Early influences & history

Sicily (Italy) 1280 - Mid 1400's.

Our Mystical Christian influences are said to derive from the Spiritual Franciscans (Fraticelli) of Sicily. One group of Fraticelli fled from Tuscany to Sicily after being declared heretical by the Pope. Frederik II of Sicily gave them refuge and protection at his court

Our Jewish influences originate with Spanish Kabbalist Abraham Abulafia (1240-1292), who travelled to Israel, Syria, and Greece before settling in Sicily where he incorporated ideas from the Franciscans who studied with him into his tradition (Angels on Jacob's Ladder, Hames, 2012). Abulafia said of these Fraticelli "I saw that that they belonged to the pious among the nations, and the words of religious fools need not be heeded, for the Law of the Lord has been handed to the Masters of Knowledge".

Italy (1350-1550)

There were mentions in the mid-late 1300's of the Shomerim (Guardians) or "Shomrim la-Boker" (Watchers of the Dawn), an esoteric society originally linked to Abraham Abulafia and later promulgated by a student of Kabbalist Moses Cordovero. There were later Guardian societies in Florence, Venice, Montova, Modena, and Ancona who "worked in regular professions during the day, while at night and early morning undertook Kabbalistic rituals, esoteric study and meditation". Their motto was "Ha-Lilah mishmar, w-ha Yom M'Lakah" which means "Work by Day, Watch (Guard) by Night".

The 'Platonic Academy' in Florence, Italy was later established in the mid 1400's – mid 1500's under the patronage of Cosimo de Medici.  Flavius Mithridates (Guiglemo Raymond Moncado) a Jewish Kabbalist from Sicily who converted to Christianity joined the Academy working under its leaders Pico Della Mirandolla and Marsilio Ficino to translate a Library from Sicily containing Kabbalistic texts by Abulafia and his student Joseph Gikkatilla.  Mirandolla and Franciscan Friar Francesco Giorgi Venteto (1466-1540) were the two founders of Christian Cabala at this time.  Another person who helped Ficino establish the Academy was Georgios Gemistos Pletho, a Greek Philosopher and scholar. His esoteric teachings and ceremonies were based on Hellenic Greek and Mithraic Solar mysteries. It is said that the  order established by this group in 1498 was called "The Fratres Lucis". 


Germany 1510-1930's

The teachings of Christian Cabala (Kabbalah) from Florence were taken to Germany in the early 1500's by Johannes Reuchlin (1455-1522) who had been a student of Mirandolla and Friar Venteto in Florence. Johannes Trithemius (1462-1516) Abbot of the Benedictine Monastery of Spanheim was taught Kabbalah by Reuchlin and was also influenced by the Occultist Frater Basilius Valentinius  (Benedictine Prior of the Monastery in Erfurt, Germany). Trithemius's students were Paracelcus (Thephrastus von Hohenheim) and Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486-1535). Agrippa lectured at the University of Pavia (Italy) on Hermes Trismegistus, Kabbalah, and the works of Reuchlin, Mirandolla, and Ficino, and was taught mysticism by Paolo Ricci (AKA Camillo Renato), another Sicilian Franciscan.


The Guardians were reportedly  based in Frankfurt-Am-Main, Germany during the late 1700's and were also been referred to as the  'Fratres Lucis' (Brotherhood of Light). This order claimed a connection back to the Platonic Academy in Florence. They admitted prominent Kabbalists such as Ephraim Joseph Hirschfeld (died 1819) and Franz Thomas von Schonfeld (AKA Moses Dobrucshka). The Order's areas of study were Kabbalah and Mystical Christian Theurgy. The Kabbalistic scholar Franz Josef Molitor describes how the founder of the Frankfurt order was initiated by "a Franciscan Friar who possessed occult knowledge received from a Kabbalistic mystical Sect". 


French Gnostics, Mouni Sadhu

& Michael Freedman 

Mouni Sadhu (which means 'silent monk') was the pseudonym of Polish-German occultist Mieczyslaw Demetriusz Sudowski (AKA Michael Sadau), who had been in a Rosicrucian group in Europe during the 1920's, studying the Hermetic tradition of Baron Gregory Ottonovich von Mebes. Mebes was a University Professor, leading Martinist,  and the Russian Grand Master of the 'Kabbalistic Order of the Rosy Cross' and the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light (claiming descent from the Fratres Lucis) headed by Gerard Encausse (AKA Papus) in France.

In 1935 Mouni Sadhu stayed at a society in Paris (Les Amites Spirituelles) founded by renowned esotericist, Martinist, and Gnostic Bishop 'Paul Sedir' (Yvon le Loup). Sedir was an associate of Papus, and a senior member of various French Occult orders. After WWII Mouni Sadhu immigrated to Melbourne, Australia where he resided until his death in 1972. During his life he had ongoing correspondence with Christian mystic Thomas Merton, and Theosophists C.W. Leadbeater and Annie Besant and spent years in India as a disciple of Ramana Maharshi. He wrote numerous books including a translation of Paul Sedir's "Initiations", a book on Theurgy, and a book entitled 'Tarot: The Quintessence of Hermetic Occultism'. He dedicated one of his books to Papus and Sedir. 

Michel Tyne Corbold (AKA Michael Freedman) joined the Melbourne Sanctuary of the Society, headed by Freedman Burford (Senior Guardian) in 1959, and was also member of Mouni Sadhu's esoteric group . He had previously been an Anglican Minister, and became a renowned meditation teacher through his training in India. Michael's spiritual name within the order was" Thamris Gnostes"

After Freedman Burford's death in 1967 Michael Freedman was made the Senior Guardian. In 1969 he moved to Auckland, New Zealand with his wife, where he worked as a Psychologist. He opened the "Sanctuary of the Angels" and performed monthly Solar Ingress rituals, a weekly Mystical Mass, and ran esoteric study groups, meditation evenings, and spiritual retreats. The order's training included courses on Mysticism, Tarot, Kabbalah, and High Magic, and from 1978 a free correspondence meditation course was published, which was accessed by thousands of people. 

Freedman published New Zealand's leading esoteric journal 'Magic Pentacle', wrote many articles, and translated Latin, Greek, and Hebrew texts into English, including a version of the Kabbalistic 'Sefer Yetzirah', and one of Giordano Bruno's Latin manuscripts. Michael was close friends with Frater Fiat Lux (Frank Salt), a senior adept of the the Whare Ra Temple of the Stella Matutina (Golden Dawn), and  received initiation into that tradition also.  Michael passed to higher planes at Summer Solstice, 1996. 

ABOUT THE CURRENT SENIOR GUARDIAN

Ciaran has been involved with the Guardians Tradition for over 30 years. He was introduced to Michael Freedman as a teenager by his mother in 1991 and became a correspondence student, then later attended ceremonies and tuition at the Sanctuary in Mt Eden until the late Senior Guardian's death in 1996. He continued his studies under the guidance of other Guardian adepts as well as through Masonic, Rosicrucian, and Esoteric Orders and has led a ritual group of the Celtic Magical Tradition for the last 25 years. 

In 2013, Ciaran was given a Charter/Temple Warrant by Jean de Cabilis to work the ceremonies and teachings of the Society of Guardians within his own Sanctuary. Three years later in 2016 Ciaran was invested as Senior Guardian by  Anae S. (Abbess of the Guardians) with the approval and blessing of Dermot C. (Prior and Successor to Michael Freedman)In everyday life Ciaran is a Psychological Therapist, and has also been a University Lecturer. Ciaran has a strong interest in Ancient Mythology, Anthropology, World Religions, Psychoanalytic psychotherapy and Jungian Psychology. 

Ciaran is also an ordained Priest of the Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch with valid Apostolic succession in the Old Catholic/Liberal Catholic, and French Gnostic lines, as well as the Knights Templar Lineage of L'Ordre du Temple, established in 1804 . 

Paul Sedir (Yvon Le Loup) 1871-1926. French Christian Mystic, Martinist, Occultist & Gnostic Bishop of German parentage.

Mouni Sadhu (Michael Sadau/Mieczyslaw Sudowski)             1897-1971

Michael Freedman (Senior Guardian) 1929 - 1996