The modern society of Rosicrucians was
given its present form by Robert Wentworth Little in 1865, who
with other zealous masons founded the order following the
reputed discovery of certain manuscripts in the archives of
Grand Lodge. The society was based upon symbolism and
traditions of a much earlier Society known as the Fraternity
of the Rose and Cross, which in turn claimed its origin from
an immortal character, real or mythical, known as Christian
Rosenkreutz and familiarly designated by the initials CRC.
This society subsequently gave rise to other bodies in
Scotland and the USA, and in building upon the ancient order
the modern societies have not departed from precedent, but
have continued the eternal search for knowledge. This is
evinced by the encouragement given for members to produce
papers and deliver lectures as a vital part of College work.
The order is being governed by the Grand College in England. In
various countries there are local chapters. In total there are
about fifty chapters worldwide under this order.
In the Netherlands there are four Colleges (2019):
- The Netherlands College nr 54
- Hermes College nr 63
- Damcar Study College of Adepts nr. 76
- Thoth College nr 89
The number of members
is not clear, but does not exceed a couple of dozen.
This order or the Dutch College is actually not connected to the
Grand Orient of the Netherlands. It is not recognized as an
appendant order and did not need approval of the Grand Orient.
The SRIA is however only open to Master Masons who proclaim a
belief in the christian Tri-Unity.
Besides the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, there is a Grand
Council in Schotland, that governs the Societats Rosicruciana in
Scotia, with five Colleges and approximately 300 members and a
Grand Council in the United States: Societas Rosicruciana in
Civitatibus Foederatis. Under this Society work 32 Colleges.
The Order has nine degrees. The first four are
grouped in the First Order.
Order’ comprises of the Vth—VIIth grades, variously known as the
Adept Grades which are conferred in a College of Adepts by a Chief
Adept or his duly appointed deputy. Selection for advancement in
the Adept grades is made by the Supreme Magus or Chief Adept only.
- I° Zelator: This is the first grade of
the Society, where the aspirant is received in a most
impressive and colorful ceremony and where he is exhorted to
commence his quest for true wisdom. All business of the
College is transacted in this grade.
- II° Theoricus: As implied by the title,
the ritual of admission is concerned with the theoretical
aspects of divinity in all its forms. This grade embodies an
erudite lecture on color.
- III° Practicus: The study and ritual of
this grade has special reference to the spiritual facet of the
ancient art of alchemy.
- IV° Philosophus: Here the aspirant is
encouraged to expand his knowledge by careful study of the
various philosophical and sacred writings of the World
religions. An extensive lecture of superb calibre is embodied
within this grade.
- V° Adeptus Minor: Admission to this
grade is not permissible until a minimum period of four years
has been served in the Society. This is a pre-requisite grade
for advancement to the office of Ancient within a College.
- VI° Adeptus Major: The sixth grade is
one with great significance and demands a high degree of
contemplation in preparation for advancement to the seventh
grade of ...
- VII° Adeptus Exemptus: This, the final
grade of the ‘Second Order’, is pre-requisite for installation
into the chair of a College. The teachings embodied are of a
divine and ethereal nature, designed to elevate the mind in
preparation for complete initiation.
Order: The two grades are conferred by the Supreme Magus, or by
special dispensation by another Magus.
these grades is made by the Supreme Magus only, the third being
the ruling Order of the Society.
College is composed of all members of the Third Order who are
subscribing members of a College of the Society and is responsible
for the election of a new Supreme Magus when that Office falls
- VIII° Magister: This grade is conferred
upon the Officers of the High Council designated in the
Ordinances of the Society and may be conferred upon other
members of the High Council. 8° Magister (Honoris Causa) may be conferred upon
other Fratres who show outstanding service to the Society. A
Magister High Councillor on ceasing to be a member of the High
Council reverts to the rank of Magister (Honoris Causa) 8°.
- IX° Magus: This
rank is only held by the Supreme Magus, the Senior Substitute
Magus and the Junior Substitute Magus. The rank of Magus
(Honoris Causa) 9° may be conferred by the Supreme Magus on a
Frater who has shown outstanding devotion to the aims of the
Society and there are but few Fraters who attain it.
From the Fifth degree members can be invited to join the Order of Eri.
closingceremonies of the order
The Degrees Zelator, Theoricus and Practicus
of the SRIA
The degrees Zelator, Theoricus, Practicus
and Philosophus of the American order.
Brochure Entrance to the Mystic Circle
On the download Masonic
Rosicrucian Library we have published more rituals and other texts
of this order.