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Review: The Hermetic Science of Transmutation, by Giuliano Kremmerz

Giuliano Kremmerz (born Ciro Formisano, 1861; died (at least physically) 1930) was one of the most influential Italian Occultists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His writings have been translated into French and Spanish, but he remained largely unknown amongst Anglophone magicians as they were never translated into English – until now.

Giuliano Kremmerz, 1861 – 1930

“The Hermetic Science of Transformation: The Initiatic Path of Natural & Divine Magic,” was first written by Kremmerz in 1896, apparently in the hope that acquainting Italian readers with the power of the occult would lead to a new Renaissance of the mind. His reaction to the events of the subsequent twenty years betrays his bitterness that this did not happen. Anywho, the main points that Kremmerz makes, as I understand them, may be summarized thus:

  • The goal of the Magician is to Transform oneself into a God. But this is not the “become a living god” rhetoric that has blighted the credibility of modern occultism, for Kremmerz also stresses that the first duty of a magician after acquiring god-like power is to use it for the good of humanity in general, or one’s neighbour in particular.
  • Likewise, Kremmerz stresses continually that only Magicians who are pure in heart and intention can participate in the Divine Magic. Kremmerz’ morality is thus almost Christian in outlook, and he himself professes great admiration for the figure of Christ. But not so much for the Church, which he criticises for having lost the keys to magic, whilst yet clinging to meaningless dogma.
  • The key to this apotheosing is the Transmutation of the Sexual Force. However, far from entailing wild and reckless orgies, this actually entails careful conservation of the sex-force – even to the point where Kremmerz says that only absolute chastity can enable a participation in the Divine Magic. This results in Kremmerz’ sexual alchemy coming across as prudish compared to the smut of later authors such as Crowley, etc.
  • A consequence of actively attempting to make of oneself a God is that the Magician acquires the ability to perform works of Thaumaturgy.

Now that we have an actual work of Kremmerz in our hands, it is interesting to compare it with some of the lurid, and quite frankly disgusting, writings attributed to him which have been circulating on the internet and other places for several years (mostly in Italian), referred to variously as the Dossier Segreti or Corpus Totius Magiae.

In this “Hermetic Science…” book, Kremmerz speaks of his Myriam Fraternity, the aim of which is to perform works of Healing and purification.

Kremmerz does not however mention or even hint at the existence of the “Egyptian Order of Osiris,” which is the subject of the purported Corpus Totius Magiae.

I am reliably informed – by several different people – that the Corpus Totius Magiae is a hoax insofar as it claims to represent Kremmerz’ practices.[1] The present book, “Hermetic Science…” does however give an accurate flavour of the philosophy underpinning the Myriam work, without obviously giving away any of its secret rituals. Reading it myself, the difference in tone between “Hermetic Science…” and the Corpus Totius Magiae becomes one of sharp relief – as if no-one could believe they belong to the same organisation without epitomising the essence of DoubleThink. And yet, the most widely cited academic source, Hans Thomas Hakl in Hidden Eros,[2] seems to conflate Kremmerz’ own writings with the contents of the Corpus Totius Magiae uncritically.

(As an aside, it is within my personal knowledge that at least one Big-Name-Occultist has been duped by some passing salesman of magical charters into buying the Corpus Totius Magiae as The Ultimate Secrets of Magic. What bewildered me was not that he necessarily believed this to be the case, but that he paid good money for a document that had been floating around for free for several years on the internet. The moral of the story is – first learn to speak Italian, before buying something written in Italian).

In short, I would recommend this book purely on the basis that it forms a key link in our understanding the History of continental Occultism, and I look forward to more works by Kremmerz becoming available in English in the future.


Notes

[1] Whether or not the practices described therein are genuine at all, however, is another matter entirely.

[2] Hakl H T, Hanegraaf W J (ed.), Kripal JJ (ed.), 2008, “The Theory and Practice of Sexual Magic, Exemplified byFour Magical Groups in the Early Twentieth Century,” from “Hidden Intercourse: Eros and Sexuality in the History of Western Esotericism,” Brill, Leiden / Boston.

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‘Eternal Witch,’ the new novel by Alex Sumner

You now have the opportunity to buy my new novel, Eternal Witch, which is a Visionary Fiction thriller set in contemporary Britain.

Published: 23rd May 2018
Artwork © 2018, Alex Sumner

ZARIA ROSE has it all: a successful career as a pop star, fame, fortune, adulation – and a Magickal way of getting absolutely anything she wants.

However, when one day she tries to discover her past-life memories, her seemingly perfect life begins to fall apart – with nightmarish and violent consequences…

Eternal Witch is currently available as both a Paperback and Kindle Ebook from Amazon worldwide. Please click on the links below to purchase them, or see my About page to find the link to my book on your own country’s Amazon site.

Eternal Witch

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The Secrets of Hermetic Internal Alchemy – Revealed

Nick Farrell has managed to surprise everyone – probably not least himself – by actually meeting a Secret Chief. I believe that Nick is completely genuine in his account as, without wanting to brag too much, according to my contacts in the Illuminati his description pretty much ties in with what I have long suspected. 😉

Nick, however, says:

He [i.e. the purported Secret Chief] was extremely interesting having been connected with lots of magical orders and alchemical groups that I had never heard of.

Well, I am pleased to announce that I can now fill in the missing bits of the jigsaw puzzle, and reveal such information as can be revealed about this mysterious group of continental adepts.

Giuliano Kremmerz, 18xx - 19xx

Giuliano Kremmerz, 1861 – 1930

The magical system employed by this Corsican gentlemen was originated by one Giuliano Kremmerz, who lived from 1861 to 1930. Kremmerz founded two magical orders: one, the Confraternita Terapeutica e Magica di Myriam (The Magical and Therapeutic Brotherhood of Myriam), and the Ordine Osirideo Egiziano (Order of Osiris the Egyptian) – which, I am informed, is the “inner order” of the first.

The Myriam Order was (and perhaps still is) an order devoted to healing illness by prayer and ritual.

The Order of Osiris was described to me in the following colourful terms. In order to join, one has to be: (a) Italian, or fluent in Italian; (b) able to attend meetings in Italy; and (c) a multi-millionaire jet-setter. As to its rituals, they were described to me as: “Have you seen Eyes Wide Shut by Stanley Kubrick?”

Given that I fail to meet criteria (a), (b) and (c), I must resign myself to the fact that I shall probably never become a member of this organisation. 😦

However, by delving into the paucity of information available in academia, I discovered: the secret teachings of the Order of Osiris have been published since at least the mid 1980s. However, because they were only revealed in a very limited print run publication, and it has not been translated into English, these teachings are virtually unknown in the Anglophone world.

Hey, Godfather, that Alex Sumner is writing a blog post about us!

Hey, Godfather, that Alex Sumner is writing a blog post about us!

I have been asked to point out that the said teachings were published illegally and without authorisation. Therefore translating them would also be illegal. Indeed, the publication of the teachings caused a major scandal in Italy, with fights breaking out in the street between orders and talk of people calling upon their connections if you know what I mean. (Actually, there are a whole load of teachings from funky continental orders available to people who can speak German, French and Italian, but because English speakers have not heard of them, they remain untranslated – but that is a different story altogether).

However one academic, Hans Thomas Haakl, was able to get hold of a copy of Kremmerz’ work and (taking his life in his hands, no doubt), made a prècis of it in the English language. * The sex magical / alchemical teachings may be summarised as follows:

  • Male and female polarities may be used to “light a psychic fire” to enter transcendent states. This is not however achieved by intercourse but by asceticism based on mutual attraction and sexual abstinence.
  • But that is not to say that sex magic is never practiced, oh no. Haakl relates, from the first volume of the teachings:

One of the basic principles of sex magic is described with reference to sexual union. “Whoever copulates thinks, imagines, projects the reality of his thought into the sperm. . . . The female blood nourishes and feeds this image projected into the sperm, because woman is subject to the male thought due to her desire and voluptuousness.” The text also states that a woman can be influenced only “when she is hot.” If this condition is fulfilled, a man is capable of changing her completely and may turn her into his servant as well as into an ascetic nun. If, however, “she is not burning with desire, do not try.” Violence is not recommended, because “in nature everything is achieved by degrees.” Preparation by means of long periods of fasting and absolute chastity, in body, mind and emotion, is necessary in order to become master of oneself and build up a superior force.

  • Kremmerz goes on to describe methods of separating one’s soul from one’s body and directing it wherever one wishes: together with associated magical practices. This is essential for entering the magical state, and is a pre-requisite for some of the advanced (read: sensational) techniques of the Order.
  • He then goes on to give instructions for attaining the so-called “Glorious Body” which is a vehicle for the separated soul. This “Glorious Body,” from its description, appears to be equivalent to the well-known Body of Light, of which Mark Stavish wrote extensively in his book Between the Gates. However, the method Kremmerz prescribes is nothing like anything in Stavish’ book. The method involves
    • First: “long ritual fasting, total chastity, breathing exercises, and various other preparations.”
    • Second: a series of Alchemy-type operations in which Sperm is identified as the Philosophical Mercury, or for women, their own sexual secretions serve as equivalent. These are “circulated” (i.e. produced, then re-imbibed) first by each Alchemist individually (auto-erotic), but in more advanced practices by the male and female acting together. The various types of sexual / alchemical operations are performed in strict cycles according to astrological considerations.

As Haakl says:

This is an operation of “internal alchemy” (the body being the laboratory, that contains all the substances and instruments needed for the Great Work), which requires a perfect knowledge of one’s own body and its various hidden planes.

The sexual / alchemical operations serve to at the same time gradually separate the “solar” or spiritual part of the practitioner from the merely physical part, and create a “glorious body” in which the solar part may live thenceforth. This Glorious Body is not subject to physical death, hence (theoretically), immortality ensues.

However, this is not the end. Kremmerz goes on to state further advanced teachings which are even more revolutionary than this. He states that it is possible to become a “magical avatar.” In the Yogic tradition, an avatar is someone who is incarnated as a perfected being, e.g. Krishna. Kremmerz states that it is possible to invite a “numen” or the soul of a genius, hero or deity to drive out one’s human soul and inhabit one’s body instead. Or, to use the modern parlance, to voluntarily cause oneself to become a “Deific Walk-In” – which I suppose could be one interpretation of the secret of the grade of Ipsissimus.

Ah but which deity? This Kremmerz does not specify. Apparently there have been different Kremmerzian groups – some of which believed they were inviting the actual Christian God to “walk-in” – hence they regarded themselves as Christian Magicians. Haakl implies however that not all Kremmerzian groups shared this objective.

However: there is a more sinister theory talked about, which sounds like the kind of plot I might want to borrow for one of my books, in that it is suggested that the less scrupulous magician might decide to pick someone younger and healthier – and drive out their soul, and go and live in their body, and hence prolong their existence that way.

But Is It All Golden Dawn?

The question arises though, is can this “Secret Chief,” whom Farrell met, and the tradition which he represents, authentically be said to be part of the Golden Dawn. IMHO, the answer is no, for two reasons (the utter dissimilarity between these practices and GD practices not being one of them).

Firstly, the Order of Osiris cannot have been created before 1898 – a good seven years after Mathers is alleged to have received the 5=6 ritual and the corpus of Inner Order material.

Secondly, the fact that Kremmerz’ secret teachings were revealed in the mid 1980s means that there is no way of knowing whether any given Secret Chief has provenance back to the original Order of Osiris, or is in fact a modern reconstruction group. In fact, Haakl himself states that several groups branched off from Kremmerz and interpreted his teachings in their own ways, long before his teachings were ever made public. So it would be difficult to tell if any group has such provenance even if it were not a reconstruction.

In conclusion, I would say this. I genuinely believe that the Order of Osiris and the teachings of Kremmerz are intriguing and worthy of further study by magicians in the English speaking world. However, I would further say we should be honest and say the Order of Osiris is a magical tradition in its own right, and not necessarily a bolt-on to the Golden Dawn.


* Haakl, H T, 2008, “The theory and practice of sexual magic, exemplified by four magical groups in the early twentieth century,” published in Hidden Intercourse: Eros and Sexuality in the History of Western Esotericism (edited by W J Hanegraaf & J J Kripal), Brill, Leiden / Boston.

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