The Essenes have their roots in an organisation known as the Great White Brotherhood, which was founded in Egypt during the late Eighteenth Dynasty. This name had nothing to do with racism, but rather was concerned with the white robes which they wore. These were equated with purity, and the polarity of light, as opposed to darkness. It is unclear as to exactly when the Brotherhood was formed, but many of the rules and regulations appear to be have been formulated by Pharaoh Tuthmose III.

The aim of the Brotherhood was to preserve the great knowledge attained by the wisest of Egypt. It could in some ways be seen as a school of philosophy. Students from around the globe travelled to Egypt in order to study under their directorship. It was therefore necessary to have different branches in various locations. Two of these were the Essenes and Rosicrucians.

The name Essene is thought to derive from the Egyptian kashai, meaning secret. There is also a Jewish word chshai, meaning secret, or silent, which would naturally translate as Essene. The Jewish historian, Josephus found that the Egyptian symbols for light and truth were represented in the word chosen, which in Greek also translates to Essen, leading to speculation that the Essenes may in fact be the chosen ones mentioned in The Bible. Chosen is derived from the Aramaic asaya, meaning physician, or healer, a role for which the Essenes were well known and highly respected. The Greek word for physician is of course, therapeautae, and for this reason, The Brothers were known as Therapeutae within the Greek speaking world.

The Essenes referred to themselves as essania, meaning ‘Sons of the Sun’. This may help to explain why one of the most important movers in the early formation of the Brotherhood, the so called heretic Pharaoh, Akhenaten (Tuthmose III Great, Great Grandson) abandoned the old Gods in favour of the Aten, as represented by the solar disc.

According to channelled information however, the birth of the Brotherhood far outdates the origins of Egyptian civilisation. According to Anne and Daniel Meurois-Givaudan in their book, The Way of the Essenes, the Essenes are descended from the Priests of six tribes, who originated from a mythical land known as Atl. They were a spiritual, peace loving people, who lived on an island continent surrounded by seas, in a society made up of seven tribes. The fifth tribe was known as the people of Sem, and it is from these that the Semite race are said to have originated.

This description bears a striking resemblance to Atlantis, which also had seven Royal families, representing the seven elemental rays, of earth, air, fire, water, love, spirit and evolution, or change. As in Akhenaten’s Egypt, the main religion of Atlantis was also dedicated to the solar deity.

Over time the people of Atl forgot their connection to the Divine. Sensing a great disaster, the heads from six of the seven tribes fled their land, towards the icy wastes of the north, while The Sem fled south towards Egypt, led by a Priest known as Zurid. The land of Atl then sank beneath the waves and was destroyed. The Essenes are said to be descended from the sons of eleven wise men, Priests from the remaining six tribes who chose not to follow their people north, devoting themselves instead to preserving the treasure and secrets of Zurid.

The Essenes were to all extents and purposes a very advanced, and highly evolved race of people. There were those who lived in small, enclosed settlements, and shared a communal way of life, amongst nature, where everyone was equal. Others lived in large community buildings, near cities, many of which served as inns and hospices. It is to one of these hospices, near Bethlehem that Mary, mother of Jesus was brought to give birth.

Much of their time was devoted to the study of ancient texts and various branches of the healing arts. There were also those who travelled far and wide, circulating news and information throughout the various centres that they maintained. Two principal centres were at Lake Moeris in Egypt, and in Palestine, at Engaddi, near the Dead Sea. In addition to this, for many centuries they maintained a great library and school of learning near Mount Carmel. It is here that many of their great leaders, including Jesus and John the Baptist are said to have been educated.

Like their later French counterparts, the Cathars, many scholars have surmised that the Essenes held a wholly negative attitude towards women and sex. Despite the fact that many female and children’s skeletons have been found at Qumran, many believe that these were not part of the community, but merely visitors. It has often been said that rather than having children of their own, the Essenes adopted from outside in order to bolster their community. In reality though, this is far from the truth.

The Essenes understood that sex was a sacred act, which should only be expressed through love. Couples were only permitted to marry with the blessing of the community elders, who first assessed their karmic compatibility (as did the Atlanteans). Unmarried women were seen as a very important part of the community. Many adopted orphaned children, whom they looked after as their own.

Although most were born into the community, membership was open to all who requested it, regardless of sex. Women however were generally only given associate membership. This was not due to any belief that they were inferior, but rather because the Essenian branch of the Brotherhood was set up primarily as an organisation for men. In all other respects women were treated very much as equals.

The candidate first had to undertake a form of meditation, whereby they examined their life, both failures and successes, to establish what had been learned and accomplished. Once admitted to the community, a one year probationary period was served, this was then followed by three years of initiatory work. It was however a further seven years before the full inner teachings were given, and they earned to right to wear the trademark white robe.

Following initiation into the community, which for those born into the Order, took place at the age of 21, members were given a specific mission to fulfil. Sometimes this would be creative, such as making pottery or other objects, sometimes this would take the form of healing work, or teaching and mentoring the young, or aspiring members of the community. Whatever their occupation, it was carried out in the spirit of serving others, with unconditional love, in order to bring about the further evolution of the soul.

Theirs was a simple, but far from austere life. They rose at dawn to commune with the various forces of nature, and bathed in cold water. The Essenes were both teetotal and vegetarian. All meals were communal efforts, eaten in silence, beginning and ending in prayer. Friday was their holy day, or Sabbath, and the entire day was given over to study and discussion, as well as the entertainment of visitors.

Amongst other things, they taught and used fasting, colonic irrigation, breath work, and the importance of daily bathing and sun exposure. The core of their inner teachings, known as The Way, was based around daily communions with the invisible forces, and Angels which direct our Universe. These served three purposes; firstly to make one aware of the way in which these forces work, secondly to raise awareness of the energy centres (chakras) within the body, and thirdly to utilise the Angelic forces in order to absorb and direct the currents of energy to aid the evolution of both the planet and mankind.

These communions were practised on a daily basis, with a different deity being meditated upon at morning and night, making a total of 14 communions throughout the week. In addition to this, they also practised daily noon contemplations, dedicated to the seven aspects of peace. These were peace with the body, mind, family, humanity, culture and the Earthly Mother and Father. The deities to whom the communions were directed included the Great Mother and Father, as well as Angels of earth, air, the sun (fire) and water, and other less well known elements, such as joy, life, love and wisdom. All of these could be seen to correspond to one of the seven Atlantean Royal families, as represented by the elements of earth, air, fire, water, love, spirit and evolution (change). It is probably from this source that the communions originated.

The 14 communions were symbolised by the Essene Tree of Life. This was depicted with seven roots going down into the Earth, and seven branches extending upwards towards to the Heavens. Man was at the centre of the tree, symbolising his relationship between these two forces.

These communions enabled the Essenes to have extraordinary longevity and pain resistance. By meditating on the link between the water element and the blood flow within the body, they were able to direct or withdraw the bloodstream from any area at will, curing many conditions which would normally require lengthy treatment and convalescence. Their reputation as healers was thus widely respected and revered. They also possessed advanced knowledge of sound, and its effect on the physical body. From childhood they were taught to speak in a soft, controlled voice, hence the name of this article.

Like many of the ancient Gnostic groups, The Essenes believed that mankind was made up of three aspects; body, mind and emotions. The ultimate goal of the individual was the evolution, not only of him, or herself, but also with regard to the planet and universe as a whole. The body was the outer means through which this was expressed, while the mind was seen as the inner manifestation, and creator of thoughts and emotion, which the body then responded to and acted upon. Thought was therefore considered to be the highest, most powerful force in the universe, as it was seen as the instigator of both feeling and action. The Essenes therefore trained themselves to harness this power in a positive way, knowing that each thought effected the lives of everyone on the planet through the vibrations they sent out into the collective unconscious.

The best known of the Essene communities was undoubtedly Qumran near the Dead Sea, where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947. So far over 800 scrolls, have been found, ranging from hymns and prayers, community rules, and copies of various Biblical texts. The most unusual of these, the Copper Scroll was found in cave number three, and appeared to be an ancient treasure map, listing 64 different caches, much of which are believed to have come from the Temple of Jerusalem. Many of the sites mentioned in the scroll have since been excavated, but no treasure has been found.

Metallurgist Robert Feather believes that the reason for this is that archaeologists have been looking in the wrong place, or to be more precise, the wrong country. He believes that the treasure is not to be found in Israel, but rather in Egypt, at the ruins of Amarna, Akhenaten’s capital city. Moses is said to have been a pupil of Akhenaten. The Essenes claimed to have received much of their esoteric teachings from Moses.

When the Copper Scroll was finally translated by John Allegro, in addition to Hebrew writing, it was also found to contain 14 letters from the Greek alphabet, interspersed throughout the text. When Feather looked at these in more detail, he found that when put together, they spelt the Greek name for Akhenaten.

The Copper Scroll refers to a ‘Great River’, which has always been taken to mean The Jordan. Feather however believes that it is actually The Nile. He found that the main wall from the Temple at Amarna aligns exactly to that of the Hall of Congregation at Qumran, suggesting that there must be a connection between these two settlements. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, most scholars have dismissed this as mere coincidence. I personally believe there is no such thing, only synchronicity.

The Qumran community is generally believed to have been established around the year 130 BC, in order to prepare for the imminent arrival of the expected Messiah. The Royal House of David, from which the true leader of Israel was expected to come, had long since passed into the hands of outsiders, while the High Priesthood was both culturally and politically more Roman and Greek than Jewish. It therefore made sense for the Messiah to come not from these sources, but rather from amongst the Essenes.