Our Philosophers

Our Tradition

Martinism and Martinezism, and our order in particular, is much indebted to the founders: Martinez de Pasqually, Louis Claude de Saint-Martin and Jean-Baptiste Willermoz. They ignited the flames of the torches which we carry to this day.

Martinism in its current form would not be alive today if it wasn't for the Supreme Council of the Ordre Martiniste, and in particular the hard work of Papus. Our order in particular follows the teachings and traditions of Constant Chevillon, René Chambellant and Robert Ambelain.

Martinist Supreme Council

An organisation was formed in 1884, and a constitution was drafted to describe the group which was given the title "Ordre Martiniste" (Transl. "Martinist Order"). In 1890, it was decided to place the Order under a Supreme Council of 12 members with Papus as President and Grand Master.

The 12 original members of the first Supreme Council were:

Soon after formation, two of the above resigned; Barrès and Péladan. They were replaced by:

We should also mention the following, who were seen by many as successors to the Grand Mastership of Ordre Martiniste, and are predecessors to our Chevillon-Chambellant lineage:

Biographies of Martinist Philosophers

Below are short biographies of some of the many philosophers who have infused the Martinist Order of Unknown Philosophers with their wisdom, continuing to inspire us with their knowledge, hope and love.

Louis Claude de Saint-Martin

Louis Claude de Saint Martin
Louis Claude de Saint-Martin (1743 - 1803)

Louis Claude de Saint-Martin was a French Philosopher in the late 18th Century, his philosophical interests had a strong practical and theological foundation within Christianity. While in Bordeaux he met Martinez de Pasqually, and Saint-Martin joined Pasqually's Ordre des Chevelier Maçons Élus Cohen de L’Univers (Order of Knight-Masons Elect Priests of the Universe). This ritual-centric order inspired Saint-Martin to begin his own philosophical and theological discussion group of "Unknown Philosophers". Saint-Martin wrote much on these philosophies and discussions, and it is from the legacy of Saint-Martin and his original discussion group that we derive what we know today as "Martinism."

Martinez de Pasqually

Martinez de Pasqually (1727 - 1774)

Martinez de Pasqually was a teacher of Christian Esotericism and Kabbalah, he was the founder of l'Ordre de Chevaliers Maçons Élus Coëns de l'Univers (translated as "The Order of Knight-Masons Elect Priests of the Universe"), often shorted to "Élus Coëns" or "Elus Kohens". This order was a theurgy-centred order, whereby its members meditated on God's Will (theó-: God's / -urgia: work) using ritual and teaching inspired by a Christian-form of the Jewish Kabbalah. Both Louis Claude de Saint-Martin and Jean-Baptiste Willermoz were members of Pasqually's order. Today we call the teachings of Pasqually's and his order "Martinezism," in order to distinguish it from the the Martinism of Saint-Martin.

Jean-Baptiste Willermoz

Jean-Baptiste Willermoz (1730 - 1824)

Jean-Baptiste Willermoz, a silk and silver worker by trade, was heavily involved in late 18th and early 19th century French Freemasonry. He became an member of Pasqually's l'Ordre de Chevaliers Maçons Élus Coëns de l'Univers, and a good friend of Louis Claude de Saint-Martin. Willermoz initially founded in 1763 a Masonic Lodge called "Sovereign Chapter of Knights of the Black Eagle Rose-Cross" that was devoted to alchemical research. However, after his introduction to the Elus Kohens in 1767, Willermoz became inspired by Pasqually's teaching and started to work on how Martinezist teaching might be transformed into a Masonic degree and in the late 1770s using French Strict Observance material Willermoz created the Chevaliers Bienfaisant de la Cité Sainte (CBCS : "Knights Beneficent of the Holy City") and the higher degrees of the Rectified Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.

Claudine-Thérèse Willermoz Provensal

Claudine-Thérèse Willermoz Provensal (1729-1810)

Claudine-Thérèse Willermoz Provensal, or Madame Provensal as she is sometimes called in literature, was one of the sisters of Jean-Baptiste Willermoz. She was initiated into Freemasonry, and was probably one of the earliest Female Freemasons. She was also initiated into the senior grades of Pasqually's Elus Kohens. She would have been familiar with her brothers work on the Rectified Scottish Rite, and no doubt also Louis Claude de Saint-Martin's philosophical discussion group. Martinism and Martinezism has been open to men and women from the very beginning, this is because the founders strongly believed that the divine contains within it the opposing polarities of masculine and feminine - and therefore the esoteric order should be open to people of any gender.

Augustin Chaboseau

Augustin Chaboseau (1868 - 1946)

Pierre-Augustin Chaboseau was a prolific reader when he was a boy, and by his mid-teens he had taken up an academic hobby of comparative religion - particularly the rigorous comparison of the Christian Bible and the Islamic Koran. He eventually studied medicine, and also married Rosalie Louise Napias a renowned feminist and the first female French pharmacist.

It was one of Chaboseau's family members, Amélie de Boisse-Mortemart, who taught Chaboseau the teachings of Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, and Boisse-Mortemart initiated Chaboseau into Martinism in 1886. Shortly afterwards, Chaboseau would volunteer at L'Hôpital de la Charité where he would meet Papus. In 1888 Chaboseau and Papus exchanged their Martinist lineages, thereby reinforcing each others authority in Martinism.

Gérard Encausse (Papus)

Gérard Encausse (1865 - 1916)

Gérard Anaclet Vincent Encausse, better known as Papus, the founder of modern martinism. He was an ardent autodidact, and loved all things esoteric. He was a member of many orders - spiritual, religious, masonic and occult. He was a friend, and somewhat of a student, to the well-known French spiritualist healer Maître Philippe. Papus provided the basis of the Martinist ritual that evolved into what Martinist orders around the world use today.

Stanislas de Guaita

Stanislas de Guaita (1861 - 1897)

Stanislas de Guaita was a Marquis of an Italian noble family. He studied chemistry and philosophy at Nancy where he met fellow esotericist Maurice Barrès, but moved to Paris where he became a Poet and an expert in esoteric and mystical topics. He sought out Joséphin Péladan in Paris, after being impressed by a book that he had written entitled "Le vice suprême". Péladan and de Guaita built their own Rosicrucian fraternity in 1888, and brought in Gérard Encausse (Papus) to help organise the group. The great musicians Erik Satie and Claude Debussy were members of their Rosicrucian fraternity. Stanislas de Guaita was a member of the Martinist Order, and served on the Supreme Council. He was a passionate Martinist and often gave orations to new members.

Joséphin Péladan

Joséphin Péladan (1858 - 1918)

"Portrait du Sâr Mérodack Joséphin Péladan" by Marcellin Desboutin

Joséphin Péladan was a Lyonnaise man who had studied under the Jesuits in Avignon and Nîmes. He moved to Paris in 1882 and became an art critic, while also undertaking his own studies in spirituality, mysticism and theurgy. He wrote his first novel in 1884 entitled "Le vice suprême" which was successful in France and helped light the path of esotericism to a larger audience. Péladan was initially involved in the Martinist Order of Papus, and the Rosicrucian Order with de Guaita and Papus, but left both orders due to disagreements. After leaving them formed his own order "l'Ordre de la Rose-Croix catholique et esthétique du Temple et du Graal" which focused on the role of aesthetics and spirituality within art. It is from this Aesthetic Rosicrucian group that a series of successful symbolist art exhibitions arose entitled the "Salon de la Rose + Croix" which he founded with Count Léonce de Larmandie, Gary de Lacroze, Élémir Bourges and Count Antoine de la Rochefoucault.

Lucien Mauchel "Chamuel"

Lucien Mauchel / Chamuel (? - 1918)

Lucien Mauchel, also known as Chamuel, originally studied law but moved to Paris and started a library and publishing business with the help of Papus. The building which housed Chamuel's library would also become the home of Paul Sédir's "Amitiés Spirituelles" group. Chamuel, with Papus, helped found the esoteric magazine "L'Initiation" and was also on the Supreme Council of the Martinist Order. He was also involved with the Rosicrucian fraternity started by Stanislas de Guaita, and was consecrated as a Bishop of La Rochelle et Saintes in L'Eglise Gnostique of Jules Doinel.

Yvon Le Loup / Paul Sédir

Yvon Le Loup / Paul Sédir (1871 - 1926)

Yvon Le Loup, more popularly known as Paul Sédir, was a Breton man who lived most of his life in Paris. He worked for the Bank of France, in the Security Deposits Service. He met his esoteric colleagues when he started visiting Chamuel's library. He was a member of the Supreme Council of the Martinist Order, and in 1897 had met Maître Philippe à Lyon. He was also in de Guaita's Rosicrucian fraternity, although he left the Rosicrucian group in 1909. He was consecrated as Bishop of Concorezzo by Jules Doinel. He also started a group of his own in 1920 called "Amitiés Spirituelles" dedicated to the Christian Mystical path.

François Charles Barlet

Albert Faucheux / François Charles Barlet (1838 - 1921)

François Charles Barlet, born as Albert Faucheux, was a lawyer serving in Dijon then Corsica and finished his law career in Abbeville in Picardie. He met Papus and others in the esoteric world sometime before 1887. He was a member of the Supreme Council of the Martinist Order, as well as being head and/or regional head of several esoteric orders throughout his lifetime - including being the successor to Stanislas de Guaita. Barlet was also made a Bishop by Jules Doinel in 1890. He was a staunch anti-materialist and spiritualist, and an avid student of astrology.

Paul Adam

Paul Adam (1862 - 1920)

Paul Adam, a Parisian, was a Novelist. He wrote a series of historical novels about the period during and after the Napoleonic wars (including "La Force" [Transl.: The Force]). He also wrote, with Jean Moréas, "Les Demoiselles Goubert" [Transl.: The Young Goubert Girls], a novel that marked the transition between naturalism and symbolism in French literature. He was an officer in l'Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur [Transl.: Legion of Honour]. Not much is known about his input into esoteric orders, other than he must have been well respected to have been placed on the Supreme Council of the Martinist Order and in at least one Rosicrucian order.

Maurice Barrès

Auguste-Maurice Barrès (1862 - 1923)

Maurice Barrès, was a Novelist in the Symbolist movement and was also, for a time, a politician. His political perspective often caused disagreements with his friends within the esoteric orders he was involved with. He became a member of the Supreme Council of the Martinist Order, but left very soon after its creation due to disagreements. Péladan and Barrès were replaced on the Supreme Council by Marc Haven (Lalande) and Victor-Émile Michelet.

Julien Lejay

Julien "Jules" Lejay (? - ?)

Very little is known about Julien Lejay, other than he began his esoteric journey after visiting Chamuel's library in Paris. He became editor, with Barlet, of L'Initiation magazine, and was placed on the Supreme Council of the Martinist Order from its inception.

Georges Montière

Georges Montière (? - ?)

Very little is known about Georges Montière, other than he was on the Supreme Council of the Martinist Order from its inception. His name is sometimes written down in historical records as George(s) Montieres, although this is a mistake. He was contributor (e.g. he wrote on "La chute d'Adam" [Transl.: Adam's Fall] in 1890) and a secretary-editor for L'Initiation Magazine.

Jaques Burget

Jaques Burget (? - ?)

Very little is known about Jaques Burget, other than he was on the Supreme Council of the Martinist Order from its inception.

Marc Haven

Marc Haven / Emmanuel Marc Henry Lalande (1868 - 1926)

Marc Haven, born "Emmanuel Marc Henry Lalande", was a voracious student of esotericism having written a doctoral thesis on the Catalan religious reformer and physician Arnaldus de Villa Nova. He was well versed on hermeticism and the tarot, and also wrote a great amount on two people he felt drawn towards: Cagliostro and Maître Phillippe de Lyon. Marc Haven was chosen to replace Maurice Barrès on the Supreme Council of the Martinist Order.

Victor-Émile Michelet

Victor-Émile Michelet (1861 - 1938)

Victor-Émile Michelet was a respected poet, becoming president of the Société des Poètes Français [Transl.: Society of French Poets] for 1910, a member of the Maison de Poésie [Transl.: Poetry House] in 1932, and became a knight in the Legion of Honour. His poetic art was in the school of the Strasbourgian artist Édouard Schuré. He was a hard working esotericist, having thoroughly researched a variety of subjects that caught his interests, including: Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, Atlantean studies, Esoteric art, Psychology and Love. He was chosen to replace Joséphin Péladan on the first Supreme Council of the Martinist Order.

Maître Philippe de Lyon

Maître Philippe de Lyon (1849 - 1905)

Maître Philippe, or Nizier Anthelme Philippe, became known as a spiritual healer from a very young age. Maître Philippe began to teach himself chemistry, primarily relating to dyes and also medicine. At the age of 35 Maître Philippe submitted a thesis for a doctorate, relating to hygiene during pregnancy and childbirth. He was deeply involved with Christian mysticism, and became friends with Papus (Gérard Encausse), and was a spiritual mentor to him and to Jean Chapas. He had a deep understanding of the Lord's Prayer, and it is because of Maître Philippe that the MOUP ritual rightly includes this foundational prayer of Christian spirituality.

Charles Henri Détré "Teder"

Charles Henri Détré "Teder" (1855 - 1918)

Charles Detre, better known as "Teder," was the successor in the Grand Mastership of Ordre Martiniste after Papus, and was the predecessor of Jean Bricaud. He had a strong understanding of ritual, and had updated the Martinist rituals developed by Papus (in the French language), his updates were based on materials he had gleaned from François-Charles Barlet and Edouard Blitz.

Teder was involved in a variety of Masonic circles, and it was through a contact (Dr. Édouard de Ribaucourt) that in 1914 Teder and Papus established, or re-established, a link between the Martinist Order and the Rectified Scottish Rite / CBCS lineage from Jean-Baptiste Willermoz. Teder was also heavily involved with the French Sections of the Swedenborgian Rite and the Rite of Memphis-Misraim. Some of his initial esoteric lineages came from the English freemason John Yarker, but were reinforced in esoteric circles in Continental Europe.

Jean Bricaud

Jean Bricaud (1881 - 1934)

Jean Bricaud, sometimes known as Joanny Bricaud, carefully balanced Orthodox Christianity and Neo-Gnosticism. He was deeply involved in a trio of esoteric orders, namely the Church, Martinism and Masonry. In martinism, Bricaud was the successor to Charles Détré and the predecessor to Constant Chevillon. Bricaud was greatly influenced by French freemasonry and altered the requirements of admission into the Ordre Martiniste by requiring Masonic affiliations for all new members joining his order. This was not universally welcomed by members of the Ordre Martiniste and the problem was resolved during the Grand Mastership of Constant Chevillon, by allowing the admission of women through their membership of co-masonry and the Rite of Memphis-Misraim in France. Bricaud was also a patriarch of the Gnostic Church, and through his enormous energy progressed a number of orders allied to martinism during his tenure as Grand Master.

Constant Chevillon

Constant Chevillon (1880 - 1944)

Constant Chevillon was both an academic philosopher and a professional banker, he became acquainted with Jean Bricaud and became involved with, and eventually took over, Bricaud's Gnostic Church and many other esoteric, occult and masonic orders. His philosophical studies were undertaken at the Faculty of Letters at Lyon, which is where he undertook research on Socrates' Precepts of Self-knowledge under the guidance of Professor Arthur Hennequin. Chevillon was a deeply Christian person, with a passion for the spiritual life, and deeply inspired by Jean Bricaud, Maître Phillippe de Lyon and Charles Fourier. It is through Constant Chevillon that the MOUP receives its prestigious Martinist lineage. Chevillon was the greatest martyr for the Gnostic Church and for Martinism, as he was assassinated by the Vichy regime, for his political and religious views.

Chevillon also headed a federation of esoteric orders known as "Fédération Universelle des Ordres, Fraternités et Sociétés Initiatiques" (FUDOFSI), which represented and defended the various "Orders of Lyon" that had strong lineages and robust spiritual teachings. FUDOFSI academically critiqued the lineages and values of a different federation of orders known as "Fédération Universelle des Ordres et Sociétés Initiatiques" (FUDOSI). FUDOFSI and FUDOSI both ceased to exist within a decade of WWII, although many of the esoteric orders which were part of those federations are still in existence.

René Chambellant

René Chambellant (1907 - 1993)

René Chambellant, otherwise known as Tau Renatus, was introduced to Martinism and Martinezism by Constant Chevillon and Robert Ambelain. In 1945, Chambellant was the successor to Constant Chevillon in certain rites of Masonry and Martinism, as well as for the Eglise Gnostique Universelle.

In his mundane life Chambellant was also involved in the politics of the Central African Republic; actively supporting Barthélemy Boganda and the Intergroupe Liberal Oubanguien (ILO) in an attempt to bring justice and equality to all people living in the country. It is through the work of Chevillon and Chambellant that the MOUP receives its pedigree.

Robert Ambelain

Robert Ambelain (1907 - 1997)

Ambelain was a great Christian Esotericist, heavily involved in Church activities (as a Bishop of the Église Gnostique Apostolique), Masonic Rites (including Memphis-Misraim and the Rectified Scottish Rite) and the Martinist Rites. His works, which include guides, prayers and ritual, continues to be used to this day by people around the world - and not just by Martinists.