Theodor Reuss - Brothers of Light in the Seven Churches of Asia

pre-Ordo Templi Orientis

Theodor Reuss
Brothers of Light in the Seven Churches of Asia

1917 Constitution of the Ancient Order of Oriental Templars
O.T.O. Ordo Templi Orientis

Theodor Reuss 1917 Ordo Templi Orientis Memphis-Misraim Rosicrucians Illuminati Synopsis of Degrees

O.T.O. structure Craft Masonry AASR Franz Hartmann Esoteric Rosicrucianism Fratres Lucis Knights of the True Light Order of the Asiatic BrethrenTheodor Reuss's Aleister Crowley Hermetic Brotherhood of Light Illuminati Order

After he had been expelled from the “Order of the Gold and Rosy Cross” in 1780, Baron Hans Heinrich von Ecker und Eckhoffen (1750-1790) laid the foundations of the “Asiatic Brothers of the Rosy Cross” in 1781, which he claimed was the “most powerful and wise order of Knights and Brothers of Light.”

The Knights of Light pretended that their origins lay with the Seven Wise Fathers who led the Seven Churches of Asia as mentioned in Revelation. The Order was apparently a sort of melting-pot of Christians, Jews, and also Muslims from Turkey, Persia and Armenia. This resulted in a synchretic admixture of the most diverse elements, mainly from the Qabalah and Gnosis.

After they had undergone various sorts of preliminaries, members were finally received into the illustrious purlieus of the truly Wise.

Similar to Theodor Reuss' later habits, people claimed that Ecker’s founding of his order had been a simple pretext for procuring money – he had apparently squandered his personal fortune and not repaid loans solicited from order members – neither accusation being true. But just as with Reuss, it seems that additional costs were payable upon any “promotion” to a higher grade in Ecker’s order. At the same time membership-dues were collected, on which the order lived. Nonetheless, there were many noble personalities and aristocrats in the ranks of the Asiatic Brothers.

Over the years a number of exposés were published, opposing the Order and betraying all its secrets. In 1785 a royal decree had been promulgated, dissolving all working alchemical lodges, and particularly the Asiatic Brothers. However, its Qabalistic and Gnostic elements influenced many later organisations.

Reuss took the inspiration for the outline of his VII° O.T.O. from an 1866 exposé of the Asiatic Brothers called “Der Signatstern”. The original ritual text used by Reuss referred to a priesthood, but the O.T.O. ritual introduces a feminine element by making one of the performers a High Priestess:

Der Signatstern Der Signatstern Der Signatstern

Theodor Reuss:

From How To Make Your Own McO.T.O.

Theodor Reuss Ordo Templi Orientis Grossrat VII° der Mystischen Templer Bruder Brüder des Lichtes der Sieben Gemeinden in Asien Grals Genosse Theoretischer Rosenkreuzer Mysterien des Mithras Kultes Grandcouncillor of the Mystical Templars Magus of the Light Graal Comrade and Theoretical  Rosicrucian Brothers of the Light of the Seven Congregations in Asia Mysteries of the Mithras cult How to make your own McOTO, page 100

Russian translation of Reuss' VII° ritual: ТЕОДОР РОЙСС — РИТУАЛ VII° O.T.O.
English: VII°

Der Signatstern
Magus or Knight of Light

Fifth Grade
The Priests
First Point
Of the Initiation of the Priests

Opening of the Chapter.

§. 5.
Question. What was in the beginning?
Answer. The Word
Q. Where?
A. With God.
Q. And what was in the Word?
A. The Life.
Q. What thus is God?
A. The Beginning, the Word, and the Life.
Q. And the Beginning, the Word, and the Life?
A. Are one.
Q. Who bears witness to this truth?
A. John and the seven Churches in Asia.
Q. Most worthy Brother High Priest, pray remind our wise brethren what the Church of Smyrna says.
A. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches: He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

§. 6. As soon as the Chapter is opened, the Priests entering in their levitical robes are announced with a chime and led to be seated in their accustomed places.

§. 7. As soon as the Levite has entered, the Most Worthy says as follows

§. 9. When the Levite has removed the Levitical robes of the First and Second Priests, he is led to the holy fire, where he kneels. So soon as he kneels, the Most Worthy says: ...

§. 10. When the Most Worthy has finished, he goes to the High Altar and opens the Holy of Holies. Here all Priests make the Sign of Third-Year Novices and then revert to the priestly sign, which they nonetheless abandon to place themselves in their own natural Order.

§. 11. When the Holy of Holies is opened, the Most Worthy proceeds to the holy Fire and casts golden incense into it seven times with a curved spoon

§. 14. While the Most Worthy casts the incense on the Holy Fire, he says as follows...

Theodor Reuss
Ordo Templi Orientis

VII° Grand Council of the Mystical Templars of Light. Companion of the Grail and Theoretical Rosicrucian of the Brother sof Light of the Seven Churches in Asia.

Mysteries of the Cult of Mithras.


Most Wise Master: What was in the beginning?
Cancellarius: – The Word.
MWM.: Where was the Word?
C.: With God.
MWM. And what is the Word?
C.: The Lord God.
MWM.: What was in the Word?
C.: The Life.
MWM.: What thus is the Lord God?
C: The Beginning, the Word, and the Life.
MWM.: And the Beginning, the Word, and the Life are what?
C.: – Are one.
MWM.: Who bears witness to this truth, Most Wise High Priestess?
High Priestess: John and the seven Churches in Asia, which are called the Brothers of Light.
C.: Most beloved and most wise High Priestess, pray remind our Wise Brethren what the Spirit of the Seven Churches said.
H.P.: He that hath an ear, let him hear: He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
C.: And what else?
H.P.: Be ye innocent as the dove and subtle as the serpent.
MWM.: And finally, what command must all wise Brethren follow strictly?
H.P.: Hear ye! Obey and be silent.
M.W.M.: Amen, so may it be for ever more. (They seat themselves around the fire.)
M.W.M.: Our task today is to initaiate a Knight Kadosh into our circle. Br. Initiator, pray approach the Candidate and lead him into the temple according to the prescribed custom and manner.
C: - (Bows with both hands covering his eyes and forehead, exits, and leads him into the Temple to the W. before the fire) after which he seeks entry by prostrating himself


Read the complete Theodor Reuss VII° O.T.O. Ritual

Aleister Crowley

The Perfect Ceremony
Grand Inquisitor Commander
Prince of the Royal Secret
Sovereign Grand Inspector General
and last degree of

Aleister Crowley Ordo Templi Orientis O.T.O. VII Degree The Perfect Ceremony of Grand Inquisitor Commander 31° Prince of the  Royal Secret  32° and Sovereign Grand Inspector General 33° and last degree of Freemasonry

[From: 'How To Make Your Own McOTO'.]

“The truly active members of the O.T.O. were called Hermetic Brothers of Light or Illuminati, which was historically confirmed by Fra. Peregrinus X° O.T.O. (Theodor Reuss) and Baphomet XI° O.T.O. (Aleister Crowley).” (H.J. Metzgers Statement of 9.1.1963).

“The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor” was founded by Pascal Beverly “Randolph” (1825-8.10.1875), its inner circle calling itself the “Fraternity of Eleusis”. In 1886 the sole HBL known to exist, in Boston, was closed down, out of which grew the “Eulis Brotherhood”, which could have influenced Carl Kellner or the Frenchman Gérard Encausse/”Papus”.

On 22.1.1917, in his Manifesto "Anational Grandloge & Mystic Temple: Verità Mistica, Or. Ascona" , Reuss was still describing the O.T.O. as the “Hermetic Brotherhood of Light”. It is quite possible that this was merely another of Reuss’s frauds, as he admitted in a letter to Crowley that the description “Hermetic Brotherhood of Light” was only used on ‘tactical grounds’. Basically, by the “Asiatic Brothers of the Rosy Cross” Reuss indeed meant the “powerful and wise Order of the Knights and Brothers of Light”.

Theodor Reuss to Aleister Crowley, 1917

Heinrich Tränker also used this title at various times and places, for instance in his “2nd Fama” of 1930.
Reuben Swinburne Clymer viewed himself as a successor of the HBL.

Dr. Musallam — Franz Sättler — Adonism

Der Signatstern Enthuellte Geheimnisse des Mystischen Ordens der Ritter des Lichts Dr Musallam Franz Sättler Hekate el-Khaf Adonistische Gesellschaft Adonismus Adonistischer Verlag Der Signatstern.
Enthüllte Geheimnisse des .·. Mystischen Ordens der Ritter des Lichts.
Herausgegeben von Dr. Musallam.

Franz Sättler. Hekate. el-Khâf. Adonistische Gesellschaft. Adonismus. Adonistischer Verlag. — Berlin-Weissensee, No date.

The Adonists

For just a few weeks in 1928, the Fraternitas Saturni [F.S.] was allied with the 'Adonistic Society', a sex-magical group founded on May 1st 1925 by Franz Sättler "Musallam" (1884-1942?) the guru of Franz Bardon, whose works on magic would later have an unaccountable success in both German and badly-translated English. The alliance was negotiated by Wilhelm Quintscher "Rah-Omir, Ophias, Chakum Kabbalit". On March 13th 1928, the alliance with the "Order of Mental Builders" (this was another name for the Adonists) split up; many members of it entered the F.S., and after January 3rd 1929 "purely businesslike" relations alone existed between the FS and the remaining Adonists.

In 1950, from the Adonists (who were, it seems, often closely concerned with "erotic questions") the Swiss Hermann Joseph Metzger (who went under the alias of 'Servius' among them) was able "to learn something, especially as far as organisation was concerned." From a certain unnamed Adonist professor, Metzger "learnt one day a week for two years, in an intensive way, about humanistic education and scientific theories, to degree level."

Franz Sättler Dr Musallam Der Wahrhaftige Feurige Drache Adonistischer Verlag Franz Sättler Dr Musallam Der Wahrhaftige Feurige Drache Beschwörung Lucifer Beelzebub Astaroth Adonistischer Verlag Der Signatstern
Franz Sättler / Dr Musallam (ed.): "Der wahrhaftige feurige Drache" ("from a manuscript found 1522 in France"). Lucifer, Beelzebub, Astaroth. Adonistischer Verlag. Advertisement: "Der Signatstern". No place and no date.

H.J. Metzger and the Fraternitas Saturni

Hermann Joseph Metzger, Outer Head of the Swiss Ordo Templi Orientis, was also inspired by the revelations contained in the “Signatstern” book.

In 1951 Metzger awarded the Grand Master of the Fraternitas Saturni, Eugen Grosche (alias Gregor A. Gregorius), a meaningless diploma bearing the text “We declare that as of this date, S.·.M.·. Gregorius = Honoris Causa = is a legitimately admitted member.”
Eugen Grosche Hermann Joseph Metzger

[From: 'Materialien Zum O.T.O.']

Also to be found on this diploma is a motto in code: “The Truth is the Seventh Wisdom”, the letters being enciphered according to the ‘Templar Clerics’ code from “Der Signatstern”. But Metzger had confused the whole thing by only using half the code and mixing it up with another Masonic cypher.

Extract from Der O.T.O. Phaenomen RELOAD. Der O.T.O. Phänomen
RELOAD Peter-Robert Koenig

Theodor Reuss . Ordo Templi Orientis . Memphis Misraim . Alter Angenommener Schottischer Ritus . Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite . Martinismus . Cerneau . Swedenborg. See charters, magazines, photographs and many more

Translated by Mark Parry-Maddocks.

See also:
English: Theodor Reuss and the Brothers of Light in the Seven Churches of Asia. The origins of Brotherhood of Light of Theodor Reuss.
Deutsch: Die Brueder des Lichtes der sieben Gemeinden in Asien. Theodor Reuss' Hermetische Bruderschaft des Lichtes.
Français: Les Frères de Lumière dans les Sept Églises d'Asie. Les origines de la Fraternité de Lumière de Theodor Reuss.

English version: O.T.O. — Early Years and Development.
Deutsche Version: Zur Geschichte des Ordo Templi Orientis.
Versione italiano: Ordo Templi Orientis — I primi anni e la sua evoluzione.
Traduccion castellano: O.T.O. — Original y su Desarrollo.

Theodor Reuss' O.T.O. rituals.
More on Memphis Misraim.

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More on these orders and their protagonists in: Andreas Huettl und Peter-R. Koenig: Satan - Jünger, Jäger und Justiz.


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