Ancient Order of the Pyramids
Ritual of the Mysteries of Isis
The Ritual of the Ancient Order of Pyramids represents in its details the peculiarity of a particular system, and is therefore not to be regarded as a mere formula, that may he altered or dispensed with at pleasure. On the contrary, every portion of the Ritual has an esoteric meaning, and the whole forms, as it were, a chain, a single link of which cannot be broken without marring the whole, therefore, in communicating the mysteries no curtailment can in any case be allowed. The candidate is entitled to receive all the instruction the Ritual contains. There is an exception to this, however, in the third degree, which we consider too realistic for most women. These three degrees comprise the ground work of the Egyptian Mysteries, three being considered by them a sacred number. Later these degrees were amplified to ninety-two degrees, which were designated as the (Rites Egyptian). These degrees were first brought to Europe from the East in 1805, but not until 1866 did they find their way to this country.
Soon after, by a course of intrigue and persecution, these degrees were abandoned in this country. This Ritual is a revival of the degrees of that most Ancient Rite.
The officers of Council are ten in number, which also was considered a sacred or complete by the Egyptians, and are as follows:
1. Noble Prophet.
10. Sentinel, and Trustees.
The altar is opposite, and midway between the stations of Priest and Priestess.
This altar, when practicable, should be triangular, three feet high and two feet on each side. On the altar rests a Bible, crux ansata or handled cross, and dagger.
The end of the hall opposite the entrance is termed the sanctuary, which extends across the hall. When practicable this should be one-fifth of the length of the hall and is raised three low steps, above the general level of hall floor, steps in center.
Across the hall in front of sanctuary, where possible, should be a curtain extending from ceiling to floor. This curtain is so made as to loop back from center and is made of blue, purple, scarlet and white colors, with the blue on each side of center.
On the lambrequin in front of curtain should be a representation of the Winged Globe and Serpents.
In the center of the sanctuary is the station of the Noble Prophet, on the right of which is seat of
Deputy, Inspector, or Royal Temple representative, while on the extreme right and left are the Scribe and Treasurer.
Over the chairs of the Priest and Priestess may be a canopy with Winged Globe and Serpents on lambrequin of same.
In the center of hall, preferably over altar, is placed a tent which may be raised from bottom.
The Noble Prophet should be dressed in a long robe with flowing sleeves, purple in color, and confined at waist by the apron of the Order; on his head he wears a seven-pointed crown, in his hand he holds the emblem of authority used as a gavel.
The Priest wears a similar robe, crimson in color; also the apron of the Order; he may wear a five-pointed beretta with sun and its rays on the front, or he may wear a coif, black in color.
The Priestess wears a similar robe, light green in color, and the apron of the Order; she may wear a fillet with lunar crescent thereon, or she may wear a black coif.
The Scribe and Treasurer wear black robes and white turbans; also apron of the Order.
The Herald wears a scarlet robe, with apron, white coif, and carries a staff.
The Messenger wears a scarlet robe and white coif; also apron.
The Guardian wears an orange robe and white coif, with apron.
The Sentinel wears ordinary apparel and carries a spear.
The Deputy wears a yellow robe and apron; he also may wear a headdress, black in color.
Inspector wears robe, blue in color, and apron; he also wears a black coif.
All members wear apron of the Order, and during initiation should wear a white robe and black coif.
The official jewels of the Order are a pin-bar with Winged Globe and Serpents thereon, from which is suspended a triangle containing crux ansata. The pin-bar alone may be worn by ladies as a scarf pin.
The distinctive jewel of the Order, worn as a charm by members, is a triangle within a circle, represented by a snake, and within triangle crux ansata. The circle or snake signifies eternity, the triangle Deity, and the crux ansata hope of life eterna1.
The apron of the Order should be made square with a triangular flap, purple on one side and white on the other. For first degree members white side with purple flap above. For second degree members purple side with white flap above.
The presiding officer assumes his station, raps one blow and says:
Noble Prophet: I am about to open a Coul1cil of the Ancient Order of the Pyramids. Please assume your stations and give attention.
The Herald will make proclamation.
The Herald comes to the altar and says:
Herald: Hence, O hence, ye profane; the Noble Prophet is about to open his Council. The Messenger will see that we are secure against intrusion,
The Messenger goes out, returns, closes the door, and says:
Messenger: The Guardian and Sentinel are at their posts.
The Herald reports:
Herald: Noble Prophet, the guardians of the Council are at their posts.
Noble Prophet gives * *.
The Herald and Messenger will ascertain if all present are entitled to participate in our deliberations.
Herald marches down. side of hall to Priest's column. Messenger marches up side of hall to Priestess' column, each turn at right angles, march until they meet at altar, they salute Noble Prophet and return to column of Priest and Priestess respectively and receive the pass and remain standing.
Nobie Prophet gives * * *. All rise.
Noble Prophet: To order, Councilors.
Our Herald and Messenger will begin in the East and collect pass and token from all who tarry within our gates, and report them to the Noble Prophet in the West.
Noble Prophet: Brethren, the pass has duly arrived in the West, and the word is ….
Gives rap *. All seated except Noble Prophet, Priest and Priestess.
Noble Prophet: Priestess of Isis, where is your station?
Priestess: At the third point of the Mystic Triangle.
Noble Prophet: Priestess, what are your duties?
Priestess: To explain the mysteries of our Ancient Order.
Noble Prophet: Priestess, what does a chapter of this Order represent?
Priestess: A convocation of the various orders of Egyptian Priesthood assembled in the great temple at Amun, in the City of Thebes, to celebrate the mysteries of Isis.
Noble Prophet: Priest of Osiris, where is your station?
Priest: At the second point of the Mystic Triangle.
Noble Prophet: Where is the station of the Noble Prophet?
Priest: At the first point of the Mystic Triangle or Apex of the Pyramid.
Noble Prophet: Priest of Osiris, what does a Council of this Order represent?
Priest: The Mysteries of Osiris, or the Solemn Court of the Dead.
Noble Prophet: Where was that Court hell?
Priest: In "The Hall of the Two Truths," in the great temple of Ptah, at Memphis.
Noble Prophet: Priest of Osiris, what are the two truths which we endeavor to inculcate here?
Priest: Justice and Equity; Justice tempered with mercy; Equity, which considers the motives of action.
Noble Prophet: What are your duties?
Priest: To condemn not upon presumption, but to form conclusions only upon evidence; to temper justice with mercy-ever remembering the frailties of human nature.
Noble Prophet: Priestess, what are my duties?
Priestess: To rule justly and impartially; to assist the needy; to guard the interests of this Council and its members.
Noble Prophet: What are the special duties of all Councilors?
Priestess: To so live and act that when they are no more among us it may be said of each, alas, this day a man is called.
Noble Prophet: The obligations of duty are eternal.
Rap three, all rise and stand under sign of the Order; incense or lights are now lighted at the altar.
The Noble Prophet, Priest and Priestess will advance to the altar and form points of a triangle, when the Noble Prophet will offer invocation.
O, Thou Infinite Being, beyond the comprehension of our limited thought, we turn to Thee as the Rowers of morning turn toward the soft, warm sun. Help us that those who come near us from the desert of care and toil shall be able to cull some blossoms and place them within their saddened hearts, until all shall bloom like Thy eternal gardens of loveliness and truth. Assist us with the virtue and goodness Thou hast to give, and bring our lives into Thy radiance and glory and benefit us here and hereafter. Amen.
All respond: Amen.
The opening ode may be sung. Prophet returns to station and says:
Noble Prophet: This Council is now open for the transaction of such business as may properly come before it.
Noble Prophet raps *. Council will be seated.
Noble Prophet rises and gives *.
Noble Prophet: Messenger, you will retire and ascertain if within the Outer Court of this Council there awaits an applicant; if so, bid him tarry, return and report.
The candidate is in the reception room, when the Herald and Messenger enter, accompanied by one of those who recommended the candidate. The usual introduction is made, when the Herald says:
Herald: Is it your desire to become a member of this Order?
Candidate answers: ….
Herald: Do you make this application of your own choice?
Candidate answers: ....
Herald: Your petition regularly came before … Council No. … of the Ancient Order of the
Pyramids; and, you being deemed worthy of the confidence of its members, have been duly elected to participate with us in the sublime mysteries of the degree of Isis; and now having been admitted to the vestibule of our Mystic Temple, it is but proper that you should, be informed of the purposes of this Order. The object of the Ancient Order of the Pyramids is to bind in fraternal union acceptable white persons; to inculcate among its members the highest principles of morality and virtue.
We seek to clothe the naked, feed, the hungry, to educate the orphan, to know each other and ourselves.
Truth, Justice and Equity are our watchwords, and by good deeds promptly bestowed to the worthy we prove that it is good to be with us.
If, after this explanation, you desire to proceed, you will assume this white robe and the portal of our temple seek. Leaving you in care of one who will instruct and prepare you like those who have gone before, I retire.
Candidate is divested of outer clothing, all valuables, money, jewelry; he then assumes the robe which contains a small pocket, unseen by candidate, in which is a twenty-five cent silver coin. He is then hoodwinked.
Herald returns to Chapter Hall, approaches altar and says:
Herald: Noble Prophet, without there waits a Pilgrim, …, who declares intentions agreeably to our customs.
Noble Prophet: Herald, receive the Pilgrim in Mystic Form and his steps attend.
Herald returns to the door.
Candidate is conducted to the door and caused to give three distinct knocks. Herald opens the door.
Herald: Who comes here?
Messenger: One who desires to join the Ancient Order of the Pyramids.
Herald: Pilgrim, by the decree of our Noble Prophet, you may enter this Chapter Hall of Isis.
Messenger with Pilgrim enter as Noble Prophet says, speaking through a cone:
Noble Prophet: Ye Mystic Three to our portals lend your care, lest an intruder the mysteries of our Conclave seek.
Herald meeting them receives Pilgrim in Mystic Form by applying cross to forehead or seat of intelligence and says:
Herald: Pilgrim, by direction of the Noble Prophet I receive you into this Chapter Hall in the Mystic Farm; I receive you on the sacred symbol of life; which is to show that although the body belongs to this earth yet the essential part of man, the soul, lives on.
Herald takes Pilgrim's right hand and marches once around the hall to Priestess' station, ode being sung or music played. Priestess steps forward, halts candidate and says:
Priestess: Hold, what intruder bring you here?
Herald: No intruder, but an earnest Pilgrim.
Priestess: What seeks he?
Herald: The shrine of Isis, where in meditation profound he may purge his soul of error.
The Priestess, addressing the candidate, says:
Priestess: Do you believe in Deity, the Supreme Being?
Priestess: You have my permission to proceed.
The candidate is conducted twice around while an ode is sung or music is played, and stops in front of the Priest, who steps forward, hails candidate and says:
Priest: Hold, with an intruder dare you profane this Chapter Hall?
Herald: Not so: This Pilgrim would share in the Mysteries of Isis.
Priest: From whence this Pilgrim's desire?
Herald: That he, with us, may learn truths known but forgotten, and practice virtues, not proclaim them.
Priest: You have my permission to proceed.
The candidate is conducted three times around while an ode is sung or music played, and stops in front of the Prophet, who hails candidate and says:
Noble Prophet: Who comes here, who dares with head erect and knee unbent thus invade the sacred precincts of our sanctuary?
Herald: One who seeks the shrine of Isis, and there in solitude and alone craves the Mystic Rites of the Pyramids.
Noble Prophet: So it is and ever must be. Man, born of gratify the spirit of woman, urged by a desire to vain curiosity, would force his way even into the immediate presence of the Unknown.
Herald: Noble Prophet, it is not the spirit of idle curiosity that brings this candidate hither, but an ardent desire to be of benefit to those among whom he lives.
Addressing the candidate, the Noble Prophet asks;
Noble Prophet: If it is your desire to assist your fellows, what seek you here?
Candidate, prompted by Herald, replies:
Noble Prophet: Pilgrim, are you now ready to begin the ceremonies of' the hour? If unwilling to proceed you may return to the outer world from whence you came. But if you would these rites continue, our Herald will conduct you to our inner sanctuary, where in silent contemplation, divesting yourself of the follies and fancies of mortality, your mind you may prepare for the Mystic Ceremonies of this degree.
Herald conducts candidate once around the hall then to altar in tent, on the altar open Bible, and emblem of life.
C… o… l… h… p… d… r… o… H… B…. O… r… h… p… d… r… o… e… o… l… T… o… i… f… a… t… t… e… o… a… t… f… a t….
Herald removes hoodwink and retires, all lights out except one at altar. A weird hymn is now sung. Noble Prophet gives * * *. All rise, and members form triangle. Noble Prophet, Priest and Priestess form points of lesser within at altar. Noble Prophet says:
Noble Prophet: Say I, pronounce your name and repeat after me: I, …, in humbleness do of my own choice promise and declare that I will never expose any of the secret work of the Ancient Order of the Pyramids to any person in the world, except it he in a lawfully constituted Council or to a member for information, and not then until I shall have found him or them as fully entitled to receive them as 1 am myself.
I furthermore promise and declare that I have means sufficient to care for myself and those dependent upon me; that I will assist all poor destitute brothers or sisters, I finding them worthy, and that whenever or wherever appealed to in the name of the Order will contribute a gold or silver coin as a token.
I further promise that I will render obedience to all laws of this Order now existing or that may be hereafter enacted. That I will hold allegiance to the Royal Temple of the Ancient Order of the Pyramids as the sovereign authority of this Order in the world.
All this I solemnly promise on the emblem of eternal life.
Herald strikes gong or staff on the floor three times. Tent is now raised, all members with right hand extended, with index finger pointing at candidate.
Noble Prophet: Pilgrim, behold your brethren.
Noble Prophet gives *. All seated.
Noble Prophet: Herald, conduct the Pilgrim to my station for further instruction.
Herald conducts the Pilgrim once around the hall to Noble Prophet's station.
Noble Prophet: My Brother, at our altar; with your left hand resting on the Holy Bible, your right the emblem of life, together forming the Mystic Triangle Prophet shows candidate by putting his own hands together, you have taken an obligation that binds you to us. The Bible is an emblem of Truth and is as old as Christianity. The cross is an emblem of Life Eternal, that link which binds our spirit to its home in that brighter world beyond this vale of parting. According to an ancient Egyptian custom whose beginnings is lost in the mists of antiquity surrounding the origin of man, I now in vest you with this apron, a badge distinctive of this Order and degree, which you will wear in this manner until further advanced in our Order.
This emblem signifies that you must be a worker on this earthly tabernacle until called by the Supreme Architect to dwell in the halls of the Temple Spiritual. But never again from mortal hands, never again until your spirit shall have entered the inner Court of the Temple of Deity will you wear an emblem so distinctive of man's duty on earth and man's hopes hereafter.
My Brother, I will now instruct you in the signs, raps and passwords of this degree. Wishing to enter this or any other Council while working in this degree, you will cause to be given any alarm at the outer door which will attract the attention of the Sentinel, who will admit you, when you will clothe yourself for this degree. Then you will approach the inner door and give one rap. The Guardian will open the wicket; to him you will give your name and number of your Council. The Guardian will close the wicket and inform the Messenger, who will inform the Guardian to admit you if correct in the pass and properly clothed for this degree. The Guardian will again open the wicket, when you will give to him the last syllable of the permanent password, which is ….
The Guardian will give remainder of the word, which is …, when you will pronounce the word, which is ….
The Word being correct you will be admitted, when you will approach the altar, facing the Noble Prophet, and give this sign …. If correct, the Noble Prophet will answer by raising the gavel, then you may take your seat. Wishing to retire, you will approach the altar under the sign of this degree, when you can retire.
You will now be conducted to the place from whence you came, preparatory to your journey to Wisdom's Temple.
They go to the reception room and are seated. After a little time the Herald says:
Herald: Let us return to the Hall of Affairs.
They go to the door of the Chapter Room, when the Herald raps three by one and two. The Messenger opens the door. Herald enters with Pilgrim, and as they slowly march around the hall Priestess, Priest and Noble Prophet each in order proclaims aloud, as if reading from a scroll held in the hand:
Priestess: A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will attain to wise councils.
Priest: I wished and understanding was given me, the Spirit of Wisdom came upon me, and I esteemed riches as nothing in comparison to her.
Noble Prophet: No evil can overcome Wisdom. She knoweth things past and judgest of things to come, she knoweth the events of time and ages.
At the conclusion of the reading, the Herald conducts the brother to the altar, gives three blows with his staff and says:
Herald: Noble Prophet, a brother for further instruction in our Mystic Order.
Noble Prophet: My Brother, you have again approached our altar in search of further light in our Mystic Order, an Order which has preserved and represents the priestly order of Egypt.
The Mysteries of Isis through which you are passing are symbolic of the span of human life.
As you began your pilgrimage in darkness, so is man thrust upon the world helpless and dependent.
Impelled by Nature man presses on and passing the door of the Temple of Wisdom aspires to the fullness of fame.
Yet after having attained wisdom and honor he must render submission to Nature's inevitable degree and pass from the stage of human af1airs to his spirit home. Therefore, according to an ancient Egyptian custom, I now demand of you a gold or silver coin as a taken and evidence of a well-spent life and your preparation for the life beyond. For according to an ancient Egyptian belief, at death "the soul that was unable to pay a coin as passage price in old Charon's boat across the gloomy Styx to Amenti or the soul's happy home was condemned to wander across desert sands amidst the gloom which knew no sun."
Noble Prophet: Priest, by virtue of your holy office collect a token from our Pilgrim.
Priest steps to altar and reaching out his hand demands a token in the name of the Order.
Should Pilgrim fail to find or attempt to find, Priest will say:
Priest: Noble Prophet, this Pilgrim denies me a token in the name of the Order.
Noble Prophet: Priest, you will demonstrate to the Pilgrim that same Brother was more thoughtful for his welfare and honor than he is to perform his obligation.
Priest steps forward, finds coin and presents to Noble Prophet.
Priest: Noble Prophet, I find this coin on the Pilgrim's person.
Noble Prophet: My Brother, you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting. Forgetting your oath taken on that same altar and within this same hour you have even failed to stretch forth your hand to redeem your promise, nor have you made an effort to signify your willingness to carry out your obligation. This lesson, my Brother, applies to all mankind as well as yourself, but the principle inculcated here I solemnly charge you never to forget.
Man is prone to pass by on the other side lest he soil his garments. He fails to put forth a helping hand or neglects even to utter the words that will cheer some fainting spirit, but never again let it be said of you that you failed in your obligations or your duty to your fellow man.
Herald seats candidate while Priest delivers lecture.
To be used only when desired.
Priest: The testimony of all the ancient writers, proven true by the results of modern investigation, goes to show that each of the pagan divinities had, besides the public and open worship celebrated in the temples, a secret worship to which none were admitted but those who had been selected by preparatory ceremonies, called initiation. This worship; practiced under the sanction of secrecy, was termed the Mysteries.
The first of the Mysteries of which we have any account were those of Isis and Osiris in Egypt, from whence they were taken to Greece and modified to suit the genius of the people, were permanently adopted and known as the Mysteries of Eleusis, and it is from the information we have obtained of the Eleusian Mysteries that we judge of these practiced by the Egyptians.
The Ancient Order of the Pyramids, or Egyptian Priesthood, does not claim to be in possession of the identical form of ceremonial practiced by the ancient Egyptian Hyerophants, but it does claim to retain the secret meaning of the symbols adopted by these ancient teachers of religion and science as learned from the "Ritual of the Dead" and by ceremonials adapted to the present age, endeavors to impress upon those who enter our Order the practice of those principles which tend to their spiritual and moral advancement toward that perfection which can only be attained in future life.
The Order inculcates the great doctrine enunciated in the words "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity" insists upon the continual practice of deeds of charity and unselfish devotion to humanity in general as well as to its members. It seeks to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, educate the orphan, to know each other and ourselves.
The general motto of the Order is "Each needs the help of the other;" the special motto of the Royal Temple is "Tried by our actions," and the special mottoes of all Councils is "Truth, Justice, Equity." May you hereafter so act that these mottoes may never become mere farms of words signifying nothing, but have a salutary influence on your future life and conduct.
Noble Prophet: Herald, you may conduct the Pilgrim to my station.
Gives three raps. All rise.
Noble Prophet: The Chapter may rest from its labors until further orders.
Noble Prophet: Has the Scribe any further business demanding our attention at this Convocation?
Scribe: All is finished.
Noble Prophet: If anyone hath aught to propose to this Council at this Convocation, let it now be heard.
Noble Prophet: Priest of Osiris and Priestess of Isis, with me you will perform the special duties of your office.
Noble Prophet gives * * *, all rise and stand under sign degree. Members form triangle; Noble Prophet, Priest and Priestess form points of lesser triangle within at altar and rehearse the following:
Priest: O, Thou God, with love unchangeable, aid us to perform the duties which our vows impose upon us, and let us rejoice in all things; for man was born to rejoice, not to mourn.
Priestess: Let us live together as brethren and let this be denoted by our speech and our actions. Ever remember the precepts of Truth; Justice and Equity.
Noble Prophet: Time, with its invincible power, touches all things, and that which is transient falls into dust―so let us in our dealings with one another look with charity on the errors of our brother man, knowing that like all material things he must pass away, and to Thee we will ever give praise and love. Amen.
All respond: Amen.
Noble Prophet: Go forth into the world; practice the precepts, we herein inculcate. The Herald will make proclamation.
Herald: Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye. By order of the Noble Prophet, … Council No. … is now closed. The Guardian will open the doors and all may depart in peace.
The Prophet gives one blow with his staff and the Council is closed.