Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Stark Masonic Theosophy

handwritten frontispiece - physica, metaphysica, hyperphysica

magickal schematic x 2

kabbalistic schema

kabbalistic schema (detail)

figura cabbalistica

instrumentum fiat natura

transmutation schematic

mysterium magnum studium universale

allegorical alchemical motif

instrumentum divinum - alchemy symbols

celestial configurations for metal transmutation

alchemy model

Johann August Starck [Stark] (1741–1816) was a Professor of both oriental languages and theology in St Petersburg, Königsberg and (mostly) Darmstadt. He was a prolific author, particularly noted for his studies of comparative religions.

Starck joined the Freemasons in France when he was about twenty years old. The story goes that when he was in Russia he met with a Rosicrucian who had been closely acquainted with a founder of a Masonic Lodge in Florence in the early 18th century. The founder was a collector of ancient manuscripts and that Lodge became a centre for Rosicrucian, alchemy and theosophical discussion and enquiry. Secret knowledge divined from the 11th century Knights Templar, as laid out in the manuscripts, greatly contributed to the founding of Hermetic traditions within the developing Masonic fraternity in Germany.

Starck appears to have been what you might call a significant player in German Freemasonry as a direct result of his being exposed to the Florentine teachings. He was a leader of a faction (oh yes, Life of Brian correspondences seem appropriate) called the Klerkikat which joined with the existing Knights Templar order of Freemasons, the Strict Observance, but a schism eventually developed due to Starck's peculiar brand of Masonic beliefs. He was accused of being a Catholic and became quite an unpopular figure despite his receiving plum academic and civil appointments (he was a colleague and friend of philosopher Immanuel Kant). Apparently many of the ideas formulated or advocated by Starck persist into modern day Freemasonry.

One of the more notable subjects of his authorship appeared in the 1803 book, 'Triumph of Philosophy', in which Starck:

"claimed that the Illuminati, a freemasonry group founded by Adam Weishaupt (1748-1830) in 1776, stood behind the French revolution and were secretly pursuing similar lawless and godless schemes in German lands and elsewhere."
How does any of these conspiracy and esoteric shenanigans relate to the intriguing images in this post? The simple answer is: I'm not really sure. They appear in three manuscripts recently uploaded by Wolfenbütteler Digitale Bibliothek and all are attributed to Johann August Starck (or at least, they are listed under his name as author). It would seem they are either copies of, or notes and symbols dervied from, the renowned 'Geheime Figuren der Rosenkreuzer' (Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians) from the late 18th century.

-Ms. Cod. Guelf. 454 Nov.
-Ms. Cod. Guelf. 455 Nov.
-Ms. Cod. Guelf. 456 Nov.

As you might imagine, background research about this topic is apt to lead a person to some 'interesting' websites to say the least, where everything from the world bank, Cagliostro and the twin towers make an appearance. Consequently I'm only going to recommend the Starck biography in the Immanuel Kant teaching site at Manchester College. Anyone with a deeper interest in all of this has already gone off on their own searching quests no doubt. Related: alchemy/'La Très Sainte Trinosophie'.


Unknown said...

great, i was thinking about some relation with kant!


pieldivina said...

Sigo con muchísimo interés tu blog a pesar de que mi inglés no es muy bueno. Thank you.

bioephemera said...

I have no clue what is going on in any of that, but I LOVE it. It does frighten me a little though. Suppose I proudly put it on my wall as inspiration, and it ends up being a recipe for bringing about the End Times, or even worse, a sequel to the Da Vinci Code?

David Apatoff said...

I love that pseudo-scientific mystical stuff! Uranographic charts, philosophical recipe books, Roadmaps of heaven... it must be great to have a system of beliefs that will let you attach numbers and shapes to the most intangible, subjective topics with such certainty.

I'd like to live in that world, but those of us who are locked out, pressing our noses enviously to the window pane, can still enjoy this work. You don't have to understand this secret code to enjoy the existence of the code.

Yanuly Sanson said...

After all the fuzz about an ultimate conspiration being masterminded by a chosen few thru the ages, it's such a refreshing treat to learn that even amongst their midst were people that disgressed with their methods and purported ends. This casts a more realistic picture of these seemingly eternal schemers and somehow crumbles their credibility and overall fearsomeness.
Whoa! that was mouthful. Be merciful, Illuminator Supreme!

Rachele Wilson said...

The first few images look like stylised versions of parts of the kabbalah.
It's not some 'secret code' only for a chosen few! If a person feels the need to question why we're here and how the universe works then they start to find these things out for themselves.
Numbers and 2d pictures were the understanding of the people of those times. I'm sure if they had most holy scriptures in virtual reality mode we'd all be living more fulfilling lives!
Anyone can join the Theosophical Society or the Masons. But then it's better to do your own research :)
Love & light to all on the Path!

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