Gnosticism

Gnosticism is a prominent heretical movement of the 2nd century Christian Church, partly of pre-Christian origin. Several Gnostic schools taught that the material world was created and ruled by a lesser divinity emanation of the highest God, the demiurge, trapping the Divine spark within the human body. This Divine spark could be liberated by Gnosis and the assistance of Christ.
Gnosticism is a modern name that means etymologically "Having knowledge."


The Gnostic ideas and systems flourished in the Mediterranean world in the second century AD, in conjunction with and influenced by the early Christian movements and Middle Platonism. After the Second Century, a decline set in, but Gnosticism persisted throughout the centuries within the western tradition resurfacing in the middle age in southern France and northern Italy.


In the 19th century, Jules Doinel, a French occultist associated to Fabre des Essarts, recreated a Gnostic church, having supposedly received his consecration from the apparition of a Cathars' bishops named Guilhabert de Castres, bishop Cathar from Toulouse.


From this origin, the Gnostic Church have spread through several splits and fights within occult and initiatic groups. 
This movement has brought to light several interesting movements and figures of the past, highlighting the importance of some of these ancient Gnostic schools. However, we have to admit that behaviors of these modern churches have often darken the positive aspects of their teachings and practices. From its creation, we can observe an obsession of copying the Roman Catholic system of rituals and multiplying the number episcopal consecrations while claiming the authenticity of their apostolic succession. Most probably these constant splits and fights appear as a consequence of an egocentric tendencies of bishops associated to an uncertainty of the validity of their consecration. Of course, most of the believers were sincere and eager to learn more from this part of the Western tradition. Today they are countless Gnostic churches and organizations that work within this modern revival.

As stated on other pages of this website, the Aurum Solis has incorporated teachings and ritual practices coming from Gnostic movements of the first centuries and the Middle Ages. As a matter of fact, several Gnostic schools in the antiquity were considered as heretics by the religious power which became the Catholic and orthodox churches. They were attacked and eventually eliminated. It has been the same during the Middle Ages for the Cathars who were exterminated by order of the papacy. We are lucky today to have various genuine documents coming from this period. They are priceless discoveries that are worked and used by the hierarchy of the Order. The Aurum Solis is not trying to ape the Catholic church or the countless Gnostic bishops. The current Grand Master Jean-Louis de Biasi received his apostolic succession from three main sources: The Aurum Solis, the Gallican Church, and the French Gnostic succession. He consecrated his predecessor according the two last lineages along with the Knight Templar consecration. Nothing else is necessary to assert a valid spiritual authority. As the main purpose of the Aurum Solis is to teach Theurgy according the most original tradition, Gnosticism is taught as way to deeper knowledge and experience of the initiate. The original Gnostic texts are used to understand this part of our history. Then for those who want to really experiment this religious aspect, valid successions are given. However, the Gnostic rituals practiced in the Aurum Solis are different than the various Gnostic Mass you can find here or there. As of these teachings and practices are coming from Hermetists, Ophites, or Manichaeans, they have less to do with the Catholic Mass, even if few common elements can be found. The interesting structure of this liturgy comes from an ancient tradition that can be traced in Byzantium. As such the fivefold structure, sometimes called the “House of Sacrifice” has been used as grid for various rituals within the Aurum Solis. These topics have been the subjects of various letters between the current Grand Master and the two previous Grand Masters. Both were enthusiastic about the possibility to have a Gnostic guild within the Aurum Solis that could emphasize this part of the tradition. Excerpts of some of these letters can be found in the archives section of this website. Following these studies, the Aurum Solis maintains a Gnostic Guild called “Gilda di San Giovanni,” linking its work to the famous Florence’s Baptistery.


In the way Gnosticism is taught to its initiates, the Aurum Solis is very careful to avoid the side effects of the modern Gnostic groups such as egocentricity, bigotry, or dogmatism. Emphasis is placed on reliable sources and humility in the practices. This is the reason why advanced gnostic practices are accessible only in the Second Hall. It is also good to remind that there is an "optimistic Gnosis" that doesn't consider the material world as an evil place we have to reject. Neo-Platonists emphasized this aspect and this is the one supported by the Aurum Solis. However, the Gnostic work is not totally restricted to the initiates of the Second Hall. Some meditation practices are provided earlier in the curriculum of the Order.


Beside this aspect, the Aurum Solis thinks that the work of the Guild can be helpful in the world as spiritual assistance, no matter if someone is a member of the Order or not. This is why it is possible for anyone to join this Guild as “Fratello (or Suora) di San Giovanni.” Each member of the Guild receives the gold solar medal of the palindrome you can see at the top of the page and a member card. Then he (or she) can have access to the Gnostic library of the Order, to the rituals of the guild, the private forum on which the request of prayers are posted, and be invited to the live monthly spiritual assistance ritual on each 8th of the month. It is possible to attend this monthly time of common prayers by video or audio, online and on the phone. A guided meditation is followed by prayers and mantras focusing on the names and request of assistance posted live during this meeting.

 

You can click here to apply to the "Gilda di San Giovanni" to become a Fratello (or Suora) di San Giovanni,” and attend the monthly ceremonies.