Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Alchemists, Freemasons, and Rosicrucians, Oh My!

…I too await
The hour of thy great wind of love and hate.
When shall the stars be blown about the sky,
Like the sparks blown out of a smithy, and die?
Surely thine hour has come, thy great wind blows,
Far off, most secret, and inviolate Rose?

— William Butler Yeats

Our journey with the Graces, specifically Thalia, continues, as She guides us through the magical garden. We are currently visiting with the Queen of the Garden, the rose.

The rose has a long heritage as a symbol of the powerful secret societies that many believe have ruled or influenced European and American history for centuries. Primarily this association is due to its importance to the Rosicrucians and Freemasons. In fact, many Masonic and occult societies claimed to derive their doctrines, in whole or in part, from the original Rosicrucians.

According to historian Jean-Pierre Bayard, two Rosicrucian-inspired Masonic rites emerged towards the end of 18th century, the Rectified Scottish Rite, widespread in Central Europe where there was a strong presence of the “Golden and Rosy Cross,” and the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, first practiced in France, in which the 18th degree is called Knight of the Rose Croix.

Some of the earliest records of Masonic initiation indicate that 17th century Rosicrucianism had a considerable influence on Anglo-Saxon Masonry. Overlapping this, Rosicrucian rites and ideals were also being assimilated into the works of the alchemists, such as Samuel Richter who in 1710 published his treatises regarding the “Orden des Gülden-und Rosen-Creutzes” – the Order of the Gold and Rose Cross.

In Prague, in the early 18th century, this was a hierarchical secret society composed of initiatory circles, secret signs of recognition, and alchemy studies. Its members claimed that the leaders of the Rosicrucian Order had invented Freemasonry and only they knew the secret meaning of the Masonic symbols.

Their tradition said that the Rosicrucian Order had been founded by the Egyptian “Ormusse” (see yesterday’s reference to Ormus), or “Licht-Weise,” who later immigrated to Scotland with the name “Builders from the East.”

Another historic interpretation says that the original Order disappeared, only to be resurrected later by Oliver Cromwell as “Freemasonry.” Meantime, many Freemasons became Rosicrucians and Rosicrucianism was established in many Masonic lodges.

Why does all this matter? Some answers tomorrow!

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  • July 18, 2008, 4:43 am ARIE

    Hi Beth,
    Where women also part of these secret societies or where these only for men?

  • July 18, 2008, 6:15 am Beth Owl's Daughter

    Nope, no women allowed.

    While the boys were playing dress ups and concocting Philosophers Stones, women with the leisure or money to be fooling around with literacy, much less associating or organizing in any way, were frequently burned at the stake for such unnatural, probably demonic activities. 🙁

  • July 18, 2008, 3:28 pm Beth Owl's Daughter

    Ooops! Wait.. This is a little misleading.. there is an important exception, but it is a bit later than the period I’ve been discussing, and I’m actually planning to write about it next week!
    – Beth