Order of Elect Cohens
An occult Masonic group founded by Martinees de Pasqually
(ca.1710–1774) in Bordeaux, France, in 1760. The French
title Rite des Élus Cohens refers to cohens, the Hebrew word for
Oram, Arthur T(albot) Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed.
‘‘priests.’’ The rituals for the order’s magical invocation of spirits,
with the ultimate purpose of communication with the ‘‘Active
and Intelligent Cause’’ (i.e., God), were written by Pasqually.
He drew upon Roman Catholic, astrological, and various
occult texts, especially the Kabbalah.
The group appears to have had a Sovereign Tribunal at
Paris in 1767 with Pasqually at its head. After the death of Pasqually
in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on September 20, 1774, the
order was headed by J. B. Willermoz, then residing in Lyons.
The order died out at Lyons following Willermoz’s death in
1815, but survived in Italy and Germany. It was later reestablished
in Lyons and subsequently spread to Haiti and other islands
of the Caribbean and to North America, where it survives
today. The archives of the order passed to G. M. Profe Willermoz’s
nephew, and then to a M. Cavernier, who finally returned
them to the reestablished lodge at Lyons.
In 1887 a period of reorganization and diffusion of the
order began that led in 1891 to the creation of a council of 21
members who supervised the work in France, across Europe,
and in the Americas.
One of Pasqually’s students, Louis Claude de Saint-Martin,
emerged as a mystic who gained much respect in Europe and
is highly revered among Martinists today. Also connected with
the order in the nineteenth century was Papus (Gérard Encausse).
Le Forestier, René. La Franc-maconnerie occultiste au XVIII
siecle et l’ordre des Elus Coens. Paris Dorbon, 1928.
McIntosh, Christopher. Éliphas Lévi and the French Occult Revival.
New York Samuel Weiser, 1974.
Waite, Arthur Edward. The Unknown Philosopher Louis Claude
de St. Martin. Blauvelt, N.Y. Rudolf Steiner Publications,

Previous articleThe Occult Review
Next articleOrder of the Star