Early influences & history
Mouni Sadhu & Michael Freedman
Mouni Sadhu ('silent monk') was the pseudonym of Polish-German occultist Mieczyslaw Sudowski (Michael Sadau), who had been in a Rosicrucian group in Europe during the 1920's, studying the Hermetic tradition of Professor Gregory Ottonovich Mebes, a leading Martinist, Russian Grand Master of the 'Kabbalistic Order of the Rosy Cross' and 'The Hermetic Brotherhood of Light (descended from the Fratres Lucis in Frankfurt). The symbols of the order were a cross within a circle surmounted by a six pointed star and the 'Kleis' or key (a three barred cross with a circle at the top). Members wore a monastic robe or habit with a hood, and a knotted cord or cincture about their waist.
In 1935 Mouni Sadhu stayed at a society in Paris founded by renowned esotericist and Gnostic Bishop 'Paul Sedir', and was initiated into various French Occult orders including those associated with the renowned occultist "Papus". After WWII he immigrated to Melbourne, Australia where he resided until his death in 1972. During his life he had ongoing correspondence with Christian mystic Thomas Merton, and Theosophists C.W. Leadbeater and Annie Besant and spent years in India as a disciple of Ramana Maharshi at Arunachala, when the Benedictine monk Bede Griffiths was there. He wrote numerous books including a translation of Paul Sedir's "Initiations", a book on Theurgy, and a book entitled 'Tarot: The Quintessence of Hermetic Occultism'.
During the 1960's Michel Tyne Corbold (AKA Michael Freedman) joined the Melbourne Sanctuary of the Society in 1959, and was a member of Mouni Sadhu's esoteric group. He became Senior Guardian in 1967 shortly before the previous Senior Guardian died. He had previously been an Anglican Minister, and became a renowned meditation teacher through his training in India. His spiritual name within the order was "Thamris Gnostes".
In 1969 Michael Freedman moved to Auckland, New Zealand with his wife, where he worked as a Psychologist. He opened the "Sanctuary of the Angels" and performed monthly Solar Ceremonial rituals, a weekly Mystical Mass, and ran esoteric study groups, meditation evenings and retreats. The order's training included courses on Mysticism, Tarot, Kabbalah, and High Magic, and from 1978 a free correspondence meditation course was published which was accessed by thousands of people.
Freedman published New Zealand's leading esoteric journal 'Magic Pentacle', wrote many articles, and translated Latin, Greek and Hebrew texts into English, including a version of the Kabbalistic 'Sefer Yetzirah', and one of Giordano Bruno's Latin manuscripts. Michael was close friends with Frater Fiat Lux (Frank Salt) a senior adept of the the Whare Ra Temple of the Stella Matutina (Golden Dawn) and reportedly received initiation in that lineage also. From the mid 1980's Freedman also placed a greater emphasis on a nature-centred spirituality that called on members to be Stewards of Creation.
Mouni Sadhu (Michael Sadau/Sudowski)
Michael Freedman (Senior Guardian) 1929 - 1996
Michael Freedman in the Sanctuary of Angels