CAGLIOSTRO’S SECRET RITUAL OF EGYPTIAN RITE FREEMASONRY
“Of all the Masonic charlatans who flourished in the eighteenth century the Count Cagliostro was most prominent, whether we consider the ingenuity of his schemes of deception, the extensive field of his operations through almost every country of Europe, or the distinguished character and station of many of those whose credulity made them his victims.”Is the verdict in? Was the “divine Cagliostro” nothing more than the charlatan Mackey and others made him out to be? Perhaps not. Robert Cleg’s revised edition of Mackey’s encyclopedia suggests a more charitable viewpoint by replacing and omitting the overtly opiniated phrases. Clegg replaces “Masonic charlatan” with “Masonic persons of romantic celebrity,” “victims” with “enthusiastic supporters,” and omits “of deception” after “schemes.” Eliphas Levi (Alphonse Louis Constant), sympathetic to Cagliostro in more than one sense of term, wrote in his Dogme et Rituel de Ia Haute Magie (186l), of the “adept accused of charlatanism, who was termed in his lifetime the divine Cagliostro.”
Albert C. Mackey, An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry (1878)
While the life of Cagliostro has been adequately treated in available works, the rituals of Cagliostro’s “Egyptian Masonry” have been well nigh impossible for the average person to obtain. Manly P. Hall was of the opinion that “...all who read it Ethe Egyptian Rite] will recognize its author to have been no more a charlatan than was Plato.” Critics of this quasi—Masonic system, however, have labeled it a sham -— but the real test of any recipe is in the eating. The question of validity thus becomes, “Do the rituals actually ‘initiate’ (in the occult sense of the term), and, were they indeed ‘magical?”’ The question of initiation is likely unanswerable by all but candidates, but the magical issue is easier deal with.
Whatever one’s opinion of Cagliostro all must concede that his rituals were not the ordinary run- of-the-mill Masonic variety, for (a) they are androgynous and (b) made use of magic in the form of ceremonial evocation. That they fit well into his era is true (there were similar “Adoptive lodges” of androgynous Masonry) yet he seems to acquired an unusually strong hold on his followers -- at least for a time! The ceremonial magic is another issue altogether, comprising, as it did, an important part of his quasi-Masonic order, and adumbrating (in some ways) the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
Acceptance to Cagliostro’s Order required a belief in the immortality of the soul and Masonic affiliation on the part of male candidates. Members assumed a “new name” in connection with the Order —— males were called by the names of Old Testament prophets, and women by the names of the sybils. Caglisotro and wife were respectively known as the “Grand Cophta” and the “Grand Mistress” (also “the Queen of Sheba”).
The Grand Cophta initiated the males while the Queen of Sheba attended to female patrons. rhe rituals herein reproduce include the complete ceremonial of the Apprentice, Companion and ~!aster grades as performed on male initiates. the women’s ceremonial initiation was virtually identical, with the following slight differences. The oath assumed by the “sisters” upon their admittance follows:
“I swear before the Eternal God of the Grand Mistress, and all who hear me, never to write, or cause to be written, anything that shall pass under my eyes, condemning myself, in the event of imprudence, to be punished according to the laws of the grand founders, and of all my superiors. likewise promise the exact observance of other six commandments imposed on me; is to say, love of God, respect for sovereign, veneration for religion and laws, love of my fellow—creatures, attachment without bounds to our Order, the blindest submission to the rules code of our ritual, such as they may be communicated to me by the Grand Mistress.”During initiation the Grand Mistress breathed on the female initiate’s face from forehead to chin saying:
“I thus breathe upon you to cause truths possessed by us to germinate and penetrate within your heart; I breathe you to fortify your spiritual part; I breathe upon you to confirm you in the faith of your brothers and sisters, according to the engagements that you have contracted. We create you a legitimate daughter of true Egyptian adoption, and of the Lodge N.; we will that you be recognized as such by all the brothers and sisters of the Egyptian ritual, and that you enjoy the same prerogatives with them. Lastly, we impart to you the supreme pleasure of being henceforth, and forever, a Freemason.”A.E. Waite observes that the emphasis on breathing is reminiscent of “Egyptian Ritual” though he fails to spell out specifics. Waite was likely alluding to the Ancient Egyptian ceremony of the “opening of the mouth,” a rite concerned with bestowing of the powers of speech, thought, action, etc., to the deceased (the ancient ceremony was unknown in Cagliostro’s time). Along the same lines, we note that the sen-sen papyrus, or “Book of Breathings,” was a short funerary work often buried with the deceased in the hopes of assisting the departed in the afterlife. The sign of Cagliostro’s Companion grade included similar symbolism and consisted of opening the mouth and inhaling-exhaling forcefully while staring heavenward.
Waite further alludes to the “high probability that he (Cagliostro] possessed some proportion of the semi-occult power which is spoken of as magnetism.” This naturally calls to mind Mesmer’s “fluid” and the fact that he also breathed upon his subjects; the breath having an affinity with prana. Using this method Cagliostro may have attempted -— through occult means —— to gain some degree of control over his initiates.
An interesting feature of Cagliostro’s Egyptian Master’s ritual was the introduction of the “Dove,” a prepubescent medium of either sex who, when placed in a tabernacle, received messages from the so—called planetary angels Anael (Sol), Michael (Luna], Raphael (Mars], Gabriel (Mercury], Uriel (Jupiter], Zob(r)iachel (Venus] and (H)anachiel (Saturn]. The latter angel was Cagliostro’s especial favorite. The angels usually advised on a given candidate’s worthiness to receive the mysteries, but also provided other information needed by the Masters. Of this curious affair, Trowbridge, in his Cagliostro, writes:
“From the fact that they were invariably very young children, he probably found that they responded more readily to hypnotic suggestion~ than adults.” The use of young mediums was actually a practice which preceded Cagliostro, who being versed in medieval occultism, was likely aware of this. Reginald Scott, for example, remarked in his Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584) that divination, as then practiced, required “a child of twelve yeares of age.”These rituals make interesting reading whether viewed as a genuine occult rite or but one of many in the quasi—Masonic ilk; and, in spite of all that’s been written, perhaps Egyptian Masonry provides the best method of determining for ourselves if Cagliostro was a maligned adept, a charlatan, or something in between.
1. Coil calls him an “Italian charlatan.” “Cagliostro, Alessandro, Count of,” in Henry Wilson Coil, Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia (New York: Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co.,
2. “Cagliostro,” Albert G. Mackey, An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, ed., rev., and enl. by Robert I. Clegg with suppl. vol. by H.L. Haywood, 3 vols. (Chicago: Masonic History Co., 1929, 1946), 1:170.
3. Eliphas Levi, Transcendental Magic, rev.ed., trans., annot. and intro, by Arthur Edward Waite (London: Rider & Co., 1923)
4. W.R.H. Trowbridge, Cag1iostro: the Splendour and Misery of a Master of Magic (London: Chapman & Hall, 1910; reprint ed., Kila, MT.: Kessinger Publishing Co., 1992); “Cagliostro” in Richard Cavendish, Man, Myth & Magic 24 vols. (New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1970) 3:388— 389; “Cagliostro & the Egyptian Rite of Freemasonry” in Manly P. Hall, The Phoenix, an - Illustrated Review of Occultism and Philosophy (Los Angeles: Philosophical. Research Society)
5. Manly P. Hall, Lectures on Ancient Philosophy (Los Angeles: Philosophical Research Society, 1984), 446.
6. The oaths are taken from the article “Egyptian Masonry” in Kenneth Mackenzie, The Royal Masonic Cyclopedia (London: John Hogg, 1877), 184-188. Compare Arthur Edward Waite, Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 2 vols. (New York: Rebman Co., 1911; reprint ed., Kessinger Pub. Co., 1992) 2:143.
7. AE. Waite, A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry (London, 1923), p. 95.
8. See “Opening the Mouth and Eyes” in E.A.W. Budge, Egyptian Magic (London: Kegan Paul, 1901), 192—203. E.A.W. Budge The Book of the Dead (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1923), 133.
9. E.A.W. Budge refers to rituals performed by Ancient Egyptian magician-priests who preserved mummified bodies and peformed “symbolic acts which would restore its natural functions.” Compare the following with Cagliostro’s formula: “The Lady of the West is then addressed in these words: —— ‘Grant thou that breathing may take place in the head of the deceased in the underworld, and that he may see with his eyes, and that he may hear with his two ears; and that he may breathe through his nose; and that he may be able to utter sounds with his mouth; and that he may be able to speak with his tongue in the underworld....” Budge, Egyptian Magic, p. 189.
10. Waite, Secret Tradition 2:139.
11. Modern occult orders, such as the Illuminates of Thanateros (lOT); teach that magickalattacks may be be made through the medium of breath. See Peter J. Carroll, Liber Null & Psychonaut (York Beach, Maine: Weiser, 1987) 125.
12. Trowbridge, Cagliostro p. 129.
13. Chapter XVI, “To make a spirit to appeare in a cristal,” in Reginald Scot, The Discoverie of Witchcraft (London, 1584). “If the person on whose behalf the divination was to be performed was not himself gifted with a clairvoyant faculty, he sought for a suitable medium, the best for the purpose being a young boy or girl, born in wedlock, and perfectly pure and innocent. Prayers and magical words were pronounced prior to the ceremony, and incense and perfumes were burned.” Theodore Besterman, Crystal-gazing (London: Rider, 1924) xii.
CAGLIOSTRO’S EGYPTIAN RITE
The ritual of Egyptian Masonry was the work of the Compte de Cagliostro, about whom much has been written. Whether Cagliostro was a charlatan or not seems to be a moot question, but the following ritual has much of interest. The translation was made from a French copy printed in 1948 at Nice, France by ‘les Cahiers Astrologiques”. The printed copy is said to be from a handwritten copy made in 1845 from the original.
RECEPTION OF APPRENTICES OF THE EGYPTIAN LODGE
PREPARATION OF THE LODGE
The Lodge should be decorated with a canopy of sky blue and white, without gilding. Above the head of the Venerable, a radiant triangle with the name of Jehovah (the whole embroidered on blue silk).
The throne of the Venerable is elevated three steps.
The Altar is in front of the throne. On the altar is a brasier, with an alcohol sponge.
To the right of the throne is the sun, to the left the moon.
The Treasurer should provide himself with a habit “talare’, a white sash for fastening it and two pairs of gloves, one for a man, the other for a woman.
THE BACKDROP OR CURTAIN OF THE LODGE
On the curtain should be painted the entrance of a temple, with seven steps; the entrance adorned with a curtain bearing an inscription to the right of magnum”, to the left, “gern.ma secretorum”.
In front of the entrance is represented a master with a red sash, green frock-coat, tawny vest, breeches and stockings and hussar boots. The master should be standing to the right of the temple with the index finger of his left hand on his lips and in his right hand a sword with which he threatens a sleeping Mercury who is placed to the left of the entrance. Over the head of Mercury are engraved these two words “Pierre Brute” (rough ashlar). The board should be lighted by seven candles) three at one side, three at the other and one in the middle.
THE ATTIRE OF THE VENERABLE
The Venerable should be clothed in a white tolare, fastened by a cincture of sky blue moire; he should wear a stole of blue moire bordered by narrow gold lace) with the seal of the founder embroidered in spangles of gold on each end. Each extremity of the stole is fringed in gold; he wears the stole which is fastened at the bottom with the right over the left, after the manner of a deacon; he wears the red sash of master over this. He should have a sword in his hand.
CHAMBER OF REFLECTION
This room should have the form and decoration of a grotto; it should not be illuminated except by a lamp suspended in the middle.
The curtain of this chamber should be transparent. It should have in its center a large pyramid, at the base of which should be seen a cave. Near this cave should be represented Time, in the form of an old man, having an hour glass on his head, a scythe in his left hand and two large wings on his shoulders; his eyes should be fixed on the entrance to the cave, his attitude and face showing terror and fear. To the right should be painted the horn of plenty, to the left some chains, a serpent and some philosophical instruments.
The candidate (recipient) should be enclosed in this chamber for about an hour. When he is ready to enter, the inspector of the lodge with two assistants goes to prepare him. The inspector without saying anything, should commence to untie his hair, to remove his clothes, to order him to take off his shoes and stocicings and to get rid of all metallic substances. He should at once give him a lecture appropriate to the circumstances and form of the curtain of that chamber, after which he should make the candidate aware that the philosophical route is painful and full of dangers and torrnents; he should inquire of the candidate whether he has definately decided to enter into the same mysteries and to prefer over the honors, the ease and riches of worldly life, rather the labor, perils and the lessons of nature. If he persists in his intention, the inspector should take him by the hand and conduct him to the door of the lodge. He should knock seven times. To the question which will be put to him he will answer: “It is a mason, who having passed all the degrees of ordinary masonry presents himself to be initiated in the true Egyptian Masonry.” The door is then opened.
‘The Venerable should order the “terrible” brother to request of the inspector a note with his age, place of birth, the name, surname and qualifications of the candidate and those of his sponsor.
The “terrible” brother, opening the door, takes the paper from the hands of the inspector and brusquely doses the door, which is not opened again, until the Venerable shall order it opened for the candidate to enter. The “terrible” brother should give the note to the Venerable.
OPENING OF THE LODGE
The Venerable having taken his place, strict silence should be observed. Blowing one’s nose is forbidden as is also, for very good reason, conversation.
When the Venerable rises, all rise at the same time. He should have a sword in the right hand, and should never lay it aside while he is speaking. He should say: “Come to order, my brothers. In the name of the Great God, let us open the lodge according to the ritual and constitutions of G.C. (~), our founder.”
He should descend from his throne, and at seven steps from the bottom step, he should turn toward the triangle and say:
“My brothers, prostrate yourselves, even as I, to pray Deity to protect and assist me in the labors we will undertake.”
The prayer inside the lodge, being completed, the Venerable raps on the floor with his right hand, to let all of the brothers know that they may rise. The Venerable having placed himself on his throne, should request of all the assistants the names etc. of hose who have passed through all the grades of ordinary masonry and request and solicit the benefit of being received and admitted into the true Egyptian Masonry.
If any brother has anything against the candidate, he will be obliged on his honor and on his conscience to mention it. The grievance or motive should be discussed and the Venerable should determine if the candidates should be admitted or rejected, but should all give their consent for his reception, the Venerable shall order the Inspector and two brothers to prepare and condua him.
ENTRANCE OF THE CANDIDATE
The Venerable having ordered the candidate to enter, the Inspector shall conduct him to the throne and cause him to kneel. The Venerable rises and says: “Man, you have already been in. formed that the aim of Our labors is as well removed from frivolity as that of masonry is from the real philosophical knowledge. All of our operators, all of our mysteries, all of our steps have no other motive but to glorify Deity and to penetrate the sanctuaries of nature. These are nor to be undertaken with levity but with resignation, patience and the time set by the laws of our founder.
You will have the hope of seeing your labors crowned with the most happy success. Before you can be consecrated to our Order and recognized as one of our members, repeat after me, word for word, the oath which I will exact of you in presence of the Name of God and of all your brethren.”
During the oath the alcohol on the altar is ignited and the candidate placing his right hand over the flame, repeats the following oath:
“I promise, I pledge, and I swear never to reveal the secrets which will be communicated to me in this temple and to obey implicitly my superiors.”
The Venerable will have him invested with the tolare girded with the white sash and present to him two pairs of gloves, one pair for a man, one pair for a woman; and shall give him at the same time a discourse on each of these things amid then instruct him in the signs and passwords contained in the catechism of the degree. He shall cause him to kneel again; strike him three times on the shoulder with his sword and say to him:
“By the power which I receive From G.C., founder of our order, and by the grace of God, I confer upon you the degree of apprentice of true Egyptian Masonry, and constitute you a guardian of the philosophical knowledge in which you will be caused to participate.”
The Venerable should then order the Inspector to conduct the new brother to the place to which he is destined; should give to all his assistants the sign to seat themselves; and shall give the catechism to the Orator and charge him to give the lecture. When this has been done, he should return the catechism which should never leave his hands or be out of sight.
The Venerable rises from his throne, as do all the brothers, and prostrates himself before the sacred name of Deity for his blessing.
The Lodge will then be dosed.
APPRENTICE CATECHISM OF THE EGYPTIAN LODGE
Q.—Are you an Egyptian Mason?
A.—Yes I am, with skill and without bias.
Q.—Whence came you?
A.—From the Far East.
Q.—What did you observe there?
A.—The great power of our founder.
Q.—What significance does it have for you?
A.—Knowledge of God and myself.
Q.—What was recommended to you before you departed?
A.—To take two routes, that of natural philosophy and that of supernatural.
Q.—.What does natural philosophy signify?
A.—The marriage of the sun and moon and knowledge of the seven metals.
Q.—Was there indicated to you a sure route to attain that philosophy?
A.—After I had been made acquainted with the seven metals, I was told “Qui Aquoscit morte cognoscic artens” (3).
Q.—May I hope for the existence of sufficient courage to be able to practice all the lights you possess?
A—Yes, but ir will require a heart right, just and beneficient, it will be necessary to renounce all motives of vanity and curiosiry, banish vice and confound incredulity.
Q.—WiIl these virtues suffice to attain to these sublime teachings?
A.—No, it will be necessary to be much loved and protected by God; it will be necessary to be submissive and respectful to his sovereignty; it will be necessary to cherish him always and to retire at least three hours a day for medication.
Q.—How should these three hours be employed?
A.—To penetrate the grandeur, wisdom and all the power of Divinity; to compare ourselves with Him in our fervor; to reunite very intimately our physical and moral natures, by which we are to be able to gain possession of the natural and supernatural philosophies. (4)
Q.—But before we continue or talk, 1 will require that you give me a proof and a sign which will serve to convince me that you are really one of the children of the great founder of our sublime lodge.
A.—! agree, but I will never give you my sign unless you First have given me yours.
(Gives sign. It is bowing of the body, raising of the head, opening the eyes wide, and in a strong voice, pronouncing the word “Heloym”. To respond to this sign, one stands with the point of the left foot on floor and the right foot to the rear raised, having the body bowed, the head raised majestical, and the two arms extended, the left toward the floor and the right raised with the right hand pointed toward oneself, with the five fingers spread and well opened.
When the two have been mutually recognized, they must then embrace each other and continue the catechism.)
Q.—Begin, then, I pray you my brother, to give me the instruction in natural philosophy.
A.—Willingly, but on condition that you cast out from your soul all mundane and profane ideas, which you might at any tune have for any author, be he living or dead, and that you be convinced, like me, that all those men who deny the divinity and immortality of the soul, are to our eyes, not only profanes, but villains.
Q.—Having always intended to inquire about the philosophers stone, I desire eagerly to know whether its existence is real or mag nary.
A.—Then you did not understand me when I spoke to you of the marriage of the sun and the moon?
Q.—I swear it, and as my mind is not sufficiently clear to recognize, through my meditations alone, the signifiance of the marriage I am in need of your help and your knowledge.
A.—Listen to me attentively and try to understand. Through the knowledge, which was given to me by the Founder of our Order, I know that the first Mother was created by God, before the creation of man and that he did not create man to be immortal, but because man had abused the bounty of the Creator, God deterrnined not to accord that gift except to a very small number, ‘pauci sunt electi. (5)
In effect, as we all are aware, Moses, Enoch, Elias, David, Solomon and the King of Tyre and various other well known people much loved by the Divine One have learned to know and enjoy the primal matter, as well as the supernatural philosophy.
Q.—But, enlighten me, I implore you, as quickly as you can, of that primal and most precious material, and of its effects.
A.—Know then, that that primal matter exists always in the hands of the elected of God, and it is not necessary in order to attain and retain it, to be great, rich or powerful; but as I have already informed you it will be ever absolutely necessary to be one who is loved and protected by God.
Be assured by all that you hold to be most sacred, chat by means of the knowledge communicated to me by my master, I can positively assert that a single grain of that precious material projects itself to infinity. May your eyes and ears be opened.
Seven are the passages to perfect the primal matter; Seven are its colors. Seven are the effects rejuired to complete the philosophical operations:
1st—Ad sanitem et ad hominis amraes morbos (6).
2nd—Ad metallorum (7).
3rd—To rejuvenate and to repair the lost forces and to augment the basic warmth and humidity.
4th—To soften and liquify the solid part.
5th—To congeal and harden the liquid part.
6th—To make the possible impossible, and the impossible possible.
7th—To procure for oneself all the means to fare well; being ever careful to take the greatest precaution to the end that all work, speech or action may be conducted in the most reserved and secret manner.
Q.—The confidence which you inspire in me, will not permit me the slightest doubt concerning the truth of all your. opinions; however, take in good faith some of my observations. Your language is so different from that of all the authors who have written about the philosophers stone, that I am greatly embarassed to reconcile your discourse with theirs. I have no doubt that the recommendations you have given me, give no credence to those authors, but it occurs to me that I can take exception in favor of those who are enjoying the best reputations and who have always been considered by moderns to be the clearest and the best instructed, like the true philosophers such as Hermes Trismegistus, Basil Valentine, Trevisan, Arnold de Villeanova, Raymund Lully, the Cosmopolites, the Philalethes.
A.—You are neither sufficiently instructed in the principles of our master, nor sufficiently experienced in our art, for your uncertainties to surprise me, but such reflections will suffice to disabuse you and ffx your sentiments forever on this subject. There never has been, nor will anyone ever enjoy and possess that precious matter until he has been admitted to and initiated in our society. Since the most important and most stringent of these objections, which you will have to learn entails the sacred duty of never writing or divulging any of our mysteries; you must understand that those writers whom you have cited, were nor the true philosophers, or if they were, all the books, be they manuscript or printed, have been atributed to them are false, apocryphal, and are nothing but the fruits of the cupidity of those by whom they were invented, and food for the credulity of those who have faith therein. Besides repeat with the greatest accuracy all the rites which these books teach and see if anything comes of it. Limit yourself then, to having pity and cornpassions for the simple and obliging persons who believe and work according to these authors, before they will positively finish all by ruining their credit and their fortune, by ruining their health and, what may be worse, also to destroy you.
Q.—To arrive at the possession of the secrets of that philosophy, will it then be necessary to have recourse to a true philosopher?
A.—Yes, but you will never obtain it from him unless he has been favorably inclined toward you by Deity.
Q.—What means will it be necessary to employ to obtain that Grace of God?
A.—Adoring him, respecting his sovereignty, and above all consecrating oneself to the happiness and welfare of his neighbor, charity being the first duty of a philosopher and a work most agreeable to the eternal, to that end it will be necessary to add some fervent prayers to merit His favor that He move one of His Elect to reveal to you the Arcana of Nature.
Q.—What do you mean by the Arcana of Nature?
A.—The recognition of that beautiful philosophy, both natural and supernatural, of which I have conversed previously and of which you found the principles conirmed in the emblems which represent the Order of Masonry and the tableau which was placed before your view in all the lodges.
Q.—Is it possible for ordinary Masonry to furnish an idea of the sublime mysteries? Although I have been a Mason for thirty. three years and have passed through all the degrees during that long space of time, I had not the least suspicion of what you do me the favor to talk about. I have never considered that Masonry was anything other than a society of people who did not assemble to divert themselves and who for better unity have adopted some signs and a particular language. Deign, by your brilliant interpretations to uncover for me the solid and true end, which you promised me.
A.—God inspire me and I will lift one of the corners of the veil which hid the truth; I will start to instruct you in the origin of Masonry; I will give you the philosophical explanation of the Masonic view and I shall finish when you have learned all of the meaning of the sublime and mystic aims of the true Masonry.
Q.—Your kindness has increased my knowledge and your brilliance does you much justice. My respect requires that henceforth I call you Master instead of Brother. I pray you then, my dear Master, to follow your purpose and begin to instruct me in the origin of the true Masonry.
A—True Masonry has for founders Enoch and Elias. After having been invested with the supreme power which had been accorded them by the divinity they implored his goodness and his merry in favor of their neighbors, in order that permission be given them co make known to other mortals His grandeur and the power which He has accorded to man over all the creatures who surround His throne. Having obtained this permission., he organized twelve subjects, whom he called elected of God. One of these, known to you, called himself Solomon. The philosopher king sought to imitate them and following in the footsteps of the two masters, formed an order of men fit to conserve and to propagate the sublime knowledge which he had acquired. He did this by consulting with the remainder of the Elect and they convened to choose two persons each, in a total of 24 companions. The chief of these was. Boaz. These 24 companions had the privilege of each immediately choosing 3. This made 2 supreme chiefs, 12 masters or elected of God, 24 companions and 72 apprentices; from the last are descended the Templars, and from one of the Templars, who were refugees in Scotland, there descended Free Masons of whom there were at first 13, then 33 etc. Such is the origin and the affiliation of Masonry.
Q.—That story leaves me nothing to desire except I pray you an explanation of the ceremonies and of the Masonic ritual. On entering the lodge for the first time why was I blind-folded?
A.—To make you perceive that every man, who does not enjoy the great knowledge in which I instructed you, is a sightless and blind man, but that in having for a master a true Mason, he will leave the darkness and know the truth.
Q.—For what reason were my hands tied?
A.—To make you aware of the whole meaning of the submission and the subordination, which it will be necessary for you to have to the orders of your Master.
Q.—Why was I divested of part of my garments and all metals which I might have?
A.—To inform you that every man who desires to become a good Mason or true elected, must renounce all sorts of honors, wealth and glory, and to obtain that privilege, it is not necessary to be great, rich or powerful.
Q.—What end do the gloves serve?
A.—To make you aware that ever true Mason must always have pure hands, which he must never soil with blood. Above all he is strictly forbidden ever to touch the primal matter with the hands.
Q.—What does the apron signify?
A.—To teach you that it is the first clothing with which man provided himself to cover his nakedness when he had lost his innocence.
Q.—When will we come, I pray you, to the explanation of the ritual? What does the trowel signify?
A.—The wo columns called Jachin and Boaz, are not at all columns, but in. reality men who searched in our philosophy. Solomon not having found in the first the qualities and dispositions required in a true Mason, he was rejected into an inferior class; but on the contrary Boaz, having been much pleased to have recognized what the acacia meant, with the agreement of God and the help of Solomon, proceeded not only to purify the rough stone of all its impurities, but also to make it cubical, and finally to make it triangular, or more than perfect.
Q.—I implore you to explain clearly what all of these different stones signify; I know of course that in the picture there is a rough stone, a cubical stone and a triangular one; but all of these are enigmatic. I will be much obliged, if you will give me the key.
A.—Here it is; the acacia is the primal matter and the rough stone the mercurial part; when that rough stone or mercurical part has been purified of all its impurities it becomes cubical. It will come to pass that at the time you assassinate the master by means of primal matter, or by means of a dagger in your hand, that the rough stone will become cubical, that is the father and mother of all metals. That deed accomplished, and the body being bound, it begins to decay, one observes the seven philosophical passages, which are the allegory of the seven steps, placed before the portal of the temple, the first five of which are the primary colors, the sixth which is the color black, and lastly the seventh is purple, or the color of fire or fresh blood. It is thus that you will arrive at the consummation of the marriage of the sun and the moon, and that you will obtain the triangular stone, as well as the perfect offspring. Quantuum sufficit, et quantuum appetet. (12)
Q.—But you have not spoken at all of Adoniram, who according to ordinary Masonry was assassinated, and who is represented by the black band and the dagger in the grade of Elect.
A.—That Masonry causes you to err in that point. It was nor Adoniram himself who had been assassinated, but rather the liquid part which had to be slain with the dagger. That is ultimately, as I am going to apprise you, the volatile, living and mercurial part, which is absolutely impossible to confine. With respect to Adoniram, and to convince you of my good faith, of my open mind, and of my attachment for you, I will give you his history. Adoniram was the son of Rabbin Raham, and was called Jokim. Raham, who worked on the superstitious mind, had given several kinds of knowledge to his son, but the latter, protected and favored by God, having attained word of the superior power possessed by Solomon in natural, as well as supernatural philosophy, left the north to go to the south where that great king lived. In the hope of finding an occasion for seeing and talking to him, he placed himself at the door of the temple.
Solomon having seen him, asked him what he sought, and he responded “Adonai”. The king was inspired and greatly touched by the respect and the veneration which that mortal evidenced because he reverently used the term “Adonai”, which is the sacred name of the Most High. Solomon not only greeted him with graciousness and benevolence, but bade him enter the temple with him and knowing that he haid been instructed in the metallic part, Solomon confided in him the primal matter and changed his name from Jokim to Adoniram, which signifies equally, in the Ararnic tongue, son of God, son of Raham or worker of metals. Adoniram elated by that flattering distinction, had insufficient self control to refrain from telling Jachin, with whom he then shared his knowledge, using Jachin as part of his Operators. Jachin having become jealous of the preference that Solomon had shown toward Adoniram, became filled, with much malice and resentment. Solomon, fearing the consecjuences which might affect his favorite Adoniram, determined, in order to make an end of the harmful effects of envy, to initiate him in the spiritual and supernatural sciences; in consequence he let Adoniram penetrate the sanctuary of the Temple and divulged to him all the hidden mysteries of the sacred and perfect triangle. It was then that he gave him the name of Boaz, tinder which, as you well know, he paid the salary of all the fellowcrafts and apprentices. The Temple being completed, Solomon gave him the kingdom of Tyre.
I am entranced by the sublime interpretations that you have just given me concerning the ceremonies and the Masonic ritual and nothing appears to me more evident or more magnificent I see chat it was not possible to have been deceived more completely about this most serious, and most respectable, institution that has made true Masons of us pretenders. Of a purpose most sacred and instructive, they have made a most ridiculous mummery and of the most interesting truth an allusion vain and puerile. Permit me to make an observation that in the details you have just given me, you have told me nothing of the blazing star.
A.—That star is the emblem of the grand mysteries which include the supernatural philosophy, and it is additional proof of the blindness, and ignorance of modern masons, because it must be terminated by seven points, or angles and you will never see it represented in any lodge by 3, 5, or 7. Besides, these poor children of the widow have never discovered in it any other significance than that which is contained in its center, the letter ‘G”, which they explain symbolically by the word geometry. Such is the fruit of a hundred years of reflection and the marvellous interpretation suggested to them by their brilliant geniuses. The seven points or angles are the representation of the seven angels which surround the throne of the Deity, and the letter “G” is the initial of the great and sacred name of God, called Gehova or Jehova, Adonia, etc.
Q.—Grant me, I implore you, a greater knowledge of these seven primitive angels.
A.—These seven angels are the intermediaries between us and the Divinity; they are the seven planets or better, they direct and govern the seven planets. As they are a particular and determined influence over each of the realms necessary to perfect the primal matter, the existance of the seven superior angels is more over truly that by which man has the power to dominate over the same beings.
Q.—My astonishment only further increases my desire to be instructed, but how is it possible for man to command and to be obeyed by these angelic creatures?
A.—God created man in His own image and in His own likeness. He is the most perfect of His works, therefore so long as the first man preserved his innocence and his purity, he was the most powerful creature and the most superior after God; because not only had God accorded him the knowledge of those intermediate creatures, but He had also given man the power to direct them and to rule over them immediately after Himself. Man having degenerated by the manner in which he abused that great power, God deprived him of that superiority, rendered him mortal and deprived him even of communication with those celestial beings.
Q.—Are the Elect (elus) of God excepted from that general proscription?
A.—Yes, and they are the only souls to whom God has given the grace to enjoy this knowledge and all of the power with which he had favored the first man.
Q.—Is it possible for every good and true Mason, such as I pride myself in being, to flatter himself to be regenerated and to become One of the elect of God?
A.—Yes, without doubt; but in addition to the necessity of constantly practicing all the virtues, such as charity and benevolence it is also necessary that God, being sensible of your adoration, your respect, your submission and your fervent prayers, pick and select one of his Elect to help you, to instruct you and to render you fir to merit this supreme happiness; for when one of the twelve Elect is called nearer to the Almighty, the most virtuous of the 24 companions succeeds him just as the wisest of the 72 apprentices, takes the place vacated by that companion.
Q.—Will you, I pray, give me the best exposition of that natural philosophy?
A.—An explanation of that philosophy requires division into three classes The First, called the superior, primitive or direct. The Second, acquired or communicated. The Third, the low, the base or superstitious. The first is exhibited by the man, who having purified the physical and moral part of himself, arrives at the recovery of his primitive innocence and who after having obtained that perfection with the help of the glorious name of God and the attributes in His right hand, has arrived at the point of showing the sublime and original domination of man, the knowledge of all the intentions of the power of God and the means of every innocent child to enjoy the power which his state has given him.
The second is possessed by a man who, after having taken an obligation to his master, has obtained the grace of knowing himself and the sovereign power of God; but the power of that n4n is always limited; he cannot operate except in the name of his Master and by his power. He knows not, however, the basis of this power.
Use of that power necessitates, however, self purification by practicing the attributes of the right hand.
It is not Without fear and extreme reserve that I will make mention of the third; it is heart rendering for me to disclose to you the grasping spirit of the man, who after having degraded his being, sought to satisfy his wish and vanity, by making use of a sacrilegious power, horrible and forbidden.
Q.—Do me the honor of explaining most dearly what you mean by the purification of man, and what are the means by which it can be done.
A.—It will be necessary, to commence by learning the spiritual signs, the invocations to God, the manner of dothing oneself and the method by which it will be necessary to form and prepare the instruments of the art of according to the planetary influences, because from henceforward, instead of speaking to you of the seven superior angels, I will use the name of the planets, in order that we will understand each other better. The first instrument is the same trowel which you always see in the hands of the Free Mason; the compasses; the knife; the sword and all the other necessary tools. It will be necessary to know which are the days of the month and the hours most propitious in the proper planet. It will also be necessary to be equally instrucred as to the day, the month and the hour most favorable for the benediction of the ceremonial veil. It will be necessary to know the form of the prayers which it is necessary to address to God; of the form of the invocations to the angels, and the manner of obtaining sufficient control over oneself to repel and annihilate all the scruples, or subjects of distraction which would be able to divert you, or sully you physically or morally. In conducting yourself exactly according to these procedures you will be able to strip yourself entirely of the physical part; you will be purified according to the method of the Elect of God, and with the attributes of the right hand, and the help of the Master whom God will give us, you will obtain without doubt the grace of penetrating into the sanctuary of truth.
Q.—Show me, I pray you, the manner of supplying these instruments.
A.—To make each instrument, it will be necessary to watch the day and hour determined by the regulator. It will be necessary that as soon as the instrument comes off the fire it be quenched in the blood of a proper animal, while observing that each hour of the twenty-four requires a different animal. Remember as well that the days and nights according to our philosophy are entirely distinct from those of profanes, because we divide each day and each night into twelve equal parts, but we regulate them by rising and setting of the sun. In whatever season it may be, our first hour of the day begins with the rising of the sun, and that of the night with its setting.
The minutes vary accordingly. You see by that calculation, the hours of our days are very much longer in summer than winter, and that they are made up for chat reason of a greater or less number of minutes. Remember also further, that the first hour is ruled and directed by the sun, the second by the Moon, the third by Mars, the fourth by Saturn, the fifth by the Sun and so on for the others.
It will also be necessary to know, and conform oneself to, the configuration of the heavenly circles, which must always arrange themselves according to the disposition of the four quarters of the Moon and by the members three and three times three. These mysteries, cabalistic and perfect numbers are the same indispensible ones as the number of lights which are placed in the sanctuary.
Q.—Why do Masons operate unceasingly by the numbers three and three times three, and for what motive do you continually remind me to conform to these same numbers as much for the centers as for the candles in the sanctuary?
A.—lt is to remember the greatest truth and that it is one of the most important pieces of information that I have the power to procure for you; it is for you to learn that man has been formed in three times and that he is composed of three distinct parts, moral, physical and mental. Finally, it is for you to understand you must never err in the philosophical operations, and to perfect these. What you do once, it will be necessary always to repeat thrice or thrice three times.
Q.—But, in order to conform strictly to all that you have deigned to confide to me, will it suffice for me to work by myself accordingly and succeed?
A.—No, because it will again be necessary that an enlightened conductor, or a Master in the primitive art, instruct you completely and perfectly about all those matters that I have not yet indicated to you.
Q.—By what signs will I recognize a true Master in the primitive art?
A.—By his candor, the realization of his acts and his patience. By his candor in conducting hixn.self in the past and in the present. By the realization of his acts in his success and his manner of working in which he implores only God and the command of the seven original angels, without even having recourse to a superstitious or idolatrous view. By his patience, because no mortal ever attains to that which he wishes to have and to. know except by patience.
Q.—Give me now, I implore you, further instruction concerning the part experienced or communicated.
A—Know that all men elected of God can give you the power to obtain the true mystery, which will then explain and confirm the pentagon which it will trace on the paper of the art.
Q.—What do you mean by “paper of the art”?
A.—It is that which serves the Elect for all their works, innovations etc. It is of three kinds, which the philosophers call virgin paper. One is the skin of a still-born lamb, after it has been purified by solemn ceremonies with the ceremonial veil, on the day and hour of the sun. The second is the membrane or caul of a male child produced by a Jewess and also purified by the ceremonial veil and solemn ceremonies. The third is ordinary paper, but blessed according to the intention of the Master on that day and hour of the sun which contains ever the masonic attributes of the right hand.
Having obtained from that Elect of God, the marvelous pentagon it will accomplish all that which is prescribed in the divine rite and completes the obligation which you will render to God, in the presence of your worshipful master.
Q.—Can I undertake that engagement without scruple?
A.—Assuredly, since the obligation consists only of the promise te worship God, to respect your sovereign and to love your neighbor. You will be obligated moreover, personally to promise your Master that you will obey him implicitly, never to pass those boundaries which are forbidden to you; never to have the indescretion to demand knowledge of things purely our of curiosity; and finally to do nothing except for the glory of God and the benefit of your neighbor. In furtherance of all these principles you will by means of invocation on the day and hour determined, and with the power which you will concede to your Master, arrive at the pinnacle of your desires. Do not forget however that although you have obtained the satisfaction which you long for, should you have taken upon yourself, you will not only inevitably lose all of your power, but instead of elevating yourself to a higher and more perfect degree you will fall into inferiority, imperfection and disgrace.
Q.—Will I be able then to aspire again to greater power?
A.—Yes, you will be able to become the equal of your Master.
A.—With the pleasure, wisdom, better conduct and complete fidelity of your engagements.
Q.—Complete my understanding and tell me of what the superstitious pact consists.
A.—My son, every man who has only evil principles, and at the same time the desire for supernatural knowledge, falls from the protection of God and the knowledge of his truth; will preci pitate himself into the abysmal; will degrade himself and will end by bringing himself to the point of signing with his. own blood a base pact, which he will contract with intermediate inferior spirits which will condemn him forever.
Q.—Will it always be indiscreet to ask you for the details of the initial operation which you have seen performed by the Grand Master founder?
A.—This is all which you will be able to learn concerning that which has taken place in my presence. I have seen the preparation and purification of men in the different stages, commencing with the invocation to God; while they were in the Masonic sanctuary and finally in the clothing of the candidate in the “talare" vestment. Then taking the attributes of the right hand, he arrives at the end of the work in the representation of the persons of whom I have spoken to you. before. I am also able to help you, in another thing desired by you, with as much satisfaction as it proved to me, as well as to the brothers, who are witnesses like myself to these great things. I charge you in the name of the Eternal God that all which I have just communicated to you. in this present catechism the absolute truth.
1. consists of a robe of ankle length, white in color with blue ribbon trimming, white shoes should be worn.
2. “Grand Coptic” or “G. Cagliostro."
3. “Who knows death, knows art”,
5. Few are selected’.
6 Concerning health and all ills (or ills of man).
7. “Concerning (virtues) of metals”.
8 Vestments after the fall of man in Eden.
9. Creative function.
11. “Every triangle is perfect”.
12. “What is sufficient is no longer desired.”