Mozart, Masonry, Kabbalah and the Magic Flute


The subject may have been posted about already, but I found this fascinating article by Frater S.A., detailing how the Magic Flute, due to Mozart's and librettist Emanuel Schikaneder's background in Masonry, is actually a thinly veiled story of initiation. While this was known, this article goes into greater detail than I have otherwise seen about the symbolism present in both the story and the music itself. He also concentrates on the Kabbalistic associations, something I found very illuminating. Especially interesting was the play of King, Queen, Prince and Princess in the opera, in the initiatory sense, and also the revelation that Tamino and Papageno are actually different sides of the same story.

Tomorrow I'm going to re-watch the opera together with the article and other materials and see if I can make any connections.

The connection between the opera and the Tree of Life is discussed in the link above, the next one (far less reliable) discusses the connection with Tarot:

One author claims to have found another key to understanding The Magic Flute. Mozart and Schikaneder both played cards. The deck they used was a version of the mediaeval tarot deck. (The deck of 52 cards we use today descends from the same source.)

The overture and 21 following musical numbers make a total of 22 different musical depictions. The mediaeval tarot deck contained 22 Major Arcana cards, reflecting the physical and spiritual forces at work on humans and culminating in the card called “The World,” which is a balance of all necessary elements, light and dark.

In this view, The Magic Flute puts on the stage living versions of each of these physical and spiritual forces, ending with the last musical number in which order and balance are restored to the realms of Sarastro and the Queen of the Night.

The number of scenes actually exceeds the number of musical sections. In addition, the last numbered musical section prodigiously includes Pamina’s attempted suicide, the passage of the final tests by Tamino and Pamina, Papageno’s attempted suicide, his discovery of Papagena, the final assault on the kingdom of the sun by the forces of the Queen of the Night, and the final chorus hailing beauty and wisdom.

In other words, it might be argued that for this Tarot theory to have any currency one must wink at a few items. But keep in mind that the composer and librettist created the numbering of the musical sections and that the last lengthy musical section does begin with the Three Boys announcing what will be the result of all the ensuing action, thus tying all of it to the culminating Tarot card “The World”:

Soon, heralding the morning, the sun will shine forth on its golden path. Soon superstition will vanish, soon the wise man will triumph. Oh, sweet repose, descend, return to the hearts of men; then earth will be a realm of heaven, and mortals will be like gods.


I read the Conspirazzi article. I'll get to Frater S.A.'s article tomorrow. The only opera DVDs I own are Mozart's The Magic Flute and Wagner's Parsifal. Frater Achad has written an interesting article on Parsifal, The Chalice of Ecstasy, and there is a lecture on Parsifal by Rudolph Steiner, which is not altogether to my liking.


I read Frater S.A.'s lecture on The Magic Flute yesterday. It seemed to be generally accurate. I disagree about it's being the only initiatory opera, but that's a nitpick.