Skip to Main Content

The Hermetic Physician

The Magical Teachings of Giuliano Kremmerz and the Fraternity of Myriam

Compiled by David Pantano / Foreword by Hans Thomas Hakl / Translated by David Pantano
Published by Inner Traditions
Distributed by Simon & Schuster
See More Retailers

About The Book

• Explores Kremmerz’s life, his teachings, his work as a hermetic physician, and the metaphysical and hermetic principles that guided his activities

• Offers a detailed account of the distance healing practices, diagnostic methods, and rituals of the Fraternity of Myriam

• Includes texts written by Kremmerz on the inner workings and magical operations of the fraternity, intended for its practicing members

Giuliano Kremmerz (1861-1930), born Ciro Formisano, was one of the most influential Italian occultists, alchemists, and Hermetic masters of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, though he remains almost unknown to English readers. In 1896, Kremmerz began writing about natural and divine magic, healing, and alchemy through the journal Il Mondo Secreto (The Secret World). At the same time, he founded a school known as the Schola Philosophica Hermetica Classica Italica as well as a magical group, the Therapeutic and Magical Fraternity of Myriam. Within the Myriam, he sought to use Hermetic, magical, and Pythagorean principles to harness the power of the psyche and convey collective energies for therapeutic purposes and distance healing. His initiatic order would become the principal esoteric society in Italy--comparable to its British counterpart, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn--but forced to be a carefully guarded secret as Mussolini’s government rose to power.

In this unique compilation of essays, David Pantano presents an in-depth study of Kremmerz’s life and work by his student and initiate, Italian esotericist Marco Daffi. Without holding back criticism, Daffi provides a detailed account of the history and practices of the Myriam as well as the metaphysical and Hermetic principles that guided their activities. Revealing Kremmerz’s rediscovery of the occult healing of ancient mystery schools, Daffi also shows how Kremmerz laid the foundation for passing this initiatory tradition on to the new millennium. He explores the means by which Kremmerz said miracles can be performed and the way Hermetic forces affect both bodily health and mystical eroticism.

Throughout this collection, David Pantano provides extensive annotations, offering the English reader essential historical and mystical context for Daffi’s work. Connecting to untranslated Italian texts and elucidating Daffi’s poetic style, Pantano’s commentary reveals the particular tradition of Italian esoterism. Pantano also includes rare and unpublished texts written by Kremmerz and intended for the Myriam’s practicing members. Combined, these papers offer a picture of the inner workings and magical operations of this fraternity, available for the first time in English.

Excerpt

From Chapter 4

Critical Notes on Hermetic Therapeutics 1

JUNE 27-AUGUST 24, 1968

Between 1894 and 1930, Dr. Ciro Formisano, who wrote under the pseudonym of Giuliano Kremmerz, promoted in Italy a fundamental idea that he developed in a journal (no longer to be found) with the name of Il Mondo Secreto (The Secret World). This journal--perhaps due to the author’s second thoughts--was never reprinted, but the ideas and concepts contained in it were reproduced in other publications, and in large part were collected under the title Avviamento alla Scienza dei Magi. Elementi di Magia Naturale e Divina (Introduction to the Science of the Magi: Elements of Natural and Divine Magic) and reprinted several times.

The fundamental ideas are summarized as follows:

(a) to develop therapeutic powers of the psyche by harnessing through the Pythagorean principle of the multiple of Twelve the virtues of collective energy;

(b) to convey the said healing powers of psychic energy or what I call the magical chain of praying souls for the benefit of the sick or individuals in a state of imbalance;

(c) to augment to these energies, in revival of the ancient and slandered magic, by means of magical rituals in the form of prayers or charms (carmens) and by ideograms or symbols representing the occult idea of the particular therapy;

(d) to supplement these means by the evocation of entities hidden to the uninitiated, that as a theurgist, with the power to bind these entities to the (magical) chain that he has founded and named the “Fraternity of Myriam” or ““Brotherhood of Myriam.”

The words, Brotherhood and Myriam, refer to two aspects, the human and the divine of the initiative: Brotherhood, that is, the mass of adherents who were reputed to release (and in many cases effectively released) latent therapeutic energies; and Myriam, symbol of the world or the planes from which--in addition to the psychic energies of the chain--are drawn healing forces.

It is understood that the principles, initially given an exhaustive form, should not--as unfortunately happened--lead to fideism, but rather promote a perceptive and experimental mode by the members. In fact, Kremmerz invited the constructive criticism of all that he exposed and encouraged people to develop conclusions drawn from their own personal experiences. . . .

The basis for Hermetic medical studies, unlike common medicine, is harmony with the cosmos, while supported by a philosophy that also considers the karmic effects of actions, so that an illness could also be seen as a scapegoat (recipient of faults).

It could also refer to a collective imbalance within cosmic cycles affecting groups of people, as Buddhism has always maintained. Cancer is what leprosy was like in the Middle Ages, and could also be linked to a collective imbalance in the present stage of humanity.

Hermetically, a connection can be established between the fluidic emanation of suffering among the masses of people--with the negative collectivity of psychic forces--like epidemics and infections. Kremmerz, in his Dialogues (one of his best and most lucid works), wrote that the mass of unprecedented suffering of combatants during the First World War could constitute a fluidic quid whose repercussions would affect distant lands.

These lines were written back in 1928; what would he have said about the aftereffects of the Second World War, atomic bombs included? Hermetic medicine as an application of spiritual forces to the rebalancing of the body is intimately linked to an initiatic philosophy and therefore to the spiritual world. A distinction could also be made, as Kremmerz did, between rebalancing actions, which don’t penetrate below the surface and face external manifestations, and actions centered in deeper stratas that change the structure of being by reshaping it and giving it more of a stable equilibrium. These two aspects of Hermetic medicine correspond to the two types of magic referred to by Kremmerz: natural magic and divine magic.

Kremmerz describes religious miracles as forms of madness with their claims of violating natural laws. According to him, everything takes place within the framework of the laws of nature, including portentous and immediate healings, even with anatomical physical effects. But if we understand the laws of nature according to the common possibilities of contemporary man, then for those extraordinary events, the very few that can be truly ascertained. Certainly, if not a violation of natural laws, then a violation of those laws that demonstrate the intervention of forces from higher planes. What does it mean to violate a law? An event that occurs in spite of the law itself. Kremmerz plays with equivocation when he criticizes the occurrences of miracles.

In real terms, Kremmerz was renowned for obtaining portentous healing results by raising his chain to another plane, which therefore conformed to an ulterior law of nature.

What he meant with regard to denying miracles was that man ignores those principles and laws of nature that determine the miraculous effect. Whereas, in fact it is a matter of caprine wool; for the masses the law refers to the nominal one.

That most miracles are the result of what Kremmerz calls natural magic is true, but in the face of exceptional results and those out of the norm, one must admit that another force intervenes from an ulterior plane and that it can connect with a type of magic that he calls solar, whatever its esoteric aspect. But the shadow of fideism is always lurking, and Kremmerz’s recommended approach to operating in the work was mostly frustrated.

However, with a cumbersome hierarchy in place, of Masonic inspiration, he established within the Myriam the level of therapeut. Now, this level should have been an indication of the degree achieved of even modest therapeutic powers, that is, on the basis of actual effects of invocations, and so forth, realized by the individual.

Instead, if there ever was a therapeut, he was so either by direct transmission by the founder or else the name referred to an administrative designation of no importance. In fact, that real and authentic healers ever came out of Myriam on their own, should be discounted.

Kremmerz, in a circular from his French exile, deplored the overweening desire, among exponents of the Myriamic academies, to display their qualities as healers, to boast of personal miracles that were to be had as gracious gifts for beginners and adherents. These presumptuous little popes, as Kremmerz called them, should have lowered their wings of pride when faced with a rigorous and neutral ascertainment of results, which accorded with his intentions to put in place a science of the soul!

But it must be honestly said that these errors and deviations went back to the same approach that Kremmerz observed since the beginning of the Myriam: too much exaltation, immaturity, lack of discipline and loose organizational standards (which he himself admitted).

There was never an archive that documented the interventions and therapies; it was said that one was cured, but where, when, how, one could not know. Kremmerz wanted to publicly promote the presence of a chain of healers or, if you prefer, relievers of pain; perhaps it would have been reckless to envisage the opening of Hermetic medical clinics! It was unthinkable then, with the human material of little popes who cloaked themselves in mystery to impose their own superiority, deprived of any scientific criterion. Now, however, does it make sense to attempt such an initiative, by replacing the emphatic admiration of the personal miracle with the objective documentation and criticism of results?

At one point in his writings, Kremmerz speaks in his usual teasing language of Christian Science, a North American therapeutic chain, claiming that adherents throw their medicine out the window with often disastrous results. He wanted, wrongly perhaps, to say that disparate modalities of medicine are to be integrated within a broader vision of Hermetic medicine.

Perhaps the claims of Kremmerz were valid for the earliest times of initiation, but later, such excessive experiences were abandoned and Christian Science became a mainstream association that touched upon the multiple aspects of life and was shown to be useful for more than just the care of the body. After this time, that adherents were less inclined to demand the exclusion of doctors, with whom they have now often collaborated. And yet, if Kremmerz had better studied the methods and the expansion of the Christian Science organization, then he would have found surprising similarities with his own initiative, with--in addition--a relevant example of a practical and formidable organization with political clout and a daily newspaper.

The philosophical foundation that Christian Science rests upon is the elementary affirmation that if everything comes from God then it is to him that we must turn to evoke the same creative force for the benefit of men. Therefore, there is no need for the theological folly of miracles, but rather concrete action within a framework of natural and divine laws.

Kremmerz set up a series of principals or heads of the chains among sectors where applications for specific interventions had to be addressed. Kremmerz states that he never considered founding a religion like Christian Science; but his secular thesis falls if one considers that de facto he laid all the premises for a faith: invocations to deities, belief in genies (eons), faith in reincarnation, prayers, and rituals. What more would you want from an external point of view?

Then, that the Myriam was intended both as a philosophy and an (attempted) school of initiation, though ultimately that philosophy did not penetrate into the external core of the organization. His denials, well known to the writer, do not carry much weight. Would it have been better if a religious sect had been founded that would have survived his existence!

Both the Myriam and Christian Science converge on a common point: that there is no matter-spirit dualism. On the one hand there is a mutable matter and on the other the spirit that affects matter and results in a miracle, in violation of its laws; but there is a unicum, with gradations of reciprocal action-reaction between matter and spirit.

The spirit materializes and matter is spiritualized; but not because they are separate entities, but rather as functions of a cosmic unicum. The divergences between Christian Science and the Myriam are revealed by the willed nature of the healing event. A will-based intervention operates to a lesser extent within the religious form of Christian Science and to a maximum extent within magical chains.

However, even in the Christian Science chain there is a certain voluntary nature, since the genial figure of the practitioner directs his will to channel the chain’s flow of energy. Among other commonly practiced religious chains the healing will or desire is indirectly married to the image of the Madonna or saint invoked. This type of intervention directs the healing will, and prevents it from deviating, to the sick who pray on their own behalf.

As a rule, priests do not perform gestures or rituals as a means of projecting a certain will on the patient. Exorcisms are an exception, which, perhaps could be considered as a demonological pagan residue tolerated by the Catholic Church, but here there is no instance of an active chain, except in some rituals for the obsessed. Kremmerz, on the other hand, encourages direct projections on the patient, with special rituals known as “inserting the patient within the chain,” for which a direct intervention was required; and here the element of voluntariness among the recipient (patient) is essential.

Within the Kremmerzian healing practice, patients must vibrate in unison with the healing chain, in an active and conscious vibration. A pietistic and lamenting attitude in the patient reduces the possibilities of the chain’s intervention, because with the supplications and lamentations the inferior part of the patient’s being emerges, which obfuscates contact with the occult sphere of the patient.

From the Hermetic point of view, religious precepts are gross energies without the requisite condensation and refinement of ritual. Therefore, their effects are limited quantitatively and qualitatively. In essence, there is a difference between a chain that is psychologically aligned more toward a Christian Science religious type, rather than with a Hermetic therapeutic type. The difference lies in the fact that the former is crude and not specifically directed toward a cure, while the latter, to a greater or lesser degree, are (energetically) refined chains with specific therapeutic orientations.

The principles of Hermetic medicine are based on the concepts of positive, neutral, and negative treatments. In Hermetic therapy, the prototype of positive treatment, it is solar magic that acts on the disease by clearing it away from the patient and restoring the affected organ to its original healthy state.

The prototype of the negative treatment is the passive action of the chain, through the evoked intervention of therapeutic entities, as proposed by Kremmerz in 1898 (in hisHermetic Medicine).

The prototype of the neutral treatment occurs through the combined action of invocations from the chain and from the emanation of a fluidic quid that arises in the presence of evoked entities. This action can also be said to be mixed because it is not possible to establish to what extent the active and autonomous entity in therapeutics is then passive, that is, obedient to specific exhortations of Isiac operators; and vice versa, up to what point is the passive chain in the invoked intervention then active in releasing the universal energy that is focused on the patient.

Each of these prototypes in turn branches into three types of application:

1. Direct or positive;

2. Mixed or neutral;

3. Indirect or relatively negative, since it does not initiate direct or indirect or absolute or mixed action in equal proportions. As well, in common medicine the three components of the therapeutic action can be distinguished.

An action is considered positive when an intervention is proposed to kill microbes or viruses; it is considered negative if it carries out a purificatory action on the organ, or remediation of the sick organ. It is a mixed or indirect modality to the extent that it fortifies the organism, reinvigorates it to the extent that it sets off the necessary reactions for healing. Such types of medical interventions can be classified as antibacterial, invigorating, and detoxifying.

Among the indirect ones are the so-called valorizations of substances and medicines: these, passive in their Hermetic influence, become active in transferring to the patient the proper virtue enhanced by magical prayer. Another effect of the chain and of religious prayers must also be observed, and this also applies to the Myriamic chain. The psychic energy of the chain projected on the suffering or diseased target determines in the subject a vibratory state that modifies his body-matter to such an extent that it places him in unison with the occult plane and thus makes possible a miracle. This effects a profound and sudden modification of the patient’s anatomico-pathological situation: a miracle in conventional terms, in spite of the criticisms made by Kremmerz’s words; which, moreover, as a theurgist was at the level of the miracle-making plane.

About The Author

Marco Daffi, a pseudonym for Baron Ricciardo Ricciardelli (1900-1969), was an Italian esotericist and the author of several books in Italian on hermeticism and alchemy.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Inner Traditions (September 20, 2022)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781644114544

Browse Related Books

Raves and Reviews

The Hermetic Physician is an eagerly awaited addition to the growing body of works on Italian Hermeticism, of which Giuliano Kremmerz is its modern embodiment. Heir of the Egyptian- Neapolitan current from which Cagliostro and others were born, Kremmerz sought to reveal esoteric teachings to lessen human suffering through the tool of Hermetic ‘egregores.’ Here, for the first time in the English language, we have the guiding principles and examples of rituals of a healer of miraculous reputation to aid us on our own inner journey and to help us be of service to others on their path as well.”

– Mark Stavish, author of Egregores and The Path of Freemasonry

“Pantano’s excellent translations of, and insightful commentaries on, Daffi’s obscure essays gives the reader a rare glimpse into the life and work of the Italian magus Giuliano Kremmerz. From his work in occult therapeutics to order documents pertaining to his Fraternity of Myriam, Kremmerz’s work is finally available to the English-reading public.”

– Jaime Paul Lamb, author of Myth, Magick, and Masonry: Occult Perspectives in Freemasonry

“English-speaking people have been in the dark for too long about European esotericism. This fascinating book gives insight into the Italian movement in the early twentieth century, which parallels many developments in the United States.”

– Richard Smoley, author of A Theology of Love

“In the English-speaking world, Italian esotericism has long been synonymous with radical Traditionalist Julius Evola. However, shining a light on a fascinating but little-known corner of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Italy, The Hermetic Physician outlines the life and work of Hermeticist, magician, and healer Giuliano Kremmerz and his Fraternity of Myriam (influenced by the Egyptian Rite of Freemasonry, Martinism, Rosicrucianism, and the ancient Egyptian-Greco-Roman tradition). This volume includes texts written by Kremmerz for members of the fraternity (which was targeted and eventually closed down by the fascist regime of Mussolini) as well as a Sagittarius ritual and an Aries ritual published in Kremmerz’s journal Il Mondo, never before seen in English. Other subjects discussed in this volume include the initiatic chain, the use of therapeutical genii, planetary intelligences, and the effect of the ‘erotic fire’ of sex on healing.”

– Angel Millar, author of The Three Stages of Initiatic Spirituality: Craftsman, Warrior, Magician

“Translating Marco Daffi’s work, The Hermetic Physician was an obvious labor of love for David Pantano. Thanks to his and Daffi’s efforts we can explore Giuliano Kremmerz’s concepts of Hermetic healing and the fraternity he built around them. Don’t overlook this Hermetic gem!”

– Rebecca Elson, publisher of the Magical Buffet website

“Less well known--and unfairly so--outside Italy than his nearcontemporary Julius Evola, Giuliano Kremmerz would find in Marco Daffi (Baron Ricciardo Ricciardelli) a sympathetic chronicler of his Hermetic philosophy, in particular its iatric implications. Now both men have found in David Pantano a translator who does justice to their work, enabling a wider public to discover that union of matter and spirit that for Kremmerz was the sum total of reality.”

– David Conway, author of Magic: A Life in More Worlds Than One

“Giuliano Kremmerz was one of the most important figures in the Italian Hermetic tradition in the early twentieth century but heretofore has received little attention in the English-speaking world. The translator, David Pantano, is to be congratulated in spreading awareness of Kremmerz to a wider audience and helping to shed light on his intriguing system of Hermetic medicine.”

– Alex Sumner, author of The Magus Trilogy

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images