International Order of Twelve
Daughters of the Tabor
Saba Meroe Ritual
The Fourth Degree of the Taborian Tabernacle, or the Mysteries of Saba Meroe,
had its origin in the Cushite founders of Ethiopia. The Cushites were the
descendants of Noah, a son of Ham Cush, the eldest son of Ham, settled that part
of Africa known as Ethiopia 2,256 years before the coming of Christ. The
Cushites were a civilized people; their form of government was monarchial. In
the course of time, with the increase of inhabitants, the art of music, and the
sciences of architecture, agriculture and astronomy, became almost perfect, and
they excelled all other nations around them. The Ethiopians invented and used
the first alphabet known It was composed of 16 letters. Their hieroglyphics and
alphabetic characters were largely used by the Egyptians, and from them other
nations copied. The history of Ethiopia and Egypt were so closely interwoven,
that for the first few hundred years of their existence it had been a question
that learned historians had found very perplexing to solve. Herodotus was the
most ancient historian, he was, in fact, the father of ancient history. This
writer lived and wrote four hundred and fifty years before the advent of Christ,
the Savior. In their day the Ethiopians were a highly civilized and polished
people. He, in his travels through Ethiopia, had good opportunities to become
well acquainted with their history. Their magies and
priestesses, who were well acquainted with the traditions of Ethiopia, from the first settlement down to his time, seem to have carefully given him all of the details of their history.
The Ethiopians were the first in civilization; first in literature ; first in the arts and sciences. The Egyptians learned from them. There is one thing that must be noted in the very imperfect history we have of Ethiopia, and that is that woman was held in high esteem by them in the mysteries of Ethiopia and Egypt we find that women had a very distinguished place as priestesses, oracles and diviners. The most noted of idols that was worshipped was the Goddess of Isis. The three first kings that reigned over Ethiopia and Egypt were deified.
Ham, the father of Mizriam and Cush, was deified under the name of Jupiter Ammon; Mizriam as Sesostris; Cush as Osiris. These three were always represented together in their hieroglyphics in the form of a ram, bull and dog, arid called the three-one God of Peace,
Patience and Friendship The sheep represented peace; the ox, patience; the dog, friendship
It would give me pleasure to follow the greatness and grandeur of Ethiopia from its first King, Ham, who reigned under the name of Rameses the I, and his son Mizriam, as Rameses the II, and his son, Cush, as Rameses the III. These three were the first Kings of Ethiopia and Egypt, and were the ancestors of a long line of Kings and Queens of Ethiopia for over two thousand years.
I must pause. My business is with the mysteries of Ethiopia. We will visit Meroe, Nubia,
Saba, Beyt-el-Welee, Sphinx, Niolotic, Africa and the Garden of Hesperides. We will consult
the old Oracles, talk with the High Priests of Isis and of Tabor. We will unravel the mystic power of women; symbols and metaphors will be unfolded: the Philosophic Degree of Saba Meroe, or the Fourth Degree of the Ladies’ Tabernacle of the Daughters of Tabor. The place of meeting is within the ancient city of Meroe, the capital of Ethiopia.
The hall represents the sanctuary of the Tabernacle. This most ancient Tabernacle was built on the banks of the river Saba, and had a direct communication with the Garden of Hesperides.
The Tabernacle Explained
The Altar in the center, on which a perpetual fire is kept burning. (The Tabernacle House.)
1st: The High Priestess, Tharbis, is seated in the South, representing the Sun in its fullness, shedding rays of light into all parts of the world. Her station had purple hangings, emblematic of her sovereign dignity. (This is C.P.’s station.)
2d: The Priestess of Beyt-el-Welee, Amisis, is seated in the North, representing the Moon, throwing its soft light over the hills and hollows. Her station had sky blue hangings, with silver stats sprinkled over them, emblematic of the universal power of the Supreme Governor and King of the World. (This is the V.P.’s station.)
3d: The Priestess of Memnon is seated in the East. She represents the Sun. The singing of the buds and the music of Memnon enlivens the splendor of the Day-God. Sesostheni records the beginning of another day; its horoscope is cast and written in the book of Fate. The hangings of this station are pure white; it is the symbol of light. (This is the C.R.’s station.)
4th: The Priestess of Ophir is seated in the West. She represents the value of gold and silver. Seraphis presided over the precious metals of the earth. The hangings of her station were yellow and white, symbolizing gold and silver. (This is the C.Tr.’s station.)
5th: The Priestess of the Labyrinth is seated to the right of the burning altar. She represents the Oracle. Hyerego could solve all problems, and foretell future events. (This is the C.Pr.’s station.)
6th: The Priestess of Cush is seated at the inner entrance of the ancient Tabernacle. Abassine is the guardian. None are permitted ‘to pass, unless they pronounce the cabalistic word. (This is the I.S.’s station.)
7th: The Priestess of Lybenus is seated at the outer entrance of the ancient Tabernacle. Lybenus was the guardian of the mystic door. None could approach her until they gave the Niolotic sign (This is the O.S.’s station.)
8th: The three Priests of Meroe are seated between the burning altar and Amisis. They represent Jupiter Ammon, Sesostris and Osiris. The first has the head of a ram; the second, the head of an ox; the third, the head of a dog: symbolizing Peace, Patience and Friendship. (This is the C.T.’s station.)
9th: The three Priestesses of Hesper are seated to the right, between the High Priestess and the burning altar. They were the purveyors of the ancient Tabernacle. It was their duty, under the orders of Tharbis, to prepare the neophyte for initiation into the mysteries of Saba Meroe and conduct the novice through the ceremonies.
10th: The three Priestesses of Cyrene were seated to the left, between the High Priestess and the burning altar. It was their duty to care for the burning altar and never let the Fire go out, and to offer incense and prayer For the sick and distressed.
11th: The Priestesses, by twelve, thirties, fifties, one hundreds and thousands, were members of the Ancient Tabernacle and known and addressed as Daughters of the Tabernacle. They were the votaries who represented the ancient Tabernacle in Central, Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern Africa.
12th: Priests of Temple of Africa.
Officers of Saba Meroe
1: Chief Preceptress Tharhis: C.P.
2: Vice Preceptress Amisis: V.P.
3: Chief Recorder Sesostheni: C.R.
4: Chief Treasurer Seraphis: C.Tr.
5: Chief Priestess Hyerego: C.Pr.
6: Inner Sentinel Abassine: I.S.
7: Outer SentineL Lybenus: O.S.
8: Tribunes Meroes: C. T.’s
9: Board of Examiners Hespers: B. E.’s
10: Board of Visitors Cyrenes: B. V.’s
11: Members of the Ancient Tabernacle of Meroe
12: Priests of the Ancient Temples of Africa.
1: On all public occasions, except funerals, the Daughters of Saba Meroe and officers wear
2: Fringe may be used on all hangings and regalia if thought proper. For regalia, the fringe must be of the same color as of the stars.
3:The first thing to get after a Tabernacle is warranted is a full set of officers’ jewels. An officer cannot be installed properly without the jewel, it is a part of the installing ceremony.
4: One ballot elects for the four Degrees. If there are four black balls cast, the candidate is rejected. She can petition again three months after being rejected.
5: The officers must wear their jewels and members their badges at every meeting; also white gloves.
6: The funeral dress is plain black; small white collar; a black veil, trimmed white, and white gloves. Officers wear their jewels, and members their badges. The rods are trimmed with crape. The furniture of the hall must be trimmed with crape for thirty days on the death of a high officer, the hall also must be draped in mourning for sixty days.
7: The mourning badge is made of black grape, in the form of a small rosette, with green center, worn for thirty days or more, as the Tabernacle decides. It is worn on the left breast.
8: If it is possible have the funeral sermon preached by a member of the Order.
9: Give to your sick or distressed members the best care and attention. This will make your Tabernacle popular and give its members confidence.
10: Use every honorable means to keep full supply of money in your treasury.
11: Conduct your meetings in peace and harmony, and defend the food name of every member, whether in public or private.
Opening of the Saba Meroe
When seven or more members are present, the High Priestess takes her seat on the throne and sounds the mystic bell one time (this calls to order); then sounds twice distinctly (this seats the officers and members in their places); then sounds three distinct times.
Abassine sounds her mystic bell three distinct times.
Lybenus closes the outer and inner doors and sounds her mystic bell three distinct times.
Abassine sounds her mystic bell three distinct times.
Tharbis gives one sound and Abassine goes direct to the foot of the throne and receives
the pass from Tharbis-Isis; she then visits and receives the pass from all that are present and, returning to her station, gives one sound, which means that all present have the pass, but those that are standing. If there are any that are standing, Tharbis sounds twice distinctly, and they go to the foot of the throne. If Tharbis is satisfied that they have Saba Meroe, she gives them the pass, and they return to their seats If she is not1 satisfied, they are sent out, until they find the pass.
If any member present know the forgetful to be a Saba Meroe, she informs Tharbis by advancing to the throne and touching the forgetful on the head. The pass is then given.
Tharbis sounds the mystic bell four distinct times. All that are present put on regalia, or their jewels and badges.
Hyerego lights up the burning altar and opens the Holy Volume and places it in its proper place on the side of the altar.
Tharbis sounds the mystic bell twice, and all form a procession, the officers in front, all in double files, Tharbis in front. She gives one sound they march slowly around the hail, the altar to their left, until they make four rounds, singing the following:
Eternal Power! Almighty God!
Who can approach Thy throne?
Accessless light is Thy abode,
To angel eyes unknown
Before the radiance of Thine eye,
The heavens no longer shine;
And all the glories of the sky
Are but the shade of Thine.
Great God and wilt Thou condescend
To cast a look below?
To this vile world Thy notice bend:
These seats of sin and woe?
How strange! how wondrous is Thy love!
With trembling we adore;
Not all the exalted minds above
Its wonders can explore
While golden harps and angel tongue
Resound immortal lays.
Great God permit our humble songs
To rise and speak Thy praise.
While singing the last verse, they form a perfect circle around the burning altar, and hands placed for devotion. The Chief Priestess stands near the altar and prays:
"Almighty Jehovah! eternal, self-existing God, Thou who by Thy might and power did save our forefather Noah and his family from the awful destructive elements, grant to the members of Thy earthly Tabernacle Thy gracious presence, that we may worship Thee in the beauty of holiness. Save us with an everlasting salvation. We know that Thou art merciful Have mercy upon Thy votaries Our time on earth is probationary.
The gods of this earth cannot redeem our souls Our hope and trust is in Thee Guide us by Thy counsel. Guard us all along the journey of this life Finally, when Thy Daughters have finished their mission in this Thy earthly Tabernacle bless us by receiving us into the Heavenly Tabernacle. Let us praise Thee eternally. Amen."
The members answer: In God alone is safety.
Tharbis gives one sound. All return to their places and remain standing.
The signs are given from first to last.
Tharbis gives one sound, and all are seated.
Tharbis sounds the mystic bell four times.
Amisis answers by sounding her bell four times.
Sesostheni answers by sounding her bell four times.
Seraphis sounds four times.
Tharbis says: Daughter Abassine, I have received the mystic reports from the south, north, east and west that Saba Meroe is guarded at all the outposts of Ethiopia and Egypt. You will please request Daughter Lybenus to inspect all who desire to enter the ancient Tabernacle and report to you when a Priestess desires admittance. You are further instructed to admit all that wear the jewel or badge when they give you the pass.
Abassine to Tharbis: Daughier High Priestess, Lybenus is instructed, and Saba Meroe is guarded.
Tharbis: Our sacred Tabernacle is guarded by the symbols of society. We are ready for mystic work. Let us freely consult the Oracle of Business.
If it is for regular monthly business, proceed according to rules. If for giving the Degree proceed as follows:
Degree of Saba Meroe
Tharbis sound one time. This calls Abassine to the foot of the throne.
Tharbis: Daughter Priestess of Cush, the Oracle tells me that the stars are casting their light on coming events.
Abassine: Daughter High Priestess, there are neophytes from the mysteries of the Sealed Chamber. They have traveled from Sinai to Ethiopia, searching for the ancient Tabernacle.
They now await your command.
Tharbis: Daughter Priestess of Cush, return to your station and notify Lybenus that the Priestess of Memnon will visit the neophytes.
Abassine returns to her station, and sounds her bell one time.
Lybenus answers by one sound, and opens the loop.
Abassine delivers the message, and gives one sound.
Lybenus returns the sound and closes the loop.
Tharbis to Sesostheni: Daughter Priestess of Memnon, the Oracle tells me that the preparatory needs your presence. You will please retire If you find any neophytes, record their names and receive their offerings.
Sesostheni bows and goes to the burning altar and salutes the High Priestess, passes directly into the preparatory, records the names of the Neophytes and receives their offerings. (All Neophytes must give a piece of money.) She returns and salutes the High Priestess, takes her station, reports the names of the Neophytes and announces that they are from Mount Sinai and have come with an offering.
Tharbis to the Three Priestesses of Hesper: Daughter of Priestesses of Hesper, you are requested by the Oracles to attend the neophytes in the preparatory.
The Hespers bow and go direct to the preparatory and prepare the Neophytes and conduct them into the hall and march slowly around the burning altar on the left. All the mystic bells are rung until the first round is finished. On the second round the battle of the ibis and serpents. On the third round the music of Memnon. On the fourth round the dragons roar; the thunder rolls; the owls hoot; and Nubia calls for Apis. They stop in front of the burning altar.
Tharbis gives twelve distinct sounds.
Hesper speaks: It is the twelfth hour, the time that the disembodied spirits walk; Saba is rolling its dashing waves to the shore; the Water Queen is gathering her scaled monsters
to oppose our march to Hesperides; Meroe is gathering the host of bulls, dragons, rams and hydras to prevent our entrance into the labyrinths of mystic Ethiopia. We have come this far without harm. If you are true Sealed Daughters, we will go forward and overcome all these opposing forces of the land and water.
We must follow this mysterious path. As long as we keep in the way marked out by the God of Ethiopia, we will be in safety. Let us travel, First make three steps south, then three steps west, then seven steps north, and seven steps east. We have arrived near the folding entrance of the Winding Labyrinth of Mystics.
It has three entrance-ways, but only one that will lead us to the ancient Tabernacle. Apis and Osiris are guarding the entrance. Here is a legend written in allegory, which let us read: Many went by this way; turn to
The right, return by the left, and
You will find the Priestess of Memnon
Touch the mystic bell three times
Sesosthem will take your horoscope,
And direct you to the Opher
Of your desire
Hester to Neophytes: Come, let us follow the advice of the legend and turn to the right three steps , now turn to the left three steps.
Here we are. The hisses of the serpents tell us we are on dangerous ground. The glimmering light shines but faintly; but here is the mystic bell. She sounds the bell three times; the hisses of the serpents cease, and Sesostheni stands before them.
Hesper to Sesostheni: Daughter Priestess of Memnon, these Sealed Daughters from Sinai have come thus far on their way to the ancient Tabernacle of Saba Meroe. We have passed through the abode of the ibis and serpents, and have enjoyed the mystic music of Memnon.
We heard the dragon roar, and Nubia’s call. We have traveled south, north and west. We are seeking an entrance that opens and admits us into the Winding Labyrinth. The legend instructed us how to find thee, and that you would tell us how to overcome the Apis and Osiris.
Sesostheni to Neophytes: I knew you were coming, and have prepared to help you. Your horoscope is fair, and portends your success, if you have courage. Many have passed this way, and none have returned. If they become lost in the secret recesses of the Labyrinth, they will never see daylight. If they succeed in entering the ancient Tabernacle, the Garden of Hesperides is open to them in its happy and peaceful pleasures; they will be content and never wish to return. That you may be enabled to travel through the waters, the crawling reptiles, and over the hydra on your way to the Priestess of the Labyrinth, I will place the cabalistic sign upon your feet and invest you with the mystic sign and word.
The mark "S’ is made on the bottom of the Neophytes’ foot. The mystic sign is made by holding the palms of the right and left hands together even with the face. (The word is Is-s.)
Sesostheni to Hesper: Daughter Priestess of Hesper; you are now ready to conduct these neophytes to the Priestess of the Labyrinth.
They march slowly around the hall once in perfect silence. Just as they arrive in front of Hyerego all the bells sound three Limes.
Hesper to Hyerego: Daughter Priestess of the Labyrinth, these are Sealed Daughters from Mount Sinai on their way to the ancient Tabernacle. We have successfully passed through all the dangers and had our horoscopes drawn by the Priestess of Memnon. We received the cabalistic sign that enabled us to walk over crawling reptiles and pass through waters and around the hydra. We have the mystic sign and cabalistic word.
Hyerego to Hesper: You have come so far in safety. Give me the mystic sign and word.
She gives the sign and whispers the word.
Hyerego to Neophytes: Your guides have proven that you are true Daughters and are under the protection of Is-s. The gates of the Labyrinth will open to you, and if you have courage you will find your way through the winding way. Place your right hand on your heart and your left hand on your right hand.
I, …, do promise and most sacredly swear, in the presence of the Holy Trinity and these Priestesses of Saba Meroe, that I will remember and keep my obligations taken as a Sealed Daughter, and that I will not reveal the secrets of the Saba Meroe to a Sealed Daughter, unless it is to assist in making her a Priestess; and further, I swear that I will not in any manner, by word or act, make known the secret mysteries of the ancient Tabernacle to any person or persons, unless it is to assist in their induction into the Degree. Should I willfully and knowingly violate this, my oath, may I suffer all the penalties of the Daughters’ Tabernacle. I take this oath with my hand upon my heart; may God help me to keep my oath.
All the mystic bells sound three times
Hyerego to Novices: You are now Priestesses; the oath that you have just taken enrolls you as members of Saba Meroe; but you must pass all the intricate windings of the dark Labyrinth before the light of the ancient Tabernacle will receive you. The sign you have received: the right and left hand on the heart: you must give this when your way is obstructed, and also this word: AL─OM─JAH. The Labyrinth has three openings. Do not fear: Hesper will see that you do not miss the way.
Hesper to Novices: Come, let us commence our journey.
They wind back and forward across the hall twice, and stop in front of Jupiter Ammon.
Hesper to Ammon: Thou that wast with Noah, hear us. We seek the ancient Tabernacle.
Ammon has false ram’s head on. The veil on the novices is raised just enough to let them see the head for a few seconds.
Jupiter Ammon to Hesper: By what right do you demand admittance through the gate?
Hesper gives the sign, and pronounces the word AL─OM─JAH.
Jupiter Ammon: Ah, you are Priestesses under the protection of that sacred name. The way is open; pass on to Sesostris.
Sesostris has the false face of a bull.
Hesper to Sesostris: Thou that wast first to visit and settle with thy family and kindred in Egypt, hear us. We are on our way to the ancient Tabernacle.
Sesostris to Hesper: You must be Priestesses of thirties, forties, or hundreds, or Father Ham would not have permitted you to have entered the first gate of the Labyrinth. You are permitted to pass this gate on your way to Osiris.
The Novices are allowed to take a peep at Sesostris.
Hesper to Osiris: Thou wast the first to enter the broad land of Ethiopia and become the founder of the first civilized government on earth. The Cushite nation was first in art, the sciences, literature, agriculture and statesmanship. We are seeking the Garden of Hesperides
and the ancient Tabernacle.
Osiris to Hesper: You must be very true Daughters and Priestesses to come this far, and have the good recommendation of my father, Ham, and of my brother, Mizriam. The true entrance of the Labyrinth is open for you to enter. You will find on guard at the north outlet the Priestess of Beyt-el-Welee. Give Amisis this sign. Right and left arms straight out before you, as if you were walking in thick darkness, reeling your way. With the sign, give her the sacred word, AYA─ODO. Go forward, and have no fears.
Osiris has the false dog face The novices are permitted to peep at him.
Hesper to Novices: Come, let us enter the Labvriiithian Way. We are under the protection of the God of Aya-Odo in its windings; a sure guide will not let our feet stray; the sounding of the mysterious bells will cheer our gloomy way.
They march slowly, winding around the entire hall three times; as they pass each station, the bell sounds one time.
Hesper says: Oft have I traveled this subterranean road. The sound of the mystic bells cheers me in the different recesses that we pass through. The Oracle speaks of a time when Ethiopia will be subdued by a powerful king of Egypt, and the king whose ancestors have ruled and governed Ethiopia for a thousand years will be conquered, led in chains to the foot of the throne of Sethos, the mighty monarch that will subjugate Egypt and Ethiopia and the surrounding nations. Here we are at the north outlet of the Labyrinth.
Hesper to Amisis: Daughter Priestess of Beyt-el-Welee, Osiris informed us that we would find Amisis on guard at the north outlet of the entrance of the ancient Tabernacle. He instructed us to give you this sign and to pronounce the word, Aya-Odo.
Amisis to Hesper: Daughter Priestess of Hesper, you have the true symbolic sign and the Morean testword. This pass admits the wandering novices to the full Order of Saba Meroe priesthood. Daughter Hesper, remove the veil Light, previous light, heaven’s best gift to humanity. To enjoy light in its fullness and glory, we must have a season of darkness. You have passed through the dark recesses of the misery, distress, and agony of this life. These were emblematized in your preparation, to enable you to rightly appreciate the high honor of your priestly office. I now and here announce that you are received as Priestess of Saba Meroe.
At this announcement all the mystic bells are sounded lively for a few seconds.
Amisis: Daughter Priestesses, you have been through the form only in your reception to the Priesthood. Our ancient Daughters, in receiving the Order of Priestess, passed through the actual initiation, and it took three years in completing the preparatory work before they were clothed with the Priestly honors.
You have received the full Degree in symbols and emblematic representation of their reception into the ancient Tabernacle and the admittance into the Garden of Hesperides.
That you can at all times and places make yourselves known as Priestesses of Saba Meroe, I will now invest you with the Priestly sign. Let your left arm form a square with arm from the side reaching across the body hall way, and clasp the left wrist with your right hand. This tells that I am a Priestess.
The answer is: Place your right hand, closed, on your left breast. They approach each other.
The first whispers Nicaula. The second answers: Candace.
Daughters Hespers, you will accompany these newly made Priestesses to the south. You will find the High Priestess seated on the queenly throne of Ethiopia.
They march around the hall one time, with burning altar on the left, and stop in front of Tharbis, the High Priestess, and give all of the signs.
Tharbis to the Priestess: I am pleased to welcome you to Saba Meroe and to know that in your travels you have overcome all dangers and have proved your right to the Priesthood
You will please be seated and hear the instructions from the Oracle.
Given by Tharbis: It has been your privilege to lift the veil and look into the mysterious history of ancient Ethiopia, the land of wonders, and the most ancient civilized government of the world.
You started with Ham and his three sons, Cush, Mizriam and Phut, and their families, from the memorial Tower of Babel, about 2,218 years before the advent of Christ, and settled in Africa. Cush, the eldest son of Ham, settled in Central Africa, and gave it the name of Ethiopia. Mizriam settled in Upper and Lower Egypt. Phut settled in the Midian. Ham was the first king and governor of Ethiopia and Egypt. When he died Mizriam was made king of Egypt, and Cush became king of Ethiopia.
Ham was deified under the name of Jupiter Ammon, or Rameses I. On the death of Mizriam, he was deified under the name of Sesostris or Rameses II. On the death of Cush, he was deified under the name of Osiris, or Rameses III These three were worshipped as gods by the Ethiopians and Egyptians. The wife of Ham on her death was deified under the name of Isis and worshipped by both Ethiopians and Egyptians. These nations were given up to idol worship. To preserve the worship of the true God the Order of Priesthood was established, which was composed of the most learned men and women of Ethiopia and Egypt. Those that were initiated into the niysteries of Ethiopia and Egypt received in allegory and metaphor the worship of the God of the Universe.
As time moved on, Ethiopia became the most mighty and enlightened nation on earth. Their kings and queens were honored by all people. Their capital city Saba Meroe, in Central Ethiopia, was the very center of learning. It was the sacred city, because within its walls was the ancient Tabernacle. It was called the Garden of Hesperides, or Fountain of knowledge.
The most ancient historians: Herodotus, Strabo, Pliny, Diodorus, Siculus, Homer and Josephus: speak of the lordly splendor and perfect civilization of Ethiopia. The Holy Scriptures tell us of the power and warlike ability of the Ethiopians. The hieroglyphics detail the wonders of ancient Ethiopia. The legends of the Phoenix, Hydra and Nitilu, these mythological symbols tell of the royal state of Ethiopia.
This Tabernacle has a twofold representation. One was built by Moses at the base of Mount Sinai. The first was built within the walls of the ancient city of Saba Meroe. You have received the first last in fulfillment of .the prophecy, the last shall be first. Saba is the Ethiopian name for this ancient city: it means the sacred city. The Greeks called it Meroe, which means the beautiful city. The Jews called it Shaba, which means the ancient city. We have united the two names and call it the Beautiful Sacred City.
The queens of the kingdom of Ethiopia were by right the High Priestesses of the ancient Tabernacle. When there was a king on the throne, and not a reigning queen, the eldest daughter of the king was the High Priestess.
Tharbis, the daughter of Astaphus, the king of the Ethiopians, was High Priestess at the time Moses, the Hebrew, was general of the Egyptian army. He had obtained many victories over the Ethiopians and at length encamped his victorious army around the walls of Saba Meroe.
For many days Moses tried to batter down the walls, but he made no impression; the walls were impregnable and the Ethiopians were safely intrenched, but an incident that was most truly extraordinary happened.
Tharbis, while looking at the Egyptian army from the top of the wall, saw Moses and fell desperately in love with him. Oh, the power of love! She sent word to Moses that if he would marry her she would open the gates for his army to enter the city. Moses agreed to marry her as soon as he entered the city. Thus the capital city was captured. Not a life was taken nor the city pillaged; but a great wedding feast was had. Moses married the king’s daughter and Ethiopians and Egyptians held high festivals for many days in honor to their general and his bride. Moses and his army returned back to Egypt, having accomplished their object.
History speaks of several eminent queens of Ethiopia. I will refer only to two of them, one under the old dispensation and the other under the new dispensation. Nicaule was queen of Ethiopia and Egypt; her learning and intellectual ability was of the highest order.
She was the supreme governor of the two powerful nations, Ethiopia and Egypt, and a residence was the royal city of Saba Meroe.
She heard of the fame and wisdom of Solomon, the king of the Jews. She decided to visit him and test his wisdom. She traveled in regal and royal splendor, befitting her rank, From Saba Meroe to Jerusalem. Solomon received her with royal honors. These two great monarchs met: the wisdom of Ethiopia and of the Hebrews. Both these giant intellects entered the field. After days of combat, Nicaule declared that Solomon was the wisest man she had ever met, and Solomon was astonished to find a woman that excelled all others in wisdom. In that visit Ethiopia’s name was written on the pages of history as one of the most cultured nations on earth. Wherever the name of Solomon is heard, the great queen of Ethiopia will be found linked with him as the wisest woman he ever met.
Nine hundred and eighty-six years after Nicaule, the queen of Ethiopia and Egypt, had visited Solomon, Candace, queen of Ethiopia, sent her treasurer, the enuch, of great authority in her kingdom, to worship at Jerusalem. This shows plainly that Nicaule had adopted the Jewish faith and religion in her kingdom, and that the Ethiopians had worshipped the true God for all these years. The enuch was converted by the preaching of the Apostle Philip, and returned to Ethiopia to proclaim the birth and advent of Christ the Savior.
Ethiopia, which existed as a civilized nation for nearly 3,000 years, whose early history has almost been covered under the misty ages of the past: this nation that flourished as one of the greatest governments in the world ─ has passed away, like other great nations, almost out of the memory of mankind. Saba Meroe, with the 250 grand and great cities of Ethiopia, has been covered by the dust of ages, and its foundations obliterated. The prophecy must be fulfilled. Ethiopia shall soon stretch her hand to God, and princes shall come out of Egypt. The last shall be first. Ethiopia was the first in civilization, and as it has lost its sway, so the world is gradually turning, and other nations are crumbling. Ethiopia will come to the front. We are here to perpetuate mystic Ethiopia and the memory of its great women.
The High Priestess can omit the reading of these instructions for want of time, and inform the Priestesses that they can read them at any time.
Tharbis gives one sound on the mystic bell, and all stand.
Tharbis: I will now give you instructions in signs, words, and tokens.
The First Sign
Please imitate me. This sign is given in this form: Hold the right and left hands together palm to palm, up even with the face. When you enter an open Saba Meroe you stand before the burning altar, and salute the High Priestess, and turn and salute the Vice Priestess; then take your seat. The pass-word is: "Is-s." This you must give to Abassine before you are permitted to enter. If you are present when Saba Meroe is opened, you give the word to Abassine when the pass is taken up.
This is also the voting sign in Saba Meroe.
This sign is given with the open right and left hands laid over the heart. It is a sign of recognition, made when you need counsel, aid or advice The mystic word is: Al-Om-Jah.
It is the testword. The first says: Al; the second says, Om; the first says, Jah; the second answers, Al-Om-Jah: I greet you.
This is given in this way. Right and left arms straight out before you, as if you were walking in a very dark place and feeling your way. This is the great sign of danger. When given, a member of the ancient Tabernacle is instructed to aid and assist the person giving it at all hazards.
If it is dark and the sign can not be seen, then the rescue pass is used. The member in danger cries out, A Y A: . The member that hears it answers, AYA-ODO; and must not pause or stop until the person giving the pass is found, and is defended at the risk of her own life.
This is the Priestly sign, and is called the asking sign. If you are in any public place and desire to find out if there are any Priestesses within sight, you give this sign: let your left arm form a square, with arm partly reaching across the breast; clasp the wrist with right hand. A Priestess, seeing this sign, will answer by placing her closed right hand on her left breast. If a further test is required, they approach each other; one whispers NICAULE; the other answers, CANDACE.
The Token of Hesperides
This token can be given when you desire to test a member by giving the Sealed Daughter’s grip; then with your left hand clasp the right wrist of the member you are working with: If she is a Priestess she clasps you in this manner. The word is Cushites. One says, CUSH; the other says, ITES; both say, We are Cushites.
Tharbis gives four sounds, and all the other bells sound four times
Tharbis: Daughters, Priestesses, I now announce that Daughters … she names them are
henceforth and forever Priestesses of the ancient Tabernacle of Saba Meroe.
The new members clap their hands three times.
Tharbis gives one sound and all are seated.
Tharbis: Daughters of Hesper, please conduct the new Priestesses to their seats.
If there is no other business to attend to, Tharbis gives one sound, and Abassine goes to the foot of the throne.
Tharbis to Abassine: You will please inform Lybenus Saba Meroe will not at this time consult the Oracle further, but seek repose and test until the Oracle calls the assembly, the Abassine bows and goes to the gate and sounds one time.
Lybenus answers by one sound, and opens the portal. Abassine delivers the order to Lybenus.
She closes the portal and gives one sound. Abassine sounds three times; this gives notice to the High Priestess that Saba Meroe is guarded.
Tharbis gives four sounds and all stand. The signs are all given from last to first.
Tharbis gives one sound, and Hyerego stands before the burning altar. All the members give the saluting sign and Hyerego utters the following Closing Prayer.
Thou great and Eternal God, hear us and bless these and all other members of the ancient Tabernacle. We thank and bless Thee that Thou hast preserved us; Oh thou who art all merciful, keep us near Thee now and forevermore, Amen.
Tharbis gives two sounds; this closes the Saba Meroe until …. She gives three sounds, and Lybenus opens the gates and doors.
Question: Did you receive the seal of wisdom?
Answer: In the name of the good Jecoliah I was made a Sealed Daughter, and was invested
with the emblems of life.
Q.: Was this completed in the first or last Tabernacle?
A.: In the last Tabernacle I was sealed; in the first Tabernacle I was made a Priestess.
Q.: Where was the first Tabernacle situated?
A: In Saba Meroe, the central and capital city of Ethiopia.
Q.: What was this city called?
A : The Beautiful Sacred City and the Garden of Hesperides of Central Africa.
Q.: Are you a Priestess of the ancient Tabernacle?
A.: I am, and it has been announced by the Oracle.
Q.: Who presided as the Oracle when you were initiated into the Priestly honors?
A.: The good Hyerego.
Q.: Can you prove your right to a membership in the Tabernacle?
A.: I have many ways to convince you. Shall it be by signs, mystic words, or by the token?
Q.: Have you the saluting sign? If you give the sign, I will give the mystic word.
A: The sign is given in this way.
Q.: You are right, Daughter Priestess Isis. Can you give the second sign?
A.: .The sign of recognition is given in this way.
Q.: That is true. AL-OM-JAH. Can you give me the third sign?
A.: The danger sign is given in this way.
Q.: I will give you the AYA-ODO. Have you the fourth sign?
A.: I have. It is the Priestly sign, and is given in this way. My mystic word is Nicaule.
Q.: You have given me the sign and the first. I will give you the second. Candace.
Have you the token?
A.: I have; with your assistance I will give it.
The grip is given, as also the word, which is given in two parts.