George Fox, Forgotten Rosicrucian

During the English Civil War, the Holy Spirit moved upon the face of that island nation. She illuminated individuals such as John Pordage and Jane Lead with her divine wisdom. But there is one such seventeenth-century Christian mystic who is often overlooked.

George Fox was an itinerant preacher born in Leicestershire, England, who started the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). He was active during the same period as Jane Lead, and while Lead is lauded in our tradition, Fox never comes up much in conversations.

I want to change that.

During the war, Fox preached to the soldiers. But he endured a crisis of faith due to the bloodshed he witnessed. Then, in 1647, during the height of his despair, he heard an inner voice state:

“There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition.”

In 1648, Fox had a vision of ascending into heaven. There he encountered the state of Adam before the Fall. Fox stated in his own words: “through the flaming sword into the paradise of God … creation was opened to me.”[1] Fox came to believe that revelation, as an inward experience of Christ, was more important than scripture. However, he also believed that scripture could be used as an authoritative guideline to validate or invalidate the authenticity of such experiences.

He believed that the Second Coming of Christ was an inward unfoldment. Christ dwells within each person as an Inner Light that grants us guidance and illumination when we can tune into it. This Inner Light is the same as the Inner Word of the Rosicrucians. We can go deep down within ourselves to reach this Inner Light. We can then use it to regenerate and transform our lives. It is a valid  alchemical process.

George Fox

In 1652, Fox began to preach his new message. But unfortunately, his spiritual insights infuriated the people of his time. People often pummeled him with fists and stones. And the authorities had him arrested eight times. Yet his fervor never wavered.

Several of his earliest disciples were Behemists. In 1664, Francis Ellington proclaimed that Fox was the fulfillment of Boehme’s prophecies of a lilly blossoming in the northern countries. About Fox, he stated: “what the Lord spake through that Faithful Servant of his Jacob Behme, in the Year 1623, is now near to be fulfilled.”[2]

In 1677, the Flemish Rosicrucian Franciscus Mercurius van Helmont traveled to England and joined the Quakers.[3] He might have imparted alchemical and cabalistic ideas among some of them.

Numerous Quakers crossed the ocean to Pennsylvania, where there were interactions with groups, such as the Ephrata Cloister.

“None of them should profess any other thing then to cure the sick, and that gratis.”

The Quakers believe that as a community, its members can be healed via the collective effort of their egregore.

“None of the posterity should be constrained to wear one certain kind of habit, but therein to follow the custom of the country.”

The Quakers believe that members should wear plain dress (simple clothing) to remain humble and modest.

The earliest Quakers in the United States were opposed to slavery. As progressives and advocates for social justice, modern Quakers can be said to possess a certain utopian and pansophic aspect.

The writer’s personal opinion is that the Religious Society of Friends is compatible with our tradition. Most Rosicrucians would feel quite at home attending Quaker meetings.

A special thanks goes to those Friends who have been kind to me throughout the years.

Light Bless You,

Dana Wright


[1] Fox, George. 1952. The Journal of George Fox, ed. John L. Nickalls, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

[2] Ellington, F. Christian Information concerning these Last times. London, 1664.

[2] F.S. Darrow, Letters, Mss. Collection, Friends House Library, London, 28 March, 1928.

Rosicrucian Underworld

Back in September, we explored a cavern in Pennsylvania. Those who go spelunking can attest that caverns are strange.

According to cognitive scientist Philip Lieberman burial might be one of the earliest forms of religious practice.[1] Inhumation can be traced back to the Neanderthals of the Stone Age (circa 130,000 BCE). At some point, ancient peoples devised the concept of an afterlife associated with these burial processes. The Mesopotamians believed that once buried, people dwell in an underworld, where the dead “live in darkness, eat clay, and are clothed like birds with wings.” Sounds like fun!

In classical Judaism, death meant game over! Once a person died, the respiratory processes ceased. The person was then buried in the ground where their body decomposed. According to Eccles. 3:19–20: “man has no advantage over the beasts … all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.” Nonetheless, some of the Jewish people had a concept of an afterlife inherited via cultural diffusion. Jewish necromancers, such as the Witch of Endor, could summon the spirits of the dead.

Some Jews began to categorize the underworld of the Mesopotamians into sections, such as Gehenna where the wicked would be tortured with fire and smoke — a precursor to the hell of the Christians. But most people ended up in Sheol, “the land of gloom and deep darkness.”

While exploring the cavern, we got to see stalagmites that resembled chthonic creatures. Stalagmites are deposits of calcium carbonate formed from calcareous water. It is a sort of natural alchemy that can require thousands of years. These stalagmites resemble humanoid figures from a distance, and one in particular resembled a horned devil. I imagined ancient peoples with superstitious mindsets, under the influence of geothermal gases, transforming stalagmites into ghosts and devils to populate their underworld. It was pareidolia in all its glory!

120068163_661200557860321_2480434594875694936_nThe subterranean river that flowed through the cavern reminded me of Styx. The faint unidentified odors reminded me of brimstone. In Cabala, the underworld is associated with Tav, the path that connects Malkuth and Yesod. Suspended between the Earth and the Moon, the underworld is a sublunar realm where illusions and phantoms hold dominion.

It is Plato’s cave, where the shadows of ignorance hold sway.

It is at the threshold between Malkuth and Yesod that one first encounters an entity known as the ‘Dweller of the Threshold.’ This spectral entity resides between the physical and spiritual planes. It often takes the form of a phantom clad in a black hooded cloak.

The concept of the ‘Dweller of the Threshold’ had its beginning in the writings of Edward Bulwer-Lytton. In his book ‘Zanoni,’ this phantom is a liminal gatekeeper that seeks to prevent unprepared candidates from pursuing higher spiritual aspirations.

According to Blavatsky, these entities are the “maleficent astral doubles of defunct persons.”[2] She goes on to suggest that the ‘Dweller of the Threshold’ is the astral shell of a previous incarnation drawn to a new incarnation via magnetic attraction.[3] In other words, when you encounter this phantom, you are encountering the astral remnants of one of your past lives; in theory you might unmask it to reveal information and secrets about your past incarnations.

The ‘Dweller of the Threshold’ stands at the threshold of the astral plane where it seeks to frighten us from pursuing our Great Work. It embodies the angst that holds us back from spiritual attainment.

The ‘Dweller of the Threshold’ is also the guardian of the mysteries. It protects the Western tradition from being misused for evil. Through causing the unworthy to abandon their quest, it keeps the mysteries out of the hands of those who might have abused them.

“Fear is failure.” The neophyte must face his fears and leave them behind before he can proceed any further on his spiritual path. “Fear is death.” Fear can kill any spiritual quest dead in its tracks.

The way past the ‘Dweller of the Threshold’ involves allowing oneself to be guided by the light of their conscience. Additionally, the teachings of a mentor or lodge can act as an intermediary guiding principle that can assist people with navigating through their fears.

But let us not forget that the underworld is also a place of light. “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” The light dwells in the darkness. There was light to be found in the subterranean temples of Mithras. The tomb of CRC was illuminated with the light of the divine. “Visit the interior of the earth, and by rectifying what you find there, you will discover the hidden stone.” Once the light in the underworld is rectified the lapis philosophorum can be found.


[1] Philip Lieberman. (1991). Uniquely Human. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. p. 162. ISBN.

[2] Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 106.

[3] Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. XII (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1982), 636.