State University of New York Press, 1997).
Paracelsists like for example John Dee but also many others, carried the thoughts into a patently Hermetic and magical world in which healing concerns became increasingly metaphysicalized, and led to new cultural manifestations as can be seen among others, on the Rosicrucian phenomena.
Roland Edighoffer who pointed to the Christian Kabbalistic strain and the influence of Paracelsus within a Rosicrucian context, has argued that "the end of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth were in fact the golden age of religious Hermeticism." (Edighoffer, "Rosicrucianism: From the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century," in Faivre and Needleman, eds., Modern Esoteric Spirituality, p. 187).
Rosicrucians were thought to have rediscovered Adam's knowledge in Paradise, to have continued to guard the methods to obtain it, and to be prepared to transmit this knowledge to new adepts. That the Tubingen group had written the manifestos was for the most part entirely unknown. When in 1623 an anonymous Rosicrucian statement was posted on the Pont Neuf in Paris, there was a general realization that the doctrines of the manifestos were heretical and of a German apocalyptic origin. The French scholar Gabriel Naude began to analyze their doctrines, and identified their interest in the Jewish mystical techniques of kabbalah (primarely the Christian or Hermetic Kabbalah), but still he believed that there was a secret organization of this type somewhere in Germany. (Edighoffer, Rosicrucianism 1.)
In England in 1616, the medical doctor Robert Fludd wrote a defense of the Rosicrucian manifestos and then worked out a system of Rosicrucian philosophy based on alchemy, kabbalah, and magic. He published the work Summum Bonum: Quod est verum magiae, cabalae, alchymiae, Fratrem Rosae Crucis verorum verae subiectum (Frankfurt, 1629), using the pseudonym Joachim Frizius. Fludd set his natural philosophy in a Rosicrucian context as he thought of the brotherhood as poised to receive new thinking, but it seems that he was as ignorant of Andreae's activities as anyone else. A reaction came in Paris in 1639 when the Catholic atomist Pierre Gassendi and the Catholic mechanist Marin Mersenne published highly critical arguments against Fludd's Rosicrucian philosophy. They claimed that Fludd wanted to demonstrate that the Spiritus mundi (the World Soul) was identical to Christ and that he intended to turn alchemy into a religion by explaining the creation alchemically. They concluded that Rosicrucianism was both scientifically unsound and a threat to mainstream Christianity.
Some echo’s of Rosicrucian ideas and images in the works of playwrights and poets would lead one to assume there was sufficient interest in such matters to encourage publication of the Rosicrucian manifestos in English, but there is no evidence of a printed translation until the 1650s. Nearly forty years after the publication of the first printed edition of the Fama fraternitatis in German at Kassel in 1614.
This edition was issued by Giles Calvert, a London publisher primarily of religious treatises and political tracts, who produced during the 1650s a number of books on alchemy and medicine.
Although the impact of the Rosicrucian manifestos in Britain during the earliest times is not well documented, through the discovery of the links between these manuscripts we can trace a thread running from Thomas Vaughan through a number of aristocrats, primarily of Scottish origin, close to King Charles I and King James, back to Robert Ker.
Some invented traditions obtain their legitimacy by recreating an ideal past, the time when the founding figure was still with them. In Weberian terms, emergent movements typically gather around charismatic figures. Members of the new religion can with their own eyes witness the astounding feats of their living leader. When the charismatic leader is no longer present, charisma needs to be transferred to some other medium for the movement to continue existing. The devotion once showered upon the founder is now shifted to tangible signs of the leader's greatness: the founder's image, places he or she visited, the works purportedly composed by the leader. The more the movement based its initial success on charisma, the more it may need to insist on attributing every single element of the tradition, including all of the subsequent textual material, to the charismatic individual.
The probable reason why Hermeticism with its idea of a Golden Age, its aura of an ancient Egyptian revelation, has fascinated so many people is because it has made it possible to produce many analogies and relationships to various traditions. The Gnostic, the esoteric, the Platonist, the Freemason or the deist, all have been able to find something familiar in the writings.
In Rosicrucian, Freemasonic (in a way borrowing the idea from the Rosicrucian texts) and many other initiatory and occult new religious organisations, their origins are spuriously projected back into time. Observers of the what is called the Cultic New Age scene, for instance, can be struck by the habit of many books and websites to attribute hundreds if not thousands of years of history to practices and ideas that the usual standards of secular historiography date no further back than the date the new religion in squestion opened its present doors .
Most new religions (as we have seen), also present narratives which explain how the doctrines and practices revealed to the first human recipients have been passed down from them to the present day. Indeed, quite a few religious traditions display little overt interest in transcendent origins, but devote considerable effort to disseminating a particular view of how religious truths have been preserved for posterity. Groups as diverse as Scientology and the sympathetic readers of Carlos Castaneda's works would be examples of religious bodies with much concern for the individuals who transmitted their spiritual insights to the rest of humanity.
Documents can be attributed to people who never existed. Throughout European religion history, seminal texts were attributed to the sage Hermes Trismegistus, a pagan theologian living at the time of Moses. Hermes' stature was such that his works served to legitimate magic and other practices that the church officially frowned upon. Long after the humanist scholar Isaac Casaubon in the early seventeenth century proved beyond any doubt that the Hermetic texts were much younger than previously supposed, and it became clear that Hermes was entirely fictive, esotericists continued to attribute their teachings to the imaginary philosopher. Invented traditions can also have quite effects on a given religion.
The Making of a Tradition Case example: John Dee and Bureus
Frances Yates's hypothesis in The Rosicrucian Enlightenment that Dee's Monas was important as an ideological element in forming the both the Rosicrucian and very early, Freemasonic ideas. (A poem of 1638 read; For we be brethren of the Rosie Crosse: We have the Mason word and second sight.) Creating a widespread consternation, the original Rosicrucian manifestos received positive replies from many places in northern Europe. Bureus develops numbers for the interpretation of the Apocalypse, creating a chronology marking significant revelations in the field of learning, and thus inventing historical links from the Rosicrucians back to the Reformation and the Renaissance: 1396, the year of the emergence of Johan Hus, the first European reformer, as well as the year of the opening of the Greek school by Immanuel Chrysolaras, the translator of Plato and author of a Greek grammar in the same year. 1530, with Martin Luther coming forth and the Hebrew school opening through Johannes Reuchlin, the Christian kabbalist,1614, when "was heard the sacred voice 'as a call from the desert' which was raised to a sense never higher" - a reference to the Rosicrucian manifestos. (Ms. R 551a, Uppsala Universitetsbibliotek.)
Signed with J. T. A. Bureus' concealed initials, "BisvATI Ierubbabel," his pamphlet trumpeted the title Buccina ]ubilei Ultimi - hyperboreic prediction of Eos, smiting with resplendent noise the summits of the mountains of Europe, sounding amidst the hills and valleys of Arabia. The pamphlet specifically announces recent discoveries of "northern antiquities" that would be instrumental for the new reform of science, the arts, and society. Essential to Bureus' work was the idea of a prisca theologia - the ancient theology - a primary and pristine form of thought, traceable back to the very beginning of time, and still valid in his own epoch. During this early golden age the Christian doctrine of salvation had already been formulated, albeit in pagan terms. The theme of the wisdom of the ancients was a central motif in the Italian Renaissance and was seen as an eternally valid perennial philosophy. Bureus' promotion of northern antiquities, revealing hitherto unknown knowledge, is thus clearly shaped by the Renaissance style of thinking.
Bureus' ideas on the mystical origin of letters were formulated in a manuscript dating from 1605 that dealt with the combination of Runes into unitary symbols with spiritual significance. Bureus developed these signs in a series of manuscripts entitled Adulruna rediviva, in which he told of the arrangement of the fifteen-letter Runic script, the futhark, into new "flocks" with assigned meanings.The Adulruna, called Mandrake in English and Alraun in German, furthermore plays also an important role in the legacy of Paracelsus.
It is also apparent from Adulruna rediviva that in 1610 Bureus had read the British alchemist John Dee's complex geometric theory on the origin of letters, Monas hieroglyphica (Antwerp, 1564). Bureus adapted Dee's idea of the Monas as a universal sign, formed by the planetary signs, and functioning as a norm or matrix in forming the Latin and Greek letters. Bureus (who mentions Dee’s Monas on January 16, 1610), presented his Adulruna as a similar secret design that he furthermore claimed had been used at the beginning of time to create the first Runes. (Motto in the sixteenth-century alchemical text Turba philosophorum.)
The design of the Adulruna was the result of his earlier combining of the Runes into cross-like symbols in service to the "theanthropos," the god-man who was to lead his flock into the new spiritualized society. The symbols revealed the existence of a hidden seat of power in the north. Bureus saw these combinations of Runes as a northern equivalent of the Jewish kabbalah, a "notaricon suethia," a system by which letters are assigned numerical values, thus creating new links between words, making possible further interpretations. Bureus invented a new historical context for the Runes by giving them an origin in the primordial time of the northern Sibyls, such as the imaginary figure Alruna, purportedly a northern prophetess. Now, in 1616, he announced their rediscovery.
The background to these new constructions is found in the occult tradition. Bureus says in his diary that it was through a small book, Arbatel's De magia veterum (Basel, 1575), that his "desire for the kabbalah" was kindled. (Diary not for 1591 edited in Klemming, “Anteckningar.”) Arbatel's book stands in the tradition of Cornelius Agrippa's occult philosophy and demonstrates various magical methods. Yet it is not kabbalistic in the sephirothic sense, that is, by references to traditionally kabbalistic concepts such as the tree of life and its ten luminous emanations. Instead, it describes the seven governing planetary angels and tells of Olympic magic or how the magi can draw down their powers with specially constructed seals. In this way, God's word vibrantly emanates to materialize in a precise character that further transmits its power. Bureus' notion of kabbalah is thus closely related to magical practices and the spiritual interpretation of signs. Consequently, he refers to the history of divination and magic, the tradition of Hermes Trismegistos, Pythagoras, and the Sibylls, as set out by J. J. Boissard in his De divinatione magicis prestigiis (Oppenheim, 1615), printed by Theodore de Bry, the Rosicrucian printer. Drawing upon Renaissance views of a prisca theologia, an ancient theology, Bureus was to begin his Adulruna manuscript with an exposition of how the pagan thinkers Hermes, Zoroaster, Orpheus, Plato, Virgil, and the Sibylls had spoken in enigmas of the coming Christian world, and he conceived Alruna to have done the same.
Alongside this Hermetic tradition was set readings in the kabbalah. Bureus mentions Cesare Evoli, author of De divinis attributis quae sephirot ab Hebraeis nuncupata (Venice, 1573), which sets out the sephirothic tree, comments upon the relations between the ten luminous emanations, and explains them as divine virtues. (Ms.N 24, Linkopings Stiftsbibliotek.fo.35.)
Bureus also records readings of the Renaissance Christian kabbalists Johannes Reuchlin, Petrus Galatinus, and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, especially Pico's book on the seven days of creation, Heptaplus.
Another overt source of ideas is Heinrich Khunrath's vividly illustrated text on spiritual alchemy, Amphitheatrum sapientiae aeternae (Hanau, 1609) - "The Amphitheatre of Eternal Wisdom." Bureus further read the Seftr Yetzirah (the "Book of Creation") in the Christian kabbalist Guillaume Postel's Latin edition. From this kabbalist source Bureus conceived the notion of how letters pour forth from a divine source to combine into spiritual entities. Bureus copied the idea of how to form the Hebrew letters out of a single yod and chirek (i.e. vocalization marks) and how they are constructed. by Postel through the use of two semicircles inclosed in a larger semicircle.(The letters drawn out of a point and circle in Postel's De originibus linguarum, 1553).
One of the Adulruna manuscripts documents Bureus' invention of a northern linguistic mystery explaining the divine glory of the Trinity, now entitled Adul-Runa rediviva ad Trinitatis divinam gloriam ex patriae monumentis . .. theosophiae vestita radiis in scenam prodies anno crucis 1605. Here, the Runes were collected in groups, first in sequence and then as spatial arrangements with spiritual significance. Finally, Bureus presented the sevenfold herdsman's staff that worked as a Runic sign put in the hand of the great reformer. (Ms. R 551a, Uppsala Universitetsbibliotek)
The sevenfold staff was presented as an esoteric seal hiding potent divine mysteries of which Bureus had penetrated the secret. This sign was depicted standing on an altar in Bureus' edition of the anonymous verse in the Rosicrucian text Ara foederis theraphici F.X.R., which claimed, "Whoever has doubts about the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross, let him read this and having read the poem, he will be certain."
Thus the poem proclaimed that the Rosicrucian fraternity had attracted new supporters, but the location and membership of the fraternity itself remained hidden. Bureus added the line "Rosa est nova et vetus crux." Thus he also asserted the existence of the fraternity. He even disclosed an alchemical secret on his new frontispiece: inscribed on the altar was a rose, and on it a tau within a circle, the sign for sulphuric acid, used in the preparation of the philosopher's stone. The acid derives from vitriol, the green salt or iron sulphate. As usual, the tract was printed under the seal of secrecy, signed only by initials, thus again reproducing the mystery surrounding the location of the Rosicrucian fraternity.
Bureus here follows the alchemical tradition of simultaneously hiding and revealing the alchemical process. Certain aspects -of this process were kept among the practitioners and adepts so that, as with trade secrets, one would need to be an acknowledged member of the group of practitioners in order fully to engage in alchemy. By giving hints, plain to those who know, but hidden to all others, the alchemical author nevertheless wants to impress his power and his possession of esoteric knowledge on the reader. For the adept, as the motto goes, the hidden messages of alchemical texts are easy to decipher, their decoding as plaiu..as "the work of women and child's play." (Motto in the sixteenth-century alchemical text Turba philosophorum.)
It is this impression of having power over the arcana of nature which Rosicrucian texts are designed to convey. Those who could understand the inner message of the text would participate fully in the enigma. As the title page of The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz states, this was not a path open to all: "Mysteries made public become cheap and things profaned lose their grace. Therefore cast not pearls before swine nor make a bed of roses for an ass." Bureus' Rosicrucian writings also have this enigmatic character of protecting a core of secrets in formulations that keep out those lacking the necessary background, and at the same time creating an enigma that draws in those who have been prepared. THE THEORY OF HEAVENLY DEW AND ITS INFLUENCE FROM JOHN DEE TO THE ROSICRUCIANS
Bureus use of Dee's ideas speaks in favor of the English Renaissance scholar Frances Yates's hypothesis in The Rosicrucian Enlightenment that Dee's Monas was important as an ideological element in forming the Rosicrucian ideas. She focused on its prominent place on the invitation card to the royal wedding described in the opening pages of The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz. It is thought that Yates developed her connection too far, however, in suggesting that "we should see the movement behind the three Rosicrucian manifestoes as a movement ultimately stemming from John Dee. "( Yates, Rosicrucian Enlightenment. p. 39.)
Her view has been criticized by a number of Renaissance scholars, who argue that Yates's general scenario is misconstrued. (Vickers, "Frances Yates," p. 308n. Cf. Forshaw, "Early Alchemical Reception.") The bibliographer of Rosicrucianism, Carlos Gilly, for example concludes that Dee did not have such a central role in forming the Rosicrucian manifestos, and regards it as absurd to argue, as Yates did, that Rosicrucianism should be seen as a kind of "Exportartikel" from Elizabethan England to Germany. (Gilly, Cimelia, pp. 22, 74- )
Yet, from several instances(not just Bureus we took him as an examplebut by doing he same with the other 6 or 7 we have similarly in mind, this woul go far beyond the contextthe other around 6 to 8 authors would go beyond what is intended as only an article and not a book yet. article into a biik of the Monas sign in Rosicrucian texts, one can see that the construction of the Monas was of significance in the Rosicrucian debate. With a spurious Rosicrucian tradition as main mediating element, a symbol originally found in Dee's obscure oevre along with that of Paracelsus, becomes a rallying point around which generations of alchemists and adherents of other esoteric currents construct their ideas. Although the details of the ensuing development may appear daunting, the general tendency is quite straightforward. Individual innovations gained legitimacy and were able to cross-fertilize each other by means of a shared reference to the symbols and insights of the mysterious fraternity. Ultimately, the invention of Rosicrucianism, and the incorporation of a host of Hermetic and alchemical references in the ensuing literature, influenced a significant section of seventeenth- and eighteenth century intellectual culture.
Thus the Monas symbol can be found in manuscripts by the Tyrolian Paracelsian Adam Haselmayer, who was the first to make the manifestos known in print in 16n. As Gilly has shown, the sign was in use by alchemists as early as in 1612. In a manuscript of 1616 by Haselmayer, called Novum lumen physico-chemicum, the Monas figures prominently, now topped by a star, and was variously called "Character cabalisticus" or "Candelabrum Artistarum," or significantly "Monarchia stellae signatae." (Gilly, Adam Haselmayer, pp. '54, 189. The tract was given to the Senator of Genoa, Andrea Grimaldi, and is now found in rhe form of copies by Antonio di Medici in Florence. Note how the title of his Gilly, Cimelia, pp. 22, 74- manuscript appears to allude to Sendivogius' tract mentioned below.)
The Monas is discussed as a "stella hieroglyphica," as Yates points out, in the promise of more secret philosophy published as the Secretioris philosophiae consideratio brevis of Philippus a Gabella, or Philemon RC, a text accompaning the first publication of the Confessio fraternitatis roseae crucis in 1615. (Yates, Rosicrucian Enlightenment, pp. 45-7.)
There is Rosicrucian reference to Dee in a text by Vadav Budowec a Budowa in 1616, Circulus horologii lunaris et solaris, reprinted in Siegmund Dullinger's Speck auf der Fall (1618) and in Christianus Theophilus' Y Dias mystica ad Monadis simplicitatem, 1620. (Gilly,johann Valentin Andreae, p. 65.)
However, Gilly points to Haselmayer's use of the emblem as a sign for Paracelsus' Signat Stern or for vitriol, rather than by reference to Dee's text on the Monas. (Gilly, Cimelia, p. 22.) As we shall see, however, precisely this information on vitriol shows that Haselmayer had understood the inner alchemical meaning of the Rose Cross.
Another, more general significance of the Monas influenced many Rosicrucian writers. One example is the telling album amicorum of Daniel Stolcius (Stoltz von Stoltenberg), the alchemical emblem-maker from Kuma Hora, who had studied medicine at Prague. Here, Johannes Hartman, the medical chemist from Kassel, in 1619 signs in with a quotation from the Rosicrucian Fama: "sub umbra alarum tuarum Jehova," that is, the biblical formula "Under the shadow of thy wings, 0 Lord." (Ms. Y 132 b, Uppsala Universitetsbibliotek, contributing in 1622 "In Uno omnia" and "Studio,)
Signaling Stolcius' Rosicrucian contacts and his travel to England, even Robert Fludd signs in with the sentence "Experentia veritatis sigillum / Lux e tenebris emergens," "Experience is the sign of truth / light emerges out of darkness"; adding the hopeful "Omnium salvatur," "All will be saved." (Ibid.,fo.403.)
Significantly for the interpretation of the Monas, in 1626 Johannes Villanovanus from Nuremberg contributes to the album with a sign of Mercury and the text: "Inexploratus, etiamsi omnibus [the new sign] inserviat," "Unexplored, yet it is dedicated to all." These lines present a new Monas, where Aries is replaced with an arrow (for Sagittarius) and an extra bar cuts through the sun with the signs ofJupiter and Saturn hanging on each end. (Cf. Atlas Rhodostauroticus, who carries the stone and the world in his mind, fo. 377)
Johannes Matilletus from Geneva contributes another version of the Monas to Stolcius' album, where Aries is replaced by an arrow (Sagittarius) and the arms of the cross are transformed into Jupiter and Saturn. These new versions of the Monas show how the sign for Aries could, by specific observers, be resolved into the two significant planetary signs.
The Monas effected a compression of many themes of generative force into a microcosm of the greater world, based on Dee's design of how letters and planetary signs ca~ be constructed out of an ideal Pythagorean geometry, on a primitive base of point, line, and circle. The Paracelsian Gerard Dorn's rendering of its core idea is revealing. In his English edition of Aurora thesaurusque philosophorum (Basel, 1577), Paracelsus, His Aurora (London, 1659), Dorn writes: "When the Quaternary rests in the Ternary, ariseth the light of the world in the Horizon of eternity." In Theophrast Paracelsi auroram philosophorum thesaurem & mineralem oeconomiam ... (Frankfurt, 1583). In English, Paracelsus, his Aurora & treasure o/the philosophers. As also the waterstone o/the wise describing the matter and manner how to attain the universal tincture (London, 1659).
Dorn thus alludes to Dee's enigmatic statement, "the Quaternary resting in the Ternary," that Dee has set out as a text around his Monas. Dee took the idea from the geometrical speculation of the Benedictine Abott Johannes Trithemius (1462-1516) to the effect that the ascent of the soul proceeds enigmatically, "by rectification from the ternary through the binary to unity ... and by descent from unity to the quaternary resting in the ternary." Bureus,~for one, explained this as related to primary principles: the binary, divided in dissension between body and soul, and the ternary (body, spirit, and soul), are through the ~aternary (earth, water, air, and fire) reduced to the simplicity of the monad, or union with God. (Josten, "A Translation." Cf. Shumaker and Heilbronn,John Dee as Astronomer, pp. 200-3. In the Monas, Dee says: "Ista est via, per quam nostra Monas, per Binarium Ternarumque progrediens, in quaternario Purificatio, sibi Uni restimamr per Aequalitas proportionem." Bureus explicates this in Ms. N 24, fo. 145v. See Lindroth, Paracelcimen, p. III.)
Dee, on the other hand, shows by geometry how a cross flows from a single point creating four arms, thus at the crossing point of two lines. Dee joins the cross (and Mercury) to the sign for Aries, the Ram, in itself formed by a conjunction of the shifted signs for Jupiter and Saturn. Taken in this way the Monas speaks of the new entry of the conjunctions into the fiery trigon, marked by the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the celestial sign of Aries in 1583. The "fiery trigon" is the pattern of passage of the planets in the zodiacal signs of Aries in 1583, to that of Sagittarius in December-January of 1603/4, and, significantly, to that of Leo in 1623.
The theory of the great conjunctions and their influence had been in use since Abu Mashar's ninth-century text known in the West as De magnis conjunctionibus, and was applied to the case of Bohemia by Cyprian Leowitz at Prague in 1563. Johannes Kepler calculated the regular triangular pattern of the great conjunctions in 1596, and in his De nova stella in pede Serpentarii (1606) he pointed out that it was the seventh of such passages since creation. He also argued that it was similar to the passage of conjunctions in the trigon ruling at the birth of Christ. Significantly, the Rosicrucian Fama refers to it with the line "trigono igneo that will give us the last light," which is plain to view once one has grasped Abu Mashar's theory. (Akerman, Rose Cross, p. 157. Dee read Leowitz's prediction in 1564, and, two years earlier in Paris, Dee had presented a now lost tract, Cabbalisticae haebrerorum compendiosa tabella.)
Dee's influence on the Rosicrucians thus appears to be profound, since his sign was a compact invention, a new pictorial way of emphasizing the role of alchemy (mercury, sol, and luna) in the new age of the fiery trigon. It was not his obscure theorems that caught on, but the sign itself and what it was taken to stand for. John Dee's role in enforcing the Rosicrucian standpoint thus ought not to be dismissed, even if he was not the mastermind of the movement. Rather, he hit upon a most’ powerful design as, with his hieroglyph, he brought into focus a celestial theory to which only a few had paid any real attention.
Order of the Sacred Dew Tradition
Rosicrucian mark FRC should not be interpreted as Fratres Roseae Crucis, but rather as Fratres Roris Cocti or brothers of boiled dew.Thus while brotherhood that J. V. Andreae wrote, was pure fiction, at the same time it illustrated ideas slowly developing in the alchemical community, plus indirect ties to John Dee’s Paracelsian and other religious traditions on which he drew(Guillaume Postel and so on). Another example of this can be found in the Veritas Hermetica ... on the Difference Between Chemistry in Our Time and That Among the Ancients. (Ms. Reg. Lat. 1218. Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana.)
This text deals with the gathering of dew and its processing, and refers to some Fratres Roris Cocti, brothers of boiled dewan alchemical way of referring to the Rosicrucian fraternity. (Cf. Sedir, Histoire, pp. 59-60. Sedir writes that Fratres Roris Cocti would have been mentioned in Pierre Gassendi's criticism of Robert Fludd, Epistolica exercitatio in qua principia philosophiae Robert Fluddi reteguntur (Paris, 1630). They are not mentioned there explicite!y, but Gassendi does talk of aqua sicca, the water that does not wet hands ("Aquam siccam non facientem manus," p. 22S), and Fludd's interpretation of it as Spirithu aetheri or Anima mundi in chapter IX entitled "Iahacobeo illi lapide.")
text explains that a crystalline fluid can be gained from supercelestial water,
called maim by the Hebrews(Veritas Hermetica, fo. 36.) (as in aesch majim, the
fiery water or watery fire seen in the turquoise-blue colours of the sky). The
author refers to a speech on May 16, 1639, in an assembly of the Rose-Croix,
that explained the importance of dew to these brothers: The true menstruum of
the Red Dragon (the true matter of the philosophers) of which this society has
wanted to leave to posterity through the characters of its name [FRC], which
cannot be effaced by time, is to be understood as brothers of boiled dew
[Fratres Roris Cocti] ... the blessing ofIsaac and Jacob did not contain more
than two varieties of matter, de Rore caeli et pinguedine terrae.( Ibid., fo.
The last phrase is from the formula "God give thee of the dew of heaven and the fatness of the earth," after Isaac's blessing of Jacob in Genesis 27:28 and found on the title page of Dee's Monas hieroglyphica. Dee sets it out with the exhortation: "Let the water above the heavens fall and the earth will yield its fruit."
The Danish alchemist Glaus Borrichius writes on the same idea in his travel journal'-In Paris, where ~ arrived after meeting chemists in England, he notes on April 23, 1664: A certain distinguished Englishman at a i'heeting where the stone was discussed said about it: F.R.e. does not refer to the fratres Roseae Crucis, but rather Fratres roris cocti, and he further explained that by their sign (which is F.R.+) that + signifies L VX by a certain anagram as if they were illuminated by a special light or that they use light or air in their work.
The method of deriving the anagram L VX from the cross + is explained in the sixteenth theorem of Dee's Monas. Borrichius further elucidates this remark when he records how he has heard that From the mouth of some Fr:R:C: Dew (ros) is in nature the most powerful solvent of the Sun. It is not corrosive, but its light ought to be made dense and rendered corporeal, by being artfully boiled in a proper vase for a convenient time, it truly is the menstruum of the red dragon, i. e. of the Sun, i.e. the true philosophical matter, by which F.R.e. shall be understood as Fratres roris cocti. Thus, in Genesis, Jacob's blessing was but this: De rore cadi et pinguedine terrae det tibi Deus. (Shepelern, Borrichii itinerarium, p. 336.)
When Borrichius left England and France for Italy and Rome in r665 he noted that he had often talked with the former queen Christina of Sweden in Rome about the study of chemical arcana and experiments, and that she as a "Palladio virago" dedicated herself entirely to the sacred art. She could consult the source directly as she owned both a handwritten German copy of Dee's Monas hieroglyphica and Trithemius' angelic cryptography Steganographia. (Ms. Reg. lat. 1266 and Ms. Reg. lar. '344, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana.)
It is interesting that an alchemical tract, "The Mirror of Truth," was dedicated to her by Giovanni Batista Comastri: the Specchio delia Verita: concordanza sopra la filosofia hermetica (Venice, 1683). Comastri writes that the philosophical solvent is found in the air, hinting at the extrastion of sal niter, i.e. saltpeter or potassium nitrate (KN03), from dew in the tradition of the Cosmopolite; that is, from the pathbreaking sal niter theory in Novum lumen chemicum (1608) published by the Polish ‘adept’ Michael Sendivogius, aijas the Cosmopolite. Comastri borrows his phrase, "There is in air an occult bread oflife, the congealed spirit of which is better than all the earth (universa terra)." (Comastri, Specchio delia Verita, p. 63).
This chemical vapor or soul pervades all matter, and Sendivogius' extraction of it has been seen to prefigure the discovery of oxygen. The dew that contains this salt is, for Dee, however, more akin to the life-giving substance described by the Jewish kabbalah, just as, in the Zohar (speaking of the same verse in Genesis 27=28 on Isaac's blessing of Jacob), dew flows "from the brain of the Ancient of Days" and is understood as an erotic psychosexual presence as the supercelestial watery fire flows in. The Polish scholar Rafal Prinke points out that Sendivogius, in addition to Dee, is a major source for the Consideratio brevis of Philipp us a Gabella, which Yates thought so important because it carries on the verso of the title page the crucial phrase "de rore caeli et pinguedine terrae, det tibi Deus." The pseudonym Gabella may refer to Sendivogius' Philosophical Letters, which are addressed to "a newly accepted member of the Society of the Cabala of Unknown Philosophers." (Prinke, "Twelfth Adept," p., 87.)
According to Prinke, Sendivogius (d. 1636) passes on the torch handed down from Dee (d. 1609). Prinke even asserts that "it seems that there was a secret Society of Unknown Philosophers probably founded by Michael Sendivogius and that Sendivogius strongly influenced (or maybe even wrote himself) the Consideratio brevis expounding the philosophy and alchemy behind the original Rosicrucian movement." At present, Prinke concludes, it is not possible to state whether the two societies were one and the same, "bur such a possibility is definitely suggested by the evidence available.” (Prinke, "Michael Sendivogius and Christian Rosenkreutz.")
The texts on the Fratres Roris Cocti saw the collection of dew, and its processing according to the principles behind Isaac's blessing, as the secret, inner alchemical doctrine of the Rosicrucians. The discussion draws on the ideas of Dee and on Sendivogius' central niter theory. The source turns out to be one of Theophraste Renaudot's conferences in Paris, namely his scientific discussion seminar Bureau d'adresse. The conferences were later published, and on May 16, 1639-the assembly spoke of the brothers RoseCroix. (Renaudot, Recuei!, IV, pp. 53-60, of a "Conference du Lundi 16e May 1639. N.14- CENT LXXXIX," entitled "Des Freres de la Rose-Croix.")
Fludd is reported to have explained the three letters FRC as F for fide, R for religione, and C for charita- However, as with the common interpretation ofFRC as Fratres Rosae Crucis, Renaudot explains that we cannot be content with this interpretation, as it does not signify a "grand secret." He continues: "The cross is truly a part thereof, but in another sense, which is that in this + the word L VX can be found, and because of this one believes that these brothers in Spain have taken the name Illuminez." The author explains how, according to him, the R signifies 'Osee (dew) and not "rose": The dew (which is the most powerful dissolvent of gold among natural bodies and non-corrosive) is no other than this light dissolved and made corporeal: boiled by the art for a convenient time, in its own vessel, it is the true menstruum of the Red Dragon, that is of gold, the true matter of the philosophers. And this society has wanted to confer on posterity in its name marks that cannot be effaced by time and are to be kept by the brothers of boiled dew. Clearly, Renaudot's text is the source for later mentions of Fratres Roris Cocti.
In 1691 a French text, Les Oeuvres du Cosmopolite ... , was printed that showed that Sendivogius had introduced Neptune, the god of the sea, when designing a sign and seal for a secret alchemical society of unknown philosophers: "la Hieroglyphe de la Societe des Philosophes Inconnus," a stylized trident. 50 Five years earlier, Barent Co enders van Helpen had anonymously published a similar tacit reference to Sendivogius in his Escalier des Sages (Groningen, 1686), illustrated by Hermes and the three brothers Jupiter, Hades, and Neptune. The trident of the river god is visible among them. To the picture is added the text "Ars Laboriosa Convertens Humiditate Ignea Metalla In Aurum -ALCHIMIA-"The laborious art converts through fiery humidity metals into gold". (Lennep, Alchimie, pp. 237ff.)
Prinke argues that the Society of Unknown Philosophers used the trident as their symbol and mark and was parallel to or identical with the Rosicrucians, now in a second generation. Thus it should not surprise us that Haselmayer uses the K'tonas topped by a star for vitriol in his manuscript presented in Italy in 1616 as Novum lumen physico-chemicum. Clearly, Haselmayer's choice of title is a reference to Sendivogius' notorious text on sal niter, Novum lumen chemicum. The sal niter theory is, as we have seen, further attached to the first edition of the Rosicrucian Conftssio fraternitatis RC as it was bound with Philippus a Gabella's Consideratio brevis, on more secret philosophy. Finally, in 1623, Haselmayer's Character Cabalisticuswas published with a Monas topped, as we now can see on the cover of Gilly's book, by a circle with a vertical diagonal for saltpeter or niter, and above that a trident. (Reproduced in Gilly, Aclam Haselmayer, p. 18. )
First published Paris 1668, following its re-print in 1701, a book, Rares experiences sur l'Esprit Mineral was attributed to a Mr. Respour, who can be identified as the alchemist Daniel Schwanter, known for his use of zinc in the alchemical process. Nearly the whole edition however, was bought and burned "by the philosophers and by Ie Duc D'Orleans." (Preface to 1:123a of Gustaf Bonde's manuscript copy of Respour, Rares experiences, Safstaholmsamlingen, Riksarkivet, Stockholm).
In the index, Respour refers to the hieroglyph of the Rosicrucians and explains that when sal niter and vitriol is heated and cooled down a crystal is formed: "this redness surrounded by admirable greenery is reminiscent of the rose surrounded by its leaves and thorns." He goes on to comment on the green fat oil (pinguedine): "this rose ... is the symbol and hieroglyph of the company of the rosicrucians, its oil is more precious than all oils of the world." (Gustav Bonde's manuscript of Respour, Rares experiences, fos. 45, 72-3)
Thus the vitriolic niter crystallizes as a rose surrounded by green leaves, a salt that makes volatile all fixed elements and fixes alr volatile elements.(Ibid., fo.45). The rose of Respour's process is described in many other alchemical texts as a crystallized vitriolic star and is often called the" star regulus." A paragraph of Sendivogius' Novum lumen chemicum reads: There is no rose..found without thorns. As the central sun has its sea and crude perceptible water, so the celestial sun has its sea of subtle and imperceptible water (the atmosphere). On the surface of the earth the two kinds of rays meet and produce flowers and all things. Then rain receives its ~ force out of the air, and unites it to that of the saltpetre of the earth. For the saltpetre of the earth is like calcined tartar, and by its dryness, attracts air to itself - which air it dissolves into water. For this saltpetre itself was once air, and has become joined to the fatness a/the earth. The more abundantly the rays of the sun descend, the greater is the quantity of saltpetre generated, and so also is the harvest on earth increased. All this does experience daily teach.
Echoes of Sendivogius' text are found in Philipp us a Gabella's reasoning that When our Mercury is joined with either magnesia or lunaria it is more correctly known as "aqua sicca" (dry water). This does not wet the hands and when placed near a fire it flees like a runaway slave ... At times it appears in the form of dew, at times like heavenly rain, sometimes even like snow, hail, hoar frost or a cloud, as if it were dressed in a cloak. This transformation can be seen everywhere: however it comes about, whether in metals, animals or vegetable matter, it is essential for the appearance of the mercury so that the work can be brought to a conclusion.
The art of treating dew as a "spiritual fertilizer" was often held as established after 1639 and as the inner meaning of Rosicrucianism. This view of the experiments with dew appears to have been fully formed first after the critical debate on Robert Fludd's Spiritus mundi in Paris. However, the Old Testament theory of celestial water and its influx has a long esoteric history that needs to be further examined. Frances Yates pointed out that the focus on dew also is displayed in the Christian kabbalist text by Francesco Giorgi, De harmonia mundi (Venice, 1525). Yet Isaac's blessing of Jacob is mentioned there only in passing. The quickening effects of dew, however, also underlie a work by the Christian kabbalist Paulus Riccius, De caelesti agricultura ("On Celestial Agriculture," 1514).
From Gold- und Rosencreutz to Occult Revival
As adepts of the philosophia perennis, the ‘Gold- und Rosencreutz’ Rosicrucians, considered themselves heirs to a gnosis transmitted by the angels to one of Noah's descendents, who had not participated in building the Tower of Babel; and Abraham had benefited from a supernatural knowledge subsequently cultivated by Nazarean Magi. Moses had been initiated in Egypt, and the tradition had been nurtured by the great biblical prophets, the adepts of the Eleusinian mysteries, the Pythagoreans, the Druids and the Bards. In Egypt, where St Mark preached the Gospel, an Alexandrine priest named Ormus had been baptized in the year 46 together with six other adepts. His name was a deformation of Ormazd, the god of light and goodness, who had revealed the mysteries of Mazdaism to the great prophet Zoroaster. Still according to the same legend, Ormus, once converted to Christianity, had founded the Society of the Sages of Light, whose symbol was a gold and red cross. Its members, established in Palestine, had left the country in 111 8 after the defeat of the Crusaders and had spread all over the world. Three of them had created in Scotland "The Scottish Order of the 'Builders of the East''', as a foundation for their confraternity. Ramon Lull had been one of its directors, and King Edward I one of its members…
The development of the Gold- und Rosenkreuzer of the Ancient System was impressive. Societies had been created in Silesia, Upper Lusatia, Marburg, Ratisbonne, and Leipzig. Vienna was an important center of Rosicrucian influence for all of Austria, Hungary, Bavaria, Wurtemberg and Poland. The Grand Master of the Masons of Austria, prince von Dietrichstein (1728-1808), was himself received into that Order. In Vienna, I.R. von Bischoffswerder, an officer in the service of prince Charles de Saxe, keenly interested in the occult sciences, was accepted into a Rosicrucian circle in 1777. He then went to Leipzig, and next to Wiesbaden, and entered into relations with ].c. Wollner (17321800); this former pastor who had become a Freemason was thirsty for supernatural knowledge, and had been accepted into the Rosicrucian circle of Berlin in 1779. These two characters have been mainly responsible for a rapid development of the administration of the Golden Rosicrucians of the Ancient System: by the end of 1779, it already included twenty-six Rosicrucian circles, distributed over various German cities. In Berlin, Bischoffswerder managed to gain the trust and collaboration of Prince Frederick William (17441797), heir presumptive of Frederick II of Prussia. He succeeded in curing the prince of an illness by means of a secret remedy, and did not hesitate (with the support of Wollner and the prince's mistress) to dupe him by using the services of a false Viennese magician named Steinert. No Rosicrucian Orders in the 19th and 20th century however could even rightly claim a direct connection to 17th century counterparts.
Some of the oldest revivals where the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, and two American offsprings, the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis and the Societas Rosicruciana in America (both still in existence, but with a very limited constituency).
In France, small Rosicrucian bodies were active in Toulouse from the first decades of the 19th century, gathering around Viscount Louis-CharlesEdouard de Lapasse (1792-1867). A larger and particularly significant organization was the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose Cross, founded in Paris in 1887 by Stanislas de Guaita (1861-1897), Papus (Gerard Encausse, 1865-1916), and Josephin Peladan (1858-1918). The latter, an eccentric poet and very independent Roman Catholic, broke with the Kabbalistic Order in 1890 to create the rival Catholic Order of the Rosy Cross of Temple and Grail. The two Orders fought bitterly, and an amused press dubbed the controversy the "war of the two roses". Peladan’s organization never had many members, but it did exert considerable influence on French literature, art, and music at the time. More significant for the first modern Rosicrucian generation was the Kabbalistie Order, although it is difficult to distinguish it from several other occult organizations also headed by Papus. Heirs of Papus' Rosicrucianism did, however, attend the 1934 foundation meeting of FUDOSI (Universal Federation of Orders and Society of Initiation), which would continue to exist until 1951.
From Europe to A.M.O.R.C.
Dissatisfied with FUDOSI, other Rosicrucian organizations joined several different Orders into the rival federation known as FUDOFSI. This European controversy was a consequence of the rivalry in the United States between two American Rosicrucian Orders, the Fraternitas Rosae Crucis established by Reuben Swinburne Clymer (1878-1966) on the basis (inter alia) of the occult doctrines of Pascal Beverly Randolph (1825-1875), and AMORC. Although there are several other Rosicrucian organizations, we will deal with three in particular, which have reached international dimensions: the Rosicrucian Fellowship, the Lectorium Rosicrucianum, and AMORC.
Carl Louis von Grasshoff (1865-1919) was born in Denmark into a German aristocratic family. He spent his early manhood wandering the seas as a merchant ship captain, and settled first in New York (where he worked as an engineer), then in Los Angeles (1903). In the meantime, he had joined the Theosophical Society, and in 1907 decided to travel to Germany, where he met -+ Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), the later founder of Anthroposophy and at that time a leader of the German Theosophical Society. Grasshoff later claimed to have met a mysterious "Elder Brother of the Rose Cross", who took him to a secret temple on the border between Germany and Bohemia. After his return to California, Grasshoff published in 1909 his magnum opus, The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, under the pseudonym of Max Heindel; and in 1910 he married a well-known astrologer, Augusta Foss (1865-1949). Between 1910-1918, Heindel went on to publish several works on astrology, Freemasonry, and esoteric ism in general. He launched a Rosicrucian Fellowship in 1909, which was officially incorporated in 1911. He also supervised the construction of the Fellowship's international headquarters in Oceanside (California), including a temple and beautiful gardens.
After Heindel's death in 1919, his wife Augusta continued the Fellowship's expansion into several foreign countries, with a membership of thousands. Unlike other Rosicrucian organizations, the Fellowship had, since its very beginning, a clearly religious orientation, as evident from the fact that its practices included rituals for weddings and funerals, as well as spiritual healing services. While astrology remains an important part of the Fellowship's teachings even today, the influence of Theosophy and Anthroposophy is also apparent. It teaches karma (the "Law of Consequence"), reincarnation (the "Law of Rebirth"), and believes in a succession of (theosophical) "root races" on Earth. Heindel also offered an occult interpretation of the United States' role in history. The Fellowship promotes vegetarianism, and warns against the evil effects of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. Alcohol, it teaches, had an occult purpose within the framework of the descent of the human spirit into matter: it was used to enable humans to forget their higher selves in the fifth, or "Aryan", epoch. In preparing for the coming Aquarian Age, humans should regain knowledge of their higher selves, however, and consumption of all forms of alcohol is therefore rejected.
The Lectorium Rosicrucianum, or the International School of the Golden Rosy Cross, was founded by jlln Leene (1896-1968) and his brother Zwier Wilhelm Leene (1892-1938), both leaders of the Rosicrucian Fellowship in the Netherlands. Although the events leading to the Lectorium's foundation date back to August 24, 1924, it was not until 1935 that the Leenes and Ms. Henny Stok-Huyser (1902-1990), who had joined them in 1930, formally declared their independence from the Fellowship and established a Rosicrucian Society of their own (Rozekruisers Genootschap, whose name was changed to Order of the Manicheans in 1936). After Z.W. Leene's death in 1938, Jan Leene and Ms. Stok-Huyser, under the respective pen names of Jan van Rijckenborgh and Catharose de Petri, started writing several books about their teachings, which took the shape of a kind of Christian gnosticism influenced by hermetism, 17th century Rosicrucianism, and Jacob Boehme (1575-1624).
Following the nazi invasion of the Netherlands, the movement was proscribed, its property confiscated, and several members executed. It continued its activities underground throughout the war years, however, and in 1945 the movement was reorganized and resurfaced under the name of Lectorium Rosicrucianum. In 1948, the two founders met Antonin Gadal (1871-1962), one of the founding fathers of modern neo-Catharism, who in 1957 would become the first President of the French branch of the Lectorium. It was after the founders' deaths that the Lectorium, led by an International Spiritual Directorate, became a truly international movement, with currently some 15.000 "members" and "pupils". "Members" of the school are those not yet prepared to "live" the teachings, and are distinguished from "pupils" who meet regularly for services in the temples that the Lectorium has established in a number of countries. Pupils are expected to practice a healthy life style, abstain from alcohol and drugs, reject all occult practices and any form of communication with the dead, and remain wary of the dangers of being unduly influenced by the media (particularly television). Important references in understanding the Lectorium's ideas are Gnosticism and Catharism, as well as its efforts to reconcile its teachings with those of 17th century Rosicrucianism (which, unlike the former, was not dualistic).
AMORC, the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis, insists that it is not a religion, and that it includes members ("students") from several different religious backgrounds. AMORC was founded in 1915 by Harvey Spencer Lewis (1883-1939), a New York advertising agent who had been among the founders of the New York Society of Psychical Research. Lewis regarded the Wissahickon (Pennsylvania) community founded in 1694 by Johannes Kelpius (1673-1708) as the first American Rosicrucian experiment, claiming that some of his ancestors had been involved in it. In 1909 Lewis visited France, and reported that he had been initiated into the Rosy Cross in an "old tower" in Toulouse. The first national AMORC conference was held in Pittsburgh in 1917; the Order later moved to San Francisco, Tampa (Florida), and (in 1927) to San Jose, California, where its world headquarters (including a temple, museum, library, and planetarium) have become one of the city's main tourist attractions. After AMORC's success in the United States, several more or less independent AMORCs were established in Europe. Some of them later went their separate ways (such as AAORRAC, the Antiquus Arcanus Ordo Rosae Rubae Aureae Crucis, led by Eduard Munninger, 1901-1965), but Lewis, working jointly with Jeanne Guesdon (1884-1955), was able to keep the large French-speaking branch within the main fold. He was succeeded as leader ("Imperator") of AMORC by his son, Ralph Maxwell Lewis (1904-1987).
When Ralph died, Gary L. Stewart, despite being only 34 years old, was elected Imperator with the support of Raymond Bernard, the powerful leader of the French-speaking branch. Stewart was soon in conflict with the Board of Directors, however, and in 1990 was replaced by Raymond Bernard's son, Christian. After the 1990 crisis, two of Stewart's supporters, Paul Walden and Ashley McFadden, established the Ancient Rosae Crucis (ARC), while Stewart himself founded a Confraternity of the Rose Cross. The elder Bernard, in turn, distanced himself from AMORC and established a variety of separate organizations including CIRCES (International Committee for Charitable and Social Works), recently presented as the humanitarian branch of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Initiation, a neo- Templar organization Bernard, had created while still a leader of AMORC. It is fair to say, however, that AMORC remains, by far, the largest international Rosicrucian organization, with hundreds of thousands of members (the figure of "six millions", often quoted, refers to the Order's mailing list).
Most AMORC members enrol in correspondence courses and follow the instructions included in the Order's "monographs". For the first nine degrees, initiations may be self-conferred at home (although they may also be received in a temple). For the tenth, eleventh and twelfth degrees, there are no initiations because the member at this stage is advanced enough to establish a direct contact with the occult hierarchy. Before entering the nine degrees, each student goes through five introductory lessons and three "Atria" as a neophyte, learning inter alia the structure of matter, the power of thought, Rosicrucian healing treatments, karma and reincarnation. Additional information about these and other esoteric themes is offered during the course of the nine degrees process, usually completed in five or six years. Beyond the ninth degree, secret teachings include mystical techniques of concentration, meditation, visualization, and spiritual -+ alchemy. AMORC teaches that, ideally, humans should reincarnate every 144 years (or live to the age of 144 years, then die and reincarnate immediately). The students' aim, rather than escape in the cycle of reincarnations, is to be received into the Great Wide Brotherhood through a "cosmic initiation". AMORC insists that it is the heir of a tradition dating right back to ancient Egypt and Pharaoh Tutmosis III (t 1450 B.C.). Documents confirming this, it is claimed, exist in the San Jose archives. Other teachings concern Jesus Christ, who is regarded as a member of the Essene Brotherhood who did not die on the cross but was saved from it and retired to a monastery on Mount Carmel. Astrology, occult anatomy, and the study of the esoteric meaning of numbers Number Symbolism], sounds and geometrical shapes complete AMORC's teachings. Controversies notwithstanding, AMORC maintains a very visible presence, thanks to its temples, publishing houses, and magazines in several countries.
Beyond the three largest organizations, several dozens of smaller Rosicrucian bodies are also active throughout the world. One of the most significant is the Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua (FRA), established in the 1920s in Latin America by Arnoldo Krumm-Heller (1879-1949). A onetime associate of Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), Krumm-Heller was able to build the largest Spanish-speaking Rosicrucian organization, with teachings drawn from Freemasonry, Theosophy, MId several different systems of sex magic. FRA split into a number of competing branches after Krumm-Heller's death in 1949, none of them as large as the parent organization had been before World War II. FRA and Krumm-Heller are important, however, for their role in the formation of the Gnostic Movement and the Gnostic Church founded in the 1950s in Mexico by Samael Aun Weor (Victor Manuel Gomez Rodriguez, 1917-1977), a Colombian FRA member and a pupil of Krumm-Heller. Although divided, in turn, into several dozens of rival groups after Weor's death, the Gnostic Movement founded by the Colombian esotericist still maintains teachings and features of Krumm-Heller's FRA. Combined membership of its branches runs in the tens of thousands, and (although not "purely" Rosicrucian) Weor's movement should probably be included, along with the Rosicrucian Fellowship, AMORC and the Lectorium Rosicrucianum, as being among the largest international bodies still claiming some sort of Rosicrucian heritage in the 21st century.
A sampling of 'initiatic' Rosicrucian Orders today include among others: Rosicrucian Fellowship (RF) was founded by the Dane Carl Louis von Grasshof (Max Heindel) around 1909-1912. RF is said to be "inspired" by the Rosicrucians; hence the name "fellowship". Heindel dreamed up a story about a secret initiation into the R+C brotherhood, but have later admitted that the movement never had any genuin connection to the original R+C brethren. The teachings of the fellowship is mainly based on the writings of Heindel, which is influenced by his early studies of Theosophy, and especially Antrosophy as a former pupil of Dr. Rudolph Steiner. The socalled Rosicrucian tables of houses & ephimerides», are a product of this movement, and Astrology is part of their teachings. RF does not work in lodges, but in churches.
Lectorium Rosicrucianum (LR) was founded in Holland in 1924 by Jan van Rijckenborgh (a former student of Heindel), and is one of the most recent neo-rosicrucian movements. Nevertheless they claim to be the only true R+C group, something which is characteristic for their relatively extreme viewpoints in general. They postulate a gnostic and pagan tradition, and their teachings may be defined as religious and christian. LR demands total commitment from their members, and membership in other orders are forbidden.
Order of the temple of the Rosy Cross (OTRC) was founded in London, 1912, by Mrs. Annie Besant, Mrs. Marie Russak (Hotchener) and Mr. Wedgwood (it even got a Norwegian branch in 1914). They worked with transcendental cermonial magic, and claimed to be representing Templarism as well as R+C (which they regarded as very related). Cultural activities was also part of the order. OTRC consisted mainly of Theosophists and Co-Masons (Le Droit Humaine), but did not survive long and eventually got dissolved in 1918.
Corona Fellowship of Rosicrucians was founded when the OTRC was closed down, by some of the members of the OTRC. One of these members was a certain «Frater Aurelius». The founder of the modern witch movement called Wicca, Mr. Gerald Gardner, was also member of this "co-masonic rosicrucianism". Little is known by the further fate of this movement, but it seems that it did not survive WW2.
Fraternitas Rosea Crucis (FRC) was founded in 1912 by Reuben Swinburne Clymer. He claimed to be representing the movement originally founded by Pascal Beverly Randolph in 1856. The latter was initiated into the SRIA in 1868, and seems to have held a previous membership from 1840 in the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light/Luxor. However, Randolph admitted in his books that he personally had his "Rosicrucianism" from the visions & inspiration of his heart & mind. This therefore makes all Clymers claims of representing the original R+C brethren invalid. Clymer devoted much efforts and work to slander and attack Dr. H. S. Lewis of AMORC, which he evidently regarded as an enemy. In order to succeed in his conspirating task, he co-operated with some other well-known esotericists of that time. After Clymers death, his son took over as head of the FRC.
Rosicruciana in Anglia
(SRIA) founded around 1860 by the freemason R.W. Little. He claimed to have
encountered some 'Rosicrucian documents' deriving from the authentic august
order, but nevertheless the SRIA remained nothing but a designed alternative
for Freemasons. Many well-known individuals of the 19th cent. held membership
in this society; John Yarker, P.B. Randolph, E. Bulwer-Lytton, Dr. Wynn
Westcott, A.L.Constante (Eliphas Levi), Theodor Reuss, Kenneth Mackenzie,
Frederick Hockley, etc, etc. The SRIA was originally nothing but a study group,
and did not work with rituals. It did spread abroad, for instance they got a
body in Canada, under the British jurisdiction, with the name Societas
Rosicruciana in Canadiensis. Likewise, in Pennsylvania, a charter was given in
1879 to establish the Societas Rosicruciana in U.S.A. A bit later, the Canadian
branch chartered the Mason Albert Pike, to run a branch in the USA, unaware of
the previously existing branch deriving from the U.K. These two efforts of
operating the SRIA in USA, was not very successfull at the time, and it appers
that one of them gradually went into sleep, while the other one still exists
Societas Rosicruciana Civitatibus Foederatis (SRCF) is a masonic "Rosicrucian" organisation, founded in Pennsylvania in 1879, only open to Master Masons. Many members of the american S.R.I.A. joined it, especially after the schisms in that group. It have worked in accordance to the original constitution, and still exists. In 1980 it had a total of only 773 members.
Societas Rosicruciana in America (SRIA) is the name of yet another SRIA offspring. A third group of masons was very eagerly to maintain an American body of the SRIA, so they eventually got chartered in Philadelphia, and later it spread throughout the states. After some years in function as a literary society with banquets, this American branch named SRIA in America, reformed and reoganized their body in 1889, and renaming it to the Societas Rosicruciana in the United States of America (SRIUS). Unfortunately, also this society had problems with surviving. However, in the Boston body, a certain Sylvester Gould was initiated into the society. He was a very productive member, publishing magazines, and studying the old R+C tradition. Eventually, with the dream of transforming the SRIUS into a representative of the true R+C order, he contacted the authentic brethren in Europe in 1909. But alas, he also died that year, hence his project died with him. Some of his followers, continued the society, and restructured it in 1912 and 1919 under the old name Societas Rosicruciana in America. One of their leaders was Mr. George Plummer, the author of many esoteric books under the pseudonym Frater Khei. Then, in 1916, they started admitting women to their ranks, hence lost their original status. They were neither recognized nor sponsored by the english motherlodge, or by any other masonic organization. They also worked differently than the other SRIA, introducing new rituals and study material. After this schism it became fully independent and is today in the rare situation of being headed by a female, an 85 year old Imperatrix.
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (GD) was founded in 1888 by Masons and members of the S.R.I.A. Their heritage was that of the Fratres Lucis (FL) / the Asiatic Brethren / HBL. The Rosicrucian contact was allegedly made through a mystical German Adept; Mrs. Anna Sprengel. HOGD was headed by MacGregor Mathers, William Robert Woodman & Wynn Westcott, and they were also initiates of the SRIA. This order (and its descended lineages) had members such as Dion Fortune, Paul Foster Case, Aleister Crowley, William Butler Yeats, Bram Stoker, Revd. V.A. Ayton, F.L. Gardner, Francis Israel Regardie, Mina Bergson, August Strindberg, Rider Haggard, R.F. Felkin, and many more. The Golden Dawn did not survive as an order, but several branches continued to operate as independent bodies after the order was dissolved around 1903. One of their Rosicrucian descendants are the Rosæ Rubeæ & Aureæ Crucis (RR+AC), which was originally the name of «the inner order» of the Golden Dawn. It is, however, not identical to the Ordo Rosea Rube & Aurea Crucis which is a very small independent order, mainly located in northern Europe. The influence that work & people of the HOGD have had on modern magic and esoteric orders can not be underestimated, and the whole phenomenon have become a legend resulting in dozens of books written about it.
Builders of the Adytum (BOTA) was founded by Paul Foster Case, after he had been expelled from a Golden Dawn lodge, allegedly because he was publishing some of their trade-secret materials. Case was of the opinion that one becomes a Rosicrucian, not 'join' them, and that his order (and others) consequently only can be a vehicle for the labours of the individual students, on their path to such a goal. He also made the similar point that there may be some 'true' Rosicrucians in any order as well as outside every order. Nonetheless, he claimed to be in touch with the 'invisible R+C masters', hence legitimizing the R+C aspect of this hermetic order. Besides from qbl, BOTA is also known to work with Tarot, and the «BOTA-deck» is relatively well-known and popular.
Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) defined itself as Rosicrucian, especially during the reign of Reuss. The order was originally founded by Carl Kellner, Heinrich Klein & Franz Hartmann in 1895. Theodor Reuss succeeded Kellner as chief in 1902, and it became at this point a really operating order. Reuss energic efforts caused it to spread throughout Europe and eventually branches in the USA was established. OTO postulated that it consisted of a large number of esoteric tradtitions (Templar, Martinist, R+C, AASR, M-M, Illuminati, etc, etc), hence the R+C aspect was not the dominating one. As the name indicates, OTO is a heir to the tradition of the Knight Templars. The order have experienced tremendously many schisms throughout the years, and today there are many groups claiming to be representing the genuin lineage of the order. The most well-known modern branch, is the Thelemic organization located in California operating internationally under the name OTO.
Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua (FRA) was founded by the German esotericist Arnoldo Krumm-Heller, at first in Latin-America (where he had arrived at the age of 16), but eventually with branches all over the world (allthough mainly in the latino-speaking countries). The roots of the FRA are obscure, but interesting. Krumm-Heller may have had a lineage to the HBL/FL. Anyhow, he was in contact with several other orders, as the OTO, OMM, AMORC & FRC. His most important co-operator was Theodor Reuss, Grand Master of the OTO. After the death of Reuss, Crowley seems to have had some influence on Dr. Krumm-Heller. It is also claimed that Spencer Lewis at one time was chartered by the latter. A brief period, even R.S. Clymer joined forces with K-H. After his death, he was succeeded as Grand Master of the order, by his son, Parsival Krumm-Heller, which settled in Austria.
Collegium Pansophicum (CP) was founded by the Heinrich Tranker in 1923. HT was the head of the German branch of the OTO. He regarded himself as the true successor of Theodor Reuss instead of Crowley. CP claimed to be the only order containing the true secrets of the old R+C brethren, but it did not stop them from co-operating with AMORC at least until 1931. Together with Spencer Lewis, Traenker issued a so-called «Second Fama», announcing the presence of the R+C. Fraternitas Saturni was founded by displeased CP members and was headed by Albin Grau. FS did not accept Crowley as the heir of Reuss either, but they nevertheless symphatized with the philosophy of Thelema. Both the orders are still in existance.
Ordre Kabbalistique de la Rose Croix (the Cabalistic order of the Rosy Cross) (KRC) was founded in Paris 1888, with Count Stanislas de Guaita as the first Grand Master. It had a council of 12 members, six of them being unknown so the Order could be resurrected in case of decay. There have been much speculation on what lineage this Order had, and both Levi & Bulwer-Lytton have been mentioned as a link to the past. The KRC attracted the leading European occultists of the time, including people like Paul Adam, F. Jollivet-Castelot, August Reichel, Abbeè Alta (Melingè), Francois Barlet, Marc Haven, Victor Blanchard, Spencer Lewis, Lucien Chamuel, Sedir (Yvon Le Loup), Pierre Augustin Chaboseau, and several other well-known figures. The order teached qbl and the opus magnum, as well as working ritualisticly. It worked with 3 degrees, and one secret fourth degree. It was closly attached to the Martinist Order (of Papus). The Grand Masters of the order succeeding de Guaita was:Francois Charles Barlet-> Gerard Encausse (Papus)-> Charles Detre (Teder)-> Lucien Mauchel (Chamuel)-> Victor Blanchard-> Pierre Augustin Chaboseau-> Georges Lagreze-> Robert Ambelain...
there was a paralell line of succession, due to a schism:
Francois Charles Barlet- Gerard Encausse (Papus)- Charles Detre (Teder)- Joanny Bricaud- Constant Chevillon (killed by Vichy terrorists in 1944)- Charles-Henry Dupont- Phillipe Encausse...It is interesting to notice that Chaboseau made AMORCs Imperator, Dr. Ralph. M. Lewis, a member of the Supreme Council of KRC. KRC was also one of the participators in the F.U.D.O.S.I., and the order continued to operate independent after its dissolution. It does still exist, and co-operates in some degree with the Order of the Rites of Memphis-Mizraim and the Martinist Order (of Paris). It seems also that the order eventually was reunited. At least i understand that the current GM of KRC, mr. Gerard Klobbel, hold both lineages. Klobbel succeded Ambelain, and Ron Capello is the head for the American section.
Order of the Temple & the Graal and of the Catholic Order of the Rose-Croix (l'Ordre de la Rose Croix Catholique, du Temple et du Graal) (CRC) (catholic, as in universal) was established by Josephine Peladan in 1890. Peladan had been initiated into the remains of an obscure order, generally refered to as the «Toulouse R+C Order», apperantly identical to the Order that both his elder brother, Adrian Peladan, was initiated into in 1858, and Dr. Harvey Spencer Lewis in 1909. Peladan now claimed that the order was as good as dormant (which might not have been the case), and that it was he who now continued that lineage. The foundation of CRC enraged de Guaita & co. and a shcism resulted from this. Most of the members of KRC was loyal to Guaita and stuck with the order. CRC was not only a place for esoteric training, but was also concerned with activities involving science, culture, music, drama & the arts. Peladan frequented many famous musicians and artists (like Gustave Moreau, Fèlicien Rops, Georges Rouault and Erik Satie), and was also regarded as quite an eccentric. After Peladan's death in 1916, the KRC was fundamentally reorganized by some of his disciples, as well as by some other Rosicrucians. (see ORA)
Ordo Rosea Aureae (ORA) descends originally from the order of Peladan. The successor of Peladan, Emille Dantinne (Sar Hieronymous) reformed the CRC together with his kindreds (for instance assisted by some members of KRC), and became its new Imperator. The CRC was renamed: R+C Universitaire (9 degrees), R+C Universalis (3 degrees) and R+C Interioure (the inner order). Beyond the latter was the «Celestianl R+C» which was only reserved to a very few, notably those who attained such heights of illumination. The deputy Imperator of RCU was Francois Soetewey, and Jean Mallinger (leader of the Belgian OMM, among else) also being one of its most important members. Jules Rochat of Abbaye was made the Imperator of the inner order. Dantinne resigned from his office as early as in 1952 (He died in 1969), replaced by the former German Grand Master of AMORC, mr. Martin Erler. Again the order was submitted to reorganizing, and got the name ORA in 1956. ORA also consists of the Pythagorean Order (OHMT). Both HSL and RML of AMORC, received their Imperator Initiation (the 13th degree of R+C, slightly analogue to the LI of Martinism) from Dantinne in Europe (the current AMORC imperator, have not received such a recognition yet). RCU had been one of the participants of FUDOSI, and ever since the dissolution of the latter in 1951, ORA have been operating very quiet and in small restricted groups. They obviously does not desire great attention.
Alchemical Rose-Croix Society (originally: Association Alchimique de France) was headed by the mysterious alchemist, writer & eccentric; Francois Jollivet-Castelot. The organization seems to have been reorganized in 1896. Some of the members are well-known characters; Gerard & Philippe Encause, H.E. Lalande, Charles Barlet, Paul Sedir, M.S. DeGuaita, Tabris, etc. At a time it seems that "The Société Alchimique de France" was a section of the Faculté des Sciences Hermetiques. FJC was also involved with other orders, such as AMORC, the Martinist Order, FUDOSI, KRC, OHMT, and more. Also, it is claimed that he was the head of the Parisean body of the «Toulouse R+C». FJC even founded an organization called the 'Non-Materialist Communist Union', as an alternative to the socialistic internationals dominated by atheists. August Reichel was FJC faithfull disciple, and the former was the Grand Master of a very interesting and obscure order called the Brotherhood of the Illumined Brethren of the Rose-Croix. FJC was also the brain behind a popular occult magazine which had been in existance since 1875, named "l'Hyperchimie". Sedir was the Chief Editor and Jollivet Castelot was the manager. From 1904 to 1914, the review was published under the name of "Nouveaux horizons de la Science et de la Pensee". In 1920, it eventually became "La Rose-Croix". This periodical, which was the Rosicrucian version of «L`initiation», declared the formation of the FUDOSI in 1934, and also published the «Fama Fraternitatis» of Lewis and FJC. FJCs alchymical society does not apper to have survived him, but many of his books explaining his occult and political work still exists, though not yet in English.
Rose-Croix de L'Orient (RCO) is the name of a very obscure movement, which have left few traces throughout history, but some brief references. It might be identical to August Reichel`s «Brotherhood of the Illumined Brethren of the Rose-Croix», but i have no knowledge about this, and are just speculating. Sar Ignatius, head of the R+C Martinist Order», informs me that the RCO have been in existance under Dr. E. Bertholet, the head of «Ordre Martinist & Synarchy» in Switzerland (many orders were flourishing around there from the period 1890-1940). The OM&S became dormant after Dr. Bertholet's death. His son-in law, Peter Genillard did not want to continue the OM&S work. He wanted to work only in the "Rose-Croix". The "Rose-Croix" in question was not just AMORC (he was a Grand Officer in the Swiss AMORC Grand Lodge), but the "Rose-Croix de L'Orient" (Rose-Cross of the East). RCO was never listed as part of the FUDOSI, but many of the occultists in FUDOSI is bound to have known about them (btw; one can speculate why Victor Blanchard was made R+C Imperator of the east/orient, in the FUDOSI? HSL was Imperator for America and SH was Imperator of Europe). This secret Order is also mentioned by Sar Aurifer (Robert Ambelain) in his Sacrementaire de la Rose-Croix, a collection of exorcisms and prayers. Tradition relates that it was this Order from whom Saint-Martin received a Rosicrucian Initiation. It may have descended from the Order of the "Asiatic Brethren", favourably described by A.E. Waite in his book, The Brotherhood of the Rosy-Cross_. Ambelain was allegedly the head of RCO, until his recent transition. In the USA, Ron cappelo (who also runs OMM, KRC and some more) are the GM of RCO.
Antiquus Arcanus Ordo Rosæ Rubæ Aureæ Crucis (AAORRAC) in Austria, which became, as the name indicates, a part of AMORC, although originally independent. It was lead by Eduard Munninger with headquarters in the legendary "Castle Kraempelstein". Munninger & Martin Erler was co-operating in the revival of R+C in Germany after the World War II. The roots of AAORRAC however, is questionable, as Munninger claimed connection with virtually every authority of that time (Franz Hartmann, Walter Heilman, Friedrich Lienhard , Anna Sprengel, Max Heindel, etc.) Munninger postulated to Clymer that he represented Krum-Heller in Austria, but the fact remains that Munninger was an AMORC member and actually operating under the jurisdiction of Martin Erler. Today the AAORRAC is led by Karl Plank who also once was an AMORC member. Among else, he applies the teachings of AMORC in the AAORRAC.
Antiquus Arcanus Ordinis Rosæ Rubea Aureea Crucis (later: Antique Mysticusque Ordo Rosæ Crucis - AMORC) was originally founded as the American branch of the European R+C Order, between 1909-1915. The Imperator, Dr. Harvey Spencer Lewis, claimed an initiation into the august order in 1909, but this relation have often been questioned by the critics. However, Lewis did manage to collect different small bodies throughout Europe and melt them into the American AMORC concept, especially after the World War II. Lewis also co-operated with several individuals & orders, as OTO under Reuss, Tranker's Pansophia, and later with the old authentic orders associated in the FUDOSI. Ralph Maxwell Lewis, succeeded his father HSL as Imperator and developed AMORC into the vast organisation they are today. After his death in 1987, Gry L. Stewart succeeded him, but after a few years during his reign, it all culminated into a big-time scandale, with mutual accusations of conspiracy and corruption. After this, Stewarts counterpart, the former French Grand Master Christian Bernard, have held the office as Imperator. Another former French Grand Master, mr. Raymond Bernard (father of Christian) created an order called CIRCES, focusing on the heritage of the Templars, Pythagorean Order & Melchizedec order. I have been led to believe that the material CIRCES works with, originally derives from the OHMT and other FUDOSI affiliated orders. Extremely many occultists (many which have been involved into other order later) have been involved in AMORC during their walk on the mystical path. But also a few celebreties have held membership, such as Walt Disney and Edith Piaff.
Ancient Rosae Crucis (ARC) was founded by people who left AMORC some years ago because of the "Stewart-affair". They originally asked Gary Stewart to become their Imperator, but due to internal disagreement he left the organisation and they now function under the leadership of their founder and Grand Master, Mrs. Ashley McFadden (the author/editor of the 'Rosicrucian Primer'). At the time being they are located mainly in the USA. Their teachings are based on AMORC monographies deriving from an earlier date than those used by the present AMORC. This order have no other initiatoric lineage than that of the original AMORC
ConFraternity Rosae Crucis (CR+C) which is an umbrella-organization containing several AMORC-offspring bodies, and headed by the former AMORC Imperator Gary L. Stewart. They work with old AMORC lessons and rituals, as well as some supplementary stuff. However they are connected to, and partly controlled by the OMCE, a templar order which also is lead by GLS. This order have no other initiatoric lineage than that of the original AMORC, but they do have the Imperator succession.
Elder Brothers of the Rose-Croix and the Church of the New Alliance (Les Freres
Aonos de la Rose-Croix)
(FARC) of which I have no certain knowledge. One source claims that they wish
to remain anonymous to the public and discreet in its activities. The alleged
formation of the FARC was in 1316 connected to the Templar myth. Without going
into the fantastic details, one can say that a some members emigrated to
Scotland and regrouped under a new banner and took the name of Frères Aînés de
la Rose-Croix (Elder Brothers of the Rose-Croix).
Akerman, Susanna, Rose Cross Over the Baltic: The Spread of Rosicrucianism in Northern Europe (Leiden: Brill, 1998). See note below.
Borrichius, Glaus, Conspectus scriptorum chemicorum illustrorum: cui praefixa historia vitae ipsius ipso conscripta (Havniae, 1697).
Comastri, Giovanni Batista, Specchio delia Verita - dedicata alIa Regina Cristina di Svezia, Venezia 1683. A cura di Anna Maria Partini (Rome: Edizione Mediterranee, 1989).
Edighoffer, Roland, "Rosicrucianism 1," in W outer Hanegraaff (ed.), Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism (Leiden: Brill, 2005), pp. 1009-14
Forshaw, Peter, "The Early Alchemical Reception of John Dee's Monas Hieroglyphica," Ambix 52 (November 2005), pp. 247-69.
Gabriele, Mino, II giardino di Hermes: Massimiliano Palombara alchimista e rosacroce nella Roma del Seicento (con la prima edizione del codice autografo della Bugia - I6S6) (Rome: Editrice Ianua, 1986).
Gilly, Carlos, Adam Haselmayer: Der erste Verkiinder der Manifeste der Rosenkreuzer (Amsterdam: In de Pelikaan, 1994). See note nr.2 below.
Cimelia Rhodostaurotica: Die Rosenkreutzer im Spiegel der zwischen I6IO und I660 enstandenen Handschrifte und Drucke (Amsterdam: In de Pelikaan, 1995).
Johann Valentin Andreae 1986-1986: Die Manifeste der Rosencreutzerbrüderschaft (Amsterdam: Katalog einer Ausstellung in der Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, 1986). (ed.), Rosenkreutz als europaisches Phanomen. (Amsterdam: In de Pelikaan, 2002)
While Akerman ‘s,The Rosicrucian Enlightenment in a way was a path braking book back in 2001, it contains a number of mistakes. To take on one example; on p. 181, Akerman comes to faulty conclusions by claiming a manuscript by the alchemist/antiquarian M. Maier, as evidence for the emergence of the Gold und Rosenkreutz (a Freemasonic offshoot, combining Masonic initiatory grades with alchemical lore and practice) as a "two-tiered Hermetic society" embroiled in sixteenth century French inter-confessional disputes.
This clearly went back however to a opinion in a book from 1910 by a certain Reverend Craven who in reference to a "Leiden manuscript" by M. Maier claim made by John Yarker in his Arcane Schools (1909) as a mistake, and speculates Yarker must have misunderstood his German source and ‘Leiden’ should probably read ‘Leipzig’. Thus the 'Rosicrucian' Leipzig manuscript myth has taken root in Freemasonic lore as evidenced by the work of Jean Bricaud, repeated in Naudon Les Origines de la Franc- Maconnerie. Le Metier et le Sacre (1991) the source of Akerman’s misjudgement in this case.
In fact the only possibility to clear this matter is by studying the original German source, and since there never was either such a Leipzig or Leiden manuscript, it also seemed therefore important to to also find the reason why a related claim was ever made to begin with.
Yarker's account of a `Leiden manuscript' in his Arcane Schools - which A.E.Waite already identified as a "tissue of inextricable reveries," - is based upon the testimony of Hans Heinrich von Ecker and Eckhoffen in his work of 1782, Der Rosenkreuzer in seiner Blosse (The Rosicrucian in his Nakedness). There the author, writing under the name of 'Magister Pianco', makes a disgruntled expose of the secrets of the "so-called True Freemasons, or Golden Rosicrucians of the Old System." Important in context of the ‘Priory of Sion" invention, the Gold- and Rosenkreutz was a Freemasonic offshoot, combining Masonic initiatory grades with alchemical lore and practice. Having been expelled from this group a year prior to his book's publication, and having founded his own rival grouping known as the `Asiatic Brethren', von Ecker and Eckhoffen attempts to portray the `Golden Rosicrucians' as puppets of the Jesuits. In the course of his polemic he refers to the manuscript of Michael Maier of Rensburg, "one of the most notorious of the Rosicrucians," to be found at the library of the University of Leiden. In this supposed manuscript Maier is purported to describe the reformation of the Rosicrucian Order in 1510, by which the teachings of the Books of Moses and the Book of Revelations were brought into accord with the instructions of the "old Magi." As a sign of their reformation, the Brethren decided to rename themselves "Brethren of the Golden Rose Cross, True Freemasons, and True and Sincere Friends and Kindred of the Golden Rose Cross."
That this history is a fabrication, is not only evidenced by the fact that there neither a Leiden or/and a Leipzig manuscript by Maier, but also by the fact that the term "Gold and Rosy Cross" does not appear in the literature until the second half of the seventeenth century, when it is mentioned in certain Italian documents; as a denomination in Germany it is fully established only with the appearance of Samuel Richter's Die Warhaffte and vollkommene Bereitung des Philosophischen Steins (1710).
There is no mention of a 'Gold and Rosy Cross' in the Rosicrucian apologetic works of Fludd, as Akerman asserts on p. 181 of her 1998 book nor does the allusion to "brothers of the Golden cross" made in the Aureum Seculum Redivivum (1625) of Adrian von Mynsicht suggest the existence of "a two-tiered Hermetic society" known as the Gold- and Rosenkreutz: whilst the term was probably suggested to Mynsicht by the Rosicrucian Order's appellation, he utilises fratres aureae crucis as an ornate but general means of addressing those amongst his readers who are affiliated with him by virtue of their alchemical proclivities.