Introduction to Martinez de Pasqually: Treatise on the Reintegration of Beings Into Their Original Property, Virtue and Divine, Spiritual Power (Rose Circle Books, 2023 (c))

For all its shortcomings, the “Philippon” edition of the Traité sur la reintétgration des êtres dans leur premiere propriete, vertu et puissance spirituelle divine published in 1899 by Henri Chacornac (1855-1907), occupies a critical place in any narrative on the magnum opus of Martinez (Martinés) de Pasqually (c.1727-1774). Chacornac sold five hundred copies in his periodical Bibliotheque Rosicrucienne, now among the most collectable additions in any esoteric library. This present translation was inspired by a copy I hold, extensively supplemented by Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin's signed manuscript transcribed by Robert Amadou.[i] As such, I present a “hybrid” version of these two key manuscripts here.

I shall not concern myself with the debate regarding which variation of the Traité is the most “accurate”, nor how many there are or whether the longer “Version A” is superior to the shorter “Version B”. If you are among those who consider this question of fundamental importance, this is not the book for you – and I refer you instead to the introduction in Amadou's book. I emphasise, however, what he says concerning these two primary versions:

“… the short version is the original. It differs not only by its shorter length, but also its conciseness; the long version has a fluid style part of an even more personal mode of expression” (my translation).[ii]

The editing of “B” is ascribed to Pierre Fournié (1738-1825),[iii] who acted as the author's secretary in 1770-71.[iv] “A” was edited by Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin (1743-1803), who succeeded Fournié as Pasqually's secretary. “A” is regarded by many, including Amadou, as the finer. However, what needs to be understood is that most of the surviving manuscripts (whether “A” or “B”) were copied by several other individuals. Indeed, Pasqually used to ‘loan' his personal manuscripts so that they could be copied. He even had to cancel his workings because somebody did not return one on time. It follows that each subsequent transcriber has inadvertently left his “imprint” on the Traité, which explains inconsistencies in the surviving manuscripts. There could be numerous collections of which we have no present knowledge. Any attempt to describe all the manuscripts in English rightfully belongs to a commentary, which this present book is not. Researchers must also understand that Pasqually constantly updated his instructions to the Coëns after writing to them. It was a new order, and his manuscripts were "living documents" undergoing constant change. It follows that my present translation is, by definition, an interpretation. 

The source materials for the edition published by Chacornac were anonymous fragments from at least two “A” sources (since lost) in possession of René Philippon (1870-1936). Philippon was a native of Milon-la-Chapelle in the Île-de-France, a contributor to L'Initiation magazine, and a highly regarded student of esoteric Freemasonry. His transcription is regarded as problematical, but it must be remembered that his task was more arduous than it would be today. Philippon and Chacornac believed that having an accessible copy of the Traité in print was of fundamental importance. Indeed, for this very reason, I have purposely chosen to integrate the so-called “autographed” manuscript of Saint-Martin into the better part of Philippon's edition. The salient point, however, is that this is a living document of faith, not an arcane manuscript for academics to argue over the placement of a comma or a missing word of no importance. This present translation does not replicate Amadou's named sections and numbered paragraphs, but the major divisions are separated by images taken from various eighteenth and nineteenth-century Bible illustrations.

For a biography of the enigmatic Martinez de Pasqually, the reader is referred to my introduction in Pierre Fournié: What We Have Been, What We Are, And What We Will Become (Rose Circle, 2022). Pasqually's objective was to produce a Christianised commentary on the Pentateuch, the first five books of Moses in the Old Testament (the Hebrew Torah). It would contain his “General Doctrine” and was likely intended for high-grade adepts of the Élus Coëns as a guide and tool for their private studies or discussion groups.

For Pasqually, only the Divine Mind could rescue humanity from the insinuations of evil pervading our world. This is why he described Christ as the “Repairer” or “Regenerator”. His treatise, therefore, intended to provide a commentary on the soteriological journey of humanity from the advent of Adam to the ascension of Christ. Sadly, the manuscript ends abruptly at the death of King Saul following his encounter with the Witch of Endor, as recounted in 1 Chronicles.  Most assume the departure of Pasqually to Saint-Domingue in 1772 was the cause of this sudden end to the text. He was never to return to France, dying at Port-au-Prince in 1774. Indeed, his precious experiment establishing an order of exorcists dedicated to their reintegration was similarly doomed to failure, with the disbandment of the Élus Coëns by Sebastian de Las Casas in 1780.

There is more material about the Élus Coëns in the anglophone world than when I began translating The Lessons of Lyons in 2015. Indeed, over recent years, there has been an explosion of Élus Coëns manuscripts made available in English. Sadly, some authors demonstrate a poor grasp of Pasqually both as a man and his religious beliefs. For instance, the original rite for the Reaux Croix degree has led certain researchers to refer to Pasqually's Élus Coën as a “death” or “blood cult”. This reveals a lack of deference and a profound misunderstanding of the Rosicrucian-mystical perception of blood as the medium in which the spirit connects with the physical body's vitality (“life force”). While the rituals of the original Élus Coën are undeniably colourful (not least the Manuscript of Algiers), without a good grasp of their philosophy, only a superficial understanding of them can be gained. Such remarks also demonstrate ignorance of the doctrine of the expiation of sin (i.e. purification) achieved through the Cross at Calvary, let alone the transubstantiation of the body and blood of Christ in the Catholic Mass (a doctrine derived from this highly esoteric concept). Such writers would be better placed to accuse Christianity itself of being a “cult of the dead”, since it was a religion forged in martyrdom, and the veneration of its saints and their relics have always been important to it. Indeed, one man's violent sacrificial death and resurrection lie at the heart of the faith. In particular, the Catholic Church views the prayer of consecration, or epiclesis, in the Eucharist as the source of all Christian life. The priest acts in persona Christi when invoking the Holy Spirit to convert the substance of the eucharistic elements into the flesh and blood of Christ, which only retain the appearance of bread and wine. The sacramental theurgy of the Catholic Church is therefore powerful, and, by its very definition, operates a “blood cult”.

There is no evidence Pasqually's Reaux Croix performed any animal sacrifice, and they probably acquired what was needed from local meat purveyors. Indeed, the modern “Ambelain stream” of the Élus Coën uses pictures or papier mâché models that are entirely symbolic. Nevertheless, a response to these claims is required since they have been made. In Old Testament times, the soul was understood to be connected to the life force in blood. Animal sacrifice replicated the uplifting and release of the immortal spirit in man. This is the true significance behind the myth of the Binding of Isaac, whose life was spared in exchange for a ram. Thus, the sacrifice of animals was an integral part of worship from the time of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), which the kohanim (kohen) continued in the Solomonic Temple. Yet, blood sacrifice was not focused on the physical act of killing, but atonement. This is because Jewish animal sacrifice was a purificatory action - a mystical cleansing of base, primal or animal desires that block us from God. By it, the Jews believed they could attain greater purity and proximity to the Divinity. The purpose was to elevate the soul by transforming the butchered parts of the victim through fire. Thus flesh was transformed as a regenerated cloud of smoke ascending into the spiritual ether. This was the fate of one of the two scapegoats selected for the Pesach sacrifices at the Jerusalem Temple. The annihilation of the physical vessel by fire and its regeneration as air (the element of spirit) represented man's victory over the binary forces of chaos and suffering. Slaughtering an animal first was an act of mercy, because burning it alive would have been unnecessarily cruel.

Saint-Martin once commented:

“The goat burns out of the camp the decomposition of our material form and the purification of the wicked suffering of 56. There is only the spiritual that cleanses, strengthens and vivifies us”[v]

The Élus Coën were a Christian order, and even a cursory understanding of “temple theology” demonstrates why the Repairer's sacrifice was his blood. Indeed, this was how the earliest Jewish converts interpreted it. Christ was the “Red Man” or “Reaux” - the “Second Adam”. Thus, for instance, in the Gospel of John, there are many references to blood and water, consistently conveying images of sacrificial purification and spiritual re-birth. In John 19:34, we encounter the most sublime verse on the regeneration of vitality into the spirit, one which utilises supremely alchemical symbology:

“One of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.”

This is an excellent example of why, if any organisation is given the epithet of “death” or “blood cult”, it should be Christianity. However, we know it to go beyond this, as a religion of hope, transformation, and the promise of eternal life.

The same writers have also made assertions concerning Pasqually's motives for establishing Coën temples and the expensive subscriptions. This, they say, was due to occasional financial difficulties. However, Pasqually's critics fail to appreciate that, in the main, the high-ranking noblemen, gentlemen, and army officers he recruited were being supplied with their temple furniture, books, talismans, and other materials needed from central funds. Moreover, Pasqually supported poorer brethren, like the Abbé Fournié, who could not otherwise have participated. Indeed, doubtless inspired by this example of his beneficence, pensions continued to be paid to needy former members for decades after its dissolution. Such aspersions should therefore be given short shrift and no doubt a time will come when the modern Élus Coën will begin to respond in kind. For now, however, that has not happened, and this is partially due to the secrecy in which the various modern orders operate.

Martinez de Pasqually has influenced my personal faith journey, and something should be said concerning his brilliance and objective soundness in matters of religion. My background was Anglican, and I experienced long periods of arid dryness in faith as the Church of England declined. However, having dallied for several years with various religious systems and philosophies, I realised that all great world faiths aspiring for the good of humanity contain core truths. As William Ernest Henley put it, we are captains of our souls. I came to seek a tradition embracing universal truth within a Christian framework and eventually encountered this in a branch of Rosicrucianism. Now, for the most part, Rosicrucianism is no longer expressly Christian. In Western society, the rapid disintegration of the organised Church has ushered in an entirely new era, and private spirituality has replaced organised religion almost wholly. Nevertheless, it is my firm belief that we still need organised religion. Just as a religion without spirituality is devoid of value, so spirituality is adrift without the discipline, doctrine, and sensitive aspects only religion can provide. Otherwise, an entirely private faith can only lead to confusion and moral error.

This brings me back to the contemporary Church and, in particular, the ministry of the Roman Catholic Church in the West. I regard myself as having been deprived of the spiritual legacy that once thrived in my own country. I have come to regard the Reformation as an aberration, a mistake, a force for ill will, in which greed and financial gain mercilessly attacked the mysteries of religion. True, some Reformers were inspired by faith and had the best intentions. Still, I fail to see how the wanton destruction of the monasteries – upon which the destitute relied - and the vandalism that forever ruined sacred art in our parish churches was in any way good for the spiritual in Christianity. Indeed, the greatest error was the break with Rome itself by a secular king who deigned to declare himself “Head” of an established national Church, and through which his successors are still called its “Governors”. The errors of the Catholic Church at the time of the Reformation were many. Still, these pale in significance compared to the loss that occurred because of it. This absence of mystery in religion is particularly felt among the Reformed Churches today, who have failed to prevent rogue values from changing their worship and undermining ancient doctrine. While the Catholic Church undeniably has more than its fair share of difficulties, the Magisterium slows the pace of change. It requires much longer to adjust to a rapidly changing society.

Martinez de Pasqually desired to establish a specifically Catholic order of ordained priest-exorcists to operate alongside the Church secretly. There is no doubt of it. He was concerned that his theurgy would be abused, sullied, and took great pains to Christianise it. Not only that, but the conduct of his rituals mirrored the great ceremonies of the Church and were designed to run alongside and in tandem with them. As a secret society of elect, “ordained priests”, Pasqually's adepts were to be guided by the preserved doctrines and carefully guarded sacramental life of the exoteric Church. Thus, the Eastertide Candle mirrored that of the opening of the Coën Temples; and the first lesson from Genesis was recited in the early Coën degrees. Even the sprinkling of holy water is conducted in Coën ritual, as a symbol of sacramental exorcism contained in the liturgy of the Church.

That Pasqually held a deep and unambiguous faith in Christ is recognised by many commentators. His theurgy was not aimed at acquiring natural or supernatural powers for self-seeking means. On the contrary, the passes and numinous glyphs of spiritual beings were signs that the reconciliation of the adept was in progress. To this end, Pasqually taught his followers to unfailingly recite Roman Catholic spiritual obligations, specifically that of the office of the Holy Spirit and the Psalms: “I do not limit you but for the Miserere Mei and the De Profundis; you will recite them at night before sleeping; the De Profundis with the face against the Earth and the Miserere Mei with the face towards the Orient [East].”[vi] His objective was to reinstitute the four daily vigils and the quarterly theurgical operations Moses had ordered. This work was intended to provide access to the same “active key”[vii] held by Pasqually, for he was indeed a man of conspicuous psychic gifts, who would often refer to direct communications with angels and spirits.

In this regard, Catholic spirituality, not least deference to the Virgin Mary, was particularly important to the Élus Coën. As Jean-Jacques du Roy d'Hauterive, 5 August 1775 noted in The Lessons of Lyons:

“The Virgin is truly the Queen of Heaven and of all spirits: through her we can obtain everything by invoking her, her Son refusing nothing to her, which was heralded by the miracle at the wedding of Cana made at her request, and she has accompanied it in all its temporal course of reconciliation operations.” [viii]

God became man in Mary's womb, and she, therefore, fulfilled Old Testament prophecy by miraculously conceiving and giving birth to Jesus as a virgin. What sets humanity apart from the animal kingdom is not intellect, spirituality, or even free will, but our capacity to reflect on suffering. It is the curse of Adam and the consequence of rational, sentient life. In this, the Virgin Mary represents the totality of humanity on many levels: not only in her body, mind, soul, and spirit but also in the happiness, despair, joy, and grief she experienced as a human mother. From the massacre of the innocents, the flight to Egypt, and standing at the foot of the Cross, she had and saw it all. Mary is not only a metaphysical object representing the human spirit at the side of God; she is also a complete human being, not a hybrid human-divine entity. In this sense prayers offered to her are essentially self-petition; an appeal to our higher consciousness. We must therefore dispel any notion that Pasqually and the original Élus Coens Order were anything other than Catholic.

While Pasqually's terminology shares many similarities with Gnosticism it differs markedly in several areas, not least in the absence of the Demiurge or "Half-Maker" who forcibly incarnated spirit into matter against its will. Pasqually's teachings, as relayed to us in the Traité, tell us that God alone began creation but, realising certain of his creatures had evil latent within them, conceived the material universe to imprison them. This is the material sphere where these demons exercise their free will, having broken from God to go about their nefarious purposes.

Initially, Adam occupied a glorious form and existed in bliss. Creation was, therefore, good because God freely bestowed his powers on Adam and created the conditions for him to go about his work with the help of the spirits who had shaped the cosmos under his direction. In contrast, the Demiurge of the Gnostics stole the Godhead's powers and acted against the Divine will. In contrast, Adam was deceived by an already fallen spiritual being into misusing the powers he had freely been given by God; with the result that nature deteriorated and “hardened” further into its present, gross state. This constitutes a major divergence in cosmogony with Gnosticism since Adam cannot be equated with a demiurge. His pride raised him to the point of wanting to be a creator only by linking his powers with those of the Prince of Demons, wherein, to quote Pasqually, “he made a creation of perdition.”[ix]

Another great disparity between original Catholic Martinezism and Gnosticism concerns the doctrine of sin. For St. Augustine of Hippo, these characteristics became part and parcel of man's animal nature due to Adam's Fall into material elemental form. Before that, Adam enjoyed a glorified, spiritual form or body that vibrated much higher than the base elements of the earth into which he fell.  Augustine came to see Adam's pride – that act which led him to rebel against God – as the “original sin.” To make sense of suffering, anxiety, all vices, ageing, and death, he believed that Adam's sin was transmitted from generation to generation through “concupiscence”, beginning in the act of sexual intercourse. Yet the Jews taught that children enter the world at birth in a sinless state, and sin occurs almost immediately thereafter. It is, as it were, part of the human condition and not specifically a consequence of transmission from Adam.

For the Jews, therefore, sin was a state of estrangement from God occurring as an act of will. For Pasqually, Adam prevaricated when he sought to create material life without God's dispensation and for purposes other than reconciling the demons. Evil influenced Adam to make beings worship him. Sin, therefore, is the fault of man. For the Gnostics, man was not to blame for the fallen condition of creation and the hardened, corrupted state of physical matter subject to entropy and time. For Pasqually, however, our condition directly results from Adam's Original Sin through concupiscence.

Another key difference is the doctrine of Christ's incarnation. In The Lessons of Lyons, we read that the seed of the body of Christ was in Mary from the moment of conception and was only reacted upon by the apparition of the angel Gabriel. This was the “liaison” (the moment of conception) wherein the Intellect and Mind of the Logos or Son of God became conjoined with the human intellect, mind, and body of Mary's cells that would produce the foetus. This is the point in the Christian tradition where the Holy Spirit “overshadowed” her.

Pasqually taught that Jesus was required to descend from the physical line of the Elect Minors (prophet guides). Yet that was only in his human nature. Through the incarnation, the Word or Son of God reverted all his powers and verities and was conceived to become the Divine Man without physical involvement. In this sense, Jesus could not have inherited the “Curse of Adam” since he had no human father, and the chain was broken. Mary herself had broken the “Curse of Eve” by conceiving and birthing the Second Adam, and it is in this sense that Jesus was born without original sin. A body thus formed could only undergo a very brief reintegration, as we see following Jesus' crucifixion since having been buried with his material body he was resurrected on the third day with a glorious and incorruptible physical form. He had all the appearance of ordinary matter since he drank and ate after his resurrection with his disciples and made himself palpable to the touch of one of them.

Yet the Repairer was also immaterial and had a very different body from that before his resurrection. He could transport himself to different and distant places rapidly, and disappear again just as suddenly. Thus, for Pasqually, Christ is the true image of the nature of the first body of man in his original state of glory and innocence. He was born with a sensitive and material body like that in which Adam was clothed after his crime to purify humanity of the defilement contracted in the material body, opposed to our true nature, and to advance our bodily reintegration and spiritual reconciliation. This was the moment when the incarnating Logos broke the bonds that held him in the womb of Mary and which repeats the first appearance of Adam on the Earth's surface. The gestation period was nine months, and it is hardly a coincidence that Christ died in his thirty-third year since the action of three multiplied by three is nine, the number of incarnating man.

However, the incarnation of the Repairer was insufficient. Jesus had to spill his blood to reconcile Adam's posterity perfectly. Through Christ the Regenerator, those ‘sealed' with the mystical mark of his blood can retrace their path of ascent. The sealed are those adepts who must first purify themselves, overcome and banish the evil intelligence beset them, and set about sealing others in turn. This “great work” is set out in the treatise, a complete translation of which is now offered to you.


M.R. Osborne, M.A.

Northampton, April 2023




[i] Amadou, R., Traité sur la reintétgration des êtres dans leur premiere propriete, vertu et puissance spirituelle divine, Diffusion Martiniste (2000) (ISBN 978-2-490955-01-5)

[ii] Ibid. p.61

[iii] See my Pierre Fournie, What We Once Were, What We Are, and What We Will Become,  Rose Circle Publications, New York (2022) (ISBN 979-8-88896-892-5).

[iv] In early 1770, Pasqually wrote to Jean-Baptiste Willermoz announcing that he had found “a trusted Secretary - the brave Abbé Pierre Fournié.” The letter reveals much about the high esteem in which Pasqually held Fournié, as well as an indication of his character and abilities. Letter from Pasqually to Willermoz 20 January 1770, published in The Lessons of Lyons. Osborne, M.R., The Lessons of Lyons. Rose Circle Publications, New York, 2021 (ISBN 979-8888956625)

[v] Op.Cit. Lessons of Lyons 7 June, 1775

[vi] Pasqually directed the Coëns to recite the Miserere Mei and the De Profundis Psalms from the Office of the Holy Spirit at least weekly, preferably on a Thursday. When the Coën experienced “the value and force of this prayer”, he was then to recite the Office of the Holy Spirit at the same hour of the day. Pasqually also refers to “a small ritual” containing the prayers, benedictions, and exorcisms for the Order. The eight days, referred to by Pasqually, refers to the distinction between the Hours and Offices of the Catholic prayer cycle at that time. In very broad terms, if a set of prayers contained Psalms, it was an “Office”; if it did not, it was an “Hour.” The monastic Offices comprised eight daily liturgies of prayer: Matin, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline. Medieval books of Hours had a standard set of contents, with two main sets of Offices: the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Office of the Dead. These generally followed monastic offices but were shorter. While the Hours of the Holy Spirit were common in the medieval Books of Hours, the Office of the Holy Spirit was rare. Indeed, there is no evidence that the Office of the Holy Spirit made it to the age of print. A handwritten copy dating from 1275 – 1300 survives, with material drawn from the standard liturgy for Pentecost. A monastic text, it follows the eight-hour sequence.

[vii] See page 273 below

[viii] Op.Cit. The Lessons of Lyons

[ix] See below, pp.210-11

Purchase Book

This content of this article is the copyright (c) of M.R. Osborne, 2023