Tag Archives: Knights Templar

Antichrist

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Antichrist: A novel of the Emperor Frederick II by Cecelia Holland.

Cecelia Holland Antichrist

Historical novelist Cecelia Holland is the author of Antichrist: a novel of the Emperor Frederick II (1970). The British issue of the same book had a more timid publisher, it seems. The title there was Wonder of the World, in reference to Frederick’s renown as stupor mundi. The US Primate of the Gnostic Catholic Church identifies Frederick II as the “Frederick of Hohenstaufen” enumerated among the saints of Liber XV, and he points to Frederick’s notable antagonism with Rome, but he fails to note the item that gave Holland her title: a tradition of identifying Frederick as the Antichrist.

Antichrist is an inherently prophetic figure, and the prophecies of Frederick’s Antichrist status were initially derived from Joachim of Fiore’s writings. Holland observes this fact with a brief notice in her prefatory “Note” (ix). The Super Hieremiam was a pseudo-Joachimist work that identified Frederick as a head of the apocalyptic dragon and as the emperor whose death would inaugurate the age of the Holy Spirit. The prophecy regarding Frederick is one of the elements that made Joachim’s work topical for the Franciscans who became interested in it during the 1240s.

Holland’s story is set in the 1220s, with Frederick’s prosecution of the Sixth Crusade. She depicts the Franciscans in Outremer as opponents of the Emperor, and she has them accuse him of being Antichrist. Whether they would have done so at that time, before taking up the ideas from Joachim, or whether the accusation in the novel was anachronistic, I don’t know.

Besides the Franciscan Order, Antichrist includes a rough and caricaturing treatment of the military Orders of the Temple and the Hospital. Of the former, Holland writes that they “were beyond doubt Satanist,” choosing to take the French court proceedings as gospel on this count (xiii). She depicts both Orders—who were, after all, opposed to her protagonist Frederick—as corrupt and malevolent. In fact, her depiction of them is much in keeping with the villainous roles that they play in the novels of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832).

An important aspect of the novel (and the events it attempts to describe) is the relationship between Christians and Muslims, both in southern Europe and in Palestine. The idea that Frederick was Antichrist had much to do with his perceived and actual intimacy with Saracens and Islam. Holland creatively adds a member of the Order of Assassins to Frederick’s bodyguard in Palestine. This touch on her part leads to a historical error, in which she has the “Assassins” in question refer to themselves as Hashishiyyun (164). The Muslims associated with Alamut whom the Crusaders called “Assassins” were sometimes called hashishis as a term of derision by their Muslim antagonists, but they were in fact, and knew themselves as, Syrian Ismailis of the Nizari sect.

Holland’s book was great fun to read: it has a lot of witty dialogue and vivid description. If handled respectfully, it would probably make a terrific movie. Although she makes some outright errors, the author provides the unusual courtesy among historical novelists of pointing out which principal features of the story are her conscious interpolations (xii-xiii). As far as the broad outlines of her narrative go, there is nothing to contradict any of the history I have read. [via]


Thelemic Seasonal Holy Day Wall Calendar

Thelemic Seasonal Holy Day Wall Calendar is a crowdfunding effort from Knights Templar, a local body of O.T.O. in the Valley of Salem, MA, which may be of interest.

The campaign will “raise the money needed to print and sell a full-size ‘Thelemic Seasonal Holy Day Wall Calendar’ showcasing Thelemic artists; filled with the Holy Days, the Feast Days for the Gnostic Saints, etc., as well as the Moon Signs and Phases.” The calendar itself is designed to run from March 2014 – March 2015 so it is particularly timely right now. The art is by a number of artists you may recognize including frequent Hermetic Library visual pool contributor Marjan Ŝetar as well as Kat Lunoe and the late John “Snakedaddy” Hanley, to mention only a few.

Thelemic seasonal Holy Day wall calendar for 2014 from Knights Templar

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

For three years now I have wanted to create a professionally printed, full-size, ultimate “Thelemic Seasonal Holy Day Wall Calendar”, filled with the specifically listed Liber AL Holy Days, the Solstices and Equinoxes, the Cross-quarter days, the Feast Days for the Gnostic Saints, etc., as well as providing the always useful Moon Sign and Phase information.

Furthermore, my goal has been to showcase Thelemic artists (preferably Sisters and Brothers of the O.T.O.) by complementing each of the 13 months (from March to March, Aries to Aries) with beautiful Thelemic art appropriate to its Holy Days.

It is my belief and hope that this publishing project can and will be a significant contribution to Thelemic culture. Everyone who has looked at it seems to agree.

I have thus far received approval from all of the artists whose work I selected for the calendar, including:

· Sister Cathryn Orchard (now Crane) of Ouarda Arts in the UK

· Brother Nathan Hopkins and Brother Mitchell Nolte of the Collective 777 Art Guild in Australia

· Marjan Ŝetar in Slovenia

· Kat Lunoe, John “Snakedaddy” Hanley, Michele Witchipoo, Nick “The Barbarian” Kelley, and others here in the US

They have all given permission, and each one indicated their excitement and enthusiasm for the potential of this project.

Apart from a little final editing, the design phase of the project is complete, it can be ready to go to the printers in a week or less. What we need now is the funds to make it happen! Our goal of $500 will ensure a 50-print run, so we can begin getting this out into the Thelemic community.

I am now very optimistic that, with your assistance, we can have this project completed and made available to the larger O.T.O. and Thelemic community in time for the Equinox!

My true goal here personally is to get this calendar out to as much of the larger O.T.O. and Thelemic community as possible, and then to turn around and focus on doing a bigger and better job at producing the next year’s calendar. But whatever money we make over and above production costs will go into the Knights Templar Oasis treasury, where it is desperately needed!

So check out the Gallery above, and give what you can! $25 gets you your own copy of the Calendar! Thank you all SO much for your support!

Love is the law, love under will.

— Frater A Ka Dua”

Rosslyn

Rosslyn: Guardian of the Secret of the Holy Grail by Tim Wallace-Murphy and Marilyn Hopkins, the 2000 paperback from Thorsons, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Tim Wallace-Murphy Marilyn Hopkins Rosslyn from Thorsons

“This is the first book to explore the existence of a configuration of seven pre-Christian sites which formed the route of a pilgrimage of initiation used by Druids, Knights Templar and Christian mystics in their search for true knowledge and enlightenment. Beginning at Compostela in Spain, the voyage of discovery proceeds to Toulouse, Orleans, Chartres, Paris and Amiens, taking us deep into a mysterious world where hidden streams of spirituality flow beneath the surface of European history, profoundly influencing the evolution of Western thought. The journey ends at Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland, where the history of its founders, the Sinclair family, illuminates the revelations of Rosslyn and their significance for us today.” — back cover

The Key to Solomon’s Key

The Key to Solomon’s Key: Secrets of Magic and Masonry by Lon Milo DuQuette, with an introduction by James Wasserman, the 2006 first edition softcover, from the Consortium of Collective Consciousness, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Lon Milo DuQuette The Key to Solomon's Key

This work has been published in a 2010 second edition with a different subtitle as The Key to Solomon’s Key: Is This the Lost Symbol of Masonry? that includes a new afterword by Hermetic Library fellow Mark Stavish.

“Controversial Secrets of Magic and Masonry

King Solomon is the central figure of both the secret rituals of Freemasonry and the forbidden rites of sorcery, The sacred traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam come together in the person of the wise magician-king of ancient Israel, and his presence in Biblical history is a key element in how these three disparate religions view themselves and each other. The story of Solomon has his magnificent Temple in Jerusalem is the keystone of the Bible that supports and connects Old Testament and New.

But is it true? Or do myth and tradition hold keys that unlock mysteries of human consciousness infinitely more astounding than history?” — back cover

“This intriguing look at intersections between Freemasonry and the Western magical traditions will be sure to evoke outrage from many quarters, but it poses curcial question that deserve close attention from Masons, magicians, and anyone else concerned with the nature of religion and reality in a post-Christian age.” — John Michael Greer, back cover

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

The Mysteries of John the Baptist

The Mysteries of John the Baptist: His Legacy in Gnosticism, Paganism, and Freemasonry by Tobias Churton has arrived at the Reading Room courtesy of Inner Traditions.

 

 

“The search for the real historical person known as John the Baptist and the traditions that began with him

• Explores why John the Baptist is so crucially important to the Freemasons, who were originally known as “St. John’s Men”

• Reveals how John and Jesus were equal partners and shared a common spiritual vision to rebuild Israel and overcome corruption in the Temple of Jerusalem

• Explains the connections between John as lord of the summer solstice, his mysterious severed head, fertility rites, and ancient Jewish harvest festivals

Few Freemasons today understand why the most significant date in the Masonic calendar is June 24th–the Feast of the Birth of St. John the Baptist and the traditional date for appointing Grand Masters. Nor do many of them know that Masons used to be known as “St. John’s Men” or that John the Baptist was fundamental to the original Masonic philosophy of personal transformation.

Starting with the mystery of John in Freemasonry, Tobias Churton searches out the historical Baptist through the gospels and ancient histories, unearthing the real story behind the figure lauded by Jesus’s words “no greater man was ever born of woman.” He investigates John’s links with the Essenes and the Gnostics, links that flourish to this day. Exposing how the apostle Paul challenged John’s following, twisting his message and creating the image of John as “merely” a herald of Jesus, the author shows how Paul may have been behind the executions of both John and Jesus and reveals a precise date for the crucifixion and the astonishing meaning of the phrase “the third day.” He examines the significance of John’s severed head to holy knights, such as the Knights Templar, and of Leonardo’s famous painting of John. Churton also explains connections between John, the summer solstice, fertility rites, and ancient Jewish harvest festivals.

Revealing John as a courageous, revolutionary figure as vital to the origins of Christianity as his cousin Jesus himself, Churton shows how John and Jesus, as equal partners, launched a covert spiritual operation to overcome corruption in the Temple of Jerusalem, re-initiate Israel, and resurrect Creation.” [via]

 

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.