“THE OCCULTIST ORDER”

“The Order of the Temple of the Rose and the Cross”, founded by Josephin Peladan by inspiration of the Green Fairy, was just one of the numerous occultist Orders that proliferated at the end of the 19th century. Its members practiced Occultism, which mean that they had to be hidden for many hours, crouched behind a door, waiting for some unwary chap to come out, then jumping on him and tattooing on his chest the symbol of the Order (in this case, a rose and a cross). From that moment, he was “ordered”, which implied seeming circumspect, stop eating meat and stop participating in mundane entertainments such as sack races, boules, dances and backflips. Nor could he wear garments of flashy colors that would draw attention to him, since the whole thing consisted of going unnoticed, which the occultists also achieved by walking stooped, on tiptoe and with their faces covered by a mask.

When Josephin Peladan captured Eric Satie for his Order, the young pianist had begun to develop a revolutionary pianistic technique consisting of pressing two keys at the same time instead of a single one and then switching them alternating. Peladan convinced him that he was going too fast and Satie returned to his usual technique of the single key. Little by little, he began to omit even the percussion of that single key, thereby he limited himself to remaining seated before the closed lid of the piano with his arms crossed. But this “silent music” (as he called it) turned out to be too advanced for his time and motivated his dismissal from the “Chat Noir” because, according to its owner, “it’s advisable for a cabaret to be different from a funeral”. It was then that Peladan and Satie began to organize séances in a small house on the top of the hill of Montmartre. These séances were attended by many of the members of the Parisian “bohème ”, both the living and the dead. Thus, the neighborhood was filled with ghosts and paranormal phenomena of all kinds, from Poltergeist to the transport of a gigantic teddy bear through the steep lanes of the quiet neighborhood. However, this display of paranormal activity unleashed the complaints of the neighbors, who filed a lawsuit against the community of artists. What ended up causing the migration of “la bohème” from the district of Montmartre to that of Montparnasse. That’s how this other neighborhood would become, in the first decades of the 20th century, the nerve center of the bohemian Paris. It was in Montparnasse where the Green Fairy managed to inspire her artists the creation of the innovators “isms”: Dadaism, Ultraism, Symbolism, Surrealism, Cubism, Futurism and Hypothyroidism.


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