Ceremony for the degree of Sage of Mythras, 64°
Dit Amerikaanse rituaal dateert uit de tweede helft van de negentiende eeuw.
There ate 11 Dignitaries,
1. Grand Pontiff (or S.D.);
2 and 3, the two Mystagogues;
4. the Odos, or Orator;
5. the Hierostolista or Secretary;
6. the Zacoris, or Treasurer;
7. the Cyrice or Expert;
8. the Pliste or Hospitaller;
9. the Hydranos, or M. of Cer.;
10. the Cistophore or Archivist;
11. the Thesmophores or Guard of Consistory.
In the Centre are 3 Circles to represent the p!anetary system, with the Sun
in the Centre. There should be 7 chambers, or caverns of Initiation, and 7 doors
of 7 Metals. In the South is the transparency of a Sun rising over a tomb. Near
to it is a Myrtle, and some astronomical instruments.
G.P., knocks once with triangle headed mallet: Silence Brothers!
Brother 1st Mystagogue, what is your duty in this temple of truth?
1st Myst.: It is to protect the inviolability of our Mysteries against profane intrusion.
G.P.: Brother Ceryce, assure yourself that the entrance is guarded.
Ceryce, after going to the door to see: Grand Pontiff, the avenues of the temple are deserted, its echoes are silent, none can overhear us.
G.P.: Since we are covered, arise to order, My 1st and 2nd Mystagogues, examine your columns, and assure yourselves that all are Brothers.
1st Myst.: Grand Pontiff, all the Brothers present are members of the degree.
G.P.: 2nd Mystagogue, your place in this Temple of Truth?
2nd Myst.: In the Angle of the Column to the North.
2nd Myst.: To see that order is maintained, and to the perfect execution of the work. To foresee and transmit to the 1st Mystagogue, any difficulties that may arise, and obtain the solution which may be necessary, to the perfect development of the questions submitted to our brothers.
G.P.: Brother 1st Mystagogue, where is your place?
1st Myst.: At the Angle of the Column in the South West.
1st Myst.: To aid the Grand Pontiff in developing the work of this degree.
G.P.: Where is the Grand Pontiff’s place?
1st Myst.: In the East, to open the labour, and spread. the rays of light and truth.
G.P.: Brother 1st Mystagogue, at what hour do we assemble?
1st Myst.: At seven in the evening, Grand Pontiff.
G.P.: What hour is it, Brother 2nd Mystagogue?
2nd Myst.: The hour of labour, Grand Pontiff.
G.P.: Join me, my Brothers, in Prayer. Omnipotent God, Author of all good, Source of all Clemency, Spread Thy blessings over our labours, fortify us with the bonds of Fraternal affection. We prostrate ourselves before the eternal laws of Thy Wisdom, we invoke Thy name for we are Thy children. Dissipate the darkness of our souls; continue to spread over us Thy protecting hand, and lead us constantly towards goodness, of which the perfection resides only in Thee. Glory to Thee, O! Lord; Glory to Thy Name; Glory to Thy Works.
To the Glory of The Supreme Architect of the Universe the Consistory is Open. Attend to me, my Brothers.
All give the Battery, ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* , and Sign.
The Knights wear a white Sash, Saltire wise, from which is suspended a plate
in form of a triangle; on one side is engraven the name 'Jehovah', is is
surrounded by the words 'Virtue, Wisdom, Science'. On the other side is a
Serpent coiled in circle within which is the Lion, of a degree of Mithras. The
triangle symbolises divinity; the serpent and Lion are the emblems of Wisdom and
G.P., knocks once: To your places, My Brothers.
Ceryce repeats the knock.
Hydranos knocks ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* for Aspirant.
Thesmophores admits Aspirant. Door closes. Claps of Thunder.
Neophyte finds himself surrounded with fire. Brilliant light.
G.P.: What dost thou demand, and what has brought thee amongst us?
Neophyte: I seek to penetrate the Arcana of Nature.
G.P.: What hast thou done to obtain this favor?
Neophyte: I have studied the signification of Symbols.
G.P.: That is something but more is required from thee. What means the Pyramid, with the Sun over it?
Neophyte: It is a Symbol which gives us the idea of perfection, and reminds us of the acquirement of Art; the virtues we propose, and the labours of the Hierophant and the two Mystagogues. In attending to the three Fires, as Guardian in the 60° , we learn these inscriptions:
- Practise virtue and fly vice, be docile to the voice of nature, reason, and conscience.
- Seek in the visible marvels of the Universe the Knowledge of the Supreme Architect of the Universe and His perfcctions.
- Love thy Kind, Seek to be useful to them, and thine own interest in the common well being Such tasks are but the pure doctrine of our divine Master whose teaching, in the lapse of ages, has been disfigured by ignorance, superstition and avarice.
G.P.: Give me an explanation of the three Symbolic fires?
Neophyte: We see the goddess Isis with her son Horus seated upon her knees, and these three fires burning upon three Altars before her; Man is body, Soul and Spirit. Each of the three elements which constitute our body is ternary, and offers the general emblems of nature, as Symbols to our Spirit.
G.P.: How do you look on the voice from the burning bush?
Neophyte: As a figure of speech. It expresses the fire of intelligence, the voice of conscience, which permits no man to oppress his brothers.
G.P.: What idea have you formed of the record of a man and a woman living in a Garden of Eden; or in a State of innocence, and their expulsion?
Neophyte: It is an allegory which expresses the obedience which man owes to the Jaws of nature, in justice and humanity. When he forgets these laws he renders himself unhappy, infirm, ignorant; he destroys the rights of society, and overthrows the laws which the Supreem Architect of the Universe has imprinted on creation.
G.P.: Brother Odos, I give you the parole.
Odos: My brother, the instruction of this grade ascends to the highest antiquity. The Magi who were its founders in Persia, arose in Asia, in the primitive ages, and carried their science to the Gymnosophists and to me Brahmins. They had anciently in the Chaldean town of Hypernium a celebrated school, where all human virtue was concentrated, and which spread civilization over the world, but it was more especially in Media that these Illustrious Masons, as we have long used the word, celebrated their Mysteries and taught those forms and principles, which spread to Rome and thence to Britain, those waves of light and truth which the Supreme Architect of the Universe had placed in the hearts of the Hierophants of learned Egypt. Even the Jews, in their captivity profited largely by the learning of the Magi. The City of Ecbatana, in imitation of the tower of Babel, was protected by seven circular walls within each other, each higher than the last, and were coloured so as to represent the seven planets known to all the ancients.
The principal aim of this order is the perfectionment of man, and his reapproachment towards that source whence it emanated; that is to say his rehabilitation and reintegration in his primitive rights. The occult schools term it Union with Deity. Contemporaneously with this dogma, as a consequence, is born the principle of Spirit communion; the doctrine of a dual nature in man, exemplified in magnetism, somnambulism, dreams, prescience, sympathies and antipathies, and above all ecstasy, and yoga. These doctrines were all well known to the ancient Sages, and at one time, Pythagoras was their most celebrated interpreter, and was followed by the almost divine Plato. In our times Swedenborg and St. Martin have pushed them to their limits, and have had numerous and enlightened disciples; and besides these there were divers orders of Illuminati such as those of Stockholm, which followed St. Martin.
When man by a new and exemplary life of active good work is conducted to his primite dignity, he approaches his creator, is animated by a divine breath and is Initiated. By this acquirement he becomes a Master of the Occult Sciences, the secrets of nature, high-chemistry, entology, and astronomy.
The Secrets of this degree can only be acquired by prescribed studies, and severe trials, which were in reality a course of religion, and morality divested of Superstition. It was necessary for admission to unite elevation of mind to great moral purity, which was enforced by a terrible oath in the new life on which they entered.
The festival of the Order was a celebration of the triumph of light over darkness, and during they fed, with veneration, a pure flame in a brazier; this symbol was used by the greatest nations: the Egyptians, Chaldeans, Persians, Peruvians, etc., but the full explanation was possessed only by the Hierophants.
The Constitution of this degree is based upon the law of Horn, according to the Zend Avesta, this Law announced one Eternal Supreme Being, whence proceeded two opposing principles. The ceremonies of this Law, called Pariokesh, were very simple and intended to recall the origin and arrangement of the Universe. The aim was to render to the Supreme Architect of the Universe that homage which is his due, raising man, by leading them to abandon their passions, which so often trouble, their existence, to the highest perfection.
G.P.: Having now given you a general idea, of the nature and principles of this degree, I require to know whether you still desire to proceed?
Neophyte: It is my sincerest desire.
G.P.: Do you promise that you will faithfully conform to the laws of the order, that you will be obedient to your superiors therein, and that you will conceal the mysterious instruction that you will receive, with the same strict caution, as in the other degrees which have been conferred upon you?
Neophyte: I promise it, and I swear it.
G.P., giving him a Myrtle branch, and a Baton on which is a Serpent: With this Symbolic Myrtle, you will be able to penetrate the cavern where is concealed the Sacred Delta, and the Incommunicable Name. This symbolic Baton will guide you in your search. Go, my Brother, and may the Supreme Architect of the Universe aid you.
Thesmophorus leads the Neophyte to a Vestibule lighted by an antique lamp. In the middle of the side to the right is a folding door guarded by Silence and Charity; upon the frieze is a Globe surrounded by a Serpent and sustained by two vultures wings, spread out at the two sides. Upon the door are these words in hieroglyphical characters: 'Do good upon this earth, or dread to be accursed'. The Neophyte places his offering in the alms-box. The door opens and he enters with the Thesmophorus a large Hall designated:
The Sanctuary of Spirits
Neophyte enters it, supported on the arm of the Guide. But what a grevious
ruin! The silence of death rests upon the crumbling stones, seen by the pale
light of the Moon. Overturned Capitals obstruct the entrance; pillars, here and
there, are seen standing erect; but sustain only the air, and are no longer the
marvellous erections on which Sculptors had engraven the Mysteries of Science,
and the annals of history.
Neophyte: I think, with bitterness, that the hand of man has contributed more than the elements to the destruction of the innumerable monuments, which civilization has spread with such profusion.
Thesmophores: The Egyptians, Persians, and other primitive peoples, were in the habit of symbolising in stone the grand accidents of nature, and their high philosophic speculations. The common people understood these emblems literally, for the symbolic doctrine was taught only to Initiates.
The Egyptians, for instance, symbolised, nature by Isis, and her mysteries by the Veil which enveloped the Statue of the goddess, a Veil which fell not even before the eyes of the Hierophant. It was thus, again, that the Greeks symbolised high Science by the Sacred Curtain of the Temple of Apollo. Dost thou understand the Ammonite language?
Neophyte: No. I am but an Initiate of the Minor Mysteries, and unable to comprehend this Mysterious language.
Thesmophores: Look upon this Obelisk, mutilated by the hands of barbarians, It still preserves the Mysterious characters traced by the hands of our ancestors. Behold the meaning: 'Mortal! Apply thyself to conceive some great and noble idea; consecrate thy life to its realization, and, thy passage upon earth will not be barren of good. Thou wilt thus fulfill a providential mission, if thou but proposes an aim useful to humanity'.
It is only by return to the worship of the Unity that mankind may one day arrive at a termination of antagonistic sentiment and discord.
Besides this half overthrown column, thou seest a griflin pushing a wheel before it. What does this emblem signify?
Neophyte: I consider the Griffin to be an emblem of the Sun; and that the wheel which is parted by four spokes, represents the four seasons.
Thesmophores: And this cross called the Diagamma?
Neophyte: It is formed of four gammas, joined at their points, and represents the apparent revolution of the Sun.
Thesmophores: And this figure holding forth the left hand?
Neophyte: It represents good-faith.
Thesmophores: And this semi-nude figure, with head thrown to the right?
Neophyte: The sun is never entirely covered at the same time to all the world.
Thesmophores: Why is the hair shorn off, even to the roots?
Neophyte: It points out this inextinguishable star has the faculty of rebirth.
Thesmophores: What signifies the wings, the urn, and augurial baton?
Neophyte: The wings point out the rapidity of the Suns course; the urn in the right hand announces that it is the source of all good; and the Augurial baton in the left hand is a happy emblem of the solicitude with which it forestalls the needs of mankind.
Thesmophores: Behold this framed symbol to the right, what does it signify?
Neophyte: Two objects capable of softening the Supreme Architect of the Universe, the tongue for prayer, and the hand for offerings.
The Neophyte now advances to the Symbolic tomb, when two masked, and black robed brothers, bar his passage, and demand the word.
A Voice to Neophyte: Consider, that if long labours, profound studies, and rude trials, are required for the Exoteric degrees, how much more is required for those of Esoteric Nature. No assistance, no council, no encouragement is given to him who dares venture to penetrate the Inner Secret. It is only by force of spirit, and divine inspiration, that this can be done. There are Mysteries within Mysteries.
Neophyte advances with prudence, but nothing indicates an entry by which he can descend into the vault. After much search he discovers a trap door and, without thinking of danger, he prepares to descend into the Cavern.
A Voice to Neophyte: Whoever shall penetrate into this vault alone will be purified he will come out perhaps from the bosom of the earth, and his Soul will be prepared for the revelation of the Mysteries. Child of Earth, sound the most secret corners of thy heart, Know Thyself. This Knowledge is the grand principle of all our dogmas; thy soul is a rough stone, which thou must polish in order to carve thereon the perfect plan ... Be good, sweet, humane, charitable, love thy kind, console the afflicted, pardon those who give offence May the Supreme Architect of the Universe protect thee
Thesmophores: Hast thou courage to forlow out this adventure to the end?
Without reply, the Neophyte hastens to descend the vault. He thus finds himself led onward by a gentle slope into a cavern where he espies a Labyrinth which is terminated by a double door of Ledd, which opens of itself, without producing the least Noise. Upon this door is the word Beababa (resignation).
A stifling atmosphere, charged with vapor oppresses the lungs and he hastens his march in dread of suffocation. Following some windings he finds himself before a second door of Tin, upon which is written Mathok (sweetness).
A Voice: Child of Earth, labour to perfect thy body, and thy soul; strip off the Vices which a profane world hath created. Break the chains with which prejudice hath bound thee, and thou wilt become the cherished Son of our Order; of creation; and the first light of intelligence. Strike this door with thy Baton. It will open to thee the passage which leads from, the East to the West; it points out the beginning and end of human life, and it is the course which the Sun overruns daily.
The Neophyte acts as the Voice directs him, and, marching resolutely arrives before a third door of Copper, on which he reads the word Serrel (intelligence). This door opens of itself, and hears a sonorous
Voice: Know that amongst all the good things which the Supreme Architect of the Universe hath bestowed on Man the pleasures of reason, and the joys of the senses, consist in these things: health, peace, necessaries. Health can only be obtained by temperance; peace is the appanage of virtue; Good and bad men are equally able to acquire the gifts of fortune, but the pleasures of enjoyment are diminished in proportion to the wickedness by which they have been obtained.
The Neophyte comes to a fourth door of Iron, on which is 'Emounah' (Strength) and hears a strong
Voice: What are thy views on Morality?
Neophyte: Morality is the point at which all human sentiment unites. It is the good way; the assured means of a happy life; the faithful mirror of virtue; and the interpreter of conscience. Without it all else is vain; with it all things become useful and profitable; as man approaches that point he presents himself under a new and interesting aspect; the moral sentiment raises him towards the Author of all; he sees himself surrounded by men who resemble himself, of whom he has need, and whom he can assist. It is a precious knowledge, and the intimate conviction of his duty towards God, his neighbor, and himself; it is the Sum of all his obligations.
The Voice: I am satisfied. Continue thy journey, with courage and perseverance.
A door opens of itself, and the Neophyte advances as chance leads him. He hears a noise like that of heavy bars of iron rolled upon an uneven pavement. He perceives a light, towards which he advances carefully, and finds himself before a heavily barred vault, with a door of bronze (or mixed metal) upon which is written the words Coh-er-Elvah, (Love of God). He opens the door, and also a pannel of the stone wall before him. Upon this three armed men, with swords present themselves before him, one says:
First Brother: We are not here to retard thy progress. Presents a book bound in red Morocco Write here thy name, age, and thy Masonic qualifications. He does so.
Second Brother: Pardon everything to others, nothing to thyself.
Third Brother, presenting a Mirror: Behold! It reflects thy past, seeks motives of hope in it for the future. In following the Voice of nature thou mayest obtain happiness; it is a quality of celestial origin, which all the world may obtain; for to obtain it we support life, and yet fear not death. It offers good things to us, but we must not seek it in extremes; to acquire it we must act in a sensible spirit with an upright heart.
The Universal Cause acts by general laws; and gives true happiness; order is the first of heaven’s laws; this teaches us that happiness should apply equally to all, and to reach it man must be sociable; forget it not. Pursue thy route, it will lead thee to the Temple of Truth.
The Neophyte walks painfully along a rough road, until he arrives at the sixth door of Silver, and he knocks with his Baton. Upon it is the word Tsedakah (Justice). It opens with a great noise. He penetrates this Assylum of death, and, at the same instant, two lions, of terrible grandeur, advance, put out their paws, and make a frightful roar (effected by mechanism). ‘Be at rest’. His courage is unshaken by this trial. He advances, holding the branch of myrtle in his right hand, which is a symbol of strength governed by prudence. In the midst of this room is a Column of brass in which is deposited the Sccred Coffre, and the Book of Traditions. Near it burns spirits of wine upon an antique tripod, the bluish-white flames of which resemble the warm hue of an igneus meteor. He hears himself addressed by a manly and deep
Voice: Who comes here?
Neophyte: A Neophyte, who aspires to wisdom.
Voice: In order to arrive at Wisdom, it is necessary to face without terror the Mystery of death.
He is questioned, out of our Lectures, on the first, the Mediate, the moral cause, space, duration, life, death, liberty, the will etc.
Voice: Purify thy heart; sow in the world words of wisdom. Teach mankind to love each other; lead, back those who stray from virtue, instruct the ignorant, relieve those who suffer. Strike with thy branch, which is the symbol of Initiation, upon this brazen column.
Neophyte does so, and a small door opens, which shows a golden casket and a book.
Voice: Take up this coffre, which encloses a golden delta, and the book is that of the Grand Mysteries. Thou wilt be permitted to place them upon the Altar in the Temple of Truth. Adieu, my brother, may the Spirit of the Supreme Architect of the Universe rest ever upon thee.
Neophyte journies, in complete silence, ‘til he arrives at the foot of a splendid Portico. He ascends the seven steps and knocks at a gold or gilded door, according to the battery of the grade. Upon the door is the words Shor-Laban (Purity). Here he is introduced by the Thesmophores to the outer Courts of the Temple.
Thesmophores: I will now go and request admittance for thee to the Assylum of Truth.
Temple of Truth
Thesmophores: Grand Pontiff, I come from the Neophyte to request
that he may enter the Temple of Truth.
G.P.: Hydramos, will you introduce the Neophyte.
Hydramos, goes, an shortly knocks ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* *******.
G.P.: Arise to order, my Brothers.
They do so. Doors open mechanically. The Neophyte advances with his Guide. The Standard unrolls before him its glorious folds, and he reads thereon "Architect of all worlds, to thee be glory and praise, Thy will controlls all things with unerring regularity, Only in thee rests the power to banish all our ills, To thee we consecrate the humble tribute of our labours."
The Stars in Sacred number, and Mystic order, burn in the East. Incense burns upon the Altar of Oaths; and harmony celebrates the entrance of the Neophyte.
G.P.: Advance and give me that Coffre. Thou comest to acquire the right of Knowledge. Listen! Guard thee against passion and prejudice, for their indulgence will draw thee from the true way to be happy. To govern thy heart and feelings, fix thy thoughts upon the Divine being. If thou wouldst learn to travel the true road to felicity listen to the voice of conscience, and it will enlighten thee with that true Inner Light which will conduct thee in the way of truth. Listen to the voice of sympathy, and thou wilt walk in sentiments of virtue. Thou hast vanquished all the trials to which thou hast been subjected. Come! Child of Celestial labours and researches. Come and receive the new life prepared for thee! Swear obedience and submission to the Rules of our ancient and venerated Institution, and promise never to reveal the secrets which will be submitted to thee.
Neophyte, placing right hand on Sacred Book: I swear it.
Four brothers then advance to the foot of the Altar, and place their Glaives on his head.
G.P., raises the flaming sword and says: To the Glory of the Supreme Architect of the Universe, I receive and Constitute thee, a Sage of Mythras. I give thee this sword. Forget not that it is the Symbol of honour, and that we are the Evangelists of sympathy. In sign of Adoption I invest thee with this Insignia, sacred to us. (opens coffre and takes out the Sacred Delta). Receive this purple Cordon with the Sacred Delta upon which is engraven the Ineffable Name. It gives thee the right of a Seat among us, and thou ought never to present thyself in the Temple of Truth without it. I will now explain to you our Secret Mode of Recognition in this degree.
Sign: place right hand upon the heart, then look to right, to left, and raise right hand the eyes to heaven.
Touch: join left hands, release them, join the right.
Password: same as in previous degrees.
Secret Word: Tsne-Lao (aged child, as an emblem of life and death.)
Battery: ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* *******.
Jewel and Symbol: a delta, in the middle of which is a paralellogram, with seven points.
G.P.: Conduct the Aspirant to the Hierostolista, ‘that he may be instructed in our Secret Cypher, after which let him be seated.
The Hydranos takes him to the Hierostolista.
Hiero.: Our Ammanian Alphabet is that of the ancient Egyptian Priests, and formed out of three diagrams, 1st the D the origin of all things; 2nd the ˜ , or sign of truth; 3rd the X, which was the N
These signs may again be united in one thus which they preserved in Sparta under the name of Decona or the Royal Building Beam. Some term it the Sign of Castor. If you take the sides of this figure to pieces you have these letters:
You will now take your seat.
The Hydranos leads him and he is then
G.P.: To the Glory of the Supreme Architect of the Universe, and
in the name of the Grand Hierophant, Sublime Master of Light, I proclaim, for
the present and for always, Member of the Grand Consistory of Sages of Mythras
Thrice Illustrious Brother ... and request you to recognise him in that
capacity, and, to aid and protect him. Join me, Illustrious Brothers, in
felicitating ourselves upon the happy acquisition which we have this day made.
To me. All give Sign and Battery.
G.P.: Brother 1st Mystagogue, What is the aim of our labours?
1st Myst.: To teach virtue and combat vice.
G.P.: What are the main principles of this degree?
1st Myst.: To know, obey, and command. To know in piety, hope, and love. To obey in truth, justice and humanity. To command according to reason, wisdom and virtue.
G.P.: Brother 2nd Mystagogue, has the hour to suspend arrived?
2nd Myst.: Yes, Grand Pontiff, it is 9 o'clock in the morning.
G.P.: Then it is the hour to suspend our labours. Join me, my Brothers, in this proceeding.
Passes the word etc., to Hydranos, who carries same to 1st and 2nd Mystagogues.
G.P.: Supreme Architect of the Universe, kindle in our hearts the sacred love of man. kind. Inspire in our hearts the desire of unrelaxing work for the good of humanity which is the constant aim of our Sublime Institution. Preserve in our consciences the purity which Thou hast placed there; and keep far from all things which might be injurious. So be it to us; so be it to all mankind! Continue to direct our labours, more and more towards perfection. Glory to Thee O Lord! Glory to Thy Name. Glory to Thy Works. To the Glory of the Supreme Architect of the Universe the labours are suspended. Let us retire in peace, my Brothers and may the spirit of God perpetually watch over us. Battery To me, my Brothers All give the Sign and the Battery.
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