Esoteric Encounters: Queen of Sheba in Solomon's Temple
QUEEN OF SHEBA IN
Dr. Andreas Önnerfors
Turkey in 1843
Frame narrative (recurs and
breaks into the chapters): ‘Une
légende dans un café'
3 Le Temple
5 La Mer d’Airain
6 L’ Apparition
7 Le Monde Souterrain
8 Le Lavoire de Siloe
9 Le trois Compagnons
11 Le Souper du Roi
descendent of Noah
Tubal-Kain / Kain
Artist, Nerval himself?
A play written by
(1843) 1851 1875 / 1897 1904 / 2009
What are Nerval’s potential motives and the
potential of the legend’s motifs?
◦ Simply recounts a novel told in an Istanbul café? (frame narrative creates the impression that it is just
documentary, spontaneous and performative)
◦ Makes a statement about the source of the Hiramic legend in freemasonry? Oriental and links to
◦ Or: re-introducing the figure of Balkis into the story (which is present rudimentary in some masonic
traditions and moreover has a strong Renaissance legacy) brings the occult dimensions of the
conflict between Cain and Abel to life.
◦ In extension: re-charging the legend with a theosophical/mystical/esoteric dimension opens up for
performance and expression => literature as inspiration for esoteric practices
◦ Picked up in anthroposophy, it served Steiner as a vehicle of addressing gender-specific qualities in
his teachings, potentially as an element in his Esoteric School
◦ Nerval transformed into a theatre play, The Temple, in 2008/2009 by renown English playwright
Peter Oswald, which highlights its performative potential.
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