(Concerning the reformation of the R.R.+A.C. curriculum)
G.H. Fra Lux Ex Septentrionis
Imperator Ordinis, H.O.G.D., Chief Adept, R.R.+A.C. Archon Basileus, A.O.
In modern esotericism, there exist three types of esoteric orders. These
fall into two general categories; symbolical and operative. Among the operative
orders, there are those which are analogical (lunar) or direct (solar).
At the simplest level we find the "symbolical" orders like Freemasonry
and the outer order of the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. In
these orders, spiritual wisdom is presented in symbolical form; either exclusively
during the initiation rituals in the case of Freemasonry, or together with
supplemental study materials as in the case of the original Hermetic Order
of the Golden Dawn in the outer.
At the more advanced level come the so-called, "operative"
orders. Operative orders employ special magical or alchemical "operations"
for spiritual development. In a further distinction, there exist two kinds
of operative systems and orders. Firstly, in the "analogical,"
operative systems, practitioners operate with systems referring by analogy
to yet higher, more direct, and more advanced operations and systems. Analogical
operative systems are thus called "lunar" mysteries as, much as
the moon reflects the light of the Sun, their light is reflected by analogical
reference to higher operative processes. Nonetheless, despite her reflective
nature, the moon indeed remains a luminary. So also the analogical operative
systems remain powerful tools for spiritual development in and of themselves,
despite their analogical nature.
Many things in modern times called "Rosicrucian" have no real
reference the historical Rosicrucian tradition. There do, however, exist
certain sets of spiritual practices that have been employed by the Rosicrucian
tradition since earliest times. These Rosicrucian practices have always
been operative rather than merely symbolical in nature and have concerned
themselves primarily with magic (theurgy) and alchemy. The best example
of a Rosicrucian, magical order is the RR+AC, the Second Order of the original
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. An outstanding example of a Rosicrucian,
alchemical order was the 18th Century, Gold und Rosenkreutz Order in Germany.
Alchemy, until today, remains the most occulted part of the Western Esoteric
Tradition. As a consequence, more nonsense has been written about alchemy
than any other aspect of Western esotericism. C.G. Jung, the Swiss psychologist,
saw symbolical patterns in alchemical drawings that he used to justify his
own theories regarding the collective nature of the human psyche. In a more
recent development, Adam MacLean has developed a modern school of mysticism
using meditation upon alchemical images. In addition to these modern, systematic
interpretations of alchemy, the name has also been misused to describe almost
anything transformative. For example, in certain initiatic circles, it has
become popular to refer to the "alchemy" of grade work in referring
to spiritual growth.
All of these modern psychological, mystical, and developmental interpretations
of alchemy, however, have little or nothing to do with the true nature of
alchemy, which remains one of the best-kept esoteric secrets in modern times.
Even clear instructions for the "analogical" operations of alchemical
laboratory processes remain by and large concealed.
There are many ways that alchemists have passed along their wisdom to
other initiates, yet protecting it from revelation to the profane. Most
classical alchemical texts and series of alchemical images, for example,
refer to alchemical processes by analogy and Hermetic allegory, hiding their
mysteries behind Hermetic symbolism. The folly of the Jungian psychological
interpretation of alchemical images is the clearest demonstration of the
effectiveness of this method of concealment. Regarding the occult nature
of alchemy, the Jungians best prove the truth of the classical, alchemical
maxim that "Neither torches nor glasses will help those without eyes
There does exist, however, a second class of alchemical documents. These
documents, such as certain documents deriving from the 18th Century Gold
und Rosenkreutz Order, were written exclusively for the eyes of initiates.
These documents, therefore are not obscured by Hermetic allegory and symbolism,
but rather clearly describe laboratory processes. These documents were protected
in a different way. They were coded in certain key places using Rosicrucian
ciphers, the keys of which were given only to initiates of the proper grade
in the Order.
It is a little known fact that even the most hidden laboratory processes
of alchemy, no matter how well concealed they have been down through the
centuries, are 99% themselves analogical (lunar) operations, as are the
magical operations of the Second Order of the Hermetic Order of the Golden
Dawn, the RR+AC. These alchemical operations also refer by analogy to higher
operative systems of the direct, solar, mysteries.
The Solar mysteries comprise an operative tradition that lies at the
apex of the Rosicrucian as well as the entire Western Esoteric tradition.
The Solar operative tradition represents the capstone of the entire Western
Esoteric Tradition, lying as it does upon the Hermetic pillars Alchemy and
Theurgy. Here, we find not some mere mystical meditation upon alchemical
images or psychological nonsense, but rather the supreme esoteric corpus
of operative practices that all other genuine magical and alchemical operations
only refer to by analogy. It is the summun bonum, the apex of the pyramid.
Very little may be revealed about the solar mysteries, except that that
they comprise the most jealously guarded and secret part of the Western
Esoteric Tradition and involve the true and most secret preparation, rectification,
and multiplication of the philosopher's stone. In the Rosicrucian Order
of A+O, the solar mysteries shine forth with the direct light of the Sun
in our Third Order at the level of the Supernal Sephiroth, and are seen
but reflected in the lunar mysteries below the veil of Daath.
Indeed, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was originally conceived
as a three order system. The outer order, the Hermetic Order of the Golden
Dawn, was a symbolical order. The Second Order, the RR+AC was operative,
practicing a Qabalistic and Enochian magical system, yet working at the
level of the lunar, analogical mysteries. The Third Order was supposed to
place the capstone upon the pyramid, with the operative tradition of the
solar mysteries. History was to prevent this from happening, however. While
S.L. MacGregor Mathers was still manifesting his brilliant synthesis of
Qabalistic and Enochian magic for the Second Order, the Adepts of the RR+AC
rebelled in London, provoking the order's first schism. This was quickly
followed by the Horos scandal and by the betrayal of the order by Aleister
Crowley, who despite his oaths published the secret teachings of the RR+AC,
thus preventing the completion of the entire Three Order system for over
Crowley's publication of the RR+AC's operative magical corpus, although
of benefit to the wider esoteric community, was a disaster for the RR+AC.
The Rosicrucian Order of A+O correctly recognized the gravity of this situation
caused for its Second Order by Crowley's betrayal. On the one hand, the
RR+AC egregore had become polluted by the usage of its magical corpus by
the general public, including for egotistical and black magical purposes.
On the other hand, it had become hypocritical to require oaths of secrecy
from Adepts regarding well known and published material.
Thus, in 1999, the Rosicrucian Order of A+O proclaimed the "Reformatio
Fraternitatis Anno 1999,": according to the ancient rule of the Rosicrucian
order, which requires a general reformation of the order's system every
one hundred and eleven (111) years. The previous general reformations had
occurred in 1888 (year of the founding of the Hermetic Order of the Golden
Dawn as well as of two other Rosicrucian orders in France), 1777 (the year
of the general reformation of the Gold und Rosenkreutz order in Germany),
As the first step the 1999 Reformation, all RR+AC materials that had
been profaned by publication were moved to the A+O's outer order, the Hermetic
Order of the Golden Dawn. As a consequence, the Outer Order of the A+O became
an operative as well as a symbolical order. In the new millennium, due to
the prevalence of published works on magic, many individuals today no longer
need to spend years learning only theory and through symbols presented in
initiation rituals as was the case of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
in 1888. Today, many individuals are well prepared to begin with magical
operations immediately upon their reception in the A+O's Outer Order. Esoteric
schools, if they are to survive and remain effective, must not only remain
traditional, but must also evolve to meet the changing needs of their times.
Next we set out to reform the Second Order of the Rosicrucian Order of
A+O, the RR+AC. This, it turned out, was a Herculean task, and required
several years to fully accomplish. The greatest challenge was to re-create
a secret Second Order curriculum that remained traditionally Rosicrucian,
yet served the same spiritual function as did the original RR+AC. Our order
was in a unique position to attempt this, as we had inherited a vast corpus
of esoteric and alchemical documents deriving from earlier Rosicrucian orders
This turned out to be a far greater task that we could ever have possibly
imagined, however. There were several major obstacles to overcome. The first
and greatest problem was that all Rosicrucian groups prior to the RR+AC
had been primarily concerned with alchemy rather than with magic. Thus our
reformed curriculum would have to include alchemy as well as magic.
GH Frater DLS (Jean-Pascal Ruggiu, the present Imperator of the Ahathoor
Temple No 7 in Paris) had been a member of the French FAR+C, and thus had
maintained an alchemical laboratory in his home and practiced the "wet
way" (le voie humide) for many years. Furthermore, our order was fortunate
enough to have inherited literally hundreds of alchemical laboratory processes
clearly described in original Rosicrucian documents at our disposal, together
with all of the necessary cipher keys to decode the ciphered parts.
Additionally, GH Frater LES (David Griffin) had the necessary linguistic
talents translate the alchemical processes described in German in the original
Rosicrucian documents. The deciphering and translation of these processes,
however, was compounded, however, by the nearly impenetrable orthography
of 18th Century German.
More importantly, which of the hundreds of alchemical processes, should
be deciphered and translated? Which processes were those essential to the
to the reformed Second Order curriculum? Tragically, despite having access
to extremely rare documents clearly describing processes that had been
carefully concealed for hundreds of years, GH Fraters DLS and LES realized
that they had become hopelessly lost in the alchemical labyrinth. Together,
they stood at the edge of an impenetrable abyss. There was no way back.
The Reformation had been proclaimed. Yet there was no way forward either,
as the labyrinth loomed in every direction. The Reformation stood on the
brink of failure.
It is a spiritual maxim that "The darkest hour comes always just
before the dawn." And so it was as the GH Chiefs of the Rosicrucian
Order of A+O had reached the limits of their own abilities and despaired
in their own "dark night of the soul" that, as by a miracle, guidance
was granted from the invisible and help arrived from on high.
It was in this hour of greatest need that the Rosicrucian Order of A+O
was contacted by a man identifying himself as "Frater Lux et Tenebris,"
a representative of an extremely secretive and ancient European western
mystery school. This most occult of all orders originated in Sumer, continued
in Chaldea and in Egypt, and was brought to Europe by the Greek and Roman
empires. At an historic meeting in Paris with GH Fraters DLS and LES, Frater
Lux et Tenebris provided our order with the teachings and esoteric corpus
of the solar, direct mysteries, together with cipher manuscripts for the
initiation rituals to comprise the Third Order of the Rosicrucian Order
of A+O. Thanks to the collaboration between Frater Lux et Tenebris and the
Rosicrucian Order of A+O, it became possible for the progression of the
three orders originally conceived for the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
to finally come to fruition.
It also, of course, became possible to complete the reformation of the
RR+AC, the Second Order of the Rosicrucian Order of A+O. Indeed, it was
only from the perspective of the Third Order that the Second Order could
be successfully reformed. It became easy to choose which magical (theurgical)
and alchemical processes were essential to the Second Order (RR+AC) in order
to prepare the Adept for the advanced, solar mysteries of the Third Order.
Thus we overcame what initially had seemed an impossible obstacle for the
The reformed Second Order of the Rosicrucian Order of A+O thus came to
include both Alchemy and Magic (Theurgy) deriving almost entirely from earlier
Rosicrucian sources and successfully preparing the Adept for more advanced,
Third Order studies. The system of sub-grades originally envisioned by S.L.
MacGregor Mathers was incorporated together with the basic alchemical pattern
of progression of the Gold und Rosenkreutz order.
For example, in the Gold und Rosenkreutz, the Initiate began with a study
of classical alchemical texts and theoretical alchemy up through the grade
of Theoricus. In the A+O the new adept does likewise up through the sub-grade
of Theoricus Adeptus Minor. It is not until the sub-grade of Practicus Adeptus
Minor that the A+O Adept begins with the first practical alchemical operations,
as was the case in the grade of Practicus in the Gold und Rosenkreutz. This
progression is echoed again in the sub-grades of Adeptus Major and Adeptus
Exemptus, although the Adept works with more and more advanced, clearly
explained, alchemical operations.
On the magical (Theurgical) side, the A+O Adept, having worked with Qabalistic
and Enochian magic already in the First Order, works with ever earlier and
more powerful systems of Egyptian, Chaldaean, and Sumerian magical systems
as he or she progresses through the Second and Third orders.
The final remaining challenge in reforming the RR+AC was to protect and
close the system so that it would be extremely difficult for any single
individual to harm the order through by revealing its system, as had happened
previously with Aleister Crowley. This was accomplished by presenting the
various magical and alchemical systems progressively, bit by bit, through
the various sub-grades of the Second Order. Thus only Adepti Exempti (7=4)
hold the keys to the complete systems, with the final key unlocking their
full power and synthesis reserved exclusively for the final sub-grade of
Adeptus Adeptus Exemptus. Thus only a Portal candidate of the Third Order
is in the position to reveal the entire system rather than a mere Minor
Adept (5=6) as was Crowley.
The wisdom of protecting the reformed Second Order curriculum in this
way was quickly proven when an early draft outline proposal to reform the
5=6 curriculum was made available in a private area of our web site for
discussion among Adepti. Through an oversight, an administrative secretary
inappropriately gained access to this rough outline and without permission
made it available to two Outer Order members! One of these members, leaving
the order under a cloud, attempted to coerce our order, threatening to distribute
our "curriculum" or publish this "sensitive" information.
This treacherous individual had no idea of the precautions that we had
taken against just such an eventuality or that the document in question
contained, in fact, little more of value than an early proposal for a reading
list of classical alchemical texts and images for newly initiated, beginning
Adepts. Our order called the bluff of this imposter, of course, and he was
exposed as the imposter that he is. This proved highly embarrassing as well
for several other individuals who had been shown this "important"
document, including the leader of another order who had been foolish enough
to brag on the Internet that he had gained "intimate knowledge"
of our "reformed curriculum." Thus our forsight and precautions
netted not only their first turncoat, but exposed a would-be purveyor of
stolen goods as well!
We thus see that following the successful Reformation or 1999, the Rosicrucian
Order of A+O came to complete the entire progression of the Three Order
system similarly intended for the original Hermetic Order of the Golden
Dawn. Beginning at a symbolical level, then progressing through Rosicrucian
alchemical and magical analogical operations, the system then attains the
summit of the direct, solar operations and mysteries. Along the way, the
initiate encounters ever more ancient egregores and systems, beginning with
the Qabalistic and Enochian, then delving deeply into the Egyptian, before
encountering the Chaldeaen and Sumerian. The overall system is protected
with safeguards to prevent further profanation and remains firmly rooted
in the Hermetic triad of disciplines; astrology, alchemy, and theurgy.