Rosicrucian Society ™



Societas Rosicruciana

The Rosicrucian Masonic Metaphysics and Handbook - Order of The Rosy Cross Temple and The Loge de Parfait 1764

The Manifesto of The American Rosicrucian Order - ARO 

The Societas Rosicruciana(or Rosicrucian Society) has traditionally been a Rosicrucian order which limits its membership to Christian Master Masons. The order was founded in Scotland, but which now exists in England, Scotland, Canada, France, Portugal, Romania, Ireland and the United States. While a prospective member must be a Trinitarian Christian Master Mason in good standing with a Grand Lodge that is recognized by the Grand Lodge of the jurisdiction in which the Society meets, the various Societies have no other Masonic links, ties, or official recognition. Additionally, in a few jurisdictions membership is by invitation only. As the Society offers assistance to all its members in working out the great problems of nature and science, it functions in some respects as a research society.

History of Rosicrucian Societies

The Societas Rosicruciana claims a link to the originalRosicrucian Brotherhood and bases its teachings on those found in theFamaandConfessio Fraternitastexts published in Germany in the early 1600s, along with other similar publications from the same time.

There are a number of Societas Rosicrucianas throughout the world:

  • - Societas Rosicruciana ARO ⊕ 1764 in New Orleans - ARO Loge de Parfait of 1764 - Which was imported by a patent from the Bordeaux Germanic Lodges. 
  • Societas Rosicruciana in Scotia (SRIS; Scotland) 
  • Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA; England) 
  • Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (SRICF; United States) 
  • Societas Rosicruciana in America (SRIAm; United States) 
  • Societas Rosicruciana in Canada (SRIC; Canada) 
  • Societas Rosicruciana in Gallia (SRIG; France) 
  • Societas Rosicruciana in Lusitania (SRIL; Portugal) 
  • Societas Rosicruciana in Romania (SRIR; Romania) 
  • Societas Rosicruciana in Hibernia (SRIH; Ireland) 

Societas Rosicruciana ⊕ - ARO⊕ Neuland

The first Haut Degree Societas Rosicruciana was that of Louisiana, known as theLedge de Parfait de Escosse(LPE ). The Magus Incognito is the Leader of This Mystical Organization from the 1700s.

Societas Rosicruciana in Scotia (SRIS)

One of the first Societas Rosicruciana was that of Scotland, known as theSocietas Rosicruciana in Scotia(SRIS).

Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA)

TheSocietas Rosicruciana in Angliawas founded in 1867 and derived from the SRIS following the admission of William James Hughan and Robert Wentworth Little into that order. The two of them were advanced quickly in Scotland and granted a warrant to form a Society in England. The formation meeting took place on June 1, 1867 in Aldermanbury, London, with Frater Little elected Supreme Magus.

Australian colleges belong to provinces within the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA).

Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (SRICF)

The Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (Rosicrucian Society of the United States) was formed on September 21, 1880, through Colleges founded again through Scotland. The Pennsylvania College received a charter from SRIS on December 27, 1879. This was followed by charters issued to New York on April 9, 1880; Massachusetts, May 4, 1880; Maryland, May 10, 1880; and Vermont on September 22, 1880. Of all the Colleges in the United States, only the one located in Massachusetts maintains continuity from its origins and was never reorganized. [1]

Societas Rosicruciana in America (SRIAm)

In 1909, Dr.George Winslow Plummer(1876-1944) founded theSocietas Rosicruciana in America, apparently seceding from the SRICF; this group dropped the requirement that members be Christian Master Masons and admits women. It was never formally recognized by the SRIA, as they (the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia) have formal relations in the USA with the SRICF.

Societas Rosicruciana in Canada (SRIC)

TheSocietas Rosicruciana in Canadiensiswas first mentioned in a declaration dated May 31, 1876, but it was not formally constituted (by a Col. McLeod Moore, through his acquaintance withJohn Yarker) until September 19 of that year. Most of the membership came from the town ofMaitland, Ontario. The society constituted a High Council exactly one year later, but the Society went into abeyance at some point after 1889.[2]

In 1936, Ontario College was created via a charter from SRICF.Manly Palmer Hall's father, E.H.D. Hall, a member of Canada's first Rosicrucian Society, was voted a charter member of the Ontario College. Due to possible jurisdictional issues, rather than procure a charter from SRIA or SRIS, a Canadian High Council was formed on June 29, 1997, and the SRIC is now an independent body.[3]

Societas Rosicruciana in Hibernia (SRIH)

The Societas Rosicruciana in Hibernia, (SRIH) was brought about through the efforts of two Irish Masons, namely, Frater Rev. Sean P. McCabe and Frater John Phelan, both of whom previously held membership of an SRIA College in England. It was formally Declared on 1st August, 2008 and is the official regular Societas for the Island of Ireland, (Hibernia) and exists independently of any other organisation.The SRIH is recognised by the Body of Christ.

Degrees and governance

The Order is subdivided into three smaller orders, each with its own governance. The various orders confer a total of nine degrees, here calledgrades.[4]

First Order

Members of the 1st Order (Frater (singular) Fratres (plural)) meet in a College, which is equivalent to a Lodge. A College is empowered to confer the first four degrees of the Society, also called theLearning Grades.

  • Grade I - Zelator 
  • Grade II - Theoricus 
  • Grade III - Practicus 
  • Grade IV - Philosophus 

A minimum of six months must elapse between the receipt of each grade. However, the emphasis on the work of the society is learning; therefore every member is encouraged to deliver a paper of their own work on some topic of interest in open college.

Second Order

This is equivalent to a Masonic Provincial Grand Lodge, and is headed by aChief Adeptand his deputy (Suffragan) who have jurisdiction over all of the first order Colleges within the Province.

The Chief Adept is empowered to confer three further Grades at this level to deservingFratresof Grade IV who have been members of the Society for a minimum of four years.

  • Grade V - Adeptus Minor 
  • Grade VI - Adeptus Major 
  • Grade VII - Adeptus Exemptus 

A minimum of one year must elapse between the receipt of grades at this level. A member can only serve as the Celebrant (Master) of a College of the First Order after receiving the Grade of Adeptus Exemptus.

Third Order

This is equivalent to aGrand Lodge, and is headed by aSupreme Magus, Senior Substitute Magus and Junior Substitute Magus.

Members of the second order who have given service to the society and been selected by the Supreme Magus for such advancement may be awarded a further two Grades.

  • Grade VIII - Magister 
  • Grade IX - Magus 


In 1888, three members of SRIA (William Robert Woodman,William Wynn Westcott, andSamuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers[5]) formed theHermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which removed the restriction on membership, allowing non-Christians, non-Freemasons, and women to join. A great deal of the SRIA structure survived in the new order, which went on to greatly influence (some might say cause) the modern occult revival in the 20th century.

Due to the fragmentary nature of Rosicrucian orders, there are a number of historical Rosicrucian societies with similar names that either no longer have a Masonic connection, or have gone dormant: The SRIA (A for "America") was chartered by the SRIA (in England) in Philadelphia in 1878. It reformed in 1889 as Societas Rosicruciana in the United States (SRIUS), and reformed again as SRIA in 1912. In 1916 the order began admitting women, and its charter was revoked. It is in existence today, but has no Masonic connections whatsoever.[6]

Known members


  1. ^"The Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis"Accessed 23 March 2007. 
  2. ^Brodeur, Claude."Masonic Rosicrucianism in Canada"Accessed March 23, 2007. 
  3. ^"Declaration"Accessed March 23, 2007. 
  4. ^"The Masonic Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis"Accessed March 23, 2007. 
  5. ^Regardie, Israel,What you should know about the Golden Dawn(6th edition, 1993)ISBN 1-56184-064-5, page 10 
  6. ^"Modern Rosicrucians"Accessed March 23, 2007. 

External links