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Secret ftraMtion in 




Its Legends and Symbolism, considered in their affinity 
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ZTbe Secret ICraMtion in 

Hn& an analysis of tbe 3ntei>1Relation 
Between tbe Craft ant> tbe Ibigb (Brafcea 








191 1 

All rights reserved 



<>f HlcbemE in /IDasonn? 



CONNECTION . . . . -9 





TSCHOUDY . . . . . -53 







Of flDagical anfc ikabalistical Degrees 








$f tbe flDssteries on tbeir /Optical Site, anb 
of tbis Subject in its delation to 


MASONRY . . . . . 207 








QUEST . . . . . .282 










VARIOUS RITES . . . . .372 





INDEX 439 

VI 1 


Of Hlcbemij) in fll>a0onn> 




The Masonic aspects of Alchemy Further concerning the 
gifts of spiritual building The question of Hermetic 
interference That such interference must have been 
tinctured with Kabalism That it was not of practical 
Alchemy State of the question in the mind of Masonic 
writers Slightness of their acquaintance with Hermetic 
literature The initiation of Ashmole Meaning of the 
term Hermetic in the seventeenth century High 
Grades developed in the alchemical sense The French 
Rite of Philalethes Its origin and growth Nature 
of its interests The Grade content Masonic and 
philosophical aims Conventions held at Paris Dis- 
solution of the Rite Disappointments in Hermetic 
Masonry The term in mystical Alchemy and in 
Kabalism Alchemy and the Secret Tradition. 


History of Alchemy in Europe The Byzantine alchemists 

Some questions for future research Rise of Latin 

Alchemy Of Alchemy in living languages The 

Roman de la Rose The Flamel Legend Stages in 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

the growth of the Literature The two schools in 
Alchemy The early records in both Jean de Rupe- 
cissa and Thomas Vaughan Alchemical terminology 
in the writings of Jacob Bohme Bohme and Saint 
Martin The mystic side of Alchemy almost unknown 
in France A few French adepts Jean d'Espagnet 
The Rosi crucian Fraternity Cagliostro and St. Ger- 
main Coincidence and comparison of their history 
Baron Tschoudy and Pernety Phases of interpreta- 
tion in the mind of filiphas Levi. 


Of mystic Alchemy in the High Grades of Masonry 
Published writings of Pernety His definition of the 
Great Work The terms Soul and Spirit according 
to his meanings The A cade mi e des Illumines 
d' Avignon Confused position of the Rite on the 
historical side Its admixture of Swedenborgian 
theories The Academie des Vrais Masons Titles of 
some of its Degrees Les Illumines du Zodiaque 
Pernety as a disciple of Swedenborg Swedenborgian 
sources of knowledge The Staroste Grabbianka 
A Mago - Kabalistical Society at Avignon Its 
dealings in coming events by means of an oracle- 
Its dissolution for a period Its reintegration at 
the same place Its Masonic aspect Visit of two 
Englishmen The harmony of conflicting Masonic 
dates Summary concerning the Brotherhood Its 
Eucharistic Ceremony Its prophecies Its moral 
teachings Pernety' s translation of Swedenborg. 

The Argument 


Publication of U&toile Flamboyants Theory concerning 
the origin of Masonry Its connection with chivalry^ 
Hermetic side of the treatise The Knights of the 
Morning and Palestine Their perpetuation from 
the past The dream of another Temple in Jerusalem 
The first Crusade Johannite Christians and 
Essenes Sons of the Valley The imputed Masonic 
connection Intercourse between the secret chivalry 
and Crusaders Rise of the Masonic institution 
Relation of this hypothesis to that of Ramsay 
Alchemical researches of the Brotherhood Value of 
the hypothesis The hermit Morienus The Hermetic 
Tract referred to him Hermetic Catechism of Baron 
Tschoudy The physical work therein The sense 
of its Hermetic terminology Nature of the work 
delineated The hypothesis on which it rests 
Analogies in Freemasonry The art of development 
The art of emblematic building Term of research in 
Alchemy Term of research in Masonry Limits of 
the analogy Masonry as the spiritual side of the 
magnum opus Intimations of the Hermetic Cate- 
chism Something reserved by the writer The 
closing formula Baron Tschoudy on Masonic High 
Grades His hand in certain Rituals The Grade 
of Sublime and Unknown Philosopher The Statutes 
of the Unknown Philosophers Their secret and the 
mode of its communication How Postulants are 
said to have been received A scheme in embryo 
The title of Unknown Philosopher Testimony of 
Ragon concerning an Order of the Unknown Judge- 
Philosophers The legend of Dionysian Architects 

The Secret ' Tradition in Freemasonry 

Their alleged connection with Freemasons The pass- 
ing of Baron Tschoudy. 


The common tolerance of the High Grades Their system 
of incorporation Their borrowings and tendings 
Of things set aside Feeling concerning Grades of 
the Old Alliance and Grades of Chivalry Later and 
encyclopedic Rites Their derivations and inven- 
tions Of occult science in the Orders of 
Mizraim and Memphis The Grades of Chaos 
The Grade of Knight of the Sun Sovereign Com- 
mander of the Stars Curious alchemical symbolism 
Confusions therein Experience of the Candidate 
Grades of Hermetic Mineralogy The True Mason 
Adept Reflections from alchemical literature 
Vanity of this Grade The Perfect Alchemical 
Master Conclusion on the Hermetic Masonry of 


The order on its historical side Varied classification 
of its Degrees Reduction into an Antient and 
Primitive Rite Hermetic Element in the Order 
The Senate of Hermetic Philosophers The Grade of 
Knight Hermetic Philosopher Heads of the in- 
struction on mysteries of nature and science Pre- 
sumable grand principles Follies of the Rite in 

The Argument 

Summary Gleanings from the Hermetic Catechism 
Its views on spiritual Alchemy Conclusion on the 
Rite at large. 


Of certain forgotten debts to the enemies of Masonry 
Professor Robison on a work of Saint-Martin 
The Loge de Bienfaisance Statements in respect of 
the work here under notice Its extreme rarity A 
quest after it Inference concerning its Masonic 
connections Its thesis on the Universal Medicine 
Study of the divine Pymander Spiritual history 
of Man Man and the Quintessence Symbolism 
of this subject Whether the Universal Medicine 
should be understood mystically or materially Doubts 
as to the intention of the writer Further analysis 
of the text Generation and destiny of the Spirit 
The Triad above and below Purpose of this notice. 


f Hlcbemp in 


I must not say that one follows devious and 
hopeless paths more especially in Masonic Rites 
and literatures than in some other divisions of 
formulated secret thought, and yet several keen 
disappointments may await the zealous seeker on 
side issues of my subject, even if he has brought 
to it a certain canon of criticism on his own 
part, to act as a touchstone for possibilities which 
at a distance may seem alluring. Such ordeals 
notwithstanding, I believe that if this work 
should deserve well of its readers, it must not be 
its least title that I shall have done what lies 
within me to advise them in which direction it 
is idle to look for light. The Masonic aspects 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

of Alchemy will prove disillusionary enough 
when it is a question only of two or three groups 
of Rituals, but there is another side of the subject 
on which I must dwell lightly, because a specula- 
tion upon origin is involved. 

It is impossible to indicate in a printed book the 
exact lines of consanguinity which subsist between 
the central thesis of Craft Masonry and Zoharic 
literature, with its antecedents and derivations. 
The quest is the same quest, with due respect to 
the enormous variation of the external side of 
doctrine and symbolical fable. Craft Masonry 
is the home of a single legend, but there are 
many sides to Zoharic allegory. Among the 
things which they possess in common there is 
the gift of spiritual building, and there is also 
the haunting sense of a loss that has not been 
repaired through the ages ; but this notwithstand- 
ing, there is on both sides the certain expectation 
which causes the quest to continue. Here, and 
in such phantasmal outline, is sufficient to shew 
(a) that the phase of Hermetic interference 
which took place in Masonry, if indeed it was 
Hermetic at all in any rigorous sense of that 
term, was deeply tinctured with Kabalism, or 
such interference is a dream ; and (b) that its 
alchemical part was not practised on any plane 
of physics. Now this conclusion is notable, 
because, in the first place, it would seem to put 
out of court once and for all every Hermetic 
Grade which deals with the material side of the 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

magnum opus that is to say, the transmutation of 
metals ; and thus, in the second place, we are put 
in possession beforehand of a casual canon of 
criticism which will simplify our research into this 
branch at once so important antecedently and so 
involved of Masonic ceremonial literature. 

Some attention has been paid of recent years 
by Masonic writers of ability, and of large ex- 
perience along the lines of their proper research, 
to the possibility of Hermetic intervention in the 
evolution of Symbolical Masonry. After ex- 
hausting all fields, there remains, or there has 
arisen, a feeling of instability as to the old notion 
of such an identical connection between the trade 
and the emblematic mystery that the one could 
have arisen from the other without an interference 
of some and indeed of a very specific kind. 
Because it does not appear with plainness, I do 
not know exactly what is understood by these 
writers regarding the horizon and content of the 
Hermetic schools ; it is in no spirit of adverse 
criticism if I say that it is perhaps only in a 
secondary sense that they can be said to have 
acquaintance therewith, and more especially with 
the tradition therein. We might have several 
reserves to establish if I were entering on a serious 
consideration of the question ; but passing over 
these, and speaking in a general sense only, I 
believe that the view has arisen through the 
coincidence of Elias Ashmole's membership with 
the period to which the transformation is attri- 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

buted. Ashmole appears chiefly as an informed 
amateur of that branch of Hermetic philosophy 
or science which is connected with the name of 
Alchemy, and there is evidence of his presence 
in a London Lodge at the very period when a 
confessedly speculative branch of Masonry was 
in session at the same place that is to say, 
in 1682. 

Whether or not this represents the entire 
content of the feeling that has actuated the trend 
of thought, the hand of the Hermetic Schools in 
Early Symbolical Freemasonry has come to be 
regarded with sufferance, though it sets aside tacitly 
the particular importance which Mr. R. F. Gould 
has attached to the Regius MS. He himself 
is one of the tolerating parties, and I confess 
that I do not see how he harmonises the possible 
Hermetic intervention which could be early only 
between the limits of the seventeenth century, 
with the supposed testimony of the fourteenth 
century manuscript to a speculative art into which 
the Hermetic motive never entered. Setting this 
also aside, the first question that arises is, as I 
have just intimated, the precise significance which 
would be attached to the term Hermetic in the 
minds of those who have used it, seeing that they 
would disclaim any special acquaintance with the 
schools, their horizon or their term. At the 
period under notice I mean in the seventeenth 
century it is, I think, exact to say that the 
word had reference to Alchemy and to nothing 


- Of Alchemy in Masonry 

else. It is that which it signified for Elias Ash- 
mole, since it was one of his especial dedications, 
and he is likely to be remembered by his intro- 
duction to the ^Museum Hermeticum Britannicum 
long after the history of the Order of the Garter 
has passed from the minds of men. Ashmole had 
certain intimations moving in his mind that the 
field of Hermetic science was not covered by a 
simple form of experimental research regarding 
the transmutation of metals, but the fact had no 
consequence for himself apparently, and none 
certainly for his period. If I may assume, there- 
fore, that the possibility of Hermetic interfer- 
ence in Masonry signifies for those who have 
mentioned it an interposition on the part of 
alchemists, then the hypothesis or disposition will 
seem at first sight to derive a certain colour from 
the fact that the High Degrees were developed 
in one direction along alchemical lines. 

Although in very brief summary, we shall see 
in the next few sections how curiously the 
Hermetic preoccupation so understood inter- 
venes in the highways and byways of Masonic 
history. It is out of all expectation in respect 
of the broad roads, but it is indubitable, apart 
from these ; and it took shape in specific Rites 
which were collections of considerable magnitude. 
The illustrious RITE OF THE PHILALETHES is an 
important case in point as a casual centre of the 

Amidst the cloud of reveries and false seeming, 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

this institution came into existence with an express 
resolution to separate the wheat from the chaff in the 
matter of historical, philosophical and symbolical 
Masonry, and during more than a decade of years 
it sought to perform, within the circle of the Lodge 
and its connections, what was attempted in 1782 
by the memorable Convention of Wilhelmsbad, a 
kind of oecumenical Council of Masonry. I cannot 
say that the alchemical predisposition predomin- 
ated, but it certainly was in evidence, so far as 
membership was concerned, and that rather con- 
spicuously. The Rite reached no term, and the 
Revolution, which devoured so much and gave 
back so little, swallowed it up entirely. 

It will serve a more general purpose to dwell, 
however, for a moment on an experiment which 
was brilliant during its brief period, and under 
happier circumstances might have had, as it 
deserved assuredly, a more permanent lease of 
life. The question of dates is as usual somewhat 
doubtful, but a Loge des Amis Reunis seems to 
have been founded at Paris early in 1771 for 
the express purpose of investigating the basis of 
Masonry, and the value, comparative and absolute, 
of its various Rites and systems. In the year 
1775 the work had so far matured that it had 
selected from the vast concourse of Grades a 
certain number which were regarded as suited 
to its intention and had added thereto four 
others, previously unknown, which represented 
the plenary development of the Masonic subject 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

within the horizon of the Lodge. It was thus 
in working possession of the LESSER ^YSTERIES 
as follows:, (i) Apprentice, (2) Companion, (3) 
Master, (4) Elect, (5) Scottish Master, (6) Knight 
of the East ; and of the GREATER MYSTERIES 
(7) Rose Croix, (8) Knight of the Temple, (9) 
Unknown Philosopher, (10) Sublime Philosopher, 
(n) Initiate, (12) Philalethes, or Searcher after 
Truth and Master of all Grades. 

In respect of the first seven Degrees, the 
order and titles are identical with those of the 
modern French Rite, as professed by the Grand 
Orient. The eighth Grade is reminiscent of the 
Strict Observance, to which, however, there seems 
good authority for saying that the system was 
in some sense opposed in respect of the Templar 
claim. Herein it was following in part the 
trend of the time, but more especially the 
leading of the RITE OF ELECT COHENS. We 
come therefore to the ninth Grade, which was 
that of Unknown Philosopher, in which we can 
trace at once the influence of Martines de 
Pasqually, exercised not by himself, for he was 
then no longer in Europe or the world, but by 
the Loge de Eienfaisance at Lyons through its 
representative in chief, J. B. Willermoz, a member 
of the RITE OF PHILALETHES practically from the 
beginning of its activity. Of the last three 
Grades I can speak by report only. The first 
is included by name in the modern ORDER OF 
MIZRAIM, but the correspondence may be titular 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

only ; the second and third have not been 
co-opted to other interests. The report is that 
they were Grades concerned with the perfection 
of man, his return towards the centre from 
which he came forth at the beginning ; his 
regeneration, his reintegration in a state of 
primitive innocence and the restoration of the 
rights and privileges which were lost by the 
averse mystery of the Fall. It is, in a word, a 
reduction into ritual form of Pasqually's plan of 
redemption established in his TraitS de la ^-integra- 
tion des ,tres, as we shall find in a later section. 

The system was thus theosophical, as other 
records have stated, and it was also in some 
sense alchemical, which, however, is rather a 
reference to the predispositions of certain members 
than to the complexion of its acknowledged 
Grades. The Archives Mytho-Hermetiques eman- 
ated from this source, as we shall also see. The 
Roll of the Rite included Court de Gebelin, a 
celebrated archaeologist of his period ; Duchan- 
teau, to whom occultists owe the largest and 
most erudite of all Calendars of Magic ; the 
alchemist Clavieres, who was also a minister of 
finance ; the Baron de Gleichen, author of a 
Treatise on Metaphysical Heresies ; Jacques Cazotte, 
better remembered than any by his story of 
Le Diable Amoureux ; in fine, astrologers, physi- 
ognomists, cartomancists, Kabalists and all the 
choir illuminated of the secret sciences and arts. 

The Convention of Lyons, held in 1778, may 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

have led to the formulation of the four final 
Degrees, and in this case that Templar chivalry 
which they included may have approximated 
to the Knights Beneficent of the Holy City of 
Jerusalem. The RITE OF THE PHILALETHES itself 
held two Conventions at Paris in 1785 and 1787. 
As the founder of EGYPTIAN MASONRY, Cagliostro 
was summoned to the first, but demanded the 
destruction of the valuable archives possessed by 
the Rite as the price of his attendance, and the 
proposal therefore fell through. The delibera- 
tions attained no satisfactory term, and there is 
hence no reason for the consideration of that 
which they proposed. Its Hermetic and 
theosophical tendencies and its reflections from 
early Martinism are the justification of this 
brief notice of the Rite. They were part of 
the hunger and thirst which filled the instructed 
hearts in all Masonry at the period and led them 
in a world without religion to seek more wisely 
than they knew for the religion which is con- 
cealed in all. 

The comparative byways of Rites and collec- 
tions will prove more to our purpose than this 
eclectic experiment, including as they did many 
Grades and Degrees which were invented or 
compiled by alchemists to illustrate the Hermetic 
connections of Masonry for the use of alchemists, 
who were thus brought into the Fraternity, and 
for the use of Masons, who might thus be brought 
into Alchemy. 

VOL. ii. B 17 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

We shall find, however, much to disappoint 
even if there is something to encourage us in 
exploring Hermetic Freemasonry, for in the first 
place it incorporated a good deal that was ex- 
trinsic to its own subject, and gave very little 
colour to the assumption of real knowledge even 
in its proper department. I mean to say that 
obviously and almost only it was dedicated to 
the physical work ; but there is not the least 
reason to infer that any maker of alchemical 
Grades in Masonry had attained to the term of 
his art, while of its higher aspects, or of the 
mystical side, there was no light in his conscious- 
ness. Ex hypothesi^ mystical Alchemy was the ex- 
perience of the Divine Union, and it delineated all 
the processes leading thereto, from that mystery 
of the black state which corresponds to some part 
of the Candidate's experience in Craft Masonry. 
The end in the terminology of the subject was the 
mystic marriage of the Sun and Moon. On the 
other hand, and also by the hypothesis, the term 
of Kabalism was entrance into nuptial joys like 
those of Rabbi Simeon. The experience of 
mystical death and resurrection is not less clear 
in Alchemy than in the Instituted Mysteries like 
Masonry, but it is anything rather than clear even 
on the high side of Kabalism ; the great transition 
therein is from the life of this world, through 
physical death, to the reward of the just man and 
the true Sons of the Doctrine in the world to 
come. I omit what it may perpetuate regarding 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

material resurrection, which is only a burden to 
the tradition and has no prominent part in the 
system. That which appears at first sight to be 
a difficulty, tends, however, to dissolve in the light 
of one canon of interpretation ; the theosophy of 
Israel was rooted in things visible, things tangible 
and material, and on these it worked strange 
processes of transfiguration, by which they seemed 
to dissolve and take their part and place in the 
things that are eternal. After this manner the 
death which was physical became a mystical 
death : the resurrection of Rabbi Simeon really 
took place when he was received into the celestial 
school. Our triad in this manner is not actually in 
a state of separation, on the understanding that the 
traditional schools are for such reason the more 
distinct as schools and did not derive from one 
another. But if we suppose for a moment that 
they did, then the nearest progenitor of Masonry, 
on the inward side as otherwise on that which I 
must term in a sense historical, would be Kabalism 
and not Alchemy. It is not, however, Kabalism 
on the debased or magical side, and this is one 
reason why most magical Grades which are in 
masks under the name of Masonry are little better 
than abortions. Fortunately they are for the most 
part so obscure that their very names are almost 
unknown, and it may well be a matter of surprise 
that I have unearthed such considerations concern- 
ing them as will appear in some later sections. 
I am dealing for the moment, however, with 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

the Hermetic school in Masonry, and as it was 
in France rather than elsewhere that alchemical 
Rites rose up, it seems desirable to put on record 
the mode of regarding the subject which obtained 
in that country. It is more important for the 
Secret Tradition than for Masonry as generally 
understood, but the one reflects on the other, and 
the question as it so happens has some intrinsic 
interest of its own. 




THE history of Alchemy in Europe offers a field of 
research in which the first steps have as yet been 
scarcely taken. There is a very fair probability 
which does not, however, enter at all into the 
grade of certitude from any point of view that 
what I may call the font of experience in this 
subject was Byzantium, represented by the extant 
remains of the Byzantine alchemists. They date 
from the fourth century and onward to about 
700 A.D., and their influence has been traced by 
the perpetuation of certain characteristic conven- 
tions of expression for a considerable period beyond 
the Middle Ages. These phrases seem to offer a 
better testimony to the source of knowledge than 
the instituted technical terminology which Alchemy 
has used so invariably and which constitutes the 
chief veil of the art. Having regard to the un- 
known world in China, and the existence of the 
same art therein from a period as yet wholly in- 
determinate, it is very difficult to say that Alchemy 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

was not an importation from that far region, and 
Byzantium would not have been by necessity the 
sole port of entrance for the particular class of 
merchandise. The catch phrases, however, on 
which the evidence depends are much less likely 
to have been common in East and West, as they 
are in no way essential to the subject. If we 
assume, therefore, as a tolerable working hypo- 
thesis, under all the necessary reserves, that the 
theory and practice of metallic transmutation, with 
some adjuncts thereto belonging, spread from Con- 
stantinople over Europe, and gave rise in several 
countries to a Latin literature which afterwards 
passed into the vernacular, the second step in the 
department of historical research would- be to 
ascertain the number and date of the earliest 
extant manuscripts. Their co-ordination would 
be the third step, and I suppose that herein I 
have already indicated a very serious labour. In 
neither case, however, has the step been taken, and 
as a fact we know utterly nothing as to whether 
the great and familiar Latin texts ever penetrated 
into Russia, into Southern Europe, with the excep- 
tion of Portugal, Spain, and Italy, or unless at 
very late periods into northern countries like 
Sweden. There may be innumerable unknown 
superiors and masters of the art whose memorials 
lie entombed and forgotten far away from the 
great centres. Speaking generally, there is, so far 
as our acquaintance extends, no literature of the 
subject outside Germany, France, England, Spain, 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

and a few great texts, with much that is late 
and negligible, in Italy. 

Latin Alchemy arose about the tenth century 
and had an allotted life of seven hundred years ; it 
was slow in growth and it passed slowly into the 
vernacular of any country. An early example of 
the latter is furnished by the informal tract which 
Jean de Meung incorporated in his share of the 
Roman de la Rose. This is of the thirteenth 
century, and, whether or not it was actually the 
first text of its kind in the French tongue, its 
popularity set the fashion of writing on Alchemy 
therein, and some of the most valued and authori- 
tative treatises on the Great Work belong thereto. 
As there is no very serious question that one of 
the memorials attributed to Nicholas Flamel, the 
wonderful scrivener of Paris, may be tentatively 
allocated to his period, our next date is at the 
close of the fourteenth century. But a curious 
set of monographs by Johannes Rupecissa, which 
move in a strange spiritual atmosphere, are near 
to the same epoch or earlier. They are earlier in 
high but not consummate probability. Bernard 
Trevisan followed in the fifteenth century ; and 
Denis Zachaire is another illustrious name which 
brings up the present unconcerted account of the 
literature in one country to the middle of the 
sixteenth century. I have mentioned the typical 
instances and have selected France, because it is 
with this country, as intimated, that in respect 
of Hermetic High Grades we shall be concerned 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

in an especial manner. As Alchemy was a secret 
art represented by a secret literature, and as even 
in its most material aspects it claimed to be the 
gift of the Spirit or the gift of a Master abiding 
under the law of the Spirit, and as it confessed 
invariably to a religious motive, what I may be 
permitted to call the sacramentary of that art has 
great names to offer from the Middle Ages and 
onward in England and Germany. Though 
Ecossais Hermetic Grades are fortunately not in 
evidence, I suppose that there are few adepts 
more illustrious in the catholic annals of transmu- 
tation than Alexander Seton the Scotchman at the 
beginning of the seventeenth century, or the 
pseudonymous Eirenasus Philalethes, an English- 
man of the period of the Rebellion. I suppose 
also that Basil Valentine and Paracelsus are as 
great in Germany, though the latter had taken 
all secret science for his province, and being 
supposed to have attained in all is perhaps in 
a general sense the head of the whole body of 
occult adeptship. I have now mentioned three 
countries, though I have certified that our concern 
is with one, but my design is to make room for a 
particular distinction which is not without moment 
to my purpose. Between all the countries con- 
cerned in the great output of the literature, there 
grew up, as I have explained more than once 
elsewhere, two schools in Alchemy, the root- 
matter of which is to be traced from the assumed 
beginnings of the mystery among the Byzantine 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

alchemists. There was the school of the physical 
work divided into two branches one being 
that of transmutation, constituting the medicine 
of metals, which healed the sickness of reputed 
inferior elements in the mineral kingdom of 
Nature ; the other being that of the elixir, which 
healed sickness and senility in the kingdom of the 
natural man. Speaking broadly, the second of 
these schools did not, by the evidence of the texts, 
claim to confer immortality or literally to renew 
youth ; ex hypothesi^ it healed disease and retarded 
the waste of tissue. But there was the school of 
a spiritual work, the claim of which was at once 
the most obscure and express that is to be met 
with in any of the concealed literatures. It used 
the veils and terminology of transmutation and 
the elixir to cover an experiment in the inward 
man, but that experiment is, I think, the last 
secret which yields itself up to research. In the 
words of Rupecissa, its initiates, or rather its 
proficients, are " enriched with an infinite wealth 
beyond all kings of the earth ; they are first 
before God and men, and are in enjoyment of the 
special favour of heaven." This statement is 
equally pellucid and hopeless, but this is not the 
place in which to carry the subject further and 
explain after what manner a student who is utterly 
prepared may follow this side of Alchemy into its 
deep recesses and behold from very far away how 
the closed eye of the secret does in fine open, and 
what light it diffuses. 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

I have shewn elsewhere that Thomas Vaughan 
was an exponent in England of this side of the 
art ; Khunrath is an example in Germany, and there 
are many Latin treatises of concealed or equivocal 
authorship which might extend the list indefinitely. 
In the early seventeenth century, Jacob Bohme 
began (a) to rend the veils of the mystery, or 
(b) alternatively to use the terminology of Alchemy 
in a spiritual sense and to explain the art from 
a standpoint particular to himself. It is for him 
one of the works of regeneration, and is, I infer, 
that consummation which is possible of attain- 
ment by the soul, wherein it may be said literally 
and mystically that God wipes away all tears 
from the eyes. And as I am entirely certain 
that the pilgrimage of spiritual Alchemy was 
in that undiscovered country of the soul from 
which no traveller returns when he has proceeded 
a certain great distance, and as it was in this 
country that Jacob Bchme had received some titles 
of freedom not that I pretend him to have 
undertaken the whole journey so I think that 
here and there he used some of the alchemical 
language in its full and ineffable sense ; but I do 
not think that he had the whole mystery thereof. 
He remains, however, by his intimations, the 
point of departure from which those may do 
well to start in this quest who are in search of a 
criterion for the literature. That criterion has 
become a question of urgency ; the evidence for 
the separation of the literature into two schools 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

has to be restated entirely and extended where 
no one has tried to carry it. 

Even at the present day it would be difficult 
to estimate the extent of the influence which 
may have been exercised by Jacob Bohme on 
mystical philosophy in France. He began to be 
made known in that country under the auspices 
of Saint-Martin, and there is little question that 
the considerable vogue and the high appeal of 
the latter must have reflected in many quarters 
on the German theosopher, to whom such a 
throne of the inward life was attributed by one 
who had taken him into his heart of hearts. 
Still it was rather the fact of the influence, the 
testimony to greatness on the part of one who 
was obviously carrying very high titles himself, 
which provided the spiritual effigy of Bohme 
with something of a French nimbus. I cannot 
trace that Saint-Martin's translations of one or 
two Bohme texts made any conspicuous mark. 
There is reason, I think, to infer that they remained 
generally unknown, and their present excessive 
rarity is an indication that the original impressions 
were minute. However this may be, it does 
not transpire in the translations, nor in the 
independent appreciations of Saint-Martin, that 
Bohme had any place in the school of Hermetic 
tradition, much less that in him for the first time 
the veils of alchemical philosophy had begun to 
be lifted. Had the fact been much more con- 
spicuous, had the revelation been much fuller, 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

I think that it would have spelled very little to 
the French mystic, who was not of the Hermetic 
tradition, and had, if anything, less patience for 
its obvious concerns and modes than he carried for 
theurgic processes out of the school of Martines 
de Pasqually. I question whether it had entered 
into his mind to conceive that there was a 
spiritual side of the adeptship which on the 
surface of its records was concerned with metallic 
transmutation. I almost question whether he 
would have entered into the side issue if he had 
met with testimony thereon ; his warrants were 
so much within himself; he was not a man of 
books ; he appealed little to tradition and less 
even to authority ; while he sincerely thought 
that he was not worthy to loose or to bind the 
shoes of the German cobbler, he carried his own 
implicits into the latter's writings and brought 
them out shining in no very new manner of 
expression. In a word, Jacob Bohme enabled 
him to look a little more clearly into his own 
deeps, but the pearls which he thus discovered 
were the same manner of jewels as they had been 
from the beginning. 

The fact therefore remains, that the kinship 
in symbolism between the regeneration of metals 
and the work of regeneration in man did not 
materially trouble the dream of the French mind 
in respect of the magnum opus. When Johannes 
de Rupecissa affirmed, in the closing lines of his 
tract on The Composition of the True Stone of the 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

Philosophers^ that the present order of the world 
would perish if the matter of the Stone were 
named ; that the possessor of this inestimable 
treasure was indeed born under a happy con- 
stellation ; that it was not the work of usury, 
of fraud or of deception, but was the special 
gift of God, I conclude that the French mind, 
following the line of least resistance, understood 
in its simplicity that all this was the licence of 
adeptship somewhat wider than the poet's licence. 
It had not really heard in its preoccupations about 
the doctrine of correspondences, which had scarcely 
been formulated that is to say, in the French 
language ; but it knew something of occult sym- 
pathies, and it is probable that the analogy would 
appeal to the French student after this manner 
and as something instituted in the mind by way of 
artificial likeness. But it is even more probable 
that for practical purposes the French occult literati 
had heard nothing of the instituted analogy, by 
which I mean that they had not noticed the 
colophon added to one tract of Rupecissa, though 
it follows from Lenglet du Fresnoy that the work 
itself was prized. 

There was, moreover, Jean d'Espagnet, whom 
I ought to have mentioned previously ; he also 
was a Frenchman, and, though there is very little 
doubt that he once worked in metals, he had 
occasional intimations, as from strange worlds of 
analogy, and some of records and glimpses are 
not precisely those of the kingdom of this world. 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

At the beginning of his Secret Work of the Hermetic 
Philosophy he makes it perfectly plain as to the 
nature and term of the quest and its wisdom : 
he says (i) that the light of the secret knowledge 
is a gift of God ; (2) that the postulant must be 
utterly dedicated to Divine things, and emptied, 
also utterly, of the concerns, desires and interests 
which have their root in this world ; (3) that 
the science is Divine in its nature, that it begins 
in the fear of the Lord and ends in love. After 
such a preamble, coupled with the fact which is 
specified a little later, namely, that the student 
may be ignorant of practical chemistry, it would 
seem almost impossible to misconstrue the real 
subjects with which the author is dealing, to 
misinterpret his metals, his mercuries, his sulphurs, 
or the processes by which they are converted 
from one to another mode of manifestation or 
of being. But, as a matter of fact, the mind of 
French Alchemy permitted the intimations to 
slide, overlooked the preamble, and continued 
its usual method of literalising the terms and 
processes. D'Espagnet passed out of sight before 
the middle of the seventeenth century, and it will 
be remembered by many of my readers that about 
this time the belated rumour of the Rosicrucian 
Fraternity began to be heard of in France. It 
was rumour only, and it was not until the middle 
period of the eighteenth century when High- 
Grade Masonry was near the zenith of repute 
and power that we get our first indications of 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

the Mystery, its offshoots or developments, being 
at work in the country. One of its reformations 
was due to take place in Germany during the 
next quarter of the century, but there are French 
records which if they are to be regarded as 
reliable in the historical sense offer proof that 
its concern in 1750 was the same as that which 
is on record in respect of 1777. It was exclusively 
a society of Hermetists seeking the philosopher's 
stone on the material side. I have seen part of 
an exceedingly rare manuscript, written in French 
and dated 1763. It is entitled The Practice of the 
Work of the Brethren of the Rosy Cross and their Key 
for the Extraction of Living Gold. The extraction 
took place, by the hypothesis, from the subject- 
matter of minerals, and the fixation was by means 
of vulgar gold. I do not know whether the title 
which I have quoted is that of the whole collection 
or one of its parts only. There are two sections 
extant, the second treating of natural philosophy 
and the spagyric or Hermetic art. Five sections 
are missing, and it is in these if anywhere that 
specific information might be expected regarding 
the Society. So far as the surviving portions are 
concerned, the document is not of authority, as 
the anonymous writer speaks throughout on his 
own responsibility, recalls his personal discoveries 
and the marvels which he operated by their 
means. He does, however, affirm that the Brethren 
of the Rosy Cross were the first to recognise the 
existence, under the name of Living Gold, of a 

The Secret Tradition in Freemaso?iry 

middle substance in metals and minerals, and that 
the first matter is gold. It is evidently, therefore, 
a record of little moment on the historical side, 
and in respect of its secret processes I have taken 
different opinions of old students as to their value, 
with the kind of enlightenment which is usually 
derived from experts ; that is to say, it was said 
on the one hand that more help could be derived 
from the collection than from almost anything 
else in the range of alchemical manuscripts. The 
alternative view is that no value attaches to the 
contents. I will only note in conclusion that 
the writer, unlike the general members of the 
Rosicrucian Order, would appear to have been 
a Catholic, and possibly even an ecclesiastic ; he 
mentions in one place that he had been in retreat 
for a period of four years at the Abbaye Roya/e ; 
he states, further, that he began his occult studies 
at the age of sixteen, or at the same period as in 
the case of Christian Rosenkreutz. If we are 
to accept this manuscript as a reflection of the 
Order, at however far a distance, it is interesting 
as a record of the Fraternity ; it registers the 
nature of its preoccupations, and shews that even 
in what may be tentatively called the high quarters 
of initiation there was then at least no horizon 
outside the physical work. I believe that the 
manuscript belongs to the date which is men- 
tioned in one of its remaining sections, and it 
therefore follows that the Hermetists in France 
did not draw higher leading from the inmost 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

circles than their particular dispositions helped 
them to extract from the prevailing texts of 

Cagliostro and the Comte de Saint-Germain 
were the public advertisements of the subject at 
that period on the Continent of Europe, or at 
least of that part having France as the centre 
thereof. Both claimed to have been renewed by 
the elixir of immortality ; both could at need dis- 
pense it ; theirs also was the secret of wealth, and 
all power was at their demand. Saint-Germain is 
too doubtful and nebulous for any definite opinion 
to be formed concerning him ; he was little more 
than a portent, and might almost have furnished 
a case in point to the makers of historic doubts. 
But the impositions of Cagliostro are beyond all 
question, and the experience of Cardinal de Rohan, 
in search of the great palingenesis, at the hands of 
the dubious adept is evidence enough as to the 
kind of Alchemy which the latter practised. 

There has been an attempt within recent 
times to redeem Cagliostro by indicating the very 
slight basis in fact which remains after a searching 
inquiry into the motives and circumstances of his 
identification with Joseph Balsamo, and I have 
recorded otherwise my feeling that there is at 
least a tolerable warrant for the suspension of 
judgment on the subject. The distinction, if it 
can be maintained, does not operate substantially 
towards the redemption of the Magus ; but it 
reduces the old charges by leaving his early life in a 

VOL. IL c 33 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

cloud of darkness. In another cloud of this kind 
the Comte de Saint-Germain remains through- 
out his whole career. He was a contemporary of 
Cagliostro, but the chief part of his pageant had 
passed across the stage of Europe some few years 
previously. It has been suggested that he was 
born in 1710, and he seems to have been first 
heard of in Germany about 1750. He visited 
England in 1760 on some kind of semi-political 
mission from the court of France. This was 
apparently arranged by Louis XV. personally, and 
did not prevent one of that king's ministers send- 
ing secret instructions to London for the arrest of 
Saint-Germain as a Russian spy. With the par- 
ticulars I am not concerned, but two years later 
he was in St. Petersburg and was certainly involved 
in some kind of conspiracy. I mention this to 
shew that on the historical side he was rather a 
political personality, and his claims of the occult 
order, though in part they must have arisen from 
himself, are more largely of contemporary attri- 
bution and of romantic invention. Much in the 
latter respect is due to the Marquis de Luchet 
and to the imaginative writers who later on 
accepted his illuminated fables as facts. In 1774 
Saint-Germain is said to have taken up his abode in 
Germany, there to live in retirement, and though 
he is heard of subsequently in Italy and Denmark, 
he had left the public stage. The date mentioned 
was two years before Cagliostro as such, and set- 
ting aside his time-immemorial identification with 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

Joseph Balsamo, made his own appearance in 
London. Now in 1760 and thereabouts we know 
that Masonry was in the light of public evidence, 
both here and on the Continent, but the High 
Grades were at the dawn rather than the zenith 
and had not filled all men's ears. It has been said 
that Saint-Germain not only claimed initiation but 
a throne of Masonic adeptship, for which, how- 
ever, I find no evidence ; no rite is connected with 
his name ; no Lodge is said to have received him. 
The explanation is probably that at the period 
when Cagliostro was in his high noon there was 
every reason why a person adopting the role of a 
travelling illumine should identify himself with the 
Brotherhood, which was then in the glory of the 
High Grade fever ; but if there was some incen- 
tive from fifteen to twenty years previously, it 
was not in the same degree. The history of the 
Comte de Saint-Germain remains to be written in 
the light of first-hand knowledge, but in certain 
respects he may be called the precursor of 
Cagliostro, and it is for this reason that he is 
entitled to mention here. He is said to have 
resigned immortality in 1783 at Eckenfiorde. 
Having regard to his antecedents in Masonry, 
he is about the most unfortunate selection that 
could have been made by certain dreamers in the 
modern school of theosophy, when they were in 
search recently of a hypothetical adept to be 
installed as a guardian angel for the female Free- 
masonry which they have taken under their wing. 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Whether the hypothesis accepts a comparatively 
old story that, despite his fatigue of immortality, 
and notwithstanding its alleged surrender, Saint- 
Germain continues to carry the load of the 
Christian centuries, I do not pretend to say ; but 
for our diversion in these matters of transcen- 
dental faith, it may be added that there is a person 
at this day resident in Hungary who affirms that 
he is the dubious Count in propria persona^ that 
he is not as such re-embodied but perpetuated 
apparently in the flesh for ever and ever. It does 
not seem clear that he is the concealed guardian of 
the thing called Co-Masonry, and in the contrary 
event what attitude would be taken up by that 
doubtful body should the claimant appear in 
England is a question for those who are concerned. 
I mention these trival matters to indicate the 
temper of the time, in respect of the present 
moment, but in respect also of the past. The 
evanescent but brilliant success of the personages 
in question at the close of the eighteenth century 
is an efficient touchstone for the predisposition 
concerning the occult sciences in general and 
things Hermetic in particular, and so it remains 
to-day. But that which prevailed in the world 
of adventure and trickery had then its parallel 
in more serious quarters. Baron Tschoudy and 
the Abbe Pernety, both in Masonic and in literary 
life, have left important memorials concerning 
their understanding of Alchemy the first in his 
Catechism, which assumes a purely arbitrary and 


'Kbit- au Dgpartcmtni de fa Guerre. l\ 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

even fantastic air of Masonic connection and 
terminology ; the second in his interpretation of 
classical mythology as being the veils of the 
Great Work which work, for all and sundry at 
that period and in that place, is rooted in earth 
and the material, carrying with it no suggestion 
of a deeper sense. 

The century of revolution went, and I must 
not say that in France the sleep of Alchemy and 
the occult sciences generally was unbroken ; but 
I know of nothing apart from Masonic Rites 
that is worth mentioning, of nothing which 
belongs to our purpose for a period of sixty years. 
Thereafter, for another period, whatsoever was 
considerable, whatsoever was brilliant, whatsoever 
was attractive and plausible, was written over one 
signature, and the name was Eliphas Levi. He 
was much too comprehensive and interpretative to 
see single phases only where more than a phase was 
possible, and if we question his oracle, it responds 
with no uncertain voice, as follows : (i) The Stone 
of the Philosopher is the foundation of absolute 
philosophy, the supreme, the immovable reason, 
which is the touchstone of truth. (2) It is also the 
certitude which follows conscientious researches. 
(3) The universal medicine is, in the soul, supreme 
reason and absolute justice ; in the mind, it is 
mathematical and practical truth ; in the body, 
it is the quintessence, which is a combination of 
gold and light. (4) Philosophical salt is wisdom ; 
mercury is skill and application ; sulphur is the 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

fire of the will. I could multiply quotations like 
these, or I could select entire chapters, but I have 
made them available already by summarised or 
direct translation. Their sum total does not 
deny, or perhaps especially reduce, the hypothesis 
of the metallic work, but it offers the other side 
of the shield of Hermetic faith : it is Eliphas 
Levi's presentation of spiritual Alchemy ; it is 
utterly unsubstantial, betraying no acquaintance 
with the root-matter of the literature ; but it has 
glimpses here and there. 



THE travelling seeker, the travelling neophyte and 
the travelling adept went out in the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries like the knight-errant 
of earlier times, they seeking the high adven 1 - 
ture of wisdom as those others the adventures of 
chivalry. Such offices, moreover, had not reached 
their term till the French Revolution abrogated 
the old order entirely in Europe ; they assumed, 
however, the veil of Masonry. 

Some of the fantastic implicits of the High- 
Grade movement in the eighteenth century afford 
matter for very curious reflection, and few are 
more fruitful than those which depend from the 
integration of Alchemy in the general scheme of 
the Rites. As appears by the last section, I have 
looked about almost in vain for traces of the 
mystical work, and for evidences of the kind of 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

adeptship which is connected with the assump- 
tion of success in the physical work of transmuta- 
tion. If there is little of the one, there is assuredly 
nothing of the other. Yet there is abundant 
curious material ; there is evidence of ardent dis- 
cipleship, and the Grades are sometimes the 
work of persons who have otherwise made con- 
tributions of importance, at least, to the archives 
of Alchemy. Things that are curious being set 
apart, I need not, however, regard it as a matter 
of regret that I cannot afford to the present con- 
sideration that full space to which on several con- 
siderations some might think that it is entitled. 

Antoine Joseph Pernety, born in 1716, was, 
like Basil Valentine, a Benedictine monk, and he 
was first heard of in Masonry about the year 
1760 if it is possible to trust my authority, who 
is French and doubtful, as usual. The two works 
by which he is known to collectors are, however, 
Les Fables Egyptiennes et Grecques devoilees et 
reduites au meme principe^ 2 vols. 1786, and Die- 
tinnaire Mytho-Hermttique^ 1787. In these he 
establishes the physical side of the subject, and 
it seems certain on their evidence that he had no 
horizon beyond it, so far as Alchemy is concerned. 
The Great Work had for him two objects in view : 
one of them was an universal remedy for disease 
in the three Kingdoms of Nature, the inferior 
metals from this point of view being in the 
pain and travail of imperfection, suspiring after 
the state of gold but attaining it only by the 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

regeneration of Hermetic art ; the other was the 
transmutation of metallic substances into gold 
more pure than that which is found in Nature. 
It is obvious by the definition that these two are 
one. The terminology of alchemical literature, 
which is often so suggestive on the spiritual side, 
even when the spiritual intent is wanting, 
opened no doors for Pernety. The sensible soul 
for him is not the psychic part, but sal ammoniac^ 
and the term Soul in its catholic sense is the 
Perfect Mastery at the Red, as the Ferment 
which animates the Stone for its conversion into 
elixir. So also the Universal Spirit is an element 
diffused throughout the atmosphere and im- 
pregnated with the virtue of the stars ; it is the 
food of natural life. It is not immaterial, but a 
very tenuous, subtle and penetrating substance, 
which enters into all composites. 

This is sufficient on the point of view, and 
will determine a priori the department of Herme- 
ticism which Pernety would represent in any 
Rite of Masonry that he established. Such an 
institution is said to have been the Academie des 
Illumines d' Avignon, on the examination of which 
we shall find, however, that the whole subject 
passes into inextricable confusion. One alleged 
date of its foundation is that which I have already 
mentioned 1760, but another witness, equally 
definite and dubious, substitutes 1785. Whether 
the Academy was Masonic at all is the next 
question, for it is also affirmed to have been 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

androgynous in character, and may simply have 
exacted as such the Masonic qualification from its 
members on the male side. Again, it may have 
been under the banner of Adoption, or an imita- 
tion of the revolutionary changes introduced by 
the Sieur Cagliostro. But these problems are to 
some extent extrinsic ; dates are essentially im- 
material except on the historical side ; Masonic 
history has to dispense with them largely when 
it is concerned with the Continent of Europe ; 
and, lastly, at the general period on that Con- 
tinent, the question of initiating women, though 
not favourably regarded, found no voice of 
authority to condemn it in an absolute sense. 

There is, however, a more direct difficulty. 
The mysterious Staroste Grabbianka is said to have 
had a hand with Pernety in the inauguration or 
direction of the Illumines^ and their dedication was 
divided between Hermeticism and the visionary 
system of Swedenborg. Of the latter there is, I 
think, no question, on the evidence with which 
I am now dealing, which is that of my pre- 
cursors in Masonry. Benedictine and alchemist 
though he was, Pernety had come within the 
influence of the Swedish seer, and it is probable that 
the twofold interest may have combined to render 
his monastic position untenable in respect of his 
personal sincerity. That he was anxious and 
because of his sincerity is made evident by the 
fact that he applied in an orderly manner to 
Rome for a dispensation from his vows, which he 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

received ultimately. This was about 1765, and 
it was, as I should infer, thereafter and not 
previously that he became more fully identified 
with the Masonic and occult movement. The 
Academle des Illumines might in this case belong 
as it has also been suggested to the year 1770, 
and could not well have been earlier. We shall 
reach, however, a different conclusion as this 
inquiry proceeds. 

Pernety was, moreover, connected as a founder 
with the Loge Hermttique du Gontrat-Venaisin, and 
in 1778, or later, he may have had a hand in 
establishing the Academie des Vrais Maqons, a 
system of six Degrees, also with a Hermetic 
motive, shewn by such titles as Knight of the 
Golden Key, Knight of the Rainbow, Knight 
Argonautic and Knight of the Golden Fleece. In the 
last two his interpretation of Greek mythology 
may have passed into the dramatic form of 
ritual. The Illumines du Zodiaque is another of 
his fabled creations, and for some writers he 
is an alternative author with Baron Tschoudy of 
the Grade called Knight of the Sun, which still 
remains among us in the system of the ANCIENT 
other obediences. 

I have had recourse so far to the sources of 
reference which are available in Masonic literature, 
but another light is cast upon the whole subject 
when the appeal is transferred to the records 
of the New Church and the research which 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

has been instituted thereby into all that, directly 
or indirectly, is concerned with the mission of 
Emanuel Swedenborg, its connections and its 
history. They have something to tell us respect- 
ing Abbe Pernety and the school of Avignon ; 
it is new and direct to our purpose ; it is separable 
easily from accidental errors owing to unfamiliarity 
with the Masonic aspect of things ; and if it 
is not all that we could desire, I believe that from 
the same source there will be ultimately other 

It is now many years since Mr. R. F. Gould 
assured us that a society of Hermetists whether 
formally incorporated or not had existed at 
Avignon from ^740. I regard the date as 
doubtful, and I question the Hermetic interest 
in the exact sense of the term. It was, however, 
in that city, but more probably about 1760, that 
an unofficial and quite private association came 
into being, and the information regarding it comes 

(a) from a living contemporary witness in the 
person of Benedict Chastanier, and through him 

(b) from Count Thade Leszezye Grabbianka, 
Staroste de Lieve. The latter testifies that a 
certain Polish noble, who was a student of the 
Secret Tradition in Kabalism but apparently on 
the so-called practical side bequeathed a book 
of the occult art in manuscript to his nephew, 
together with a counsel that he should use it 
with great circumspection. The nephew went 
into consultation with a few friends, and they 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

began to put in practice the information contained 
in the document. As a result they received 
several revelations of a serious and even terrifying 
kind or, in other words, the shadows in Kabalistic 
language of coming events, social and political 
upheavals, and so forth. These things were to 
be kept secret, and as regards the mode of 
operation, it pretended to elicit " answers from 
the Word " to such questions as were put by 
the circle in accordance with the laws of the 
oracle. It is difficult on the information given 
to identify the particular process, but several 
things of this kind are known in debased 
Kabalism. The persons concerned in the practice 
included Count Grabbianka and Abbe Pernety, 
the other names signifying nothing to our 

It will be seen that the association received 
information in advance most probably concerning 
that Revolution which at the period in question 
may be said to have been already brewing. As 
is the custom of such revelations, it came to 
people who had neither power nor concern 
therein, but with peculiar fatuity certain Sweden- 
borgian writers have jumped to the conclusion 
that the uninstructed tyros in Kabalistic Magic 
formed one of the forcing-houses of the great 
cataclysm, and helped, like the RITE OF THE 
PHILALETHES as the same testimonies affirm- 
to prepare its programme. That which concerns 
us, however, is apart from such unreason, and is 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

the curious occasion which caused the society to 
dissolve, at least for a period. The time came 
when, in answer to a specific question which 
does not itself transpire, the oracle is said to have 
affirmed that these things were declared already 
" to my servant, Emanuel Swedenborg," whom 
the little band were counselled to follow there- 
after. The oracle on its own part spoke henceforth 
no more ; the associates dispersed ; and Count 
Grabbianka, who is still our informant on the 
subject, went, as no doubt did Pernety, in search 
of the new prophet. The so-called Mago- 
Cabbalistical Society, being the name attributed 
thereto by Benedict Chastanier, a Mason and 
ardent disciple of Swedenborg, was expected to 
reassemble in the North of Europe, but here 
memorials are wanting ; where it did so actually 
was at Avignon for a second time, and it was cer- 
tainly in session before and perhaps after 1795. 
In 1789 it was visited by two Englishmen, and 
records have been left concerning it. They are 
illiterate productions and are otherwise difficult 
to disentangle, but it is obvious that the Society 
in that year was still occupied with the world 
of visionary prophecy and was concerned with 
the revelations of Swedenborg. To this the 
Abbe Pernety had added beyond all question 
something of his own concern in Alchemy and 
probably a Masonic aspect. The latter would 
have been rather fluidic, as there is no reason 
to suppose that the English visitors whom I 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

have mentioned had qualifications of that kind, 
and yet there was no difficulty as to their 
reception. They made extracts from the Society's 
Journal and took part in its Eucharistic com- 
memorations ; they also witnessed its phenomena, 
some of which were akin to those of modern 
spiritualism. It is further stated definitely by 
my authorities that Count Grabbianka returned 
to Avignon in 1787, and there formed the Societe 
des Illumines d' Avignon in a Masonic Lodge. We 
have the authority of Kloss for the continued 
existence of this body in 1812. 

It is colourable to suppose that Pernety may 
have had a hand in producing the Rituals. We 
are, in any case, now enabled to harmonise the 
conflicting statements of Masonic authorities as 
already cited. Something existed at Avignon 
in or about 1760. It was not Masonic, it was 
not an Academic des Illumines, and it knew 
nothing of Swedenborg : it assumed these char- 
acteristics subsequently that is to say, about 
1785, the alternative date suggested. The year 
1770 must be abandoned entirely, except in so 
far as some of the original members may have 
remained in their own city and watched events 
from afar. 

The result of this summary research into one 
sequence of Grades connected with the Hermetic 
motive in Masonry brings these points into 
prominence : (i) they existed under the veil of 
Masonry, but were not of Masonic tradition ; (2) 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

in respect of Alchemy, Pernety was an amateur 
only, who is interesting and zealous as such, but 
he was not a Master on the physical side and 
his eyes had never opened to its higher aspects ; 
(3) the Staroste Grabbianka, though his name 
is like an occult talisman, was no itinerant adept, 
nor even an illuminated adventurer, like Count 
Cagliostro ; (4) with apologies to the faithful 
belonging to the Church of the New Jerusalem, 
he would not have been a disciple of Swedenborg 
if he had belonged to the Secret Tradition ; (5) 
the Academie des Illumines was confused on its 
own issues ; (6) it followed Alchemy, against 
which Swedenborg uttered a warning ; (7) it 
followed Swedenborg, all of whose teaching 
was opposed to the Latin Church ; (8) and yet 
it is on record that the Academy enjoined devotion 
to the Blessed Virgin and the invocation of angels, 
which things were quite contrary to the revelations 
of the Swedish seer. 

As a side issue hereto, supposing that the 
Benedictine Pernety, having been dispensed from 
his vows, consecrated the elements of bread and 
wine in the Lodge at Avignon, what would be 
the validity of that Eucharistic ceremony (a) 
in the opinion of the usual communicants ; (b) 
in that of the protestant visitors from England ; 
(r) in his own view ; and (d] from the standpoint 
of Rome ? 

As regards the protestant brethren, the 
memorials concerning them shew that they were 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

led by the spirit, but to some extent also under 
the advice of Benedict Chastanier, to undertake 
their strange journey to Avignon, and they per- 
formed most of it on foot. On their arrival 
they were well cared for, so that they wanted 
for nothing in the material sense ; they seem 
also to have received the communication of such 
knowledge as the Society was in a position to 
impart and they possibly to understand. I make 
this reserve because the visitors were little better 
than mechanics, to whom the Alchemy of Pernety 
would have been assuredly a dead letter. One 
of them, on his return to England, reduced his 
experience to writing, and it is from this source 
that we can obtain a tolerable notion of the 
matters which at times occupied the French 
brethren. Their chief concern was still with 
coming events and spiritual considerations arising 
therefrom. These are summarised by one witness 
in a schedule of prophecies relative to " the 
present times and approaching latter days " as 
recorded in the Journals of the Society. I will 
mention the salient features. 

(i) Rome will be presently the theatre of 
great events and calamities. (2) The time is 
at hand when the living will envy the state 
of the dead. (3) There will be a purgation 
as if by fire. (4) The Mohammedan power 
will be destroyed. (5) The Pontiff will lose 
his temporal power. (6) After the terrors, the 
Incarnate Word will be acknowledged. (7) 

VOL. II. D 49 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Palestine will become once more the most 
fortunate country on the earth and the centre 
of that faith of which it was the cradle. (8) 
A great Temple will be erected to the true 
God apparently therein. (9) The face of 
religion will be changed. (10) The serpent of 
the abyss will have power no longer over the 
race of man. (11) The world will be restored 
to its first estate. (12) The Eternal Himself 
will manifest ; He will assemble the elect of His 
new religion under the immovable ark of His 
love, establishing righteousness and peace. 

It will be observed that these are the ordinary 
forecasts and reveries concerning the Second 
Advent in their crude and concrete form. From 
the spiritual instructions which follow the pro- 
phecies, it is impossible to extract anything in 
the nature of specific teaching ; much of it is 
vapid and commonplace, but a few maxims 
are lifted above the rest by the beauty of their 
spirit and, although outside my object, they are 
worth citing in a shortened form for this reason. 

(i) Confidence is the precept, love is the soul 
of life. (2) He who has only the eyes of flesh 
and blood takes the road to perdition ; but he 
who sees with the eyes of confidence and love 
follows the road of righteousness and walks 
straight to the light wherein the truth is attained. 
(3) With love and simplicity man has no snares 
to fear. (4) Nothing is useless to him who knows 
how to love. (5) The life of the soul is wisdom 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

and the heart is love. (6) Docility is the road 
which leads to knowledge. (7) The Word is one 
only to him who can comprehend. (8) The ark 
of God is death to those who use false keys. (9) 
The Mysteries of God are the torches of His 
children. (10) He who knows how to preserve 
the Mysteries shall be blessed. (11) We can- 
not walk alone in the way of wisdom. (12) He 
who puts trust in God will no more be stopped in 
his course than the Son of Righteousness. 

The brethren of Avignon had therefore a 
measure of illumination, though not after the 
manner of official illumlnati ; most of their 
prophecies have been made void but a tongue did 
not fail them entirely, and though its utterances 
did not ring always so true as in these chosen 
maxims, I should be satisfied on their considera- 
tion, if I was not satisfied otherwise abundantly, 
that the visions and the oracles of Avignon, 
through the long watches, neither came out of 
revolutionary aspirations nor entered therein. 
That which I seek would not have been found 
among them, but I should not have counted it 
wasted time to have journeyed with the English 
visitors, or even at this day to proceed as far and 
hardly if I could obtain other records of Avignon. 

I should add that Pernety was the first to 
translate some part of the revelation of Sweden- 
borg into the French language, performing in 
this manner for the Swedish seer what was being 
done about the same time or later by L. C. de 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Saint-Martin for the theosophy of Jacob Bohme. 
It is on record, for what it is worth, that Sweden- 
borgian believers did not take kindly to his 
intervention, preferring, I suppose, a revelation 
without antecedents to the suggestion that 
Swedenborg was a Hermetic philosopher. The 
late Mr. E. A. Hitchcock had doubtless a 
similar experience when he revived or devised 
the thesis within the last forty years. It is just, 
however, to add that those who are entitled to 
speak on the text of Swedenborgian scriptures 
complain that the renderings of Pernety were 
(a) imperfect as translations and (b) contaminated 
by interpolations which represented the reveries 
of the French alchemist. Chastanier himself 
protested and assuredly spoke with knowledge. 
It is he who is credited with establishing the 
ILLUMINATED THEOSOPHISTS, as we shall see at a 
later stage. Antoine Joseph Pernety died in the 
Dauphiny about 1800 or 1801. 



BETWEEN the system of Pernety, the Benedictine, 
alchemist and convert of Swedenborg, and the 
Grades referred to Baron Tschoudy, alchemist 
and exponent of High-Grade theories which 
recall those of Masonic Templary, there is the 
correspondence by antithesis which may be held 
to subsist between the mystery of the New 
Jerusalem drawn into Ritual and the mystery 
of chivalry exalted into Grades of Adeptship. 
As in the one case we have learned something 
to our purpose from the literary memorials of 
Pernety, so in the other we shall obtain an 
adequate idea of Baron Tschoudy's particular 
dedications by reference to his chief work, 
called UEtoile Flamboyant^ which for two or 
more generations after his period was held in 
considerable repute and passed through several 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

editions. It has been mentioned by writers in 
England, but without suggesting that there was 
any familiarity with the text. There is a good 
deal of extrinsic matter which can be set aside 
for our purpose, and the rest lies within a 
manageable compass. I propose to consider it 
briefly under three heads, being (a) its theory 
concerning the origin of Masonry ; (b) its con- 
nection ab origtne with chivalry ; and (c) its 
Hermetic purpose and relations. 

The theory supposes, but with no reference 
to authority outside the personal warrants of the 
author, that there existed from time immemorial 
an instituted body described for purposes of 
concealment apparently under the title of 
Anights of the Morning and of Palestine. They 
were ancestors, fathers and authors of Masonry. 
Their date is not specified and their secret is 
not to be betrayed, but their antiquity was 
such that they were witnesses of all the 
vicissitudes which the kingdom of Judah had 
successively experienced. They had long ex- 
pected that a star of peace would, in the words 
of Saint-Martin, rise over their country, their 
life and the life of that afflicted, rejected nation 
to which, in some obscure manner, it would 
appear that they always belonged. For them- 
selves, at the uncertain period with which the 
thesis is concerned, they were still for the most 
part under the obedience of the Old Law. They 
were, moreover, dispersed in different secret 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

retreats, wherein they awaited such a change 
on the face of things as would reinstate them 
in their ancient patrimony and would enable 
them there to erect a third holy Temple wherein 
they might reassume their original functions. 
These are not precisely intimated, but the scheme 
presupposed a restoration of sovereignty in Israel, 
and it is suggested that their work would be 
about the person of the king. They were not, 
therefore, a priestly caste, yet their particular 
liturgy is mentioned. A time came when they 
believed that the term of their exile was 
approaching ; this was occasioned by the preach- 
ing of the first Crusade, and more especially by 
the scheme for the safeguard of the Holy Places. 
The Knights of Palestine thereupon issued from 
their hidden retreats in the desert of the Thebaid, 
and they joined themselves to a remnant of their 
brethren who had remained in Jerusalem. The 
majority of these had abjured the principles of 
Jewish religion and followed the lights of the 
Christian faith. Their example led the others 
to adopt the same course ; they were, if possible, 
more anxious than ever for the restoration of the 
Temple, but now no longer to reinstitute the 
old sacrifices. Theirs would be the offices of 
mercy which the immolation of the Unspotted 
Victim had substituted for the old rites. It is 
said at the same time that they continued to 
respect those rites and to retain them in some 
obscure and seemingly modified way. The 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

inference is that there is here a veiled reference 
(a) to some sect of Johannite Christians, (b) to 
the assumed perpetuation and conversion of a 
body like the Essenes, or (c) an independent 
presentation of Werner's strange story concerning 
the Sons of the Valley, who were the secret 
instructors and protectors at a distance of the 
Knights Templar till they were led at last 
to abandon them. The result of this was that 
the chivalry perished at the hands of Pope and 

Recognising, as they are said to have done, 
that the rebuilding of the Temple was, under 
different aspects, the essential purpose of the 
first Crusade, the so-called Knights of the 
Morning, when the time came to make known 
their presence, represented that they were de- 
scendants of the first Masonic Craftsmen who 
had worked at the Temple of Solomon, and 
that they alone were the depositories of the 
true plans. It was in this manner that they were 
integrated in the alleged scheme of construction, 
that which they had in mind on the surface being 
a speculative architecture, which is said, how- 
ever, to have disguised a more glorious intent. 
Presumably the suggestion here is that the Crusad- 
ing Knights were drafted into a spiritual work 
in place of one which they had devised on the 
external plane. In any case, their instructors 
assumed the name of Freemasons ; the Christian 
chivalry was drawn towards an association which 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

continued in a measure to subsist isolated and 
retired amidst the great hordes of ambition ; and 
for their further protection, as well as for the 
maintenance of their designs, the common cause 
adopted a fixed method of reception, of which 
Masonry is a reflection only. There were signs, 
pass-words and such modes of recognition ; of 
all these the three Craft Grades are the nearest 
remaining memorial. 

It was in this manner that the Masonic in- 
stitution arose ; the Knights of Palestine were 
therefore the first and the true Masons ; they 
seem to have been distinct from that system 
which the author of this thesis claimed to 
sustain and admire under the name of the cossais 
Grades of St. Andrew ; it is said that the Order 
of Palestine is not in competition with these 
and is indeed quite independent an intimation 
that in some form it had continued to modern 

Such being the origin of the speculative art 
of building, it follows that it arose by the 
hypothesis in the midst of Crusading chivalry, 
but, while in it, was not fully identified therewith. 
The secret purpose in view is not so far disclosed, 
and the legend of the genesis breaks off at this 
point abruptly ; we are left to imagine what 
followed in respect of the entrance of Masonic 
art into Europe and all its subsequent history. 
It will be seen (a) that the hypothesis has a 
considerable unacknowledged debt to the Cheva- 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Her Ramsay ; (b) that, as I have shewn else- 
where, it is a memorial of Secret Tradition 
subsisting secretly in Palestine ; (c) that it 
makes no reference to the Knights Templar as 
such ; and I may add (d) that the only Order 
to which there is any allusion, and then on a 
single occasion, is that of St. John of Jerusalem 
another derivation from Ramsay. 

And now in respect of the hidden purpose, it 
is said without equivocation that the concern of 
the brethren in Jerusalem was research into Nature, 
profound meditation on its causes and effects, the 
design to develop and perfect Nature by means of 
art, for the simple purpose apparently of procur- 
ing resources which would enable the questers to 
prosecute that part of their design which has not 
passed into expression. The treatise attributed to 
Morien, which deals with the transmutation of 
metals, is said to be the work of one of the 
brethren, otherwise the ascetics, dwelling in the 
Thebaid. The inference is that, in the view of 
Baron Tschoudy, the art of Masonry is in reality 
the Hermetic art, behind which, however, there 
lies an undeclared mystery. We shall see presently 
whether there is any reason to suppose that this 
mystery corresponds to the spiritual side of the 
Hermetic secret. Regarded as a Masonic hypo- 
thesis, I suppose that in conception and expression 
it would be probably the worst of its kind, were 
it meant to be taken literally. It is obviously 
not, and my remaining point is to determine 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

what the author understands by Alchemy, if any- 
thing, outside the transmutation of metals. 

I may mention, in the first place, that the 
Thebaid solitary Morien is really Morienus 
Romanus ; his description notwithstanding, he is 
supposed to have written in Arabic, from which 
language his tract was translated into Latin by 
Robertus Castrensis. It is from this source that it 
came within the horizon of Baron Tschoudy. The 
original is unknown, but the author is understood 
to have been a Syrian monk whose proper name 
was Morianos ; and the Latin text, though it is in 
no sense really a translation, is considered a genuine 
reflection of eastern Alchemy. It is entitled Liber 
de Compositione Alchemic?^ and is a discourse between 
Morien, Kalid the King of Egypt, and Galip the 
King's slave, or captive. It is an account of the 
search for the Hermetic Mastery on the part of 
the monarch, and of the manner in which the 
secret was communicated to him by the adept 
hermit. The instruction reiterates the old story 
that the matter of alchemical philosophy is one, 
though its names are many. It is a substance that 
is prized by the adepts, but is held as worthless by 
common men in their folly. The method of its 
treatment follows and a description of the vessel 
which is used. It is idle to recite these particulars, 
as the matter is naturally not specified, and though 
the work appears to be physical, there is no real 
criterion of judgment concerning its nature. 

It is, however, on the basis of this tract that 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Baron Tschoudy has raised the superstructure of 
an Hermetic and Masonic Catechism belonging to the 
Grade of Adept^ or Sublime and Unknown Initiated 
Philosopher. He appeals naturally to other author- 
ities, and was unquestionably acquainted with the 
texts which he quotes. The point does not con- 
cern us ; we have only to ascertain the nature of 
the work which he envisages and its connection in 
his mind with Masonry. The work is physical ; 
the matter is to be found everywhere ; it is vile and 
originally is " without native elegance " ; " should 
any one say that it is saleable, it is the species to 
which he refers, but, fundamentally, it is not 
saleable, because it is useful in our work alone." 
It contains Salt, Sulphur and Mercury, but these 
are not to be confused with the vulgar substances 
which are known under such names to the whole 
world ; " it must be sought especially in the 
metallic nature, where it is more easily available 
than elsewhere." The three components must be 
extracted by a perfect sublimation, and thereafter 
follows " dissolution with purified salt, in the first 
place volatilising that which is fixed and after- 
wards fixing that which is volatile in a precious 
earth. The last is the vase of the Philosophers, 
and is wholly perfect." The practical instruction 
ends at this point ; the Masonic analogies are 
remarkable as lights on the philosophy of the 
subject. They are hereinafter enumerated chiefly 
to indicate the horizon which they cover. 

The object of research among Hermetic 

Of Alchemy in Masonry 

philosophers is the art of perfecting that which 
has been left imperfect by Nature in the mineral 
kingdom, and the attainment of that treasure which 
is called the Philosophical Stone. In similitude 
herewith, the object of research among Masons is 
the knowledge of that art by which all that has 
been left naturally imperfect in human nature is 
brought to perfection and the attainment of the 
treasure of true morality. There is a sense there- 
fore in which both arts are comprised in the first 
instance by a process of purification ; the first 
matter of Alchemy must be separated from all its 
impurities, and this is symbolised by that which is 
removed from the Candidate for the Grade of 
Entered Apprentice before his admission to the 
Lodge. It is described as analogous to the 
superfluities or scoria which are stripped from 
the unknown matter in order to discover its 

Alchemy is an experiment which is performed 
on Nature, an experiment that is to say on a 
volatile spirit which performs its office in bodies 
and is animated by an universal spirit. The latter 
is veiled by the venerable emblem of the Blazing 
Star or Pentagram ; it represents the Divine 
Breath which vivifies all that lives. The perfect 
metallic state is found by the hypothesis in gold 
only, and gold is a material symbol of the perfect 
state in Masonry ; the latter is held to be attained, 
in its fulness, either in the Master Grade or alter- 
natively in some other Grade which is the crown 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

and end of any given Rite or system. The state of 
imperfection in the metallic kingdom is that of 
Saturn or lead ; the seed of this metal is one with 
the seed of gold, but it has been brought to birth 
in an impure region. The Candidate for Free- 
masonry, by the hypothesis, has also been born in 
a state of loss, imperfection and impurity, which 
state is summarised by the word " profane." On his 
initiation he enters the way of perfection, the way 
of transmutation, the golden way. The intention 
of Nature is always to produce gold in the metallic 
kingdom, but this is frustrated by circumstances, 
until the act of Adeptship intervenes and fulfils 
the design. The intention in the human kingdom 
is always to produce that which is understood by 
the idea of the perfect man, but this also is frus- 
trated by circumstances, until Masonic art inter- 
venes and fulfils the design. 

From this point of view Masonry is an art of 
development, of building up, or of emblematic 
architecture, and it is the same also in Alchemy. 
The work in both cases is performed on a seed or 
substance pre-existing, which substance is life and 
the Spirit of life. It may be described in each 
case as the separation of the subtle from the gross, 
and this work is said to be signified by the number 
3, "about which all Masonic science revolves." 
The original state of the matter also in each 
case is that of the rude stone, the rough ashlar, 
the superfluities of which must be removed ; in 
more Hermetic terminology, it is the primal chaos, 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

the indiscrete and confused mass out of which a 
cosmos must be brought. 

As the matter of practical philosophy is called 
by innumerable names, which are mostly those of 
well-known substances, it has to be understood by 
the student of art that there is here a veil or an 
evasion, because no material in its common or 
vulgar state is fit for the work of the Adepts. 
This again is signified by another use of the term 
Profane ; a profane person is disqualified for the 
work of Masonry, and as common quicksilver is 
out of court in Alchemy because it lacks the 
principle of life, so in Masonry the uninitiated or 
cowan, as such, is out of court, and is kept beyond 
the Lodge, because he also wants the essential or 
living principle. As regards the term of research 
in Alchemy, it is explained that there are three 
conditions of gold : (a) astral gold, the centre of 
which is in the sun, and the sun communicates it 
to all inferior beings ; (b) elementary gold, which 
is the purest and most fixed portion of the ele- 
ments and of the substances composed of these : 
all sublunary beings have a grain of this gold at 
their centre ; (c) vulgar gold, the most perfect 
metal in Nature. 

This triple state is said to be represented 
respectively in Masonry by the symbolism of the 
Sun as it is found in the earlier Grades, by that of 
the Moon, and by the compasses and kindred 
Masonic jewels. Finally, the number 4, which 
is of particular importance in the Grand Ecossais 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Grade of St. Andrew, represents the perfect equili- 
brium and equality between the four elements of 
which the physical stone is composed. It repre- 
sents also four processes indispensable to the 
completion of the Great Work. These are com- 
position, alteration, mixture and union. When 
they are performed according to the rules of the 
art, there is begotten the lawful Son of the Sun, 
the Phoenix which is for ever reborn from its 

I have put these analogies in the simplest 
language at my command, and as I do not think 
that there can be any difficulty in following them, 
so I incline to believe that their proper scheme 
will be apparent to most of my readers. The 
similitude at the root of the thesis is obvious 
enough, and in its way it is legitimate enough 
the perfection of metals in the one case by 
their conversion into gold, and the perfection of 
humanity in the other by its conversion under the 
graces of the moral law. It is not a comparison 
which carries with it any particular force or 
appeal, because it is the illustration of things that 
are greater by things that are lesser, and it has 
therefore no real office. It is faulty otherwise in 
the way that it is expressed by the writer. It 
does not suggest that metallic transmutation is the 
term of Masonic research, and it is hence without 
aim in practice. If, however, it were the inten- 
tion of Baron Tschoudy to intimate that Masonry 
is the spiritual side of the magnum opus, then he 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

has also and singularly missed his point. As he 
does, however, affirm that behind the imputed 
physical experiments of his so-called Knights of 
the Morning there lay concealed another intention, 
and as he states plainly that he was resolved to 
maintain the concealment, there is some warrant 
for considering the question a little further, by 
indicating certain points in the Hermetic Cate- 
chism in which the corners of the veil seem on 
the point of lifting. They are found in 

a. The statement that God is the end of 
Nature and, inferentially, that God and not physics 
should be the object of the investigators of 

b. The reference to the Divine Breath, which 
is the life of all being. 

c. The hypothesis of the development of 
substances beyond the point of perfection which 
they attain in the natural order. 

d. One mystical interpretation of the term 
" centre of the earth," which is said not to be 
the common earth. 

e. The analogies established with the ethical 
allegories of Masonry. 

f. The fact that the substances made use of 
in Alchemy are distinguished from any of an 
ordinary kind, and, in particular, that the Mercury 
of the Philosopher is no earthly thing, even as 
Christ's Kingdom was not of this world. 

g. The use of mystical numbers. 

h. The application of the so-called metallic 
VOL. ii. E 65 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

elixir to the body of man as a principle of 
universal reconstruction, when the writer could 
not have ignored that the physical reconstruc- 
tion of humanity can only be accomplished 
from within, or, as mystics would say, by a 
spiritual elixir. 

/. The definitition of the chief agent in the 
Great Work, which is described as a single 
corpuscle, and is obviously the Rosicrucian 
minutum mundum, the Microcosmos, or Man him- 
self i.e., his inward and essential principle. 

k. The transliteral interpretation of alchem- 
ical literature which is openly recommended. 

/. The concluding references, which seem to 
stand at the end of the treatise like a key to 
unlock the whole. 

I do not intend to dwell upon these points 
unduly, or to suggest that, because of any force 
which they possess, the Catechism is not in the 
main concerned with a dream of material trans- 
mutations and renewals. But the fact that there 
is something which the author has kept to 
himself, and his confession hereto, puts him in 
the same position as Elias Ashmole, the amateur 
of Hermetic philosophy, who saw that there 
were great things undeclared therein, about which 
he knew only enough to hold his tongue. They 
were also renewals and transmutations, but of 
another kind. The mystical side of Alchemy 
is in this sense the search for a Great Elixir, 
which is the Great Elixir of all, the quest of 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

the Phoenix-state of life, of rebirth from the 
ashes of the simple life in Nature, and of the 
lawful Son of the Sun. The beginning of this 
work is a glorious spiritual dawn, its perfection is 
a high noon, and the sun does not set for ever. 
In this sense the closing lines of the Catechism 
are not without suggestion : 

Q.\ When must the Philosopher begin his 
enterprise ? 

A.\ At the moment of daybreak, for his 
energy must never be relaxed. 

Q.'. When may he take his rest ? 

A.\ When the work has come to its per- 
fection (that is to say, in the Sabbatic 
repose which the spirit attains at the 

Q.-. At what hour is the end of the 
work ? 

A.\ High noon, that is to say, at the 
moment when the sun is in its fullest 
power, and when the Son of the Day- 
Star is in its most brilliant splendour 
(noon of the summer solstice being taken 
to typify the Divine in its utmost mani- 
festation to the self-knowing spirit, the 
state of self-knowing being the con- 
sciousness that the spirit is indeed the 
Son of that Sun, lawfully begotten). 

Q.\ What is the password of MAGNESIA 
(in other words, what is the electrical 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

attraction by virtue of which the centre 
draws back those who came out of the 
centre) ? 

A.\ You know whether I can or should 
reply I reserve my speech (the reason 
being that this is the Great Secret). 

).-. Will you give me the greeting of the 
philosophers (signifying the inward 
certitude with which those who have 
attained the union recognise all others 
who have also attained) ? 

A.\ Begin ; I will reply to you (but it is 
noticeable that the challenge changes at 
this, the initial point). 

Q.\ Are you an apprentice philosopher 
(this is the Masonic substitute for that 
which is termed the greeting) ? 

A.\ My friends and the Wise know me 
(an evasion : the true question and 
answer concern the state of knowing 
even as we are known, but it is not 

Q.'. What is the age of a philosopher ? 

A.\ From the moment of his researches to 
that of his discoveries, the Philosopher 
does not age (because the Great Ex- 
periment, in so far as it is undertaken in 
the time of this life, is made in a suspen- 
sion between two chronological points, 
representing the mystic space of say 
half an hour, or any other duration, and 

Of Alchemy in Masonry 

between the two points a door opens 
into eternity). 

Between (a) the legend of the Knights of the 
Morning which seems to summarise in a single 
thesis all that was dreamed of the Holy Wars 
in Palestine and their Masonic possibilities ; (^) 
the serious, critical standpoint taken up in the 
work on the subject of the cloud of High Grades ; 
and (c] the Hermetic Catechism, I believe that 
UlLtoile Flamboyant* created a great impression. 
We shall see that the Catechism was imported 
into late Masonic Rites ; it was regarded by 
Eliphas Levi as the most luminous and unmistak- 
able presentation of the alchemical Mystery that 
had been ever put into words ; and, reflected 
from him, some of its material passed into the 
lectures attached to the ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED 
SCOTTISH RITE by the illustrious Albert Pike. I 
think, on my own part, that it has a considerable 
and permanent value in the proper understanding 
of its materials. 

In the course of his work, two Masonic High 
Grades are separated from all others for especial 
commendation by Tschoudy : (a) the cossais de 
Sf. Andr d'Ecosse, and (b) Anight of Palestine ; 
the first is said to be the antecedent of the second, 
which emanates from it directly. He is supposed 
to have collected these, with other chivalrous 
degrees, into an ORDER OF THE BLAZING STAR, 
but the evidence is doubtful. When a certain 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

obscure Parisian instituted his COUNCIL OF 
KNIGHTS OF THE EAST, in opposition as it is 
AND WEST, Tschoudy was by repute the author 
of the rituals, but with this fantasy it will not 
be necessary to deal. They are said to have been 
a combination of Egyptian and Jewish doctrine, 
with some Christian elements. We have already 
met with Ecossais de Saint Andre as the apth 
RITE. The authorship has been always referred 
to Tschoudy, and as I have no special ground 
for disputing it, I will only recall that it was 
one of the additional Grades superposed by the 
SCOTTISH RITE on the collection of the COUNCIL 

The Grade of Sublime and Unknown Apprentice 
Philosopher appears to have rested in theory, for I 
find no trace of its existence. The author of the 
Catechism was, however, attracted by the notion 
of Unknown Philosophers, derived probably from 
the Concealed Superiors of the STRICT OBSERV- 
ANCE, and he published their Statutes, shewing 
that, on the hypothesis of their existence, they 
were willing to admit persons of all religions, but 
could only communicate the Mysteries of true 
Philosophy to those who were awakened in 
respect of the Mystery of Faith. Members were 
supposed to adopt a Kabalistic name. If any 
such member pursued the Hermetic work to its 
perfect, fulfilment it would be his duty to certify 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

the fact to his chiefs an old Rosicrucian 

The association, whatever its nature, was 
therefore one of research and not of adepts in 
possession. It gave preference to those who 
could affirm their earnest desire for an acquaint- 
ance with the mysteries of chemistry, even " a 
curiosity concerning them which goes down into 
the very depths of their souls." On the one hand, 
however, they were to beware of sophistic experi- 
ments, an inclination to which, if discernible, 
would disqualify a Candidate for reception, and, 
on the other, it is obvious from the Statutes that 
the operations of the art were those of an exotic 
chemistry rather than of an ordinary kind. They 
were concerned with " the wonders which can be 
wrought by fire." The association on its own 
part promised nothing definitely to aspirants, 
though contrary to Masonic rule it was con- 
sidered proper to imbue persons who were pre- 
pared with a desire to enter its ranks. It tran- 
spires at the same time that there were existing 
archives and that on the occasion of his recep- 
tion the Candidate was placed in possession of 
an important secret which is termed in the Cate- 
chism " the password of MAGNESIA." It was 
communicated in the " tongue of the Sages," and 
it revealed " the true and unique matter of which 
the Stone of the Philosophers is composed." 

The Statutes contain no suggestion concerning 
a Masonic aspect ; the method of recruiting was 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

by means of a patron, who took his own sponsor 
into a kind of unofficial consultation by putting a 
hypothetical case, in which the name of the 
possible postulant at least in the absence of some 
special understanding was rigidly suppressed, an 
Unknown Philosopher having not only his identity 
concealed from the world without but, by a con- 
vention or presumption, if not in actual practice, 
from the world within the circle. The object 
was to protect by all measures of prudence those 
who should ultimately succeed in composing the 
mystic Stone. In the absence of such precautions, 
not only the particular vessel of high alchemical 
election but the Society at large might after a 
short time be " brought to the brink of ruin." 

When it was decided to receive a Postulant, 
it was ordained in the first place that " the light 
which enlighteneth from the Eternal " should be 
invoked in a public service, held in a consecrated 
place of religion, " according to the Rites of that 
faith which is professed by the person to be 
received." In France this would obviously mean 
the offering of a votive Mass for that person's 
intention, but in other cases, as difficulties were 
foreseen, the observance was so relaxed that it 
probably passed into desuetude. In the second 
place, the Candidate was sworn to preserve the 
Statutes inviolable, the secrets, " whatsoever may 
befall," as also to keep faith with his brethren, 
with the laws of his land and with the sovereign 
who ruled over it. On his part, the patron who 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

imposed the obligations, speaking in the person of 
the Order, assured the Neophyte of its friendship, 
its fidelity and its protection. An imputed dis- 
closure of the great arcanum enigmatically or 
otherwise concluded the cermony, which obvi- 
ously took place between Patron and Aspirant 
only ; after the reception it was open to the new 
member to become himself a patron. He was 
known, as I have intimated, by a Kabalistic name, 
and was made acquainted with the Kabalistic 
characters used in the art. On the anniversary of 
his reception, should he be of the Catholic faith 
and a Candidate of this kind seems more likely to 
have proved a persona grata he was to offer the 
Holy Sacrifice to God, as an act of thanksgiving, 
and that he might " obtain from the Eternal the 
gifts of knowledge and illumination." 

I believe that this curious document represents 
a scheme in embryo and not the regulations of 
an actually incorporated body ; and if, as I also 
believe, it was the unaided work of Baron 
Tschoudy, the presumptive inference therefrom 
is either (a) that his studies and experiments had, 
in his own faith at least, placed him in possession 
of the problematical First Matter of the Physical 
Work ; or (b) that he had received a communica- 
tion concerning it from a secret source of know- 
ledge. It does not follow, and I see no reason to 
think, that in consequence of such knowledge he 
had performed what is called the Great Work in 
the particular department which concerned him. 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

So also whether communicated or discovered by 
his own efforts there may have been mistake or 
deception concerning the First Matter. 

It is just to add in qualification of my pre- 
vious statement, that the statutes, here analysed 
briefly, do contain a single casual allusion to the 
Grand Architect of the Universe, but it is made 
under such circumstances that it scarcely carries 
with it any Masonic suggestion ; but, on the other 
hand, we have seen that the Catechism belonging 
to the Apprentice Grade of the Order is obviously 
and persistently Masonic. It is therefore a matter 
of speculation how in the mind of the author it 
was proposed to bring the procedure of reception 
as delineated into consonance with ordinary pro- 
cedure according to the mind of the Craft or 
the High Grades. This is one problem left over, 
and it will be seen that I have no pretension to 
deal with it. Another concerns the title of 
Unknown Philosophers, which I have sought to 
explain by the antecedents of Unknown Superiors 
not altogether adequate, and we have further to 
remember that the RITE OF ELECT COHENS was in 
existence at the period of Baron Tschoudy, though 
I question whether it can be regarded as in open 
evidence till after the appearance of Pasqually 
at Bordeaux, and even after UEtoile Flamhoyante 
was published. It may, however, be to this 
source that the title should be more correctly 
referred, but I suppose that in the last resource 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

the question is not vital. It is more important to 
distinguish between the society described by Baron 
Tschoudy in 1763, when UEtoile Flamboyante was 
published, and another alleged ORDER OF THE 
which are confined to a work of Ragon which 
did not appear till 1853. He calls it Jesuitical, 
Templar and a part of that system which was 
perpetuated in the ORDER OF CHRIST. The last 
allegation does not need refuting, and, if I speak 
my whole mind, I question whether the mysterious 
Judges had any corporate existence outside the 
perverse brain to which we owe the treatise called 
Orthodoxie Maqonnique. However this may be, 
Ragon affirms that the Order was divided into the 
two Grades of Novice and Judge Commander. The 
condition of reception was the possession of the 
Grade of Rose-Croix and the reception in the first 
instance took place in a vault. The Order claimed 
to be the ne plus ultra of Masonry, and to unveil 
its entire meaning. The Candidate was pledged, 
in the name of the most Perfect and Holy Trinity, 
to work for the triumph of the Order, for the 
regeneration of society, the liberty of all Brethren 
and the destruction of superstition together with 
all usurpation of the rights of man. With this 
object, the character of man was to be made his 
special study. The noviciate lasted for three 
years, during which time the initiate knew only 
his sponsor and the officer by whom he had been 
received. At the end of his probation he was 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

qualified for admission to the Second Grade of 
Commander^ in which he was pledged to the 
practice of mercy, and was informed that the 
purpose of the Order was the reintegration of 
the Judge Philosophers in their true rights as 
the successors of the Temple. He was made ac- 
quainted with the analogy between the central 
legend of the Craft Grades and the martyrdom 
of Jacques de Molay, and with the vengeance 
sworn by the Order against the traitors in chief 
being the papacy, the principle of royalty and 
those who had profited by the conspiracy, namely, 
the Knights of Malta. In what manner the 
vengeance was to be accomplished does not 
appear in the Ritual, but in a general sense the 
Candidate undertook to protect innocence against 
the superstition, usurpation, tyranny, hypocrisy 
and savagery by which it was threatened. In 
some obscure manner these dedications were con- 
nected in the mind of Ragon with the study 
of the secret sciences, more especially on the 
Hermetic side. He published the Statutes of 
the Order, which in certain respects recall those 
of Baron Tschoudy, though it would be an idle 
task to specify the examples of analogy. 

There are now only a few points to complete 
the considerations of this section. The connection 
which UEtoile Flamboyante sought to establish with 
the Secret Tradition in Israel through the so-called 
Knights of the Morning, and with Alchemy as a 
part of the tradition, suffers comparison with an 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

alternative hypothesis which was current about 
the same period, and traced the Fraternity to 
another secret association, under the name of the 
Dionysian artists. These, in the mind of the 
hypothesis, arose in Syria, and in some occult 
manner were acquainted with the Essenian sect, 
which constitutes the claim of this particular 
dream to a word of notice here. I will put its 
chief contentions in the words of the witness. 
" It is advanced that the people of Attica went 
in quest of superior settlements a thousand years 
before Christ, that they settled in Asia Minor, the 
provinces which they acquired being called Ionia. 
In a short time these Asiatic colonies surpassed 
the mother country in prosperity and science ; 
sculpture in marble and the Doric and Ionian 
Orders resulted from their ingenuity. They re- 
turned to instruct their mother country in a style 
of architecture which has been the admiration 
of succeeding ages. For these improvements the 
world is indebted to the Dionysian artificers." 
By the scope of this hypothesis, the persons in 
question were, however, something more than 
builders of the ordinary kind. They carried with 
them their Mysteries into Ionia, and these were 
the Mysteries of Bacchus. They were further 
an association of scientific men, who possessed the 
exclusive privilege of erecting Temples, theatres 
and other public buildings in Asia Minor. " These 
artists were very numerous in Asia, and existed 
under the same appellation in Syria, Persia and 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

India. They supplied Ionia and the surrounding 
countries, as far as the Hellespont, with theatrical 
apparatus by contract, and erected the magnificent 
Temple at Teos to Bacchus, the founder of their 
Order. About three hundred and sixty years 
before the birth of Christ, a considerable number 
of them were incorporated by command of the 
kings of Pergamos, who assigned to them Teos as 
a settlement, it being the city of their tutelary 
god. The members of this association, which 
was intimately connected with the Dionysian 
Mysteries, were distinguished from the uninitiated 
inhabitants of Teos by the science which they 
possessed, and by appropriate words and signs by 
which they could recognise their brethren of the 
Order. Like Freemasons, they were divided into 
Lodges, which were distinguished by different 
appellations, . . ., and each separate association 
was under the direction of a master, or president, 
and wardens. . . . They used particular utensils 
in their ceremonial observances, some of which 
were exactly similar to those that are employed 
by the Fraternity of Freemasons. ... If it be 
possible to prove the identity of any two societies 
from the coincidence of their external forms, we 
are authorised to conclude that the Fraternity of 
Ionian Architects and the Fraternity of the Free- 
masons are exactly the same ; and as the former 
practised the Mysteries of Bacchus and Ceres, it 
may be safely affirmed that in their internal as 
well as their external procedure the Society of 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

Freemasons resembles the Dionysians of Asia 

We are not at this day so learned or perhaps 
so readily convinced as some of our precursors in 
the past, and we are not therefore so familiarly 
acquainted with the procedure, external and 
internal, of building guilds in Asia. The hypo- 
thesis is of course negligible, and if it were worth 
while to say so, it is not even in tolerable harmony 
with its own assumptions. The claim is (a) that 
the work of these Craftsmen was to be found in 
Judea prior to the period of the Temple, which 
was erected in the Ionic style ; (b) that they can 
be traced through the Fraternity of Essenes, 
though the Essenes were a contemplative Order ; 
(c) that they were continued through the 
Templars, though the Templars were not archi- 
tects, notwithstanding their attributed design of 
restoring to despoiled Zion the glories of its 
emblematic Temple ; and (d) that they are ulti- 
mately brought down partly through Eastern 
perpetuation but in part also through the archi- 
tects of Byzantium to " that trading association 
of architects " which appeared during the dark 
ages under the special authority of the See of 

The inference is that in addition to the literal 
art of building, the emblematic mysteries of Greece 
and Asia were also handed down, under what- 
ever changes, and that thus through Orders of 
Chivalry and even through contemplative Orders 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

there has been derived to symbolical Free- 
masonry some part of that mystery which is still 
at work among us. 

Baron Tschoudy died at Paris in 1769, but I 
have dealt with him subsequently to Pernety, 
that I might remove an alchemist from the con- 
sideration in the first place whose hand in the 
Hermetic Degrees is not so clearly indicated as 
is that of a contemporary who happened to die 
earlier, and indeed before his time. 



THERE was a time in the High Grade movement 
when each particular interest, concern and school 
of thought which drifted into the Masonic en- 
campment was represented by a specific Rite or 
group of Grades ; it attracted those who responded 
to its appeal ; it was not in competition with any 
other kindred interest ; and the motley crowd of 
all these brothers in Ritual dwelt together in 
harmony. The great Rites and the great collec- 
tions incorporated from there and here, but for 
some reason, which it is a little difficult to assign, 
they did not annex, as a rule, anything from a few 
special proprietors already in possession of their 
field. The COUNCIL OF EMPERORS, the cossais 
systems, the ingarnerings of Philosophical Rites 
and of Mother Lodges so-called, drew all things 
into their archives, excepting, however, generally 
the things that were of Alchemy, the things of 

VOL. II. F 8l 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Magic and Kabalism. The RITE OF PASQUALLY 
suffered no depredation ; no one borrowed from 
Egyptian Magic ; the ILLUMINATI OF AVIGNON 
performed their mysteries in peace, apart from 
serious encroachment. 

The instinct of the period recognised two 
domains, in which, however, all was common 
property ; no one could expect to produce a 
Grade illustrating or extending some historical 
or symbolical period under the Old Alliance and 
claim to hold copyright, so to speak, because this 
kind of thing was thought much too important in 
the catholic side of the subject. It was the same 
with the Chivalrous Grades ; to whomsoever it 
was given to produce a new Knightly Degree, it 
was made evident that he had entered into the 
liberties of all Masonry ; it was no sin on his 
part to reflect, to borrow, to adapt, and he ex- 
tended apparently or was at least supposed to 
extend the same licence towards all who came 
after. Baron Tschoudy or another might institute 
a Knighthood of the Sun and might incorporate 
it into a system of his own, but before long it 
was taken over in other directions, where it seemed 
to fall, reasonably or not, into a totally different 
sequence. He was content, no doubt, on his part, 
and his debtors were content on theirs. There 
came, however, another time when it was deemed 
desirable to constitute encyclopaedic Rites, con- 
taining whatsoever had entered into the Masonic 
field, to say nothing of supplementary inventions. 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

Thus were produced the RITE OF MIZRAIM and 
soon after the RITE OF MEMPHIS. Mizraim is 
de omnibus rebus and Memphis de qulbusdam allls. 
They would not have been encyclopaedic con- 
taining all things and supplements to all things- 
had they left out (a) Magic, (b) Alchemy and 
(c] Kabalism. Avignon, Montpellier, Bordeaux, 
Lyons, Paris, did not offer sufficient materials 
for their purpose, and there was consequently a 
spur to invention ; the inventions and the borrow- 
ings from all quarters were classified into great 
series, some of which I will proceed to codify 
briefly. The ninth class in the RITE OF MIZRAIM, 
and the tenth class also in that Rite, is more or 
less alchemical in its character, but the supreme 
power of the Order, as represented by its Absolute 
Grand Sovereign and the goth and last Degree, 
must have been ruled by the sovereign unreason, 
if I may venture to assume that the Heads of the 
Rite were responsible for the mode of classification. 
The Hermetic system may be taken to begin with 
the Grade of Chaos Discreet. To understand this 
title, it must be remembered that the first matter 
of the Stone in Alchemy is sometimes represented 
in the terminology of the old literature as un- 
formed and chaotic, like the matter of the world 
before it was brought into order. The next 
Grade was called Chaos the Second, or Wise, and 
involves the suggestion that a cosmos had begun 
to be produced in the vessel of the philosophers. 
Perhaps in the mind of the Rite the vessel 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

represented the Candidate, though it is rather by 
implication than expression, and to exemplify his 
cosmic condition he is made in the 5ist Grade a 
Knight of the Sun, in which he is permitted to 
forget that he has become a Delator of Alchemy. 
We have met with this fantasia already in another 
system, but here his experience with Brother 
Truth, and encompassed by Cherubim and Sylphs, 
is prefatory to a greater dignity, for he becomes 
in the next Grade a Sovereign Commander of the 
Stars. We have heard of this also at a distance, 
but not that the Candidate re-enters therein the 
occult sphere of Alchemy and is made acquainted 
with a new interpretation of the Craft Legend, 
which may be summarised under the following 
heads : (a) The Master Builder represents the 
First Matter of the Wise ; (b] that Matter must 
pass through the stage of putrefaction, and hence 
the death of the Builder ; (c) after putrefaction 
it becomes the source of life and is ripe for repro- 
duction ; (d) this truth is symbolised by the 
sepulchre of the Master ; (e) the Master of the 
Lodge represents the First Matter when it is in 
the stage of putrefaction, and he is therefore the 
Builder, also in that stage ; (f) it is evident at 
this point that the interpretation has blundered in 
respect of its own canons, but a public explanation 
of the reason cannot be given ; (g) according to 
the truth of the symbolism, the Master or Presi- 
dent of the Lodge typifies the Builder in a far 
different and higher state ; (h) let those who 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

have passed through the Grades of Craft Masonry 
recall the experience of the Candidate towards 
the term of all, and they may see a certain light ; 
(/) recurring to the discourse itself, the ornaments 
of the Lodge include a Pentagram, in which the 
word Force is emblazoned, and this word signifies 
the First Matter in the Black Stage, which again 
is that of putrefaction ; (k) another symbol is the 
Moon, inscribed with the word Wisdom, signify- 
ing the Matter at the White or the first purified 
state ; (/) a third symbol is the Sun, inscribed 
with the word Beauty, and this is the Matter at the 
Red Stage, which is the source of all good things. 

It remains only to say that if a Mason 
acquainted with a few of the Books of Alchemy 
will remember the attributions of certain inferior 
Masonic lights, he will see how and why this inter- 
pretation has gone astray quite naturally. It is, for 
those who can appreciate it, a very curious instance 
of the fact that Masonic symbolism cannot be 
transferred to another plane of ideas until it has 
been suffered to assume a corresponding change in 
its vestures. I know exactly how they should re- 
appear when they have passed through the tingeing 
process of Alchemy, and it is not after this manner. 
The maker of the Grade was not therefore one of 
the Hermetic Masters, though I admit that he 
has produced a curious and at first sight colourable 

There is another form of the Grade which 
offers several variations from that which I have 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

been so far following. Having been clothed in a 
black garment and hoodwinked, the Candidate is 
laid upon an embroidered carpet which represents 
a tomb and passes symbolically through the state 
of alchemical putrefaction. He represents the 
body of the Master, and is in fine raised for the 
purpose of taking the obligation. It is obvious 
that a very curious symbolism could be developed 
along these lines, but it is of course missed by 
the Ritual. The Catechism says that the First 
Matter is a crude stone, which is the germ of the 
seven metals, and it is nurtured by the fire of 
heaven. This Matter is unknown. The Presi- 
dent of the Lodge is in red vestments because such 
is the colour attributed to the powder of projection. 
The apron is black, white and red, for so must 
the crude stone of the Candidate pass through 
three stages, in correspondence with these colours, 
to arrive at wisdom. 

It is beyond my province to suggest after what 
manner the person who suffered the experience 
which I have thus outlined was held to command 
the stars, but it is at least certain (a) that if he 
brought no alchemical knowledge to the Temple 
in this Grade, he derived none therefrom, and 
(b) that if he possessed any it was not increased 
by the ordeal. 

These Degrees did not therefore carry the 
philosophical research to a definite term, and the 
RITE OF MIZRAIM thoughtfully recurred to first 
principles. It remembered that the metals which 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

Alchemy seeks to transmute are liable to be found 
in the mines, and it therefore instituted four Grades, 
classified as the Key of Masonry, being (a) Miner, 
who brings up the necessary materials from the 
bowels of the earth ; (b) Washer, who, by the 
hypothesis, separates the foreign substances ; (c] 
'Blower, who purges the matter by fire ; (d) 
Caster, who moulds the purified matter of the 
Wise. In this manner the Candidate who has 
passed with success through these searching tests 
is held qualified to become a True Mason Adept, 
which he does in the next Degree. It will not 
prove surprising herein that he has ceased to 
reckon his age, the fact notwithstanding that, 
according to Baron Tschoudy, from the moment 
he sets his hand to the work the philosopher 
does not age. 

The discourse puts forward, with native 
modesty, the claim that the science of the Grade 
is the most ancient and primal knowledge, of 
which the source is in Nature itself, or more 
accurately it is Nature made perfect by art as 
established on the ground of experience. The 
adepts of this science have existed in all ages, and 
if there are those at the present day who lay 
waste their substance, their toil and their time in 
vain, it is because they forget that Sigillum Natures 
et artis simplicitas est and have gone aside from 
the straight path. This expatiation is only an 
enfeebled reflection of recurring complaints and 
counsels in alchemical literature. So also is that 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

which follows, being a reference to the scorn and 
the ridicule to which the errors of such unin- 
structed enthusiasts have brought an honourable 
and sublime subject. It has come about in this 
manner that the audacity of hostile criticism 
has relegated Hermetic Science to the rank 
of fabulous invention and popular superstition. 
The Candidate is recommended to leave the 
children of darkness and haters of holy light to 
their proper vanity and folly, and to share, on his 
own part, the advantages reserved for those who 
are Sons of the Doctrine. This notwithstanding, 
it does not appear that he enters into the sub- 
stantial enjoyment of any hidden treasure, for 
Hermetic Masonry, according to the mind of the 
Grade, is built upon three pillars the faith which 
goes before work and constitutes its condition ; 
the hope which carries it forward ; and the 
charity which should follow its success. It is 
no part of my province to reduce the theological 
virtues from their high estate, but the True Mason 
Adept^ who has mined and washed, who has 
blown also and cast, is now justified by the terms 
of the symbolism in expecting a formula of trans- 
mutation to recompense the faith and hope of 
eight and fifty Grades, and I conceive that his 
sense of charity must have been raised from the 
plane of a theological virtue to that of a counsel of 
perfection, should he feel that he has received his 

The Lodge or the Temple is then, so to 

Of Alchemy in Masonry 

speak, called off, that one who has suffered so 
much may receive a few titles of honour, such as 
Sovereign of Sovereigns. It is not till the and 
Grade in the eleventh class that he is made a 
Knight of the Rainbow ', or Perfect Alchemical 

Although J. M. Ragon detested the High 
Degrees, it is evident that he had always a certain 
tolerance and even a favourable leaning towards 
the RITE OF MIZRAIM. In respect of the present 
Grade, he describes it in his curious terminology 
as phllosophale et philosophique, and explains that 
the hues of the rainbow are assumed by the 
matter of the alchemists when it is approaching 
the stage of perfection. I therefore consulted an 
old codex of the Ritual in the expectation of 
finding at least some shadow of the Hermetic 
work ; but it is only the old vanity of a purely 
ethical Degree and, though longer than most of 
its class, it has no greater mysteries than vapid 
discourse on the religion of Nature, the love of 
virtue, charity and courage. In the Catechism 
there is a legendary account of Noah. Perhaps 
this is why Ragon says that it has been marred 
by a biblical presentation. 

So culminates, so passes and so dissolves in 
clouds the Hermetic Masonry of this particular 
Rite, which seems in the palmary sense to have 
existed for the pretended communication not only 
of that which it did not possess but which it 
could not even simulate. 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

There is believed to have been a detached 
Grade under the name of Knight of the Rainbow, 
so it is difficult and unnecessary to say whether 
that of Mizraim was annexed by Marc Bedarride, 
who was one of the founders of the Rite, or is a 
novelty under an identical title. 





THERE is no question that the Abbe Pernety and 
Baron Tschoudy were alchemists of their period, 
and more especially as regards the first, he 
deserves to be regarded as a most serious student 
of the art. If, therefore, the specific knowledge 
which they brought to the composition of Her- 
metic Rituals is so slender in result that a lover 
of the art might be well cautioned to avoid the 
paths which they open, in the ratio of probability, 
there is less still to be expected (a) from the 
fortuitous collection of detached Grades into a 
classified list ; (b) from their incorporation after 
this manner into a Rite ; or (c) from the compila- 
tion of Hermetic Rituals by persons who have 
exhibited otherwise no titles to recognition as pro- 
ficients in the particular subject. The process of 
examination for the discovery of treasures in such 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

inchoate heaps is the rummaging of Pandora's box 
with a very slender chance of discovering truth, 
or one of its colourable substitutes, at the bottom. 
THE ORDER OF MEMPHIS has a tolerably en- 
tangled history which it would serve very little 
purpose to disentangle in this place. It was first 
heard of in Paris during the course of 1838, 
though there is a legend that it was established at 
Montauban in 1814. The point does not signify. 
In either case it had the glory of 95 Degrees, its 
stars of the first magnitude being of wide know- 
ledge and repute in other systems. They were 
classified into three series, reclassified in 1849, and 
again in or about 1862, while some four years 
later they were reduced to 33 under the ANTIENT 
said further, that they have been re-edited of recent 
years for the purpose of expunging the Christian 
elements an appeal, I suppose, to the Jew and 
the apostles of something called Theism. As a 
fact, I believe that the charge is without founda- 
tion, since the original compilers of the Rite 
were really those who excluded the vital Christian 
elements from the Grades which they borrowed, 
while into those which they seem to have invented 
the elements did not enter. The skeleton which 
remains of a Grade like that of Rose-Croix is, in 
any case, rather weird as a spectacular effect, but 
" much too naked to be shamed." In the present 
connection, however, it is again scarcely my 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

Through all its variations a Hermetic element 
has been preserved to the Order, and is represented 
of Hermetic Philosophers. Its five Grades are 
immediately reducible by four, which are neither 
Hermetic in the wider nor alchemical in the 
narrower sense. The Degree which remains is 
Knight Hermetic Philosopher^ and the elements of 
its instruction are as follows : (a) The planetary 
qualities so-called of exploded occultism and 
science ; (b) the symbolism of numbers, referred 
to Pythagoras ; (c) that of the Hermetic but not 
apparently the Fylfot Cross ; (d) alchemical 
notions concerning the four elements ; (e) a de- 
scription of Alchemy as a branch of learning 
cultivated by the Egyptian priests ; (/*) the re- 
duction by Moses of the golden calf to powder, 
considered as an example of their proficiency in 
the art, the thesis being, I infer, that he was 
skilled in all their science ; (g) a so-called lecture 
embodying certain excerpts from Baron Tschoudy's 
Hermetic Catechism, which I have dealt with in the 
previous section. 

These matters may be described as the first 
part of the Hidden Mysteries of Nature and 
Science, as understood by the genius of the Grade. 
The second may perhaps be held to include its 
grand principles as follows : (a) Fixity and regu- 
larity have always existed in the universe ; (k) 
matter has a limit in respect of weight and volume 
but not in respect of immensity ; (c) a new world 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

is or is at least liable to be created every 
instant ; (d) action is necessary before a result can 
follow. These things being certified, the final 
discourse of the Grade offers a legendary account 
of the origin of pardon and repentance. This is 
a result which does not seem to follow from the 
points of the previous instruction. 

It has taken seventeen Grades of Masonry to 
reach this height of illumination ; it would be 
easy to say that comment is needless, if I were 
content with stereotyped phrases : it is needed 
badly enough, but it would not confess to the 
reasonable limits of space. The Rituals of the 
ANTIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE are a portly collec- 
tion in themselves, but as we have seen they 
are only a third of the treasures which the ORDER 
OF MEMPHIS offered to its original disciples. It 
gathered them from all quarters, as we have also 
seen ; it edited those which were good and those 
which made for glory more is the pity thereof ; 
but even after such a process something remained. 
Then there were the things which never in the 
world before had come within the Masonic horizon 
choses inouies indeed. Between the one and the 
other I know not whether to be the more sorry 
for a few fools who followed such masters in the 
high craft of ritual, or for the masters themselves 
patriarchs of Isis, pontiffs of the Mystic City 
et hoc genus omne. 

To the Chapters, Senates and Councils of the 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

lectures attached in the form of catechisms, and 
in one of them there is a further and indeed 
exhaustive levy on the Hermetic Catechism of Baron 
Tschoudy, though he also has had the dubious 
advantage of an upside-down editing. When 
this comes to an end there is an ingarnering from 
filiphas Levi which is rather curious on the 
question of date, and shews the intervention of 
another and later hand. It is also said that when 
the alchemists speak of a Brazen Sea, in which the 
Sun and Moon must be washed, the reference is 
really to the cleansing waters of spiritual grace, 
which does not soil the hands but purifies all 
leprous metals. The Alchemy of physics is one 
thing, and the mystic side of the art is another and 
very different ; but here the images of both are 
confounded inextricably. It is further said that 
the Spouse of the Chemical Marriage and the six 
virgins are the seven metals, but they are also the 
seven virtues. Which among the latter responds 
to the Bridegroom or the Christ-Spirit does 
not appear, but as the contribution in this case is 
levied on the parable of the wise virgins, it seems 
permissible to point out that the analogy does not 

What follows next in the lecture may be a 
quotation from Marconis, one of the founders of 
the Rite. " When the Sun shall have visited his 
twelve houses, typified by the twelve chambers of 
a Hermetic philosopher, and has found you 
attentive to receive him, matter will no longer 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

have power over you ; you will be no longer a 
dweller on earth, but after a certain period will 
give back to earth a body, which belongs thereto, 
so as to take up an altogether spiritual body. 
Therefore " with apologies to logic " the body 
must be revivified and born again from its ashes, 
which must be effected by the vegetation of the 
Tree of Life, symbolised by the Golden Branch 
of Eleusis and the sprig of myrtle." 

I may assure my readers that this is not 
spiritual Alchemy, either in the substance or the 
shadow ; it is rather the blundering of a pretender 
who does not know the language that he is 
attempting to use. Let us see, however, the 
testimony in conclusion concerning the Hermetic 
quest as it is understood by these records. It is 
the discovery of the principle of life " shut up in 
the profoundity of matter and known by the name 
of alkahest^ which has the generative virtue of 
producing the triangular cubic stone, the white 
stone of the Apocalypse." I do not know who 
is responsible for this definition, but he has not 
heard the voice of Christian Rosy Cross speaking 
from the tomb of the universe. 

evolution in reduction of a consummate folly. 
It is not undeserving of the reprobation which it 
has received everywhere. It is Memphis and 
all that it meant by the wisdom of an Oriental 
Order in a comparative nutshell of thirty-three 
Degrees, and so numbered to parade its piracies 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

I am far from acknowledging the titles of this 
Rite, considered as a collection ; but whatever 
its antecedents, and whatever the logic of its 
sequence, it has been long in possession of its 
particular field ; it has at least the squatter's 
right, and the rival claims are imposture. If this 
may appear in view of any possible interests 
though I think that these are few and mostly 
negligible somewhat too hardly put, then the 
ANTIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE is at least like a 
competitive bishop allocated, under another obedi- 
ence, to a see which is in occupation already by 
the delegate of a different Rite. 

VOL. ii. G 97 



WE owe as much to our enemies occasionally as 
we owe to some of our friends ; and amidst their 
fantasies, their wrested facts, their tortuosities of 
construction and their determined ill-will, a few 
trifles are to be placed to the credit of writers like 
Abbe Barruel. Even when they set us upon a 
wrong track to do which is their particular 
office we may find something in the course of 
its measurement which proves serviceable to us 
unexpectedly. I know of no more interesting 
books on their particular thesis than the Proofs of 
a Conspiracy and Memoirs Illustrating the History 
of Jacobinism^ unless indeed it be Le Tombeau de 
"Jacques de Molai^ which was afterwards recanted 
by its author, Cadet de Gassicourt. By the first 
of this triad which is the work of Professor 
Robison I was put upon the track of a little 
book-collecting which I followed for several years 
without reaching a term. He had held that Des 



Of Alchemy in Masonry 

Erreurs et de la Verite^ by L. C. de Saint-Martin, 
was a kind of inspired Talmud for the High 
Grade Lodges and Chapters at its period in 
France. From his forms of expression and 
reiteration it might be concluded that " water was 
all Bible-lore," but that this Mishna was " strong 
wine " and prized above " all the prophets." The 
suggestion is decorative exaggeration, but I knew 
quite independently that it had a solid heart of 
truth. The text in question created a great 
impression, especially at Lyons, and much more 
especially still at the Masonic centre therein, the 
Loge de Eienfaisance^ of which we have heard 
already in connection with the Lyons Convention 
and that of Wilhelmsbad. There was no more 
important High-Grade Lodge in France, unless it 
was that of the Philalethes at Paris. Saint- 
Martin was one of its members, and about his 
great personal influence I have no need to speak. 
On its own merits and the great consideration ot 
its author, the book was sure of success among 
those to whom it appealed. 

I was therefore prepared to take, with reason- 
able reserve, the intimations of Robison when he 
became eloquent and even alluring in his account 
of another text under the title of Archives Mitho- 
Hermetiques, and I went in quest of this work. 
That quest bade fair to be extended over the third 
part of the earth and sea if not of the stars of 
heaven on account of its utter rarity. When out- 
wearied by my personal adventures and researches, 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

a copy was at last found in the Bibliotfoque 
Nationale, and I obtained a transcript in full. I 
think it likely that I am the sole person who at 
this day is acquained with the text in England. 

Having thus recited my own story concerning 
it, in contrariety to all my precedents, I will 
speak of Professor Robison's testimony in respect 
of its content and position. He affirms (a) that 
it is considered an historical and dogmatical 
account of the procedure and system of the Lodge 
which I have named at Lyons : he misquotes the 
title of the book, and he is in error as to that of 
the Lodge at the date in question, but these things 
are details ; (b) that the work is a strange 
admixture of mysticism, theosophy, real science 
and freethinking in religious and political matters ; 
(c) that it is the annals of the proceedings of the 
Lodge, but at the same time is the work of one 
hand. It is obvious that on none of these con- 
siderations, if taken literally, would it call for 
any notice in my pages, but long before it came 
into my hands I was prepared to find that most 
of the statements were not to be taken literally 
an inference fully confirmed at length by the 
event of its discovery. 

Leaving now my dubious authority, with 
gratitude for an introduction to the text, it is 
obvious that if, in conformity with the title, 
it is really an Hermetic work, and certainly or 
possibly Masonic, then it has full title to our 
concern. There is nothing to bear out the 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

connection established with the Lodge of Lyons, 
but I can see how this error arose. Robison, 
being acquainted with the writings of Saint- 
Martin, could not fail to see that Des Erreurs et de 
la Verite had influenced deeply the anonymous 
author of Archives Mitho-Hermetiques^ who quotes 
the alleged Talmud with marked approbation. 
Robison must also have known the connection 
of Saint-Martin with Lyons, and he effected an 
imaginary marriage. There are no Masonic 
references in the text whatever, but it is dedicated 
to Savalette de Langes, founder of the Lodge or 
RITE OF PHILALETHES at Paris, and the rest was 
inference. That Lodge was tinctured deeply 
with Hermeticism ; de Langes was not especially 
noted outside Masonic circles though he was 
a well-placed man and from the terms of the 
dedication I think it highly probable that the 
author belonged not only to the fraternity itself 
but to the particular centre. It is needless to say 
that it is not the annals of the proceedings of any 
Lodge, but it is a presentation of exactly the kind 
of doctrine and hypothesis with which the Phila- 
lethes were permeated. That Lodge is said to have 
been based on the principles of Martinism, which 
was not, however, Hermetic, while the statement 
is otherwise untrue ; it counted among its members 
Court de Gebelin, Cazotte and the occult literati 
of Paris as we have seen indeed already. It 
was disposed to theosophy and what Robison 
would have called mysticism ; I am quite certain 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

that the Archives must have appealed widely to 
its members. There is no printed book more 
likely to have emanated unofficially from that 
quarter. It may thus be taken as, in high 
probability, representing a phase of Hermetic 
Masonry at its period. It was the direction, in 
other words, in which such dreams were turning. 
In approaching the text itself we shall do 
well to put aside the fraudulent charge brought 
against it by Robison in respect of freethinking 
on questions of religion and politics. It is a 
treatise on the Universal Medicine, and though, 
as such, it is completely unfinished for it was 
published in parts, and the parts came to an end 
abruptly there is no mistake possible as to the 
principles from which it depends. It separates 
Hermetic philosophy from all chemical manipu- 
lation, as from that which was never its intention ; 
and in the light of such philosophy it proceeds 
to consider (a) the first estate of man, (b) the 
circumstances of his Fall, and (c) the means of 
his rehabilitation by the mediation of that 
Medicine, " the mystery of which has been put 
on record by many hundreds of Masters who are 
in perfect agreement with one another." The 
Divine Pymander of Hermes is the root-matter 
of the instruction concerning the nobility of our 
original nature, the concupiscence by which it 
was brought down and the means of its rehabili- 
tation. I do not think that I am warranted in 
laying out the scheme of the subject, and will 

1 02 



Of Alchemy in Masonry 

therefore say only that the primordial envelope 
of the soul was a most pure quintessence of the 
elements ; that its sustenance in this state is sym- 
bolised by the fruits of the Tree of Life ; that 
man sought another food, symbolised by the 
Tree of Knowledge ; that he thus forfeited his 
birthright, entered into degradation and exchanged 
incorruptibility for death. It is obvious that this 
is the old story, and I summarise it only because 
the hypothesis of the Archives is that a Medicine 
exists and it is also the quintessence of the elements 
by which man can be restored to his primitive 
integrity and the work of the Fall undone. 

The question that arises is whether this 
Medicine, in the mind of the writer, is to be 
understood physically or mystically. Is the 
quintessence the result of a laboratory process, 
and therefore contained in a vial, or is it the 
operation of the Christ-spirit within ? If it be 
the former, it departs altogether from the Divine 
Pymander^ which it claims to illustrate and 
expound ; if it be the latter, it offers the same 
answer to the recurring problems of our lapsed 
estate that High-Grade Masonry offers to those 
of the Craft. The answer is I. N.R.I., and if 
this be interpreted as Igne Natura renovatur integra^ 
we know that the fire referred to is a Divine 
Fire, and the correlative is Jesus Nazareus [est] 
Rex Judteorum, Jewry being the four parts of the 
human personality, corresponding to the four 
elements, and the archetypal Jesus being the 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

eternal quintessence. There is a school of sym- 
bolism which allocates the four elements to the 
four letters of the Sacred Name of Jehovah mm 
and here again the quintessence is that letter Shin, 
of which we have heard previously, which inter- 
venes in the centre of the Tetrad, as the quint- 
essence works upon the natural elements, and the 
result is mttfiT or Jesus. If it be said that 
by the Hermetic hypothesis the quintessence is, 
strictly speaking, the four elements in a state of 
occult correlation, the analogy remains on the 
understanding that Jesus Nazareus is verbum caro 
factum " the only begotten of the Father, full 
of grace and truth." 

The text, however, is unfinished, as we have 
seen, and the intention of the writer does not 
issue clearly. Some of his extensive citations are 
intelligible only on the simple material side, but 
when he speaks on his own warrants the intima- 
tions are of a different kind. For him the 
Hermetic Philosophy seems to be concerned with 
an inward process ; the work is a work of self- 
knowledge, in the interior and essential nature, 
and its term is to restore a Divine Nature within 
us. This restoration is rebirth in the perfect 
similitude of the Eternal Word. At the same 
time, the memorial of these things is not in the 
proper sense of the expression a mystic text, for 
in his purest and most primitive state it does 
not contemplate the spirit of man in Divine 
Union but rather in the condition of the Earthly 


Of Alchemy in Masonry 

Paradise. Had he remained among the incor- 
ruptible and virginal elements of that prototypical 
Garden, he would have been animated through 
eternity that is to say, in unending separation, 
in Eden truly but not in the Beatific Vision, and 
not in the hypostatic oneness. 

I do not therefore find in this curious text the 
presence of those seals and marks by which we 
recognise the Secret Tradition, but there are 
things on its skirts and fringes if the real 
elements are wanting. Some allowance must 
also be made for the conventional cryptic style 
which is inseparable from alchemical writings, 
as well as for a text that is unfinished. The part 
that is most to our purpose occurs towards the 
end, and may be described as a fuller statement 
concerning the origin of the soul, its emanation 
from the Divine Principle and the infinite 
capacities which it possesses by virtue of that 
origin. The thesis of course is that its powers 
have been arrested by the traditional fall of man 
as a consequence of which its environment is 
matter in corruption, but there is a way of escape 
open described as a reactionary movement on 
and within itself, by which it can be restored to 
primitive integrity. Though not after an ade- 
quate manner, because it is somewhat hindered 
by the crude language of its place and period, 
there is no question that here there is some 
attempt to give expression to traditional mystic 
doctrine, and the terms of the intimation suggest 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

that, had the experiment of the Archives been 
carried to its proper term, the process of reaction 
would have been set forth more fully under the 
veils of the Universal Medicine, if not indeed 
more clearly. As it is, and confessedly vague as 
they are, indications are not wanting regarding 
the way of the research as a path in the un- 
trodden ground of consciousness, the possibility 
of entering which distinguished in the mind of 
the writer the state of man from that of the 
animal world. The searcher after wisdom is 
recommended to strip from himself those vestures 
by which he has been clothed in his corruption, 
and to recall within him that internal light apart 
from which he is far from the self-knowing state. 
It is therefore difficult to interpret his allusions 
to an Universal Medicine except as an intimation 
of that renewed life which follows from con- 
sciousness in the spirit, while as to his under- 
standing of the spirit there is still less question. 
That which he regards as the Divine in the 
universe and the Divine behind the universe is 
that which is all in all and abides at the centre 
of all. Man has come forth therefrom but after 
such a manner that he remains essentially therein, 
not simply as some part or emanation of that 
which was once the all, because in manifestation 
itself it still remains the all, the end as well as the 
beginning. The analogy is drawn from that mysti- 
cism concerning numbers which regards the unity as 
their principle and all numeration as its content. 

1 06 

Of Alchemy in Masonry 

This doctrine is elaborated on the basis of the 
Trinity in man and its correspondence with the 
Divine Trinity. It assumes in such manner the 
more especial phases of Christian mysticism, 
though the implied ideas have suffered a certain 
change and indicate a line of development which 
approximates at one side towards Neoplatonic 
philosophy and on the other towards the peculiar 
theology by which the Zohar is characterised in 
respect of this same teaching. The eternal and 
Divine unity is the principle of all things ; in the 
wisdom thereof lie all the treasures of the Father ; 
eternal understanding is engendered within its 
own essence as the Son, by a first operation of 
Divinity, without departure from unity. The 
Third Person is the Love relative to the Father 
and the Son, still in the bosom of Divinity, and 
understood as the term reached by the action of 
Divine Will. Thus the Father engenders the 
Son eternally ; the Son is the essential image of 
the Father ; and the Holy Spirit is the eternal 
agent which operates between them. In respect 
of manifestation, the Father is essence of all 
things, the Son is their essential form ; and the 
Spirit is the activity of all, which operates all in 
all. These are the three which give testimony 
in heaven, but there are three also that bear their 
witness on earth, in the likeness of that which is 
above, and these three are one in the nature of 
man. The likeness is resident, however, in his 
higher principles and not in the corrupted and 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

sensual form by which we are here and now 
manifested. It is a likeness which has to be 
recovered and the path of such recovery is that 
which the writer understands by the mystery of 

This is the substance of the thesis in that part 
with which we are chiefly concerned. 

It has served, I think, a purpose to make 
known for the first time to English readers a 
Hermetic commentary which is not without 
interest after its own kind. It signifies, as I 
have said, the preoccupations of Hermetic Masons 
at that period in France ; it is one of a family, 
and has the marks of likeness to its kinsfolk. 



f Magical anb IRabalistical Degrees 



The answer of Jewry to Christendom Putative dis- 
tinctions concerning Ceremonial Magic The Key of 
Solomon The traffic with good and evil spirits 
Diabolism in the Literature Folk-lore elements 
Pagan remnants Ceremonial Magic in France The 
Continental literature of the subject Importations by 
Great Britain French occultism in the eighteenth 
century Vestiges of the science of the soul Mesmer 
and Puysegur Of Magic in Masonic High Grades. 


Correspondence in the Masonic substitutions for alchemical 
and magical secrets An illustration drawn from the 
genuine and forged books of Cornelius Agrippa 
The existence of an expert criterion in such subjects 
Vain offices of Magical Rituals of imputed 
Masonry An example of their instruction Certain 
detached Grades Hypothetical Grades -Schrceder 

The 'Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

and the Rectified Rose-Croix Confusion of this 
person with another of the same name Paucity of 
our knowledge concerning him His character and 
intentions must be left an open question. 


Further concerning the permutations and fatalities of 
the Rose-Croix Grade Its rectification in the 
interests of Magic A Cafe-Keeper and his Lodge 
of Mysteries A concise list of possibilities in respect 
of his Rite Confusions between Schrceder and 
Schrceppfer Pursuits followed in the Lodge at Leipsic 
Phenomena of evocation and the testimony con- 
cerning them Schrceppfer and his Unknown Superiors 
Their hostility to the Strict Observance Of treasures 
promised to disciples Alchemy and Magic as 
alternative aids to riches A false claim and its 
discovery Another invention The Last Supper of 
Schrceppfer His suicide A side-light on the event. 


Alternative judgments on Joseph Balsamo Voice of the 
Holy Tribunal Expert opinion on his Rite A 
possibility which lies behind it Rag Fair of Magical 
Masonry A general apology for minor Rites in 
respect of their sincerity The mythical George 
Cofton The hand of Cagliostro in the Grades 
Points in defence of Egyptian Masonry The three 
Degrees of the Rite An androgynous system The 
Legend of Elias and Enoch An impartial con- 
sideration of the ascription Comparison with other 


The Argument 

Masonic inventions The imputed connection with 
Egypt Magical character of the Rite Its elements 
of this Order A debt to Mesmer Its chief operative 
process compared with the skrying experiments of 
Dr. Dee Partial sincerity of Cagliostro General 
content of the Grades Qualifications of Candidates 
A System of three Degrees The Neophyte in 
Egyptian Masonry In the Grade of Adoption The 
Companion or Fellow Craft The Egyptian Masonry 
Conclusion on this system. 


Of legitimacy as a political opinion in the occult schools 
of modern France Their opinion concerning Masonic 
conspiracies of the eighteenth century The Templar 
interest Kadosh Grades Offences of the Chapter of 
Clermont Hostility of Pasqually in respect of this 
Rite His Order of Theurgic Priesthood Rite of 
the Elect Cohens Question as to^ the date of its 
foundation A brief biographical sketch Pasqually 
and the mystic term Practices of a magical 
character A particular order of manifestation 
The Unknown Agent or Philosopher Rosicrucian 
connections imputed to Pasqually His alleged con- 
nections with Swedenborg The Grades of his system 
The instruction in that of Apprentice The Elect 
Companion Grade Legends and symbolism of the 
Particular Master Grade The Grade of Elect 
Master That of Grand Master Priest Grand 
Elect of Zerubbabel The antecedents of Pasqually 
Further concerning the practical part of his system 
Affirmations of Modern Martinism Masonic 
career of Pasqually The story of his Rite Its 

VOL. II. H 113 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

decay Commentary of Franz von Eaader on the 
Secret Doctrine of Pasqually An examination at 
large of Pasqually's written teaching His alleged 
instructors A comparison with Zoharic theosophy 
The Fall of Man A Doctrine of Emanation The 
Path of Return to God A thesis on the Secret 
Tradition The teaching unfinished as a system 
Conclusion regarding its claims. 


The initiation of Saint-Martin Confusions regarding 
Master and disciple Place of the Unknown Philo- 
sopher Whether he founded a school The Masonic 
centre at Lyons Persistence of the school of Pasqually 
Character of Saint-Martin's influence J. B. 
Willermoz Salzmann The Comte d'Hauterive 
The Modern Order of Martinism Its anti-Masonic 
programme A summary of the case concerning it 
The Myth regarding a Rite of Saint -Martin 
State of the Legend and its confusions A theory 
regarding its origin Of Martinism at Metz. 


The Magia of detached Grades Talmudic tradition in 
High-Grade Masonry Some empty titles A chivalry 
of the Kabalah Feeling concerning Kabalism 
reflected therein The Christian understanding of 
mystic numbers The Grade of Kabalistic Mason 
Ordeal suffered by the Candidate The reward 
offered him The Knighthood of the Kabalistic 
Sun Instruction therein A general and appropriate 
conclusion on Magical and Kabalistical Grades. 


f flDagtcal anb Ikabalietical degrees 



THE answer of Jewry to Christendom as a 
counterblast to centuries of scorn, proscription 
and exile, centuries of persecution and even of 
torture, was the gift of Ceremonial Magic, as it 
is understood at this day in the kingdoms which 
are ascribed by imputation to the rule of the 
Prince of Peace. It did not give Black Magic, 
the counsels of perdition and the pact with 
Satan as distinguished from magic of another tone 
and tincture. It did not give White Magic 
exclusively, to the exclusion of Goetia or Infernal 
Necromancy and the other arts of the abyss as 
one who after ages of suffering should heap coals 
of fire on the head of his tormentors. It gave 
Ceremonial Magic simply, and in the plenary 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

sense a s one who putjpoisoned counters in the 
hands of children, every combination of which was 
likely to spell destruction. It was the recipients 
who made their distinctions after their manner, 
and so I incline to believe that the old rabbins, 
within the limits of their own law, had a sense of 
eternal justice, even in the course of a visitation 
which was not meant to repose lightly on the 
heads of the designed victims. I conclude also 
that the importation of Christian doctrine into 
the processes was no part of the heritage which 
they conveyed. 

The Ceremonial Magic to which I refer here 
depends from formal rituals, being processes of 
evocation, compulsion, entreaty and the other 
devices by which spirits of the height and the 
deep, spirits of the four quarters, spirits of the 
elements, were rendered, ex hypothesi^ subservient 
to the will of man. 

I am not prepared to say that the memorial 
which is extant under the mendacious title of the 
Key of Solomon is demonstrably the oldest of its 
kind, but alternatively it depends from the common 
source of all such products, and is of all the most 
approximate thereto. I do indeed think that it 
bears the palm of antiquity from the ragged 
cohort of its competitors, and if I confess to a 
sense of reduction in certitude on the specific 
point, it is solely because the cause of its anti- 
quity has been championed by the last persons who 
are entitled to speak about anything whatsoever 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

in the world of scholarship. The matter which 
concerns us, however, is really no question of date ; 
it is more especially one of fact. The Key of 
Solomon responds neither to the title of a key of 
white or of black magic, and, as I have exhibited 
more fully elsewhere, there is no such distinction 
possible in the whole circle of the literature. 
From the standpoint of Ceremonial Magic in its 
original understanding, and in consonance with 
its own mind, it was equally lawful for the 
operator to be occupied with the traffic in evil 
spirits or with those who were good by the 
hypothesis concerning them. The attempt to 
produce a purely innocuous and efficiently safe- 
guarded variety proved so difficult to those who 
were practised in the art, that there is no extant 
example of the fulfilled distinction. It is satis- 
factory to establish this point, because it facilitates 
our comprehension of the root-fact which follows 
in history namely, that practical magic, in so far 
as it is reduced to the communication with worlds 
of spirit, has been always diabolism more or less 
thinly veiled, as the extant literature proves. 

There are, of course, a great many practical 
processes which, taken as things separable from 
their general environment, may seem to enter the 
deeps by the side of idiocy, rather than by the 
side of Satanism. So also there are many which 
belong more properly to the department of folk- 
lore, and are not in any sense referable to the 
persistence or the express circulation of Jewish 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

tradition. These include procedures of the lesser 
ceremonial kind. There was a senility and de- 
cadence of the rites of old religions all over 
Europe long after the conquest of the West by 
Christianity ; it means that they died hard and, 
in certain sporadic cases, that in respect of their 
memorials and vestiges some of them have never 
died. There is very little question that some 
pageants of the Sabbath black or white, as pre- 
disposition may determine were remnants of 
the old religions ; but herein also we can, I think, 
trace the withered hand of intervening Israel, for 
the Sabbath was more especially indigenous to 
France and Spain, and the South of France was 
a centre from which went forth much of the base 
occultism of Jewry as well as its theosophical 

There is a feeling in several quarters that the 
natural disposition of the French mind towards 
vain, evil and unclean offices is likely, as a general 
rule, to exceed anything that is alleged concerning 
it rather than to fall short ; but if the literature 
of Satanic practice according to occult art has 
been exported to England more especially from 
this centre, it is perhaps just to say that it is 
rather a question of proximity than of extra- 
ordinary dedication or concern. If France had 
its indigenous collection of the villainous little 
Grimoires, so also had Italy and Germany ; while 
if we know comparatively little of such interests 
in Spain, our unfamiliarity is not its exoneration. 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

One certainty emerges which is to the credit of 
Britain, and this is that in the matter of Cere- 
monial Magic and its abominations under 
whatsoever guise and cloak of pretended palliation, 
or in whatsoever naked horrors and follies there 
is nothing indigenous to these islands. The 
literature of the subject printed or unprinted is 
all imported matter. 

The eighteenth century in France was moder- 
ately productive in respect of works belonging to 
the department of what is called the occult arts, 
though there were never any which were less 
occult in their nature, seeing that their motive 
and procedure have been always utterly trans- 
parent. But it was also, within limits, a period 
for the opening of the psychic sense, the fact 
of which lies within the whole circle of such 
arts as the mystery which is behind all and 
the explanation which is within all, so that 
something of the science of the soul began to 
emerge into knowledge. Mesmer and Puysegur 
had touched the skirts of this mystery and believed 
that they had seized the goddess, but the Atalanta 
fugiens eluded them. In this manner there was 
a striking of " the electric chain wherewith we 
are darkly bound." There was a feeling of the 
soul awakening and a sense of its wonder every- 

So it came about that some makers of Masonic 
Ritual had dreams of occult adeptship, and even 
dreams of Magic, as one of the paths to knowledge 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

concerning the soul and its powers. As usual, 
however, the subject fell into the hands of persons 
who were no better than impostors, and in ap- 
proaching this branch of Masonic development 
there is one section only in which we shall find 
material that is curiously arresting within its own 




THE secrets of Alchemy which are conveyed in 
Masonic Grades are highly substituted secrets, 
and the Knight of the Golden Fleece at the term of 
his quest may become an adept in name, but his 
knowledge of the tingeing Stone is worth as much 
and as little as the cosmic power allocated by 
another Grade to the Sovereign Commander of 
the Stars. The substitutions of real Masonry are 
priceless in their symbolism ; these are a hollow 
pretence, and in Rites like those of Memphis 
they enter into the lowest deeps of banality. 
The recipient, however, in most cases of the past 
probably experienced no disappointment, because 
he expected and knew nothing, even by report. 
Being blind, and led by the blind, the proverbial 
ditch was only that of folly, and when they reached 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

it together at the close it may even have seemed 
to them the abyss of wisdom. 

As it was with the Grades of Alchemy, so 
also with those of Magic ; there is nothing on 
their surface or in their roots to suggest that the 
pitiable mastery of occult art had been acquired 
by the makers of the Rituals always, however, 
with that single curious exception which I 
mentioned at the close of the last section. 

It is a little difficult to extend this statement 
so that those who are themselves unproficient will 
be able to appreciate the fact in a comprehensive 
way. We know absolutely that the Three Books 
of Occult Philosophy^ by Cornelius Agrippa, are 
the work of a student who in the sense and 
within the limits of his period grasped his 
subject absolutely on the intellectual and theo- 
retical side ; but there is not the least trace in all 
their length of an acquaintance with the so-called 
practical workings. He knew how to cast horo- 
scopes, but he did not cast them, and according 
to one story concerning him he perished of want 
rather than yield to the solicitations of an exalted 
lady who desired to be acquainted with her future. 
He has told us precisely in virtue of what theo- 
retical principles from his standpoint and the 
claims of the subject he regarded magical art as 
a thing feasible ; but he did not evoke spirits, or 
confect talismans, or gaze in crystals. We know 
as certainly, on the other hand, that the forged 
Fourth Book of Agrippa is a work of practical 


Of Magical ana Kabalistical Degrees 

Magic ; it is the theory of the others drawn into 
realisation, and this is why (a) it is so exceedingly 
like its prototypes and (b) why it is quite certain 
that Agrippa did not write it. 

This is my case in point, to indicate that 
there is a sort of expert criterion or touch-stone in 
these matters, and as it enables us to distinguish 
the scholar and licentiate who philosophises, who 
in that field deserves and wins his laurels, from 
the man who is at work on the operative side of 
the subject psychic or what not so it helps us 
very readily to separate the amateur into his 
proper place and the pretender into his world of 

The Masonic Rituals into which some ele- 
ments of magical art are reflected represent 
neither the shadow of an instructed theory nor 
the simulacrum of a practical method. We find 
barren enumerations of planetary spirits, lifted 
from one of the familiar ceremonial texts as, for 
example, Arbatel of Magic ; but we do not find a 
single luminous intimation to justify or excuse 
their presence, or a single interesting analogy, 
such as that which is established in the Grade of 
Heredom of Kilwinning concerning the mysticism 
of the number 9 and the Hierarchy of the Blessed 
Angels. The doctrine of intermediaries is not 
in the last resource of any vital consequence to 
the term of the Secret Tradition, but its place in 
the Tradition exists, and had the makers of the 
Grades in question possessed any notion of the 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

subject with which they were pretending to deal, 
there were opportunities enough in cases of this 
kind for the exhibition at least of their warrants. 
But they dreamed as little of these as they did 
of the Higher Magia and the Wisdom of Adept- 
ship as it is understood in these days within the 
occult circles, or in the courts of such particular 

Several detached Grades, and others which 
have been incorporated into Rites, are mentioned 
as containing some elements of the occult sciences, 
for example : (a) The Brethren of the Grand 
Rosary, with Rosicrucian implications, in the 
the year 1780 ; (K) Master of Paracelsus a lordly 
and pretentious title in the particular connection, 
but heard of only in the private archives of Pyron, 
which we do not know otherwise than by name 
in England ; (c) the three alleged Grades of 
Occult and Philosophical Masonry^ affirmed by 
Ragon to have emanated from the Greater 
Mysteries of Antiquity, but it is obvious that 
they existed only in the mind of the writer in 
question ; and (d) THE EXEGETICAL AND PHILO- 
SOPHICAL SOCIETY of Stockholm, about 1787, 
which gave a course on the secret sciences, as 
Diabolus Magnus is said to have done at the 
University of Salamanca. The Prince of Lies 
was cheated in the end by his students, but it is 
probable that the institute of Stockholm tricked 
its disciples by the distribution of colourable 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

imitations for real knowledge on the dubious 
subject. In any case, nothing remains at this day 
of these things and others innumerable but the 
fact of a casual report. 

In the year 1776 a certain F. J. W. Schroeder, 
who was an ardent seeker after occult mysteries, 
is reported to have established a Rite, under the 
name of the RECTIFIED ROSE-CROIX, at Marburg. 
He has been called an impostor, a German 
Cagliostro, and so forth, but there are no par- 
ticulars forthcoming to justify the charge, except 
that, by the hypothesis concerning him, he in- 
structed his disciples in Magic, Theosophy and 
Alchemy. The Rite had seven degrees, but they 
are not particularised by name after those of 
the Craft, which were the basis. It is said 
that in 1844 the system was at work in two 
Lodges under the obedience of the Grand Lodge 
of Hamburg ; and in 1 877 an English writer 
certified that it was acknowledged as legitimate 
by that governing body. It is doubtful whether 
any credence should be given to either statement. 
It is indeed much more probable that the per- 
sonage in question has been confused with F. L. 
Schrceder, who was alive at the same period, was 
an eminent Mason and ultimately Grand Master 
at Hamburg. He recognised only the three 
Craft Degrees and exercised great influence upon 
Masonry within his jurisdiction. 

It is said that F. J. W. Schrceder was born at 
Bielefeld, Prussia, on March 19, 1733, and that 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

he died on October 27, 1778, but on what authority 
I am unaware. We know nothing concerning 
him, and, as we shall see in the next section, it is 
a little difficult to distinguish between him and 
a personage of similar interests under the name of 
Schroeppfer. Curious enthusiasts and transitory 
impostors flitted across the proscenium of Masonry 
while the High Grades were still in the course 
of their development. Whether this particular 
interest was of the one or the other class must be 
regarded as an open question, and the benefit of 
the doubt is due. Schroeder if indeed he was 
more than a shadow begotten of mere confu- 
sion was probably an adventurer, on the under- 
standing that the term is not of necessity used in 
an invidious sense. His counterpart in name is 
said, probably on better authority, to have been 
born at Schwerin on November 3, 1744, and to 
have died near Hamburg on September 3, 1816. 
Certain considerations arise out of the name 
attributed to the Rite, but they are reserved till 
the next section. 




WE have seen that the Grade of Rose-Croix has 
suffered interventions and the wild life of many 
variations. It has been reduced, extended, cate- 
chised and transformed out of all knowledge ; it 
has lost everything but its name, while even its 
name has been borrowed and transferred to things 
of which it knew nothing. It has communicated 
the Lost Word in the Christian sense of salvation, 
but the interferences have changed the word and 
have offered some dubious notion of an arid 
Justice, some substitute of Philosophical Fire and 
a score of questionable vanities to replace the 
Name of Christ. The straight staff of the Grade 
has been so bent in these pools that it must have 
turned in disdain from its own distorted likeness. 
Perhaps none of the affronts which have been 
offered it can have exceeded that of Schroeder, or 
alternatively of Johann Georg Schroeppfer, who 
opened a cafe at Leipsic on October 29, 1768, 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

and turned it into a Lodge of the Mysteries. 
Those which he communicated to his initiates 
are, however, in that state of glorious uncertainty 
in which the peculiar genius of High Grade 
Masonry is so continually shrouded, apart from 
any conscious intention on its own part. It 
comes about in this manner, that we have a choice 
among the following possibilities : (a] That 
Schroeppfer was a member of the Rosicrucian 
Fraternity prior to its reformation in 1777, the 
inference being that as he was himself an im- 
postor he was likely to have a hand in an associ- 
ation which, ex hypothesi^ was incorporated by 
rogues for the better advancement of roguery ; 
(ti) That he was, or pretended to be, an Ecossais 
Mason, and that he founded an Ecossais Lodge at 
his cafe ; (c] That he added thereto certain Rosi- 
crucian degrees ; (d) That the Lodge was simply 
a spurious Scots Lodge, into which he introduced 
magical and alchemical pursuits ; (e) That it was 
Rosicrucianism purely and simply of the kind 
already indicated ; (f) That it was a particular 
transformation of Rose-Croix Masonry in the 
interests of Magic and Alchemy, in which 
case the maker was either working the same 
scheme as Schroeder or the same personality has 
been presented under two names ; (g) That 
Schrceppfer was an Illumine who practised occult 
illuminism under the guise of Masonry ; (ti) 
That he was a self-styled reformer of the Order 
of Freemasons generally ; (/) That he was an 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

emissary of the devil ; but this, I think, is 

There is thus among other confusions that 
kind of superincession in the mind of some writers 
between this personage and the putative adept 
Schrceder which I have mentioned in my previous 
section, and it is not unlikely that the transforma- 
tion of Rose-Croix Masonry has been allocated to 
the former at the expense of the latter or alterna- 
tively. The question signifies nothing. They 
were alternatively figures of the same period, in the 
same country, with the same predispositions. I 
decline to call Schroeppfer's system Rosicrucianism 
in the proper understanding of that term, because 
the attribution has almost certainly arisen by an 
error of ignorance from the nature of the pursuits 
followed in his Lodge. These were the evocation 
of the dead, with which no branch of the Frater- 
nity, genuine or otherwise, was ever concerned 
at least, by the evidence of its history. We 
will say, therefore, with a recent French writer, 
that he founded a new Masonic Order for the 
objects in question. An anonymous letter, ap- 
pended by the Marquis de Luchet to his Essai sur 
la Secte des Illumines^ gives some account of the 
evocations from the description of an eye-witness, 
who passed his hand through one of the spectral 
forms which appeared at a certain seance and 
experienced an electric shock, so that whatever 
their source and origin apparitions of some kind 
were manifested. 

VOL. ii. i 129 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

It is further suggested (a) That Schroeppfer 
claimed to have Unknown Superiors behind him 
who were at feud with those other equally Un- 
known Superiors of the STRICT OBSERVANCE, and 
had ordained that the Rite of Von Hund should 
be destroyed by their own Magus : for this I 
find no evidence ; (b] That Schroeppfer taught 
Alchemy as well as evocation, and, between 
spirits who could transport treasures or indicate 
the places where they were hidden and the art 
which could produce them in quantity by a cheap 
process, it would seem that he promised great 
wealth to his initiates ; (c] That he became 
famous by his demonstrations for a period, and 
converted his cafe into a hotel, where he received 
only persons of distinction ; (d) That he paid a 
visit to Dresden, and convinced or duped some 
exalted personages of that city ; (e) That, on 
account of a false claim made by him in respect 
of his previous position in the French Army, he 
was driven to fly from the place ; (/) That he 
wandered about for a period, but returned ulti- 
mately to Leipsic ; (g) That he gave himself out 
as the natural son of some French prince and 
assumed the title of Baron von Steinbach ; (A) 
That on October 7, 1774, fearing the conse- 
quence of his impostures, he called his disciples 
together, told them that he was acquainted with 
the scandals which were being spread abroad con- 
cerning him, but that he had his answer. As a 
matter of fact, he gave it after entertaining a 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

considerable company at a supper. That is to 
say, he invited them to take a walk to Rosenthal 
in the suburbs of Leipsic on the following morn- 
ing, and there, retiring among the trees, put an 
end to his difficulties by shooting himself. 

There is nothing in the depositions to shew 
that he was in such straits as to make this course 
likely, but what seems to have been unknown by 
my informants is, that the frequent practice of 
evocation and the pathological conditions which 
it induces have a tendency in this direction ; it is 
Fattrait de la mort mentioned by Eliphas Levi. I 
am inclined, on the whole, to believe that 
Schroeppfer may have had certain psychic powers, 
which he eked out by the usual kinds of imposture 
that tend to intervene in such cases ; at the end 
he was to some extent his own victim. It is one 
of the consequences of following the path of 


LIKE Abraham Cowley master of many measures 
the alleged Guiseppe Alessandro Balsamo who 
was master of many putative mysteries " flamed 
the comet of a season " ; and as somewhere in the 
world of literature there may still be a few who 
consider that Cowley was really great in the royal 
and divine art of verse, so in the occult circles, 
and such curious houses of life, there are some 
who believe that the self-styled Count Cagliostro 
whatsoever may have been his true name was 
one of those great adepts who had attained to 
be more than human. It matters little that the 
catholic voice of history has risen up against him 
with a great .dossier of records ; they are incon- 
venient to deal with, and they are permitted to 
sink out of sight : it matters much more, how- 
ever, that the Holy Inquisition pronounced 
against him and inspired the Italian life by which 
he is perhaps more fully known to infamy than 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

by any other single document. That judgment 
and that motived memorial are sufficient by their 
bare fact to exonerate him before any tribunal of 
secret and indicible arts. I think, on my own 
part, though it happens seldom enough, that the 
Holy Office and its findings are not in this one 
case essentially and antecedently worse than the 
occult tribunals, whose rulings are like their 
science a thing of vanity which is always re- 
voked beforehand. 

The most temperate and detached statement 
which can be made on the general subject is per- 
haps that the characteristics of those who devised 
the magical Grades Cagliostro, Schroeder and 
Schroeppfer were precisely what might be 
expected from their dedications, which belong, 
intellectually and spiritually, to the deep purlieus 
frequented by maniacs and impostors. Masonry 
on its magical side was allocated to the second 
rather than to the first class ; there are alterna- 
tive cases, but for the most part it was the Rag 
Fair of intellectual roguery, and the rogues had 
every needful knowledge of their subject ; it came 
about in this manner that the purlieus found their 
voice. I shall make an exception, as will be seen, 
regarding the Rite of Pasqually, who belonged to 
neither class, and it is partly for want of a better 
working classification that his Order must appear 
in the list of magical Grades ; let me say that it 
belongs at least to a very high plane of the subject, 
for the secret of this Rite was the ecstasy of 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

prayer. I do not intend for such reason to appear 
as its apologist, and I ask, therefore, for the present 
statement to be regarded as of fact only. Outside 
the Grades of this section, I feel almost inclined 
to affirm that there are no Masonic Rites which 
are the work of conscious imposture ; and even 
for Egyptian Masonry something remains to be 
said from another standpoint. Some of the Rites 
are trivial and some are foolish ; some offer pre- 
posterous considerations to the rational understand- 
ing ; and some, which otherwise might hold up 
certain lights, are confused beyond hope on the 
issues of chronology. But among those which are 
not great there are at least a few which have served 
a good purpose, We may say of them what can 
be said sometimes of us, and of many like us, in 
the world of daily life : Do not let us despise any 
instrument which God sees fit to use, more 
especially if it be ourselves. We also serve, and 
those above others who do not stand and wait, 
though we have heard on other warrants that a 
certain waiting is not apart from service. 

It is not only the indiscriminate enemies of 
High Grade Masonry, nor those only who can 
distinguish in that department between the things 
which stand for value and things of no worth what- 
ever, who have spoken with disdain of Cagliostro 
and his EGYPTIAN RITE. When so doing, they 
have indicated unawares a possibility, at the back 
of their minds, that it included something perhaps 
not entirely negligible ; for they have taken 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

uncommon pains to point out that he was not its 
author, that he picked up a curious manuscript at 
a London bookstall which furnished him with 
material that he worked up later on into the form 
of Grades ; or alternatively, that to the discovery 
in question he owed the actual Rituals. I do not 
know how or with whom this legend originated ; 
as it stands, there is no trace of evidence concern- 
ing it, and I set it aside therefore not that the 
question signifies to us in either sense. It is ob- 
vious, on internal evidence, (a] that the ceremonial 
was fantastic in character ; (b) that it was devoid 
of Masonic elements ; (c] that it was a product 
of Cagliostro's period and had therefore no trace of 
antiquity. The " Sicilian " was naturally a person 
of mean education, nor was the Count as such 
a scholar, and it is thus antecedently unlikely 
that he should have written the books of the 
words with his own hand ; but I am of opinion 
that it was written under him, because it embodies 
precisely the kind of materials and the mise-en-scene 
which he wanted ; while, apart from this, the last 
place in which to come across such a production 
was London, and this will obtain whether the 
alleged manuscript was preserved in archives or 
hawked in streets. 

Having thus disposed of the unknown George 
Cofton, who is supposed to have possessed or 
written the root-matter of the work, a second 
point which arises is whether Egyptian Masonry 
was actually so contemptible a device as ordinary 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

criticism suggests. I have called it fantastic, but 
not of necessity in the sense of a judgment pro- 
nounced against it ; I have said that it is devoid 
of Masonic elements, but the statement applies 
equally to a great mass of Grades which are not 
for that reason without interest along their own 
lines. An unbiassed review of the Rituals should, 
I think, lead us to conclude that, while apart from 
any real value, they were decorative, dramatic and 
withal sufficiently suggestive to have obtained the 
prominence which they did for a short period in 
the jumbled Masonry of France. 

There are several descriptive accounts avail- 
able, and I have myself cited one of them elsewhere. 
What follows is, however, a summary of informa- 
tion drawn from several sources. 

Egyptian Masonry was comprised in Three 
Degrees, passing under the Craft titles, and it was 
conferred upon both sexes apparently in separate 
Temples. It was intended to replace the Craft, 
which offered a vestige only of the true mystery 
and a shadow of the real illumination ; but in 
order to secure the end more certainly, according 
to the mind of Cagliostro, the Masonic qualifica- 
tion was required of his male candidates. The 
Reformed and Rectified ORDER OF THE GOLDEN 
AND ROSY CROSS, as established in 1777, said 
exactly the same thing that Masonry was a 
brotherhood of " the appearance of light " in the 
natural world only, and that the true light was 
shining in the centre of the Mystic Cross. This 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

institution also exacted the Masonic qualification, 
but did not initiate women. 

The imputed founders of Egyptian Masonry 
were Elias and Enoch, the most mystical among 
the prophets of the Old Alliance, well chosen for 
this reason, and more especially as they left 
nothing in writing, some reputable apocrypha 
notwithstanding. Elias connected through 
Paracelsus with the tradition in Alchemy, and 
his rebirth in an artist of that name, seems to 
have been expected ; great things were promised 
to the City of Hermetic Triumph when Elias 
Artista should come. Enoch and the pillars on 
which he perpetuated the knowledge of the 
world before the Flood have always stood up as 
beacons on the more external side of the Secret 

The ascription which I have thus mentioned 
has been naturally placed to the account against 
Cagliostro, but I should like to understand in what 
sense it is more culpable than any other legend of 
the High Grades. On the literal surface, and in 
that kind of understanding, they were each and 
all mendacious, and if one or more of them as I 
have tried to shew are to be understood symbolic- 
ally, and as affirmations of the Secret Tradition 
perpetuated in Masonry, I know of no form of 
the parable which cceteris paribus is better or 
more suggestive than the fable concerning the two 
pre-Mosaic prophets. The view usually taken 
depends of course from the known antecedents of 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Cagliostro, for whom in other respects I am making 
no apology. He had assuredly no part in any 
one of the holy traditions, but the existence or 
possibility of these has not been present to the 
mind of the criticism under notice, and I see no 
reason for condemning the " Sicilian " illumine in 
respect of a most patent fiction when historical 
theses like that of the Red Cross of Rome and 
Constantine have been suffered to pass unassailed 
almost as if the vanity of such claims went 
without saying. 

The legend whatever the verdict goes on 
to affirm that Elias and Enoch instructed the 
priesthood of Egypt in their form of Masonic art ; 
but I do not find that the line of transmission 
from these seers of old to the day of Louis XVI. 
is clearly, or at all, indicated. Cagliostro indeed 
pretended to have drunk at many Oriental fountains 
of wisdom, but there is nothing in his history to 
indicate with any clearness that he had even 
crossed over from Sicily to the northern coast of 
Africa. This is perhaps too clearly accepting his 
disputed identity with Balsamo. But if we set 
the ascription aside, he is without known ante- 
cedents and there is utterly nothing in his career 
which would justify belief in his own unsupported 
story, had it no fabulous elements. 

So far in respect of his Rite in its dubious 
origin. The next point to establish is that it was 
magical in character, but the elements were ex- 
ceedingly simple, being confined to a dramatic 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degree^ 

mise-en-scene, accompanied by extravagant personal 
claims. I shall not speak of the debt which the 
maker owed to Mesmer, or of the high probability 
that he possessed some proportion of that semi- 
occult power which was spoken of as magnetism at 
the period. It was perhaps from Mesmer's method, 
rather than from Cagliostro's recollection concern- 
ing the communication of apostolical succession, 
that it was his custom to breathe upon his disciples 
when they were made Egyptian Apprentices. 
For this purpose the Neophyte knelt before him, 
while the fumes of swinging thuribles entranced 
his senses. For the rest, the most magical opera- 
tion which took place at the Masonic seances was 
identical with one that was followed by Dr. Dee 
during several decades of years. This was the 
induction of vision in crystals by the mediation of 
boys or girls who were in a state of maiden purity 
according to the hypothesis, at least. There 
is evidence to shew that the magus believed in 
this simple process and seriously attempted thereby 
to establish communication with the prophet 
Moses. That experiment was, however, always 
a failure. It is very difficult to dabble in the 
occult arts as the common spiritist medium 
knows, among many others without discovering 
that there are ungauged possibilities in the psychic 
side of our human personality ; and I believe that 
Cagliostro may have had just enough casual ex- 
perience in this direction to give him a certain 
air of seriousness over his Egyptian Masonry. 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

He did not exactly know when certain phenomena 
might occur spontaneously with his lucids ; he 
hoped that they would occur, but he prepared by 
fraud against failure. 

By a collation of sources of information 
among Masonic authorities of the past and by 
the history of Cagliostro otherwise, we learn that 
he promised his followers both physical and moral 
regeneration. He claimed that by the First 
Matter when it was changed into the Philosophical 
Stone, and by the Acacia, symbol of immortality, 
they would enter into the state of eternal youth. 
By the pentagram, on which angels were said 
to have impressed their ciphers and seals, they 
would be purified and restored to that primitive 
innocence of which man has been deprived by 
sin. The qualifications on the part of Candidates 
was a belief in the immortality of the soul and, 
as I have intimated, in the case of men, the 
possession of the Craft Degrees. The statutes 
and regulations of the Royal Lodge of Wisdom 
Triumphing, being the Mother Lodge of High 
Egyptian Masonry for East and West, specify 
three Grades as comprised by the system. These 
were Egyptian Apprentice^ Egyptian Companion or 
Craftsman and Egyptian Master. At the end 
of his experience the Candidate is supposed to 
have exterminated vice from his nature, to be 
acquainted with the True Matter of the Wise, 
through intercourse with the Superiors Elect 
who encompass the throne of the Sublime 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

Architect of the Universe. These intelligences 
are seven angels, who preside over the seven 
planets, and their names, most of which are 
familiar in ceremonial magic, were said to be as 
follows : Anael, the angel of the sun ; Michael, 
the angel of the moon ; Raphael, who was 
allocated to Mars ; Gabriel, referred to Mercury ; 
Uriel, the angel of Jupiter ; Zobiachel, attri- 
buted to Venus ; and Anachiel, the ruler of 

In the Grade of Neophyte, the Candidate 
was prepared in a vestibule containing a repre- 
sentation of the Great Pyramid and the figure 
of Time guarding a cavern. He was introduced 
into the Temple in virtue of his ordinary Masonic 
titles and as a seeker for the true Masonry 
possessed by the wise of Egypt. He knelt before 
Cagliostro, who posed as the Grand Copht, 
founder and Master of the Rite in all parts of 
the globe, and the Master breathed, as I have 
indicated, upon him. This took place not only 
amidst the swinging of censers but the recital 
of exorcisms to effect moral regeneration. He 
was instructed in seven philosophical operations : 

(1) in connection with health and disease in man ; 

(2) on metals and the medicine thereof; (3) on 
the use of occult forces to increase natural heat 
and that which the alchemists term the radical 
humidity of things ; (4) on the liquefaction of 
the hard ; (5) on the congelation of the liquid ; 
(6) on the mystery of the possible and impossible ; 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

and (7) on the means of doing good with the 
utmost secrecy. Moral regeneration notwith- 
standing, the so-called knowledge of the Grade 
dwelt on the physical side of Alchemy, though 
it was presumably concerned with the search 
after God and the examination of Self, all 
work undertaken being in view of the Divine 
Glory. The other subjects recommended for 
study during the period of the noviciate were 
natural and supernatural philosophy. Of the 
second there is no explanation, but natural 
philosophy was described as the marriage of the 
sun and moon and knowledge of the seven metals. 
The maxim was : Qui agnosdt martem^ cognoscit 
artem the significance of which is dubious. As 
connected with Alchemy, the discourse dwelt 
upon the First Matter, which is said to be an 
unveiled mystery for those who are elect of God 
and to be possessed by them. It is symbolised 
by the Masonic acacia, while its mercurial part 
is denoted by the rough or unhewn stone. It 
is this which must suffer the death of philosophical 
putrefaction and then the Stone of Philosophy 
is made therefrom. The Blazing Star represents 
supernatural philosophy and its form is that ol 
a heptagram, signifying the seven angels about 
the throne of God, who are intermediaries be- 
tween God and man. In correspondence with the 
divisions of philosophy, as here stated, the term 
of the system was dual, being (i) moral and (2) 
physical regeneration, but the word morality 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

must be interpreted rather widely. Divine aid 
was necessary to the progress of the Candidate, 
and he was recommended meditation daily for a 
space of three hours. 

In the case of Female Apprentices who, if 
they were not received as I have suggested 
in a separate Temple, were initiated alternatively 
at special meetings, the Grand Copht said : I 
breathe upon you, that the truth which we 
possess may penetrate your heart and may 
germinate therein. So thall it strengthen your 
spiritual nature and so confirm you in the faith 
of your brothers and sisters. We constitute you 
a Daughter of the true Egyptian Adoption, to be 
recognised as such by all members of the Rite 
and to enjoy the same prerogatives. 

There were, at least by the hypothesis, three 
years of noviciate between the first and second 
Degrees, during which the Candidate was supposed 
to put in practice the counsels of his initiation. 
The Ceremony of Reception took place in the 
presence of twelve Masters, and the presiding 
officer said : By the power which I hold from 
the Grand Copht, Founder of our Order, and by 
the grace of God, 1 confer upon you the Grade 
of Companion and constitute you a guardian of the 
new knowledge which we communicate in virtue 
of the sacred names, Helios, signifying the sun ; 
Mene, which referred to the moon ; and Tetra- 
grammaton. The Candidate was made acquainted 
with further symbols of the First Matter in the 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

form of bread and wine. He was given red 
wine to drink, and this is a clear issue on the 
symbolical side, but it is confused by the further 
indication that Adonhiram is also the First Matter 
and that this must be killed. There is here a 
reflection from the system attributed to L. G. de 
St. Victor, wherein this name is attributed to the 
spurious Master Builder. There are also analogies 
with the Grades of Memphis, which therefore 
drew something from EGYPTIAN MASONRY. There 
is finally an intimation that the Sacred Rose gives 
knowledge of the First Matter. The discourse 
is concerned with moral and spiritual regeneration, 
and the Candidate is advised to purify himself 

It was only in the Grade of Master that the 
so-called magical aspects appeared, for it was 
there that the dove, being a clairvoyant girl or 
boy, was shut up in a tabernacle and, prior to the 
introduction of the Candidate, was interrogated 
as to his fitness. This ceremony was performed 
with great reverence, beginning with an invocation 
addressed to God by all present, who solicited 
that the power possessed by man before the Fall 
might be communicated to the instrument thus 
chosen as a mediator between the seven planetary 
spirits and the Chief of the Lodge. The dove 
demanded on her or his part the grace to act 
worthily. The Grand Copht also breathed upon 
the child. If the answer were affirmative in 
respect of the Candidate, he was brought into the 



Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

Temple and into the presence of two Masters, 
who represented Solomon and the King of Tyre. 
They sat upon a single throne, reproducing an 
arrangement which we have met with previously. 
One of them was clothed in white and the other 
in blue bordered with gold, while on either side 
of them were the names of the seven angels. 
Twelve other Masters were present, and these 
were saluted as the Elect of God. The Candidate 
saw also the symbol of a phoenix rising from a 
bed of fire. The procedure at his reception owed 
comparatively little to the culminating Degree 
of the Craft. He renounced all his past life and 
was directed to prostrate himself on the ground 
with his face laid against it. Prayers were recited 
over him ; he was lifted up, created a Master 
and decorated with the insignia of the Grade. 
The dove was finally interrogated to ascertain 
whether that which had been done was agreeable 
to the Divinity. The obligation of a Master 
included blind obedience as well as perfect secrecy. 
The discourse of the Grade turned again upon the 
symbol of the Rose, as representing a further type 
of the First Matter. Some additional explana- 
tions were given concerning the two regenerations 
which I have described as constituting the term 
of the system. That which is called moral de- 
pended on prayer and meditation continued for 
a period of forty days and followed by a specific 
rule. That of the physical kind lasted for the same 
time, and it is this which the Cardinal de Rohan 
VOL. ii. K 145 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

is supposed to have undergone, but without much 
profit to himself, at the instance of Cagliostro. 

When a woman was made a Mistress, the 
acting Mistress, or Chief Officer of the Temple, 
represented the Queen of Sheba, and she alone 
remained erect during the invocation of the 
Supreme Being which first took place. The 
Candidate, lying prostrate on the ground, recited 
the Miserere met ; she was then raised up ; the 
dove was consulted ; three sisters sang the Veni 
Creator and burnt incense about the Candidate. 
The Worshipful Mistress scattered gold leaf with 
her breath, and said : Sic transit gloria mundi. A 
symbolical draught of immortality was drunk by 
the new Mistress before the Tabernacle, and the 
dove prayed that the angels might consecrate 
the adornments with which she was about to be 
decorated ; Moses was also invoked to lay his 
hands in blessing on the crown of roses which 
was placed about her head. 

Recurring to the regeneration of the Rite, that 
of the moral kind was begun only by the cere- 
monial procedure and the physical was scarcely 
initiated. The first was, by the hypothesis, 
continued in a pavilion placed on the summit 
of a mountain and was supposed to^result in the 
power of commanding the seven spirits. The 
physical regeneration was far more complicated 
in its design, and I do not propose to speak of 
its procedure or of the results, except[that the 
end was vanity. 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

I do not question that the sense of pageantry 
-almost the showman's instinct which un- 
doubtedly was a marked feature of Cagliostro, 
would have insured the communication of his 
Grades under the best ceremonial auspices, and 
I can imagine that the Mastery of the system 
may have produced a signal impression on its 
recipients. In the Rituals there is otherwise 
very little ; they represent, from my point of 
view, another opportunity missed. It is, how- 
ever, a satisfaction to have determined for the 
first time that, although classing as magical, they 
are more especially Hermetic in complexion. 


>;> s. 

L C I.J.Y Th II 7. 

F,P,Ph X N M 

T S II K,0 




M. JOLIVET F. CASTELLOT is of opinion that a 
modern French alchemist who would hold the 
plenary warrants should belong to the Legitimist 
party in politics. I infer that this is a high 
counsel, even a counsel of perfection, being the 
last cleansing of the heart when it is seeking the 
gifts of grace, in which connection it should be 
understood that even the art of metallic transmu- 
tation with which the author is concerned only 
must be characterised as Donum Dei. I intro- 
duce by this statement of a curious fact in occult 
feeling at the moment a generalisation on the 
subject of an attitude which now, or until 
recently, is or was a little conspicuous in French 
schools of thought. They are in the party of 
law and order, and they have formulated their 
faith in the hierarchy. They are not political 
schools, and even in the respect which I have 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

stated there is almost a motive of religion, as this 
is understood in the Parisian circle which con- 
fesses broadly to the Hermetic Tradition. 

As in things which concern the government 
of nations the circle is no centre of conspiracy, 
so in the matter of religion I suppose that its 
imagined hierarchy will be established when the 
adepts come into their own, for in that of the 
Roman pontificate it has no part whatever. Now, 
we can refer everything in modern French occult- 
ism to Eliphas Levi, the reverence for the 
hierarchic method included. The feeling goes 
back upon history, and this is the point which 
brings me to my proper subject. The circles, in 
the persons of their chief spokesmen, are reason- 
ably and laudably severe upon the imputed 
dedications of certain Masonic Rites at the end 
of the eighteenth century to the revolutionary 
movement. They believe, further, that the 
Templar interest, culminating in the Kadosh 
Grades, represented the delinquency in chief. 

The question, however, is more involved than 
might appear on the surface from the simplicity 
of this net statement. It does not apply, nor is 
it intended to apply, to that revival of the chivalry 
wherein one celebrated but dubious name that 
of Fabre-Palaprat stands out as more especially 
prominent. Certain testimonies notwithstanding, 
this section knew nothing of Kadosh Grades in the 
odious sense which is sometimes attached to the 
term ; it knew also nothing of revolutions, for it 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

was not in manifest or perhaps in any form of 
existence when all Grades indifferently were for 
a period swallowed up in that vortex. Its dream 
was of nobility, of courtliness, even of esoteric 
religion, as we have seen fully in its place. It was 
above all things Christian, though leaning to the 
apocryphal side. On the other hand, the RITE 
OF THE STRICT OBSERVANCE should be equally free 
from suspicion, though it has been attacked on 
this ground; it had a Templar hypothesis, as we 
know, and one of the most advanced kind, but 
there was no vengeance motive, and hence again 
the Kadosh Grade is wanting to its system, though 
insufficient knowledge in a state of aggression has 
attempted to find it (a) in its Templar degree 
generally or (b] in the more exotic and advanced 
sections thereof. I have said sufficient already on 
the blunders and misconceptions which have been 
multiplied concerning this part of the Rite, and I 
may be content here with registering a simple 
denial as to what has been alleged, both new and 
old, in connection with the present issue. 

The part major of the odium is fastened by 
a general consent on the CHAPTER OF CLERMONT, 
regarded as a Templar system, and as there is con- 
temporary evidence, not indeed of the political 
fact or of the Rite in question, but of the 
suspicion in which the Templar system was 
held in a quarter that I regard as important, I 
must be content to let it remain. The simple 
and undefined odium is free from the element 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

of arbitrary attribution such as might be and 
is made at the present day in the purlieus of 
Parisian occultism, in the boulevardier quarters of 
spurious Neo-Rosicrucianism, and among the 
intellectual sinks of pseudo-Gnostic schools. It 
is further not a derivative from the phantom 
hierarchies of Levi, which breathe a far other 
atmosphere than those of Dionysius ; it goes back, 
in a word, to the time of Martines de Pasqually, 
with whose work in High Grade Masonry we 
are concerned in the present section. He carried 
his strange Rite of Theurgic Priesthood from 
Toulouse to Bordeaux, from Bordeaux to Lyons, 
from Lyons to Paris, seeking its recognition every- 
where at the centres of Grand Lodges and 
Chapters, imposing everywhere its overruling 
claims, but everywhere evincing its opposition to 
all that was expressed and implied, done and 
thought by the systems presenting the claims of 
Templar Masonry. 

Let us look in this light a little more closely 
at the question of dates. The RITE OF ELECT 
COHENS was founded, according to one story, in 
1754 at Montpellier, and was taken to Paris in 
1 767. The first of these dates is entirely mythical 
and, as it happens occasionally in attributions of 
this kind, we derive a certain help from an ex- 
cluding alternative. It is said also that in the 
same year and at the same place a Rite under the 
name of JUGES ficossAis was established by the 
same person ; of this institution no one has heard 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

anything, and I believe that it is another fantasy, 
like that which is almost its synonym, the JUDGE 
PHILOSOPHERS of Ragon. It serves, however, to 
indicate the nebulous condition in which the 
origin of Pasqually's Masonic activity is involved. 
Pasqually was born somewhere in the parish of 
Notre-Dame, belonging to the diocese of Grenoble, 
but the date is unknown. He is first heard of in 
the year 1760, which I have already mentioned, 
but he was then located at Toulouse, not at Paris, 
which city, however, he had left recently, evi- 
dently with his theurgic Rite already formed in 
his mind, though it is impossible to speak certainly 
concerning the stage of its development. He was 
making serious claims as a species of Inspector- 
General of Masonry, and he exhibited certain titles 
from an unknown source. He did not in this 
year establish any Rite whatsoever at Paris. It 
is stated by Dr. Papus that the ORDER OF THEURGIC 
PRIESTS or ELECT COHENS was inaugurated at Lyons 
in 1765, but this is also untrue. Five years later he 
had visited this place and had initiated six persons 
only, among whom was Willermoz, who became 
subsequently very prominent in the Order. 

It is important to bring down in this manner 
the date of establishment, as the years 1750 to 
1754 already shew an incredible list of High 
Grades, most of which on examination prove of a 
later period. It follows that 1760 was the year 
in which Pasqually began to emerge on the 
Masonic horizon of France, and the period of his 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

activity was only about twelve years. He left his 
country ultimately for St. Domingo in the West 
Indies on personal business, and he died at Port- 
au-Prince in 1779. 

I have intimated that the RITE OF ELECT 
COHENS is one which redeems the magical side of 
Masonic inventions, firstly, from utter fatuity and, 
secondly, from the prevailing motive of imposture. 
A sense of justice has led me to place Cagliostro's 
Egyptian Masonry under a more tolerable light 
than it has been presented heretofore, but it was 
merely a decoration, an impression, while its 
magic was of the elementary kind utterly. Of 
Schrceppfer and Schrceder we know quite as 
much as we need, and it is to be questioned 
whether their supposed evocations and necromancy 
were not extrinsic to the dubious Rite which is 
allocated indifferently to either. Pasqually comes 
before us with a system which responds somewhat 
definitely to the term theurgic ; there is no 
question that his Grades were Grades of practical 
working and of the kind which is called magical 
in the common convention of terms. Whatso- 
ever fresh evidence comes to light concerning him 
makes it additionally clear that he is not to be 
classed as an impostor but as a man with con- 
spicuous psychic gifts, and although he was 
continually in financial difficulties, even sometimes 
in extreme need, it cannot be said that he was 
exploiting Masonry for his personal advantage or 
as a mere means of livelihood. 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Having cleared the issues in these respects, it 
is next important to certify that the quality of 
Pasqually's theurgic ceremonial differed essentially 
by its motive, though not unfortunately in its 
procedure, from the common and familiar intentions 
and concerns of practical Magic. It was not the 
evocation of demons as such, of demons under the 
guise of angels, of familiar spirits, or any of the 
foul traffic represented by the ceremonial literature 
of the past. The hope, the attempt and the 
supposed result were to establish intercourse with 
Christ under the name of the Repairer, and the 
thesis was that the Master came in person and 
instructed his disciples. I do not propose to debate 
the question whether such a manifestation was 
antecedently impossible, or what actually appeared 
under the form of the Unknown Agent, as It was 
also termed ; I set aside further the question of 
collective hallucination ; we have insufficient 
material as there should be no need to say 
for the determination of the latter point. I desire 
only to put on record my personal assurance, after 
an anxious review of all the facts available, (a) that 
manifestations of a very marked kind did take 
place and (p) that they were characterised by the 
high distinctive motives which I have mentioned, 
as well as by results in teaching, which, whether 
satisfactory or not to us at the present day, were 
extraordinary for their period, and, as I think, 
suggestive for all time. 

The first consequence is that Pasqually, his 

Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

practical work notwithstanding, comes before us 
in his written remains as one who was conscious, 
almost in the plenary sense, of the mystic term : 
the second consequence is that he prepared his 
school unawares for the purely mystical mission of 
his pupil L. C. de Saint-Martin, of whom we shall 
hear something in the next section. He prepared 
him to such purpose that albeit Saint- Mar tin left 
the theurgic school, he did not leave that especial 
phase of theosophy which is represented by 
Pasqually's treatise on La Reintegration des Etres ; 
he carried it much further, but the root remains 
and his books are its branches. 

The intimations concerning Pasqually's theo- 
sophical doctrine are found in the Rituals 
belonging to the Grades of his Order, con- 
cerning the numerical capacity of which there 
is some doubt and not a little confusion. It is 
said to have comprised (i) Apprentice^ (2) Com- 
panion^ (3) Particular Master , corresponding to 
the three Craft Grades ; (4) Grand Elect Master, 
apparently a Grade of transition ; (5) Apprentice 
Cohen^ (6) Companion Cohen^ (7) Master Cohen^ 
being the priestly Grades of the Order ; (8) 
Grand Master Architect^ and (9) Knight Commander^ 
identified with Knight of the East. As it is 
certain from the remains of the founder that 
there was a Grade of Rose-Croix, being a kind 
of capstone of the edifice, it has been suggested 
that this is really the last of the nine Grades 
enumerated above. For this I believe that there 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

is no foundation and the notion derives from a 
source which does not as a rule put forward 
speculations that prove of value. However this 
may be, there are genuine documents available 
which certify to the classification following : 
(i) Apprentice Elect Cohen, (2) Companion Elect 
Cohen, (3) Particular Master Elect Cohen, (4) 
Master Elect Cohen, (5) Grand Master Cohen, 
otherwise Grand Architect, (6) Grand Elect of 
Zerubbabel, otherwise Knight or Chief of the East. 
Of these the first three are so far thinly analogous 
to the Craft Grades that the latter could have 
scarcely preceded them, while there are points 
in the Ritual of Apprentice Elect Cohen which 
make that which is unlikely impossible. The 
Rose-Croix was probably a seventh Grade in 
comparative concealment a reward of merit 
and distinction in the practice of the peculiar 
work imposed by the Order on its members. 
That work was, as we have seen, magical, having 
a considerable ceremonial apparatus, not especially 
distinguished from other processes except by the 
intention which I have stated. There, seems to 
have been also an elementary part which did not 
aspire beyond communication with the angels and 
spirits of the planets, or intelligences of similar 
order, but this I have regarded as negligible in 
speaking of the work as a whole. The particulars 
concern us in neither case, and I pass therefore 
to a summary analysis of the Rituals. 

Speaking of course within exceedingly wide 

Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

limits, the first Grade has a certain correspond- 
ence with that of the Craft. The preparations 
are almost identical, the implements are some of 
them the same, the interpretation of the Lodge 
itself is in the terms of an identical symbolism, 
and there is a marked correspondence in what is 
understood by the technical expression of " the 
Lodge furniture." Some of the explanations, 
however, depend from certain philosophical 
aspects of Alchemy. Salt, Sulphur and Mercury, 
which are the three alchemical principles, find 
their correspondence in the human body con- 
sidered as the Microcosm, and are reflections of 
greater principles in the Macrocosmic world. A 
distinction of importance from my standpoint is 
found in the claim that there is a true building 
plan of the symbolical kind and that it rests in 
the heart of the Master, meaning the presiding 
officer as a type of the whole Order. He is in 
his official capacity the epitome of the Secret 
Tradition and of the powers concealed therein, 
as derived by a Rite which claims to be the 
essence of true Masonry. In the manifest sense 
of things, there are five Temples recognised, one 
being the archetypal body of man, but apparently 
understood in what I must call the archnatural 
sense ; the others are the body of the universe, 
that of the earth on which we live, that of the 
inferior and material part of man as here and now 
manifest, and finally the apocryphal body which 
is that of human conventions, including apparently 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

the outer and artificial side of Masonry itself. 
The instructions which are given to the Novice 
during his probation as an Apprentice are 
described as a perfect knowledge concerning the 
existence of a Grand Architect of the Uni- 
verse, the principle of man's spiritual emanation 
and the mode of his direct correspondence with 
the Master of all. I do not know whether this 
teaching which, for the most part, is obviously 
theoretical and dogmatic, passed into some form 
of practice in the third of these categories ; some- 
thing would depend on what was meant rather 
than expressed by the reference to the Master. 
As regards the origin of the Order, it was a 
wisdom which came down originally direct from 
the Creator, and its institution, so to speak, took 
place in the Adamic age, being perpetuated from 
those first days of human chronology to the 
modern world. The possibility of such per- 
petuation was owing to the pure mercy of the 
Great Architect, Who raised up successively, by 
the operation of His Spirit, those who were suit- 
able to preserve the life of the Order and to 
manifest it in the midst of concealment. The 
meaning is that the law of attainment can be put 
to work and will reach its term, at any period, 
in those who are properly prepared. The chief 
epochs of the Order were from Adam to Noah 
and from Noah to Melchisedek, Abraham, Moses, 
Solomon, Zerubbabel and Christ. More curious 
than anything is the affirmation that the Order 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

has no limits, for it embraces the four celestial 
regions, however understood, together with the 
three terrestrial regions and therein all nations of 
the world. 

I suppose that this is a recurrence to the old idea 
of the three known continents in correspondence 
with three recognised worlds of occult philosophy. 
The fourth great continent has never been allo- 
cated in symbolism, though for what such 
arbitrary devices may be worth it would be 
quite easy to arrange in symbolism the rough 
tetradic division of the material globe. The 
instruction of the first Grade concludes by the 
communication of the official secrets belonging 
to the Craft and certain High Grades of external 
Masonry. After the same manner, as we shall 
see shortly, that the Rosicrucian Fraternity of 
1777 described ordinary Masonry as merely the 
Appearance of Light, so here, but after a more 
drastic manner, it is denominated apocryphal. 
The High Grades included were Knight of the 
East, Knight of the Sun otherwise Knight Com- 
mander and Rose-Croix. It will be observed 
that these were important Degrees belonging to 
the COUNCIL OF EMPERORS and the unnecessary 
communication of their verbal and other formulas 
was part of the hostile attitude adopted by Martines 
de Pasqually towards this system. It offers to 
my own mind the proof positive mentioned 
previously, that the ordinary Craft Grades did 
not enter into the RITE OF THE ELECT COHENS. 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

It is equally certain that the Masonic qualification 
was not exacted from Candidates, as the Order 
existed to communicate it on that which, ex 
hypothesi^ was a far more exalted plane. 

At this point, let the Masonic reader recall 
the kind of occupation which is ascribed to the 
^Entered Apprentice while he remains in that initial 
Grade. According to the corresponding Degree 
of the ELECT COHENS, he is employed in a work 
of symbolical demolition, which is preliminary 
to emblematic building, according to the law of 
Masonry ; he is undoing the work of the Fall. 
In the terms of the Ritual itself, he is expiating 
his own prevarication ; and at this point an insight 
begins to be obtained into the root-matter of theo- 
sophical doctrine professed by the Order. The 
Master whom he has never seen, the Master Builder 
of the universe, has been put to death by the Can- 
didate's crime, into the consciousness of which he 
enters in the Fellow Craft Grade, for reasons which 
should be understood by every Master Mason. 
He has crucified the Lord of Glory, and through 
him it is that the Lamb has been slain from 
the foundation of the world. The precious blood 
still cries to the Eternal for vengeance. Of that 
which lies behind this bizarre reflection of Chris- 
tian symbolical teaching there is no explana- 
tion whatever, and I can understand it on my 
own part only by assuming that what is called in 
another form of symbolism the cosmic event of 
the Fall is taken as re-enacted by each one of us 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

in his own person ; it is against his own higher 
nature that the crime has been committed by the 
Candidate, and it is in this sense that the blood, 
so poured out mystically, is described in the 
Grade as superior to that of human nature. But 
the Fall was, as I have intimated, cosmic besides 
personal and successive through all generations ; 
and hence the Candidate in common with the 
whole world is in pain and dereliction and 
travail, waiting for the manifestation of the Son 
of God within him. It is a toil and groaning of 
body, soul and spirit, and because of it the creation 
at large cries out in chorus. The expiation im- 
posed upon him constitutes the service of his 
apprenticeship, leading towards perfect reconcili- 
ation ; and in the symbolism it is a purgation 
by fire, for which reason his place as a Craftsman 
is said to be in the South of the Temple. It is 
added, however, that this quarter is that of the 
Fall of man, as to which I confess that there 
is no law in symbolism by which such an 
allocation can be justified. In comparison with 
the mode in which the celestial quarters are 
understood by the Craft itself, the entire design 
is not only confused but arbitrary in a high 
degree. The same must be said of the circum- 
ambulations performed in the Rite which, in 
this Grade, are from East to North and thence 
by a horizontal progress to the South, the last 
being a pausing point. Finally, there is a mystic 
understanding of numbers which is contrary to 

VOL. II. L l6l 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

the accepted systems ; five is the number of the 
Fall ; six is that of emancipation ; and seven is 
that number in virtue of which the Candidate, 
but in another Grade, will enter into the reconciled 
state. It is said also that the Craftsman's state of 
privation is indicated by the prison of his body, 
and that his business, as part of his purgation, 
is to know the legend of his soul its ambition, 
its lapse and its punishment. So in the RITE OF 
ELECT COHENS did he explore the Mysteries of 
Nature and Science. 

My information concerning the Grade of 
Particular Master seems to shew that the veiling 
was especially heavy in this Degree. It may 
mean that in some sense the Candidate completes 
his expiation therein. He enters the Temple 
like a criminal and is sealed with a secret name 
which is said to be that of one of the officiat- 
ing members, representing apparently some great 
mystic principle, as if he were to be saved thereby 
from the wrath to come. There is, however, no 
explanation and any attempted interpretation can 
be only tentative. He is received in the West 
by a Worshipful Master of the West and two 
Wardens, and the Temple is traversed from West 
by North to South and thence to the East, as it 
is said, with trembling steps. Among the duties 
imposed upon him there is still more strangely 
that of research into sciences prohibited by Divine 
Law, at which point the whole subject seems to 
pass into utter unreason. He receives the number 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

9 as particular to his present state, and this 
signifies his subjection to material labour, while 
the incertitude of his spiritual and temporal 
operations seems to intimate, but as something 
that would not follow in any ordinary course, 
the reintegration of the principles which constitute 
his corporal individuality. In this sense it is 
certain that he has not expiated and that the 
Grade ends in a state that approximates to 
darkness visible, as we know of it in the Craft 
Grades. If we could interpret the earlier Degrees 
of the Rite as belonging to the history of man's 
spirit before it entered the body and the Master 
Grade as that of material life, we could reach a 
better understanding of the system regarded as 
a whole ; we might see also, through whatever 
dark glass and darkly, why the Master and 
Wardens receive the Candidate in the West. 

In the Grade of Elect Master, the Candidate 
is represented to himself rather as a knight in 
warfare, a position which corresponds with that 
of the Novice in the Masonic Order of the Temple ; 
he is held to be in perpetual combat with the 
enemies of Divine Law and with those of man 
on earth. But the Ritual is again concerned with 
the crucifixion of the Macrocosmic Christ, repre- 
sented on the manifest side by the Christ of 
Nazareth. Those who receive him are conscious 
on their part of a mission which is analogous in 
the divinity of its nature, being the reconciliation 
of profane humanity by attracting those who are 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

prepared within the sacred circle of true and 
transcendent Masonry. The labours of the Grade 
are opened at the ninth hour, in allusion to the 
time at which the Reconciler finished His work 
on behalf of human nature and uttered those 
words of consummation which were the sign 
of His deliverance. The Candidate is sealed (a] 
upon the head, signifying the reconciliation which 
takes place when the justice of the Creator has 
been satisfied ; (A) on the left hand, signifying 
the price which is still paid to that justice by 
those in the reprobate state signified by the 
Southern quarter ; (c) on the right hand, to typify 
the tribute offered by the dwellers in the North 
as the price of their affiliation in the spiritual 
sense ; (d) on the feet, representing the mystic 
signs which the Creator impressed upon matter 
to render it susceptible of those forms which 
His will required it to assume ; and (e) in fine 
upon the heart, to designate the different spiritual 
agents which God sealed and sent out to co- 
operate with the spiritual essences of primeval 
matter. It is obvious that this is an interpretation 
which stands badly in need of an interpreter, and 
though again it might be possible to assume this 
office, the value of the result attained would 
remain entirely speculative as I am certain that 
a part alone of the doctrinal elements has been 
placed in our hands. I will therefore say only 
that as the result of his experience, the Candidate 
learns (a) that there are two classes of Elect 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

Masters^ who are (b) the Perfect and (c] the 
Temporal Elect ; (d) that the mystic name of the 
latter is Man-God of earth, but (e) the first Man 
Elect derogated from his august position and by 
this means (f) was rendered man of the ordinary 
kind, in place of man the unseen. I conclude 
that Martines de Pasqually suffered, like some 
other symbolists, from an incapacity to co-ordinate 
and give a logical expression to the notions which 
dwelt in his mind. 

The Grade of Grand Master Cohen is a Grade 
of light and also one of priesthood, for the 
Candidate is ordained therein, in virtue of the 
thought and will of the Eternal, and of the power, 
the word and intention of His deputies. The 
officiating adepts are four Wardens, who represent 
the four symbolical chiefs of the four quarters 
of the heavens, recalling the occult mystery of 
the Enochian Tablets, according to the Faithful 
Relation of Dr. John Dee, with whose posthumous 
work it is barely possible that Pasqually may have 
been acquainted, either at first hand or through the 
mediation of his own instructors. The Postulant 
is dedicated henceforward to the purification of 
the material senses, that they may be rendered fit 
to participate in the operations of the spirit. He 
is further engaged, in common with his peers, 
upon the work of constructing new tabernacles 
and rebuilding old ones, that they may be fitted 
to receive the different words of power which 
govern the operations of every created thing. 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

In the Great Universal Temple there are four 
tabernacles, being (a) the body of man, (b) that 
of woman, and these are of the corporal order ; (c) 
the tabernacle constructed by Moses, and (d] the 
spiritual sun. The ark of Moses was a repro- 
duction in analogy of that which was built by 
Noah, containing material tabernacles as a testi- 
mony of the justice exercised on the children of 
God when they became sons of men by their 
alliance with the daughters of Cain. The ark 
of Moses, on the contrary, was intended for the 
deliverance of Israel from the law of demons and 
to place it under that of the Eternal. It had 
four doors, corresponding to the quadripartite 
nature of the Divine Essence, the four potencies 
of man and the four celestial quarters. The 
Grand Master Cohen can open the door in the 
North and close that of the South, but over the 
portals of the East and the West he has no power, 
because at present he is a temporal creature only. 
The doors further correspond to four principles 
operating in the universe : the principle under 
Adam was Rhety ; Enoch under the posterity 
of Seth ; Melchizedek under that of Abraham ; 
and Christ in favour of every created being. To 
these principles four high priests are allocated : 
Zalmun among the people of Ishmael ; among 
the Egyptians, Rharamoz ; Aaron in respect of 
the Israelites ; and, curiously enough on the 
whole, Paul among the sons of Christ. In fine, 
it is said that the efficacious names and words 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

by which the Grand Masters are consecrated are 
those which the Creator delivered to His priest 
Moses for the dedication of his kind to spiritual 
and Divine works. But it is affirmed that in 
this Grade the meaning of the first Tables of the 
Law and their destruction by Moses is not com- 
municated to the Candidate ; it belongs to the 
dispensation of a higher mystery. 

The Grade of the Grand Elect of Zerubbabel^ 
having regard to all that has preceded, offers a 
confused symbolism, but this is on the surface, 
for it is so adapted that it is made to serve the 
end which it declares only by intimation. The 
end, I conclude, would be found in that Grade 
of Rose-Croix which is the term of the whole 
research. The symbolism is based on the liberty 
which was granted by Assyria to the tribes of 
Israel at the expiration of their captivity, and it 
is compared to that which the Eternal will grant 
to all created beings after the expiration of time 
and by their entrance into perfect reconciliation. 
Zerubbabel is, in this sense, regarded as a symbol 
of Christ and his work as a type of our 
redemption. The Grand and Elect Brethren are 
not of the tribes which went into captivity in 
Babylon, but are the descendants of Ephraim and 
his successors, a little company of the elect which 
has been always in the world, the custodians of 
the Secret Tradition. In the symbolism of the 
Grade this company stood therefore apart from 
humanity, apart from the common limitations 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

and darkness of material life, signified by the 
seventy years of exile : they were of the true 
priesthood. Furthermore, they were not to be 
counted among those who worked at the building 
of the Second Temple. The explanation is that 
the latter was only a sign of that material edifice 
of ours which is destined to be restored by the 
spirit, and this work exceeds the capacity of man. 
As it is intended to shew that it was reserved 
for the efficacity of the Christ-spirit, the change 
of name by which Jacob became Israel is treated 
as signifying that alteration in the Divine Law 
whereby it was transferred from the Jews and 
communicated to the other nations of the world. 
The same event was predicted by Moses when he 
broke the Tables of the Law and afterwards im- 
posed upon his followers a rule which was of the 
conventional and ceremonial kind. The root of 
this intimation is in the Sepher Ha Zohar and is 
not contained so far as my knowledge extends 
in that part of the vast text which at the 
period of Pasqually had passed into the Latin 
tongue. The point is more curious than it seems, 
because neither he nor his pupil Saint-Martin 
owed anything substantial to Kabalism. At the 
end of his reception the Candidate took his proper 
place among the friends of God, protectors of 
virtue and professors of truth. 

Hereof is the philosophical substance of the 
RITE OF ELECT COHENS, so far as I have met with 
materials concerning it which come within the 

1 68 

Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

scope of my purpose ; it will be agreed that I 
have justified my view in respect of its utter 
distinction from all other Grades of Magic which, 
at one time and another, have been enrolled under 
the banner of Masonry. We know nothing re- 
garding the early life of Martines de Pasqually, 
nothing of the antecedents of his system. It offers 
here and there certain sporadic analogies with 
earlier theosophical reveries, but the root-matter 
seems so far to be almost without father or 
mother. Its maker has been described as a 
disciple of Swedenborg, but those who instituted 
the companion could have known little of the 
imputed master and nothing of the pupil as he 
was. He has been accounted an emissary of the 
Rosicrucian Fraternity, that forlorn hope of occult 
explanation which reminds me of China, when 
it looms in some minds as the last resource for 
the origin of all things that have their roots in 
obscurity. There is nothing Rosicrucian in the 
Rite of Martines de Pasqually. It must thus be 
taken simply for what it is worth in itself, recog- 
nising that it is almost without precedent in 
the domain of transcendental thought. As it is 
married to an occult practice, and as it is not con- 
cerned directly with the Divine term recognised 
by the mystics, it must be called occult rather 
than mystic, though I conclude that there are 
gates and posterns which might open strangely 
into the higher regions of research. Whether 
they had opened for Pasqually is another question, 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

but I doubt whether he had ventured far in 
directions where the psychic powers of our nature 
count for nothing ; his elections were too clearly 
from the intermediate world. 

I should add as regards the practice, that it 
was an attempt to communicate with that Active 
and Intelligent Cause to which the order of the 
universe is committed. This Cause is called 
otherwise the Repairer and signifies Christ. 
When Saint-Martin issued his first work, Des 
Erreurs et de la Verite^ he was still so far in 
sympathy with the theurgic work that he put 
on record his belief that certain men have known 
this Cause in the immediate sense which is usually 
called physical, adding that " all might know 
Him in this manner did they . . . take more 
pains to purify and fortify their will." He said 
also, but at a much later period, that in his share 
of the communications established with the unseen 
world by his occult school of the past, " every 
sign indicative of the Repairer was present." 
The fact that, this notwithstanding, he was still 
unsatisfied is again another question, and his 
reasons which do not now concern us I have 
given elsewhere. 

The French school of Martinism has put 
forward within comparatively recent years the 
thesis that a Being whom it designates as (a) the 
Agent and (b) the Unknown Philosopher, by 
whom it unquestionably intends us to understand 
the Active and Intelligent Cause, or Repairer, of 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

Pasqually and Saint-Martin, appeared in the 
theurgic circles and dictated mystical knowledge ; 
that part of the record was destroyed by the 
communicating intelligence for the rather 
commonplace reason that it might fall into the 
hands of Robespierre ; and that other part was 
incorporated by Saint-Martin in Des Erreurs et 
de la VeritL The evidence of these things is 
wanting and, without desiring to be invidious, 
it is requisite to say that on all subjects con- 
necting approximately with Masonry in itself, 
or its connections, my experience leads me to 
regard what comes from this source in the 
absence of stated warrants as open to profound 
suspicion. The RITE OF ELECT COHENS is much 
nearer to Masonry than are its compeers in 
the Grades of Magic ; it is the result of an 
attempt to place it on the plane of occult thought 
and practice, and, whatever our view of the in- 
tention or the result in a particular case, the 
aspect in which it comes before us is recognisable 
at least by all who are within the bonds of the 
Brotherhood. The school of Martinism is speci- 
fically wrong in nearly everything that it has put 
forth in good faith on Masonry, and its motive 
has not been invariably of that kind which 
connotes good faith of necessity. 

There are two senses in which the present 
account is deficient to my own mind, extended 
as it has otherwise been. I have explained that 
the antecedents of Pasqually are unknown in 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

respect of his earlier life and the school of 
thought in which he was, so to speak, trained 
before his appearance in the Masonic arena. 
Light on these subjects will never perhaps be 
forthcoming ; but it has been said that when 
he appeared at Toulouse in the year 1760 he 
presented himself at a Masonic Lodge, bearing 
a certain hieroglyphical chart and claiming to 
exercise the functions of an inspector-general, 
derived apparently from some unknown Lodge 
in the interests of the Stuart legitimacy. There 
is no one in this world who had less of political 
bias, and we have seen already that the question 
of Jacobite Lodges is a pitfall of deception and 
fable. At the Toulouse Lodge there is no 
question of his appearance as there is none 
about his general claims ; but it is just possible 
that the Stuart warrant may be a point of 
phantasy brought into an otherwise faithful 
relation. He did not obtain recognition, largely 
because he offered certain practical demonstra- 
tions of an occult kind to enforce his titles, and 
whatever the operations were they proved a 
failure. He took therefore elsewhere his perfect 
plan of Freemasonry, his interpretation of the 
first and second Temple and his mysterious 
intimations concerning an elect priesthood. He 
had a better experience at Foix, where he was 
received with honour and the Lodge of Joshua 
accepted his system so far as High Degrees were 
concerned. At Bordeaux he was also recognised 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

and was affiliated to the Loge Franqaise, where he 
appears to have given evidence of what is termed 
his powers, meaning obviously those of an occult 
kind. In the year 1766 Pasqually carried his 
various titles to Paris, with the object of 
establishing in that city the Sovereign Tribunal 
of his Rite. Here was his centre henceforward, 
though it was not frequently, or for long periods, 
under his immediate guidance. 

In 1767 he was again at Bordeaux, and there 
by the year 1770 he had a large number of 
adherents, as well as subsidiary Temples at 
Montpellier, Avignon, Foix, la Rochelle, Versailles 
also and Metz. It was not till 1771 that he 
returned to the Sovereign Tribunal for a brief 
period. He was afterwards yet again at Bordeaux, 
which he left in 1772 for the West Indies and 
there died, as I have mentioned. It is clear from 
all the evidence that his various deputies and 
adepts, theoretical or practical, regarded them- 
selves as only partly instructed in respect of his 
theurgic system, and although his absence in the 
West Indies did not mean the entire cessation of 
his activity, it was committed to the uncertainties 
of the post, and in the end it must be confessed 
that his work, from his own point of view, as 
from that of others, was left unfinished. 

Those who are acquainted with the history 
of occult practices which, whatever their motive 
and end, must follow certain lines of broad re- 
semblance, will understand that any experiment 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

of the kind is foredoomed to failure, seeing that 
the powers of a Magus are not communicable, 
and unless there were others in his circles who 
also possessed such powers, all the Lodges and 
Temples depended from his personal demonstra- 
tions only. It was those which were in request ; 
when therefore he was in session at Bordeaux 
Paris was in widowhood, and when he was taken 
across the seas there was a suspension of nearly 
everything. Some of his Princes Rose-Croix were 
not without experiences on their own part, but in 
his absence everything flagged and it is easy to 
see that at his death the RITE OF THE ELECT 
COHENS was near its dissolution. At Lyons, 
where I suppose that it had been established 
during Pasqually's absence, it went over to the 
STRICT OBSERVANCE and other Temples lapsed 
into their former Masonic obediences. The fact 
that this was naturally gradual may be registered 
but does not concern us. The Sovereign Tribunal 
appointed a successor to the Master, Pasqually on 
his own part having transmitted his powers to 
another. Some kind of existence in a decrepit 
manner was thus maintained there and here until 
the period of the Revolution. 

The second point about which this account is 
so far insufficient regards the Secret Doctrine 
communicated by Pasqually to his adepts as an 
extension of that which is found in the discourses 
belonging to the Rituals. It is a difficult subject 
to approach because of its innate obscurity, and 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

because it represents a version of the Secret 
Tradition which is only a reflection at a great 
distance. It is therefore likely to prove a source 
of confusion to my readers rather than a light on 
the path. I must say something concerning it 
but it shall be the least that may be possible, 
having regard to these circumstances. Franz 
von Baader, a German mystic of the late 
eighteenth and early nineteenth century, is per- 
haps the one person who has made Pasqually's 
doctrine the subject of a serious study and has 
almost taken it into his heart ; his faculty was 
however of such a quality that what is com- 
paratively clear in his author becomes almost 
unintelligible under the light of his presentation, 
while that which is involved in the original 
passes beyond comprehension. He suggests that 
Pasqually was at once Jew and Christian, which 
may be an allusion to the old idea that the 
Magus belonged to the stock of Israel, but more 
probably that his system effected some new kind 
of marriage between the two dispensations. As 
Christian, he was Catholic and Roman, but 
beyond the fact that he was married in the 
Catholic Church and that his child was baptized 
therein, I do not find much evidence of dedi- 
cation in this particular respect, so far as his 
writings are concerned. As a Magus, it is said 
that he revivified the old covenant by his occult 
powers, and here again I think that the intimation 
only darkens counsel. The ceremonial magic of 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Pasqually followed that type which I connect with 
the debased Kabalism of Jewry, but it was simply 
because there was no other form of practical 
working ready to his hand in the ceremonial 
order of things, and it is ridiculous to suggest 
that the old covenant was restored, much less 
revitalised, thereby. The Kabalistic Magic pre- 
scribed for use by the Elect Cohens was of course 
of a Christianised type, having regard to its im- 
puted object, but most of the old Rituals are of 
this kind, though their purpose was either the 
discovery of hidden treasure or the opportunity 
for some illicit indulgence. Franz von Baader is 
nearer to the truth when he speaks of Pasqually's 
epoch as one in which the light of Christianity 
was eclipsed and when he regards the Magus 
rather as a ghost of the departed appearing on 
the horizon. He is right also when he says that 
Christian obscuration was an opportunity for the 
revival of Magic, whether pagan or Jewish. I 
think, however, that credit must be allowed to 
Pasqually for attempting at such a period, by 
means of his occult practices, to get direct 
revelation from the source of revelation in 
Christendom ; the proposition was preposterous, 
even to the insensate grade, but it was redeemed 
by the motive, and I do not question that he 
regarded it in two aspects : (a) as that medicine 
which the age most needed, and (fr) as leading up 
to a new and fuller realisation in the light of 
Christ. According to von Baader, who reflects 



Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

herein the mind of his original, the dealings of 
God with man involve a triple covenant, corre- 
sponding to the past, the present and the time 
which is still to come. There is, firstly, that of 
Israel ; secondly, that which was established by 
Christ ; and, thirdly, the covenant under the 
light and grace of the Holy Spirit, after which 
there will be the rest of the Sabbath. But the 
last is not a dispensation ; it is rather a fruit 
of the three overpast periods, and it is the 
great epoch of union. The correspondences in 
Masonry are in the three Craft Grades, but 
the Mason may rest assured that the similarity 
is utterly forced and apart from all likeness in 
symbolism, ritual or imputed state of initiation. 
If we turn from such points of criticism to 
Pasqually himself and to the information which 
can be drawn from his Traite de la Reintegration 
des fLtres, we shall find in the first place that he 
makes reference to certain teachers, from whom 
he learned on his own part. He describes them 
as faithful friends, cherished by truth and pro- 
tected by wisdom. He says indeed that his 
explanations are made with the same clearness 
with which they were dictated to him by the 
truth of wisdom. That which was communicated 
on his part had been received therefore from an 
anterior source, but, as there is no further inti- 
mation concerning it, we must determine for 
ourselves on the general grounds of likelihood 
whether his instructors were living custodians of 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

a secret tradition or whether he received teaching 
through his astral practices. I am inclined on 
the whole to the latter view, because the essence 
of his system lies in its claim that there was a 
communion possible with powers unseen, who 
could and did instruct under given conditions. 
The nature of the teaching is a much more 
important point, and as regards the treatise in 
which it is embodied, it is very curious in re- 
spect of the form. It constitutes a commentary at 
large on Genesis and Exodus, and thus covers a 
considerable part of the field which is occupied 
by the Midrash-Ha- r Lohar^ which itself embraces 
the entire Pentateuch. 

It should be understood that there is no sense 
in which the Christian text can be said to follow 
from the great work of Jewry in exile, though 
there are certain points of correspondence ; there 
is nothing or next to nothing which indicates an 
acquaintance with Kabalistic tradition on the part 
either of Pasqually or of those from whom he 
learned. There is a system of numerical mysticism, 
for example, in both cases, but it is not the same 
system ; there is an interpretation offered in both 
of the same events recorded in the Biblical narra- 
tive, but it is not the same interpretation. On 
the more external side, an important distinction 
between the two works is that the Zohar cleaves 
almost with literal exactness to the Scriptural 
accounts, howsoever it may at times obscure 
them, and at times illuminate, in the course of 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

its vast commentary ; but the tract on Re- 
integration offers at every point some departure 
from the sources on which it depends. The 
histories of our first parents, of their immediate 
descendants, of Noah, Abraham and Moses, are 
new stories written on the basis of the broad 
facts concerning them. It follows that, by 
necessity, the force of the interpretation is reduced, 
supposing that it has any within its own measures, 
for the simple reason that there is a fatal facility 
attaching to any Commentary which begins by 
varying the text that it pretends to explain. 
With the variations themselves we have no con- 
cern here, my object being to exhibit after what 
manner, and to what extent, the tradition of 
Pasqually and his Masonic priesthood offers 
correspondence with other Masonic traditions 
on the same subject. 

To summarise it at the beginning in a single 
sentence, the concern in particular is with the 
Fall of man and the way of reconciliation in 
Christ, and the intention throughout is to shew 
that every important epoch and history found 
in the two first books of Scripture are in some 
way a foreshadowing of the New Dispensation 
and Covenant. With this kind of exegesis we 
are acquainted to our distraction and weariness 
in the old and accepted commentators ; but to 
these Pasqually owes little, even when some of 
his system follows the same lines. Prior to any 
manifest existence all spirits were in the bosom 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

of the Divinity, and at the beginning of mani- 
festation they were emanated therefrom. The 
emanation of the angelical hierarchies preceded 
that of man and so also did the Fall of the 
Angels, which came about by the perversion of 
the will. The physical universe was a con- 
sequence of this lapse, and it provided a field 
within which the malice of fallen spirits should 
be contained and should exhaust itself. The 
emanation of man was ordained that he might 
have dominion over all beings in perversity, and 
behind this general thesis there lies the notion 
that his government was intended ultimately to 
restore those who were cast out to their first 
estate. In the language of Pasqually, man pre- 
varicated, however, on his own part ; the glorious 
body with which Adam was clothed at first was 
exchanged for a material form, and he was 
precipitated from the Edenic world exalted 
above all things of sense into the abysses of that 
earth whence came the fruit of his prevarication. 
The path of his redemption is now that of the 
life in Christ, and the rest of the thesis is concerned 
with such a delineation of that path as an exceed- 
ingly forced method of construction can extract 
from the various events of Genesis and Exodus. 
As a delineation, the treatise falls so far short of 
its term that I regard it as an unfinished experi- 
ment, by which I mean not that it is a fragment 
but that the writer had in his own mind intended 
to carry it further. 

1 80 

Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

Like all others who have claimed to put 
forward some part and substance of the Secret 
Tradition in Christian times, Pasqually provides 
a warrant for his system by assuming (a) that 
some of his primeval knowledge and wisdom 
remained with Adam after the Fall and was from 
him perpetuated ; (U] that one of its custodians 
was the prophet Enoch ; (c] that it subsisted 
till the days of the Flood ; (d] that its witness 
at that period was Noah, by whom it was again 
handed on ; (e) that it was with Abraham at a 
later period and so came down to Moses, whose 
original intention in respect of the Law delivered 
on Mount Sinai was different from that which 
he did in the end establish by the Second Tables 
of the Law. 

The connections with official Masonry are 
thinly maintained by such allusions to the Temple 
of Solomon and that of Zerubbabel as happen to 
be found in the treatise ; but these events of 
Jewish history were evidently held over with 
the intention of completing the Commentary by 
its extension to the other books of the Pentateuch. 

There is, I suppose, no need that I should 
express on my part an opinion as to the value 
of the system here summarised baldly ; in so 
far as it is old, and to that extent familiar, it is 
not a true part of the Secret Tradition in my 
understanding thereof, while in so far as it is new, 
it is of arbitrary invention. I have left for the 
end of this section one intimation which I regard 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

personally as more curious than any, and this is 
where Pasqually says that those who have heard 
him will see clearly how the true Messiah has 
been always with the children of God, but always 
unknown. It is behind this statement that the 
true Tradition is concealed. The witness who 
uttered it stood, I think, at the gate which opens 
into that secret world, but he did not go in. 




THE Masonic and theurgic mission of Martines de 
Pasqually, with which the mystic Louis Claude de 
Saint-Martin was identified by the fact of his 
initiation in the days of his youth, has created 
unawares a predisposition to confuse the master of 
strange occult arts with the disciple of Divine 
Science who entered later on more fully into the 
degree of certitude than did ever the most zealous 
Mason of that period enter into the Grades of 
innumerable dedications conferred in the various 
Rites at the end of the eighteenth century. The 
name of Saint-Martin will be so familiar now to 
many of those whom I address more especially, 
and the chief source of information in England is 
so near to every one's hand in my study of The 
Unknown Philosopher , that I can assume either some 
knowledge on the part of my readers or a willing- 
ness to seek it where it can be obtained most 
readily. He came out of all the orders and 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

sodalities, but not as one shaking the dust off his 
feet, as one rather who had found a more excellent 
way, and had entered into the inward life. He did 
not scale all heights or sound all deeps therein ; 
but he opened that unknown world and brought 
back a report concerning it which, in several 
respects, will remain in permanent memory. The 
records thereof are in his books, and beyond them 
other record there is none, as it is antecedently 
unlikely that there should be any. But because 
of his early Masonic and occult connections, and 
because it is my fantasy to think that Martines and 
his Rites were mixed up with Saint-Martin and his 
Mysticism, there has been a kind of interpenetra- 
tion in clouded minds between two tolerably 
distinct worlds of activity, and the mystic emerges 
first of all as himself the Reformer of a Masonic 
Rite, originally established by Pasqually, or the 
founder of one upon his own part. Both notions 
are rooted in misconception. But in the second 
place, and outside these intimations, it has been 
proposed for our acceptation that he at least founded 
a school that is to say, an occult school and it 
is with this notion and all that has been developed 
therefrom that I must say a few words first of all 
in the present section. The memorials of his 
influence are said to have remained in Russia, as 
the result of a visit concerning which we have 
few particulars, and which perhaps though not in- 
dubitably for this reason may be almost legendary 
rather than historical in its aspect. The rumour 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

concerning him was certainly conveyed into that 
country at a period which must be marked as 
receptive to such influences in such a place. I do 
not believe in the least that he left one single 
trace which can be constructed in the sense of 
a school, even in the most informal manner, either 
there or elsewhere. I doubt above all whether 
the materials would have come into his hands at 
that distracted period in the land which he called 
his own. In the comparative refuge of Switzerland, 
and in the vicinity of the Baron de Liebistorf, he 
might have found another entourage^ or in that part 
of Germany which connects with Eckartshausen, 
but not in France at the Revolution, in the 
dictatorship, or in the long struggle of the Empire. 
The confusion has arisen, to my mind, in the 
persistence of that exotic interest of Masonry 
which centred at Lyons in the days of Pasqually, 
which survived the death of this master, which 
survived the Terror and the Empire, and had not 
wholly perished at the close of the first quarter of 
the nineteenth century. In other words, therefore, 
that which remained over was the school with 
its roots in the theurgic processes of Pasqually's 
Masonic priesthood, primarily in the care of people 
like Willermoz and then of their successors. There 
has been an attempt in recent times to connect this 
school with an occult hypothesis concerning an 
Unknown Philosopher whose manifestation was a 
theurgic product, and I know not what authority 
can be ascribed by sober criticism to the documents 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

offered in the evidence. But if they belonged to 
the period, and drew from the origin which is 
claimed, we can understand more fully how Saint- 
Martin, the Unknown Philosopher of a mystic 
literature, came to be connected by imagination 
with a school not only long after he had ceased to 
belong thereto, but long after its disintegration. 
For that which was perpetuated and brought 
over into the nineteenth century was not of the 
incorporated order, but rather the records or 
memorials of something that once had been. The 
fact remains that in respect of Saint-Martin that 
which persisted in connection with his name was 
and could only be a sporadic disposition towards 
the inward life during a clouded period in the outer 
world. Some of the memories were persistent, 
some of them must have been exceedingly sacred. 
I set aside now all that concerns the theurgic school 
of Lyons and Bordeaux. Jean Baptist Willermoz, 
though not the titular or in any sense the acting 
successor of Pasqually in the Masonic group, never 
quitted the path of things phenomenal which had 
been followed by his master, and he could have 
remembered Saint-Martin, his early and, for some 
period, his intimate associate, only as one who had 
passed into another region which was very far 
away from his own. One cannot help speculating 
as to what memories abode in the mind of the 
Abbe Fournie during some twenty or more years 
of exile in London, after all those wonderful 
experiences which rewarded by sensible consola- 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

tions the hunger and thirst after God and Divine 
things, about which I have written elsewhere. He 
also, like Willermoz, was connected with Saint- 
Martin during a time of active work and under 
the eyes of their common teacher. Of the most 
precious, most intimate, most direct memories there 
are, however, no records ; they were those which 
centred at Strasbourg, the Zion of the Unknown 
Philosopher's mystic life ; they were those which 
were gathered into the hearts of beloved and elect 
women, like Madame de Boecklin, the Marquise, 
de Lusignan and the Duchesse de Bourbon ; they 
were those of chosen men like Rudolph Salzmann 
and the Comte d'Hauterive. Among these, and 
those like them, were the germs which he said 
in his last moments that he had endeavoured 
to sow and that he believed would fructify. 

There is no opportunity here to trace how 
this purely mystical influence, which must have 
passed more and more into that which Saint- 
Martin bequeathed in his books to the world, has 
grown up into the hypothetical and semi-instituted 
warrants of the modern ORDER OF MARTINISM, with 
a Supreme Council located at Paris, an almost 
vast membership and sporadic branches I was 
about to say everywhere, but certainly in several 
countries, including the United States. It has 
certain titles to consideration and has already 
produced its dissidents, being branches which 
have segregated of their own accord from the 
parent tree. It is, however, essentially anti- 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Masonic in character, because it is a kind of 'voile 
/evS pour les curieux^ which publishes to its 
members the so-called secrets of Masonry, and 
though, as English Masons, it is impossible for us 
to recognise the Grand Orient of France and the 
Lodges which depend therefrom, it is obvious 
that this proceeding is a blow struck at Masonry 
of all denominations, even under the legitimate 
obediences. The fact that it is of no effect, and 
that those who possess nothing but a few elements 
.which have long been public property can com- 
municate nothing, makes no difference to the 
nature of the policy or to its intention. The 
ORDER OF MARTINISM is an axe which has been 
ground, and ground well enough for that matter, 
in the interests of those who established it, and it 
is mentioned here more especially to affirm (a) 
that it is anti-Masonic, in the sense which I have 
just defined ; (b] that it has no part in any tradi- 
tion whatsoever ; (c] that the name which it has 
assumed should and can deceive no one who is 
properly informed, as (d) it has no connection 
with Martines de Pasqually and the RITE OF THE 
ELECT COHENS, or (e) with le philosophe inconnu^ 
Saint-Martin, except a literary and philosophical 
interest in the work of both, but perhaps especially 
that of the former ; and (f) that Saint-Martin, for 
his own part, would indubitably have denounced 
all its ways, had it arisen at his own period. 

There is one more task to perform in the present 
section, and that is to make an end more definitely 



Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

of the old mendacious myth which represents 
Saint-Martin (a) as the reformer of the Masonic 
Rite of Pasqually, or (b) alternatively as the 
inventor of an Ecossisme Reform^. According to the 
first story, he established two Temples, one of which 
conferred the Grades of (a) Apprentice, (b] Companion 
or Craftsman, (c] Master, (d) Ancient Master, (e) 
Elect, (f) Grand Architect, (g) Mason of the Secret 
possibly Secret Master ; and the other, (/i) Prince of 
Jerusalem, (i) Knight of Palestine and (k) Kadosh, 
or sanctified man. The alternative story usually 
represents the ficossais Rite as a reduction of the 
first into seven grades, as follows : (a) Apprentice, 
(b) Companion, (c) Master, (d) Perfect Master, (e) 
Elect, (f) Ecossais, and (g) Sage. It will be seen 
that, over and above the Craft Degrees, both 
nomenclatures represent ingarnerings from several 
sources. The first account originated possibly 
with Clavel and the second with Ragon, but there 
might be earlier sources discoverable, if the question 
were worth the pains. Ragon says that the Grades 
were full of ridiculous superstitions and absurd 
beliefs, which is probable enough ; but as regards 
the first foundation he stultifies himself in a later 
work by attributing precisely the same series to 
Baron Tschoudy. 

There is abundant evidence in the correspond- 
ence of Saint-Martin to disprove that he ever 
went in search of a Masonic reformation, whether 
of his own device or another's, but it is only of 
recent years that the true nature of the mis- 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

attribution has transpired. Among the materials 
laid before the Convention of Lyons in 1778, it is 
said that there were (a) the Ecossais Rectifie' Suisse, 
the production of a certain De Glayre, and (fr) 
the Ecossais Rectifit de Saint Martin. The first does 
not especially concern us, but the second is affirmed 
to have been practised since 1770 by the Chapter 
of St. Theodore at Metz. The name, however, 
had reference to that canonised Archbishop of 
Tours who divided his mantle with a beggar and 
not to the theosophist and mystic. If the date 
which I have named is reliable, it is certain that 
in 1770 Saint-Martin, the Unknown Philosopher, 
was then unknown to fame. 

THE RITE OF SAINT- MARTIN and its particular 
ficossais system passes therefore into the same 
category as the RITE OF RAMSAY. It is said that 
the Metz compilation was used by the Convention 
of Lyons to assist in the fabrication of Novice and 
Knight Benejicent of the Holy City, but those who 
have the opportunity of comparing these Grades 
with their direct correspondences in the RITE OF 
THE STRICT OBSERVANCE will be aware that the 
statement has no foundation, except in the sense 
that both systems laid the usual stress upon the 
Masonic virtue of beneficence. 




WE have seen the content of the later Rites so 
far as the elements of Magia are concerned : 
there are detached Grades, known by their titles 
only, which suggest more express intentions and 
perhaps a fuller realisation, but it is impossible to 
speak concerning them. The position of Kabal- 
istic Grades is similar in all respects. I set aside 
those which convey intimations in their titles but 
have nothing corresponding thereto in the Rituals 
themselves. The office of some collections seems 
akin to that of creating large expectations in the 
names of Degrees, but they furnish a morality only 
or a laboured discourse on an aspect of the philo- 
sophical kind, as this was understood at its period. 
In the RITE OF MIZRAIM there is a considerable 
show of communicating the tradition in Israel 
through the medium of certain Grades. One of 
them is Sovereign Prince Talmudim, which is a 
Grade of erudition in doctrine ; there are others 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

which speak a similar language of vague and 
delusive promise ; nothing follows therefrom, and 
the recipient is left with a doctrinal illumination 
which is of much the same value as his licensed 
rank among the Supreme Commanders of the Stars, 
in the 52nd Degree of the system, already cited. It 
would be waste of time to speak of these inventions 
or others of the same order which would enter 
into a classified list. In a work on the Kabalistic 
Tradition I have mentioned a Degree entitled 
Knight of the Kabalah, and have shewn that its 
speculative thesis is concerned with the mystery 
of numbers, developed rather curiously. I recur 
to it only that I may put on record one point 
which was then omitted. As may be expected, 
the Grade does not represent even a reflection of 
knowledge concerned with its supposed subject. 
It illustrates, however, the prevailing sentiment of 
the period about which I have spoken otherwise. 
Those who were thoroughly indoctrinated re- 
specting things Kabalistic approached the tradition 
of Jewry, as we have seen, solely as an instrument 
for the conversion of Israel, and this rumour of 
its assumed office filtered down into regions where 
there is no trace of acquaintance with texts at all. 
The anonymous compiler of the Kabalistic Grade 
under notice presents his thesis on numbers so 
that he may enlarge upon Christian aspects. For 
him the unity of numbers corresponds to the 
notion of the Logos, and for some purely arbitrary 
but not expressed reason he lays down that this 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

Word is incarnate in the bosom of a virgin. 
That virgin, also inexplicably on the hypothesis, 
represents religion. The triad in numbers recalls 
naturally the three theological virtues and the 
mystery of the Trinity in Unity. The number 
four is above all things the cardinal virtues. Six 
in some mysterious manner conveys an intimation 
regarding the coming of the Liberator, in conse- 
quence of the Fall of man ; and seven is the 
instituted Sacraments of the Catholic Church. 
Twelve is in correspondence with the twelve 
Articles of Faith into which the Creed or symbol 
of the Apostles may be divided ; it is also the 
Apostles themselves, and it is the twelve stones of 
the Mystic City of the Apocalypse. 

The ceremony, which is held in an apartment 
termed a Sanhedrim, opens symbolically at mid- 
night and closes at dawn of day, the Master or 
President being saluted as Most Profound Rabbi. 
The Candidate is announced as a Knight of the 
Golden Fleece^ so that it is neither a detached 
Grade nor part of a rational sequence, as the 
qualifying title belongs to Hermetic Masonry. 
His aspiration is to be initiated in the Sacred 
Mysteries of the Kabalah and he undergoes an 
extraordinary ordeal corresponding to the four 
elements. Having been hoodwinked outside the 
Lodge, he is stripped naked and thus is plunged 
into water, which accounts for that element in 
a drastic manner ; his forehead is marked with 
ashes and the equivalent of memento homo quia 

VOL. ii. N 193 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

pulvis es is recited over him, this being the trial 
by earth. He is then suspended in the air, and 
finally his right hand is passed over a brazier of 
burning coals. When he is reclothed and the 
obligation is taken, it has to be signed with his 
own blood, and he is then restored to light. As 
the reward of this terrific experience, he is in- 
formed that a Kabalist is one who has learned by 
tradition that the sacerdotal art is also the royal 
art. He is further recommended to study the 
mysteries of religions and the harmony between 
them ; if he chance to succeed, he will arrive at 
the summit of true felicity, which is the sole end 
of Masonry. It seems just to say that even in 
Memphis and Mizraim no Candidate has fared 
so far and hardly to attain less or as little. 

There is, however, the Knight of the Kabalistic 
Sun and it combines Alchemy with the forlorn 
substitute which it has to offer as the Secret 
Tradition in Jewry. Here also Jewry is 
Christianised, and as there is no Ritual what- 
ever I will classify a few points from the two 
catechetical instructions as follows : (i) Soul, 
spirit and body are in correspondence with Salt, 
Sulphur and Mercury. These are the three 
catholic substances of which all things are 
formed. They result from the influence of the 
planets poured upon the four elements. (2) Art 
is superior to Nature in bringing things to 
perfection, but it depends on a knowledge of 
the quintessence and the fire of the philosophers. 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

The result is a Sovereign Medicine and the Stone. 
(3) The Cross is salvation to man, and the Stone 
is the perfection of the three kingdoms. (4) In 
the main, however, the Alchemy is of a moral 
kind, for the seven planets represent the seven 
modes of human passion. (5) The Kabalism 
is confined to an interpretation of the seven 
Cherubim, whose names are inscribed in a great 
circle which is exhibited for the study of the 
Candidate. (6) They typify, however, only the 
five senses, repose and thought, being seven forms 
of felicity with which man has been endowed by 
God. (7) This being so, there is a recommenda- 
tion to trust in the Creator's goodness, exercise 
fraternal love, and do nothing of which one is 
likely to repent hereafter. 

There is a bare possibility that we might carry 
the question of Masonic Kabalism a few paces 
further, if it were possible to speak about the 
Grade of Kabalistlc Mason in the private col- 
lection of Peuvret, but nothing can be verified 
concerning it. 

We have now finished our inquiry regarding 
the institutes of Masonry in respect of those 
secret sciences and philosophies which, on the 
surface, might be supposed most plentiful of all 
in the matter of Secret Tradition. The result is 
interesting in its way, though it may seem scarcely 
satisfactory to some readers ; it is in perfect con- 
formity with my root-thesis, that occultism, 
generically understood, has been at no time the 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

channel of a tradition which itself has been always 
purely mystic. I therefore at least, and those 
who are in harmony with myself on this question, 
will set aside the consideration of Magical and 
Kabalistic Degrees with a sense of relief that the 
result has been so slender ; yet the investigation 
has served its proper purpose to establish the 
point of fact. 

I conclude here my examination of Rites and 
Degrees incorporated under the aegis of Masonry 
and, by their titles and claims, connected pre- 
sumably in a certain direct way with aspects of 
the Secret Tradition. As to those which by 
imputation and otherwise belong to Alchemy, 
readers with antecedent knowledge might be 
prepared for the fact that the Hermetic subject 
reflected into Masonry would yield little in the 
way of result, because it is precisely that aspect of 
the Secret Tradition which throughout its history 
has been peculiarly liable to the distractions of 
pretenders, and there is further the difficulty 
arising from the two schools, one of which 
signifies under the best circumstances a part of 
the Tradition that may be called negligible. Of 
Ceremonial Magic and its derivations, few persons 
in their senses have expected anything, and it is 
in the fitting order of things that Grades dedicated 
thereto should be characterised by folly and im- 
posture. It is only astonishing that such a claim 
as that of Pasqually's system should intervene in 
the series, and that even the Count Cagliostro 


Of Magical and Kabalistical Degrees 

should have produced a Rite which, although it 
is negligible in the last resource, is curious after 
its own kind. But I confess on my own part, 
and believe in so doing that I am reflecting the 
feeling of others who have followed me so far 
I confess that I should have expected a better 
result from Grades which, by their titles at least, 
are supposed to have borrowed from Kabalism. 
The connection between the Craft and the sub- 
stance of Jewish tradition is curiously intimate, 
as I have shewn in earlier sections, but the 
reflection into the High Degrees is less if 
possible than nothing. The real explanation, I 
infer, is that those who knew at the beginning, 
though they left their evidence on the root-matter 
of the mystery, had veiled it too closely for re- 
cognition on the part of later Brethren who had 
nothing to guide them but their own unaided 



f tbe masteries on tbeir mystical Si&e, 
an& of tbis Subject in its IRelationJIto 




Early documents concerning the plan of the Fraternity 
Their initial circulation in manuscript Testimony 
of Montanus Of the notary Haselmeyer The 
tomb of C.'.R.'.C.'. Of two sections in the Fama 
Fraternatatis Futility of some modern opinions 
Question of the incorporated society in 1610 The 
opposing views One difficulty concerning them 
The case of J. V . Andreas Authorship of the 
Chemical Marriage A decisive testimony Author- 
ship of the other memorials Of imitative associa- 
tions Their traffic in imposture Rosicrucianism and 
Masonic High Grades The year 1777 A Brother- 
hood of the Golden and Rosy Cross The existence 
of an unknown Ritual in several Grades Sequence of 
the Grades Their content Their place in the Secret 


Influence of the name Rosicrucian The tale of Zanoni 
A Rosicrucian Order in England Associations 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

bearing the title in France Of German and American 
developments The Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia 
Points connected with its foundation Its series 
of Grades Its Rosicrucian elements That there 
is no connection with the Secret Tradition. 



The High Grades and Universal Religion The vision 
of the New Jerusalem The modern Rite of Sweden- 
borg The question of its origin A criticism of the 
scheme of Grades The Grades as a reflection of the 
Craft system An astronomical interpretation The 
entrance of the Lodge A mystic side of the subject 
Spiritual nature of the Craft experience The 
Swedenborgian Grade of Apprentice The Lodge as 
the Garden of Eden The Grade of Fellow-Craft 
Some curious points of symbolism The pledge in the 
Master Grade The claim of the system The earlier 
Rite of Swedenborg Doubts and confusions regarding 
it A summary of legends Question as to the 
initiation of Swedenborg Conflicting accounts of 
the Grades. 


High Grade accounts of Masonry Existence of a cryptic 
Rite Particulars and reservations concerning it 
Analogies with the Rite of Swedenborg An approxi- 
mate date of origin Mysteries of ancient and 
primitive Masonry A doctrine of the soul Lifting 
of the Temple's veil Of Martinism and its influence 
in the Rite Primeval knowledge of man The souVs 
genesis Of perfection in Knowledge The doctrine 

The Argument 

of the Fall The Temple of Universal Mysteries 
The scheme of redemption Perpetuation of the 
primeval Knowledge A veil placed thereon Origin 
of Pagan idolatry Vicegerents of the Eternal Word 
Lapse of initiation itself The election of Israel 
Plans of the Temple Mysteries in Egypt The 
Allegorical design and work Destruction of the First 
Temple Initiation and the Second Temple The 
Second Temple destroyed Rejection of the Universal 
Restorer Mysteries of early Christianity Perpetua- 
tion of Secret Doctrine from the time of Moses 
Vicissitudes of Masonry The Instituted Mysteries 
as a consequence of the Fall A little company of the 
Elect The narrow, open way The veil of emblem 
and hieroglyph The veil of Masonry The Doctrine 
behind the veil Further concerning the Temple of 
Solomon The occasional cause of the universe -The 
scheme of secondary Agents The struggle of the 
Cosmos The return into unity Of man as a 
metapyhsical centre Mission of primeval man The 
death of the Fall The Reconciler Of three mystic 
Temples The scheme of interpretation judged 
Further concerning Martinism Influence of the 
Unknown Philosopher Analogies of the interpreta- 
tion with certain phases of High-Grade Masonry 
Merits and defects of the construction. 


That these reflections are at once fortuitous and real 

Martinistic and Rosicrucian schools Their claims 

and their research That none of them possess a 

connecting link with the Secret Tradition Overt 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

and secret schools The Tradition in secret schools 
The occult and the mystic The case of the occult 
schools Of psychic research Old magic and modern 
phenomena Recurrence to High-Grade Masonry 
That occult and Hermetic Masonry represent a 
spurious process of grafting That the things grafted 
are dead. 



Why this digression is necessary A review of the Christian 
centuries Two kinds of inheritance Christian Mysti- 
cism and the Secret Tradition The cosmic mystery of 
Christ Dionysius and his Mystical Theology Duns 
Scotus The Doctrine of Divine Immanence The 
Doctor Angelicus St. Bernard and St. Bonaventura 
The Admirable Ruysbrceck The Cloud of Unknow- 
ing The Church and the world Mysticism at the 
Reformation period The Secret Mystic Doctrine 
The Mystery of Contemplation Traces of an exotic 
practice The attainment in Christ The secret 
ways of mystic life Further concerning occult and 
mystic schools Further concerning occult and 
Hermetic Masonry The influence of liphas Levi 
That this section is an introduction to the next. 


The soul in her awakening A review of the High Grades 
The House of Christian Doctrine The Word in 
Christian symbolism The Craft Word Of Christian 
elements in the Craft The externalisation of Doctrine 
The formula of Tetragrammaton The letter Shin 

The Argument 

The world behind the Secret Tradition in Christian 
Times Epochs in the History of the Word The 
secret Masonic transmission Of three Paths A 
time-immemorial doctrine and practice Words of 
the dying Plotinus Church sacramentalism Divine 
Immanence and Divine Transcension The silence of 
the Resurrection The Cube and the Cross Mysteries 
of the Divine in manifestation Plotinus and the 
Path to the Centre An intimation of the Templar 
Grade Of Christian High-Grade elements and the 
Secret Tradition Implicit* of the Craft Grades 
The root-fact of the Secret Doctrine Further con- 
cerning the CraftLegend The triad of the Stewardship 
The hand of God in history and symbolism The 
Law of Severity The Presence of the Shekinah The 
Law of Deliverance Of the experience behind Secret 
Doctrine An open path of return The science of 
the Path The Garden of Venus The Mystery of 
generation The Mystery of Re-Birth Regeneration 
and Conversion The secret doors of consciousness 
The Palace at the Centre The Divine Union. 


An exotic enshrinement of Secret Doctrine Of a Grade 
in Correspondence with the Masonic Grade of 
Apprentice Of a Second Grade in correspondence 
with that of Fellow-Craft Of one which stands 
alone Of the Master-Grade in trans cension A 
Grade of completion A personal testimony concerning 
the Rite A word regarding its history Its com- 
munication by way of the sacraments Nature of its 
Masonic analogies How it is a Key to the Craft. 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 


The four measures of testimony The ethic of life The 
doctrine of religious duty The transition into the 
Greater Mysteries Of Masonry as a defence of 
doctrine Of doctrine as a Key to the Sanctuary 
The criticism of inward experience The authority 
within The Instituted Mysteries as signs of that 
authority Of Finger-Posts on the Path of Know- 
ledge The true Mystery of Building A summary 
of the whole quest The House of Doctrine that is to 
come Conclusion as regards this study How the 
Great Quest goes on. 




f tbe masteries on tbeir mystical Si&e, 
anb of tbi0 Subject in its IReiation to 


IT is a matter of common knowledge with every 
literate Freemason, that the Rosicrucian Fraternity 
was first heard of in Europe by the publication of 
certain documents in the second decade of the 
seventeenth century, or exactly in the year 1614 
1615. There is some evidence that, whether in 
their extant or in an earlier form, they were 
circulating in manuscript for a few years previ- 
ously. It seems prudent to set aside in the first 
place, because of its dubious character, the testi- 
mony of Montanus, who computed thirty years 
that is to say, onward from the year 1592 during 
which he was misdirected by the Rosicrucians and 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

their false processes, till they expelled him at the 
Hague in 1622. The same prudence dictates the 
disqualification as evidence of the date imputed to 
the second preface to the God-illuminated Brotherhood 
of the Rose-Cross, that work having appeared in 
1616, but the year suffixed to the preface is 1597. 
As it rests solely on the evidence of Semler, I 
leave it also as an open question whether in 1603 
it was said by any one that the appearance of a 
new star in Serpentarius was a sign of happy times 
approaching, or that Serpentarius and Cygnus 
shewed the way to the Holy Spirit presumably 
to the House Mystic R/. C.\ The new star is 
mentioned as a great portent in the Confessio 
Fraternitatis, anno 1616, but if it be the subject of 
reference earlier, in any symbolical connection, 
there is the question by whom and where. We 
get upon more solid ground in the year 1610 with 
the express statement of the notary Haselmeyer, 
that the Fama Fraternitatis R.\ C.'. came at that 
time into his hands in the Tyrol, but was in 
" written form," and had not been seen in print. 
Publication took place at the very earliest 
only in 1614, but unquestionably in the early 
months, as a physician in the kingdom of 
Bohemia wrote on June I2th an application for 
admission to the Order. Adam Haselmeyer was 
notary public to the Archduke Maximilian and 
was afterwards a Knight of the Holy Cross. 
Finally, in the year 1613, a still earlier epistle 
addressed to the most reverend Fraternity was 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

printed at Frankfurt, probably on the authority 
of manuscripts. 

The question of date is very nearly inscrutable, 
if we attempt to carry it appreciably further back 
than the first published memorials ; it is in all 
respects comparable to the much more important 
possibility that these memorials were the work of 
an incorporated society prior to their public ap- 
pearance. Leaving these issues, however, let us 
look at the subject for a moment under another 

The second generation of Rosicrucian philo- 
sophers discovered, as it is said, the mystic tomb 
of their founder, and after having contemplated it 
for a time they again sealed it up ; but it is not 
on record that they found any cause to revisit it 
on a later occasion. On the surface we have 
therefore a mere fable and a story without an end. 
The discovery leads to nothing, nothing is taken 
from the tomb, and though it contains many 
wonders, it is not said that they were unfamiliar 
to the visitors at the shrine. The Fama Fraterni- 
tatis^ in which the account is given, seems broken 
strangely into two sections. In the first of these we 
have the legend of a poor brother who has heard of 
the Eastern Wisdom, who in search thereof travels 
to a Land of the Morning and attains that which 
he needs. He desired subsequently that the 
western world, and especially the world of learn- 
ing, should participate therein, but the learned 
world had then as now to be frank, perhaps 

VOL. n. o 209 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

more than now far other preoccupations, and 
thereto it was a laughing matter. He collected, 
however, certain zealous disciples and hereof is 
the first section. In the second they discovered 
the dead body of the master, and it is this appar- 
ently unadorned fact which is the root-matter of 
Rosicrucianism in its later form, wherein that 
which is discovered is the Divine behind the 
universe that is to say, it is the following of a 
certain path, at the end of which there is the 
testimony of God in the consciousness. 

There are people at the present day who believe 
that the story of Christian Rosy Cross and his 
journey to a mythical city with a highly sym- 
bolical name in the blessed Araby is what children 
call a true story, that is to say, something which 
happened historically. Some of them even cherish 
a kind of hope that they may yet discover in 
Germany a relic which may pass in their amiable 
minds for the material remnant of the House 
of the Holy Spirit. The position intellectually 
is really no better than would be that of the person 
who should take the Craft Legend literally and 
expect on a day to discover some historical 
memorial of the Master Builder, or perhaps the 
mystic weapons which served at his destruction. 
Of course, at the back of the first curious enthusiasm 
there is the highly convincing opinion that early 
Rosicrucianism must have had a Founder, from 
which proposition the most skilful mind can find 
only one way of escape, which is by affirming 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

(a] that the early memorials were not the work 
of an incorporated Secret Order, but were (b) a 
serious experiment on the mind of an age before 
which there had been set up many beacon lights 
of theosophy, alchemy and occultism, or (c) that 
it was what is called a jeu cT esprit, a mockery, a 
derisive but veiled hoax, immeasurably successful 
within the lines of its proper intention, which was 
to lay a trap for the fools of the period. The 
fools responded immediately far and wide. 

The alleged circulation in manuscript of the 
memorials is in my opinion against this view, and 
so long as we do not accredit the original Rosi- 
crucians with a marvellous degree of adeptship, 
there is nothing in probability to prevent us from 
supposing an early formation of alchemists and 
such like persons into some kind of order or 
brotherhood, if we can once place the fact that a 
nondescript Lutheran philosopher and theologian 
h rebours, who contributed a great deal in his day 
to the rag-fair of Protestant rubbish, has put 
on record in a biography of large proportions and 
preternatural seriousness the statement that he 
wrote one of the memorials in his boyhood 
precisely as one of the jests which have been 
proposed for our consideration in explanation 
of all the issues. 

It may be just in this connection to mention 
as one distinction between the works of J. V. 
Andreas and the Rosicrucian memorial claimed as 
a production of his youth, that it is an exceedingly 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

decorative, pageant-like and skilful romance which 
contrasts extraordinarily with the universal dullness 
of all his later works. This at first sight is a little 
opposed to the alleged authorship, but it remains 
to be stated, as an office of the clemency of 
criticism, that although Andreas did write an 
autobiography, was a Lutheran theologian and 
was native of some impossible and unknown place 
termed Wurtemberg in the records, he was 
assuredly a man of honour, and I find it difficult, 
firstly, not to accept his statement, but, secondly, 
not to construct it in its simple sense of expression. 
I mention the latter point because a few occultists 
who have dabbled in something which they are 
disposed to consider Rosicrucianism, have leaned to 
the idea that Andreas had a much more serious 
intention than he was disposed to admit. Person- 
ally I do not believe that he wrote the other 
memorials, and in this case we get back to the 
point that they may have been the product of an 
association which elected to publish under veils 
the fact of its existence without indicating any 
local habitation or offering a means of approach 
within its circle, though they invited the prepared 
to join it. 

This presumptive opinion is the strongest that 
it is possible to express on the affirmative side, and 
everything is left open thereby, the statement 
itself included. If only it were possible to put 
back the date of Rosicrucianism to the last year or 
thereabouts of the sixteenth century, another face 



The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

of things would be seen ; we should have done 
with any Andreas hypothesis and be at liberty to 
devise something more satisfactory to replace it. 
I have desired such evidence keenly, but there is 
no trace. 

One thing is clear that an association, or 
more than one, came into existence soon after the 
first memorials were published ; and the evidence 
of Montanus speaks volumes in respect of imposture, 
so far as a particular branch was concerned. In part 
through this, but in part through growing rumours 
and reports to the same effect, Rosicrucianism 
became a byword and a scorn alike in Germany 
and France. There were, however, later periods, 
when it looks as if some kind of cleansing 
had taken place. However, in that part of the 
eighteenth century which was comprised by the 
High Grade movement in Masonry, there is on 
the whole very little to encourage us in any good 
opinion of the brotherhood till the year 1777, 
when it was seriously at work on Alchemy. So 
far as records are concerned, I believe that the 
working a system of degrees which was outlined 
by Magister Pianco, and demanding the Masonic 
qualification, represents a noticeable Order after its 
own kind. Its Rituals are in their way curious, 
and in their way also important, connecting as 
they do with later developments on the symbolic 
value of which it is difficult to lay too much stress. 

The identity concealed under the name of 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Magister Pianco has been elucidated speculatively 
after more than one manner ; it has been said to 
conceal J. E. von Weisse and alternatively the 
Count Ecker und Eckhoffen, but I do not know 
that either attribution is colourable. Whosoever 
he was, the author of the work entitled Der 
Rosenkreuzer in seiner Blosse (The Rosicrucian Un- 
veiled) is supposed to have been expelled from the 
Brotherhood prior to a reformation therein which 
took place in the year that I have mentioned, and 
his book has been treated as a revelation concern- 
ing it by way of rejoinder. This is, however, 
incorrect, as an almost indubitable inference from 
the text itself is that the writer was at the time in 
corporate union, though it is feasible that it may 
have led to his retirement. It is a frank criticism 
of the Order, and he asks those in authority for 
explanations of various points in regard to its 
teaching and working, though he claims that he 
is not actuated by any spirit of hostility. A 
reply appeared in due course, but in terms of 
personal invective and otherwise beside the 

From Magister Pianco himself we can derive 
a good deal of information as to what, at his 
period, may be called the claims of the Fra- 
ternity. The book is exceedingly rare and its 
contents have never been made known in English, 
so that it will be useful to summarise it briefly. 
At some period of the far past, but when and 
where is not stated, there was a schdol of initiates, 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

probably of the unorganised kind, and it had 
begun already to feel the need of specific incor- 
poration with the object of combining the wisdom 
in Christ and the wisdom of the Magi. A sort 
of alliance was established, but of a confused and 
unsettled kind, as a consequence of which it 
passed through many changes and assumed many 
names. It was first called the Magical Alliance, 
and its members were termed Magical Brothers 
or Associates. This took place in 1115 and it 
lasted for two years in the state of flux which I 
have mentioned. The record concerning it passes 
over the period which intervened between the 
date just given and that of the Knights Templar, 
who were established, as we know, in 1118. It 
is affirmed that the cross-bearing chivalry became 
associated with the Magical Brothers and shared 
their secret knowledge. In this manner we are 
able to locate tentatively the supposed centre of 
initiation, which would be somewhere in Palestine, 
and we may recall at once the thesis of Baron 
Tschoudy concerning the Knights of the Morning. 
But, according to Magister Pianco, it was owing 
to the occult brotherhood that the Templars came 
into being, on the hypothesis that the need of a 
recruiting ground among men of worth was in 
such manner supplied. Why the drag-net could 
not have drawn those who were properly prepared 
direct into the ranks of the Alliance, and why if 
an outer circle were desirable it should adopt the 
guise of a military body, are problems which are 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

left for solution according to our personal lights. 
The thesis is of course an example of the ineffably 
nonsense which was talked in the eighteenth 
century, and especially among High Grade 
Masons, concerning methods supposed to have 
been pursued for the custody and perpetuation 
of Secret Doctrine. However this may be, the 
experiment led to a decay in the Doctrine of the 
Magical Brothers, in proportion as the Temple 
system was itself consolidated. The secret know- 
ledge also began to be lost when the Knightly 
Order was suppressed. 

I do not know what purpose this myth can 
have served in the Rosicrucian mind, but the 
account proceeds to multiply confusion by saying 
that long prior to the year 1 1 1 8 there was another 
association which held in succession from the last 
Stewards of the Mysteries under the obedience 
of the Old Law, and that it stood in the same 
rank as the Templars. Being comparatively un- 
important and obscure, it escaped the proscription 
which fell upon these latter, but after their 
purgation by fire it made common cause with 
the Templar remnant and founded another 
fraternity, having the seals of permanence and 
a definite code of rules for its maintenance. The 
years went on ; like the Magical Alliance, it 
adopted various forms and names ; once it was 
the Brethren ; once it was called the Noachites, 
for I suppose that it had a claim upon pre-diluvian 
knowledge ; lastly but most important of all 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

or at least for our purpose it assumed the title 
,of Freemasons. This designation was particular 
at first to a central Lodge at Berlin, and it became 
universal within the circle of the sodality after 
a certain time only. So also there was variation 
in Grades, allegories and so forth, till the true 
and fundamental system was promulgated by the 
Head Lodge. In this manner the Craft Degrees 
prevailed everywhere, as indeed under various 
phases they had done from the beginning. There 
had also been Higher Grades from time im- 
memorial, such as the Ecossais of St. Andrew and 
the Golden Thistle, but they were confined to 
archaeologists of the subject and earnest students 
of the secret knowledge. Brothers like these were 
aware that the basis of the Fraternity was to be 
sought in the old Mysteries, that the greater part 
of its wisdom was drawn from thence, and they 
pursued their researches in the hope of discover- 
ing the true nature of the Magical Alliance of 
antiquity as well as to extend its field. For this 
purpose they became incorporated separately, 
firstly as the Alliance of the Wise and then as the 
Golden Alliance^ admitting into their ranks only 
a chosen few among Master Masons, or Masters 
of the Appearance of Light. This body was 
inaugurated, as the deponent affirms, about the 
year 1311, or just after the fall of the Magical 
Brothers and the Knights Templar. The studies 
were centralised (a) in 72 books containing 
the archives of the Magi ; (b) in the Mosaic 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

books ; (c) in the Book of Wisdom ; and (d) the 
Apocalypse to which other texts were added 
containing indications of the Ancient Wisdom. 
Out of all these the sodality constructed a new 
work of general and religious knowledge, mean- 
ing, I suppose, the cryptic Book M.*. of the 
Confessio Fraternitatis R.\ C.\ When it was 
completed one further name was assumed, the 
custodians of the knowledge becoming Brothers 
of the Golden and Rosy Cross, under which 
designation they have remained since the year 

The Rosicrucian Unveiled appeared in 1781, 
being that time at which the imputed author 
Eckhoffen is supposed to have been engaged in 
establishing the KNIGHTS OF LIGHT, around which 
so much curiosity, mystery and romance have 
gathered during the last twenty years, owing 
to suggestive allusions by writers who assume 
the accents of knowledge. According to German 
authorities who only lay claim to research, this 
institution was chivalrous and priestly, and in 
1786 it was merged by its inventor in a later 
device of his own, the BRETHREN OF ST. JOHN THE 
was Rosicrucian in character, and its last Grade 
was one of royal priesthood according to the 
Order of Melchizedek. An alternative title was 

Count Ecker und Eckhoffen is said to have 
denied the authorship of The Rosicrucian Unveiled^ 






i. 9. 



Urim, Thummim, and 

2. 8. 



Cross of gold enamelled 

3- 7- 

Adept! Exempli. 


Cross of gold enamelled 




Cross of gold enamelled 




Cross of silver enamellec 




Cross of silver enamellec 

7- 3- 



Cross of silver enamellec 

8. 2. 



A crystal globus terrae. 

9. i. 



A ring with characters. 

Forming the 
chief num- 
ber in Ka- 

Membership is 

irrespective of 

5856. Number of the 
brotherhood, and a 
mystic date, being 
that of its predomin- 

Recognition is by mean, 
these signs, together ?< 
the word, that hon 
may be given w) 
honour is due. 

ZTbe Brotbecboob of tbe <$olben anb 


/Iftfistic IRamc. 

Countries and Kingdoms 
wbere tbes are found. 



An equilateral triangle. 

Luxianus Renaldus de Per- 

Egypt, Persia, Venice, Madrid, 
London, Amsterdam, Cologne. 

Hassan, Ispahan, Venice, 

A compass. 

Pedemontanus de Rebus. 

Scattered through the whole world. 

Their President lives at N 



Janus de aure campis. 

Also scattered through the whole 

Their President should be 
but is absent on accoi 



Sphrerefontus a Sales. 

As the above, in different places of 
the world. 

Their Governor should be 
but is driven away, and 



Hodos camelionis. 

Residence completely indefinite. 

Their Justiciary is in Fr 
the Oder. 



Pharus illuminans. 

These may indeed be called our 
Apostles, since two may seldom be 
found in one country ; the whole 
world almost must be instructed. 

Their Director is at Dresd 



Monoceros de astris. 

Almost everywhere, and work much 
with their brethren. 

The General Tutor is^at Z 


Porajus de Rejeceis. 

As above, scattered and busied with 

They have many Senat 
Chief is at l>ergen-<>|>-/< 


Pereclinus de Faustis. 

Are the most external lodges to be 
found in the world. 

This President has his ab<> 

'5 Of 

These mysterious words 
serve for the enlightening 
of the mind, and are a 
special means of recogni- 
tion, but the identity of 
the superior is concealed. 

By the Kabalistic name the 
Magi recognise the good or 
bad qualities of each brother. 
It is subject to change. 

Why they are scattered through the 
world is explained orally. 

Presidents arc addressed 
of Lodges ci/y, and in ti 
the times and places of m 


places of assembly. 


Wbat knowledge belongs to 
eacb <5raoe. 

Cost ot IReceptton. 

Smyrna in Asia, every 10 years. 


Nothing is concealed from these, 
and they are Masters of all, like 
Moses, Aaron, Hermes, Hiram. 

99 Marks in gold. 

Camra in Poland and Paris in 
France, every 9 years. 


These have complete knowledge of 
the three chief branches of science. 

Little or much, as desired. 

)f per- 

Basle, Augsburg, Nuremberg, every 
8 years. 


These have the knowledge of the 
stone of the wise, the Kabalah and 
Magia Nattiralis. 

3 Marks in gold withou 


Aix, Hamburg, Lisbon and Malta, 
every 7 years. 


They have the Lapis mineralis, 
tinged with red. 

Much or little. 

ort on 

Konigsberg, Stettin, Berlin and 
Dantzig, every 6 years. 


These know the philosophical sun, 
and perform miraculous cures. 

Much or little. 

Leipzic, Cracow, Breslau, Warsaw, 
Hermannstadt, every 5 years. 


They have the whole knowledge of 
physics, and the art of tingeing 
with wisdom. 

3 Marks in gold withou 

Not fixed, but summoned accord- 
ing to time, circumstances and 
opportunity, every 5 years. 


They know from practice how to 
create what is profitable, and under- 
stand the Cahot. 

Much or little. 


Same arrangement as the above, 
every 3 years. 


Understand the alchemical theories 
and natures. 

Much or little. 


As above, at convenience, every 2 


Students and beginners. 

3 gold marks. Dispensa 
tion up to a sixth at need 

gs are 

Conventions are for the rectifica- 
tion of abuses and the taking of 

These 45 circles are 
the main founda- 
tion wh ich 110 storm 
can destroy. 

The sum of all natural and super- 
natural knowledge which it is pos- 
sible for men to comprehend. 

The fees are payable before 
reception, and are remittee, 
at once to the authorities. 

[To face page 218, vol. ii. 

:e, etc. 




3e in Vienna, 
:ount of per- 


:>e in Prague, 
id his abode 


Frankfort on 




ators ; their 

>ode at Inns- 

' by Masters 






meetings are 

The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

and its muddled thesis must remain therefore 
under its original cloud of pseudonym. Perhaps, 
like some other legends, no consistent account 
was intended, the design being simply to put 
forward under an obvious veil the identical origin 
of Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry in some kind 
of Secret Tradition dating from the far past. 
The veil itself is reminiscent of many Masonic 
reveries of Baron Tschoudy, as I have said ; of 
the STRICT OBSERVANCE ; of Werner's Sons of the 
Valley ; and so onward. 

The account which I have given concerning it 
is drawn from the pseudo-historical part, and does 
not deal with teaching or practice. The Rituals 
of the Fraternity, as framed in the course of the 
Reformation which took place in 1777, are, how- 
ever, in my keeping, and offer proof positive 
concerning its proceedings under the new rdgime. 
The Grades of the revised Order were (i) Juniores 
or Neophytes ; (2) Theorici ; (3) Practici ; (4) 
Philosophi ; (5) Adepti Minor es ; (6) Adepti 
Majores ; (7) Adepti Philosophici. Beyond these 
are the 8th and 9th Grades, the existence of 
which is indicated in secret documents but nothing 
transpires concerning them. The titles are shewn 
in the tabulation which I annex hereto, being a 
transcript from The Rosicrucian Unveiled. 

The conditions of reception into the Order 
were (i) the Masonic qualification ; (2) by infer- 
ence, the possession of a high Grade corresponding 
to that of Rose-Croix ; (3) the desire for know- 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

ledge, capacity to acquire the same and the virtue 
of obedience ; (4) readiness to take a solemn 
pledge and give a response to certain questions in 
writing. The questions were thirteen in number, 
and were designed to elicit from the Candidate 
an intimation concerning his preconceived opinion 
of the Order, his acquaintance with its purpose, 
his confidence in its leaders and his views con- 
cerning the transmutation of metals. It was also 
intended to elicit whether he was already on the 
quest of the physical Magnum Opus, and whether 
he had passed previously through any secret 
schools. The Statutes of the Order provided 
that members should seek first the Kingdom of 
God instead of Mammon, and should be in search 
of wisdom rather than material wealth ; that 
nothing should be promised to a Postulant beyond 
that to which he might attain by the mercy of 
God, the instruction of his superiors and his own 
industry ; that the Great Mystery should not be 
shewn to any one, as it must be prepared by each 
for himself ; that the reports of operations should 
be transmitted to the Supreme Direction ; and 
apparently, for the clause is vague in its expression, 
that the ruling Superior of each circle, Temple 
or Lodge was to some extent in concealment 
and was not to be known as such by the Novices 
and lower members. 

An introductory thesis regarding the origin 
of the Fraternity naturally involves its derivation 
from the secret traditional knowledge of the far 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

past, but it is not otherwise in correspondence 
with the mythos of Magister Pianco. It dwells 
upon the wisdom of Adam, which as usual 
remained with him after his expulsion from 
Paradise, and was perpetuated from generation 
to generation without break or interruption to 
modern times. Its custodians were always apart 
from the multitude, and in the days of Moses 
they became more secret than ever. They were 
in Egypt and Arabia at that epoch, in Palestine 
during the reign of Solomon, and in Assyria 
during the Babylonian captivity. In the course 
of time the association spread over the whole 
globe, but, having suffered deterioration, the 
entire Fraternity was reformed in the sixth 
century of the Christian era by seven Wise 
Masters, who brought it into its present situation. 
For the purpose of further concealment, but also 
to act as a drag-net, the time came when the 
Superiors of the Order established the lower 
Degrees of Freemasonry. These also suffered 
from profanation, but the external Brotherhood 
is still the recruiting ground and the seminary 
for the Higher Grades. 

The Fraternity is described as an immeasurable 
circle endowed with a dreadful power and incom- 
prehensible beauty. This circle signifies eternity, 
the power is that of the Sons of Wisdom and 
the beauty refers to the virtue with which all 
Brethren should be endowed. 

On the various Grades, as these are represented 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

by the Rituals, I do not propose to dwell other- 
wise than shortly ; they are highly technical 
in character, and they have also connections else- 
where of which it is unfitting that I should 
speak more fully. The Neophyte at the 
beginning of his reception was tested on the 
loyalty of his purpose and to prove further that 
he was seeking wisdom rather than gold. He 
is described by the officer corresponding to the 
Inner Guard of Masonry as an earthly body 
which keeps the spiritual man imprisoned, and 
in response to the question : " What do you ask 
at our hands in this man's favour ? " the answer 
is : "I ask you to kill the body and purify the 
spirit." As there is no need to say, this is 
symbolically understood and the intention is (a) 
that the imperfect may become perfect ; (b) that 
in the union of the two parts the body may be 
justified by the spirit. The discourse attached 
to the Grade is concerned largely with the ex- 
planation of Masonic symbolism in a Hermetic 

The Second and Third Grades are exceedingly 
slight in their character ; in that of Philosophus 
the Candidate enters in the name of the Most 
High and communicates immediately in bread 
and wine, being told to remember that in the 
vegetable or middle kingdom there is nothing 
more noble than these gifts of heaven, whereby 
God Himself elected to make and confirm His 
holy covenant with mankind. There is then a 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

rite of ablution, after which a brief obligation 
follows. The Candidate is finally anointed and 
the official secrets of the Grade are imparted in 
due form. The 5th Grade, being that of Adeptus 
Minor, was evidently an elaborate ceremonial, 
having three chambers reserved for the communi- 
cation of its separate sections. There was that 
of the vestibule, the middle chamber and the 
innermost Temple. There is reason to believe 
that the documents on which I depend do not 
represent the Rituals in the plenary sense, but are 
rather shorthand notes which were amplified by 
the presiding Officer to some extent at his will, 
preserving, however, the general scheme of the 
landmarks. The Candidate was subjected to a 
searching examination, as one who was about to 
look into some part of the Eternal Mysteries. 
He was also enabled to discern that harmony and 
connection which subsists between all the Grades. 
It is at this point that the Ritual for the first 
time becomes expressly alchemical, though indi- 
cating, even in this practical part, a way of 
procedure which was rather of things spiritual 
than those of the physical world. By means of 
philosophical and theosophical contemplation, 
and so only, would the Candidate be enabled to 
know the essential powers of the elements and 
the Great Work of Nature in its nudity. The 
Triune Stone of the Philosophers would be to 
him a clear proof not only of the Divine Being 
but of the treasury of souls emanating from His 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

endless love. The Candidate, at this point, was 
placed upon his knees ; he made a general con- 
fession and received absolution in the name of 
the Order. 

The Obligation followed and the mysteries 
of the chief symbol belonging to the Grade were 
communicated in ceremonial form ; the Recipient 
was clothed in the vestments of the Rite ; and 
the Superior then committed to his care the 
secret process promulgated by the Headship at 
the last reformation of the Order. This process 
was metallurgical in character, and all which can 
be said concerning it is that it may have led up 
to a knowledge of the Philosophical Stone, but 
it was not the Stone itself, which is called the 
highest secret of Nature and was communicated 
only in the last Degree. 

In the Grade of Adeptus Major another process 
was divulged, and it is said never to have been 
possessed, seen or worked, save among exalted 
members of the Rosicrucian Order. It is called 
an approved mastery set apart for the 6th Degree 
in view of its correctness, harmony and utility. 
The Grade of Adeptus Philosophicus, being the 
Portal of the Great Mystery, is mentioned but 
not described. 





THE name Rosicrucian has been always something 
of a talisman on the romantic side of occult 
literature and history. The set of ideas and 
feelings which came to be gathered about it was 
also talismanic in character and depending from 
the romantic side. These elements worked in an 
inverse ratio to any knowledge of the subject, 
of which there was little or next to nothing at the 
period at least in those places which I have 
more especially in my mind. The vague reports 
of early essayists and writers of monographs caused 
the Rosicrucian image to dilate in a false atmo- 
sphere of dream, which, as it happens, was dream 
no less when the criticism, if it can be so called, 
was actuated by a hostile motive. I am speaking 
rather of England, for any sentiment of the kind 
on the Continent belongs to a much later period. 
I suppose that the peculiar attraction culminated 
in that tale of Zanoni which has exercised so great 
VOL. n. p 225 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

an influence on persons with thin and somewhat 
tawdry occult or psychic dispositions ; the romance 
itself is thin and tawdry like these. 

Prior to the period in question, some branch 
of Rosicrucianism was at work in Great Britain, 
but the circle was exceedingly restricted ; to-day 
it has known many developments, but now more 
especially out of these islands. In France there is 
UOrdre Kabalistique de la Rose-Croix, which at the 
period of its founder, Stanislaus de Guaita, was 
simply an occult society borrowing a traditional 
name and making its proceedings a secret. Since 
his death we have heard very little concerning it, 
but certain publications of old texts have appeared 
under its imprint, and perhaps it may now class 
rather as a body of literati. 

I suppose that in this connection I need not 
mention the Rosicrucian salon of the enter- 
taining fantasiast Sar Peladan. No one would 
expect a tradition as forming part of the programme 
belonging to this maker of pageants marshalled 
about his own personality, and few would know 
less what to do with it than he would know, 
supposing that an inheritance of this kind were 
unexpectedly placed in his hands. Dr. Papus 
said aptly concerning him : Les sciences occultes ne 
s'inventent pas ; but the point is that the occult 
associations do perform this task or at least more 
often than not and Rosicrucianism has been a case 
in point through nearly all its mixed generations. 
UOrdre Kabalistique and the Salon de la Rose- 

The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

Croix are, however, quite genuine in their way, 
having perhaps very little that is calculated to 
deceive any one and not having cultivated the 
art. There are things, on the other hand, in 
Germany about which I should like to speak less 
certainly on this or on any side of their subject, 
and there are others in America to which one can 
refer only in the terms of a prolonged counsel 
of caution. Certain books, which per se are too 
negligible for specific mention here, are products 
of almost unmixed fraud, trading on the ignor- 
ance of people who have no opportunity to check 
the statements. So is the time-old custom which 
began to prevail with Montanus perpetuated with 
its proper variations to the present day. 

None of the institutions and none of the 
literary devices here referred to possess a Masonic 
complexion. It is different, however, with the 
Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia^ which was in- 
stituted in 1866 and has always exacted the 
Craft qualification from its members. It has 
traces of an interesting history in respect of its 
origin, the claim being that a former Grand 
Secretary of English Freemasonry communicated 
to the Founder a tradition in ritual-form which he 
had partly discovered in certain Masonic archives 
and in part had received by initiation, after the 
usual manner, from older members of the Fraternity. 
The scheme of the Grades is based on that which 
was published in 1781 under the pseudonym 
of Magister Pianco and under the title of Der 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Rosenkreuzer in seiner B/osse. The folding plate of 
this work, which contains the scheme in question, 
has been substantially reproduced in The Royal 
Masonic Cyclopaedia by Kenneth Mackenzie, 
who thought it worth while to record that it had 
never been published previously and had been 
specially constructed for the compilation in 
question. The number and names of the Grades 
are identical with those of the BROTHERHOOD OF 
THE GOLDEN AND ROSY CROSS, as recited in the last 
section, but the correspondence practically ends at 
this point. The Rosicrucian elements are of a 
very simple kind, and it is not pretended that 
the Society is more than a sign-post indicating 
a path which may be travelled much further by 
those who can find the opportunity. There is 
of course no vestige of the Secret Tradition, as 
that term is understood in these pages, but as 
a memorial which according to the testimony 
concerning it has arisen in a curious way, it has 
a side of interest, while it has the advantage of 
being modest in respect of its titles, its possessions 
and its warrants. 





SEVERAL of the High Grades have been written 
up to some rough-and-ready thesis on the com- 
parative analogies of universal religion, and it has 
come about in this manner that there are some 
perplexing admixtures in the minor issues of 
Rites. In virtue of such analogies, it is thought 
doubly reasonable that a Rose-Croix Mason should 
have the benefit of interment in accordance with 
ceremonies which, by the hypothesis, are drawn 
from the Egyptian Ritual of the Dead. And there 
are other stupefying marvels. Fortunately, there 
has been one attempt only to graft a new religion 
on Masonry, and it came about, as we have seen 
briefly, because Abbe Pernety had confessed to 
the attraction of Swedenborg and his vision of 
the New Jerusalem. 

There is no evidence that he carried the 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

design to any express term, and albeit we have 
ascertained something concerning the aspirations 
and beliefs which prevailed among the Brothers 
who were incorporated after some fashion at 
Avignon under a Masonic aegis, we know little 
and next to nothing of their ceremonial procedure 
or their Rituals. 

I shall have to speak of Swedenborgian 
Masonry under two heads, and I will deal first of 
all with that which is nearer to us in time and 
place I mean, the modern RITE OF SWEDENBORG. 
I understand that it has been promulgated actively 
across the Atlantic, and it has also its custodians 
here. It is difficult to say when or where this 
system originated, and the fact that it reached 
England from British possessions in Canada does 
not create any presumption regarding its source 
therein, which antecedently, and in all other 
respects, seems not less than unlikely. In its 
phraseology the system offers certain marks of 
continental parentage, but it is not French, as it 
is much too clumsy and cumbrous. It may of 
course be purely modern, or subsequent, that is 
to say, to the year 1860, and in such case it 
might well be the invention mainly of Kenneth 
Mackenzie, who masonically would then have 
had obscure German or Swedish preoccupations 
to account for the peculiar style. Alternatively, 
he may have adapted existing materials which 
came from abroad into his hands. Whether or 
not it proves on examination to be a pretentious 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

failure, it is in a sense important because it is 
chronologically last in a triad of intention to read 
a specific meaning into the Craft Grades. The 
other interpretations are lucid and this is cryptic ; 
of the others one is noteworthy on philosophical 
grounds, and one, although slight, is good within 
the limits of morals : this, after the labour of 
elucidating, does not repay the pains. It is in 
three parts or grades : i = 4, 2 = 5, 3 = 6. That is 
to say, it is grades 4 to 6 of a system depending 
from the Craft and presenting the three Craft 
Degrees in another sense. The recipient is there- 
fore already a Master Mason, and he repeats his 
triple experience at great length, amidst new 
artifices of symbolism. As regards its canon of in- 
terpretation, I may say at once that the Rite places 
an astronomical construction on the whole mystery, 
and having regard to the situation of a Craft Lodge 
and the place of the officers therein, every Mason 
will understand that the task before the inventor 
was one almost of fatal facility. It is also one 
which, except in the hands of an adept, is liable to 
develop the confusions of solar mythology apart 
from all the graces and sanctities of the higher 
teaching which heaven and earth deliver to the 
soul of man in all the pageant of the universe. 
As an illustration of the kind of illumination 
which characterises the Rite, it is sufficient to say 
that a Brother in the Grades of Swedenborg is 
termed throughout a Phremason, recalling the best 
methods of Godfrey Higgins and the late Dr. 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Kenealy. That is solar mythology as it is made, 
and in view of the device I shall confine my 
summary of the system to two points. 

The Lodge has two entrances, respectively in 
the North and South, though we have seen from 
another High Grade that the North Entrance 
was walled up prior to the great event which 
took place according to the Craft Legend. The 
entrances and exits of the Candidate are made on 
the northern side of the Temple. I believe that, 
mystically speaking, this is the only correct 
arrangement, but the mystic reason is neither 
explicated nor implied in the RITE OF SWEDEN- 
BORG. I will explain therefore that the Masonic 
candidate has, ex hypothesi^ come originally from 
the East ; being the symbolic point of his loca- 
tion when he knew all things in God ; but he 
undertook the outward journey until the sun set 
upon his soul ; it was the exit from the higher 
Eden. He was plunged in material things, as 
the sun passes into the underworld. During all 
his uninitiated period he dwells in darkness, 
which is of course in himself, because it is light 
always in the Lodge of the Adepts. When he 
is received into Masonry, he enters the Temple 
as I have said at the North- West corner ; he 
comes into the world of intellectual light that 
world where the sun is always at the meridian, 
but he himself is not in possession of the light. 
It should be understood clearly, in spite of certain 
evasions and certain substitutions of lesser mean- 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

ings, held to stand by analogy for the greater, that 
the Craft Mystery is on one side that of the en- 
lightenment of the Candidate, who receives the 
experience of light symbolically in three stages, 
corresponding to birth in mortality, life on earth, 
and death in the body, together with an unfinished 
presage of that which follows thereon. But the 
symbolical ceremonies are not intended merely to 
reproduce in a pageant the past fact that he has 
been born, the fact present of his human life, or the 
prefigurement of his passage hence. The analogy 
is mystically exact, but it is a grave error to 
mistake the external correspondence for the 
inward mystery ; after the same manner, and in 
accordance with previous intimations, the course 
of the heavens foreshadows the soul's story, but 
it is a grave error to ignore the inward mystery 
and to take the external correspondence, great 
and macrocosmic as it is, for the sole concern of 
the true Instituted Mysteries, for the explanation 
of all mythology and the doctrine of all religion. 

This notwithstanding, there are very curious 
occasional intimations in the system here under 
notice, and at the back of the compiler's mind I 
believe that, in a kind of undeveloped conscious- 
ness, he perceived dimly the spiritual nature of the 
Candidate's entire experience. It is very difficult, 
however, to educe a logical procedure from the 
confused sequence, and this fact seems to me 
especially stultifying in the specific case, for if the 
redrafting of the Craft does not serve for elucida- 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

tion, but rather darkens counsel, then assuredly it 
serves for nothing. 

In the Grade which is equivalent to that of 
Entered Apprentice^ the Candidate is informed that 
he stands at the threshold of the Garden of Eden 
and the place of the Tree of Life. The proposal, 
however, is to build a Temple, in which an im- 
portant part is assigned to him who is received. 
It is, I suppose, in connection with this that the 
Ritual is said to consist of six labours, terminating 
in the symbolic introduction of our race into its 
future dwelling-place, which is seemingly the 
Ur-home, the place of the River of Life and the 
Tree of Life. The corner-stone of the building 
is faith in God. 

The 2nd Grade is singularly involved, for 
(a) the Candidate is said to be in Masonic dark- 
ness, and at the same time (K) in search of greater 
light, which is pure paradox. He is supposed to 
receive the light and to enter the Temple, which 
is called that of the Creator, presumably (a) the 
cosmic universe, (b) the Holy House of Doctrine, 
(c) the Temple of Divine Mystery. At a later 
stage the plans of the building are presented to 
the Candidate, and it is then described as (a) God's 
Temple in Nature, and (b) a symbol of the moral 
Temple that is within. The East is goodness 
rising into life ; the West is goodness setting into 
death ; the South is truth in light ; the North 
is truth in oblivion. Here is one of the suggestive 
points, but unfortunately sufficiently confused. 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

It is, almost obviously, the story of earthly life 
and the story of the soul ; but the two although 
in parallel should be distinguished more carefully. 
The Temple, finally, represents the Garden of 

As regards the 3rd Grade I can say scarcely 
anything, because of its very curious, but withal 
bizarre, analogies with its marvellous prototype 
in the Craft. The Candidate is pledged to keep 
secret the Ineffable Name of God, and in this 
connection a certain communication is made to 
him which comes to very little, as usual. 

The RITE OF SWEDENBORG, as it is thus known 
among us, must be distinguished from what I may 
venture perhaps to term the historical Rite of the 
past, which so far as I am aware has been duly 
buried by the past and can scarcely be looking at 
this day for a glorious or for any resurrection. 
It has been entombed so effectually and obscured 
so wholly, that I feel a certain reluctance in ad- 
mitting that it ever existed in the corporate sense, 
or otherwise than as a spiritual interest represented 
by two or three schools of thought in Masonry. 
The legend relates (a) that Emanuel Swedenborg 
was profoundly instructed in the Mysteries of 
Freemasonry ; (b) that he had traced Masonic 
doctrine to its source in Egypt, Persia, Palestine 
and Greece ; (c) that he was one of the most 
illustrious reformers of Masonic Rites. It is 
not stated, except on the negligible authority of 
Reghellini, that he established any system on his 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

own part, and therefore by tacit consent the Abbe 
Pernety remains the first person who introduced 
the new religion into the Craft or its extensions. 
On the literal side of things there is no evidence 
and there is no reason whatsoever to suppose that 
the Swedish seer was so much even as initiated. 

From Avignon and the Benedictine alchemist 
the legend proceeds to London and to that 
Benedict Chastanier with whom we have made 
acquaintance previously. In the year 1766 he is 
said on rather doubtful authority to have been 
Master of the Parisian Lodge Socrate, de la 
Parfaite-Union. There or in that vicinity, but 
otherwise in London itself and presumably for 
the French colony therein, he modified the RITE 
OF PERNETY and so established the ILLUMINES 
THEOSOPHES, working seven Degrees, as here 
follow : (a) Apprentice Theosophist, (b) Companion 
Theosophist, (c] Master Theosophist, (d} Illuminated 
Theosophist, (e) Blue Brother, (/) Red Brother, and 
(g) Sublime Ecossais or the Heavenly Jerusalem. 
The date of this foundation is dubious, though 
one that is impossible has been stated, and the 
fact itself is not certain. We may compare the 
content with that of the system which is referred 
by Reghellini to the seer himself. This is alleged 
to have comprised : (a) Apprentice, (b) Companion, 
(c) Master, (d) Elect, (e) Companion Coen, (f) 
Master Coen, (g) Grand Architect and Knight 
Commander, (h) Kadosh. It is obviously an 
amalgamation of LES ILLUMINES THEOSOPHES with 



The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

the RITE OF ELECT COHENS, and it existed only 
in the imagination of the first witness concern- 
ing it. 

The legend reverts to Paris, and affirms in 
concluding its thesis that a certain Marquis de 
Thome, seeking to disengage the doctrines of 
Swedenborg from much foreign matter that had 
come to be incorporated Masonically therewith, 
established in 1783 the RITE OF SWEDENBORG 
properly so called. The testimony is that of 
Clavel, who gives also the nomenclature of the 
Grades, which is identical with those of Chastanier, 
less the Degree entitled The Heavenly Jerusalem. 
The system is said to have been still practised by 
certain Lodges of the North in the year 1838, 
but whether this is a reference to France or to 
northern Europe there is no means of ascertaining. 




WE have seen in the course of this work that 
in certain High Grades there are instructions or 
lectures which present some particular aspect of 
Masonic history, some general judgment thereon, 
or some hypothesis of origin which is intended to 
be understood historically. These are entirely 
distinct from the legends and histories attached to 
individual Grades. Cases in point are found in a 
few which are communicated or worked under the 
obedience of the SCOTTISH RITE. We have seen 
also that in the modern so-called RITE OF 
SWEDENBORG the Craft Grades are re-expressed 
with the design of presenting a philosophical view 
of Masonry. As such, I consider that it is a 
failure, but the experiment is not without interest. 
Occasionally, in the discourse addressed to the 
Candidate, other Degrees make as one would say, 
almost casually a reference which on consider- 
ation may prove to be more suggestive than any 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

laboured thesis. From my own point of view, 
the genius of Masonry declares itself to a better 
purpose by means of its symbols and allegories 
than by any formal proclamation of its genesis ; 
but the experimentswhich have been tried naturally 
raise a question whether in the wide world of 
Rites and their content something more adequate 
can be found. 

The answer is that there does actually remain 
for our final consideration in this department of 
research one cryptic Rite which on rare occasions 
is still communicated on the Continent of Europe, 
where it has been taken into utter concealment. 
It has antecedents in history which, apart from its 
content, are not without importance, and it was 
once incorporated in a collection of Grades which 
is otherwise well known to students ; of that 
collection it was then an exotic part, and it is 
exotic still so much after its own kind that it 
will scarcely suffer comparison with anything now 
extant in the wide world of Degrees. It is far 
removed from all the decorations of pageant and 
the dramatic side of ceremonial. Those who are 
acquainted somewhat intimately with the rarities 
of Masonic Ritual are very likely to have heard its 
name, but they will have heard nothing else 
concerning it. I have met with it but there are 
indeed two names in certain encyclopedias, and, 
as indicated, it may be found in certain lists of 
systems. I do not offer the means of identification 
concerning it, because I have received it on condi- 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

tions which make absolute reserve essential. I 
put on record this statement with a very full 
realisation of that which is involved thereby, for 
Masonry is a secret society in respect of its official 
mysteries, but not in respect of its name, its 
available history, or the titles and general purport 
of its various Degrees. Indeed, the public sources 
of information are much less reticent on specific 
points of Ritual than I have thought it desirable to 
be, having regard to the conditions on which 
Masonic knowledge is received at first hand in 
the Temples. It cannot, therefore, fail to create a 
very curious impression in the minds of Masons 
when they learn for the first time that a living 
part of their symbolic science is veiled even for 
themselves, in a place which at first sight would 
seem most unlikely, and under circumstances which 
make it attainable when the right direction has 
been found only after long and patient waiting, 
as a kind of crown of adeptship in the Brotherhood. 
Those who are acquainted with its mystery by 
the same lawful participation as that of my own 
therein are bound equally with myself, but the 
reticence which makes every indication of its 
place, its title and period, together with its 
historical environment, a high counsel of honour 
does not, in a study like the present, forbid all 
allusion to its philosophical side. 

If the Rite has any analogy among the curious 
things of the outside world of Masonry, it is in- 
evitably with the so-called RITE OF SWEDENBORG, 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

but it is a comparison of things great with things 
small, and, even on this understanding, the analogy 
is not substantial. Speaking now of its purpose and 
term, it exists chiefly for the most profound in- 
terpretation and mystically enlightened compre- 
hension of the Craft Grades, and, so far as it 
succeeds within its own measure and horizon, it is 
entitled to be regarded as the ne plus ultra of the 
Craft ; it does not reduce the High Grades ; it 
does not interfere with any of them ; it recognises 
and presupposes some ; but it arises entirely from 
the Craft, to the extent that I shall present it here, 
I could not speak certainly, if I wished even, 
regarding its place of origin, though there is a 
notion to which I lean. I have seen it mentioned 
loosely within the limits of several dates, and 
taking a mean between those, I should allocate 
it approximately to the year 1783, or if anything 
rather later. There are names which could be 
cited in connection with it which would astonish 
many brethren, especially in France, who have 
followed the quest of the High Grades prior to 
the Revolution in that country, more particularly 
on the mystical side. 

The Rite claims to contain the mysteries of 
Ancient and Primitive Masonry, and it com- 
municates in secret instructions a certain 
doctrine of the soul. It is therefore, above all, 
of our subject, and whether it proves in the result 
to be an expression of Divine Truth attained 
through that first-hand experience which is called 

VOL. ii. Q 241 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

manual by the mystical alchemists, or whether it 
is perhaps suggestive only, and perhaps only 
fantastic, the consanguinity of its purpose with 
the long exposition of my own seems not only to 
justify an adequate account of its content but in a 
sense even to demand it. There is an Orient from 
on high which in fine rises upon the soul ; it may 
not be in any sense the term of all research, but 
it is the indefectible portent thereof and the light 
wherein is accomplished the passage of the signs 
of faith into the signs of vision. If the secret 
Grade reflects anything of this morning light 
it deserves well at our hands ; it has at least 
the uplifted dignity ; and if we cannot earn 
our titles to the high thrones, we can dream by 
its aid of their holy state until something of their 
grande maniere enters into our lonely hearts. 

Herein the veil of the Temple is not rent but 
lifted, that there may be no impediments between 
the auditorium of the sanctuary and the light of 
the Holy Place. As I have intimated, there is 
no ceremonial, there is no symbolism, there is no 
dramatic part : all things have dissolved, and the 
meaning within the Craft is exhibited in the 
terms of a particular mystical philosophy, which is 
an adaptation and an extension in some respects of 
that which was in vogue at the period in certain 
centres. This philosophy in one of its late 
aspects was put forward anonymously in 1782, 
and there is no doubt that it made an instantaneous 
appeal to the spiritual aspirations out of which all 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

that was good and true and serious in High Grade 
Masonry originated. It is said by an enemy as 
we saw some time ago to have become a kind of 
gospel, and the statement is substantially true. It 
was the antidote of the moment to all that had 
come out of the Encyclopedia and to the spirit 
which the Encyclopedia represented. The author 
was Saint-Martin, who had no hand in the Grades ; 
the book was Des Erreurs et de la Vbrite^ and its 
supplement Le Tableau NatureL 

The interpretation begins at once from the 
root-matter of the subject, and although we shall 
see at the term of this summary that, in view of 
later and deeper knowledge of the mystic end, 
there is much which calls for re-expression, I 
shall reserve all criticism for the present and 
adhere to the simple texts, using only such 
additional lights as are available at those sources 
which are in approximate relation therewith. 
The first Grade opens therefore with a statement 
concerning the perfect primitive knowledge of 
spiritual man. It will be seen in this way that 
we are concerned not with the emergence of our 
race from the animal state through the dark region 
of original savagery, but with another form of 
development. The eighteenth century knew 
nothing of evolution as it is understood in the 
kingdom of this world, but it was familiar with 
the deep consideration of the great story of the 
soul, in its passage through the outward path and 
thereafter on its return to the centre. Evolution for 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

this story is not outward but within. The soul 
came forth from God, and this is the story of 
its extragression, or evolution in the averse sense ; 
but the soul goes back to God, and this is the 
high story of its reparation, when it is reintegrated 
and belongs once more, by the assumption of 
consciousness, to that of which it was at the begin- 
ning. The history of what is called the prevarica- 
tion or more commonly the Fall of man has 
never been told adequately even in admitted 
literature of the Secret Doctrine. It belongs to 
a withdrawn stage of the direct experience, and 
though I hope, with the blessing of God, to testify 
concerning it from the apocalyptic Patmos of the 
soul when I get to the end of my quest, the time 
is not yet, nor is a place found anywise in the 
Secret Tradition of Freemasonry. I render to the 
individual sanctuaries that which belongs to those 
sanctuaries, and I reserve for the Palace of the 
Holy One that which sustains all things. 

The perfect spiritual knowledge follows from 
the hypothetical state which anteceded human 
experience on the external plane, and this state 
was one of essential consanguinity with divine, 
spiritual beings when there was knowledge of all 
things in God. If we are to regard this as a 
rigorous expression of truth in the terms of ex- 
perience, I suppose that it must refer to a con- 
dition in correspondence with the Briatic world 
of Kabalism, which is that of high, holy and 
glorious intelligences, from the Living Creatures 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

that are about the throne of God to the souls of 
men as they came forth in a state of justice. The 
Secret Doctrine of Israel on this subject is an 
involved development which is either at variance 
with itself or has never been harmonised by the 
scholiasts. A much more manageable reflection 
of eclectic tradition is found in the hierarchies of 
Dionysius, but he is silent regarding the pre- 
existence of the human soul. 

However this may be and speaking of course 
ex hypothesi that soul prevaricated. A charge 
was imposed upon it, between which and the 
familiar symbolism of the Fall of Man there 
seems to be scarcely a root of correspondence, or, 
if there is, it is concealed so deeply that I should 
not be warranted in seeking for it in this place. 
It lies further back in the legend of the soul than 
the calamity of Eden we know not how far, God 
help us, but between that immemorial epoch and 
the unrealisable state which is predicated before 
creation, before all that lies behind the imperfect 
dreams of emanation, when there was neither soul, 
nor spirit, nor angel, but the unmanifest Deity 
dwelling in His limitless light. 

Once more, the soul prevaricated, and the state 
of its privation followed. Man, who was to have 
restored the universe much after the same manner 
as in the system of Martines de Pasqually by 
the salvage of that wreck which came about 
when the Temple of Universal Mysteries was 
riven by the event shadowed forth in the Fall 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

of the angels this being, this Archetypal Man, 
was himself immersed in the wreckage, or, in 
other words, as a consequence of conceiving the 
desire of material fruits, he passed into the material. 
We shall see in another section, apart from 
these Grades, that the Secret Doctrine involves a 
mystery of sex in which mystery is the Key of all 
things and also the point of contact with Edenic 
lore. This change of location would have meant 
that all his previous knowledge must have ceased 
to subsist in man, except for an intervention by 
Divine Providence which was part of the scheme 
of Redemption, and hence it is said in the Grade 
that there were means by which the primal know- 
ledge was resuscitated and transmitted. 

This is the legend that prevails everywhere, 
either on the surface of theosophical tradition or 
lying behind its veils. It is met with by hint or 
allusion in the most unlikely places. For example, 
it is that precious stone in the crown of Lucifer 
which was brought from the empyrean region 
after the rebellion of the angel and was enshrined 
on Mont Salvatch, where it was called the Holy 
Graal. It should be understood, therefore, that it 
is not of necessity a Kabalistic legend exclusively, 
though, I think, it was through this channel that 
it entered into the philosophical and perhaps, as 
we have just seen, even the romantic literature of 
Europe. It is very possible that the story of the 
stone is a reflection far off from the Jewish 
Academies of Southern France. The root-matter 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

of the Kabalistic tradition we are acquainted with 
already ; that tradition was, according to its claim, 
the secret wisdom committed by Moses to certain 
elders and transmitted from these. The story 
takes another form in the Grades which we are 
considering ; as such it may be embedded some- 
where in the Zohar, but is more probably 
Talmudic : I do not remember its source. The 
primeval knowledge, says the Grade, was handed 
down by Noah unveiled, but subsequently a veil 
was put upon it. There may be remembered in 
this connection the story of the so-called pillars of 
Seth on which was inscribed a memorial of the 
knowledge before the Flood. It is old in Jewish 
fable, and as it is certainly at the root of much 
occult symbolism concerning pillars, so it has 
perhaps some analogy with similar symbolism in 
Masonry. Moreover, that which is transmitted 
regarding Seth is in close analogy with the present 
legend of Noah ; both are variants of the supposed 
Adamite wisdom, and the two later names simply 
mark the line of succession. The veil which was 
subsequently put upon the knowledge transmitted 
by Noah is said, by the instruction of the Grade, 
to have been that of emblems, the inference being 
that it was Masonic, and it was out of this system 
of representation that initiating rites originated. 
There are other Mysteries which describe the 
Ark of the Deluge as carrying the typological 
elements of the old initiations, as if that which 
was saved from the primeval world was the 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

wreckage of its symbolism, for according to this 
view the secret knowledge which descended ex 
hypothesi from the first father was as much veiled 
before the deluge as it was subsequently. If it 
were worth while to debate such a question, the 
condition of human affairs which brought about 
the judgment of that catastrophe does not consort 
with the idea of high knowledge unveiled. 

In every case the witness with which we are 
concerned says that there was one science im- 
bedded behind the palms, pomegranates and other 
vestures of primeval and early typology ; but the 
forms which it assumed were infinite. With 
time these forms suffered alteration, in which the 
idea of corruption inheres, and it was after this 
manner that idolatry arose. Through all the 
changes and growing abuses, the true initiation, 
however, remained, and that which it taught was 
the dual doctrine of immortality and the existence 
of God. This was the theoretical part, but there 
was also a part of practice, which included the 
means of participating in the action of powers 
charged with operating in this universe- on behalf 
of man. The vicegerents of the Eternal Word 
may be that which is indicated here, to illustrate 
an additional sense of the scriptural utterance : He 
hath given His angels charge over thee. Be this 
as it may for there is no clear statement in the text 
another time came when the true initiation itself 
was contaminated by the opening of the averse and 
evil gates, and a part of it lapsed into the region 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

of bccult phenomena, or into relations with 
secondary natures. This notwithstanding, the 
elect did not utterly depart from the earth. An 
ineffable power was decreed to preserve the true 
worship, and this, it is said, will yet restore the 
alliance between God and man namely, the 
covenant of union. 

It is in such manner that the particular 
election of Israel which is indispensable to the 
Masonic scheme is brought into the general 
providence of God's dealings with the world. 
In somewhat conventional language, the Grade says 
that Jewry was deputed to practise the acceptable 
worship, one reason being no doubt that this 
people belonged to the true legitimacy and were 
regarded as at the root of primeval initiation. 
The old notion that the Greater Mysteries were 
somehow enshrined in the world about the Delta 
of the Nile is not entirely overlooked, but it is 
said that the science of Moses was really super- 
Egyptian. As regards the building of the Temple 
and all that depends in symbolism therefrom, the 
mysterious plans were received by David ; Solomon, 
by the instructions which they contained, con- 
ceived the edifice in his heart before it was born 
on earth ; and in due time he communicated so 
much of the design as he deemed requisite to the 
craftsmen, from which it would seem to follow 
that he who is known in Masonry as the architect 
par excellence had no hand in the production of 
the designs. It will save recurrence to an im- 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

portant point of detail if I say at once that this 
inference is quite opposite to Masonic tradition, 
and fatal to the proper interpretation of its peculiar 
symbolism, though there is no difficulty regarding 
the source of the conception, and, as might be 
expected, it is that of Kabalism. 

Here, as elsewhere, however, the work in all 
its proportions was an allegorical work. After 
Solomon departed from wisdom, the initiates 
abandoned his court and went into other countries, 
where they spread the Mysteries of the Temple 
among different nations. Still the symbolic science 
was always found in Israel, and especially among 
the race of Judah that is to say, external to the 
priestly caste. It follows herefrom that, by the 
hypothesis of the Grade, the Temple of Solomon 
was a House of Secret Doctrine, but this House 
and its later substitute remained when the doctrine 
itself had withdrawn either into other realms or 
amongst those who did not minister at the altar. 
The intention is not, however, to imply any 
common folly with reference to the craft of Priest- 
hood, but rather to shew tacitly that the stewards 
of the outer Mysteries are not usually charged 
with the wardenship of the Mysteries within ; it 
is as if there were a priesthood within the priest- 
hood, sometimes in the absence of all knowledge 
on the part of the external ecclesiastical polity. 
The analogy is found in Masonry, within which 
there are other secret and high orders, of which 
it has heard nothing even at a distance. 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

After the destruction of the First Temple, the 
system of initiation was re-established in Jerusalem 
by Zerubbabel, but the science again degenerated 
though it was probably at best a mere shadow of 
its former self ; the Second Temple was destroyed 
even to its foundations which was not ex hypo- 
thesi the case with that of Solomon ; and the 
reason of this calamity was that the Universal 
Restorer and Master of all Science had been 
rejected of his people. What follows should be 
noted, as it is the whole thesis of transmission 
within the limits of a sentence. The Grade says 
that, this notwithstanding, the science continued 
to be cultivated by certain sages, who preserved 
in secret the initiatory system of the Temple. It 
was embodied apparently in the Mysteries of 
early Christianity ; but in any case this initiation, 
established, as it is said, by Moses though it had 
obviously an antecedent history and thereafter 
perfected by Solomon, is that which has come 
down to us under the name of Freemasonry. 
The hypothesis has been of universal mode and 
also utility ; we have met with it already under 
a slight adaptation as the particular claim of 
certain Grades of chivalry. 

As such, Freemasonry represents figuratively 
that which Christianity imparts I conclude 
actually, directly and by experience in the Mystery 
of Faith. But Masonry became vulgarised ; its 
custodians took refuge in silence ; there was 
therefore no witness concerning its more hidden 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

and deeper part, or concerning the sense of its 
allegories. The Grade, however, imparts what it 
calls the secret, namely, that the spirit of life must 
be sought elsewhere than in matter ; it is only by 
raising man above material works that temples 
can be built which shall be held worthy of 

There is more in this intimation than may 
appear on the surface, though there it is of all 
truth, a little reduced by familiarity. I believe 
that behind it there was the notion concerning a 
real place of search and a mode of quest thereafter, 
because, in the most unexpected manner, the 
discourse leaps to a condemnation of physical 
Alchemy as proof positive concerning the folly of 
its pretended adepts. Not in this region, it is 
said, is the fruit proper to man ; such a labour 
cannot be united with the profession of the 
divine and spiritual sciences, where those who 
seek the spirit of life must turn the footsteps of 
the heart. 

So ends the first Degree of this secret Masonic 
initiation, and it is affirmed at the close that the 
instructions were designed by the founders to 
introduce those who were received to the true 
object of the ancient grades of adeptship. I may 
say at this point that the Rite is entirely anony- 
mous, and is one of those systems which were 
referred to the hand of certain Unknown Superiors 
intervening in Masonry. The instructions par- 
ticular to the Second Degree of the mastery are 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

longer and proportionately more important than 
those of the first, but they are naturally a develop- 
ment of these, and may be said to proceed there- 
from without break or intermission. I shall give 
them as before in a simple and summary fashion ; 
but it must be understood that there are certain 
omissions, as part of the interpretation deals with 
the official secrets of the Craft Grades and cannot 
therefore be printed. 

The Instituted Mysteries are a consequence of 
the Fall of man, who was originally intended for 
the contemplation of unveiled truth. When he 
forfeited this prerogative the veils were woven, 
but according to the hypothesis of all the Mysteries 
there was a narrow way open by which man 
could go back upon his calamity and recover that 
which was his. This possibility explains the 
assumed existence in all times of a little company 
of the elect, among whom primitive truth was 
preserved, by whom also the veils were emblazoned 
and the system of initiation was established, to 
indicate and discover to prepared minds the only 
road which can lead man to his first condition and 
so restore the rights which so long have been lost 
to the world. Thus it comes about that the high 
destiny of our race and its degradation are the 
ground of all the Instituted Mysteries, and these 
are the quest thereof, terminated in certain cases 
by an attainment in the sense of symbolism. 

The infinite alone can satisfy ; in its absence 
from his heart and his consciousness, man is no 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

longer in his place. The science which was per- 
petuated by the ancient sages was of an order far 
superior to that of any natural sciences ; at once 
to know and neglect this mysterious and sacred 
knowledge would be a crime, supposing that it 
were possible, but it was and it remains hidden 
from those who would despise, even as from those 
who might abuse it. From the beginning of 
initiation it was presented under emblems and 
hieroglyphics, that it might not be exposed to 
disdain. I infer that the reference here is to the 
disdain of sense and the flesh. The incapacity of 
the ordinary man is by reason of the deep wells of 
his enchantment ; it is not the overt contumacy 
or opposition of the will, but its sheer inability 
till it is awakened. 

Freemasonry, as already intimated, came from 
that initiation of which the scheme of Temple 
building is the symbolic vesture and evasion. It 
was divided into two classes, the first of which 
was preparatory and communicated the various 
allegories that make up the three Craft Degrees. 
The second was secret and unknown, and therein 
the meaning behind the allegories was imparted. 
At a later period an intermediate class was devised, 
and this may be described as a system of successive 
degrees, the intention of which was to enlighten 
and yet restrain or reserve. Here, as elsewhere, 
the interest of this interpretation is not its historical 
verisimilitude but its comparatively early attempt 
to read in. 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

The centre of all symbolism is said to be the 
Temple of Solomon, which offered a real type of an 
universal and cosmic mystery ; it formed a catholic 
emblem, and the plans were of no human invention. 
As indicated in the previous Grade, they were given 
to David by a superior hand. The history of the 
universe was interwritten therein ; they repre- 
sented, in fact, the great temple of the universe, and 
as with this macrocosmic temple, so also was it 
with the material edifice of Jerusalem. Both were 
conceived in the Divine Thought, but both were 
executed by secondary agents. Hence it follows 
that there was what is termed by the Grade an 
" occasional cause " of the universe, which cause 
was once known by man, as it should and may 
yet be known. There were actually several 
secondary causes charged with the decrees of the 
Creator. These agents lost for a r time the perfect 
possession of unity apparently by the necessity 
of their mission, though they enjoyed it through 
their love and obedience. It is presumably in 
this sense that, according to the cryptic language 
of the Grade, the universe was produced and is 
maintained by violence. This condition must 
endure until Divine Justice is accomplished and 
the guilty are reintegrated by the law of the 
Eternal Unity. Behind this mystery of the agents 
there is, however, a deeper mystery, and this also 
accounts more intelligibly for that law of violence 
already mentioned. In a veiled and moderated 
form, apart from all that is absolute, it is the 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

old doctrine of dualism ; there are two causes 
opposed unceasingly ; one is in the bosom of the 
Creator and one in degradation, from which it 
must follow that there was a prior epoch when 
the second of these was in an original state of 
purity. As the two are diverse in virtue so are 
they also in power, and that which has fallen from 
the exalted and perfect mode is unable to penetrate 
the pure essence of spiritual beings. It has thus 
been cast out of the centre and is void of effect 
when it opposes that law by which it was once 
constituted. The opposition and the warfare 
endure, all notwithstanding, but the duration of 
the struggle is fixed and the cause of disorder 
will be enchained in fine. We may not find in 
the sequel that there is here any better explanation 
of the mysteries of sin and misery than was offered 
so long ago by the religion and philosophy of 
Zarathustra, but this system, while it reduces 
the tension of a clear and equal alternative, has the 
difficulty of additional complexities. It is said 
that the universe is foreign to the Eternal Unity 
though it might be more properly called its 
illustration. So long as it remains, however, the 
universe is sanctified by the agents concerned in 
its maintenance. Among intelligent beings, man 
only exhibits the immediate action of the Eternal. 
He, as a particular unity, is in similitude with 
the unity that is Divine. All this is symbolised 
in the construction of the Temple of Jerusalem. 
The Grand Architect did not Himself build the 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

universal Temple, nor did Solomon that of 
Jerusalem. Both were fashioned in six days or 
symbolic periods of time, and after this was a 
Sabbath, which in the case of the microcosmic 
work represented the dedication of the edifice. 
As the material Temple was destroyed, so ulti- 
mately will be that which it typifies, namely, the 
universal Temple. 

In a sense we have dealt so far more especially 
with cosmic philosophy, but as the Sabbath was 
made for man, and as it was for him that the 
House of God was built and dedicated at Jerusalem, 
so also in so far as his consciousness can possess 
the universe it is for him that it has come into 
being ; for him its messages exist, to him do 
its forces communicate, and Masonry which is, 
ex hypothesi^ a type or summary of the corre- 
spondences between God, man and the universe, 
with vital reference to man as the middle term 
of the triad ; Masonry, I say, would be wanting 
in life and efficacy if all its symbolism and all 
its meaning did not ultimately have its root in 
him in his history, his antecedents and his 

After what manner we do not know, for it is 
a priori to be expected that the things which issue 
in mystery should also commence therein, the 
mission of primeval man was to have directed 
those agents which were commissioned in the work 
of creation. His sin came about from a desire 
to make use of that power as if he were the author 

VOL. ii. R 257 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

of his own action, whereas he was the mediator 
therein. As a result of this, he became flesh and 
died intellectually. Had he remained in his first 
estate, he would have been an efficient means for 
the reconciliation and return to the Eternal Unity 
of all adherents to the principle of evil. The 
reintegration is now delayed, though the external 
voices are crying, as they have done from the 
beginning all willing rebellion notwithstanding 
How long, O Lord, how long ? In his glorious 
condition, man had immediate communication 
with the Creator, and all the Instituted Mysteries 
embody a memorial of this time and state. The 
intellectual death which supervened upon his 
crime was the passage into passivity of his think- 
ing and intellectual being. There was no opera- 
tion of fatality herein, for it was man who exiled 
himself from the centre of purity and happiness. 
It came therefore to this, that he who was meant 
to be the universal agent of reconciliation stood 
now in need of a Reconciler, and there was one 
at the gate of misdeed from the first beginning 
thereof. It was immediately after the crime that 
the Repairer Who is Christ came to manifest 
his interior action upon the guilty in the Universal 

The Temple of Solomon represented man's 
original and incorruptible body ; that of Zerub- 
babel his imperfect, physical body. The first was 
an oblong square, and it corresponded also to the 
four regions of the universe. We have in this 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

manner a triplicity, and here are its further 
analogies : (a] The Universal Temple and its 
threefold division terrestrial, celestial, super- 
celestial, i.e., the firmament ; (fr) the Temple of 
Solomon and thereof also the threefold division 
Porch, Inner Temple and Sanctuary ; (c) the 
Body of Man, which in respect of his trunk is 
triadic in like manner abdomen, breast and head. 
But further, the triad obtains in the mystical 
history of man, or of the immortal spirit in the 
external and manifested state. There is (a) his 
archetypal condition when he was clothed in a 
robe of glory, like that of the First Temple : but 
this was destroyed ; (b) his second estate, when 
he was clothed in the body of his humiliation and 
with the vestures of loss, typifying the Second 
Temple : but this was also destroyed ; (c) the state 
of his impenitence, when he rejects Christ, 
whether by a collective and national act, like that 
of the Jews when they crucified the Lord of 
Mediation, or by a personal rejection in the 
case of each one of us who sins mortally. 
This is the loss of the Sacred Word, which 
Masonry seeks to restore in its highest Grades, 
that he who was once sent from the Sanctuary 
to the Porch may return from the Porch to the 

The things which lie perdu are not calculated 
to exercise a considerable influence unless it be 
from beneath the surface and in secret, like them- 
selves. Apart therefore from any question of its 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

essential merits, it may seem that I have given 
almost an undue space to this curious construction 
of the Craft Grades in respect of their inward 
meaning. But I might even have carried it 
further, for it proceeds subsequently to the 
consideration of certain High Grades which arise 
in the particular system and, as I have said, ex 
hypothesi^ from the Craft. Their supplementary 
matter is not essential to my purpose, and it could 
not be included here without betraying some part 
at least of the source, which it is my intention 
and my pledge to conceal. I have spared no 
pains to present the explanation adequately, but 
though I regard it as exceedingly remarkable and 
important in its own degree and for its own 
period, it is not adduced here as an exalted grade 
of interpretation which cannot be exceeded. It 
is so much the best of its kind that it is, as I have 
also said, almost without comparison, and it as- 
suredly represents a tradition which has come 
down to us from the middle way of the eighteenth 
century, while it has memories or derivatives of 
things that are much older. It recalls the theo- 
sophical hypotheses which connect with the name 
of Saint-Martin, and its vague glimpses of a 
shrouded practical part do also recall the strange 
dream of occult workings which was cloaked 
under the name of Masonry by the Sieur de 
Pasqually. As it reflects something at the be- 
ginning from the Traite de la Reintegration des 
tres, so in the development it suggests that here 



The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

is indeed the missing sequel of that memorable 
work ; but the whole is uplifted to a higher and 
more luminous plane. From the internal evidence, 
I tend to think that it issued from the school of 
Lyons and represented as such a mean in philo- 
sophy and literature between Pasqually and the 
great mystic who was his disciple. 

There is no question indeed that, regarded as 
a philosophical rather than as a Masonic system, 
it is out of this reservoir that the Grades came. 
I speak of a single reservoir, because Saint-Martin 
took over the philosophical matter of his teacher, 
in the sense that he developed much out of it, but 
did not set anything aside which will seem ap- 
preciable to those who contrast Des Erreurs et de 
la Verite 'or Le Tableau Nature/ with the tract which 
is the work of Pasqually. The hand of neither 
mystic nor magus is to be traced in the Masonic 
Rituals, and I question whether they would either 
have subscribed fully to the instructions contained 
therein. Saint-Martin assuredly would have dis- 
associated himself from any formal attempt to 
philosophise upon Masonry, regarded as a tradition 
descending almost intact from the far past, and 
from the important place which is thus assigned 
to Masonry in any catholic scheme of spiritual 
amelioration. There is no trace anywhere in his 
public or private writings to lend the least colour 
to such a notion, or to the concern that it would 
imply ; there is also the least possible suggestion 
of his dependence anywhere on tradition ; he 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

might not have denied the tradition or even its 
perpetuation in some form, though probably 
amidst much contamination, but he would, I think, 
have held that it had long ceased to communicate 
anything vitally. This was his position in respect 
of the Church of his childhood, which above all 
represents tradition after its own kind. Apart 
from any personal claims, he comes before us in 
the light of an immediate recipient, or, in more 
commonly acceptable terms, of one who thought 
out for himself and did not derive from the past 
that which he has put into expression after a 
manner so largely new. The fact that he has a 
debt to Pasqually would scarcely in his under- 
standing have been a debt to the past, for he 
always regarded his master as one in the enjoyment 
of immediate communications. Whatever claims 
that master made upon the past himself would 
have counted for little with his disciple. 

And now as regards Pasqually, the catechisms 
attached to the Grades of his own Rite shew 
indubitably that the construction placed upon 
Masonry by this other Rite with which I am here 
dealing, would have commanded anything rather 
than his unreserved sympathy. He comes before 
us more especially as an Adept of occult science, 
and would have been the last to concur in the judg- 
ment passed on that science, as, for example, the 
strictures on physical Alchemy. Our Secret Grades 
are therefore the work of an unknown hand, which 
borrowed in part from the theurgic Mason and in 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

part from sources like those of the mystic. The 
explanation of the latter point must be sought in 
the immense repute and consideration in which 
Des Erreurs et de la Verlte was held far and wide 
in all the Rites and under all the Masonic obedi- 
ences of that period in France ; in a more restricted 
sense, but still indubitably, the same may be 
said for Germany. It is this as we have seen 
which accounts for the time-honoured, idle 
fiction which connects Saint-Martin with the 
reformation of a Masonic Rite. All the reputed 
authorities in France and others in all places 
who reflect from these have spoken of this re- 
formation, the result of which no one has seen 
any more than they have seen the Rituals 
attributed to Ramsay. The truth is that Saint- 
Martin became, apart from all design of his own, 
a fashion, an influence, a school on the more 
spiritual side of High Grade Masonry ; his seal is 
in this manner on many Grades, but there is no 
Rite of Saint-Martin ; so also the seal of Ramsay 
is on all the Grades of Chivalry, but the RITE OF 
RAMSAY is a matter of romantic invention. 

Those who read over my summary of the 
Secret Grades, if they happen to be versed in the 
claims and legends of other Masonic systems, will 
be reminded of several things. The departure of 
the initiates from Solomon when he fell away 
from the law of Israel is a hypothesis brought in 
to justify pretensions like those of Baron Tschoudy, 
as developed in UEtoile Flamboyante^ and all that 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

is implied in Werner's strange story concerning 
the Sons of the Valley. I do not mean that the 
myth was invented to support either specific 
claim, but to justify the position of Christian High 
Grade Masonry it seems to have been held neces- 
sary, on all sides, to shew that a Secret Tradition 
resident in ancient Jewry was passed on to the 
time of Christ and was perpetuated thereafter, 
usually in Palestine, until the period of the 
Crusades, when it began to move westward. Our 
Grades do not particularise the place to which 
the initiates repaired, and they therefore leave 
open the chivalric connections of Masonry, though 
I think that this is practically implied in the later 
statement that so-called Masonic tradition was 
preserved by certain sages who carried on the 
initiatory system of the Temple. The reference 
is probably to Thebaid solitaries, the Essenes, or 
the so-called Knights of , the Morning and of 

And now, moving towards the conclusion of 
this part, the instruction with which I have been 
dealing is infinitely better than the cumbrous, 
artificial and laboured pretence of that RITE OF 
SWEDENBORG with which in respect of it I 
have made a tentative and reserved comparison, 
which is also so unlike anything that is historically 
connected with the name of the Swedish seer. 
The moral explanation of Masonry is deficient 
enough, but the purely astronomical is the for- 
bidding phantom of a wasted journey, as if we 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

had travelled through ages from the circum- 
ference to the centre only to find thereat the cruel 
derision of a vacant space. It is also so much 
the worse, because it is the wresting into all 
confusion of a high truth. The day which 
speaks to the day, the night that shews knowledge 
to the night, the stars which send tidings to one 
another, and the Sons of God who utter their 
joyful shouts, do assuredly discourse unto earth of 
the great things of the soul and do shew forth 
the soul's history. Our own legend is written 
across the starry heavens, and this is the essential, 
the vital, the religious side of astronomy ; it is 
for this reason also that " the undevout astronomer 
is mad " ; but those who, in the common adage, 
put the cart before the horse, who say that the 
mysteries, the mythologies and the faiths of the 
whole world are only the symbolic presentation 
of the path of stars, shall inherit the confusion 
into which they lead others, and when they are 
looking for honour shall be drawn like the Knight 
Gawain in a chariot of derision rather than abide 
in the holy and adventurous place of the Graal 
Castle. The results of early prolonged research 
and deep contemplation in vigil beneath the 
heaven of stars and the heaven of sunshine, may 
have passed into secret doctrine ; but that was a 
doctrine of religion, a book of destiny, full of 
living messages, and in the workings of the 
celestial bodies man communed with his soul. 
I should be sorry if my readers were to infer 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

that I put forward the interpretation of the 
Grades as an adequate construction of Masonry in 
its higher message to the mind, or as representing 
the Secret Tradition as it stood in the hidden 
Sanctuaries towards the end of the eighteenth 
century. It is not less far from the term in both 
respects than it is as a convincing or even a 
tolerable attempt to set forth on warrants that are 
unknown the almost unknowable mystery of the 
Fall of Man. The machinery which it employs 
notwithstanding, it leaves the root difficulty as 
Saint-Martin, Pasquallyand other theosophers leave 
it that is to say, in so much the worse position 
as it is enlarged upon so much the more. The con- 
ception concerning Adam and Eve in the Garden of 
Eden and in a stats of virgin innocence, apart from 
all knowledge and experience, offers no difficulty to 
the episode of their temptation and their lapse ; 
man in a higher Eden, charged with universal 
powers, with duties also universal, and in enjoy- 
ment of the Divine Vision, offers us a picture 
with which it is impossible to connect the idea of 
temptation or desire for lesser things than those 
which he possessed in fulness. Still, amidst all 
its limitations and all its crudities, amidst its 
implied attempts to justify High Grade legends, 
which are taken in the wrong sense when they 
are taken in that of history, I shall always regard 
this curious Rite of Interpretation as the work of 
one of my precursors, and I say this the more 
certainly because the thesis of the present work 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

was already developed when the Grades came into 
my hands. That which they put forward differs 
radically from my own construction save in one 
vital respect ; both depend upon the doctrine that 
man came forth from the centre and that he 
returns thereto. 



THE subject-matter of this section will come so 
much as a surprise to its readers, within and with- 
out Masonry, that perhaps it may be prudent if 
I qualify it in some manner at the inception. 
My thesis is that what is called the occult 
movement at the present day, but rather on its 
philosophical, intellectual and literary side, has 
an unrealised debt to High Grade Masonry. The 
concerns and outcomes of Masonic research and 
quest have reflected into it ; the reflection has 
been real of its kind, but in a sense it has been 
also fortuitous. The source of illustration has 
been the occult and transcendental side of Masonry, 
or that in particular ; it has also been the more 
general set of feelings, aspirations, horizon and 
content ; all these have contributed, sometimes in 
a substantial way and sometimes in the constitu- 
tion of an atmosphere. They are capable of enu- 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

meration broadly and in a few words. If we take 
the schools which for a period were incorporated 
in Masonry at the close of the eighteenth century, 
my view is that it was largely in virtue of the 
place which they thus held that they came to be 
factors when the occult interest rose up again in 
Europe. On the purely philosophical and to 
some extent the mystical side, there has been the 
influence of Martinism which came down through 
Masonic channels. On a side that was in part 
one of the practical kind, but in part also specu- 
lative, there was the influence of Rosicrucianism, 
and this again has been derived through another 
Masonic channel ; there is also at least one 
Rosicrucian School in existence at the present 
day which is purely Masonic in its form. It is 
thus that there arises the question whether 
through Masonry there has been any perpetuation 
of the Secret Tradition into a few of the current 
schools, and whether they are transformations or 
renewals of Masonic, Semi-Masonic or other in- 
corporations existing prior to the beginning of the 
nineteenth century. We have already considered 
the question of modern Martinism, and have 
reached a decided negative in this respect. As re- 
gards the others, by the hypothesis of their respec- 
tive claims, they draw from the past, and therein is 
the authority which they have sought to establish. 
It proves, however, on examination to be almost 
exclusively an authority residing in certain litera- 
tures of the past, for most of them are products 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

of the last thirty years. They are of Magic, of 
Alchemy, of Kabalism, of the phenomenal side 
of things in the world called transcendental, and 
of all the curious arts. Prior to the year 1850 
their literary centre was, roughly speaking, in the 
Masonic writings of J. M. Ragon, from whom 
in a sense they passed over to Eliphas Levi, who 
was the champion and interpreter of the whole 
circle which circumscribed these fluidic sciences. 
I do not intend to suggest that the personalities in 
either case were encyclopaedic in respect of their 
representation, but they stand for a starting-point, 
and as throughout the history of the movement 
France has been always more especially concerned, 
we are in a position to see from what directions 
occultism was derived to France, and through 
France not only to England and America, but in 
a measure also to Germany. 

The theurgic school founded by Martines de 
Pasqually under the aegis of Masonry was perpetu- 
ated by his survivors, such as the priest Fournie, 
the merchant Willermoz and the Comte d' 
Hauterive, not only through the French Revolu- 
tion but well after the year 1800, even to the 
time when the sun of Napoleon set at Waterloo. 
We have seen that Pasqually's disciple Saint- 
Martin, far as he departed from the path pursued 
by his first teacher, carried something of his lights 
and reflections, and that his influence in no sense 
died when he himself departed this life in 1805. 
We have seen also that, his theurgic preoccu- 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

pations notwithstanding, Martines de Pasqually 
moved in an atmosphere of mysticism and leaned 
towards the mystic term on the side of thought. 
It was this side of his master that Saint-Martin did 
not leave when he surrendered the external ways 
to follow the inward light. At the present day, 
apart from incorporated Martinism, he is still 
an important factor in the modern interest and 

Rosicrucian preoccupations in France, Eng- 
land and America, considered on their more 
public side, are inferentially and almost certainly 
the reflections of the Reformation which took 
place in that fraternity about 1777 within the 
Masonic circle. We can trace these influences, 
in England at least, by three independent classes 
of documentary evidence, which bring the subject 
practically to our own day. There are incorpor- 
ated societies passing under the name both in 
France and America : but the latter may be set 
aside as embodying the common ingenuities of 
occult adventure ; and of the former, one of them 
has its foundation in simple, literary phantasia, 
while another is rather an association established 
for experimental research of a particular and curious 
kind, having little recourse to tradition and no 
claim thereon. These have been dealt with 

In Alchemy I need only mention the Alchem- 
ical Society of France, a foundation of recent 
years and purely on the side of physics, without 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

any intimation concerning the mystic aspects ; 
its most approximate antecedents are Pernety and 
his Masonic industries ; he is also, on the literary 
side, one of its chief authorities. 

These intimations will already have deter- 
mined sufficiently the question whether the 
modern schools existing on the surface of things 
have any root in the Secret Tradition, whether 
or not through Masonry as a channel. The 
predisposition, the concern, the perpetuation on 
the literary side, and on the side of fact in 
history, are reflections from the High Grades and 
the circle of activity of which these were the 
outcome in their day, but there is nothing more. 
It is substantial enough, however, in its own way 
to have called for this brief record. 

There is, however, a further point which 
concerns the Secret Tradition in its general sense 
rather than as it is embodied in Masonry, and I 
must take out a certain licence to speak of it in 
the present place so as to complete my sketch of 
the modern schools regarded in the light of 
Masonry. The overt schools are one thing ; we 
know their laws and bylaws ; we know their 
conditions of membership ; we know what they 
have done ; we might almost say with Matthew 
Arnold that, as concerns the particular world in 
which they live and move and have their being, 
" their voices are in all men's ears." We are not all 
Martinists, nor Kabalists of the Rose-Cross, nor 
artists of the salons of Sar Peladan ; but we know 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

or may learn everything that is of importance 
about them ; they have nothing to tell us but 
in respect of their own findings. There remain, 
however, by the hypothesis the really secret 
schools, the proceedings of which are not pub- 
lished, the names of which are unknown, of 
which some of us have heard the rumour, to 
some of which we can testify in part. We will 
suppose that they are difficult of entrance, that 
they exact pledges and so forth, like Masonry. 
Is there any reason to suppose that the deriva- 
tions of these is through any form of Masonry ? 
With perhaps one exception, about which we shall 
hear later, the answer is again no ; but again there 
is a certain reflection, as of kinship in concern and 

It is in the direction of these schools, and 
there only, that if anywhere we must look for 
the vestiges of Secret Tradition ; the intimations 
concerning them, as they existed originally, are 
found in the old books, and there are other ways 
by which we may become tolerably satisfied as to 
the fact of their existence, though if the question 
were whether any living occult writer not as 
such a mystic has been affiliated thereto, the 
answer would be almost certainly an unreserved 
negative again. The tradition which is so 
strangely divided in respect of the occult and 
the mystic in philosophy, experience, science 
whatever it may be termed is divided as utterly 
in respect of the schools, the Rites and all that 

VOL. ii. s 273 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

is understood as the instituted side of their 
Mysteries. We are about to approach at the 
term of our debate the mystic side of tradition, 
and I seek to take out of the way the occult 
aspect because it intervenes as a hindrance. It 
will be understood that this aspect looms largely 
in the conventions that are most current in 
respect of the Secret Tradition ; it has offered 
proportionate opportunity to the makers of occult 
history which belongs to the order of imposition 
sometimes in the conscious sense and some- 
times otherwise. It is also the source of false 
evidence appealed to in American claims, with 
their derivatives and analogues. 

The question arises whether, on the hypothesis 
of occult schools now persisting in concealment, 
there is evidence within their own lines that 
they have carried their subjects further than 
these have been taken by the inchoate mass of 
the past literatures. There is of course no 
evidence, but it might seem a little idle to dispute 
the unadorned possibility that an Hermetic Society 
perpetuated from generation to generation should 
not have attained a further point in its especial 
objects than is marked by the old books of two or 
three centuries ago, or by the independent gropings 
of unaffiliated students at this day. Whether they 
may have reached any goal of their research is a 
very different question : personally I neither know 
nor care, for I scarcely think that spirits by the 
throne of God could be more indifferent to the 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

issues of occult research than I who in my glass 
and darkly have seen the true end of all adept- 
ship. To continue the detached speculation, 
another occult association engaged, solely or 
chiefly, in the reading of the stars, and in keeping 
the records of results, ought to have some strange 
archives and rectified calculations which would be 
the desire of the eyes of astrologers living under 
less happy auspices in this dawn of the twentieth 
century. In fine, a magical order, following the 
path of evocation, and other mysteries of iniquity 
usually grouped under the title of ceremonial work, 
must in long periods of time have opened worlds 
of hallucination, whirlpools of vertigo and slopes 
of the great abyss which none of our sanatoria and 
none of our amateur temples dedicated to formulae 
of the most truly accursed arts have ever reached 
in a dream. 

I do not say that such societies have existed 
in the unbroken sense which is posited for the 
arbitrary benefit of this argument ; I do not think 
that they have been corporate except in the most 
fluidic sense. I think that the gods of Julian the 
Apostate would have looked more substantial in 
comparison if the two cohorts could be assembled 
together. In any case, association of this kind is 
usually sporadic, and I do not believe that there 
is anything which can count further back than 
two hundred years in respect of consecutive 
working. Moreover, it is of all most likely that 
some have perpetuated without extending a tradi- 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

tional practice belonging to their especial concerns. 
I should be false to everything that I hold most 
sacred if I lent one moment's countenance to the 
old futile dream concerning the occult sanctuaries. 
The vel sanctum invenit, vel sanctum facit of Eliphas 
Levi was never true, either as condition or con- 
sequence of adeptship in the practical path, and 
I should not understand holiness if I spoke other- 
wise than with derision of such asylums, taverns 
or temples under the elect, dedicated, divine name 
of sanctuaries. I do not believe that they have 
kept anything from the world of which it stands 
in need. I doubt, if their greatest secret were 
sold for thirty thalers, whether it would be worth 
the price ; there is not per se one word or syllable, 
one letter or mark of a letter, in the literature of 
occult arts, occult sciences, or occult philosophy 
which was ever put upon paper with the con- 
sciousness of God present in the soul. It is a 
place of the marriage of many cousins together, 
such as folly and imposture, stupidity and diabolism, 
idleness and evil-doing. But these bracketings 
do not exceed a commonplace in the high regions 
of debate, though to the innocent and beloved 
beings whose elementary psychic gifts, yearnings 
for the powers of the spirit, ambition for a new 
basis of belief in immortality and intimations of a 
demonstrative faith, have brought them to the 
threshold of occultism, or even within the 
precincts, they are likely to be novel as they 
are entirely certain to be unwelcome. It happens 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

very often that the anxiety to meet with some 
one who can speak with authority on these 
subjects, who has the atmosphere of the dubious 
temple and the terminology of the oracles which 
pass in such quarters for the liturgy of the 
chancel of adeptship all this, and all its circum- 
ambient nimbus, eats up the heart of such people, 
and a sudden disillusion might make them of any 
men most miserable. They are often so good and 
so trusting, that if I had nothing to indicate in 
respect of a more excellent way, I might shrink 
from the incivility of unveiling. 

For their further consolation let me add that 
the limits of my criticism are, as they should 
assuredly be, drawn with sufficient rigidity that 
nothing is included which represents the honour- 
able region of research. Within the charmed 
circle are the occult orders and all appertaining 
thereto, their artificial revivals in books, the 
preternatural seriousness belonging to the subject 
at large, the occasional imposture and the vain 
pretence. It is a strange combination, and round 
about it stands the curious and uninstructed world 
that goes after these things, while in another 
category than which nothing can be more 
distinct is the great, practical, exact science of 
the mystics, the schools of which are reducible in 
the last resource to a single school, existing for its 
better protection under veils of evasion that are 
not likely to be penetrated because they are 
certain to mislead research. Though in a certain 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

sense there is no part of it which is not of the 
gods, the veilings are like the cinctures of a 
mummy which has not been unrolled. 

As regards any official school of psychic 
research, I must confess that it is saved by the 
intention rather than by performance accom- 
plished ; but there are notable exceptions, if it 
were possible to enumerate them in this place. 
I have no intention, however, to create dis- 
tinctions which in a sense might be almost 
invidious, because they cannot be inclusive. 
Moreover, in directions which are least commend- 
able, I have found something, and even much, to 
redeem or at least to reduce censure obscure 
intimations, predispositions, a setting of the face 
towards Jerusalem, however far from the term 
may the obvious trend have seemed. It would 
be therefore cruelty and falsehood to say that the 
whole effort is always wasted. 

It must of course remain that the horizon 
of the occult sciences in the present rebirth of 
those sciences is exactly what it appears in the 
past ; that which it was in the beginning it now 
is, and that it shall ever be ; it is not possible that 
it should pass beyond its proper measures. If 
it were sought to say one word in favour of the 
schools which are embodied within the horizon, 
this could be only in reference to the old idleness 
already mentioned concerning demonstrative 
faith. The expression is of course grounded on a 
misconception of terms. The demonstration of 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

faith is by the passage of its subject-matter into 
the grade of experience, through the following of 
the inward life understood as that of sanctity. 
The certitude which then dawns in the soul is 
generically better, higher, deeper than anything 
that can be obtained in the outer ways. Hence 
Christ said : Blessed are those who have not seen 
and have believed, appealing to the sacredness and 
the intimacy of the inward knowledge. 

It is, however, so ingrained in human nature 
to desire the lesser certitudes, which reside in the 
sensible signs, that something must be granted to 
their ministry. The clairvoyance, the spirit vision, 
the putative travellings therein, even ceremonial 
invocations and other dangerous paths, are on the 
fringe of that proof palpable of immortality, a 
solution as to the problem of which is ever desired 
and for ever unattainable in the outer ways. Even 
I and others of my school must confess to such 
hauntings at the beginning of our quest, before we 
had come to know of that more excellent way to 
which all the memorials of mystic life bear 
witness. We can therefore understand very 
readily how they draw the untutored hearts, and 
we can be merciful to the mistaken aspirations : 
did such paths lead to the root of knowledge, then 
indeed Indus puerorum, an easy task, would have 
been put into our hands. 

No one, of course, will question that there is a 
secondary and derivative satisfaction all along the 
line of occult research and all along its modern 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

variants. In both, and in the latter especially, 
those whom the shipwreck of faith have cast 
upon the reefs and deserts of materialism have very 
often obtained a tentative and dubious consolation 
when face to face with certain facts which 
materialism cannot explain. But the psychic 
experiences which some forms of occultism do thus 
offer to those who pursue their paths, work in a 
vicious circle. Furthermore, if we contrast the 
claims of the old occult schools by which I 
mean those that appear in the literature and not 
the glorified expositions that, in the absence of all 
evidence, have been put forward by some of their 
spokesmen usually self-constituted if we con- 
trast these claims with the natural development of 
natural psychic faculties, apart from all initiations 
and practically apart from training, we shall find 
nothing in the magical records which offers a 
wider experience. The Rituals of Magic are 
coarse and stupid impostures overlaid upon the 
common ground of psychic experience, and they 
are the substitution of a laborious for a simple 
process. I want it to be understood that this 
statement is without qualification or reserve and, 
as I have sought to explain elsewhere with the 
utmost fulness, that the prevailing distinction 
between White and Black Magic is stultified at 
every turn on both sides of the texts which it is 
thus sought to separate. 

As regards the superiority of the process on 
either side, the claim of Ceremonial Magic is that (a) 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

the preparation of the Operator ; (b] the ceremonial 
workings ; (c) the litanies, symbols, suffumigations ; 
(d) the prayers, conjurations and compelling forces 
of Divine Names, do in the last resource produce 
a response in the world of spirits ; but, after we 
have separated the elements of tolerable consistency 
from the masses of monstrous absurdity, there 
remains the condition of procedure excepted 
nothing more than will rest over equally in 
spiritualism, when the mass of its impostures is 
set aside. The particular and distinctive condition 
on which I have just laid stress is that Magic 
is the work of the active and modern psychic 
phenomena are generically of the passive way. 

When the head and crown of all practical 
occultism is disposed of in this manner, I infer 
that it will be idle to dwell upon the analogies, 
the differences, or the comparative superiorities 
of the modern modes of inducing clairvoyance 
and the old forms of divination, the intimated but 
dubious results in the past of ceremonial and 
magical procedure for the induction of skrying in 
the crystal and our present simple mode, which 
at the same time produces its particular secrets 
in suitable subjects with almost fatal facility. 




IT must be understood that the section which 
here follows is in one sense another digression, 
because on the surface it will seem to have no 
real connection with the Masonic subject ; but 
on the assumption that emblematic Freemasonry 
enters into the Secret Tradition, and as that 
Tradition is mystic in the sense that I attach to 
the expression is concerned, that is to say, with 
the integration of human in Divine consciousness 
it is necessary that some sketch or summary 
of the mystic preoccupation in Christian times 
should go before an attempt to give expression 
to the term of research which is implied, though 
not followed, in Masonry. It is obvious that if 
the Brotherhood were at this day consciously 
dedicated to that term, many things would be 
intelligible that are now in the high clouds, and 
this book would have been written in a very 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

different key. As it is, many precautions are 
needed to insure understanding. 

There is a very true sense in which the glories 
of the Christian centuries are the glory of all the 
world which is about us at the present day, in 
which all that we are, and all wherein we live 
and move and have our being, is our high 
inheritance therefrom. We are in it and we 
are of it, and it is so much our very selves that in 
so far as it has entered into expression through 
twenty centuries its expression is our consciousness 
as it is realised ; while so far as it is implied, one 
may think, and not unreasonably, that the great 
world of its intimations is that world outside our 
consciousness into which consciousness may yet 
enter. We are in this manner the inheritors of 
a fulfilled but also of an " unfulfilled renown," 
and just as it has been said by some experts 
that Egypt seems to loom more grandly as one 
penetrates further back into the mystery of life 
in the Delta, so outside the actualities and 
realisations of the expounded secret in Christ 
there shines the greater splendour of the suggested 
secrets looming in the hidden fields. It is as 
if external and explicated Christianity were of 
the microcosmic order, specific, determined and 
limited like our human personality, while without 
it, yet not indeed without beyond, but too 
intimate and immanent to be called beyond 
indeed there were a greater analogical macro- 
cosmic part, united indissolubly in the heights 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

with the cosmic altitudes of universal religion, 
and also with our own cosmic side too vast, too 
infinite, too holy to be contained by anything 
which seems to contain its minima. It is the 
oversoul of religion ; it is that which subtends 
and extends over all formulas of creed and 
dogma, all normal rules of life and sanctity of 
prescribed observance ; it is that which is 
outside the law but does not reduce the law ; 
it is the power behind the Church and the 
grace behind the Mass and the authority above 
the priesthood, intervening only to exalt, but 
to dispense or cancel never. It is the sense of 
the infinite behind the great mysteries, as that 
sense awakens in those who belong at their 
best to the infinite. I put on record so much 
concerning it in opening this part of the 
conference that I may not in the higher 
tribunals be sent down as one who goes about 
with unopened eyes when there are vistas pro- 
longed for ever ; but my concern is in lesser 

There is also a very true sense in which the 
modern world, taken as it is, and all its things as 
they are, is the last resultant of the Christian 
centuries which lie behind us. But Christendom 
is then only like an Immediate Past Master in the 
great Lodge of humanity, with a long line of other 
Past Masters behind it, dating from the founders 
of the Lodge ; and however we may seek to affirm 
it with the grand accent and manner, the state- 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

ment is only a commonplace, and I am not 
elected to take part therein. 

If, however, our attention is fixed on the 
religion which is understood by Christianity and, 
under that aspect alone, if we consider our 
inheritance from its past, I suppose that there 
are many points from which it might be lawfully 
approached, because the variety of concerns is 
boundless. There is one of these which more 
especially and greatly and fully connects with that 
higher side of the mystery of Christendom about 
which I began by speaking ; there is no other 
which to myself is possible by comparison there- 
with, and for the reason just cited ; it is that 
which for me of necessity is therefore my point 
of starting ; and when I speak of our inheritance 
from the past, I refer, above all and only, to 
that which the Christian mystics of all the ages 
have bequeathed to our trust. In the great body 
of doctrine, formulas, processes, experience all 
things whatsoever which may call to be included 
in surveying the Secret Tradition of Christian 
Times, that which I understand that, indeed, 
which can be understood only by mysticism 
forms a very small part on the surface, though it 
is the essence and permeation of whatsoever is 
best, whatsoever indeed is tolerable therein. I 
propose to consider it in this section apart from 
all its subsidiary and extrinsic connections, and 
I shall do so under two aspects speaking first 
of that which is open, at the disposition of the 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

wide world, and after of that which arises out of 
it, issues into secret ways and is lost or rather 
goes before us upon great seas. We cannot 
understand the Secret Tradition apart from its font 
or root, because this Tradition is either concerned 
with the Great Work or else with its adjuncts, its 
travesties and its wrestings. 

I do not propose to discuss the implicits of 
Christian Mysticism in the holy gospels, or the 
question whether the roots of the whole subject 
are to be found therein. I think that the cosmic 
mystery of Christ was native to the great sanctuary 
was conceived and born therein. I am entirely 
certain that the virginal conception was so to 
speak the first ceremonial act in that great 
mystery ; that the three Kings of the East beheld 
His star and came to adore Him, bringing their 
symbolical offerings ; that He questioned the 
doctors in the Temple, as one who would remake 
all things ; and that the other scenes of the drama 
were enacted literally and mystically, actually and 
essentially on the plane of the Divine Master's 
consciousness and by reflection on the plane of 
this world. But this is no place to present, as 
I should need, in its fulness the Secret Tradition 
in Universal Mysticism ; such a task belongs to 
the term of my research and not to the present 
intermediate grade. I must take rather the life 
mystic at one of its early stages of develop- 
ment, and we have a natural point of departure 
in the Mystical Theology of Dionysius. The 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

inward life which is of Christ, and is in Christ, 
is found in this treatise so minute and yet so 
pregnant as an essence of undiscovered power 
and grace, but it is in a setting which is largely 
Neo-Platonic, and it is more especially this fact 
which enables us to see with some tolerable 
accuracy how it stood with the higher minds of 
that momentous period, circa 100 A.D. or later. 

It is a thesis for the doctorate of the union 
with that and with Him which is exalted above 
all essence and above every notion of the mind ; 
it is the counsel of the soul's precipitation into 
the mysterious brilliance of the Divine Obscurity, 
the path of which is a path of unknowing rather 
than a path of knowledge, while the term is 
an union on the highest side of our nature in 
proportion to the renunciation of knowledge. 
The casting out of the images of matter is 
therefore followed by an expulsion of the images 
of the mind, and the last image that is destroyed, 
or sent forth rather, like the emissary goat of 
Israel, is that of the personal self. The reward is 
an acquaintance, an experience, a familiarity, an 
inexpressible intimacy which cannot be grasped 
by understanding ; in a word, it is a modal change 
in knowledge, because it is henceforth of the 
substance and intrinsic, not of the external and 
phenomenal, elements. 

I think that Dionysius carried over a great 
deal of baggage and admixture from many hier- 
archies of philosophical reverie and systems of 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

theosophical complexion. It is perhaps only here 
and there that we make contact with the life- 
giving font of experience ; and even the Theology 
itself is foreshortened in almost every direction 
towards which we should have liked it to be 
extended. There are, of course, certain respects 
in which it is definite enough, but the definite 
does not assist us ; it is rather like a shorthand note, 
a precis^ or mere summary ; in a word it is the 
heads of an instruction ; it either presupposes the 
experience of which it sets out to treat, or it 
leaves the attainment to the reader, as if referring 
him thereto for all that it passes unsaid. But the 
suggestion remains, and can scarcely, I think, be 
put away, that Dionysius saw many great things 
looming on the horizon of the logical under- 
standing in regions which he had not entered ; 
perhaps it would be too much to suppose that in 
the dawn of the Christian sun there should be the 
full light of its meridian. To my own mind 
the Mystical Theology is rather an illustration of 
the horizon and genius which are particular to the 
apostolic age, that had neither expelled the images 
of Jewry nor those of Plotinus and the successors ; 
which had also other shackles chiefly in the 
middle way between the Oriental and the Greek ; 
they were curious and interesting enough ; they 
were full of the gradations of fantasy and allure- 
ments of that kind ; but they did not make directly 
for the end. I speak, however, under the reserves 
of all my proper imperfections, and these may stand 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

to be illustrated for the purposes of some minds 
by such a leap as I now make to the ninth century 
and to that great and hardly formulated figure of 
Johannes Scotus Erigena of whom many of us 
have heard so much and all know so little. He 
carried mighty harness and rode in great lists ; he 
set up his theses at all gates and against all comers. 
It is only their least part that can be said to concern 
us now, and indeed he connects with our subject 
more especially as a translator of Dionysius into 
the Latin tongue. He had his own lights on the 
hierarchies, and in some sense he may be said to 
have remade his original, so much was Dionysius 
extended by his own system, but we are not 
seeking assistance on the intermediaries between 
man and God. He had other illuminations on 
mystical theology, and this is why he is worth 
naming at the living moment who is great by so 
many titles. It is to him above all that we owe 
the conception of God as the principle of essentia 
and life within the universe. As it is usual, but 
on a very slight basis, to identify Dionysius with 
pantheism as a fruit of emanation, so and on 
the basis of the conception here stated Erigena 
Johannes, or Scotus, is held to have formulated 
as we have seen the doctrine of Divine 
Immanence in substitution thereof. The practical 
effect of his teaching is that in virtue of the 
descent of the Divine Influence through all 
hierarchic grades there is an ascent of the soul 
possible, even as in higher Kabalism the path 

VOL. II. T 289 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

outward from Kether to Malkuth involves a return 

It is in this manner, and by an allusion at need 
only, that I pass to the Doctor Angelicus, and 
there should be reason to hope that he who 
scheduled all things must have laid out under his 
own lights and motives if not under all lights 
all highest motives that part of the science of 
sanctity which is called the science of the mystics. 
And, in truth, he who omitted nothing could not 
have set aside or ignored the thing most needful. 
But if I must speak my whole mind, I think that 
the Angel of the Schools knew all the body of 
spiritual desire rather than the soul of the mystics. 
He reminds one rather of Athanasius Kircher, the 
Jesuit, writing the Iter Extaticum than of Juan 
dell Croce when he reached in a plenary sense 
the summit of Mount Carmel. The great Latin 
litterateur of the seventeenth century made an 
adventurous journey through a like distance of the 
mind, and returned with a budget of marvels 
which marked a definite stage of reasonable 
speculation for his period concerning the inter- 
planetary spaces and the moving lights. The 
Spanish saint desired to be counted among those 
who had walked with God ; he came in the 
heights to his own and his own received him, and 
he spoke of the great things as one who had 
unmistakeably passed through experience therein. 
It is only on the way upward that he delivered 
some things pro bono publico^ a few of which do 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

not signify. Saint Thomas also travelled, though 
it was in another sense, through a mental distance, 
but I question whether he directly entered the 
great mystery. In other words, while he marks a 
real stage in the development of the whole subject, 
while he had an ultimate rational understanding 
of the relation between God and man, that which 
in him was rational was also scholastic under- 
standing, having the advantages and limitations 
thereof; he speaks of the wonderful depths and 
breathless heights as one who knew them scientifi- 
cally, as one who had drawn them to scale, but 
scarcely as one who had travelled them ; he con- 
templates them with an intent eye, but not as one 
who has realised in an intimate sense that their 
whole world is within. 

I may scarcely call it a limitation in a mind 
so responsive rather to things on their universal 
side, but the characteristic at least seems always in 
evidence. It is there even when he is expounding 
after what manner we are to understand that the 
kingdom of heaven is within and that God is regnant 
there ; when he is expounding that perfection 
which consists in the love of God above all things 
and in all things ; when he is putting into formal 
expression some profound philosophy of prayer ; 
when he is speaking of solitude as an instrument 
of contemplation and the environment for the 
life of recollection ; when he is making great 
distinctions on the rule of meditative attention ; 
when he is describing mortal sin as the total 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

abstraction of the mind from God Who is our end ; 
or when he is discoursing with St. Bonaventure, 
his contemporary. It has all the apprehension, 
but of the realisation at the centre little. 

It is about the time of St. Thomas, and for a 
considerable period after, that the literature, the 
priceless records, of the mystic life begin to be 
around us on every side. I know nothing of what 
if indeed anything was produced under the 
obedience of the Greek Rite during all the 
centuries that followed the division of East and 
West ; I could not say a word here concerning it, 
supposing that I knew intimately ; I can give no 
details even of the western evolution ; and if I 
mention a few names it is merely as a direction of 
research on the part of my own readers, who 
must follow it as they best can, if they do not 
know already. The names are familiar enough ; 
I have mentioned them continually enough in my 
other writings, and have summarised as occasion 
offered the specific phases of the subject which 
they represent after their proper manner. Those 
phases are different indeed ; I suppose that there 
is no contrast which can be called more distinct 
in its way than that which stands out in their 
respective writings between St. Bernard and St. 
Bonaventure the one an apostle of the ascetic 
rule of life, the other a doctor in ecstasy. Behind 
and about them both there stood the schools of 
the past and of their period, in which they were 
unconsciously steeped, though Bonaventure has 



The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

vestiges of Hermetic readings to which the other 
was a complete stranger. I should not say that 
they were learned in the great body of scholasti- 
cism, but each might pass as such in correspond- 
ence with a name that is much greater than 
either I mean the Admirable Ruysbroeck, for 
whom schools and academies might have scarcely 
existed, seeing that he found all things in the 
inward study of the Scriptures, and lights unseen 
on sea or land by any external eye in the Mass- 
Book and Breviary. At this day he is like all 
the great masters whom God has sent for our 
salvation ; he is little but a dead letter to the 
non-understanding mind, and in proportion as the 
mind which does understand, and see with its 
own eyes, under the medium of its own light, so 
does it draw the records into the degree of its 
proper consciousness, and they are born anew. 
When it is a high degree, there is a new heaven 
of knowledge created from the old elements. It 
is for this reason and in this sense that everything 
calls for re-expression in the great world of mystic 
thought ; it is only on this assumption that it 
becomes ours. 

I think that Ruysbroeck may be taken to 
stand for another epoch in Christian mysticism ; 
he is so utterly of himself and he owes for this 
reason so little to the things that preceded him ; 
at his greatest he is so great, that he is marked 
off naturally ; he is also the spirit in con- 
formity with what had come to be regarded as 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

the legitimate witness of the faith ; thereafter, 
under many modes, followed that other spirit 
which began to try new ways and to make for 
itself vestments which, though not intentionally 
after a new pattern, were variations from the 
ceremonial canons. I am not suggesting a per- 
fection in the one or a quality of defection in the 
other. For whatever the fact is worth, as the 
soul of the Church came to be more and more 
overlaid with the body of formalism, as doctrine 
in the course of its development lost more and 
more the sense of its own symbolism, as the soul 
of this world took up its dwelling in the House 
of God, the marriage between the life of the 
Church and the mystic life became more and 
more itself a convention and a veil. What has 
been called the anti-papal spirit which preceded 
the thing called Reformation by derision was in 
respect of the mystics neither direct nor con- 
scious protest against anything but the loss of 
life in grace ; it was indeed scarcely conscious on 
any side and in any sense, but the things which 
by essence had ceased to belong to one another 
remained in outward conformity by the help of 
external links only, or more especially. If we 
take such a tract as the English Cloud of Un- 
knowing, belonging to the fifteenth century, which 
in itself is a very high, noble and deep considera- 
tion of the soul, and how it is transmuted in the 
most inward fixity of thought, there is no ques- 
tion that on the surface it conforms to all that 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

seemed requisite in the councils of prudence for 
the period ; yet is there nothing more essentially 
independent of all official and external churches 
and their institutes. There is not throughout its 
length more than a single reference to the sacra- 
mental ministries or to the exalted offices which 
obtain in the ways without. That which is called 
the " statutes and ordinances of Holy Church " are 
not indeed to be abrogated, yet are those who 
have authority in the cure of souls placed side 
by side with others that are secretly inspired by 
the special motion of the Holy Ghost in perfect 
charity. We see in this manner but more 
especially in an hundred ways, which are in pro- 
portion the more eloquent as they are also the 
more tacit that in essence the most secret school, 
the anonymous and other doctors of the inward 
life, were drawing by the path of slow and un- 
realised detachment down ways which long since 
the Church, as an institution, had ceased to travel. 
That school in truth was never the spirit that 
denies, it was never that which denounces ; I 
suppose that it saw in its heart, and the more that 
it saw clearly the less did it feel the weight of the 
welded bonds: They lay indeed so lightly that 
the soul in the secret ways arose untrammelled, 
free through the blue distance of unbounded being, 
using perhaps, I should think, all old words in 
a new sense, repeating perhaps more often the 
name of Jesus as the redeeming office in those 
who had known redemption fell away in their 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

flight towards God ; testifying to the Christ 
nature as all distinctions of nature melted in the 
unified light of God ; preserving in fine the forms 
of doctrine when the grace within the forms 
had broken up all the vessels. It is conceivable 
enough that men like him who wrote The Cloud 
of Unknowing, being steeped in wells of experience 
beyond all fields of language, were unconscious 
that the old measures had ceased to contain what 
he was, even as he may have been also, perhaps, 
unconscious that he spoke in so far as he did 
speak the tongue of all anterior theosophy. 

It was a testimony throughout to the experi- 
ence which lies beyond doctrine, and the quality of 
the veils which are parted could not for such souls 
signify. If we pass through the night of reforma- 
tion, we therefore find the same quality of testi- 
mony borne by St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa, 
Jean d'Avila, how many, on the one side, and 
subject to their especial limitations by Fenelon, 
by Molinos, by Madame Guyon, on another. But 
the first triad held fast by the old tradition and 
the old forms in the ark of safe terminology ; 
while the second, never dreaming that they had 
done it, made all the intermediaries void, cancelled 
the church and its offices, and leaped direct toward 
the union. 

I am exercising no power of judgment, nor 
even creating any canon of distinction ; I am 
seeking in a few words merely to open the 
horizon, knowing that ultimately it must cover 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

not only the West but the East, and that some 
day, after yet other travels, I shall marry the East 
and West in the unity of their one mysticism. 
That which we have to realise for the purpose of 
the present concern is that something very near 
to our hands has testified through all the Christian 
centuries to a veridic and catholic root-fact 
discovered by all indifferently in the deep paths 
of contemplation. It matters to me nothing at 
the moment that all Platonism stood behind Diony- 
sius, or the East behind all Platonism ; it is of no 
consequence that Bonaventure drew from Hermetic 
books ; I do not seek to inquire what Molinos 
derived from Dionysius. The point is, that from 
the days of Apostolic Christianity the true men 
have, in the words of Saint-Martin, spoken the 
same language, for they have lived in the same 
country. They have all returned to tell us the 
same story. It is the story of the religion which 
has been always in the world and which St. 
Augustine identified with Christianity, though it 
anteceded Christian times. It is the story of the 
doctrine which is always secret, because it depends 
upon experience and is only realised therein. It 
is not represented by anything that is now under- 
stood as dogma, deriving as it does from a 
single thesis only that God is and that He 
recompenses those who seek Him out. He recom- 
penses those who seek Him in the public ways 
of devotion and observance, for which reason the 
church is the ark of salvation to every wayfaring 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

man. But beyond this gate and way there is the 
secret path which opens to the elect, and through 
which the elect go down along the endless vistas 
of the Divine, for ever realised and for ever tran- 
scending. " I bear the Divine within me to the 
Divine in the universe," is the categorical defini- 
tion of the state of eternal beatitude. 

It should be clear in this simple description 
that what I have termed, in virtue of a very high 
warrant, the secret mystic doctrine, may be said 
to have two parts a theory and a practice. The 
theory is triple in its expression : (i) that God 
is ; (2) that He recompenses ; (3) those who 
seek Him out. The practice was the mode and 
way of the Quest, as to which there was com- 
plete unanimity : it was the secret of going in- 
ward and entering the abysses of contemplation, 
with a fixity of consecrated will in the act of its 
utter surrender. Expressed after another manner, 
the theory or doctrine was that of Unity, and the 
practice was that of the Union. Having spoken 
of the will as the sum total of personality, and of 
its surrender as an act extending more deeply 
than can be realised in any common action of 
conformity, it should, I think, be understood how 
and why it has been always symbolised by the 
notion of death represented macrocosmically by 
the death of the Master-Builder. Those mys- 
teries of the past and present which I have been 
accustomed to call instituted, because they were 
and are artificial and ceremonial memorials, pro- 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

jected on the external plane as testimonies and 
sometimes as drag-nets, are mysteries of symboli- 
cal death, of the death called mystical, and they 
stand for that experience which is a mystery after 
another and real manner the mystery of release 
by the suspension of the sensitive life. The word 
release is, however, a keynote, and signifies that 
after the first act of blessed death in the Lord 
there was a second, which is connoted by the 
term resurrection, also symbolised in the pageant 
of many moving ceremonials ; but in the experi- 
ence there is such a merging and interpenetration 
that of the one it can scarcely be said that it ends 
definitely, or of the other that it has a beginning 
realised in consciousness. Looking through my 
own glass darkly, it seems to me that in recover- 
ing subsequently under the reflected light of the 
logical understanding there is an impression of 
coincidence at an indeterminate point, and this is 
the point when individual consciousness begins to 
shine in the Union. 

It should be understood that this state is not 
brought about by the practice of active contemp- 
lation, which is the last hindrance that the soul 
in its quest must set aside. It is the passive 
direction of " a certain naked intent unto God," 
having abstracted all qualities. As far as may be 
possible to the mind, the distinction between 
subject and object has itself passed away, because 
union is in the inward nature and suffers no 
distinction between the thinker and that which 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

is thought, between desire and its term, or, in a 
word, between the soul and God. All images 
are therefore cast out, however exalted, and 
what follows by the hypothesis is realisation, 
possession, intimacy, oneness ; it is the conscious- 
ness of the wholeness of the Divine Nature 
within us and of us in the Divine Nature. But 
it will be seen that this description is inevitably 
the antithesis of the state, expounding it by its 
admitted opposites and establishing division where 
it is intended to declare union. The force of 
language cannot reach thereto, and its essence is 
therefore sacrificial. We can only say in our im- 
perfection that the union is the union, that those 
who have attained it, in such fulness as is here 
and now possible, have partaken of the Blessed 
Life and of the reintegration which is the sum of 
all desire. They know that the traditional Fall of 
man has not cast him off utterly from the Crown 
and the End ot the Kingdom ; that he can again 
belong to his own and his own to himself; 
that a complete spiritual certitude is possible in 
this life ; and that there is one way in which 
every desire and longing and thirst and hunger 
and aspiration can be swallowed up in possession. 
We can trace this exotic practice through all 
Christian times, and by so much as the state 
attained was the more transcending, by so much 
also is the testimony as to what was experienced 
the more wanting. It will seem at first sight 
that it was known in the churches only, but there 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

are vestiges of other schools which it is certain 
were Christian also, but were not exactly of the 
churches, though they were assuredly not of the 
sects and had no stake in the heresies. I have 
defined the nature of the Secret Doctrine which 
inhered in the practice under the orthodox asgis, 
and in the adyta of the other ways there was, 
I think, the records of the great illumination per- 
petuated in symbolism, so that in a sense they 
were schools of inheritance. In the Hidden 
Church of the Holy Graal I have tried to shew 
that the most momentous evidences are in the 
books of Spiritual Alchemy, and the suggestion is 
that within the sacred sanctuaries of this school, 
wheresoever they may have been set up, there was 
more derived to the consciousness of the logical 
understanding, and hence to the veiled records, 
than was done in the purely personal and, so to 
speak, unaided methods of the Christian mystics, 
who worked in cells and hermitages. This is, 
however, an intimation only, and the evidence to 
offer regarding any superiority in attainment is 
one of particular inference. 

There is further no evidence that it was ever 
and anywhere in the West other than an attain- 
ment in Christ, Who was held to have opened the 
door to the heights of sanctity, even as the door to 
those who are redeemed in the lower degrees. I 
am not concerned here with anything beyond the 
bare facts, but it calls for record in connection 
with my opening words. Some day, under the 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Divine Providence, should this only continue to 
watch over me in the way of my dedications, 
I hope to determine the relation of the personal 
Christ to what, I suppose, has been called the 
cosmic Christ-conception. 

I have now dealt sufficiently for my purpose 
with the mystic object and fruition as it comes 
before us in what is the open way of its memorials, 
in the annals of Christian sanctity. It stands 
apart from all questions of dogma ; it neither 
added nor reduced anything ; no doubt for all 
practical purposes it depended on its implicits 
and on its explicated part, but it desired and 
reached out into another region. To set aside 
once and for all any predispositions with which I 
may be credited personally, I must, as an act of 
sincerity, acknowledge that the communion and 
union were of the kind which suggests that the 
Son had already given up the Kingdom to the 
Father and that all distinction of Persons had 
been merged in the unity of God. As an old 
author tells us, the work is in itself " the high 
wisdom of the Godhead, gracious and descending 
into man's, knitting and uniting it to God Himself, 
in ghostly prudence of spirit." 

I have spoken so far of the open ways chiefly, 
and as to those that were secret there are such 
testimonies as a rational rule of interpretation can 
and does derive from Spiritual Alchemy, of which 
sufficient has been said previously ; from Kabalism, 
but of this also I have spoken ; and, as it seems to 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

me, more expressly and intelligibly than all at 
least to the untrained mind in that which is the 
latest of all that reflection of the old Instituted 
Mysteries which appears on the surface of Masonry, 
and in the things that lie behind it of one of 
which w,e have still to learn. 

We can put aside, as we have seen, the 
testimony and claims which have been made by the 
modern schools, whether occult or thinly mystic ; 
they are the reflections of the past, but they are 
not the perpetuation of Secret Doctrine, even on 
its negligible side. They bear precisely the same 
relation to the Divine Tradition that is borne 
by Occult and Hermetic Masonry. The sense 
of them all lies between the covers of certain 
books written by him who is called " the modern 
magician " I mean, filiphas Levi. Like him, 
they are " false in sentiment and fictitious in story." 
That which remains among us as a real testimony 
from the past is the true and real Symbolical 
Masonry and its successors, lawfully begotten, 
in the High Grades. It is in this manner that 
there arises the question as to the term of research 
in Masonry, when the latter is regarded under the 
light of this declaration. The answer to this 
question will shew that the present section is a 
proper introduction to the next. 




AMIDST our many preoccupations, and under our 
many inhibitions, the great things seem lost or 
interned deeply ; they are hidden indeed until 
the consciousness within us is awakened. The 
awakening comes about in many ways, and among 
these there is the quickening reflection of the 
great things in symbols. Hereof is the light of 
Masonry, which recalls us to the old experience 
that experience which, from my standpoint, has 
been always in the world, which is implied in the 
official doctrines of the great religions but is 
attained by a direct process in the holy places 
where the Secret Tradition is reserved. We are 
now in the last stage of our journey, and what 
is perhaps the most arduous task of all remains for 
our performance, since it is time to say something 
more especially of this subject. 

We have seen that the High Grades which 

The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

are referable to the Ancient Alliance and its 
symbolic period neither can nor, for the most part, 
pretend to complete that mystery, some preface of 
which is shadowed forth in the Craft Degrees. 
Those that are anterior to the time of the Craft 
Legend are either concerned with details or with 
the circumstances under which the secrets of 
Masonry, amidst many vicissitudes, are stated 
to have been preserved. Those which are subse- 
quent to that period are either Grades of vengeance 
as if the judgment indicated in the Craft were 
not itself sufficient containing no symbolical 
meaning of importance, though they suggest the 
root-matter of an intention which afterwards 
became for a moment almost manifestly political ; 
or they are things of imputed completion which 
testify for the most part to their own vacancy. 
We have seen that in certain Secret Grades of 
interpretation a great symbolical importance is 
attached to the dedication of the First Temple, and 
we have seen also that the one Ritual which gives 
some account of this ceremony is negligible from 
all points of view. It is the first obvious lacuna 
in the Masonic subject and a great opportunity 
lost. I pass over here all that had been missed 
previously in respect of the Holy Lodge ; but as 
there was something thus wanting at the beginning, 
so there is a deficiency afterwards in respect of the 
Second Temple, for the Royal Arch represents 
only a vestige of that design. I have expressed 
with sufficient fulness my views regarding the 
VOL. IL u 305 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

symbolical position of this Degree, which is at 
once so important and yet falls so short of several 
reasonable expectations. It is a kind of half- 
way house in symbolism, presupposing a house 
before and a greater house to come after. 
There follows the great cohort of the Christian 
Grades, and I have selected some among these for 
more extended consideration as possessing within 
their own measure very high and persuasive claims. 
They are one and all, however, in the present 
position of the Latin Church, for they have lost 
the art of building ; I mean that all notion of the 
Third House of Doctrine passes out of their 
horizon, and that the Temple of Christ is never 
built in the Rituals, though there is here and there 
a reference to an erection in the heart. The 
thesis taken up by the Christian Grades which 
count for anything is that of the Lost Word, and 
its restoration is shewn in Christ. This restora- 
tion should have discovered the true building 
plans, which were also lost, and then the Mystic 
liouse could and should have been erected in one 
catholic and glorious Grade. In place of this we 
have Rites concerned with the guarding of the 
Sepulchre, Rites of the perpetuation of doctrine 
through Orders of Chivalry, and a hundred other 
mysteries which are interventions of new symbol- 
ism, leaving the original, canonical types and 
allegories unfinished. 

Let us now consider briefly, but from another 
point of view, what it is that we really attain by 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

the Christian restoration in respect of the Lost 
Word. I will deal in the first place with certain 
rumours concerning our present Grades in Jewry, 
if I may so describe them. For what his evidence 
is worth, Kenneth Mackenzie, who in his time 
came across many strange things, has affirmed that 
the Craft once contained the true Word, and 
I am not only sure that in his own mind he 
meant a word leading up to a synonym of Christ, 
but that he was thinking, and perhaps with more 
knowledge than ours, of other rumours which 
have affirmed that the original Craft Grades 
embodying Christian elements were once extant, 
and were afterwards held in concealment, as they 
may be to this day. 

I desire, however, to make it plain that, 
whatever importance we may attach to these 
intimations, it is necessary to exercise care lest 
we should draw a fallacious inference therefrom. 
The deeper the meaning behind the Craft- 
symbolism, and the more our construction of it 
may lead us to see that mystic Christianity lay at 
the root thereof, the more certain I am that it 
was never intended in the allegory to suggest a 
manifestation of Christ out of due season in Israel. 
I believe, therefore, that any Christian elements 
which may once have existed in the Craft Grades 
were not of their essence and were probably in 
the same position as the numerous traces of the 
New Testament that are found in the High 
Grades belonging to the Ancient Alliance. 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

If we could suppose for a moment that in the 
Great Legend of the Craft we were dealing with 
an historical event, my thesis would be that the 
House of Doctrine which, according to that 
Legend, it was intended to build in Israel, would 
have been, under the most favourable circum- 
stances, and if apart from any catastrophe, a house 
of many veilings. The externalisation signified 
by any manifest House of Doctrine must always 
intimate a veiling, but the one with which we 
are concerned was finished in the letter and not 
in the Spirit, because, by the hypothesis of the 
story, the true artist was removed. Among the 
few messages which count for value in two or 
three High Grades concerned with the period 
prior to the Craft Legend, there is a statement 
that the last secrets would have been communi- 
cated after the completion of the building, but 
the scheme fell through and the mystery was 
interned with the Master. This is, of course, an 
evasion, and one which sets forth by a contrast the 
scheme which obtains in the Craft, as shewn by 
the intervention of the memorable event, which 
scheme was to reserve during the whole period of 
the old covenant that which would be manifested by 
the new, while indicating that the Mystery of Christ 
was always imbedded in Jewish Secret Doctrine. 

Let us now consider for a moment one manner 
in which it was so imbedded and the things that 
follow therefrom. If we take it at the best and 
highest, it remains that when Tetragrammaton is 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

parted in the middle way by the holy letter Shin, 
we have the answer of Christian Masonry and 
Christianised Kabalism to the world-wide loss of 
Jewry, as echoed in Talmud and Gemara and 
Midrash through the ages and ages. And the 
Master-Builder rises as Christ, the Lord of Glory. 
Now these things, on the surface, are oppor- 
tunities for the exercise of faith or for the 
recognition of analogies between tradition and 
doctrine. It must not be said that their appeal 
per se to the logical understanding is stronger on 
the surface than the analogous appeals which the 
Divine Science of Theology has made to us 
through the Christian centuries. We have 
passed, or some of us, through too many initia- 
tions to be overmuch persuaded by that wonderful 
orthographical coincidence of a word and a 
letter, though they speak eloquently to the 
imagination, which is ever expecting miracles at 
any corner of the streets of thought. We also, 
knowing that nothing so great as the Grade 
Ecossais of St. Andrew, the Grade of Rose-Croix on 
its inward side, and the Grade of Heredom of 
Kilwinning, has been brought into Masonry, must 
confess that we are moved strongly by such a 
resurrection as I have intimated. But the great 
story of old is not rendered greater by the new 
mythical variant. The purpose which it serves 
is not therefore one of persuasion along the 
external lines, but it constitutes a very clear 
illustration of something which lies behind the 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Secret Tradition in Christian Times. In other 
words, it is an intimation that for this tradition 
the Christ-idea was always in the world. But if 
we are dealing here only with doctrine perpetu- 
ated in the hidden holy places, it would remain 
an intellectual concern, having no further appeal. 
We have therefore to see whether behind that 
doctrine there lay also a secret mode of experience, 
and with this object we will follow the question 
of tradition a few moments further. 

There are three mystical events which repre- 
sent epochs in the traditional history of the Word 
made manifest : (i) When the two tables of stone 
were " written by the finger of God," or as it is 
said more expressly : " and the tables were the 
work of God, and the writing was the writing of 
God, graven upon the tables." But what befell 
them was that Moses " cast the tables out of his 
hands, and broke them beneath the mount." (2) 
When the Word was in the hands of three or 
less stewards, but on account of a memorable 
event was so definitely lost that its recovery in the 
terms of the symbolism seems to lie between the 
hands of chance, destiny, or the providence which 
is veiled by these, and, in place of the pure light, 
the soul of man walks in the dubious obscurity 
of a half-light only. (3) When " the Word was 
made flesh and dwelt among us " ; when " we 
beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten 
of the Father " ; when " He came unto His own 
and His own received Him " not ; when He said, 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

" It is finished " ; when He " gave up the ghost " ; 
and when, in fine, the Word was removed by ascent 
to the Father. Now the unity of these epochs 
is in the resultant term of each, and this is that 
the Word was withdrawn. It follows that 
Christendom, like all Israel and all Masonry, is 
in search of that Word. The thesis is that it is 
hidden in the Secret Doctrine. 

Let us take yet another step forward : there is 
a holy tradition in Israel, and it relates as we 
know how the great mystery which lies behind 
the Law and the Prophets was preserved among 
certain elders, who were the co-haredes of Moses, 
by whom also it was transmitted. There is 
further a tradition in Masonry that certain 
memorials, connected with the passing of the 
Master, were instituted as analogies of the things 
that were removed, while it is otherwise suggested 
that they did not die with him, but remained 
thereafter among the secrets of the King. There 
is, again, a pregnant statement bearing on the 
return of Christ to the Father, namely, that 
He being lifted up shall draw all things after 
Him. There is also another statement, which 
says that He goes to prepare a place for them 
that follow Him. And the additional evidences 
are many of the same thing. The first path 
is that of the Secret Doctrine, and this same is 
a Doctrine of Experience ; the second is a path 
of search and expectation, which is followed 
by studying the Mysteries of Nature and Science, 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

these being properly understood as Hidden 
Nature and Hidden Grace ; but the same 
things do also appertain to the Secret Doctrine, 
and as Grace is termed Science, I understand 
that here also is a path of experience. But the 
third path is categorically and without evasion 
described as the Imitation of Christ, about which 
it is said : " Him that cometh unto me I will 
in no wise cast out." This, therefore, is, in 
fine, a path of experience, the conditions, modes 
and particulars of which appertain to the Secret 
Tradition in Christian Times. And the motto 
of this tradition is : " Come and see." 

I put forward, therefore, my new thesis that 
the records of these epochs are testimonies to a 
doctrine and practice which have been in the 
world from time immemorial, and have been 
shadowed forth in many ways, under many veils. 
There are also other epochs which constitute 
further testimonies to the same thing, because 
that thing is everywhere. 

And now, speaking once on authority which 
is not of my making as one who holds certain 
keys belonging to the house of interpretation 
speaking rather as one who has dwelt under the 
shadow of the Secret Tradition and reflects the 
authority thereof I proceed to give expression 
for the first time in public to its root-matter, so 
far as the past is concerned which lies behind 
Masonry. Readers of my former books and of 
these pages will remember that I have quoted 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

more than once those last words of Plotinus 
when he said that he would bear the Divine 
within him to the Divine in the universe. The 
point with which I am here concerned is that 
expression the Divine in the universe. It is 
not my proposal to pronounce on Plotinus 
himself in respect of his intention ; but it is 
observable that, for reasons of his own, he did 
not speak of union at the centre, or of the infinite 
abysses of Deity which lie behind manifestation 
and all relations therewith. Once more, it was 
the Divine in the universe. We may fitly connect 
with this statement the old theological doctrine 
concerning the distinction of Scotus Erigena 
between the Divine immanence and the Divine 
transcendence. God is immanent in creation or 
Nature, and it is for this reason that the whole 
universe constitutes a great sacrament, of which 
man is receiving daily ; but he does not for the 
most part know that it is a sacrament, and for the 
most part he has not been taught or at least has 
not learned how to receive it worthily. He has 
failed therefore to attain, except intellectually, and 
then even rarely, the consciousness of God's 
immanence in Nature much less His presence in 
the soul. On this understanding I suppose that 
it will be realised with all readiness how remote 
in respect of consciousness is God's transcendence. 
It might be concluded that it is an intellectual 
concept only, after the mode of hypothesis. And 
yet a little thought at first hand will tell us that 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

in respect of ourselves there can be no dividing 
line, and that the limitation is in fact in ourselves, 
so that many arbitrary barriers and lines that 
divide are raised up to separate us from the un- 
trodden grounds of the human soul. The Holy 
Catholic Church has indeed intervened for our 
assistance, and, whether designedly or not in 
respect of its own high distinction as above 
expressed, it has given us the instituted sacraments 
as channels for the communication of the nou- 
menal grace, the grace transcendent, the grace 
from the deep abysses, being things superadded to 
the grace which is immanent in Nature. Now, 
these things remain with their implications as 
symbols only till they are taken to the inmost 
heart, and it is assumed concerning them that they 
are great in the shadows of our consciousness as 
they would be great in its light ; but that light is 
not yet. Those who have trodden the higher 
paths of sanctity have left strange rumours behind 
them, so that in our dubious manner we seem to 
see from far away how it might be, could we only 
on our part confess to other measures than those 
of daily life. The great secrets would then be 
declared in the soul which are now only implied 
therein ; but the fact that they are implied is 
shewn by another comprehensive and consoling 
fact that no secret of any sanctuary which has 
ever been announced in the world has come to the 
prepared of the world otherwise than as an old 
truth suddenly remembered. It will be the same 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

with the truth which concerns us here and now, 
for we can possess all things by intellectual con- 
ception, though we may not as yet by realisation. 
The immanence of the Divine in the universe, 
as the term itself implies, is the concealment of the 
Divine in the universe. God hides Himself from 
all search which we make after Him in Nature, 
because Nature is a veil, and it is of the essence of a 
veil to conceal. When, according to the exalted 
symbolism of revealed doctrine, the Word of God 
became flesh and ex mysterii hypothesi the Deitatis 
abyssus gave up that which otherwise it is said never 
to yield, namely, a form, the veil in some respects 
is indicated as the deepest of all, since it is said that 
the manifestation was in " a man of sorrows and 
acquainted with infirmity," in one who was apart 
from all " sightliness, that we should be desirous 
of him." It was only in the Word of the mouth 
and the glorious contagion of the life thereto 
belonging that the Divine Nature was declared for 
a brief period, in virtue of which It spake as never 
man spake. And in this connection it should be 
suggested that when Christ returned in the glory 
of the corpus super natur ale ^ in the body of the 
resurrection that is to say, when the sacraments 
of the natural world were interpenetrated by the 
sacramentalism of another and more exalted order 
even in the most symbolic and extra-literal of all 
the Gospel records the most truly Divine speech 
recorded of Him, is that Pax vobiscum which is 
the formula of the Grades of Peace in the world 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

of the Supernal Triad, in that world which the 
Kabalists have classified as Kether, Ghokmah and 
Binah the world of transcension. It will be 
remembered that when the young man was re- 
stored to life, he arose and began to speak, but we 
are told nothing of his utterance ; and that Lazarus, 
who had been dead for three mystic days, must 
have carried a strange burden in his heart, but 
it has not been drawn into language. So also we 
learn that Christ was in communion with His 
disciples, but there is no book of the words there- 
of. If Dante had made his pilgrimage otherwise 
than in vision, we should not have had the Divina 
Commedia. The conclusion is that when the 
Word is manifested in the symbolism of speech, 
the force of the super-nature cannot go further in 
respect of parting the veils, and, vice versa, mani- 
festation in the arch-natural body interns the 
speech of the Word. 

These things are signified in the Secret 
Tradition by the symbol of a cube, which repre- 
sents the universe of created things ; this cube 
encloses, ex hypothesi^ the Divine Word which 
operated in the externalising universe. Now, the 
use of this term intimates that the work may be 
one of eternal going on, and that as there is no 
assignable limit in space so there is none in the 
analogies to our concept of time. It follows that 
God is immanent in creation, that He is concealed 
in the abyss of material things a latens Deltas in 
Nature as there is a latens Deltas in the Eucharist. 

The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

Certain High Grade Masons will be reminded 
here that in one of the degrees of chivalry the 
Verbum secretum is shewn to the Candidate in a 
cube. When the Verbum secretum manifests as the 
Verbum caro factum^ the cube opens out and pre- 
sents the only other figure which is possible to its 
geometrical dimensions : that figure is a cross. 
Therefore it was necessary that the Word made 
flesh should be exalted on a cross, or crucified. 
When so uplifted, it is said, as we have seen 
otherwise, that the Word draws all things after 
it ; but whereto does it draw them ? The answer 
is given by St. Paul : into that place or state where 
their life is hid with Christ in God. We can put 
it differently by describing the third stage of the 
same symbol. When Christ said Consummatum est 
and gave up the ghost, His body was taken down 
from the Cross, which is said mystically to have 
closed up its limbs, reassuming the form of the 
cube, and the Divine manifestation dissolved back 
into the Divine immanence. It is said also that He 
descended into hell, and His resurrection thereafter 
was not to the world but to the Holy Assembly. 
Now, this statement by implication answers 
the question, shewing that in being drawn after 
and following Christ the soul of man is taken 
inward and bears its divine part, like Plotinus, to 
the Divine in the universe. Then the Word 
which was made flesh becomes the Word which 
has been made soul in the abyss of our humanity. 
And this is the marriage of the Lamb. The 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

state of being hidden with Christ in God is the 
state of union with the Divine immanence. St. 
Paul also says : " I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth 
in me." That is to say, the microcosm has become 
after the manner of the macrocosm and, even as the 
cube of the symbolism, it embraces all things by 
a catholic figure and contains God who is within 
by the intimate immanence of a close indwelling. 
The institution of this analogy carries with it the 
identical intimation which I have already shadowed 
forth in respect of the external universe. The 
marriage-work of the Divine indwelling is one of 
eternal going on, and seeing, as I have said 
already, that there is no dividing-line between 
immanence and transcendence, it follows that the 
soul of Plotinus does in fine bear the Divine 
within it through the deep abysses to the centre. 
And then Christ gives up the kingdom of the 
soul to the Father of the soul, and God is all 
in all. 

It follows also, and is taught in the Secret 
Tradition, that man is, in another sense, like a 
mystic cube wherein the Word is immanent, that 
there is a way by which it is awakened, so that 
the Word speaks through the body of the Chief 
Adept and the Christ-life is manifested. 

The most explicit Masonic symbolism of all 
this mystery is in the Grade of Knight Templar, 
wherein the whole duty of the chivalry is to 
guard the cubic sepulchre, which itself is never 
opened or explored, but the crucifix stands upon 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

it, the lights of the first wardens of the expounded 
mystery burn for ever above it, while the panoply 
of the spiritual chivalry is heaped on it and about. 
And because of the equivalents of the Name Jod, 
He, Van, He, which is the character name of all 
the antecedent Grades, confessing to the veils of 
doctrine within the meaning of the First Cove- 
nant, and because the Postulant is symbolically 
and actually initiated therein, he is shewn at some 
time of the ceremony that which is as if an 
emblem of the Mystic City descended four square 
out of heaven. And the City contains the equiva- 
lent of Jod, He, Shin, Van, He. And the Masonic 
Name of God, so far as it can now be pronounced 
upon this earth, in hac lachrymarum valle, is com- 
pleted, for those who can hear it, in the name of 
Christ mrP and nWPP so that the Military and 
Religious Order is in its own way the ne plus ultra 
of all the Degrees. But this is the true mystery 
of the Divine life in man. Yet are there Masonic 
Knights, as we have seen otherwise, who will say 
that the Military and Religious Order is not a 
Grade of Masonry. 

We are now in a position to appreciate the 
mode of correspondence which exists between the 
Christian elements in the High Grades and that 
which I have termed throughout the Secret Tradi- 
tion in Christian Times. It offers, as though in a 
few words, the simple summary thereof. There 
is no one who can say with authority whether the 
makers of these Grades were acquainted with that 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Tradition at first hand. Personally I think that 
they were like some writers of Graal romances : 
they had heard a rumour at a distance ; but they 
may have brought over something direct from 
past Rosicrucianism and from the Catholic mysti- 
cism of the past. If not, they are like L. C. de 
Saint-Martin, who, years after the publication 
of UHomme de Desir, discovered, in the increased 
light which he derived from Jacob Bohme, that 
he had written more wisely than he knew. In 
such case, it should be counted to them for 
righteousness, though they knew not fully what 
they said. 

All this is bright and shining in the light of 
a certain simplicity, but that which lies behind 
the Craft Grades presents another side of the 
shield of symbolism, and on the surface is more 
involved. Fortunately there is nothing in- 
extricable, and I will at once put the comparative 
position shortly as follows : The Christian High 
Grades are a symbolical testimony to the imman- 
ence of the Divine in the universe and the mani- 
festation of that immanence from within to 
without in the mission to the universal world of 
Christ the Saviour. It is in this sense that He 
brought life and immortality to light. Such is the 
root-fact ex hypothesi of the Secret Doctrine. Once 
more, the Craft Grades present in a traditional 
story the particulars of a plan to manifest the 
Secret Doctrine in a Holy House of Knowledge, 
and the failure of that plan because of a conspiracy 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

among the lesser initiates to lay hold of the 
secrets prematurely. It will be remembered 
that the Craft Legend nowhere exhibits any 
colourable reason why the attempt should have 
been made or what profit was likely to follow 
therefrom, and hence it is not a story which 
carries any aspect of verisimilitude on the 
surface. It is only by its interpretation on the 
present lines that we begin to see the reason and 
understand the meaning. One inference is that, 
just as in the Graal romances, the world was not 
worthy. It must not, however, be assumed that 
the Master was visited for an intention to betray 
the Mysteries, though such an interpretation 
has a plausible aspect. He died to reserve the 
Mysteries, but that which in the legendary 
sense he was concerned in erecting was a 
House of Initiation for their communication 
canonically and in order. When he died the 
plan of manifestation closed up, as if the cross 
were refolded into the cube. It should be noted, 
however, that the cross is not a symbol which is 
allocated to the Craft Grades, because it was not 
ex hypothesi in the Master Builder that the deep 
gave up a form. The Stewards of the Mysteries 
are represented as acting on their own responsi- 
bility, and if they were historical personages it 
might be said that they miscalculated the signs 
of the times, because of which the fatality super- 
vened. In any case, rather than betray his trust 
the Master carried it in the story where the 
VOL. ii. x 321 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Immanence becomes the Presence, being that 
place where God recompenses those who seek 
Him out therein. It is perhaps of faith in 
Masonry that King Solomon was initiated, and 
shared in the trust ; but there was another king 
who has been, so to speak, co-opted into the 
mystery for the constitution of a triad in the 
stewardship, and as he was not under the Law 
and the Covenant there is nothing of faith con- 
cerning him. I believe, however, that the whole 
pretext of the triple stewardship is definitely later 
than the original system of the Craft Degrees, and 
that the involved symbolism which was devised 
to uphold the Royal Arch important as it is in 
the sequence, taken as a whole has done more 
than anything to confuse the issues of the subject. 
I have therefore qualified my statement on the 
question of faith in respect of the positive side ; 
but it remains that in the Craft Degrees per se 
there is something which does indicate, directly 
and clearly, that the King of Israel shared in 
the attributed secrets of the Master Grade. My 
reference to this subject is, however, by way of 
parenthesis, as it is as an accident or a side-issue 
of the whole research. 

It remains that in three successive ways the 
hand of God is represented as interposed amidst 
history and symbolism, to lead some representative 
part of humanity from the letter which is without 
to the spirit that is within ; and I return in this 
manner for a moment to the three mystical events 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

registered earlier in this section. There was, firstly, 
the promulgation of the esoteric, original law, but 
those who had come out of Egypt brought with 
them the preoccupations of Egypt ; secondly, 
there was the building of the House of Doctrine, 
but the initiates of the Lesser Mysteries rent the 
channel of communication and the source of 
knowledge was dried up ; there was, finally, the 
pure light of every enlightenment by Him 
who came for the redemption of all initiation 
and the eduction of all Grades to their full per- 
fection ; but they crucified the Lord of Glory. 
The beneplacitum termino carens gave in the first 
instance the substituted Law of Severity as an 
available school of amelioration for the fallen 
people, and the symbolic Ark of the Covenant 
was built in the Lower Wisdom as a symbol of 
the Law of Lesser and Veiled Doctrine. In the 
second instance it gave the Shekinah to the Temple, 
at that time when the Ark was placed in the 
Sanctuary ; but the Ark after all contained only 
the Law of Expediency and not the Law of 
Deliverance : it was also an implied portent of 
the bondage to come. In the third instance 
but here I can speak only of that which I divine, 
because neither Secret Doctrine nor Instituted 
Mystery has dreamed of what might have 
followed had the Prince of Peace been set upon 
the throne of the world ; I can say only that 
the same beneplacitum gave us the Churches of 
Christendom in place of the Kingdom of Heaven. 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Having now taken the subject as far as my 
present warrants enable me, there is an express 
question with which I must deal in the next place, 
being itself of a twofold character : What is the 
root-teaching of the Secret Doctrine, and what 
was and is the experience which in several ways 
I have indicated as lying behind it ? On the 
surface it may seem indubitable for the ordinary 
earnest student that such a subject must remain 
essentially undemonstrable, for two evident reasons : 
(a) because those who are initiated and know 
cannot speak, while (b] those who may endeavour 
to speak cannot know. Now in regard to the 
first dilemma, the fact that initiation does not 
act as a complete closure or, like the cauldron 
of Ceridwen, as a process which restores the 
mystically dead to spiritual life, but does not give 
tongue in that life is shewn by the illustrative 
fact that it is possible to write books, like the 
present book, which deal in an intimate manner 
with manifest and sub-manifest Freemasonry, and 
yet maintain, with religious fidelity, every secret 
veil that has been drawn over those external details 
which alone can be held as secret. At no time 
has the term of research been hidden from any 
eye which is capable of discerning that term. 
The second dilemma is therefore by implication 
set aside, and more especially because a few persons 
who like filiphas Levi have claimed that they 
owe their initiation only to God, and their 
researches have proved after all to be really 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

affiliated with the Mysteries in one or another 
form, though they have not received the highest 
initiation, which forbids paltering with the truth 
on the great subjects. 

As the Secret Doctrine is catholic it is for 
that reason inclusive, and because it is inclusive 
it can be approached from many points of view 
and presents many phases. My object, however, 
is to deal with the root-matter, which is capable 
of expression almost in a net statement, namely : 
that the path of return is open. This will convey 
to the reader according to the measure of his 
apprehension, while to those who have no appre- 
hension it will communicate as it is designed 
to impart nothing. There is a point from which 
the mystic cannot err, and that point is in the 
centre ; there is a way of seeking the centre, and 
those who follow it must come to the end of their 
journey. The subject of research is called by 
many names, and one of them, which serves the 
purpose here, is the way to the blessed life. The 
soul comes from afar, but its outward path was 
one of separation. The complement thereof is 
called the path of return. 

I have followed the intimate science of this 
path through the literature of Christian Times, 
and have found its traces everywhere. The 
question does not fully concern us now, as this 
thesis is not historical ; yet it is not merely certain 
that the Science did not begin with Christianity, 
but that Christendom, though it derived it on the 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

one hand, and this fully, from its own implicits, 
did also draw or at least receive a concurrent com- 
munication from another fountain-source in Greek 
theosophy, the succession of which on its own 
part is complete without break. It is symbolised 
on both sides in a multitude of ways from the 
time of Pausanias onward. The root Greek 
allegory is found in the fable concerning the 
Garden of Venus, which is the most explicit 
pictorial statement concerning the Secret Doctrine 
that I have found in Greek literature. I have 
already dealt with the subject in . one compre- 
hensive essay, and I must not recross my ground. 
The meaning of this fable has never entered into 
the heart of any commentator ; but beyond the 
steps which I have measured previously in 
respect of it, there is one step further which I 
will attempt to expose in this place. The Garden 
of Venus was a certain paradise of delight, into 
which the soul came forth by the way of mani- 
festation. There is no description of the issue, 
and there are indeed no details of any kind, but 
there always remained in the Garden a very 
narrow path of return, and this path signified the 
process of reversion on the work of material 
generation by which the natural body comes 
forth with the things that are implied within it. 
I do not think that there is any one following now 
the life of thought who can err in understanding 
if I say that all men come into this life as into the 
Garden of Venus, and that the mystic work is 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

actually a going back on the path of entrance. 
It is, of course, an emblematic work, for there 
is no need to say that the exit is not physical, as 
if a man should return whence he came through 
the body of his mother. Now it is in this 
extra-literal sense that the mystery of generation 
is the root-mystery of Secret Doctrine, which 
reminds me that mythologists and experts in 
folklore have always mistaken the sign for the 
thing signified. It is true, for example, as we 
have seen, that the solar mythology once served 
as a veil to delineate those deeper things which 
underlie all mythology ; it is true, as another 
example, that the secret doctrinal knowledge 
with greater depths behind it was draped in the 
mysteries of generation ; in fine, it is also true 
that vegetation, growth and decay, seed time and 
harvest, that last fashion of folklore, concealed 
those same mysteries which are not of fashion, 
because they lie below the common wells of 
understanding, and are not of a season, because 
they are as old as manifested consciousness. It 
is none of my concern that these veils and signs 
and fables were doubtless offered to the profane 
as the central truths of the cultures, so that 
spiritual darkness was perpetuated for the people 
through the long horror of idolatrous ages. 
But we are almost without means for deciding 
whether that was not given them which they 
were fitted to understand only, while there was 
often a way of entrance left open for the few who 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

could find it. Here is another sense of Pausanias 
regarding the Mystic Garden. Again, it is no 
task of mine to qualify the abuses of the old 
systems ; it is sufficient that a knowledge of 
what is called the lineal path is a very old 
scientia sapientia. I do not think that, in any 
exclusive, invariable, or even general sense, 
it was preserved among the priesthood, though 
it usually wore this aspect, and in some cases 
existed within it. It passed over in Greece 
to philosophy, and it seems to have been sus- 
tained and extended therein when little remained 
but the forms in official sanctuaries. There came 
that saving and enlightening time when all the 
old external theogonies dissolved before the 
doctrine of Christ, and were fulfilled rather than 
destroyed therein. During the Christian centuries 
I believe that the way was always known to a 
peculiar people, who, with the whole sincerity of 
detachment, did not merely render to Cassar the 
things that belonged to Caesar, but all that they 
claimed in the outward ways to pope and 
patriarch and priest. 

Well, the Secret Doctrine was a mystery of 
going back on physical generation and being 
reborn into another Garden, which was not that 
of Venus. In the sense of sentimental symbolism, 
this was a Garden of Spiritual Flowers, but in 
better terminology the correspondence between 
the two ideas is like that of the House of God 
as it was externally built by Solomon and 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

Solomon's Temple Spiritualised. The mystery 
is one of rebirth, and it is separable into two 
modes, the first being that of its formal expression 
by means of doctrine, and, at a greater distance, 
by means of type and fable ; but the second was 
the process by which the mystery itself was 
melted in experience and the epopt did actually 
return and enter what I have called not that 
the phraseology satisfies me that other and 
spiritual garden. He remembered whence he 
came and he found whither he was going ; he 
was regenerated in the consciousness of the soul, 
in that state which is apart from the bondage of 
mortality. There is an almost generic distinction 
between this process and that which passes in the 
modern and reformed world under the name of 
conversion, although the experience of conversion 
is good, true and real experience, after its own 
manner. The one is like the firstfruits of 
redemption, the other is redemption realised. 

It will be seen that the root-matter of the 
Secret Doctrine rests in the pre-existence of man's 
spiritual part, which, so long as it is distinguished 
from the material and arbitrary systems of 
metempsychosis and other forms of reincarnation, 
is not of necessity foreign matter to official 
Christian theology. It should be understood 
further, that although the theosophies and mystical 
schools of the East and West have very strangely 
divided and sub-divided the spiritual part of man, 
all the distinctions and all the shades of distinction 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

are referable to stages of consciousness. It is a 
question of opening successively the closed doors 
within us, and it is in this manner that we reach 
what is called in mysticism the Palace of the 
King, the Holy Palace at the Centre, wherein 
we cease from our travellings, having reached the 
term of all ; and seeing that the Presence, which 
is Divine Immanence in Nature, is also a Presence 
in us, it is at this term that the Divine Immanence 
is in fine withdrawn into the Divine Transcend- 
ence, and the soul passes with the one that it may 
attain the other. This is Divine Union ; it is 
also the exaltation of Christ on the Cross, that He 
may carry all things after Him. 




HAVING spoken with all sincerity, to the full 
extent of my power, on that subject apart from 
which the present book would have no title to 
existence, nor could its existence seem possible, 
there is one branch of the instituted Mysteries of 
which something remains to be said, and because 
of its relation to the subject it has been reserved 
till this stage. The Secret Doctrine has within 
Masonry in one sense, and yet not exactly of or 
belonging thereto, another form of enshrinement 
which constitutes not only the most luminous 
veil of the Doctrine but contains an explanation 
in transcension of the Craft symbolism itself. It 
is a Secret Rite, and any allusions thereto must, 
for this reason, be very carefully worded ; it 
communicates a number of Degrees, arising one 
out of another in an ordered sequence and 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

forming thus an integral and inseparable whole. 
For the purpose of the present allusion I 
need, however, mention five grades only, as 
follows : 

1. That which is in correspondence unaware 
with the Masonic Grade of Neophyte : it 
symbolises the birth of the soul in the conscious- 
ness of the intellectual understanding. 

2. That which responds to the Grade of 
Fellow-Craft, wherein the Mysteries of Spiritual 
Nature and Concealed Knowledge open like an 
immeasurable region as they are indeed outside 
of time and space before the soul on its return 
journey and ascent. 

3. That which stands by itself, apart from 
all things in the Craft and with no real corre- 
spondence anywhere in the High Grades, though 
it offers shadows of resemblance, as of great 
things with small, to those of which something 
has been said in their place to the legend which 
affirms that the Master was found, not dead but 
sleeping ; to that also which intimates that he 
lived for many years after his ordeal and sacrifice 
in the further East. This is the mystery of Him 
concerning whom it has been said, in many 
regions of the universe, and in many religions of 
the inmost heart, that passus et sepultus esf. But 
it is death in the grace of the Lord, and a mystery 
of that sleep which comes by a gift to the be- 
loved. It is the sleep of Christ in the new tomb 
of a garden in Calvary. It is, moreover, a macro- 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

cosmic legend, and as such also it is that of 
Christ, as it is that of the Master Architect. But 
their story herein is told after another manner 
not in identification with the Legend of the Craft, 
with the synoptics or the Fourth Gospel. This is 
the Grade in which the seeker finds the declared 
mystery of Divine Immanence and the first fruits 
of the resurrection are set forth on the warrants 
of the great testimonies of old. It is, as I have 
intimated, the mystery declared in the macrocosm, 
and though in the root-matter it deals with the 
same subject, it is not in correspondence with 
the dramatic part of the Craft Mystery of 
Masonry. There is, however, a very curious 
and profound correspondence with the historical 
side of the Craft Legend, which side in mystic 
chronology, if I can so describe it, precedes 
that mystery of speaking with which I am 
dealing in the present place. It is also the 
doctrine of man and his experience in passing 
from things without to the realisation of the 
Divine within. 

4. That which conveys on the high mountain 
ridges, and as if in a language peculiar to those 
heights, the same message and tells the same 
story as the dramatic side of the Craft Legend 
tells and conveys on lower ranges of life and 
thought. It concerns that path through the 
darkness which is celebrated in so many Mys- 
teries. It is a Rite of mystical death, as death 
is known to the Masters. It is a synoptic and 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

catholic Grade, which in terms of absolute 
philosophy gives explicitly and without veils the 
raison d'etre of the previous Mystery, shewing the 
fundamental reality on which it is grounded, 
while it is equally an explanation of the Craft 
Legend in its historical aspect, and finally, as 
I have just indicated, it is the Craft dramatic 
mystery presented on the noumenal plane. There 
is nothing else required to understand emblematic 
Masonry to the very deeps of its meaning or to 
demonstrate why of necessity it is incomplete in 
the Craft Grades. Its ceremonial mystery is 
much too great for any legend to attach thereto ; 
it has abandoned all omens and signs outside 
the matter of the soul, and it unbinds the soul 
in symbolism from the yoke of the material 

5. That which has no correspondence either 
in the Craft or the High Grades, but is the 
completion of all, as it is of all the crown and 
exaltation. In this, which is truly the ne plus 
ultra^ outside the worlds that are supernal and the 
symbolic portal thereof, the Master who has 
overcome life and death, who has conquered 
the averse powers within him, as well as the 
kingdom of this world, who has passed through 
a greater mystical experience than that which was 
met with of old in the Cauldron of Ceridwen, 
is given the glad tidings which he shall speak 
henceforth and for ever in the Holy Assemblies. 
It is the Grade of the victorious epopt, the 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

Grade of the mystic city descending four-square 
out of heaven, or even of the Divine Word made 
manifest, clothed in the power and the life of a 
world to come. 

I have searched in many realms of symbolism, 
and I have not only found that the great things 
are, as one might say, almost everywhere, but that 
they are imbedded in many places where no one 
would look to meet with them. As the result 
of all these researches and searchings, which I thus 
indicate by a mere phrase of allusion, I bear 
witness that in all the Instituted Mysteries there 
is nothing to compare with this great, secret 
system of complete initiation. The analysis 
which I have given should justify in the mind of 
my readers the initial suggestion concerning it, 
that it is actually the Key of Masonry, and as 
such it is the more valuable because, although it 
is in a sense at the present day within Masonry, 
unknown to the brotherhood at large, it could 
not be said accurately to have come out of 
Masonry at the beginning of its history, or to 
belong to it now in any incorporated sense. In 
respect of its history, this is singularly imbedded, 
but some of its roots go back to a period when 
the speculative science had not clearly risen into the 
light of day. I am not concerned in maintaining 
or assuming its antiquity, actual or comparative. 
In the mystic school which I represent otherwise, 
antiquity is respected assuredly, but it is not a test 
of value, and if one should arise among us who, 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

out of his personal illumination, should produce a 
Minerva of symbolism, all armed and vested, we 
should be prepared on its own testimony to judge 
concerning it and to take it into our heart of 
hearts if it proved to be born of light. That 
which comes into its own is received among 
us. The new things unfortunately do not appear 
as a rule, if indeed ever, bearing the warrants 
which ensure recognition. But the system with 
which I am dealing is of a mixed nature in 
respect of its claim upon the past. I offer no 
means of identification concerning it, in part 
because I am not able, and in part because it is 
unnecessary in the present place. It is a matter 
of experience that those who are meant for 
reception are drawn at the proper time within 
the circle that leads thereto. As no great writer 
has remained in complete obscurity, so there are 
no elections which become void and go utterly 
astray ; but here it is necessary to understand 
the old distinction between the people who are 
called out of all tongues and nations, and those 
who in fine are chosen, these being comparatively 
few. There are, further, many disappointments 
in such exotics of life and thought ; and, even 
on the threshold of things which partake at their 
height of the absolute, disappointment sometimes 
awaits the seeker, from which it follows that 
some who are chosen for the preparatory part 
are not really pre-dedicated to that which lies 
beyond the first gates of reception. 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

There is one point more, to close this part of 
the subject, and it follows a simple council of 
sincerity. Having spoken in such terms of this 
Rite within Masonry, it may fall out that some 
of my readers will err concerning its limits. I 
add, therefore, that, like all other systems with 
which this work has been concerned, it conveys 
the sacraments according to the order of the 
sacraments that is to say, symbolically : as such 
it is the vestures of the Great Work ; were it 
otherwise to adapt certain words of Saint-Martin 
it would be the Great Work itself. Here, as 
elsewhere, it remains for the recipient of the 
mysteries so to translate them into his life that 
what is shadowed forth in types and emblems 
may pass into, the certitude of experience. If 
anywhere in this world of ours there were one 
Rite or Grade which was warranted by God 
or man to convey the experiences, there would be 
no need to write of the Secret Tradition in 
Freemasonry ; there would be only to proclaim 
that Grade or Rite. 

It is therefore within its own measures, and 
these only, that I speak of these peculiar claims and 
have briefly developed their relation to the Masonic 
subject, which is not the result of imitation, as if 
one had borrowed from the other, but of identity, 
variously developed, in the root-matter. In this 
connection, and that I may make the point clearer, 
it ought to be added that there is perhaps no Rite 
which seems upon the surface to have less of the 

VOL. ii. Y 337 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Masonic manner of presentation, except in respect 
of the universal and indispensable facts of opening 
and closing the Lodge, Chapter or Sanctuary. It 
is otherwise after its own kind and is comparable 
to nothing but itself. The identities are therefore 
of essence, and not of form, but even in respect of 
the essences they have undergone a strange trans- 
formation, as if they had been drawn into a 
celestial rather than an earthly language. Once 
only in the course of the system is there a claim 
made upon legend or the shadow of an historical 

And so it comes about that there is a Rite 
within Masonry which is a key to the proper 
understanding both of the Craft and of those High 
Degrees which deserve, on their proper warrants, 
to be connected with the Craft and regarded as its 
development or completion. To shew that there 
is a sanctity in covenants like those which are 
taken in Masonry and some other of the Secret 
Orders, this key exists as I have said without 
any official cognisance on the part of the Masonic 
Fraternity, while the members of the more with- 
drawn sodality do not for the most part know 
that they hold the key of Masonry, though many 
doors have been opened within this Rite which 
lead to the sanctuary of the soul. 




HAVING heretofore, at such necessary length as 
the opportunity of the moment offered, displayed 
after what manner the treasures of hidden things 
are contained in Masonry, and as that which 
remains over having still the last things to express, 
it is desirable to pause for a moment and, apart 
now from outer ceremonial and defined symbolism, 
to try and realise how the Grades and the Rites 
give testimony on their own part within the 
measures of the literal word. There are, I suppose, 
three measures of testimony which may be con- 
sidered without preface in their proper order, and 
moving as such from comparatively small begin- 
nings to the greater end. 

There is, firstly, the ethic of life, and this lies so 
obviously on the surface of the Rituals that the 
mind tends to grow weary of a recurring iteration, 
and may even take refuge in the rebellious mood, 
as I have done once or twice on my own part in 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

the course of our quest. Let us therefore recognise 
now that the moral side of the Masonic concern is 
not only the gate and the way by which those 
must enter who would go up the Mountain of the 
Lord unto the House on the top of the Mountain, 
but is that also which has constituted through 
many generations the wide appeal and the great 
motive power of our Speculative Art. It is along 
this line that the speculative becomes the practical, 
and the emblematic is made operative in a high 
degree. My book has been written to indicate 
that it is not the sole appeal, nor is it the highest 
of all, but it is the preface and the one thing 
which is requisite and presupposed before any 
other can enter truly within our horizon and 
within the region of our attainment. I need not 
recite here the things that are included in the 
Masonic ethic of life ; they are familiar to all the 
Brethren and are matters of world-wide knowledge 
among persons who are outside the Craft and its 
dependencies. I need add only that for those 
who can go no further the moral side of Masonry, 
the doctrine of peace on earth not merely to 
men of goodwill but to humanity at large is 
a great and saving thing to take into the heart, 
and this alone would therefore justify the Brother- 
hood and constitute its clear title, supposing that 
there were nothing beyond. It is an art of 
building, within the limits of its proposition, the 
just and perfect man in Nature and Society. 

But there is, secondly, the doctrine of religious 

The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

duty, as this is commonly understood ; it recog- 
nises that the Brotherhood of man depends from 
the Fatherhood of God, and that the duty of man 
to man presupposes another and more exalted 
duty, being that of man towards God. . The 
Masonic sense of this subject has a wider aspect 
than is offered by the consideration of mortal 
life, and it belongs in a manner to an eternal 
standard, because by the hypothesis there are 
" immortal mansions " above in which we may 
have a place for ever. It will be seen that I am 
expressing this position in language which is not 
my own ; I am using that of Masonry ; but again 
these commonplaces of the great subject are 
important in their own way, because they are 
another side of that wide and universal appeal 
which Masonry has exercised for generations 
within the limits of the Brotherhood and has 
reflected to the world at large. It is a testimony 
of theism alone, conditioned by certain implica- 
tions regarding Divine dealings under the Old 
Covenant of Israel, and there are many points 
of view from which it is deficient enough ; but 
in respect of its two doctrines concerning God 
and everlasting life, it is of the root-matter of 
faith. There is no doubt, as such, that it has 
led, and is still leading, many to an elementary 
recognition of Divine things who might scarcely 
attain it through the offices of church and creed. 
Hence also, effectually or not, it is the practice of 
another art of building the building of a spiritual 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

man : it is a work begun in order ; it may not do 
more than lay the foundations ; but these are 
ready and established strongly for a super- 
structure to be laid thereon. I am speaking 
rather of the Craft, for it would of course be 
the thesis on behalf of the High Grades that they 
do raise the spiritual edifice even to the capstone 
thereof, or, in other words, they have that by 
which man may be developed into the perfect 
stature of the Sons of God. 

Morality and theistic religion : these corre- 
spond well enough for my purpose to the idea of 
Lesser Mysteries, and I know, also well, that in a 
proper understanding the Greater Mysteries are 
in Christ. But there is thirdly and lastly a transi- 
tion in the Craft itself which is at least an intima- 
tion concerning the bare existence of a ne plus 
ultra in the order of Disciplina Arcanorum^ and 
out of it arises the deep consideration of mystical 
death and resurrection. Neither church, nor sect, 
nor creed, nor pageants of the Rosy Cross in 
their highest state of symbolism, nor the Grades 
above all Grades of the High Grade movement, 
can convey anything beyond, anything fuller or 
more vital, than is contained in the catholic 
understanding of this subject. It is the root of 
the Secret Tradition and leads to the term of 
its research. For those who know thereof, there 
is in Emblematic Freemasonry the hint of an 
art of building which is not of the stature of 
man in Nature or Society, but that of the 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

self-knowing spirit, when it knows all things 
in God. 

The explanation is that the state of mystical 
death is in the simplest form of language 
though not for such reason preferable the setting 
aside once and for ever of the life of self; and 
the union in the life of God is the state of mys- 
tical resurrection. There is no High Grade 
and there is no Craft Grade which does more 
than offer an allusive suggestion, a pageant, a 
symbol or an allegory on this subject ; but it is 
the suggestion, the symbol, the allegory, which 
give them their place in the true Mysteries. 
They are otherwise a defence, a proclamation 
of doctrine on the literal side purely theistic 
or Christian as the case may be. It is for this 
reason that I have a word to say upon doctrine. 

There may be some of us who have admitted 
to ourselves that the policy of the Vicar of Bray 
is not after all such a very improper policy to- 
wards official churches and religions, whether in 
East or West ; that, subject to the unwritten 
dictates of la haute convenance, none of their 
differences, and assuredly few of their warrants, 
are worth the price of a martyrdom ; that it was 
more especially in the early ages of our more 
particular Christian churches that men suffered 
the high passion for doctrine ; that it gave 
martyrs to the churches, but it gave also inquisi- 
tors ; that we in this present time are " like sun- 
beams lifted higher " that is, above the concern 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

and its pleadings ; that men change their religions 
as in Masonry they pass from the Craft Grades 
to the High Degrees ; and that, for example, the 
transit from something called Protestantism to 
something else that was once called Popery is not 
unlike that from the Degree of Mark Mason to 
the 1 8th Degree of Rose-Groix. 

But perhaps after all we shall find, if we 
choose to go far enough, that external doctrine 
is one of the keys which do open the Sanctuary, 
and, because of it, that many in the East and the 
West shall ascend with a deeper understanding to 
the Altar of God, as they did in those days of old 
when no man thought it necessary to renounce 
the signs that are without, because he was on the 
Quest of their inward and withdrawn meanings. 
It seems to me, therefore, that the current criticism 
of religion on its recognised ground, including a 
nondescript sometimes termed higher criticism, 
may be left to those who pursue it, bestowing 
such blessings as we can now bestow thereon. 
It is often the valuation by those who do not 
know of that which above all things is calling 
for direct knowledge in other words, for the 
criticism of inward experience ; as such, it is no 
part of our concern. I believe myself that dogma 
is passing through the kind of dissolution that 
goes before its resurrection in a new and trans- 
formed body of our desire after spiritual attain- 
ment. Among other things, the spirit of so- 
called liberal Christianity seeks to set us free from 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

nearly everything, including the yoke which once 
was sweet and the burden that was once light ; 
but it is like physical science per se, and cannot 
offer us the true charter of our liberty. If it 
could, we should be rather in the place of attain- 
ment than in the place of search. 

In its proper understanding the authority 
within does not set aside any lawful authority 
without ; it is sometimes its spokesman. We are 
bred in the letter, but it befalls that at some 
period many of us depart therefrom : if we do 
not enter into the spirit, we drift towards open 
disbelief; if we do so enter, we may one day 
come back to the letter with a higher understand- 
ing thereof. Whether in the East or the West, 
like the fairy gifted poet, we may see that the 
same thing is everywhere, all Grades Masonic 
and extra or super-Masonic the expression in 
lower terms of that Grade which has never been 
drawn into language, and the aspiration towards 
that Lodge which has never been consecrated on 
earth ; all Christian churches the symbol of that 
Church of the plenary grace that is entered only 
from within ; all great religions the spokesmen 
after their own manner of that ancient, ever new 
truth and beauty, the subsistence of which has 
been declared to us from the beginning of things, 
and there is not one of the elect who has not 
heard the voice of it in the centre of his heart. 

We have seen in various ways that the ex- 
perience of religion is everywhere ; we know 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

that it is heard sometimes even at the corners of 
our streets as the imperfect testimony of a clouded 
light rising in the consciousness of a Salvation- 
Army speaker or of an itinerant preacher. But 
herein, as in all other parts of our subject, as in 
all the scattered ways of thought and activity 
through which I have been seeking and in- 
gathering the vital threads and fibres by which 
they are connected with realities, I must bring 
back these memorials to the point which is at 
issue throughout. I must keep faithful to those 
gifts of evidence which I have received and to 
their light breaking over paths which I have 
travelled. As regards, therefore, all that which 
the outward ways of official religion intimate 
and keep alive in the heart concerning the 
religion which is within, let me say in conclu- 
sion that, expressed in symbolism, the mementoes, 
the shadows, the lights of a direct experience, by 
which I mean the religion that is within, are 
preserved in some of the old Instituted Mysteries 
as they are preserved in those other shrines and 
sanctuaries of which I have been speaking 

It may be a hard saying for the tyro, but I 
call it fortunate on my own part, that we only 
bring out from the Instituted Mysteries that 
which we have taken therein. We bring it out, 
however, as I have affirmed elsewhere, after 
another manner ; but as in the churches them- 
selves, so in these, we are only given the materials 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

of our spiritual building and we must build with 
our own hands. The issue from the Garden of 
Venus must be by our own act. The road is short 
to the gate of direct experience, and short to the 
church-door of that religion which is within ; but 
it is not for this reason easy to open either. 

Now, therefore, seeing that we have reached 
the term of our research, we may pause and 
enumerate some of those new things that have 
been found in the course of our quest, because 
the ground has not been familiar or travelled 
often ; much of it, indeed, has lain in unfrequented 

I. Symbolical Masonry is a testimony to the 
existence in the past of a knowledge which has 
not found expression in words respecting its 
practical part. It is therefore a closed, and not 
an open, testimony. 

II. Masonry is the hypothetical record of an 
assumed intention to put that knowledge forward, 
if not in the plenary sense, at least with fewer 
veils : as such, it is an excursion in symbolism 
for a specific concealed purpose, and it goes on to 
shew that the intention was frustrated under cir- 
cumstances of which we hear only in still deeper 
language of evasion and parable. The intention 
itself is more especially a mode of commemorating 
the existence of the Secret Tradition. 

III. The secret knowledge referred to was 
concerned not with hypothesis but experience, 
not with doctrine, though it had an essential 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

ground therein, seeing that theory must precede 
practice, but with practical science. 

IV. As to the nature of the experience, we 
have conceived in part concerning it, and we have 
tried not so much under reserves as tentatively 
to reconstruct the hypothetical method. 

V. It is almost certain that the reconstruction 
is, as such, substantially a failure, because parts 
are wanting of necessity, and it may well be that 
those parts are vital to the reader. The hindrance 
is in the limitations of expression. 

VI. But I feel sufficiently convinced to affirm 
that the conception, as outlined, is not itself ex 
hy pot he si. I am sure that it is very truth of 
truth divine. 

VII. Craft Masonry is a memorial of these 
things, and so being it is good and precious. It 
has borne very helpful witness in my own case, 
and I doubt whether in its absence I should have 
reached my present grade of certitude. 

VIII. At the same time I had the master-key 
from elsewhere, or I should never have opened 
the secret door and Closed Palace of the King. 

IX. I had also a clear notion otherwise as to 
the nature of the Hidden Treasure, or I should 
not have recognised that Masonry was a witness 
to its existence. 

X. That Treasure is not, however, offered to 
possession therein ; it is, as I have just intimated, 
the fact of its existence certified. 

XI. The certitude offered by the greater 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

High Grades is also concerned only with a 
question of fact ; namely, that the plans for the 
House of Doctrine were restored in Christ ; but 
those plans are not fully communicated, and as 
to the Treasure of the House, there is no deeper 
indication given than is that of the Craft Grades 
concerning the Old Law. 

XII. It should be noted that no Grade Craft 
or High imparting the sense of Masonic 
symbolism connected with the Ancient Alliance 
exhibits any mystery as taking place or abiding 
within the official Sanctuary : this is reserved for 
a far more secret Order. 

XIII. So also there is no High Grade, com- 
municating imputed secrets connected with the 
New and Eternal Covenant, which offers any 
suggestion of a Mystery or Rite as abiding or 
enacted within the official Christian Sanctuary. 

XIV. These are facts of singular symbolic 
importance which have never been noticed by 

XV. The Grades of Templar chivalry, with 
their consanguinities, developments and imitations, 
are concerned with or exhibit a vacant sepulchre 
in place of a living Locus Sanctorum. 

XVI. There are other Grades which say that 
the Word is Christ, and that His is the Ineffable 
Name. From this it would seem to follow ex 
hypothesi that although there were mysteries 
and especially of the instituted kind, under the 
asgis of the Old Law, there are none, or there is 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

nothing communicable, under the Law of Christ, 
Who is at once the sum of all mystery and all 

XVII. But this is not a correct although it is 
a plausible inference. The true intimation is that 
the House of Doctrine has never been built in 
Christendom that is to say, has been never ex- 
ternalised, though it is built daily in the heart, 
and after many manners, per omnia sacula sczcu- 

XVIII. That is to say, the secret and sacred 
Mystery which Christ came to communicate has 
not yet been published, though fragments of its 
Divine Body are found in all languages. I 
believe in my heart that this strange implicit 
would be interpieted wrongly as an impeachment 
of the official and external churches ; the refer- 
ence is rather to a wisdom in Christ which lies 
behind authorised doctrine, and is its fulfilment, 
not its antithesis. 

XIX. It is again a testimony to the fact of a 
secret doctrine enshrining a secret experience as 
in Israel, so also in Christendom. 

It must be confessed that this study has not 
proved exotic only, but elaborate after its particular 
kind. It has demonstrated once and for all, by 
clause and by clause, the relations subsisting 
between the Craft and High Grades, and the 
next question which arises in this concluding part 
is naturally the position wherein the latter are left. 
I have justified the title of the Quest by delineat- 


The Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

ing after what manner there is root-connection 
between the Crafts and the High Grades in 
respect of the Secret Tradition in Christian Times. 
A parte ante et a parte post, that tradition is 
identical, and has never told its story to those 
who have ears otherwise than in one way. A 
remarkable thing regarding High Grade Masonry 
is that those Rites and Degrees which officially, 
and by their express claim, connect with manifest 
departments of the Tradition I mean, records 
such as Alchemy, Kabalism and Magic are pre- 
cisely those which offer the least light which 
are neither integral to Masonry nor germane to 
the Tradition itself; while variants of Rose-Croix 
Grades, Grades of St. Andrew, Grades of Chivalry 
and so forth, which report nothing and have 
heard nothing concerning occult science, contain 
the exact developments of those reflections which 
in Craft Masonry are the most faithful pictures of 
the Tradition in certain phases. The Kabalistic 
School in Masonry, which is only represented 
thinly, which obtained no currency and exercised 
no influence, represents a tradition that is interest- 
ing in its own manner, but is derived through 
Latin channels and is governed by the Christian 
preoccupation belonging thereto. The Hermetic 
School, which offers curious features, is parted 
into three heads. That which confesses to the 
predispositions of Abbe Pernety shews no con- 
sciousness whatever on the spiritual side ; Baron 
Tschoudy has strange implicits in some of his 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Grades, but his involved hypothesis, owing some- 
thing to Templar tradition, something to physical 
Alchemy, and something to the astral-theurgic or 
religio-magical school of Martines de Pasqually, 
is much too confused to convey any certain idea 
as to term and purpose ; finally, the Grades of 
Alchemy gathered into the RITE OF MEMPHIS 
and that of MIZRAIM are little better than 
spurious, and it is wise to say so frankly, 
rather than to confuse the issues. No mystic 
at the present day, and no one who follows in 
right paths the Quest of the secret Tradition, 
will expect anything from Magic, but something 
by way of exception must be said for the RITE 
OF ELECT COHENS, which had exceedingly high 
concerns within the limits of theurgic motives. 
We have, however, to set aside these for the 
adequate reasons given in their particular sections, 
but it will be seen that in this manner the High 
Grades, regarded as containing Masonic messages, 
and therefore separable from a multitude of ex- 
traneous issues, are reducible into a measurable 
compass, and a much greater reduction remains 

A final ceremonial supplement of the Craft 
Grades has as yet never entered within the horizon 
of Masonry. That which is requisite is an 
answer to the implied question left open by the 
central legend without exceeding the limits of the 
Old Law, or alternatively there must be an answer 
which shall embrace all laws and all dispensations. 


Of the Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

Instead of this we have had particular responsions, 
and in one case being that of the Royal Arch 
a replica, which increases the difficulty while 
making the claim to remove it. Christianity has 
given a momentous answer in Masonry ; it has 
added one letter to the Divine name in Israel 
mm and has produced nwm. That is the true 
answer for those who can receive it, among whom 
I ask to be included, for the sake of the Kingdom 
of Heaven ; but it is not absolute, and it does not 
carry conviction per se to all tongues and tribes 
and peoples and nations, while the secret doctrine 
is Catholic on all the planes of manifestation and 
of being. Moreover, if we admit that the one 
word is a restoration and completion of the other, 
it still covers only a part of the Masonic subject, 
and if we admit that it completes the Word we 
have seen that a plan of the Secret Doctrine is 
not conveyed therein. 

This is so far clear, according to my present 
lights and subject to the faculty of expression. 
There remain otherwise a few matters on which 
the last word must be said at this stage, and I 
schedule them for greater facility as shall here 
follow : 

(i) I have affirmed that certain unknown 
initiates took over and transmuted the Trade 
Guild and thus created emblematic Freemasonry, 
or alternatively if by possibility we could 
accept the hypothesis of Mr. R. F. Gould they 
were already the custodians of a Secret Rite which 

VOL. ii. z 353 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

in some manner and measure corresponded in the 
root to Masonry on the symbolical side. Who 
were these unknown initiates ? My answer is and 
can be only that they were inheritors at some far 
distance of the past instituted mysteries. They 
may not have been learned in the antiquities of 
Egypt, because at their period there was no scholar- 
ship on the subject ; the whole of Greek literature 
may not have been in their hands by an intimate 
acquaintance therewith ; but they knew that 
which lay behind the mystic doctrine of figurative 
death, and the resurrection by which that experi- 
ence is made perfect in the consciousness of the 

(2) In respect of such death and renewal they 
knew that the mystic life must first be led by the 
Postulant. It corresponded for them to that which 
I have termed throughout the Christ-life in the 
spirit, the mystery of which life lies like a hidden 
jewel in the House of Christian Doctrine, but the 
Keepers of the House know not where it has been 
hidden. They know not, moreover, that the 
House of Doctrine is itself a House of Conscious- 
ness, or the pearl of great price might not have 
been far from their seeking. 

(3) The result is that the Christian Churches, 
with all the glorious intimations and pageants of 
holy rite, are in the same position precisely as 
Craft Masonry itself and the High Degrees, for at 
this day they are warranted only to impart the 
great things of all in symbolism, not in experience. 


Of the Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

(4) The unknown initiates, on their own part, 
symbolised this fact by a loss in the Sanctuary, 
the loss of a Great and Holy Word. They incor- 
porated emblematic Freemasonry and set the 
brotherhood therein on the quest thereof; and 
because of the holiness of the House of official 
doctrine, they depicted at a certain stage a sub- 
stituted recovery, taking care that, this notwith- 
standing, the quest went on. 

(5) Now the end of this quest is formulated 
by the High Grades, and that which they should 
have communicated for the plenary establishment 
of their claims is the Divine Life manifested in 
the world and soul. That which they offered 
actually was a replica of Christian doctrine, 
another attainment in symbolism, not in experi- 

(6) Within their own measures they were 
right, but the result was a further substitution. 
This is how in the essential aspects the Christian 
Grades fail ; this is why the Craft, under its 
present limitations in respect of consciousness, 
cannot recognise its highest sequels, even though 
some of them do connect in the external sense 
with the Secret Tradition in Christian times. 
They do seek to build a more perfect House of 
Doctrine ; it is a spiritual house in theory, but it 
has not become for the builders a House of 
Consciousness. Moreover, the plans restored in 
Christ have not been put into the hands of perfect 
Craftsmen, and the work is therefore unfinished. 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

(7) The unknown initiates belonged to the 
Secret Tradition on its Christian side, though they 
must have known that there are other names. 
This is my answer to one of the initial questions 
as to the Christian implicits in the Craft Grades. 
The whole secret of Masonry formulated in a 
single phrase is Ghristus intrinsecus, which phrase 
contains the essential distinction between official 
doctrine and the inward realisation of that truth 
which is Divine. In such realisation that which 
is Divine in man and the universe passes from con- 
cealment through experience in the consciousness, 
and the adept carries, like Plotinus, the Divine 
within him to the Divine in the universe, and to 
the centre also. 

(8) This is the term of the Masonic pilgrim- 
age, when those who have travelled so long from 
the East even to the West take at last the return 
journey, by way of that North which is not a 
quarter of the world external, and are reintegrated 
in an eternal East. 

(9) Here lies the pearl of great price behind 
the Secret Tradition ;* and it is the hidden know- 
ledge concerning the Lord of all the Mysteries. 
The name of this Lord is Christ, but again there 
are other names. I think indeed that He has 
been called by all names which have ever repre- 
sented for man that which has been conceived by 
man concerning the Divine in the universe, which 
is also the Divine within. 

(10) As a last word respecting the return 


Of the Mysteries on their Mystical Side 

journey and the rest at the East thereafter, it is 
this which the old masters sometimes spoke of as 
the Wisdom in Paradise. The legend of this is 
recurring ; it means that which is attained at the 
East, but this East is a centre, and every Mason 
should know that he cannot err therefrom. The 
purpose of Emblematic Freemasonry within the 
limits of the Craft was to provide a memorial of 
the quest ; the purpose of Christian Masonry was 
to show where the quest ends ; but it has rested 
too much in the letter of those words which are 
communicated in the official churches. Their 
indications are beautiful and moving ; the true 
secret is within some of the Grades for those who 
know how to find it ; but most of them do not 
know, and the Wardens cannot tell them. So it 
comes about, for these and the other reasons, that 
the Lodges, Preceptories and Chapters have never 
been empowered to take the perfect closing. 

That which remains is the quest ; even at the 
best and the highest, the Grades and Degrees can 
communicate only in symbolism. The path which 
leads to the term must be travelled in the world ot 
experience by each for himself. It is possible to 
indicate the path, and this . I have sought to do, 
but no one can travel it with another. 

And so the quest goes on. And the quest, as it 
may be, ends in attainment we know not where 
and when : so long as we can conceive of our 
separate existence in any sphere and under any 
veils, I know that the quest goes on an attain- 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

ment continued henceforward. And ever shall 
the study of the ways which have been followed 
by those who have passed in front be a help on 
our own path. And in the extension of our com- 
parative knowledge of all that has been done and 
attained in the past along these directions towards 
the term, there is the most wise, enlightened and 
informed of all researches. Hereof are our 
warrants in considering, as I have now done, the 
claims and antecedents, the motives and prospects 
of the Rites included by Masonry. The lesson 
which we have brought away is not less important 
and not less salutary because few delusions remain 
in respect of most ; it is well always to know the 
paths that do not lead to our end. 

It is well, it is of all things beautiful and per- 
fect, holy and high of all, to be conscious of the 
path which does in fine lead thither where we 
seek to go, namely, the goal which is in God. 
Taking nothing with us which does not belong to 
ourselves, leaving nothing behind us that is of our 
real selves, we shall find in the great attainment 
that the companions of our toil are with us. And 
the place is the Valley of Peace. 

1bere enbs the Secret Gra&ition in 








THE classification which follows is a bare outline and 
register, designed to indicate that, for those who care 
to follow them, there are further memorials in Ritual 
which correspond to the motives classified in the text of 
these volumes. They may serve the purpose especially of 
inquirers and collectors, though I fear that most of them 
abide in regions of fatuity which I have forborne to 
enter, or at least to travel for a distance, because it must 
perhaps be confessed that here and there I have paused 
for a season on the borders. Some unheard of curiosities 
in outline, the account of which here is given, may carry 
with them an implied recommendation to let that outline 
stand for the whole. 

The Qrade of Sublime Master is referred to the 
imaginary RITE OF MARTINISM and to the archives of 
the SCOTTISH PHILOSOPHICAL RITE. It is possible there- 
fore that an existing Ritual was taken over or adapted 
by the RITE OF MEMPHIS, which allocates this title to 
the sixth Grade of its system. It is the fifth of the 
poses two apartments, of which one is the throne-room 
of King Solomon and the other that sacred place 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

containing the tomb of the Master ; the ceremony is 
one of his interment. Except in so far as the grief and 
confusion of the period may be said to lend it a certain 
shadow of motive, the procedure is irredeemable in its 
folly, and the procession which carries a sham bier 
from one chamber to another combines the ridiculous 
with irreverence. The Candidate who has shared in this 
business is, however, proclaimed to be the Son of God as 
a consequence of the soul's immortality, which in some 
inscrutable manner is regarded as the lesson of the Grade. 

As it is difficult to meet with any oder suavitatis in 
unrolling the Masonic mummies of Memphis, I will 
turn in the next place to the EARLY GRAND RITE OF 
SCOTLAND, wherein most of the follies are not made worse 
by irreverence. I think, in this sense, that we can 
recite our Pax over the ashes of a Grade entitled Master 
of the Blue. 'King Solomon has built his Temple as 
well as it was possible in the literal art of Masonry, 
and the Queen of Sheba has come from the uttermost 
parts to test his knowledge or discretion. She carries 
two wreaths, one of them being composed of artificial 
and the other of natural lilies. Throwing them at the 
feet of the King, she invites him to distinguish between 
them, but the artificial flowers are so cunningly devised 
that he finds himself at a loss completely. It happens, 
however, that the incident takes place in a garden, and 
by overturning a hive the King solves the difficulty, for 
after a few moments the bees in their wisdom settle on 
the natural flowers. Such is one of the specimens 
put forth by the prolific manufactory for the production 
of High Grades ; and yet one forlorn obedience thinks 
that it is worth preserving. Shall I for once be over- 
subtle on my part and say that the Degree offers a 
canon of criticism though of what is another matter ? 
I reserve my speech. 

The Grade of Intimate Secretary belongs to a very 
different obedience, being that of the ANCIENT AND 
ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE. It should be regarded in 



symbolic chronology as preliminary to the Mark. The 
ceremony depicts a meeting between Solomon and the 
King of Tyre with reference to the exchange of certain 
cities in Galilee for cedars of Lebanon. The lessons of 
long research are learned in a school of patience, and the 
gift of discerning symbolism bids many dry bones live, 
but I know of no patience which can suffer the applica- 
tion of this kind of episode to the purpose of Ritual 
and no words of power which can say to this kind of 
effigy : Arise and live. 

I have not pretended to class these things in any 
consecutive order, but this is as much as I shall cite in 
the concerns of the First Temple. The EARLY GRAND 
RITE, which has taken out a peculiar warrant for con- 
fessing its own issues, has gathered into its Mark series 
a Grade entitled Master of all Symbolic Lodges, of which 
I have spoken otherwise ; but there is also a Grand 
Mastery of the same denomination, which is numbered 
sixty-one in the RITE OF MIZRAIM, and has been falsely 
identified with the Noachite or Prussian chivalry cf 
the SCOTTISH RITE. The President of the Lodge 
represents Cyrus Artaxerxes, and the Candidate is 
Zerubbabel. He reappears as the Knight of the Sword, 
rather than that of the Trowel, in MEMPHIS and the 
PRIMITIVE RITE, claiming audience as the first among 
his equals, a Mason of rank and a captive in Babylon. 
His object is to remedy, by an appeal to the King, the 
condition of his brethren, to secure their return to 
Jerusalem and the building of the Second Temple. The 
offices of dream have prepared the royal mind to comply ; 
he invests Zerubbabel with full power to carry out his 
plans and girds him with the sword that Nebuchadnezzar 
took from Jehoiachim, King of Jerusalem, when the 
latter was drawn into captivity. The discourse attached 
to the Grade certifies that the mission of the Knight of 
the Sword is to deliver his brethren from misery, for 
the chivalry is an institution based entirely upon charity 
and the abnegation of self. 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

There is also the Knight of Jerusalem under the same 
obedience, and in this the Prince of the People, having 
reached Jerusalem, has discovered out of all expectation 
that the Sanhedrim is in session thereat, under the 
presidency of Nehemiah, the locality being the ruins of 
the First Temple. Zerubbabel is deputed to undertake a 
journey to Babylon and represent to Darius (a) that the 
Samaritans have prevented the glorious work of re- 
building ; () that the monarch in earlier days had 
promised to restore the holy vessels. The reception of 
the Candidate involves this task and, apparently on his 
supposed return to Jerusalem, he disentombs the altar, 
the vessel of incense and the Sacred Delta of Enoch, 
another emblem which had been lost to the Craft since 
the destruction of the Temple. It will be seen that 
this Grade is preparatory to Prince of Jerusalem. Its 
procedure is one of complete and ludicrous confusion, 
as exampled by the President representing Nehemiah 
and the Senior Warden Darius. 

I am without other noticeable specimens in respect of 
the Second Temple at its initial period, and as I do not 
propose to dwell upon Knight of the Orient, in which the 
Craft is plunged in sorrow because Judas Maccabeus is 
slain and the Temple of Zerubbabel profaned, I shall 
pass to the Grades of Chivalry ; but as I have intimated 
that neither gold nor gems will be found in the heap of 
waste products, I shall take up a few points with a 
certain glitter of title as the accidents of reference may 
lead. It should be understood, however, that such 
nondescripts as Knight of Choice, Knight of the Sublime 
Choice and other imputed chivalries in the days of the 
Old Alliance, do not enter into our consideration. We 
may distinguish two broad classes in those that remain 
over, being (a) Grades which are without allocation in 
respect of historical time and (fr) those which, ap- 
proximately or otherwise, may be held to connect with 
events in the New Testament. As an example of the 
first, there is Knight of the Red Eagle, and this is of 



Memphis. The Candidate, who may be probably 
relieved from responsibility as one who does not know 
what he says, makes a profession of faith in what appears 
to be the doctrine of emanation and renounces the 
profane world ; he descends metaphorically into the 
earth, as the abode of death ; thence he comes forth 
alive, to be purified by air, water and fire, after which he 
is held to be liberated from the bonds of prejudice and 
the stains of vice. The reward of his trials is a version 
of the legend concerning the Dionysian architects and 
the revelation that St. John of the Apocalypse was an 
initiate of the Kabiric Mysteries, which existed in Judea 
at the time of Christ. In respect of Freemasonry itself, 
this art seems to have travelled from Palestine, and from 
the Temple of Solomon, to Rome under Numa 
Pompilius ; it was in Britain during Roman domination, 
and it was amalgamated ultimately with the Hermetic 
Societies. So do the spurious Degrees manufacture 
not only their own history but that of the Craft at 

A transition from the obedience of Memphis to 
that of Mizraim will enable the curious enthusiast to 
pass at the same time from the first to the second class 
of the two chivalries which I have distinguished, and 
he may become a Knight of Palestine. He will learn 
something of priests vowed to the service of the Temple 
in the days of Esdras ; but the opening declares that 
the temple of Zerubbabel is destroyed, and he finds that 
he is at Jerusalem in the apartment of Godfrey de 
Bouillon. He may become also a Knight of St. John, 
which in this connection is to be distinguished from 
Knight of St. John the Evangelist. The ceremory takes 
place in the sanctuary of that chivalry, and the pledge 
is without an imprecation, without penalties, a simple 
covenant of honour. The secret words communicated 
are those of the Order in Palestine, because others are 
said to have been used by the Knights who remained 
in Europe. The Grade has no point of interest, except 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

the shadow of an Eucharistic Observance, which is 
celebrated at the end. Bread is eaten in token of love ; 
wine is drunk in ratification of the vows that have been 
taken and as a bond between the brethren, to sustain 
one another. There is no Masonic connection, imputed 
or otherwise. There is also the Knight of the Christian 
Mark, as to which it will be remembered in the 
Apocalypse that neither the earth nor the sea, neither 
trees nor vegetation, were to be hurt till the servants 
of God had been sealed in their foreheads. So is the 
chivalry of the Christian Mark supposed to have been 
sealed and so set apart from the world, but whether 
the approaching destruction of all mankind, apart from 
this little company of the elect, was apprehended in 
the mind of its founder, I have no power to say. 
The signing is so utterly symbolical that it seems to 
take place automatically by the fact of reception into 
the Council, and the Candidate represents one of the 
guard supplied by the Knights of St. John to Pope 
Alexander. I do not gather which of these pontiffs 
is indicated, but the Knights chosen were well known 
as zealous and devoted Masons. This is, I suppose, 
one of the Grades which would have been termed 
Jesuitical by Ragon, but I think better of the great 
society in respect of its subtlety. The implied intention 
of the ceremony is to enroll a spiritual chivalry. 
Beyond this Grade there is the Holy and Illustrious Order 
of the Cross, but the talismanic title notwithstanding 
I am compelled to say that it is nothing, and if there 
be anything which is less than nothing, it is also less. 
The brief ceremonial proceeds from opening to closing, 
conveying no lesson, no history, nor even a legend. 
The form in which I have seen it has no doubt been 
subjected to editing apart from understanding, and an 
earlier codex might supply some vestige of design 
which is now wanting. In the Knight of Bethany, a 
transparency shewn in the Temple recalls an important 
point in the Grade of St. Andrew. The ceremony 



embodies a visit to the Holy Sepulchre, apparently at 
the time of the Resurrection. Here there is, of course, 
a reflection from the Knight of the Holy Sepulchre^ and 
it is said as to the Object of Quest that " He is not 
here but is risen." The Candidate is reminded that the 
Word can be discerned only by the eye of faith till 
the Angel of Great Council is beheld in the world 
above. The sequel hereto is Knight of the White Cross, 
in which the Ascension is commemorated. 

Those who are in search of some further vestiges 
concerning Hermetic Masonry will not discover that 
which they are seeking in certain Grades of Memphis 
which I have omitted to mention previously in 
frankness because they seem almost to bear away the 
palm for complete fatuity. 1 will simply enumerate them 
for such a hypothetical student's benefit. The Knight of 
the First Property of Nature learns that this property 
is the general and indeterminate state of matter, under- 
stood to be at first chaotic, but order is evolved by 
stages. This is the 34th item in the miraculous 
system, and there are six further Grades dealing with 
other properties namely, Cohesion, Fluxion, Coagula- 
tion, Accumulation, Station or matter at rest, and in 
fine Division. An old and banal exorcism testifies 
that seven are they who know not the law of order, 
and seven are these against sense, but such inventions 
lack even the jingle of bells on the fool's cap. 

The sense of equilibrating justice tempts me to 
add that these seven temples of unreason under the 
imputed shadow of Hermeticism may be contrasted 
with similar constructions which the unsearchable 
wisdom of Mizraim has raised under the shadow of 
Kabalism. They are : (i) Knight of Banuka, which is 
concerned with the Jewish Feast of Light ; (2) Very 
Wise Israelite Trince^ which may be regarded as intro- 
ductory to (3) Sovereign Prince Talmudim^ in which 
the most profound sciences are cultivated but not 
communicated ; (4) Sovereign Prince Zadkim, wherein 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

is an astronomical mystery, for the Pole-Star is located 
in the West ; (5) Grand Haram, in which the guide 
of the ancient mariner has reached the South in the 
course of a reverse circumambulation ; (6) Grand Prince 
Haram, where the sun and moon appear simultaneously 
in the East ; (7) Sovereign Prince Hasid, and several 
others, much after the same manner and to the same 

Outside the classification which I have adopted, there 
are things of the detached kind that are a little curious, 
though they have no symbolic importance, Masonic 
or otherwise. There is Priest of Eleusis, in which the 
Postulant enters the Temple, seeking for light amidst 
the Instituted Mysteries of old. By the hypothesis, 
therefore, he is in the shadowed light of Paganism ; but 
Eleusis has been rectified and reformed, and he is 
required to realise the value of a strong contrast. The 
ceremony is in two sections, in the first of which 
Eleusis imparts her secrets, but they are nothing, for 
this kind of Isis does not readily unveil, more 
especially in the presence of those who are about to 
renounce her. The Candidate is, however, received into 
her priesthood. In the second section he is laid upon 
the ground ; a veil is cast over him ; it is said that he 
is the death of error as an expounder of the old mysteries, 
but that he shall be re-born according to the life and 
grace imparted by the truth that is in Christ. He 
becomes in this manner the priest of a more holy Temple 
and is raised into the Divine Light. The lesson is 
much too obvious and the dramatic setting is a mere 
rudiment of art ; it might have been made effective 
in less unskilful hands, but there is at least a suggestive 
reflection from the Craft Grades. A constrast hereto 
is the grade called Priest of the Sun, in which that 
luminary is represented by the President, who is also 
Father Adam for one of those inscrutable reasons 
which occur in the manufactured mysteries. Other 
offices of the ceremony represent the rest of the 



moving lights, according to primitive astronomy. They 
are more correctly the angels of the planets and are 
described ignorantly as Cherubim, though the attributed 
names are characteristic of other hierarchies. The 
Candidate, after due proving, is held worthy to receive 
the high angelic instruction, but all that he learns is 
by inference and may be not a little confusing, as 
Father Adam seems to have adopted Christianity. This 
is the kind of thing that we should call foolish in the 
mummeries of our children, but it is the work of 
grown men for communication to persons also of mature 
age, and there is no reason to suppose that it was 
received otherwise than with tolerance, perhaps even with 

The priesthoods are many, as the chivalries also are 
many, and one of them is that of White Mason, which 
is sacerdotal in the palmary sense. The Grade is a 
path of progress from the land of darkness to that 
of light, in search of the City and Tabernacle which 
are set upon the high hill. To be sincere, it is a very 
spiritual ceremony. The doors which open to the Reci- 
pient are those of faith, hope, mercy, utterance, salvation, 
perseverance and life, corresponding to the opening of 
seven seals upon the secret book by the Lion of the 
Tribe of Judah as the Christ Mystical is termed in 
the Ritual, rather than the Lamb slain from the founda- 
tion of the world. The object is to institute and 
warrant the builders of a spiritual temple. 

There are also systems which are other than collec- 
tions of Grades, and which must be regarded as classes 
apart. In respect of their currency and importance they 
did not seem to demand a place in the text. Though I 
did not describe, I have mentioned, however, the Knights 
of Light, the story of its origin and the importance which 
has been attributed to the Order by a few writers who 
have made it the subject of somewhat mysterious refer- 
ences. It was first heard of in 1780, and Masonic 
authorities, who are wrong as is usual in their dealings 

VOL. II. 2 A 369 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

with matters of this kind tell us that it did not 
continue much longer than two years. It was (a) merged 
in the ASIATIC BRETHREN, as we have seen, or (b) dis- 
solved altogether. I have no ground for accepting or 
denying a recent counter-statement that it survives to 
this day, but it was represented by a German periodical 
called The Signet Star, publication of which continued 
till 1812. The system comprised seven unveiled 
Degrees of Mystic Freemasonry, but as it only made 
known five we may infer that there was a Grade of 
Postulance, and one at the apex in more complete 
seclusion than the rest. A Ritual account is available 
in respect of (a) Knight-Novice of the third year; (b) 
Knight-Novice of the fifth year ; (c) Knight-Novice of the 
seventh year ; (d) Levite ; and (e) Triest. There is also 
a Ritual for the installation of the head of a province. 
The member elected made profession of faith in God, 
covenanted to love his brethren more than himself, and 
was cross-marked on the head with oil from a golden 
cup, various exhortations being pronounced. The 
communications were of an alchemical nature. The 
Novice of the third year was taken into a dark room, 
meaning that the Matter of the Wise is environed by 
a black matter ; he was stripped of metallic substances, 
because the Matter of the Wise is not found where 
metals are ; his shoe was removed, to signify his personal 
renunciation ; and his eyes were bandaged, because the 
luminous substance is found only in a dark place. At 
one point of the proceedings a battery was made on the 
floor, and this signified (a) that the True Matter is 
brought from the volcano ; (b) that the Order was 
concerned with the physical mysteries wrought by fire, 
apparently (c) on animal, vegetable and mineral sub- 
stances. The work of this Novice was theosophical, 
magical and chemical. The Novice of the fifth year was 
instructed concerning the union of the three principles, 
the mystic significance of the number seven and the 
Creative Elohim. To the Novice of the seventh year 



there was given a specific interpretation of the Master- 
Builder and his legend, but it would be difficult to 
present it intelligibly to a reader who is not a Mason. 
The Degree of Levite offers nothing which seems 
to call for citation, but in that of Priest, being a 
sacerdotalism according to the Order of fire, there was 
the ceremonial and religious kindling of that element. 
The Candidate was told that he approached a certain 
barrier which, because he was himself enlightened, he 
would be able to pass. He was informed subsequently 
that he had reached the end of the Secret Mysteries 
belonging to the Royal and Priestly Order, the same 
being of such a nature that they must be sought in the 
light only and can there alone be found. It will be seen 
that the receptions are suggestive along their particular 
lines, but that on the surface they convey nothing. 

A word may be said in conclusion concerning three 
systems the perfect obscurity of which is balanced by 
the magnitude of the claim which they made on anti- 
quity. Of their origin, their locality and their literal 
history I can report nothing, (i) CHALDEAN MASONRY 
was founded ex hypothesi spuria by the Magi and 
flourished more especially at their chief centre in Media. 
It was a mouthpiece of the Wisdom of Egypt, and the 
records affirm that in days approximate to our own it 
was governed by seven wardens, one of whom was a 
Grand Master appointed for life by an irrevocable 
decree. Three Grades were communicated in Three 
Temples dedicated to (a) Wisdom, (ti) Strength and 
(c) Beauty, being a triad which is known otherwise to 
Masonry. In the first the Candidate was brought forth 
from chaos into the state of moral life ; in the second 
he was reintegrated in his original dignity, was re- 
conciled to his Creator and received the communication 
of the occult sciences ; in the third he had a picture of 
the golden age to come, when humanity shall enter 
into the state of resurrection, which is that of life in 
perfection. A similar doctrine of rebirth and reintegra- 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

tion was taught by the so-called MASONRY OF ZOROASTER, 
another venerable institution in respect of imputed 
antiquity. It required high qualifications in its 
Candidates and imposed on them the severity of virtue 
appropriate to a new life. It gave instructions in 
physics, geometry and astronomy, which were regarded 
as the most useful branches of human knowledge. The 
Grades were those of Believer, Elect and Magus. It would 
seem that PYTHAGOREAN FREEMASONRY has been also 
perpetuated, as I have met with the nomenclature of its 
Grades and a schedule of its official secrets, being words 
and signs. The Candidate suffered purification by the 
four elements, and appears to have learned (a) that all 
human beings are children of their Creator and citizens 
of the world ; (b) that the past is dead and irrecoverable ; 
but (c) that now is the accepted time. It is uncertain 
whether these secrets were imparted at once to the 
Neophyte or distributed over the three Degrees.- It 
may be charitable to suppose that he fared better by the 
time that he became an Epopt. 



THE classification adopted by the ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED 
SCOTTISH RITE is here taken as the basis because it is 
an actual terminus a quo, with which all High Grade 
Masons are or should be acquainted. It is beyond the 
scope of my design, and it would be almost beyond 
possibility to make the tabulation complete in the 
exhaustive sense, but it is complete in a reasonable 
that is to say, in the practical way, because I think that 
it will serve its unassuming purpose, which is to give 
some notion regarding the migration of Grades and 
the ruling of the most important in all the chief systems. 



It is, I suppose, unnecessary to add that the Craft Grades 
are outside the horizon of such a catalogue as they are 
presupposed everywhere being the condition from 
which there is no dispensation in all Orders and Rites 
which depend, integrally or by ascription, from the root 
of Masonry. 

WEST, No. 4 ; RITE OF MIZRAIM, No. 4 ; also, under the 
synonym of Discreet [sometimes Secret] Master, RITE OF 
A.-, and A.-. S/. R.\ it is the ist Degree of Perfection, 
otherwise Ineffable Degrees. 

OF MEMPHIS, No. 5, called also Master Architect ; 
PRIMITIVE SCOTTISH RITE, No. 4 ; said also to have 
been the first of the High Grades in the SCOTTISH 
PHILOSOPHICAL RITE, but I do not find it under this 
name in my lists : the Rite in question was almost 
exclusively chivalric. 

C. Intimate Secretary : ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED, No. 
6 ; EMPERORS, No. 6 ; MIZRAIM, No. 6, called also 
Master by Curiosity ; MEMPHIS, No. 6, called also Sublime 
Master ; RITE OF PERFECTION, No. 7. This Grade says 
that twenty cities were conveyed by Solomon to the 
Master for his building services. 

D. Provost and Judge : ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED, 
No. 7 ; EMPERORS, No. 8 ; RITE OF PERFECTION, No. 8 ; 
RITE, No. 5 ; called also Irish Master, and under this 
title it is said (i) that it was founded by Ramsay, which 
is entirely false, and (2) that it was the first of three 
Irish Degrees of the Mastery instituted as a Jacobite 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

veil, which, on the question of the symbolism, appears 
quite idle. 

E. Superintendent of Buildings , or Master in Israel: 
MEMPHIS, No. 8, under the name si Knight of the Elect ; 
it is further said to have been the 9th Degree in the 
collection of the Metropolitan Chapter of France, de- 
veloped from the COUNCIL OF EMPERORS and from Pirlet's 

F. Master Elect of Nine : ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED, 
No. 9 ; EMPERORS, No. 9 ; RITE OF PERFECTION, No. 9 ; 
PRIMITIVE SCOTTISH RITE, No. 6 ; Metropolitan 
Chapter of France, No. 6 ; Adonhiramite Masonry, 
MizRAifM, No. 9 ; MEMPHIS, No. 9 ; it is said also 
to have been the first point of the 4th Degree in 
the old system of the Royal York Lodge of Berlin. 
This is how the High Grades travelled. 

G. Illustrious Master Elect of Fifteen : ANCIENT AND 
OF TRUTH, No. 6 ; Metropolitan Chapter of France, 
No. ii ; MizRAfM, No. n ; MEMPHIS, No. 10. This 
Grade is said to have been the second point of a 4th 
Degree in the old Berlin system, while the French rite 
once had under the title of Elect of Perignan now Elu 
simply a combination of the Elect of Nine and Elect of 
Fifteen. Pdrignan is said to have been a name invented 
by the Stuarts, who in the opinion of certain Masonic 
writers seem to have divided with Jesuits the honour 
of many darksome inventions. The name appears in 
Elect of the Unknown, which is the loth Grade in the 
system of MIZRAIM, and therefore precedes that of the 
Elect of Fifteen. Grand Elect of Fifteen was once 
included in the collection of the French University. 

H. Sublime Knight ^ or Chevalier Elect; Sublime 


Knight Elect : ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED, No. 1 1 ; MEM- 
PHIS, No. 1 1 ; Metropolitan Chapter of France, No. 1 5. 

I. Grand Master Architect: ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED, 
No. 12 ; EMPERORS, No. 12 ; as Knight Grand Master 
Architect, MEMPHIS, No. 12. The Grade of Grand 
Architect or Scottish Fellow Craft, which is the 8th of 
Adonhiramite Masonry, is distinct from this Grade. 
There are also seven Grades of Grand Architect of 
Heredom included in as many different systems, but 
it is impossible to speak of their variations as com- 
pared with one another or their correspondence 
with innumerable degrees having titles which differ 

J. Royal Arch, concerning which it is essential to 
remember that it is entirely distinct from that Holy Order 
of the Royal Arch, which is a development from the 
3rd Craft Degree : ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED, No. 13 ; 
as Knight Royal Arch, EMPERORS, No. 13 ; PRIMITIVE 
as Grand Royal Arch, MIZRAIM, No. 31 ; MEMPHIS, 
No. 13 ; it seems also to have been the 7 2nd Grade in 
the collection of the University. 

K. Grand Scottish Knight of the Holy Vault, or of 
James the Sixth : ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED, No. 14 ; 
MIZRAIM, No. 20 ; MEMPHIS, No. 14. 

L. Knight of the East, or of the Sword : ANCIENT AND 
Metropolitan Chapter of France, No. 52 ; Royal York 
of Berlin, No. 6 ; French Rite, No. 6 ; RITE OF THE 
PHILALETHES, No. 6; Adonhiramite Masonry, No. n ; 
MizRAfM, No. 41 ; MEMPHIS, No. 15. 

M. Prince of Jerusalem, or Chief of Regular Lodges : 
RITE OF PERFECTION, No. 16 ; so-called RITE OF 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

No. 18; MIZRAIM, No. 45; MEMPHIS (as Knight 
Prince], No. 16. 

N. Knight of the East and West : ANCIENT AND 
PERFECTION, No. 17 ; MEMPHIS, No. 17 that is, Knight 
Prince of the East and West. 

O. Sovereign Prince Rose-Croix : ANCIENT AND 
No. 1 8. The nomenclature varies in several of the 
above, in addition to which there are more important 
differences as follows : as Rose-Croix, or Knight of the Black 
Eagle, three sub-grades, PHILOSOPHICAL RITE, No. 6 ; 
as Knight Rose-Croix Adonhiramite Masonry, No. 12 ; 
as Knight Rose-Croix MIZRAIM, No. 37 ; as Magnetic 
Rose-Croix, ibid., No. 38 ; as Magnetic Rose-Croix, or 
Sacred Wand, UNIVERSITY COLLECTION, No. 195 ; 
another variant from the same with the additional 
title of Adept, No. 199 ; as Knight Sovereign Prince 
Rose-Croix Royal York Chapter of Berlin, No. 7 ; 
as Knight Rose-Croix of Kilwinning and Heredom 
MIZRAIM, No. 46 ; as Jacobite Rose-Croix Primordial 
Chapter of Arras, alleged sole Grade, but the question 
is doubtful : called also Scottish Jacobite. There were 
many others, but the above will exhaust ordinary interest. 

P. Grand Pontiff, or Sublime Scottish Mason : ANCIENT 
AND ACCEPTED, No. 18 ; with the additional title of 
Grand Master ad vitam, EMPERORS, No. 19 ; with the ad- 
ditional tide of Sublime Ecossais of the Heavenly Jerusalem, 
has several additional Pontiff Grades, but they re- 
present putative Egyptian rather than Ecossais Masonry. 

Q. Venerable Grand Master ad vitam that is to 
say, of all Lodges ; called also Sovereign Prince of 



No. 20 ; with the fore title of Knight Grand Master of 
the Temple of Wisdom^ MEMPHIS, No. 20 ; as Venerable 
of Lodges^ PRIMITIVE SCOTTISH RITE, No. 19. There 
was also Perfect Venerable in the collection of Viamy, 
and a Venerable Grand Elect in the so-called PERSIAN 

R. Noachitf) or Prussian Chevalier : ANCIENT AND 
No. 35 ; MEMPHIS, No. 22 ; Adonhiramite Masonry, 
as Sovereign Noachite, Grade of the University, No. 1 20. 
There are others, but these will suffice. 

S. Prince of Libanus, called also Royal Hatchet or 
No. 22 ; probably as Grand Axe, MIZRA!M, No. 22 ; 
MEMPHIS, No. 23. 

T. Chief of the Tabernacle : ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED, 
No. 23 ; compare Knight of the Tabernacle, MIZRAIM, 
No. 24 ; and the collection of F. Fustier. 

U. Prince of the Tabernacle : ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED, 
No. 24 ; as Knight of the Red Eagle, MEMPHIS, No. 25. 

V. Knight of the Brazen Serpent : ANCIENT AND 
ACCEPTED, No. 25 ; as Knight of the Serpent, ANTIENT 

W. Prince of Mercy : ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED, 
No. 26 ; seemingly without place in other systems. 

X. Sovereign Commander of the Temple : ANCIENT 
AND ACCEPTED, No. 27 ; MIZRAIM, No. 44. It is said 
to have been the ninth Grade in the ORDER OF CHRIST 
but this is an invention and was included in the 
collection of Lepage. 

Y. Knight of the Sun : ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED, 
It is also called Prince Adept. There seem to have 
been variants as follows : Knight of John or of the Sun, 
MEMPHIS, No. 29 ; Solar Knight, collection of Peuvret, 


Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

No. 1 8 ; Knight of the Kabalistic Sun, or Adept, collection 
of Pyron ; Prince Adept or Cherubim (sic) Sublime Elect of 
Truth, No. i ; MIZRAIM, No. 51. 

Z. Grand Scottish Chevalier of St. Andrew of Scotland : 
ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED, No. 29 ; called also Patriarch 
of the Crusades and Grand Master of Light ; PRIMITIVE 
SCOTTISH RITE, No. 25. The Grand Ecossais Grades 
are too numerous, and their connections too uncertain, 
for enumeration. 

No. 30; as Grand Kadosh, MEMPHIS, No. 31 ; alleged 
so called RITE OF MARTINISM, No. 10 ; and many 

B.B. Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander : ANCIENT 
AND ACCEPTED, No. 31 ; MIZRAM, No. 66 ; see also 

C.C. Prince of the Royal Secret : ANCIENT AND 
ACCEPTED, No. 32 ; as Prince of the Royal Mystery, 
MEMPHIS, No. 33. 

D.D. Sovereign Grand Inspector-General: ANCIENT 
AND ACCEPTED, No. 33 ; as Sovereign Grand Inspector of 
the Order, MEMPHIS, No. 84. 

It should be understood that I offer no guarantee 
(a) as to the correspondence in Ritual of things passing 
under the same or similar titles, or (b) as to the accuracy 
of Grade lists ascribed to the lesser systems. 





P. x. Par, 6. The Secret Tradition is the immemorial 
knowledge concerning man's way of return whence he 
came by a method of the inward life. The experiment 
is so old in the East that its first form therein may be 
taken for a terminus a quo as to the fact in history. 

P. xi, Par. 1 1 . The principle or practice of com- 
municating signs and passwords through all Degrees and 
the introduction in many of a word which is not a 
password carry on the idea of a verbal formula through 
systems which, although Masonic by the hypothesis, 
are not otherwise connected with the legend of a lost 
and recovered word. 

P. xi, Par. 1 2. That loss and restoration are essential 
to the idea of Masonry. The middle term is absence, 
out of which quest arises. When one of the triad is 
wanting, whether implicitly or explicitly, the Grade is 
not Masonic. 

P. xv, Par. 28. The delayed manifestation is a 
symbolism within a symbolism. 

P. xvii, Par. 36. Those who are called to the con- 
vocation are those who have conceived in their hearts 
the desire of the Secret Doctrine and would dwell in the 
House thereof. 

P. 2. It is not a point of any importance for my own 
purpose, but in view of what is said in the text it may 
be just to add that in the opinion of Mr. R. F. Gould 
(a) Mother Kilwinning did once possess more ancient 
records than are included now in its archives, and () 
that they were destroyed by fire or otherwise, in respect 
of certain items, while some were removed or carelessly 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

dispersed. Mr. Gould's view reflects that of Masonic 
authorities in Scotland. 

P. 3. The talisman was made, consecrated and 
exhibited by Ramsay, to whom we owe all the romance 
of Kilwinning. Every further effort of research 
magnifies the importance of his dream not of course 
in respect of its value, but in that of its influence on the 
development of the High Grades. 

P. 8. With reference to the three divergent cases 
which are not to be explained by a descent from the 
operative Craft, it is not my intention to suggest that 
the Grade of Kadosh, which is the 3Oth Degree in the 
system of the SCOTTISH RITE, enters at any point into 
the Secret Tradition, as this is understood in these 
pages. If in any of its forms it had been in corre- 
spondence with the title, such a question might have 
arisen, but there is nothing in the extant codices to 
connect it with sanctity and priesthood. The true 
historical Kadosh was a Grade of vengeance as we have 
seen ; when a philosophical aspect was substituted for 
that of assassination or vindication, it became a Grade of 
puerile and prosaic discourses. 

P. 1 6. The Regius MS. belongs to the thirteenth 
century, and has been edited by Mr. J. O. Halliwell. 
It contains (a) some account of the origin of archi- 
tecture, otherwise Masonry, under the auspices of the 
great clerk Euclyde, who was a native of Egypt ; (b) the 
introduction of the art into England during the reign of 
Athelstan ; (c) its reformation by an assembly convened 
at this King's instance ; (d) the Articles of its Associa- 
tion in rude rhymed verse ; (e) points of procedure and 
conduct ; (/) a schedule of religious, moral and social 
duties ; and (g) the legend of the Four Crowned 

P. 31. Concerning the counsels of morality, that 
which is understood in Freemasonry by ethical qualifi- 
cations is a title and not a title. Apart from these no 
person can advance a single pace in the investigation of 



those Divine Mysteries which are of Nature, of Science 
and of something that is above either. But their simple 
possession does not mean even a rudimentary disposition 
towards the higher research and much less the possession 
of the other qualities that are necessary thereto. 

P. 38. The Veiled Masters chose the Temple of 
Solomon for their symbolism because it was of the 
tradition of Israel, had been utilised by its theosophical 
literature, and was sufficiently remote in time to be 
convenient otherwise for their purpose. 

P. 41. With reference to the seeming equivocation, 
the sacred text says (Ex. xxxi. 1 8) : " And he gave unto 
Moses, when he had made an end of communing with 
him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables 
of stone, written with the ringer of God." The 
inference is that the tables were shaped for the purpose 
by the hand of Elohim. . . . But after the idolatry and 
in respect of the substituted Law, the text says 
(Ex. xxxiv. i et seq.) : " Hew thee two tables of stone 
like unto the first : and I will write upon these tables 
the words that were on the first tables, which thou 
brakest. . . . And he " that is to say, Moses " hewed 
two tables of stone like unto the first. . . . And he " 
that is to say, Moses (v. 28) not Elohim as promised 
"wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, 
the ten commandments," whereas the content of the first 
tables is not specified in Ex. xxxi. 18. On the other 
hand, Deut. x. 4, says that Jehovah wrote on the second 
tables. The Zoharic tradition on the whole subject is, 
I think, significant. The tables broken by Moses were 
those of tne Biblical Law and the Law of Tradition 
(Fol. 28). It is said also (Fol. 26^) that the first 
tables emanated from the Tree of Life, while the second 
or substituted tables were from the side of the Tree of 
Good and Evil. Thence came the Law, as it was 
known afterwards in Israel. The first Law was on the 
side of life, the second on that of death, consisting of 
negative precepts and commandments. It is said also 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

that, after the idolatry, Moses clothed the people in the 
vestments of the literal Law. 

P. 44. Mackey, the American Masonic writer, 
though he had few intimations concerning the term of 
his subject, says that the search for the Word in all 
Masonry is the search after truth Divine Truth 
knowledge of God, and he then adds plainly that this 
knowledge was concealed in old Kabalistic doctrine 
under the symbol of the Ineffable Name. 

P. 48. The nature of the significance which inhered 
in the barbarous words to which the Chaldean Oracles 
refer is explained by lamblichus. They were drawn 
from the languages of Egypt and Assyria, had passed 
into corruption and were sacred more especially by 
tradition, but also because they had ceased to be in- 

P. 51. The Talmud reports, on the authority of the 
old doctors, that the Ineffable Name was commemorated 
ten times on the Day of Expiation thrice in the first 
confession, thrice in the second, thrice at the dismissal 
of the scape-goat, and finally in sortibus^ referring to the 
oblatio pro peccato Domino. The voice of the priest was 
heard even in Jericho. Speaking generally, it must be 
admitted that there is some difficulty in reconciling the 
points of the hypothesis, which dwells now upon a lost 
pronunciation and the vital nature of the Hebrew 
vowels, but again upon the sacredness and separate 
import of the consonants. However, the confusion, 
such as it is, seems to be the result of a medley of text 
and commentary, some of the latter being late and not 
of real authority. 

P. 60. See the section entitled " Masonry and Moral 
Science " in The Hidden Church of the Holy Graa! y pp. 

P. 70. It follows from the Zoharic view of the Fall 
of Man that the idolatry and wantonness of Israel at the 
foot of Mount Sinai are part of a scheme of symbolism, 
though it is not excogitated in the text. 



P. 71. It is sixty and more years since Adolphe 
Franck connected the Kabalistic doctrine concerning the 
Shekinah with the philosophical and theological doctrine 
of the Divine Immanence in creation. This is one side 
of the consanguinity, as of things spiritual, between the 
Cohabiting or Indwelling Glory and Messiah, the 
Prince of Daniel, who is also the Prince of Peace. It is 
also one of the exotic aspects of the relation between 
the Craft and Christian Masonry. But it is so exotic 
that I have not proposed to dwell upon it, except by 
occasional allusion, in this work. 

P. 74. With reference to the Four Worlds of 
Kabalism, it should perhaps be explained that they are 
(a) Atziluth) the world of Deity ; (b) Briah, the arche- 
typal world ; (c) Yetzirah, the world of formation ; 
and (d) Assiah, which is the manifest world. I have 
made these brief descriptions as simple as possible, but 
the system which they summarise is exceedingly in- 
volved. Atziluth is really the Deity approximating 
towards a certain manifest state in concealment, by a 
path which suggests emanation : behind it is the utter- 
most Divine transcendence, called Ain Soph Aour. In 
a sense Atziluth is also the archetypal world. Briah 
itself is sometimes called the world of creation, but 
remote as such from the manifest ; it is also archangelic 
and intelligible. Yetzirah is the world of the angels, 
and in one aspect it is the moral world. Assiah is the 
sphere of the elements and the domain of Nature. The 
permutations of the hypothesis might be extended much 

P. 142. I have said that no true Grade depicts a 
Lodge in Paradise, and this reads like a judgment 
beforehand on that called Knight of the Sun, but my 
readers will be enabled to decide when this peculiar 
chivalry is considered at its proper point in the text. 
An old French writer tells us that certain enthusiasts 
are persuaded that the first Lodge was held in the 
Earthly Paradise when God appeared therein to Adam 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

and Eve. Other chivalries or Degrees may incorporate 
the opinion, but I have not felt it needful to pursue the 

P. 156. It is impossible even to speculate on the 
date at which the Grade of Marked Master originated, 
but the episode of the North Gate may signify that the 
traditional story concerning the memorable event differed 
in some minor respects from its present state. I can 
imagine one in which the symbolism might perhaps be 
more complete, but the question must be left at this 

P. 157. Other legends tell us that the Stone of Jacob 
was used at the foundation of the world, that it existed 
before the creation, and that the Temple was built upon 
it. According to the Zohar, it was the House of Jehovah, 
or rather the seat of judgment. It was the fundamental 
Stone. A Chaldaic paraphrase of Exodus xxviii. 30, 
affirms that the Great and Holy Name was graven upon it. 

P. 177. My affirmation that three victims would 
have been too many for the secret intention implies 
that this was political, and that the one victim signified 
the King of France. On the other hand, the murdered 
person in the Templar Kadosh^ i.e. Jacques de Molay, 
represented the people, liberty, human right, etc. 
Perhaps I should add that M. Henri d'Almeras, a 
modern writer, concludes that French Freemasonry 
during the eighteenth century was Catholic and loyal, 
because evidence is wanting in respect of the opposite 
view. It was not indeed so revolutionary as supposed 
by some who have seen the conspiracy preparing every- 
where, but except in a few Grades it was not catholic 
at all I mean, in the Roman sense. 

P. 220. As the Areopagite and his writings are the 
subject of occasional reference throughout the text, I 
should like to note, though it is really outside my 
subject, that the weight of recent critical opinion, 
especially among German scholars, tends to reverse the 
views held previously and to place Dionysius in the 



first century, in which case he was probably, as his 
writings claim, a colleague of St. Paul and St. John. 
The change of opinion in this direction is summarised 
in the various notes and appendices to Parker's recent 
edition of the works. My attention has been called to 
the fact by my friend Mr. W. L. Wilmshurst, who has 
devoted considerable attention to the subject. 

P. 231. It will be seen later on in the text that the 
Rituals of the STRICT OBSERVANCE in the only available 
form are probably defective and do not fully represent 
the ceremonies as worked in the Chapters. 

P. 238. I ought perhaps to explain at this point that 
the Hebrew words given in the text are the consonants 
of Jehovah and Jeheshua, that is to say, Jesus. 

P. 251. Against this allocation of the Rose-Croix 
Grade to the year 1754 there must be set the opinion of 
Findel, who, I believe, followed Kloss, that it was not in 
reality invented till 1763. 

P. 259. I believe at the same time that Frere des 
Etangs was actuated by an excellent spirit and made use 
of all his lights. The large volume of his collected 
works is still suggestive reading, but he happened to 
mistake the Gate of the Sanctuary for the Holy Place 
itself. His reconstruction of the Master Grade is little 
better than a travesty ; it is as if one should say that 
Christ only slept in the tomb where He was laid by 
Joseph of Arimathea. The mystic death which precedes 
the mystic resurrection must be real like that which 
follows it. So also the discourses of Des Etangs are 
luminous vapour, and his attempted refutation of 
Barruel leaves a sense of complete void. 

p. 301. It is said that Faustus Socinus made 
frequent reference in his writings to the building of a 
new temple when he sought to put forward the prin- 
ciples of his reformed theology. He also exhorted his 
disciples to arm themselves with hammers, aprons and 
other things belonging to the building craft, when 
engaged in the foundation of a new religious belief. 

VOL. II. 2 B 385 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

p. ^ 1 6. The Chapter of Clermont is said also to 
have been propagated by Rosa in Holland, Denmark and 
Sweden. It has been termed the Rosaic Rite and has 
led to a confused notion that it was a phase or variant 
of the Rosicrucian system, for which there is no warrant 
in fact. 

P. 319. The chief propagator of the Jesuit 
hypothesis was Ragon, and his works may be consulted 
passim for the nullity of his method. He tells us (i) 
that all Grades fabricated by the Society in question 
were designed to turn Masonry into a school of 
Catholicism ; (2) that the Masonry Dissected of Samuel 
Pritchard has traces of their influence ; (3) that in a 
certain cossais Degree the word Jesuit should be sub- 
stituted for the name of Jehovah, and then, presumably, 
the whole scheme is plain ; (4) that Ramsay was one of 
the convenient tools ; and so forth. The process is 
of similar simplicity throughout, and the value is, I 
think, transparent. 

P. 333. See the succession of High Grades en- 
numerated on p. 217. They are four in number, or 
seven with those of the Craft. 


P. 1 1 . It has not, I suppose, been observed that the 
intervention of Elias Ashmole, of the Hermetic Schools 
otherwise, or Schools of Kabalism, presupposes that the 
first result was the creation of the Third Craft Degree 
in a form Similar to the present in respect of the root- 
matter. There are a few students who attribute great 
antiquity to this legend ; personally I believe that it is 
old in the essence only, that it was not pre-existent in 
the operative craft, and is the chief evidence of inter- 
vention of what kind soever. It signifies the presence 
of the Secret Tradition, the existence of which was 
utterly unlikely in the Building Guild. 



P. 1 2. Mr. Gould's view concerning the Regius MS. 
has an importance which is quite independent of any 
value attaching to his construction of the document, for 
the simple reason that it signifies the unrest of the 
informed Masonic mind respecting the theory hereto- 
fore accepted as explaining the development of the 
speculative and symbolic element out of the Operative 
Craft. It is a minor question whether the particular 
MS. offers a way of escape from an opinion which has 
been so far held adequate but which is rapidly becoming 

P. 26. I refer in particular to the essay prefixed to my 
recent edition of Thomas Vaughan's Lumen de Lumine. 

P. 27. It may be worth while to mention that Saint- 
Martin was not the earliest nor the first translator of 
Jacob Bohme into the French language. He was pre- 
ceded in 1787 by le Sieur Jean Made, who published 
Le Miroir Temporel de I'Eternite^ which recalls by its 
title the first answer to Forty Questions concerning the Soul, 
but appears by its description to be a translation of De 
Signatura Rerum. I have not seen it. 

P. 45. The alleged connection of the Brethren of 
Avignon with political conspiracy is probably a reflection 
from Barruel, who in his usual style says that they were 
like the German Weishaupt but more atrocious. 

P. 49. It must be said, I suppose, that the two English 
pilgrims who journeyed to Avignon were not at the time, 
nor did they become thereafter, disciples of Swedenborg. 
They were believers in the prophetic mission of Richard 
Brothers, and expected to derive further elucidations and 
warrants concerning him by their visit to the' French city 
and to the society at work therein. Some of my readers 
may remember the rhyme of Robert Southey concerning 
a visitation of Lucifer 

He walked into London leisurely ; 

The streets were dirty and dim ; 
But there he saw Brothers the prophet, 

And Brothers the prophet saw him. 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

It is not necessary to speak of the prophet's mission or 
of the things that he foretold ; they were of the usual 
type concerning the Second Advent and the wrath to 

P. 57. The reference to the Craft Grades presup- 
poses, according to Tschoudy, the existence of the Third 
Degree ab origine symboli. 

P. 70. Jean Joachim Estrengel is also said to have 
published the Statutes of the Unknown Philosophers, 
but I have not been able to identify their original form. 
A version is given by Pierre Zaccone, but the preamble 
is that of Ragon, while the rules are those of Tschoudy. 

P. 75. Ragon had even the audacity, for I cannot 
characterise it differently, to specify nine Grades in the 
ORDER OF CHRIST as follows : (i) Knight of the Triple 
Cross, conferred only on Excellent and Perfect Princes 
Rose-Croix ; (2) Knight of the Black and White Eagle, 
or Grand Elect Knight Kadosh ; (3) Knight Adept or 
Cherubim ; (4) -Sublime Elect of Truth ; (5) Grand Elect 
Knight of the 'Black Eagle ; (6) Sovereign Grand Com- 
mander ; (7) Knight Kaes ; (8) Deputy Grand Inspector- 
General^ or Prince of the Royal Secret ; (9) Sovereign 
Commander of the Temple. It is well known that the 
ORDER OF CHRIST is vested in the crown of Portugal 
and has no Masonic connection. 

P. 1 08. The intimations of the Archives make the 
pulses beat by their memories from far away of great 
and undeclared things concerning the Secret Tradition. 
The loss or non-existence of its later sections is a very 
grave loss to the larger aspects of the whole Hermetic 

P. 170. The reference is to my Life and Doctrine of 
Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, the Unknown Philosopher, 
and more especially to p. 48, but the work may be 
consulted throughout. 

P. 184. He emerges also in some dreams of the 
foolish as a preacher of political illuminism and his system 
as a precursor in France of the plan which passed for a 



moment into the actuality of a secret organisation under 
Adam Weishaupt. But the ORDER OF ILLUMINATI was 
German and the dates do not work in harmony. See 
La Franc-Ma$onnerie dans sa veritable signification, 
translated from the German of Eckert by Abb Gyr, 
vol. ii. p. 8 1. 

P. 1 87. There is, however, a very full record of one 
intimate friendship, namely, between Saint- Martin and 
Kirchberger, Baron de Liebestorf, though they were 
acquainted only by correspondence. It is not met with 
too easily in either form, but that record is available both 
in French and English, in the latter case under the title 
of Thcosofihic Correspondence, translated by E. B. Penny. 
It is a priceless memorial of aspiration towards the in- 
ward life and experience therein, but I speak of it here 
to introduce a single reference, which is of interest more 
especially from the Masonic standpoint. It is an account 
by Krichberger of what occurred at the consecration of 
the Lyons Lodge of EGYPTIAN MASONRY. " The labours 
lasted three days, and the prayers fifty-four hours ; there 
were twenty-seven in the meeting. While the members 
were praying to the Eternal to manifest His approbation 
by a visible sign, and the Master was in the middle of 
his ceremonies, the Repairer appeared, and blessed the 
members assembled. He came down on a blue cloud, 
which served for vehicle to this apparition ; gradually he 
ascended again on this cloud, which, from the moment 
of its descent from heaven to earth, acquired a splendour 
so dazzling that a young girl, C., who was present, could 
not bear its light. The two great prophets and the law- 
giver of Israel also gave signs of their benevolence and 
approval." It should be understood that this is not the 
report of an eye-witness, and our acquaintance with the 
RITE OF EGYPTIAN MASONRY will enable us to conclude 
out of hand that the manifestation was not to the 
assembly at large, but to the young girl, who was a lucid 
of the Rite. It is noted otherwise by Kirchberger that 
Cagliostro, the Grand Copht, was not present at the 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

proceedings, and I may add that in his presence the 
seering processes invariably failed to establish communi- 
cation with Moses, which was one of his especial wishes. 
The prophets referred to were Enoch and Elias, the 
reputed founders of the Rite. Saint-Martin, to whom 
all such experiences, whether in cups, crystals or by the 
mode of form-appearances, were utterly indifferent, 
knew also by hearsay concerning " those adventures in 
Lyons,'' as he terms them almost derisively. He 
established no distinction respecting the kind of ex- 
perience, as I have sought to do, but said in his detached 
way : " I do not hesitate to class them with the most 
suspicious order of things, notwithstanding that the good 
souls who were present may have received some happy 
transports, fruits of their piety and true desires ; God 
continually brings good out of evil." He adds that the 
manifestations which took place in his own school of 
Pasqually were much less tainted. 

P. 193. The Apocalypse naturally entered into the 
reveries of more perfervid Christian amateurs of Kabalism. 
We hear though the authority is not too certain of a 
Kab alts tic Society of Brethren of the Apocalypse, founded in 
Germany, about 1690, by some one named Gabrino, who 
termed himself Prince of the Septenary. 

P. 213. It is unnecessary at this day to consider in 
any serious sense the old and idle dream put forward by 
Buhle and adapted by Thomas de Quincey concerning the 
metamorphosis of early Rosicrucianism into speculative 
Freemasonry. Even at the period of its appearance, 
there was nothing colourable in the thesis, and if it can 
have been ever said that it found favour in the past, it 
has been long since abandoned by all whose opinion on 
any matter of research can be held to count for anything. 
The connection between Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism 
is the root of both in the Secret Tradition, but they did 
not arise from one another any more than the romance- 
literature of the Holy Graal arose out of the Latin 
literature of Alchemy or vice versa. The story was 



that a branch of the Rosicrucian Fraternity had become 
established in England under circumstances which do 
not appear, but it was somehow, in addition to its own 
dedications, an attempt to give corporate expression to 
the idea of Francis Bacon's New Atlantis. Its alleged 
symbols were the Sun, the Moon, the Square, the 
Compasses, the Circle, the Five-pointed Star. This last 
was said to represent (a) Mercury, but probably under 
a philosophical aspect ; () Archaios : (c) the celestial 
fire ; (d) the Holy Spirit ; and (e) a healing balm poured 
through all Nature by the Eternal. The same symbols 
are said to be found in the Mythologia Christiana of J. V. 
Andreas, together with something corresponding to the 
plan of the Masonic carpet. A French writer who took 
over this phantasy went so far as to add that every 
implement and symbol now in use among Masons was 
borrowed from the Rosy Cross. 

P. 237. It will be scarcely necessary to point out 
that the visionary system of Swedenborg, some arbitrary 
attributions notwithstanding, owed nothing to traditions 
from the past. It is perhaps in the same position 
respecting a theosophical construction of the universe 
that spiritualism is in respect of religion. It is the 
common motive and reasonable spirit of this world 
transmuted and invested with an unchangeable office in 
eternity, as also with the conventional dignities thereto 
belonging. In a sense it may reflect from far away the 
Hermetic doctrine of analogy, but it is that doctrine in 
distraction. It is a vague recognition of this fact which 
made the sorriest of all religions and, as it seems to me, 
one of the least spiritual, a kind of fashion for the 
moment when the eighteenth century drew towards the 
tempest of its close. This was among those who had 
followed for a certain distance, as we have seen, the 
thorny path of physical Alchemy. On any other ground 
I do not know why it appealed to the ex-Benedictine 
Pernety, and it is he more especially who connects with 
it in Masonry. I may add that according to Barruel 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Swedenborgian Masonry was confounded by some 
French people with the Illuminism of Weishaupt, and 
it is even pretended that by means of this confusion the 
latter was introduced into France by Mirabeau. 

P. 326. The reference is to my Studies in Mysticism 
and to the essay entitled The Garden of Venus. 



IF the Christian religion, understood in its most plenary 
sense, can be regarded for a moment as constituting a 
single Church, then it may be said to exist for the 
communication of the Mystery of Faith to those who 
are capable of salvation by the entrance within this one 
fold of the one shepherd. As such, it has a ritual 
procedure, its signs, its symbols, its modes of com- 
munication ; it has many Lodges of adepts and they 
are ruled by many masters. It has therefore in these 
respects as in others which we have seen a certain 
analogy with Emblematic Freemasonry. The com- 
parison could be carried much further, for the Church 
in its sacramental system is emblematic, even as the 
Craft, and as the one Church is divided into many 
branches, not all of which acknowledge one another, 
so there is a great variety of Masonic obediences, some 
of which deny one another. Both institutions claim to 
impart Mysteries which are not otherwise attainable, and 
for me at least as a mystic there lies behind both an 
untrodden ground of grace and truth, of experimental 
knowledge and of reality behind knowledge. They are 
ministers of the Mysteries in part therefore only, and 
each is especially concerned on the surface with counsels 
of external conduct. It is no wonder that the Church, 
for the most part, resembles a glorified Lodge of 
Masonry, teaching the institutes of morality rather than 



the Great Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, and 
experiencing so much difficulty in securing a common 
observance of the decalogue that she is almost perforce 
forgiven for finding contentment therein, without much 
recollection of all the untrvelled regions of the soul 
beyond those narrow measures. The gate is in this 
manner taken for the goal. It is no wonder also that, 
working on similar materials, the Masonic process is 
similar to the Church process, that the Craft is on the 
surface so largely an ethical system, and that its re- 
cognised or admissible extensions most frequently do 
little more than lift the sunbeams of morality a few 
points higher. 

I have established here a broad bond of unity in 
purpose and in the method of attaining purpose. The 
Churches and Masonry are working in their several 
manners for the same ends : one might think that these 
sisters could dwell together in sisterhood. But the 
Churches denounce one another, when they do not 
exclude one another, and notwithstanding their necessary 
insistence on the natural virtues, of which Masonry is 
an independent exponent, there are some of them which 
denounce Masonry. The explanation perhaps is (a) 
that the supernatural motive tends unconsciously to 
disqualify the natural motive per se, and () that in 
some cases there is an inherent feeling of distrust for 
any alternative mystery. 

One issue which arises in the general sense, and 
descends thence into every department of the particular, 
is that the Latin Church, for reasons of which some are 
obscure and some moderately transparent, has agreed to 
regard Freemasonry, and the secret societies that are 
connected by imputation therewith, as the culminating 
type, representative and summary of those forces which 
are at work in the world against the work of the Church 
in the world. The evidence which would be adduced, 
and is indeed adduced continually in support of this 
thesis, is (a) that the French Revolution was a product 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

of the secret societies, and of Masonry chiefly ; () that 
the combination of those forces out of which came 
United Italy, with the subversion of the temporal 
power, had Masonry as their point of convergence ; (c) 
that the unhappy position of the Church in France has 
been created by Masonry ; and (d) that in so far as the 
other Latin races are disaffected towards Rome, and are 
tending towards naturalism in place of religion this 
also is a Masonic tendency. Now, supposing that such 
a view could adduce in its support that historical 
evidence abundant, sufficient, or even tolerably pre- 
sumptive which we, who are Masons, have been 
looking for our enemies to furnish, we should be left 
simply in the position of the Latin Church when that 
is confronted by competitive exponents of the truth of 
God. As this truth, from the standpoint of that 
Church, is unaffected by the pretensions of rival 
orthodoxies, pure apostolic Christianities and sects 
generally, so the Mason, who knows well enough what 
is the true purpose or rather the transparent term, 
what are the explicits and implicits of the mystery 
which initiation has reposed in his heart, will know also 
that Masonry would emerge unaffected, supposing that 
Grand Lodges, Grand Orients and Supreme Councils 
passed into corporate apostasy. If in certain countries 
and at certain distracted periods we find that the 
apparatus of the Lodges has been made to serve the 
purpose of plot and faction, Masonry as an institution 
is not more responsible for the abuse than is the Catholic 
Church as a whole for the poisoned eucharists of a 
Borgia pontiff. 

It has been said very often that English Masonry is 
not to be judged by Masonry of the continental species ; 
that communion with the Grand Orient of France has 
been severed by the Grand Lodge of England ; arid 
that Craft Masonry in the Latin countries generally has 
ceased almost to be Masonic at heart. But this is only 
a branch of the whole case : what is true of Great 



Britain is true in one form or another of the United 
States, Canada, Australia and, among continental 
Kingdoms, of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany 
and Holland. The Latin countries remain over with 
a few others about which we know little masonically, 
seeing that they are in the South of Europe and Russia 
also remains. Of these last nothing can be said with 
certainty, but in the Latin countries the position of 
Masonry is, in the part or the main, a work of the 
Church which condemns it. 

There is no charge too banal, no soi-disant con- 
fession too preposterous in matter or manner, to be 
held adequate by the Catholic Church when its purport 
is to expose Freemasonry. The evidence for this is 
to be found, among things that are recent or this 
at least comparatively in the Masonic impostures of 
the late Leo Taxil, to whom more than one section 
of the Church lent a willing ear, whom it abandoned 
only when his final unmasking had become a foregone 
conclusion. I do not wish to go over an old ground 
carrying too full a search-light, but it seems desirable 
to say that Pope Leo x. granted an audience to Leo Taxil, 
and that the Cardinal-Vicar Parocchi felicitated him for 
exposing the imputed turpitude of imaginary androgyne 
lodges. Of two other squalid impostors, Adolphe 
Ricoux stood for an unimpeachable witness with 
Monsignor Meurin, Archbishop of Port Louis, while 
Margiotta had the papal benediction and a sheaf of 
episcopal plaudits. I do not doubt that even at this 
day, within the fold of the Latin Church, many persons 
are and will remain convinced priests and prelates 
included that Masonry is dedicated, as all these con- 
spirators affirmed, to the practice of Black Magic and 
to the celebration of sacrilegious masses. Independently 
of this, and speaking now of the Latin Church in its 
official acts, it must be added that, from the Humanum 
genus encyclical to the finding of the Trent Congress, 
and whatsoever has followed thereafter, a long confusion 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

of issues and identification of a part with the whole 
has characterised all the pronouncements. 

Craft Freemasonry in its intellectual centres re- 
presents and mirrors of necessity the flux of modern 
opinion upon all speculative subjects, outside belief in 
a personal God and the other life of humanity which 
are the fundamental part of its doctrine. Beyond this 
sphere it has no accredited opinions in matters of 
religion, while so far as the High Grades are concerned, 
those are few and unimportant which do not exact 
from their Candidates a profession of the Christian faith. 
We are therefore in a position to adjudicate upon the 
qualifications of the Trent Congress, which decided that 
the religious teachings of Freemasonry were those of 
Nature-worship, and that the public beliefs of Free- 
masons were those of Monism, Idealistic Pantheism, 
Materialism and Positivism, the connecting link between 
all being the identification of the universe with God. 
Doubtless Craft Freemasonry, even in England, includes 
in its ranks the shades of philosophical thought which 
correspond to these findings, but indubitably the same 
might be said of almost any large assembly, public or 
private, in any part of the world ; and hereof is the 
folly of the judgment. Freemasonry also numbers 
spiritualists, theosophists and representatives innumer- 
able of the higher schools of mysticism. If it does not 
include convinced Catholics and as regards intellectual 
certitude, apart from formal practice, it does include 
them assuredly it is because the obedience of the 
one through the intolerance of the other makes the 
dual obedience impossible, though in itself it is natural 
and reasonable within its own lines. 

It follows, as one inference from all preceding 
considerations, that certain High-Grade Orders do carry 
a second sense in their symbolism, and so also do the 
great Craft Grades, as we have seen in the fullest sense 
through our long research. But it is neither of 
Natural Religion, Idealistic Pantheism, Monism, nor 



much less of Materialism or Positivism. It is of that 
Great Experiment which is at the heart of all true 
religion, being the way of the soul's reintegration in 
God. I believe personally that the sacramentalism of 
the Christian scheme holds up the most perfect glass 
of reflection to the mystery of salvation, and that in 
this sense the Church contains the catholic scheme of 
the Mysteries ; but I know, after another manner, 
which is yet the same manner at heart, that there are 
Mysteries which are not of this fold, and that it is 
given unto man to find the hidden jewel of redemption 
in more than one Holy Place. I say therefore, with 
the Welsh bards, that I despise no precious, concealed 
Mysteries, wherever they subsist, and above all I have 
no part in those Wardens of the Gates who deny in 
their particular enthusiasm that things which are equal 
to the same are equal to one another, since these 
Wardens are blind. 

I have mentioned the anti-Masonic Congress which 
was once held at Trent, and the deliberations at the 
city of Great Council are memorable after their own 
manner as distinguishing the position from which the 
Roman Church has not deviated for something more 
than a century. The Report of the Congress was issued 
in due course and is worth a word of reference for the 
reason which I have just indicated. Now the grey age 
of the Latin Church is not only within its own limits 
an astute and experienced age ; it is also one of honour 
and sanctity, and in a land where there remains little 
real prejudice and practically no Protestantism, Free- 
masons will be perfectly well aware that, however false 
her conclusions in specific cases, and however misguided 
her policy as dictated by those conclusions, she is acting 
in accordance with her lights and is saved in respect of 
sincerity. The Report of the Congress does little more 
than -italicise the salient points of the Humanum Genus 
Encyclical. In answer to that Encyclical, the Grand 
Lodge of England protested that Freemasonry in this 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

country had no opinions, political or religious, and if 
this is not precisely a correct statement it marked a 
definite attitude which is practically of universal 
knowledge. In politics it has of course the grace of 
perfect loyalty to the established order, and in religion 
Freemasonry is based on certain doctrines which are 
at the root of belief. Beyond this, in their official 
capacity, Grand Lodges cannot go, because their con- 
sciousness reaches no further. That the ANCIENT AND 
ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE was at one period, and in the 
place which is its head and centre, making a bid for 
recognition under wider warrants, is shewn by the 
writings of the late Albert Pike, Grand Commander of 
the Southern Jurisdiction in the United States. Con- 
cerning the political aspect, I shall cite certain passages 
from his official reply to the Humanum Genus pro- 
nouncements, while as regards the religious views which 
he held personally, and designed to impress on Masons 
under the obedience of his Rite, very full information 
can be derived from the lectures attached by him to 
each of the thirty-three degrees included by the scheme 
of that Rite. 

The reply to the Encyclical of Pope Leo was, I believe, 
publicly available at the time of its appearance, but it is 
not well known in this country, at least at the present 
day. The summary of the political position is briefly 
this, that Freemasonry has at no time conspired against 
any polity entitled to its obedience or to the esteem of 
men generally. "Wherever now there is a Consti- 
tutional Government which respects the rights of men 
and of the people and the public opinion of the world, 
it is the loyal supporter of that government. It has 
never taken pay from armed despotism, or abetted 
persecution. It has fostered no Borgias ; no stranglers 
or starvers to death of other Popes, like Boniface vn. ; no 
poisoners like Alexander vi. and Paul in. It has no roll 
of beatified Inquisitors ; and it has never in any country 
been the enemy of the people, the suppressor of scientific 



truth, the stifler of the God-given right of free inquiry as 
to the great problems, intellectual and spiritual, presented 
by the universe, the extorter of confessions by the rack, 
the burner of women and of the exhumed bodies of the 
dead. ... Its patron saints have always been St. John 
the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, and not Pedro 
Arbues D'Epila, principal inquisitor of Zaragoza, who, 
slain in 1485, was beatified by Alexander vn. in 1664." 
The inferences from these statements are quite clear 
and simple, and I do not pretend to regard them as 
especially satisfactory either as a defence of Masonry or 
as a charge against the Church of Rome. They are in 
fact a declaration that governments, both political and 
religious, may abdicate their right to rule, and that a time 
may come when men, whether Masons or not, neither 
can nor should continue to countenance, support or 
tolerate such institutions. Personally I should not have 
adopted this line of protestation, for the Church on its 
part might regard it as an open door through which its 
own accusations could obtain too easy entrance. The 
right of superseding corrupt governments is unquestion- 
ably an imprescriptible part of human liberty, but one 
does not with policy put forward the claim when attempt- 
ing to prove that a particular body or fraternity has not 
intervened overtly for the revision of specific constitutions 
and the downfall of particular tyrannies. Furthermore, 
the Catholic Church claims to be a Divine Institution, 
over which there is no jurisdiction within the sphere of 
human liberty, and it is not therefore likely to concur 
in the validity of the line of argument. The two stand- 
points cannot be reconciled, for they represent the 
struggle of Divine Right in this or that of its two 
aspects against the right of free government and of free 
intellectual inquiry. On the one side, it is not more 
the struggle of the Catholic Church than it is of political 
autocracy ; on the other, it is not more the opposing 
effort of Freemasonry than it is of any enslaved people 
demanding a constitution, or yearning and even plotting 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

for the downfall of some tyrannical dynasty. In con- 
tinuation of his defence, Albert Pike affirmed that 
Freemasonry does not more condemn the excesses of 
the Papacy " than it does those of Henry vin. of England, 
the murder of Sir Thomas More and that of Servetus, 
and those of the Quakers put to death in New England ; 
than the cruel torturing and slaying of Covenanters and 
Nonconformists, the ferocities of Claverhouse and Kirk, 
and the pitiless slaughtering of Catholic priests by the 
revolutionary fury of France. It well knows and cheer- 
fully acknowledges the services which some of the Roman 
Pontiffs and a multitude of its clergy have in the past 
centuries rendered to humanity. It has always done 
ample justice to their pure lives, their good deeds, their 
self-denial, their devotedness, their unostentacious 
heroism. ... It has always done full justice to the 
memories of the faithful and devoted missionaries of the 
Order of Jesus and others, who bore the Cross into 
every barbarous land under the sun, to make known to 
savages the truths and errors taught by the Roman 
Church, and the simple arts of civilization. It has 
never been the insensate and unreasoning reviler of that 
Church." In particular, " there has never been any 
opposition on the part of Freemasonry to Catholicism as 
a religion " in America. The private instructions of the 
Grand Commander did not differ from his more public 
utterances. " It is not the mission of Masonry," he 
observed elsewhere, " to engage in plots and conspiracies 
against the civil government. It is not the fanatical 
propagandist of any creed or theory ; nor does it pro- 
claim itself the enemy of kings. It is the apostle of 
liberty, equality and fraternity ; but it is no more the 
high priest of republicanism than of constitutional 
monarchy." Here again there is perhaps nothing more 
than the commonplaces and truisms of a particular plead- 
ing which involves the suggestion that in political or 
other intervention, if any, Freemasonry has been 
actuated by honest and laudable motives. If in certain 



countries, and at certain distracted periods, we find that 
the apparatus of the Lodges has been made to serve the 
purpose of plot and faction, my contention would be 
that the Order as an institution is not more responsible 
for the abuse than is the Catholic Church as a whole 
for some crimes which have been perpetrated under its 
name. These things are matters of aberration, and I 
should regard it as far more wise to admit that, like 
other institutions in all ages and nations, Freemasonry 
has from time to time, indeed at too many times and in 
places too many, been diverted from her true ends. All 
that can be said notwithstanding, there is evidence enough 
and to spare that some of the Lodges and Chapters were 
put to the purpose of those subsurface conspiracies which 
led to the French Revolution, and it would be difficult 
to deny, even at the present day, the unofficial political 
complexion of several Masonic bodies in several countries 
of Europe. I do not see that there is anything to be lost 
by an admission of this kind ; in so far as it is political 
at any given centre, the institution has so far ceased to be 
Masonic ; in so far as it is at issue with official religion 
anywhere, so far also it has renounced its character and 

I am brought in this way to touch for a few moments 
on another aspect of Albert Pike and his writings. I 
suppose that he was the most important and influential 
member of the Craft who ever arose in America : it is 
owes the eminent position which it occupies in the great 
body of High Grades ; it was he also who brought its 
rituals into their present American form, though I am 
by no means certain whether the form in question is to 
be counted among his best tides of honour. He had 
very definite tendencies on matters that make for religion, 
and though he is not quite in accord with himself as to 
the connection between religion and Freemasonry, if we 
take a mean between his contradictory statements, we 
shall find not only that he regarded the Craft, with its 

VOL. II. 2 C 401 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

adjuncts, under a religious aspect, but that his lectures 
attached to the thirty-three Grades of Scottish Masonry 
are equivalent to a definite attempt at presenting a side 
of the Masonic subject which is militantly religious in its 
own way. In so far as his views are developed from the 
immutable dogmas of Freemasonry, they possess an 
inferential authority and there can be no doubt as to the 
influence that they exercised. I need not say that he 
concurred in the action taken by Great Britain and the 
United States with regard to the Grand Orient of France, 
when this body, without denying the existence of a God, 
ceased to make belief in a Supreme Being an essential 
condition of initiation. The Grand Orient^ as it must 
be admitted, was in a position of peculiar difficulty ; to 
demand from its candidates an act of faith which was 
notoriously in opposition to all that was likely to be held 
by the considerable majority could only reduce the 
condition to a mere mockery : the course which was 
taken was therefore per se reasonable, but at the moment 
of so taking it the Grand Orient ceased to be Masonic. 

From the standpoint of Albert Pike, the personality 
of the Divine Nature was also an essential dogma and, 
speaking historically, there can be no doubt that this 
was the original mind of Masonry, though there can be 
also no doubt that it has been at all times and every- 
where evaded. It is sufficient to point to this dogma 
as a refutation of the impeachment advanced by the 
Latin Church in respect of Pantheism. At the same 
time the majority of Masons, supposing their best 
intentions, will occasionally talk Pantheism, by an in- 
tellectual confusion, when discussing the connection 
between God and the Universe ; but so also will as 
large a proportion of persons outside Masonry. Per- 
haps on examination they would not prove appreciably 
clearer on the subject of the soul's immortality. Beyond 
these immovable dogmas, neither Albert Pike nor another 
Mason can say anything of binding force under the 
simple obedience of the Craft, either in books or lectures, 



and this was especially pointed out by the American 
Grand Commander in the preface to his Morals and 
Dogma, when he observed that "everyone is entirely 
free to reject and dissent from whatsoever herein may 
seem to him to be untrue or unsound." 

Though assuredly illustrious as a Mason, and one, 
as I have indicated, to whom the present prestige of the 
SCOTTISH RITE must be referred largely, I have quoted 
more than enough to shew that Albert Pike had his 
intellectual limitations, and though he began life as a 
writer of verse with initial signs of vocation, his literary 
methods are not less than intolerable. To state when 
introducing a work of almost encyclopaedic proportions, 
that about half of it is borrowed matter by no means 
renders it superfluous to separate text from citation ; 
but in analysing Morals and Dogma one is everywhere 
beset by this difficulty. I cannot trace all its sources, 
nor does he offer the least assistance, but the volume 
swarms with citations from Eliphas LeVi translated 
without any acknowledgment, beyond that already 
mentioned, and also without marks of quotation. The 
work as a whole has the merits and defects which 
characterise such wholesale ingarnerings ; it is of course 
imperfectly digested, and the reader must expect dis- 
crepancies, even over matters of importance. The most 
conspicuous perhaps concerns the religious aspect of 
Masonry which I have mentioned in general terms. 
The disclaimer in this respect issued by the Grand 
Lodge of England found little acceptance with the 
SCOTTISH RITE in America. Among the influential 
members of that Rite, at and about the time of the 
Papal Encyclical, it appears to have been thought that 
" as a system of philosophy, Masonry must of necessity 
have a religious mission and a doctrinal propaganda," 
but not of a "sectarian kind," because it deals with 
those " fundamental principles upon which all faiths are 
founded." So far as the immovable dogmas are con- 
cerned, and their assumption throughout the Rituals 



The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

of the Craft Degrees, this is indubitable on the surface 
and the statement proceeds no further ; so far as the 
Christian Grades are concerned, it appears insufficiently 
expressed ; and in respect of the Great Mystery of 
Religion which lies behind the whole subject, it is the 
wording of one into whom the consciousness of that 
Mystery has not entered. I hasten to add that the 
expression is not that of the Grand Commander, but I 
hold it from a private source which was of an authority 
near to his own and was possibly more consistent. In 
Albert Pike's lecture attached to the Grade of Illustri- 
ous Elect of the Fifteen, it is laid down that Masonry is 
not a religion, and that " he who makes of it a religious 
belief, falsifies and denaturalizes it." This notwith- 
standing, in a later lecture, belonging to the Grade of 
Grand Master Architect, it is said that "the religious 
faith taught by Masonry is indispensable to the attain- 
ment of the great ends of life." It follows that the 
writer did not choose his words very carefully, and not 
only forgot what he said but was in confusion as to his 
own opinions. 

It is worth while, however, to extricate from such 
formal matters of expression the teaching which he 
offered to his Rite and which is probably at this day 
less or more accepted by English-speaking High Grade 
Masons who are under the same obedience. Here 
then are the "religious aspects" which Albert Pike 
attributes to Masonry. " If we could cut off from any 
soul all the principles taught by Masonry, the faith in 
a God, in immortality, in virtue, in essential rectitude, 
that soul would sink into sin, misery, darkness and 
ruin. If we could cut off all sense of these truths, the 
man would sink at once to the grade of the animal." 
It is possible that natural religion may cry to be 
delivered from defenders of this calibre, but under all 
its limitations it is the necessity of that religion at least 
which it is sought to bring home by the argument. As 
to revelation itself, a special construction is placed upon 



the admitted Christian aspects which must tend to its 
rejection in the sense attached to the term by 
orthodox Christian Churches. " Believe that there is a 
God ; that He is our Father ; that He has a paternal 
interest in our welfare and improvement ; that He has 
given us powers by means of which we may escape from 
sin and ruin ; that He has destined us to a future life 
of endless progress towards perfection and a knowledge 
of Himself believe this, as every Mason should, and 
you can live calmly, endure patiently, labour resolutely, 
deny yourself cheerfully, hope steadfastly, and be 
conquerors in the great struggle of life. Take away 
any of these principles, and what remains for us ? Say 
that there is no God, or no way opened for hope and 
reformation and triumph, no heaven to come, no rest 
for the weary, no home in the bosom of God for the 
afflicted and disconsolate soul ; or that God is but an 
ugly blind Chance that stabs in the dark ; or a somewhat 
that is, when attempted to be defined, a no-what, 
emotionless, passionless, the Supreme Apathy to which 
all things, good and evil, are alike indifferent ; or a 
jealous God Who revengefully visits the sins of the 
fathers on the children, and when the fathers have eaten 
sour grapes, sets the children's teeth on edge ; an 
arbitrary Supreme Will y that has made it right to be 
virtuous and wrong to lie and steal because It pleased 
to make it so rather than otherwise, retaining the power 
to reverse the law ; or a fickle, vacillating, inconstant 
Deity, or a cruel, bloodthirsty, savage Hebrew or 
Puritanical One, and we are but the sport of chance 
and the victims of despair." I do not know who, 
under the aegis of American Masonry, is qualified to 
deliver us from the mortal crassness of this species of 
debate. We know the strength and weakness of natural 
religion ; we know also the full force of the objections 
raised on the subject of the only formal revelation about 
which there is any serious question at the present day ; 
but this inchoate syllabus of moral emotion protesting 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

against the aspects of revelation which are in apparent 
antagonism with the fatherhood of God and with the 
apparent rights inherent in the everlasting sonship of 
humanity, is of the stuff that makes atheists rather than 
converts them. The Latin Church has little and less 
than nothing to fear from animadversions of this kind, 
and the Masonic interest has as little and as much to 

Now, it would seem out of all expectation, after 
such prolegomena, that the work of Pike is not only an 
apology for natural religion, so conceived and thus 
impossibly expressed, but is an attempt to present an 
account of the Secret Tradition, so far as it is under- 
stood by the writer. Albert Pike was a^ disciple of 
filiphas Levi, the French occultist, and Eliphas Levi 
was the first writer in modern times who attempted 
to place a new construction on that part of esoteric 
philosophy which had come within his horizon. It 
was largely a negligible part and it was not a right 
construction ; the disciple, moreover, was merely a 
literal reflection, giving nothing on his own side ; but 
the fact remains that the Supreme Council of the Thirty- 
Third Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the 
United States published " by its authority," under the 
title of Morals and Dogma , what is really a translation 
in part and a commentary at large, having a special ap- 
plication to Masonry, of and upon the works of 
Eliphas Levi, from whom all its inspiration is drawn 
and to whom all its curious material must be ultimately 
referred. Its " natural religion " is modified by the 
pseudo-transcendentalism of Levi, and its Masonry is 
transfigured in the light of the latter's views concerning 
the old sanctuaries of initiation. 

The lecture which is allocated to the 32nd Degree 
of the Rite, or Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret^ 
is a presentation of the so-called "magical doctrine," 
the Secret Doctrine, the mystery of all Holy Houses, 
participation in which was the end of every initiation. 



That doctrine, for Pike and for LeVi, lay behind the 
testimony of all peoples in all periods to the existence of 
revelation, but albeit it constituted for the disciple that 
Royal Secret imparted to the recipient of the Grade first 
mentioned, it was only the elementary doctrine of 
equilibrium, the Kabalistic " Mystery of the Balance." 

Lest it should seem therefore that I am dealing with 
one who was my precursor, I will summarise this 
doctrine as it is presented by Pike, premising only that 
the words are those of the Grand Commander but the 
conceptions are for the most part those of his master. 
I have here adapted the words, (a) From equilibrium 
in the Deity or between Infinite Divine Wisdom and 
Infinite Divine Power there result the stability of the 
universe, the unchangeableness of the Divine Law, and 
the principles of Truth, Justice and Right, which form 
part thereof, (b) From equilibrium between Infinite 
Divine Justice and Infinite Divine Mercy there result 
Infinite Divine Equity and Moral Harmony or Beauty 
in the universe, (c) "By it the endurance of created 
and imperfect natures in the presence of a Perfect Deity 
is made possible ; and for Him also, as for us, to love 
is better than to hate, and forgiveness is easier than 
revenge or hatred." I put this verbatim, because 
filiphas Levi was usually more plausible and less in need 
of our charity as regards his modes of expression : 
the reader should understand that Abert Pike is at this 
time not offering translation or its equivalent but 
commenting under his own lights, (d) From the 
equilibrium between Necessity and Liberty, between the 
action of Divine Omnipotence and the Free Will of 
man, it follows that "sins and base notions," "un- 
generous thoughts and words," are " crimes and wrongs 
justly punished by the law of cause and consequence." 
(e) From equilibrium between Good and Evil, Light 
and Darkness, it follows the logic is Pike's that all is 
the work of Infinite Wisdom and Infinite Love ; that 
there is no rebellious demon of evil, or principle of 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

darkness co-existent and in eternal controversy with 
God, or the principle of Light and Good. (/) By 
the knowledge of equilibrium, and with the help 
of faith, we can see that the existence of evil, 
sin, suffering and sorrow is consistent with God's 
Infinite Goodness, as well as with His Infinite Wisdom. 
() By the equilibrium between authority and individual 
activity there arises free government, and this is the 
conciliation of liberty with obedience to law, equality 
with subjection to authority, fraternity with subordina- 
tion to those who are wisest and best. (H) By 
equilibrium between the spiritual and divine, the 
material and human in man, we learn to reverence 
ourselves as immortal souls, to have respect and charity 
for others, who are partakers like us of the Divine 
Nature and are struggling like us towards the light. 
This, says Albert Pike, is the True Word of a Master 
Mason, the true Royal Secret ; it is that also which 
makes possible, and shall at last make real, " the Holy 
Empire of true Masonic Brotherhood." 

On my own part, I may add that equilibrium thus 
expounded is, like all ethics and all morality, the gate 
which stands between two pillars well enough known 
to Masons and giving entrance to the palace that is 
within, to the treasury of the Secret Tradition, but it 
is not the palace itself and its doctrine is not the 
Tradition. This notwithstanding, it is good and it 
is consoling to know that within the measure of his 
lights the face of Albert Pike was set towards Jerusalem 
even if it was not exactly and in the full mystical 
sense the eternal city and the Zion of the blessed. 

If those, in conclusion, who hold under the 
obedience of the Scottish Rite the Grades which are 
conferred thereby will take our English Rituals as they 
stand and will compare them with those in use under 
the aegis of the Southern Jurisdiction, they will meet 
with an extraordinary distinction in respect of develop- 
ment, apart from subject at its root. That distinction 


is the intervention of occult philosophy, and the mask 
worn by the philosphy in question is that of filiphas Lvi. 
In so far as the symbols allocated to particular Grades 
are diverse from our symbols here, they are referable 
to the same source. 


IN a work which is so largely and perhaps almost ex- 
clusively one of interpretation, it will be understood that 
it does not depend in any real or express manner from 
antecedent authorities. It depends from the Secret 
Tradition, a part of which only has passed into writing. 
It has so passed not in particular texts which can be 
cited as dealing comprehensively therewith, but in the 
form of cryptic literatures to which it is possible that 
I should refer only in a general way. In the work 
itself I have mentioned those of Kabalism, Alchemy 
and the mystic writers of the West. On the historical 
side there are, however, certain sources which may be 
consulted by students who desire to carry further the 
research here initiated. I propose therefore to provide 
in the present section some part of the materials which 
will be most ready to their hand, and for additional 
clearness it will be advisable to schedule them with 
reference to the seven books into which my work has 
been divided. It should be understood that what 
follows is neither exhaustive nor even representative ; 
it is rather accidental and sporadic, offering here and 
there a casual light on the path that we have sought 
to travel. There are also few or no real and final 
authorities on the subject, but there are results in- 
numerable of partial, defective and experimental inquiry. 
Book I. The Craft and the High Grades. Those 
who desire to enter into further detail respecting the 
antecedents of the Masonic subject in Kabalism should 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

consult in the first place and above all the French 
translation of the Sepher Ha Zohar which is now in 
course of publication at Paris. The Latin writers, 
through whom Kabalistic literature has been known 
previously, outside the Hebrew and Chaldaic texts, have 
been already mentioned. The Kabbala Denudata of 
Baron Knorr von Rosenroth has been and still remains 
the most comprehensive of all, and does not offer any 
real difficulties to those who are familiar with the scholastic 
Latin of the seventeenth century. It is not, however, 
a critical work, and the confused intermixture of Zoharic 
citations with the expansions of late commentators has 
long misled research. Among later writers, outside 
those who used Latin, the study of Adolphe Franck 
entitled La Kabbale has long been the chief authority 
in France, though it has been attacked by scholarship 
for the imperfections of its Chaldaic renderings. 
Molitor's Philosophy of Tradition is serviceable for refer- 
ence, and is to be had in a French translation as well as in 
the German original. The so-called Christian Kabalah 
is available in a French translation of one of the 
Rosenroth texts : Adumbratio Kabbalte Christiana^ Paris, 
1899. It is an extended dialogue between a Kabalist 
and a Christian philosopher. 

For Masonic history on its external side I have 
cited the Concise History of Freemasonry by Mr. R. F. 
Gould, to which may be added the German history by 
Findel, made more accessible some years ago by an 
English version. No other general works are worth 
enumeration, in the English language at least. French 
writers must be taken at their individual value, including 
those who have been regarded as conspicuous authorities, 
for example : (a) C. A. Thory : Acta Lafomorum y 2 vols., 
1815; (b) Clavel : Histoire pittoresque de la Franc- 
mafonnerie see in particular the third and extended edi- 
tion of 1844 ; (c] J. M. Ragon : Orthodoxie Mafonnique, 
1851 ; Manuel de rinitie^ 1853 ; Cours Thilosophique et 
Inter pretatif des Initiations Anciennes et Modernes^ 1842. 



These are the chief works, but among the great crowd 
there are certain others which seem to demand enumera- 
tion, including : (a) J. P. Levesque : Trincipales Sectes 
Mafonniques y a general historical sketch, 1821 ; (b) 
Reghelleni Da Schio : La Mafonnerie consideree comme 
la resultat des religions Egyptiennes, Juries et Chretiennes, 
2 vols., 1833 ; (c) Pierre Zaccone : Histoire des Societes 
Secretes, 4 vols., 1847-9; W E- E. Eckert : La 
Francma^onnerie dans sa veritable signification the German 
original, translated by Abbe Gyr, 2 vols., 1854 ; (e) C. A. 
Teissier : Manuel General de la Mafonnerie, 1856 ; (/) 
A. G. Jouast : Histoire de la Francmafonnerie, about 1865. 
It should be understood that the above works may 
be termed general in their character, and are historical 
rather than symbolical or interpretative, though there is 
no dividing line. The symbolism of Craft Masonry 
is dwelt with incidentally or otherwise, in the following 
works : (a) E. F. Bazot : Manuel de la Francmafonnerie, 
1819; (b) Dupontets : Cours pratique de la Franc- 
mafonnerie, 1841 ; (c) J. Casimir Boubee : Etudes histor- 
iques et phildsophiques sur la Francma^onnerie, 1854. The 
following English works may also be consulted : (a) 
The True Masonic Chart, by J. L. Cross, 1820, and 
(b) The Handbook of Freemasonry, by C. H. Stapleton, 
1857. Authoritative Rituals of the Craft Grades were 
published byj. M. Ragon according to French working, 
which is very different from that of England. The 
separate pamphlets were entitled : (a) Rituel de FApprenti 
Ma^on ; (b) Rituel du Compagnon ; (c) Rituel du Grade 
de Maitre. Extensions of certain references in the 
present work will be found as follows : (a) vol. i..p. 107. 
The Journey from East to West : see Eliphas Levi, 
Histoire de la Magie, pp. 399 et seq. But the writer 
did not understand that there is a reverse journey which 
must be undertaken from West to East ; (b) the great 
Legend of the Craft, according to one of the recensions, 
will be found in the same volume, with an explanation 
of the symbolism which is particular to this writer and 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

shews a certain light, though it is not the true light of 
all ; (c) vol. i. p. 108. The Loss in the Sanctuary : there 
are casual references throughout Masonic literature, and 
I mention the fact because those who care to go further 
will find innumerable texts in French, German and 
Spanish which speak with much greater frankness than 
I have felt it possible to do ; there are intimations and 
side-lights even in official and purely monitorial pro- 
ductions like Mackey's Manual of the Lodge. 

Book II. It must be understood here, and else- 
where throughout, that sources of information to which 
my readers are referred for the extension of their 
personal studies, do not mean, except casually and 
occasionally, the sources from which I have myself 
derived. The dependence in my own case has been 
usually from knowledge at first hand, though this has 
been checked and expanded in many directions, possibly 
most of all from sources in MS. or from private texts 
which it would be inadvisable to specify by citation. 
My study under the title of Grades of the Ancient Alliance 
can be checked by recourse to four classes of texts, but 
one of them concerns the ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED 
SCOTTISH RITE, which I shall have occasion to speak of 
later, and the particulars are therefore postponed. For 
the Grade of Mark Master Mason and the work of a 
certain Craftsman therewith connected consult : (a) Le 
Rameau d*0r d'Eleusis, by J. F. Marconis ; () the work 
of Eckert already cited ; and (c) Ragon's codification 
of Rituals connected, by his hypothesis, with the Degree 
of Royal Arch. For the Holy Order of the Royal Arch 
itself, the bibliography is considerable, and the first item 
hereinafter mentioned is of palmary importance and 
authority ; (a) W. J. Hughan : Origin of the English 
Rite of Freemasonry, especially in relation to the Royal 
Arch Degree, 1864 ; (b) F. E. Clark : Notes on the Origin 
of the Royal Arch Degree, 1890 ; (c) W. G. Warvelle : 
The Book of the Law, Chicago, 1901 ; (d) J. M. Ragon : 
Rituel de la Mafonnerie de Roy ale Arche. 



For CRYPTIC MASONRY per se the two text-books are 
those of Albert G. Mackey, published under the title in 
question, and The Cryptic Rite, by J. Ross Robertson, 
Toronto, 1888. ADONHIRAMITE MASONRY is repre- 
sented by (a) Recueil precieux de la Ma^onnerie Adonhira- 
mite . . . par un Chevalier de tous les Ordres Ma^onniques, 
1787 ; Origine de la Ma^onnerie Adonhiramite, referred 
about to the same date. These are the works which 
have been ascribed indifferently to Baron Tschoudy and 
L. G. de St. Victor, who is probably the real author. 
Those who consult them will see (a) full particulars as 
to the nature of the buried treasures removed from the 
first Temple, and (b) after what manner it would have 
been possible to recover them for use in the later Temple 
built in the days of Esdras. 

Book III.: The subject-matter is divisible under 
three heads corresponding to the three sections. In the 
first place therefore concerning t,cossais Masonry, 
consult : (a) Baron Tschoudy : the treatise entitled 
Ecossais de St. Andree d'Ecosse, Paris, 1780 ; (b) Nicholas 
de Bonneville : La Ma^onnerie jfrcossaise, 1788 ; (c) La 
Ma$onnerie Ecossaise comparee avec les trots professions et 
le secret des Templiers, 1788. The cycle of literature 
which has gathered about the Grade of Rose-Croix is 
as large as the variations of the Degree itself are 
numerous, but naturally the works which deal exclusively 
therewith lie in a smaller compass than the descriptions 
and references scattered through the great body of 
Masonic literature. Particular monographs are as 
follows : (a) Les plus secrets Mysteres des Hauts Grades 
de la Ma$onnerie devoiles, ou la Vrai Rose-Croix, 1768 ; 

(b) Henry O'Connor : A Few Words upon the Degree of 
Grand Prince Rose-Croix, including its alleged trans- 
mission in Ireland from the fourteenth century, 1843 ; 

(c) Goblet D'Alviella : Du Rituel des R.R. + +, et de 
sa signification symbolique, 1890; (d) R. A. Withers: 
Rose-Croix Masonry, 1900 ; (e) Ragon : Ordre Chapitral 
Nouveau Grade de Rose-Croix. 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Book IV. 1 will take in the first place the works 
dealing with the history, symbolism and system of the 
primarily the writings of Ragon, as already specified, 
and his selection of particular Rituals according to 
French workings. Other texts are as follows : (a) J. E. 
Marconis : Le Menteur des Inities, 1864; (b) E. H. 
Darnty : Recherches sur le Rite Ecossais, 1879 ; (<:) Books 
of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, published by the 
Supreme Council, 33rd Degree, U.S.A., about 1880; 

(d) W. H. Peckham : The Ancient and Accepted Scottish 
Rite in the United States of America, New York, 1884 ; 

(e) C. T. M'Lenachan : The Book of the Ancient and 
Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Jurisdiction, U.S.A., 
New York, 1885. The Order of the Temple, as 
originally constituted and in its several Masonic revivals, 
has also an extended literature, some of which is 
exceedingly valuable. The original Order is outside 
our horizon and I will therefore mention only the work 
of C. G. Addison, published in 1842 under the title of 
Knights Templar. It is a tolerable account and is ready 
to the hand of inquirers. Other texts are as follows : 
(a) James Burnes : A Sketch of the History of the Knights 
Templars, 1837 a work dealing more especially with 
the revival under the Charter of Larmenius ; (b) Knight 
Templarism Illustrated, Chicago, 1888 ; (c) R. Greeven : 
The Templar Movement in Masonry, Benares, 1899 ; 
(d) Quelques reflexions sur les origines de la Francma Conner ie 
Templiere, Brussels, 1904 ; (e) Ordre des Chevaliers du 
Temple, 1840; (/) Chevalier Guyot : Manual of the 
Knights of the Order of the Temple, 1830 (I have not seen 
the French original). The question of the revivals is also 
mentioned by Abbe Gregoire in his Histoire des Societes 
Secretes Religieuses, 1830, and by C. H. Maillard de 
Chambure in his Regies et Statutes Secretes des Templiers, 
1840. The work enlitled Knight Templarism Illustrated 
may also be consulted for the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre 
as well as the connected Degrees. 



Book V. I do not suppose that Masonic readers, 
unless they are drawn very strongly by the claims of 
the Secret Tradition, are in the least likely to undertake 
at first hand the study of alchemical texts. I may 
mention, for their better equipment, that in the very 
imperfect bibliography of Lenglet du Fresnoy the works 
extended to nearly 2500 separate tracts. But in a case 
of this kind it is never quite wise to be certain, and if 
any one should open the door of this cryptic library he 
may be counselled to take down from some shelf the 
Bibliotheca Chemica Curios a of Mangetus, in two folio 
volumes, date 1702. It contains sixty-seven texts, all 
notable after their own manner and some of high authority. 
The mystic side of Alchemy is represented in England 
by one remarkable book published in 1850, under the 
title A suggestive Enquiry into the Hermetic Mystery. 
It is not, however, final or satisfactory as a critical 
study ; indeed, in some respects it is a morass rather 
than a pathway. There is also Remarks on Alchemy and 
the Alchemists , by an American writer, Mr. E. A. Hitch- 
cock, but to the deep subject he had not brought a 
consideration which was also deep. 

Coming now to the Hermetic or Alchemical side 
of Masonry, I regard bibliographical references as 
practically out of the question in respect of Pernety 
and his brotherhoods, while the works referable to 
himself have been mentioned already in the text. 
Baron Tschoudy is represented adequately by L'Etoile 
Flamboyante, which has been printed several times, and 
I have spoken of it at great length. The question 
which therefore remains is concerning the two colossal 
Rites of Mizraim and Memphis. In respect of the first 
the authorities, such as they may be held to be, are : 
(a) Veruhas : Defense de Misrdim et quelques apercus sur 
les divers Rites Mafonniques en France, Paris, 1822 ; (b) 
Marc Be"darride : LOrdre Ma$onnique de Mizra'im, 
practically the adventures of the writer, who was one 
of the founders ; (f) Statuts Generaux de FOrdre, 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

1844. The authority for Memphis is J. E. Marconis, 
who had also a hand in its establishment. His chief 
works are Le Sanctuaire du Memphis and Le Rameau 
a" Or d'Eleusis, already mentioned. Dr. J. A. Gottlieb 
has written a brief and uncritical History of the Masonic 
Rite of Memphis, which was published at New York 
in 1899. We have seen that the system was reduced 
and reappeared in this form as the ANTIENT AND 
PRIMITIVE RITE. There is no account of it that is really 
worth mentioning, but some of its Public Ceremonies 
were published about 1885, anc * a short sketch of its 
history appeared some three years later. 

Book VI. Cagliostro and his Egyptian Masonry 
are represented by innumerable descriptive accounts 
scattered through Masonic literature on the Continent 
and in England ; by several formal biographies, from 
that which was issued in Italy under the authority of 
the Holy Inquisition to the excellent reconsideration 
of all the evidence published, in 1910, by Mr. W. R. H. 
Trowbridge under the title : Cagliostro : The Splendour 
and Misery of a Master of Magic ; and finally by a 
piecemeal but serviceable summary of the Egyptian 
Rituals, which appeared some years ago, and is now 
practically entombed in a French periodical entitled 
L? Initiation. 

Earlier and later Martinism is another very large 
subject, and I will mention only : (a) Papus : 
Lllluminisme en France. Mar tines de Pasqually, 1895 ; 
() Papus : Martinesisme, Willermosisme et Franc- 
Ma Conner ie, 1899 ; W Franz von Baader : Les Enseigne- 
ments Secrets de Martines de Pasqually, 1 900 ; (d) Martines 
de Pasqually : Traite de la Reintegration des Etres. The 
life of L. C. de Saint-Martin, represented by various 
memoirs, his autobiographical notes and his letters, does 
not enter into Masonry save by his connection with 
the RITE OF ELECT COHENS, and of this enough has been 
said in the present work. 

Book VII. The literature of Rosicrucianism in its 


Masonic aspects and connections is practically worthless, 
and I do not propose to burden this appendix with 
useless or mischievous references. The general history 
of the subject is not in much better case. I have 
intimated that modern American publications are the 
work of illiterate imposition. The Rosicrucians : their 
Rites and Mysteries, by the late Hargrave Jennings, was 
exposed in respect of its pretensions, nearly twenty-five 
years since, by myself. This leads me to remark that 
I have throughout omitted all reference to my own 
writings, in part for obvious reasons and for the rest 
because their bare titles have been specified elsewhere 
in these volumes. Readers of German may be referred 
to the old Collections of Solomon Semler, and for Masonic 
aspects to C. G. Von Murr's True Origins of the Orders 
of Rosier ucianism and Freemasonry, 1803. The history 
of the Fraternity has not been attempted in France. 

The intervention of Swedenborg in Masonry has no 
literature, but the speculation attracted such dreamers 
as Reghelline and Ragon, who continue to be regarded 
as oracles by the French school of modern Martinism. 

I trust that the scope and intention of this rough 
list will not be misconstrued. It contains many noticeable 
and a few excellent works, but the citation of none is 
intended as a mark of approval or as operating to the 
exclusion of others. There are several points of view 
from which most are negligible, except for the collection 
and collation of facts and their separation, when it can 
be made, from the fictions in which they are imbedded. 



THE description of these has been deferred, because in 
many instances it is necessary to speak of them at 
greater length than would be possible in a note attached 
VOL. II. 2 D 417 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

to each. The accounts follow hereafter in the exact 
order of their appearance. 


P. vi. A circle inscribed with the words : There are 
three miracles God and Man, Mother and Virgin^ Three 
and One. Within the circle is a Hexagram or Seal of 
Solomon, inscribed with the letters B.S., signifying 
Sahator Benedictus, Blessed Saviour. It is the descent 
of the light in Christ, represented by the white inverted 
triangle. There is a Cross in the midst of the Hexagram 
rising above a smaller circle inscribed with these words : 
The Centre In the Triangle of the Centre. Within this 
second circle there is a third containing a point ; this is 
the familiar symbol of eternity. The angels of the four 
quarters of manifest creation encompass the whole figure, 
which represents in brief summary the thesis of this 

P. viii. The Sign of the Son of Man in the centre 
of that sun which is the light of the earth, and beneath 
these is the symbol of the Sun of Justice, which is 
the Word of God. The sentence written on the cross 
signifies : In this sign shalt thou conquer. It is the 
message to the Craft Grades uttered by the High 

P. xix. The symbol of catholic or universal Free- 
masonry : a winged heart, representing love and good- 
will at their highest. There is a solar light in the 
centre, and within it is a double square or octangle, the 
mystic symbol of Christ. Within this is the Eternal 
Triad. It shews forth the manifestation of God in 
Love. The message is that the Divine is in the heart 
of Masonry and it is also the Providence above, repre- 
sented by the triangle and the All-seeing Eye. Various 
Masonic emblems are inscribed on the heart. 

P. xx. The Four Living Creatures of Ezekiel, 


corresponding to the four parts of heaven and the 
divisions of the human personality, which are consecrated 
in Masonry. 

P. xxi. The Seal of Solomon, another form of the 
Hexagram on p. vi. Both embody the doctrine of 
Hermetic correspondence, the analogy between the 
Divine and the human, the seen and unseen. It has 
many Masonic applications. 

P. xxxi. A cornucopia or horn of plenty, representing 
the Masonic good things of the Lord in the Land of the 
living. It is much more therefore than the conventional 
sign of refreshment. 

P. xxxii. The genius of Freemasonry, a vested 
virgin like Isis, crowned with seven stars, and uplifting 
that globe over the whole surface of which is diffused 
the beneficence of the Masonic Institution. 

P. xxxiii. The figure of Hermes the Messenger, 
bearing the Caduceus. He is here as the beautiful feet 
upon the mountain, bringing glad tidings near. The 
original is in the Museo Borboniso. 

P. xxxv. An emblematic figure of the Law of 
Masonry in the act of proclamation urbl et orbi. 

P. xxxvi. The emblematic figure of the Master, 
clothed with the power of Masonry and with the sun 
of its light behind him, illuminating the work which he 

P. i. A variant of the symbol at the back of the 
foretitle. It may be said further concerning it (a) that 
the cross is that of the Supernal Father (down line) and 
the Son (cross line) above the circle of manifestation ; () 
that the cross above the circle is also the sign of Venus 
reversed, and as such it may be compared with what is 
said in the text respecting the mystery of the Garden of 

P. 1 8. An open book, which is that of the Law, 
supporting a square and compasses, stands on an unhewn 
altar with horned angles. There is also the rough 
delineation of a human face. A few scriptural 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

references to the horns of the Altar of Burnt Offerings 
will be in the mind of the reader, e.g., Ps. cxviii. 27. 

P. 20. A coffin whereon is a black pentagram, 
signifying the perfect soul in concealment. Beside the 
coffin are a spade and mallet. The acacia, type of 
immortality, blooms at the head. The reference is of 
course to the passing of the Master-Builder. 

P. 24. The Ark of the Covenant, supported by the 
Four Living Creatures. 

P. 25. A variant of the Winged Heart on p. xix, 
with the same meaning. 

P. 67. An imaginary delineation of the Temple 
of Solomon, illustrating unconsciously its completion, 
apart from the original plans communicated by Divine 

P. 68. The square and compasses, with the letter G 
in the centre, signifying God, geometry, etc. Beneath 
are Masonic tools. The device is familiar in Masonry. 

P. 82. A rose of five petals, having a heart in 
the centre from which a cross rises. The device is 
Rosicrucian in its character, and is found among the 
so-called Secret Symbols of that Fraternity. It is the 
crucifixion of Divine Love in the life of creation, as 
if upon an altar, and in this manner it illustrates the 
Beneplacitum termino carens which operated in creation 
according to Kabalistic doctrine. In more Masonic 
language it is the Divine goodwill manifested in all 
things, and reflected in the goodwill which is the counsel 
in chief of Masonry to all its Brethren. 

P. 83. A variant of the symbol which appears on 
p. 68. 

P. 100. Another representation of the unhewn altar, 
with the Book of the Law thereon and Masonic emblems 
represented upon it. The meaning is that the knowledge 
and remembrance of the Law is kept alive or open like 
a book by means of Masonry. The three Lesser Lights 
stand about the altar. 

P. 101. The Rose-Cross in the centre of a glory 


or nimbus. It means here the sacrifice of the whole 
creation on the altar of the Divine, by which sacrifice 
creation in fine attains the glorious end of its existence. 
Masonry is also a rose, and so also is it crucified, that 
so it may attain in fine. 

P. 133. A variant of the device on p. xxxi, having 
the same meaning. 

P. 134. Masonry summarised in the form of a 
monumental tablet, bearing the symbolic jewels allocated 
to the various offices of the Craft. Symbolically it 
stands upon the earth and overlooks the world of 

P. 136. The vision of Jacob. 

P. 137. The symbol is allocated to one of the High 
Grades, but is in analogy with the Legend of the Master- 
Builder. The candle which burns on the coffin has the 
same significance as the acacia. In a sense also it signifies 
that the Adept or Master, being dead, yet speaketh. He 
speaks under a veil in Craft Masonry ; in Christian 
Masonry he returns with the Word of Life, or such at 
least is the hypothesis. 

P. 1 39. This device is in analogy with that on 
p. xxxvi. Here, however, the light is solely from the 
letter G, signifying the Divine Light diffused in 

P. 140. The Pillars of the Porch of the Temple and 
the winding stairs beyond. 

P. 141. From one point of view this is the Altar of 
Incense, and in the form delineated it belongs to the 
Grade of Prince Adept. There is the vessel of Incense 
beside an open book and the pentagram is placed upon 
the surface. The three lesser lights surround the altar, 
as in a previous diagram. The Altar is sometimes held 
to represent the tressle-board, when the latter is under- 
stood in a symbolical and speculative sense. 

P. 1 70. The five orders of architecture. Some of the 
emblematic correspondences are specified in a Craft 
Lecture, and there are others which have not passed into 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

writing, though they are not external to the horizon of 

P. 171. Vessels of consecration for use in Temples 
and Lodges. In the centre there is a horn containing 
wheat, on the left is the cup of wine, and on the right 
hand that of oil. 

P. 192. A commemoration of the just made perfect 
in their passage from this life. The motto might be : 
In memoria eterna erit Justus. The broken pillar is the 
sign of mortality. The genius of Masonry is reading 
from the Book of the Law. She uplifts a branch of the 
acacia as a sign of eternal life. Behind her is Time with 
his scythe. He is raising one of her abundant tresses. 
The reference is to I Kings i. 42 : There shall not a hair 
of him fall to earth. . . It is another reference to the 
immortal nature of man. 

P. 193. Mount Sinai and the surrounding plain. 

P. 204. Another view of Mount Sinai, shewing the 
convent of St. Catherine. 

P. 206. The perfect arch of symbolical Masonry, 
when it is understood on the moral side. The words 
are Justice and Equity. The one is represented by the 
sword and the other by the balance. But above these 
there is a triad formed of ten Hebrew Yods, shewing 
that above the law of human equity and above morality 
there is the higher and eternal sanction which resides in 
Divine Grace and Power. 

P. 207. The Temple of human aspiration open to all 
the quarters and raised upon five steps, representing the 
elements of our natural personality and the spirit which 
overshadows these. Above is the inextinguishable flame 
which ascends from the Sons of Desire. 

P. 210. The double-headed eagle with a crown 
above. It is really the badge allocated to the 33rd 
degree, but it has a wider application as the union of 
the two covenants, and as such is a fitting symbol pre- 
ceding the consideration of the New Alliance in Free- 
masonry. In Alchemy it signifies that which is called 



Rebis, being a mystery of the substance of the wise 
during its passage through the first process of the Great 

P. 2 1 1 . An important and rare symbol. The words 
are : 'This do^ and thou shalt live. The joined hands 
signify union ; they are clasped in front of an anchor, 
which is that of eternal hope, familiar in Masonry. 
From the union of the hands there springs flame, and 
the heavenly dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit, descends 
thereon. It is a perfect sign of the New Alliance in love. 
On one side there is a fallen pillar, because heaven and 
earth may pass away but the word of God shall remain 
for ever. 

P. 227. A pelican in its piety, the symbol of Christ 
and that of the 1 8th Degree. 

P. 228. The Cross of St. Andrew. 

P. 240. The Divine name Tetragrammaton is sur- 
rounded by an ineffable glory and is placed within an 
inverted triangle, shewing the descent of the Divine 
Influences. A key is suspended from the triangle, 
meaning that the descent of those influences and the 
law of their communication is the key of all things. In 
device of the 4th Degree, being that of Secret Master. 
The symbol is described in the historical discourse attached 
thereto, and the account is curious because of its Christian 
references at that early stage of the system, but the true 
explanation is wanting. I have myself withheld some- 

P. 241. In this symbol the cross which on p. 82 is 
shewn above the heart is now placed within it. It is the 
taking of the Divine Sacrifice into the human heart, 
because he who is crucified with Christ shall also reign 
with Him. This is the message of the Christian Grades 
in Masonry. 

P. 263. An alternative device of the 1 8th Degree and 
especially the form in use by the Supreme Council of 
Spanish South America. It will be noted that in this 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

case the Rose is above the Cross, which does not improve 
the symbolism. 

P. 264. The extended symbol of the 1 8th Degree, 
shewing, within a glory, the Cross of eternal life above 
the Pelican, the Hermetic Rose being on one side and 
the acacia on the other. 

P. 266. The plan of the Third Temple, which, 
according to filiphas LeVi, was to have been rebuilt by 
the original Knights Templar, if their design had not 
been discovered. See pp. 300 to 303 of the text. 

P. 267. The Egyptian symbol of the Winged Globe. 
It is the sign of immortal life that which passes through 
all things and is not changed thereby. 

P. 274. An incised slab representing Frere Gerars 
of the Commalidery of Villers le Temple in the district 
of Liege. Temp. 1273. 

P. 275. Effigy of Jean de Dreux, referred to the 
year 1 275. In the eighteenth century it was still preserved 
in the church of St. Yved de Brame, near Soissons, 
France. See Monuments de la Monarchic Fran$aise> by 

P. 287. Knight Templar, from a Hollars engraving, 
date 1656. 

P. 288. Mounted Knight Templar and Standard- 
bearer from Adrien Schoonebeek's Histoire des Ordres 
Militaires. Amsterdam, 1699. 

P. 307. A Knight Templar in military clothing. 
From Helyot. 

P. 317. A Knight Templar in ordinary clothing. 
See Helyot, Histoire des Ordres Monastiques^ Religieux et 
Militaires. Paris, 1721. 

P. 318. A transparency attributed to the Grade of 
Knights of the East. The letters L.D.P. have been held 
to signify Lilia pedibus destrue^ or Trample the lilies under 
foot, and so constituted a supposititious motto of the 

P. 330. Statue of a Knight Templar in the Hall of 
the Inner Temple, by H. H. Armitage, date 1875. 



P. 331. St. Bernard of Clairvaux, after Fra Angelico. 

P- 353- The seal and arms of the old Order of the 

P. 369. Masonic Arms connected with the Order of 
the Temple. 

P- 379- The ancient habit and armour of a Knight 
Templar in the Sublime Degree of Masonry, from a 
stipple engraving of 1796. First example of the kind 
and without Masonic devices. 

P. 388. A Teutonic Cross, attributed to the Grade 
of Sovereign Grand Inspector General. From a Spanish 
South American source. 

P. 398. St. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, 
bearing the true Cross. From the Boisseree Gallery. 

P. 399. A Grand Master of the Order of the Temple. 
See La Chevalerie et les Croisades, a compilation from the 
writings of Paul Lacroix. 

P. 410. The Councillor Karl von Eckartshausen. 

P. 411. Banner of the Temple as adopted by the 
Grade of Kadosh. 

P. 417. Another Banner belonging to the same 

P. 418. The Glory of the Divine Triad enclosing 
the Divine name Tetragrammaton, and the familiar symbols 
of Craft Masonry. The letters beneath will be also 
familiar to all Masons, but the symbol is derived from 
a High Grade source and there is little doubt that they 
signify Jacobus Burgunders, i.e. Jacques de Molay. 


P. iv. The Ark of Noah, which, according to certain 
Mysteries, carried the secrets of initiation across the 
waters of the Flood and thus insured their transmission 
from the days of Enoch. The rainbow in this sense 
was the covenant of their perpetuation and the sign of 
alliance between the two epochs. 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

P. v. The great pentagram of life surrounded by 
spiritual presences. 

P. vii. The Hermetic Master reading from that 
which is termed in Rosicrucian literature the Book M., 
containing the knowledge of things within and without. 

P. viii. The Pillars of Hermes, shewing on the one 
hand the winged globe encircled by the serpent, which 
is that of the loss and the trespass, but on the other the 
Brazen Serpent, which is that of Christ the Deliverer. 
These Pillars are referred to a High Grade, but they are 
of universal meaning in Masonry, being symbolic of the 
two covenants and of the Craft and Christian systems. 

P. 2. The sacred Dionysius, from the painting at 
Pompeii. According to Baron Tschoudy, the Mysteries 
of this god were carried over into Emblematic Free- 

P. 3. The hexagram, or seal of Solomon, encom- 
passed by a solar glory. The two triangles are connected 
by a horizontal line to indicate their unity in the essence 
of both. 

P. 7. The conventional figure of a hermit or pre- 
server of mysteries. 

P. 8. The figure of Hermes wearing the mask of 
Anubis and encompassed by all his emblems. 

P. 9. A king in the guise of a pontiff, wearing a 
triple crown, is seated on a throne. At his feet are 
the sun and moon, with the five planets. He is a 
symbol of the Great work in its fulfilment. From the 
Theatre of Terrestrial Astronomy. 

P. 20. Hermes and the Great Mother watching over 
the picture of a grey-headed student consulting the 
records of the past. His motto might be : My days 
among the dead are past. The inscription says that the 
dead are the best counsellors. 

P. 21. A hand issuing from a cloud replenishes the 
oil of a lamp set upon a closed book. It typifies light 
upon the Mysteries. 

P. 38. The reversed alchemical triad of spirit, soul 


and body, the soul, by a particular convention, meaning 
the highest part. The inscription on the circle says : 
Visit the depths of the earth ; by rectification thou shalt 
find the hidden stone. On the circle is placed the 
heptagram of the planets, with a human face in the 
centre, signifying the alchemical King, whom we have 
met with in the symbolic diagram on p. 9. The present 
emblem represents the Great Work and the working 
secret, according to the doctrine of Basil Valentine. 
I am dealing here only with its most obvious elements ; 
it has been the subject of many commentaries. The 
figure behind the diagram, and veiled thereby, is the 
secret essence or root of the metallic nature. 

P. 39. The same face reappears in this emblem, 
but here the figure is winged and is seen rising from 
the square altar of material things. 

P. 52. The double patriarchal cross in its application 
to Alchemy. The sense of the inscription is that all 
external honour is a barren contest, but the blessed 
stone containeth all things in itself. The sun reflects 
upon the moon below, and her face is turned downward, 
as if to shed light on material things. 

P. 53. The inscription on the circle is that of Basil 
Valentine's Key ; the planetary symbols are within, 
and other emblems of transmutation, such as the Green 
Lion and the double-headed eagle. This diagram is 
sometimes regarded as connected with the Table of 
Emerald, attributed to Hermes. 

P. go. This is the treasure of all the treasures of 
Alchemy, and is supposed to expound the secret 
doctrine of Paracelsus. The chest which contains the 
treasure has proved Pandora's box for many and too 

P. g i. This diagram presents the universal key of 
Raymond Lully in symbolic form. It is said to contain 
all things which are necessary for the accomplishment 
of the Great Work and to expound them for those who 
can see in a clear manner. 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

P. 90. The seal of Hermes inscribed with the word 
" chaos " on the circle and the four seasons within. The 
square refers to the Salt of the Philosophers and the 
triangle is elemental water. 

P. 91. The seal belonging to the Sovereign Primitive 
Ancient and True Masonic Order of Memphis in the 
United States. Two variants of the design have been 
described in the first volume. 

P. 97. The basin or sea of the wise, into which 
the glory of the alchemic sun is reflected. It is an 
illustration to Roger Bacon's Mirror of Alchemy. 

P. 98. The Risen King placing crowns of gold upon 
the heads of his servants, who represent the base metals. 
The word Oro is embroidered on the sleeve of his 
vestment. We have met with this King in the symbols 
on pp. 38 and 39. Zallo is a technical term, the 
significance of which is wanting. 

P. 1 08. The tree of the seven planets. 

P. no. The symbolic figure of Hermetic Magic. 
From a design by Eliphas LeVi. 

P. Hi. The hexagram in its magical application. 
This is also a design of Eliphas Levi. 

P. 115. The Great Hermetic Arcanum, according 
to Levi, containing the divine Tetragram, with the 
words Taro and Inri. 

P. 120. The character or sigil of Adepts according 
to the work entitled Chymicus Vannus. It is the ex- 
pounded form of the mystic aphorism : In cruce sub 
sphcera venit sapientia vera, and the long inscription 
celebrates the glories of the Cross. He who is ac- 
quainted with its mysteries does not fear to die ; he 
knows of another refuge, and as in a glass he sees 
the life to come before him. The black Calvary Cross 
changes into the Rose-Cross, and thereafter the White 
Cross shines. The way of the Cross is the Way to God. 

P. 121. The key of the Great Work in Magia, 
according to filiphas Levi. It formulates the doctrine 
of correspondence between things visible and invisible. 



At the summit of the circle is the Divine Triad en- 
compassed by seven crowns, symbolising the seven 
spirits before the Throne of God. Above the belt 
of the Zodiac are Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, two 
of them with their signs reversed, that is, directed 
towards the unseen. Beneath the belt are the four 
other planets of ancient lore, the sun immersed in the 
sea, and Mercury presiding over a mountain which I 
take to be that of initiation. It is a very curious symbol, 
and some readers may remember concerning that sun 
which shines at midnight beneath the surface of things. 

P. 126. The Key of Black Magic, according to 
filiphas Levi. 

P. 127. The horned Altar of Burnt Offerings, 
according to another symbolism. 

P. 1 3 1 . The Hermetic Cross of Count Cagliostro, 
with the Four Living Creatures in the angles. 

P. 132. A symbol connected with the Grade of 
Grand Elect, Perfect and Sublime Mason. A blazing 
triad is placed within a pentagram. The ill-formed 
characters have the appearance of a Shin, Lamed and 
Aleph y followed by a cross. 

p. j^y. The occult alphabet of Cagliostro, but it 
is a question whether this is not an invention of the 
bibliophile Christian, who once wrote a great romance 
and called it a history of magic. 

p. I ^g > A variant of the Rose-Cross, with inscrip- 
tions referable to occult thought in America. 

p. !g2. St. Martin of Tours, after Martin Schoen. 

p. !83. The apocalyptic Christ, between seven- 
branched candlesticks, holding the unsealed book, in- 
scribed with the letters Alpha and Omega. 

P. 190. Lux Crucis. 

p. ! 9 ! . The Divine Tetragram Jod> He, Van, He 
according to Athanasius Kircher. 

p. jcjy. The Kabalistic Macroprosopus and Micropro- 
sopus as designed by filiphas Levi. It is another 
illustration of the occult doctrine of correspondences. 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

P. 189. filiphas LeVi's key to the Sepher Tetzirah or 
Hebrew Book of Formation, regarded as the root-matter 
of Kabalistic philosophy. 

P. 200. Rosicrucian seal affixed by the Comte de 
Chazal to the document certifying the reception of 
Sigismund Bacstrom into the Secret Order. 

P. -20 1. St. John the Evangelist represented with 
the head of an eagle, indicating his place among the 
symbolic Kerubim of Ezekiel. 

P. 206. The Zodiac in its alchemical attributions 
surrounding the four elements, with the Great Secret in 
the centre. The Secret is termed Wonder of Nature, 
and at the angles of the heptagram are the signs of the 
metals and planets. Salt, Sulphur, Mercury, and other 
alchemical symbols are within the angles of the star. 

P. 207. The Mystic Rose, according to Robertus de 
Fluctibus. The inscription says that the Rose gives 
honey for the bees. 

P. 225. Another form of the Rose-Cross. 

P. 228. The arms of J. V. Andreas, a reputed 
founder of the Rosicrucian Fraternity. It will be seen 
that four roses are emblazoned within the angles of a 
St. Andrew's Cross. 

P. 229. The double-headed eagle, attributed to the 
Grade of Sovereign Grand Inspector-General. We have 
seen that it has wider applications, and the device 
signifying the development of order out of chaos belongs 
to universal Freemasonry. 

P. 237. The crowned Rose-Cross, a badge of the 
Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia. 

P. 238. Light on the path of quest and the hand 
that guides therein. It belongs in one of its aspects to 
the Grade of Knight of the Brazen Serpent, but it is also 
a general that is to say, a catholic symbol. 

P. 267. The phoenix rising from his ashes, a symbol 
of Christ and His resurrection, signifying the completed 

P. 268. This ; s inserted because the cone or fruit of 


the pine was an important symbol in the Mysteries of 
Ceres, as also in those of Bacchus. It has descended 
thence to the Secret Orders of modern times. 

P. 282. The Brazen Serpent lifted in the wilderness 
of this world, and therefore the term of quest. 

P. 304. The Woman clothed with the Sun. 

P. 330. The waters of creation, the waters above 
and below, and the Divine Dove bearing the Eucharist. 

P. 331. The pentagram as a sign of man in the 
stature of his perfection, encompassed by the Divine 
Name. It is one of Levi's symbols and has attributions 
drawn from Hermetic literature, Kabalism and the Tarot. 
Reproduced by permission from tte Occult Review. 

P. 339. The union of the Calvary and the St. 
Andrew's cross, the crosses of active and passive, of 
voluntary and involuntary sacrifice. 

P. 360. A votive hand connected with the old Rites 
of the Mater Deorum. The mystic pine-cone is fixed 
to the top of the thumb, and it connects therefore with 
the design on p. 268. 

P. 361. The Seven-Branched Candlestick. It has 
many interpretations in Masonry and the other Mysteries. 

P. 437. Another figure representing the meditative 
genius of Freemasonry. The book is again that of the 
Holy Law, and the Law is symbolically understood. 


WITH the help of references in the text, the portraits 
which illustrate my work really speak for themselves, 
but there are a few points of information which may 
interest the general reader. 

I. ELIAS ASHMOLE. He was born at Lichfield in 
1617 and died in London in 1692. Apart from any 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

personal interest, he seems one of the important figures 
of his period for the subject of Masonry and things 
connected therewith. So far as there were Hermetic 
Schools in England at that time, he may be said to 
stand for these. He had definite Rosicrucian connec- 
tions, his spiritual father in Alchemy being William 
Backhouse, whose records are known to a few in 
MS. He states that he received from this person the 
secret of the Great Work on the physical side. Perhaps, 
by the evidence of Ashmole's life, it may not be 
advisable to take this statement too literally ; probably 
it was a secret concerning the reputed First Matter 
without the process, or a process in the absence thereof. 
The work was not followed personally by Ashmole. 

II. ATHANASIUS KIRCHER. He was born in 1601 
and died in 1680. A member of the Jesuit Society, he 
was perhaps the palmary example of encyclopaedic 
learning ; all his works are monuments, having regard 
to their period ; practically all are still of curious 
interest. (Edipus dSgypfiacus is the rarest and most 
valuable ; it is usually obtained in four folio volumes, 
and herein is a summary account of Jewish Kabalism 
which, within its limits, is perhaps the best of its kind 
and the most readily intelligible. It has been made 
available recently in the French language. It is more 
especially by reason of this tract that his portrait has been 
included here. 

III. JEAN MARIE RAGON. He was born about 1789 
at Bruges, and died in Paris, 1866. The portrait is 
from a private source, and represents an earlier period 
than that which was prefixed to Orthodoxie Martinique. 

tender). The portrait is after the engraving by Edelinck. 

V. JACQUES DE MOLAY. He was born at Besan9on 



in Burgundy about 1240, and was burnt, with other 
Templars, in front of N6tre-Dame, 1314. I do not 
know that his immolation is the greatest blot on the 
scutcheon of the Church in France, but it has not been 
expiated in the succeeding centuries and it must be called 

VI. N. C. DES fixANGs. He was born on 7th 
September, 1766, and died on 6th May, 1846. I have 
said that in his Masonic activities he was actuated by 
worthy and even excellent motives, but his attempted 
reformation of Rites was apart from all illumination 
and was practically still-born. 

VII. ARCHBISHOP FNELON. He was born on 6th 
August, 1651, and died on New Year's day, 1715. The 
suggestion of Reghellmi and the French Martinist, Dr. 
Papus, that the Chevalier Ramsay was soigneusement initie 
into Templar Masonry by this prelate, who, by implica- 
tion, had therefore a hand in preparing the French 
Revolution, is one of those points which students should 
keep in memory as a test of value about anything thought 
or said in the French occult schools. It is for this 
reason that I refer again to the point and have inserted 
a portrait of Fenelon, lent me by Mr. Ralph Shirley. 

two years of age at the time of his picture, and was 
executed as a Jacobite rebel in 1746. 

IX. ELIPHAS Lvi. He was born in 1810 and 
died at Paris in 1875. So much has been said regarding 
him in the present work and in other books of mine that 
no addition is necessary. The portrait shews the French 
occultist in the robes of a professional magician. 

X. FREDERICK THE GREAT. He was born on 25th 
January, 1712, and died on i;th August, 1786. There 

VOL. II. 2 E 433 

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

is no question as to his Masonic initiation, but there is 
also none as to the falsity of the claims made by several 
Masonic Rites in respect of his concern therein. There 
is no object in debating the question here. 

XI. ALBERT PIKE. The great American Mason 
has become almost a sacred memory for the whole 
Southern Jurisdiction of the ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED 
SCOTTISH RITE. The portrait is from an authorised 
source and represents the later period of his life. 

XII. ROBERT FLUDD. He was born at Berstead, Kent, 
in 1574 and died in 1637 at London. His Latin 
works are numerous, and represent, broadly speaking, a 
modified Kabalism applied to cosmology and the study 
of things physical. His literary connection with the 
Rosicrucian Fraternity was practically coincident with 
the first published accounts concerning it. He was 
visited by Michael Maier, the German alchemist, and the 
latter is the one person who can most reasonably be 
identified with the Fraternity, supposing that it had 
been incorporated in the early years of the seventeenth 

was born at Koenigsberg, nth November, 1768, and died 
at Vienna, I7th January, 1823. He was author of the 
long dual dramatic poem entitled The Sons of the Valley^ 
which I have mentioned several times in the text. It 
represents the High Grade theories regarding the origin 
of Masonry in Palestine, and it exalted those theories 
by a suggestive mode of presentation. The Sons or 
Children of the Valley were a mysterious Eastern Brother- 
hood, the power of whose protection preserved the 
Templars wheresoever located, until their corruption led 
to their abandonment. The transit of Molay and his 
companions from Cyprus to France at the bidding of 
Philippe le Bel corresponds to the moment when the 



Order was left to its fate. Werner died a priest of the 
Catholic Church, and the Masonic elements were removed 
in consequence from a later edition of his poems. 

XIV. A COURT DE GEBELIN. I have not come 
across the date of his birth, but he died in 1784. He 
was an Orientalist of distinction in his day, and is one of 
the characters who, according to P. Christian, had a part 
in the questioning of Cagliostro at the Lodge of the 
Philalethes. This took place, by the report of my 
witness, at the Masonic Convention of 1785, and appeal 
is made to an account of De Gebelin in MS. The story 
is a wilful invention and the record does not exist. 
Cagliostro was invited to the meetings as the founder of 
EGYPTIAN MASONRY and because of his colossal claims, 
but the price which the Magus demanded was that the 

C;at French Lodge should burn its archives. The 
dge dispensed with his presence. 

XV. COMTE DE ST. GERMAIN. The unenlightened 
disposition of history says that he was born in Savoy 
about 1710, and that he consented to the experience of 
physical death at Schleswig in 1783. We have seen that 
according to more exotic opinions he is still alive, and it 
may be added that, either by his own story or by tales 
which he permitted to circulate, he was a contemporary 
of Christ in Palestine. 

XVI. MARC BDARRIDE. I am unacquainted with 
the date of his birth, but he died in April, 1846. If 
there were any importance in the RITE OF MIZRAIM he 
would be called important for its history. There is 
none, as I have sought to shew, and it must be added 
that his memory is on the whole that of an adventurer 
with little talent. and perhaps less principle. 

1739 and died in 1805. He is of no interest outside 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

The Proofs of a Conspiracy, which is one of the most 
entertaining books ever written against Masonry. It 
may be added that it has done no harm, and I almost 
regret the animus with which some brethren of the Craft 
have felt it just to speak of his polemic and his memory. 
The portrait is after Raeburn. 

XVIII. JACQUES CAZOTTE. He was born at Dijon 
in 1720 and was guillotined on 2th September, 1791. I 
believe that his daughter accompanied the venerable and 
illustrious man in his last moments. He is an exceedingly 
interesting figure in High Grade Masonry and report 
connects him with Secret Orders behind it. The portrait 
is from a print in the Bibliotheque Nationals. 

XIX. COUNT CAGLIOSTRO. Speculation as to his 
date of birth is now idle, as his identity with Joseph 
Balsamo has become a matter of serious debate. He is 
supposed to have died about 1795 in the castle of St. 
Angelo, under the wings of the holy Inquisition. This 
date also is doubtful. Reproduced from The Occult 
Review by permission of Mr. Ralph Shirley. 

XX. MARTINES DE PASQUALLY. I havementioned the 
date of his birth, and he died in 1774 at Port au Prince, 
Island of St. Domingo. The portrait, which is from a 
French periodical source, is exceedingly bad as a print, 
and for its genuineness I cannot vouch, but there is 
nothing else available. 

XXI. COMTE D'HAUTERIVE. I know nothing of 
his birth or death, but he was a friend of Saint-Martin, 
a member of the RITE OF ELECT COHENS and a writer on 
French illuminism. 

XXII. J. V. ANDREAS. He was born on I7th 
August, 1586, and died 27th June, 1654. He is ac- 
credited with the authorship, as we have seen, of the first 



Rosicrucian documents, but I think the ascription doubt- 
ful. By his own confession he wrote the Chymical 
Nuptials of Christian Rosy Cross. Reproduced from The 
Occult Review. 

unknown, and will interest the few who believe in the 
historic personality : they are very few indeed. 

Stockholm on 29th January, 1688, and died in London 
on 2 pth March, 1772. I have said enough of his 
alleged connection with Masonry and he has no other in- 
terest for the present purpose. From The Occult Review. 

born at Amboise in Touraine on i8th January, 1743, and 
died at Aunay on I3th October, 1803. He is the mystic 
far excellence in France towards the end of the eighteenth 
century ; the records of his life and a considerable part 
of his works are of permanent interest and value. 

Portraits des hommes illustres. 



Abiram, i. 176, 178, 179. 

Academic des Vrais Masons, ii. 43. 

Adept, Grade of, i. 354. 

Adept, Simple, i. 354. 

Adept of the Black Eagle, Grand, i. 

Adept of the East, i. 354. 

Adept of the Mother Lodge, Grade of, 
i. 124. 

Adepts, Oriental, i. 354. Grades of 
Adepti Minores, Majores, and Adepti 
Philosophid, ii. 219, 222-224. 

Adonai, i. 51, 56, 74. 

Adonhiramite Masonry, i. 158, 159, 
163, 164, 166, 168, 169, 172, 173, 
234, 251, 255. 

Adoptive Masonry, ii. 143. 

African Architects, Order of, i. 128. 

Agrippa, Cornelius, ii. 122, 123. 

Alchemy, its pictorial symbols, i. x ; 
Tradition in, xiii ; the Alchemical 
Stone, xv ; Physical Alchemy, ii. 252, 
391 ; Spiritual Alchemy, i. 88, ii. 
302 ; Quest in Alchemy, i. 249. See 
book v. pp. 9-108 ; see also Alchemi- 
cal Degrees, i. 94, ii. 367 ; Alchemi- 
cal Society of France, ii. 271, 272. 

Alliance of the Wise, ii. 217. 

Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, i. 
4, 8, 93, 94, 126, 127, 167, 169, 
175, 186, 187, 255, 256, 258, 380, 
385 ; ii. 43, 70, 97, 238. See Ap- 
pendices I. and II. 

Ancient Master, Grade of, ii. 189. 

Andreas, J. V., ii. 211-213, 43^ 

Animal Magnetism and Masonry, i. 
95, 252. 

Antientand Primitive Rite, i. 231, 260, 
327 ; ii. 92, 93, 94, 96. See Appen- 
dices I. and II. 

Apprentice Cohen, ii. 155, 156, 160. 

Apprentice Ecossais, i. 279. 

Apprentice of Egyptian Secrets, i. 128. 

Apprentice Philosopher, Grade of, i. 

Apprentice Theosophist, ii. 236. 

Arbatel, ii. 123. 

Archangelus de Burgo Nuovo, i. 216. 
Architect, Great, i. xxiv ; ii. 256. 
Archives Mytho-Hermttiqucs, ii. 16 ; 

see also pp. 98-108, 388. 
Ark of the Covenant, i. 41, 165, 194, 

280 ; ii. 323. 

Ark Mariner, Grade of, i. 142, 143. 
Arras, Rose-Croix Chapter of, i. 116, 


Ars Qiiatuor Coronatorum, i. 314. 
Ashmole, Elias, i. 15, 39, 107, 399, 

404; ii. ii, 12, 13, 386, 431. 
Asiatic Brethren, ii. 218. 
Astrology, Tradition therein, i. xxix. 
Astronomical aspects of Masonry, i, 

Atziluth, World of, i. 69. 
Augustine, St., ii. 296, 297. 
Aumont, Prior of, i. 306. 
Avignon, Academic des Illumines, i, 

129; ii. 41, 42, 44, 46, 47, 48, 82, 


Baader, Franz von, ii. 175-177. 
Babylon, Captivity in, i. 47. 
Bacchus, Mysteries of, ii. 77. 
Bacon, Francis, ii. 391. 
Balsamo, Joseph, see Cagliostro. 
Barruel, Abbe, ii. 98, 387, 391. 
Bartolocci, i. 37. 
Basil, Saint, i. 253. 
Bedarride, Marc, ii. 90, 435. 
Bernard, Saint, i. 333, 378, ii. 292. 
Binah, the third Sephira, i. 80, 252, ii. 


Blazing Star, ii. 61. 
Blazing Star, Order of the, ii. 69. 
Blue Brother, Grade of, ii. 236. 
Bohme, Jacob, ii. 26, 27, 28, 320 


Bonaventura, St., ii. 292, 297. 
Bonneville, Chevalier de, i. 122, 312. 
Bonneville, Nicholas de, i. 312. 
Book of the Law, i. 165, 198. 
Brethren of the Red Cross, i. 130. 
Briatic World, ii. 244. 
Buhle, J. G., ii. 390. 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Building, Mystery of, i. xiv, xv, xviii, 
8, 27, 30, 35, 59, 63, 68-82 ; ii. 249, 
255, 257, 258, 259, 339 et seq. 

Byzantium, ii. 21, 22, 79. 

Cagliostro, ii. 17, 33, 34, 35, 42, 48, 

132-147, 153, 436. 
Cambaceres, Prince, i. 372. 
Carmel, Mount, i. 5. 
Castellot, F. Jolivet de, ii. 148. 
Cavelum, i. 155, 156. 
Cazotte, Jacques, ii. 16, 101, 436. 
Ceridwen, Cauldron of, ii. 324, 334. 
Chaldean Masonry, ii. 371. 
Chaos, Grades of, ii. 83, 84. 
Charles i. and the Craft Grades, i. 229, 


Chastanier, Benedict, ii. 44, 46, 49, 52. 
Chevalier de la Rose Croissante, i. 261, 


Chevaliers Bienfaisants, Loge de, i. 373. 
Chief of the Tabernacle, i. 126, 1 88, 

381. See Appendix II. 
Chief of the Twelve Tribes, i. 125. 
China and Masonry, i. 107 ; China and 

Alchemy, ii. 21. 
Chokmah, the second Sephira, i. 80, 

252 ; ii. 316. 

Christ, Order of, ii. 75, 388. 
Christ, Restoration in, i. 40 ; mystery 

in, 52; ii. 315, 316, 317; mystery 

of the Christ-life, i. 67 ; wisdom in, 

ii. 215 ; Imitation of, ii. 312 ; mission, 

Christian Masonry, i. 85, 86, 87, 97, 

201, 220, 242, 245, 408 ; ii. 251, 259, 

349, 355 ; and the work passim. 
Christian Philosopher, Grade of, i. 128. 
Clavel, ii. 189, 237. 
Clavieres, the Alchemist, ii. 1 6. 
Clement v., Pope, i. 325. 
Clermont, Chapter of, i. 115, 122, 123, 

307-317, 320; ii. 150, 386. 
Closing of the Lodge, i. 6, 61, 103. 
Cloud of Unknowing, ii. 294, 296. 
Cofton, George, ii. 135. 
College of the Holy Spirit, i. 10. 
Commander of the Black Eagle, Grade 

of, i. 123. 
Commander of the Stars, Grade of, ii. 

84, 121. 
Commander of the Temple, i. 126, 384, 

Companion Cohen, ii. 155, 156, 160- 

162, 236. 
Companion Theosophist, Grade of, ii. 

Confessio Fraternitatis R.C., ii. 208, 


Consonants in Hebrew, i. 49. 
Cosmopolite Brother, Grade of, i. 128. 
Cosse-Brissac, Due de, i. 293. 
Covenant, New and Eternal, i. 92, 97, 

127, 238, 279, 348 ; ii. 179. 
Covenant or Alliance, Old, i. 37, 70, 

91, 93, 97, "2, 127, 163, 193, 237, 

347 ; ii. 341. 
Craft Grades, i. 28, 51, 58, 60, 61, 62, 

84, 108, 123, 124, 149, 340, 344, 

347, 377 5 ". 140, 231, 254, 305, 320 

321, 322, 334, 338, 349. 
Craft Legend, i. xxv, 6, 30, 32, 35, 39, 

43, 5 1 , I0 3, 107, 174, 182, 321, 344 ; 

ii. 210, 308, 321, 333, 334. 
Craft Masonry, i. 30, 42, 63. 
Craft Mystery, its transformation, i. 

8,9- ' 

Grata Repoa, i. 128. 
Cross, Holy and Illustrious Order of, 

ii. 366. 

Crusades, i. ill, 121, 327, 411. 
Cryptic Degrees, i. 79, 92, 158, 1 60, 

169, 173, !92, 194, 199, 211, 212, 

216,217, 231, 234. 
Culdees, Order of, i. 3. 

Dante, ii. 316. 

Death, Mystic, i. xxv, xxvi, 56, 57, 

65, 349 ; . 333, 334- 
Dee, Dr. John, i. 48 ; ii. 139. 
De Glayre, ii. 190. 
De Guaita, Stanislaus, ii. 226. 
Dermott, Lawrence, i. 352. 
Derwentwater, Earl of, i. 113, 114. 
D'Espagnet, Jean, ii. 29, 30. 
D'Hauterive, Comte, ii. 187 ; ii. 436. 
De Quincey, Thomas, ii. 390. 
Dionysian Architects, i. 105 ; ii. 77- 

Dionysius the Areopagite, i. 220, 221 ; 

ii. 286-289, 297, 384. 
Discreet Master, i. 180-182. 
Divine Immanence, i. 247 ; ii. 313, 

315, 330. 

Divine Pymander, ii, 102, 103. 
Divine Transcendence, ii. 313, 330. 
Doctrine, House of, i. xviii, 17, 43, 53, 

55, 72, 97, 147, 341 ; ii. 234, 306, 


Doctrine, Secret, i. xxx, 43, 44, 45, 
80, 82, 85, 108, 147, 193, 197, 199, 

211, 219, 222, 24O; ii. 2l6, 244, 
303, 311, 323, 324, 325, 327, 329, 
331, 353- 

Dunckerley, Thomas, i. 352. 

Early Grand Rite, i. 94, 202, 258 ; see 
Appendix I. 



Ecker und Eckhoffen, Count, ii. 214, 

Eckhartshausen, Karl von, i. 38, 410 ; 

ii. 185. 
Ecossais Grades, i. 93, 115, 116, 121, 

123, 228, 229, 251, 278, 279-283, 

317, 332, 403 ; ii. 69, 70, 8 1, 189, 
, 190, 236. 

Ecossais Primitif, i. 178, 228. 
Egyptian Masonry, ii. 17, 132-147, 

I53> 389, 390. 
Elect Cohens, Rite of the, i. 94, 115, 

289, 373 5 " iS> 74, 82, 133, 148- 

182, 188, 237. 

Elect, Grade of, ii. 15, 189. 
Elect Masons, i. 161. 
Elect Master, i. 129, 313, 314. 
Elect Master of 9, Grade of, i. 125, 169, 

lyS-^S, 3I3 3 2 5- See Appendix II. 
Elect Master of 15, Grade of, i. 125, 

169, 179, 314. See Appendix II. 
Elect of Perignan, i. 169, 174, 175- 

178, 313. 324- 

Elect of the Twelve Tribes, i. 187. 

Elias Artista, ii. 137. 

Eliphas Levi, i. 15, 300-303 ; ii. 37, 
38, 95, 151, 270, 276, 303, 433. See 
Appendix IV. 

Elohim, i. 80. 

Emperors of the East and West, Council 
of, i. 4, 124, 125, 178, 186, 251, 
320, 328, 352, 380, 381 ; ii. 70, 81, 
131,159. See Appendix II. 

Entered Apprentice or Neophyte, i. 
92 ; ii. 61, 160, 234, 236, 332. 

Essenes, i. 377 ; ii. 79. 

Estrengel, J. J., ii. 388. 

Etangs, N. C. des, i. 258, 259 ; ii. 385, 

Ethics of Masonry, i. 27, 28, 30, 31, 

60, 105 ; ii. 339, 340. 
Eucharist, Symbolic, i. 279, 282, 348, 


Excellent Mason, i. 198. 

Experiment, the Great, i. xvii ; its 
connection with mystic death and 
resurrection, xxvi ; the pearl of 
tradition, xxvii ; Mystery of, 7 ; 
records of, 33 ; connection with 
Secret Tradition, 66, 67 ; its 
doctrine, ii. 311 : ; knowledge con- 
cerning it, 347 ; its nature, 348. 

Fabre-Palaprat, i. 293, 298, 353, 358, 
361, 362, 412 ; ii. 149. See Charter 
of Larmenius. 

Fall of Man, i. 70, 71, 248 ; ii. 161, 

179, 244, 245, 266. 

Fallen Angels, ii. 180, 245, 246. 

Fama Fraternitatis R.C., ii. 208, 

Favourite Brother of St. Andrew, i. 

Fellow-Craft, i. xv, 92, 146, 160 ; ii. 

160-162, 332. 
Fellow-Craft Mark, i. 168. 
Fenelon, Archbishop, i. 221, 277, 

283 ; ii. 296, 433. 
Findel, ii. 385. 
First Matter, ii. 73, 74, 86, 142, 144, 


Flamel, Nicholas, ii. 23. 
Fludd, Robert, i. 39, 400 ; ii. 434. 
Franck, Adolphe, ii. 383. 
Frederick the Great, i. 126, 328; ii. 


Fresnoy, Lenglet du, ii. 29. 
Fugitive Mark, i. 143, 144. 

Galatinus, Petrus, i. 37. 

Garden of Eden, i. 42, 70, 253, 316 ; 

ii. 104, 245, 266. 
Gassicourt, Cadet de, ii. 98. 
Gebelin, Court de, ii. 16, 101, 435. 
Gifts of the Spirit, i. 279. 
Gleichen, Baron de, ii. 16. 
Golden Alliance, ii. 217. 
Golden Thistle, ii. 217. 
Gould, R. F., i. 15, 16, 17, 38, 101, 

103, 114, 149, 276, 289; ii. 12, 44, 

353,. 379, 38o, 387. 
Grabbianka, Staroste, ii. 42, 44, 45, 

47, 48. 
Grand Architect, i. 170, 174, 182-184 5 

ii. 74, 158, 256. 

Grand Dignitary of the Chapter, i. 130. 
Grand Elect, Grade of, i. 125. 
Grand Elect of Zerubbabel, ii. 156, 

167, 168. 
Grand Lodge of England, i. no, 113, 

202, 275, 276. 
Grand Master Architect, i. 125. Set 

Appendix II. 

Grand Master of Light, i. 228. 
Grand Master of the Key of Masonry, 

i. 125. 

Grand Orient, i. 326, 353, 372. 
Grand Patriarch Noachite, i. 125. 
Grand Pontiff, Grade of, i. 125, 329. 

See Appendix II. 
Grand Rosary, Brethren of the, ii. 

Grand Scottish Chevalier, i. 228, 385, 

Grand Tyler of Solomon, i. 160-163, 


Great Work, ii. 73. 
Guyon, Mme, i. 221 ; ii. 296. 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Johannes Scotus Erigena, ii. 289. 
Johannite Christianity, i. 300, 301, 

302, 359, 361, 412. 
udge-Philosophers, Unknown, ii. 75, 

Halliwell, J. O., i. 39 ; ii. 380. 
Harodim Rosy Cross, see Royal Order 

of Scotland. 

Heavenly Jerusalem, ii. 236, 237. 
Heredom, i. 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 13, 250. 
Heredom, Rite of, i. 125, 285, 460 ; 

11. 123, 309. See Royal Order of 

Hermetic and Masonic catechism, ii. 

60, 65-69, 70, 93, 95. 
Hermetic Schools, i. 15, 39 ; ii. 10, Ii, 

12, 17, 20, 386. 
Higgins, Godfrey, i. 9. 

High Grades, the work passim. 

Hitchcock, E. A., ii. 52. 

Holy Assembly, ii. 317, 334. 

Holy Graal, i. ix, xii, 16, 38, 338, 348 ; 

ii. 265. 
Holy Graal, Hidden Church of, i. ix, 

83, ii. 301, 382. 

Holy Lodge, i. 41, 153 ; ii. 305. 
Horeb, Mount, i. 41. 
Hugh de Payens, i. 302, 359. 
Hund, Baron von, i. 115, 120, 122, 

310, 311, 314, 316, 414, 415 J ii- ISO- 

See Rite of the Strict Observance. 

Illuminated Theosophists, ii. 52, 236. 
Illuminati, Order of, i. 262 ; ii. 389. 
Illumines du Zodiaque, ii. 43. 
Illustrious Elect, Grade of, i. 125. 
Illustrious Knight, Grade of, i. 122, 


Illustrious Master, Grade of, i. 313. 
Initiate, Grade of, i. 354 ; ii. 15. 
Initiate, Intimate, i. 354. 
Initiate in Egyptian Secrets, i. 128. 
Initiate of the Interior, i. 354. 
Initiate, Simple, i. 354. 
I. N.R.I., i. 215, 238; ii. 103. 
Inspector Inquisitor Commander, i. 

126. See Appendix II. 
Installation, Ceremony of, i. 167. 
Instituted Mysteries, i. ix, x, 60, 341, 

377 ; ". 77, 78, 233, 253, 258, 274, 

302, 303, 335, 346. 
Intendant of Buildings, Grade of, i. 

125, 169. 
Intimate Secretary, Grade of, i. 124, 

125 ; ii. 362, 363. See Appendix II. 

Jacobite design, i. 172, 291, 320 ; ii. 


Jean d'Avila, ii. 296. 
Jean de Meung, ii. 23. 
Jehovah, Name of, i. 46-50, 51, 56, 

71, 74, 77, 78, 238, 280; ii. 104, 
T 308, 319, 353, 382, 384, 385- 
Jeheshuah, i. 238 ; ii. 319, 353. 

76 'jf- 

Juges Ecossais, ii. 151. 
Julian the Apostate, ii. 275. 
Juniores, Grade of, ii. 219. 

Kabalism, i. 40 ; Christian interest in, 
51 ; place of Israel in, 68; import- 
ance of the Secret Doctrine and its 
study, 69 ; Tables of the Law, 70 ; 
on the Fall, 70, 71 ; identity of 
message with Masonry, 88 ; higher 
side of, ii. 18 ; Secret Tradition in, 
44, 45 ; Four Worlds, 383. 

Kabalistic Grades, Additional, ii. 367, 

Kabalistic Society, ii. 390. 

Kabalistic Masonry, ii. 195. 

Kadosh, i. 93, 116, 132, 171, 225,259, 
320, 324-327, 352, 381, 386; ii. 
149, 150, 189. See Appendix II. 

Key of Masonry, ii. 335. 

Key of Solomon, ii. 116, 117. 

Khunrath, ii. 26. 

Kilmarnock, Earl of, i. 115, 292, 310; 

ii. 433- 

King of Tyre, i. 162. 
Kirchberger, see Liebestorf, Baron de. 
Kircher, Athanasius, i. 37 ; ii. 290, 


Kistner, F., i. 314-316. 
Kloss, ii. 385. 
Knight- Adept of the Eagle and the Sun, 

i. 124, 312, 313. 

Knight Argonautic, i. 124 ; ii. 43. 
Knight of Bethany, ii. 366. 
Knight of the Black Eagle, i. 123. 
Knight of the Brazen Serpent, i. 126, 

196, 381. See Appendix II. 
Knight of Choice, ii. 364. 
Knight Commander, ii. 155, 236. 
Knight of the Christian Mark, ii. 366. 
Knight of the Eagle, i. 122. 
Knight of the East, i. 125, 129, 170, 

2 56, 313 ; ii. 155. See Appendix II. 
Knight of the East and West, i. 329. 

See Appendix II. 
Knight of the Golden Fleece, i. 124; 

ii. 43, 121, 193. 

Knight of the Golden Key, ii. 43. 
Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, i. 313, 

3H, 389, 392, 394 ; ii- 367. 
Knight of Jerusalem, ii. 364. 
Knight of the Kabalah, ii. 192-194. 
Knight of the Kabalistic Sun, ii. 194, 




Knights of Light, ii. 218, 369-371. 
Knights of the Morning, i. 414 ; ii. 

54, 215, 264. 

Knight of Palestine, ii. 69, 189, 365. 
Knight of the Phoenix, i. 124. 
Knight of the Rainbow, i. 124 ; ii. 43, 

89, 90. 

Knight of the Red Eagle, ii. 364. 
Knight Royal Arch, i. 125. 
Knight of St. John, ii. 365. 
Knight of St. John the Evangelist, ii. 

Knight of the South, i. 129. 

Knight of the Sun, i. 124, 125, 228, 

322, 323, 324, 381 ; ii. 43, 383. 

See Appendix II. 

Knight of the Sword, i. 198, 313; ii. 363. 
Knight of the West, i. 129. 
Knight of the White Cross, ii. 367. 
Knights Beneficent, i. 217, 242, 295, 

3.04, 319, 331, 335. 369-378, 416; 

ii. 17, 190. 
Knights Templar, see Templar 


Ladder of Jacob, i. 104, 157, 248, 325. 
Ladies' Rose-Croix, i. 252. 
Langes, Savalette de, ii. IOI. 
Larmenius, Charter of, i. 277, 292, 

293, 294, 297, 305, 325, 331, 335, 


Law of Moses, i. 41, 42, 70, 141. 
Law of Paradise, i. 70, 347. 
Leo Taxil, ii. 395. 
UEtoile Flamboyante, see Tschoudy. 
Levite Grades, i. 363-366. 
Levitikon, i. 300, 303, 358, 361, 363, 

364, 366, 412. 

Liebestorf, Baron, ii. 185, 389, 390. 
Link and Chain, i. 152-154. 
Lodge in Paradise, i. 142. 
Loge de Bienfaisance, ii. 15, 99. 
Loge des Amis Rttunis, ii. 14. 
Loge des Trinosophes, i. 258. 
Long Livers, see Samber, Robert. 
Loss, Doctrine of, i. ix, xi, xii, 29, 38, 

40, 41, 57, 61, 108; ii. 309, 379. 
Luchet, Marquis de, ii. 129. 
Lyons, Convention of, i. 373 ; ii. 16, 

99, 100, 190. 

Mackenzie, Kenneth, i. 167 ; ii. 228, 

230, 307- 

Mackey, A. G., i. no; ii. 382. 
Made, Jean, ii. 387. 
Magic, the tradition therein, i. xvi ; 

ceremonial magic, ii. 115, n6, 119; 

black magic, 115 ; Magical Alliance, 


Magnesia, Password of, ii. 71. 

Magnetic Rose-Croix, i. 252. 

Malkuth, the sixth Sephira, i. 75, 252. 

Malta, Order of, i. 355 ; ii. 76. 

Marconis, J. E., i. 261 ; ii. 95. 

Margiotta, M., ii. 395. 

Mark Master Mason, i. 92, 144, 145- 
152, 199. 

Marked Master, i. 154-158, 179, 189, 
200 ; ii. 384. 

Marschall, von Bieberstein, C. G., i. 
290, 312, 314. 

Marseilles, Mother Lodge of, i. 117, 
123, 124, 125, 250. 

Martinism, ii. 17, 170, 187, 188, 268, 
269, 270. 

Mary's Chapel, its claims to antiquity, 
i. i ; its archives, 2 ; unknown on 
the Continent, 2 ; conclusions as to 
its claims, 4, 8. 

Mason of the Secret, Grade of, ii. 

Masonry, its quest after that which is 
divine, i, xvii, 27 ; Masonry and the 
Secret Tradition, xxix ; its silence 
regarding its claims, xxxi ; the 
Mystery of a word, 44 ; Mystic Death 
and Resurrection in, 57 ; further con- 
cerning this subject, 65 ; testimony 
offered by the Craft, 98 ; one lesson 
of the High Grades, 211 ; the Craft 
and Jewish Tradition, ii. 197 ; ana- 
logies of the Craft Legend, 311 ; the 
whole secret of Masonry, 356 ; and 
the work, passim. 

Masonry of Zoroaster, ii. 372. 

Mass, Sacrifice of the, i. 340 ; ii. 284. 

Master-builder, his death, i. xix, 53, 
150, 415; ii. 311, 321, 322; his 
legend, see Craft legend ; his burial, 
ii. 307 ; his tomb, i. 237 ; his rising, 
i. xxv ; ii. 321 ; his place in history, 
ii. 210; as Genius of Truth, i. 259. 
See also i. 80, 297 ; ii. 84, 332, 333. 

Master Cohen, ii. 155, 156, 163-165, 

Master Cohen, Grand, ii. 156, 165, 
1 66, 167. 

Master Grade, i. 92, 149, 163, 284 ; ii. 
61, 322. 

Master in Israel, see Superintendent 
of the Buildings. 

Master of all Symbolic Lodges, i. 167 ; 

ii. 363- 

Master of Egyptian Secrets, i. 128. 
Master of the Black Eagle of St. John, 

i- 353- 

Master of the Blue, ii. 362. 
Master of the East, i. 353. 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Master Theosophist, ii. 236. 

Masters, Veiled, i. xxxi, 12, 33, 71 ; 

ii. 321. 

Matrona, i. 80. 
Melchisedek, i. 96. 
Memorable Event, i. xiv. 
Memphis, Order of, i. 130, 232, 259, 

261, 326; ii. 83, 90-97, 193. See 

Appendices I. and II. 
Mesmer, Anton, i. 251 ; ii. 119, 139. 
Messiah, i. 40, 71, 401. 
Mineralogy, Grades of, ii. 87. 
Minor Architect, Grade of, i. 169, 174, 

1 80. 

Mirabeau, ii. 392. 
Mizraim, Order of, i. 130, 231, 252, 

259, 326; ii. 15, 81-90, 191, 192. 

See Appendices I. and II. 
Moabon, i. 183, 282. 
Molay, Jacques de, i. 225, 294, 306, 

3.24, 327, 334, 355. 356, 368, 385 5 

ii. 76, 433. 

Molinos, i. 221 ; ii. 296, 297. 
Mont Salvatch, ii. 246. 
Montanus, ii. 207, 213. 
Moriah, Mount, i, 4. 
Morien, ii. 58, 59. 
Morin, Stephen, i. 126. 
Moses, i. 41, 53, 347 ; ii. 93, 139, 249, 

Most Excellent Master, i. 169, 189- 

Mother Kilwinning, its claims, i. I ; 

as a head Lodge, 2 ; a continental 

talisman, 2 ; the Holy House of 

Masonry, 3 ; conclusion as to its 

claims, 4 ; Craft Masonry as its sole 

daughter, 5 ; and Mark Grade, 148 ; 

its archives, i. 2 ; ii. 379. 
Mysteries, Ancient, i. in ; ii. 217. 
Mysteritim Fidei> i. 417. 

Necromancy, ii. 115. 

Nicepheros, i. 358. 

Noachite motive in Masonry, i. 143. 

144, 252 ; ii. 247. See Appendix II. 
Noah, i. in, 152, 153, 299, 377; ii. 

89 158, 179, *8i, 247. 
Noffodei, i, 325. 

Operative Guild, i. 8, 15, 16, 102, 103, 
122 ; ii. 386. 

Operative Records, Value of, i. 6. 

Order of the Temple, Military and 
Religious, i. 217, 242, 295, 296, 298, 
299, 331-352, 416 ; ii. 163, 319. 

Palace at the Centre, ii. 330. 
Palace of the Holy One, ii. 244. 

Papus, Dr., ii. 152. 

Paracelsus, ii. 24. 

Particular Master, Grade of, ii. 155, 

156, 162, 163. 
Pasqually, Marlines de, i. 115, 222; 

ii. 16, 28, 74, 148-182, 183, 185, 

245, 260, 261, 262, 266, 352, 436. 
Past Master, Grade of, i. 167. 
Paston Letters, i. 38, 39. 
Patriarch of the Crusades, Grade of, i. 


Pausanias, ii. 326, 328. 
Pentagram, ii. 61. 
Perfect Alchemical Master, Grade of, ii. 


Perfect Elect Mason, Grade of, i. 175. 
Perfect Master, Grade of, i. 124, 169 ; 

ii. 189. See Appendix II. 
Perfect Master of St. Andrew, see 

Saint Andrew, Grade of. 
Perfect Master of the Pelican, i. 353. ' 
Perfection, Rite of, i. 125, 380. See 

Appendix II. 
Pernety, Antoine Joseph, ii. 36, 40-52, 

53. 80, 91, 229, 272, 351, 391. 
Petit Eli, Grade of, i. 116. 
Philalethes, Eirenseus, ii. 24. 
Philalethes, Rite of, ii. 13-17, 45, 99, 


Philippi, le Bel, i. 325. 
Philosopkus, Grade of, ii. 219, 222. 
Pianco, Magister, ii. 213, 214, 215, 

221, 227. 

Picus de Mirandula, i. 216. 
Pierre de Mora, i. 253. 
Pike, Albert, i. 255, 352, 381 ; ii. 434, 

434. See Appendix IV. 
Plan, Building, i. 59. 
Pledge in Masonry, i. xxiii, 14, 34. 
Plotinus, ii. 313, 318. 
Postel, William, i. 216. 
Practici, Grade of, ii. 219. 
Priest of Eleusis, ii. 368. 
Priest of the Sun, ii. 368, 369. 
Primitive Scottish Rite, see Appendix 

Prince of Babylon, Grade of, i. 195. 
Prince of Jerusalem, Grade of, i. 198, 

203, 204 ; ii. 189. See Appendix II. 
Prince of Libanus, Grade of, i. 125, 

321. See Appendix II. 
Prince of Mercy, Grade of, i. 126, 383, 

384. See Appendix II. 
Prince of the Tabernacle, i. 93, 126, 

167, 1 88, 189, 381. See Appendix 

Pritchard, Samuel, ii. 386. 

Provost and Judge, Grade of, i. 125. 

See Appendix 



Puysegur, Marquis de, ii. 119. 
Pyron, Frere, i. 228. 

Quest in Masonry, i. u, 28, 29, 58, 60, 
63, 82, 107. 

Ragon, J. M., i. 15, 95, no, 118, 152, 
256, 257, 303, 362 ; ii. 75, 76, 89, 
152, 189, 270, 386, 388, 432. 

Ramsay, Chevalier, Sketch of his life, 
i. 118-120; his death, 400; his 
Masonic Discourse, no et sey., 370 ; 
his alleged Rite, i. 119, 120, 132, 
229, 275-287, 311, 320, 385. See 
also i. 2, 121, 125, 299, 318, 414; 
ii. 58. 

Red Brother, Grade of, ii. 236. 

Red Cross of Rome and Constantine, i. 
249 390,3947398. 

Regime Ecossais Rectifie, i. 37 1 3 374 

Regius MS. i. 16, 103 ; ii. 380. 

Rtinttgration des tres, Traitt de la, 
ii. 155 ctseq. 

Repairer, ii 170. 

Resurrection des Templiers, Une 
Petite, i. 292. 

Resurrection, Mystic, i. xxv, 56, 57, 


Reuchlin, i. 37, 216. 
Ricoux, Adolphi, ii. 395. 
Rit de Bouillon, i. 283. 
Rittangelius, i. 37. 
Ritual of the Dead, ii. 229. 
Robertus Castrensis, ii. 59. 
Robison, Professor John, ii. 98, 99, 

100, 101, 102, 435, 436. 
Rod of Aaron, i. 165. 
Roman de la Rose, ii. 23. 
Rosa, Samuel, i. 316 ; ii. 386. 
Rose-Croix, Grade of, i. 4, 53, 116, 

123, 125, 132, 170, 217, 241-263, 

278, 319, 324, 328, 330, 332, 388, 

389, 39i, 393. 399, 400, 401, 402, 

403, 405, 414, 416 ; ii. 15, 75, I2 5> 

127, 128, 129, 155, 167, 174, 229, 

309, 344, 385. 
Rose-Croix, L'Ordre Kabbalistique de 

la, ii. 226. 

Rose-Croix, Salon de la, ii. 226. 
Rose in Symbolism, i. 249, 252-254, 

261 ; ii. 144, 145. 
Rosenroth, Baron Knorr von, i. 37, 

Rosicrucian Fraternity, ii. 30-32, 66, 

269, 271. 
Rosy and Golden Cross, Brothers of 

the, i. 94 ; ii. 136, 212, 228. 
Rosy Cross, Christian, i. 201, 415 ; 

ii. 32, 210, 437- 

Rosy Cross, Order of the, i. 225, 226, 
254, 255, 287, 319; ii. 159, 169, 
207-224, 342. 

Royal Arch, i. 53, 66, 71, 79, 86, 152, 
158, 166, 168, 173, 193, 198-203, 
212-216, 229, 235, 321, 332, 333, 
340, 343, 344, 345, 39', 392; 
ii. 305- 

Royal Arch of Enoch, i. 165, 321. 
See Appendix II. 

Royal Axe, Grade of, i. 125, 321. 

Royal Master, i. 163, 164, 165, 1 68, 

Royal Order of Scotland, i. 3, 108, 
251, 263, 399-410. 

Royal Secret, Grade of, i. 125, 327, 
5, 381-383, 387. See Appendix 


Ruysbroeck, ii. 293, 294. 

Rupecissa, Johannes, ii. 23, 25, 28, 29. 

Sabbath, ii. 118. 

Sacred Lodge, i. 163. 

Saint Andrew, Grades of, i. 93, 115, 
123, 126, 129, 130, 217, 228-240, 
241, 242, 278, 304, 305, 371 ; ii. 57, 
63, 64, 217, 309. 

Saint Germain, Comte de, ii. 33, 34, 

35, 36, 435- 

Saint John of the Cross, ii. 290. 
Saint John of Jerusalem, Order of, 

i. 112. 
Saint John the Evangelist, Brethren of, 

ii. 218. 
Saint-Martin, L. C. de, i. 120, 222, 

373 ; ii. 27, 52, 99, 101, 155, 170, 

171, 183-190, 243, 260, 261, 266, 

271, 297, 320, 337, 387, 388, 390, 


Saint Martin of Tours, ii. 190. 
Saint Thomas Aquinas, ii. 291, 292, 


Saint Victor, L. G. de, i. 159, 169, 251. 
Salzmann, Rudolph, ii. 187. 
Samber, Robert, i. 1 08, 286, 287. 
Sar Peladan, ii. 226, 272. 
Schaw Statutes, i. I. 
Scottish Master, Grade of, i. 129, 170, 

229, 278, 291, 304, 305 ; ii. 15. 
Scottish Philosophical Rite, i. 130. 

See Appendix I. 
Schrceder, F. J. W., ii. 121-126, 133, 

Schroeppfer, J. G., ii. 126, 127-131, 

133, 153- 

Secret Language, i. 48. 
Secret Master, Grade of, i. 124, 169, 

185 ; ii. 189. 
Secret Monitor, Order of, i. 144, 145. 


The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry 

Secret Tradition, i. ix ; Masonry and, 
xiii ; Mystic Death and Resurrection 
therein, xxv ; path of, xxvii ; per- 
sistence of, xxix ; consciousness of, 
6 ; Wardens of, 39 ; Secret Tradi- 
tion in Israel, 40, 41, 51, 343 ; i. 77, 
214, 412 ; Secret Tradition and faith, 
i. 56 ; universal form of, 65 ; how 
the Craft arose out of it, 66, 376 ; in 
Kabalism, 71, 72 ; memorials of, 
85; ii. 58; Secret Tradition and 
High Grades, i. 90, 130 ; place of 
Christianity in, 91 ; in Christian 
Times, 98, 100 ; its connection with 
chivalry, 300; and with Templary, 
337; its perpetuity, 351 ; traces of, 
380 ; Mysteries and Secret Tradition, 
413; attaches of, 415; term of, 
ii. 123 ; in connection with the Fall, 
244, 245 ; perpetuation of, 269 ; 
vestiges of, 273 ; and Masonry, 282 ; 
its holy places, 304 ; what lies be- 
hind it, 309-310; shadow of, 312; 
pearl behind, 356. See also ii. 
105, 157, 181, 195, 196, 197, 272, 
285, 286, 319, 347, 35i, 353. 379, 

Select Master, Grade of, i. 165, 169, 

Sephirotic System, i. 75. 

Seth, Pillars of, ii. 247. 

Seton, Alexander, i. 225, 400 ; ii. 24. 

Shekinah, i. 71, 73, 74, 82, 191, 197, 
252 ; ii. 323, 383. 

Shiloh, Advent of, i. 41. 

Shin, Holy Letter, ii. 104, 319. 

Simeon, Rabbi, ii. 18, 19. 

Sinai, Mount, i. 4; ii. 181. 

Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, ii. 
227, 228. 

Socinus, Faustus, ii. 385. 

Southey, Robert, ii. 387. 

Sovereign Commander of the Temple, 
see Appendix II. 

Sovereign Grand Inspector-General, 
i. 126, 386, 387. See Appendix II. 

Sovereign Prince Talmudim, ii. 191. 

Stone in Symbolism, i. 249, 250 ; ii. 
61, 142, 384. 

Stone of Alchemy, ii. 41. 

Stone of Destiny, i. 155-158. 

Strict Observance, Rite of the, i. 115, 

Il6, 120, 121, 122, 128, 129, 132, 

229, 231, 277, 288-306, 310, 314, 

315, 316, 320, 325, 327, 331, 334, 
355, 368, 369, 37i, 372, 373, 3745 
ii. 15, 70, 74, 130, 150, 219, 385. 

Stuart, Prince Charles Edward, i. 126, 

290, 292, 293, 296, 298. 

Sublime and Unknown Apprentice 

Philosopher, Grade of, ii. 70. 
Sublime Illustrious Knight, Grade of, 

i. 122, 312, 313. 

Sublime Knight, Grade of, i. 187. 
Sublime Master, Grade of, i. 186, 313 ; 

ii. 361. 
Sublime Philosopher, Grade of, i. 124 ; 

ii. 15. 

Super-Excellent Mason, i. 198. 
Super-Excellent Master, Grade of, i. 

194, 195, 198. 
Superintendent of Buildings, i. 184, 

185. See Appendix II. 
Suspending Cross of Babylon, i. 195, 

196, 313- 
Swedenborg, i. 297 ; ii, 44, 46, 48, 51, 

229 et seg., 

>7, 391, 437- 

Lite of, i. 94, 95 ; ii. 

229-237, 240, 264. 
Swedish Rite, i. 129. 
Symbolic Masonry, i. 32, 223 ; ii. 347. 
Symbolic Master, Grade of, i. 168. 

Tables of the Law, i. 70, 82. 

Tabor, Mount, i. 5. 

Talmudic Teaching, i. 51, 81 ; ii. 247, 

Templar Masonry, i. in, 115, 116, 

122, 123, 129, 217, 229, 277, 312, 

313, 316; ii. 15, 79, 149 150, 318, 

349. See Strict Observance. 
Temple of Solomon, i. 27, 42, 53, 63, 

72, 76, 81, 152, 183, 281, 301, 333, 

347, 377; ". 181, 250, 257, 259, 


Temple of Zion, i. 39. 
Temple, Second, ii. 305. 
Temples and Palaces, Jewish Doctrine 

of, i. 38, 64, 73, 74-76. 
Teresa, Saint, ii. 296. 
Tetragrammaton, see Jehovah. 
Theoricus, Grade of, ii. 219. 
Thory's Ada Latomorum, i. 276. 
Travels of Cyrus, i. 277. 
Tree of Knowledge, i. 42 ; ii. 103 ; 

Tree of Life, ibid. 
Trent Congress, ii. 396, 397. 
Trinity, Christian, i. 40; ii. 107. 
True Mason, Grade of, i. 123, 124. 
True Mason Adept, Grade of, ii. 87, 

Tschoudy, Baron, i. 327, 414; ii. 36, 

43 ; see also ii. 53-80, 82, 91, 189, 

215, 219, 263. 

Union, Divine, i. 29, 225 ; ii. 330. 
Union, Declaration of, i. 1 10. 

Universal Medicine, ii. 102 et seq. 


Unknown Philosopher, ii. 15 et seq.> 

170, 185, 186, 190. 
Unknown Superior, i. 113, 290, 291, 

305, 306, 311, 370; ii. 381. 

Valentine, Basil, ii. 24, 40. 

Vaughan, Thomas, ii. 387. 

Veil of Masonry, i. 33. 

Venerable Grand Master ad vitam, i. 


Venus, Garden of, ii. 326-329. 
Vicar of Solomon, i. 130. 
Vision, Beatific, ii. 105. 
Vowels in Hebrew, i. 49, 99. 

Weisse, J. E. von, ii. 214. 
Weishaupt, Adam, ii. 389, 392. 
Werner, F. L. Z., i. 298, 412, 415 ; ii. 

56, 219, 434. 

White and Black Eagle, Grade of, i. 


White Mason, Grade of, ii. 369. 
Wilhelmsbad, Convention of, i. 370, 

373 ; ii. 14, 99. 
Willermoz, J. B., i. 373; ii. 15, 152, 

185, 186. 
William in., Prince of Orange, i. 


Wilmshurst, W. L., ii. 385. 
Woman and Freemasonry, i. 96. 

Woodford, A. F. A., i. 167. 

Word, loss of, i. xiv ; the Word and 
the Fall of Man, xiv ; its quest, xv ; 
Mystery of, 44 ; Word in Israel, 46, 
71 ; in the Royal Arch, 53 ; in 
Christ, 55 ; ii. 316, 317 ; Word of 
Substitution, i. 56; Word of Life, 
56, 342, 348 ; utterance of, 77 ; sub- 
stitution in Kabalism, 78 ; possession 
of, 248 ; loss of the Christian Word, 
255 ; its communication, 406, 407 ; 
Voice of the Word, 408 ; the Word 
in Kabalistic Magic, ii. 45 ; Vicegerents 
of the Eternal Word, 248 ; traditional 
history of the Word, 310, 311. See 
also ii. 127, 306. 

Yarker, John, i. 314. 
York Rite, i. 167. 

Zachaire, Denis, ii. 23. 

Zanoni, ii. 225, 226. 

Zarathustra, ii. 256. 

Zerubbabel, i. 301. 

Zinnendorf, Johann von, i. 128. 

Zohar and connections, i. 40, 46, 5> 
51, 52, 64, 71, 75, 81, 87, 94, 151, 
191, 216, 252, 347 ; ii. 10, 107, 168, 
178, 246, 382, 384, 410. 


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