The Initiation of Christian Rosenkreutz and the Counter-Initiation of Dracula

Here I would like to take my cue from the recent film Dracula Untold, which tells the genesis of the legendary figure of Dracula, to tell what hidden background there are in this story, and what initiatory symbols are hidden there. Certainly the observer who has knowledge of the spiritual science, will have some suggestions that I will try to explain here.

Since the present Epoch of the Conscious Soul, which began in 1430 (and ended around 3500), the way of feeling has separated from that of thinking, religion and science have been progressively divorced. The beginning of the same era marked the progressive decrease of the possibility of being initiated through the way of esoteric Christianity, a way almost impossible to practice today, and which required mystical asceticism outside the world.

But in order for the conscious soul to flourish towards the light of the astral body transformed by the I, the Spiritual Self, in the future sixth post-Atlantic epoch, it was necessary to create a way that would lead religion and science back to the original unity, now fully conscious. This is the Rosicrucian way, prepared by the individuality incarnated as Christian Rosenkreutz. The Rosicrucian Way stands as the highest way of white magic, later flourished in all Western esoteric schools, up to the New Mysteries founded within the Anthroposophical Society by Rudolf Steiner.

But just as there is a way of white magic, so there is a dark, black magic counterbalance. So there is a counter-initiation mirroring the Rosicrucian one and yet it has undoubted parallels: the inverse mirror of Christian Rosenkreutz's personality is that of Vlad Tepes, known as Dracula. Every scientist of the spirit can see the spiritual realities behind the alchemical allegory of the Chemical Wedding, but at the same time he must see his counter-image in the history of the undead par excellence, Nosferatu, the vampire.

The origins of Dracula

Bram Stoker in 1882

In fact the author of Dracula, Bram Stoker (1847-1912), in his short stories and novels shows a great knowledge of the occult. As proof of this, we know that Stoker was a member of the Ordo Templi Orientis and had close contacts with at least two members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn: J. W. Brodie-Innis and the most famous designer of the Rider-Waite Tarot, the artist and occultist Pamela Coleman Smith.

Dracula's novel is a compendium of the spiritual war between the forces of Christ and those of the obstacle. Stoker became acquainted with the legend of the Romanian prince "Vlad Tepes Dracul" through Professor Armin Vambery, a Hungarian explorer with extensive knowledge of the Dervish mystical way. Stoker was so fascinated by the story of the Nosferatu that he collected the Slavic legends about vampires over seven years. Putting them together with his knowledge of the occult, he found Dracula and his counterpart, Van Helsing.

The historical figure of Vlad Tepes

Vlad Tepes

The historical figure of Vlad Tepes is controversial. His father, Vlad II, was a member of the Order of the Dragon, a military order founded in the early 15th century to fight the Hussite heresy, doctrinally close to the Waldensians (and of which the Rosicrucian philosopher Comenius was part in the 17th century). From the name of this order derives the patronymic "Dracula". In Romania he is venerated as a hero protector of national blood, nevertheless his nickname "The Impaler" (tepes) was given to him by the habit of impaling defeated enemies at the border of his kingdom to frighten the invaders. Already during his life, throughout Europe, word spread of how he impaled his prisoners, impaling them to death. His cruel nature was at the origin of several legends, which Stoker used to create the figure of the vampire Dracula.

This aura of ferocity extended even after his death: among his descendants there is also Elizabeth Bathory, also known as Countess Dracula, a Hungarian serial killer dedicated to black magic, also accused of being a vampire already alive and who spent more than a hundred lives to satisfy her "thirst". Legend has it that she used to bathe in the blood of the virgins she sacrificed to rejuvenate.

Initiation and Counter-Initiation

Christian Rosenkreutz

In order to avoid misunderstandings, I will immediately clarify that what we want to highlight in this article is not a historical comparison but a symbolic-esoteric one: it is the symbolic inversions that place the Chemical Marriage and Dracula's Legend at the two poles of the same Western esoteric tradition, the Roses+Crosses. Therefore, just like Cristiano Rosacroce we read the alchemical allegory in the Chemical Wedding and not in his historical journey to the East; in the same way we read its symbolic inversion not so much in the historical character of Vlad Tepes, but in the legendary one of Dracula by Stoker. It is also interesting to note that the Rosicrucian current passes from the East to the West through the southern Mediterranean (Arab countries and Morocco), while Dracula's current passes from the North.

The initiation of Christian Rosenkreutz (1378-1484) consists in a resurrection that crosses the astral world and ascends to the higher worlds. The higher nature of Christian Rosenkreutz's initiation is indicated by the initiatory name itself, Christian Rosicrucian (abbreviated as C.R.C.), from which the Rosicrucian initiatory school will take its name. The public appearance of the Rosicrucian Way dates back to the three original posters published in the 17th century: Fama Fraternitatis (1614), Confessio Fraternitatis (1615) and finally in The Chemical Marriage of Cristiano Rosacroce (1616).

Mystical death

Dracula rests during the day in a coffin, as Christian Rosenkreutz observes during his initiation into the Chemical Wedding:

Now, after the Old King sat in his chair, his head was immediately cut off, and wrapped in a piece of black cloth; but the blood was placed in a large golden chalice, and placed with him in his coffin, which was covered. So it happened to the others, and I thought I would die in the end too, but I was wrong.

Mystical death is a fundamental step of initiation. In the ancient mysteries, before the Mystery of Golgotha, the master placed the disciple in a deep sleep, so deep that he was similar to death, so many that not only the ego and the astral but even the etheric body emerged from the physical body. Through that detachment induced by the master, the etheric body of the disciple relived the great events of the history of cosmic evolution, so that after a period of three and a half days, it emerged from the coffin and returned to the waking consciousness, but as initiated.

On a higher level, Jesus Christ truly lay dead for three and a half days in the tomb, during which time he visited the Underworld, as we shall see later. The Word made flesh was to live on the stage of the world's history all that was previously held in the ancient mysteries as an initiation ritual. Everything that was a foreshadowing of the incarnation of the Spirit of the Sun within the Earth must now truly take place. From this divine paradigm comes the Rosicrucian initiation in which the mystical death of the Old King precedes the actual mystical wedding.

C.R.C. upon his physical death, will be placed in a tomb that will be found 120 years after his death in 1604. The discovery is recounted in the first manifesto, the Fama Fraternitatis (1614). Dracula will be awakened from his own coffin. In the coffin is also placed the Masonic Companion who is initiated to the rank of Master, the third and last of the Blue Freemasonry in which the experience of Hiram's death is relived.

Table of the Master Mason: in the ritual of the Master Mason Hiram dies and rises again within the Master Mason himself who is called to complete the work of Master Hiram within the lodge.

Legend has it that the coffin of C.R.C. was made of a very pure material, such as crystal, diamond or salt. These materials all indicate the making of the Philosopher's Stone from which the Elixir of Lungavita is extracted. Crystal is in fact a transparent mineral, which appears just as it is, a characteristic of the body transformed by the light of the inner Christ. More precisely, crystal is a diamond, a pure carbon element in crystalline form: human flesh itself is formed by carbon compounds. All organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon. The transformation of carbon into diamond is a prefiguration, within the mineral realm, of the metamorphosis of the human physical body into Man-Spirit through the action of the I. This is the first and last Philosopher's Stone, the completion of the Great Work of Cosmic Evolution.

C.R.C.'s coffin is the same one where Snow White is placed in her initiatory sleep. Snow White is in fact a fairy tale steeped in gnawing esotericism. Snow White (the human soul, the Moon), falls victim to the Luciferic spell, eats the apple (the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil) and loses her spiritual powers. When Snow White is placed in the crystal coffin she is alive in the material world, she is incarnated, but she is dead to the spiritual world. The seven dwarfs who watch over her are the metals or chakras, the influence of the Seven Planets on Earth, which from the Earth's crust where they fell (the physical body) wait to be redeemed by the soul that has found the spirit, that is, the Prince (the Sun), the only one who is able to awaken (initially) Snow White. Snow White falls in love at first sight (spiritual) with the Prince and marries him, thus regaining the lost state of grace (the kingdom): the human soul awakens now consciously understanding the spiritual world. Thus the (chemical) marriage between the human soul and the human spirit takes place.

In the same context is also mentioned the beheading of the Old King, a necessary step for the production of the Mysterium Coninunctionis of alchemy. It can be said instead that Dracula is an "Old King", the "King of Vampires", who does everything as long as his head is not cut off, so that he remains on Earth by virtue only of the forces of his head, of his brain that works only through the reflected thought of lunar nature and not through the thinking of the solar heart.

The "beheading of the King" is part of the sevenfold alchemical process of the "Martyrdom of Metals" in which metals are the inferior nature of planetary archetypes that must be dismembered (analyzed) in order to extract the archetypal essence.