Some Reflections on Masonry and its Infiltration into Mainstream “Catholic” Thought and Teaching Today




While the topic is complex, involving impromptu  conversations  and subterfuges, there are traceable open encounters between Masonic lodges and Catholic orders, especially the Jesuits, once the praetorian guard of the Papacy and the vanguard of the counter reformation,  dating back to the late 19th century.  I shall, in this paper, attempt to highlight these encounters within their historical framework and show the nefarious results of this infiltration.  Before delving into the problem itself, however, I shall present a brief summary of Masonic history and thought. 


Freemasonry, a.k.a. “the Brotherhood” or “the Craft,” is a curious mixture of the medieval stonemasons’ guild and various underground speculative currents of esoteric and occult thought, much of which entered European thought during the High Renaissance and then blossomed throughout Europe in the late-17th and 18th centuries. The origins of Freemasonry are clouded by the vast number of legends put forward by the adherents of the various lodges. As historical fact, modern Freemasonry is generally acknowledged to have begun in 1717. At that time, various sectarian groups came together to found the Grand Lodge in London as the seat of “speculative,” rather than “operative” Freemasons, dedicated to the building of freely perfected men, rather than stone cathedrals.


According to Albert Mackey’s authoritative History of Freemasonry, (fig. 1) the roots of so-called “speculative” Grand Lodge masonry are to be found in the secretive movements that had existed for centuries in Europe parallel to the established order of Christendom. These include, among others, apocryphal stories from the Old Testament such as, The Legend of Solomon’s Temple, Druidic lore, Eleusian and Pythagorean mysteries, as well as the Jewish theosophical Kabbalah, Gnosticism, and Egyptian Hermetecism.[1]


Along with English Grand Lodge Masonry, with its “mystical” overtones, as described above, there also exists a distinct, but linked, European Grand Orient Masonry, based on the “Deist” or even, since the declarations of 1777, openly atheist philosophy of the French Enlightenment. Virtually all the precursors of the French Revolution, Rousseau, Voltaire, Diderot and Robespierre, were Grand Orient Masons. Generally speaking, the goal of the Grand Orient Lodges, following their precepts of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, and the Universal Brotherhood of Man, has been to promote the separation of Church and State, as achieved in France by the 1905 government proclamation of Laïcité. It also openly confronts, by espousing revolution and radical democracy, authoritarian secular regimes in general and the Roman Catholic Church, with its hierarchical structure of government with the infallible Pope at the top, in particular. This later view of Freemasons as secular revolutionaries promoting the atheistic materialism that culminated in the 1917 Bolshevik takeover of Russia has been and continues, in conservative circles, to be the overarching concern of the Church. It is, in fact, this overall concern with atheistic materialism, in both its communistic and capitalistic varieties, that has made the Church vulnerable to the wiles of “speculative” masonry, with its emphasis on “spiritual goals” and the perfectibility of man.


While there is no doubt that the atheistic revolutionary goals of Grand Orient Masonry have done tremendous damage and are to be deplored, and fought against tooth and nail, it is in the religion of the Grand Lodge, especially that of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and the “illuminated” branch of the Grand Orient, that the real danger lies.


According to the first authenticated documents of the “Speculative” Grand Lodge, The Book of Constitutions, written by the Scottish “dissenting” Presbyterian minister, James Anderson, published in 1723, “A Mason is obliged by his tenure to obey the moral law, and if he rightly understands the Art he will never be a stupid atheist, nor an irreligious libertine.” To better understand Anderson’s fine sounding words, however, he went on to clarify, “…In every country [a Mason must be] of the religion of that country.”[2] To fully grasp the meaning of the word “religion” in Masonic thought, however, one must dig beneath any Christian rhetoric on the surface and return to the very anti-Christian primitive and Gnostic sources as listed above.[3]


Masonic author Albert Pike (Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, 1859-1891) sets the record straight in his authoritative Morals and Dogma of Freemasonry. As Pike explains to the Apprentice Mason, “The pavement (of the Lodge), alternatively black and white, symbolizes the Good and Evil principles of the Egyptian and Persian creeds. It is the warfare between Michael[4] (fig. 2) and Satan, Light and Darkness, Freedom and Despotism, Religious Liberty and the Arbitrary Dogmas of a Church [Roman Catholic] that thinks for its votaries and whose Pontiff claims to be infallible.” [5] In the final chapter of this book, entitled “Prince of the Royal Secret,” Pike presents the resolution of this conflict: “The primary tradition of the single revelation has been preserved under the name of the Kabbalah.[6]…. The Evil is the Shadow of the Good and inseparable from it. The Divine Wisdom limits by equipoise the Omnipotence of the Divine Will or Power, and the result is Beauty or Harmony.”[7]


Ostensibly, the goal of Masonry is “to take good men and make them better.” In reality, however, the “secret” for the individual Freemason is to work out for himself the balance or harmony of good and evil in his own life to achieve his own “divine” perfection: “Man is a God in the Making.”[8] ( The promise of Lucifer to Eve in the Garden)

Collectively, the external goal of Masonry is to emancipate mankind from all tyranny and to rebuild “Eden,” without heed to the restrictive demands of the Creator and His established Church. The esoteric goal is to incorporate Lucifer (Satan) into the definition of the “Complete God” that includes both good and evil, or the fusion of opposites, the Gnostic Abraxas or Kabalistic Ayn Sof . [9] (Fig. 3)


The pre-Vatican II Church knew the pernicious character of Freemasonry and denounced it for what it was and is. According to the 1917 Code of Canon Law, article #2335, to belong to a Freemasonic Lodge was grounds for automatic excommunication Latae Sententiae (the act itself bringing the penalty without formal accusation). As explained by Pope Leo XIII:


The race of man, after its miserable fall from God, the Creator and the Giver of heavenly gifts, “through the envy of the devil,” separated into two diverse and opposite parts, of which the one steadfastly contends for truth and virtue, the other of those things which are contrary to virtue and to truth. The one is the kingdom of God on earth, namely, the true Church of Jesus Christ; and those who desire from their heart to be united with it, so as to gain salvation, must of necessity serve God and His only-begotten Son with their whole mind and with an entire will. The other is the kingdom of Satan, in whose possession and control are all whosoever follow the fatal example of their leader and of our first parents, those who refuse to obey the divine and eternal law, and who have many aims of their own in contempt of God, and many aims also against God..... At every period of time each has been in conflict with the other, with a variety and multiplicity of weapons and of warfare, although not always with equal ardor and assault. At this period, however, the partisans of evil seems to be combining together, and to be struggling with united vehemence, led on or assisted by that strongly organized and widespread association called the Freemasons.[10]


Given the unequivocal denunciation of Freemasonry by this Pope and all others from the 18th century up to Pius XII in the 20th, as well as the explicit prohibition under canon law, how could the tenets of the condemned Masonic “Brotherhood” infiltrate the Mystical Body of Christ? Perhaps the short answer is that, among the intelligentsia, prior to, during and following the French Revolution, an overly exuberant understanding of “the dignity of man” and the supremacy of “individual conscience”, based on the Masonic principles of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” began to erode the concept of obedience to authority and the hierarchical structure of the Church.


Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith, by James Billington, Librarian of Congress, Rhodes Scholar and Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Scholars of the Smithsonian Institute, is helpful in clarifying this paradigm shift. Billington begins by stating:


“The revolutionary faith was shaped not so much by the critical rationalism of the French Enlightenment [as is generally believed] as by the occultism and proto-romanticism of Germany. This faith was incubated in France during the revolutionary era within a small sub-culture of literary intellectuals who were immersed in journalism, fascinated by secret societies, and subsequently infatuated with “ideologies” as a secular surrogate for religious belief.”[11] “The flame of faith had begun its migrations a century earlier, when some European aristocrats transferred their lighted candles from Christian altars to Masonic lodges.”[12]


Billington reiterates this proposition in Chapter 4, entitled “The Occult Origins of Organization”:


“The modern revolutionary tradition … grew out of occult Freemasonry; the early organizational ideas originated more from Pythagorean mysticism than from practical experience; and … their real innovators were not so much political activists as literary intellectuals, on whom German romantic thought in general—and Bavarian Illuminism in particular—exerted great influence.”  [13]


These ideas affected the dissident clergy as well. Among them, Billington singles out the Abbé Fauchet, Abbé Cournand and the influential Père Felicité Lamennais, “who shed his Roman collar and went on to write his Book of the People in 1837


In fact, following the excesses of the Revolution, many turned their minds to establishing a new Utopian social order based on a vision or "religion" of  the future based on the "Liberty," "Equality" and "Fraternity" introduced by  the Grand Orient Lodges.  Count Henri de Saint-Simon ( considered  by some as the father of European Socialism) openly proposed in 1824, a "New Christanity" of "morality without metaphysics, and technology without theology." His thought went on to influence  Barthelemy Prosper Enfantin and his "Temple of Humanity" and the atheistic  philosopher Auguste Comte and his "Religion of Man." [14]


By the end of the 19th century, however,  the humanistic  "Religion of Man" took on the  spiritual overtones of occult Masonry in an attempt to subvert, rather than abolish the Catholic Faith. In his seminal work Mystère D’Inquité – Mysterium Iniquitratis, written more than forty years ago at the time of the Second Vatican Council, Pierre Virion opens with a quotation from Joseph Alexandre Saint-Yves d’Alveydre, acknowledged occultist, freemason, kabbalist, Martinist and magician, (See appendices below) who proposed the formation of a new syncretistic religion under the banner of an entirely new political order, which he called Divine Synarchie. In 1882, speaking to the Catholics of his day, he wrote:


Fear not, you may become the soul of moral liberty, and universal tolerance, momentarily losing your doctrines and discipline, only to resurrect greater, and more glorious, as well as more religious and social.…. If masonry admits without distinction all races religions beliefs with fraternal assistance to all, from the Prince of Wales to an Indian pariah, it is more Christian, more orthodox in the eyes of Jesus Christ, than you when you anathematize these.[15]


To demonstrate the length or breadth of religious tolerance to which the ecumenism of d’Alveydre would stretch, I submit a brief extract from a poem, cited by Pierre Virion, from La Muse Noire, written by d’Alveydre’s close friend and fellow Kabbalist, Stanislas de Guaita: (See Appendix below: Stanislas de Guaita)


“ … Quant à toi, Lucifer, astre tombé des cieux, Splendeur Intelligente aux ténèbres jetée, Ange qui portes haut la colère indoptée, Et gonfles tous les seins de cris séditieux, …. On y soufre, il est vrai; l’on jouit quand meme puisqu’on y peut bave sa bile, O Lucifer, Mon bourreau de demain, je t’honore, je t’aime.”


 (“… As for you Lucifer, star fallen from the sky, Intelligent Splendor thrown into darkness, Angel who holds on high untamed    rage, Breast  inflated with seditious cries,  One suffers there, it is true, One enjoys it just as well, as  there that one may slobber out ones bile, O Lucifer, my executioner of tomorrow, … I honor and love you.” [16])


An early apostle of d’Alveydre’s “divine synarchie,” friend of Stanislas de Guaita, and member along with him of the Ordre Kabbalistique de la Rose-Croix, the apostate Abbé Roca, wrote the following in his 1889 Centenaire Glorieux, a veritable “Summa” of the doctrines proposed by the esoteric Masonic initiates of the time:


The New Gospel, that of the social(ist) Christ-spirit is preached to the people of our times by thousands of voices more or less faithful to the inspiration arising from men’s hearts in these times of regeneration that have arrived. (p. 38)[17] …. That which wishes to overcome Christianity is not a pagoda [false idol], but a universal religion in which all religions will be included.” (p. 77) …A new Christianity, sublime … Wide and deep, truly universal, absolutely encyclopedic… that will make the fullness of heaven descend upon earth, to suppress all boundaries, local churches and ethnicities. (p. 123) …


This new Church, albeit without its scholastic discipline nor the rudimentary shape of the old Church, will receive, none the less, Canonical Jurisdiction.. (p. 453)…. “The Christ is humanity itself in principle, divine humanity conceived by the Father of life in the same internal act of procession by which he continually engenders the unique Son of God. In the son is contained the power to become, not only Universal Humanity, but also annexed to it all creation. ... (p.518) …The incarnation of the Word is nothing other than the injection of the Divine into the human.” (p.537) .…I believe that the divine cult and existing liturgy will pass….The Pontiff will then be content to glorify the work of the Christ Spirit by declaring urbi et orbi that the present civilization is the legitimate daughter of the Holy Gospel of social Redemption.” (p. III) “All the precepts of the Roman Church will soon undergo, in an Ecumenical Council, a transformation that will bring a return to the venerable simplicity of the apostolic age that will harmonize with the new state of conscience and modern civilization. … a solemn Baptism of modern Civilization.”[18]


These are clearly prophetic words from a practicing occultist who, along with de Guaita and fellow occultists Oswald Wirth and Gêrard Encausse (also known as “Papus”) and Louis Claude de Saint Martin, founder of Martinism,[19] attended the séances of Maria de Mariartegui (Lady Caithness) and Jules Benoît Doniel.   Doniel the founder of the 19th-century revival of the Gnostic Church was a librarian, a Grand Orient Freemason, an antiquarian and a practicing Spiritist. In his frequent attempts at communication with spirits, he was confronted with a recurring vision of Divine Femininity as well the “Eon Jesus” who in 1888 charged him with the work of establishing his new (Gnostic Catholic) church.[20] These contacts with “enlightened” initiates and the participation in their soirees might well be the source of the Abbé’s infernal perspicacity. While not explicitly mentioned by St. Pius X (who had previously excommunicated Abbé Roca) in the Encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis, Roca’s ecumenical views are clearly condemned: “Indeed Modernists do not deny, but actually maintain, some confusedly, others frankly, that all religions are true.”[21]


The question again comes back to how could these visions of the “New Church” of the “Divine Synarchie” infiltrate mainstream Catholicism and be proclaimed authentic “development of doctrine.” 


  By the end of the nineteenth century the plight of the “proletarian,” or working class, a byproduct of the industrial revolution, had become a legitimate concern of the Catholic Church as seen in the Social Encyclicals beginning with Rerum Novarum by Leo XIII  In 1891.   Following these directives, by 1910, in France, the workers movements had found a hero in the Abbé Lugan, an orthodox but socially-oriented priest, known for his saying, “You can’t preach to an empty stomach.” Abbé Lugan  who founded the Mouvemont des idees et faits to back what he believed to be the Church’s position on  social justice.  The Abbé Lugan   however, also collaborated intimately with Paul Vulliaud, an ostensible Catholic but secret Rosicrucian and Kabbalist:.[22] Here in the realm of social justice lies the incipient  birth of Catholic and Masonic collaboration.


As early as 1907, tentative interaction had been  established between high degree “speculative” or “spiritual” (those who believe in the immortality of the soul) Masons of both the Grand Lodge, as well as Grand Orient, and Catholic intellectuals led by Père Berteloot, S.J., and Père Desbuquois. S.J. , Director of Accion Populaire de Riems. By 1926, as reported in a 1928 article of the Frankfurter Zeitung, regular meetings were being held in Aix-La Chapelle dedicated to the rapprochement of the Catholic Church and Freemasonry, led by Fr. Gruber S.J. , and Fr. Mukerman S.J.[23]  The ostensible reason given for these exploratory meetings was to combat the rising influence of Communism and atheistic materialism. In the words of  Brother \ Curt Reichl, of the Austrian Grand Lodge, “Today, masonry conveys the desire to collaborate with the Church against the dangerous forces of the revolution which are now present in the radical parties, Anarchists, Nihilists, Bolsheviks.”[24]


Brother \ Brenier, president of the Grand Orient expressed an even more enthusiastic view: “For two centuries our most dangerous enemy was the Church; it appears now that she [the Church] recognizes that she was on the wrong road.” Attended not only by representatives of European Masonry but also by Brother \ Ossian Lang of the Grand Lodge of New York, these meetings arranged by Jesuits Gruber and Muckerman were not private initiatives. As Brother\ Lantoine, Secretary of the Grand Lodge of France explained:


Do not believe that Fr. Gruber, in his correspondence and with his meetings with Freemasons at Aix-la Chapelle, were a personal initiative. A Jesuit is never allowed such initiatives. He has behind him the heads of his order, and I hope to believe, an even more astounding authority. Actually, far from disavowing such a policy, the [Jesuit journals], “Civita Cattolica” in Rome and “Etudes” in Paris have definitely endorsed this initiative.[25]


That these bilateral talks between the Jesuits and Freemasonry were continuing into the  1980s was confirmed by Fr. John Hardon, S.J. (a personal friend and mentor). [26]


 Although these misguided initiatives may well have been inspired by the Jesuit motto, “to go in their door and bring them out ours,” the reverse seems to have occurred, as it also did in the Jesuit rapprochement with Marxist Liberation Theology in the 1970s and 1980s.


While the corrupting inroads of Freemasonry were certainly not confined to the Jesuits, I have followed this path for two reasons: First, it was precisely to the Jesuits at the Lyon theologate of La Fourvière that Père Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. directed his explosive 1946 article,    “La Nouvelle théologie, où- va- t’elle?” In his reasoned attack on the so called “New Theology,” without explicitly mentioning Freemasonry, he brought to light the occult influences of some of the above-mentioned movements, especially in references to the “Cosmic Christ,” and the convergence of all religions in their writings:  “Authors such as Téder and Papus, in their explication of, Martinist doctrine, teach a mystical pantheism and a neo-Gnosticism by which everything comes out of God by emanation (there is in the fall, a cosmic evil, a sui generis original sin), and all aspire to be re-integrated into the divinity, and all shall arrive there This is in many recent occultists’ works on the modern Christ and fullness in terms of astral light, ideas not at all those of the Church and which are blasphemous inversions because they are always pantheistic negation of the true supernatural, and often even the negation of the distinction of moral good and moral evil…with the reintegration of all, without exception, will disappear.” [27]


The second reason for following Jesuit-Masonic interaction is the tremendous negative influence that Jesuit theologians have exerted on both the “progressive and “conservative” wings of the post-Conciliar Church. Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., widely read in anonymous typewritten tracts at La Fourvière, has been and continues to be the forerunner for the progressives (pantheists): “No Spirit (not even God within the limits of our experience) exists, nor could structurally exist without an associated multiple, any more than a center without a circle or circumference. In a concrete sense there is not matter and spirit. All that exists is matter becoming spirit.”[28] While the sui generis theology of Teilhard de Chardin is officially proscribed, it has had its promoters along with its detractors in high Vatican circles. He is certainly still revered within his order and is widely read in Masonic lodges.


Karl Rahner, S.J., one of the most liberal of the Conciliar theologians, is not far behind Teilhard. As quoted by Bernhard Lakebrink in his book, Die Warheit in Bedrangnis, “God and the grace of Christ are in all things, as the secret essence of each reality.... He who accepts his own existence, and thereby his humanity, even though he doesn’t know it, says yes to Christ.”[29]


More disturbing is that two of the La Forvière Jesuits went on to become Cardinals, as well as the leading lights of post-Vatican II “conservative” thought: Henri de Lubac, S.J. and Hans Urs von Balthasar S.J [30]  While, to the best of my knowledge, neither of these authors directly cites Masonic sources as such, they both showed interest in the same esoteric foundations of D’Alveydres’ Divine Synarchie and Roca’s neo-gnostic Catholicism based on the Christ-humanity model..


In June of 1950, as de Lubac himself said, “lightning struck Fourvière.” He was removed from his professorship at Lyon and his editorship of Recherches de science religieuse and required to leave the Lyon province. All Jesuit provincials were directed to remove three of his books – Surnaturel, Corpus mysticum and Connaissance de Dieu – because of “pernicious errors on essential points of dogma.” Two months after his suspension, Pope Pius XII issued the encyclical Humani Generis, widely believed to have been directed especially at de Lubac, as well as other theologians associated with the nouvelle théologie,[31]


Following the above-mentioned books, de Lubac wrote an elegiac book on the 12th-century monk and mystic Joachim da Fiore, entitled La Posterité Spirituelle de Joachim de Flore. In this work, de Lubac speaks, enigmatically but more or less favorably, of an 1884 speech to the College de France by the Polish historian of Slavonic literature (Martinist and Freemason) Adam Mickiewicz, on his vision of the future Church:


Christmas. At St. Peter’s in Rome, the Pope says Mass surrounded by tired old men. Suddenly in their midst a young man dressed in purple enters: it is the Church of the future in the person of [St.] John.” He tells the pilgrims that the times are fulfilled… He calls the head of the apostles by name (Peter) and tells him to leave the tomb … (He comes forth).… The cupola of the Basilica cracks open and splits and Peter goes back into his tomb having given his place to John. The faithful pilgrims die under the ruins…” Peter has died forever. The Roman Church is finished, its last faithful are dead. ….“They (a group of attending Polish peasants according to Mickiewicz) “shall open this cupola to the light of heaven so that it looks like that pantheon of which it is a copy: so that it may be the basilica of the universe, the pantheon, the pan cosmos and pandemic, the temple of all spirits; so that it gives us the key to all of the traditions and all of the philosophies.[32]

“An ecumenism without boundary stones, with a total opening to the future, still within the Church of Christ, moved to enlarge itself without ceasing to be the immortal dream of remaining Catholic.”[33]


Although often at odds with de Lubac, von Balthasar, had his own vision of the Church of the future.  In an attempt to analyze the thought of von Balthasar, I should like to refer to a book, originally published in German in 1985 by an anonymous author, entitled Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism, to which von Balthasar wrote a foreword (afterword, in the English edition). Lack of space prohibits a full treatment of this book, which deserves a thorough review, but there are some salient quotes that will give a quite accurate idea of the general tone of the work. The “anonymous" author presents Gnosticism, Magic, Kabbalah and Hermeticism as not only compatible, but essential to true Catholic belief. While he quotes St. Paul and St John the Evangelist and extols the visions of such Catholic mystics as St. John of the Cross, Theresa of Avila and St. Francis of Assisi, as well as quoting from St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and St Bonaventure, he gives equal coverage to the “initiated” Masons cited above: Papus, Louis Claude de Saint Martin (Martinism), Saint Yves d’Alveydre, the acknowledged Luciferian, Stanislau de Guaita, the Satanic Magician Elephias Lévy, as well as the Kabbalistic false Messiah Sabbatai Zevi, Madam Blavatsky, Swami Vivekananda, Rudolf Steiner, Teilhard de Chardin, Jacob Boehme, Swedenborg, Carl Jung, and a host of others.


The general premise of the book – dedicated to the Virgin of Chartres – is that there is a general cosmic energy labeled egregore [God] that runs through all religions, as well as Freemasonry.[34] This unified energy is manifested in duality: light-dark, male-female, good-evil, etc. which in Hinduism is called Advaita Vedanta, Monism to the Spinozist, and in the Christian tradition (quoting St. John out of context), are united by “Love” (p. 32). All spiritual masters enter mystically into this cosmic spirituality by initiation, understood as “the state of consciousness where all, eternity and the present moment are one.”[35] In this state of consciousness, magical powers are acquired (p. 87). Jesus was an initiate, as were those who came before him, i.e. the Hebrew Moses and the Egyptian Hermes Trismejistis, as well as such people as Eliphias Lévi, Stanislaus de Gauita, and Saint-Yves d’Alveydre, etc. Reincarnation is “simply a fact of experience” (p. 93), for example, Jesus was aware of his “magical” powers and the theurgist Monsieur Philip “made himself an instrument of the divine magic of Jesus Christ” (p. 193). The Holy Trinity is made up of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit or, Father, Mother, and Son interchangeably. The cross is the symbol of the marriage of opposites (p. 259) and the Virgin Mary is “A cosmic entity, Wisdom, the “Virgin of Light of the [Gnostic] Pistis Sophia,… the Shekinah of the Cabbalists. (pp. 547-549, 582)[36] “The great Many [founder of Manichaeism] taught a synthesis [that] the good will of the whole of mankind – Pagan, Buddhist and Christian – for a single concerted and universal effort of yes towards the eternal spirit and no towards the things of matter.” (p. 471)


The author weaves these syncretistic, Gnostic, Kabbalistic and Manichean beliefs together, while maintaining that all of the above conforms to his orthodox Catholic Faith. Enough said. This book is a “Marriage of Heaven and Hell,” giving praise to the minions of darkness alongside the Saints,  the final fruit of the Catholic-Masonic “spiritual” dialogue established to “counteract materialism” by the Jesuits with Masonic initiates going back at least  to 1907.


 Von Balthasar has nothing but praise for this work. In his forward (German edition)/ afterward (English edition) has the following to say:


“A thinking, praying Christian of unmistakable purity reveals to us the symbols of Christian Hermeticism in its various levels of mysticism, gnosis and magic, taking in also the Cabbala and certain elements of astrology and alchemy. These symbols are summarized in the twenty-two so-called “Major Arcana” of the Tarot cards. By way of the Major Arcana the author seeks to lead meditatively into the deeper, all-embracing wisdom of the Catholic Mystery.… The Church Fathers understood the myths born from pagan thought and imagination in a quite general way as veiled presentiments of the Logos, Who became fully revealed in Jesus Christ. …in the light of Biblical revelation, but also the “wisdom of the rulers of this world” (I Cor. ii,6), by which he meant the so-called “secret wisdom of the Egyptians” (especially the Hermetic writings supposedly written by “Hermes Trismegistus”. the Egyptian god Thoth). He also had in mind the “astrology of the Chaldeans and Indians. … Above all during the Renaissance, through the continuing influence of these conceptions, the best minds were occupied with accommodating the Jewish magical-mystical Cabbala into the Christian faith. As has now been observed, many of the Church Fathers had already attributed a place of honour among the heathen prophets and wise men to the mysterious Hermes Trismegistus. … Among those who later endeavored to understand these teachings were Reuchlin in Germany, Ficino and especially Pico della Mirandola[37] in Italy, whilst the extraordinary Cardinal Giles of Viterbo (1469-1552) wanted to explain the Holy Scripture with the help of the Cabbala. The Cardinal wrote his ebullient dissertation on the “Shekinah”[38], dedicated to Emperor Charles V.” … The first discussions for or against the secret teachings of the Cabbala go back to the converted or non-converted Spanish Jews of the twelfth century. There are other historical examples analogous to that of the gathering and accommodation of Hermetic and Cabbalistic wisdom into Biblical and Christian thought: above all, the transposition of Chassidism to a modern horizon of thought by Martin Buber (Chassidism is deeply influenced by the Cabbala).”


[While it is certainly true that many in the Church did fall prey to these alien spiritualities during the Renaissance, they were condemned by the Council of Trent, which insisted on the traditional sacramental nature of the Church and the philosophy of St, Thomas Aquinas.]


Professor Von Balthasar continues,. “… However, just as strong in its creative power of transformation is the incorporation of Jacob Boehme’s.[39] Christosophy into the Catholic world-conception by the philosopher Franz von Baader.”


“….A third, less clear-cut transposition will be referred to briefly: that of the ancient magic/alchemy into the realm of depth psychology by C.G. Jung.[40] The author’s “Meditations on the Major Arcana of the Tarot” are in the tradition of the great accomplishments of Pico della Mirandola. and Franz von Baader, but are independent of them.”


“….The mystical, magical, occult tributaries which flow into the stream of his meditations are much more encompassing; yet the confluence of their waters within him, full of movement, becomes inwardly a unity of Christian contemplation. .... Repeated attempts have been made to accommodate the Cabbala and the Tarot Catholic teaching. The most extensive undertaking of this kind was that of Élephias Lévi (the Pseudonyme of Abbé Alphonse-Louis Constant) whose first work (Dogma et ritual de la haute magie) appeared in 1854”.[41]  (Fig. 4 )


Von Balthasar ends his afterward with the following words. “….The author is able to enter into all the varieties of the occult science with such sovereignty, because for him they are secondary realities, which are only able to be truly known when they can be referred to the absolute mystery of divine love manifest in Christ. … .” (Emphasis added)


           This book, though little known to the general public, has had a tremendous impact on Post Vatican II Catholic thought. Following are some reviews as presented on the back cover of the book itself:


“It is without doubt the most extraordinary work I have ever read. It has tremendous depth and insight.” - Trappist Abbot Basil Pennington, OCSO


“It is simply astonishing. I have never read such a comprehensive account of the “perennial philosophy.” – Father Bede Griffiths.


“This book, in my view, is the greatest contribution to date toward the rediscovery and renewal of the Christian contemplative tradition of the Fathers of the Church and the High Middle Ages,” - Trappist Abbot Thomas Keating, OCSO


“The book begs not only to be studied cover to cover, but also to be savored, meditated upon assimilated into one’s life.” – Richard W Kropf, National Catholic Reprter.



          One cannot but wonder as to how such obviously brilliant thinkers as De Lubac and von Baltahsar, able defenders of the Faith on so many fronts, could, via their collaboration with the “Enlightened” Brothers in their joint fight against atheistic materialism, fall into a trap that would lead them into accommodating the “Complete God” (Male-Female, Light-Dark, Good-Evil) of Gnosticism, the Kabbalah, and Freemasonry.[42]


           While the pitfalls of “materialism” and “secularism” are to be assiduously avoided, not all that is spiritual leads us to God. In fact, as St. Paul reminds us, For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of present darkness, against the spirits of wickedness on high.” (Ephesians 6:12)


           Holy Mother Church has withstood the onslaughts of the Devil in the past – Aryanism, Pelagianism, Priscillianism, Protestantism, etc. -  and with the aid of the Holy Spirit, as it  has in the past, will triumph in her purity once again.  In the words of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, “The night is always darkest just before the Dawn.”


Hamilton Reed Armstrong,  2/11/2012 Feast of Our Lady of Lourds








Fig. 1



The cover of Albert Mackey’s History of Free Masonry displays the Masonic emblem, a large  “Compass & Square,”  above and dominating the over-turned, smaller “Papal Keys” below.


Fig. 2



The Masonic “Angel Michael” has a “sun” face and stands to the left (sinister L. ) – East – in worship of the Sun-God, “Samael,” ( the Hebrew name for the Devil), who according to the Kabbalah, will actually be, at the end of time,  one of the 72 names of God







Fig. 3



Hexagram - The Complete God, By Élephias Levy  (light & Dark)    “So as above, so as below – So as below, so as above”“Demon est Deus Inversus”




Fig. 4



Baphomet - The bi-sexual “Horned Goat, or  “Complete God” of Élephias Levy \(signed at bottom)  























  Visited Feb. 2


Appendix 1


19th Century French Occultism


                                                                                   (Some internet biographies, generally favorable, compiled from various inter related sources)


Elephias Levi


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and other sources




Eliphias Lévi, born Alphonse Louis Constant (February 8, 1810 - May 31, 1875), was a French occult author and ceremonial magician.[1]

Lévi was the son of a shoemaker in Paris; he attended the seminary of Saint Sulpice and began to study to enter the Roman Catholic priesthood. However, while at the seminary he fell in love, and left without being ordained. He wrote a number of minor religious works: Des Moeurs et des Doctrines du Rationalisme en France ("Of the Moral Customs and Doctrines of Rationalism in France", 1839) was a tract within the cultural stream of the Counter-Enlightenment. La Mère de Dieu ("The Mother of God", 1844) followed and, after leaving the seminary, two radical tracts, L'Evangile du Peuple ("The Gospel of the People," 1840), and Le Testament de la Liberté ("The Testament of Liberty"), published in the year of revolutions, 1848, led to two brief prison sentences.

In 1853, Lévi visited England, where he met the novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who was interested in Rosicrucianism as a literary theme and was the president of a minor Rosicrucian order.[2] Lévi's first treatise on magic appeared in 1855 under the title "Dogme de la Haute Magie", followed a year later in 1856, it's companion, "Ritual de la Haute Magie". The two books were later combined under one book titled Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie , and was translated into English by Arthur Edward Waite as Transcendental Magic, its Doctrine and Ritual in 1910. Its famous opening lines present the single essential theme of Occultism and gives some of the flavor of its atmosphere:

"Behind the veil of all the hieratic and mystical allegories of ancient doctrines, behind the darkness and strange ordeals of all initiations, under the seal of all sacred writings, in the ruins of Nineveh or Thebes, on the crumbling stones of old temples and on the blackened visage of the Assyrian or Egyptian sphinx, in the monstrous or marvelous paintings which interpret to the faithful of India the inspired pages of the Vedas, in the cryptic emblems of our old books on alchemy, in the ceremonies practiced at reception by all secret societies, there are found indications of a doctrine which is everywhere the same and everywhere carefully concealed." (Introduction)

Although famous, the Introduction was not written until 1861 after the initial success of the first edition.

Lévi began to write in succession Historie de la Magie in 1860. The following year in 1861, he published a sequel to 'Dogme et Ritual', La Clef des Grands Mystères (The Key to the Great Mysteries). Further magical works by Lévi include Fables et Symboles (Stories and Images), 1862, "Le Sorciere de Meudon" ("The Witch of Meudon") 1865, and La Science des Esprits (The Science of Spirits), 1865. In 1868, he wrote Le Grand Arcane, ou l'Occultisme Dévoilé (The Great Secret, or Occultism Unveiled); this, however, was only published posthumously in 1898.

Lévi's version of magic became a great success, especially after his death. That Spiritualism was popular on both sides of the Atlantic from the 1850s contributed to this success. His magical teachings were free from obvious fanaticisms, even if they remained rather murky; he had nothing to sell, and did not pretend to be the initiate of some ancient or fictitious secret society. He incorporated the Tarot cards into his magical system, and as a result the Tarot has been an important part of the paraphernalia of Western magicians. He had a deep impact on the magic of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and later on the ex-Golden Dawn member Aleister Crowley. He was also the first to declare that a pentagram or five-pointed star with one point down and two points up represents evil, while a pentagram with one point up and two points down represents good. It was largely through the occultists inspired by him that Lévi is remembered as one of the key founders of the 20th century revival of magic.


  • Des Moeurs et des Doctrines du Rationalisme en France (Of the Moral Customs and Doctrines of Rationalism in France), 1839
  • La Mère de Dieu (The Mother of God), 1844
  • L'Evangile du Peuple (The Gospel of the People) 1840
  • Le Testament de la Liberté (The Testament of Liberty), 1848
  • Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, (Transcendental Magic, its Doctrine and Ritual), 1855
  • Histoire de la Magie, (The History of Magic), 1860
  • La Clef des Grands Mystères (The Key to the Great Mysteries), 1861
  • Fables et Symboles (Stories and Images), 1862
  • La Science des Esprits (The Science of Spirits), 1865
  • Le Grand Arcane, ou l'Occultisme Dévoilé (The Great Secret, or Occultism Unveiled), 1868
  • Magical Rituals of the Sanctum Regnum, 1892, 1970
  • The Book of Splendours: The Inner Mysteries of Qabalism




THEOSOPHY, Vol. 26, No. 11, September, 1938

(Pages 482-488; Size: 20K)

(Number 26 of a 29-part series)


Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, the "unknown philosopher" of the eighteenth century, was born in Amboise on January 18, 1743. (It is interesting that when the boy was fifteen years old the Count de St. Germain was living in the Chateau of Chambord, only a few miles away.) Out of respect for the wish of his father, who expected him to enter the legal profession, the young Saint-Martin studied law for a while. But after practicing for six months he found himself unable to distinguish between the rights of the plaintiff and the defendant, and asked his father's permission to enter the army, not that he was fond of fighting, but that he might have more time to study philosophy. His father appealed to the Duc de Choiseul, Prime Minister of France, who gave the young man a lieutenancy in the Régiment de Foix, then in garrison in Bordeaux. It was there that he met Martinez Paschalis and became a member of his school.

Paschalis was a Portuguese gentleman who had travelled extensively in the East and was known as a Kabalist and Rosicrucian Initiate. Particularly interested in Masonry, he founded a Masonic Order in Paris. Arriving in Bordeaux in 1767, he established a School of Occultism where theosophical principles were taught and a high code of ethics was maintained. The psychic side of Occultism, however, was emphasized in this school, and the majority of the pupils were concerned with the development of occult powers. Paschalis left Bordeaux in 1773 and Saint-Martin assumed charge of his school. In the following year Saint-Martin went to Lyons, where he established a semi-occult Masonic rite known as the "Rectified Rite of Saint-Martin," through which he endeavored to restore to Masonry its primeval character of Eastern Occultism. From this attempt was born an organization known as the Martinists, composed mainly of Paschalis' pupils. Like their former teacher, the Martinists were chiefly interested in "powers." Although Saint-Martin was fully aware of the elemental forces in nature and the occult powers in man, he told the Martinists that "moral development is the true basis of Occultism," warning them that occult powers without an underlying moral background are dangerous weapons. Writing to a friend a few years later he said:

I will not conceal from you that formerly I walked in this external way. Nevertheless I at all times felt so strong an inclination to the intimate secret way, that the external way never further seduced me, even in my youth; for at the age of 23 I had been initiated in all these things.

In 1775 Saint-Martin published his first book, Des Erreurs et de la Vérité, par un Philosophe Inconnu. The Masons in France and Germany hailed it as a treasure of Masonic science. J. G. Findel declares that Saint-Martin gave "the key to all the allegories and mystical fables of the ancients, the source of all religions and political institutions, and a model of the laws which should regulate the universe as well as single persons, and without which no real science could exist." Although the book was immediately attacked by Voltaire and his party, it drew to Saint-Martin many new friends and supporters, who hailed him as the coming apostle of spiritual truth.

After travelling in Italy for three years, Saint-Martin settled in Versailles in 1778, the year that Dr. Mesmer arrived in Paris. In 1782, when Mesmer was the rage of Paris and Cagliostro was busy establishing his Egyptian Rite in Bordeaux and Lyons, Saint-Martin published his second book, in which he traced the correspondences between man and nature, painted a glowing picture of man's divinity, and showed that the whole purpose of the evolutionary scheme is to bring man to a realization of his god-like nature. In 1784 the Philalethians (a branch of the Loge des Amis Réunis) invited both Saint-Martin and Cagliostro to membership. Saint-Martin refused because of their interest in psychic phenomena. Cagliostro accepted, hoping to purify the society through his own knowledge. Although the organization of the Philalethians offered no common meeting ground for the Theosophical representatives of the eighteenth century, four of them were members of the Fratres Lucis or "Brothers of Light," and with the fifth, Thomas Paine, all were Masons. In 1782 Saint-Martin, St. Germain, Mesmer and Cagliostro met at the great Masonic convention in Wilhelmsbad. In 1785 they met again at the Paris convention.

Immediately afterward Saint-Martin departed for England to meet Jane Lead, in whose mystical writings he had become interested. In London he associated with a colony of Russians who were members of Cagliostro's "Northern School." After a short trip to Rome with Prince Galatzin, Saint-Martin went to Strasbourg, where Cagliostro had become famous as a magnetic healer a few years before. There he studied the writings of Swedenborg and wrote his Nouvel Homme in collaboration with Swedenborg's nephew. This was followed by his Ecce Homo, in which he warned the world against the dangers of spiritualism. In Strasbourg he also became acquainted with the writings of Jacob Boehme, and from that time spoke of himself as a humble disciple of the great German mystic.

      Gérard Encausse (Papus)

         (multiple sources)


                                                                                                                                        Papus seated in a Martinist Lodge

Gerard Encausse was born at La Coruña, Spain on July 13, 1865, of a Spanish mother and a French father, Louis Encausse, a chemist. His family moved to Paris when he was four years old, and he received his education there.

As a young man, Encausse spent a great deal of time at the Bibliothèque Nationale studying the Kabbalah, occult tarot, magic, alchemy, and the writings of Eliphias Lévi. He joined the French Theosophical Society shortly after it was founded by Madame Blavatsky in 1884 - 1885, but he resigned soon after joining because he disliked the Society's emphasis on Eastern occultism. In 1888, he co-founded his own group, the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Croix. That same year, he and his friend Lucien Chamuel founded the Librarie du Merveilleux and its monthly revue L'Initiation, which remained in publication until 1914.

Encausse was also a member of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in Paris, as well as Memphis-Misraim and probably other esoteric or paramasonic organizations, as well as being an author of several occult books. Outside of his paramasonic and martinist activities he was also a disciple of the French spiritualist healer, Anthelme Nizier Philippe, "Maître Philippe de Lyon".

Despite his heavy involvement in occultism and occultist groups, Encausse managed to find time to pursue more conventional academic studies at the University of Paris. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1894 upon submitting a dissertation on Philosophical Anatomy. He opened a clinic in the rue Rodin which was quite successful.

Encausse visited Russia three times, in 1901, 1905, and 1906, serving Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra both as physician and occult consultant. In October 1905, he allegedly conjured up the spirit of Alexander III, the Tsar Nicholas's father, who prophesied that the Tsar would meet his downfall at the hands of revolutionaries. Encausse's followers allege that he informed the Tsar that he would be able to magically avert Alexander's prophesy so long as Encausse was alive. Nicholas kept his hold on the throne of Russia until 141 days after Papus's death.

When World War I broke out, Encausse joined the French army medical corps. While working in a military hospital, he contracted tuberculosis and died on October 25, 1916, at the age of 51.

In 1891, Encausse claimed to have come into the possession of the original papers of Martinez Paschalis, or de Pasqually (c. 1700-1774), and therewith founded an Order of Martinists called l'Ordre des Supérieurs Inconnus. He claimed to have been given authority in the Rite of Saint-Martin by his friend Henri Vicomte de Laage, who claimed that his maternal grandfather had been initiated into the order by Saint-Martin himself, and who had attempted to revive the order in 1887. The Martinist Order was to become a primary focus for Encausse, and continues today as one of his most enduring legacies.

In 1893, Encausse was consecrated a bishop of l'Église Gnostique de France by Jules Doinel, who had founded this Church as an attempt to revive the Cathar religion in 1890. In 1895, Doinel abdicated as Primate of the French Gnostic Church, leaving control of the Church to a synod of three of his former bishops, one of whom was Encausse.

In March 1895, Encausse joined the Ahathoor Temple of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in Paris.

Although Encausse claimed as his "spiritual master" the mysterious magician and healer known as "le Maitre Philippe," his first actual teacher in the intellectual aspects of occultism was the marquis Joseph Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre (1842 - 1910). Saint-Yves had inherited the papers of one of the great founders of French occultism, Antoine Fabre d'Olivet (1762 - 1825), and it was probably Saint-Yves who introduced Papus to the marquis Stanislas de Guaita (1861 - 1897).

In 1888, Encausse, Saint-Yves and de Guaita joined with Joséphin Péladan and Oswald Wirth to found the Rosicrucian Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Croix.

Encausse never became a regular (Grand Orient) Freemason. Despite this, he organized what was announced as an "International Masonic Conference" in Paris on June 24, 1908, and at this conference he first met Theodor Reuss, and the two men apparently exchanged patents:

Reuss elevated Encausse as X° of the Ordo Templi Orientis ( “Do whatever you will is the whole of the law”) as well as giving him license to establish a "Supreme Grand Council General of the Unified Rites of Ancient and Primitive Masonry for the Grand Orient of France and its Dependencies at Paris." For his part, Encausse assisted Reuss in the formation of the O.T.O. Gnostic Catholic Church as a child of l'Église Gnostique de France, thus forming the E.G.C. within the tradition of French neo-gnosticism.

When John Yarker died in 1913, Encausse was elected as his successor to the office of Grand Hierophant (international head) of the Antient and Primitive Rites of Memphis and Mizraim.

…. (The following is taken from the web-site  Société Périllos , Saunier and the Occult, by Guy Patton) …

Although not known by this name until much later, Martinism developed out of the masonic-affiliated Order of the Elus Cohen founded by Martinez de Pasqually around 1750. In 1768, Louis Claude de Saint Martin, known as the Unknown Philosopher, became his secretary and eventually took over the Order after Pasqually’s death. At this time there was no centralized administration but a number of independent lodges practicing his system.

Pasqually’s book “Traite de la Reintegration” explains his belief in the theory of Reintegration. The central belief being that Man can return to the divine state that he was assumed to have possessed before the 'Fall’; that is, he can become closer to God. The system of ritual designed to achieve Reintegration employed a specific style of magic called “theurgy”. Theurgy was the merging of personal Will with God’s Will and was called in authentic Martinism `the Inner Way’ or `the Way of the Heart’. It was believed that the creative power of Man was a gift from God, the ultimate Creator; and that Man can acquire the ability to will something to happen or to manifest. But as a Theurgist, the initiate would invoke God’s Will to bring about a manifestation or happening. Thus Man becomes an agent of God’s Will.

Saint-Martin rejected some of Pasqually’s magical rites, which employed the intercession of spirit beings, as being medieval, and substituted a more Christ- and God-centred Theurgy that he called “Magism of God”. The ultimate aim as stated by Saint-Martin was to “restore order, peace and life in the world”. He further claimed that it was the duty of the individual to work for Reintegration: a reaffirmation of Pasqually’s teaching if not his methods. There was a Gnostic dimension summed up by the belief that Man’s wisdom (Sophia) blossoms when the individual recovers his `sensitivity’, that is his spirituality which is normally submerged in his inner darkness. Thus with the progress towards Reintegration came increased spiritual knowledge: a greater understanding of Man’s divinity and God’s purpose.

Saint-Martin died in 1803; there were a number of attempts to reform and although many other Rose-Croix and esoteric orders were formed at this time, it wasn’t until about 1890 that Martinism itself underwent a major revival in the form of the new Ordre Martiniste. The Grand Council based in Paris included such notable occultists as, Papus (Gérard Encausse), Stanislas de Guaita, Sedir, Maurice Barres, Georges Montieres and Josephin Peladan. Appointed Grand Master, Papus began to unite the various Martinist lodges creating a more structured movement. …

“As a young man, Encausse spent a great deal of time at the Bibliothèque Nationale studying the Qabalah, (Kabbalah) the Tarot, the sciences of magic and alchemy, and the writings of Eliphas Lévi ". Papus also studied material that came from Charles Nodier, writer, occultist and chief librarian of the famous Arsenal Library in 1824. Papus became acquainted with a circle of Gnostics, Rosicrucians, and 'older' Martinists, all students of the late Eliphas Levi.  His meeting with M Philippe from Lyon c1886 upsets his vision of the world. From this time on Papus becomes the propagator of Christian Mysticism and "the Way of the Heart", which Saint-Martin called the "Inner Way". The core of this philosophy, as described by Papus, is published in his The Cardiac or Mystic Path '. Papus deals in this publication with the importance of simplicity and the purification of body, soul and mind in one's spiritual quest. Another text of Papus which reflects the philosophy of the 'Inner Way' is appropriately called 'the Way of the Heart'.

 So what were the Martinists drawn to Papus, and then to his successors at the head of the Martinist Order, looking for?

It was the one, undivided Church, faithful to the Tradition of the Apostles and the Fathers of the Church, and possessor and dispenser of the gnosis spoken of by Clement of Alexandria. Since its origin, such a Church has remained alive in the East, after having disappeared in the West in the Middle Ages, to the advantage of Roman Catholicism. That is the “Orthodox Church.” Its providential return in the West allows Martinists today to once again find an authentic ecclesiastical practice, in parallel with those who follow the practice of the few rare Gnostic Churches worthy of this name, where the faithful are often hardly more numerous than the priests.

An examination of the Creed of the Eglise Gnostique Universelle at Lyon, 1908 shows nothing that would have caused a conflict or crisis of Faith for a Catholic priest. In fact the creed takes the prosaic Catholic teachings to a higher spiritual and intellectual level. The main addition to the existing Creed being nothing more than the conscious and committed search for Reintegration: the quest towards a state of divine spirituality.

Extract from the sermon of H. H. + Johannes Bricaud (Jean II) on the occasion of his appointment as Patriarch of the Universal Gnostic Church in Lyon, 1908.

1. - That spoke to us through His mouth and taught us the Gnosis and the true holy life, so that we shall be free from slavery of the Demiurges and their earthly Archons, and as he made our return to the pneumatic World from which we came possible, where He returned after his death.
2. - We believe in the Third Aspect of the Trinity, Life, which follows from the Father as from the Son, and reveals itself in the Pneuma-Agion, the Holy Ghost.
3. - Who gives us joy in life, and leads us on the Path of Truth and Holiness, who unites all beings, who is worshipped in the Father as in the Son.
4. - We believe in a Pneumatic Universe, immeasurable Church of the Spirit, as old as God Himself, and older than the Material [hylic] Universe, where our globe finds itself as but a colony in the Perisphere, whereon we men descend as spirits.
5. - We profess the two Baptisms, and the three other Mysteries of the purification and conversion of mankind.

Amen.    Lyons, 1908.

Thus we can see the attraction of Martinism and the Gnostic Church to perhaps the more intellectual of priest. ….

The one aspect of political philosophy common to these [esoteric] societies, movements and people, is their unswerving belief in Tradition and Hierarchy as the necessary path to social order.

This focus on tradition was typified in the Rose-Croix Orders of Josephin Peladan, who we must recall was a member of the original Martinist Grand Council under Papus.  Peladan had completed his education in Italy during which time he fell in love with Italian Art. In 1882 he arrived in Paris, presenting himself as an art critic. His views can best be summed up in his own words, “I believe in the Ideal, in Tradition, in Hierarchy.” We will see how his view of art was to become a major influence in symbolist art and occult societies. It was through his meeting with of the renowned occultist, Stanislas da Guaita, that he decided to revive 17th century Rosicrucianism. His association with da Guiata brought him into the world of Black Magicians, that included those such as the decadent satanist, J K Huysmans, and the notorious Abbé Boullan whose activities we will examine later.

In 1892, Peladan organised the first of his annual Salons de la Rose-Croix in which his version of traditionalist art, closely linked to that of the symbolist movement, was to be vigorously promoted. We know exactly what he approved of from his own writings, including a set of rules to be rigidly adhered to. It is clearly stated that Catholic Dogma and symbolism is to be given priority, even if the execution was imperfect. He believed that the Catholic Church had become a repository for ancient wisdom that could be rediscovered in its symbolism. Although at times his writings verged on heresy, and some of his former Rose-Croix Orders were later condemned for becoming overly influenced by eastern mysticism, Peladan himself managed to escape censure by the Church. However, in his mind, Peladan considered himself to be more Catholic than the apparently liberal voices in the Vatican.

A frequent visitor to Peladan’s salons was the composer Claude Debussy, a friend of the great esoteric writer, Stephane Mallarme, and other leading occultists.  Following a break from Peladan in 1893, Antoine de Rochefoucauld set up a review and appointed a known satanist, Jules Bois, as editor.

Bois had a reputation as a Black Magician but was also closely connected with other notable occultists who claimed to be traditionalist Catholics and supporters of the Naundorff claim to the Monarchy.

But how can we reconcile the association of a so-called Black Magician with the world of Catholic Traditionalists?

Satanists (Black Magicians) are often confused with Luciferians, the terms often erroneously being interchanged. Luciferians form part of a tradition known as Promethian. Many of them recognized Christ as one of the prophets in the sense that Christos (Greek) equates to Lucifer (Latin) which signifies the “Bringer of Light”. Lucifer is to Luciferians the prophet who will reveal the true message of the sacred texts (Gospels), obscured and distorted by the Roman Catholic Church. This belief could well be seen as a form of Gnosticism rather than the more popular perception of Devil worship. A conclusion confirmed in the writings of the poet Stanislas da Guaita, who in 1887 had founded the Rosicrucian Cabalistic Order with Peladan and Papus. His works show him to be a Gnostic but he also wrote about Satan and Black Magic.

It is surely no coincidence that the upside-down cross had been adopted by French Catholic Occultists in representation of not only the martyrdom of St Peter but more importantly, of the inner teachings/tradition of the Church. – And key amongst these Catholic occultists was Eugene Vintras. A professed Catholic, he formed his own Church of Carmel and wore an inverted cross on his vestments.

When Vintras died in 1875 the Abbé Boullan, a defrocked priest, became his successor at Lyon.

His own writings show that Boullan was participating in depraved sexual activity that was found to be unacceptable to most of the occult world. In fact after a meeting with Boullan in 1886, Peladan’s colleague, da Guiata, reported that he (Boullan) had fallen deeply into error. But despite his reputation for sexual and other bizarre practices, Boullan is best known for his “Law of Sacred Regeneration”, which is more or less identical to the theory of Reintegration found at the heart of Martinism.

Boullan’s biographer, Joanny Bricaud, wrote “Since the Fall from grace resulted from an illicit act of love, the Redemption of Humanity can only be achieved through acts of love accomplished in a religious manner”. It was believed that “guilty love must be combated through pure love, through a sexual approach, but in a heavenly manner, to the spirits in order to raise onself: this is the union of wisdom”.  (Emphasis added – H.R.A.- the “Sacred Sex” of Paganism, and the same concept as Zivug ha kadosh of the Kabalists )

Interestingly in 1908, Bricaud was appointed patriarch of the Universal Gnostic Church and by 1918, also became head of Papus’ Martinist Order.

So we have seen that at their heart, Martinism, the Gnostic Church and the Luciferian tradition share common beliefs: beliefs that may not necessarily be in conflict with a loose interpretation of Catholic dogma, especially to the questioning intellectual priest. The conflict arose not in the teachings but in the methods. The Catholic Church believed Man’s Salvation lay in the Sacraments of Baptism and Communion, Confession, Repentance etc., that could only be received from the Catholic Church. Whereas for the Gnostic, it was believed that the only way for Man to return to the state of grace he enjoyed before the Fall, was through true Gnosis and by confronting and working through his natural earthly sexual instinct.

Is it not possible that they were imitating the ultimate relationship, as suggested in the Gnostic Gospels, that of  Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene, His most beloved disciple and the repentant sinner?”



Symbolist Art Edward Lucie-Smith, Thames & Hudson, 1972 (1986)
The Occult Chambers Compact Reference, trans from French 1991
Dictionary of Art & Artists Peter & Linda Murray, Penguin, 1959 (1973)
The Rosy-Cross Unveiled, Christopher McIntosh, Aquarian 1980
Occult symbolism in France Robert Pincus-Witten, 1976
The Occult Establishment James Webb, 1976

Stanislas de Guaita



(Composite from different sources)

Stanislas de Guaita (6 April 1861 - 19 December 1897) was a French poet based in Paris, an expert on esotericism and European mysticism, and an active member of the Rosicrucian Order. He was very celebrated and successful in his time. He was an expert on magic and occultism. He had many disputes with other people who were involved with occultism and magic. Occultism and magic formed  part of his novels.

De Guaita became interested in occultism after reading a novel by Joséphin Péladan which was interwoven with Rosicrucian and occult themes. In Paris, de Guaita and Péladan became acquainted, and in 1884, the two decided to try to rebuild the Rosicrucian Brotherhood. They recruited Gérard Encausse to help rebuild the brotherhood. Encausse, who went by the pseudonym “Papus”, was a Spanish-born French physician and occultist who had written books on magic, Kabbalah and the Tarot.

In 1888, de Guaita founded the Cabalistic Order of the  Rose Croix. The Rosicrucian Order is a legendary and secretive Order that was first publicly documented in the early 17th century. Guaita's Rosicrucian Order provided training in the Kabbalah , an esoteric form of Jewish mysticism, which attempts to reveal hidden mystical insights in the Hebrew Bible and divine nature. The order also conducted examinations and provided university degrees on Kabbalah  related topics He was nicknamed the "Prince of the Rosicrucian" by his contemporaries for his broad learning on Rosicrucian issues.

In the late 1880s, the Abbé Boullan, a defrocked Catholic Priest and the head of a schismatic branch called the “Church of the Carmel” led a “magical war” against de Guaita. French novelist Joris K. Huysmans, a supporter of Boullan, portrayed de Guaita as a Satanic sorcerer in the novel La Bas.

By the 1890s, de Guaita, Papus, and Péladan’s collaboration became increasingly strained by disagreements over strategy and doctrines. Guaita and Papus lost the support of Péladan, who left to start a competing order. De Guaita died in 1897 at the age of 36 of a drug overdose.

Recently (March 2010) a Masonic Lodge in Rome was consecrated and dedicated to him. This Lodge has a website:


Some writings by Stanislas de Guaita
















The Kabbalah centres on a complex scheme of numerical symbolism and esoteric theology, influenced by neo-Platonism, Hermetic literature and perhaps Sufism. It is elaborate and bizarre, and sometimes seems as complex as Greek mythology. Kabbalists often insist that the schemes are not meant literally: they are symbols of a spiritual reality that is beyond human comprehension. Yet the detailed discussion of the sefirot and the diagrams of their links often get so complex and artificial that the word "Cabala" came to be a synonym for obscurity and secrecy.

Underlying everything is Ein Sof, the infinite, indefinable origin of all things, the cause of causes. Ein Sof  is often seen not as an old man with a white beard, not as a personal God at all, but as an impersonal, unnamable Being without qualities, thoughts or feelings, very similar to Lao Tzu's Tao or Meister Eckhart's "simple ground" beyond God. Everything is one, nothing exists but the one divine being. This position is also very similar to that of the Sufi philosopher Ibn Al'arabi.

The idea is sometimes so strongly expressed that it seems pantheistic, yet there is still the insistence that though everything that exists is God and is in God, God extends infinitely beyond that. In this sense the kabbalah is panentheistic rather than truly pantheistic.

(Paul Harrison, World Pantheist Movement)

Selected passages.

Translations are from Daniel Matt, The Essential Kabbalah, Castle Books, Edison, NJ, 1997.


Non-duality: nothing exists but Ein Sof, the endless.

The essence of divinity is found in every single thing - nothing but it exists. Since it causes every thing to be, no thing can live by anything else. It enlivens them; its existence exists in each existent. Do not attribute duality to God. Let God be solely God. If you suppose that Ein Sof emanates until a certain point, and that from that point on is outside of it, you have dualized. God forbid! Realize, rather, that Ein Sof exists in each existent. Do not say "This is a stone and not God." God forbid! Rather, all existence is God, and the stone is a thing pervaded by divinity.
Moses Cordovero, Shi'ur Qomah.

Before anything emanated, there was only Ein Sof. Ein Sof was all that existed. Similarly after it brought into being all that exists, there is nothing but it. You cannot find anything that exists apart from
it . . . God is everything that exists, though everything that exists is not God. It is present in everything, and everything comes into being from it. Nothing is devoid of its divinity. Everything is within it; it is within everything and outside of everything. There is nothing but it. -- Moses Cordovero, Elimah Rabbati.

Everything is linked

Everything is catenated in its mystery, caught in its oneness . . . The entire chain is one. Down to the last link, everything is linked with everything else, so divine essence is below as well as above, in heaven and earth. There is nothing else.  -  Moses de Leon, Sefer ha-Rimmon.

God's presence maintains all things

Nothing is outside of God. This applies . . . to everything that exists, large and small - they exist solely through the divine energy that flows to them and clothes itself in them. If God's gaze were withdrawn for even a moment, all existence would be nullified . . . Contemplating this, you are humbled, your thoughts purified. -- Moses Cordovero, Or Yaqar.

Creation conceals and reveals God

When powerful light is concealed and clothed in a garment, it is revealed. Though concealed, the light is actually revealed, for were it not concealed, it could not be revealed. This is like wishing to gaze at the dazzling sunn. Its dazzle conceals it, for you cannot look at its overwhelming brilliance. Yet when you conceal it - looking at it through screens - you can see and not be harmed. So it is with emanation: by concealing and clothing itself, it reveals itself. -- Moses Cordovero, Pardes Rimmonim.


Ein Sof is beyond understanding or expression

Ein Sof cannot be conceived, certainly not expressed, though it is  intimated in every thing, for there is nothing outside of it. No letter, no name, no writing, no thing can confine . . . Ein Sof has no will, no intention, no desire, no thought, no speech, no action - yet  there is nothing outside of it.  Azriel of Gerona, Commentary on the Ten Sefirot.  Concerning Ein Sof there is no aspect anywhere to search or probe;  nothing can be known of it, for it is hidden and concealed in the  mystery of absolute nothingness.  -- David ben Judah he-Hasid, Book of Mirrors.



According to Gershom Scholem, the world’s greatest authority on the subject Kabbalah, simply stated, is a form of Gnosis that underlies certain "Jewish mystical theology." The Fundamental tenets of Kabbalah, according to Scholem, are as follows: "Over and above disagreements on specific details that tend to reflect different stages in the Kaballah's historical development, there exists a basic consensus among kabalists on man's essential nature...At opposite poles, both man and God encompass within their being the entire cosmos. However, whereas God contains all by virtue of being its Creator and Initiator in whom everything is rooted and all potency is hidden, man's role is to complete this process by being the agent through whom all the powers of creation are fully activated and made manifest. What exists seminally in God unfolds and develops in man… Because he alone has been granted the gift of free will, it lies in his power to either advance or disrupt through his actions the unity of what takes place in the upper and lower worlds... his principal mission is to bring about Tikkun Olam or restoration of this world and to connect the lower with the upper." 1. The concept of tikkun, or restoration, involves the problem of evil, and again according to Scholem, "the root of evil resides within the Ein-Sof (hidden God) itself." Evil, therefore, for the kabalist is simply the sitra ahra or "emanation of the left" and at the end of time, through the process of man's work of tikkun even the devil, "Samael will become Sa'el, one of the 72 holy Names of God". ... "In Greek this is called apokatasis (sic)"..."To use the neoplatonic (Plotinus) formula, the creation involves the departure of all from the one and its return to the one." 2.



 A Brief History

Although many adepts claim that the Kabbalah, or secret oral tradition, goes back to Moses or even Adam, Scholem places its practical beginnings in the Second Temple period, posterior to the Babylonian exile. 3. (The words Cabala, Kabbalah, Qabalah etc. are virtually interchangeable. Kabbalah is used here as in Scholem's works.)

Once again, according to Scholem, the development of Kabbalah was coeval with Hellenistic syncretic religion and Gnosticism. Both Hellenistic Gnosis and Rabbinical Gnosis were based on the theory that there are spiritual emanations of God (Aeons and Archons for the Greek, Sephirot for the Hebrew) which fill the primordial cosmos. These, if properly understood and harnessed lead back to the deity. Historically, the esoteric teachings contained in the Kabbalah passed from such groups as the Essenes, or Qumran apocalyptics, through the Diaspora to the Medieval Provençal and Spanish thinkers who produced the Sepher Yezira (Book of Creation) and Zohar (Book of Splendor). These speculations were further developed in the sixteenth century by Jacob Cordovero and Isaac Luria whose writings led to the Messianic hopes placed in Shabbetai Zevi in 1666. Since that time, in Jewish circles, the Kabbalah lay in fermentation among the Hasidim (Pious ones) of Eastern Europe and the Doenmeh, a strange group of followers of the failed Messiah, Shabbetai Zevi, who became false converts to other religions in order to seek redemption through apostasy and sin. 6 The Rabbis of normative Judaism with its emphasis on Halakah, "the Law," have traditionally viewed the Kabbalah with suspicion Some recent movements, especially those coming out of Eastern Europe, such as the Chabad Lubavicher movement of the Late Rabbi Schneerson have tried to combine traditional Halachic teachings with elements of Kaballah. preaching the esoteric doctrine of Hochmah (Wisdom), Binah (Intelligence), and Daath (Harmony, Balance, "Cha – ba – d" ), described below.

The influence of the Kabbalah on segments of Christian thinking has flourished since the Renaissance. It was openly quoted in the works of such influential thinkers as Pico della Mirandola, Johannes Reuchlin, Agrippa of Nettesheim, Cardinal Egidio da Viterbo, the Franciscan Friar, Francesco Giorgio of Venice, as well as the apostate Dominican, Giordano Bruno. The tradition carried through into the 17th century in the writings of Jacob Boehme and culminated in the eighteenth century within the esoteric writings of such figures as Martines de Pasqually and Louis Claude de Saint Martin. 7. In modern times it may be found as the core doctrine of occult, theosophical Freemasonry. 8. (See: Kabbalah and Freemasonry below)

The Doctrine – Dialectical Monism

In a much simplified exposition of the basic Kabalistic doctrine, all begins with Ein-Soph ( alt. Ayn- Soph, En-Soph) the infinite, or literally without measure. Like the Gnostic "God beyond god" or Pleroma, it contains within its essence both the active and passive ( male and female, good and evil) principles in their full potential. In the beginning, before there was anything, the eternal source, Ein-Soph contracted itself within and then filled the subsequent void with emanations of its own essence. This contraction and expansion is called the Zimzum. (See: Fig. 1,(Left) Illustrations - following the text)

According to the Zohar (Book of Splendor), what was engraved first on the void were the words: "Let there be light." in the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Subsequently, El Gadol (Great God) emerged from the primal ether on the right as the masculine principle and Elohim (Darkness) emerged on the left as the feminine principle. Then appeared the actual "Light" signifying "that the Left was included in the Right and the Right in the Left." 9. From the initial point of light streamed forth, in concentric circles, ten mystical numbers or paths known as Sephiroth. The names of these Sephiroth are as follows: Keter (Crown); Binah (Intelligence); Hokmah (Wisdom) Gevurah (Justice); Gedullah (Greatness); Tiferet (Beauty); Hod (Honor); Nezah (Victory); Yesod (Foundation); and Malkhut (Kingdom). These Sephiroth would come to form Adam Kadmon the celestial archetypal man.



Fig. 1

Adam Kadmon

The Kabbalistic representation of left and right is confusing. If Adam Kadmon is facing the onlooker then Binah, Gevurah and Hod should be masculine as they correspond to his right side and Hokhmah,Gedulah and Netash„ should be feminine as on the left. The Kabbalah unanimously reverses this polarity in its exoteric or official writings. There are two possible solutions to this problem. One is that we are contemplating Adam Kadmon from his back side or two; that a certain confusion is maintained on purpose to baffle the uninitiated. As the study of the Kabbalah has historically been reserved for the few, the latter option is more likely the case



 This was not the Adam of the Bible but a cosmic prototype for all of reality akin to the Neo-Platonic Demiurge. The Sephiroth may also be displayed as the descending Azilut –"emanations" - which form the "Tree of Life." (Fig. 2 –6, Illustrations)

The first three Sephiroth: Keter (Crown); Binah (Intelligence); and Hokhma (Wisdom) received the "Light" and contained it. (See the three faces in the diagram above) Thus the divine essence is preserved in a tripartite interrelationship, or immanent "Trinity" within the mind of Adam Kadmon, the macrocosm and within the mind of individual man, the microcosm. The following seven Sephiroth could not contain the light and shattered, forming shards of coagulated energy (matter) called Kelippot. Again, following the Neo-platonic or Gnostic doctrine, the farther the Sephirah lies from the center, the denser the matter. Malkhuth, therefore, as farthest away from the center, forms the earthly kingdom or the feet of Adam Kadmon. (See again: Fig.1, )

Through the break up of the Sephiroth, the equilibrium and unity of God has been destroyed. The "light" and the "dark" of the primal Light have been separated and it is the obligation of man to re-establish both his own inner unity or wholeness and the wholeness of God. To accomplish this project called Tikkun, The Jewish people as Knesset Israel have the predominant role. According to the Kabbalah, from the earliest Spanish manuscripts onward, the Jewish race has seen itself as the representative of the Shekhinah, ** (see below) the feminine principle split off from God, reminiscent of the Gnostic Sophia. 10. According to kabalistic (Hasidic) Tradition it is said: "Just because of this split, God needs man, whose task it is to reunite the riven opposites within the divine personality itself. From this point of view the exile of the Jewish people receives deep and special meaning. For this exile of the people corresponds in the `upper world, so to speak, to an exile of the Shekinah (supposed feminine half of God) who went into exile with them. The return of the Jewish people from exile therefore means, in Jewish mysticism, the redemption of the Jewish people; it is above all an earthly image, and likeness of an inner-divine drama of redemption, of the homecoming of the Shekhina to God... So while man needing redemption strives to restore the disturbed world order, he is at the same time working toward the redemption of God and his union with the Shekhinah and thus toward the restoration and realization of the wholeness of God." 11. A tradition also holds that the final Masiach, messiah, who will achieve Tikkun Olam, concordia discors or "world harmony," will be a manifestation of the Shekinah, i.e., female.

Within the overall historical perspective and purpose of the Kabbala i.e. the ultimate complete unity of God and creation, there are two fundamental problems to be resolved. First is the relationship of the individual human being to God and second the problem of evil.

For the Kabalistic initiate, while awaiting the final restoration of history, there are various techniques available for personal spiritual development. One is meditation on the mysteries of the Sephiroth called Kavvanah and another involving numerology is called Gematria. The technique of Kavvanah involves mental concentration on the combinations of the sacred names which pave the way for ecstatic union with the divine source, Metatron, (alternately known as the prince of God's countenance, Prince of this world, Angel of light, or ones own true self). 12. This union is mystically known as Zivvug ha-Kadosh, or coupling face to face, which is said to produce an internal harmony of the restrictive (passive) powers of Din and the out flowing (active) powers of Rahanim. Once again one finds Concordia Discors, or Coincidentia Oppositorum, the fusion of opposites as object of the endeavor. 13.

Seen in this light, the parallel between Kabbalah and the Eastern Religions is quite obvious. It is, of course, the resolution in harmony of the passive Yin and the active Yang according to the Tao which produces the "enlightened" state where "all duality merges into oneness, a noble path that leads to contentment and peace." 14. In reality, according to Gershom Scholem, "the Techniques of `prophetic Kabbalah' that were used to aid the ascent of the soul, such as breathing exercises, the repetition of the Divine Names, and meditation on colors, bear a marked resemblance to those of both Indian Yoga and Muslim Sufism." 15. Gematria on the other hand, involves the belief that the Hebrew alphabet is the first emanation of Ayn-Sof and that the arrangement of these 22 letters, according to their numerical value, make up the seventy-two sacred names of the All Holy as well as the cosmos. Gematria can be used for the concordance of Biblical texts and messianic prophecy as well as in calling up spirits. 16. This latter property may be employed, at least in theory, both for good and for evil. The manipulator of spirits, (good or evil) is called a Ba’al Shem or master of the divine names. 17. According to legend, in the 16th century, Rabbi Loewe used Gematria to create a fearsome creature called the Golem to protect the Prague Ghetto.

The problem of evil for the Kabalistic is complex, as, if all comes from and is contained in the Ayn Sof, what man calls evil must be intrinsic to the divine nature. What is it, then, in the divine nature that may be called "evil"? Once again, according to Scholem: "The determining factor is the estrangement of created things from their source of emanation, a separation which leads to manifestations of what appears to us to be the power of evil. But the other [evil] has no metaphysical reality ... outside the structure of the Sephiroth ... the Sepher Gevurah as `the left hand of the Holy One blessed be He,' and as `a quality whose name is evil' … has many offshoots in the forces of judgement, the constricting and limiting powers of the universe"

Cutting through the flowery rhetoric, it would appear that Evil, for the Kabalist, is any force that restricts or limits (divine) human freedom and creativity. It [evil] reverts to that part of God which is designated, " Pure judgment, untempered by any mitigating admixture, [which has] produced from within itself the sitra ahra (the other side)… The `emanation of the left.' " 18. According to Nathan of Gaza, the grand apologist of 17th century Shabbetean Kabbalah The first light was entirely active [creative] and the second light entirely passive [restrictive] immersed in the depths of itself. "The root of evil is a principle within the Ayn-Soph itself which holds itself aloof from creation and seeks to prevent the forms of light which contain thought from being actualized, not because it is evil by nature but only because its whole desire is that nothing should exist apart from Ayn-Soph." For the Kabalistic, of whatever school, neither good nor evil, exist as such. Whatever meaning there is to existence involves Tikkun or the restoration of harmony and balance between the forces of expansive light and restrictive darkness until all is once again absorbed in the Ayn-Soph.

These speculations, it seems, are the inevitable result of dialectic opposition in a monistic system. The argument is as follows: If the universe is an overflowing or projection of God, (See Plotinus Ennead 5) and the universe contains what man calls "evil," then "evil" is contained in the nature of God. If, however, God is all good, then evil is not evil, it is but the dark side or foil of good. There is, in fact, no other possible logical solution to the problem of evil in a universe produced by emanation rather than creation from nothing. As man develops his own inner divine potential (individually and collectively) as an emanation of God there must be a balance of the progressive and the restrictive within the person and society to attain the ideal. This was, of course, the "enlightenment" proposed by Leibnitz in his Théodicée. 19. This form of thinking has impacted Western thought from the 16th century to the present.

In terms of eschatology, the imanentist theology of the Kabbalah must inevitably lead to the doctrine of Apokatastasis the reintegration of all spiritual emanations, active and passive, "good" and "evil," into the divinity at the end of time. If God is all, then God can not leave part of himself out side of himself forever. This is precisely what the Kabbalah predicts with its doctrine of Tikkun Olam. After myriad reincarnations, the souls of all men, * as well as of angels and demons, will form once again the unity of God. As the forces of creative light expand in man and dark judgment is absorbed, so also shall it be with God. It is even said that the Arch Devil Samael will be transformed at time's end to Sa’el one of the 72 holy Names of God.20


*It should be noted that there is some dispute among Kabalistic as to whether all sons of Adam or only Jews have within them the "divine spark" or Neshama which would allow re-incorporation to the Ein-Sof. According to the Zohar, only Jewish people come from the "holy side" or sitra di-kedusha from which the divine spark proceeds. Non Jewish people are products of the "other side" or sitra ahra and do not have the "divine" neshama but only the animal soul called nefesh and a spirit of cognitive ability called the ruah. 21.

_ ** The word Shekinah, simply said, does not appear in the Hebrew Bible. The term MiShKaN, from which the word Shekinah is derived, refers to the Sanctuary in the wilderness not the being who dwells therein. As Feminist Hebrew scholar/Rabbi, Lynn Gottlieb in her book, She Who Dwells Within, points out, "The word Shekinah first appears in the Mishna and Talmud (ca 200 CE), where it is used interchangeably with WHVH and Elohim as names of God…. By 1000 CE, the very mythologies so suppressed in the Bible erupted in the heart of Jewish mysticism, known as the Kabul, and Shekinah became YHVH’ wife, lover and daughter." This word only entered into common usage among Jewish thinkers in Medieval Spain where "Kabalistic" (Gnostic) mysticism took root from the writings of Moses de Leon in the Sefer ha-Zohar or Book of Splendor (c. 1280 AD).

As explained by Daniel Matt in his Essential Kabbalah, "In Kabbalah, Shekhinah becomes full-fledged She: …the feminine half of God." This doctrine spread through Southern Europe to Palestine and Turkey and then upward to Poland and Russia after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. More recently, Joseph Dan of the University of Jerusalem in an interview with Jewish Book News (May 9th 1996 issue) states, "The Kaballah insists that there is a feminine aspect within the divinity itself, the Shekhinah, and therefore …sexual life is applicable to the divine world." ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


An interesting addendum is that of Polish "convert" from Judaism to Catholicism, Jacob Frank. Frank first claimed himself to be the Messiah in Poland in 1756 as part of a Kabalistic Trinity made up of Attika Kadisha (The Holy Ancient One), Melika Kadisha ( The Holy King –Messiah), and the Shekhinah (feminine earthly half of the divinity). As he was persecuted by the Orthodox Jewish community for his bizarre faith and orgiastic initiations, he and many of his followers came into the Catholic Church precisely to introduce a feminine, or earthly, element, the Shekhinah, into the Christian Trinity under the guise of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (Secretly present in his own daughter Eva, but to be made manifest in the last days as a ultimate feminine Messiah) 22



        1. Gershom Scholem, Kaballah (New York: Dorset Press:1974) p.226,227

        2. Ibid., 126-128, 227

         3.Gershom Scholem Kabbalah (New York, Dorset Press, 1987) p. 3 - 5. The Second Temple period dates from the return of the Jewish people from the     Babylonian exile in 538 BC until the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 AD. The influence of Sumerian and/or Persian religion on the exiled Jewish    community has been suggested as a possible source of the Kabbalah

  1. Ibid. pp. 5-12
  2. Ibid. Pp. 8-22 The book of Genesis, for example, is treated as an esoteric explanation of the entrapment of the soul in matter in its descent from the world of Azilut into the world of creation Beriah and the book of Exodus, by contrast, begins the work of liberation and re-ascent of the soul to the spiritual order.


  1. N.B. ibid. 284, 327 - 332 According to Scholem, after the false Messiah, Shabbetai Zevi converted to Islam in 1666 many of his followers (known as Doenmeh – apostates) did so as well. According to the 18th C. Polish Shabbatean, Jacob Frank, the raison d’être of these conversions would appear to be as follows: "under the `burden of silence' the true believer, who has God in his secret heart, should go through all religions, all rites, and established orders without accepting any and indeed annihilating all from within and thereby establishing true freedom. Organized religion is only a cloak to be put on and thrown away on the way to the `sacred knowledge,' the gnosis of the place where all traditional values are destroyed in the stream of `life'." In this regard it should be noted that the Doenmeh indulged in orgiastic sexual activity especially during the spring festival Hag ha-Keves. Scholem also acknowledges that this movement influenced the universal upheavals of the eighteenth century as for-runner of the Enlightenment, Jacobinism and Freemasonry. He cites as some of the acknowledged Doenmeh of history: the majority of Kemal Ataturk's `Young Turk' movement and the founder of Polish Messianism, the poet Adam Mickiewicz.


  1. Ibid. pp. 197 – 201
  2. Albert Pike .Morals and Dogma of Free Masonry (Charleston, Southern Jurisdiction Publication, 1871) pp.581-800
  3. The Zohar I Sperling and Simon, trans. p. 70, cit. June Singer Androgyny Toward a New Theory of Sexuality (New York: Anchor, 1977) p. 153 N.B. This concept is fundamental to understanding of the Kabbalah as thus can be seen the initial mixing of light and darkness, male and female, good and evil as the initial act of the "One God," and the Kabalist can pronounce with impunity the traditional Jewish Shema –"Shema Ysrael Adonai Elehenu, Adonai Ehad" "The Lord is God, The Lord is One."
  4. Scholem pp. 88 –168 
  5. Siegmund Hurwitz Psychological Aspects of Early Hasidic Literature Timeless Documents of Soul (Evanston, IL: North Western University Press, 1968) pp. 202 - 203 cit. Singer, p. 160 
  6. Scholem p. 180 
  7. Ibid. pp. 141, 143, 161, 162,, 167, 194 
  8. Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai The Teaching of Buddha (Tokyo, Japan,1970 ) p. 62 
  9. Ibid. p. 125, See also Malcolm Godwin Angels, An Endangered Species (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990) entry for Metatron pp. 59 –61 
  10. Scholem p. 180 
  11. Ibid. pp. 337 – 343 
  12. Ibid. p. 310 
  13. Ibid. p. 127 
  14. Ibid. p. 128 
  15. Bid. Pp. 156 – 157 


  1. Genesis 1:1-2 "Berishit Barra Elohim" "In the beginning God created the heavens and earth…" The verb barra in Hebrew means to create from nothing. It is only used for the divine act at the beginning of time. From this Biblical account comes the traditional orthodox Jewish version of creation called Torah di – Beriah as opposed to the Kabalistic Torah de Azilut or world of emanations. In both traditional Jewish and Christian theology, God is worshipped as a personal, omnipotent, omniscient, creator who is other than his creation. For the Roman Catholic, the formula may be stated as follows: "(Deus) … est re et essentia a mundo distinctus, et super omnia praeter ipsum sunt aut concippi posunt ineffabiliter excelsus."Vatican I caps. I, ca 1-4) "(He …is really and essentially distinct from the world...and ineffably raised above all things which are outside of Himself or which can be conceived as being so." 
  2. Scholem, p. 302 



[1]           Albert Gallatin Mackey, The History of Freemasonry (New York: Gramercy Books, 2005) See also: Arthur Edward Waite, A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry (New York: Wings Books, 1996) and Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (Charleston: L. H. Jenkins, 1871).

[2]           Waite, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, p. 176. (emphasis added)

[3]           The primary sources are the Jewish Kabbalah and Egyptian Hermeticism, both of which systems posit the divine essence of human nature. See:Abbé Meinvielle De la Cabale au Progreisme (Paris:Editions Saint Rémi, 1970) p. 257

[4]           The angel Michael is, for Freemasons, the “planetary angel of the Sun,” a solar being, ruler of the “Cosmic Fire,” dedicated to the expansion of consciousness and freedom. David Ovason, The Secret Architecture of our Nation’s Capital: The Masons and the building of Washington, DC (New York: Harper Collins, 2000), p. 30.

[5]           Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, p. 14

[6]           Iibid, 844

[7]           Ibid. 846.

[8]           Manly P. Hall, 33° The Lost Keys of Free Masonry (Richmond: Mason Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., 1976). p. 65

[9]           As do the Gnostics, the Kabbalah places the origin of evil as belonging to the essential nature of the “unknowable god beyond God” – the unlimited Ayn Sof. An interesting explanation or overview of Kabbalah is given by Argentinean author Jorge Luis Borges who tells us that, according to the Kabbalah, “Evil is in the Variety, but variety is necessary for the world…. It is in the doctrine of the Greeks called apokatastasis,; that all creatures, including Cain and the Devil, will return, at the end of great transmigrations, to be mingled again with the Divinity from which they once emerged.” Seven Nights (New York, New Directions, 1984) Cited in The University Bookman, Ed. Russell Kirk, Winter 1987 p. 15

[10]          Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter Humanum Genus, April 20, 1884. article 1,

[11]         James H. Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men (New York: Basic Books, 1980) Intro. p.3

[12]         Ibid. p. 6

[13]         Ibid. p.  87.

[14]         Ibid. pp. 61, 214, 217

[15]          Joseph Alexandre Saint-Yves D’Alveydre, Mission des Souverains (Paris: Maison Michel Lévi

Y frères, 1884), pp. 446, 447, as cited by Pierre Virion, Mystere D’Iniquite (Paris: Pierre Tequi, 2003), pp. 10, 11. Virtually all the texts cited by Pierre Virion are available in modern reprints or original facsimile on-line

[16]          Stanislaus Guaita, La Muse Noire (Paris: A. Lamerre, 1883) p.52, as cited by Pierre Virion, Mystere D’Iniquite (Paris: Pierre Tequi, 2003),  p. 16. Emphasis in the English translation  is mine

[17]          Quotes in parenthesis are taken from original work, Abbé Roca,  Glorieux Centenaire (Paris: Ghio Auguste, 1889) as cited in Mystere D’Iniquite, Virtually all the texts cited by Pierre Virion are available in modern reprints or original facsimile available on-line

[18]           Abbé Roca, La fin de l’Ancien Monde (Paris:J. Levey. 1886) p. 282, as cited in Mystere D’Iniquite, p. 33

[19]          An esoteric order strictly on the (Masonic) Lodge system perpetuating a chain of Initiation which came through Martinez de Pasqually and Louis Claude de Saint Martin in the 18th century. The teaching generally is a system of philosophic thought, essentially a Christian Gnosis.  See: Blavatsky, Theosophy, Vol. 26, No. 11 September 1938. available online as visited Jan. 26, 2012

[20]          For Jules Doniel, See: . Jules Doinel and The Gnostic Church of France  available on line at,  as visited Jan 26, 2012

[21]          St. Pius X, Pascendi Dominici  Gregis, 1884 Article 14, The Modernist as believer

[22]          Pierre Virion, Myster D’Iniquite  p. 54.

[23]          Pierre Virion , Mystère D’Iniquité  p. 55.

[24]           Ibid. p. 57

[25]          Ibid. p, 58.

[26]         This brilliant and saintly priest related to me that after a week of discussions involving delegates of the Society of Jesus and Freemasonry, in regard to the evils of Communism, human virtue, the person of Jesus, and the existence of Heaven and eternal reward,  he was unable to pin down the deviousness of their doctrine save that they would not reveal their cherished “Secret.”


[27]            Père Reginald Garirgou-Lagrange, La nouvelle théologie où-va-t’elle,  (Rome: Angelicum, 1946)  See end note 44

[28]          Teilhard de Chardin, Human Energy (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1969) p. 162 Like the Kabbalah, his theory is loosely based on Plotinus (205-270 AD), according to whom, first the One exudes the universal Mind, [the Cosmic Christ or Adam Kadmon] which consists of a world of ideas, then the Mind produces a universal Soul, which splits into individual souls as immanent in matter. Subsequently, via dialectical evolution of radial and tangential energies, all returns to attain adhesion with the One.

[29]          Quoted in,  Bernhard. Lakebrink, Die Warheit in Bedrangnis (Stein am Rhein: Christiana-Verlag, 1986) p. 23 As cited by  30 Days, No. 4, 1993 p. 61

[30]      It should be noted that von Balthasar Left the Jesuit order in 1950

[31]       H.H. Pope Pius XII, Encyclical letter Humani Generis, Rome, 1946, article 11

“ …concealed beneath the mask of virtue, there are many, who, deploring disagreement among men and intellectual confusion, through an imprudent zeal for souls, are urged by a great and ardent desire to do away with the barrier that divides good and honest men; these advocate an “eirenism” according to which by setting aside the questions which divide men, they aim not only at joining forces to repel the attacks of atheism, but also at reconciling things opposed to one another in the field of dogma….today some are presumptive enough to question seriously whether theology…should not only be perfected, but also completely reformed in order to promote the more efficacious propagation of the kingdom of Christ everywhere throughout the world among men of every culture and religious opinion.”

[32]      Henri de Lubac, La Posterité Spirituelle de Joachim de Flore (Paris: Lethielleux, 1981) pp. 270- 271

[33]      Ibid p. 275 Emphasis in the original.French

[34]    Anonymous, (Valentin Thornberg) Meditations on the Tarot (New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putman, 1985).  P. 136 – page numbers from this book are henceforth placed in parenthesis.


[35]          Although the process of “initiation” remains a secret in all cults, both ancient and modern, there is sound evidence that either phallic worship and sexual rituals as seen in the Pompeian frescos, or blasphemous acts such as the Masonic degradation of consecrated Hosts. See: “Cardinal Eduard Gagnon reflects on Masonry,” Soul Magazine, July-August, 1991 p. 22

[36]          These words are neither little more nor less than those proposed by the excommunicated Abbé Roca, “Mary is the manifestation of the feminine principle itself, immaculate wisdom incarnate… rising up from the holy Gnosis.” Glorieuse Centenaire . ( p. 147). As cited by Pierre Virion in Mystère D’Iniquité

[37]          “Through the first death…. the lover may see the beloved celestial Venus.. and by reflecting on her divine image, nourish his purified eyes…the perfect union he can have with his celestial beloved is what the learned Cabbalist call the “union of the kiss” [ Shivug ha kadosh - divine sexual intercourse] - Pico della Mirandola, Commento sopra una canziona de amore composta da Girolamo  Benevinci, ed. Bonnaccorsi,  Commento III (ed. Garin iv, p.557 ff.) as cited in Edgar Wind, Pagan Mysteries in the Renaissance, (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1968)  p. 155

[38]          The word Shekinah refers to the feminine manifestation of the Kabbalistic Trinity,[Atika Kadisha, Melech Kadisha, Shekinah],  as wife, lover and daughter of Yahweh. The sexual union of Yahweh and the Shekhina energizes the world. See: Daniel C. Matt The Essential Kabbalah (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1994) p. 9 - Lyn Gottlieb, She Who Dwells Within, A Feminist Vision of a Renewed Judaism (San Francisco, CA: Harpers San Francisco, 1995) pp. 20,35

[39]          “The being of all beings is but a single being, yet in giving birth to itself, it divides itself into two principles, into light and darkness, into joy and pain, into evil and good, into love and wrath, …Creation itself as his own love-play between the qualities of both eternal desires.” Jakob Böhme, Samlitche Schriften ed. W. E. Peuckert, vol. 16 (Stuttgart: Frommann, 1957), p. 233.

[40]          “In our diagram, Christ and the devil appear as equal and opposite…Carl Gustav Jung “ Zur Psychologie der Trinitatslehre, translated in Vol. 11, 2nd ed. Of his Complete Works (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969). p. 174

[41]          The created principle is [yod] the divine phallus; and the created principle is the formal [cteïs] female organ. The insertion of the vertical phallus into the horizontal cteïs forms the cross of the Gnostics, or the philosophical cross of the Freemasons.” – Élephias Levy, Dogma et Rituelle de la haute magie. (Paris: Chacon Frères, 1930), pp. 123-24.

[42]          “Yes Lucifer is God, and unfortunately Adonay is also God. For the eternal law is that there is no light without shade, no beauty without ugliness, no white without black, for the absolute can; and the true only exist as two gods…[the] and true and pure philosophic religion is the belief in Lucifer, the equal of Adonay; but Lucifer, God of Light and God of Good, is struggling for humanity against Adonay, God of Darkness and Evil.” Albert Pike, ‘Instructions’ issued to the 23 Supreme Councils of the world, on July 14, 1889, , -[Oft quoted and oft denied, but available in the Vertical File marked “Albert Pike—Lucifer Quote” at the library of the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction located at 1733 16th St. NW, Washington, D.C.]   quote, A. C. De La Rive, La femme et l’enfant dans la Franc-Maçoneriie Universelle,  as cited in Edith Starr Miller, Occult Theocracy ( Clackamas, Oregon: Emissary Publications, 1980) pp.220, 221. See also,  Visited Feb. 2, 2012