Knights of the Sun, or Prince Adept

February 10, 2011 § 6 Comments

A brief outline of the Alchemical Art and an exposition on Prima Materia from the Morals and dogma of the Ancient and accepted Scottish rite of freemasonry, in the chapter, Knights of the Sun, or Prince Adept.

The prima materia of the Great Work, in the Superior World, is enthusiasm and activity; in the intermediate world, intelligence and industry; in the lower world, labor: and, in Science, it is the Sulphur, Mercury, and Salt, which by turns volatilized and fixed, compose the Azoth of the Sages.

The Sulphur corresponds with the elementary form of the Fire; Mercury with the Air and Water; and Salt with the Earth.

The Great Work is, above all things, the creation of man by himself; that is to say, the full and entire conquest which he effects of his faculties and his future. It is, above all, the perfect emancipation of his will, which assures him the universal empire of Azoth, and the domain of magnetism, that is, complete power over the universal Magical agent.

This Magical agent, which the Ancient Hermetic philosophers disguised under the name of “Prima Materia,” determines the forms of the modifiable Substance; and the Alchemists said that by means of it they could attain the transmutation of metals and the universal medicine.

There are two Hermetic operations, one spiritual, the other material, dependent the one on the other.

The whole Hermetic Science is contained in the dogma of Hermes, engraven originally, it is said, on a tablet of emerald. Its sentences that relate to operating the Great Work are as follows:

“Thou shalt separate the earth from the fire, the subtile from the gross, gently, with much industry.

“It ascends from earth to Heaven, and again descends to earth, and receives the force of things above and below.

“Thou shalt by this means possess the glory of the whole world, and therefor all obscurity shall flee away from thee.

“This is the potent force of all force, for it will overcome everything subtile, and penetrate everything solid.

“So the world was created.” .

All the Masters in Alchemy who have written of the Great Work, have employed symbolic and figurative expressions; being constrained to do so, as well to repel the profane from a work that would be dangerous for them, as to be well understood by Adepts, in revealing to them the whole world of analogies governed by the single and sovereign dogma of Hermes.

So, in their language, gold and silver are the King and Queen, or the Sun and Moon; Sulphur, the flying Eagle; Mercury, the Man-woman, winged, bearded, mounted on a cube, and crowned with flames; Matter or Salt, the winged Dragon; the Metals in ebullition, Lions of different colors; and, finally, the entire work has for its symbols the Pelican and the Phoenix.

The Hermetic Art is, therefore, at the same time a religion, a philosophy, and a natural science. As a religion, it is that of the Ancient Magi and the Initiates of all ages; as a philosophy, we may find its principles in the school of Alexandria and the theories of Pythagoras; as a science, we must inquire for its processes of Paracelsus, Nicholas Flamel, and Raymond Lulle.

The Science is a real one only for those who admit and understand the philosophy and the religion; and its process will succeed only for the Adept who has attained the sovereignty of will, and so become the King of the elementary world: for the grand agent of the operation of the Sun, is that force described in the Symbol of Hermes, of the table of emerald; it is the universal magical power; the spiritual, fiery, motive power; it is the Od, according to the Hebrews, and the Astral light, according to others.

Therein is the secret fire, living and philosophical, of which all the Hermetic philosophers speak with the most mysterious reserve : the Universal Seed, the secret whereof they kept, and which they represented only under the figure of the Caduceus of Hermes.

This is the grand Hermetic arcanum. What the Adepts call dead matter are bodies as found in nature; living matters are substances assimilated and magnetized by the science and will of the operator.

So that the Great Work is more than a chemical operation; it is a real creation of the human word initiated into the power of the Word of God.”

Advertisements

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

§ 6 Responses to Knights of the Sun, or Prince Adept

  • Willi Paul says:

    “The Hermetic Art is, therefore, at the same time a religion, a philosophy, and a natural science.”

    This transmutes & supports my vision for new permaculture + alchemy + myths = sacred.

    [ See my first lecture PR: http://www.planetshifter.com/node/1790 ]

    WOX

  • Captain NEMO says:

    Dear David,

    The XXVIII° Degree on the Ancient Scottish Rite is quite a peculiar one; Albert Pike’s re-invention of it, as from the passage you’ve mentioned, was the result of mixing a lot of Hermetic teachings, from different sources and traditions.
    I don’t think is useful, now, to go too long into this particular story; one point is anyway clear, even among Freemasons: this Degree is the last Philosophical Degree and has its roots in Alchemy. You may consider consulting the Instructions given in the Francken Manuscript (XXIII Degree), which dates around 1700.

    The Ritual of the Knight of the Sun is one of the most complex and rich of Symbolic meanings, to be understood only by those who can separate Light from Darkness.

    Not surprisingly, it is one of the last Degrees along the 33 steps to Perfection of the Ancient Scottish Rite. My personal opinion, for what it may matters, is that – well below the classical Masonic symbols embedded in the Ritual – some hints of operative alchemy can be traced, perhaps pertaining to the ancient Brotherhood of the Rosae Crucis (probably coming from German alchemical tradition).

    The Initiated was asked about the meaning of the three ‘S’, which were set on top of three Candlesticks, without flames (!); the answers was this:

    “The three S (Sanctitas, Scientia et Sapientia) show that Wisdom united to Science, creates a Saint.”

    Q = “What do the words ‘Lux ex Tenebris’ mean?”
    A = “That we must escape from the depth of the darkness to reach true Light”

    Q = “What do the three Candlesticks represent?”
    A = “The three degrees of the Fire that the artist arouses in order to obtain the matter from which they come from.”

    Now, this is too plainly operative (for an alchemist) to be pure casualty: the mystery and the true Key of the Secret Fire is here plainly set in front of our eyes; and that’s why no one will never get it, or even understand it, unless you practice in a Laboratory. Quite a lot of people, even today, do repeat these words when they are eventually Initiated to this Degree: but I doubt they might be aware that they’re talking of the greatest Arcanum in Alchemy. The wording look like an oxymoron, but it sounds in perfect accord with what every Master has taught through centuries: to get the Secret Fire…you need the Secret Fire!

    Sed de hoc satis…

    Because of this curious but pertinent mention of yours about this strange Degree, I wish to offer some conclusive words by Charles T. Mc Clenachan, a 33° GMoC, from a work of 1914:

    “The word teems everywhere with life, and is peopled with innumerable myriads of beings sensitive to pain. It was not created for man alone; and it is not only precisely what the divine and perfect wisdom intended, but it is all that a material world, peopled by being with material bodies, could by possibility be. The millennium on this earth is the real Utopia, fabulous and impossible, of visionary dreamers. Man is what Deity meant he should be – imperfect, feeble, fallible, liable to err, and sensitive to pain, but capable of improvement and progression, and of a heroism that can smile at agony, be content with destitution, preserve an equal mind under the lash of injustice, and without unmanly fear await the approach of death and count the pulses of his life. The man who can do this has attained the equilibrium of faith and reason, and may claim to be called Magus, Prince, Adept, and Knight of the Sun.”

    It is, in my humble opinion, a Goal of a whole lifespan…!

    Sempre di buon cuore

    Captain NEMO

    • David says:

      Yet again you’ve provided much food for thought on the Art. I’ve been meditating on what you’ve expanded regarding this section and was struck by the depth this adds to Igne Nalura Renovatur Integra.

      It also shows how far afield our contemporary concept of “science” is.

      “Man is what Deity meant he should be – imperfect, feeble, fallible, liable to err, and sensitive to pain, but capable of improvement and progression, and of a heroism that can smile at agony, be content with destitution, preserve an equal mind under the lash of injustice, and without unmanly fear await the approach of death and count the pulses of his life. The man who can do this has attained the equilibrium of faith and reason, and may claim to be called Magus, Prince, Adept, and Knight of the Sun.”

      I’m reminded of the Greek concept of ησυχία which they saw as a Divine attribute only available to the ἥρως and to Giordano Bruno’s exploration of this in De gl’ heroici furori

      Many thanks,

      David

    • Cavaliere di Scozia says:

      Sempre grande il Capitano !

  • arcanacoelestia says:

    Thank you, David!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Knights of the Sun, or Prince Adept at The Art of Transformations.

meta

%d bloggers like this: