Societas Rosicruciana in Scotia.
Sixth Grade - Adeptus Major

This ritual dates from the first half of the twentieth century

Ceremonial of Reception

One year should elapse between the Major and Minor Receptions, but the Most Worthy Supreme Magus or the Chief Adept of a Province may abbreviate the period. The Candidate, wearing the Jewel of the Rosicrucian Society and ribbon of the 5th Grade, knocks as an Adeptus Minor with five and one; he is not blindfolded.
Ind.: Very Worthy Fratres, I open this College of Adepts by giving five and two knocks, * * * * *   * *.
The Conductor admits the candidate at the Portal, and stands beside him in the West.
Ind.: Are you an Adept?
Con. for Cand.: I have seen the lesser light that shines in darkness, and have passed the barrier that shuts out the uncovenanted race of man.
Ind.: By what word do you seek admission?
Con. for Cand.: By the mysterious Word Thanatos, whose signification is known only to a true Adeptus Minor
Ind.: Frater Conductor, you will give the Candidate your hand, and let virtue unite two hearts and two souls, and may friendship make you one.
Worthy Frater, as you have borne in mind the solemn Covenant that exists between you and the Adepts of this Second Order of the Rosicrucian Society, and have now voluntarily presented yourself to renew that sacred Covenant, let me inform you that each step you take, and each word you utter will bind you still closer to our Fraternity. Reflect, therefore, before you enter into irrevocable engagements. Pronounce not words which are to every true Adept fraught with deep and mystic import unless you are resolved to adhere to the principles they teach.
I will now recite to you the Covenant you entered into at the time of your reception as an Adeptus Minor, and you must again signify your assent, if you can con. scientiously agree to abide by the same in Spirit and in Truth.
The Inductor recites the Covenant, and the candidate repeating it, so signifies his renewed assent, holding the Sacred Volume as before, and kneeling between the Expositor and Conductor.
I, in the presence of the Living God, Who hath triumphed over death, and the terrors of the grave, solemnly swear that I will ever obey the wise and just commands of the Supreme Magus or Chief Adept; that I will not communicate to any living Soul, unless to a duly sworn Adept, the time, place, and occasion of my induction; that I will study the mysteries of the three worlds, Elementary, Intellectual, and Celestial; and finally, that I will consider myself bound to the members of this Grade by a peculiar tie, respecting and loving them while living, and mourning for them when dead.
So help me the Lord and Arbiter of life and death, and keep me faithful lo this solemn Covenant.
Exp.: You will now twice kiss the Sacred Volume. This is done.
Ind.: Having repeated the Covenant of the Adepts you may now rise.
The Expositor places his right forefinger on the Candidate’s lips with the words: You are a man of Honour, and a Rosicrucian Adept, so be silent, prudent, and wise.
The Sacred Volume is then replaced on the pastos.
Ind.: Worthy Frater, the Occult Sciences reveal to man the mysteries of his nature, the secrets of his organisation, and the means of attaining perfection and happiness. From chaos, order arose, and out of darkness, light; in like manner from the dust and ashes of our corporeal forms springs the pure and lustrous essence of immortality. No storm can shake, no cloud can darken the spirit of the self-contained and virtuous man.
However black may be the night his calm untroubled heart beats on in faith and love, his eye beholds the coming radiance, and when others sink beneath gloomy terror, the prescience of his glorious future sustains the child of hope.
For you this dawn appears, for you this spiritual freedom is promised, but you must purify your soul by a moral lustration; you must spurge your mind of the earthly dross of mere humanity, and strive in earnest to become a partaker of those immortal joys, which are to be found equally in the past, the present, and the future.
To guide your progress let me impress upon you the value and importance of our symbols. Study their mystic meaning, and shape your actions by the precepts therein revealed. Our ceremonies may seem to many curious and obscure, but when thoroughly comprehended they are instinct with life and beauty. We employ these symbols, because knowledge thus communicated dwells longer in our memories than mere utterances that pass away.
The Conductor leads the Adept to the East and places him before the Inductor.
Ind.: The words of an Adeptus Major are memento Mori. Not in the raven spirit of one who goes to a doom he fears, but like a Pilgrim whose heritage of Light shines afar off beyond these dim and darksome plains. For the wise man Death is not. Men have raised a phantom, which ignorance alone renders terrible. Death is change and mutability is a law of nature. We therefore contemplate this inevitable change with serene and hopeful faith, and regard this mortal life as but the vestibule to the Temple of Immortality. Persevere, therefore, my Frater, in the study of true philosophy, and in due time you shall receive an exceeding great reward.
The time of your reception is now technically six in the morning or the dawn of day, and in regular progression we hope you will reach the light and glory of noon, when the Sun shines in its strength, and the earth rejoices in its rays.
The Sign and Grip are those of an Adeptus Minor. The knocks by which you may on another occasion obtain admission are Five and Two. Five is the sign of Adeptship in our Order, and Two the sign of your having obtained the Second Grade of Adeptus Major.
The Expositor should deliver a Lecture upon the aims and duties of an Adeptus Major.
Right Worthy Magister, Fraters Adepti, and V.W. Frater.
As you have now been duly received into the Sixth Grade of the Rosicrucian Society, which is the Second Grade of Adeptship of the Second Order, let me congratulate you upon the progress you have made, and also upon your Reception by the Adepti Majores in College assembled.
The special duties of our ancient fratres in this grade were the teaching and guidance of the Practici of the Society, the performance of experiments in physical science and researches into the relations existing between minerals, metals, and their compounds.
In addition to these duties, an Adeptus Major was instructed to devote great attention to Contemplation upon serious subjects, and was taught that great powers are to be gained by Mental Concentration, the “Yoga” of Hindoo philosophy. Each Adept should make a solemn study of himself, observing the mental and moral failings which beset him, and should endeavour to cultivate and strengthen those faculties which he finds to be lacking in development, so that he may become daily more fit to combat the world, the flesh and the devil, and be better prepared to lie down in death when the summons of the Great King shall call him to cease from his work in this world. The life of an Adept, well spent in thought, word, and deed, should provide a fitting preparation for a calm repose.
The Secret Words of this Grade Memento Mori are intended to provide a bridle to your tongue, a guardian to your mind, and a tutor to your passions.
These Secret Words should form the test of your self-communings, and also a ladder by which your thoughts may pass from your duties as a man to your privileges as a spiritual Ego. It may well be that with the casting aside of your material body you may in another sphere of being attain more extensive perception, and the power of communication with other beings without the need of speech and the organs of heating and sight. The Ego robed only in a tenuous garment of ether may well possess the longed-for clairaudience and clairvoyance which the Mystics have so earnestly sought for by means of he mortification of the flesh and aspirations after the Divinity.
It being our duty to remember that death must come to us sooner or later, and may come to any one of us to-day, it is fitting that my address should refer to the Great Change.
Death is the end of life, and a well-spent life ends in that peaceful and happy death which the Greeks called Euthanasia. By I, Thou, or He, we mean the Thinker dwelling in a material body; death is the separation of the Thinker, which philosophers call the Ego, from its body, from its garments which have been soiled by age, by use, or by abuse.
Self-preservation is said to be the first law of nature, and it seems true to say that a natural death only occurs when it is no longer physically avoidable; it does not take place so long as the body is perfect enough to form the dwelling of the Vital Force, and to confine the Life Essence.
The Christian Faith teaches that our lives are periods of probation, and that, when a life has been ended, the body returns to the earth, and the soul to God, Who gave it. According to the Roman Catholic Faith, the soul at death goes to a place of Purgatory, for all souls have sinned and need some punishment, and then to a final judgment when eternal happiness or misery will be allotted.
The Reformed or Protestant Faith teaches also the coming of a Great Day of Judgment, but does not definitely specify the condition or place of abode of souls after death and before judgment.
Almost all the ancient nations held the doctrine of successive lives, and did not grant the creation of a new soul for each new personality born. Many old religions taught that Reincarnation was universal, and that each life was a result of the actions and experiences of a previous life,—while acknowledging that great wickedness might cause he complete loss of a soul, and that sublime purity when attained led to absorption into the Divinity from which all souls emanate.
The ancient Hebrews had no ideal of immortal life in joy of punishment; the mediæval Rabbis taught that souls passed through many existences; so also did the Mysteries of Egypt, the Olympic religion of the Greeks, the Roman cultus, and the great religions of India,—Brahmanism and Buddhism.
There is very little race in Latin literature that the Romans feared death, any more than the Turks, Chinese, and Japanese of our own times. The Roman softened the notion of death he avoided saying, mortuus est, but said vixit, he did live, or fuit, he was. The sudden death of a man they ascribed to Apollo, the Sun God who withdrew the vitality he had given of a woman they referred to Diana as a Moon Goddess, more nearly related to the feminine type.
There is an idea, still commonly believed in, that has come down to us from the earliest times, that at the point of death a man has a mental vision, or review of the course of his past life. It is an awful thought. Let us all, then, so live our lives that this spectre of life may but little distress us.
The consciousness of a life well spent is of itself a crown of reward. The last end of a man who has passed his days in sehish enjoyment or in mortal sin must indeed be haunted by the ghost of his sordid joys and poisoned feasts.
Let us strain every nerve to obey the Divine Law, and to love our neighbours as ourselves such precepts are of universal application; against such there is no law. The body we live in should be respected and preserved in health so far as is possible; we are sent here to live out our lives, not to destroy them; in life only can we learn by experience, and so progress along the uphill path to perfection.
There is no progress to be made in the grave, so work while it is yet day. As we sow, so we shall also reap,—for the night cometh when no man can work.
How excellent it is to spend a long life well, to travel a long and arduous life journey, and then to fall asleep in death, as if falling asleep from fatigue. For the aged, he final scene is often brief, and he act of dying almost imperceptible. At such a time the vivid remembrance of a well-spent life full of benevolent self-sacrifice and zealous endeavour to do the right must tend to Euthanasia.
Let us endeavour, then, to live so as to have no fear of death holding such doctrines as these, to confess to a fear of death is to confess to an ill spent life.
Right Worthy Magister, my task is done, and nothing remains except to express the hope that in due time our Very Worthy Frater may attain to the exalted Grade of Adeptus Exemptus.
Ind.: Fratres, our duties being performed, I close the Vault of the Adepts with five and two knocks.
Expositor and Conductor repeat knocks, * * * * *   * *.
Ind. recites the Benediction: Benedictus Dominus Deus noster per secula seculorum. Amen.