The Elus Coën is the theurgical branch of the Order, working with the original magical rituals and initiations of Martinez de Pasqually.
The Elus Coën (sometimes misspelled ‘Elus Kohen’ or ‘Cohen’) is the theurgical branch of Ordre Reaux Croix, working with Martinez de Pasqually’s particular form of ceremonial magic, the world’s oldest systematic theurgical order.
Here the Initiate receives a thorough education in a form of theurgy unlike any other western tradition, while also studying esoteric classics such as the works of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa and Peter de Albano.
The Work is focused on in-depth studies of the Order-instructions of Pasqually and the mythological framework composing them.
Each grade represents one aspect of a divine reality, or Immensities, similar to the æons of valentinian Gnosticism. Through labouring oneself and one’s perception of existence utilizing magical means, the initiate progresses through a series of purifications to reach the centre of his own and the universe’s being.
When the work in one grade is complete, the process of the next begin. During the first grades, the martinist myth is studied, experienced and lived chronologically, from the emanation of man, his incarnation into the material world and eventual calamity of his bodily dissolution.
Afterwards begins the path back to the Divine Immensity, through purifications, evocations, invocations, exorcisms, consecrations and talismanic work. These tools serve to process those aspects of ourselves that words cannot express, and Pasqually stressed the importance of the magician works both in the waking world, by studying his thoughts and reactions, but also with a special form of dream-work, where the unconscious parts of us must be confronted, redeemed, and balanced as to our waking life and self.
In the theurgical work all phenomena are therefore perceived as aspects or emanations of the Eternal in direct relation to oneself. Man is an immortal being of Spirit, finding himself in an abode of mortality, both spiritually and materially.
Our material lives are obvious, but those parts of our inner life that manifest as angels or demons, are seen as dualities of the soul, having an unconscious influence on how we perceive ourselves. The tradition therefore utilizes magical tools in the work of exploring and understanding them.
The tradition of Pasqually was revived after the second world war, but since then it has existed a great confusion regarding the Elus Coën. Ranging from how the very name of the order was spelled to how its system of initiation was composed. Robert Ambelain was convinced that the order represented a priesthood of the old testament, the levittic Kohanim, that supervised the cult of the Temple in Jerusalem. He further filled the many holes in the tradition he sought to revive with either kabbalah, or foreign elements from Memphis-Misraïm.
The full title of Pasquallys order is ‘Ordens des Chevalier Macons Elus-Coën de L’Univers’. He chose the name Élus Coëns to mean the “Eternal Co-Eternal”, from the French ‘co-eternel’, pointing towards the ultimate purpose and goal for the Order. The name also has another implication, reserved for those who have attained the VII degree.
As with the oldest manifestation of the martinist tradition, the Ordre Reaux Croix work Pasqually’s original system of seven degrees, bearing little or no resemblance with Ambelains reconstruction from the 1940’s, and can in no way be considered an ‘Old Testament’ tradition. Throughout its initiations the seeker works within the mythology of both the old and new covenant, striving to attain henosis and the Uno Mystica.
The Elus Coën is, on the other hand, deeply rooted in a judeo-christian symbolism, but with what we today might call valentinian-gnostic traces, as we find them in Pasqually’s own texts, rituals and catechisms.
Elus Coën originally had 7 initiations, subdivided into 11 degrees. This has led to some misconceptions as to the structure of his system, such as that the first degrees were identical to traditional freemasonry, or that being a regular freemason was a requirement in order to be received in the order.
Though the degrees have an outer name that resembles, or is inspired by what today is known as the Traditional French Rite, this is not so at all. The ‘sub-degrees’ of the system are in other words not separate initiations, but symbolic stages of one and the same ceremony.
Here is a table of Pasqually’s Elus Coën, as it was worked then and now:
|1||Porch||I. Symbolic Apprentice
II. Symbolic Companion, Master of the Porch
III. Symbolic Master, First Degree of the Order
|2||Chapter||IV. Perfect Master Elu|
|3||Temple||V. Apprentice Coën
VI. Companion Coën
VII. Master Coën
|4||Tabernacle||VIII. Grand Master Coën|
|5||Grand Chapter||IX. Knight of the Orient|
|6||Porch of the Tribunal||X. Commander of the Orient|
|7||Tribunal||XI. Reaux Croix|
Those who seek to join the Elus Coëns of the Ordre Reaux Croix must already have attained the II°, or Initiate’s Degree of Voie Cardiaque.
Then begins an intense regime, working through the first Class of the Elus Coëns, the Porch, with a three-part initiation ending in becoming a Symbolic Master. After some months of concentrated work this process culminates in the Perfect Master Elu-grade, which is the first we list on our Candelabra (the Degree Structure of the Ordre Reaux Croix).
Membership in the Elus Coën is open to those of the Voie Cardiaque who have attained the second degree of Initiate, and who after a discussion with a senior member is deemed mentally and spiritually fit for this particular way of working.
The Elus Coën of the Ordre Reaux Croix is today operated in Norway, Sweden, Canada, USA, Spain, Argentina and Brazil.