CROWNED PRINCESS, OR SOVEREIGN MISTRESS 12°
Dit rituaal is een amerikaanse vertaling van het franse rituaal, zoals dat halverwege de negentiende eeuw gebruikt werd..
The Sanctuary represents the Council Hall of King Solomon. The hangings are red ornamented with garlands of flowers and crowns. There is a magnificent throne raised on seven steps covered by a canopy. To the right of the throne is the rich footstool of the Grand Master, to the left is a table upon which are three lights, a cup and some bread. Near the throne on one side is a large male and female statue. There is an ornamented altar for receiving the oath of the Aspirant. The hail is lighted by twenty-one lamps.
The scarf is of sky blue, terminated by a silver fringe, and tied upon the shoulder with a white rosette and bands of gold. The jewel of the degree is attached to it by a rose colored rosette. It is a circle of gold, which encloses a sceptre and the hand of justice and in the centre is an antique crown on which are the three attributes of Royalty.
The degree refers to the virtues of Solomon and the circumstances accompanying the reception of the Queen of Sheba when she journeyed to Jerusalem to inspect the Temple. The Grand Master represents King Solomon and is termed Very Wise King, The Grand Mistress represents the favorite wife of Solomon, daughter of King of Egypt, and is termed Very Wise Queen. Each has two Councillors, (Brother and Sister First and Second Wardens) who are termed Favored Favorites. The other officers are termed Favorites, and are as before.
The altar is at the steps of the throne, and has upon it the Bible, and an antique mural crown. Near this is a table on which is a vase of wine; a dish of cakes; a pot of honey; a salt cellar. There is also a cup or flask for each member; an incense pot; a jar of scent; and several embroidered napkins.
Very Wise King, knocks 3 - 3, 3 - 3, 3 - 3: True and Trusty Favored Favorite Councillors, you will have the goodness to inform the Favorites of our Court, that we declare this Sovereign Council open, and that we are prepared to give audience to such as may be entitled to demand it.
The two Favored Favorites proclaim the same on their side and each giver the battery, on which the Council it open.
The Aspirant represents the Queen of Sheba at the period of her visit, and is termed “Very Powerful Queen”; she is decorated with a rich scarf and a bracelet of blue ribbon upon which in gold embroidery, is an antique crown with the words ‘Wisdom and Candour”. She is conducted by the Mistress of Ceremonies to the preparation room and informed that notwithstanding her high rank, her friends and dependents cannot be admitted to the Sovereign Council, and that she must present herself unaccompanied by a retinue. She is presented enveloped in a rich cloak trimmed with fur having a long train, and with a crown upon her head, she is led to the door of the Sanctuary, upon which the Battery 3 - 3, 3 - 3, 3 - 3 is given.
First F. Favor., opening wicket: Who comes here?
Mis. Cerem.: A Princess of Abyssinia, craves an audience with the Very Wise King. This the First F. Favorite reports and admittance is ordered. The Aspirant is met at the door by six Favorites who salute with their swords and then form an arch oft steel for her to pass under. As the Favoriter salute, the trumpets sound and all rise, save the occupant of the throne. The pillars are moved towards the centre of the sanctuary, upon which the Aspirant moves up to and halts under them.
Very Wise King: Sister, we welcome thee. How fares thy distant Kingdom of Abyssinia?
Mis. of Cerem., for Aspirant: My subjects are happy and fairly contented, O Very Wise King, but hearing of thy power and great wisdom, in my distant country, I decided upon visiting your Court in order to test these reports, and further to enquire of you how to increase the happiness of my people.
V. W. King: We shall first be glad to know how you propose testing our wisdom?
Aspirant, producing two sets of flowers in vases: Behold, O Very Wise King, my people are very expert in making artificial flowers and fruit, so successful are they that we cannot tell the real from the false without handling, and in the case of fruit, tasting. You, O Very Wise King, who know all the flowers which grow upon a thousand hills, can doubtless quickly distinguish the real from the false flowers.
V. W. King: That will we quickly do! Let the windows be opened so that the bees may enter; they will quickly tell us which are the true flowers.
A Sister places an imitation bee on one of the sets and then hands both to the V. W. King who says: Behold! These are the real flowers, for a bee is even now busily employed in draining honey from their petals. All clap thrice.
Aspirant: You are indeed a very wise King, but we would further test you. Behold here are two members of our train so much alike in dress and feature that their associates cannot tell them apart; will you now say which is a male and which a female?
V. W. King: Let silver layers be brought and water poured into them. Done. Now, my Sister, your subjects will at once proceed to perform their ablutions before eating. The Brother simply laves his hands; the Sister bares her arms and washes them.
V. W. King: Behold the one who laves the arms is a female.
Aspirant: We are satisfied with thy wisdom, O Very Wise King, and will gladly drink deep at the feast thereof; but before all things we would crave the boon of being permitted to examine the magnificent Temple that you are building to the Lord, and to His honor and glory.
V. W. King: We would gladly shew you the wonders of the Temple of the Lord, O Most Powerful Queen, but as all those who are employed there at are Masons, who exercise certain mysteries pertaining to their art; it will be necessary for you to give us a solemn promise to keep inviolate any secrets that you may discover within or without our sanctuary.
Aspirant: I am quite prepared to give the promise that you require.
V. W. King: Then you will advance to our altar, and kneel before it, placing your right hand on the Holy Book upon it, and your left arm on your heart; repeat your name and surname and say after me. I, ..., do solemnly promise never improperly to reveal aught that may be made known to me in this Sanctuary or appertaining to the rank of a Crowned Princess, or any portion whatever of our Mystic Rites and Ceremonies; that I will, in the high position to which I am now about to be exalted, endeavor to the utmost of my power and ability to diffuse the pure teachings of our Mystic Order; and that whenever I may be called upon to exercise the duties of a Ruler in our beloved Order of Adoption, I will hold the Scales of Justice in an equal poise, and temper its decisions with mercy. All this I solemnly promise and may the Lord and Ruler of afi things be my helper to perform the same.
All: Amen, Amen, Amen. Aspirant kisses the book thrice.
V. W. King, striking Aspirant thrice on shoulder: Rise, my Sister, a Crowned Princess, and Sovereign Mistress of our Order of Adoption, twelfth and last Degree. I now crown you with the diadem of your exalted rank, and which you will be entitled to wear at all our meetings. I invest you with this sash of your new dignity. Also with this Jewel, the emblems of which are allusive to your regal power and authority; around it you will find the words on a garter: “Peace and Goodwill”. In order to enable you to pass freely through our Sanctuary, and to communicate with the workmen of our Temple, I will now place you in possession of certain secret signs, tokens and words. Secrets are explained. We have also another Sacred Word which is Rikray, said to be the name of an ancient Grand Master of the Order. Rik is a Sanscrit word which means demolisher of shams, and the sanscrit rey, indicates enlightenment of the Brotherhood, together, wise Mason.
A curtain has by this time been drawn across the western end of the hail, upon which the Sisters have embroidered an elevation of the Temple of Jerusalem. The Gd. Master accompanied by the Gd. Mistress descends from the throne and with the Aspirant moves towards the West. All the Brethren appear as if working at stone or wood, and the Sisters move among them offering refreshment of fruit and water.
Aspirant: Who are these, O very Wise King?
V. W. King: The workmen of the Temple and members of our Fraternity.
Aspirant: I see females amongst them, why is this so?
V. W. King: Females, my Sister, were not entirely excluded from participation in the duties of adorning the Holy Temple. They have also been admitted to the Minor Mysteries, and have founded others which were celebrated entirely by their own sex. In our own mysteries they render us valuable assistance, as we rule the Masonic Craft, so this our beloved Queen presides as Grand Mistress, and conveys to the Sisters our suggestions and commands. Their duties are to attend upon the sick and suffering, offer refreshment to the weary and cheer the drooping spirits of the workmen when overcome by fatigue or sorrow. Let me present you to the Deputy Grand Mistress or Favored Chief Favorite, the Illustrious Sister Marki Sister salutes.
V. W. King: You will now, my dear Sister, take your seat among your Sister Princesses. Mistress of Ceremonies conducts her to the seat of honor, all applaud with battery 3 - 3, 3 - 3, 3 - 3.
Q.: What progress have you made in Adoptive Masonry?
A.: I have traveled far and studied much.
Q.: What parts have you visited?
A.: I have figuratively visited all climates; I have seen the Garden of Eden, and sat under the shade of the Mysterious Tree of Knowledge, have eaten of its fruit and learned to know good from evil, yet have perceived my innocence, for labour and study are friends to virtue.
Q.: What further have you seen?
A.: I have rested upon Mount Ararat, and beheld the Rainbow, that symbol of union between heaven and earth, which is incomprehensible to man until he has submitted to the prism of virtue. I have seen the Ark of Noah; the sacrifice of Abraham; the burning of Sodom; the wife of Lot transformed into a pillar of salt; the well of Joseph; the Sun, the Moon; and the seven Stars. I have been elevated to the tower of Babel which is a symbol of pride punished; I know the Ladder of Jacob and how it forms the means of joining heaven and earth, the bridge of angels.
Q.: Have you seen anything else?
A.: I have approached the burning bush which is an emblem of purification. I have been admitted into the interior of the Tabernacle erected by Moses in the desert. I have seen the two mysterious columns which directed the Israelites night and day; I have burned perfumes upon the altar of fire, or of truth, till the brilliant light has dazzled my eyes.
Q.: What further trials have you passed?
A.: I have undergone the purification of water and fire; ministered to the condemned; saved the innocent; and received the reward due to fidelity and watchfulness. I have journeyed to Jerusalem and commenced there a new life under the banner of the Rosy Cross; as a faithful and devoted minister to the way worn and weary.
Q.: What reward have you reaped for this devotion?
A.: I have seen the golden butterfly with wings of celestial blue; I have died and been born again with a new and renovatcd spirit, of which the butterfly is a symbol. I have been invested with the insignia of rank and authority, crowned with roses, and instructed in the abstruse symbols of a Perfect Venerable Adonait Mistress. By the aid of my Brothers and Sisters I have faithfully fulfilled all the functions which have been confided to me; in short thou seest before thee a Crowned Princess; a Grand Mistress of our Order.
Lady Masonry differs in its symbols, but not in its doctrines, from those of the ordinary Masons; and is called Adoptive Masonry, or Masonry of Adoption, to show that the system has been adopted and ratified by the Masonic Grand Lodges. It was established with the aim of exculpating the Masons from the reproach that they exduded ladies from their meetings after the example of some of the ancient Initiates who made a virtue of Monastic Chastity. The ladies very justly said, The Temples of religion are open to us, political assemblies admit us; the academies and schools of science call us; Masonry alone closes its doors against us. This is unjust and the persecutions to which Masons have been exposed in various countries is a proof of it; and there is no reason why we should desire that our husbands, parents and brothers, should enroll themselves under their banners.
The founders of Lodges of Adoption hastened to reply to this reproach and recognizing that friendly relations between the two sexes contributed powerfully to civilization, found means of establishing by religious law an association of ladies after the example of the ancients. The more lovely half of humanity is thus admitted to participate in a certain manner in Masonic Mysteries and the works of philanthropy which characterizes it.
The hand which first endowed us with the beautiful Masonry of Adoption is now unknown. It existed before 1730 under the name of “Amusements Mysterieux” or “Maconnerie d’ Adoption.” Thirty years later its forms were definitely fixed, and in 1774 the Grand Lodge of France recognized and sanctioned it, by taking it under its protection. Several works on the “Adoption” and the “Order de la Felicite” were published in 1744-5-6.
In the larger French towns, it is more especially during the Fall season that the meetings of Adoption take place; morality, politeness, respect, beneficence, and the attractions of good company being their fundamental basis; in France even the most grave Lodges have considered the Rite of Adoption as the firmest tie of the Masonic Society.
The Lodges of the “Rite of Strict Observance” and those of the “Regime Rectife” held meetings of Adoption; and thc “Illuminati” had them as well. There existed at Narbonne, in connection with the premier Lodge of the ‘Primitive Rite” a circle of Ladies who assembled under Masonic forms in imitation of the Rite of Adoption. The reason why English Masons have so long deprived themselves of these Lodges is probably to be found in the habits of the Clubs, want gallantry, and the Bacchic manner in which they ordinarily terminate their banquets.
The philosophical Mason recalls the happy influences which was of old exercised upon the Egyptian and Grecian Mysteries by their wives and daughters in the public ceremonies of initiation, and as Priestesses and Vestals; and also the powerful action of the fair sex upon the chivalry of the middle ages. In the “Mystic Temple” published by the Illustrious and enlightened Brother Jacques Etienne Marconis, and Piot, it is said, “that in the Temple of Minerva and Ceres in Greece, females officiated, and that a Grand Priestess interpreted the Oracles of Apollo.” The Hindoo Initiates were anciently divided into two classes. These Vedic women on the authority of Harita and other ancient writers, were the constant companions of men in religious and spiritual contemplation as well as in political affairs. The Rig Veda says, “He who perseveres, acquires spoil, celestial with his wife as his mate.” In the hymns to Usha it is said, “She must do service to the Gods by causing all worshippers to awake and sacrificial fires to be kindled.” These females were divided into two classes, the Brahma-badini, and the Lady-abadhu; the former received the Priestly Investiture; and consecrated fire and the sacrificial wood, studied the Vedas and even taught them upon a perfect equality with men; they were either virgins or sworn to celibacy after becoming widows; whereas the Lady-abadhu could be, and were, married after their investiture, but they could not retain the sacred thread or scarf any longer like their more sacred Sisters, the Brahma-badini, and they could only study the Gayatri. It is stared in the San Khayana Sutra, “that Adhvarya, who was invested with the sacred thread, taught the Asperas, the young and fair maids by a story.” In the Mahabharat it is mentioned that a female ascetic who was named Salava visited the Court of Ianaha. As a disciple of Panchiha, of the Parasora gabra, “She had learnt Sankhya - Yoga, and the practise of ceremonial rites,” this included the clairvoyance of mesmerism. When lanika of Mithila invited theologians to meet in his palace, one Garga, a learned woman, “appeared and carried one or two separate discussions” with Yajira Balkya, the most profound theologian of the day. Lopamudra and Vivavara, both of the Abrig family, are the authors of the best hymns of the Chandas period. Atreyi, the wife of Atro, one of the eight founders of the Gohas, is described in the Ultara Ramcharita, as traveling amidst the forests where dwelt the great Agastya and many other holy teachers, and going for the purpose of learning the “secret” meaning of the Vedas, which Valmiki had not been able to teach her fully. Finally, in the Mahabharat, we find, the Assuri, a Rishi, was a disciple of Kapila, and had a female associate or co-worker named Kapila after her master. In the Charans, or Colleges, women are mentioned, for ‘Kati” is the wife of a Brahmin who belongs to the Charan or roads the Sutka of the Rathas. In the Rona Upanishad a woman named Uma Haimabati (of the Himalaya) is called the personification of “divine knowledge”; she came from the highest peak of the Himabat (Himalayas) where scholars retired to obtain divine knowledge. Even the modern Turkish lodges, the most intolerant of all, that of the Dervish Sangkedyi is open to women, the only condition required being that she should have either a brother, husband, father or other relation, a member of the Lodge. The Hindoo reformer of this Order was the widow of Malhar Rao (1754) Ahalya Bai, who governed her country for thirty years and held open durbans from the time she was twenty-one years of age. This great Mahratta heroine was beloved and venerated by both Hindus and Musselmen and the “Baktasher” of upper Asia from Cashmere to Mekha and Bokhara to Lahore, went out of their way to consult and listen to her, albeit she was a Brahmanee studying the Puranad and worshipping Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva as the heroic symbol of the only unity whether called Jeh6vah, Allah or Brahma. The sect of the Drusses at the Lebanon admit women and are believed to derive their origin from the Egyptian Mysteries, and to have initiated the Templars at the time of the Crusades.
The emblems of the Lodges of Adoption arc drawn chiefly from the Jewish scriptures, and consider the legend allegorically of the creation of man and his fall from perfection. It is a symbolical legend common to Oriental nations. The Ezcar Vedam, which is believed to be more ancient than the Jewish scriptures, informs us that first man received from God at his creation, a plant which would assure him all science and life eternal, but an envious serpent found the means of seizing it, and Adam, the first man fell into ignorance and misery. Here, therefore, we find recorded the creation and the loss of temporal good, the Creator, God himself being the life eternal, and this, the Indian servants regard as an account enfolding more of the essence of the deity than ours. We will consider the creation under the aspect of the books of Confucius. After the creation of the world man remained for a long time in holiness; they had the gift of prophecy and possessed supernatural strength. To this age of gold succeeded an unfortunate epoch; the earth produced a planet, sweet as honey; this a voracious man tasted, and by his praise of it, induced in others the desire to eat it. The holy times disappeared from the earth, supernatural strength, length of life and grandeur of man diminished; they were obliged to live a long time in darkness; the earth was filled with consternation, the virtues were neglected and finally disappeared; their place being supplied by adultery, murder, injustice, and all vice; so fell man.
As the earth produced nothing to nourish the people, necessity invented the plough, but as neither life nor property was secure, they resolved to elect a Sage for Master and Governor. This man became the protector of their lands and goods; his name was Bourchan, founder of religion of the Llamas of Tartary; he established his dogmas among sixty-one nations, but, unfortunately, each of them understood them in a sense diametrically opposite, and thus a variety of religions spread over the world. It is a curious fact that these ancient people made use of many of our Masonic emblems; and we shall do well to consider the various agreements and disagreements, of these ancient legends in interpreting the symbols of the Masonry of Adoption.
The secret doctrine of remote times in this part of the globe teaches that in the interior of what is now called the desert of Gobi, there formerly existed an island which was surrounded by a great inland sea. This island was the seat of a race of Priests of the third race of mankind, who instructed all the world in religion, and sent out its colonies to Europe, India, Babylon, and to some extent Egypt and Greece. The first and second races of men were ethereal and gigantic, the first Lunar, and the second Solar, born from the first; and these doctrines of later five races are said to be embodied in the immense and gigantic statues which are found in a cave temple at Bamian.
Surrounding this island in Tartary were twelve smaller islands which had a reference (like the 12 degrees of our Rite of Adoption and the 12 tribes of Israel) to the 12 signs of the zodiac.
Now the traditions of the most ancient Persians allude to the Garden of Eden, to the contests with the giants and to the races of ethereal beings which preceded the Adamic race.
They also, like the traditions of the Arabs, allude to the ethereal forefathers of mankind as ruled by a long race of kings of the name of Suleiman, or Solomon, the last three of whom reigned 1000 years each. There is besides a cave temple, which must have cost immense labor to form on the confines of Tartary still known as Solomon’s house, and which has for ages been used as a sanctuary by caravans of merchants; Solomon was also a god of the ancient Babylonians. To this day the twelve tribes of Israel are as equally found amongst the Afghans as the Arabs and their names are common to the ancient Welsh and Irish.
Hence we know that the true name of the King called Solomon was Jedediah and that the sacred books of the Jews were rewritten and compiled by Ezra, the Persian Hierophant, and that be left with them an Esoteric Key, are we not justified in applying a symbolical key to unlock them.
In considering the antiquity of Freemasonry and its connection with those associations of similar organization which preceded the time of King Jedediah, or Solomon, it is to be observed, that Solomon could not have been initiated into Masonry in its present form, since it merely claims to have been a Rite instituted in his time and for a specific purpose. But the origin of our ancient mysteries dates from further back than this comparatively modern epoch. These had gradually spread over the face of the earth from Memphis in Egypt; they typified rebirth under the form of an allegorical personage, who was virtually the Sun, and was born and died daily and yearly. In Egypt this personage was named Osiris, in Jerusalem, Tammuz, in Tyre, Dionysius, in Greece, Bacchus. Although the Sun was nominally the ideal, yet the trials, death and rebirth were simply typical of the struggles, and final joy, of every individual soul. This secret system was an alliance throughout all nations at the time of King Solomon; and the worship in his glorious Temple, and the symbolical nature of the building, differed not from those of Tyre and Egypt where the worship of the divine Isis and Osiris, the first of spirits and the Judge of quick and dead, prevailed. This spiritualistic religion differed in no essential points from that preached by Jesus of Nazareth, the consecrated Pontiff of the universal religion. It is believed that King Solomon was initiated by Hiram of Tyre into the mysteries of Dionysius which differed in no essential particulars from those of the royal family of Egypt whose Princess Solomon had espoused; into these mysteries also the Queen of Sheba was initiated in right of her princely birth and hence the sisterly reception which was accorded to her visit and the royal welcome given to her. In his latter days King Solomon gave himself up more and more to the secret worship which the Mysteries required and it is said that his wives turned away his heart from the exoteric national faith, but it laid the foundation of that religion which fell authoritatively from the mouth of the gentle Nazarene.
V. W. King, knocks 3 - 3, 3 - 3, 3 - 3: True and Trusty Favored Councillors, and Favorite Crowned Princesses, before we disperse to our respective homes let us according to ancient eastern custom break bread and eat salt with each other, as a pledge of our fidelity and protection of each other. Let us also take of the sweets of honey, and the juice of the grape, to replenish our human nature, and to remind us of the love and sweetness which reigns amongst us and should influence all our actions.
All form into a circle and each places a hand on the shoulder of his next neighbor. Then the salver of bread and salt is handed round, beginning with the Grand Master and Grand Mistress. This is followed by another salver of bread and honey.
The Grand Master
then takes the loving cup and says: I drink to the
health and prosperity of the Order, of our Rulers and Brethren, the Grand
Mistress and all the Crowned Princesses of our Order.
He then turns to the Grand Mistress, says the word, “Peace” and drinks; she then takes the cup and says: “Goodwill,” and drinks. It is then handed to the next Brother who does in like’ manner to his Sister officer; until all have partaken. This done the Grand Master closes the Sanctuary as follows: Nothing now remains but to break the circle of assembled friends for a small space of time, and until our next meeting, and depart from this Sanctuary in peace and goodwill to all mankind. Accordingly I declare the Sanctuary closed. Knocks 3 - 3, 3 - 3, 3 - 3.