William Bernard Crow — OHO of the O.T.O. — 16th August
THE ANCIENT AND UNIVERSAL RITE OF COSMIC ARCHITECTURE
including THE ORDER OF THE TEMPLE OF THE ORIENT XII°
and the Rite of
MEMPHIS AND MIZRAIM
33°, 90°, 97°
It is well known to students of the ancient mysteries that in the
Middle Ages their tradition and practice had become divided into three
These have today been separated and largely lost.
- the hieratic represented the sacramental life of the
- the arcane, represented by the teachings and practices of
such orders as those of the Templars, and
- the regal, the lord and customs of kingship, nobility, and
It is sometimes stated that freemasonry continues the work of the
second of the above mentioned sections, and we are far from denying
that freemasonry may still retain symbolism derived from such sources.
At one time freemasonry was practised with the consent of the Church.
According to Sir David Brewater (quoted by dudley Wright: Roman
Catholicism and Freemasonry 1922, page 8) popes conferred on "most
important privileges, and allowed them to be governed by laws, customs
and ceremonies peculiar to themselves".
But in 1738 Pope Clement XII issued a bull condemning freemasonry and
subsequently other papal condemnations have been issued. It is certain,
therefore that Church and Masonry have parted company.
Nowadays we find Freemasonry represented by two main streams:
In addition to the above, however, certain orders have existed during
recent years and have been described in masonic encyclopaedias, which
have retained important parts of the ancient arcane lore in direct
succession from the ancient mysteries. They include such masonry as it
was before it separated from the Church and much more besides.
- that of the Grand Lodge of England type which is mainly a
charitable institution not claiming to possess arcane teaching.
- That of the continental Grand Orient type which has even
the belief in God from its tenets. With neither of these streams
are we connected in any way.
The Templar Order itself, or Order of the Temple of the Orient, was
duly erected and chartered according to canon law and confirmed it its
constitution by Pope
Honorius II in 1128 A.D. Having acquired great arcane knowledge it was
subjected to persecution and its organization was illegally broken up
on 1312 A.D. Many of the Templars, including its Grand Master Jacques
de Molay were soon afterwards martyed. Others, however, having escaped
and dispersed, continued the work of the Order in secret, and
maintained a succession of Grand Masters duly nominated, appointed and
initiated, from the said Jacques de Molay onwards.
In later years persons claiming to be Templars have become known to the
public and so-called Templar Orders have been established. As these,
with few exceptions, have admittedly departed from the original
teachings and practices, we are not interested in their activities.
There is, however, one order that has retained the magico-religious
cults of the original Templars and the succession of this line has
passed to a Grand Master, duly nominated, appointed and initiated after
having been elected and accepted by a majority of members of the said
Order in good standing, and he has declared on behalf of himself and
his brethren as follows:
It will be recalled that the Universal Imperium was in the arcane
section of the Order of the Holy Wisdom, now known as the Apostolate of
the Holy Wisdom.
- That the said Order accepts the Original teachings of the Order
of the Temple of the Orient.
- That the same to not belong to nor are associated with any order
purporting to be or calling itself Templar that does not accept the
teachings as aforesaid.
- That after due consultation with all members and by and with their
consent he does decree, ordain and establish that the supreme authority
of the said original and authentic Order of the Temple of the Orient
and of all other bodies and organizations incorporated therein or
allied or associated therewith he and the same is vested in the
Sovereign of the Universal Imperium of Spiritual Forces and his lawful
successors duly appointed and that the said Sovereign of the Universal
Imperium is Supreme Head in mundo and ad vitam of the
said Order of
the Temple of the Orient and Frater Superior of the same, with all the
rights and privileges appertaining to that office.
The Order of Memphis and Mizraim is another order, described in
Masonic Encyclopaedias (Waite, Mackey) from which it may befathered.
The last point is interesting, because in his Mysteries of the
Ancients, Dr W.B. Crow avers that the Hiram legend really belonged
to a much higher degree. In later years the Rite of Memphis and Mizraim
did not itself work the craft degrees but only accepted persons holding
such in other recognised lodges. That it had the right to work the
craft and even to establish lodges is attested by the Laws and
- that it contained a vast collection of arcane rites superior in
extent to any others, including the 33 degrees now only known in the
Ancient and Accpted Rite, the 90 degrees of Mizraim and the 97 degrees
- that it contains features not now represented in masonry.
- That its head was regarded as the Supreme Head of all masonic
rites, but is not so regarded by modern freemasonry.
- It alleged that the Jesuits has some connection with it at one
- That the Hiram legend has been removed from its 3 (craft) degree.
On 16th August, 1948, the Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Wisdom,
having previously been duly elected in accordance with the constitution
and regulations was enthroned and crowned as Grand Hierophant of the
Rite of Memphis, Absolute Grand Sovereign of the Rite of Mizraim,
Supreme Power of the Order and of all Rites included therein and allied
cognate affiliated Orders and Rites in a Temple near London.
As the Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Wisdom is also Supreme
Hierarch of the Ancient Universal Church, this fulfils the prophecy
attributed to Dr Rudolph Steiner that the initiatory mysteries would
one day be reunited to those of the Church.
All the rites in question have been placed under the sub-division of
the Arcane section of the Apostolate of the Holy Wisdom, known as the
Ancient and Universal Rite of Cosmic Architecture, which previously
included material of this type, but which is now established on an
impregnable basis and can be worked in a vastly fuller range than
Some of the degrees of these rites can be conferred on suitable persons
either alone or in conjunction with those of the Ancient Universal
Church and the Universal Metaphysical Kingdom. All interested are
invited to write to Dr W.B. Crow, 78 Broadmead Road, Woodford Green,
This is an outline from the English "O.T.O. Rituals and
A facsimile of this text can be found in "Materialien zum
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