I have just finished reading Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. I approached the novel because I heard from a scholar in Italy, who studies Templar influences in Piedmonte, that 'Ivanhoe' was a Templar novel. Well, in Ivanhoe, the Templars are not shown in a very good light. In fact, they are the villains of the piece. On the contrary, King Richard the Lion-Hearted, is the secular and cultural hero, whom all (especially the Saxons) adore and venerate.

Ivanhoe, or Wilfred, first appears in the novel disguised as a Palmer, wearing the scallop shell sacred to Venus-Aphrodite. He later appears in the list at Ashby, as a Knight, incognito. Who were the Palmers? They were pilgrims.

I think that if there is an initiatory thread to Scott's novel - it does not point to the Templars, but to another secret current, which includes the Palmers and the Troubadours.

Richard Coeur de Lion, king of England, was himself a troubadour. His mother, was Eleanor of Aquitaine.

The troubadours, according to many revered opinions, were transmitting a Mary cult, the same which burst into expression in the Gothic cathedrals of Europe, especially Chartres and St. Denis.

Robert Graves:

"When the Crusaders invaded the Holy Land, built castles and settled down, they found a number of heretical Christian sects living there under Moslem protection, who soon seduced them from orthodoxy. This was how the cult of Mary Gipsy came to England, brought through Compostella in Spain by poor pilgrims with palm-branches in their hands, copies of the Apocryphal Gospels in their wallets and Aphrodite's scallop-shells stitched in their caps - the palmers, celebrated in Ophelia's song in Hamlet. The lyre-plucking, red-stockinged troubadours, of whom King Richard Lion-Heart is the best remembered in Britain, ecstatically adopted the Marian cult." [Robert Graves, The White Goddess, p. 396.]

Here, the Palm is of great importance in tracing the influence and transmission of this tradition. For example, in Piemonte in The Order of St. Maurice (San Maurizio) we find the Palm as an emblem of the saint, and it is also carved on Church doors, for example in Pinerolo. The Palm was also the badge of a mystical Brotherhood founded by Rene, Duke of Anjou - right in the centre of Provence. According to other traditions, the Palm Tree was the Tree in which the Phoenix nested.

King continues with:

"The Rosicrucian, says Boyle, make their founder to have been a certain German, only known as A.C., (sic) who having gone to Damascus in the year 1387, was instructed in their mysteries by the College of Arabian Sages there established. Returning home he communicated his knowledge to a small number of chosen associates, dying in 1484." [C.W.King, p. 394.]

According to the `FAMA' text, and to Frances Yates, the Year 1604 also denoted the year in which the tomb of Brother R.C. was discovered, i.e. 120 years after his death in 1484.

According to contemporary Rosicrucian groups, 1984 was exactly 500 years after the death of C.R. [See, for example: `A Door will Open for Europe', Messing, The Hermetic Journal.]


Commenting on these facts, King continues in a note:

"This tradition may have some truth in it, allowing for an error of locality. At Cairo the Fatemite sultans (Ismaelites be it remembered) had three centuries before this date founded the far-famed lodge, entitled "the House of Wisdom." Here the student passed through nine degrees, beginning with Obedience, Mysticism, Philosophy, Doubt, &c., up to Absolute Incredulity. William of Tyre (xix.17) tells a wonderful story, how Hugo of Caesarea and Geffroi of the Temple, envoys to Cairo on business of the Order, were led by the Soldan himself to the palace Kashef, and conducted through numerous courts of the richest architecture, full of strange birds and beasts, to the inmost hall, where the Soldan having first adored the unseen "Master," the curtains of gold and pearl were suddenly drawn back, and that dignitary appeared seated in unspeakable glory on a golden throne, attended by his chief officials."

[King, Charles W. 'The Gnostics and Their Remains, Ancient and Mediæval.' 2nd Edition, David Nutt, London 1887. pp. 394 - 395.This quotation is from the last chapter of the book, entitled Templars, Rosicrucians and Freemasons, which contains some very interesting, if slightly confused, information. The book deserves a re-print.]


Now if we remove the suggested 300 years from the presumed date that C.R. was in Damascus, we get the year 1087.


"Another Fatimid institution, dating from 1005, was the Dar al-Hikma or Dar al- ‘Ilm, ‘ house of wisdom’ or ‘of science’, which formed part of one of the palaces and had a library and meeting room for scholars, as well as giving instruction in Isma’lite doctrine."

[Watt, W.Montgomery, The Majesty that was Islam. The Islamic World 661 - 110, Sidwick and Jackson, London, 1974, P. 217. ]

A great many historic factions converge on the first half of the 11th Century. It was at this time that the Ghaya was released in Spain, and it seems also probable that Al-Majriti was an agent of the Ikhwan al-Safa. Therefore, it could be proved, that the Ikhwan al-Safa was the causal group from which the Rosicrucians evolved. This would lead us directly through a line of transmission to the Rosicrucian Enlightenment of the early 17th Century.

PROVENCAL CULTURE FLOURISHED most notably between the years 1100 and 1300 A.D.

"The first troubadour was Guillaume, seventh Count of Poitiers and ninth Duke of Aquitaine (1071- 1127). Guillaume apparently began composing when he returned from the crusades. His songs became popular, and this brought him into conflict with the Church: the songs were held to be overtly and scandalously sexual. But mixed in with the bawdiness was beatitude. Friedrich Heer observes: "In Guillaume's love songs, the vocabulary and emotional fervor hitherto used to express man's love for God are transferred to the liturgical worship of women."

[Kimsey, John, The Code of Love- Troubadours, Cathars, and Ezra Pound, Winter 1991, Gnosis Magazine. p. 25 - Winter 1991, Gnosis Magazine. p. 25ff.]

Guillaume's great-grandson was Richard Coeur de Lion, king of England, and himself a troubadour. Guillaume's daughter, and Richard's mother, was Eleanor of Aquitaine, who ..."