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            ONE of the best illustrations of the kind of study involved in our subject, and at the same time one of circumstantial prophetic anticipations, is one in our account of which we shall follow, principally, the recent famous French “occultist,” the late Abbé Constant, who wrote under the name of Eliphas Levi. (1)


            Trithemius, who lived in the 16th century, was abbot of a Benedictine monastery, a wise theologian, of irreproachable life, master of the famous “magician,” Cornelius Agrippa, and accounted one of the greatest occultists of the Christian period. Among other works, he left a treatise entitled Concerning the Seven Secondaries, or Spiritual Intelligences, Who, After God, Actuate the Universe. This, says “Eliphas Levi,” is a key to all the prophecies, ancient and modern, and a method surpassing in mathematical precision that of Isaiah and Jeremiah in the

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prevision of the great events to come. In it the author sketches the broad outlines of philosophy and history, and distributes the world’s whole course among the Seven Genii or Archangels of the Kabbala – the Elohim of the Hebrews. It is the largest and fullest interpretation ever made of the meaning of the Seven Angels of the Apocalypse, who appear in their turn with trumpets and vials to accomplish the Divine Word, and disclose its manifestations to the world.


            The reign of each angel is 354 1/3 years, the first being that of Orifiel, the angel of the planet Saturn; the second, of Anael, the angel of Venus; the third, of Zacchariel, the angel of Jupiter; the fourth, of Raphael (or Hermes), the angel of Mercury; the fifth, of Samael, the angel of Mars; the sixth, of Gabriel, the angel of the Moon; and the seventh, of Michael, the angel of the Sun. The whole cycle occupies 2480 1/3 years, and when finished is repeated in the same order, each period being distinguished by characteristics identical with those of the corresponding period in previous cycles. Thus, the era of Orifiel, or Saturn is, in the first instance, marked by savagery and darkness; that of Anael, or Venus, by love, shown in the institution of social ties, and in the rise of poetry and religion; that of Zacchariel, or Jupiter, by the separation

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of town and country, the foundation of civilisation and empires; that of Raphael or Mercury, by science and the arts; that of Samael, or Mars, by corruption, degradation, and conflict; that of Gabriel, or the Moon, by a restoration from the devastation of the previous period; and that of Michael, the angel of the Sun, by the universalisation, unification, and consolidation of authority, civil and religious.


            Pursuing his researches through the ages, Trithemius was brought by rigid calculations to the month of November, 1879, as the epoch of the reign of Michael, and the foundation of a new universal kingdom. This kingdom, he foresaw, would be prepared by three and a half centuries of anguishes, and three and a half centuries of hopes, the former period having, as we may consider, its realisation in the dark ages of ignorance and superstition, and the latter in the subsequent period of intellectual awakening and inquiry. “We see then,” says Eliphas Levi, writing in 1855, “that in twenty-four years, or 1879, there will be founded an universal empire, which will give peace to the world. This empire will be at once political and religious, and will give solution to all the problems which agitate our days, and will last 354 1/3 years. This universal empire, being under the reign of the sun, will belong to those who hold the

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keys of the East. And as these will belong to the nation which at that time takes the lead in intelligence and energy, such nation will have to undergo a crucifixion and martyrdom analogous to those of the Man-God. But whether dead or alive as a nation, its spirit will triumph, and all the peoples of the earth will follow its standard and recognise its supremacy.” (1)


            This nation the Abbé characteristically takes to be his own. And it is France which, according to his rendering of the prophecy, was destined to be in 1879 the possessor of the “Keys of the East;” that is, in his idea, the political master of India. It is likely enough, through the correspondence which subsists between the various planes of existence, that such a position should belong to the people in whom this prophecy – if fulfilled – will be realised, and that they will be politically the “Kings of the East.” But, like its cognate phrase “Kings of the East,” that of “Keys of the East” has an origin and signification which are profoundly mystical, and of which the Abbé, either ignorantly or designedly, has failed to take account. For the “East” referred to in it, is not the East in a sense physical all; but is, as has been said, the interior and spiritual region of man’s own system, the source and centre of his real life and light, his

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celestial or Divine part, the kingdom of heaven which is within. It is the development in man of the consciousness of this region within himself that is the supreme object of “magical” culture. And they who possess this consciousness, and know by actual experience the mysteries of this kingdom of the within, and they alone, are by virtue of such possession, the holders of the “Keys of the East,” and entitled to be called “Kings of the East.” As already intimated in our introductory section, it is our own country which is now the possessor of these “Keys,” in this sense no less than in the other. This is a distinction, it may well be believed, which has been accorded to her in virtue of those characteristics – spiritual more than intellectual – which, widely differentiating her from her neighbour, have made her, in spite of manifold defects and shortcomings, the best existing exemplar among the nations of the dual spirit of humanity, and the faithful, albeit little intelligent, guardian of the Letter embodying the Christian mysteries. By her persistent cultivation of a conscience of right and wrong, of true and false, and by her endeavours, according to her light, everywhere to redress injustice and diffuse truth, and by her attachment to and preservation of the Bible, – England has shown herself to be the spiritual Israel of the Christian dispensation, the foremost representative among nations of the Soul of the

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Planet. Combining, as her popular synonym with curious felicity implies, the tenderness of heart represented by the term John, – symbol for all time and in all lands expressly denotive of the woman-and-love-element in humanity with the courage, force, and ponderousness of the bull, and hence comprising in herself the two opposite modes of the universal duality: – it can be no other than England who is destined to be the mother of that universal Empire which so long ago was announced to have its commencement at this period. An Empire will it be that is spiritual, however, rather than political, vast as will be the latter; and of which the citizens shall be the new humanity of the future, to be born, as forecast in The Perfect Way, of the union already begun between Buddha and Christ.


            Nor are there wanting to fit England for such a part the “crucifixion and martyrdom” anticipated for the people called to so exalted a destiny. For all who have the “ears to hear and eyes to see” beyond the surface, material and political, of things, recent years have shown her the exhibitor and the prey of a spirit which is at once that of a Caiaphas, a Judas, and a Pilate, under the influence of which she has suffered a martyrdom and crucifixion without parallel in her history, inasmuch as the fault itself has been moral, and the issue has been not merely physical suffering,

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social distress, or material impoverishment, but moral debasement. These years have seen her, as never before, preferring temporary and shifting expedients to eternal and indefeasible principles of right; swayed by persons and words rather than by any sense of sympathy or justice; yielding to the noisy and importunate a heed denied to the patient and deserving; subordinating the welfare of country to the exigencies of party; disregarding pledges given or expectations encouraged; retreating, coward-like, from positions advisedly taken up, and in the hour of danger treacherously abandoning those who relied on her; repudiating her true principle expressed in her proper motto, –


                        “Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos,” – (1)


by her arrogance to the weak, and subservience to the strong; and sowing and fostering sedition by stimulating among the members of her empire the growth of wills independent of and divergent from the central will of the whole, to the imminent risk of dissolution. [For, as with the body physical, so with the body politic; and as with the individual, so with the collective. “The secret of death is one. The body dies when the central will of the system

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no longer binds in obedience the elements of its substance.”] (1)


            Nor is it upon individuals that England can cast the blame or the responsibility, much as individuals may have been implicated. For, that through which she has sunk and suffered has been her own besetting sin, for which individuals have afforded but the means of expression, and without which they would have been powerless for evil. They are but the agents, she is the principal. The betraying Judas, through whom the candidate for initiation into the highest and crowning mysteries fails and falls, does but represent the candidate’s own weakness; and only when this is cast out can full regeneration be attained. The crucifixion and burial of her lower self duly accomplished, England – if indeed she be possessed of the Divine life – will, as the Messiah of nations, made perfect through suffering, which is felt experience, rise to a higher level of thought and action, and, so doing, will constitute, on a scale and in a degree never before presented, the manifestation to the world of the national possibilities of a redeemed humanity. (2)




(17:1) Haute Magic, vol. II, p. 237, &c. Also The World’s Catastrophe, by W. Lilly, astrologer, 1647.

(20:1) See Appendix, Note 2.

(23:1) Anna Kingsford Site editor’s note: A translation would be: “To spare the subjected and bring down the proud.”

(24:1) See the Hermetic definition “Concerning the Nature of Sin.” The Perfect Way, Appendix IV.

(24:2) See The Perfect Way, Appendix V, for the Hermetic definition “Concerning the Redemption, and the Share of Christ Jesus Therein.”



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