Who built your architect?
The secret societies open the mind to a conception of Masonry. The impact of the ‘secret’ has a primary role on human consciousness and thus, individuals came to be divided by the mysteries that permeate any social level, from government conspiracies to simple human relations. The biggest problem of a secret is not based on its intrinsic content, but on the mere fact that a certain thing is hidden. And how can these societies be secret since their existence is known everywhere? There have always been countless members who talk about their work within such society. The secret can be defined as the intention, the purpose and the operation of these groups, while the most popular of them are the Freemasons. It is not known specifically how and when they appeared. Could this be a secret, a lack of identity related to these groups, or a willful practice applied as a standard in order to be disruptive for the human consciousness? Etymologically speaking, it is all about the free builders and the ‘freemason’ term was first written in the 15th century. Masons were builders or simply masons, and Freemasonry was supposed to be marked as the Masons’ step which made them touch the Modernity. This way, the groups have propagated the so-called freedom. An early confirmation of someone who belonged to a Masonic lodge was made by Elias Ashmole, a British antiquarian who studied astrology and alchemy and was included in such society in 1646, at Warrington.
There were various things written regarding the Masons, such as the fact that they appeared among Pythagoreans, among the Knights Templars or among the priests in ancient Egypt. Their legend was based on the art of building, while the architectural art was developed by the Hebrew people, who influenced the Greeks and eventually it arrived in Rome when its role became the same with the one of the geometrical principles. The Freemasons who believe in the “Great Architect of the Universe” can be met on a vast area of the globe and most of them are in America, the Western Europe and generally countries developing social models that are considered to fulfill the criteria of the hierarchy of needs. Considering these criteria, one can say that Freemasonry has to do more with the exoteric and less with the esoteric, even if there have been many opinions, discussions and ideas about the occult forces of these Illuminati that could control successfully a significant part of the global population. Bascially, the Freemasonry’s smoke came out of the fire made by philosophers, alchemists, Rosicrucians and Hermeticians, from which the masons or the Freemasons took some of the ideologies regarding the esoteric religions, without using their own contribution or a new approach, but relying on the old doctrines and the aspirations of some scholars who managed to stir up a controversial wave in the 17th century. Compared to Rosicrucians, whose development will be passed in the review in the following lines, the Freemasons did not express a great interest in the development of arts, science, or scientific research, the alchemy or magic, so they approached an esoteric religion based on concepts and principles that were already set and then, they have combined it with teaching ethics and philanthropy.
The analysis of the Rosicrucian field aims to shed some light in the corner of the secret societies. This field involves also a doctrine built with the esoteric truths of the ancient past. Thus, a bunch of people want to emphasize a certain perspective on the nature, the physical universe and the spiritual realm. The Rosicrucian phenomenon began with the first manifesto which revealed a fictional hero, Christian Rosenkreuz of the “Rose Cross Order”. Fama Fraternitas published at Kassel in 1614, announced the returning of Rosenkreuz from the East in Germany and the fact that he will found the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross in order to help the sick ones and to spread the principles of a new wisdom. Who was Rosenkreuz? Perhaps a legendary and allegorical figure who founded the “Rose Cross Order”. So, if the nature of the founder is allegorical, a simple use of elementary logic suggests that the entire Rosicrucian movement is the same as its hero, and a dream is told as a fact.
In the next year, i.e. 1615, Confessio Fraternitatis R.C came out, another anonymous manifesto which stated that the new philosophy is based on the ancient knowledge of alchemy and science, indicating the end of the conflict between religion and politics and the end of poverty, bringing as well the bases of a new teaching which excluded the old methods. While in these two manifestos the occult approaches are constructed in the absence of a profound overview regarding the spiritual world, although the goal of the text was to convince the world of their gravity through rudimentary prayers, the third one – published in 1616 at Strasbourg – is an alchemic novel entitled “The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosencreuz”, which appears as a profound work of literature in which the direction is given by hermetic metaphors, and is based on a vision that falls into the dramatic style, while there is an abundance of initiation rites and rituals. This time, the work is written by the German theologian, Johannes Valentinus Andreae. This manifesto is supplied with an earlier version, published when Andreae was a teenager, a work which is even more based on the alchemical symbolism than the one dedicated to Rosencreuz, and here, the subject of marriage has the obvious role of symbolizing alchemical processes. “The Chemical Wedding” from 1616 contains references to the previous manifestos, and they link the hermetic symbolism with the experiences of the Elector Palatine and his marriage with the daughter of Jacob I, Elizabeth, and the story is set at the Heidelberg court. Of course, the royal wedding can be described as an alchemical process, while the same marriage gave birth to a political hope based on a religious reform which triggered the goal of bringing a new spiritual renewal in an age when alchemy was occupying the highest rank among philosophers, becoming the main tool in a movement which was created to found a new political and religious system.
Michael Maier comes to defend the Rosicrucian manifests, publishing in 1617 the Silentium Post Clamore tract. Maier has published various articles on alchemy, he was a Protestant, and in 1568 he received the doctoral degrees in physics, at Basel. Passing through Amsterdam and London, he might have interfered with Robert Fludd, also a defender of the Rosicrucian movement, a Paraclesian doctor, astrologer and mathematician with interests in the tradition of Kabbalah. Among the ones included in the circle which supported the new Reformation in the Palatinate was also included Maier’s disciple, J. D. Mylius, who also published a certain treatise, “Philosofia Reformata”, which is based on the Solve-et-Coagula principle and contains various valuable illustrations in terms of alchemical importance.
During the same year when Andreae’s “Chemical Wedding” gets published at Strasbourg, Ferdinand II climbs the throne of Bohemia with Jesuits’ involvement. Beside him, his two ministers, Martiniz and Slawata were threatening the Protestant movement by restricting its freedom. After Ferdinand ordered the seizure and the destruction of a Protestant church, an imminent conflict began to burn, so that the ‘defenders’ have violated in their turn the Royal Palace in Prague, and thus, Martiniz and Slawata were literally thrown out the window. The garbage was the thing which saved the two ministers, because the piles of remains made their fall less dangerous. A new army was formed to provide defense for the protesters, which dethroned the king rapidly, his place being taken in a predictable way by the Elector Palatine Frederick V, who was floating on big dreams due the circumstances of being the son in law of James I of England. But what a useless relationship! After the Jesuits were expelled and received a well-deserved mockery in 1620 at the White Mountain, near Prague, the defenders were unconditionally defeated. Only one year after the battle and 27 protestant nobles were publicly beheaded in the largest market of Prague because they refused to convert to Catholicism in order to save their lives. That was the moment when the colour of the country became bloody red because the land became dominated by violence and crime. In such circumstances, the Bohemian population decreased from three million to one million inhabitants. Since the independence of Bohemia the Hussite religion was also annihilated and the Thirty Years’ war began to turn Europe into ruins here and there.
During the unfolding of these events, some made few attempts at redefining the name of God. Rosicrucians were stated as having a new spiritual approach thanks to a bit of magic applied to their new religion, which was combined with some alchemical and Kabbalistic representations. The main instrument of the Rosicrucians was the word just as in rest of the cases. Their direction was meant to “correct the world”, just as today some are working on a so-called “new world order” although the United States of Europe are not established yet.
As the tongue is capable of anything, the human consciousness could arrive to the idea that man should revert to the state of Adam from the famous paradise, such as people might believe the truth or the lie while none of the two notions deal with their own reality.
We can assume that these attempts at “correcting the world” started in 1613 when a major political alliance was shaped. Another paradox of that time was even the marriage between the Catholic Princess Elizabeth, the daughter of James I and the grandson of William the Silent – the Protestants leader Frederick V, Elector Palatine of the Rhine. Shakespeare enjoyed this wedding and included in his “storms” symbols that honored the royal couple with pieces like “Othello”, “Julius Caesar”, or “Much Odo About Nothing”, especially since the queen loved the theatre. Meanwhile, Francis Bacon was also working on the foundations of the new world, having already published “The Advancement of Learning”.
The decoration of the son in law Frederick with the Order of the Garter had a great artistic significance with strong political and religious involvements and the whole drama was played in the real world. During the ceremony, the king gave to his future groom a necklace of precious stones embodying St. George. But this story is symbolically translated with the allegory of St. George and the dragon, the myth of a queen who is the prisoner of a necromancer and then she’s saved by the great protector of the world, St. George – a representative character for the Order of the Garter in Elizabethan tradition – who redeemed the world from evil spells holding the Red Cross flag, the valuable sign of the Brothers of the Rose Cross who were none others than the unseen and the reputed Rosicrucians. This marriage was a big success for the Church of England, Rhine joined the Thames, thus UK unites with Germany. Therefore, the defeat of the Habsburgs and the establishment of a large European Union with a reformed church became the main goals.
The intellectuals of that age, mostly experts in philosophy, alchemy, medicine and astrology were lost in creative “orgies” due to these preparations for the new reform, and Heidelberg was the cultural center of Europe by then. The European dream of Renaissance was launched since Boticelli showed people some charms, seeking the pagan gateway in the spiritual construction of time and at that moment, Prague became a science Mecca. The hermetic studies turned the place into an intellectual furnace and scholars like John Dee, Giordano Bruno or Johannes Kepler were manifesting in great ways. Of course that Elizabeth and Frederick could not go to sleep until the debates on Descartes and Bacon’s texts were finished.
The defeat of the Winter King meant the impossibility of establishing a European Union, no matter the contribution of the unseen Rosicrucians that tried to give a nonpolitical look to a political purpose. How could anyone imagine that King James I would support the new reform involving a good deal of occultism? The king hated the magic as much as he hated the devil, so that is why he did not tolerate even the genius John Dee who presented his methods to interact with angels through numbers. While the Netherlands were passive about the fate of Frederick, the Protestants were too proud for considering an alliance.
The historical facts may prove something that many will find hard to admit: most of those who created doctrines in teaching, i.e. education had to do with the Freemasonry, the Masonry, the Rosicrucianism or other secret societies. The education’s renewal included new spiritual approaches, many of them based on the contemplation at the human’s condition in the world. However, these processes were always coordinated by political factors that could not be deployed without hierarchy and obedience.
One of the other paradoxes found in the Renaissance period was that the alchemists with their laboratories were exploiting the nature and its resources, and the results of combining nature and man, but nonetheless, they asked the need of a divinity in order to create what was already created and to control things that needed freedom, like humans; Another troubling aspect was that Francis Bacon criticized the limitation of senses and intellect or the incorrect methods that led to false ideas through the theory of the idols, but in his view the world’s exploration stopped actually in front of a leader called ‘God.’
Although Rosicrucians didn’t have too much success with their manifestos and the contribution of all those who supported their cause, because the “winter rulers” were deposed rapidly, their manifestations shook good parts of Europe, not only Germany and led to the establishment of the Royal Society. The reason of this emerged from all the failed attempts at getting in touch with some nonexistent people that the followers of the religious changes have made. It looks like there was no Rosicrucian gathering, but a desire to create a union, which came to be a reality.
The protestants were promised that they will not be buried, while the war was in full swing. This statement came from the Swedish King, Gustavus Adolphus, who managed to found in his land what Frederick V failed in his realm and both died in November 1632. In England, the Rosicrucian manifestos were translated again in 1652. The manifestos entered once again in the UK and Thomas Vaughart, the author of some mystical works credited himself with some of the translations that did not belong to him. He was under the patronage of Robert Moray, a very important person in forming the Royal Society.
The fear of a new anti-witchcraft rage contributed to John Dee’s denigration by the Royal Society and the whole gathering had to ignore religion and rely only on science and experiment. The politic architects build very strong religious by using only their favorite bricks and people think architects are either created by God or randomly chosen, failing to admit that they have created God and that nothing happens by chance.
The Temple of the Rose Cross, 1618