In light of the rich heritage of our Art, the occasion of becoming a Partner is not to be passed without observing certain traditional forms, one of which is the award of a certificate or patent confirming membership in our Society. We have chosen to forgo modern printing techniques for our Patent of Membership and returned to the traditional form of copper plate and ink.
Durable 100% cotton paper is used as a substrate because of its strength and archival stability in less than perfect conditions. The paper of our choice is from Fabriano, one of the oldest paper mills in Europe which has been making paper since 1267. Fabriano was the paper of Michelangelo, Raphael, Durer, and Goya.
The fact that the artwork of these artists still exists today is a testament to the enduring quality of the Fabriano paper. The use of a block-print plate, together with the use of embossing stamps and signatures, makes falsification of our Patent of Partnership practically impossible.
The Patent is divided into two perfect and equal halves, an upper and a lower half. The upper part presents an oval sphere with our Order’s motto and a declaration. The lower part depicts an image of nature with two persons conversing. The emblematic content of the upper part represents the “Inner,” the lower part the “Garden.” Together they represent the “Above” and the “Below” of the celestial and earthly alchemy. The Certificate is positioned in portrait to underline the active attitude that is required in this work.
We are Gardeners and we practice a Celestial Agriculture. The flowering of the Garden and the harvest of her fruits are a symbol of the manifestation of the spirit and the reward of labour. In the words of Fulcanelli:
[...] the fruit of the garden of Hesperia, fruit whose late maturity can only rejoice the sage in his old age, at the sunset (Hesperis) of a laborious and painful career. Each piece of fruit is the result of a progressive condensation of the solar fire by the secret fire, a word incarnate, a celestial spirit embodied in all things of this world. And the assembled and concentrated rays of this double fire color and animate a pure, diaphanous, clarified, regenerated body of brilliant brightness and admirable virtue.
Those that manage to open the gate of the closed garden of the Hesperides will be able to pick, without fear for their salvation, the Rose of Adepthood.
[...] All classical authors are unanimous in recognizing that the Great Work is an abridgment, reduced to human proportions and possibilities, of the divine Work. Since the Adept must contribute the best of his qualities if he wants to succeed, it appears just and equitable that he should collect the fruit the fruit of the Tree of Life and profit from the marvelous apples of the garden of the Hesperides.