Franz BARDON – Wilhelm QUINTSCHER – Emil STEJNAR
The Achive of Hermetic Texts (Archiv Hermetischer Texte – www.archivhermetischertexte.at) has received thousands of hits since it has appeared on the internet.The largest part of the search key words have related to Bardon, Quintscher and Stejnar. The “Gnostic-Hermetic” has therewith overtaken John Dee, Aleister Crowley, and the Freemasons. Also in the esoteric world obviously progress will not be slowed down.
An interview from the esoteric-academic magazine Gnostika, January 1999
(Translatet by Eva and Bill Cranstoun)
IN CONVERSATION WITH EMIL STEJNAR
Mr Stejnar, For several years you have appeared frequently in the public media and have received great recognition as an Astrologer. Your Book of Guardian Angels * and the Books of the Master that have since appeared have justified your reputation as a competent magician. You have founded a tradition through the “Gnostic Hermetic” that should lead esotericism into the third millennium. In contrast to our usual course of action I will ask what is normally the last question. Which three books could you
recommend to our readers to give them access to your own writings, especially your “Books of the Master” series?
I have always admired your interview partners because they always had an answer to this question ready. I can’t decide. For every level of understanding and development there is a book that can serve for a time as a helpful guide that enlightens the seeker. There is Gustav Meyrink whose works are tremendously informative, and are much more than occult novels, one should always read them again, and also his other stories, especially “The Transformation of the Blood” where he describes his personal path and all of his errors. There is Rudolf Steiner. I read him with rage in the belly, and in principle while on the toilet, so that I can’t run away. In spite of this I hold him as one of the most meaningful esotericists. There is Thomas Ring the most outstanding psychologist or our century. The first three volumes of his “Astrological Antropology”* offers the best introduction in the Hermetic Anatomy. Then there are the works of the Christian mystics, the Bhavagad Gita, the Sermon on the Mount, the….
In spite of this may ask you for three titles?
OK good. But I must disappoint you, the old tattered volumes of Gnosis and Hermetics are actually not especially suitable to reveal the Gnostic-Hermetic way. The old masters and adepts use a vocabulary that we don”t understand or that is wrongly translated these days. Mainly, they hand down theories of knowledge and less practical advice for practice..
Therefore for the beginning (but not only for beginners, but also for the advanced a worthwhile advice that can be used to give lifelong direction) a practical guide for living, The Nonsense of Life and Death, and the Ending of Nonsense.” A collection of essays in German under different names available in English publications by Prentice Mulford. With this book everyone can convince themselves quickly and easily that it is possible to purposefully influence their lives through their thoughts and feelings. For the next steps: Initiation into Hermetics by Franz Bardon. It is the best book for learning Hermetics. With this most worthwhile occult book that has ever been written, one learns how to purposefully and intentionally change, his spirit and his soul, also the carriers of consciousness of his true I Being, and therefore change himself, and at the same time unfold magical faculties. And lastly for the Grand Master, Das Kronenzeitung-Kochbuch (The Crown Newspaper, Cookbook) Publishers Dichland und Falk Wien. As well as fantastic recipes for Austrian cuisine there is also revealed the alchemical secret for the preparation of authentic Viennese Cream Pastry.
How did you get interested in Esotericism?
More interesting is the question how I sometimes diverted from it, but please. It happened shortly before my fifteenth birthday. I was deathly ill, the doctor had given up on me, but somehow my body lived through it and I remember myself exactly at the turning point. It was an initiation experience. Someone had shoved my bed onto the terrace of the hospital, the mild winter sunlight was sparkling off the snow in the high pine trees, and I was observing that like a newborn baby. The fever dreams had gone away and I was in a clear wakeful state. And suddenly I discovered myself. In the same way as I had observed the sky and the pine trees, I observed myself and I became conscious that I myself, itself is observing observation. It was however not an out of body experience. I was to myself, my Self in a way conscious how I first many years later as an adult was allowed again to experience. The most impressive part that struck me was not this recognition, but the accompanying prevailing inner quiet, absolute trust, deep feeling of happiness that I will never again forget. The green snake had bitten me. With this experience, that it is possible to observe oneself in the act of observing, comes up the ultimate question of all questions, namely, “Who am I?” For a few years I was satisfied with the answer from priests, I believed in the the soul, and became a devout, cheerful child. But in the apartment house where we lived there lived a women who knew a lot of exciting ghost stories that she told, had books about wizards, nixies and fairies that would lend to me. She also understood the use of pendulums, reading cards and astrology. I was fascinated and soon new questions emerged for me. I began to read, and besides Karl May and Tom Sawyer swallowed up everything that came into my
hands about magic and mysticism. When I turned nine my parents got me a subscription to the magazine “Man and Destiny,” that was the “Esotera” of the forties and fifties of the twentieth century. For my twelfth birthday I wished for a copy of the “Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians.” that naturally I did not understand, and began with occult exercises. For hours I would stare at a black dot on white paper to develop the “magical” gaze, and did my first experiments with hypnosis on my deeply impressed friends. So, then I started to really think seriously about what I was doing. The doubts came, and the philosophers and vain period of aesthetic arrogance. After that there followed the usual painful phase of puberty’s emptiness, and for the recovery the unavoidable Buddhism. Then Paul Brunton , Duval, Spiessberger, and naturally the old mystics and masters, and finally Franz Bardon. In between I had finished my apprenticeship as a gold and silver smith, at eighteen I traveled to Sweden and then moved back there to become an adept. There I stood again in front of the mother
of all questions”Who am I – what am I?”
Were you able to find a satisfying answer?
Sadly not. But I did find a pile of rubble and debris, and also essential and necessary for life stuff that I am not, although apparently it supports my consciousness. I recommend therefor to everyone who seeks self knowledge, he should first find out what he is not, and thereby try to understand what supports his consciousness, and to come to terms with the world before he renounces it and hopes to find his true self in “higher worlds.” And if he still asks about the meaning of life I recommend to him that he should first give his life meaning. Because then he will notice that something crystallizes out of himself namely the foundation of his true I am, true self. Only then can he set about studying this
expanded form of consciousness and the making of his world.
Do you have an answer to the question about the meaning of life?
So, personally my most favorite way I come to terms with this last question is with a crispy roasted duck a crafted beer, and in addition perhaps Mozart, and a delicious pretty dessert. As a rule that answers that, all by itself. But whoever wants to collect other experiences in life may do so. Experiences that one can not otherwise have on any other plane in regard to oneself and existence. And the very eager may alongside of this, work to make the world and themselves better through spirit
and soul fitness training.
Which of your books would you recommend to start with for a student of Hermetics that hasn’t read
any of your volumes from the Books of the Master series ?
Naturally the one that he reads fastest. But then he should forget everything he has read and see the troubles of every day life as inner schooling and to go at the daily odds and ends as conscious as a yoga exercise. That is much more clever than to meditate for hours or studying hundreds of books. He should also give of himself as he is and what corresponds to his nature, and for no price in the world should he do anything or say anything that he can’t represent. If he also as often as possible calls into consciousness the idea that he is a spirit stuck inside a body and that he is acting as a super sensible being, he will little by little awaken, his compassion with deepen, his Will will strengthen, and if he is
lucky and comes to his senses, he won’t want to become an initiate anymore.
How does one then, recognize an initiate?
Sorry to say that in this life I have not met an initiate, and also I myself am not an Enlightener. I still have a digestion, many more questions than answers, and as already mentioned, sometimes a rage in my belly. I believe in spite of this that one can tell the difference between a Hermetic that is on the way to adepthood and those sly foxes , or muddle-heads that pass themselves off as initiates. May I in addition add to that a quote out of my “Books of the Master”. The true Mastery doesn’t show itself in miraculous acts or spectacular mystical experiences, but in the inner attitude and posture with which one masters life, and therefore how one deals with his problems, worries and with his fellow humans. Modesty, simplicity of needs make our being content and harmonious with things as they actually are. Wishes disappear that were formerly important. Calmness in meeting misfortune and patience
providing distance in threatening circumstances. The need grows to pull oneself back, while recognition by others always appears unimportant. Absolute honesty, trustworthiness, tolerance and compassion full of understanding in meeting others distinguish the character. To make sacrifices for others is seen as an enrichment. Renunciation doesn’t demand a special energy expenditure any more. Expectations are realized themselves apparently without special action. One knows one’s weaknesses and uses his strengths and demonstrates equanimity in happiness and sadness.” A master of hermetics doesn’t seek anymore for dusty manuscripts, venerable orders, secret formulas, rituals or unknown instructions, he doesn’t look for his master in a “guru” but finds him in the sacred fraction of a second long eternity, , with which, working out of himself in the course of his spiritual
development, he identifies. One may not expect too much, and certainly not anything out of the ordinary from the hermetic path. If the normal life becomes bearable one is then on the right path. The signs and wonders happen first when they are not expected anymore.
You have as the founder of “Gnostischen Hermetik” so named by you a new model of thought that is in part very new for not only esotericsim but also for psychology.
• For you the soul is not a nebulous ghost of light, but a subtle organism whose organs, limbs and elemental being esences” stand in analogy to the astrological planetary principles,and fulfill specific anatomical and physiological functions.
• In the spirit you don’t see a higher and lower I or self, but only a single true “I Self” but that is not complete or divine, but depending upon experience, identifies with various of its own “elemental being essences.”
• This “I Self”doesn’t land in a beyond after death, but wakes up first in its own personal soul garden, a kind of soul bubble, where all of the thoughts and feelings that one had appear as spirit beings coming to meet us and they form the surrounding environment. At the same time you show these spirits as elementals and elementaries and see in them personal soul essences of the subtle body that are to be governed and cultivated. Only when it is possible to control them could one also control his subtle body, limbs and organs, that are built out of these personal soul essences, and willingly use them with purpose and place oneself in the actual beyond with its beings and spirits.
• In addition you make a connection of the primal qualities of the four elements to the consciousness cells, the personal characteristics and after that endeavor to make a practical initiation system towards self completion and perfection.
But you have also proposed really heretical theories. You see for example humanity as milk cows for the gods. That will not be very encouraging for many esoteric students, even if you show some ways out.
And now my question for you is where have you gotten all of this? Out of which secret archives or spiritual springs have you created your knowledge?
The academic footnotes are missing from my books, but not everything is new. Without scraping away at the tradition I have only freed Gnosis and Hermetics from the patina of time.(About this, recently someone who is not an occultist has lamented.)…..? But I give thanks for my knowledge neither to mediumistic gifts nor were they otherwise channeled from somewhere. I have also not copied from old masters, but have tried to think through farther where others have stopped. It is clear that in the process of writing there is always the collective, already given knowledge that is reworked, and through thinking it through again nothing new is discovered. Itself, that which is apparently and really new is created or given out of the respective plane or prominent Intelligence. That is why I meet all inspirations with great caution. “Verbal and acoustic communications from other planes must if one is to trust them, should and may be treated as if one were speaking to oneself.” as Gustav Meyrink has already established. That goes for all inspirations and I have
therefore tried to very critically test everything that I publish. Gnostic Hermetics doesn’t see itself as science, but the continuation of the tradition, and as points to think on, to give axioms or dogmas, and avoids all forms of belief that are not logically comprehensible. Gullibility is in our current enlightened time a widespread fog, exactly like in the dark middle ages. Not only in the the esoteric scene, where a heap of errors, the half of which (the anointed which Gustav Meyrink calls them) something is preached of which they have no idea, and the other half (the suckers)reverently eavesdropping and believing what they don’t understand. Even more embarrassing is that this state of mind fogs up the mental capacity of exactly as many so called scientists. Upright academics naively buy into the greataest idiocy from their gurus, or other rogues, occult publishers and pharmacy firms. That is questionable for example if degreed doctors believe that instead of through experience and intuition,they can track down illnesses and indicate suitable homeopathic remedies using bio-resonance equipment, misused lie detection machines and whatever other hocus pocus. The natural scientist would be well advised, if they are made insecure through questions of belief, to not let go of the fundamentals of scientific procedure, exactly as the esotericist should stick to his magic and mysticism and instead of shrinking back, embarrassed, trying to explain everything scientifically.
But to the point, that is exactly the chasm between esotericism and science that we at Gnostika are
trying to bridge. Do you mean that this is bad or pointless?
But no, just the opposite. Magic and science don’t contradict each other. Its only that the intolerant , the uninformed, the one sided fanatics, contradict one another, or while they don’t understand the material and let deformities arise. Gnostika will depending on the contributor, again and again lose unreasonable readers from both sides, but I believe it is important in spite of this, to help open minded people to open up to, for them, a strange picture of the world. That will already be hard enough. Before that the esotericists must define the concepts with which they operate more exactly, for example what is described by the word spirit and by soul – there is no common vocabulary making fruitful conversation possible between the esotericists of different traditions – and the scientists must on the one side impartially and wakefully listen and on the other side show in a way that they can understand
that the knowledge of natural science is often much more exciting and fantastic as the reports out of the world of Gnomes and Demons, and can be immensely fruitful for the esoteric world view. Under the hermetic law “as above, so below” natural science offers above all the only reliable method in the material plane to draw reliable conclusions from “higher” planes.
Where do you see the possibility of the first link in the bridge?
Between psychology on the one side and astrology on the other it is already completed. A good serious astrologer today knows in addition the fundamentals of psychological knowledge and on the other hand more and more psychologists use the many possibilities that astrology offers to them. Astrology conveys an accessible model of the soul, that leads to an understanding of the individual invisible soul structure of every single human being. Above and beyond that, it makes it possible to recognize ahead of time when a certain soul organ will be functioning better or for the worse. This “soul weather report” is similar to an economic forecast for the economy, for the conscious planning of the life path and is immensely helpful and places every therapist in the position of being able to recognize, without time consuming tests and doubtful methods, the personal weak points of the sanity
of his patients and also the causes of his momentary disturbances. I have in the twenty five years of activity as an astrological adviser tested thousands of horoscopes for their accuracy, and haveknown really no one who has who as soon as they studied the fundamentals of astrology and made it their own, and practically applied it, that still had doubts about it. On the other side, it doesn’t surprise me at all that many otherwise intelligent and open minded people don’t investigate it because they are repulsed by the nonsense and popular marketing. So long as serious astrologers write newspaper horoscopes and lay people who, having no idea about astrology write about “Moon Astrology”, and so long as every charlatan may call themselves an astrologer things will not change. Astrology is not a science, at most it could be classified as a science of clarifying appearances, but it
brings forth evidence in such a way that the facts cannot be denied that next to the laws of the material world a more subtle mechanism is influencing life and consciousness.
You qualify as a successor of Franz Bardon’s. Do you hold him to be an Initiate?
Yes, definitely. Whatever one imagines an initiate to be, Bardon’s faculties are uncontested, he had demonstrated them often enough, and there have been different people that have confirmed to me many anecdotes. That is also the reason why he had to experience such a dramatic destiny. Every initiate, who supports the accuracy of his teaching with miracles, proving the power of the spirit over the material world, proves thereby also, the existence of another world besides the material, and violates the law of creation that divides, for very good reason the various planes. He abandons himself to just compensation from the “Lord of this World” of whom it is known that very much depends on humanity believing that this world is the only principle of existence. The power of energies belonging to entities who oversee the laws of nature of the material world, is limited to this world and has no effect in the subtle worlds. In the personal soul garden and beyond, the so called “beyond” on the levels of the hierarchies one may not plunge gravitation into the abyss, but at most one’s
There are also stories that Bardon had incarnated into the twelve year old Frantischek Bardon and had
therefore taken his karma on himself.
Mrs Votava had spread that around because she wanted to place her guru equally with Jesus. Bardon himself had never said that. His widow had written to me though, that Bardon’s mother had said to her that he had been born a still born, and the midwife……..had brought him first to life only after two hours. The whole karma theory would contradict itself if such an exchange market for bad karma would come into fashion. Their karma must be carried through by everyone themselves so that the reigning and chiming “cells of being” can also really be mastered and built into their light bodies.
It is said that Bardon had been a student of Wilhelm Quintscher and had rewritten material from his
works without citing him. Somewhere else it can be read that he was a student of Karl Weinfurter. Do
you know something closer to the truth?
Bardon’s father was a student of Weinfurter. Mrs Pravica had told to me one time, how Mrs Votava was very close to Weinfurter. But as Bardon took up closer contact to them both he was already further than Weinfurter, and had no more to learn from him. The same is true for his relationship with Quintscher. Quintscher Jr confirmed to me that Bardon -he was about eighteen at the time as he was introduced to Quintscher’s father already had developed magical faculties. His father had told him as well that he and Bardon were good friends for hundreds of years and they would always incarnate together and help each other with their life tasks. Quintscher was the older of the two and had up to this point in time already put together his magical teachings in letters, and certainly if someone compares the writing of Quintscher’s with Bardon’s works there would be no doubt that Bardon had use some of Quintscher’s expressions, but that he created a more comprehensive and more understandable system of teaching. Bardon’s Hermetics differentiates itself in many respects
fundamentally from Quintscher’s Adonism. It is to be assumed that they also worked together in Quintscher’s research temple. It is not known to me yet from whom the sigils of the genii came that Bardon later published. From the exchange of letters between Quintscher and the circle member Josef Schuster, whose name in the Order was Silias, it came out that this very gifted student held direct instructions from the “invisible” and Quintscher undertook commenting on and evaluating his material. Compare also the magical diary of Silias Archive of Hermetic Texts (Archiv Hermetischer Texte) in which he describes his own practice of evocation and gives personal explanations. Probably it was Silias who carried out the Magical Exercises from Abramelin and passed on the received sigils of the genii of the earth zone to the brothers of the lodge. An initiate must newly acquire his knowledge for himself in every life, and naturally Bardon had read very much. Mrs Bardon wrote to me in regard to this, that he had 960 books and borrowed many works that she had typed out for him. One time she was at work -she would read out loud as she typed-suddenly a red rooster appeared, and thereafter she never spoke out formulas again. Bardon earned his way through naturopathic studies through giving presentations as a Fakir. Quintscher Jr. explained to me, he was at the time twelve, that one time Bardon demonstrated his true magical faculties after his presentation to guests that came more often to the theater than others. There is sorry to say, so much written about Bardon that is not true. For example he did not write the novel “Frabato” but Mrs. Votava who also typed the books that Bardon himself had written or dictated into a recording device. Mrs. Pavica had mentioned many times that he did not like the manuscript and that it would, unlike the other volumes be first published after his death. He had certaintly not read the edited version since he had been arrested a week before it was brought to him. But even the manuscript was changed once from the then publisher Bauer Verlag’s Mr. Geisler, and later by Dieter Rüggeberg whereby still other things were added to the appendix that did not come from Bardon. There are for example the pictures of the adepts that in truth came from a book from 1930, “Book of the Buddha of the West” ( Buch vom Buddha des Westens) a copy of which Bardon possessed. That he had himself taken these pictures was only the opinion of Mrs Pravica. Naturally, Bardon was not an
incarnation of Lao Tse or that of Hermes Trismegistos. Lao Tse taught a system that touches on a whole other tradition, and Hermes if he lived at all, was surely already in that time in the range of being an“adept”, where in contrast, supposedly Bardon was taken into the innermost circle of the enlightened first in this century.
You have in Bardon’s “Key to the True Quabalah” as well as in “The Practice of Magical Evocation”
proven the existence of grave errors. In your opinion how could this happen with such an “adept?”Was
it possibly his intention that the names of the genii should be kept locked up?
Definitely not. Then he had written down all of the names of the genii in a coded language and not only the those from the Sun and Moon spheres. He had never written down the names of the dangerous genii and negative beings. But an adept is not a superman that only walks on rays of light, but is, like a fully normal human, marooned in the earthly laws and everyday problems and maliciousness exactly like everyone else. A famous conductor is not always conducting an orchestra, but must in addition deal with other things that he has not mastered so well. Mistakes can happen even to great spirits. This is the opinion of Mrs Pravica also, she was the one who brought the manuscripts to the West. Even though she was not aware of the mistakes she thought it was quite possible that certain papers had gotten mixed up as Mrs Votava typed the final manuscript from the shorthand copies she had made from Bardon’s dictations and taped audio recordings.” It is known that Bardon had never written things down himself. But when he travelled to Prague once a month for a week where he treated hundreds of patients during the day, then at night, in the company of his friends, he dictated his books. In addition he checked the genii in their qualities and the areas of their assignments that he describes in the second book. Mrs Pravica who stayed with her friend Mrs Votava when she visited Prague had often experienced the evocations together: “Bardon sat at the kitchen table drew the sigil of the being in the air. Suddenly the room was filled with a noise as if a flock of birds were flying through. At the same time he became blank and staring and his eyes would turn up. After he was awake again he would dictate” That proved that if he took the names and seals of the genii out of the written tradition that he didn’t simply copy them, but that he had really mastered what he describes. I
have perceived, by the way, the phenomenon of this sound often in the contact with other subtle levels and also in the minute that my father died I sat there by his bed and clearly heard this sound. At the time after this visit with Mrs Pravica in Graz, in a hotel with a friend who accompanied me, we talked over what we had spoken about, and a very inexplicable thing happened. Mrs Pravica had mentioned that Bardon had said many times that he wrote his books six hundred years too early. Mrs Pravica told also of instances where Bardon appeared to her in his lifetime. Since he died he has not made himself known except he showed himself once to his daughter to prove to her that he survived death. He appeared to his wife only one time, at the same time as she read a letter from me. I said to my friend that “Probably that he doesn’t have any interest in this earthly life anymore, and is indifferent to
whether if the names of the genii would be passed on correctly or incorrectly. Otherwise he could surely give us a sign.” At that moment all of the lights in the hotel apartment where we stayed in, which we had turned off and we were lying in our beds, went on. We had to go and turn each one of them all off again. As we went to the reception desk the next morning we didn’t know if we should tell them what happened. There is still one “proof” that something is amiss with the correct placement of the names. I have also naturally asked Mrs Bardon if she knew that some of the names of the genii aren’t properly shown. She wrote me back that directly as she read my letter together with her granddaughter a clock that hung in the room that was broken for years and had no battery began to tick and the big hand moved for some days longer.
In contrast to many other esotercists you stand with both feet on the ground in life. You have family,
were an owner of a successful jewelry shop, and not only as a jewelry designer, but also acknowledged
internationally as an astrologer and have for decades have been working for, not only in the world of
Freemasonry, but also in the profane world the acceptance of serious esotericism. But suddenly you
have fully withdrawn yourself You receive only close friends and you don’t hold esoteric gatherings
anymore. Why? Are you disappointed, have you resigned yourself?
After periods where something can be accomplished there follow times in which one must pull back. Therefore compare a hermetic lodge with its work at the turn of the century to the golden dawn of morning. Whoever is familiar with nature recognizes this phenomenon: There the sky is turning a golden red, and one thinks the sun is coming up, but then suddenly it becomes dim and dark. The spectacular display disappears for ten minutes before the sun really appears over the horizon. We find ourselves in this dark phase at this time.
What is introduced as a very promising new age has, in the meantime degenerated into an embarrassing unappetizing “New Age.” With that I cannot identify myself even with the best of my inner will. But also I cannot do anything about it. Then we must, following the laws of nature accept this renewed dawn time. At most we can spark a light in quiet places for those few who follow. What we may not do is to stamp out the torchlight of others because they bring to light a part of the path that is not pleasing to us. The phenomenon of the OTO for example has not been exhaustively addressed, largely because the founder and grandmaster degenerated into a scoundrel and its practitioners were damned. That would be the same as if one were to measure the worth of Christianity by the respectability and deeds of the cardinals and popes. What is really valid to investigate is the phenomenon of seeking and belief. This, primal energy of consciousness in wakeful humans, that also moves the readers of these sentences to go out and acquire Gnostika, moves everyone in different directions. Those of a Faustian nature seek in lodges, orders and “secret brotherhoods” and find there through a consecration or initiation in a Knight’s ordination the self confirmation that lends them the necessary strength to follow the spiritual path. The mystically natured find in religion their support, and trust in the loving God and the powers of the hierarchies instead of in their own power. And the purely intellectual safeguard themselves with theses of philosophy and science. Meyrink excuses himself for a critical comment made to the opposite camp of Theists immediately with the statement that he didn’t want to speak against Religion, then that would mean to kick away the crutches out from under the feet of the lame. We must be careful that we don’t take away someone’s crutches only because they are cut out of a different kind of wood than those that
support us in this moment. The “Enlightenment” should not go so far as to then dim down the light again. We have already had that as the devil was taken out of the picture and at the same time the path to belief and to a God and good spirits was disassembled. It is easier to stand a bit of superstition. The sun will sometime come up again.
-The End –
Emil Stejnar gave this interview rich with information for Gnostika, a magazine for Science and Esotericism ,Year three, issue 9 January 1999
Gnostika appears in AAGW Publishers Lothar von Kubelstrasse 1 D-76547 Sinzheim
We thank AAGW for the friendly authorization to make this interview available here.