The Rosy German Secrets
The Fraternitas Rosae Crucis teaches that there is one God, the Creator and source of all. That within each of us is buried a particle of the Divine element, a Divine Spark, of and from God. This celestial spark is our soul. Furthermore, God gave us the gift of free will and the opportunity to either diminish or grow this tiny spark by our mode of life; by our thoughts, desires and actions. To develop this celestial soul spark, we must transmute (change) our lower nature and increase the feeling of love within our being. The end result of our efforts is to build this soul spark into a glorious, conscious Soul that forms a direct link between the individual and God. This state of spiritual development is termed Soul Consciousness or Soul Illumination. Illumination of the Soul is symbolized by the fully bloomed rose in the center of the cross of transmutation, the Rosy Cross. The mission of the Fraternitas Rosæ Crucis is to guide individuals, one by one, on the Path toward the ultimate of their Divine Inheritance, Soul Consciousness followed by God Consciousness.
The German groups of Rosicrucians now existing are much more immersed in mystic and occult lore than ourselves; they endeavour to extend the human faculties beyond the material toward the ethereal, astral and spiritual worlds: at the present time I understand that they use no formulated Ritual, but German Colleges have experienced a notable revival and the teachings of Rudolf Steiner are considered as giving an introduction of their system of occult Theosophy. Several of Steiner’s volumes are now available in English translations, such are his “Initiation and its Results,” “The Gates of Knowledge,” and “Way of Initiation.” They are well worthy of study
The aim of our own Society at the present day is to afford mutual aid and encouragement in working out the great problems of Life, and in discovering the Secrets of Nature; to facilitate the study of the system of Philosophy founded upon the Kabalah and the doctrines of Hermes Trismegistus, which was inculcated by the original Fratres Rosae Crucis. of Germany, A.D. 1450; and to investigate the meaning and symbolism of all that now remains of the wisdom, art and literature of the Ancient World.
The Rosicrucian Societies of Anglia, Scotia and the United States, alike Masonic bodies, are by no means the only descendants of the original Collegium, for in Germany, and Austria there are other Rosicrucian Colleges of more direct descent than our own, which are not fettered by any of the limitations which Freemasonry has imposed upon us, and some of these, although not composed of many members, include students who understand many curious phenomena, which our Zelators have not studied. The German Rosicrucians keep their Colleges and membership entirely secret, they print no transactions nor even any notices, and it is almost impossible to identify any member.
Among the learned juniors of our Society, I may name Fratres Dr. Vaughan Bateson, Thomas Henry Pattinson, the Rev. C. E. Wright, Sir John A. Cockburn, W. J. Songhurst, Herbert Burrows, A. Cadbury Jones, W. Wonnacott, Dr. Wm Hammond, Dr. B. J. Edwards, and Dr. W. C. Blaker.
Our Colleges need not languish for want of subjects of study; the narrative of the foundation of our Society is singularly suggestive of points for future investigation. The German “Fama Fraternitatis” of 1614, in an English translation by Thomas Vaughan of 1652, presents you with the History of Christian Rosenkreuz: its companion tract the “Confessio Fraternitatis” gives you a slight insight into the views of the Rosicrucians of a date a hundred years later. The “Chymische Hochzeit” or “Chemical Wedding” by C.R., and the “Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians” by F. Hartman, are tractates of Rosicrucian Allegory which will well repay, not only perusal, but deep study; while the elucidation of the whole set of Medieval Divinatory Sciences, Astrology, Geomancy, etc, are suitable themes for lectures in your College For such as can understand medieval Latin a most interesting work is the “Oedipus Aegyptiacus” of Athanasius Kircher. It is desirable that our students should make themselves acquainted with the Ancient Mysteries of Egypt, of Greece and of Rome. The basis of the Western occultism of medieval Europe is the Kabalah of the medieval Hebrew Rabbis, to which I have published “An Introduction.” This philosophy, although at first sight barbarous and crude, yet will be found, when one has grown familiar with the nomenclature, to be a concrete, coherent and far-reaching scheme of Theology, cosmology, ethics and metaphysics, serving to throw light on many obscure Biblical passages and to suggest original views of the meaning of most of the allegorical descriptions found in the Old Testament. A copy of a very curious old Kabalistic picture from a Syriac Gospel with a descriptive essay by Dr. Carnegie Dickson, a notable Scotch Rosicrucian Adept, has just been given to our Library.
The works of the great Rosicrucian Kabalist, Eliphaz Levi, are, to those who read French with ease, a mine of mystic lore, full of fine imagery, and replete with magical formulas. His “Histoire de la Magie” is a storehouse of information relating to the Secret Sciences and Secret Fraternities of all times and among many nations, while in English the two volumes of the new edition of Heckethorn’s “Secret Societies” should he read as an introduction to deeper personal research.
The work of Franz Hartmann, named “Magic, White and Black,” I can recommend to serious enquirers, for it elucidates the real aims of the Higher Magic, with which alone we are concerned, and it clears away many misconceptions which exist in the minds of the uninitiated.
To such as desire to follow more closely the Old Testament religious element, I should advise a perusal of the Commentaries of Dr. Allen Barnes on “Daniel” and “The Book of Revelation,” and the symbolical descriptions of the book of Ezekiel. On the Christian aspect I recommend “The Perfect Way,” or “The Finding of Christ,” by the late Dr. A. Kingsford; in this volume will be found worked out the broader scheme of Christian teaching which is so apt to be obscured by sectarian forms of worship. The tenets of this work are closely approximate to those of the earliest of the followers of Christian Rosencreuz, whose name was probably a mystic title, motto or synonym, and not a family cognomen:- “Christian” referring to the general theological tendency, and “Rosenkreuz” to the Cross of Suffering whose explanation and key may need a Rose or secret explanation.
There is one doctrine for the learned, and a simpler formula for those who are unable to bear it yet, even as the new testament itself tells us, of the Great Master who taught his immediate disciples the true keys, but to others he spake only in parables,–“and without a parable spake he not unto them.”
THE history of the High Degrees of Masonry begins with the inventions of the Chevalier Michael Ramsay, who about the year 1728 fabricated three which he called Ecossais, Novice, and Knight Templar. But the inventions of Ramsay had nothing in them of a Rosicrucian character. They were intended by him to support his hypothesis that Freemasonry originated in the Crusades, and that the first Freemasons were Templars. His degrees were therefore not philosophic but chivalric. The rite-manufacturers who succeeded him, followed for the most part in his footsteps, and the degrees that were subsequently invented partook of the chivalric and military character, so that the title of ” Chevalier ” or ” Knight,” unknown to the early Freemasons, became in time so common as to form the designation in connection with another noun of most of the new degrees. Thus we find in old and disused Rites, as well as in those still existing, such titles as ” Knight of the Sword,” ” Knight of the Eagle,” ” Knight of the Brazen Serpent,” and so many more that Ragon, in his Nomenclature, furnishes us with no less than two hundred and ninety-two degrees of Masonic Knighthood, without having exhausted the catalogue.
In the fall of 1907, during a most successful period of lectures in Minnesota, he travelled to Berlin (Germany) with his friend Dr. Alma Von Brandis, who had been for months trying to persuade him, in order to hear a cycle of lectures by a teacher in the occult field called Rudolf Steiner. During his short stay at Germany, he developed a sincere admiration of the personality of this knowledgeable lecturer, as later shown in the dedication of his magnum opus (“esteemed teacher and value friend”). He sat in on several lectures and had one or two interviews with Steiner and he could learn about occult truth from the founder of later Anthroposophy, but at the same time he understood that this teacher could not help him to advance along the path of spiritual development. It was then, with his mind already made up to return, feeling that in vain he had given up a big work in America to take this trip, that Heindel reports to have been visited by a Spiritual being (clothed in his vital body).
The highly evolved entity that visited Heindel eventually identified himself as an Elder Brother of the Rosicrucian Order, an Order in the inner worlds formed in the year 1313 and having no direct connection to physical organizations which call themselves by this name. As he afterwards mentions, the Elder Brother gave him information which was concise and logical and beyond anything he was capable of writing. Later, he found out that during a previous visit of the Elder Brother, he was put to a test to determine his worthiness to be messenger of the Western Wisdom Teachings. He recounts that only then he was given instruction how to reach the etheric Temple of the Rose Cross, near the German/Bohemian border, and how at this Temple he was in direct communication with and under the personal instructions of the Elder Brothers of the Rose Cross. The Rosicrucian Order is described as being composed of twelve Elder Brothers, gathered around a thirteenth who is the invisible Head. These great Adepts, belonging to human evolution but having already advanced far beyond the cycle of rebirth, are reported as being among those exalted Beings who guide mankind’s evolution, the Compassionate Ones
Max Heindel – born Carl Louis von Grasshoff in Aarhus, Denmark on July 23, 1865 – was a Christian occultist, astrologer, and mystic. He died on January 6, 1919 at Oceanside, California, United States.
In the second half of the 18th century, Berlin’s population was growing and there was insufficient land for cemeteries because of pressure to build on vacant land and fear of epidemics. Prussian King Frederick II, “the Great”, donated land outside the Oranienburg Gate of the Berlin Customs Wall for this purpose; 4 cemeteries were established, of which the French cemetery and the Dorotheenstadt cemetery survive. The Dorotheenstadt cemetery was established jointly by the two (Protestant) parishes in the early 1760s; burials began in 1770.
The cemetery was enlarged several times between 1814 and 1826. In the 1830s the parishes separately acquired land for expansion elsewhere: Dorotheenstadt in Gesundbrunnen, Friedrichswerder in Kreuzberg. By the end of the 1860s, the original cemetery was full, and after 1869 burials were only permitted in already purchased plots. In 1889 some of the land was sold in connection with a road improvement project, and some important graves had to be relocated. However, after the introduction of cremation the space pressure was no longer so great, and new plots were allowed beginning in 1921. The two parishes were combined in 1945 and administer their 3 cemeteries together.
The cemetery of Dorotheenstadt is located in the heart of Berlin. It is one of the most interesting cemeteries in Germany, and the final resting place of German playwright Bertolt Brecht.
The cemetery was established in 1762, and although it has only 300 graves, more German artists, philosophers, and politicians are buried here than anywhere else. The tombstones of this cemetery read like the Who’s Who of Berlin’s intellectual and artistic elite.
Frederick the Great was succeeded by his brother’s son, Frederick William II, who joined the Rosicrucian branch of Johann Wöllner,
an evangelist out of Grossbehnitz, near Berlin, who was given great license by the king in efforts to procure a Theocratic program. Frederick the Great had earlier instilled freedom of religion in Prussia so that, beside Wollner’s reforms, the outcome was chaos. Secret societies competed against one another for top dog, most of them claiming to push Christianity in one way or another. Even the Bavarian Illuminati had presented itself to the public as a virtuous organization, but because it was Kabalistic and therefore anti-Christian at it’s (hidden) core, it clashed with Wollner’s goals.
Led by Johann Christoph von Wöllner and General Johann Rudolf von Bischoffwerder, the Masonic lodge (later: Grand Lodge) Zu den drei Weltkugeln (The Three Globes) was infiltrated and came under the influence of the Golden and Rosy Cross. Many Freemasons became Rosicrucianists and Rosicrucianism was established in many lodges. In 1782 at the Convent of Wilhelmsbad the Alte schottische Loge Friedrich zum goldenen Löwen (Old Scottish Lodge Friedrich at the Golden Lion) in Berlin strongly requested Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and all other Freemasons to submit to the Golden and Rosy Cross, without success.
Frederick William was born in Berlin, the son of Prince Augustus William of Prussia (the second son of King Frederick William I of Prussia) and of Louise Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg. His mother’s elder sister, Elisabeth, was the wife of Augustus William’s brother King Frederick II (“Frederick the Great”). He was born in Berlin and became heir to the throne of Prussia on his father’s death in 1758, since Frederick II had no children. The boy was of an easy-going and pleasure-loving disposition, averse to sustained effort of any kind, and sensual by nature.
But these reforms were vitiated in their source. In 1781 Frederick William, then prince of Prussia, inclined to mysticism, had joined the Rosicrucians, and had fallen under the influence of Johann Christoph Wöllner (1732–1800), and by him the royal policy was inspired. Wöllner, whom Frederick the Great had described as a “treacherous and intriguing priest,” had started life as a poor tutor in the family of General von Itzenplitz, a noble of the Margraviate of Brandenburg. After the general′s death and to the scandal of king and nobility, he married the general′s daughter, and with his mother-in-law′s assistance settled down on a small estate. By his practical experiments and by his writings he gained a considerable reputation as an economist; but his ambition was not content with this, and he sought to extend his influence by joining first the Freemasons and afterwards the Rosicrucians. Wöllner, with his impressive personality and easy if superficial eloquence, was just the man to lead a movement of this kind. Under his influence the order spread rapidly, and he soon found himself the supreme director (Oberhauptdirektor) of several circles, which included in their membership princes, officers and high officials. As a Rosicrucian Wöllner dabbled in alchemy and other mystic arts, but he also affected to be zealous for Christian orthodoxy, imperilled by Frederick II′s patronage of “Enlightenment”, and a few months before Frederick′s death wrote to his friend the Rosicrucian Johann Rudolph von Bischoffswerder (1741–1803) that his highest ambition was to be placed at the head of the religious department of the state as an unworthy instrument in the hand of Ormesus (the prince of Prussia’s Rosicrucian name) “for the purpose of saving millions of souls from perdition and bringing back the whole country to the faith of Jesus Christ.”
Such was the man whom Frederick William II, immediately after his accession, called to his counsels. On 26 August 1786 Wöllner was appointed privy councillor for finance (Geheimer Oberfinanzrath), and on 2 October 1786 was ennobled. Though not in name, in fact he was prime minister; in all internal affairs it was he who decided; and the fiscal and economic reforms of the new reign were the application of his theories. Bischoffswerder, too, still a simple major, was called into the king′s counsels; by 1789 he was already an adjutant-general. These were the two men who enmeshed the king in a web of Rosicrucian mystery and intrigue, which hampered whatever healthy development of his policy might have been possible, and led ultimately to disaster. The opposition to Wöllner was, indeed, at the outset strong enough to prevent his being entrusted with the department of religion; but this too in time was overcome, and on 3 July 1788 he was appointed active privy councillor of state and of justice and head of the spiritual department for Lutheran and Catholic affairs.
War was at once declared on what later times would have called the “modernists”. The king, so long as Wöllner was content to condone his immorality (which Bischoffswerder, to do him justice, condemned), was eager to help the orthodox crusade. On 9 July 1788 was issued the famous religious edict, which forbade Evangelical ministers to teach anything not contained in the letter of their official books, proclaimed the necessity of protecting the Christian religion against the “enlighteners” (Aufklärer), and placed educational establishments under the supervision of the orthodox clergy. On 18 December 1788 a new censorship law was issued, to secure the orthodoxy of all published books; and finally, in 1791, a sort of Protestant Inquisition was established at Berlin (Immediate-Examinationscommission) to watch over all ecclesiastical and scholastic appointments.
In his zeal for orthodoxy, indeed, Frederick William outstripped his minister; he even blamed Wöllner′s “idleness and vanity” for the inevitable failure of the attempt to regulate opinion from above, and in 1794 deprived him of one of his secular offices in order that he might have more time “to devote himself to the things of God”; in edict after edict the king continued to the end of his reign to make regulations “in order to maintain in his states a true and active Christianity, as the path to genuine fear of God.”
The effects of this policy of blind obscurantism far outweighed any good that resulted from the king′s well-meant efforts at economic and financial reform; and even this reform was but spasmodic and partial, and awoke ultimately more discontent than it allayed.