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Lectorium Rosicrucianum

Symposionreeks 16 J.A. Comenius (2007)

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I even managed to miss the Comenius “symposion” of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum on 7 October 2006… The booklet is almost sold out as well, but can still be ordered here and there. From the publisher for one.

Since the Lectorium Rosicrucianum is a modern Rosicrucian society, this little book mostly focusses on Comenius’ connections to the original Rosicrucians and the ideas that the two has incommon. Comenius was in his early twenties when the manifestoes were published and apparently they inspired them greatly. So much even, that later in his life Comenius got in contact with the author of the manifestoes, Johann Valentin Andrea, who shared Comenius’ ideas of a worldwide, yet reformed, Church of Christ.

The speakers were Hans Knevel (about Comenius’ spiritual path), Hanneke van Alderwegen (on his educational writings), Peter Huijs (about the Christian group that Comenius came from and of which he would be the last bishop) and Rachel Ritman (about the Rosicrucian connections). Of course the Ritman library brought some original printed books, the texts of the exhibition as -as always- included.

Another nice little book in the continuing “symposion” series of Rozekruis Pers.

2007 Rozekruis Pers, isbn 9789067323321

Symposionreeks 18 De Wijsheid van Hermes (2007)

There was a time that I visited the Lectorium Rosicrucianum every now and then and especially I went when they had an interesting “symposion”. Somehow this watered down, I dropped off the newsletter mailing list and now I see that I missed a couple of symposia that I would have liked to attend… I will have to confine with just buying the little booklets that are still available.

This “Wisdom of Hermes” symposion was held at 12 May 2007. How time flies! Speakers were no less than Roelof van den Broek and Joost Ritman (among others). The first translated all known Hermetic texts to Dutch and he wrote other titles about the subject. Some of his works are published by In De Pelikaan, the publishing house of the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica founded by the second named speaker. Both are getting of age, so should they speak somewhere again some time, I better not miss it.

The symposia of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum consist of several lectures. These are printed in the booklets that visitors get and that the less fortunate can buy later. They are usually around 80 pages, as is this one. Roelof van den Broek spoke about the message of Hermetism. A nice text with many quotes nicely put in perspective. Anneke Stokman and Peter Huijs speak about The Definitions Of Hermes a (then) recently discovered text which is also printed in the booklet (and available in Van den Broek’s Hermes Trismegistus). Next up is Ritman who puts Hermetism in a larger cadre of modern science and Eastern thought. What follows then is a text of Jean-Pierre Mahé (was he a speaker? damn) on hymns in Hermetic texts. To close off follow the earlier mentioned Definitions and the texts that accompanied the exhibition. Ritman always brings a few pieces from his library.

It has been a while since I read Hermetic texts and I must say that they still inspire me greatly. Perhaps I should pick up the subject again.

2007 Rozekruis Pers, isbn 9067323381

Paracelsus symposion booklet (isbn isbn 9067322660)

Another coverage of a Lectorium Rosicrucianum “symposion”, this time about Theophrastus Bombastus of Hohenheim. A nice article about his life and another few articles telling about the ideas and medicine of Paracelsus. A nice little piece of information again and now also with discount.

Die Wolke Über Dem Heiligtum * Karl von Eckartshausen (1795/1977)

Karl von Eckhartshausen (1782-1803) was a German esotericist who for some reason is not very well-known. The fouder of the Dutch Rosicrucian society Lectorium Rosicrucianum, Jan van Rijckenborgh (1896-1968) found his texts interesting enough, so he translated them to Dutch. Meanwhile the publisher of the Lectorium has four books of Von Eckhartshausen. There isn’t too much information about the man on the internet. I noticed that some of the originally German books are translated into French and Spanish and there seems to be an English translation of the book under review here by noone less than Samuel MacGregor Mathers with an introduction by Waite. Also an English translation by madame Isabel de Steiger can be found online completely.
“The Cloud Upon The Sanctuary” is a compilation of six letters. The Dutch translation (at least my 1977 printing) has no introduction of any kind. The writer keeps refering to “our secret society/school”, but you won’t learn which school that is. The other Dutch translation that I have has an introduction by Antoine Faivre. Faivre says that Von Eckhartshausen knew Adam Weishaupt (1748-1811) who founded the order of the Illuminati and was initiated himself, so this may be the order the writer refers to. On the other hand, it is known that the Illuminati were very anti-Christian (or anti-Catholic?) in the higher degrees but the letters are full of love for Christ.
I can see why Van Rijckenborgh liked the texts of Von Eckhartshausen. They are nice, spiritual, nicely written, easy to understand and the ideas come close to those of Van Rijckenborgh himself.

De Magische Krachten Van De Natuur * Karl von Eckartshausen (isbn 9067320927)

über die zauberkräfte der natur

What a pleasent surprise, but also an unpleasent surprise! The Dutch translation of Über Die Zauberkräfte Der Natur is -among other titles of this writer- available from the publisher of the Dutch Rosicrucian order Lectorium Rosicrucianum. The back of this book makes Von Eckarthausen more of a gnostic than (I think) he really was, but that is of course the basis of the Lectorium. Eckartshausen (1752-1803) proves to be a very unknown figure from a time that I have been studying a lot recently. I haven’t been able to find one book of myself in which this person is mentioned! Still he was -as other occultists of his time- heavily influenced by Kabbala (however more the Christian, or “real” version), Hermetism and the like. He wrote about magic, had a big influence on Freemasonry, occultists like Eliphas Levi, Romantic writers to name a few. Also like occultists from the Renaissance he walked the line between magic and religion and wrote about magic, but also wrote books with prayers. The very long and outstanding introduction is in the Dutch version by noone less than Antoine Faivre, the founder of the first chair of esotericism at the university of Paris (there are now two of these faculties, the other is in Amsterdam). Faivre speaks about the system of Eckartshausen, his influences, who he had influence on and presents a wonderfull and docile introduction.

Eckartshausen himself proves -in this book at least- to be a mix between Eliphas Levi (a theoretical magician) and Jacob Böhme (a rather gnostic theosophist/mystic). First he speaks about magic, his ideas of four worlds and four souls and lateron the subjects are more investigations of spiritual and religious problems, like the Fall, Sophia and morality. To this short text another text is added, the Katechismus Der Höhere Chemie, which is a not too interestion Q&A text.

Then to the unpleasent surprise. I looked for English translations of texts of Eckartshausen, but couldn’t find any! Then I wanted to see what German printings are still available, but of this book none! I am afraid that you will have to get a Dutch version or try secondhand stores…

De Alkmaarder Cornelis Drebbel (2005)

In 2004 the Dutch city of Alkmaar celebrated its 750th year of existence. The organisation asked the Rosicrucian society ‘Lectorium Rosicrucianum’ to organise a symposion about the famous Alkmarian inventor Cornelis Drebbel (1572-1633). There was more about Drebbel than science. He was asked to join the court of the Hermetic emperor Rudolf II of Prague, he has Rosicrucian friends and his famous booklet about his Perpetuum Mobili (on the cover of this booklet) was followed by the first Dutch translation of the Corpus Hermeticum.

So on 19 september 2004 we drove to the Alkmaar library to attend this interesting symposium (or ‘symposion’ in Lectorian words). There were two lectures and afterwards the audience was asked if it was interested in the texts of these lecture. Of course we were! So after almost a year it proves that the Lectorium Rosicrucianum decided to make a complete symposion-bundle like they do with their own symposions. Because there were only two lectures (Lectorium symposions take a whole day, this Drebbel symposion only a few hours), not only a Drebbel chronology was added, but also a fascimile printing of the famous text about the Perpetuum Mobile with the first Dutch translation of the Corpus Hermeticum!! This not only makes this bundle the thickest thusfar (128 pages), but I also got myself another translation of the Corpus! Much recommended!
2005 Lectorium Rosicrucianum, isbn 9067323160

symposionreeks Bruno “een komeet raasde over Europa” (isbn 9067322679)

This little booklet is from the ‘symposion-series’ of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum. This is a very gnostic Rosicrucian movement that was founded in the Netherlands in the previous century, but has grown very international over the years. Very often there are symposia for members and since a short time, also for non-members. Every now and then there is a big symposion. The texts of the readers on the big symposia are always released in very nice-looking small booklets. So far we had Spinoza, Ficino (see elsewhere), Jacob Boehme, Paracelcus, Terug Naar De Bron (Back To The Source) and this one.

There are six articles in this 70 page booklet. Not exclusively on Bruno and naturally with a very Rosicrucian touch, but especially the article of Peter Huijs (of who I reviewed a book as well) is a very nice introduction in the person and the teachings of this late-Renaissance heretic. Get in touch with the Lectorium to get it, for E 11,- and p+p it is yours.

De Brieven Van Marsilio Ficino – deel 1 + Geef Vrijelijk Wat Vrijelijk Ontvangen Is – brieven deel 2

Letters of Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) have been available ever since he died. Ficino wrote with a lot of people all across the world and held copies of every single letter he wrote. A few years before he died he even wrote an introduction to his combined letters himself! Soon after his death the first publishing of his letters was a fact. Being such a high amount, the letters were made available in 12 parts!

Also in English many letters of Ficino are available and I discovered translations in Dutch which are actually handwritten and published by a group of philosophers from Amsterdam. This book is no longer available it seems. Anyway, the Dutch Rosicrucian society Lectorium Rosicrucianum has two books with letters of Ficino and a nice introduction, which are the two titles here.

Besides letters Ficino wrote essays and a massive amount of books. Some are available in other languages than latin, others are yet unpublished in any way. A nice thing about the letters is that they are arranged by subject so you can read Ficino’s short explanation on a wide variety of subjects, going from everyday life to highly spiritual subjects.

For some reason these little books are not available from regular booksellers, while other books by “Rozekruis Pers” are, so you will have to contact them. I don’t know other available translations in Dutch, and for English ones you can of course check Amazon.

Marsilio Ficino; 500 jaar later (isbn 9067322318)

The local library has only two books by/from Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499). One contains translations (Dutch) of a few letters of Ficino, the other translated essays. The books are handwritten by ‘a group of philosophy students from Amsterdam” and released a few decades ago and no longer available. More letters have been rereleased in two books by the Lectorium Rosicrucianum.
This little book with a strange format was released by the same Lectorium to celebrate Ficino’s 500th year of death. It contains one letter and two essays, also handwritten by “members of the Academy Marsilio Ficino Amsterdam”. I didn’t know this little book until I saw it on a “symposion” of the Lectorium a few weeks ago. Nice, because the older handwritten prints are not available for the common man.

symposionreeks Ficino: brug naar de hermetische gnosis (isbn 9067322504)

This little booklet is from the ‘symposion-series’ of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum. This is a very gnostic Rosicrucian movement that was founded in the Netherlands in the previous century, but has grown very international over the years. Very often there are symposia for members and since a short time, also for non-members. Every now and then there is a big symposion. The texts of the readers on the big symposia are always released in very nice-looking small booklets. Before this one came Spinoza and after Ficino it was time for Jacob Boehme, Paracelcus, Terug Naar De Bron (Back To The Source) and this Bruno (see elsewhere).

There three somewhat longer articles in this 56 page booklet. Not as fitting for ‘novices’ as the Bruno booklet. You are expected to have some background on the Renaissance and the person Ficino and especially the second article uses Ficino as a very thin basis to write about the Hermetic tradition. Maybe not something for people who want to have something in their personal library, but for those more familiar with Ficino, a nice expansion. Please notice another book on Ficino called “Friend To Mankind” and also a review of two books with letters of the man in Dutch “Brieven van Marsilio Ficino” and “Geef vrijelijk wat vrijelijk ontvangen is”.
Get in touch with the Lectorium to get it, for E 11,- and p+p it is yours.