Daughters of Sphinx
Initiation ceremony of the Degree of Daughter of Sphinx
The candidate for initiation into the Sphinx Degree, which is the third degree, shall be in a room adjoining the large room (designated as the Chamber of Reflection), the candidate will be seated.
MOST WORTHY GRAND MATRON gives three raps with the gavel and says: We have met her for the purpose of conferring the Sphinx Degree, which is the third degree, upon the candidate who is now in the Chamber of Reflection, and is ready to be initiated and receive the Sphinx Degree, and I will thank the officers and the members for their attention and assistance.
MOST WORTHY GRAND MATRON will then instruct the First and Second Conductress to take up the Secret Pass Degree word and the Secret Annual Password from all of the members and then come before the altar and report the same. After that has been accomplished, the Most Worthy Grand Matron will then instruct the First Conductress to go to the Chamber of Reflection and prepare the candidate to receive the Sphinx Degree.
THE FIRST CONDUCTRESS will then go to the Chamber of Reflection and prepare the candidate by placing on the candidate the White Gown, and White Gloves, and blindfolding the candidate.
FIRST CONDUCTRESS then conducts the candidate to the door where the Second Captain of the Guard is stationed, and the Second Captain of the Guard will give three raps on the door and notify the Guardian that the candidate is ready to be admitted.
THE GUARDIAN then notifies the Most Worthy Grand Matron and members of the Court that the candidate is now waiting to be admitted into the Court.
MOST WORTHY GRAND MATRON instructs the Guardian to admit the First Conductress and the Candidate.
FIRST CONDUCTRESS and candidate enter the Court room and will stop as soon as they enter the room.
GUARDIAN to First Conductress: Who is it that comes in this sacred place?
FIRST CONDUCTRESS: A candidate who wishes to be instructed in the Sphinx Degree.
GUARDIAN to First Conductress: Does this candidate now wish to learn the mysteries and practice the duties of the Sphinx Degree?
FIRST CONDUCTRESS: I have no doubt but that this candidate for this Sphinx Degree will prove worthy of our confidence and esteem.
FIRST CONDUCTRESS then conducts the candidate to the Most Worthy Vice Grand Matron in the West.
THE MOST WORTHY VICE GRAND MATRON will read the following to the candidate: Let us then persist and continue in this glorious work that we have commenced with vigor and unflinching stability. Let our Bark, while sailing on the Extensive Ocean of Fellowship, be guided by the Compass of Justice. And if we may continue the metaphor, let us perseveringly pursue the track its needle indicates, that on arrival at our destined haven we may with a pure conscientiousness of having supported to the utmost of our purpose of Benevolence and Charity, securely recline our heads on the satisfactory pillow of contentment, and indulge in the aspiring hope that when summoned from this sublunary Sphere we may meet with an eternal welcome in that Angel Land where sorrow intrudes not, where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest.
MOST WORTHY GRAND MATRON instructs the Guardian to admit the First Conductress and the candidate.
FIRST CONDUCTRESS then conducts the candidate to the High Priestess in the South, and then all the members in the Court will rise and remain standing until the following song and prayer is had, and then after that they will resume their seats. They will sing the following song:
1. Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
2. Before our Father’s throne,
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one
Our comforts and our cares.
3. We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.
4. When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.
5. This glorious hope revives,
Our courage by the way;
While each in expectation lives,
And longs to see the day.
6. From sorrow, toil and pain,
And sin we shall be free;
And perfect love and friendship reign,
Through all eternity.
THE HIGH PRIESTESS will offer the following prayer: Almighty Father, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and Giver of all good, we return our heartfelt thanks to Thee that we are permitted again to meet each other here for work in this glorious cause. Endow us with prudence and wisdom in our councils, that our work may be good and acceptable in Thy sight. We beseech Thee to be with us on this occasion and bless the work of our hand, and bless those who are among us and now to be initiated in our Order, and that that candidate may be a useful member among us. Bless the officers and members of this Court, and the whole Order, everywhere, we ask all in Thy name. Amen. Amen. Amen.
THE HIGH PRIESTESS will then instruct the First Conductress to conduct the candidate to the Guardian.
FIRST CONDUCTRESS conducts the candidate to the office of the Guardian. In the meantime a long canvas should be stretched from the Guardian to the Most Worthy Grand Matron in the East. The canvas should be covered with sand, which will represent the burning ho: Sahara Desert, and the candidate is conducted over the Sahara Desert, and while being conducted over the desert, First Conductress will say: We will now commence our journey over the Sahara Desert, and those who travel here over the desert are forbidden to see or know what dangers may befall them on their journey until we have passed them.
When that is over the First Conductress will then conduct the candidate to the Most Worthy Vice Grand Matron in the West, and the Most Worthy Vice Grand Matron will say to the candidate: You have arrived here after many troubles and difficulties from your journey over the Sahara Desert. I now extend to you my congratulations upon your safe arrival here. This will serve to test your faith and sincerity in this glorious work. You must never be discouraged and weary in well doing for in due time you shall reap your just reward.
FIRST CONDUCTRESS will then conduct the candidate in front of the High Priestess in the South and will be seated. The members of the Court will then form a line and march once around the room.
At that moment an old woman, who is supposed not to be a member of the Order, which will be represented by the First Captain of the Guard. The old woman will have a gown on, and is noticed in one corner of the room which at once causes great consternation among the members of the Order of Daughters of Sphinx.
Some of the Daughters of Sphinx will state in a loud voice: What do you think we have discovered? A stranger here, who is a spy and an imposter and an intruder. Some of the members will hasten and take hold of her and demand of the First Captain of the Guard, who will represent the old woman, and inquire and demand what she is doing here. And how did she secure admission in this place. Some of the members will say in a loud voice: For this offense as an intruder and a spy you shall at once be destroyed.
THE MOST WORTHY GRAND MATRON will inquire what is the trouble and consternation among the members, and the First Captain of the Guard, who is representing the old woman will say: I secured admission in this place before the Court was opened, and I have heard all that has been said and done, and another member will say to the Most Worthy Grand Matron: Let us have this imposter and intruder punished, while the Most Worthy Grand Matron is considering what is best to be done about the matter.
THE MOST WORTHY VICE GRAND MATRON Will give three raps with the gavel and say: Most Worthy Grand Matron and members of the Court of Daughters of Sphinx, before any decision is arrived at in this matter, let us stop for a moment and make some inquiries as to who this strange woman is. Let us find out what her motive was for coming here in this Court of Daughters of Sphinx and secreting herself and endeavoring to find out what the secrets of this Order are.
The old strange woman, who was disguised as an intruder, will say: If you give me time and an opportunity I will convince you all here that I am not an intruder, but I am a regular member of the Order and in the possession of all the secret work of the Order.
The First Captain of the Guard, representing the old woman, will give some of the signs and distress words of the Sphinx Degree, and these at once show and prove that she is a member of the Order.
THE MOST WORTHY GRAND MATRON will then say: Dear and Esteemed Daughter of Sphinx, you are welcome here among us. It is very fortunate, indeed, that your identity as a member of this Order was made known, as you would have suffered the fate of all imposters and spies. Let this be a lesson for all who violate their oath and obligation as members of this Order.
THE FIRST CONDUCTRESS will then conduct the candidate to the altar, and the candidate will kneel on both knees and the Most Worthy Grand Matron will come before the altar and have the candidate repeat the following obligation:
In the presence of Our Heavenly Father, and these witnesses, I do hereby pledge my sacred honor that I will never reveal any of the secrets of this Order of Daughters of Sphinx, or communicate them or any part of them to any person or persons in the whole world, unless I am satisfied, by strict test or in some legal manner, that they are lawfully entitled to receive them.
I further promise and swear, upon my honor as a Daughter of Sphinx, to obey the Constitutions, statutes and regulations of this Court and the Supreme Grand Court of Daughters of Sphinx of North and South America.
I promise and swear, with fly right hand lifted toward heaven and appealing to the Supreme Architect of the Universe, for the rectitude of my intention and conduct. That I will never cheat nor defraud a member of this Order out of the value of one cent, nor will I permit it to be done, by others, if in my power to prevent it. Should I knowingly or willfully violate this, my solemn obligation, I invoke on myself a total expulsion from the Order, and that I may ever be disgraced among every person on earth. So help me God!
The Hoodwink will now be taken off the candidate and the candidate will then rise and remain standing while the Most Worthy Grand Matron will then address the candidate as follows: We wish t impress upon you that you have here on this salient occasion taken upon yourself the solemn obligation as a member of the Ancient Arabic Order of Daughters of Sphinx you will hereafter be associated with us as a member of this laudable and beautiful fraternity, and we must work together, we must reason together, we must co-operate together in helping to promote this work. I will here at this time and on this occasion state to you that in this Order, with honors that we have been decorated with and privileges that have been given to us, comes work, cares and responsibility, and you no doubt have been informed that we are connected and linked together in one strong bond of fraternal union which should never be broken until death parts us. Our duty and purpose in this Court and Fraternity of Daughters of Sphinx is to aid and assist, defend and protect each other all through the journey of life and we must faithfully keep our pledges and obligations. The support, directions and maintenance of this Order will, to a great extent, rest upon those that are found to be prompt and faithful, and we hope that you will bear your part in this great work with patience and fortitude. This Order of Daughters of Sphinx has in its possession certain signs, grips and passwords by which its members know and understand and recognize each other. You will now pay attention while I explain to you the signs, passwords and lecture in this Sphinx Degree.
THE MOST WORTHY GRAND MATRON will then instruct the candidate in the following signs, grips and passwords and lecture:
1. Secret Pass Degree Word of the Sphinx Degree: Crescent.
2. Secret Annual Password.
3. Grip of the Sphinx Degree: Join right hands as in the act of shaking, place thumbs on the knuckle joint of the fourth finger and press hard three times.
4. Salutation Sign of the Sphinx Degree: Place the index finger of the right hand to the left temple and drawing it across the forehead to the right temple, then dropping hand to the side, at the same time keep your left hand behind you.
5. Distress Word of the Sphinx Degree: Help one another.
6. Distress Sign of the Sphinx Degree: the first sign is made by raising both hands and clapping them together over the head in front of the forehead, the right hand in the left hand and at the same time look upward.
The second Distress Sign is given by placing the right hand back of the head, palm to the head, then letting the hand drop to the side three times.
The third Distress Sign is made by crossing both arms above the head.
7. Sign of Recognition of the Sphinx Degree: given by drawing the thumb of the right hand and finger clinched across the chin and the answer to it is returned by doing the same with the left hand.
The Second Sign of Recognition is made by placing the back part of the index finger of the right hand over the right eye, then letting the hand drop by your side. The answer to it is by placing the index finger of the left hand over the left eye and then letting the hand drop by your side.
8. Sign of Silence of the Sphinx Degree: Place the little finger of the right hand to your mouth and the answer to it is to place the little finger of the left hand to our mouth.
Question: Are you a member of the Order of Daughters of Sphinx?
Answer: Yes, I am one.
Question: What is the motto of this Ancient Order of Daughters of Sphinx?
Answer: Friendship, love and truth.
Question: Have you got the secret annual password?
Answer: Yes, I have it.
Question: How many degrees are there in the Order of Daughters of Sphinx?
Answer: There are three degrees.
Question: What is the name of the three degrees?
Answer: The Fraternal, Queen Esther and Sphinx Degrees.
Question: Have you the secret sign, grip, password of the Sphinx Degree?
Answer: Yes, I have, and I can explain it.
Question: What is a member particularly instructed to do?
Answer: To be cautious about what they say among strangers.
Question: What is one of the important duties of a member?
Answer: To aid and assist a member when they may be in need or distress.
Question: Have you an emblem of this Order?
Answer: I have, and it is a crescent and a star attached to the crescent and a sword over the crescent.
Question: Can you explain it?
Answer: I can. The crescent resembles a figure or likeness of a new moon borne on the Turkish flag and national standard. It signifies the Turkish power. It is one of the three Orders of Knighthood, the first introduced by Charles First, King of Naples and Sicily, in 1268; the second, by Rene of Anjou in 1448, and the third by Sultan Selim in 1801, and of these the last is still in existence and is remarkable for the fact that none but Christians are eligible.
The crescent represents peace, friendship and power.
The crescent is an emblem that is used in Turkey and other Oriental countries, in numerous religious denominations.
The star attached to the crescent represents light, and it is an emblem that is used in numerous masonic organizations and was instituted for this Order in the earliest periods of antiquity.
The sword over the crescent is a weapon of defense and represents military power.
THE ILLUSTRIOUS PATRON then comes before the altar and stands at the right side of the Most Worthy Grand Matron, addressing the candidate as follows: You have listened to the eloquent and instructive address and explanation that has been made by the Most Worthy Grand Matron of this Court; it should inspire with confidence, fidelity and courage. Her station in this Court is in the East, on the throne, and her office represents light and power, and we must on all occasions comply with her decisions and obey the gavel that is wielded by her. In this Ancient Arabic Order of Daughters of Sphinx there are three degrees: the first degree is the Fraternal Degree, the second degree is the Queen Esther Degree, and the third degree is the Sphinx Degree. Each one of these degrees have certain signs, grips and passwords which will enable a member of this Order to gain admission.
THE MOST WORTHY GRAND MATRON then, standing before the altar, addresses the candidate as follows: The Ancient Arabic Order of Daughters of Sphinx had its origin in the earliest period of antiquity; this wreath that I now place on your head here the Most Worthy Grand Matron places the wreath of flowers on the candidate’s head is a peculiar emblem of the Order because of the lasting nature of its bloom. The
wreath was regarded by many of the Ancients as the symbol of immortality and the possession of its early blossom inspired the belief that the soul would enjoy eternal rest in the realms of the celestial home, and now, as an additional memento to confirm our friendship, we crown you with the emblem of the crown of life. This is no diadem of gold; no cincture of pearls; no regal tiara; no frame-work of gems, velvet lined, like that which so often presses upon the aching brows of royalty, that is a badge of power, frequently empty, unsubstantial and delusive; but the crown of wreath that I have placed on your head is our act of coronation. It has a higher and nobler meaning, and we crown you as being eminent for virtue, zeal and well doing, showing charity to the destitute and faithful in every walk of life. May all your footsteps fall upon flowers. May all your good intentions be fraught with success. May your last days be your best. We crown you in the hope of immortality. There is no death to the pure and loving. May your admission to the land Celestial and Everlasting be sure, and your entrance full of delight and, as the years roll along and bring about the great consummation for which we all hopefully wait, may your ransomed spirit be crowned with the never-ceasing favor of Almighty God.
The candidate is then conducted to the High Priestess by the First Conductress.
THE HIGH PRIESTESS addresses the candidate as follows: This Court of Daughters of Sphinx imposes no religious test other than to believe in the existence of a Supreme Being. Its object is to bind its members with a fraternal bond of union and friendship, and to aid them in their daily walks of life, and to care for them in sickness and distress and, in case of death, bury its deceased members, and we expect from you a hearty co-operation and earnest support in this laudable work.
The candidate is then conducted to the Advocate in the North by the First Conductress.
THE ADVOCATE says to the candidate: Let fraternity, sisterhood and brotherhood be not a theory only, but a realized fact, manifested in all your actions. You must train your eyes to watch for other members needs and wants. You must train your soul to sympathy and your hand to helpfulness, for in this world of sorrow and distress there is room enough for both.
FIRST CONDUCTRESS then conducts the candidate to the office of the Worthy Counselor, and the Worthy Counselor addresses the candidate as follows: We, as members of this Ancient time-honored institution. are bound together by the strong ties of friendship, fraternity and peace. We should guard each others interest; we should share in each others burdens and sorrows; we should never be careless or negligent about the duties we, as members, have to perform, and when trials, misfortunes and difficulties confront us we should try and render to each other all the aid, comfort and consolation that we can.
FIRST CONDUCTRESS then conducts the candidate to the Illustrious Patron of the Court, and the Illustrious Patron addresses the candidate as follows: Very Esteemed Associate, I take pleasure in congratulating you thus far on your pilgrimage in this fraternity and in this Court of Daughters of Sphinx, for friendship, love and truth is the Corner-stone upon which rests this laudable institution. Our duties are to visit the sick, relieve the distress, bury our deceased members and educate and look after the orphans of our members who have passed away and have kissed the world good-bye and entered into eternal rest, We should endeavor to spread sunshine and gladden the hearts of all members of the whole human family, and I trust and hope that you, as a member of this Court of Daughters of Sphinx, will take these lessons to heart and strive more and more to make your daily life accord with these teachings.
The candidate is then conducted by the First Conductress to the Most Worthy Vice Grand Matron, and the Most Worthy Vice Grand Matron then addresses the candidate as follows: Nothing is better calculated to assure you of a high esteem our Court of Daughters of Sphinx here entertain for you than your
admission as a member of this time-honored institution, thus giving you a strong proof of our fraternal and sincere attachment.
The Word Alarm at the door signifies to give notice of the approach of some member who desires to gain admission in this Court.
Secret Signs are very ancient. The first being used soon after the creation of the world, and these signs have been used by secret organizations for many a century.
Signs of Distress have existed ever since secret organizations were first instituted, and they indicate the calling of a member of the Order whose assistance is required.
Sand on the Canvas represents the burning sandy desert that the candidate is passing over.
The White Veil is a symbol of purity, and is to remind the candidate that it is only by purity of life that one can expect to be found worthy of the reception of Divine faith. ‘Blessed,’ says the Great Teacher, ‘are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’
THE FIRST CONDUCTRESS then conducts the candidate to the Most Worthy Grand Matron, who is then on the throne in the East. The Most Worthy Grand Matron then addresses the candidate as follows: These ceremonies being now completed it is now my pleasing duty as Most Worthy Grand Matron, in behalf of this Court of Daughters of Sphinx to congratulate you upon your reception. Your worthiness has entitled you to our distinguished consideration, and gives us confidence that by your life you will prove deserving of the favor we have at this time bestowed upon you. May that life be prolonged in honor and usefulness. May you long continue in active fellowship, ever a faithful defender of the principles it inculcates. You will now be conducted to the Recorder, where you will sign the by-laws of this Court of Daughters of Sphinx and become entitled to all the privileges of membership, and in the name of this Court of Daughters of Sphinx, I welcome you here among us.
THE MOST WORTHY GRAND MATRON will then proceed to close the Court.
The business of the Court having been finished, the Most Worthy Grand Matron proceeds to close the Court as follows: Daughter Most Worthy Vice Grand Matron, have you anything for the good of the Order, or is there any business left unfinished that needs our attention?
MOST WORTHY VICE GRAND MATRON: There is not any that I am aware of.
MOST WORTHY GRAND MATRON: Daughter Guardian, you are now requested to notify the Second Captain of the Guard that I am now about to close this Court, and instruct her not to admit any one or allow any one to retire until I have closed this Court.
Most Worthy Grand Matron, your order has been carried out.
MOST WORTHY GRAND MATRON gives three raps with the gavel, all the members will rise, and unite in singing the following song:
Shall we meet beyond the river,
Where the surges cease to roll?
Where, in all the bright forever,
Sorrow ne’er shall vex the soul.
Shall we meet, shall we meet,
Shall we meet beyond the river?
Shall we meet beyond the river,
Where the surges cease to roll.
Shall we meet in that blest harbor,
When our stormy voyage is over,
Shall we meet and cast the anchor
By the fair celestial shore.
Chorus: Shall we meet, etc.
Shall we meet in yonder city,
Where the towers of crystal shine,
Where the walls are all of jasper,
Built by workmanship Divine.
Chorus: Shall we meet, etc.
Shall we meet with Christ our Savior,
When He comes to claim his own,
Shall we know His blessed favor,
And sit down upon His Throne
Chorus: Shall we meet, etc.