04 March, 2013

If I were to form a Rosicrucian Order . . .

. . . which I'm not, it might look something like this:

The order's organization would be based loosely around the formative myth within the Fama Fraternitatis, with degrees of study based on the generations, as it were, of those original Rosicrucians. So, there would be three degrees for the three generations or rows of succession, as well as an office of Custodian, representing the place of CRC. Note that three degrees is a particularly original thing. This could go further into the teachings mentioned in regard to each generation as well.

The teaching material would be based on a number of traditions brought together in the Fama and Confessio, as well as their otherwise hidden contexts. For the most part this would consist of a study of Marsilio Ficino's Neoplatonism, talismancy, theoria, and astrological medicine and laboratory and inner alchemy. Platonic political science would be important, and would include a study of Ficino's Book of the Sun and Tommaso Campanella City of the Sun, both of which were likely influential on the writing of the Fama and Confessio. A study of Trajano Bocalini's Universal Reformation, which was once included with the Fama. Pythagoreanism and sacred geometry would also be included, probably including the Pythagorean materials of Iamblichus. A study of the Ramak's kabbalah, due to its over Neoplatonic content, would also be included, as would herbalism, preferably under someone with professional training in the subject. Ficino's Neoplatonism, as it draws from Plotinus, Iamblichus, Proclus and Dionysius, acts nicely as the unifying force for everything concerned. A study of at least basic physics and scientific thought would also be important. And, of course, the old Rosicrucian documents should be studied in depth, both for their historical context and mystical and political teachings. This covers most, if not all, of the courses of study found in the Fama.

Everyone, of course, likes initiations. Presumably there would be one for each degree, as well as a conferring of lineage or what-have-you upon the Custodian. These would be based on the FamaConfessio, and Chymical Wedding. All oaths would be based around the six precepts of the Fama, maybe with some of Michael Maier's Laws.

What would this look like in practice? Probably not a lot like ceremonial magical orders, though there might be some group theurgy. Much of the work would be personal and solitary but close communication between brothers and sisters would be important, with an emphasis on the fraternal nature of the Order being foremost. There would be practical, physical work, such as the laboratory alchemy and herbalism, towards the fulfillment of the primary Rosicrucian vow to cure the sick, and that gratis. There would be internal work such as contemplation and internal alchemy, and maybe something like the "Masonic qi gong" described in Sebattendorff's Secret Practices of the Sufi Freemasons. Would there be communes and such, as described in the Fama? I have no idea, though it is a romantic notion.

That, anyway, is something like what a Rosicrucian Order would would look like if I were to start one. Which I'm not.


  1. i'm not an expert at all, but my sense of the "original Rosicrucians" was that they were heavily invested in a program of religious and political unity. It would be tricky to execute this in modern times.

  2. You are correct, at least if we are taking the Fama and Confessio as original, some posit a significantly older origin. At any rate, the Fama has elements of early German nationalism and very particular anti-Catholic, or at least anti-Papal, views. Neither of which may necessarily be appropriate for today's practitioners but make sense when you look at the social context from which these texts come, i.e. the pen of Johan Valentin Andreae. Andreae had an interesting mixture of nationalism and utopianism in him, which do not necessarily go together to create a great thing.

    This is one of the reasons I would, if I were to do this, which I'm not, introduce Platonic political theory. This, at least in my reading of it, prohibits nationalism as it is ultimately geared towards an overall common good rather than just the common good of "my people." Neoplatonism, especially in its Iamblichean form, allows for multiple religious contexts, both mono- and polytheistic, as well as possibly monistic and panenthistic, which may provide a useful religio-spiritual grounding without saying "you must practice this religion."

  3. Germany from 1600s to WW1 is all about comparing oneself to France, i guess ;-)

    i agree about Neoplatonism. It's about the only religious framework i can stand at this point.

  4. "That, anyway, is something like what a Rosicrucian Order would look like if I were to start one. Which I'm not."

    Funny how these things work; you probably just did.

  5. As long as I don't end up hidden in some sarcophagus in a lost vault for 120 years.