Rosicrucianism and the Rejection of Operative Magic 

“How can you write about magic when you do not practice it!” The answer to that remark, my dear Philocales, is the same as any writer: I need not have met Julius Caesar to write about him. Neither do I need to meet Christ to believe in him, or witness his miracles or hear his voice to garner the truth of his teachings. By the same logic, I have met Santa Claus on numerous occasions and know none of them were real.

For sure, magic is real. It exists. It affects and influences the subconscious and conscious minds of its adherents and victims alike. Yet magic - when it is stripped down to bare basics - is but a rarefied science for the wilful control of nature. Thus, I do not need to be struck by lightning to know electricity exists; nor what it looks and feels like. Nor need I study gravity to experience its effects and accurately describe it. 

In a sense, anyone who believes in the existence of dimensions external to our minds should readily acknowledge the myriad of discarnate, immortal life forms inhabiting them. Angels and demons are such beings. Indeed, it is within the gift of everyone to invoke these celestial forms, just as they, in turn, are able to manipulate and influence us. Everyone can become an adept mage, but not everyone learns humility. From whence does man's authority to command the super-celestial powers arise?  and why do they suffer us to do so?

Author selling Books on Rosicrucianism and Books on Secret Traditions

Why? because we are the children of Adam, and it was he whom God created to govern nature. Adam's task was to reconcile the fallen entities who had rebelled against God and, since Adam is the father of us all, we have inherited our father's gifts. The power he was given is what we call magic. Men, despite their fallen state, retain Adam's authority to use magic but have lost sight of its purpose. This is why they are tempted to manipulate nature against the free-will and free-actions of others. Indeed, they are doing so for exactly the same reason that Adam betrayed God: hubris. Magic is rarely exercised for the greater good, and certainly not when it invokes demonic cohorts through theurgy for self-seeking means.

In all of history there has only been one master of nature that we need take heed of: Jesus Christ. So it is that those who follow him are usually repelled by theurgy, and instead show an instinctive affinity with the vulnerable. For God is love. In all its guises, knowledge of theurgy and any secret art performed for anything other than benevolent purposes is an abuse of nature and a repetition of the rebellion against God. There are of course those who fight fire with fire, the noble exorcists who seek to restore Adam's glorified form through reconciliation with God by such means, but these men are assayed as gold in the kilns and ovens of chivalry, and are few and far between. 

Pride is the root cause of sin. Sin - a particularly unpopular concept in this present generation of snowflakes - is essentially the definition of selfishness. Humility, by contrast, is the opposite of selfishness. Yet it can only be gained through experience and cannot be taught. In that sense it can truly be said that the practitioners of magic are “further behind the track” of spiritual progress than they care to think they are. The reason for this is that shortcuts do not ultimately work in spiritual progress. That is the meaning of the parable of the wise and foolish builders in a nutshell. At some point the adept in theurgy has to stop playing with his toys and become a man by internalising his relationship with God. So it is with theurgy, which belongs in the nurseries of the great spiritual schools. 

Humility is, in truth, a state of mind taught by God. It is best described as “resignation” to his will. Such resignation is key to uplifting ourselves beyond our selfish desires, because it accepts responsibility for both the self and the welfare of others. It was also key to Adam's salvation. This is the real meaning of self-knowledge, because charity (love) is the Philosopher's Stone. There cannot be any value in invocations and evocations during the movements of the celestial spheres when one has advanced further on the path of reintegration. To aver to the contrary is delusional, because the practise of magic blocks humility and interferes with our ability to develop the spiritual organs we need to hear and see God. Which is to say, to "walk" alongside him. This transmutation only be achieved through suffering, and not by avoiding it Jacob Boheme's words resonate this message: 

“What hinders us from seeing and hearing the Creator, is our own hearing, seeing and willing; by our own will we separate ourselves from the will of the Creator. We see and hear within our own desires, which obstructs us from seeing and hearing Divinity. Terrestrial and material things overshadow us, and we cannot see beyond our own human nature.” 

Author selling Books on Rosicrucianism and Books on Secret TraditionsSo it is that the true Rosicrucian path -  not the hermetic hot-potch of the Baron de Westerode - separates itself from theurgy in the fullness of time somewhere along the spiritual path. Indeed, this is just as Hermeticism yielded to the Gospel. The true Rosicrucian is a philosopher as well as a student of nature, always looking for self-realisations through his own worth and measure of knowledge. Rosicrucianism, then, is closer to spiritual alchemy because it is a science of self-knowledge, not the pursuit of finding gold through manipulating nature. 

The legendary figure of Christian Rosenkreutz was said to have been presented with four paths to follow, but unintentionally found himself on the most difficult (spiritual) path. The meaning of this legend is that self-initiation is mandatory for the true Rosicrucian. He must learn to be guided by his intuition, reason and intellect. In short, the Brother of the Rosy Cross must be given the space to exercise his free-will and free-choice without external interference from magical energies.

There is nothing more profoundly opposed to the principles of Rosicrucianism that that which aims to override free-will.


This article is the copyright (c) of M.R. Osborne, 2022