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Péladan’s System for Self-Initiation: Foundation Level
Péladan’s System for Self-Initiation: Foundation Level

Tue, 15 Feb


Péladan’s System for Self-Initiation: Foundation Level

Dr Sasha Chaitow leads students through the process of self-initiation of Rosicrucian Joséphin Péladan

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Time & Location

15 Feb 2022, 19:30 – 22:00

About The Event

Joséphin Péladan’s Self-Initiatory Programme

Foundation Level

The late 19th-century Parisian occult community gave birth to an extraordinary initiatory system, hidden and obscure – until now. Joséphin Péladan (1858 –  1918) created a program for esoteric self transformation centred upon artistic creativity, personal individuality, and soul purification. Peladan is famous now as an eccentric author of the French occult revival, but his occult curriculum has never before been brought to an English speaking audience - until now.

In this groundbreaking course, Dr Sasha Chaitow, who is the world’s leading Péladan scholar and a professional artist, leads participants through the first level of the three-degree system, Péladan’s Order of the Rose+Croix of the Temple and the Grail.

The course distils the teachings in a guided workshop format, with both lectures and (optional) practices to enact the initiation. It is ideal for scholars of Western Esotericism, as the complex philosophy is explained clearly and authoritatively, with extensive references offered. It is equally aimed at practitioners who wish to undergo the initiatory process, as Dr Chaitow supervises the practical mystical exercises Péladan prescribes, for those who choose to do them. Finally, the course welcomes artists who want to undergo a supported process of transformation which places creativity at its centre, as artistic practice was sacred to Péladan. Regardless of background, everyone who joins will be part of an historic moment: the lived revival of a powerful mystical rite which was almost lost forever.

Resources Provided

  • Guided interactive workshops with optional activities and discussion
  • Video recordings of all sessions
  • Excerpts from Péladan’s texts in English
  • Excerpts from Péladan’s source materials
  • Further reading lists
  • Scholarly articles and additional free video lectures providing context and insight into Péladan’s thought and influences
  • A dedicated Facebook group for further discussion

Course Format

Each session follows this format:

  • 1-hour lecture
  • 15 minutes break / open floor question time
  • 45 minutes of structured activities in small groups over zoom
  • 30 minutes group discussion/feedback time
  • Optional additional written exercises and recommended reading between sessions.

The total duration of each full session is 2.5 hours. The activities and discussion section of each session is optional, so participants may come to the lectures and opt out of the interactive segments. Equally, those unable to attend the live lectures may instead view the recordings and use the dedicated Facebook group to follow up when their schedule permits. All participants receive the full package that includes written instructions for working with the material, so they can still enjoy the full benefit of the course.

Syllabus in Detail

Péladan’s initiatory programme is based loosely on three degrees, and for him, its goal was self-discovery, inner peace, and deliverance from the misery people are experiencing in modern society. The first level is a  ‘Neophyte’ programme of seven steps, to develop self-mastery and successfully shake off the strictures of society and conditioning. The second level has twelve steps of exploring the ‘arcana’ of the initiatory process. The third level involves exploring a triad of advanced spiritual elements: the ‘Triad of the Holy Spirit’ or ‘The Occult Triodos’ (three-way path).  As mentioned, this course goes through the Neophyte Level. Courses going through the two upper levels will be offered in future, with attendance on this course a pre-requisite.

Péladan detailed the Neophyte Level  in seven manuals collectively called Amphithéâtre des sciences mortes. Its first three manuals are respectively designed for men, women, and artists. The next three deal with the initiate’s life within society, looking at politics, mysticism, metaphysics, and individualism. The seventh , The Science of Love (1911), contains reflections and deeper discussions.

The course aims to stay as faithful as possible to Péladan’s original structure, content, and intentions, while translating his material in an accessible, usable format. It follows his Septenaries for Neophytes from the handbooks,  in chronological order of publication. Volume 7, though, is considered hors-serie and is discussed in the introductory lecture, then referred to when relevant.

1. Pre-recorded lecture: The Amphitheatre of dead sciences (available in the beginning of February)

This lecture introduces the key points of Péladan’s system and the worldview it is founded on. It provides a synopsis of the seven books, and an overview of how it is meant to be used according to Péladan himself. 

2. Septenary for exiting the Century (15th Feb.)

From Comment on devient Mage (1891), which Péladan designed for young men of his day, and in which he presents his definition of magic and how to attain it through mastery of will and self-discovery.

3. Septenary for exiting the World (22nd Feb.)

From Comment on devient Fée (1892), for young women. Péladan believed that women of his time were forced into severely artificial roles by society, distorting and restricting their true nature. Though the world has changed since the book was written, many of the insights regarding human self-determination remain highly relevant, and the occult content and ideals reveal more of his vision for humanity.

4. Septenary for exiting Nature (1st Mar.)

From Comment on devient Ar(t)iste (1894), this reveals his vision for artists as the spearhead for the regeneration and spiritual awakening of humanity. Directed specifically at artists, Péladan exhorts them to embrace their calling and learn to balance their will with intelligence, proposing that this is the way towards true creative genius.

5. Septenary of the Macrocosm (8th Mar.)

From Le Livre du Sceptre (1895), this explores problems and questions surrounding how to live the life of an initiate while remaining within society, family life, and other calls on one’s priorities and conscience.

6. Mystical Septenary (15th Mar.)

From L’Occulte Catholique (1898). Here Péladan dives deep into religious and metaphysical concerns, relating them to the process of self-initiation and relating to the world as outlined in the previous works. Of all his works, this is perhaps his most complete synthesis of his occult philosophy, revealing his rationale in attempting this grand synthesis of occultism and world religion, for the modern world.

7. Ars Magna (22nd Mar.)

From Traité des Antinomies (1901). In this volume Péladan aimed to reconcile and offer philosophical explanations for the contradictions that one might observe and experience when following the path of an initiate, providing guidance and examples on how to work with them, and he also offers deeper definitions of core metaphysical notions. Structured in five parts, this lecture will deal with the introductory section, while insight from the other sections will be drawn on when relevant to the other volumes.

Dr Sasha Chaitow

Dr Sasha Chaitow is the only modern, English-language scholar to have completed an in-depth, academic study of the life and work of Joséphin Péladan. This was the topic of her doctoral dissertation, completed at the University of Essex in 2014. Her work corrects a number of long-held misperceptions of Péladan, by going to the primary sources and placing the material in its context within the history of esoteric thought. Her scholarly study is due for publication with Kamuret Press in late 2022. She has also been contracted by Theion Publishing to translate, compile and edit three anthologies of Péladan’s work, due in the near future. Sasha has been studying Péladan’s work for over a decade, has published numerous articles on his work, and has lectured extensively on him at universities, public, and esoteric venues throughout Europe, including the Universities of Northampton, Zurich, Gothenburg, Madrid, Södertörn, Szeged; Masonic venues in Sweden, Greece, Lebanon, and Georgia, and cultural spaces in the UK and Greece. She is a member of the advisory council at and her book Atalanta Unveiled: Alchemical Initiation in the Emblems of the Atalanta Fugiens (2020) forms the first in the Rosicrucian Tradition series sponsored by Pansophers. Sasha has applied Péladan’s ideas and instructions to artists in her artistic practice and has exhibited these works internationally. In 2013, three works from her Péladan Project were selected for exhibition at the 1st Neosymbolist Salon at the Autonomous University of Madrid; in 2016 she produced a dedicated collection of art illustrating Péladan’s ideas, exhibited in London and Northampton. In 2017 her Stained by the Light series, drawing on Péladan’s instructions, was exhibited in Corfu, Greece, and in Glastonbury; and in 2018 her Bijoux de la Rose+Croix collection was exhibited at the Crypt Gallery in London. She has since participated in several major group exhibitions in Athens and Salonica, Greece with compositions following the same aesthetic-esoteric approach. She is now working on illustrations for all of her upcoming books as well as several other commissions for esoteric publications. Sasha’s other activities include researching the history of medicine in relation to esoteric thought, and teaching in several different disciplines.


  • Standard ticket

    This ticket grants you access to the live events as well as the recordings for the length of the course

    Sale ended
  • Ticket + Esotericism Course

    This ticket grants you access to the full Peladan live course, the recordings for the length of the course and access to the full recordings of the Introduction to Western Esotericism Course which ran last year.

    Sale ended



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