Rik Danenberg


Rik Hans Cornelius Danenberg was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in the Spring of 1956 to a Dutch father and New Zealand mother. He immigrated to Australia in 1973 at age 17.

In 1975 a painting on the wall of the Melbourne Theosophical Society bookstore by Richard Grimes, a student of Frater Albertus, triggered a series of events that led to participating as the youngest of thirty-four students in the Prima class of 1976 given by Frater Albertus Spagyricus in Australia. Rik attended the classes with the Paracelsus Research Society and the Paracelsus College from 1976 through to the last elective for senior students a few months before Frater Albert's passing on July 14th 1984.

As a teenager he was studying Practical Qabalah, Israel Regardie and the Golden Dawn, Madame Blavatsky and Theosophy, Aleister Crowley and Magick, Carl Jung and Psychotherapy, Hermeticism and Rosicrucianism. This led to varying associations with the Golden Dawn, A.M.O.R.C., B.O.T.A. the O.T.O. and The Philosophy School.

From the first Prima the practical nature of spagyrics and alchemy became immediately appealing and life changing. The early classes initiated studys of herbalism and astrology and the growing and harvesting of herbs using celestial horticulture and a lifelong passion for collecting and working with the treasures of the geological world.

Paracelsus Research Society: Secunda, Melbourne, Aust. 1977: Rik - top row left; front- Soror Emmy, Frater Albertus

During the last set of classes of 1984 he witnessed Frater Albert appoint Gregory Sneddon as the Administrator of the Paracelsus College after the resignation of Alec Gathercole.

In the new College premises Rik designed and assisted in the construction of the laboratory and teaching facilities.
The Prima to Quarta two week classes recommenced in January 1985 with Gregory Sneddon and Werner Nawrocki, from Germany. Rik was the laboratory manager and assistant teacher during the two month periods for Greg and Werner during 1985/86 and was the editor of the College Journal of 1985.

Rik taught the Prima class in Spring 1986 and the Secunda of 1987 which combined the antimony mineral work into one class and conducted Prima classses in other parts of the country. The Tertia Animal class was conducted at his Melbourne residence in 1990.
In 1990 Greg resigned and appointed Jeannie Radcliffe as his successor as the College Administrator. Jeannie had also been giving classes for the College since 1987.

During this period, in line with indications given by Frater Albert, Rik worked with Gurdjieff groups and underwent training in the Gurdjieff movements and Work.
He participated in various classes in mineral alchemy and phonetic cabala given by Arthur Fehres (former secretary of the P.R.S. Aust.) at the Hermes School of Philosophy.
Over a five year period he undertook seven 10-day Vipassana meditation courses and the advanced Satipatthana Sutta.

As the Melbourne era of the work passed the College moved to Sydney. This began an underground period where classes were given in different cultural groups and alternative communities.
After some years as journeyers, living in the bush and the desert, towns and tipis, collecting minerals and ideas, the era of formlessness came to an end in 1995 and the essentials for the college cohobation were brought together again in Adelaide.
Over the following decade education was the main focus, both giving and receiving. Refining the Paracelsus College curriculum and attending the University of South Australia.

In 2006 he moved with the College to the former gold mining town of Bendigo in rural Victoria, and continues the educational work of the Paracelsus College.
Rik's primary aim is to assist the work of the College and its evolving curriculum while continuing his life-long exploration of the multi-faceted Philosopher's Stone that is Alchemy.