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Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia – An Introduction (SRIA)

The Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (Society of Rosicrucians in England) is an independent Christian society. Admission is limited to Master Masons who are subscribing members of a Lodge under the Grand Lodge of England or a jurisdiction in amity with Grand Lodge and who accept and believe in the fundamental principles of the Trinitarian Christian faith. The Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia does not, however, constitute another interesting degree in Freemasonry, to be acquired in the course of ordinary Masonic progress.

It is something beyond and outside Freemasonry. More and more Freemasons are looking to the Christian degrees for answers to the questions confronted during their daily advancement in Masonic knowledge. The membership of the S.R.I.A. is made up from brethren who have all trod the same path within the structure of Masonry. The Society is the ideal forum for Masons who wish to extend their contemplation of the hidden mysteries of Nature and Science. The S.R.I.A. can provide the thoughtful Mason with direction, structure and resources for his enlightenment and advancement in working out the great problems of Life, in comprehending and appreciating his relations to his fellow man and to his Creator.

Aims and Objectives of the Society

The aim of the Society is to afford mutual aid and encouragement in working out the great problems of Life, and in discovering the Secrets of Nature; to facilitate the study of the system of Philosophy founded upon the Kabbalah and the doctrines of Hermes Trismegistus, which was inculcated by the original Fratres Rosae Crucis of Germany, A.D. 1450; and to investigate the meaning and symbolism of all that now remains of the wisdom, art and literature of the Ancient World.” Thus the object of the society is to bring together Freemasons of a philosophical outlook in order that they may afford aid and encouragement to each other in the pursuit of their own studies in the field of the philosophy, the Hermetic Sciences and scholarship in the widest sense. Ultimately, the society’s object is to bring its members a few steps nearer to wisdom and an understanding of the true nature of reality.

Members are encouraged to read original papers or extracts from the works of others and to join in the discussion that arises. Members should be prepared not only to take part in the Grade ceremonies but also to listen and learn and, by study, to take an active part in working out the great problems of life and understanding the wisdom, art, literature of the Ancient World. The Rosicrucian Fraternity is dedicated mainly to the education of spiritual, philosophical and ethical truths of the highest level. Members have researched and presented papers on diverse subjects including Number symbolism, Alchemy, Artificial Intelligence, Sacred Geometry & Hypnotism as well as biographies of eminent philosophers of Science, Esotericism and Mysticism.

The High council of the society has a valuable library of some three thousand volumes at its premises in London and there is a large collection of books and other items at the Sheffield Masonic Library at Tapton.

Masonic Connection

Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry have been connected since time immemorial. Historically the earliest evidence linking Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry appears in Henry Adamson’s The Muses Threnodie printed in Edinburgh in 1638 For what we presage is not grosse , For we be brethren of the Rosie Cross; We have the Mason Word and second sight, Things for to come we can foretell aright. Some Masonic historians believe that modern Speculative Freemasonry owes much to the Rosicrucian movement.

Certainly the earliest recorded speculative Freemasons in England, Sir Robert Moray and Elias Ashmole, if not themselves Rosicrucian’s, were deeply interested in Rosicrucian philosophy and ideals – ideals that perhaps provided their motive for establishing The Royal Society. The Rosicrucian Society of England was founded in 1867 by the freemason Robert Wentworth Little and six other brethren following the discovery of certain manuscripts in the archives of Grand Lodge. Many eminent and scholarly masons have been members of the Order. Since that time it has been the natural home for masons seeking intellectual and spiritual fulfilment.

The Masonic qualification for membership of the SRIA is a legacy of the group of individuals who founded the Society. Masonic approbation is, in itself, a recommendation that the candidate is a fit and proper person, familiar with ceremonial work and obligations of fidelity required of the members of the Society; that is, having attained the rank of a Master Mason in a duly warranted lodge the candidate has in that position shown himself to be a man of worth and discretion, seeking more knowledge of the mysteries that encompass us. The Masonic qualification therefore is intended to give assurance that fidelity and privacy will characterize the conduct of its members.

Structure of the Society

The Society is governed internationally by The Supreme Magus and his High Council. It is divided into Provinces, each governed by a Chief Adept. The Chief Adepts are responsible for the Colleges within their respective Provinces. Each College is presided over by a Celebrant and his officers elected or appointed annually. A member of the Society (called a frater, Latin for ‘brother’, pl. fratres) aspires to progress through a series of nine grades, each having its own colourful and impressive ritual ceremony, in three distinct Orders. 1st Order (Learners) I Zelator II Theoricus III Practicus IV Philosophus 2nd Order (Teachers) V Adeptus Minor VI Adeptus Major VII Adeptus Exemptus 3rd Order (Rulers of the Society) VIII Magister IX Magus

A candidate is required to be proposed and seconded by members of the Society and is elected by ballot. Through regular and graduated steps, the members of the Society are guided from the initial effort to the final goal. Each student ought to possess those aspirations that can be developed during the training in the Fraternity Rosicrucian Philosophy The philosophy of Rosicrucian Fraternity is founded on the aspirations of its legendary founder Christian Rosencreutz a German of noble birth and monastic education who, having sojourned the East in search of enlightenment, sought to bring the ancient knowledge he had gained back to the West.

After encountering resistance and ridicule throughout Europe he retired to Germany where he founded the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross. Originally a secret Order, the Rosicrucians came to light 120 years after the Founder’s death as an established but ‘invisible’ Fraternity (at about the same time as the rise of Speculative Freemasonry) at the turn of the 17 th century through the publication of the two manifestos: the Fama Fraternitatis and the Confessio Fraternitatis (the Fame and the Confession of the Fraternity) published in Germany in 1614/15, which invited all the learned of Europe to join them in a educational, moral and scientific reformation of society.

Rosicrucianism has ever been concerned with individual and fraternal search for divine enlightenment for the benefit of the individual in particular and of society in general. In common with Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism is concerned with encouraging the fellowship of Man and with comprehending the true nature and purpose of his place in Creation. The spiritual journey of one’s understanding of one’s relationship with the Creator is peculiarly unique and individual. But it need not be lonely.

Indeed it may be necessary that one be guided or encouraged by an adept or some other who has traversed and contemplated a similar path. The original Brethren of the Rose and Cross invited the learned of Europe to join them in a general reformation of learning and society; the S.R.I.A. now invites all master masons seeking further enlightenment to join our Society and to participate in the objects of our fraternal assembly: The diffusion of Light and the advancement of Science.

Sub Umbra alarum tuarum Jehova,

Under the shadow of thy wings O Jehovah