Whilst thereare ways of classifying and grouping them together, there are thosereferred to as Christian Orders, in that they restrict their membershipto those avowing the Christian faith. Being an occasional churchgoer will simply not give thatcomprehension. The Rose Croix is not a badge to be collected, norindeed are any such Orders; Rose Croix Chapters choose their candidateswith great care. However, rank inthe Craft or other degrees should also have no bearing; a mason'sself-awareness and Christian faith is not measured by the size orornamentation of his apron.
Anysummary such as here will leave out an enormous amount of detail! TheRite was allegedly constituted by Frederick II the Great of Prussiain , but there was certainly some form of Rose Croix - encompassinga whole host of prior influences from the Renaissance, Kabbalah,Rosicrucianism, and Enlightenment thought - being conferred in Franceby the s. Variants of the degree arrived in England in differentforms and by the s the Rosae Crucis degree was being conferred inKnight Templar Encampments — now called Preceptories.
The superblynamed Dr. Crucefix, a mason with a considerable interest in degreesoutside the Craft, obtained a patent from America backdated to October and he, along with other Knights Templar, formed an EnglishSupreme Council. My own Chapter — then Metropolitanand now Grand Metropolitan — was formed very shortly after the patentissued to Supreme Council and for some considerable time was useddirectly by Supreme Council to induct suitable brethren on its behalfwith members of Supreme Council actively involved in these ceremoniesand in the day-to-day business of the Chapter.
One or two of these degrees are stagedannually as demonstrations and very interesting they are.
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For such masons, the level of thought has moved onto encompass the life and message of Christ, but one should not thinkin terms of higher degrees or, worse still, of greater rank orpromotion. Embroidered with key symbols - the Rose, thePelican in its Piety, the Crown of Thorns, the Serpent - it serves the'perfected mason' as a wonderful aid in the teaching of Rose Croix andis used as such in the ritual.
Many regret the passing of the beautifulaprons with the tetragrammaton within a blazing triangle and, onceagain, the pelican's mythical vulning of itself to feed its young withits blood in allusion to the ultimate sacrifice of Christ himself. Asto the abolition of the aprons in , some cite their expense, othersthe inappropriateness of knights of a Christian Order clothed in apronsoriginating in the Operative past. However, one cannot but envy theBaldwyn Encampment stationed at Bristol who still proudly wear them. Why seek Perfection?
The collars and former aprons add to this most visual and Christian ofdegrees. So why Rose Croix? There is also a link withRosicrucian thought, despite some members being keen to downplay it. In the ceremony the Candidate is taken from room to room figurativelythrough his spiritual and masonic life from Solomonic Masonry, throughdespair, to a Rose Croix Chapter and the discovery of the Lost Word.
Followingperfection, the ensuing "feast of fraternal affection" is a wonderfulmoment of shared Freemasonry all too often lost in other degrees.
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In Bristol, the members of Baldwyn have their own version asthe pinnacle of their unique Rite of Seven Degrees. Rose Croix, like Freemasonry as a whole, is not a religion. It does,however, serve to point the way. It is this which makes Rose Croixmasonically so important, encompassing all we seek, while pointing usclearly to the Trinitarian Christian Faith. In fact, there were no fratres R. Some sparkedremarkable jousts, such as the controversy on the place of soul inscience, others just begged admittance to the fratres R.
Some claimedto know who the fratres R. The Invisible Brotherhood As we saw in Part One, in the case of Adam Haslmayr who was sentencedto slavery on the Mediterranean galleys, the stakes could be high. Thenephew of the printer of the Fama Fraternitatis, Philipp Homagius, wastried by Marburg University in and incarcerated for life for hisintemperate love of things Rosicrucian. But there was neither faggotnor fire for the Rosicrucians themselves. The otherworldly fratres R. Andreae anonymouslyadvocated the full confessional freedom denied to the world byLutherans, Calvinists and Catholics.
Andreae, himself a Lutheran deacon, declared this Protestant excitementa fraud. The true Reformation had hardly begun. Andreae triedanother tack. Andreae warned that true Christiandiscipleship could involve some very hard labour indeed, for itsalchemical gold was the practise of sacred love.
Not everything went sour. To minds that were already expansive, the Fama Fraternitatis openedthem still further, revealing an unclaimed empire of mind in nature and"mind over matter". In , historian Hugh Trevor-Roper singled outComenius, together with the Pole, Samuel Hartlib — who, arriving inexile, founded a school in Chichester - and the Scot, John Dury as "thereal philosophers, and the only philosophers, of the EnglishRevolution". Their spirit and work - together with the persistent imageof the fratres R.
ARosicrucian Enlightenment really did occur. The Tomb of Truth Andreae had begun the process with a joke. Andreae, in his Christian Mythologies hoped to bring the curtaindown on the Rosicrucian furore by turning the joke on its head. Andreae envisions a scene where a number of his contemporaries discovera secret vault.
In an almost sick parody of the Fama Fraternitatis theexplorers break down a wall. Inside thesarcophagus lies a cadaver, horribly mutilated, the flesh consumed. This is the tomb of Truth. In a startling imageAndreae has succeeded in condensing his entire outlook and the realsubstance of the Fama as well.
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It is a sign of the perversity of theworld that while his Rosenkreuz fantasy is remembered, thisdevastatingly truthful work lies rotting in obscure libraries. TheTruth is assassinated Back in Britain Alas, Britannia was unaware of all this. Her greatest Rosicrucianadvocate, Dr Robert Fludd beginning in , was always an outsider. Inspite — or because - of this, its mystique proved no less fecund,however mutely its trumpet sounded. Henamed Dr Robert Fludd, — with his copious continental contacts - as theprogenitor of a transformation accomplished between and Limited space forbids entry into the world of 18th and 19th centuryneo-Rosicrucianism.
The Vault of the Adept is open to all that see it. MM Resp:. Today, the main Government area is filled with buildings that shoulddelight any freemason seeing them for the first time. There is averitable forest of columns and domes with Hellenic temple-style motifsforming part of, or dominating almost every building except the mostmodern. The most impressive monument is undoubtedly the Washington Monument,dedicated to the first President and Founding Father of the country.
Itwas conceived by freemasons and, as a giant obelisk, has a stronglymasonic flavour. It has recently been cleaned and renovated and nowgleams brilliantly, especially at night when it is floodlit. Even before Washington became President there were plans for a monumentto commemorate his deeds during the Revolution as General Washington. Not surprisingly it was envisaged that it would take the form of astatue of the General on horseback. In fact, nothing was done for many years because the equestrian statueseemed inadequate and it was thought that a mausoleum, perhaps in theform of a pyramid, might be more appropriate.
Eventually a tomb wasprovided in the crypt of the National Capitol building, but it remainedempty. Washington had requested that he should be buried in the grounds of hisestate at Mount Vernon and it was difficult to overrule his wishes. Ascompensation, a heroic statue of Washington as Zeus was placed in theCapitol. However, a half-naked Founder of the Nation dressed in a toga,sandals and with a crown of laurels did not find much favour, and itwas eventually removed to the Museum of American History. In , a site was found, a design approved and the cornerstone waslaid on Independence Day in a masonic ceremony attended by PresidentPolk and other dignitaries.
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In the Monument had reached a height of feet. But buildingstopped, first for lack of funds, then as a result of interference bythe "Know Nothings" an anti-Catholic political group which objected tothe inclusion of a stone donated by Pope Pius IX , and finally becauseof the Civil War. At this point Congress became discouraged and took up its originalconcept of an equestrian statue: this was completed and dedicated in It now stands almost unnoticed in Washington Circle, just sevenblocks from the White House.
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The Monument remained in a partly finished state until constructionbegan again in , with a second cornerstone being laid at thefeet level by President Hayes. It was completed in December , years after the Congress had declared its intent to build aMonument, and 51 years after the Monument Society was formed. It is beautifully proportioned, exactly matching its Egyptianforebears, and is quite plain, apart from a slight discolouration,ending about feet above the ground, which can be invoked to impressthe gullible as marking the height of the Great Flood.
There is a lift which takes visitors to an observation room at thefeet level. Along the staircase, the use of which is restricted tothose going down, there are memorial stones contributed by numerousmasonic and other lodges as well as by States, counties, cities andother organisations from around the country. However, the masons were not satisfied. In theAlexandria-Washington Lodge No. The Memorial was designedafter the lighthouse that stood in the harbour of Alexandria, Egypt,one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Working continuously and with a steady source of funds, the buildingwas completed in , although the interior was not finished at thistime. The Memorial in Alexandria is perhaps less elegant than thesimply-conceived Monument six miles distant in Washington DC, but it ismuch more interesting to visit. It is feet high taking the rule ofthree as far as possible with a Memorial Hall at the entrance level,above which are seven levels housed in the tower which is built inthree sections, with Ionic, Doric and Corinthian architecture. The Memorial Hall is grandiose: a feet high bronze statue ofWashington stands at the far end, lit from behind and unveiled in thepresence of President Truman in On either side there are fourhuge Corinthian columns.
Behind them galleries with two enormous 46 x18 feet murals depict Washington laying the cornerstone of theNational Capitol in a masonic ceremony , and Washington andbrethren at a St. To the left of the entrance at basement level is a replica of theAlexandria-Washington No. Each of these is of a different architecture and all are filled withinteresting objects and murals, usually with an audio commentarysupplementing the introduction given by a guide.
They are a delight tovisit for non-masons as well as masons.