l’Ordre Kabbalistique de la Rosecroix
An important French Rosicrucian order created in 1888,
the same year of the founding of the Hermetic Order of the
Golden Dawn in England. It was founded by the Marquis Stanislas
de Guaita and Joséphin Péladan (1858–1918). De Guaita,
a poet living in Paris in the 1880s, had been introduced to the
magical writings of Éliphas Lévi. Pélatan, a staunch Catholic,
had developed an interest in mysticism and the kabala. He authored
a series of novels under the collected title of La Décadence
latine, one of which, Le Vice supréme, fell into de Guaita’s
hands. The two struck up a correspondence which led to a
friendship and the establishment of the order.
The Ordre was headed by a council of twelve, six secret
chiefs and six known persons. The original six besides the two
founders included Papus (Gérard Encausse), Marc Haven, the
Abbé Alta, Paul Adam, and astrologer Francois-Charles Barlet.
It was structured on three levels, and new members received in
succession a baccalaureate, licentiate, and doctorate in the Qabalah
(one of the alternate spellings of kabala).
The order suffered its first problem when Péladan withdrew
over the other leaders’ disagreement with his adherence to
Roman Catholicism. He founded a rival order, l’Ordre de la
Rose Croix Catholicque, du Temple et du Graal. He and de
Guaita were never reconciled.
De Guaita died in 1887. He was succeeded by Johnny Bricaud,
author of a number of books on the history of the occult,
and then in 1932 by Constant Martin Chevillon. Chevillon was
killed in 1944 by the Gestapo.
Sources
Guaita, Stanislas de. Essais des sciences maudites. Paris Carré,
1885.
———. La Serpent de la genese. 2 Vols. Paris Chamuel, 1891,
1897.
McIntosh, Christopher. Eliphas Levi and the French Occult Revival.
New York Samuel Weiser, 1972.
———. The Rose Cross Unveiled The History, Mythology and
Rituals of an Occult Order. Wellingborough, Northamptonshire,
UK Aquarian Press, 1980.
Wirth, Oswald. Stanislas de Guaita, souvenirs de son secrétare.
Paris Editions du Symbolisme, 1935.