Voie Cardiaque – The Way of the Heart – is the mystical and meditative branch of the Order, for those who seek an inner way to enlightenment.
Voie Cardiaque – The Way of the Heart
Although Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin never founded any initiatory order or society himself, the Voie Cardiaque can be said to be a continuation of his poetic, intuitive but sharp approach to the Great Work.
This branch works with a traditional reinterpretation of Papus’ three initiations that draws its content from the works of Saint-Martin, Elus Coëns, C.·.B.·.C.·.S.·. and the Russian martinism of Nikolay Novikov.
Here the seeker is introduced to the symbolic language of martinism, tradition and history, and works on exploring and unfolding him or herself through meditation, studies, tutoring and a special but very simple form of theurgy.
One is assigned an individual mentor, or tutor in the tradition, that will follow you until you become a Master yourself.
To learn more about Saint-Martin, Papus and the history of the Martinist Tradition, see this page.
Initiation, Degrees and Work
Voie Cardiaque emphasises dialogue and gnosis as its method. In its first degree, that of Associate, monthly meetings are held, where the initiations are studied and elaborated, in addition to degree-groups for studies with others of your degree.
Since the tradition is a non-dogmatic tradition of gnosis, that do not profess any exclusive religious confession, there are no other requirements to applicants, other than that they have a personal experience or belief in a higher being, and desire a union with this, their origin.
The work of the Voie Cardiaque consists of studies of its texts and teachings, accompanied by a series of exercises and techniques related to the secret symbols of the tradition. These seek to reawaken the abilities and powers that lie dormant in man, and arm the seeker to penetrate those layers of himself that obstructs the perception of reality face to face: the gnosis of what one is.
In the second degree, that of Initiate, the tradition is further elaborated and deepened, and one begins a work of inner alchemy, and a more intensified form of unification mysticism. At this stage, called the crossroads of the Order and the tradition, one can apply to work the two other branches, either as a supplement to the mystical approach, or because one seeks another more specific method in the great work.
This work is consummated in the third degree, called Superieur Inconnu, where the full teachings and the One Mystery of the tradition is unveiled.
From this point on begins a new, independent work, where one shall become a Master of the tradition, and manifest oneself and ones gnosis in life.
To learn more about how the degrees of the Ordre Reaux Croix is composed you can read this page.
Beyond the Three Degrees: Society of Unknown Philsophers
After the completion of the classical three degrees of Voie Cardiaque, one can be invited to unfold this new work together with other Adepts, in what is called the Circle of Unknown Philosophers. In the Ordre Reaux Croix, this is a genuine successor to Nikolay Novikov’s variant of the Gold- und Rosenkreuz, working with classical Rosicrucian disciplines such as inner alchemy, Hermeticism and Kabbalah.
Of the original 9 degrees of the Gold- und Rosenkreuz Novikov operated, only four were initiations proper. Others, like the Theoricus-degree, was an inserted instruction-degree from 1767, created out of the need to instruct members in the theoretical application of laboratory equipment. Study-degrees such as this are therefore conferred as parts of the initiations they were intended to embellish.
In addition to this, the Order works a particular initiatory degree inherited from Ivan Lopukhin. This degree, Knight of Light, does not belong to any specific branch, but is loosely attached to Voie Cardiaque. It is conferred and studied at special conventions of the Order.
How to become a Martinist
To apply for initiation into the Ordre Reaux Croix, one must either contact a member of the Voie Cardiaque one knows, or write to a Temple of the Order closest to where you live.
The O.·.R.·.C.·. does not offer any form of correspondence-membership, as the temple work is a central part of our system of self-development and the tradition itself.
It is still possible to found Circles, if more than one person apply for membership at a location where the order is not already present. It is then desirable that three or more begin the work together.
If you are interested in becoming a martinist, and joining the Ordre Reaux Croix, please continue reading on the Membership page.
Third Degree Ring and Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin’s ‘Des Erreurs et la Verite’
Archive of the Ordre Reaux Croix