1. An Open Entrance to the Occult text of Cesare della Riviera
Magical World of the Heroes" (Il mondo magico de gli heroi), the book by
Cesare della Riviera, was published in 1605. Later, in the 20th century, Julius
Evola republished it with his comments, asserting that in this hermetic treatise
can be found the most open and clear statement of the principles of spiritual
alchemy and hermetic art. Rene Guenon notes in his review, however, that the
work of della Riviera is far from being as transparent as asserted in Evola's
And indeed, "The Magical World of the Heroes" is enigmatic to
the limit - first, by its literary form, and second, because the concepts with
which the author deals are something extremely mysterious in themselves, not
clear, and having no equivalent in concrete reality.
But, maybe the
difficulties in understanding the given theme arise because the very "heroic
principle", the figure of the Hero, is far from the sphere of what is
surrounding us today? Perhaps this difficult text is crystal clear for the true
heroes and does not require any further decoding?
It is crystal clear and
transparent as ice...
2. Cosmogony of Ice
In Evola's books, devoted to the differing
problems of tradition and politics, there is always an appeal to the principle
of Cold. The theme of Cold emerges here and there, irrespective of if the matter
concerns tantra or the existential position of the "solitary man", Zen-Buddhism
or knightly mysteries of medieval Europe, modern art or autobiographical notes.
"Cold" and "distance" are the two words which, perhaps, are found most often in
the "Black Baron's" lexicon.
The hero, by very definition, should be
cold. If he will not separate himself from those around him, if he will not
freeze the warm energy of daily humanness within himself, he will not be at a
level of performing the Impossible, i.e. at the level that marks a hero from the
merely human. The hero should leave the people and travel beyond the limit of
social cosiness, where penetrating winds of an objective reality, severe and
nonhuman, roar. The soil and stones rise against the animal and vegetal worlds.
The aggressive vegetation corrodes minerals, and wild animals ruthlessly trample
down the obstinate herbs. The elements outside the society show no mercy. The
world in itself is a triumphal banquet of substance, whose bottom level merges
with the lumps of cosmic ice. The hero is cold, because he is objective, because
he accepts the relay race of spontaneous force, furious and unkind, from the
The character of all heroes - from Hercules through to Hitler -
are identical: they are deeply natural, elemental, abysmally cold and distanced
from social compromise. They are the carriers of the abyss of
In his strange, hermetic manner Cesare della Riviera thus
interprets the word "Angelo" ("angel"):
ANGELO = ANtico GELO, i.e.
the "Angel = Ancient Ice".
This is connected with the next phase of the
heroic deed, not a voyage toward reality, but an escape from its limits - escape
from the ice bonds.
The Alchemy and Cabbala know much about the secret of
the "ice stronghold". It is a border separating the "lower waters" of life from
the "upper waters" of Spirit. The phrase of della Riviera has a strict
theological sense: leaving the sphere of emotional life, the hero becomes a
small crystal of ice, a luminous angel, in the glassy sea of Spirit, on which a
heavenly throne of Kings is founded. The Snow Queen from Andersen's fairytale
has forced the boy Kai to shape pieces of ice into a mysterious angelical word -
'Ewigkeit', but the warm forces of Earth ("Gerda" means 'Earth' in old
German) have returned the unfortunate hero to a poor and hopeless life. Instead
of an angel, he subsequently becomes a red-faced Scandinavian burger with beer
and sausages. Cold is an attribute of a corpse and the initiated one. The bodies
of yogi freeze in the process of awakening the sacred snake energy - the higher
the Kundalini rises, the more lifeless the corresponding body parts become,
until the initiated one turns into a statue of ice, an axis of spiritual
Each hero necessarily travels to the Pole, into the heart of
midnight. There he learns to love that dark and obscure substance, which is
called "our Earth" by the alchemists or the "philosophers' magnesia". The urn
holding the ashes of Baron Evola is buried in the thickness of an Alpine
glacier, on Monte Rosa peak. The mountain was probably named so in honor of the
sacral beloved of Friedrich II Hohenstauffen, the one who has not died. La
Rosa di Soria. The polar rose.
3. The Voyage of the Polar Nymph
Cyliani, a mysterious 19th century
alchemist whose pseudonym was determined only with the help of Pierre Dujols
(Magaphon), friend of Fulcanelli and... a secret Valois, wrote that his
heroic travel into the "magical world of the heroes" began with a strange visit
from the "nymph of the polar star"...
Where do her footsteps
They lead inside. Inside the earth, where a fantastic matter named
"sulfuric acid of the philosophers" is hiding. Visitabis interiora terrae
rectificando invenies occultum lapidem. The stone is completely black, as a
soul, shrouded in "antimimon pneuma" of the Gnostics. There, from the
blackness of personal uncertainty, from undifferentiated "I", slipping away from
any name, the magic feat begins. If the hero will not question that which
constitutes his apparent essence, he is doomed. Even the divine parents do not
give the answer to a problem of an origin of "I".
4. The Secret of the Heavenly Dragon
The search for the nymph is
connected to an original problem of the definition of the pole star. The
heavenly pole spins around, like "Atalanta fugiens". Once a slender
creature was hiding in Ursa Major's fur near Arcturus. She calls herself
"Shemol". In 12 thousand years she will say of herself - "I am Vega". But
what is this Axis, that the dance of millenia goes round?
Black dot in
the northern sky. Dragon coils around it, tempting the steadfast observer,
offering doubtful fruits of knowledge. The polar nymph has given to Cyliani the
key to victory over this Dragon. Hermeticists consider it a question of the
primal matter. Heavenly Dragon, the true north of the ecliptic. He is guarding
the boreal heart of black expanses, as a spiral outlining the absent
5. The Second of Betelgeuse
Orion is the most mysterious of all
constellations. Time is hiding on his right shoulder. He is the main hero of the
subterranean (and not only subterranean!) world. "Betelgeuse" means "hero's
shoulder" in Arabic. It is on that very shoulder that is kept the secret of a
book which Fulcanelli at first gave to Canseliet, and later withdrew, forbiding
its publishing. The matter concerns the "Finis Gloria Mundi", third book
by the adept. When Virgo's milk touches the brawny shoulder of the "black god",
and he thus loses his hands under ruthless executors' knives, a world fire is
coming, the sphere is overturning. The sky falls. It is made of stone, as
everybody knows. The heroes are secretly preparing terrible shocks to society. A
society which consoles itself with the fact it has banished them from history,
but where is the precise border between literary and nuclear range, between a
dark corner for meditations and carpet bombardments?
To our information,
the agents of Betelgeuse, inhabitants of the "magical world of the heroes",
disguised as state officials, have made their way to the engine-room of
authority. There is only the certainty of heavenly sequence and processional
cycles in their minds. A nuclear fire of the Northern Hemisphere is a way to
Olympus, the fire of Hercules for them.
Besides the external Evola had a
6. The Forest of Rambouillet
"The forest of Rambouillet is a forest
of blood" - Jean Parvulesco hypnotically repeats in his novel. A white deer with
its throat cut is found there, then a corpse of a naked woman with identical
wounds. The magic wood in which Dante has lost his way. "Philosophers' Forest".
On a certain engraving, illustrating the "Tabula Smaragdina" of Hermes
Trismegistus, the man with an elk's head is giving the Moon to Eve. Later, if
we'll believe Parvulesco, they will meet again in a garden of
A joyless rendezvous.
"One day Apollo will return,
and this time for ever", - says the last prophecy of a Delphian pythoness in
IV century A.D.