Ritual of the Ancient Toltec Rite
Sisters and Brother of Charity
The presentation of the work of the Cloister is divided into two sections.
For the first section the stage is set with a gloomily lit scene of a
restoration of the Palace at Uxmal with blue or green light predominating. The
lodge room is half illuminated, sufficient light being present to allow
everything to be plainly seen, but having a somber effect.
In the center of the room is a black draped altar upon which is the Holy Bible,
closed and bound around with heavy cords, emblematic of the bonds of ignorance
and superstition. A deep toned gong mounted so it can be sounded at the proper
time. The Toltec emblem, illuminated, is in the East.
Officers and Characters
The Excellent High Priest, who sits in the East.
The Excellent High Priestess, who sits in the East and represents Charity,
being clothed in appropriate costume.
The Sister Faith, who sits in the South.
The Sister Hope, who sits in the North.
Sister Inscriber of the Codices, who sits in the Southeast
Sister Custodian of the Treasure House, who sits in the Southeast.
The Chaplain, who sits in the Northeast.
The Sister Mistress of the Ceremonies, who sits in the Northeast.
The Sister Associate Mistress of the Ceremonies, who sits in the
The Orator, who sits in the Northwest.
The Sister Guardian, who sits near the door.
The Brother Sentinel, who stands outside the door, armed with a sword.
Clothing in the First Apartment
The Excellent High Priest wears a plain black robe, and sandals.
The Excellent High Priestess wears a plain black gown.
The other officers are dressed in a similar manner.
Each officer wears a jewel appropriate to the office, of yellow metal,
suspended from a ribbon about the neck, the same as described in the Council
The stage is set with a brilliant garden scene or a decorative Temple of
Justice scene that contains a brilliant outdoor effect. The back drop is
arranged to raise and show the tableaux. The stage and the stations of the
officers can be decked with palms, ornamental foliage and flowers. The Altar is
covered with a white cloth attached to which is a profusion of flowers
preferably red, and with green leaves. On the Altar is the Holy Bible, open, on
which reposes a red rose, also a passion cross.
At the entrance of the workers (as will be seen by the ritual further
along) the house and stage are still gloomily lighted. At the cue word
“Light” in the opening prayer, all lights are brought on to full brilliance
and remain so throughout the degree.
Clothing in the Second Apartment
The Excellent High Priest wears the costume of a Jewish High Priest.
The Excellent High Priestess wears the costume similar to that of the Lady
Superior of the Council degree.
Sister Faith wears costume similar to Lady Ciencia.
Sister Hope wears costume similar to Lady Natura.
Sister Inscriber of the Codices wears the costume of Lady Secretary.
Sister Custodian of the Treasure House, costume of Lady Treasurer.
The Chaplain wears the robes of the Lady Chaplain of the Council.
Sister Mistress of the Ceremonies wears the costume of the Lady Mistress
of the Ceremonies of the Council degree.
Sister Associate Mistress of the Ceremonies wears the costume of the Lady
Associate Mistress of the Ceremonies of the Council degree.
The Musician wears the robes of Musician in Council.
The Orator wears a black robe and a collegiate “mortar board” cap.
The Sister Guardian wears the costume of the Lady -Guardian of the
Opening of Cloister
A Council is opened in its regular form When its work is completed the
Knight Commander will, in place of closing the Council, declare it to be at rest
for the purpose of conferring the Cloister degree and ask the officers of the
Council to vacate their seats and allow the officers of the Cloister to occupy
When all is ready, the High Priest being seated
EXCELLENT HIGH PRIEST, *: The dawn is breaking in
the East. It will not be long until the brilliant sun will illuminate the
forests and the hillsides, covering all as with a life giving garment of glory.
The labors of our Cloister must be resumed; this is
the hour. Duty beckons us to the call of service, her brow radiant as she
unfolds the tasks for us to accomplish—all for the betterment of the Human
Sister Hope, you will make sure that there are none
among us who are not of our Degree, and that all are indeed entitled to be
present at this time
SISTER HOPE, * *: Sisters Mistress of the
a1nd Associate Mistress of the Ceremonies. You will scan the faces of
all present and if you find any one who is not known to you, you will have them
properly vouched for or report their presence to the Excellent High Priest.
They begin at the East and work toward the West, using a similar method
with strangers as that used in the Council degree. When they are satisfied all
are of the Order, they return to their stations and report
ASSOCIATE MISTRESS OF CEREMONIES:
Sister Mistress of the Ceremonies, all who have come within my vision are of the
MISTRESS OF CEREMONIES: Sister Hope, we find all to be
of the Order.
SISTER HOPE: We are all of the Order,
Excellent High Priest and await your commands.
EXCELLENT HIGH PRIEST: Sister Mistress of the
Ceremonies, I am informed that at the foot of the pyramid on which our Temple is
built, there are assembled those who would help us in our service. You will
retire and if such you find, you will give to all, the usual admonition.
Sister Mistress of the Ceremonies retires and in the ante sala repeats the
MISTRESS OF THE CEREMONIES: You have been elected to
receive the Degrees conferred by the Ancient Toltec Rite. The object of this
order is to teach by allegory, symbolism, precept and example the great
primitive Truths as man understands them. To inculcate the purest morality and
establish among us the willing desire to render to the world unselfish
The ceremonies of these Degrees are of such a
character that they cannot be communicated to you until you shall have first
pledged yourselves to secrecy. Before receiving such assurance from you, it will
be necessary for you to divest your minds of Envy, Malice, Jealousy, Hatred, and
by such declaration, symbolically apprentice yourselves to Duty.
However, I assure you that nothing will be required
of you that will in any way conflict with the duty you owe to God, Country or
social or family ties. Do you so promise?
ASPIRANT (each): I do.
The Stage and House are now darkened to a gloomy light in which this
section is given, when all is ready, the Aspirants, except the one chosen to he
the active one, are formed in double file and to the solemn intoning of the
organ. march slowly to just before the stage, then right wheel, across the room,
again right wheel to seats prepared for them When all are seated and everything
is in readiness, the active Aspirant accompanied by the Mistress of Ceremonies
is caused to rap three times on the door of the ante sala.
ASSOCIATE MISTRESS OF THE CEREMONIES:
Excellent High Priest, there is a knocking at the sacred door.
EXCELLENT HIGH PRIEST: Lady Associate Mistress of the
Ceremonies, you will cause the sacred door to be opened, and learn who ventures
through the mysterious portal.
ASSOCIATE MISTRESS OF THE CEREMONIES, goes to the door, opens it wide and
says: Who would pass the mysterious portal of the sacred
MISTRESS OF THE CEREMONIES: It is a maiden, fair of
feature, of good repute, selected for her worth and virtues and who would see
the Excellent High Priest upon a sacred mission.
ASSOCIATE MISTRESS OF THE CEREMONIES: Without
doubt I know the purport of her mission, but does she know that for this
service, only the pure of heart, the truest of the true are taken? That
position, wealth or worldly power will avail her not. Does she seek to enter to
benefit mankind; or does curiosity, vanity or self aggrandizment prompt her to
do this deed? To
candidate: Do you come of your own volition?
ASPIRANT: I do.
ASSOCIATE MISTRESS OF THE CEREMONIES:
I must close the portal until I know the will of the Excellent High Priest. Closes
door, returns to west of altar a deep toned gong rings three times.
She then says: Excellent High Priest, I have
opened the sacred door and I find a maiden, fair of feature, of good repute,
selected for her worth and virtues, who would see the Excellent High Priest upon
a sacred mission.
EXCELLENT HIGH PRIEST: Coming as she does to the sacred
door, we well know what she seeks. Does she know that for this service, only the
pure of heart, the truest of the true are taken, and that position,’ wealth
and worldly power will avail her not? Does vanity or self aggrandizment prompt
her to this act? Does she come of her own volition?
ASSOCIATE MISTRESS OF THE CEREMONIES:
She answers that it is her own wish.
EXCELLENT HIGH PRIEST: Open then again the sacred door
and bid her enter. Tell her that if she be pure of heart and seeking to benefit
mankind she has naught to fear.
ASSOCIATE MISTRESS OF THE CEREMONIES, returns to the door, opens it and
says: The Excellent High Priest bids you enter with the
assurance that if you be pure of heart and are seeking to benefit mankind, that
you have naught to fear.
Organ begins solemn intoning Escorted by the
Associate Mistress of Ceremonies leading, the aspirant enters with the
Mistress of Ceremonies on her right, they march straight east to near the stage,
turn right, across the room, turn right to just behind the altar, turn right
until directly behind the altar, wheel into line behind it with Associate
Mistress of the Ceremonies on aspirant’s left and Mistress of the Ceremonies
on her right The deep toned gong is rung three times
EXCELLENT HIGH PRIEST: Who is this maiden who would
join the solemn procession of those, who, through the centuries have voluntarily
sought to benefit others?
MISTRESS OF THE CEREMONIES: She answers, Oh Excellent
High Priest, that she is. That she is the of who has been initiated into many
EXCELLENT HIGH PRIEST: Does she come of her own
LADY MISTRESS OF THE CEREMONIES:
She has answered that she does.
EXCELLENT HIGH PRIEST: Many before you have sought to
benefit the world but here we can take for this service only those who are of
known goodness, who are of excellent report before the world and who are willing
to devote to this service their fullest energy, their untiring efforts.
The Highway of Human Life is strewn with wreckage
of false hope, good intentions and weak wills. It is not enough for us to merely
declare our adherance to the principles of Truth; we must have within us the
courage to practice morality, sustain Truth wherever found, and give ourselves
to Service. If you would proceed further, the Sister Mistress of the Ceremonies
will conduct you to the altar of Sister Faith, that you may there hear what this
oracle may tell you.
Associate Mistress of the ceremonies steps back Mistress of the Ceremonies
at side of Aspirant conducts her towards the north side of the room. Associate
Mistress of the Ceremonies returns to her station and is seated. Mistress of the
Ceremonies with Aspirant right wheels and marches to near stage, again right
wheels, marching across the room, again right wheels and continues until in
front of Faith. They turn facing Faith and addressing her says.
MISTRESS OF THE CEREMONIES: Sister Faith, there is
before you an Aspirant. She avows—and her sincerity is evident—that she is
one whose heart does yearn to serve others without the hope of reward. She seeks
the way, Sister Faith. Tell her of the Plane of the South, that she may, if need
be, enlist in the ranks of Service.
SISTER FAITH: Hear me then aspirant, hearken,
Take my words and wishes with thee.
Grave them sharply on thy memory,
So that they be not forgotten
Should thy pathway lead thee
To the silent and the unknown
World from whence none ever
Returning, come again to tell us
Whether they have failed their mission
Or their efforts have succeeded.
Know then, Oh thou fair aspirant
That the southland suffers sorely.
All the wells are dry and dusty.
All the cisterns without water.
And the rain clouds come and mock us,
Come and show themselves and leave us,
Leave us and let fall no water.
All our vegetation withers,
All our fields are bare and fruitless,
All the game has left the forests,
Pestilence stalks wide among us
And starvation leers upon us.
Gone is all our strength and vigor,
Gone all songs and happy faces.
Pinched the bodies of our mothers,
And the cooling blood of old folks
Needs the fire and heat of feeding.
If you be sent the bearer
Of our prayers and supplications,
Be the teller of our sufferings;
Beg that we be granted water,
Granted food and health and comfort.
We have faith thou canst obtain it,
You can sway by charm and beauty
Sway with gentleness and patience,
Where the people, old and ugly
Never could obtain these favors.
Faith’s blessing carry with you,
It may help you on your journey.
The march is now resumed, turning square corners and passing behind the
altar they come to a stop in front of Hope.
MISTRESS OF THE CEREMONIES: Sister Hope, you see
before you an Aspirant, one who hopes to lift the burdens of her people. One who
wishes to benefit her fellowmen. Tell her, Sister Hope, what afflicts the
peoples of the North, that she may if need be, make of herself a sacrifice and
thus relieve their suffering.
SISTER HOPE: Listen closely, now Aspirant.
Take my words and message with you,
That you may have it truly
When you leave the dark cenote,
And begin your intercessions.
Know then, fair one, that the northland
Has its miseries and troubles,
That it has its woes and sorrows,
Has its griefs and tribulations
This land too is parched and thirsty
And the mighty flaming mountains
Pour out fire and smoke and sulphur.
Pour out melted rock that causes
Fire to burn up field and forest;
Covers up the towns and temples.
Winds have torn down many forests
And destroyed our fields and gardens
Left our ‘young folks and our old ones,
Dead and crushed by falling branches.
But though elements deal harshly,
Worse by far have been a people
Coming armed with spear and Hul-Che,
Sweeping fiercely in upon us,
When we’re near o’erwhelmed by nature.
If you go as intercessor,
Beg that we may have our burdens
Lightened, as they now are heavy.
Try to get some favors for us.
Let the raindrops fall upon us
And the sun shine out in kindness.
Hope now speaks to you her message.
Hope inspire you on your journey.
Hope will wait with resignation.
Hope will loosen all our heartstrings.
Go thou on, Oh fair Aspirant,
And our hope will follow after.
Mistress of the Ceremonies resumes march towards the East, turning a sharp
wheel when near the stage and marching across the room until in front of the
Excellent High Priestess Facing her with Aspirant, she says.
MISTRESS OF THE CEREMONIES: Excellent High Priestess,
from the Oracle of Hope this Aspirant comes, bearing in her bosom words of
wisdom learned at that Shrine. She would seek further, Sister, and craves from
you that which she should know, coming out of the Plane of the East.
EXCELLENT HIGH PRIESTESS: Fair Aspirant, listen
Have thy ears at close attention.
Have thy memory sharply focussed.
Keep my words within thy bosom
Closely held, as holds a basket,
The ripe fruit of the harvest.
In the east the vines and leafage,
Twist and writhe in wild contortion
In their agony for water.
Then they die, and savage breezes,
Sweep them into piles and winrows,
Toss them ‘round with vagrant fancy,
While the black earth, parched and thirsty
Turns to dust and mingles with them.
Then the hot eye of the Sun God
Gazes fiercely on the red earth,
Bakes it, hardens it and dries it,
Makes it firm and as unyielding
As the tiles that form our roadways.
Swarms-of insects take our substance,
Poison reptiles sting and strike us
‘Til the whole land seems accursed
And the birds will not fly o’er it,
Nor will snakes now, burrow in it.
Fair one if you be chosen
Bride of Yum Chac, the Rain God,
If you bear to him our message,
Be the living prayer we give him,
Try to soften down his fierceness,
Try to make him tender hearted
And more lenient with his people.
Many other brides we’ve sent him
Fairest ones the earth could offer,
But we fear that they’ve forgotten
Have been surfeited with pleasures,
Have been overfed with gladness
And have wearied of their mission.
If you be the one that’s taken,
You will be the youngest, fairest,—
Will have more influence o’er him
And we hope, can sway him farthest.
All our hopes are centered in you,
Your charity will be a watchword
For forthcoming generations,
And may bliss attend your footsteps.
EXCELLENT HIGH PRIEST: Yum Chac is the rain God of the
ancient Toltecs. Every year, he claims a Bride from among the fairest daughters
of the race, and she who is chosen for the sacrifice deems it an honor beyond
the power of speech to describe. For weeks before the Day of the Choosing, in
the Palace of the Virgins, these Aspirants await with longing the eventful hour.
Always as they go about upon even the most uneventful ‘errand, they are borne
in flower-decked litters, carried swiftly by strong young men, sons of the
Nobles of the land. Garlands of flowers and sweet-scented herbs shield them from
the sun; their thirst is quenched with the milk of new corn and wild honey,
while food is prepared for them by the Vestal Virgins of the Temple. On the Day
of the Choosing the Aspirants are clad in garments of the shiny soft
tree-cotton, lustrous as the wings of a sea bird, filmy as the fleecy cloud of a
summer dawn. About the neck, each wear a string of glittering green stones, from
which dangle pendants of burnished sun metal. Sandals of the softest doe-skin
are upon their feet.
So environed they symbolize a rite—awaiting as
true believers for whatever lot may be theirs.
You, Oh Aspirant, this day and this very hour
the historical character chosen as the sacrificial bride. Follow now Thy Guide:
fear no danger, but trust in her who leads you.
Aspirant and Mistress of the Ceremonies march onto the stage and disappear
behind one of the wings.
End of First Section
The Aspirants are now conducted to the waiting room, by the Mistress and
Associate Mistress of the Ceremonies and the hail is prepared as directed for
the Second Apartment The Sister who represents the Aspirants is conducted to a
separate room and clothed with a white robe and a white vell over her head.
The officers are clothed in costumes as prescribed for this Apartment. A
procession is formed, with Excellent High Priest and Excellent High Priestess at
the head, with Inscriber of the Codices, Custodian of the Treasurer-house, the
Sisters Faith and Mope and the other officers following, two by two, and the
Brother and Sister Aspirants, two by two. Last of all, the Sister Mistress of
the Ceremonies, who conducts the Sister representing the Aspirants
The procession enters the Cloister to the solemn intoning of the organ or
the slow tolling of a bell. At the end of the first circuit Excellent High
Priest and Excellent High Priestess take their stations, Inscriber of the
Codices and Custodian of Treasurer House drop out at their stations. When
procession reaches her station, Faith drops out and takes her station—at her
station Hope drops out and does likewise, at their respective places all other
officers do likewise, except the Mistress and Associate Mistress of the
Ceremonies who continue and at the end of the third circuit the aspirants are
conducted to their places. The Associate Mistress retires to her station, the
Mistress of the Ceremonies and Aspirant halt about six feet behind the altar
THE EXCELLENT HIGH PRIEST, * * * and says: Sister
Chaplain you will conduct our supplication to the Most High.
All lights are kept dimmed as in the first section until the Chaplain
utters the word (light) in the opening prayer when the lights are brought on, so
that at end of prayer, they are all at full brilliancy.
CHAPLAIN: O Thou who moved upon the face of the waters and
said, Let there be light, and light was, we invoke Thy blessing on this our
present day assembly. We thank Thee that the past, with its barbarism is gone
forever, and that with each year the gloomy mists of ignorance and
superstition are dissipating, more and more. Let the illumination of true wisdom
be about us. Imbue our hearts with faith in Thy wisdom and hope in Thy mercy,
and make us charitable towards our Brothers and Sisters. Divest us of our many
sins and make the light of truth to shine in our hearts. Amen!
EXCELLENT HIGH PRIEST: *
At the conclusion of the prayer the organ begins a stately march and the
Candidate is conducted to the East, going first north then East, then South to
in front of the Excellent High Priest. Organ ceases.
EXCELLENT HIGH PRIEST: In all ages, woman has been
distinguished for those virtues which separate man from the brute creation.
Gentleness, Kindness, Faith, Charity, Goodness, and Mercy are characteristics
that have established her in an exalted place among men in all civilized
This Order is founded on Faith, Hope and Charity.
We seek the true meaning of these virtues, and the inculcation of such rules of
conduct as will enable us to practice them; we seek to divest ourselves of
Hatred, Malice and Envy, and with open mind seek for the Truth.
Our lives are so interrelated by the Ordinances of
the Great Creator, that every human being can contribute something, if he will,
to the aggrandizement of the race and generation; and he who would of himself
alone seek the Elysian fields beyond this life, and go thither unattended,
will never find them. To possess virtue, one must struggle for it; not merely in
public, but in the uneventful things of life where none are witnesses of our
acts, save God. We strive here to erect a Temple from whose portals shall
emenate only Truth and its attributes; to teach, without the use of Creed; to
devote ourselves to Charity, as taught by Faith and Hope. Are you one who
aspires to enlist in such a cause?
ASPIRANT: I am.
EXCELLENT HIGH PRIEST: Sister Mistress of the
Ceremonies present the Aspirant at the altar of Faith.
The organ resumes, the march is resumed and the aspirant is conducted to
Faith. Organ ceases.
SISTER FAITH: My Sister, Faith is a virtue
everywhere inculcated in all Holy Writings, and is indeed the foundation of
every noble achievement. We believe that each have within us an emanation from
the Divine Spirit, coming from God and that it must return to Him, and, so
believing, we set out to achieve the noblest end that can occupy the interest of
man, to find the Truth, and finding it fit our souls for that destiny.
No human is entirely bad or base. Somewhere, hidden
in every soul, is a spark of Truth that needs only to be exposed to the breath
of Reason to flash with brilliant flame. No one is so completely lost and
steeped in sin and degradation that kindly admonition will not find lodgment in
his heart, and start him on the upward path. So long as reason lives in the soul
of man he is susceptible of uplift, capable of reformation. If our brother has
sinned and erred and fallen, much may be attributed to a vicious education and
environment, and yet, he is one of God’s creatures and deserving of our
Faith in precept. Truth is inculcated line upon
line and precept upon precept. The incessant dropping of water wears away the
stone. And so it is that the constant reiteration of a precept finally
penetrates the heart and finds sure and permanent abiding place. We can never
tell what kindly word will cheer a drooping spirit, or when helpful admonition
will stay the erring footsteps of one started in the wrong direction; what
friendly hand, given to a fallen brother, will lift him from his low estate and
place him on the path of rectitude.
Faith in example. Our precepts will be of little
value we do not show by example that we practice what we teach. If we have not
profited by our own teachings, we cannot expect others to be benefited by them.
We little realize the influence we exert by the example we set before others,
the child, our friends and associates, and even before our enemies. Our every
act is the subject of circumspection. The higher our position in life the most
closely we are scrutinized.
Faith in God. A high, perfect and pure faith in
God, that He is infinitely wise and good and merciful and loving. If doubt and
despair engulf us and our faith falters, let us remember that God is the Father
of all His children. Although we cannot understand His ways or comprehend
His wisdom, we are sure that His paths all tend to harmony with Him and will
lead us to a haven of rest and peace.
Aspirant is seated, music. Tableau of Faith.
FAITH: Sister Mistress of the Ceremonies, present the
Aspirant at the altar of Hope.
Organ resumes Candidate resumes march halting in front of Hope. Organ
HOPE: When clouds lower and danger threatens; when
disaster impends and despair seizes upon us; when sorrow bows us low and grief
overwhelms us; when hunger and cold starve us, and darkness hovers and we can
see no light, then it is that Hope reaches forth her gentle hand and bids us
come to her. Although at times upon the earth we see appalling evidences of
man’s depravity and cruelty; even nations steeped in crime, and man making war
upon his brother and laying waste his country; though the powerful often crush
the weak, and the tyrant grinds the face of his subject; though we see penury
and want, pale, unclad and haggard, cringing in the street, yet over all this
hangs the radiant star of Hope. Her light penetrates the darkness, dispels its
gloom and illumines the way that leads to a final cessation of all misery.
Sad and appaling as these scenes are, they have
been worse. For ages the history of nations has been the story of the wars of
nations; and although we still have such records, we have others that record the
fruits of peace and happiness, the useful service of souls who lived not f or
themselves, but who found their greatest joy in helping others.
Hope teaches us that in time all evil will
disappear from the earth, and that good will prevail. She bids us trust in God
who points out to us the Gospel of Love for all men and malice toward none; who
makes the way possible for us to emerge from a state of sin and evil and accept
his plan for our salvation; whose loving kindness embraces every living thing,
and who assures us that the time will surely come when His law will reign
supreme over all the world.
Hope points out to us that already the civilized
are taking the place of barbarous nations; that knowledge will supplant
ignorance; that the arts of peace are after all more practiced than the hideous
arts of war; that the Divine law is superseding paganism, and that a day of
progress toward perfection has dawned.
Hope heralds the ultimate triumph for the
principles of the Toltec Rite. We are here united in an Order belonging to no
particular sect or creed, but standing upon the broad principles of humanity and
loving kindness; on the Great Primitive truths revealed by God to the first men;
on the immutable law propounded by God to Moses on Sinai’s Mount; on the
lessons taught by Jesus to His disciples in that memorable sermon on that other
Hope pictures an immortal state of happiness in the
Great Hereafter; where all things doubtful shall be made sure; where we shall
comprehend the mysteries of creation and the enigma of our own existence;
where we shall harmonize the seeming inconsistencies that environ us here; where
we shall lay down the burdens and trials that afflict us.
Then let us cherish Hope, and that will confirm our
faith in our Heavenly Father who has prepared such a place for our immortal
Aspirant seated. Music. Tableau of Hope.
HOPE: Sister Mistress of the Ceremonies present the
Aspirant to the altar of Charity.
Organ resumes, candidate resumes march halting in front’ of Charity.
EXCELLENT FIIGH PRIESTESS: “Though I speak with
the tongue of men and angels, and have not Charity, I am become as sounding
brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have all Faith, so that I could remove
mountains, and have not Charity, I am nothing.”
Charity means more than the bestowal of alms. To
give is sometimes but a gesture the easiest and least important duty of a
member of this Order. Charity is Sympathy, Kindness and Love.
Sympathy for the downtrodden and those without home
or kindred; humans struggling alone against adversity and in want; sympathy for
those who are without friends.
There is nothing more becoming a man or woman than
the bestowal to others of a kindly word or expression. It beams from the eye,
shines from the countenance and proceeds from the heart. It is sure of a
response from even the most hardened criminal, the most forsaken outcast.
Likewise it comforts and assures the innocent child, the aged and infirm and
brings joy even to the dumb animal. No grander epitaph can be inscribed on the
tomb of any man than this: “He was kind to everyone and everything.”
Love alone is immortal and renders the True
Believer unshakable in all the events of life. When we strive to explore the
realm of Love we penetrate every atom of things terrestrial, and mount with
wings divine to the very Sanctum Sanctorum of the God of All. Love knows no
frontier when service calls; inclined is the ear of Love to the lispings of
childhood, likewise to the broken accents of age. The poorest of men is he to
whom no one is indebted for Love . . . . the richest, he whom most men owe, for
Love unrequited. Love is another synonym for the good deeds we do, the kindly
offices we render one another, making of themselves the angels that watch over
us and smile in our sleep. Love makes it easy for us to die.
My Sister, if you would indeed become a true Sister
of Charity, your heart must feel with the poor and afflicted; your hand must
raise the fallen, and your feet follow willingly in any cause to help the
friendless and forsaken. Let not your voice be stilled beside those who mourn,
and return ever and always the soft answer to the angry word. Such are the
things that bind us together indissolubly in bonds of true kindred.
Charity, Caritas, Caridad. The
sweetest word in any tongue. Blessed be Charity!
Faith, Hope, Charity, these three; but the greatest
of these is CHARITY.
Aspirant is seated with the Class. Music is rendered. Tableau of Charity
EXCELLENT HIGH PRIEST, * * *, leaves his station and advances to in front
of the Altar. At the sound of the gavel the Mistress of the Ceremonies and the
Associate Mistress of Ceremonies, advance and arrange the Aspirants, standing,
behind the Altar, with the active Aspirant in the center, her right hand resting
on the Holy Bible, and a Passion cross, each other Aspirant touches with their
right hand some portion of the Altar. If there are too many Aspirants for all to
reach the Altar, those behind can place their right hand on the shoulder of an
Aspirant in front of them.
EXCELLENT HIGH PRIEST: You will each repeat with me the
following obligation. I (you will pronounce aloud your name) in the presence of
our Father who is in Heaven, and these Sisters and Brothers, do most solemnly
promise and vow that I will not consent to receive into this Cloister any one
who is not a member in good standing of some Consistory of the Scottish Rite of
Free Masonry, or a Knight Templar, or the Wife, Widow, Mother, Sister or
Daughter of such a Mason. That I will cultivate Faith and Hope and practice
Charity toward all my Sisters and Brothers of this Degree. That I will strive to
divest myself of Hatred, Malice and Envy. That I will not speak slightingly of
my Sisters or Brothers of this Degree, or defame their characters or
intentionally wound their feelings. That I will at all times defend them
against their enemies. That I will at all times be honest and straightforward
in all my dealings with them, and will comfort them in their sorrows, minister
to them in sickness and relieve them when in distress. That I will faithfully
obey all of the Laws, rules and regulations of this Cloister and at all times
conduct myself as becomes a member of this Body.
All this I promise under the penalty of being
expelled from the Order and being despised by the Sisters and Brothers as one
foresworn and unworthy of the confidence of good men and women. Amen.
Addressing active Aspirant: I will now invest you
with this trowel of gold as an emblem of your association with an Order which
devotes itself to works of Charity, Justice and Mercy. It is a symbol of Harmony
and Unity, being the instrument which since history began, has been used to
spread the uniting mortar that has enabled buildings to withstand the ruthless
hand of time.
The password of this degree is …
The answer is …
Excellent High Priest retires to his Station. *
Class is seated.
EXCELLENT HIGH PRIEST: You will now give attention to
Orator delivers lecture standing in his Station
ORATOR: The Ancient Toltec Rite was founded by Charles
Bard Hamilton in 1904 following an extended sojourn in Mexico . He was
impressed—we believe inspired—by the marvelous structures raised by early
men in North America, as they were then to be seen, and which was before
archaeologists had made a very extensive decipherment of the writing and
hieroglyphs of these ancient races.
Men held but a superficial view at that time of the
origin of the ruins and the nature of the people who constructed them.
Centuries had passed since they were erected and the tribes who builded them had
long since disappeared. Even the uses for which these crumbling ruins were
constructed was likewise uncertain and tradition told the only tales to be known
Legend and story aver they were built by the
Toltecs, an ancient and unwarlike race who later were overrun by tribes from the
North and were subjugated and intermingled with the conquering races until
they ceased to exist as a separate ethnological unit.
It is not the purpose here to enter into a recital
of the mysterious rise and disappearance of an ancient civilization on the
American continent. In truth, it would indeed be a courageous narrator, who in
the present state of archaeological research would be able to outline definite
details of the life and habits, or even the origin of this race, so far is it
lost in the mists of ages.
There are some things however, that we know with
much certainty; that there was, on the American continent, a civilization of
different root from ours; that it was the equal of the civilization of Egypt and
Babylon of that time. The pick and shovel of scholars has revealed that these
ancient people knew as much of astronomy, art, architecture, and the sciences
generally as any nation of those times.
They had their books, or codices, wonderfully
written, and Yucatan and Guatemala and many of the Central American States are
dotted with the ruins of their cities and temples, all of which are elaborately
carved with their inscriptions.
When Cortez, with his conquestidores overran these
countries, they found a civilization not so vastly behind that of the conquerors
themselves, although it, had evidently deteriorated from a previous level. The
fact that they had not learned the use and making of iron and steel and had no
beasts of burden, rendered them comparatively an easy race for the Spanish
swords and guns to subdue first and later enslave.
With the Spaniards came the priests, who though
honest enough, were not sufficiently intelligent to recognize that they were
in the presence of a different type of civilization from any that had been known
before. They knew that the religion of the people was different from the one
they taught, and ignorance coupled with bigotry ascribed the native priesthood
and religion to the work of the Devil and as such they determined to exterminate
and destroy it.
Countless volumes of the native history, the value
of which is beyond measure, were destroyed, the native scholars who could read
them were executed or driven into the forests ahead of the conquering invaders.
Thus all knowledge of how to translate or decipher the writings was lost.
A very few of the books, or codices, were sent as
curiosities to Europe and some of these remain and have been a puzzle of the
greatest magnitude to scholars, who up to the present time have not been able to
read a great amount of the clearly written history, which by a little foresight
on the part of the Spanish priesthood would probably have been readily
The first section of the degree you have just
witnessed is presented wholly from tradition. It is all that remains of an
intimate human interest. It is a picture of the selection of the bride of Yum-Chac,
who these people believed to be the rain God and who was supposed to dwell in a
very large Cenote or natural well in their sacred city of Chichen-Itza.
While the ideas they had of Diety is incompatible
to modern minds, we remember that they were living and practicing these rites,
without doubt, before 600 A. D., as dates have been found (and their numbers are
readily read by archaeologists) on buildings built at this early time
Consequently their semi-civilization must have long ante-dated this.
Do not be too much disturbed by the savage form of
their religion, for, when they were flourishing, Europe was a wilderness peopled
by utterly savage tribes; the eastern world was ruled by the war hosts of
Tiglath-Pielser and the Ptolemies, and long after their rites held sway, Jepthah
offered up his own daughter as a sacrifice.
The Modern Toltecs are not a body of archaeological
students who with pick and shovel, with machete and axe are trying to decipher
the enigma of the past. We are a body builded upon the very human needs of
sympathy, love, toleration and friendship for one another, that have existed in
all countries, among all races, and in all stages of civilization.
We endeavor here to expound no new theories of
life, to enforce no doctrines, political or metaphysical that are not
self-evident and of known influence for good in the general progress of mankind.
We recognize that the human race has never yet climbed to the peak of
civilization, but that it is to this ambitious end the feet of men are traveling
and we endeavor by showing the inherent and non-racial beauties of Faith, Hope,
Charity, of Justice and Mercy, to so stimulate the ideals of our devotees that
they will falter not, but will pursue with all their might and endeavor, their
pathway to the highest of all things human or Divine, TRUTH.
Music ad lib.
EXCELLENT HIGH PRIEST: Aspirants, be assured that we
welcome you among us. It is our hope that the teachings of our Order will find
lodgement in your souls; that you will find joy in your association with the
Rite. We will now place you in charge of the Class Director, who will prepare
you for your entrance into the Chapter Degree.
The work of the Cloister is done. The members will kindly remain seated
while the officers followed by the class will retire. * *
Organ begins a triumphal march
The officers in the East march West to behind Altar. Turn North to north
of room turn East to near stage, turn South to south side of room, turn West to
exit from hall. As they first pass each station, the officer there drops into
the procession so that when they have made the circuit all of the officers are
in processional order.
When the officers have made a circuit the class lead by the class director
march out two by two.