Societas Rosicruciana in Scotia
Fourth Grade - Philisophus

This ritual dates from approximately 1930

This Grade is conferred by the Celebrant of a College holding a warrant for the grade of the First Order of the Society.
The Convocation is held in a Rosicrucian Temple; a White Calvary Cross bearing a Red Rose is placed over a White Altar in the East. Incense burns upon the Altar continuously; or else a Frater standing before the Altar swings a censer containing burning incense.. The Celebrant is seated by the South side of the Altar, the Exponent in the West, the Secretary in the North-East, the Conductor in the South-West and the Herald near the Portal, which is guarded by the Acolyte without. The Ancients are seated as in the First Part of the Zelator Ceremony.
All the Fratres present must wear the Jewel of the Rosicrucian Society with the proper ribbon and figure.
The Frater Practicus who has been chosen for reception must wear the Jewel with the figure III of 3 upon the Green Ribbon. He is not blindfolded; he must carry in his right hand the Admission Badge, a Calvary Cross of twelve squares, all white except the lowest one, which is black. To obtain admission he must knock as a Practicus, two and three.
The knocks of a Philosophus are one and four.
Fratres of this grade are expected to study the great World Religions, and also the doctrines of the most famous systems of Philosophy.
Celebrant: Fratres Philosophi!
Gives one knock.
C.: Assist me to open the Temple in the Fourth Grade of Philosophus.
All rise, and the Herald stands beside the Portal.
C.: Frater Herald, you will assure yourself that the Acolyte is without, and that the Portal of the Temple is duly closed.
This is done by the Herald.
H.: Right (or Very) Worthy Celebrant the Temple is secure.
C.: Fratres! I declare the Temple is duly opened in the Grade of Philosophus.
C.: Very Worthy Exponent, what is the purpose of our Convocation?
E.: Being ourselves already familiar with the Christian Faith we should in this Grade consider the doctrines of the most famous philosophers and compare the tenets of the several great religions of the world, so that we may not appear ignorant of the faiths which have influenced the history of the world in past ages, or of the beliefs of foreign nations with which our Christian civilisation must often come into conflict.
C.: It is well, Frater Exponent, to make a study of the great thoughts which have tended to make men better. In all the great faiths of the world there is some truth enshrined let us consider all the doctrines which have guided mankind in the past, and then hold fast that which is good.
E.: It is indeed well to gain knowledge, but it is best to grow wise we must also teach others. There are, Right (or Very) Worthy Celebrant, some who appear to have done good work as Practici, and they seek reception into this higher Grade.
C.: It is a satisfaction to me to declare that I have approved of the attainments of Frater … He has performed the necessary Alchymic work, and I have chosen him for reception among us. Frater Herald, you will ascertain if Frater … is in attendance; then if he is prepared, and is wearing the proper Jewel, you will supply him with the Admission Badge, a Calvary Cross.
Ceremony of Reception
The Herald leaves the Temple, prepares the Practicus, hands him the Cross, and instructs him to give two and three knocks after a short interval.
The Herald re-enters, and closes the Portal. Knocks are heard.
H.: Right Worthy Celebrant, Frater … the Practicus approved by yourself, is applying for admission.
C.: Admit our Frater.
Herald admits the Practicus, who bows.
C.: Show the Sign and give the Word of your Grade.
He gives the Sign and Word. The Herald resumes his seat.
C.: Frater Conductor, you will lead our Frater once around the Temple and then place him before the Exponent.
Conductor does this.
E.: Frater …, your attainments in the practice of Alchymy have been approved; do you now earnestly desire to be received into the Grade of Philosophus?
Practicus: I do.
E.: In this Grade you must study with zeal the tenets of the Religions of the World, and the doctrines of the philosophers; will you undertake to do so?
Prac.: I will.
E.: Do you give a solemn promise to keep secret the special knowledge, the Sign and the Word of the Grade of a Philosophus, from all persons who have not attained unto this Grade?
Prac.: I will.
E.: Our Frater the Conductor will then lead you to our Celebrant in the East, who will address you, and will con­fer upon you the Secrets in ancient form.
The Conductor leads the Practicus to the Celebrant in the East.
C.: Hand to me the Cross you carry in your Right hand.
This is done and the C. places it upon the Altar.
C.: Worthy Frater Practicus, I feel assured of the good intentions which animate you, but I warn you that the sub­jects of our studies are more abstruse and elevated than those in which you have already become proficient. As a Frater of this Society of the Rose and Cross you are familiar with the Christian Faith, and have learned to know of a Divine Creator and of Jesus Who is the Christ. You have now to study and compare the various con­ceptions of Divinity which have been held by the great nations of the Ancient World, and the tenets of the most famous philosophers, for in all their systems great moral lessons are to be found. By a serious contemplation of these systems we believe you will come to a more just appreciation of the beauties of the Christian Faith, and be well able to show to the world without that our Rosi­crucian Fraternity not only confers knowledge upon its members, but also Wisdom.
Can you undertake so great a task, to comprehend the Nature of God, so far as human intellect may approach Him Who is past finding out?
Practicus: In humility I will attempt the task.
C.: Is your heart steadfast?
Prac.: It is.
C.: Is your mind clear?
Prac.: It is.
C.: Approach the Altar with me.
Celebrant, leaving his seat, leads Practicus to the Altar.
C.: Say after me—raising your Right hand to the White Cross, which is above the Altar.
Celebrant and Practicus: I pledge myself to personal improvement, and that I will aim at the highest knowledge even as the fumes of the incense are now rising towards the heavens.
Fratres: We are all witnesses of the Pledge.
C.: Great is the reward of the virtuous.
E.: Having promised to commence the ascent of the Mountain of Wisdom—
C.: Look not back
E.: For great is the fall of those who fail.
Celebrant returns to his place, and the Practicus stands before him.
C.: I admit you, Frater … to the exalted Grade of Philosophus; it is the highest grade of the First Order of this Society of the Rose and Cross. The Sign is given by pointing upwards with the right hand, fingers extended, and with left hand shield the eyes from the brightness you look up at.
The Word is Theosophia and its meaning is Divine Wisdom. The study and knowledge of the Divine.
C., taking up the Cross and showing it: In this grade the Admission Badge is the Calvary or Crucifixion Cross; it should be formed of twelve squares; one is above; two form each arm; one is central, and six form the lower pillar. The Number Twelve represents the cosmogony of the Universe, of the starry heavens; of the months in the year; in the Old Testament it is referred to the Twelve sons of Jacob and the Tribes of Israel, while in the New Testament this number is prominent in the Twelve Apostles of the Messiah.
The eleven squares are White; the lowest square is Black, it refers to the traitor Judas, and it should give you warning that the careless as well as the vicious may fall from grace. C. lays the Cross aside.
C.: Frater …, we congratulate you upon your reception, and hope for your progress and success.
The study of the Divinity above us should be your future aim, the subject of your aspirations. Life is all too short for success; purity of life is essential, the cultivation of your higher self will lead you to sublime conceptions yet unknown to you. Be steadfast and true to your obligations. Be never less ready to learn than your Fratres are to teach, and may you attain your spiritual desires.
C.: Fratres, I present to you Frater …, now fully received as a Philosophus, and I ask you to rise and salute him with one and four knocks.
This is done.
C.: Be seated, Fratres.
The Lecture should now be given.
C.: Fratres, you will rise and assist me to close this Convocation. Gives one knock.
C.: Fratres, join me in giving the Sign and speaking the Word.
This is done.
C.: In earnest hope that we all may make progress in good works, and be saved in the day of temptation, I close this Convocation with the Words Ostende nobis Domine, misercordiam tuam, et salute tuam da nobis.
All: Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen.