Site Map

FIRE & ICE: MAGICAL TEACHINGS OF GERMANY'S GREATEST SECRET OCCULT ORDER

Chapter 2: Doctrines of the Brotherhood of Saturn

 

LUX E TENEBRIS LUCET ET LUCEAT

 

Doctrines and teachings concealed within the magical lodge Fraternitas Saturni are wrapped in the dark cloak of the Demiurge Saturnus, and are truly revealed only to those elect of Saturn who are able to comprehend and understand the Saturn-Gnosis. This gnosis is sometimes dark and foreboding. It uncovers the dark side of the Aquarian Age—an age to be ruled by Saturn. But it is also enlightened by the "higher octave" of Saturn—Lucifer—and by the dark light of Saturnian yoga, or sexual mysticism and cosmosophy.

 

 

Gregor A. Gregorius

 

The teachings of the FS are highly eclectic. This is understandable given the lodge's "pansophical" origins. "Pansophical" here means "wisdom that encompasses all other forms of wisdom." In the early part of the twentieth century there were several "-sophies," all based on analogy with Blavatsky's Theo-sophy. There was the "ariosophy" of von List, von Liebenfels and others, and the Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner. The original pansophy of Heinrich Tränker was an attempt to synthesize all forms of occult teachings then in practice. This, however, proved a difficult task, as there seemed to be no unifying element or central focus for the maelstorm of occult lore swirling around in the pansophical movement.

 

It was the Fraternitas Saturni and Gregor A. Gregorius, directly or indirectly through the acceptance of the Aeonic Law of Thelema, which provided the necessary elements of cohesion to the pansophical approach in Germany. In this chapter we will concentrate on those things which make the FS teachings unique and give them definite shape. Underlying all of this is the usual post-Theosophical mixture of Eastern and Western doctrines and practices to be found in quasi-Masonic orders of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, e.g. the Golden Dawn and its derivatives. The elements that make the FS unique are its focus on the Saturn archetype, the Saturnian mythos of a new aeon based on an astrological process, and an unabashed Luciferianism. Further aspects which, although not unique to the Brotherhood, added to the lodge's working focus are: the doctrines and practices of sexual magic (principally taken over from the O.T.O.), and the Law of Thelema, which had been formally accepted from the Master Therion (Aleister Crowley) at the inception of the  FS.

 

From the standpoint of existing magical and mystical traditions, the FS is a mixture of Eastern and Western streams. A survey of the contents of the issues of Saturn-Gnosis, the Papers toward the Applied Art of Living (1948-1950), and the Papers toward the Applied Occult Art of Living (1950-1958) shows how this is so. From Eastern (really Indian) ideologies come the themes of awakening of the chakra system in the magician, [1] the laws of reincarnation and karma, and the practice of tantric sexual mysticism. From various branches of the Western (for want of a better term) tradition come the doctrines of ritual magic (taken mainly from the medieval and Renaissance grimoires), astrology, Rosicrucianism, Gnosticism and, of course, the overriding Masonic form of the lodge's organization and ritual. The documents indicate that the Eastern influence became stronger after the reorganization of the lodge after the Second World War. It is also interesting to note that in comparison to similar eclectic lodges, the FS laid relatively little emphasis on the Tarot and the Kabbalah. Within the FS teachings, special emphasis is placed on crystal and mirror magic, [2] pendulum magic, [3] and "daimonic magic." [4]

 

Saturn-Gnosis

 

The gnosis of the FS is a complex set of magical doctrines. These include a special path of initiation as well as a complete astral or planetary cosmosophy and a Luciferian element. In many regards the Saturn- Gnosis is in accordance with what is known of the Ophite and Barbelo Gnostic sects of antiquity. [5] Gnosis is a form of knowledge concerning the cosmos to which the individual feels called, or "elected," and which is based not on the belief in certain dogmas but rather on deep personal experience. The teachings, practices and rituals of the FS are intended to provide just such an initiatory experience.

 

Although in ancient times Gnosticism existed in a myriad of often mutually incompatible sects, there were certain doctrines common to most of them. First, they held that there existed a godhead beyond all categories as well as a three- fold god subsisting in the fullness of being (pleroma), or light. This divine realm  of fullness of being transcends the place in the world where matter exists; these two realms are separated by a great barrier (horos). How these realms became separate is a matter of diverse speculation, however, what is certain among the Gnostics is that our world was not created by the god of light, but rather by an entity that resulted from a deficiency in the pleroma. This deficiency came about either through progressive degeneration as the outflow of being got further and further from its source, or through a conscious withdrawal of divine will (thelema) from the outer reaches. By whatever process, lesser independent entities arose in the graduated levels (called aeons) of the new cosmos. These entities were called archons. One of these archons is the entity—or demiurge—that created our world of matter. This entity is identified by some Gnostics with Jehova (YHVH), the god of the Old Testament. Finally, it was held that man, as a mixed entity consisting of elements with origins in both the world of light (of God) and the world of darkness (of the demiurge), could only be redeemed by knowledge (gnosis). This knowledge was a direct experience of being, not something acquired by learning or even by conclusions reached by logical methods. The demiurge Jehovah demanded faith (pistis); the "Good God" could only be reached through gnosis. [6]

 

The Saturnian Archetype

 

From the perspective of FS teachings, the essences of the planets are complex entities. The central focus of the Brotherhood is the Saturnian complex, which we will refer to here as an "archetype." From an aeonic perspective, the planetary complex surrounding Uranus is also important in FS teachings.

 

A review of any modern astrological text will show what the common views of Saturnian characteristics are: practical, cautious, constructive, responsible, patient, ambitious, thrifty, reliable and self-disciplined. Negative characteristics might include: mean, narrowminded, severe, aloof, dogmatic, heartless, and cruel. Some of the older characteristics of Saturn were taken over by Uranus. Again, a review of standard texts will show certain Uranian characteristics: humanitarian, friendly, kind, independent, original, inventive, strongwilled, versatile, loathing restriction. Negative characteristics might be: eccentric, perverse, rebellious. [7]

 

A synthesis of all these characteristics will basically give the entire picture of the Saturno-Uranian complex as it is projected in the ideology of the FS.

 

In the Saturn-Gnosis the planet and archetype of Saturnus is the focal point for the manifestation of the Demiurge. This Demiurge is identified with Lucifer— the Bearer of Light—as the higher octave of Saturn. In this capacity it is the "Guardian of the Threshold" to higher initiation and being. [8]

 

According to secret FS teachings, Saturnus is the Great Judge that manifests justice; he also brings reason and intelligence, and governs all standards of weights, measurements, and number. He is the Lord of the Seven Dwellings (= planetary genii of the outer realm), and governor of the revealed world and lord over life and death, and over the light and darkness. Saturnus is seen as the breaker of cosmic order and unity—thus he instituted death, causing regeneration and change to come into being. One of the ways in which he broke the cosmic order was in the revelation of divine secrets to mankind. [9] For this he was punished. Thus in many ways Saturnus is identical with Prometheus of Greek tradition, and is certainly to be identified as well with the Serpent of Paradise.

 

This Demiurge Saturnus is identified with the number 666. He is the Beast 666, manifest in the Man (or Men) 666, and in the Living Center of the Sun—Sorath 666. [10]

 

Further Luciferian aspects of the Demiurge Saturnus will be explored below when we discuss the specifically Luciferian/Satanic [11] facets of the Saturn- Gnosis. What is important to realize at this juncture is that Saturn is seen not in an exoteric sense—relevant primarily to the non-elect of Saturn—but rather in an esoteric sense relevant to his chosen ones. Here Saturn is seen as the tester and judge, and ultimately as the initiator into higher knowledge and power. This capacity is further amplified by the underlying Uranian influence.

 

Besides these general teachings on the nature of the Demiurge Saturnus, the FS has a special doctrine, particular to it, concerning an entity attached to the planet Saturn and active on the Earth, called the GOTOS. This is the specific egregore or daimonion of the Brotherhood, of which the Grand Master 33° is the personal representative. The GOTOS functions in a way similar to the way the Secret Chiefs worked in the Golden Dawn system. The belief of this system of lodges having hidden, praeterhuman intelligences at their esoteric heads is commonly held in the FS. Members would, for example, say that Baphomet was the lodge daimonion of the Knights Templar.

 

The name GOTOS is actually a formula made up of the initial letters in the official name of the 33°: Gradus Ordinis Templi Orientis Saturni. [12] The daimonion GOTOS is understood as a preexisting entity, but it is also used as the egregore of the lodge. An egregore is a sort of "group spirit" or thought-form magically created by a community of people from its collective ideals. The egregore can be seen as a collective hypnotic suggestion which can be experienced directly, if subjectively, by the participants in rituals wherein the egregore is invoked. This tends to take on objective reality as the experience of the egregore becomes an experience that is shared within lodges. [13]

 

GOTOS guides the initiate toward divinity. It has a dark and light aspect and stands beyond all notions of good and evil. This is related to the +/-Absolutum. The initiate who has been informed by the GOTOS will combine the Apollonian and Dionysian within him—he will put the Apollonian in the center of his world-view, but will joyously observe the sacramental daemonic liturgy of life and death. The magical synthesis of this duality is thought to make it easy for the initiate to "change raiments" (i.e., to die), as he passes from one plane of being to another. [14]

 

Jananda, writing as Aythos, defines the GOTOS in the following terms: "The GOTOS, as a magnetic accumulator in the Saturn-sphere, stores . . . projected magical powers in the causal sphere through the Chain of Brotherhood." [15]

 

Here it is clear that the egregore is intended to work in a particular magical way. It is a kind of "battery" which can be charged with the psychic energy of the lodge. This "battery" is given a particular form, which acts as an access-key to its power. When members of the lodge have need of the accumulated and stored magical energy, they can "tap into" it if they have the proper ritual keys. In the ritual practice of the FS, the GOTOS is especially charged during the Easter Lodge when, through the formation of the magical Chain of Brotherhood, energy is circulated to the GOTOS. In trance states certain initiates of the FS could actually gain "astral" visions of the humanoid appearance of the GOTOS. This image was at some point cast in a sculpture by Sorella Gabriele and set up in the Lodge Temple in Berlin. At one time all members of the FS were to have one of these busts of the "Master Gothos" in their private sanctuaries (see page 72).

 

Through the experience of the GOTOS the Saturnian Brother or Sister is able to feel directly the qualities of personality that he or she is expected to develop as an initiate of the FS: compassionless love, willpower, resolution, severity (with him- or herself and others). These are developed in order to create the conditions for higher spiritual development through mastery of one's own self and the environment. In other words these are the characteristics of the Saturnian magician. Gregorius himself, in a poem published in Saturn-Gnosis 1 (1928), described the GOTOS as a leader on the path into the solitude of Saturnian-Uranian knowledge (a knowledge into which each must go alone). He portrays the "love" of Saturn as "severity," but declares that whoever can withstand the tests will ultimately be greeted as a friend and brother. [16]

 

Aim of the FS—The Lodge Concept

 

The Brotherhood of Saturn characterizes itself as a "just, enlightened, perfect, secret, magical, ritual lodge." Each of these terms further defines and clarifies the nature of the FS. [17]

 

It is "just" or "righteous" in that all initiates are ethically trained in order to become balanced, productive and most importantly conscious members of the lodge and of society as a whole. In Masonic terms, the new initiate is compared to a rough-hewn stone which is to be finished by the mason.

 

By "enlightened" it is meant that the FS is of Gnostic origin, i.e., it is involved with the effort to gain direct experience and vision of the divinity. True to Gnostic doctrine, the FS holds that this understanding must come from outside the limitations of normal deductive or inductive logic. Magical work is made up of experience and only the elect may ever truly understand it.

 

The FS is a "secret" lodge in that the public identities of the members are supposed to be unknown to the other members. Each new initiate is given a lodge-name which he or she is to be known by in lodge-related affairs. During the ritual lodge work which takes place when a new initiate is received, his public name along with his lodge name are burned together in the brazier to bind them together "astrally."

 

"Ritualistic" means that the lodge celebrates certain ritual ceremonies at appointed times as an integral part of its overall work. The most sacred night is that of "Good Saturday"—when in the lore of the Christians it is said that Christ was in the Underworld preaching to the "good pagans."

 

The word "magical" here denotes the idea that the lodge works with invocations and evocations of entities from beyond the mundane realm.

 

It is a "Brotherhood" in that the bonds made within it are intended to continue beyond death on the "mental plane." In the concept of Brotherhood both men and women are included.

 

Quite often Brothers and Sisters place three points This is an exhortation "to work in the triplicity: harmony-justice- fraternity." [18] This three-fold motto either before or before and after their lodge names. can also be taken as an indication of the value system within the lodge.

 

Among the highest aims of the FS is the spiritual perfection of its initiates. But this is not really seen as an end in itself, but rather as a means to the elevation of the consciousness of the lodge as a whole, which in turn leads to a sympathetic raising of consciousness in the world outside the lodge. An esoteric aim of the lodge especially pursued by the High Grade Masters (30°—33°) is the binding of the so-called "outer lodge," i.e. the FS as it is known in the world, to the "inner lodge" which exists on the "mental plane." It is from this inner lodge that the High Grade initiates are to receive instructions for magical work to be disseminated within the order. Through this interaction, the two lodges, the inner and outer, begin to reach higher and higher levels of harmony. Additionally, the FS, as a Thelemic order, is concerned with activating the Law of Thelema on this planet. In the higher grades it is taught that the higher sense of the Law of Thelema involves the binding of humanity closer to the Saturnian influence. [19]

 

The Way of Saturn

 

The path of Saturnian initiation is one often wrapped in darkness in which the initiate finds the light. It is one of solitude (as the FS has come to recognize the existential problem of modern humanity), which it has incorporated into its program. As an order the FS provides a definite initiatory path and curriculum which is particular unto itself. Despite the recognition of the initiate's lonely path, the FS tries to provide a magical environment in which the individual can most clearly find his or her way to the Guardian of the Threshold—and beyond.

 

The cultivation of solitude is a primary task of the Saturnian brother or sister. As the initiate has chosen a pathway to higher knowledge through the Saturnian sphere, he has naturally isolated himself from the mass of humanity. By so doing he has also liberated himself from a vast number of the influences of the masses, influences that are detrimental to his initiatory progress. The initiate's need for this spiritually undifferentiated humanity becomes less and less as his progress accelerates. So despite his solitude (and more to the point, because of it) he is happy as a self-contained individual. Because he stands more and more outside the standards of common human measurements and evaluations, the Saturnian brother has progressively less spiritual need of common human society. The solitude is a joyous one, mainly because the initiate is always conscious of, and focused on, his initiatory aims. [20]

 

This cultivation of magical and initiatory solitude, when applied to the FS as a body, manifests as an elitist philosophy. As a link in the self-contained Chain of Brotherhood, the initiate is not only able to overcome in perfect serenity all difficulties that might arise in life, but also to put behind him all the doctrines and dogmas of the outmoded religions of the masses—Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, etc. He knows that the gnosis of the Absolutum (= "divinity as an immaterial spectrum") is an unattainable goal for the mass of humanity given its present state of evolution. [21] Knowing this, the FS does not reject humanity, but merely takes a more realistic view of it, and attempts to accelerate the evolution of mankind by means of the magical/initiatory tools at its disposal.

 

The main spiritual tool of the FS is the initiation and transformation of individual brothers and sisters. This is done through magical training and ritual initiation. Through years of concentrated meditative and contemplative work in which he has been very severe with himself, the chela acquires the Saturnian attributes of seriousness, concentration, and critical thinking, as well as the Uranian qualities of intuition and knowledge. One of the first steps in this training is the rejection of speculative fantasies, and the concentration on fact and intellectual pursuit. This, it would appear, is the best foundation for more occult or magical practices. Eventually, by following the magical curriculum of the FS, the brother or sister will become the master of all spheres of activity and endeavor. The initiate will become master of both the dark and white lights, and will be able to command the daemons of the nether regions as well as the angels of the mental spheres. [22]

 

Anyone already familiar with the work and curriculum of modern occult lodges will have noticed the unusual emphasis found in the FS on the "dark side" of the initiatory process. This, of course, originates to some extent from the Saturnian archetype itself as it is commonly understood. But there are further mysteries behind this that we will explore later. For now let it suffice to say that the FS preserves a gnosis of the shadow side of the light, the "nightside of being." In Kabbalistic terms this is known as the qliphothic realm. However, and this is the pivotal point, at the same time the FS tries to cultivate the highest ethical standards when dealing with these forces. [23] This is another instance of the Saturnian tendency to synthesize opposites into a dynamic process.

 

Another manifestation of this tendency is the training principle of going against the natural grain of the character of the initiate. The magician willfully "re-polarizes" himself in ways contrary to his own innate nature. "The rationalist must discover his soul, the romantic must express his essential rational characteristics . . . " [24] In more esoteric terms this describes the alchemical process of coagulating the Saturnian lead with the Solar gold, or in astrological terms the resting Lion () is driven to the Saturnian Goat () from where it can descend to rule in an enlightened condition in the realm of Earth. Common to all these processes is the idea of a coagulation (a synthesis) of the extremities of a polarized system. Consequential to this process is an emphasis on the "dark side" which is just as essential as the "light side." This is in contrast to the average modern occult lodges, which shun any reference to the darkness and pursue a unipolar development. This curiously enough leads them into an entanglement with the problem aspects of dualism—for the darkness abideth forever.

 

In the final degrees of Saturnian initiation the brother or sister can fearlessly gaze upon the Guardian of the Threshold and the gate will be opened to him/ her that he/she may pass into the trans-Saturnian spheres. This may, it appears, come at the end of the brother's/sister's present incarnation. In any event, they will remain an integral part of the Brotherhood. The abyss does not frighten them as they prepare for their next incarnation, in which they may continue to serve the Earth in the interests of Saturn. [25] Or they may permanently enter into the existence of the archedaimonium in order to fulfill some higher tasks in the inner order. Whatever they do, they do it of their own truly free wills. By the time they reach this stage of initiation, the powers of life and death are in their hands, and these powers they can use as they will. The High Grade initiate "will always re-crystallize himself, even after he loses his present form." [26]

 

In an aeonic perspective, as understood within the FS, it is becoming more possible in the rising "Emerald Dawn" of the Saturnian-Uranian age to reform humanity in the light of this dawn. Ultimately, the goal is to bring this process to fruition, and to realize the exalted state of solitary freedom. [27]

 

Astral Gnosis

 

As the name of the order indicates, the Fraternitas Saturni places a heavy emphasis on astrological doctrines or astrosophy. The teachings which involve Saturn are derived from a basically Gnostic cosmology, in which the planet Saturn is identified with the Demiurge and with the Guardian of the Threshold (Hüter der Schwelle), who comes between the initiate rising through the planetary spheres and their access to the firmament and the light. [28] As mentioned before, the archetype of Saturn as portrayed in the FS is a manifold which fits into a complex cosmology. The FS teaches an astrosophical cosmogony and anthropogony (how the world and mankind came into being), as well as a unique cosmology describing the map of the world as it is now. Many elements of its cosmogony and eschatology are derived from the mystical German cosmologist Hans Hörbiger, who is perhaps best known from the portrayal of his ideas in The Morning of the Magicians. [29] Most significant, however, are the FS doctrines concerning the procession of the equinoxes, which heralds the coming of the Age of Aquarius. The FS has a special perspective on this New Age.

 

Astrosophy

 

According to FS doctrines, on the seventh day of creation an angel (= Lucifer-Saturn) emanated from the Absolutum (= the Kabbalistic ainsoph). This angel was given rulership over the outermost sphere and became the Guardian of Time and Eternity. This entity stood at the outer limits of the limitless, girding itself in space and being and all creation. (The Gnostics also sometimes ascribed this function to Leviathan—the ouroboros—the serpent at the edge of the firmament grasping its own tail.) This angel, or god, rebelled against the static, established cosmic order and set into motion the forces of change and evolution, which also imply death and destruction. This rebellion is referred to in Judeo-Christian mythology as the "War in Heaven," and the angel or daemon is sometimes identified as (Hebrew) Abadon or (Greek) Apollyon. Reference to this may be found in Isaiah 14:12-15 and in Revelations 9:1. By breaking the static cosmic order the Rebel—Lucifer—became the creator of the visible world. This battle still rages between the polar opposites of the outer Saturnian sphere and the inner Solar Logos, with the Earth in the middle as the main field of battle. [30]

 

What for the most part seems to be a Gnostic cosmology has been deeply influenced by the theories of Hans Hörbiger (1860-1931). Hörbiger believed that there were two principal forces contending in the universe: cosmic fire and cosmic ice (or German: Welteis). This fits admirably well with Germanic ideas of cosmogony, of course. [31] For Hörbiger the cosmos was constantly expanding and contracting. It did this from central points. The primeval cosmos spewed out galaxies, galaxies spewed forth suns, and suns emitted planets. But the centripetal force of cosmic ice will cause each in its turn to collapse back in on itself. Into the solar system there have also wandered bodies that did not originally belong to this system, e.g. the Earth's moon(s), and the planets beyond Saturn. These trans- Saturnian planets belonged to the neighboring solar system of Alcyone in the Constellation of the Swan (Cygnus). In time these trans-Saturnian planets will be absored by Alcyone and eventually our Sun will unite with that star as well. [32]

 

According to FS doctrines concerning the history of the Earth, there have been several moons orbiting the planet at one time or another. These moons were eventually drawn into the Earth by the centripetal force of "cosmic ice" as delineated by Hörbiger. There was a moon over "Lemuria" and subsequently one over "Atlantis;" both were catastrophically pulled to the surface of the Earth. Two twin moons, a white one, Luna, and a black one, Lilith, were then pulled into the Earth's orbit. The Earth has already absorbed the black moon, leaving Luna yet to be pulled down in a world catastrophe. [33]

 

These astrophysical phenomena are seen as the outward manifestations of the "War in Heaven." The Luciferian Principle is understood as an expelled spark of the divine which has struggled through the darkness of matter, where this principle manifests itself as crystalline structure and as light. It struggled its way further through the kingdoms of plants and animals, and eventually emerged in humankind where the spark was liberated. Although generally ignorant of its true home and origin, this spark does carry in itself the memories of its primal state. [34]

 

It is a mainstay of Saturnian gnosis that the darkness contains the light. Therefore the darkness is necessary for light to exist. It follows then that in fact the darkness is superior to the light—ohne Finsternis leuchtet kein Licht! This light is activated within the matrix of darkness by the Logos—of the Demiurge Saturnus—that constantly speaks the words: "Let there be light!" The outermost station of this light is in the planetary sphere of Saturn, where the light melts into darkness. [35]

 

As the solar system stands now, there is a dynamic tension between the centrifugal force (the outer limits of which are defined by Saturn) and the centripetal force (the center of which is the Sun). The centrifugal force—outward moving power—is the force of creativity and manifestation wielded by the Demiurge Saturnus, which is an expression of that force. This is the "divine negative" as the Creative Principle. [36] The centripetal force—the centralizing or concentrative power—is that of restriction and limitation ruled by the Solar Logos: the Chrestos Principle. Chrestos is Greek for "the good one." These two forces are in continuous balance and each force contains the seed-principle of its opposite. There is, therefore, a profound and incomprehensible darkness at the center of the Solar Logos. This is the object of the Saturnian Solar Cult. At the same time, those who serve Saturn are also conducting a spiritualized solar cult in that they are promoting the return of the lost son (Saturn),who was hurled out of the Sun to his paternal Solar sphere. [37]

 

According to FS teachings, the Earth is also a complex sphere. Parallel to the physical plane of existence on this planet are two other planes or dimensions: the astral underlying this physical plane and the mental overlying it. Magically these are respectively seen as the darkness and light the magician must master in his work. Interestingly, the secret doctrine has it that the astral dimension has historically been interpreted as "hell," while the mental zone has been seen as "heaven." [38]

 

Kabbalistically, the effects of the negative causal principle of Saturn, which corresponds to the third sephira, called Binah (Understanding), is reflected in the ninth sephira, called Yesod (Foundation), which corresponds to the Moon. Therefore, in the astrosophical doctrines of the FS, the effects of Saturn (= 3) are transmitted through the Moon (= 9)—the power of Saturn squared (32). [39]

 

The state of dynamic tension in which the cosmos finds itself is, according to the laws of cosmic ice, eventually going to collapse. In fact, this collapse is already underway. Astronomically, this is a process of various planetary bodies being reabsorbed into the Sun. On the spiritual level this is tantamount to the principles, of which these planets are manifestations, being redeemed. Four planets have been redeemed as the FS doctrine has it. Two, Vulkan and Hermes, have already been consumed by the Sun, while Mercury and Venus have been drawn within its sphere of influence. At some point, Jupiter and Saturn will merge, combining the mildness of Jupiter with the severity of Saturn. This will give rise to a new Golden Age. [40] Eventually all the planets of the solar system will be thus "redeemed," bringing to an end this cycle of existence. In this whole process Gregorius said that the "task of spiritual humanity is to participate consciously in the evolution of the Earth in order to redeem her." [41]

 

AEONIC COSMOSOPHY

 

The Dark Side of the Aquarian Age

 

The strict doctrines concerning cosmic aeons (from Greek aion, age) have their origin in Gnostic teachings of the early centuries of our era. This concept, although it had a certain magical role in ancient times, became enormously important with the magical work of Aleister Crowley following 1904. The FS, inspired by Crowley and by the current astrological speculations concerning the dawn of a New Age of Aquarius, developed its own aeonic philosophy. It is essential to understand this philosophy if the whole work of the Brotherhood is to be grasped.

 

The ancient Gnostic sects of the Mediterranean and Near Eastern regions held that the aeons were the emanations of God. These emanations descended from the fullness (pleroma) of God's light into the darkness. Aeons are made up of an array of elements, the archons that rule them, the angels (Greek aggeloi, messengers) that provide for their dynamic interaction with the cosmos, the "reasons" (Greek logoi, or "words"), etc. In Gnostic practice these aeons were seen as barriers through which the initiate would have to pass after death until he gained the pleroma. In actual Gnostic teaching, then, an aeon is a phenomenon of time/ space. [42] The Earth may pass though "ages" ruled over by archons ("rulers") of astrologically determined periods of time, but the individual soul of a man must also pass through the barriers of the aeon in order to return to the light. So much for the ancient doctrine.

 

In Cairo, Egypt, Aleister Crowley received the text of a book dictated to him by a praeternatural entity identified as Aiwass or Aiwaz. This happened in 1904, and from that time on Crowley began to preach the advent of a new aeon, the Aeon of Horus, which in turn superceded the Aeons of Isis and Osiris. It is clear that Crowley understood himself as an agent and an indespensable element of this new aeon, the Word of the Aeon made flesh. From that point he was to function as a Magus (although he was not to claim that grade until 1915), and as the Utterer of an Aeonic Word. Theoretically, it became his task and his curse to attempt to articulate this Word, which is (Thelema), the True Will. In this the Great Beast had synthesized the old Gnostic idea of a natural progression of the aeonic rulers on Earth and the idea of a godlike intervention from above, exemplified in the Gnostic Christology.

 

Crowley had conjured a new way of magical thinking with his aeonic formulation, and it was one that struck a few responsive cords. Gregor A. Gregorius accepted the advent of the aeonic current of Thelema but did not accept Crowley's system (A...A... or O.T.O.), nor his authority in non-aeonic matters. In 1948 Crowley's own disciple, Charles Stansfield Jones (Frater Achad), claimed to have uttered a new Word superceding that of Thelema. Achad's Word was supposedly Ma-Ion or Ma'at—the Egyptian goddess of truth and justice. All this turned out rather badly, as Jones ended his days in obscurity and insanity.

 

Of course, many hold to orthodox notions of "aeonic questions" pronounced more or less clearly by Aleister Crowley, while others even attempt to work with Achad's formulation. The dynamic understanding of the Setian Xeper, as continually articulated by its Magus, provides a more individuated and clearly articulated aeonic pathway than any of the previous attempts to work with such "Aeonic Words." In any event, some perspective on these aeonic concepts cannot be ignored when one is trying to understand the history of magical thinking in twentieth-century Western tradition. In the FS the advent of the new aeon is seen first and foremost in astrological terms. It is the equivalent of the Age of Aquarius,  ruled by the planetary archon Saturnus. The role of the Master Therion's Aeonic Word seems to be of secondary importance. What might be of widespread interest is the magico-astrological insight into the fact that the Aquarian Age will be one ultimately ruled by the dark Saturno-Uranian archon or demiurge.

 

The cosmosophy of the FS is dependent on the natural procession of the equinoxes into the sign of Aquarius, which as a sign of the zodiac is traditionally said to be ruled by the planet Saturn. With the discovery of trans-Saturnian planets, and after astrology had synthesized them into its system, the planet Uranus was also said to rule this sign. This physical event, as well as the other astrophysical phenomena taking place in the cosmos and more particularly within our solar system, are reflections of metaphysical events occurring simultaneously with the physical ones. The same can be said for the birth of the solar system, and its eventual entropic collapse.

 

Although it is stated that "every age or epoch contains within itself the power necessary to its own fulfillment," [43] humanity as a whole resists this realization. It is only open to and known by the truly elect within a society. Humanity is for the most part still dominated by an unyielding law of self-destruction that rules in all realms of being, organic as well as inorganic. Knowledge and experience of the archdaimonic principle embodied in Saturn can, however, free the initiate from the laws of cause and effect. In other terms, man can liberate himself from his own karma. [44] Beyond the moral aspects of this, these ideas are also useful in formulating a notion of how Saturnian magic works. It is the progression of the individual beyond the threshold—beyond the barrier—in order to become separate from the internal, objective cosmos. In theory, the Aquarian Age, the aeon of Saturn, should be manifest first and foremost within the magically elect.

 

The influence of the coming Aquarian Age is being guided by the Demiurge Saturnus, which is in turn being transformed through Uranian influence. The present, fading Piscean Age is (was) ruled by Jupiter, under the hidden influence of Neptune. The Neptunian influence is thought to be exercising tremendous force at the close of the Piscean Age in the area of politics; hence the upsurge in collectivistic and communistic ideals. This tide will, however, suddenly turn, and this influx will be destroyed by the surging Uranian power. According to Saturnian teachings, the confusion of today's world is mainly due to the convergence of the two competing and conflicting aeonic streams, the incoming Aquarian and the outgoing Piscean. It will be up to the emerging Saturno-Uranian spirit and its elect to bring a new order out of this chaos. In this process the old nature of Saturn is undergoing a transformation as well. It is becoming more "spiritual," while at the same time it retains its basic quality of stability and solidity. The synthesis of these qualities leads to a powerful balance in which the powers of the spirit are directed and manifested in exacting, precise ways which are as yet unheard of. [45]

 

In the Saturnian view, there does seem, to be sure, a dark side of the Age of Aquarius. Based on some fairly objectively interpreted astrological teachings, it could be concluded that the Aquarian Age will only appear to be one of rational and humanitarian egalitarianism. The Saturno-Uranian reality looming behind this world of appearances will be one of an enlightened system of control by a ruling elite—the final reign of the Illuminati.

 

The Luciferian Principle

 

Although in later times the Luciferian aspect of the Fraternitas Saturni might have been toned down— especially in materials meant for public consumption— the ideology of Gregorius himself was permeated with this Luciferian Principle. The FS has its own myth-omagical understanding of what the nature of this entity is, how it relates to the order's astrosophy, and to the initiatory work of the order. Gregorius, although not as ingenious a poet or artist as Crowley, was nevertheless more straightforward in his approach to the role of darkness and the Luciferian light than was the Master Therion. Perhaps it is for this reason that Gregorius was less "perplexed" than Crowley.

 

In the FS, Lucifer is understood as the Light Bearer for mankind. As a result of being given this light by Lucifer, which continues to be reborn in every generation of humanity, mankind will be able to take a measure of egocentric power from the solar Logos. In this way Lucifer is the savior of humankind, at least for that part of humanity that has been able to comprehend his Principle. The essence of the Saturnian cult is the effort to understand this entity and to consciously make use of its power in the service of the solar Logos (Sorath). [46]

 

Gregorius was always anxious to point out that this Luciferian mythology was in fact older than the ignorant misunderstandings and willful distortions of the Judeo-Christian tradition. He claimed to have his knowledge from a pre- Christian and/or non-Christian sect of "Barbelo-Gnostics." [47] In the FS Lucifer is the embodiment of enlightenment and reason; there are none of the destructive slanders against him as in the Christian tradition.

 

However he came by it, Gregorius does seem to have a correct interpretation of the relative roles of that entity referred to as the Light-Bearer (Greek Eosphoros) and that referred to as "God." Perhaps the oldest version of the Lucifer myth is that of the Greek Prometheus ("he who has foreknowledge"). Traditions differ on many details of the Promethean mythology, but what is essential is that Prometheus, wishing to help and preserve mankind (some say he even created mankind), brought the divine fire—or higher consciousness— and bestowed it upon men. This was the first enlightenment of humanity. Zeus, however, was angered and punished Prometheus by hurling him into the depths of Erebus. There he was staked to a mountain—an image prefiguring the crucifixion by hundreds of years. The point is that the "creator god," here Zeus (in the Judeo-Christian tradition Jehova), wants to keep humanity in subjugation and slavery to the "natural laws" which he has set up—but a rebel figure, here Prometheus (elsewhere Lucifer) befriends man and brings him the means to become as one of the gods. This is the fundamental idea underlying the Luciferian stance of the FS and its connection to preand non-Christian attitudes toward the myth.

 

Because of the general domination of the Judeo-Christian mythic scheme in medieval and postmedieval European culture, the FS also, of course, deals with the Luciferian mythos from that standpoint, taking a decidedly Ophite (or Naassene) view. The myth is most readily available in the Judeo-Christian canon in Genesis 3. A close and objective reading of this myth cannot but prove the Saturnian point: that the Serpent (Hebrew: nechesh) is the friend and brother of Adam, while the Lord God (Hebrew: yahweh elohim) is only his keeper and shepherd. The rebel spirit Lucifer opened the way for  man's rebellion and hence his salvation; Jahveh would have held man in the eternal bondage of ignorance. The Serpent gave Knowledge (Gk. gnosis)—and thus is the true friend of mankind and his true liberator. Any other interpretation of the text of Genesis 3 would seem wildly imaginative.

 

Following basically Gnostic thought, the doctrines of the FS contain a Christology that is consistent with this view of the Eden myth. They would hold that the Ophite/Naassene teaching that the Serpent (Heb. nechesh) in the Garden of Eden and the Anointed One (Heb. messiach)—the Christos—are one in the same. This could be backed up with the Kabbalistic interpretation of nechesh = N.Ch.Sh. = 50.8.300. = 358 and messiach = M.Sh.Y.Ch. = 40.300.10.8. = 358. That both, according to the esoteric laws of gematria, render the sum of 358 demonstrates their essential unity. The Christos is a messenger and son of the Serpent, therefore, and not of the Creator. This Christos preaches gnosis (knowledge) and not pistis (faith). The Serpent of Eden is further identified with the brazen serpent of Exodus and with the serpent-entwined staff of Hermes, the caduceus. [48] According to FS teaching, the Serpent of Eden may also be identified with Satana, the feminine aspect of Satanas. This in turn corresponds to the kundalini—serpent power—of Indian tantric lore. The truly beneficent principle is, however, identified as the Chrestos, not Christos. The Chrestos, the Good-One, is the designation of the beneficial solar entity.

 

Lucifer would also appear to have a central role in the origin of humanity, and in the origin of death. It is thought that Lucifer brought about physical procreation through a primeval sexual act with Cheva (Eve). With procreation came death; but of course without death there is no change, no evolution. Thus the opening of the gate of death, the act of "sinking into matter," was a necessary step to link man to the current whereby Paradise can again be gained. But this time humanity will do it consciously and of its own will, and thus gain eternal life and wisdom. Then man will have truly become his own god—which is the path of Saturn. [49]

 

Also in accordance with its Gnostic heritage, the FS doctrines lay a strong emphasis on dualism. Not so much a good- versus-evil dualism, but rather a beyond-good- and-evil dualism summed up in the Saturn- Gnostic dictum: lux e tenebris— ight from the Darkness! In an article entitled "Saturn-Yoga," Gregorius stated: "Without Darkness there is no Light. The Light shines in the Darkness and the Darkness is more powerful than the Light!" [50] This is an idea we have already met which simply states that the Light is held in a matrix of Darkness, that both are necessary to existence, and that it is the goal of the practitioner of Saturnian Gnosis to gain experience in, and mastery over, both the Light and the Darkness. The Saturnian view is one clearly shown in the familiar yin-yang symbol used by the Taoists in which the seed of the opposite quality is shown to be embedded in the depths of its counterpart. Thus there is a heart of Darkness within the Sun, and the Saturnian Darkness shines with a profound Light.

 

 

Figure 2.1: The Yin-Yang

 

The true god of Saturnian Gnosis is a Janus-faced entity—Baphomet: Temohpab—a god containing both a positive and a negative side. Both paths, that of the Right and that of the Left, lead to the Absolutum, which stands beyond good and evil. Again, true to Gnosticism, the Saturnian emphasizes that the initiate must enter a path—and work and experience. [51]

 

The Luciferian mythos is, of course, also accounted for in astrophysical terms within the teachings of the FS. The "Fall" of Lucifer from "Heaven" is equated with the physical event of the expulsion of the planetary masses from the solar sphere. Lucifer is identified with the "higher octave" of Saturn (in astrology this is also equated with the planet Uranus, the planet of rebellion). In this planetary position, Saturn-Lucifer has been able to rule all the planetary entities within its orbit, being especially forceful on the planet Earth. Again the Earth is the main field of contention between the Solar Logos and the Luciferian Principle. [52] The initiate struggles toward a harmonious arrival at the Theonium of Saturn, and not toward the Sun, because the Sun would destroy and consume him. The Saturnian sphere offers enlightenment, control, and independence. This always returns to the essentially complex structure of that which is called Saturn. It must always be remembered, for example, that the Saturnian sphere contains the seed of the Chrestos-Principle. [53]

 

Gregorius poetically described some of the Luciferian Gnosis in a poem entitled Fallen Angel, which was first published in the Blätter (January 1955), p. 11:

For millions of years he stood before God's Throne

as a guardian, watchman, and caretaker.

But when the son returned,

his hand grasped only emptiness.

He stood before God and saw him not.

He called unto God in vain

and his soul wept.

But in the distance glowed in the firmament

a blue star, and a voice spoke unto him:

Doctrines of the Fraternitas Saturni / 59

I seek Thee, come Thou to me,

give me Thy hands.

A pale visage shone in the distance,

and a slender hand began to work.

Aeons descended from him

to sink into the sea of ages.

The great angel standing there,

was once his brother and commander,

who now has left him.

Now his voice again calls to him

and through the spheres his call resounds

out to one, who created him:

"Satanas Triumphator!"

The basis for the ambivalent stance of the FS toward the whole Luciferian aspect in the Saturnian Gnosis is clearly revealed in the doctrines concerning the actual esoteric structure of the entity Saturnus. Around the physical planet Saturn is arrayed a complex of entities constituting internal and external aspects, as well as higher and lower octaves of the planet. A composite of these might appear as shown in Figure 2.2 on the following page.

 

 

Figure 2.2: The Saturn Figure

 

As has been intimated, the outer and ruling aspect of the planetary genius is that of Saturn with all its previously outlined characteristics. A part of this is the egregore of the FS itself—the GOTOS. Deep within there is, however, the creative solar spark called the Chrestos-Principle. [54] These two aspects can work harmoniously and consciously together in the controlled sphere of Saturn. This enlightened state is facilitated especially when harmony with the higher octave of the planet, Lucifer—the Light-Bearer—is concentrated on. The higher octave is also harmonized with the planetary spirit of Uranus, with which Saturn works for the current aeonic transformation. In the lower octave, Saturn is connected to the Satanic force. This is the power of rebellion, adversity, and death, all of which are absolutely necessary to man's path of attainment—to his Becoming. However, this purely "Satanic" aspect can be ultimately as dangerous and destructive to consciousness as is the self-obliterating power of the Sun. The Saturnian brother must remain concentrated on the higher octave in order to remain fully conscious and independent (consistent with the Luciferian Principle), and not fall into the lower to become a mere tool of the Demiurge.

 

In the working or ritual aspects of the FS curriculum the Luciferian Principle is also highly evident. Some of this will be far more fully explored in the practices and rituals of the Brotherhood in Chapter 4. However, at this time it is worth pointing out that the "Sacrament of Light" in the FS is understood primarily as a Luciferian Mass in which the initiate experiences the transcendent in the immanent. This experience leads to meranoi—transformations in the initiate. The ultimate end of these transformations, according to FS doctrine, is the cessation of the necessity of incarnation, as the individual light merges with the Light of the World. [55]

 

This transformation in the Luciferian Light is not completely manifested in the grade system of the FS until the 33°. The complete name of this degree makes the nature of this attainment clear: "Gradus Ordinis Templi Orientis Saturni im Orden des dunklen Lichts" (i.e., Grade of the Order of the Eastern Temple of Saturn in the Order of the Dark Light). [56] Ultimately, this work does not end in the obliteration of the self in the ainsoph, but rather in the deification of that transformed self. This is perhaps most lyrically outlined by Gregorius, in a poem he wrote in 1943 but which was not published until March 1955, in Blätter:

Thou Art Thine Own God

 

1. Thou must affirm the God in Thee, for every doubt takes power from Thee. Every hour of Thy divine knowledge brings Thee a step higher in Thy journey.

2. Thou canst unfold the spark, that God bestowed on Thee, to a pure flame that makes worlds fall and rise again, God is in Thee!—Thou art Thyself God!

3. Thus Thou canst have Gods enthroned in Thee build altars, ignite sacrificial flames, for every dreamand form of thought is Thy power, and every force of desire takes a form and shape.

4. Thus art Thou the shaper of transcendental worlds, imaginary creator of Thine own realm, Thou art priest, magus, royal lord and prince in Thy soul's expanse.

5. Cyprus groves stand round Thy palaces of thought and blue waves lap at the marble steps and ships fare out upon the seas, for Thee, who wearest the purple.

6. The Earth is Thy sorrow that shaped the knowledge and bitter fruits of Thy Golgatha And nevertheless the call rings out to Thee: Lo! I am here!

The Luciferian Principle is essential to the aeonic philosophy of the FS. In their astrosophy, the spiritual changes coming about in the world which are mirrored in astrophysical processes (i.e., here the procession of the equinox into the zodiacal sign of Aquarius ruled by Saturn/Uranus) are tantamount to the advent of an Age of Lucifer. This is what Gregorius must have recognized in Aleister Crowley's "Equinox of the Gods" concept, in which the Age of Osiris gives way to the Age of Horus. [57] But it must be quickly pointed out that Gregorius had his own ideas of what all this meant and how the aeonic process worked. Generally speaking the ideas of Gregorius were more consistent, mainly because he did not shrink from the "dark aspects" and clear Luciferian connotations. The Lucifer of the FS system is understood first and foremost as a part of the Saturnian planetary sphere and is clearly identified with pre- or non-Christian Gnostic concepts. Therefore any attempt to characterize the FS as "Satanic" in the Christian sense of the term must fail.

 

THE YOGA OF THE DARK LIGHT

 

FS Sexual Mysticism

 

It is probably in the area of the practice of sexual magic that the FS has become most notorious in esoteric circles. This notoriety has chiefly come about through the publication of reports or isolated documents [58] that perhaps give some idea of the kind of sexual magic practiced in the FS. But these reports are nevertheless largely taken out of context and therefore can not give anything but a distorted picture of actual FS theories and practices. In Chapter 4 we will provide some practices of Saturnian sex-magic, as well as the full rite of the Pentalphic Grade, which has until now only been alluded to in print. The background of sexual magic in the FS is closely related to that of the O.T.O. as discussed in Chapter 1. However, the FS under Gregorius developed some of its own ideas, mainly based on astrosophical and Gnostic precepts, along with what was at the time (i.e., late 1920s) modern sexology. [59] Here we will try to concentrate on those concepts and doctrines relatively unique to the FS. [60]

 

For the most part, sex-magical practices in the FS were confined to the work of the 18° (Pentalphic). In this degree the initiate makes a deep study of the sexual magic and mysticism as outlined in the O.T.O. system. It is clear that the whole O.T.O. system—which is supposed to be something more than sex-magic— obviously exerted a strong influence over the FS. The clearest expression of this is in the name GOTOS. Beyond the overt practice of sex-magical techniques, a whole "sexual cosmology" was deeply embedded in FS doctrine.

 

This teaching is partly taken from tantric and quasi-tantric systems and partly derived directly from Gnostic sexual cosmologies. From tantrism the FS derived its theories of the chakra system in the human body, which was conceived of as being naturally polarized in one way (negatively) in women, and another way (positively) in men. [61] A survey of the numerous allegorical and mythic representations of Gnostic cosmologies [62]—descriptions of how the world came into being—shows that many of the FS doctrines on sexuality could have possibly been taken from the general picture outlined in Gnosticism. In the ancient gnosis the ultimate god-form manifested from the god-head. This god-form is three-fold, consisting of mind (Greek nous), thought (Greek ennoia) and reason (or word, Greek logos). From this masculine entity emanated the first aeon, which is defined as his own mirror image reflected in the "pure water of light." This first aeon is called either Barbelo or Sophia (wisdom)— the feminine aspect of the father-god—herself androgynous. She is the mother of the Demiurge and is also responsible for implanting the "divine spark" in humanity. This Sophia is regarded ambivalently by the Gnostics as she was the first entity to suffer a "fall," perhaps due to her excessive cravings and curiosities concerning knowledge. This ambivalence is subsequently reflected in human women, and is represented in the esoteric Eden myth by both Lilith and Eve. [63] There are obvious correspondences between the relationships of Father—God : Barbelo/ Sophia; Adam : Lilith/Eve; and astronomically, Sun : Moon/Earth, etc. This lore seems to form the matrix of FS sexual mysticism. But it must be remembered that the FS is essentially an eclectic, innovative, and somewhat pragmatic order, so no one set of doctrines tends to dominate it completely. The Saturnian Gnosis is a unique Gnostic teaching.

 

The very nature of the sexes is, according to the Saturnian Gnosis, a part of the same phenomenal process as the manifestation and evolution of the planetary bodies. Gregorius held that the negatively polarized manifestations of Saturnian and Lunar forces were, on Earth, incarnated in the forms of women, who are the vicars of the Luciferian Principle. The sometimes ambivalent attitude toward this principle leads to an ambivalent stance toward women as a phenomenon. It is even stated at one point that the esotericist should seek to free himself of the feminine daimonium by means of sexual magic. [64] In contrast, men are esoterically the manifestation of the Solar and Jupiterian forces. For sex-magical work, of course, women are seen to correspond to the planet Venus, and men to the planet Mars. This will be outlined further in the sections dealing with sex-magical practices.

 

Gregorius claimed that Karl Kellner (founder of the O.T.O.) taught that sexuality held the key to understanding cosmogony, and that the natural laws of sexuality were a mirror or shadow image of cosmic processes.

 

The most concentrated manifestation of these cosmic realities were in those physical parts of the sexes which most distinguished one from the other: the sexual organs themselves. Thus, the phallus is a symbol and manifestation of the divine willpower of imagination, of the faculty of image-making. Conversely, the female genitalia, or kteis, is the symbol and manifestation of the plasmic emulsion of expansive chaos, the matrix in which reality takes shape. The manifestation of all realities is then made possible by a willed projection of consciously visualized image into this chaotic matrix. [65]

 

There was a relative lack of women initiates in the FS, which is revealed in the rosters printed in some of the interna from the 1950s and early 1960s. This, no doubt, would be explained in poetic terms from the libretto of the opera Die Zauberflöte by W. A. Mozart:

Ein Weib, das Nacht und Tod nicht scheut

Ist würdig und wird eingeweiht. [66]

(Act II, Scene 5)

The essential problem would seem to be that women are thought to be generally shy of the night-side of reality, despite men's hopeful projections upon them. It is truly a special woman who comes to terms with this aspect.

 

This reference to Mozart's Magic Flute is telling in another way in that it is deemed an important accomplishment in the initiatory progress if the magician can find and work with a woman who embodies his "sister soul." [67] Conversely, the woman magician must find her "brother soul."

 

In its early years the FS was in many ways unable to fulfill its own "New Age" vision of itself with regard to sexual mysticism. From an aeonic perspective perhaps it was just too early. Probably not until the latter half of the 1960s were the aeonic elements in place to give a true expression to "Saturnian sexuality." Much that was lacking seems due to the "nature bound" aspects of sexuality and the aforementioned "ambivalent" attitude toward women. Some greater understanding in these fields has been offered by Frater U...D... in his Handbuch der Sexualmagie. [68]

 

The Yoga of the Dark Light is quite literally the practice of the union, here through sex-magical techniques, with the fleshy embodiment of one's own opposite self. Here, the Dark Light is interpreted as the Saturnian/Luciferian light as incarnate in the sexual partner, with whom ritual coitus or other practices are performed. The Dark Light can also be equated with the magical power of sexuality and of the orgasm.

 

Nietzschean Thelemism

 

The official motto of the FS is "Tue was Du willst ist das ganze Gesetz, es gibt kein Gesetz über tue was Du willst. Liebe ist das GesetzLiebe unter Willen Mitleidlose Liebe." (Do what Thou wilt is the whole of the Law, there is no Law beyond do what Thou wilt. Love is the Law—Love under Will—Compassionless Love.) The first part of the motto is the familiar Crowleyan Thelemite formula, which is left unaltered. The second part, which is the response to the first, has been slightly altered in Saturnian practice. The words mitleidlose Liebe, which may be translated as "compassionless love," or "love without pity," make the Saturnian nature of this love clear. It refers to both the  love" of the Demiurge Saturnus or the GOTOS for his minions on Earth, i.e. his stern "testing," and to the kind of "love" that a Saturnian brother should show toward others.

 

One of Aleister Crowley's most interesting discussions of love is found in his Eight Lectures on Yoga, [69] where he says that "love under will" is a unit's "instinct to unite, and the act of uniting... with its opposite." Here Crowley appeals to a model of nature when he says that hydrogen seeks to combine with oxygen and not with other molecules of hydrogen— which is not in the "nature, or the 'true Will,' of hydrogen." Thus Crowley identifies natural order with "true Will."

 

According to Crowley's theories, if not his own practices, the ultimate act of love should be the act of flinging "ourselves up into the furnace of ecstasy which flames from the abyss of annihilation." [70] To avoid and to deny the desirability of this act of love is the essence of Black Magic—as the essence of White Magic is self-annihilation. It seems that it was this aspect that the FS wished to clarify with the addition of the phrase "compassionless love." [71]

 

It appears certain that here too the FS doctrines are drawn from Nietzschean concerns. In his great book, Thus spoke Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche devotes a whole section to "On Pitying." [72] Here, and in many places elsewhere, Nietzsche equates the act of pitying with that of self-annihilation. Here Nietzsche says indeed "God is dead"—but what does he say killed him?—"his pity (i.e. 'love') for man." Zarathustra preaches "all great love is even above all its pity, for it still wants to create the beloved"— love without pity.

 

A "pitiful" love is one in which the lover is annihilated by the beloved; love without pity is where the lover—or magician—creates his beloved out of his own self.

 

So in many ways the FS addition of these two words to the whole Thelemite formula put a whole new perspective on the philosophy. Rather than seeking self-annihilation beyond the threshold, the Saturnian Brother seeks to become his own god. Crowley never tired of calling those who endorsed, or seemed to him to endorse, this path of non-self-annihilation "Black Brothers" (or "Brothers of the Left-hand Path"). Perhaps it was because the Beast himself was one of these (yet denied it, even to himself) that, when confronted with the ultimate moment of truth, he was so "perplexed." [73]

 

In summary, the doctrines of the FS are generally consistent with its cosmology and theology (or "daemonology"). The Saturnian brother must enter upon a hard path to be tested. He must be hard on himself, as others will be hard on him. But once he passes through the Threshold into the realm of higher power, the severity of Saturn will be turned in his favor. All of this presupposes a strict set of initiatory standards and a high level of structure. This is the subject of our next chapter.

 

Bust of the Master Gothos

Go to Next Page