Archeosophy: Wikis


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Archeosophy, literally from Greek ἀρχή (arché) = Principle and Σoφíα (Sophia) = Wisdom. The word Archeosophy indicates an original form of Esoteric Christianity developed by Tommaso Palamidessi in the late 1960s.


Definition of Archeosophy

The origin of the term Archeosophy can be found in the Pauline Epistles to express the "Wisdom of God"[1]. This very word was then used in the 20th century by Tommaso Palamidessi, who founded in 1968 Archeosofica, a school of Esoteric Christianity. According to him,

Archeosophy is the integral knowledge, the archaic wisdom, the science of the principles; it is the study of the First Causes or the Science of God as the Absolute Principle of every created thing. Archeosophy is a word proposed by the writer, formed by the Greek words ἀρχή = principle, and Σoφíα = wisdom. In its double aspect of experience of life and theoretical doctrine it has the specific aim of illuminating the mind and of stirring the consciousness for the quest and conquest of truth as a necessary Good.
It is a philosophy springing from experience as it rests on the concrete and positive principles of methodical experimentation in order to know the superior worlds, ourselves and God, through the development of new senses, defined as spiritual. Today it is the most complete interpretation of Christianity.

Tommaso Palamidessi, Dizionario Enciclopedico di Archeosofia, Archeosophy

Archeosophy in brief

Since Tommaso Palamidessi was both a theosophist and an anthroposophist, his doctrinal teachings, expressed in his "booklets", have a lot in common with Theosophy and Anthroposophy grounded on Christian Theology. In Palamidessi’s line of thought, anyway, Archeosophy is first of all a pure experimental method, therefore its doctrine is a philosophy a posteriori.[2]

"Archeosophy, before becoming a doctrine, was and is experience which makes one re-ascend to the first principles, through the practice of numerous asceses, each one, as we shall see, with different characteristics, but with finalities converging towards the Absolute." Tommaso Palamidessi, Archaic Tradition and Foundation of the Archeosophical Initiation, ed. Archeosofica, 1968.

Therefore Archeosophy, according to Palamidessi’s definition, is an interpretation of Christianity grounded on the principles of methodical experimentation in order to know "the superior worlds, ourselves and God, through the development of new senses, defined as spiritual".[3] According to Palamidessi, the main goal of Archeosophy is to indicate spiritual methods and practical techniques which will lead the individual to directly experience supersensible worlds. These techniques stem from a deep reprocessing of ancient ascetical methods, including those of Yoga, Christianity and other Western and Eastern traditions.

"Archeosophical techniques have many points in common with the Orphic and Pythagorean Mysteries, with the Egyptian Mysteries and the marvelous practices, always valid at every latitude and in every age, of the Essenes, the Kabbalists and the Alchemists, with the Yoga methods, and those of the Hesychasts of Mount Athos and Kalampaka, of the Islamic Sufis, but they go even further". Tommaso Palamidessi, Archaic Tradition and Foundation of the Archeosophical Initiation, ed. Archeosofica, 1968.

Archeosophical view of the human being


Main Elements

Tommaso Palamidessi in his "The Occult Constitution of Man and Woman" described the human being as consisting of two main elements:

  • - The Ego;
  • - The Personality.

The term Ego indicates the authentic Soul of Man; it is his Individuality, which can manifest itself in a physical body only in part. The Personality, on the other hand, is that part of the Individuality which manifests itself in a given time, in a given reincarnation, in a given particular race, now as a man, now as a woman.[4]

The Ego. In Archeosophical teachings "Ego" is a conventional term indicating the true individual, immortal, pre-existent and present in every reincarnation[5]. The Ego itself can be considered as composed by three principles or aspects (a Spirit, an Emotive Soul and an Erosdynamic Soul) and a subtle body (the Causal body) which survives through all the different reincarnations and records the strongest memories of past lives.[4] According to Palamidessi's analysis, the Spirit is the will, the intellect, the memory, the intuition of the eternal truths, the religious and merciful love; the Emotive Soul is the center of gravity of the emotive sphere of consciousness, while the word Erosdynamic Soul indicates the center of gravity inherent in the erotic, generative psychic sphere.

The Personality. The Personality, instead, according to Archeosophical teachings (as much as other Theosophical and Rusicrucian movements), is fourfolded. It includes:

  • the physical body;
  • the etheric body, by means of which the vital forces can circulate and manifest themselves;[6]
  • the astral body, also called “body of desire” or “emotional body”;[7]
  • the mental body, the instrument which manifests the thought of the Ego and therefore of its spirit.[8]

The Lesser Guardian of the Threshold

see also Guardian of the Threshold

In addition to all this elements every man, according to archeosophical teachings [9], is followed through reincarnations by a spectral projection called the lesser Guardian of the Threshold.

The reincarnating Ego dons new bodies: mental, astral, etheric and physical, with the vital energy, but the Guardian hangs on to them like a parasite, strengthens the passionate element and gives them a deadly power. The Guardian of the Threshold is a precise automatic warner to show that our personality is not clean, is not naked. It reminds you that you must destroy the old man, to substitute it with the New man, in accordance with the words of Saint Paul to the Ephesians (IV, 22-24): “Strip yourself of the old man which is corrupted by following the deceiving passions.... to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new Man who is created in the image of God in the justice and in the holiness that originates from the Truth”. Tommaso Palamidessi,The Guardians of the Threshold ed. Archeosofica, 1969

According to Palamidessi, the lesser Guardian of the Threshold is not a spirit but a ghost, an energetic charge of base instincts and it belongs to the world of the images of the hereafter. The Guardian is a kind of echo or mirror of thoughts and actions made by the individual. "In fact, like the echo of our voice that resounds in the valley but which, being neither us nor our voice, is nevertheless a reflected vibration of our voice, so, the Guardian of the Threshold is the ego of our Ego [...]. A feeling of hatred does not finish with the action of hating, but remains recorded in the elemental being, in this imitation of nature, because an action of hatred is accompanied by a concentrated will and thought, that constitutes a process of meditation, and therefore a creating process. In the final analysis, one is persecuted by what the thinker has thought."[10] The lesser Guardian of the Threshold therefore is a separate new subtle body, moldable in good or bad, which every Ego received the faculty to create in its own image and likeness. This spectral figure is the abstract of the debit and credit book of the individual and, according to the archeosophical teachings, it is destined to be the body of resurrection. In this line of thought, the aim of archeosophical meditation techniques and ascetical exercises is to form a beautiful Guardian of the Threshold as it will become the body of resurrection.

Ascetical Techniques

According to Tommaso Palamidessi himself[11],

"Archeosophy proposes an integral Ascesis, composed, that is, of other integrative asceses which we enumerate as follows:

  • Physiological and Psychosomatic Ascesis, for the physical well being and the maximum balance and performability of the body, its energies, to the purpose of making it a temple of the spirit: a necessary basis for preparing a good karma (destiny) in view of the "resurrection of the body", healthy and beautiful.
  • Social Ascesis, that is the effort, exercise, methodical and progressive action to become a perfect citizen and to make one-self a spokesman of a new society resting on the pillars of charity, non-violence, reciprocal economic, cultural and spiritual assistance.
  • Mystical Ascesis, through an intense devotional life of dialogue with the Divinity; a process of inner transmutation leading to active ecstasy, to the vision of the Light. It is the Alchemist's Opus in White, the entrance into the Waters of Life, the sojourn of the Saints: prelude to a new state of superior ascent towards the Kingdom of God.
  • Theurgical Ascesis, or progressing with the rites which attract the friendship and help of God, of the Christ, of the Mother, of the helpful Angelic Spirits, Archangelic and of the Universal Communion of the Adepts and the Saints.
  • Magical Ascesis, effort and action to dominate the forces of Nature. Read the definition of Magic we have given in our Encyclopedic Dictionary of Archeosophy (40th Booklet - first part).
  • Cosmic Ascesis, action and advance towards a syntony or cosmicization with the whole: stars, elements, skies, etc.
  • Sapiential and Initiatic Ascesis, or the spiritual elevation of oneself through the Knowledge and particular practices leading to an inner transmutation and to the qualitative leap. It is the way to come out of the Waters of the phenomenic world, the going beyond the mystical state, it is the christic walking above the Waters. It is the perennial wakefulness and the Alchemist's Opus in Red, that is the royal state of who has finally exited from the game of creation."

The archeosophical ascetical program is developed by Tommaso Palamidessi in more than fifty booklets of Archeosophy. These monographical booklets cover a wide range of topics. Each of them is generally split into a theoretical part and a practical part, the latter usually exposing an ascetical technique related with the topic of the booklet. Among all the archeosophical ascetical techniques proposed in these booklets, some are considered as extraordinarily important [11]. They are bilocation (out-of-body experience), remembrance of past lives and spiritualistic communications. Beside these techniques, a special attention has to be given to the ascetical practice of Cardiognosis, a form of hesychast meditation on the center of the heart which - according to Palamidessi- will lead to a soft and free-of-danger awakening of kundalini [12][13]. Other archeosophical ascetical techniques include iconography, sacred music, breathing techniques, simbolurgy, Christian and yoga meditation and more.

Archeosofica and the Archeosophical Society

After the foundation of the Archeosophical Society, the term Archeosophy is often used to indicate Archeosofica or the Archeosophical Society, both founded by Tommaso Palamidessi. In fact, Archeosophy, Archeosofica and Archeosophical Society are three different things:

  • Archeosophy means the Wisdom of God (Archè) or the Science of the Principles.
  • Archeosofica is an esoteric school without any legal or financial structure founded by Tommaso Palamidessi in 1968.
  • The Archeosophical Society is a non-profit cultural organization with the aim of promoting the study, the develop and diffusion of Archeosophy.

See also


  1. ^ St. Paul, First Letter to the Corinthians, (2:6-2:10)
  2. ^ Tommaso Palamidessi, Archaic Tradition and Foundation of the Archeosophical Initiation, ed. Archeosofica, 1968.
  3. ^ Tommaso Palamidessi, Dizionario Enciclopedico di Archeosofia, ed. Archeosofica, 1978.
  4. ^ a b Tommaso Palamidessi, The Occult Constitution of Man and Woman, ed. Archeosofica, 1979.
  5. ^ Tommaso Palamidessi, Guide to Abstraction, Concentration and Meditation, ed. Archeosofica, 1969.
  6. ^ Tommaso Palamidessi, The Etheric Body, ed. Archeosofica.
  7. ^ Tommaso Palamidessi, The Astral Double, ed. Archeosofica.
  8. ^ Tommaso Palamidessi, Mental World and Mental Body, ed. Archeosofica.
  9. ^ Tommaso Palamidessi, The Guardians of the Thresholds, ed. Archeosofica, 1969
  10. ^ Tommaso Palamidessi, The Guardians of the Threshold, ed. Archeosofica, 1969
  11. ^ a b Tommaso Palamidessi, The Archaic Tradition and Foundations of Archeosophical Initiation, ed. Archeosofica, 1968
  12. ^ Tommaso Palamidessi, The Mystical Ascesis and the Meditation on the Heart, ed. Archeosofica, 1969
  13. ^ Tommaso Palamidessi, Guide to Abstraction, Concentration and Meditation, ed. Archeosofica, 1969


In English:

  • Article « Archeosophy » by P.L. Zoccatelli in Peter B. Clarke (ed.), Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements, London - New York: Routledge, 2006, p. 38-39.

In Italian, German and French:

  • Günter Bartsch, « Archäosophie – das neue Gralsrittertum », in Materialdienst der Evangelische Zentralstelle für Weltanschauungsfragen, 1989, 12, p. 369–371.
  • Massimo Introvigne, Il Cappello del mago.I nuovi movimenti magici, dallo spiritismo al satanismo, Milan: Sugarco, 1990, p. 330-332 (French translation: La magie: les nouveaux mouvements magiques, Paris : Droguet et Ardant, 1993).
  • Cecilia Gatto Trocchi, Magia ed esoterismo in Italia, Milano:Mondadori, 1990, p. 142-145.
  • Antoine Faivre, L'ésotérisme, Paris : PUF, 1992, p. 102.
  • Massimo Introvigne - Pier Luigi Zoccatelli (editors), Le religioni in Italia, Elledici - Velar, Leumann (Turin) - Gorle (Bergamo), 2006, p. 842-844.
  • Francesco Baroni, « Tommaso Palamidessi et l'Archéosophie », in La Tentation du secret, Groupes et sociétés initiatiques entre ésotérisme et politique du XVIIIème au XXème siècle, Politica Hermetica n° 21 (2007), p. 120-135.

External resources

Some Booklets of Archeosophy are freely available at


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