On Rosicrucian Theurgy

This text is based on the very informative book by Demetrius Polychronis:
Theurgy, The Sacred Art of the Adepts,
which unfortunately is available only in greek ("Pyrinos Kosmos" publications).
The author was kind enough to provide us with the following summary in english.

Theurgy, The Sacred Art of the Adepts

  S u m m a r y


by Demetrius Polychronis (c) 2001

Note on the use of the term "Rosicrucian".

In this document, the word "Rosicrucian" does not refer to the Rosicrucians of the 17th century. It refers to a less known branch, known as the "Brethren of the Orient".

All the principles upon which we have based the theurgic system that is presented in our book, are indeed of rosicrucian origin. The very same principles (but a somewhat different implementation) can be found in the systems of Martines de Pasqually, Saint Martin and the fore-mentioned "Brethren of the Orient", as revealed in the "Sacramentary" published by R. Ambelain. (See also "The Lyon Lessons to the Elus Cohens in 1774-1776").
The same principles are also found in Heinrich Khunrath's "Amphitheatre of the Eternal Sapience" (who is said to have been initiated to the "Brethren of the Orient").

So, in this document, the term "rosicrucian" means rosicrucian in origin, in principles and in quality. It does not necessarily mean that this theurgic system has been actually implemented in every detail by any rosicrucian group or order.


The term "Theurgy" is derived from the Greek language.


Litterally it means "the Work of God".

What is Theurgy? At a first approach we could say that it is nothing more than Prayer -- a Prayer that meets some inner conditions and is expressed by a simple and reasonable ritual. Its goals are:

A. The expressions of human spirituality

"Spirituality" can be defined as "the relation of man to God". It therefore has nothing to do with "intellectuality", "knowledge" or "education".

The expressions of human spirituality can be summarized thus:

A. Exoteric
1. Religion, exoteric worhip
B. Esoteric
1. Religious esotericism (i.e. monasticism)
2. Philosophical esotericism
3. Sacramental esotericism (theurgy)
B. History

In spite of the fact that the term "Theurgy" appears only during the Roman era, its practice is as old as mankind.

C. What is Theurgy (and what is not Theurgy)

There are four main types of rituals, that must not be confused.

1. Religious Sacrements
2. Magical Rituals
3. Theurgic Rituals
4. Satanistic Rituals.
Rites: Operating Agent: Will:
Religious Sacraments God Divine
Magic Man Human
Theurgy Man, coopereating with God Divine
Satanism Man, subjugated by demons Demonic

There is also another type -- the initiatic rituals, that are related to the notion of egregore. The book does not talk about this type of rituals.

D. Prerequisites

1. Basic

a. motivation
b. way of life
c. environmental conditions (room, time etc)
2. Sacramental

3.Qualities (virtues)

a. Purity
b. Love
c. Faith
d. Remission (of oneself to God)
These virtues are the four Pillars of the Inner Temple.

4. Dynamic

a. "Nipsis" (That is self-control, awareness, freedom from any kind of obsession, a kind of "Spiritual Sobriety").
b. State of inner prayer
E. The Elements of Ritual

1. The Altar or Table of Operation.
2. The Candle
3. The Cross
4. The New Testament, open at the beginning of the 1st chapter of the Gospel of St. John.
5. Incense
6. Word.
7. Gesture

F. Inside a Ritual

"A  (theurgic) ritual is the expression of Man's inner Word and his ardent wish to be associated with God and to cooperate with Him, by means of a series of thoughts, words, gestures and symbols".

So, in Theurgy, there are no "magic rituals". One is free to compose his own ritual, that should be based on the principles of sound spirituality.

A theurgic ritual functions in various levels:

1. Psychological influence
2. Attunement with God
3. Attunement of the inner world with the outer world
4.Creation of the "vertical axis" of attunement and communication among planes.

G. Structure of a Theurgic Ritual

Expression of repentance
Invocation of the Guardian Angel
<state of inner prayer>
Expression of gratitude
Prayer to Father, Son and the Holy Spirit
<state of acceptance>
Specific operation, if any (therapeutic or other).
Expression of gratitude

H. Results of Theurgy

Theurgy influences all levels of man's existence -- his body (material being), soul (emotional being), spirit (reasoning being).
But its most important result is Transcendence. By definition, "transcendental" is what transcends or surpasses human nature.
So, Transcendence is NOT something that man can control; it is completely a Gift from God, it is the germination and growth of the Ineffable Word in Man.

I. Applications

1. Initiation
2. Therapeutic applications (healing)
3. Talismanic applications

J. Stages on the Theurgic Path

1st stage

2nd stage
3rd stage

~~~~~~~~~~ END OF SUMMARY ~~~~~~~~~~


Those esotericists that are accustomed to interpret everything by means of Kabalistic correspondences, might think that this approach on Theurgy is simplistic. We assure them that this is not the case.

Early and analtered Martinism -- the one by Martines de Pasqually, L.C. de Saint Martin, J.B. Willermoz and d'Hauterive -- was not *ritually* kabbalistic. (But the whole *structure* of the theurgic system of the Elus - Coens was, in fact, based on the Sephirothic Tree). As far as we know, there is not a single kabbalistic expression in the writings of all the above (including the 3-year course by Saint Martin himself in the Order of the Elus Cohens in 1774-1776).

Apart from the above bibliography, that we refer the reader to, there is also another very important element that justifies this approach: a Martinist Symbol of Rosicrucian origin: The Pelican on the Rosy Cross.

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The author of the book "Theurgy, the Sacred Art of the Adepts" can be contacted via the webmaster.
If someone more proficient on this subject feels that there are errors in the present approach, he is kindly requested to contact the author.