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The Landmarks of Martinism

The purpose of this article is to examine the Landmarks of Martinism, the particular elements of
Martinism on which all Martinists individually, and all Martinist Orders collectively, can agree.
Masonically, Landmarks are those things which define Masonry, and without which something is
not masonic. A landmark, then, is a characteristic which defines who we are, and which helps to
define the ways in which, although we speak a different language, or wear different garments,
yet we are members of the same family, as anyone can plainly see by our close family
resemblances. A great deal of ink has been spilt hitherto on those things which separate us. Yet
are we not children of one Father ? Are we not all Brothers and Sisters of one initiatic family ?
1) Belief in God, and invocation of Yeheshua. Martinism is an essentially Christian Order, and
Yeheshua is invoked at every Martinist meeting, and is named on every Martinist Document. A
belief in Deity is an essential feature of all initiatic bodies. Without it we have no raison d'tre,
and our oaths are meaningless. We are Christian, not in any narrow and dogmatic way, but as
being truly reverent of the mystery of the incarnation of the Logos into the physical world. In this
sense, the events of the Christian drama are ongoing, and it is this participation of the Divine in
existence which gives rise to all the miracles which occur in answer to our prayers and acts of
Theurgy. All Martinists are, or ought to be, comfortable with this Landmark.
2) The Initiation, passed from Louis-Claude de St Martin, which is called S I . Alternately,
we can consider that this Initiation comes from both Martinez de Pasqually and Louis-Claude de
St Martin. It is this bequest which makes us Martinists. We regard it as the transmission of a
spiritual essence which unites us as an initiatic family.
There may be different routes by which it reached us in the present, as the difference between the
Russian filiation, the filiation that came to Papus, ad the filiation which came to Chaboseau, but
it is a filiation that, in each and every case, ascends to St Martin. According to the theory of our
esteemed Brother, Robert AMADOU, it's then a matter of a filiation of desire, of a spiritual
filiation which was, bit by bit, formalized ritually, under the influence of diverse personalities.
3) The organization by Papus, of a structure consisting of two preparatory grades and one
degree, that of S I . All Martinist Orders work with the same structure, although there is some
variation in the names of the degrees. They most usually are: first, "Associate"; second,
"Initiate"; and third, "Superior Inconnu", or "Serviteur Inconnu".
4) Transmission of the Initiation from person to person, IN PERSON, by an authorized
Initiator, by whatever title. The Initiation is a gift given by the Initiator to his or her initiate, and
is a mark of the deepest rust and confidence between the two. It can never be transmitted through
the mail, or by telephone, or in any other way than in person, and in the presence of the
fundamental Martinist symbols.
The Initiator may be known by several different titles, Initiator, Initiateur Libre, Free Initiator,
Unknown Philosopher. In all cases these mean the same thing, once given the authority by
another Initiator to confer the Initiation.

To some degree, each Initiator is free and autonomous. It is ultimately left to the discretion of the
Initiator to confer initiation, and the desire and requirement to give intellectual and spiritual
charity to the Man of Desire must be balanced by an awareness of the responsibility involved. An
Initiator must never act to confer the initiation on the merely curious, upon those who seek the
Initiation to satisfy their own outer egos, or upon those who seek it for mercenary ends. And, this
being true of the Initiation, how much more true is it of the status of an Initiator ? In the hands of
these rests our Tradition. While each Initiator must make every effort to preserve that heritage
which is his, and to pass it on intact to posterity, yet must he also assure that that tradition is
never cheapened by bestowing it on those who have not been thoroughly prepared and educated,
and who are certain to maintain that tradition in purity, neither diluting it, nor cheapening it by
making of it a mere commodity.
5) The Masters of the Past. These are those who have created, contributed to, and shaped our
tradition, and who have passed the filiation to us. Some we all know.
Papus, Sdir, Phaneg, Matre Philippe. Others are only known to the members of one or the other
lines of filiation. And some have labored so completely behind the mask that they are only
known to the other Saints and great souls, and not at all to those who were around them. We
invoke their presence at every meeting, and seek their guidance and protection.
6) The essential freedom of the initiate to pursue his own path of re-integration. The
Martinist Order has had, since its earliest days, a syllabus of instruction and certain fundamental
symbols. Aside from these, each Initiator or Group President has been free to instruct according
to his understanding, and the understanding and interest of his group. Thus, Martinism is a
venue, rather than a rigid curriculum, and this is as it should be, for the path of re-integration is
personal. Thus, some will work within one Order, some within another, and some will work
alone as free Martinists. This is as it has always been.
7) Belief in the process of re-integration as necessary to emerge from the Forest of
Errors. The Martinist Order from its earliest antecedents in the Doctrine of Pasqually has always
held that Man is Fallen, lost in privation, and unaware of the privileges of his first estate. The
function of the schools of Don Martinez and of Louis-Claude de St Martin has always been to
remind Man of the glories of his supernal origins and indicate a path of return. Some will prefer
to follow an operative path, and some the Path of the Heart, but, whichever path may be elected,
the journey must be undertaken and completed.
8) The Use of the Symbolic Cloak, Mask, and Cordelier. It doesn't really mater if the cloak is
black, white or red; or the Cordelier for the S I is white, red, or gold; or has three knots, five, or
none at all. All Martinists make use of these three profound symbols, and the underlying
meaning of them is in all cases the same.
9) The use of three cloths, black, red, and white. As with the cloak, mask, and cordelier, these
are in universal use, and their symbolism is everywhere explained in much the same way.
10) The use of the Trigone of Luminaries. Atop a Martinist altar are three white tapers,
disposed in triangular form. In some lodges these are only used in two degrees, in others in all

three, but unlit in one. The symbolism, however, is ever the same, and can be agreed upon by all
11) The use of the Martinist Pantacle. In some Orders this is on the floor in the East, in others
above the Initiator's chair, in others in both places. It is on all Martinist documents, and
constitutes a universal Martinist symbol.
12) The station of the Masters of the Past. In every Martinist Temple, however named, is a
place, a chair or table or altar, with a candle, representing the Masters of the Past of our Order, of
our Initiatic family. It may be more decorated, but the candle is always present, and lit at all
ceremonies to represent our invocation of the Masters of the Past, to represent their presence in
our assemblies, and to represent our aspiration to join their number.
Marttnism traces its origins to Martinez de Pasqualley, who established a Temple containing five
(5) Degrees. Neither Pasqualley nor Saint Martin started organizations under the name Martinist.
The people that followed them were responsible for the name and for the evolution of the
Degrees that bring us to the present. It seems that very early in Martinism there was only one
Degree, that of the S.I.. When it was completed one became an Unknown Philosopher. Later, the
S.l. Degree was divided into three parts. In some systems they are known as S.I. I, S.I. II and S.I.
III. (The Unknown Philosophers), then, aie the "S.I. IV"or "Fourth Degree". Other systems give
names to the Degrees.
Traditional Masonic Martinist Order consists of simple adherents and of Initiates divided in
three grades, two probationary degrees and one grade. This grade, the S.I. or Unknown
Superior (also called Unknown Server) is only granted to members who show themselves
worthy by their behaviour in their daily life, as well as by their special knowledge (concerning
the doctrine and workings of the Passed Masters of Martinism - hermetic traditions) and in
general by their support for Martinist principles. Only the grade of S. I. can under certain
conditions grant the right and the power to initiate according to the Tradition.
When the Martinist Order was 'officially' established in 1891, the "Ordre des S.'.I.'." was
comprised of three Degrees. There's some confusion about the actual "1891- title" of the third
Degree concerned. In general, the sources will present the following names of the degrees;
* 2. INITI
A.E. Waite's "Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry" presents the following degrees, in English ;

The 'original' Martinist Order which Papus founded was organised as a masonic Lodge system,
which worked four degrees:
* 1. Associate
* 2. Mystic
* 3. Unknown Superior (S::I::/Suprieur Inconnu)
* 4. Unknown Superior Initiator (S::I::I::/Suprieur Inconnu Initiateur)(Lodge/Heptad
The explanation of the 4 Degrees:
The Associates: They are integrated into the Egregore of the Secret Chain
through seeing, listening and speaking.
The Mystic Initiates: Sustained and protected by the Egregore of the Secret
Chain, they travel the Initiatic Way for their personal Reintegration. They
The Superior Unknowns: As Guardians of the Martinist Tradition, they
deepen the Way (we give this word the same meaning as the sense of the
word, "Tao"). By their effective works, and their research, they prepare
themselves for the transmission of this traditional heritage.
The Free Initiators; Few in number, they are in charge of the seekers for initiation.
They transmit these initiations freely, and it is their sole responsibility to initiate those who are
duly prepared.
They make officers of the members in the Order, and they conduct the ritualistic works.
The "Free Initiator" is competent to initiate a 3rd degree Martinist (S.I.) into the 4th degree
(S.I.I ), but he is not competent to initiate a Martinist as a "Free Initiator S.I.IV". The Martinist
S.I.I has no competency to initiate another Martinist into this degree. The idea of "Free
Initiator" descends from the "Free Martinists", when the latter decided only to initiate Master
Masons into the Martinist Order. Many original Martinists left the order and "united' as the socalled 'Free French Martinists'.
The degree of S::I::IV descends from the "Ordre Martiniste et Synarchique" . The S::I::IV was
connected to the traditional degree of 'Initiatur Libre'.
A Martinist who has the degree of 'Initiatur Libre', I::L::, is officially authorized to found a
Martinist organization. The Martinist I::L:: is authorized to transfer "all" of the Martinist
Degrees, including the degree of 'Unknown Philosopher' - ' Philosophe Inconnu'. The I::L:: is
even authorized to transfer these degrees outside of a lodge, without the ritual of Initiation. Most
of the Martinist Orders abolished the degree of I::L:: , 'Initiatur Libre', for obvious reasons. The
"Ordre Martiniste et Synarchique" is an exception, the 'Initiatur Libre' forms part of their
'system of degrees'.

The I::L:: as well as the S::I::IV are transferred 'Ad Vitam' ( for life ).
Later branches of the Martinist Order worked a fifth degree, I::L:: (Free Initiator/Initiateur
Libre), which conferred on the candidate the power to initiate others into all four degrees in
person, not requiring Lodge or Heptad group forms, and to establish a new and independent
Martinist Order, as well as to act as the legate or representative or Grand Master of that new
* 1. Associate
* 2. Mystic
* 3. Unknown Superior (S::I::/Suprieur Inconnu)
* 4. Unknown Superior Initiator (S::I::I::/Suprieur Inconnu 5. Initiateur)(Lodge/Heptad
* 5. Free Initiator (I::L::/Initiateur Libre/S.I.IV) (Grand Officer/Grand Initiator).
But Saint-Martin only 'spoke' about one initiation, the 'Suprieur Inconnu'.The first two degrees
are a 'preparation' for the third Degree, the S.I. Degree. According to Papus (Grand Hierophant
of Memphis Misraim), "there is only one Degree, that of S.I."
The aim of the Martinist was (and is) to awaken the Conscience and finally achieving interior

The Martinist Orders

In 1893 the Martinist Order had obtained the original archives of Willermoz' C.B.C.S. and the
archives of the "Elus Cohen" of Lyon. Later on Papus alsoincorporated the Rite of MemphisMizraim into his organization-system. The whole 'Rite' was connected with the L'Eglise
Gnostique Universelle, the Gnostic Church which acted as the "official"church of the "Ordre
Martiniste", thus creating a Martinist Order which had High Degrees of an Occult character,
which were connected with practical Kabbalah and Esoteric Masonry. When Papus died in
1916, the unity of the order died with him.
The Order went dormant and was revived by Philippe Encausse, his son in 1958. In 1960, taking
the succession of Henri-Charles Dupont, Philippe Encausse became Grand Master and revived
the Order. His occupied this office from 1960 and resigned in 1971, Irne Sguret succeeded
him in 1971 and stayed in office till 1974, Philippe Encausse took the function again in 1975,
finally resigning in 1979. Emilio Lorenzo leads the Order since 1979.
In 1918, the Martinist Order had signed an alliance with the Universal Gnostic Church, making

that body the official Church of that Order. Philippe Encausse, having been ordained to the
Priesthood of the Gnostic Church, signed in 1968, a Protocol confirming the alliance of 1918,
and making the theology defined by the Gnostic Church, the official teaching of his Martinist
Order and the services of that church were to become the official sacramental support for its
members. Many Martinists objected to this limitation of their religious freedom. A number of
them, mostly outside France, simply resigned, others joined two newly created Orders:
L'Ordre Martiniste Belge, presided by the Belgian astrologer Gustave-Lambert Brahy, and
L'Ordre Martiniste des Pays-Bas, presided by Maurice H. Warnon, both former members
of Supreme Council of the Ordre Martiniste. The foundation of both orders was achieved at the
request of Philippe Encausse, to offer an alternative to the objecting members of his order.
The Federation of the Martinist Orders founded in 1958 with Philippe Encausse as its only
president; it disappeared when he died. Its purpose was to unite all the Martinist Orders. It was
recognized by the Ordre Martiniste of Papus, the Ordre Martiniste-Martinziste of Lyons, the
Martinist Order of the "Elus Cohen", and the Ordre Martiniste et Synarchique. It is as president
of this Federation that Philippe Encausse suggested the creation of the Martinist Order of the
Netherlands, in 1975.
L'Ordre Martiniste-Martinziste of Lyons was founded by Charles Detr in 1916. The
successive Grand Masters of this Order were: Charles Detr "Teder" (1916-1918), Jean Bricaud
(1918-1934), and Constantin Chevillon (1934-1944). It was finally closed by its last Grand
Master Henri-Charles Dupont on 14 December 1958 by a merger with the Federation of the
Martinist Orders of Philippe Encausse, and the Martinist Order of the "Elus Cohen" of Robert
L'Ordre Martiniste et Synarchique is a British branch of the Martinist tree. Little is known
about its history, and the members of that Order are very discrete. Several groups of this Order
were installed in Canada.
L'Ordre Martiniste des Elus-Cohen de l'Univers founded by Don Martinez de Pasqually in
1768. It was merged with Freemasonry by his disciple and successor Jean-Baptiste Willermoz.
It was revived after World War II by Robert Ambelain, and definitively closed by him in a
declaration printed in the Martinist magazine L'Initiation, in 1964.
L'Ordre Martiniste Traditionnel was created by Augustin Chaboseau, in parallel with the
"L'Ordre Martiniste-Martinziste" of Lyons to succeed to Papus.
Augustin Chaboseau was a member of the original Supreme Council of 1888, and was in reality
the occult director of the first Martinist Order. Objecting to the religious orientation of Charles
Detr, and the Universal Gnostic Church, he continued to transmit the Western tradition through
this organization. Directly or indirectly, he initiated Martinists who would continue the fight for
religious freedom: Jules Boucher, Gustave Lambert Brahy, Maurice Warnon.

L'Ordre Martiniste Traditionnel of the AMORC. Reserved to the members of the Ancient and
Mystic Order of the Rose and the Cross (A.M.O.R.C.) created by Spencer Lewis. This Order was
validly established by Ralph Maxwell Lewis, son of Spencer, initiated by Augustin Chaboseau
and appointed as Sovereign General Delegate for California and the United States of America.
Ralph Lewis separated the American Delegation from the parent Order on 14 August 1951 to
created a new Order using the same name as Chaboseaus, and claiming to be his rightful
successor. This is the only Martinist Order refusing to admit Martinists from other Martinist
brotherhoods as visitors.
L'Ordre Martiniste Initiatique was created by Jules Boucher also as a reaction to the growing
influence of the Universal Gnostic Church. His intention was toreconnect Martinism with
Freemasonry. The French freemasons, being in great majority hostile to Christianity, didn't
support his efforts and this order disappeared quietly with the death of its founder.
L'Ordre Martiniste Belge, created at the request of Philippe Encausse in 1968. The members of
the Supreme Council were Gustave-Lambert Brahy, Pierre-Marie Hermant, Stphane Beuze,
Maurice Warnon, who resigned in 1975 to work in the "Ordre Martiniste des Pays-Bas". All four
were former members of theSupreme Council of the Franch "Ordre Martiniste.
This branch of Martinism practically disappeared with the demise of Gustave Brahy in 1991.
There is only one group remaining, under the guidance of Brother Loruite.
L'Ordre Martiniste des Pays-Bas, also created at the request of Philippe Encausse in 1975, to
allow members of the Martinist Order to keep the freedom to worship in the churches of their
choice. The members of the Supreme Council were: Maurice Warnon, Augustus Goetmakers,
Bep Goetmakers, Femke Iken, Annie Iken, Joan Warnon-Poortman. This Order is currently
active in the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, France, England. Gerrnany, Greece, Sweden, the
Czeck Republic and the United States of America.