Very few of the philosophers attain this perfected philosophy, for it is acquired only by some virtuous individual divine philosophers. Among them were the Ancients who came in the time before Aristotle - Agathadaemon, Hermes, and Empedocles... - Shams al-Din Shahrazuri, commenting on Suhrawardi's Hikmat al-Ishraq
House Criamon, particularly the Path of Walking Backward, as presented in HoH: MC is so inventive and interesting! I felt like they were definitely worth expanding on, since there's just so much to add as far as ideas for Islamicate Criamon. I'd like to open by presenting some of the commonalities between Shihab al-Din Suhrawardi al-Maqtul's Ishraqiyya (Illuminationism) and House Criamon.
The text of HoH: MC explains that
One school of Sufi...reveres Empedocles as a hierophant. Their interpretation of his teaching, which is different from yet reflects the House’s understanding, fascinates many Criamon magi.
This is actually true of more than one tariqa - what is discussed as a "school" above - and many more falasifa.
An aside - the word tariqa literally translates as "path," in reference to the fundamental principle shared by functionally all practitioners of tasawwuf that a given brotherhood is just an established and organized road to understanding built on the teachings of a specific chain of masters - other roads or even the possibility of reaching the maqam/station of fana without teachers are not invalidated by the seeker's choice of a specific tariqa. The utility of the tariqa lies in the fact that the use of tried-and-true methods towards achieving fana while guided by teachers is much easier and safer (spiritually) than if one attempted to go alone - if the tariqa is a broad paved road with easy to read signs, attempting the journey of the soul alone is trying to cut a new dirt path through a tangled wood. This seems very close to the way House Criamon thinks about the nature of Paths, mystagogues, and scripts. I wouldn't be surprised if the terminology and classifications used to discuss Paths by the modern house was originally adopted from Sufism by Primus Abdkypris. That would be particularly notable because this model is one that's still new in the Islamic world, the 1200s-1300s were historically key centuries in the crystallization of Sufi tariqas proper.
The way major figures of earlier tasawwuf including Junayd al-Baghdadi or Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani engaged with the Presocratics like Pythagoras or Empedocles is mostly in terms of nubuwiyya (or prophethood.) It's an almost universally accepted article of faith in all branches of Islam that God had sent many more prophets to mankind than those mentioned in the Qur'an - supporting the explanation of God himself (Qur'an 16:31). Some of the figures discussed as possible prophets by Muslim theologians over the years can be unusual, everything from Prophet Mani to Alexander the Great has been considered before. Commonly included in these discussions are the Presocratic philosophers - here thought of as representatives of a pure monotheism typically called hanifism. This way of thinking about Empedocles as a Magic agent of the Divine is cool and has Criamonic precedent in the form of St. Nerius; I personally believe this is the interpretation Abdkypris found among the Sufis (it was pretty much the only one among Sufis until quite recently at game start) and the interpretation that is currently dominant among members of the Path of Walking Backwards, but this is just scratching the surface of what the Islamicate can offer the Criamon.
The way Muslim falasifa like al-Sijistani discussed Empedocles is also very interesting vis-à-vis the beliefs of House Criamon, but for different reasons. Reflecting both ancient and Hellenistic teachings, they believed that the Presocratic philosophers acquired their wisdom from the Orient. Thales, they claimed, received instruction in Egypt, and Empedocles studied with Luqman the African sage at the time of the prophet David. Pythagoras studied physics and meta-physics with Solomon’s disciples in Egypt. He learned geometry from the Egyptians, receiving the sciences from the “niche of prophecy” (mishkat al-nubuwwa). Pythagoras and Empedocles in particular are tied to Hermes Trismegistus, believed to be the greatest theurgist and philosopher of Egypt. The Neo-Platonic trend in falasifa inaugurated by al-Kindi abates with the growing dominance of Averroeist Peripatetic thought, but it gets revived in a remarkable way a little before the conventional Ars Magica start date of 1220.
The life and writings of philosopher Shihab al-Din Suhrawardi dovetail so well with House Criamon that I’m almost certain the Criamon will wind up involved with his Ishraqi thought as it solidifies into a school in the mid-late 1200s - Suhrawardi synthesizes the Neoplatonic trend of the falasifa and the insight of the Sufis into his own highly original work. Often thought of as a reviver of pre-Islamic Persian philosophy (see his rather lackluster Wikipedia page for an example) in the past, modern scholars of Suhrawardi studies understand him instead as a “Pythagorizing Neoplatonist” - an inheritor of Hellenistic wisdom literature and the Sophia Perennis (the “leaven of the ancients'' as he calls it) uncovered by great Presocratics who saw himself as part of a chain of philosopher-theurgist-mystics stretching from Hermes and Luqman down to Empedocles, Plato, and Pythagoras in the West and ancient Persian sage-kings Kayomarth and Fereydun as well the great Sufis al-Bastami and al-Hallaj in the East. Suhrawardi saw his intellectual endeavor as one aimed at reunification of the two streams of the Sophia Perennis, the marriage of Zoroaster and Plato back into Hermes. His interest in the mystic Orient is inherited from his intellectual ancestors in Neo-Platonism (even if the Neo-Platonics reached him a somewhat garbled form, we'll discuss that another time) not Zoroastrianism, even though he incorporates doctrines as distant as Buddhism (the School of Budhasaf to Suhrawardi) in ingenious ways. Some of Timothy Ferguson’s very cool posts on other threads seem to imply that the Founder Criamon was himself an inheritor of some form of Oriental (in the Neoplatonist sense) wisdom through his master, similar to how Empedocles was taught by the sages Luqman and Hermes the Egyptian.
Much like House Criamon, Suhrawardi thought of Empedocles as a great philosopher-magus, in contrast to the Aristotelian paradigm that dominated from Paris to Samarqand (with the obvious caveat that Scholastic and Averroean Peripatetics often interpreted Peripateticism differently.) Dr. Walbridge’s book on Suhrawardi’s relationship with the Hellenistic wisdom tradition opens its discussion of Suhrawardi’s Empedocles in a very telling manner with the title “Empedocles: The Philosopher as Mystic and Magus.” To Suhrawardi, philosophy was more than just discursive rationality - although this is an important part without which one can not become a true philosopher, a hakim muta’allih - but also a mystagogic rite of initiation transmitted by magician-teachers. Sounds a lot like a Mystery Cult House's way of looking at knowledge. Dr. Walbridge argues that Suhrawardi saw his project in the same manner as that of Empedocles, who to him “embodied the unification of philosophy, mysticism, and magic.” On the hakim muta'alliah, by the way, Suhrawardi listed some of the thinkers past who he believed had successfully combined mystic intuition ("making the heart a mirror") and discusive reasoning - a list that includes both Empedocles and Hermes the Sage.
Other, smaller, resonances that seem to make Suhrawardi a perfect figure for House Criamon to look towards for inspiration include:
veiled but strong indications in his writing hinting at a belief in reincarnation.
his own status as a Sufi dervish (when he first entered Aleppo he was thought to be a penniless donkey driver thanks to his ragged appearance), which correlates strongly with the Criamon belief that:
The pursuit of wealth, pleasure, and power are distractions or temptations to corruption.
his pacifism, even famously preventing his disciples from interfering with his execution at the reluctant order of Saladin’s son Az-Zahir Ghazi.
being quite literally described as a magician in Shahrazuri's account (perhaps a sahir or - imo - an Islamic equivalent to a learned magician in Mythic Europe.)
Of course, all of this is simply discussing why Ishraqi philosophy might become popular within House Criamon, not what an Illuminationist Criamon magus/maga would actually believe. Despite his many influences Suhrawardi was, as mentioned above, a highly original thinker whose emanationist metaphysics of light has lots of potential for productive dialogue with the House “orthodoxy." There’s also the fact that Criamon mages will likely be the first members of the Order to come into contact with the Arabic Hermetica through Illuminationism, which differs strongly in some ways from the work on Hermes Trismegistus (recall his importance as an Egyptian sage above) already available to the European Order - a minor but amusing example is that the Arabic Hermes has an equally mystic sister. Those will be left for another post(s), though.
Some sources to go hunting in if any of the above piqued your interest:
The Wisdom of the Mystic East: Suhrawardi and Platonic Orientalism and The Leaven of the Ancients: Suhrawardi and the Heritage of the Greeks, both by John Walbridge
Suhrawardi and the School of Illumination, by Mehdi Amin Razavi
The Sufi Doctrine of Man: Sadr al-Din al-Qunawi's Metaphysical Anthropology by Richard Todd
The Arabic Hermes: From Pagan Sage to Prophet of Science, by Kevin van Bladel
Theurgy and the Soul: The Neoplatonism of Iamblichus, by Gregory Shaw
Philosophy and Theurgy in Late Antiquity, by Algis Uždavinys
And of course, the always helpful Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology, edited by Tim Winter/Abdal Hakim Murad