In he entered the seminary of Saint Sulpice to study to enter the Roman Catholic priesthood , but he fell in love and left in without being ordained. Contemporaries saw in him the most notorious "disciple" of Lamennais, although the two men do not seem to have established a personal contact. Like many socialists, he propagated socialism as "true Christianity" and denounced the Churches as corruptors of the teachings of Christ. In the course of the s, Constant developed close ties to the Fourierist movement, publishing in Fourierist publications and praising Fourierism as the "true Christianity". He also turned to the writings of the Catholic traditionalist Joseph de Maistre , whose writings were highly popular in socialist circles. In , he was the leader of an especially notorious Montagnard club known for its radicalism.

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My adherence, fruitful until now, would henceforth become sterile. My absolutist nature isolates me from your eclectic work. I could not take occultism in its entirety with me to Mass, and I refuse to rub shoulders with spiritualism, masonry or Buddhism. Between the two men there was clearly no love lost, for Wirth in his memoirs is scathing about Peladan and gives the entirely erroneous impression that de Guaita was contemptuous of the Sar from the beginning.

Soon after the appearance of this announcement, Peladan departed for Nimes, having drawn up an impressive document on parchment appointing his friend Gary de Lacroze as his second-incommand with instructions to look for recruits. The document was headed with drawings of a tiara, a chalice, a standard and crosses of three different designs. Do not forget, friend Commander, that only science or genius can compensate in our order for the absence ofworldly position.

Given at Paris under our seal this day of Sar Peladan! Through his order Peladan hoped to bring occultism back under the wing of Catholicism. The stated aim of the Catholic Rose Cross was the accomplishment of works of mercy, with a view to preparing for the reign ofthe Holy Spirit. The coming kingdom of the Paraclete was by now a familiar theme among occult groups. Every candidate for initiation had to appear before the Grand Master, who put to him the following ten questions: I.

Who are you? What is your void? To what does your will tend? How do you realise yourself? By what force? Declare your attractions and repulsions. Define your glory. State the hierarchy of beings. Name happiness. Name sorrow. The commanders were assigned to the various Sephiroth ofthe cabalisticTree ofLife. When de Guaita heard ofthese antics he immediately appealed to Peladan to cease his schismatic activities. His tone was at first concilatory, and on 13th August , he wrote to Peladan the following letter, on paper headed with the symbol of the Cabalistic Order, a cross with four roses at the comers and a pentagram in the centre see plate rsb.

My dear friend, I hope that my book gives you as much pleasure as the androgyne gave to me: the reading of it reminded me of some of the most picturesque years of my life at college, apud patres jesuitas. Thank you also for so graciously sending me your Gynandre. Everything that comes If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution or have your own login and password to Project MUSE.


Éliphas Lévi




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