Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia
Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA) and it's sister organization, the Societas Rosicruciana in America (known as the (SRICF) aka Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis)
This appendent body to Freemasonry is open only to Trinitarian Christian Master Masons, and is within the structure of the Grand Lodges in which it functions, like the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry and York Rite of Freemasonry but unlike the Rite of Memphis and Misraim.
While first organized in Scotland, the English organization, The Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia was founded in 1867 by Robert Wentworth Little and William James Hughan. He claimed to have based it on ancient records found in the Freemason's Hall Library in London, though when William Wynn Westcott tried to rediscover them, no traces existed in the records. They MAY have been German language documents from the alchemically oriented Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross or its sister, Masonic Lodge the Order of the Asiatic Brethren. If so, Rabbi Johann Friedrich Falk may have been the German Brother who brought them to England. He claimed the inflormation came by way of a mysterious Count Apponyi of Austria-Hungary ;
It's degree structure became the model for many of the Occult organizations emerging in the late 1880s, like the OTO aka the Ordo Templi Orientis: (First Order, Grade I – Zelator (study with enthusiasm and zeal), Grade II – Theoricus (study theory), Grade III – Practicus (start Labs and practicing what you learned), Grade IV – Philosophus (study various religions and philosophies, ask the big questions) Second Order Grade V – Adeptus Minor (start a field of specialization), Grade VI – Adeptus Major (become good at your field), Grade VII – Adeptus Exemptus (become the best at that field possible for you in this life) Third Order, Grade VIII – Magister, Grade IX – Magus, current head of the Order but unlike modern times the Supreme International Magus or Acting Chief of the Order world wide was not given an X degree title.
This small Organization in England had a major impact on esoteric thought. Freemasonry had brought together some of the most learned men in England, and those with a more philosophical bent continued on through the "extra" degrees of the system of rituals organized as the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. This more secret organization, within the somewhat secret Fraternity of Freemasons, included scholars of ancient manuscripts, archaeologists, magicians and alchemists, some of whom had joined together previously in the mysterious Society of Eight, 1883 reported by Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie. Some of it's teachings came from Eliphas Levi in France through his students, some from P. B. Randolph in America, and some from the old Golden and Rosy Cross in Germany, perhaps from Johann Friedrich Falk or Sigmund Richter. The philosophy was as historically as esoterically oriented, and owed it's heritage to Freemasonry in general, and the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, the Martinist orders and the Kabbalistic Order of the Rosy Cross. After Worshipful Brother Little's death, William Robert Woodman became the 2nd Chief. This may be why he was asked to join William Wynn Westcott and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers as the third Chief of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. He seemed more of an Administrator than Esoteric Mason;
Other members of importance included: Frederick Hockley; Theodor Reuss of the OTO; William Alexander Ayton; Israel Regardie?; A.E. Waite; Robert Felkin; Capt. F.G. Irwin; Rev. A.F.A. Woodford, recently deceased occultist Desmond Bourke and modern scholar R.A. Gilbert; John Yarker; Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton; William Carpenter [1797-1874]; Sylvester C. Gould aka Sylvester Clark Gould of the 'Societas Rosicruciana';
It inspired the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (SRICF)in Pennsylvania, 1879; The Societas Rosicruciana in Scotia (Scotland); Societas Rosicruciana Republicae Americae, 1880; Societas Rosicruciana in America (SRIA); the Societas Rosicruciana in the United States of America (SRIUS);
Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Societas_Rosicruciana; Beyond the Craft by Keith B. Jackson, purchased in Scotland, 1980s; David R. Clark, The Cross and Its Symbolism, 1894; Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia Rituals, thank you Br.Lucas L;