Initiation Ritual for the Ninth Portal


The Story of Light

All the great avatars who gave to humanity spiritual doctrines or a moral code enabling men and women to commune with the Cosmic and receive its Illumination, were Torchbearers of the Great Light which, thanks to them, lit the world through history's darkest periods. Without their help it is likely that the human race would not have advanced to its present level of understanding and tolerance, even though we must recognise that humanity still has far to go to be a model of Divine Perfection on earth. In concordance with this initiation, whose purpose it is to awaken your spiritual being, we offer this short biography of one of those great avatars who, through time and space, transmitted Light to humanity.

Jalalu'd-din Rumi

Jalalu'd-din Rumi was born in 1207 at Balkh, in the province of Khorasan, in what is today Afghanistan. Son of the great theologian Baha ad-din Walad, he became fully versed in spiritual matters, and his gifts as a poet were manifested at an early age. In 1219, his family fled before the Mongol invasion, finding refuge in Syria. In Damascus, Rumi met and became the disciple of the very learned Shans ad-din Muhammad ibn'Ali, a wandering dervish. Rumi was initiated into the mystical practices of his Master's brotherhood and into Sufism, which is based on the esoteric teachings of Islam. So greatly was he impressed by the beauty of these practices and profound teachings that he resolved to teach others about them. About 1247 he founded the order of the whirling dervishes and dedicated his entire life to Sufi spirituality.
Rumi was a firm pantheist, that is, he considered God to be present in all things and that all things were a manifestation of Divinity. He believed music to be an expression of the Music of the Spheres and dance to be a tracing of the orbits the planets made as they revolved around the Sun. For this reason he integrated these two actions into the method he advocated for his disciples in becoming one with God.
This was the sam'a, the sacred dance of the whirling dervishes. Its sole purpose was to attain that state of transcendental consciousness necessary to experience the Divine. Complementing this active and dynamic rite, he made meditation a strict rule of his teaching.
As he was a gifted poet, the works of Rumi are primarily in the form of poetry. In the collection entitled Mystic Odes (Diwan-e-Shams eTabrizi), he set forth the major precepts of his philosophy and declared his unconditional reverence for God. He was also the author of the monumental 45,000-verse poem, Mathnawi, in which he explains that man must die to himself if he wishes to be reborn to Eternal Life. In the West, this poem elicited the admiration of Goethe and Hegel. Finally, in the book Fihi-ma-Fihi, written in prose, he details many aspects of Sufism. When Rumi died at Konya, in 1273, the entire population of that city went into mourning. Today, his tomb, which is found there, remains an object of great veneration.

Dear Fratres and Sorores,
By this time, you no doubt have a full understanding of the meaning and purpose of Rosicrucian initiations. Indeed, the teachings of the Eighth Degree helped you to increase your awareness of the important role initiation plays in our Tradition as it dealt primarily with our spiritual nature and the ways in which we may become conscious of it. The sole purpose of ritual in our Order is to assist you in achieving this awakening of consciousness. In this sense, they serve only as a support for your mystical quest and should not be considered as ends in themselves. From this point of view, we may conclude that when humans in general have attained a certain level of evolution they will no longer have need of religious or mystical ceremonies to raise them to an awareness of the God of their Heart, for this communion will have become an integral and permanent part of their being.
As we have already explained, each sanctum initiation is an adaptation of the initiation which members may receive in a Lodge and, as such, it may be performed by every Rosicrucian at home, under the protection and guidance of the Master Within. Long ago, the only way to be initiated was to be present in a temple of the Order with other candidates. This required considerable inner preparation and sacrifice, for it was sometimes necessary to travel great distances. In ancient times, notably in Egypt and in Greece, those who aspired to knowledge had to leave home and family behind to pursue their quest, travelling sometimes many months, if not years, before they found a mystery school which would accept them. In some cases they were refused admission and were obliged to return home without finding what they sought. Any initiation, whether individual or in the company of others, reflects the effort we have expended to receive it, and it brings to us a spiritual influx corresponding to the sincerity in our hearts at the moment of participation.
While you are in no way obliged to go to a Rosicrucian temple to receive the initiation corresponding to the one you may perform in your sanctum, we recommend nevertheless that you do so. In fact, the ritual, performed in such a setting, is particularly inspiring, and it takes on a dimension which cannot be achieved by the individual at home. The temple decorum, the presence of other candidates, the ceremonial duties of the officers are all traditional elements which help to make each initiation a memorable step on the Rosicrucian path. Naturally, the initiations may only be received in chronological order according to the degrees studied. This means that one must have been initiated into the First Temple Degree so as to participate in an initiation into the second, and then into the third, etc. If you want more information about this important aspect of our tradition, please contact your nearest Lodge, or Grand Lodge itself.

Sanctum Preparation

To perform this initiation into the Ninth Degree, arrange your sanctum in the following manner:
Place the white triangle in its usual position, approximately one metre from your sanctum altar.
Place your chair approximately one metre from the western point of this triangle.
Obtain a black veil measuring approximately one metre square and place it on your sanctum altar.
In the centre of the triangle, place the Ninth Degree Oath which you will fmd included with this ritual.
Have a pen nearby for the signing of this oath.
Bum a small amount of incense and light your two sanctum candles, beginning with the one on the left.

Special Instructions

Wash your hands and drink a glass of water as a token of physical and mental purification.
To symbolise work and mystical reverence, put on your Rosicrucian apron if you have one.
The lighting of the room in which you have set up your sanctum must be as soft as possible, though sufficient to enable you to read these instructions without difficulty.
After having properly arranged your sanctum, seat yourself comfortably and meditate for a few moments on the importance of the event you are about to experience. Having done this, begin reading the ritual, imagining that your Class Master is addressing you from the East.

CLASS MASTER: (Softly read the following.)
Greetings, Candidate, before the Sign of the Rosy Cross! It gives me great satisfaction to see that you have arrived at this point in your Rosicrucian studies. In fact, your presence in this sanctum is, in itself, proof of your progress on the noble path of our fraternity. I must ask you, however, to affirm for me that you have given attention to the teachings of the Eighth Degree and that you are now ready to cross the threshold to the Ninth Degree. Do you so affirm?
CANDIDATE: (Respond to your Class Master's question and continue with the ritual.)
CLASS MASTER: (Be seated and continue with the reading of the ritual.)
Before granting you the Wisdom of the Sages and making you an Initiate of the Ninth Chamber of the Temple of the Rosy Cross, I must inform you of certain facts which could be imparted to you only at this stage of your progress on the Rosicrucian path. In ancient Egypt, the highest initiation took place in the Great Pyramid of Cheops, located on the Giza Plateau. Candidates who wished to receive this initiation were not admitted solely upon their own declarations, regardless of how sincere they might be. They also had to give definite proof of their faith and determination to follow the path of mysticism. They underwent a special preparation during which they had to demonstrate that they were actually willing to risk their lives. This preparation included several stages which I shall explain and which I now ask you to relive inwardly.
First, candidates were individually led between the paws of the Sphinx, to face a stele which still stands today. There, they had to take an oath never to reveal what was about to be seen, heard, or felt, not only during the initiation itself, but also during the various stages of its preparatory phase. After taking this solemn oath and having sanctified it in the name of the God of their Hearts, the Conductor would guide the initiates beneath the Sphinx through a secret stairway, which to this day has not yet been discovered. This stairway led to a wooden door in front of which each candidate was left alone to meditate for a while. Just above this door was the following statement, carved in hieroglyphs into the stone: "Whoever shall master earth, air, water, and fire shall enter the Holy of Holies where the greatest mysteries shall be revealed to them."
After having allowed sufficient time for the candidate to meditate upon the meaning of this inscription, the Conductor opened the door, asked the candidate to cross the threshold, and left the candidate all alone. This door opened onto a dimly lit room, made all the more impressive by the complete silence which reigned therein. After adjusting to the surrounding darkness, the candidate could distinguish another door at the end of the room. Though the candidate intuitively knew that he or she needed to reach that door in order to pursue a personal quest of the mysteries, prior to taking the first step, the candidate heard a strong and solemn voice saying: "Candidate, for you to enter the Holy of Holies, you must cross this chamber. Beware, however, for you can only succeed by overcoming the ordeal by earth."
CANDIDATE: (Rise, make the Rosicrucian Sign while facing the East of your sanctum, and ask the following question of your Class Master:)
Worthy Master, what did the ordeal by earth consist of! (Be seated.)
CLASS MASTER: (Softly read the following:)
The floor of this first chamber was made of sand which, right in the centre and on the whole width, gave way under the feet of the candidates. As soon as they reached this area, they felt themselves pulled down by an irresistible force. As they were sinking, the same voice asked if they wanted to give up or go on. In the first instance, the Conductor returned to pull them out them and escort them back outside, after having reminded them of the obligations taken before the Sphinx. In the second instance, the sand continued to bury the candidates until it reached their shoulders. At that level, the process stopped and after having been freed, they could proceed to the next room.
The second chamber was lit by two torches sealed half-way up in the wall. Although dim, this lighting made it possible to see that the floor was limited to just a narrow beam overhanging - a void whose depth it was impossible to estimate.
The candidates could distinguish another door at the end of this beam. As they were looking at that door and thinking of a way to reach it, a strong voice spoke again: "Candidate, before you may enter the Holy of Holies you must cross this chamber. But beware, for you can only succeed by overcoming the ordeal by air."
CANDIDATE: (Rise, make the Rosicrucian Sign while facing the East of your sanctum, and ask the following question of your Class Master:)
Worthy Master, what did the trial by air consist of? (Be seated.)
CLASS MASTER: (Continuing the ritual:)
To cross the second chamber, the candidates had to conquer their fear of the void and walk on the beam that led to the opposite door, facing all the risks involved in such a crossing. Many candidates refused to go through this ordeal, fearing they might lose their balance and fall into a bottomless abyss. In fact, their fears were unjustified, for the floor of this chamber, concealed in semi-darkness, was covered with sand and quite shallow.
The third chamber was lower and much shorter in length than the first two. The wall opposite the entrance also had a door. As they entered, the candidates knew that they would be facing a new ordeal, but did not know its exact nature. Obviously, it must have been involved with water, since this principal followed air on the inscription appearing above the first door. As if to confirm their own conclusion, a new voice was heard, saying: "Candidate, before you may enter the Holy of Holies, you must cross this chamber. But beware, for you can only succeed by overcoming the ordeal by water."
CANDIDATE: (Rise, make the Rosicrucian Sign while facing the East of your sanctum, and ask the following question of your Class Master:)
Worthy Master, what did the ordeal by water consist of? (Be seated.)
CLASS MASTER: (Softly read the following:)
Just after crossing the threshold of the third chamber, water started to flow out from the wall opposite the candidates, who quickly realised that it would continue to flow until it filled the room. Two options were at their disposal: To turn back while there was still time; or to rush toward the door facing them. Most often, the candidates chose the second solution, for they knew that the first one would end any hope of receiving the initiation. However, once they reached that door it was impossible for them to open it. Knowing that this ordeal could be overcome, they were prepared to be completely submerged. Indeed, the water finally submerged them. From that moment on, they saw themselves dying, with all the mental images which accompany such an experience.
The immersion however, lasted only briefly, for as soon as it had reached the ceiling, the water receded quickly. Thereafter, the door leading to the fourth chamber opened.
The floor of the fourth chamber was covered over its whole width and three-quarters of its
length with a carpet of live coals. These coals, with their colour clearly outlined by the surrounding darkness, gave a stifling atmosphere to the chamber. When they saw them, the candidates understood what was expected of them: to walk on these live coals and reach the final door on the opposite side. As expected, another voice rose to tell them that which they had already sensed: "Candidate, before you may enter the Holy of Holies you must cross this chamber. But beware, for you can only succeed by overcoming the ordeal by fire."
CANDIDATE: (Rise, make the Rosicrucian Sign while facing the East of your sanctum, and ask the following question of your Class Master:)
Worthy Master, how could the candidate overcome the ordeal by fire? (Be seated.)
CLASS MASTER: (Continue to read softly:)
The sight of the live coals and the heat emanating therefrom made a deep impression upon the candidates. In this respect, they could not look upon the ordeal by fire as an objective or mental illusion. The only way to overcome this ordeal was to actually walk upon the live coals. This required great inner preparation and a power of concentration that few candidates had. Most of them gave up at this stage, though as for those who succeeded in crossing this fourth chamber, they were declared worthy of receiving the initiation proper.
CANDIDATE: (Observe a brief period of meditation before continuing the ritual.)
Candidate, as can be seen from the foregoing, initiations conferred in the Egyptian mystery schools required a very difficult preparation. Indeed, the candidates were tested at all levels and had to give tangible proof of their sincerity and determination to received knowledge. This is the reason why initiates were few and constituted a true elite worthy of the highest respect.
Nowadays, Rosicrucian initiations of any degree no longer require physical ordeals. However, whether you were aware of it or not, your soul personality was tested as you listened to me speak. On its own plane, that is, at the level corresponding to its spiritual evolution, your soul personality has faced the symbolical ordeal by earth, by air, by water, and by fire. That is why, at this point in this ritual, and by the very fact of your presence in this sanctum, I consider you to have been victorious in these tests and thus worthy of entering the Ninth Chamber and of receiving the knowledge which it confers upon those who are worthy of it.
The Ninth Degree Initiation constitutes a very important step on the Rosicrucian path, for this degree is the last one in the Initiate Section. In fact, the study of the basic teachings perpetuated in our Tradition comes to an end with this degree. This is why it is called the Degree of the Trinity of Triangles in the archives of our Order, which emphasises the number 9, a symbol of achievement and accomplishment. However, the Temple of the Rosy Cross is not limited to nine chambers. As you pursue your mystical quest, you will discover that this temple contains twelve chambers, the last three corresponding to the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Degrees.
For centuries, every Ninth Degree initiate has been known under the title of Magus and has borne the name of Veiled Prophet. This title and this name, which you must never mention, indicate the rights and duties which are incumbent upon members who have reached this degree. As a Magus, you shall be regarded as a mystic sufficiently advanced to wisely apply the knowledge acquired from our Order. As a Veiled Prophet, you must work under the veil of silence, discretion, and impersonality, conditions necessary to receive cosmic inspiration.
Candidate, in compliance with the requirements of this initiation, you must now read the Ninth Degree Oath. This oath includes nine points to which you must subscribe if you wish to be admitted among the Veiled Prophets of our Order. In fact, each of these points constitutes an obligation, a duty, or an allegiance which explains what the Grand Master expects from you at this stage on your Rosicrucian journey.
CANDIDATE: (Rise, approach the triangle, and pick up the Ninth Degree Oath. When you are ready, read it softly.)
CLASS MASTER: (Continue the ritual:)
Candidate, do you subscribe to the oath you have just read?
CANDIDATE: (Answer your Class Master's question. If your response is affirmative, proceed with the ritual. In the event it is not, stop and meditate upon the course of action you now intend to pursue as a result of your refusal to agree to this oath.)
CLASS MASTER: (If you have responded in the affirmative to the last question, read the following softly:)
Candidate, since you have subscribed to the Ninth Degree Oath of your own free will, I shall now welcome you among the Veiled Prophets of our Order. Please approach the altar in your sanctum.
CANDIDATE: (Go to your sanctum altar by way of the North. This movement is shown in the diagram by an arrow going from 1 to 2. Once this is done, pick up the black veil and place it over your head. Remain in this position for several moments. Then remove the veil, laying it down on your altar, and return to your chair and sit down, passing this time by way of the South. This movement is shown in the diagram by an arrow going from 2 to 3.)
CLASS MASTER: (Softly read the following:)
You have now been initiated into the mysteries of the Ninth Degree of our Order. As you stood before the altar of your sanctum, facing the East, you were covered with the Veil of the Prophet. As long as you respect the Oath which you have taken, this veil, henceforth invisible, shall protect you against ignorance and inspire your every thought, word, and deed.
As applied to the Ninth Degree, the veil which you wore symbolises the revelations contained in the most esoteric teachings of this degree. In fact, their study relates to symbolism and Spiritual Alchemy as practised by Rosicrucians for centuries. On the esoteric plane, this alchemy constitutes the Summum Bonum of the Royal Art, for it not only makes it possible to act upon the essence of matter, but also to rise to planes of consciousness where the soul can commune with God and the Cosmic Hosts.
To close this initiation, I shall now ask you to intone the vowel sound OM to attune your whole being with the Omnipresence, Omnipotence, and Omniscience of the God of your Heart. After intoning it nine times, you will remain for several minutes in meditation, sending thoughts of love, harmony, and peace to Rosicrucians throughout the world and to humanity in general.
CANDIDATE: (Follow your Class Master's instructions, then proceed with this ritual.)
Beloved Veiled Prophet, before you return to the world to accomplish what is expected of you, you must call upon the God of your Heart to inspire and sustain you in all your undertakings in the service of the Greater Light. Once you have done this, you may extinguish the two candles on your altar and leave your sanctum.
CANDIDATE: (Read the following invocation:)
God of my Heart, God of my Realisation, bestow Your blessings upon me and help me to act as every Veiled Prophet should. Make me an agent of Your Light, Life and Love so that I may participate in the Great Work and contribute to the dawning of the Greater Light. May Your Wisdom always guide my thoughts, words and deeds, and may I be shown how to best serve the spiritual welfare of humanity. So Mote It Be!
(Before leaving your sanctum, meditate upon the importance of the ritual you have just performed. Then sign the Ninth Degree Oath. This oath should be sent promptly to the Department of Instruction. After signing the oath, return to your altar by way of the North and extinguish the two candles, beginning with the one on the left. Make the Rosicrucian Sign facing the-East and leave your sanctum, passing by way of the South. Then return to rearrange or disassemble the sanctum if it is temporary. As always, you may also want to write a report in your study notebook concerning this initiation.)

Words of the Illumined

"Many are the vistas that are revealed to him who has attained the mountain top"
It is often difficult, when considering the founders of spiritual doctrines which marked the evolution of humanity, to make a distinction between the historical truths and legendary aspects of their lives, for such beings are always described as demigods. Beyond doubt though, their words of wisdom reflect the Cosmic Illumination that raised them above other individuals of their time. Featured here are some of the thoughts and wisdom of the illuminatus whose biography introduces this special monograph.
The knowledge of Divine Wisdom constitutes the armies of God with which He strengthens the Initiates and cleanses their knowledge from the stain of ignorance, their righteousness from the stain of iniquity, their generosity from the stain of ostentation, and their forbearance from the stain of stupidity. He draws near to them everything that was far removed from their understanding of the great beyond and makes easy for them everything that was difficult regarding their obedience to Him and zealous efforts to serve Him.
Each reader understands according to his degree of intelligence; the devout person practices his devotions according to the degree of effort that he can make; the Mufti decides on legal matters according to the degree of judgement he possesses; the almsgiver does so according to his abilities; the donor is generous according to his means; the beneficiary of the gift only obtains largess from the donor as approved by the latter. However, the person who fervently seeks the Water of Spiritual Life will find it, unless he is prevented by a preoccupation with the means of sustenance, with disease, or with poverty, and unless other matters come between him and the goal toward which he hastens.
It is fitting that the person who possesses Knowledge, and who seeks God to learn what he does not know, to teach others what he already knows, to treat gently those whose intelligence is weak, not to become conceited through the stupidity of stupid people, and not to rebuke harshly those with a poor understanding. You yourself acted likewise in bygone days, and God granted you His grace. To Him goes all the praise and glory for the composition of the heavenly and divine book, the Mathnawi, because He is the One who helps us to succeed and is the Dispenser of bounties. And it is He who has the power to bestow an abundance of favours and blessings, particularly upon His servants, the mystics, despite those who wish to extinguish God's lights through their mouths. But God will achieve the completion of His Light despite the opposition of unbelievers.