Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition
No. 8, Vol. 1, Vernal Equinox 2005


by Frater L.

We commonly speak of Hermetics without perhaps giving much thought to the linearity of the term, from the Alexandrian Gnostic explosion to the familiar world of the Golden Dawn and similar Orders. Although little effort is needed to recall the immediate predecessors of these last, the different Rosicrucian or Masonic Orders of the 18th century, it is the gap corresponding to the Middle Ages, Higher and Lower, and the great Age of the Renaissance, which may cause us to ponder. Unfamilar names, the use of Latin, Arabic even, a confusion of allegory and symbolism leading us to ever-widening circles of allusion and poetry, all these combine to render the Way of Hermetics particularly obscure during these periods.

Our ambition this issue of the JWMT is to throw some light on this period of "Classical Hermetism" by picking out some sharp focus, as an Ariadne's Thread, in the hopes that more students will follow the lead given by such scholars as Rafael Preake. Indeed our regular contributor Vincent Bridges is currently engaged on a wide-reaching study of the Renaissance topics of which we hope to give some echo in forthcoming issues.