(continued from last post) By the 17th Century, other elements began to come into play. Re
(continued from last post)
By the 17th Century, other elements began to come into play.
Remember the reference to the Rose Croix as badge of the Templars?
Three tracts were published by Johann Valentin Andrea, a celebrated
alchemist, concerning Christian Rosenkreutz and a Magickal order known
as the Rosicrucians. The early Rosicrucian order was the athanor from
which the Freemasons emerged. The most important element of the
Rosicrucian order was sheltering those wanted by the Inquisition from
its clutches. Finally in 1660, the restored British monarch Charles II
became head of the "Invisible College" of the order, the first
well-documented order to call itself Freemasonry.
The "Invisible College" became the foundation, if you will, of what
became known as the "York Rite" of Freemasonry. When the Stuart clan
was exiled to France after the revolt led by "Bonnie Prince Charlie",
the "Scottish Rite" of Freemasonry began to evolve. Also in France,
colorful figures such as the Comte de Saint-Germain, Comte Cagliostro
and Casanova began to formulate yet another flavor of Freemasonry, the
now-extinct "Memphis-Misraim Rite".
The Memphis-Misraim Freemasons were the first to break with the
largely Christianized milieu of Freemasonry and adopt elements of the
old Mystery Religion of Isis and Osiris, the texts of which had begun
to be translated with the aid of the Rosetta Stone. They were also
highly politicised, with sympathies that contrasted sharply from that
of the royalist York and Scottish Rites. The revolutionaries in the
American colonies were connected with Memphis-Misraim Freemasonry, and
the revolutionary Illuminati-Orden of Adam Wieshaupt also had its
origins within this rite. There was also a connection between a small
group of Freemasons that used the remnants of Keltic mythology as its
mythos, the Pendragon Order or Order of the Dragon and Grail, with the
Adams family of American Patriots. There is evidence that modern-day
Wicca owes much to this Order, of which tantalizingly little is known.
But the most powerful connection between Memphis-Misraim Freemasonry and
a political movement was in the French Revolution. The Jacobin leaders,
including Robespierre, were very committed Memphis-rite Freemasons. The
Terror caused a major split in French Freemasonry, and even endangered
the venerable Prieure d'Sion. With the advent of Napoleon, Memphis-
Misraim Freemasonry purged itself of political content, and eventually
slid down the hill into obscurity. Its most enduring document, outside
of the Declaration of Independence and the Declaration of the Rights of
Man, was the music and especially the opera "Die Zauberfloete" of
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
D.) The Fin De Siecle and the Magick revival
The near-extinct Memphis-Misraim order of Freemasonry provided fertile
seeds for the various Magickal orders and salons that sprung up
in the latter half of the 19th Century. The Order of the Golden Dawn,
perhaps the most influential of these orders, was based quite liberally
on the old Memphis-Misraim Masonic order, although the daunting 90+
grades of Memphis-Misraim Freemasonry were carved down to 10 degrees,
corresponding to the ten Sephiroth of the Qabalistic Tree of Life.
Seven of these degrees were accessible to mortals, with the three
highest grades reserved for the "Secret Chiefs" of the order, who were
presumed immortal beings that lived in seclusion in the Himalayas,
accessible only to the Golden Dawn's founder MacGregor Mathers.
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