Western Esotericism: A Concise History (SUNY Series in Western Esoteric Traditions)

By Antoine Faivre

Greatly obtained in France, this short, finished advent to Western esotericism by means of the founding father of the sphere is finally to be had in English. A ancient and pedagogical advisor, the publication is written basically for college students and newcomers. In transparent, targeted language, writer Antoine Faivre offers an summary of Western esoteric currents considering that overdue antiquity. the majority of the ebook is laid out chronologically, from old and medieval resources (Alexandrian hermetism, gnosticism, neoplatonism), throughout the Renaissance as much as the current time. Its assurance contains non secular alchemy, Jewish and Christian Kabbalah, Christian theosophy, Rosicrucianism, Illuminism, mystical Free-Masonry, the Occultist present, Theosophical and Anthroposophical Societies, the Traditionalist college, and esotericism in modern initiatic societies and in New non secular activities. Faivre explores how those currents are hooked up, and refers to the place they seem in paintings and literature. The e-book concludes with an annotated bibliography, which makes it a necessary source for novices and students alike."

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With this in brain, Ferdinand despatched out circulars to varied personalities (Joseph de Maistre, initiated into the RER, replied together with his well-known Mémoire of 1780). The conference met at Wilhelmsbad in July–August 1782. There, the parable of Templar filiation was once discarded, and the orientation represented through the RER turned an item of world attractiveness. This conference used to be a huge occasion of the period simply because we will see different types of Masons faced there. a few have been interested in a number of types of “esotericism”; others as a substitute staunchly adhered to the philosophy of the Enlightenment. lower than the identify “Martinism” (from the names of Saint-Martin and de Pasqually), the RER speedy won footing in Russia the place the Golden Rosy-Cross (infra, 2) had additionally penetrated and the place the masons Lopukhin (section I, three) and Nicolay Ivanovich Novikov stood out as of the main representatives of this orientation. sixty four ❖ WESTERN ESOTERICISM 2. different Masonic and Paramasonic structures allow us to distinguish among, at the one hand, the Christian Rites (of which SO and RER are part), of a medieval “chivalrous” kind, having the Holy Land, Jerusalem, as their “Orient” of reference; and, nonetheless, the quite neo-pagan or “Egyptian” Rites. among them, even though, the frontier was once fluid and, after all, an identical individual may seem at the same time in different of those Rites. An Order that known as itself “Rosicrucian,” constituted within the 1770s in Germany, accomplished the harmony of its inns or “Circles” in 1777 through naming itself the Gold- und Rosenkreutzer Älteren structures (Golden Rosicrucians of the traditional System), and by way of endowing itself with 9 grades very marked through alchemical symbolism. With the arrival (1786) of the recent King of Prussia Frederick William II, who had taken initiation into that Order, the latter entered into definitive dormancy with no need been for as a lot forbidden. Its editorial actions constituted a non-negligible point of construction of an esoteric kind on the finish of the century (cf. e. g. , the Geheime Figuren der Rosenkreuzer, 1785–1788, a suite of plates and texts that may frequently be reproduced and interpreted). Pernety (section II, 2) could have recognized Golden Rosicrucians in Berlin the place he discovered himself from 1767 to 1782 within the place of curator of the Royal Library of Frederick II. He left this urban in 1783, went to Avignon, verified now not faraway from there his (non-masonic) society referred to as the Illuminés d’Avignon, and engaged in oracular practices of interrogating a “Sainte Parole” (“Holy Word”), a type of hypostasis of the splendid Intelligence. The Polish staroste Thaddeus Leszczyc Grabianka, a member of this Society, created a dissident team during this urban, known as the recent Israel, whose head used to be Ottavio Cappelli, a gardener believed to be receiving communications from the archangel Raphael. The progressive upheaval scattered the Illuminés d’Avignon, of which many personalities of Europe have been half. allow us to cite 11 different initiatic societies of a Christian personality.

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