(prudently) Waiting for the Sun


Nosferatu‘s preview premiered on 4 March 1922 in the Marmorsaal of the Berlin Zoological Garden. This was planned as a large society evening entitled Das Fest des Nosferatu, and guests were asked to arrive dressed in Biedermeier costume.. Shortly before the premiere, an advertisement campaign was placed in issue 21 of the magazine Bühne und Film, with a summary, scene and work photographs, production reports and essays including a treatment on vampirism by Albin Grau.


Nosferatu was the second adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel. The first one, Drakula halála (The Death of Drakula), directed in 1921 by hungarian Károly Lajthay was lost : Apparently all prints have disappeared. Nosferatu was the only Prana Film; the company declared bankruptcy after Bram Stoker’s estate, acting for his widow, Florence Stoker, sued for copyright infringement and won. The court ordered all existing prints of Nosferatu burned, but one purported copy of the film had already been distributed around the world.



Nosferatu was the only Prana Film. Prana (प्राण, prāṇa) is the Sanskrit word for “life”. In Ayurveda, tantra and Tibetan medicine “praṇā vāyu” is the basic vāyu (wind, air) from which all the other vāyus arise. Prana is the Vital Breath.

Prana Film was founded in January 1921 by the businessman Enrico Dieckmann, and the designer-painter-architect Albin Grau. The company was meant to produce nine other films devoted to the occult, with titles like Hollenträume (Dreams of Hell), or Der Sumpfteufel (The Devil of the Swamp). All those projects were illustrated with a drawing by Grau. For Nosferatu, Grau was in charge of art direction and costume design.

Albin Grau (1884-1971) was a leading occultist, known among his fellow adepts as Frater Pacitus in the Pansophical Lodge of the Orient—Berlin. The Pansophical Lodge was a rosicrucian order founded by Heinrich Traenker (1880-1956), who became in 1921 Grand Master for Germany of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), the infamous esoteric society founded by Theodor Reuss (1855–1923). At its creation the OTO was linked and partially inspired by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn of which, the rumor says, Bram Stoker (1847-1912) was a member.

After the Weida Conference in 1925, the Pansophical Lodge, divided between pro- and anti- Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), was dissolved. The remaining members who supported Crowley funded the Fraternitas Saturni (Brotherhood of Saturn) and Grau became, according to the rumor, its first Grand Master.


Some find the Fraternitas Saturni of particular interest because it was the first group to accept Crowley’s Law of Thelema but act independent of the Great Beast himself. Those not obsessed with Crowley but interested in dark occultism (like yours truly), are more interested in just about everything else about this group.

For those seeking out the dark throughout history, you couldn’t find working at the time a darker current, in any sense of the world. The ritual chambers predated the look of satanic films from the 1960s, complete with upside-down pentagrams and black robes. Oh yes, and people engaging in sexual rites and drug use.

For our purposes, it’s important to note that the FS believed in something called “saturn gnosis”. The order accepted that darkness preceded light, and, as with all forms of gnosticism, that the supernal deity is separate from a lower deity or demiurge responsible for the dark, impure world we live in. Saturn was the demiurge for the FS, and only via this dark sphere can we know God and all the higher knowledge of the universe. One aspect of the demiurge – its “higher octave” – was believed to be Lucifer himself, the Light Bearer who brings wisdom to humankind.

Nocturnicon : Calling Dark Forces And Powers, by Konstantinos, 2005


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