The other was politics. The following selection on Enlightenment Occultism aims to give some idea of how these currents came together and helped shape the culture of the time. Swedenborg Perhaps the greatest occult figure of the 18th century was Emanuel Swedenborg , whose sober and methodical approach to the hidden mysteries set a standard too often ignored by later devotees.
For most of his adult life a brilliant and prolific scientist, Swedenborg wrote an immense number of scientific studies on everything from metallurgy to the anatomy of the brain.
He was also a statesman and assessor of Swedish mines, as well as an inventor of considerable talent: when given the task of transporting several ships inland across mountains, Swedenborg managed it successfully, well ahead of schedule. Many of his scientific insights were also well ahead of their time, and if for nothing else, he would be remembered for these today in his native Sweden. But in , at the age of 57, something happened. A profound spiritual crisis involving weird prophetic dreams and shattering hypnagogic visions - including a visitation from Christ - shook Swedenborg's strictly scientific consciousness and launched him on a new career as a cartographer of strange inner landscapes and occult worlds.
He spoke with the dead, journeyed to other planets, and most strikingly, visited heaven and hell, returning to write an immense book about what he saw there. He wrote other immense books as well, most of them explaining in a dry, scholarly style the true meaning of the Bible. What appealed to them was the air of sanity and common sense with which Swedenborg made even the most incredible pronouncements: that people on the moon speak from their stomachs, for example, or that Martians have two-tone faces. But in the same book he could speak of hell as a psychological condition, an idea which at the time seemed radical, but which today we can appreciate readily.
The standard account of Swedenborg's career has his plunge into other worlds happening out of the blue, but Swedenborg's initiation into the occult was not quite as precipitous as that. Before his voyages to heaven and hell, Swedenborg had devoted a considerable time to various occult practices: breath control, meditation, automatic writing, as well as visionary methods based on a form of sexual mysticism.
Swedenborg's links to London were many, and during an early visit in , he may have joined a Jacobin Masonic Lodge. During a later visit, in , there is reason to believe Swedenborg became a member of the Moravians, a secret society led by the eccentric Count Zinzendorf. Zinzendorf propagated a mystical political doctrine whose aim was to bring about the millennium by uniting Christians and Jews through kabbalism - a theme common to many Enlightenment mystics.
Swedenborg was in London, staying in Wellclose Square, when his mystical experience occurred, and he may at that time have received some kabbalistic tutoring from Samuel Jacob Chayyim Falk, mentor perhaps to another Enlightenment occultist, Cagliostro. Here he ran an alchemical laboratory, while maintaining from his home in the East End a secret occult school. Although Swedenborg later claimed not to have studied Kabbalah, he is known to have visited Jewish districts in Amsterdam, Hamburg, Prague and Rome, and evidence from his own writings suggests a familiarity with kabbalistic thought. Loving erotic union is part of the ritual worship of the Jewish mystical community, reflecting the original creative act of the Godhead, as well as the reunification of male and female energies.
In his own work, Swedenborg emphasized that in heaven, angels continue to make love, and in the Latin version of his book Conjugal Love, Swedenborg spelled out in detail methods of breath control and meditation enabling a practitioner to maintain an erection and remain within an orgasmic trance for considerable periods. This will turn up in a host of different ways in the centuries after his death, both as a central axiom of magical thinking as well as a core theme of symbolist poetry.
Swedenborg argued that the physical world is rooted in a higher, spiritual world, and that correspondences exist between the two. In grasping the links between the physical and the spiritual worlds, we come closer to understanding the divine design. In the 19th century, Baudelaire took the idea of correspondences and infused it with elements of synesthesia and the notion of the unity of the arts.
But for his own time and immediately after, Swedenborg was known mostly as a prophet of a new age. The Church of the New Jerusalem, of which William Blake was a member, was founded after Swedenborg's death and preached an apocalyptic doctrine that went well with the social and political ferment brewing across Europe. Most balanced accounts admit there was something of the charlatan in all three. Yet it is difficult to accept this as a complete assessment of their careers, and some idea of their life and times is essential in any survey of magic in the 18th century.
Mesmer Mesmer, who considered himself a strict scientist, began life in Iznang, a village on the German shore of Lake Constance. He studied at a Jesuit Theological School, and later registered as a law student in Vienna. He then turned his attention to medicine and in earned his medical degree with a dissertation on the influence of the planets on human diseases - evidence' that ancient hermetic ideas were still respectable in the mid18th century. Little is known of Mesmer's youth, and there is some question as to how he supported himself during his university days.
If so, this would not be unusual; the late 18th century was a time rife with secret societies and occult organizations. As the Baroness d' Oberkirch, an aristocratic socialite and intimate of mesmeric circles in Paris and Strasbourg, remarked: "Never, certainly, were Rosicrucians, alchemists, prophets, and everything related to them so numerous and so influential.
Conversation turns almost entirely upon these matters; they fill everyone's thoughts, they strike everyone's imagination Looking around us, we see only sorcerers, initiates, necromancers and prophets. He became a patron of the arts and his friends include Gluck, Haydn both masons and the Mozart family. Wolfgang Mozart - who as a Freemason and quite possibly a member of the Illuminati would be no stranger to secret societies - performed his first opera, Bastien and Bastienne, in Mesmer's private theatre.
Fraulein Osterlin suffered from several severe. Mesmer was aware that doctors in England had experimented with treating patients with magnets, and decided to do the same. He attached magnets to Fraulein Oesterlin's stomach and legs. She improved considerably. Mesmer came to believe that it was not the magnets alone that cured her, but his own animal magnetism. The age of mesmerism was born. The basic tenets of mesmerism are that a subtle, physical fluid fills the universe and forms a connecting link between man, the earth and the stars; disease is the result of blockages of this fluid in the body; and techniques exist to enable these fluids to move more freely.
It's clear that while he didn't consider himself an occultist, many occultists do in fact adhere to some form of Mesmer's basic idea. A form of it is evident in much holistic healing. In Reich's case, the relationship between an uninhibited, healthy flow of orgone energy and sex was unambiguous. In Mesmer's case, the animal aspect of his magnetism raised a considerable number of eyebrows.
Strangely, Mesmer's first official recognition came when he was asked by Prince-Elector Max Joseph of Bavaria to testify in an inquiry into the alleged cures of a faith healer, J j. Gassner, who performed what could only be called exorcisms. Mesmer agreed that Gassners' cures were authentic, but claimed spirits had nothing to do with it.
Gassner merely succeeded through using his animal magnetism. Like many others, Mesmer was drawn to Paris.
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He arrived in , proclaiming his discovery. In the shadow of the Revolution, it was a strangely restless place. An unstable government, a catastrophic financial situation, widespread corruption, a weak king and a spendthrift queen, combined with reckless market speculation, gambling and loose morals to create an atmosphere of uncertainty and unease.
A disastrous war with England led to a hysterical enthusiasm for the American War of Independence. It was a climate in which some sudden, radical shift was expected. Haughty, prickly and egotistical, Mesmer's domineering personality and courtly manners - not to mention his animal magnetism - helped him gain access to Parisian society. He settled in a private mansion in Place Vendome, and accounts of Mesmer's success in curing a variety of ills percolated through society. A mesmeric Society of Harmony was set up in , adding to the already numerous secret societies; branches appeared throughout France, their aim to spread Mesmer's teachings.
By , his success had peaked. There were many cures, and Mesmer had several champions, yet he eventually fell foul of the scientific establishment, as much for his alleged quackery as for his success. After a damning examination by the Academy of Sciences, including, famously, Benjamin Franklin, and his embarrassing failure to cure the blind pianist Maria- Theresia Paradis, Mesmer's fortunes took a downward turn. He was ridiculed in cartoons and satirical plays. Although he was always able to find clients, his star had waned, and he died, embittered and alone, in his native Austria at the age of Although his name has become part of the language - we speak of being mesmerized - the credit for discovering what mesmerism actually was went to his one-time disciple, the Marquis de Puysegur, who, while magnetizing a patient discovered he had put him to sleep.
The term hypnotism was coined half a century later by the Englishman James Braid. Whatever Mesmer's own fortunes, mesmerism took on a life of its own. In the hands of disciples like Nicolas Bergasse and Jacques-Pierre Brissot it took on a radical social character, propagating a variant of Rousseau's noble savage, championing primitive nature over decadent society.
In various other forms it combined with spiritualism, Swedenborgianism, freemasonry, and strains of Rosicrucianism to add an esoteric and occult flavour to the edgy political climate. Freemasonry especially, which spoke of spiritual egalitarianism and universal brotherhood, seemed to embody many of the ideals which would later erupt catastrophically in the French Revolution - hence the antipathy shown it by both the aristocracy and the Church. Along with competing lodges in England, Scotland and the continent, in , it received an additional mystical jolt from perhaps the most flamboyant occultist of the lot, Cagliostro.
Cagliostro Cagliostro started life in Sicily as Giuseppe Balsamo, although there is still some dispute over whether Cagliostro and Balsamo were in fact the same man. Like Rasputin, his name elicits a vague sense of someone sinister, yet few people have any concrete idea who or what he was. Carlyle's tags of "King of Liars" and "Great Quack Face" are understandable, given that the sole source of any information about Cagliostro in Carlyle's time was the biography written by his murderers, the Inquisition.
Among other claims to fame, Cagliostro was the last person executed by the Inquisition, more than likely strangled by his jailer in the Castel San Leo in Rome. The picture of Cagliostro as a spiritual swindler even hit the big screen, when Orson Welles portrayed the Sicilian mountebank in the film, Black Magic. Even Goethe, no stranger to the occult sciences, satirized him in his play The Grand Copht. Yet if Cagliostro's reputation is understandable, it is not entirely accurate. Like many occult masters, Cagliostro didn't rule out fakery if it would secure his aims. Yet those aims were often noble, and there was something about his presence that suggested a certain dominance and personal force.
For the next twenty years he wandered across Europe, practising a variety of trades: forger, alchemist, copper smelter and travelling doctor touting a borax-based skin lotion. The wandering life was common to many hermetic philosophers: Paracelsus' travels are legendary, as were Cornelius Agrippa's, and at some point during his travels, Balsamo met another 18th century occultist, the celebrated rake, Giovanni Jacopo Casanova. Up until his thirty-fourth year there is little to distinguish Balsamo from the other adventurers who scrambled across Europe, living by their wits and trusting in the credulity and ennui of the well-heeled for their livelihood.
Then, on a visit to London in , Balsamo changed his name to Cagliostro and he literally became a different person. The central cause of this transformation was freemasonry. Balsamo had always been attracted to the occult - his days as a travelling alchemist say as much. It is even possible that he may have met Swedenborg during his first visit to London in ; although in his last days by then, Swedenborg was lucid until his death, the date and time of which, incidentally, he accurately predicted. Certainly by his next visit in Cagliostro was frequenting Swedenborgian circles, and possibly visiting the kabbalist Falk.
But after being admitted to the Esperance Lodge of Freemasons, on 12 April at the King's Head on Gerrard Street in Soho, he adopted freemasonry as his life's mission. He soon developed a curious new form of Masonic initiation, the so-called Egyptian Rite. Accounts differ as to how he came across this. Better evidence suggests that the ubiquitous Falk was responsible.
Cagliostro himself claimed that during a visit to London he discovered in a bookstall a manuscript arguing the Egyptian origins of freemasonry. Whether or not the book actually existed seems irrelevant. Cagliostro's belief in his Egyptian Rite was unshakeable, his oratorical gifts persuasive; he had found his life's calling, as well as an interesting way to make a living. Calling himself the Grand Copht - after the prophet Enoch, supposed founder of Egyptian masonry Cagliostro took to the roads, doing the occult circuit, bringing a higher, more inspiring initiation into what had become for many a routine social club.
Cagliostro was very successful. Entering Venice, Berlin, Leipzig and St. Petersburg in his black coach covered in kabbalistic symbols, he must have been an impressive sight, as he headed for the local Masonic lodges. Yet not everyone was satisfied with his plan to heal the rifts and schisms in the craft.
Cagliostro's demands that all of the lodges recognize the preeminence of his Egyptian Rite did not go down well, nor did his request that the Philalethes destroy all their records meet with much approval. Whatever its source, Cagliostro's motives for promulgating the Egyptian Rite were noble, and for all their occult character, in keeping with Enlightenment ideals of egalitarianism and brotherhood.
Like Zinzendorf and Falk, who was known to associate freely with Christians, Cagliostro's aim was to unite disparate groups under a common Masonic goal: the regeneration of mankind. With this in view, the Egyptian Rite admitted Jews and, in a radical break with Masonic tradition, women as well. As well as a Mason, Cagliostro was something of a healer, and the transformation from fly-by-night adventurer to the Grand Copht seemed to have increased his powers consider ably. Unlike Mesmer, who was criticized for treating only wealthy patients and for ignoring the needy, Cagliostro often refused to serve the rich.
In European capitals, he would head to the poor district, take humble lodgings, distribute money and treat the sick, refusing any payment. In his displays of clairvoyance, he often employed children as mediums, and it is true he resorted to trickery on occasion. Yet, there are numerous accounts of his accuracy. Baroness D'Oberkirch, who was not one of his supporters, admitted that he was right about several items he communicated to her at their first meeting, facts which he could not have known; and later, while in Strasbourg, when he announced to her the death of the Empress of Austria, the news of the empress's demise only arrived three days later.
Although Cagliostro played an insignificant part in the swindle, he was shattered by it. When the scandal broke, his reputation was in shreds, and his magnificent self-confidence never recovered. He defended himself, and was acquitted, but this was only after a year in the Bastille awaiting trial. The impression he made destroyed his reputation. In court he launched into a long soliloquy, speaking of his aristocratic parentage, calling himself "a noble voyager, Nature's unfortunate child.
His life story, complete with accounts of his mystic travels in Asia, Africa and Arabia failed to impress, and he was banished from France. Cagliostro became a wanderer again, but his bad publicity preceded him and he was thrown out of practically every place he sought refuge.
It sold well in Paris, and seems in some ways to predict the coming deluge. He speaks of not returning to Paris until the Bastille is torn down, and hints at a drastic change in government. It was perhaps these prophecies that made the Vatican regard him as a dangerous political revolution.
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Attempting to promote freemasonry in Rome, Cagliostro was arrested and charged with plotting to overthrow the Church, something that the Illuminati indeed had in mind. In he was thrown into prison. At the age of 52, he was executed. Reports of his death were not believed, and in , when French soldiers captured the San Leo prison, they searched for him. It was not until a report ordered by Napoleon confirmed his death that the world finally accepted that the Grand Copht was gone.
Le Comte de Saint Germain In the 18th century wit, a knack for conversation, an ingratiating manner and the ability to seem perpetually fascinating, were as much in demand as kabbalistic knowledge and alchemical skill. Little is known of his origins. He may or may not have been born in in Portugal, into a family of Sephardic Jews. It's also possible that he was Frances Ragoczy, a Transylvanian prince who died in SchleswigHolstein, Germany, in , only to be seen five years later, in , in Paris, during the Revolution. Lastly, he may still be alive today, secure in a Himalayan inner sanctum, awaiting the right moment for his return.
Certainly since the 19th century he has become, like the Wandering Jew, a figure of myth, restored and revamped in different fashions to fill a place in various occult pantheons. His central occult claim was to have perfected the alchemical elixir vitae, which cured all ills and bestowed immortality. Madame Blavatsky included him among her Tibetan masters, and in more recent years the right-wing American spiritual teacher Elizabeth Clare Prophet dusted off the count and employed him as spokesman for her less than inspiring pronouncements.
Indeed, if the count were alive today, he would more than likely find a comfortable niche for himself as a talk show host, or at least a frequent guest among those who are famous for being famous. The man called Saint-Germain did possess a genuine charm and culture, as well as an impressive knowledge of chemistry and history, which allowed him to speak with authority both on alchemy and the past, and this in a way that suggested he actually did witness the events in question. He seemed to always dress in black and white, was an accomplished violinist with a good singing voice, had a fluent command of several European languages, and a knack for perfecting dyes for silk and leather.
That he could also transform base metals into gold, remove flaws from diamonds, had, two thousand years earlier, invented freemasonry and hence was much older than he looked are more doubtful claims. Saint-Germain's youthful appearance may have been a result of a practice that probably accounts for his habit of not eating at the many banquets and feasts he nevertheless enlivened with his wit and acumen.
It is more than likely that he was a vegetarian and genuinely did not relish the ample portions that made up the well-heeled 18th century menu. He claimed to eat only a special elixir that he prepared himself, but it is also possible that he ate a normal meal beforehand unobserved.
The first mention of Saint-Germain is in a letter from Horace Walpole in , where he remarks of his appearance in London. Soon after he was expelled from. England on suspicion of being a spy for the Stuart pretenders. He then went to France and became a favourite of Louis XV, more than likely through the influence of Madame de Pompadour.
Saint-Germain was an accomplished ladies' man; he would often make a present of an eau de toilette that he claimed prevented wrinkles, saying it was a small token of his esteem. Like Casanova, who thought him a charlatan but admired his skill with the female sex and Cagliostro - who may have received the Egyptian Rite from him - Saint-Germain floated across Europe, working as a magician, wit and spy. He was known in Vienna as a confidant of Counts Zabor and Lobkowitz, and it was in their company that he met and befriended the French Marshal de Belle-Isle, who brought him to France.
Before meeting Louis XV, he moved to Holland and called himself Count Surmount; there he set up several successful factories for the ennobling of metals. In he arrived in St. Petersburg, and became involved in the conspiracy to make Catherine the Great Queen of Russia. He became a great friend of Count Alexei Orlov, and was even made a Russian general, calling himself General Welldone whether in jest or earnest is unknown. In Nuremberg in he received the support of the Margrave of Nuremberg, Charles Alexander, and it was here that the story of his being Prince Ragoczy began.
When the margrave discovered that this particular Prince Ragoczy was dead, along with his brothers, SaintGermain had to move on. He was by now in his sixties. Luck was with him, and in he came under the protection of the landgrave Charles of Hesse-Cassel. At the landgrave's castle in Schleswig-Holstein, Saint-Germain tutored his patron in the occult sciences, a position he held for five years, until his death - or most recent disappearance - in Descriptions of Saint-Germain range from "the completest charlatan, fool, rattle-pate, windbag and swindler" Count Warnstedt , to "perhaps one of the greatest sages who ever lived" Charles of HesseCassel , to "a highly gifted man with a very alert mind" who nevertheless was "completely without judgment" and who gained his notoriety through "the lowest and basest flattery of which a man is capable.
He was, it seems, a man of considerable culture and wit, with a sincere interest in chemistry, who used the mystification of the occult to open doors that may otherwise have remained closed. What actual contribution he made to the hermetic arts, however, is unclear. The Unknown Philosopher The life of Louis Claude de Saint-Martin had none of the eventfulness of Mesmer or Cagliostro, and although he moved among them, he did not try to ingratiate himself with the aristocracy as did SaintGermain. Saint-Martin was a true hermetic philosopher, deeply concerned with mankind's spiritual destiny, a profoundly serious individual.
Like Swedenborg, he had a message. He is not out to impress or mystify, but to educate and inspire. His central theme is one that will blossom with the Romantics of the next generation. Man, he tells us, is really a god, or at least has the potential to be one, a belief he shared with his contemporary William Blake.
And like Blake, Saint-Martin sees the magician's task as the opening of the doors of perception, and a return to our birthright. His parents were pious Catholics, and although his mother died a few days after his birth, his stepmother seems to have taken her place admirably, and Saint-Martin remained devoted to her throughout his life. A frail, delicate child - he once remarked that a deficiency in his astral parts accounted for his ill-health - a book on self-knowledge that he read in his youth set him on the mystic path. Reading it he embarked on a life-long detachment from the world, and took his first steps on a voyage into the interior.
He studied at the College of Pontlevoi, his father having in mind for him a career in law. Although SaintMartin completed his studies, he felt no attraction to the bar, and convinced his father to allow him to enter military life. An influential relative secured a lieutenant's commission in the regiment of Foix. Army life may seem an unusual choice for a mystic, particularly a fragile one, but in , after the Seven Years War and the Treaty of Versailles, Europe was at peace, and would remain so for some time, and Saint-Martin found ample time to pursue his studies in philosophy and religion.
It was in , while stationed at Bordeaux, that he met the man who would change his life. Don Martines de Pasqually de la Tour - otherwise known as Martinez Pasquales - was a follower of Swedenborg, a Rosicrucian, and the head of an order of Masonic illuminism known as the Elect Cohens - Cohen being Hebrew for priest. Pasqually's background is vague: Spanish or Portuguese, it is uncertain if he was a Christian or a Jew He was, however, a serious occultist, and his Order of the Elect Cohens practised a variant of ceremonial magic that involved number mysticism, kabbalism and a form of theurgy, the calling down or invoking of god forms.
His meeting with Pasqually had the effect on Saint-Martin that freemasonry had on Cagliostro: he had found his life's calling. In he left the military and devoted the rest of his life to preaching first Pasqually's occult doctrine, and then his own form of theosophical wisdom. For the next few years, Saint-Martin travelled across France, visiting Paris, Lyons and Bordeaux; during this time he communicated with other Martinists, including the novelist Jacques Cazotte.
In Pasqually left France for St. Domingo, where, in , he died in Port-au-Prince. The Martinists were left adrift, Pasqually failing to initiate them into the final reaches of their hierarchy. Rather than despair, Saint-Martin wrote the first of a number of books, Of Errors and of Truth, and in his social life he tried to pass on the truths of mysticism, while revealing the errors of the atheistic philosophy propagated by Voltaire and the Encyclopedists. Saint-Martin moved among the aristocracy, and became involved with mesmeric circles in Lyons and Paris.
The Lyons mesmerists were especially rich in occult influences, having in their midst Rosicrucians, Swedenborgians, alchemists and kabbalists.
Willermoz, Saint-Martin's close friend, a member of practically every secret society of the time, believed he received secret messages from God, through the medium of mesmeric somnambulists. Saint-Martin helped Willermoz decode these messages, and he was also helpful to Mesmer's important disciple, Puysegur. Saint-Martin joined the Parisian Society of Harmony in , but felt that Mesmer's emphasis on the physical action of his fluids strayed dangerously close to materialism, and that this could attract the attention of unwanted astral spirits.
Saint-Martin decided that the anxious climate of the time suggested caution. Waite remarks that his personal safety was a consideration: this was, after all, the time of the Great Terror. But Saint-Martin's membership of secret societies was also a reason. The ruse was pointless, and the identity of the Unknown Philosopher was soon common knowledge. August 10 found him in Paris, where "the streets near the house I was in were a field of battle; the house itself a hospital where the wounded were brought. His time there was spent trying to wed his political concerns with his spiritual insights.
A 17th century cobbler, Boehme had a mystical experience staring at the sunlight reflected on a pewter dish. He then claimed to see the 'signature' of things and went on to write weighty tomes in an. Dark and profound, SaintMartin worked at unifying Boehme's vision with his earlier Martinist doctrines. He seemed to have sensed that his last days were upon him, and writing to the end, after a brief fit of apoplexy, he died on 13 October Followers of his ideas came to be called Martinists as well, causing some confusion among occult historians.
A similar doctrine appears in the Kabbalah, in which creation is the result of an overflowing of the sephiroth of the Tree of Life. Our job is to somehow clear up the mess. Walter Benjamin, an unorthodox kabbalist with Marxist leanings, saw history as an unending series of accidents, rather like an infinite pile-up on some eternal motorway. Saint-Martin would have agreed, but would not have shared Benjamin's confidence in Marxist ideology; rather he counted on our capacity to make contact with our pre-lapsarian source.
Tolstoy, August Strindberg and O. Milosz were among his readers. Perhaps A. Saint-Martin is almost the only mystic who was also in his way a politician, with a scheme for the reconstruction of society; an amateur in music; an apprentice in poetry; a connoisseur in belles lettres; a critic of his contemporaries; an observer of his times; a physician of souls truly, but in that capacity with his finger always on the pulse of the world.
Karl Von Eckharthausen Karl Von Eckharthausen, who, with Saint-Martin and Kirchberger, Baron de Liebistorf, carried on one of the most detailed and enlightening occult correspondences of the time, is little known or read today. Aside from students of European mysticism and Christian theosophy, the group among whom Eckharthausen receives passing interest are the readers of the notorious Aleister Crowley, the most celebrated - if that is the correct word - magician of the 20th century.
It was in fact Eckharthausen's book The Cloud upon the Sanctuary that set Crowley off on his colourful, if morally ambiguous career. Crowley first came across the notion of a hidden community of spiritual adepts from reading A. Crowley wrote to Waite, asking for more information. Waite suggested reading Eckharthausen. Crowley did. I was absorbed in The Cloud upon the Sanctuary, reading it again and again, without being put off by the pharisaical, priggish and pithe- cantropoid notes of its translator What attracted Crowley was the idea of a secret, hidden Church, a congregation of the elect, an inner circle of adepts, devoted to the noble cause of truth.
The idea appealed to Crowley's taste for mysteries, as well as his own penchant for elitism, a sensibility shared by many occultists. Crowley himself would soon join the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn; kicked out of that, he became head of another occult organization, the O.
Crowley was not the only occult thinker moved by such a notion. Madame Blavatsky spoke of the Hidden Masters, secure in their Himalayan stronghold, steering man in his spiritual evolution. Ever since the Rosicrucians in the 17th century, the notion of some hidden brotherhood, devoted to mankind's spiritual growth, has been a key theme of occultist thought.
In the secret society ridden 18th century, Eckharthausen's tract hit a very responsive nerve. And like the Rosicrucian myth, whether such a hidden brotherhood really existed or not was unimportant: people interested in its existence acted as if it did. Eckharthausen's brotherhood, however, differed from the Rosicrucians in one respect. Where the authors of the Fama Fraternitas and other Rosicrucian tracts spoke of their brotherhood as an actual body, made up of definite members, as any other kind of society would be, Eckharthausen makes clear that his hidden Church is not some inner circle of, say, the exterior Catholic Church, or some society like the Freemasons.
It is much more a community of like-minded souls, an idea found in Swedenborg and in 20th century occultists like RD. Ouspensky, who, in his spiritual travels, came upon a variety of individuals bearing the marks of a dawning cosmic consciousness. Like Ouspensky, for Eckharthausen, this shift in consciousness from the mundane to the mystical is both the aim of his spiritual elect, acid the sign of membership within it.
Like SaintMartin, he lost his mother at birth, but Eckharthausen's appearance in the world was a source of double sorrow. He was an illegitimate child, his mother the daughter of the overseer of the estate. His father, the count, was nevertheless very affectionate, treated him well, and gave him a fine upbringing and education.
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But his double loss of mother and legitimacy instilled in Karl a lingering melancholy, and, again like SaintMartin, he early on developed a retiring attitude to the world, and a profound sense of detachment from it. Eckharthausen studied at Munich, then went to Ingoldstadt to pursue philosophy and law. An amazing scenery ,an amazing plot and of c I was given this arc by the author to beta read ,read and review.
An amazing scenery ,an amazing plot and of course you get the chance to see whats going on in the chateau and in the characters we met in the first book as well! A great story by Lisa the only thing is that it leaves you wanting more!!!!! A story you don't want to miss!!!! Feb 16, Spunky N Sassy rated it it was amazing Shelves: 5-star , julie-reviewed. Spunky N Sassy Rating: 5. He is new to the castle and she really want to get to know him. They spend time together. He plays and she paints. Dante is afraid that Gina will run if she knows the truth.
This series is absolutely fabulous. Great writing with storylines that will make your heart fall. Loving It It was hard at first picturing man turning into a gargoyle, but I have come to love the idea. There for awhile I was ready to jump in the book and strangle Dante and tell him to get his head out of his arise. This series just drags you in and begs you for more and more. It's hard to put the book down once you get started.
Sometimes I wish these books were longer. Until Next Time Feb 15, Julie Jackson rated it it was amazing. When Gina meets Dante, she is totally enthralled by him. Great This book was great. The series just keeps getting better and better. Gargoyles, vampires and shifters, what more could you ask from a paranormal romance. Wonderful and highly addictive series. Dec 23, Linda rated it really liked it Shelves: gifted-by-author , paranormal , romance , vampires , shifters , erotica , gargoyles , urban-fantasy.
A perfect blending of romance, sex and delightful banter! Being around him, so close, made it too difficult to breathe. The picturesque setting for their tale is the famed Les Beaux Arts located in a castle on out-of-the-w A perfect blending of romance, sex and delightful banter! The picturesque setting for their tale is the famed Les Beaux Arts located in a castle on out-of-the-way DeRoche Island. It could be read as a stand-alone, if that is your preference. That said, I would still recommend starting this series from the beginning if you possibly can.
Dante is the well-known guitarist for the band, Stiff Lips, and an extremely good looking musician. After having a falling-out with his band mates, he has sought the seclusion of the island to find himself and perhaps write some music.
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Being a rock star, he is used to being in the public eye. Strangely, once there, he finds himself attracted to a skittish painter, Gina. Sadly, their relationship can only be temporary as he holds a dark secret deep within. Gina is a very sweet girl who is on the island to paint. Both Antoine and the manger of the art colony, Cameron, have encouraged her to showcase her art, but Gina avoids the limelight with a passion. Then she meets Dante and instead of avoiding him, she finds she wants to be around him.
Being around him starts to bring her out of her shell. She thinks he feels the same way about her, but then he pushes her away… Gina and Dante had chemistry galore! I liked that we get to be there for their first entertaining meeting and then watch their flirty attraction take off. Dark Muse is not just a romantic tale. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with previous favorite characters, Antoine, Savannah and Cameron too!
Naked, I guess. Her stories are always engaging and fun to read. Gina had been on the island for a short while so she can paint. She is an extremely shy girl who would rather be out of the limelight. Dante has found success as a musician in a known band, but after things soured between band mates he craved the island seclusion to make his own music. When Gina works up the nerve to ask Dante if she can paint him, he becomes enamored with the young woman. However, he carries a secret that could keep them apart.
Gina is likeable and sweet. Though to others her shyness may make her seem standoffish. Her attraction to Dante slowly starts to bring her out of her shell. Dante may be a rock star, and though he has indulged in the excesses he is very much changed. At the island he can be more like himself, he lacks the ego one would assume a rock star to have. He is at the chateau to make music, but it doesn't take him long to become smitten with Gina. Carlisle's second installment in the Chateau Seductions series is a paranormal read with heat.
I liked the chemistry between the main characters. Their relationship went from sweet to hot in a hurry! Dark Muse can stand alone well, but I would still recommend starting from the beginning. It is apparent the story on a whole is building to something bigger, because the island is not without its dangers.
I enjoyed this quick read, and I look forward to what is to come. Each one can be read as a standalone but somethings make more sense if they are read in order. IMO Of the 3 books I will admit this one is my favorite. Again the author has such an incredible way with words.
When she was describing the sunset where Gina paints Dante for the first time; pure brilliance, I loved it. I also liked the character interaction better in this book than the first one. We got to see their first meeting, which was quite humorous, and watch their attraction grow.
My husband just laughed and shook his head. Overall I loved this book. Beautiful imagery mixed with better character development made this the best in the series, in my opinion. For more information regarding our reviews please visit our Fan Site: www. Everything changes when Dante, a former Rockstar, shows up on the island. Instead of staying away, all Gina wants to do is be around him. Gina thinks Dante feels the same way, until one day things change.
Could the spark that Gina felt between the two of them have only been one sided? Or will the past Dante is running from come between them? What I loved most about this story is that even though it is abou Gina is an artist who comes to the Les Beaux Arts on DeRoche Island to be away from people. Being as old as I am, I was pleasantly surprised to see that a high proportion of the stories used older generation games as their influence, providing a bit of a nostalgia-rush for me. All the stories are centred around the fictional gated community of Priory but there were many more connections between the individual stories, with shared characters and events.
It was good to see the racism angle examined too — a bold move but again, one which paid off handsomely. The 2nd Spectral Book of Horror Stories effortlessly maintained the high standard of Volume 1 and Mark Morris has done a sterling job of whittling down the massive response to the open submission to the final line-up. The anthology I enjoyed the most this year however is the first in what I hope will be a long series. I loved all the stories in here, all were of the highest quality and all were, indeed, darksome — creating images that still lurk in the dark recesses of my imagination.
The Dark Muse for a multi-author collection therefre goes to Nightscript 1. Best Single Author Collection. A couple of the single author collections I read this year were actually published in so, purely because of my negligence, they fail to qualify for inclusion in the Dark Muse awards. Both were packed with imagination and originality but the latter in particular was a revelation, here is an author genuinely doing something different and producing amazing work.
I look forward with great anticipation to whatever he comes up with next. Being a fan though not in any creepy, stalking kind of way. A potent blend of original ideas and re-workings of established mythologies the writing here is of the highest order, poetic and elegiac and proof that the most effective horror is that which is hidden inside beauty.
Best Single Story. Black Static continued to provide some of the best horror writing of the year in the six editions published in Whilst some failed to hit my own personal mark another stream of consciousness from some bloke down the pub? I always regard that as a plus, it would be a tedious and bland world where I liked everything. This is a good thing. It's a Siriusly good piece of writing. Gary McMahon showed a lot of soul in his beautifully crafted in all aspects chapbook There's a Bluebird in my Heart whilst in Nightscript 1 David Surface showed us that The Sound that the World Makes is a deeply unsettling one.