The past week I’ve been reading Serrano’s Golden Cord and have to say, it’s quite a ride. If this book was Serrano himself talking to you, you’d hold up your hands defensively and cower away slowly while saying: “Why dontcha backoff Serrano! Don’t steamroll over me with this plox, how about yah take it easy for a second?”
Firstly: I absolutely and categorically ward off anyone reading this unless they have read all of the following Evola books first, in the order that I give them here:
- Mystery of the Grail
- Hermetic Tradition
- Doctrine of Awakening
- Yoga of Power
It’ll be beneficial as well if you’ve read Guenon and Schuon most likely as well (I haven’t read anything at all by Schuon yet, but I can say that having as much perennial/esoteric reading under your belt as possible will be of absolute necessity). Furthermore, you need Florian-tier (our comrade and host of the Mysterium Fasces podcast) knowledge of Christianity and various christian heresies. Without these you will be all but lost reading this book, I myself had been lucky enough to have finished reading the Yoga of Power not too long before I decided to tackle the Golden Cord.
Reason for this warning is that Serrano’s style, as far as this book is concerned at least, is hard to deal with – it is very heavy with various references and names and concepts without providing in-depth understanding of them, so it’s heavy in content but at the same time light in explanations. Basically, unless you’ve read the books above this will be a wasted read as you won’t understand any of the words, concepts and names utilized, which he borrows from all those subjects and beyond. He often strews together several concepts that are symbolically describing one and the same thing, and later in the book mixes them up to create a narrative built out of several languages. Hence, it does describe one process but using different narratives, like speaking one sentence but with words from different languages.
The Golden Cord has a peculiar structure of several major portions divided into multitudes of very short segments. Most of these segment don’t last longer than a page and a half. The forward alone, as one portion, contains 21 segments. The other portions are named after the Cathars, Druids, Templars and the Rosenkreuz. The titles of the portions, and in some cases of the segments, are misleading, as he does not go into the in-depth background of each group. Sometimes, he barely mentions them at all in certain segments, while mentioning the other groups, and groups that don’t get their own titles (Minnesangers and Fedele d’Amore for example).
Word of warning (of sorts): pretty much everything up until you start reading the second half of the Templar portion will appear to be extremely wAcky. Conspiracy-theory-tinfoil-hat meets ancient-aliens+DaVinci-Code-History-Channel-documentary-series-marathon-special wacky. Most of the Hollow Earth and UFO stuff will be in the Forward segment, complete with questionable science claims, followed by the History Channel special in the rest of it.
It’ll be kind of like this:
oh the Druids? Yeah mages of hyperborea, and the Cathars were their descendants, kind of? Templars followed in their footsteps and so did the SS, btw jews aren’t jews and the 10 commandments that we know of were a second set of commandments that are false, the original ones are the for real ones and who was Moses anyway, oh an Egyptian priest-mage actually, vikings and Templars had been to South America btw, in fact one Aztek “White God” is actually a depiction of a Templar.
It might be hard for some people to take him seriously, absolutely impossible even, unless they read the ‘must read books’ listed at the start of this review. Problem is that one may easily get lost figuring out how much of this Serrano presents literally as supposed historical facts and real science, and how much of it he presents symbolically and allegorically. With the more historic stuff it becomes a question of the legitimacy of the narrative that he builds depending on what can be believed to be historically true, that might in fact be completely erroneous (as he constantly references other people for the basis of some of his points).
However the historic validity may be completely unimportant as the symbolism takes primacy for Serrano, thus legend becomes more important and more real than factual history – his take on Druids and Catharism for example. Still, Serrano presents this information for those who would like to test the historic accuracy of these things, but their symbolic value as myths/legends would nevertheless prevail – he leaves it up to you to make the call if you want to believe these things as just symbols or as symbols rooted in reality. The myth/legend narrative that Serrano weaves, however, does seem to be legitimate and in line with everything we know from traditional teachings.
As an example:
>otherworldly beings from other planets
Okay, well is that symbolic of transcendental beings, or is this tied to a literal aliens/UFO interpretation?
-Is it aliens or not, Serrano? What are you saying?
-I’m not saying it’s not aliens, but it is totally angels. They could be aliens tho.
Serrano also comes from the anti-christian perspective – which is a lot more muddied, however, with these concepts of Jesus having a twin brother. Or, of there being another prophet, which brought more Buddhist/tantric concepts to Christianity, whereas the first one was merely a Jewish nationalist concerned with politics.
Serrano also goes into a concept of how Christianity “inverted” positive symbols into negative ones and vice versa per its lunar antiaryan roots, ergo Lucifer at the center of the earth is not HELL, it’s actually Paradise of Hollow Earth. Overall Lucifer is used as a positive figure in this book, equaled to Apollo and others, referred to as the “God of the Defeated who would come back Victorious” ergo he’s also the god of Esoteric Hitlerism in this narrative.
Apparently this is something that Alfred Rosenberg goes into in his Myth of the XXth Century, a book I, personally, am yet to read. But I did play around with this kind of narrative myself in my kike-on-a-stick phase. Regardless, if you can get past the antichristian/heretical implications you can still see the basic point and narrative being delivered, which isn’t wrong, but the delivery method may be off-putting to our Christian comrades. Of course, I’m saying this from the newfound viewpoint of Christianity being fully in line with traditional, solar/hyperborean esoterical teachings, a stance some of our comrades may not share, and thus be partial to this Rosenberg interpretation.
As far as the Hollow Earth / UFO science is concerned, I did have my theory prior to actually reading the Golden Cord, that in a world fully explored by science, the only way to give life to certain symbols again is to circumvent modern science by introducing some pseudo-scientific claims, and I was curious to see if that is what Serrano was going for. There is one portion of the text preceding all the Hollow Earth science that partially validates this suspicion. The portion in question is, in fact, something one should keep in mind while reading the entire book (italic highlights – Serrano’s, bold highlights – mine):
Before I begin laying out the arguments and theories of those who believe in the existence of hollow Earth, it is important to point out that in all of them I see but a repetition or resurgence of an ancient idea, manifested in many myths and legends which have a significant meaning to humanity, as I will discover and showcase in the course of this work.
Scientific explanations provided below are of no significance in themselves, and it is only interesting to show them here as oddities and extravagances. I see the truth in all of this only in the manifestation of the archetype in a more Platonic sense of the word than a Jungian one.
Myth and legend are indivisible, just as the prototype, archetype. They do not take hold of one specific place on the planet, but rather engulf it whole, instantly, so as to cover it with their influence from both within and without, in a unified world (Unus Mundus). Only in certain historic times do they firmly plant themselves in some center of the Earth’s living body and act from there, manifesting themselves in a human being, in order to declare their message within the scope of the occurring fatal development…
In short, Serrano’s position is this: it doesn’t have to be literally real because it is still a valid archetype/symbol/Truth, but one can speculate that these things are also quite literally real.
So there’s all sorts of issues with reading this book that may drive people away or give them a false understanding of some things, it’s all up to your level of erudition in this field of knowledge, hence why its important to read all the Evola books that were listed at the start of this review as a bare minimum before getting into the Golden Cord.
However: all is not so bad, and from the second half of the Templar portion until the very end the book becomes a lot more comprehensible with some good stuff in it. Moreover, for me at least, it kind of helped distill and organize everything that was in the book up to that point into a coherent base narrative.
Serrano later talks about the “Three fundamental positions of Esoteric Hitlerism,” which can be summed up thusly:
- The position that all of these concepts and narratives are purely symbolic for the inner processes of the soul towards liberation/transcendence
- The position that these things are the “as above” equivalents for the real world “so below” concepts that do/did really exist, like Hyperborea and Atlantis, and this position drives people to establish a Golden Age on Earth (he associates Evola’s direction with this via Evola’s promotion of an esoteric order/aristocracy establishing an organic state and etc)
- Lastly: “besides these two directions which seem to be different, there is also a third one, that contains the previous ones and reconciles them”
Serrano does not explicitly say which “position” he subscribes to, but it would seem all but certain to be the third one. This doesn’t do much to say how much of the stuff he talks about he himself takes as purely symbolic and how much as being symbolic with a physical/samsaric world counterpart. He is only delivering the “as above” symbol, and leaves the possibility of its “so below” manifestation an open subject of discussion, while providing you will all the relevant information.
Ultimately how much of this he himself believes to be factual history and literally real is unimportant, hence why he doesn’t go into much detail, leaving that much open for debate and open for you to decide (depending on which of these 3 positions you subscribe to yourself) – he just provides all the relevant materials via which you may conduct your own research.
Personally, I have a point of disagreement with this division: there is nothing to reconcile between positions 1 and 2 as they do not oppose one another to any degree (Serrano certainly doesn’t provide any examples of how they would be contradictory enough to be different), thus position 3 is the only, sole position that exists. One can argue that somebody might subscribed to a 100% symbolic interpretation as per the first position, however I doubt such a stance would be possible to maintain once somebody starts reading into these materials. So in reality there are not 3 positions, there’s only the one – the first 2 positions are rather practices, first one for personal transcendence and the second one for establishing the rule of Truth on earth, ushering in the next Golden Age.
An interesting aside is how he introduces the idea of two Grails, one being the initiatory process of the Templars and the other one being the path to immortality, except that they are technically one and the same thing – the ritual of initiation into the order follows the motif of the process towards transcendence. He also thus makes one of the Grails the Templars pursue to be the establishing of Truth on Earth, so the difference of the two Grails is that of the internal struggle for liberation and the outer struggle for establishing Order in human affairs. It is kind of like splitting hairs and at the same time provides just slightly more clarity and a whole new narrative one can take with the same symbol, which can be useful in presentation.
To conclude: this book is a wild ride, and not for beginners. The sheer amount of stuff Serrano hits you over the head with can be overwhelming and disorientating, I myself forgot his earlier warning in the book, the quote provided above, and thus was rather blindsided. I only got the narrative towards the end, which is indeed the same narrative we all follow regardless, but with a whole new style of presentation which is kind of frankensteinian in the way it merges concepts from different symbolic languages as well as ancient and more immediate history together to strew one story. Ultimately you won’t lose much by not reading this book, but it can provide some insight to those who can stomach it.
Its biggest goal, I’d say, is to showcase how Nazi Germany was following an archetypal path, that Hitler, NSDAP and the SS were avatars/reemergence of forces that had manifested themselves prior in history, however out of all his proposed parallels only the Templar one warrants the comparison I think, since the other ones are very dubious in their historic validity. However, since the goal was to have a symbolic connection and to create a new Myth, that can be excused. Being yet another manifestation in a long line of such manifestation is what makes Hitler and Nazi Germany another link in the titular Golden Cord of these manifestations of the solar/hyperborean tradition.
Something that Evola covered in Mystery of the Grail much more succinctly to be honest:
When considered from the above-mentioned perspective, Arthur’s saga appears to be one of the many forms of the general myth of the Emperor or invisible Universal Ruler and of his manifestations. It is a theme that dates back to the most ancient times and that bears a certain relation to the doctrine of the “cyclical manifestations” or avatars, namely, the manifestation, occurring at special times and in various forms, of a single principle, which during intermediate periods exists in an unmanifested state. Thus every time a king displayed the traits of an incarnation of such a principle, the idea arose in the legend that he has not died but has withdrawn to an inaccessible seat whence one day he will manifest himself, or that he is asleep and will awaken one day. And just as the suprahistorical element in these cases overlaps the historical element, by turning a real figure into a symbolic one, likewise the opposite occurs; that is, the names of these real figures sometimes survive, yet designate something that transcends them.
But Serrano seems to have tried to establish a narrative that leads all the way from the mythical Hyperborean prehistory to Nazi Germany via myths and (questionable) historic events in a kind of line of succession, with some other elements involved, hence the idea of Golden Cord, which is a metaphor for Tradition. In a lot of ways the same thing we’ve all been subscribing to for a while now anyway, hence why you won’t lose much by not reading it. However it can be useful for those who want to come up with an esoteric Hitlerist myth themselves.
The final and best suggestion for reading this book is something that our comrade Greve Hans keeps saying “don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story”, which can be altered to be more appropriate for the book so: “don’t let the questionable claims get in the way of their symbolic meaning”.
In other words, don’t fret about the historic and scientific accuracy of anything offered in this book, you can look into them if you so like, but that will not take away from the Truth hidden in their role as symbolic links in The Golden Cord.
Hitler, The Sleeping King at the Center of Hollow Earth
The archetypal narrative that Serrano associates with the idea of Hitler escaping to Antarctica and from there to Hollow Earth, waiting for the day of his return with a large force behind him in the last war to usher in the next Golden Age, is that of the King sleeping in the Mountain. The major themes of this narrative contain a wounded, poisoned, sleeping Hero/King who exists in a state of sleep/paralysis/unconsciousness in some locations that impart the meaning of centrality, like inside a Mountain or on an Island. He awaits the predestined hero who searches for the Grail and passes on the mantle of the King to this hero, becoming the new avatar of this function.
Hollow Earth = Center of the Earth = theme of centrality.
Hitler losing the war = theme of the Wounded King.
Some of the relevant passages from Evola‘s “Mystery of the Grail“, with particular elements highlighted by myself.
First on how Hollow Earth is another symbol of the inaccessible hidden place where the wounded/sleeping King has been taken to.
This is how the traditional notion of an invisible “King of Kings;’ or “Universal Ruler;’ or “King of the World;’ came to be associated with specific symbols, some of which derive directly from analogies, while others are mythologized memories of the land or lands where the primordial Olympian cycle unfolded.
These are first and foremost symbols of centrality: the center, the pole, the region in the middle of the earth, the central stone or the foundation, the magnet. Then, symbols of stability: the island surrounded by the waters, the rock, the unshakable stone. Finally, symbols of inviolability and inaccessibility; the invisible or not-to-be-found castle or land, a wild mountain peak, a subterranean region. Moreover, the “Land of Light,” the “Land of the Living,” the “Holy Land.” Yet again, all the variations of the golden symbolism, which, on the one hand, includes all the notions of solarity, light, regality, immortality, and incorruptibility while, on the other hand, it has always had some relationship with the primordial tradition and with the age characterized by gold. Other symbols point to “life” in the higher sense of the word (e.g., the “perennial food;’ the “Tree of Life”), to a transcendent knowledge, to an invincible power; everything appears variously mixed in the fantastic, symbolic, or poetic representations that in the various traditions have foreshadowed this constant theme of the invisible regnum and of the Supreme Center of the world, in itself or in its emanations and reproductions.
The Leabhar gabhala (Book of invasions) mentions the advent in Ireland of a new race, that of the “sons of Mileadh;’ whose physiognomy is not clear. In this race the warrior element predominates – it seems that Mileadh has the same root as miles (soldier) – yet it is not distinct from residues of the highest tradition proper to the previous cycle of the Tuatha. Thus even in the civilization of Mileadh we find the symbolism of the “central seat.” The constitution of this people is feudal, with a supreme regality established in Tara, in the “Land of the Middle” (Meadhon), which already had been a sacred center of the Tuatha. Their king used to be consecrated by the “stone of destiny” (lia-fail), more on which later. This too belonged to the tradition of the Tuatha. As for the Tuatha themselves, according to some texts they allegedly left the country, assuming an invisible form as the inhabitants of marvelous “subterranean” palaces or of mountainous caves inaccessible to mortal men, among whom they appear only in exceptional cases. According to other texts, they returned to their original home in Avalon.
… while Arthur is attempting to realize his legendary world empire and to conquer even Rome in order to be crowned emperor therein, his nephew Modred, who remained at home, usurps the throne and takes possession of Arthur’s woman, Guinevere. In the war that ensues the traitor is killed, but the best knights of the Round Table also die. Arthur himself is mortally wounded; he is taken to Avalon, that the health-restoring techniques of the women inhabiting that land (especially Morgande’s) may heal him and allow him to resume his function. But Arthur’s wounds (especially the one produced by a poisoned spear, according to some writers) open up again every year while his faithful subjects at home vainly await his return. There is a tradition, however, according to which one day Arthur will return from Avalon to resume his reign: this is why the Britons, since then, never wanted to appoint another king. In other forms of the legend-for instance, in the Otia imperialia by Gervasius of Tilbury-Arthur is portrayed lying in bed in a wonderful palace located on top of a mountain.
In the Hindu tradition we encounter the theme of Mahakasyapa, who sleeps in a mountain but will awaken at the sound of shells at the time of the new manifestation of the principle that previously manifested itself in the form of Buddha. Such a period is also that of the coming of a Universal Ruler (cakravartin) by the name of Sarpkha. Since sarpkha means “shell;’ this verbal assimilation expresses the idea of the awakening from sleep of the new manifestation of the King of the World and of the same primordial tradition that the above-mentioned legend conceives to be enclosed (during the intermediate periods of crisis) in a shell. An analogous Iranian tradition refers to the hero Kereshaspa, who, having been wounded by an arrow while he was immersed in a state of slumber (here we find again the same symbolism), survives in a lethargic state through the centuries, being nurtured by the fravashi (like the wounded Arthur, who is tended by women expert in healing techniques); he will come back to life at the time of Saoshyant’s advent and will fight on his side. Saoshyant is the lord of a future, triumphal kingdom of the God of Light and the slayer of the Arhimanic dark forces…
ParaSu-Rama never died, but withdrew to a mountain named Mahendra to live as an ascetic. When the right time comes, in conformity with the cyclical laws, a new manifestation from above will occur (Kalki-avatara) in the form of a sacred king who will triumph over the Dark Age. Kalki is symbolically thought to be born in Sambhala, one of the names that in the Hindu and Tibetan traditions designated the sacred Hyperborean center. His spiritual teacher is Parasu-Rama, and after being initiated into the sacred sciences he receives the regal investiture. From Siva he receives a white winged horse (which in the legend is so important that it came to be identified with Kalki himself), an omniscient parrot, and a bright sword. Recall that Arthur is believed to return one day on a white horse and that this symbol also plays a famous part in the Revelation of Saint John the Divine; recall also Excalibur, the lost sword that Arthur will one day yield again and that from time to time emerges from the bottom of a lake.
The “knight of the swan;’ named Elias or Lohengrin, comes from a place that is portrayed as the earthly paradise where the Grail is located (annales quosdam veteres volunt prodidisse, Heliam istum e paradysi terrestris loco quodam fortunatissimo, cui Graele nomen esset, navigatio tali venisse), as Arthur’s seat, and as a mountain.
The images of the seat of the Rosicrucians and of their emperor correspond to those of the center: this seat is the “solar citadel;’ the “mountain in the middle of the earth;’ simultaneously “close and far away;’ the “Palace of the Spirit at the further end of the earth, on top of a mountain, surrounded by clouds;’ almost a facsimile of Montsalvatsche.
Next, on the theme of the King.
The awaited, hidden emperor, who never died and who withdrew to an invisible or inaccessible center, is here transformed into one of the major representatives of the Holy Roman Empire: Charlemagne, Frederick I, or Frederick II. The complementary theme of a devastated or sterile kingdom awaiting renewal finds its equivalent in the theme of the Dry Tree. The Dry Tree, associated with the seat of the Universal Ruler, will blossom again at the time of a new imperial manifestation and of the victory against the forces of the Dark Age that are represented, in conformity to the new biblical and Christian religion, by the people of Gog and Magog, who will launch their attack at the time of the advent of the Antichrist.
In this case we have also the interference of a further motive, namely, that of the kings who, as they await a predestined avenger or restorer, are artificially kept alive by the Grail.
Wolfram has portrayed in Amfortas the type of the wounded king who awaits the hero who will heal him and to whom he will transmit the mandate of the Grail’s kingship.
Thus we come to the Esoteric Hitlerist Myth/Legend of the Fuhrer taken to Hollow Earth, where he awaits the Hero to whom he will give his title and command of the Last Battalion that will usher in the Golden Age in the final war against their enemies.
This theme mimics perfectly the Hindu narrative followed and presented by Savitri Devi (following quotes taken from “Lightning and the Sun“), in which Hitler represents one of the divine Avatars or incarnations of the Gods, one that precedes the final incarnation, the Hero to whom Hitler passes his title, the Hero being the equivalent of Kalki the Avenger:
They live and wait. Knowingly or unknowingly, they are waiting for Kalki; Kalki the last Man Against Time; the Avenger who will give them– or their children– the world.
That last, great individual – an absolute harmonious blending of the sharpest of all opposites; equally sun and lightning– is the one whom the faithful of all religions and the bearers of practically all cultures await; the one of whom Adolf Hitler (knowingly or unknowingly) said in 1928: “I am not he; but while nobody comes forward to prepare the way for him, I do so.