"The only ones who elude... the eternal sleep... are those who
in life are able to orient their mind toward a higher way. The
initiates, the Adepts, are at the edge of that path. Having
achieved memory, anamnesis, in the expression of Plutarch, they
become free, they proceed without bonds. Crowned, they celebrate
the "mysteries" and see on earth the throng of those who are not
initiated and are not "pure," those who are crushed and pushing
one another in the mud and in the darkness."
-- Julius Evola, La tradizione ermetica, Rome, Edizioni
Mediterranee, 1971, p. 111
Rashly I volunteered to do some quick research. I soon regretted
it. I found myself in a morass of books, in which it was
difficult to distinguish historical fact from hermetic gossip,
and reliable information from flights of fancy. Working like a
machine for a week, I drew up a bewildering list of sects,
lodges, conventicles. I occasionally shuddered on encountering
familiar names I didn't expect to come upon in such company, and
there were chronological coincidences that I felt were curious
enough to be noted down. I showed this document to my two
1645 London: Ashmole founds Invisible College, Rosicrucian in
1660 From the Invisible College is born the Royal Society; and
from the Royal Society, as everyone knows, the Masons.
1666 Paris: founding of Academie Royal des Sciences.
1707 Birth of Claude-Louis de Saint-Germain, if he was really
1717 Creation of the Great Lodge in London.
1721 Anderson drafts the constitutions of English masonry.
initiated in London, Peter the Great founds a lodge in Russia.
1730 Montesquieu, passing through London, is initiated.
1737 Ramsay asserts the Templar origin of Masonry. Origin of
the Scottish rite, henceforth in conflict with the Great Lodge of
1738 Fredrick, then crown prince of Prussia, is initiated.
Later he is patron of Encyclopedists.
1740 Various lodges created in France around this year:
Ecossais Fideles of Toulouse, Souverain Conseil Sublime, Mere
Loge Ecossaise du Grand Glob Francais, College des Sublimes
Princes du Royal Secret of Bordeaux, Cour des Souverains
Comandeurs du Temple of Carcassonne, Philadelphes of Narbonne,
Chapitre des rose-Croi of Montpellier, Sublimes Elus de la
1743 First public appearance of Comte de Saint-Germain. In
Lyon, the degree of chevalier kadosch originates, its task being
to vindicate Templars.
1753 Willermoz founds lodge of Parfaite Amitie.
1754 Martinez Pasqualis founds Temple of the Elus Cohen
(perhaps in 1760).
1756 Baron vond Hund founds Templar Strict Observance,
inspired, some say, by Frederick II of Prussia. For the first
time there is talk of the Unknown Superiors. Some insinuate that
the Unknown Superiors are Frederick and Voltaire.
1758 Saint-Germain arrives in Paris and offers his services to
the king as chemist, an expert in dyes. He spends time with
1759 Presumed formation of Conseil des Empereurs d'Orient et
d'Occident, which three years later is said to have drawn up the
Consititutions et Reglement de Bordeaux, from which Ancient and
Accepted Scottish rite probably originates (though this does not
appear officially until 1801).
1760 Saint-Germain on ambiguous diplomatic mission in Holland.
Forced to flee, arrested in London, released. Dom J. Pernety
founds Illuminati of Avignon. Martinez Pasqualis founds
Chevaliers Macons Elus de l'Univers.
1762 Saint-Germain in Russia.
1763 Casanova meets Saint-Germain, as Surmont, in Belgium.
Latter turns coin into gold Willermoz founds Souverain Chapitre
des Chevaliers de l'Aigle Noire Rose-Croix.
1768 Willermoz joins Pasqualis's Elus Cohen. Apocryphal
publication in Jerusalem of Les plus secrets mysteres des hauts
grades de la maconnerie devoilee, ou le vrai Rose-Croix: it says
that the lodge of the Rosicrucians is on Mount Heredon, sixty
miles from Ediburgh. Pasqualis meets Louis Claud de Saint-Martin, later known as le Philosphe Inconnu. Dom Pernety becomes
librarian of king of Prussia.
1771 The Duc de Chartres, later known as Philippe-Egalite,
becomes grand master of the Grand Orient (then, the Grand Orient
de France) and tries to unify all the lodges. Scottish rite
1772 Pasqualis leaves for Santo Domingo, and Willermoz and
Saint-Martin establishes Tribunal Souverain, which becomes Grand
1774 Saint-Martin retires, to become Philosphe Inconnu, and as
delegate of Templar Strict Observance goes to negotiate with
Willermoz. A Scottish Directory of the Province of Auvergne is
born. From this will be born the Rectified Scottish rite.
1776 Saint-Germain, under the name Count Welldone, presents
chemical plans to Frederick II. Societe des Philathetes is born,
to unite all hermeticists. Lodge of the Neuf Soeurs has members
Guillotin and Cabanis, Voltaire and Franklin. Adam Weishaupt of
Illuminati of Bavaria. According to some, he is initiated by a
Danish mercant, Kolmer, returning from Egypt, who is probably the
mysterious Altotas, master of Caglistro.
1778 Saint-Germain, in Berlin, meets Dom Pernety. Willermoz
founds Ordre des Chevaliers Bienfaisants de la Cite Sainte.
templar Strict Observance and Grand Orient agree to accept the
Rectified Scottish rite.
1782 Great conference of all the initiatory lodges at
1783 Marquis Thome founds the Swedenborg rite.
1784 Saint-Germain presumably dies while in the service of the
landgrave of Hesse, for whom he is completing a factory for
1785 Caglistro founds Mephis rite, which later becomes the
Ancient and Primitive rite of Memphis-Misraim; it increases the
number of high degrees to ninety. Scandal of the Affair of the
Diamond Necklace, orchestrated by Caglistro. Dumas describes it
as Masonic plot to discredit the monarchy. The Illuminati of
Bavaria are suppressed, suspected of revolutionary plotting.
1786 Mirabeau is initiated by the Illuminati of Bavaria in
Berlin. In London a Rosicrucian manifesto appears, attributed to
Caglistro. Mirabeau writes a letter to Cagliostro and to
1787 There are about seven hundred lodges in France.
Weishaupt publishes his Nactrag, which describes the structure of
a secret organization in which each adherent knows only his
1789 French Revolution begins. Crisis in the French lodges.
1794 On 8 Vendemiaire, Deputy Gregoire presents to the
convention on the project for a Conservatoire des Arts et
Metiers. It is installed in Sait-Martin-des-Champs in 1799, by
the Council of Five Hundred. The Duke of Brunswick urges lodges
to dissolve because a poisonous subversive sect has now corrupted
1798 Arrst of Cagliostro in Rome.
1804 Announcement in Charleston of official foundation of
Ancient and Accepted Scottish rite, with number of degrees
increased to 33.
1824 Document from the court of Vienna to French government
denounces secret associates like the Absolutes, the Independents,
the Alta Vendita Carbonara.
1835 The cabalist Oettinger claims to meet Saint-Germain in
1846 Viennese writer Franz Graffer publishes account of a
meeting of his brother with Saint=Germain between 1788 and 1790.
Saint-Germain received his visitor while leafing through a book
1865 Foundation of Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (other
sources give 1860, 1866, or 1867). Bulwer-Lytton, author of the
Rosicrucian novel Zanoni, joins.
1868 Bakunin founds Intenational Alliance of Socialist
Democracy, inspired, some say, by the Illuminati of bavaria.
1875 Elena Petrovna Blavatsky, with Henry Steel Olcott, founds
Theosophical Society. Her Isis Unveiled appears. baron
Spedalieri proclaims himself a member of the Grand Lodge of the
Solitary Brothers of the Mountain, Frater Illuminatus of the
Ancient and Restored Order of the Manicheans and of the
1877 Madame Blavatsky speaks of the theospohical role of
Saint-Germain. Among his incarnations are Roger and Francis
Bacon, Rosencreutz, Proclus, Saint Alban. Grand Orient of France
eliminates invocation to the Great Architect of the Universe and
proclaims absolute freedom of conscience. Breaks ties with Grand
Lodge of England and becomes firmly secular and radical.
1879 Foundation of Societas Rosicruciana in the USA.
1880 Beginning of Saint-Yves d'Alveydre's activity. Leopold
Engler reorganizes the Illuminati of Bavaria.
1884 Leo XIII, with the encyclical humanum Genus, condemns
Freemasonry. Catholics desert it; rationalists flock to it.
1888 Stanislas de Guaita founds Ordre Kabbalistique d la Rose
Croix. Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn founded in England,
with eleven degrees, from neophyte to ipsissimus. Its imperator
is McGregor Mathers, whose sister marries Bergson.
1890 Joseph Peladan, called Josephin, leaves Guaita and founds
the Rose-Croix Catholique du Temple et du Graal, proclaiming
himself Sar Merodak. Conflict between Rosicrucians of Guaita's
order and those of Peladan's is called the War of the Two Roses.
1891 Papus publishes his Traite methodique de science occulte.
1898 Aleister crowley initiated into Golden Dawn. Later
founds Order of Thelema.
1907 From the Golden Dawn is born the Stella Matutina, which
1909 In the United States, H. Spencer Lewis "reawakens" the
Anticus Mysticus Ordo Rosae Crucis and in 1916, in a hotel,
successfully transforms a piece of zinc into gold. At uncertain
dates follow Lectorium Rosicrucianum, Freres Aines de la Rose-Croix, Fraternitas hermetica, Templum Rosae-Crucis.
1912 Annie Besant, disciple of Madame Blavatsky, founds, in
London, Order of the Temple of the Rose-Cross.
1918 Thule Society is born in Germany.
1936 In France Le Grand Prieure des Gaules is born. In the
"Cahiers de la fraternite polaire," Enrico Contardi-Rhodio tells
of a visit from Comte de Saint-Germain.
"What does all this mean?" Diotallevi said.
"Don't ask me. You wanted data? Help yourself. this is all I
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