we've been discussing the Hiéron du Val d'Or over on the threads; "questions" & "Jacob's ladder", if you are interested in joining us.
I saw it. Seemed a situation that required a breakout thread. There is a lot going on in that thread to follow as it is (blasons and doctored photos and veiled Moses, oh my!), and this maybe deserves its own.
I have always thought the Hieron was interesting. First read about it in HBHG, where none other than Jean-Luc Chaumeil told the BLL trio its goal was to create a Catholic theocracy over Europe with the Hapsburgs as their rulers (forget the page #). Of course, it doesn't seem to have really been a large political movement, per se, mostly more of a esoteric Catholic study center. They were "traditionalist" but only in the Guenonian sense. While Paray-le-Monial was the center of the Sacred Heart cult, and certain parties are quite correct that the Sacred Heart movement was theo-political (they wanted France and other countries ruled by a Catholic monarch who would de-separate church and state), the Hieron seems to have interpreted the Sacred Heart itself in more esoteric, non-traditional terms, going back to pre-Christian symbolism.
It seems Paul Le Cour, who turns up in the "peedox," founder of Atlantis
(the review/esoteric society), was connected to it. I think it's one of the interesting paradoxes that the guy who came up with the term "Age of Aquarius" (cue music from the great 60s musical Hair
) is accused by some of being a fascist or anti-Semite. (We know Le Cour was one of the first people to argue back in the 30s, not the 60s, that the precession of the equinoxes from Pisces into Aquarius was going to cause collective social transformations.) You'll forgive me if of late I'm thinking about another theory for the octopus symbolism associated with him.
So too was Emile Hoffet, said by the "peedox" to be involved in "parchment" translation (whether true or not) -- he did write for Regnabit
, the associated journal.http://www.cesnur.org/testi/bryn/br_plz.htm
A key figure of 20th century esotericism, René Guénon (1886-1951) intensely contributed to the Catholic review Regnabit, namely from 1925 to 1927 when he had already published, or was going to publish, some of his most important books and before his leaving for Egypt, journey that occurred in 1930 and that was never to take him back to his homeland.
This contribution, not yet fully explored, represents a unicum unlikely to be disregarded. Founded in 1921 by Father Félix Anizan (1878-1944), the review Regnabit carried also the studies of Louis Charbonneau-Lassay (1871-1946), the renowned Christian symbolist, whose huge work firstly appeared on the pages of this publication and then was to see the light in his book Le Bestiaire du Christ, and who granted the prosecution of Regnabit becoming the editor of Le Rayonnement Intellectuel, from 1929 to 1939.
Louis Charbonneau-Lassay’s intellectual maturity coincided with his personal ability -- which was also artistic, as he used to add to his works several wood-engraved images, a feature that was to make him particularly famous -- to cope with the immense heritage of Christian symbolism. In fact, at the beginning of the 1920s, Christian symbolism revival was essentially related to the currents rediscovering the spirituality of the Sacred Heart, subject-matter -- especially after the publication of the encyclical Haurietis Aquas by Pius XII, on 15th May 1956, -- of sharp interpretations about the relationship between theology and symbolism .
One of the "key" places of this story is the Sanctuary of Paray-le-Monial, which recalls the apparitions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to Saint Marguerite-Marie Alacoque, in the 17th century. In 1873, the Jesuit Victor Drevon (1820-1880) -- who was to became vice-postulator of the beatification cause of the Jesuit Claude de La Colombière -- established a research center called Hiéron du Val d’Or at Paray-le-Monial, together with the baron Alexis de Sarachaga (1840-1918)
. Sarachaga was a Spanish nobleman linked to the Russian Imperial Court on his mother’s side and related to Saint Therese of Avila on his father’s side, and interested in Christian esotericism as well as in the ideas of Christ’s social regality and of the reparative Communion (he was encouraged in the spreading of these ideas by Pius IX himself). In 1877, the Hiéron, an eucharistic museum organized according to an accurate symbolic plane, became a society with four explicit purposes (the demonstration of the origins of Christianity from the mythical Atlantis; the reconstitution of a universal sacred tradition; the preparation for the year 2000 of a politic and social reign of Christ the King and the teaching of the sacred name of Aor-Agni -- Light-Fire -- as the key to the whole knowledge) and a secret one (the fight against anti Christian Freemasonry through the creation of a "Christian Freemasonry of the Great West"). As we can see from this few accounts, the Hiéron’s doctrine dealt with very singular subjects and believes. When Sarachaga died, Mr. Georges Gabriel and Mrs. Marthe de Noaillat stayed at Paray. They reorganized the Hiéron under a more clearly orthodox perspective, fighting for the institution of the feast of Christ the King (that they obtained from pope Pius XI with the encyclical Quas Primas, in 1925). For a long time, Mr. and Mrs. Noaillat’s collaborator, Jeanne Lépine, had been in correspondence with Paul Le Cour (1861-1954), who, in 1927, founded the association Atlantis and tried to pick up some of the topics which interested most Sarachaga (Le Cour inherited Sarachaga’s gold ring and his followers considered this fact as a sort of succession)
. After the death of Mr. and Mrs. Noaillat and of their collaborator Jeanne Lépine -- died with Marthe de Noaillat on 5th February 1926 --, the reality of the Hiéron du Val d’Or came to an end, still remaining an inspiration for further activities .
Among those who regularly went to the research center at Paray-le-Monial, there was Father Félix Anizan, Oblate of the Virgin Mary, who since 1909 had already centered his apostolate on the devotion and the doctrine of the Sacred Heart. He decided to found a scientific review which would have dealt with this subject from different points of view: dogmatic, moral, ascetic, mystic, liturgical, artistic and historical. In this way, on June 1921, the first number of Regnabit. Revue universelle du Sacré-Cœur ("universal review of the Sacred Heart") was issued. It was supported by a committee whose chairman was the cardinal Louis-Ernest Dubois (1865-1929), archbishop of Paris, and by other fifteen prelates from all continents, and on 10th March 1924 obtained a special apostolic benediction sent from the Pope by the State Secretary cardinal Pietro Gasparri (1852-1934). Among its first contributors there were the Jesuit Augustin Hamon, the Benedictine Demaret from the abbey of Solesmes, the Oblate of the Virgin Mary Emile Hoffet (1873-1946)
, Léon Cristiani (1879-1971) and the secretary of the research center of Paray-le-Monial, Gabriel de Noaillat.
But let’s keep to the point and to Regnabit; so, how can we explain Guénon’s presence and contribution?
To try to answer this question would mean to make a long discussion about the great debate inside the Catholic world which took place in the period straddling the 19th and the 20th centuries. In this debate converged different schools of thought -- rationalism, devotion, symbolism investigation -- that seemed to move according to centrifugal forces and without the awareness of the need to restore a balance between all tensions. In this context, we can state that the successful school was the rationalist one; while the sentimental-devotional school was left to its own devices and the symbolist one was consolidated by the rise of the esoterist current, historically an offshoot -- and nevertheless strenuous enemy -- of the spiritist-occultist school of post-revolutionary and Romantic France. Surely, there were some religious, cultural and political attempts at resistance, especially on the ground of Christian symbolism. In this context some famous figures are the cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pitra (1812-1889) , the bishop Jean Sébastien Adolphe Devoucoux (1804-1870) , the canon Charles-Auguste Auber (1804-1892) . The experience of Regnabit, along with the significant precedent of the Hiéron du Val d’Or and the corollary of Le Rayonnement Intellectuel, seemed to be a conscious counterattack attempt, where gathered important figures interested in issues that surpassed them. This is the case of father Félix Anizan, of Louis Charbonneau-Lassay and of René Guénon: the first one, starting from a devotional culture based on the creed of the Sacred Heart, seemed to realize that the use of the symbols showed a whole world beyond the sentimental one; the second one, guided by his own erudition matured with the study of the "philology of the symbols", knew that all these signs constituted a language and "directed" a whole discourse based on that language; finally, the third one, agreeing with the "relative" views of Anizan and Charbonneau-Lassay alike, proposed a reading key to symbolism, from the perspective, as we recalled before, "of showing its perfect harmony with other doctrines of the universal tradition
I have always felt the "T" in Traditional in the acronym CIRCUIT meant "Guenonian" - not Orthodox Catholicism.