Secret Texts, 8-9







Jose'phin Pe'ladan

Ingeborg Kohn



Hammers & 3rd Degree

William Burgan



8. (pp. 228-57) Ingeborg M. Kohn : "Jose'phin Pe'ladan, Founder of Le Salon de la Rose+Croix".

p. 230 spiritist se'ances & black-masses

"The obsession with "les petites religions," with mysticism and occultism, was reflected in a myriad of literary texts, ranging from descriptions of table turning and spiritualist "sessions" to ... black masses." [DI, pp. 79-92]

DI = Jean Pierrot (transl. by Derek Coltman) : The Decadent Imagination 1880-1900. U of Chicago Pr, 1981.

pp. 230-1 a theatrical play, and lithographs, glorifying the diabolical

p. 230

"Jules Bois's play Les Noces de Satan (The Marriage of Satan, 1890) attracted record crowds at the The'a^tre de l'Art; Sarah Bernhardt ... at the Winter Circus (Le Cirque d'Hiver) ... had herself photographed ... crucified on the cross." (SB&HW, pp. 146-7)

"Religious mysticism and the occult were also echoed ... by Fe'licien Rops, the illustrator who specialized

p. 231

in a kind of ... ferocious eroticism; and by Odilon Redon, whose ... visions are revealed in somber lithographs, especially the series inspired by Flaubert's The Temptation of Saint Anthony. Reviewed enthusiastically by Huysmans ... :

[quoted from DD, p. 88] He ["Saint Anthony as portrayed by Redon"] ... is more satanic ..., more obsessed with the occult ..., the current now sweeping so many people".

SB&HW = Joanna Richardson : Sarah Bernhardt and Her World. NY : G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1977.

DD = Julian Philippe (transl. by Robert Baldick) : Dreamers of Decadence. NY : Praeger, 1975.

p. 231 Jose'phin Pe'ladan's father Adrien

"Adrien, Pe'ladan pe`re, had been a ... writer, critic and editor, whose ... fervent occultism are particularly apparent in his best-known publication, Les Annales dur Surnaturel. This monthly journal inspired by the "supernatural" appeared regularly (from 1883 to his death in 1890) ... . He introduced a series of clairvoyants ..., and wrote endlessly on ... comparative religions".

pp. 233-5 admiration for Renaissance arts, and distaste for materialism, in art-criticism

p. 233

"Pe'ladan's early essays in the petites revues were devoted to Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, and mystical art. ... They also expressed a strong reaction against Realists and Impressionists.

p. 234

Pe'ladan praised the works "of Raymond Lulle, of Paracelsus, to Cornelius Agrippa ... with ... absolutely unique oeuvre ... as strange ... necromancers" (OSF, p. 34).

p. 235

In 1883 Pe'ladan denounced "Naturalism and Impressionism, whose artists he accused of materialism since their work was based on direct sense perception."

OSF = Robert Pincus-Witten : Occult Symbolism in France. NY : Garland Publ Co, 1976.

pp. 234-5 praise of Mallarme', Moreau, etc.; disparagement of Courbet

p. 234

"In January 1883, L'Artiste published Pe'ladan's "Le Grand Oeuvre d'apre`s Lionardo [sic] da Vinci." "Le Grand Oeuvre" ... refers to the magical change, or transformation of the essence of a thing, theme which reached its apex ... in the works of Mallarme' ["CD"]."

p. 235

"In May of 1883 appeared the first of a series of essays ... encouraged by Barbey d'Aure'villy's enthusiastic letter (which later became the preface to L'Art Ochloratique, Salons de 1882 et 1883) ... . ... His distaste ... extended to the realist Gustave Courbet. ... he repeated his dictum that one must choose between Realism and Idealism, between the art of a Gustave Moreau (the mystical painter) and a realist like Coubet." (OSF, p. 55)

"CD" = Ste'phane Mallarme' : "Un Coup de De`s". Oeuvres Comple`tes. Paris : Gallimard, Editions de la Ple'iade, 1965.

pp. 236-7 literary theme of woman's being possessed by a devil

p. 236

"Pe'ladan had already launched the slogan

"Man, puppet of woman,

woman, puppet of the devil"

in his review of the official 1883 Salon".

p. 237

"Woman, as the narrator warns, is "possessed by the devil"".

p. 238 d' Aure'villy's salon; de Guaita's salon

"The extraordinary success of Le Vice Supre^me ... was due in part to a long, enthusiastic preface by Barbey d' Aure'villy. ... Barbey d' Aure'villy ... the author of Un Pre^te Marie' (A Married Priest), of Les Diaboliques (The Diabolical[s]), ... was also inspired by a bizarre ... Satanism; a man who ... held court regularly in his Salon surrounded by a circle of admirers."

"Stanislas de Guaita. This wealthy mystic ... had moved to Paris from Nancy (like his friend Maurice Barre`s, creator of the Cult du Moi ...), and become a leader of the Rosicrucian circle. ... Guaita's own first book, Rosa Mystica (... 1885), also dwelled at great length on mysticism and the occult; his next publication, Au Seuil du Myste`re (At the Threshold of Mystery, 1886), was an attempt to survey and analyze occidental occultist literature, a topic which dominated intellectual circles and enjoyed great popularity. [DI, pp. 97-112] His Salon was a favorite meeting place for friends and disciples ... who faithfully attended ... on Thursday evenings. Pe'ladan became one of them."

p. 239 >li-paz Lewi

"Alain Kardec (pseudonym of Dr. M. H. Rivail) achieved notoriety ..., as did Eliphas Le'vi (pseudonym of Alphonse Louis Constant), whose Dogma et Rituel de la Haute Magie (1856) and Histoire de la Magie (1860) were considered bibles of the occult movement. [ELMO]

Le'vi ... who based his occult system on the {Qabbalah}, Swedenborg, the Corpus Hermeticum, and the Tarot ... knew Lammenais, Baudelaire, Dumas, Catulle Mende`s, and Flora Tristan, who visited him in prison; he was the teacher of Judith Gautier, and a guest in Victor Hugo's house (after Hugo's return from exile in England). ... Le'vi was also a close friend of Lord Bulwer-Lytton, prominent leader of a British Rosicrucian society."

ELMO = Thomas A. Williams : Eliphas Levi, master of occultism. U of AL Pr, 1975.

pp. 239-40, 242 Vintrasians of Lyon

p. 239

"Guaita ... also corresponded with, and even visited, the infamous abbe' Boullan in Lyon. [JAM, p. 584] This ... former church official whose credentials included a doctorate of theology earned in Rome, had been excommunicated by the archbishop of Paris in 1875. It was ... (which included a three-year prison term for heresy, in Rome) ...

p. 240

his career : he relocated in Lyon (city known for its mystics, where Pe'ladan was born and spent his childhood). Lyon was then the center of the Vintrasian cult. Its leader, Pierre Vintras ... concocted a bizarre spiritualist dogma centered in

beliefs that mankind would be redeemed through religious performances celebrating sexual unions, and invented esoteric rites to that effect.

{This is the Vamacara system (of Assam), which is derived from a variety of Taoism in S^an-tun.}

When Vintras died, Boullan took over. ... But Boullan remains ... famous ... because of Huysmans, who immortalized him as ... Dr. Johanne`s in his novel La`-Bas".

p. 242

"Guaita published his account of the Boullan affair (in Le Temple de Satan, 1891)" [TS].

JAM = Marcel Billot (ed.) : Journal de l'Abbe' Mugnier, 1879-1939. Paris : Mercure de France, 1985.

TS = Stanislas de Guaita : Le Temple de Satan. Paris : Chamuel, 1891.

pp. 241-3 Pe'ladan

p. 241

"Pe'ladan ... in the summer of 1888, during a performance of Wagner's last work, Parsifal ..., ... was magically inspired ... to create the Salon de la Rose + Croix."

p. 242

"A major reason for striking out on his own, however, must have been the publication of Les Grands Initie's (1889), Edouard Schure' immensely successful study of great spiritual leaders (... Rama, Krishna, Pythagoras, Plato, Buddha, ... Hermes, Orpheus, etc.). ...

There, in an appendage entitled Tiers-Ordre intellectuel ..., Syncelli Acta, he ... declared his (self-)prmotion from magus to Sa^r. It was signed Sa^r Me'rodack {Mrodak, [Akkadian] Marduk} (the central character of Le Vice Supreme) ... . This schism within Guaita's Rosicrucian circle (episode known in the history of French Rosicrucianism as The War of the Two Roses [DCA-D, pp. 177-232]) was immediately followed ... by an article by Maurice Barre`s that appeared on the front page of the prestigious Le Figaro." (OSF, p. 80)

p. 243

"In 1891, ... covering the official Salon as usual, he again added an interesting appendix to his review : the Acta Rosae Crucis, text which announced the formation of La Rose + Croix + du Temple. This organization was to be guided by an nexecutive committee which constituted La Rose + Croix Esthe'tique. Its key members were the "commandeurs," Antoine de la Rochefoucauld ("Le Grand Prieur"), Count de Larmandie, Gary de Lacroze, and the novelist Ele'mir Bourges; plus three other "pseudonymes" (three secret members known only as Adar {>adar ('Magnificent')}, Samas {[Akkadian] S^amas^}, and [Akkadian] Sin ..., and, of course, Pe'ladan himself, "Le Grand Mai^tre," or "Sa^r.""

DCA-D = Georges Vitoux : Dans les coulisses de l'au-dela`. Paris : Chamuel, 1901.

pp. 244-5 decadent/symbolist litterature

p. 244

"Eighteen hundred and ninety two ... was a banner-year for decadent/symbolist literature ... . Rodenbach's Bruges-La-Morte, and Maeterlink's Pe'lleas de Me'lisande ..., came out that year, as did Re'my de Gourmont's Le Latin Mystique. ...

p. 245

Decadence, according to Mario Praz (The Romantic Agony), was but the last phase of Romanticism, a final flare-up ... . ... [Carlos] Schwabe had deisgned the cover for the first issue of Octave Uzanne's elegant magazine L'Art et L'Ide'e. ... .

... German Idealism became known in France, Schopenhauer's anbd Hartmann's ... theories became ... fashionable catchwords and slogans (... of the succinct explanatory texts published by Re'my de Gourmont [1893] and Camille Mauclair [1894])."

Mario Praz (transl. by Angus Davidson) : The Romantic Agony. Oxford U Pr, 1970.

de Gourmont 1893 = Re'my de Gourmont : L'Ide'alisme. Paris : Mercure de France.

Mauclair 1894 = Camille Mauclair : Eleusis. Paris : Perrin.

p. 246 late-20th-century rehabilitation of the late-19th-century artistes of decadentism/symbolism

"It seems as though these particular aesthetic manifestions of the late nineteenth century had been deliberately neglected, ignored, or obscured; recent scholarship, however, has considerably increased out knowledge of them. ["CUA-G"]

Also, the opening of the Muse'e d'Orsay in December 1986 has been responsible for the ... rehabilitation of a number of artists formerly ... unappreciated."

"CUA-G" = Robert Shattuck : "Catching Up with the Avant-Garde". NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS, 18 Dec. 1986. pp. 66-74.

pp. 246-7 the Rosicrucian tendency toward introspection

p. 246

"This was the special world created by the artists to whom Pe'ladan chose to preach his Rosicrucian Ideal ...; a world far removed from that well-known, anecdotal, identifiable Paris of the 1890s as depicted ... in ... paintings of ... night life in public places, street scenes; far removed also from the Impressionists luminous, sunny daytime scenes ... .

p. 247

Opposed to the "togetherness" of the pleasure-seekers in the Moulin Rouge, Folies Berge`re, or the Bal a` Bougival ... is the Rosicrucian artists' principle ... expressed almost always in a work of art about Thought, not activity. These paintings or statues portray individuals ... in moments of recueillement (introspection)".

pp. 247-9 artistic depictions of women

p. 247

"Of ... Rose+Croix artists, Ferdinand Khnopff demonstrated the greatest virtuosity ... . His frontpiece for Pe'ladan's novel Istar {Is^tar} exemplifies ... a sensuous, ecstatic ... nude ...; arms raised, eyes closed, she emanates like a vision ... from a man's head".

p. 248

"Other artists showing at Rose+Croix Salons ... were Henri Martin and Jean Delville. The latter founded the Salon d'Art Ide'aliste in Brussels ... . His entry for the first Salon had been Symbolisation de la chair et de l'esprit (The Symbolization of the Flesh and Spirit) : a painting showing ... a nude female with a serpent's tail (... flesh) in a kneeling position under water, grasping a male figure (... spirit) trying to rise ... and

entangled in seaweed ... .

{the infernal seaweed entangling souls of the dead off Te Reinga promontory of Te Ika a Maui?}

Delville ... like Pe'ladan ... had studied ... magic, and hermetic philosophy. Some of his other well-known paintings are

the Idol of Perversity, depicting the head and nude torso of a diabolical looking woman; and

The Treasures of Satan, a scene that shows the devil ... with ... octopus-like wings, prancing over a watery surface strewn with sleeping sirens ... . This work also very much resembles ... a painting by Henri Martin entitled Vers l'abi^me (Towards the Abyss), where a bat-winged female leads an endless throng of admirers -- all on their their knees or bellies -- to the brink ... . ...

Many of Knopff's figures bear the traits of his sister, his favorite model ... . She also posed for the much-commented works he sent to the Salon de la Rose + Croix in 1893 : The Offering, and I Lock my Door Upon Myself (from a poem by Christina Rossetti). The latter painting ... is a ... portrait of a young woman in a deserted alley, framed by the ubiquitous symbolist lilies ... .

p. 249

The art critic of Le Mercure de France ... was especially impressed by the painting's symbolization of the future, those "small round and square windows opening onto an infinity the color of absinthe ... ."" (OSF, p. 152)

p. 250 secession by the Count de la Rochefoucauld from Pe'ladan's Salon

"Count de la Rochefoucauld's money made it possible to fill the Durand-Ruel gallery with a profusion of flowers, and provide a variety of musical interludes (... performances ... of Pe'ladan's own "Wagnerie Chalde'nne," of Erik Satie's "Sonneries de la Rose+Croix" and "Uspud") as well as dramatic presentations (performances of Pe'ladan's play Le Fils des Etoiles).

The break with la Rochefoucauld occurred over ... artistic tendencies. Pe'ladan ... preferred an "exclusively classical tradition," while others favored modern Impressionism; ... "[which] led to a schism in the Order : The Archonte ["la Rochefoucauld"] separated from the Grand master .. ." (OSF, p. 141)

p. 250 lecture-tour

"without La Rochefoucauld ... Pe'ladan ... traveled to Belgium on a lecture tour, preaching his Rose+Croix ... in Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Louvain, and then continued on to Holland, accompanied by Verlaine, who recorded events of their journey in his Quinze Jours en Hollande."

Paul Verlaine : Oeuvres Comple`tes. Paris : Le Club du Meilleur Livre, 1959-60.

pp. 250, 252 writings by Pe'ladan

p. 250

Pe'ladan "continued to write ... sequels to La De'cadence latine, plays, and several volumes of his "how to" series, entitled L'Amphithe'a^tre des Sciences Mortes, texts where he explains how one becomes

a magus (Comment on devient mage, vol. I), or

a fairy (Comment on devient fe'e, vol. II), or

an artist (Comment on devient artiste, vol. III)."

p. 252

"His journey to the Near East inspired La Terre du Sphinx (1900)".

p. 251 Pe'ladan's marriage to a widow

"Pe'ladan had lived for an ideal; even his marriage in 1896 to a titled widow (the Countess Le Roy de Barde, niece of fellow Rosicrucian Commander Le'once de Larmandie) ... . The bride was wealthy (a boon to the Salon's finances), the January wedding timely since it ... helped attract record crowds to the show (even though ... the newlyweds were honeymooning in Italy)."

p. 252 deaths

"The Cult du Moi disappeared with Mallarme', Rodenbach, Gustave Moreau, Fe'licien Rops, Burne-Jones, Puvis de Chavannes (all of whom died in 1898) : it was the end of decadentism/symbolism."


9. (pp. 258-68) William M. Burgan : "Orlick's Hammers and Pip's 3rd Degree".

pp. 260-1 human metaphorical wolves

p. 260

In Dickens's Great Expectations, "Punning on wolf-howl as Thug omen, and Wolves as members of a French stonemasons' guild, ... refers primarily to wolf as surrogate for Osiris in Egyptian mysteries.

Von Orlich's chapter on Thugs details their fear of ill omens, including "the howling of a wolf" (2:155). ... Orlick's ferocity -- "his mouth snarling like a tiger's," and, "the tiger crouching to spring" (liii, 403, 408) -- reflects von Orlich's statement that

Thugs "compare themselves with the tiger, which they never kill" (2, 148)." ...

{The tigre is ridden by goddess Durga, and is therefore sacred to her cult.}

p. 261

"The first edition of Clavel's masonic history, published only a year before Le Juif Errant, asserts that the real-life compagnons' choice of Loups as a name for their fraternity is closely related to the use of louveteau ("wolf-cub") as a term for a French Mason's son, since both metaphors stem from

the wolf-mask worn in ancient Egypt by initiates into the mysteries of Isis ... -- Isis' brother and mate Osiris -- whose part the Egyptian neophyte took in the initiation ritual (1843, 53)."

{Makedon was "Son of Osiris, who was established by his father as king of Macedonia ... . ... He was dressed in a wolf-skin and wore the animal's head as a mask on his face." (CDCL, s.v. "Macedon").}

Charles Dickens : Great Expectations. 1861.

Leopold von Orlich (transl. by H. Evans Lloyd) : Travels in India. 2 voll. London, 1845.

Clavel 1843 = F. T. Be`gue Clavel : Histoire Pittoresque de la Franc-Mac,onnerie. Paris, 1843.

CDCL = Pierre Grimal (transl. by A. R. Maxwell-Hyslop) : A Concise Dictionary of Classical Mythology. Basil Blackwell, 1990.

pp. 261-2 Freemasonic initiation

p. 261

"A second-degree Mason, having climbed a step above Entered Apprentice, was known in France as compagnon."

"During his initiation into the Third Degree, ... The candidate's good

p. 262

faith having been vouched for, ... the candidate was assisted in rising from his coffin to become a full-fledged Master Mason (Clavel 51-52; cf. Carlile 69-70)."

Carlile = Richard Carlile : Manual of Freemasonry. Reeves & Turner.

p. 262 Tubal-Qayin

"to ... masonic secrets ... the password in the Third Degree as "Tubal-Cain," the name of the biblical smith venerated ... as "an instructor of every artifice in brass and iron" (Genesis 1v, 22).

The American ritual actually calls the candidate, "Brother Tubal-Cain" (Richardson 31), while

the English admonishes him, "Be particularly careful to remember this word, as without it you cannnot gain admittance to a lodge in a superior degree" (Carlile 63-64)."

Richardson = Jabez Richardson : Richardson's Monitor of Freemasonry. 1860. NY.

p. 263 Freemasonic T-shaped emblems


the ... crux ansata -- "handled cross" -- in the Egyptian pantheon;

{This is a Kemetic sandal-strap ("AASL"). Cf. "not a sandal strap is broken." (Ys^a<yah 5:27); and "the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie." (Euangelion according to Loukas 3:16)} {Untying a sandal-strap and removing the foot would disclose the hidden depiction upon the sandal's sole (which depiction usually was of foreigners in New-Kingdom Kemetic royal sandals).}


a mark of special consecration among Hindus, Hebrews, and Druids (Mackey 1858, 470-71, 500-01);


the (smith's) hammer of Thor ("Lord Broughton's Italy," Times, 2 February 1859);


the cross of St. Philip, and


the crutch of St. Anthony (Jameson, I:29, 251; 2:372)."

"AASL" = "Ancient Ankh Symbol of Life"

Ys^a<yah 5:27

Euangelion according to Loukas 3:16

Jameson = Mrs. Anna Brownell Jameson : Sacred and Legendary Art. 2voll. 3rd edn. 1857.

p. 264 Aiguptian pip fruit-seeds; the sprouting of grain

"Pip's adoptive name, an image activated by his interest in the "seedsman" Pumblechook's stock-in-trade ... (viii, 49).

Firmicus [Maternus] reports that Egyptians "call the seeds of fruit 'Osiris'" (Mackey ..., 540)".

[quoted from Oliver, p. 98, fn.] "the death and resurrection of Osiris and Adonis has been made an emblem of the sowing and sprouting of corn; (Vid. Voss. de Idol.,) but ... this idea is ... from St. Paul (1 Cor. xv., 36, et seq.)."

{"I germinate like the plants" (Book of the Dead 83:3 -- O&ER, vol. 2, p. 123)} {"In the month of Khoiak, images (often ithyphallic) were modelled of the deceased God from the silt, which were placed in a scale model sarcophagus. It was planted with seeds which were watered and when the grain grew, the God was revived." ("OSE")}

Albert G. Mackey : A Lexicon of Freemasonry. Philadephia, 1858.

George D. D. Oliver : The History of Initiation. NY : J. W. Leonard & Co, 1855.

O&ER = Wallis Budge : Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection. London & NY, 1911.

"OSE" = "Osiris, Sovereign of Eternity"


AMS STUDIES IN CULTURAL HISTORY, No. 1 = Marie Mulvey Roberts & Hugh Ormsby-Lennon : Secret Texts : the Literature of Secret Societies. AMS Pr, NY, 1995.