The American Minervan (MINVRA) aim is to generate newfound interest in Theosophy and stir developments in American Esotericism. Primarily, I focus on discourse about the history of the Theosophical Movement in the nineteenth-century as a cause for democratic enlightenment, and its place within the context of American Metaphysical Religion and Organized American Esotericism. This leads us to a second crucial part of this blog, which is to shed light on the roots of American Republicanism and the ancient democracies, the Rise of Republics and the spiritual movements and Occult Revival that emerged from it. I am fiercely against orthodox narratives about heresiology. This means I attack the heart, going to the center of controversies of Freemasonry in this history as well as the historical Bavarian Illuminati and its founder Johann Adam Weishaupt. One of the benefits of this effort, is that it challenges the whole scheme of Western anti-esoteric discourse within the broader framework of Western hegemonic narratives or ‘rejected knowledge’ devoting itself to unrestricted free inquiry of its field of study. Explore with me as I attempt to dissect the grand narratives of Western culture and look at the elements that were built as a rejection of those things studied under the label of “esotericism” and “heresies” under traditional church histories and modern science.
TOPICS & APPROACH
I provide in research and discourse on (1) theosophy and the history of esotericism and interpretation of esoteric texts; and (2) the roots of American republicanism, and the history of the rise of republics as it developed in the Americas. When I delve into Italian fascism, it is done so as a competitive vision to American republicanism, both claiming the legacy of Ancient Rome.
I began this site after searching into the history of the Americas and the origins of U.S. political tradition initially as a critical reaction to Manly P. Hall’s “The Secret Destiny of America,” and the correspondences between Helena P. Blavatsky, William Q. Judge and Chhabigram Dolatram on the question whether Adepts were involved in the American Revolution, to which the answer from Theosophist H.P. Blavatsky was no. With her, I agree. Manly P. Hall’s “The Secret Destiny of America” became the subject of a conspiracy that has gone unchecked. The aims of the German Rosicrucians and Bavarian Illuminati, in addition to Thomas Jefferson’s brief thoughts about the Illuminati of Bavaria and the French Revolution led me to want to address it. While I attempt to confront, dissect and dismantle misconceptions about Theosophy and Occultism, the task proves difficult in the face of human psychology and accepted notions.
Conspiracy theories are apart of the “Othering” and rejection of narratives associated with the history of foundational yet suppressed dimensions of influence on Western Thought. Ignoring this cannot possibly give us a more hopeful position from which to understand, e.g., the proper context and significance of Masonic and European spiritual movements in the early history of America. Conspiracy theories are at the foundation of America’s founding, and research presented includes the controversies and characters in the early history of the Theosophical Movement and the historical Bavarian Order of the Illuminati versus church history polemics and other narratives that have distorted our beliefs about their aims. Another of the important purposes this study serves is operating as a counter to the narratives and arguments of today’s subversive far-right elements, American Trad, Paleo-Conservatives and the counter-revolutionary Anti-Enlighteners during the emergence of the Enlightenment era.
You will find articles on Theosophy, Magic and Science, American political history, Stoicism, Fascism, Folklore and Mythology, sketches of the History of Occult Philosophy, biographies of Saints, Occultists and Adepts from the Medieval Alchemists, Renaissance Platonists, Freemasons, French, German and Spanish Mystics and the Theosophists.
The history and conflicts that involve connections with Nazism and Fascism are dealt with to combat inaccurate research. As to my approach, in the case of Fascism for example: (a) I explore the Stoics, philosophers and poets of Italy, Mazzini, Hegel and Japanese Philosophy in the culture of the Samurai and Zen Buddhism; but (b) I never accuse Mazzini, Hegel, or Japanese philosophy as being the cause for Fascism and the atrocities against humanity committed by the Nazis, then (c) proceed to demonize Mazzini, Hegel or the Japanese. Being false, this is sometimes the reductionist reasoning in the standard polemical approach of theologians, or the dialectics of other important thinkers when scrutinizing esoteric movements, and hence misconstruing the motives of various individuals.
Many assumptions and negative associations have been created and widespread among intellectuals and academics, that constantly defined occultism as opposed to Enlightenment rationalism, tainted with fascist sympathies and anti-Semitic sentiment hence presenting political danger — a position I object. All the while, these persons ignore the history of instigation that created the Judeo-Masonic conspiracy that involved Theosophists and other Occultists also becoming the victims of the Nazis and Fascists. Together, we should all change perceptions and redirect outdated narratives and slander with our voice and our power in writing.
MIINERVA AND MARS IN ROMAN MYTHOLOGY AND AMERICAN REPUBLICANISM
I consider this the fun imaginative idea underlying MINVRA. The use of Minerva is no coincidence in American history. Think of the idea for MINVRA like an allegorical struggle between two siblings. It represents the human struggle, through the myth of Minerva and Mars, the Roman god of war and protector of Rome, second only to Jupiter. Mars was seen as a virtuous figure by the more martial-oriented Romans, but the qualities that represented Minerva as the goddess of wisdom has been adopted for ages, and the image represented in the art of classical periods remain used on the seals or logos of many institutes of higher learning.
Minerva is to represent American Republicanism and Mars, Fascism. MINERVA is Jove’s INTELLIGENCE (Divine Reason), the NOUS, deliverer, liberator, and savior. The goddess Minerva (becomes Columbia) was used in early American republican symbolism and in architecture, inspired by early Graeco-Roman neoclassical art, and the French. The Roman MINERVA or Greek Athena is Nous, a goddess of DIVINE WISDOM represented in art and myth as a warrior with Valor, Intelligence, and Grace. In myth and art, we find Minerva tempering her opposing principle, the aggressive warlike deity MARS (Ares).
“I reigned in days when earth could bear with gods, and divinities moved freely in the abodes of men. The sin of mortals had not yet put Justice to flight (she was the last of the celestials to forsake the earth): honour’s self, not fear, ruled the people without appeal to force: toil there was none to expound the right to righteous men. I had naught to do with war: guardian was I of peace and doorways, and these,” quoth he, showing the key, “these be the arms I bear.” The god now closed his lips. Then I thus opened mine, using my voice to lure the voice divine.” (OVID, FASTI BOOK I)
Dominique Johnson, Author.
Studied B.A. in Religious Studies at DePaul University, focusing on Religion in relation to Art History, Sacred Spaces & Architecture, Culture and International Politics. I was an Egan Hope Scholar and a Vincentian, and I carry those values with me. I will always remain interested in religious philosophy, art and culture. I have created MINVRA to express and divulge my learning, to be open and inspire dialogue, to continue to develop, and provide knowledge and service that inspires others in turn. My idea of the direction of MINVRA continues to evolve.