(continued from last post) By the 17th Century, other elements began to come into play. Re

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

(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.

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank