The Flame of Love

John Eberly

The Flame of Love

The Match Girl lights up the evolution of consciousness Oh but for the keeping and the letting go I keep my rounds, I sing, I sew baby clothes I do what I can to raise up man and woman Whole, lively, lovely, worth making love to. —Elsie/Jay


In the following essay a little known current of Western esotericism will be examined through the writing of author Jay Bremyer. Specifically the books The Chymical Cook: A True Account of Mystical Initiation in the Georgia Woods and The Dance of Created Lights: A Sufi Tale written with his editor and writing partner/life partner Sara will be examined. These two books, both published in 1996, are on the one hand (The Cook) a “true” accounting of what the Bremyers experienced with their teacher “Elsie,” and on the other (The Dance), a poetic meditation on the same story heavily laden with esoteric symbolism culled from the Western Mystery tradition(s). We see Elsie appearing over and over again, in and out of the narrative of The Cook, disappearing altogether as a character in The Dance, unless we look beneath the surface, under the reflective pool of the unconscious. In the present essay as well, Elsie pops in and out, slippery as quicksilver, at times dazzling like the moon reflecting the sun, or playfully hiding behind the cloud of unknowing.

The reader will note how time and space relative to the progression of events, ideas, and linkage between people in this article is often non-linear, at times full of gaps, and tenuous connections. When dealing with secret societies, occult organizations, and individuals whose teachings are often private or tailor-made for each initiate, and as visceral as they are verbal, such problems are bound to arise. The Rev. T. Allen Greenfield, author of The Story Of The Hermetic Brotherhood Of Light, a book cited in the present article, acknowledges the same situation arising in his work, calling for a “continuity of ideas” to suggest a “continuity of structure.”(1) It is the present author’s intent that a close reading and consideration will also allow the reader to enter into a state of intuitive understanding of the information presented regardless of the difficulties encountered. Hopefully overcoming, or disregarding, these obstacles will eventually lead one to read Jay and Sara Bremyer’s books, and appreciate the attempt here to ground the material in a historical, evolutionary spiritual context.


In the summer of 1969 Jay and Sara Bremyer, two newly-wed college students from Kansas, headed south to attend a yoga retreat in northern Georgia. They were psychically prepared for this voyage into the Appalachian unknown by the counter-culture hit movie of the 1969 box-office season, “Easy Rider.” The Vietnam War raged on, and the Summer of Love gave way to the bummer of the “death of Hippie.” Kali Yuga arrived, announced by The Buffalo Springfield who sang, “Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep.” Charlie Manson and crew creepy-crawled into the middle-class American consciousness. The image of the South as a killing field for liberal-minded folks prevailed, spilling out uncomfortably into popular culture three years later with the appearance of the movie “Deliverance.” As the first man prepared to make one small step onto the surface of the moon, this young, uneasy pair weaved a passage through the hills and mountains of northern Georgia, on their way to a meeting with a distinctly alternate reality.

They arrived and attended the yoga retreat in Lakemont, Georgia at the Center for Spiritual Awareness directed by Roy Eugene Davis,(2) a direct disciple of Yogananda. Cherokee legends concerning this geographical area include the story of a northern Georgia entrance into the fairy kingdom, where the “little people” frolic and work wonders. Some feel that this place is also an outpost of Atlantis, a colony established here by the ancestors of the Cherokee while others migrated to Egypt.(3) During the Bremyers’ stay they also met their life teacher, an inter-dimensional adept known to be many things to many people, but revealed to them as Elsie, the “alchemical” cook. Describing herself, she says “I’m the match girl, you know.” “I get seven or more lights off each one.” (4) Elsie lived near Lakemont, and worked as a cook for Mahdah Love.(5)

Mahdah and her husband Dr. Love established the Christ Love Retreat near Lakemont around the turn of the century.(6) According to some reports, there were and may still be several other such retreats in Florida, and also farther north, perhaps in Pennsylvania. The Christ Love Retreat flew the flag of Saint Germain. This mysterious 18th century figure was reputed to be an alchemist who discovered the elixir of eternal life rendering him into an immortal adept dedicated to the spiritual evolution of mankind. (7)

Mahdah and Doctor Love built the Christ Love Retreat to carry on experiments in spiritual science and extraterrestrial cooperation.(8) The most prominent scientist working there in 1969 was Galen Hieronymous.(9) Hieronymous had for many years been an engineer in charge of heavy power distribution in Kansas. At the Oasis in Lakemont he built a Rudolph Steinerian cosmiculture device made up of pipes eight feet above ground and thirty inches into the ground outfitted with a copper electrode designed to absorb a mysterious solar energy called “eloptic.”(10) The eloptic energy was passed down a wire coiled around a quartz crystal to an underground amplifier which transmitted the energy out about a mile in every direction. He held patents on the transmission of solar energy over wires, and pioneered other exploration of subtle energies. During the moon landing in 1969 he tracked the astronauts on the dark side of the moon. Fifteen minutes before NASA, he knew they had fired their rockets.

Galen Hieronymous died in 1987, but his widow Sarah may still be carrying on work in the same area. She is a Cherokee princess of the Sacred Priestess line who descended through the seven waterfalls from the Holy Land of the Cherokees, keepers of lineages and prophecies.(11) She is also reportedly clairvoyant, and adept at astral travel.

There is little to suggest that the Christ Love Retreat, and the Center for Spiritual Awareness where Jay and Sara attended the yoga retreat were connected by outer appearances, but they may have served as exterior operations for more esoteric, occult work.. (12) In fact, 11on the surface the two do not even seem to have been on particularly friendly terms. One former director of CSA stated that he thought of Elsie as a sort of poor white trash character pathetically wandering around in the woods looking for herbs. (13) It is certainly possible, even probable, that only some of the people in the area were privy to specific information. Typically, most esoteric organizations operate as a hierarchy utilizing several levels of initiation. A character named, “Karin” in The Chymical Cook, who acts as a sounding-board and guide to the other characters concerning Elsie and her teaching, says, “She refers to esoteric orders, visible and invisible, High Masons, Templars, the Followers of Melchizedek and Melchizedea…” (14)

Whether or not the Christ Love Retreat utopian community, the Center for Spiritual Awareness, and for that matter Mahdah Love herself were a part of the work being done by Elsie, or someone else, is anyone’s guess. Earlier in the book, Karin says, “My thought is that your Elsie may be a part of a cell group or a battery…by which adepts combine energies and boost ‘The Work..’ They may all work through the body of one person or there might be several different persons. They generally use code names. They may refer to her as L.C. Bee, as the mother of a hive.” (15)

As far as young Jay and Sara Bremyer (16) were concerned, all of the other activity in the area was secondary at best to the extraordinary experiences they had with Elsie. Elsie, in fact, may have magically manipulated the extraneous activity for the benefit of their initiation into the mysteries; certainly various phenomena -including apparently natural phenomena- seemed to support her more inexplicable teaching methods. To the reader of the account given by the Bremyers in the book The Chymical Cook: A True Account of Mystical Initiation in the Georgia Woods, Elsie appears variously as mother, crone/witch, self-professed alchemist, possessed prophetess, spiritual warrior, trickster, poet/singer of archetypal nursery rhymes, black/white magician, herb-gatherer, crystal grower, and by turns loveable/terrifying kook. She emerges as the crazy-wisdom teacher par excellance, defying all linear explanations, chameleon-like in her mood swings and multi-dimensional broadcast/receiving mode-swings.

Throughout The Chymical Cook, Elsie hints at “what is really going on” and tells of her training and spiritual influences. She says, “Move toward the edge. A toe here and there. That’s my practice—the perpetual practice of the presence of God. The old cook from France.” (17) She is referring to Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, a 17th century French lay brother of the Order of Discalced Carmelites famous for his short work The Practice of the Presence of God. This work is heavily influenced by St. John of the Cross, the Spanish author of Dark Night of the Soul, a contemporary of St. Teresa of Avila, two of Christiandom’s most ecstatic mystics. Noting that he was also a cook, perhaps belonging to the Order of Cooks that she belonged to as well,(18) Elsie particularly recommended Brother Lawrence’s collection of letters.(19) Many times in the narrative of The Chymical Cook she refers to the “perpetual” practice of the presence of God, evolving it into the “Perpetual Practice of the Presence of the God-Goddess” and finally, “. ..the perpetual practice of the presence of consciousness of self.” (20)

When asked, and she was adamant about the mystic rule that the adept can only impart certain information when asked, Elsie explained that she had received her spiritual training in Pondicherry, India.

Pondicherry is the French Colony where Sri Aurobindo Ghosh built an ashram later shared with his life-partner and spiritual co-worker Mira Richard (aka Mirra, or Meera Alfassa) around the turn of the twentieth century. At Pondicherry he developed a spiritual synthesis between spirit and matter called “Integral Yoga.” He left a remarkable legacy of powerful visionary writings and spiritual poetry which was preserved after his death in 1950 by Mira, otherwise known as the “Mother” of Auroville, a city she built nearby in Auribindo’s honor.(21) The Mother was herself a great spiritual being, considered one half of a whole according to Sri Auribindo, who wrote:

“The Mother’s consciousness and mine are the same, the one Divine Consciousness in two, because that is necessary for the play. Nothing can be done without her knowledge and force, without her consciousness.”(22)

The Mother carried on the work until 1974 when she left the body, also leaving behind her own enormous legacy of writings. Satprem, a devotee who acted as scribe for The Mother, describes the inter-relatedness of body/mind, spirit/matter which centers “Integral Yoga” in his book The Mind of the Cells. In this book, The Mother/Sri Aurobindo put forth an evolutionary explanation for the cellular unity of the universe. There is but one Body, in which all things exist.

“In Pondicherry we use alchemy to transform the bodies. The Mother’s cells are the key to the descent of the supramental.” –Elsie (23)

So great was The Mother’s influence that many Aurobindians consider her to be omniscient and even now accept that everything which occurs is guided by her will.

At Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo and The Mother didn’t exactly reinvent the wheel: they did however tap into the alchemical template forged in the athanors of ancient India. If alchemy as a physical practice involving the spiritual evolution of matter began in India, Egypt, or cross-culturally in the very mind of God, there is no disputing that this is a point of tradition at which East and West meet. The Western/Eastern Mystery Tradition as taught by Elsie to the Bremyers blends the seemingly disparate directional forces into a DNA stew, a kundalini serpent swallowing its own tail, a circle of life wrapped around the universe.

It is impossible to track or gauge the extent of whatever influence The Mother, and the writings of Sri Aurobindo, otherwise may have had on Elsie if indeed she spent time in training at Pondicherry. Obviously the environment was ecumenical and ideally beyond the restraints of any religious dogma, open to a freedom of physical/spiritual expression. Perhaps we can look at another statement of Aurobindo’s for a clue as to why she chose to work with Jay, Sara, and their friends Larry and Kathy, who eventually join them and play integral roles in the unfolding drama we find in The Chymical Cook:

“It is the young who must be the builders of the new world,—not those who accept the contemplative individualism, the capitalism or the materialistic communism of the West as India’s future ideal, nor those who are enslaved to old religious formulas and cannot believe in the acceptance and transformation of life by the spirit, but all those who are free in mind and heart to accept a completer truth and labour for a greater ideal.”(24)

“I keep cooking.” Elsie says, “I keep feeding kids like you because the hope of the world rests with YOU.”(25)

Although her methods of imparting “crazy wisdom” may have mystified her young initiates, at the heart of her teaching Elsie simply wanted to show them how they could serve the spiritual hierarchy she works with in order to further the evolution of consciousness on our planet.

Throughout The Chymical Cook, Elsie introduces Jay, Sara, Larry, Kathy, and John, the character Karin’s (26) son to a vast multi-leveled “chess game” being played out by the forces of good and evil. What gives the roller-coaster gnostic narrative an extra twist is the nature of the “players” according to Elsie, who acts as medium and mirror for these otherwise unseen forces. Through her prophetic and often apocalyptic pronouncements, we glimpse pre-“X-Files” conspiracy theories in action through these beings, who are not above kidnapping Larry for some soul-draining life force-sucking sessions on the astral plane. “Tempest”-like scenes roll by as Elsie “the match girl” strikes fear into the hearts of the assembled, ranting high magical gibberish as she stomps and struts like a snake-handling evangelist/shaman. Something primal and necessary breaks through the confusion, with Larry emerging as a cosmic chess piece/cum/player, as Jay unconsciously decodes hermetic messages through the visceral poetry of the situations Elsie presents, while simultaneously puzzling with the literal language. Sara, she declares, is simply “a natural.”(27)

Marooned, or perhaps assigned, to this outpost of” Atlantis” in the north Georgia mountains, Elsie gave various explanations concerning her immediate family. She said that her husband Vern worked at the Pentagon.(28) The former director of the Center for Spiritual Awareness mentioned above who called her a “white-trash herb gatherer” also stated that Elsie’s husband was indeed in Washington paying to keep her isolated and away from him, and that he felt she was a fraud and potentially dangerous. An equally plausible witness claimed that her husband worked for the Government and was supporting her, but not isolating her. In fact, by the time the Bremyers met Elsie, her husband was probably deceased, and yet she felt that he remained very close to her, “But we have our separate work.” She says.(29) Her son had fallen victim to the “black hats,” malevolent archetypal beings or aliens from another dimension, or Viet Cong. She was busy piecing him back together, Isis and Osiris style, only here we see the sacrifice of Horus, the son, splattered all over the “walls of the caves” referring to all the parents who had lost sons to the war in Viet Nam and were busy trying to pick up the pieces of their lives left strewn half-way across the world.

Like a modern version of “Prospero,” Elsie the exiled and/or widowed had reached a state of mystic proximity to the Source approaching an omniscience of her very own. We readers sense this cosmic loneliness in her, and the vulnerability of such a situation gives her character yet another dimension, a human frailty we recognize in which we find relief from her more otherworldly behavior. This combination of extraordinary occult power in the frame of a middle-aged woman abandoned by those she loves most presents a tragic figure full of spiritual potential, yet chained to the rock of material constraint. She pours out unconditional love upon her spiritually adopted children, the sweet price gratefully paid in exchange for one’s very life. As new-age marriage councilor, Elsie conjures, cajoles, and works with newlyweds Jay and Sara through the essences of their personalities to help them confront the life-realities they must eventually face in the near future and beyond. “You two are like a lock, a pattern which can help others …you have to serve the world.”(3O)

At the end of the book, they are challenged to go home and make something worthwhile of their lives, to be of service to others. They are told that what they have experienced will evolve through their physical presence in the world in the vocations they choose, and “make sense” 25 years later. The writing of The Chymical Cook, and The Dance of Created Lights, plus innumerable articles written for various journals, speaking engagements, travels all over the world, meetings with many remarkable men and women, raising children, all the while working through their lives for positive planetary change, continue to unfold the teachings for the Bremyers, who, along the way in true mystic fashion, may let go of rational conceptualization and the illusory need to “make sense.”


Within a decade of the time that Sri Aurobindo began his work in Pondicherry, and Mahadah and Doctor Love started the Christ Love Retreat in Lakemont, Peter Davidson (d. 1916), originally of Forres, near Findhorn Scotland, moved to the northern Georgia region in Loudsville, GA less than thirty miles from Lakemont. He may have been drawn to this holy land of the Cherokee, this fairy kingdom of the “little people,” out of an intuitive recognition of sacred geography. Perhaps he also felt the “web-work of etheric tunnels”(31) running through the mountains in the area, linking certain spots like chakras, or Kabbalistic sephiroth centers in the creation/body.

While in Scotland, Davidson was acquainted with all manner of occult literature, particularly the Kabbalah, and it’s influence on classical literature, myths, and poetry. He admired the work of the alchemist Van Helmont, and especially the writings of Jacob Boehme. Hargrove Jennings, the famous author of The Rosicrucians. Their Rites and Mysteries,(32) counted him among his friends and correspondents. Davidson was an intimate of several European Masonic and otherwise occult groups, and claimed membership in many European and Asian secret societies, an association that would lead him to write and publish for many years a monthly entitled The Occult Magazine. He was a member of the Martinist Order headed by Papus, aka G. Encausse, and was in fact acknowledged as one of Papus’ three masters.

He had an avid interest in alternative medicine, particularly in spagyrics, the branch of alchemy dealing specifically with the healing properties of plants, as shown in his book The Philosophy of Man, published in 1878. Although many of his papers have been lost, a homeopathic pharmacopeia survives, complete with notes describing results obtained through experimentation and usage. In Georgia, he is remembered as sending ginseng hunters out into the woods (other “poor white trash characters” like Elsie?). Considering his classical/hermetic background he may have been following the ancient example of the hermetic text Kore Kosmou: “the most just among you, anticipating the transformation into divinity will enter into human bodies and become ‘just kings’, ‘true philosophers’, ‘authentic prophets’, and genuine ‘root cutters’ (rhizotomoi).” (33) During this time, Davidson practiced healing and distributed a spagyric “elixir of life.”

His later work included a belief in an alchemical transmutation of the human body into something immortal, similar to the philosophy developed by The Mother at Pondicherry and Auroville before her physical death.(34) This similarity is not so surprising, perhaps, considering that Davidson and Mira Alfassa/Richard aka The Mother were both originally initiated into the Hermetic tradition by the same master, known as Max Theon.(35)

The extremely mysterious Theon, a Kabbalist (among many other things), held the title of “Grand Master of the Exterior Circle” in the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor.(36) Late in life he developed a system with his wife known as the Philosophie Cosmique, which is infused with references to ancient Vedic texts (Indian or Tibetan). Aspects of this system share more than a passing similarity to parts of the system developed by Sri Aurobido and The Mother.

Peter Davidson also claimed to be an initiate of a Tibetan adept of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor who appeared to him astrally and asked that he help revive, or add to the present HBL Order. Davidson was known as the HBL’s “Provincial Grand Master for the North” while in Scotland, and it’s “President of the Eastern Section” after moving to Georgia.

Davidson’s move to northern Georgia was a calculated step by the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor to establish an outpost of the Order in the U.S.A. However, for several reasons, this proposed utopian community failed, in part due to an internal scandal involving the Secretary of the Order, Thomas Henry Burgoyne, which was exploited by Madame Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society.(37) In the end, the move simply meant a relocating of Davidson and his immediate family.(38) Between 1892-1910 he published another monthly in the style of The Occult Magazine entitled The Morning Star, and later a periodical entitled Mountain Musings appeared, aimed at local readership but containing a healthy dose of initiated occult knowledge. Perhaps the combination of publications achieved the aim of attracting other like-minded individuals to the area such as Mahdah and Doctor Love, the founders of Christ Love Retreat in Lakemont.

Thomas Henry Burgoyne, aka Thomas Henry Dalton, was another initiate of Max Theon’s who joined Peter Davidson for a time in northern Georgia before they parted ways, causing a permanent split in what became of the HBL in the United States.

After leaving Davidson, Burgoyne made his way to Monteray, California, first staying with HBL members in Kansas, and in Denver, Colorado.(39) At the insistence of HBL members in Carmel, CA, he wrote a series of lessons based on the HBL teachings, incorporating some of Theon’s Philosophie Cosmique, which were later collected into a book entitled The Light of Egypt.(40) Later, Elbert Benjamine, aka C.C. Zain, reformed the teachings into the lessons still offered today through The Church of Light.(41) One could say that before the actual break-up of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, the original teachings of Theon went in at least three different directions: The Mother, working with Sri Aurobindo; Burgoyne eventually begetting what is now known as The Church of Light through C.C. Zain; and Peter Davidson, whose influence on, or affinity with, groups that follow in northern Georgia is evident, and yet perhaps hardest to track. All groups meet at a point, however, and for our purposes here we must ponder the fact that Davidson, a direct initiate of Theon, operated just up the road from Elsie, who was initiated by The Mother in Pondicherry where she was sent by her master, Max Theon.

The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor was a quasi-Masonic organization whose inner teachings including the use of drugs, sex magic, magic mirrors, and trance states were borrowed directly from the initiated genius of another figure, Paschal Beverly Randolph (1825-1875).

Randolph was an African-American Rosicrucian who traveled through Scotland, England, Ireland, France, Malta, Greece, Arabia, Egypt, Palestine, and Turkey to the borders of Persia receiving initiations from sufi dervishes, and various fakirs, including a particularly hot initiatory encounter with a “dusky maid.”(42) Upon returning to the USA he established The Brotherhood of Eulis, which was, according to Rene Guenon, the precursor of The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor. Randolph proposed a system in which the human “monad” progresses through individuation to divinity and progresses through infinity communicating with hierarchies of disembodied beings. The means for the human monad to achieve these ends is through the use of drugs, sex magic, magic mirrors, and trance states.

Settling in Boston after a period spent in New York, he also claimed to be a medical doctor, turning his attention to the alchemical manufacture of elixirs and medicines. In 1861 he traveled to California lecturing on Rosicrucian topics, establishing the first Rosicrucian Lodge in the state. This would of course set a precedent for the later schismatic “Rosicrucian” groups that followed there.(43)

Robert North, the translator of Randolph’s book Sexual Magic, cites a source which claims that Randolph was also initiated into the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor.(44) The link may or may not be credible, however, the influence of Randolph upon the HBL, and the enormous effect of his work upon occult figures and groups that followed is certainly obvious enough.

There were many similarities between the adepts Davidson and Randolph: both claimed a variety of initiatory experiences, both headed similar occult organizations, both were alchemists who produced healing elixirs; even their theories of the evolution of consciousness were similar. It is possible, but undocumented nevertheless, that their paths may have crossed sometime in Scotland when Davidson was a young man.


In The Chymical Cook, there are many references to Freemasonry, the tradition which preceded almost every other initiatory experience a person with occult interests was likely to encounter in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For example, there is mention of “sacred lodges” in Atlanta.(4) In an interesting scene in the chapter titled “The Back Side of Space and Time” Elsie takes her magical students on a time-traveling trip north to Highlands where they eat lunch in a restaurant housed in the same building as the Scottish Rite Temple.(46) Early in the book, Jay describes Elsie’s attire, ending with: “Around her middle she wears a short Masonic apron over silk pants.” (47) The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor’s blend of masonic-ritual framework and magic ala Pachal Beverly Randolph and The Brotherhood of Eulis would influence the formation of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in England, and the Ordo Templi Orientis in Germany. All of these fraternities were, and certainly some continue to be, co-Masonic, i.e. they admit both men and women to their organizations.

The OTO was directed by Karl Kellner, who also claimed initiation into The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor.(48) After Kellner’s death in 1905 Rudolph Steiner led the OTO until 1914 when he founded the Anthroposophical Society. The OTO received the direct transmission of the sex magic rituals of Paschal Beverly Randolph, a feature that attracted Golden Dawn initiate Aleister Crowley into its orbit and leadership.(49)

Aleister Crowley made sex magic a central feature of his magickal workings, as did his associate the British artist Austin Osman Spare, who claimed to have received initiation from an American “witch.”(50) Crowley was a prolific occult writer as well as practitioner; at the beginning of his essay “On Sexual Freedom,” he states, “Bodily secretions suppressed, infiltrate the tissues, poisoning them. Semen unnaturally accumulated clogs the brain as bile does; morbid mental and moral symptoms result.” This echoes exactly the philosophy of sexual magic as expounded by Randolph, and denounced by the “Buddhist” Blavatsky.(51)

All of these systems (with the exception of Steiner’s and Blavatsky’s) utilized the Masonic model of grades and degrees; Freemasonry itself claims antique origins in a bewildering cosmic stew of world mythology, legend, and fraternal organizations. In Albert Pike’s formidable tome Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Freemasonry is linked to just about every cultural, philosophical, and spiritual tradition the author could think of. In conclusion, he declares Masonry to be a form of “Luciferian” religion: “The true name of Satan, the Kabalists say, is that of Yahweh reversed … for initiates, this is not a person, but a Force, created for good, but which may serve evil. It is the instrument of liberty or Free Will. They represent this Force … of which the poets have made the false Lucifer of legend.” (52)

By Paschal Beverly Randolph’s time, co-Masonry or “androgynous” Masonry, “fringe” Masonry, and high-grade Masonry had long become models for other systems incorporating classical philosophy, western and eastern magic, tarot, and alchemy. The aim of Freemasonry according to its precepts, has never changed, and can be generally stated in terms used throughout this essay, to prepare initiates to work toward the evolution of consciousness on our planet. The Rosicrucian ideal is very similar, in fact it is at heart the same, the political utopian vision of the 17th century manifestos being simply the social extension of the perfection of the individual. (53)

T. Allen Greenfield’s The Story of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light, an enlightened addendum to Godwin, Chanel, & Deveney’s The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, makes the case that the modern Ordo Templi Orientis remains the living link to the co-Masonic “Egyptian Rites” of 18th century European adept Count Cagliostro.(54)

Cagliostro was a reputed Rosicrucian, alchemist, Kabbalist, and magician, who, like St. Germain, supposedly lived for centuries after discovering the alchemical philosopher’s stone, and/or the “elixir of eternal life.” In 1779 Cagliostro is said to have received Rosicrucian initiation from St. Germain as the two traveled through Germany. Another source claims that he was initiated into the mysteries of the Egyptian Rite by adepts on Malta, coincidentally also a stop in Randolph’s occult travel itinerary. More likely he revised the original rituals written by George Cofton, a follower of Matines de Pasqually, master of Louis Claude de St. Martin, the founder of the Martinist Order.

Through the course of time the Egyptian Rite became known as two rites, The Masonic Rite of Mizraim, and the alternate, more libertarian Egyptian rite, The Masonic Rite of Memphis. (55) In 1877, the scholar John Yarker became the 97th degree Grand Hierophant of the Rite of Memphis, which he described in several writings, including The Secret High Degree Rituals of the Masonic Rite of Memphis. This document describes the rituals of the rite up to the 97th degree.(56) The 49th degree ritual of the Memphis Rite is particularly evocative of the story of Christian Rosenkruetz, the legendary founder of the original Rosicrucian Lodge and Brotherhood, and of aspects of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor.(57) The 62nd degree is entitled “Sublime Sage of Eleusis” (related to Randolph’s Brotherhood of “Eulis”?) which begins: “In Nature there is an Occult power behind the material form, viz.—The fashioning of the Spirit. First matter is eternal and exists everywhere. There are three eternal things in nature, viz:—Mind, first matter and space, quantity of matter always the same. Pre-existence of Souls; the body the sepulchre of the Soul: ‘We live their death, and die to their life.” Compare this last sentence to an idea of Rudolph Steiner’s that the advancement, or evolution of mankind is the religion of the gods.

The frequent mention of lodges, orders, aprons, and Elsie’s reference to “High Masons” (58) leads us to believe that the hierarchy she represents is based at least in part on some version of co-Masonic initiation into the higher mysteries.


The question the reader, and one presumes the Bremyers as well, are left with at the end of The Chymical Cook is exactly why did Elsie pick the newly-wed Jay and Sara, and by association Larry and Kathy, to transmit the work she was doing, the “perpetual practice of the presence of God”? Was it indeed so that they could serve the spiritual hierarchy she works with in order to further the evolution of consciousness on our planet? Could it be that this Soror Mystica who on some level still worked with her Frater recognized, or had been directed, to do certain work specifically with couples who somehow exhibited either an inner or outer propensity for initiation? Although the actual group seemed to expand and contract depending on the particular work being done, there always was an equal division of male to female couples present.(59) “I couldn’t be here without you.” Elsie says, “You are me, in all the permutations of your relationships. By our combinations we define and express each other.”(60)

On the second page of the first chapter of The Chymical Cook, entitled “Into the South,” we find the Jay and Sara “characters” making love. It is almost as if the author, having over two hundred pages ahead in which to tell his tale, just can’t wait to get to the sexy part! In reality, he may be giving us an early hint of the real nature of the Work.

“As for certain occult practices, he (Sri Aurobindo) told me that they were fully Tantric (Sexual Yoga).”
—Mira Alfassa, The Mother(61)

In The Dance of Created Lights: A Sufi Tale, the Bremyers tell a tale of high sexual magic through an enchanting, beautiful poetic narrative.(62) The story is set in 10th century Spain in the kingdom of al-Andalus; a melting pot of Islamic, Hebrew, Christian, and other esoteric philosophies and cultures transmitted through “scholars, musicians, poets, physicians, scientists, theologians, philosophers, and heretics of all persuasions.”(63)

Cultural diversity of every imaginable kind coupled with freedom of thought was encouraged through the governing power’s sponsorship of twenty-seven free universities teaching Greek and Roman philosophy as well as traditional Islamic studies. This brief, expansive 38 year respite between fundamentalist contractions sets the stage for the “All Faith’s Festival” in which the pubescent central characters al-Kiran and the Nubian Princess Kristien follow the initiatory steps laid out before them by their Kabbalistic teacher, rabbi Alpha ben Hebaron, to the climax and ritual renewal of the universe during a total solar eclipse known as the “Dance of Created Lights.”(64)

Toward the end of this cosmic-visionary work we find these two young “created lights” dancing the dance of mutual oral sex.(65) Alpha ben Hebaron surreptitiously emerges from behind some trees after the lovers cease their activity to announce: “The Mother and Father dance between you. Learn to ride the fire rapture of their love. Use it for good … otherwise it will destroy you.” He paused, studying them. “I wish you the joy I share with my mate. It is hard, I know, to keep the balance.”(66)

Later in the book al-Kiran hears Kristien’s disembodied voice say, “We become one as we dance for each other.”(67) A few pages later, through breathless, lyrical prose, they consummate their union, finding the balance referred to by Alpha ben Hebaron, lost forever “in the dance of the first god and goddess.”(68)

“By spiritual marriage conjunction with the Lord is meant, and this is effected on earth; and when it is effected on earth it is effected also in the heavens.”
—Emmanuel Swedenborg.(69)

The Dance of Created Lights is a brilliant synthesis of western/eastern spiritual/evolutionary teachings, a timeless archetypal story set in a historical place and time, yet transcending the boundaries of time and space altogether. We are reminded of the Qiyamat, the Ismaili “end of Quranic time” in which the mystic is reborn in consciousness and body as an individual, the “soul at peace” free from the constraints of time/space, at one with the Lord of the Universe.

The great-grandson of Hasan-i-Sabbah, the “Old Man of the Mountain,” mystic director of the cult of “assassins” who initiated adepts through seven circles from the earthly realm to the heavenly, proclaimed the Qiyamat, or “Great Resurrection” on the seventeenth of Ramazan 1164. In the middle of the Islamic month of fasting, Hasan II proclaimed that the “chains of the law” are broken forever, inviting everyone who realized this truth to participate in the pleasures of paradise on earth for eternity.

In a scene from The Dance of the Created Lights slightly before the ritual of the Dance, we see the Caliph of Cordoba, His Majesty al-Mustansir Hakam II stand before the assembled crowd resplendent in white robes. Head bare, with his arms raised, he speaks to one and all:

“la ilaha illa-llah
There is no reality apart from the Ultimate Reality.
La ilaha illa-llah
As Allah most resplendent reveals to the beloved Moses:
‘I alone am. There is absolutely nothing
apart from the boundless I Am That I Am….
…Hear me now, oh ye faithful…by the inspiration of Mohammad, Blessed Messenger of God Who Is Male and Female, Divine Androgynous Origin and End of All That Is…”(70)

In The Poimondres, attributed to Hermes Trismegistos there are several references to the bisexuality of God and the sacred androgynous nature in which mind (nous) is male and substantive, while thought as process (epinoia and ennoia) is considered female.(71)

Emmanuel Swedenborg, in a version of Plato’s myth, felt that one finding the true partner with whom conjugal love is shared continues this relationship into the afterlife, until the couple, in their inner heart, mind, and soul, become one angel. Honore Balzac beautifully expresses the same doctrine of the progressive transition from mortality to angelic hermaphroditic oneness in his 1835 novel Seranhita.(72)

Paschal Beverly Randolph was familiar with the hermetic tradition of the originally androgynous nature of man, and its emphasis on the all-encompassing power of Eros and rebirth.(73)

Randolph’s sex magic system—and by virtue of direct influence those systems developed and practiced by the Hermetic Brotherhood of Lux or, the OTO, et al—differs from other systems of “Tantric practice.” For example, karezza: the retension of semen; or the aghori practice of “sucking” the female fluids through the penis, is discouraged in favor of the union of simultaneous orgasm.(74) The commingling of the secretions of both the male and female into the “elixir of life” fertilize the egg and produce the “magical child.”

“And a people who live with these practical nuptials are always in harmony with the eternal laws. This constitutes a great magic chain linking the material sphere with the upper spheres.”(75)

This child, a new human being, is of course eventually sex-determined, however it begins new life as the perfect androgyne. It is this beginning, “before the Fall” that the Kabbalistic man of the Zohar seeks to perpetuate through constant union with the Shekinah, gained only through the woman, yet rendering him always “male-female.” Woman, in both Tantra and Kabbalah, is the power holder, the gate to eternity.

“All the forces and powers emanate from the feminine aspect of God, which also comes from every impulse. To draw forth the Divine Force in complete love, in real sympathy, in willing emotion, then you give beauty.”(76)

In both systems, sex is a discipline of the imagination, the mind is the funnel for the sexual energy produced to empower visualization. Perhaps the sex act brings with it distant memories of an androgynous world/soul, a pre-natal past, while orgasmic ecstasy mirrors the unity of the potential new individual creation, projecting immortality. Sex is the cosmic play of the universe, le petite mort coupled with the promise of rebirth, old DNA producing “new” information, like the bright and beautiful snake shedding its skin.


“Temporal love arises from the beauty of transient forms. Like them, it too is transient–its only lasting result being the perpetuation of the species. It is the result of the sublimation and refinement of sexual desire. Real or Divine love, however, is a profusion and a rapture from the Absolute Beloved which descends upon the heart of the sincere lover.”
—Javad Nurbakhsh (77)

On the mystical pathway represented by any number of practices and rituals found in the grades and degrees of the various organizations discussed in this paper and/or all other religions, traditions, ad infinitum, effected with or without a guide other than God, God-realization for the individual that he/she is absolutely alone in the universe is exactly the state, or rather station of the Creator that expresses,

I was a treasure who wished to be known.—ad-Hadith

Individual humanity as a part of nature, the “crown of creation,” is a mirror of this divine longing, an infinite projection, and it is at first with profound sadness and nostalgia that the seeker recognizes this situation in himself. This tug at the heart seeks a remedy for the “pain” of:

“I alone am. There is absolutely nothing
apart from the boundless I Am That I Am… ..”
—Jay Bremyer (78)

“This is when we make suitable acts of resignation and abandonment, a single one of which will result in great progress.” “… I renounced for the sake of his love everything other than God, and began to live as if only he and I existed in the world.”
—Brother Lawrence (79)

The mystic realizes that not only is he alone, he is alone with God, and that in this sense, in essence, he is God and God is Love, eternal, immortal, and alone with the Alone.

“Sufis believe that the foundation of the created world is love. All motion, activity, and light throughout the entire universe as we know it derive from the rays of love, and true perfection must be sought in and through love.”
—Javad Nurbakhsh (80)

“She (Elsie) was working on raising up consciously in the body of light. The etheric, catching and reconstructing that of us which has the potential for eternal life.”
—Jay Bremyer

Love is the force the alchemist recognizes in each element, each principal, in the refinement of the base matter into a purified state. The “secret fire” of love burns away the veil of separation, igniting relative existence in the single flame of the Absolute. With unconditional love, Elsie, the match-girl, strikes the match made in heaven.

In the conclusion to his masterwork The Holy Science, Sri Yukteswar quotes stanza 2 from the third canto of “The Lay of the Last Minstrel,” by Sir Walter Scott:

Love rides the court, the camp, the grove,
The men below and saints above;
For love is heaven, and heaven is love

He follows with: “It has been clearly demonstrated in the foregoing pages that ‘Love is God,’ not merely as the noblest sentiment of a poet, but as an aphorism of eternal truth. To whatever religions need a man may belong and whatever may be his position in society, if he properly cultivates this ruling principal naturally implanted in his heart, he is sure to be on the right path, to save himself from wandering in this creation of Darkness, Maya (‘illusion’).”(81)

“.. .For someone to love the Truth -in other words, God- that person has to love all human beings and serve them, regardless of their race, religion, or nationality.”
—Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh(82)

“The Supramental change is a thing decreed and inevitable in the evolution of the earth-consciousness; for its upward ascent is not ended and mind is not its last summit. But that the change may arrive, take form and endure, there is needed the call from below with a will to recognize and not deny the Light when it comes, and there is needed the sanction of the Supreme from above.”
—Sri Auribindo(83)

“The table of contents of the human soul may be found under the headline Love.”
—Paschal Beverly Randolphs(84)

“We’s loved you and still do.”

Jay Bremyer’s The Chymical Cook, (Barrytown/Station Hill, 1996) and The Dance of Created Lights (New Falcon, 1996) are available on line, from local bookstores, and from the publishers.


1. The Hermetic Brotherhood of Light, p 29.

2. The “Christian Retreat Center” directed by “Ray Michael Jarvis” in The Chymical Cook.

3. Referred to by Elsie, p 174, The Chymical Cook.

4. The Chymical Cook, p 35, P 87.

5. Mahdah “Hart” in The Chymical Cook. According to a source who wishes to remain anonymous, “Mahdah had several “LC’s” working for her.” A character named Dan Paladin responds “Which Elsie?” to a query about the Elsie Jay and Sara met, and later the same character states, “Will says there are several mediums in the area who are called Elsie.” The Chymical Cook. p 189. On p. 218, the character Larry is healed by another “Elsie.”

6. Called the “Hart Retreat” in The Chymical Cook, see p 23, et seq.

7. Manley P. Hall’s edition of The Most Holy Trinosophia of the Comte de St. Germain claims to be the only surviving document by St. Germain’s hand. It reveals a Masonic rite with definite similarities to the Egyptian Rite of Cagliostro with an emphasis on alchemy and the Kabbalah. For more on Cagliostro see below, “The HBL, The OTO, and High-Degree Masonry.” See also: ~ De St. Germain by Isabel Cooper-Oakley, pp 25-26.

8. This section is gathered from private correspondence and a summation of the book Secrets of the Soil, by Thompkins and Bird.

9. “Dr. Galen Honigberger” in The Chymical Cook, see p 214.

10. The brilliant Rudolph Steiner, (1861-1925), polyvalent theosopher and Nature-philosopher, proposed a philosophy akin to Sri Aurobindo’s acknowledging traditional spiritual history with a view toward its transmutation in a forward movement which balances humanity between the two cosmic poles of expansion/dilation of the being, aspiration toward the heights; and that of concentration/hardening and materialization. Reincarnation and karma function as means to liberation. This idea of the forward momentum of spiritual/material evolution is where and why Steiner broke with the Theosophical Society of Madame Blavatsky. He continued the German tradition articulated by Goethe, whose spiritual science Elsie claimed as part of her teaching. In The Chymical Cook, on p 211, Elsie tells Sara that she has been told that Jay is destined to “rewrite” Steiner.

11. On p 138 Elsie asks, “Do you hear the waterfall? ..” “Which one is it? John asks..” “All of them are ‘Tears of the Princess’ (Elsie says). This is the fourth, like our earth. Touch the heart here.” The waterfalls in the area are geographical chakras, power points related to centers in the physical body. At the end of The Cook, the magical initiates ritually bathe in Elsie’s waterfall, sensing the intimacy of her presence.

12. “Holding Sara’s hand, I sense we are moving between dimensions-that this retreat for spiritual contemplation is in fact a front for something much more mysterious and active.”—Jay, The Chymical Cook, p 217.

13. Not Roy Eugene Davis, who is still the director of CSA, and is by all accounts a kind, generous, loving adept of the Kriya Yoga tradition.

14. The Chymical Cook, p 207.

15. Ibid., p 55.

16. We must, of course, assume that the author Jay and editor Sara Bremyer are the “Jay” and “Sara” in The Chymical Cook. The author dedicates the book “to Sara, my muse, mate and partner…” and the subtitle of the work announces (italics mine) “A True Account of Mystical Initiation in the Georgia Woods.” On p 82, Elsie directly addresses Jay and Sara to discuss an esoteric aspect of the name “Bremyer.”

17. The Chymical Cook, p 38.

18. Ibid., pp 126-149, p174.

19. The letters are included in a critical edition of The Practice of the Presence of God published by ICS Publications, Washington, 1993.

20. The Chymical Cook, p 199, P 227.

21. Auroville survives to this day despite a history of disputes with the Aurobindo ashram at Pondicherry. The community there continues to grow, and produces “Auroville Today,” a newspaper available by subscription.

22. Muz Murray, Seeking the Master, p 309. See also: Satprem, 1968.

23. The Chymical Cook, p 37. See also: Satprem, The Mind of the Cells; and Sri Aurobindo, The Mother. For a discussion of the alchemical substrata of the material “stuff’ of the universe, see John Eberly, “On Salt and Stars” in Abiegnus ~ A Journal of the Western Esoteric Traditions, Spring 1998, Issue #1 p 5-1.6.

24. Muz Murray, Seeking the Master, p 304.

25. The Chymical Cook, p 201.

26. Karin, who was mentioned earlier as their guide, was sent to the area by an invisible Master (see p 21) to learn about the “higher order” and specifically The Sacred Lodge. See p 206.

27. Elsie also calls Sara a “match girl” and often comments on how they are alike. See The Chymical Cook, p 199.

28. Perhaps by “Pentagon” Elsie is referring to the five, i.e. the Penta, or Pentagram needed to form the magical group, or any working group in her Order. “We’re all in and out of the pentagon depending…” She says on p 100. This may be true, however, it seems that although Karin’s son John becomes part of the group consisting of Jay, Sara, Kathy, and Larry, this may have been done to always assure that there were always four present, and specifically 2 women, 2 men, since Larry is often off on his own. The possible importance of working with couples will be discussed later on in this article, see: “The Dance, Sex Magick, and the Androgynous God” section.

29. The Chymical Cook, p 100. On this same page, they all see a curious photo of Vern apparently lighting a cigarette with the end of his finger! On p 215, Jay thinks he sees Vern at a dinner party “like the picture, but older.” For more on Vern, see also p 201.

30. Elsie, The Chymical Cook. p 210.

31. The Chymical Cook, p 204.

32. Madame Blavatsky relied heavily on the research of Jennings, often quoting his work in her own.

33. Kore Kosmou 41-2, A.D Nock and A.J. Festugiere, Hermes Trismegiste, Paris, 1946-54, iv. 13. 14-18.

34. See: The footnote above on The Life of the Cells.

35.”Mirra Alfassa, who was not one to scatter praise indiscriminately, describes Theon as a man of enormous occult power, knowledge, and perception. He first told her, she says, of the God within and taught her how to open herself to that God. He taught her dream consciousness. ..he taught her practically how to ‘exteriorize’ herself and leave her body to explore successively the ‘vital,’ ‘mental,’ and progressively subtler States of being or consciousness in the search of knowledge and power, and to relate her experiences to others while in trance.” Godwin, Jocelyn, Christian Chanel, & John Deveney, The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor. p 19.

36. For an exhaustive treatment of the HBL including information on Theon, et al, see: Godwin, Chanel, & Deveney, The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor.

37. Blavatsky was an early initiate into the HBL who later broke with the group and criticized their practices of alchemical spiritualization/immortalization of the body through Randolphian (see below) sex magic methods.

38. There is some evidence that another family joined them later with the intention of beginning an HBL utopian community. Could Auroville be related to a Theon-inspired HBL-type “outpost” as well?

39. A letter exists from Burgoyne with the return address: “The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, Private Secretary’s Office, 416 Jefferson St., Topeka, Kansas.” This may indicate that for a time he established a residence in Topeka. See: Godwin, et al, The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, p 378.

40. The Light of Egypt would later be translated into many different languages, including French, by Rene Philipon, friend of Rene Guenon. Godwin, et al, on p 69 of The Hermetic Brotherhood Luxor, suggests that in his books Multiple States of Being, and Man and His Becoming According to the Vedanta, Guenon owes a literary debt to the writings of Thomas Burgoyne.

41. See: C.C. Zain, The Religion of the Stars, The Brotherhood of Light Lessons; available from The Church of Light, Los Angeles, California.

42. Various sources cite different initiators including “Narek EI Gebel,” “Pulali Beg” a Persian, “Isma’ili Nusairi” a personage which may suggest a connection with the heterodox Islamic Ismaili Sect: for more on Ismailis see Henri Corbin, Cyclical Time and Ismaili Gnosis, (1983). T. Allen Greenfield attempts to connect the “Ansaris” with Randolph’s “The Ansairetic Mystery” by explaining that the “Ansari Sect” are in fact “the people of the truth,” the ahl’e haqq. See: The Story of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light. p 33. Cyril Glasse, on p 26 of The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam states, “The Ahl-i Haqq are a minor, heretical, dualist cult found among some Persians, Kurds, and Turkmens of Iraq and Iran… They are closely related to the Yazidis of Iraq…” Robert North, translator of Randolph’s Sexual Magic identifies the same “Sufi” group with the Yezidis, see Sexual Magic. intro, p xxvi. On the same page, North cites a Rosy Cross Fraternity document (#463) which identifies “Narek EI Gebel” as Randolph’s initiator (in Syria) into the Ansairetic Brotherhood. See also: Alphonse Mingana, The Yezidis: The Devil Worshipers of the Middle East.

43. R. Swinburne Clymer claimed to have developed his “Rosicrucian” system directly from Randolph, although he never encountered Randolph alive. He established a utopian community in Pennsylvania, naming it “Beverly Hall” after Randolph, maintaining a printing and publishing business at Quakertown which has kept editions of Randolph’s work in print to this day. While setting up his lodge, Clymer wrote to Randolph’s widow Kate C. Randolph asking for the MASTERWORD with which one could presumably “throw open all lodge doors.” The widow Randolph advised Clymer to come up with his own passwords for his “reorganized” Rosicrucian lodge. See: T. Allen Greenfield, The Story of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light. pp 38-39. 44. Sexual Magic, intro, p xxvi. 45. The Chymical Cook, p 180.

46 Ibid., p 132.

47. Ibid., p 58.

48. See: Sexual Magic, intro, p xxvi.

49. Although the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn may have included sex magic instruction in their higher-grade rituals, this information has never been available to the uninitiated. Their reliance on Kabbalah suggests that they may have patterned such rituals after mystical Shekinah—related information found in the Zohar. A record survives of Golden Dawn members W.B. Yeats and Maude Gonne working a ritual climaxing with sex on the astral plane.

50. For more on Spare’s use of talismans and sex magic see John Eberly, “Sacred Breath, Sound, and Form In Alchemical Initiation” The Stone. Journal of the Philosophers of Nature, September–October 1997, Issue #22, pp 18–24.

51. The apparently celibate Blavatsky claimed that Randolph had broken his occult vows by advocating sex magic practices. A rumor circulated that they were engaged in magical warfare, and some blame (or accredit) Blavatsky for Randolph’s untimely end, otherwise ruled a suicide.

52. Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, p 102.

53. For more on the manifestos, and the Sufi lodge as model for Christian Rosenkruetz’s lodge, see John Eberly, “The’ Arabic’ Parts of the Original Rosicrucian Documents,” in Caduceus, The Hermetic Journal, Seattle, Summer 1996, Vol. 2, No.2, pp 16–32.

54. A.E. Waite, in his book Secret Traditions in Freemasonry, Vol. I, p 136 writes “The statutes and regulations of the Royal Lodge of Wisdom Triumphant, being the Mother Lodge of High Egyptian Masonry for East and West, specify three grades as comprised by the system. These were Egyptian Apprentice, Egyptian Companion or Craftsman, and Egyptian Master…It was only in the Grade of Master that the so-called magical aspects appeared,” It is noteworthy at this point to also mention that The Church of Light claims much of the same Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor legacy as Greenfield’s “Hermetic Brotherhood of Light.”

55. In his book Freemasonry and its Ancient Mystic Rites, C.W. Leadbeater, a member of the Theosophical Society and an associate of Blavatsky’s, writes concerning the Rites of Memphis and Mizraim: “These colossal systems of 96 degrees and 90 degrees respectively are a mass of artificially-manufactured ceremonies of but little value to a Masonic student… “(p 12) On the same page he states: “..the Rites of Memphis and Mizraim…are relics in their occult power, although not their form, of perhaps the very oldest Mysteries existing on earth.”

56. The traditional “Blue” lodge of Freemasonry recognizes only three degrees: Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason. The Scottish Rite goes up to 33rd degree, while the York Rite has 10 degrees.

57. Freemasonry “explains” its origins, and particularly the explanation of the lost Mason’s Word, through a story about Hiram Abif, the legendary Master Mason of antiquity. This archetypal story, and the geometrically described dimensions of Christian Rosenkreutz’s vault, have also led some to speculate upon the Masonic influence on the Rosicrucian legend.

58. The Chymical Cook, p 207.

59. Including Elsie’s invisible husband Vern, of course. ..on p 87 she says, “You’re five with me. With Larry we’re six. We’re seven with Karin. Always, at least one is invisible, usually two (this may refer to Mahdah Love’s deceased husband who Elsie channels)… We’ll be nine eventually. Jay and Sara will be four. I’m working on twelve.”

60. The Chymical Cook, p 199.

61. T. Allen. Greenfield, The Story of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light, p 7.

62. Jay Bremyer’s The Dance of Created Lights was published by New Falcon Pubs, an association with direct links to The Hermetic Brotherhood of the Golden Dawn which also published Aleister Crowley’s The Magical Revival in association with the Ordo Templi Orientis. Curiously, the cover design for The Dance and also the Magickal Childe publication of Paschal Beverly Randolph’s Sexual Magic’s cover design were done by the same mysterious “Studio 31.”

63. The Dance of Created Lights, p 9.

64. The author manages to throw the Yezidis (see note above in the “Peter Davidson and the Georgia Utopian Ideal” section referring to P .B. Randolph’s initiatory experiences) into the multi-cultural mix: at one point Kristein appears, “… her cape, folded in now, appeared as a peacock tail behind her. Spinning quickly back to al-Kiran, she whispered: ‘One of the birds of Isis,’ then turned to ben Hebaron saying: ‘Do you approve, Master?’ ‘Sign of Lucifer,’ he responded, nodding. ‘Of Iblis, in our tradition, Abu el-Ali added…” (The Dance of Created Lights, p 212) Iblis is Satan, the “Peacock Angel” too proud to bow before God in the religions of Abraham, revered in the Yezidi tradition.

65. This practice, referred to in the vernacular of the free-lovin’ 1960s as “69” corresponds to the pivotal year of the Bremyer’s initiation in the northern Georgia woods by Elsie, who compares Jay’s birth sign to alchemy on p 195 of The Chymical Cook: “Cancer from the sea crab, the home, yin/yang, female/male 69… see the code?”

66. The Dance of Created Lights, pp 185-186.

67. The Dance of Created Lights, p 229. During a sex magick ritual called The Paris Working, Aleister Crowley and his partner Victor Neuburg received a vision of their previous lives in ancient Crete: Crowley as a temple dancing girl and Neuburg as a young candidate for initiation. As a result of their failure to perform a ritual sex act, they were both sold into slavery. This “slavery” apparently involved a return to the physical plane to perform The Paris Working. Throughout The Chymical Cook, the characters are called to work in present time to affect future events and reconcile ancient ancestral conflicts as well.

68. The Dance of Created Lights, p 232. I know what you’re thinking, “this would make a great movie.” Perhaps the film version has already been made by underground filmmaker/Crowley devotee Kenneth Anger—if we consider three of his separate films as a trilogy: “Inauguration of The Pleasure Dome” described as “a convocation of gods and goddesses in a Dionysian revel. Kali blesses the children of light as Shiva invokes the godhead with the Crowleyan formula: Force and Fire.”(Mystic Fire video catalog description) “Invocation of My Demon Brother” (1969!) in which Anger appears as the magus who brings forth Lucifer at a midnight mass, soundtrack by Mick Jagger. “Lucifer Rising” (1970-80) Egyptian priests and priestesses perform strange rituals before the Sphinx to evoke Lucifer, bringer of light, replete with UFOs, starring a very stoned Marianne Faithful as Isis.

69. A Compendium of Swedenborg’s Theological Writings, edited by Samuel M. Warren, Swedenborg Foundation Inc., New York, 1974, p 448.

70. The Dance of the Created Lights, p 216.

71. The tradition of Alchemy is also traced to this “Thrice Great Hermes.” For more on the idea of the bisexuality/androgyny of God in an alchemical context, see “al-Kimia, The Sacred Art” chapter 9 of Al-Kimia—The Mystical Islamic Essence of the Sacred Art Of Alchemy, by John Eberly, which begins with a quote from the alchemist known as Philalethes: “This gold is our male, and it is sexually joined to a more crude white gold—the female seed: the two together being indissolubly united, constitute our fruitful Hermaphrodite.”

72. For more on the Platonic roots of this idea, see: The Collected Dialogues of Plato, edited by Edith Hamilton & Huntington Cairns, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1963, Symposium, 206e-207. See also: Commentary on Plato’s Symposium on Love, by Marcilio Ficino, translated by Sears Jayne, Spring Publications, Woodstock, 1985, Speech IV, chapters 3-6.

73. Randolph translated a version of Trismegistos’ Divine Pymander in 1871.

74. Julius Evola, who translated Randolph’s Sexual Magic into Italian sometime after the first World War, felt that Randolph’s method was not in conflict with Tantra, rather he felt that Randolph intended a separation of the “magical force” from the semen at the point of orgasm.

75. Paschal Beverly Randolph, Sexual Magic, p 14. 76. Ibid., p 49.

77. Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, In the Tavern of Ruin: Seven Essays on Sufism, pp 25-26. Dr. Nurbakhsh is the present Master of The Nimatullahi Order of Sufis, a Persian mystical organization with historical ties to the Ismailis, and the Ahl-e Haqq. Sometime prior to his becoming Master of the Order, Dr. Nurbakhsh was invited to attend the sarna session culminating the traditional three day fast of the Ahl-e Haqq. He is the only person outside of the Ahl-e Haqq that has ever been invited to witness this secret ceremony.

78. The Dance of the Created Lights, p 216.

79. The Practice of the Presence of God, p 90; Letter 12, p 75.

80. Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, In the Tavern of Ruin: Seven Essays on Sufism, KNP, London, 1978 pp 25-26.

81. Sri Jnanavatar Swami Yukteswar Giri, The Holy Science, p 76. Sri Yukteswar was directed to write The Holy Science by his paramguru maharaj, Babaji, a trans-dimensional immortal whose work/influence on humanity accelerates the process necessary for the evolution of spiritual earth-consciousness. Sri Yukteswar was the guru of Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, a widely read spiritual classic responsible for the dissemination of (Babaji’s) ideas around the globe.

82. As quoted on p 85 of Bestower of Light, by Jefferey Rothschild, KNP, London, 1999.

83. Sri Auribindo. The Mother, p 50. An earlier work of Jay Bremyer’s, a book entitled, Walled-In. Soul In Nature, a synthesis of Thoreau’s Walden and the Bhagavad Gita, obviously, by virtue of the title alone, dovetails nicely into the foundation of the Theon/HBL/Sri Aurobindo—The Mother/Elsie syncretistic-cosmic evolutionary “dance.”

84. After Death: The Disembodiment of Man. Randolph and Company, Boston, 1870.

85. The Chymical Cook, p 89.


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All material in this section copyright © John Eberly