Book: Rituals Of The Societas Rosicrucianis In Anglia by AnonymousTHE Societas Rosicrucianis in Anglia (or "SRIA") i.e. The Rosicrucian Society of England, was founded in 1866 by Robert Wentworth Little, who had apparently previously attained high rank in a Scottish Rosicrucian order: it was this Order which he claimed granted him a charter to open an English version.
The SRIA attracted the membership of a number of talented men in Rosicrucian circles of the 19th Century, including: Frederick Hockley, the crystal?gazer; Kenneth Mackenzie, compiler of "The Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia" - and the three founder members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, William Woodman, W. Wynn Westcott, and Samuel Liddell Macgregor Mathers. Lord Lytton (Sir Edward Bulwher?Lytton, author of "Zanoni") and Eliphas Levi were both awarded Honorary membership, but there is no evidence they ever attended SRIA meetings.
The SRIA worked nine grades in total: four learning grades,
three Teaching grades,
· Adeptus Minor
· Adeptus Major
· Adeptus Exemptus
and two Ruling Grades,
· Magister Templi
Of these, the first seven were the only ones that could usually be attained: however, unlike the Golden Dawn, the SRIA made no pretence that Magistri Templi and Magi were mysterious praeterhuman "Secret Chiefs".
The SRIA proved to be popular enough that Masons in America wanted to set up their own branch. This they did - getting a charter from the English order, to found the "Societas Rosicrucianis in Civitatibus Federatis" i.e. the Rosicrucian Society in the United States. It is from this "SRICF" that the following Rituals derive - they date from around the year 1880. As for these first four rituals themselves - one can make the following observations. They are strikingly different from the Golden Dawn ceremonies for the equivalent grades. Clearly whoever wrote the Golden Dawn Cipher Manuscripts was not deriving them on the SRIA. The ceremonies tell a four part story concerning a member of the original order, Frater Gualdi. Hard at work trying to find the Elixir Vitae, he rang the ceremonial bell in the middle of the night - which announced his success. However, when the other Brethren reached him, he was lying on the floor, apparently dead. The Brethren tried to discover his last secret by consulting the working papers that lay on the bench... The Initiate is therefore put into the role of a Brother trying to piece together Gualdi’s discovery, by investigating Alchemy, Astrology and Astronomy, etc. At the climax of the Philosophus ceremony, the Initiate sees Gualdi return to life - the hymn which is sung at this point giving some telling clues Rituals of the Societas Rosicrucianis in Anglia as to the real nature of the "Elixir Vitae"
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