Theodor Reuss - O.T.O. Ritual - Knight of the Rose and the Cross (VIII°)

Ordo Templi Orientis
Theodor Reuss

The Theodor Reuss O.T.O. rituals

Compiled by P.R. Koenig

Knight of the Rose and the Cross (VIII°)

Opening of the Lodge
When all  are seated in their proper places, the Master raps "oo" with
gavel and says to the Light of the West: -
Light of  the West, our first duty in convening this Lodge of Light is
to see  that the  inner taper is alright, and that no criticism, envy,
malice or other shape or moral darkness obscures its shining. You will
communicate with  the Inner  Guard and  let him inquire if the avenues
are closed,  so that  the pure  in heart who bear witness to the Light
may enter.
                          Light of the West
Inner Guard,  inquire of  the Outer  Guard if  the avenues  are closed
against all  wordly influences  and if we are properly guarded against
                             Inner Guard
(Gives one knock at the door outside of which sits the Outer Guard who
answers with  one knock)  Are the  avenues to  the Temple  closed  and
properly guarded?
                             Outer Guard
Brother  Inner  Guard,  the  avenues  are  secured  and  are  properly
                             Inner Guard
(Turning to  the Master) Master of the Temple, the avenues are secured
and we are properly guarded.
Light of  the West,  is the  Light of the senses unobstructed? Are you
consecrated to  the Highest  and willing to proceed with the duties of
your Office?
(Here all the officers and members respond by giving the sign)
                          Light of the West
Light of  the South,  is the Light of the senses unobstructed? Are you
consecrated to  the Highest  and willing to proceed with the duties of
your office?
(Here all the officers and members respond by giving the sign)
                          Light of the West
Light of  the North,  is the Light of the senses unobstructed? Are you
consecrated to  the Highest  and willing to proceed with the duties of
your office?
(Here all the officers and members respond by giving the sign)
                          Light of the South
The Light of the senses is unobstructed by any cloud or moral darkness
and I  am conscious  of the Divine presence which permeates every atom
of space.
                          Light of the North
We have  been told  that the  North is a place of darkness, but in the
Lodge of Shekinah shines as in the days of old when it rested upon the
mercy-seat in  the Holy  of Holies dispelling darkness from the North;
for the  Lord shall  arise and  his glory be seen upon thee, and those
who are  in darkness shall see the wondrous Light and Kings shall come
to the  brightness of  thy rising. We now see the Light emanating from
the Shekinah.
                          Light of the West
Master of  the Temple,  the Light of the senses is unobstructed and is
never darkened  by the shadow of earth. We are called to the marvelous
Light of the Divine Presence and will.i. list;en to the Beth Rol - the
voice of the Shekinah.
(Giving ooo) Light of the West, then you will see that all present are
in possession of the pass-word.
                          Light of the West
Light of  the South,  you will  see that  all are in possession of the
                          Light of the West
Light of  the North,  you will  see that  all are in possession of the
(The Light  of the  South and the Light of the North whisper the pass-
word to  their assistants, who after receiving it, collect it from the
members in the Temple)
(While the  assistants are  collecting the  pass-word, the High-Priest
goes to the Light of the West receives the pass-word from the Light in
the West  and carries  it to the Master, after which he returns to his
(While this is taking place there is music by the organist.
Music: Queen of the Night.)
Are all within the body of this Temple consecrated to the Highest?
(All respond by giving the sign)
(A circle  is now  formed around the Altar. The Master gives a Mantram
to be  held, and  while this  is held,  there is  music of  a  dreamy,
imaginative kind.)
My heart is glad, for I have seen the glory of His Presence.
(The Circle  breaks and  all return  to their  seats. Music  continues
until all are seated.)
I now  declare this Temple open for Exoteric work. Let us proceed with
honorable and  holy intent  to the  business to  be transacted. No one

Order of Business
Roll Call
Reading of Minutes

Closing of Temple
(To close  the Temple,  all arise, form a circle about the Altar, join
hands, the organist plays the organ or piano and Master says:)
You will  now break  the Circle  by each Brother turning to the right.
Peace be with you.

Officers. Master, High Priest, Conductor.
Lodge Room
Vestibule and  Hall of  Meditation in  the East.  The Cross  and  Rose
painted in the East of the Lodge Room.
(Conductor who  sits in  the East,  gives one rap on the door which is
answered by  the Outer  Guard in  the same  way. He  opens  the  door,
standing in it and addresses the candidate as follows: -
Thou seeker  of Truth,  have you seriously considered the step you are
about to  take in becoming initiated into this Degree? Are you able to
say on  your Sacred  honor that  you see  this initiation  without any
sinister motive,  selfish purpose,  or ignoble curiosity; that you are
actuated alone  by the  desire to  fit yourself  for a  better man  or
woman, a better citizen and a better Brother? If you have any doubt in
your heart  of your perfect consecration and loyalty to the Principles
of this  Order, now  is your  opportunity  to  withdraw  from  further
obligations. We  will now  give ourselves  to  silent  meditation  and
(The Members  remain very  quiet while  the organist plays some dreamy
music. After  the music  has ended,  Conductor produces  hood-wink and
says: -)
Those who wish to proceed will now advance in line.
(Candidate advances.  As he  advances  the  Conductor  hoodwinks  him,
throws around him a black mantle, and when ready says:)
You are now ready to consciously take the steps which lead to the door
hitherto closed  to you.  Ask and  it shall be given you. Seek and you
shall find. Knock and it shall be opened to you, this is applicable to
the Great  Door of  which this  is but an emblem, and which leads into
the vast and boundless realm of Truth.
(The Conductor  now gives one tap on the floor with his Staff or Sword
and Master demands:-)
Who seeks entrance?
Those who  desire to  leave the  fog-bound valley  of the  senses  and
ascend to  the plain  of Illumination, the Light of which has appeared
as a Beacon.
By what means do we know that they seek the Light?
By their willingness to renounce the guidance of the senses and accept
the Inner Light as their Criterion of Truth.
Are they  willing to prepare the dead for burial and pass all tests to
prove their sincerity?
They have signified their willingness to conform to all requirements.
In the  name of the One Supreme Being common to all religions, even to
those which  include Polytheism  and the  worship of  Idols, the  Para
Brama of  the Hindoos, the Eternal Spirit of Budda, the Zerbane Akeren
of the  ancient Persians,  the Supreme  Essence floating  on the  dark
waters of  Scandinavian Mythology,  the Belus  of the  Chaldeans,  the
Kneph of  the Egyptians,  the Virococha of the Mexicans, all identical
and representing  the God  of the  Jews, Mohammedans and Christians, I
bid you enter.
(Conductor with Candidate enters. As they do so, the Master draws down
the hood-wink  and with the right hand lightly presses the lower point
of the triangle to the middle part of the Candidate's forehead, saying
as he does so:)
I receive  you into  this Lodge  of Light  on the  lower point  of the
triangle. Thus  far you  have done well. You are now about to traverse
the valley  of the  shadows of  death.  Be  steadfast  throughout  the
journey before you.
(The hood-wink  is now  replaced and the Conductor takes the Candidate
by the  right and  in order  to lead him seven times around the Temple
before taking  him to  the Hall  Meditation. While he walks around the
Temple he repeats the following:)
The Lord is my Light and my Salvation.
Though I  walk through  the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear
no evil, for Thou art with me. Thy Rod and Thy Staff, they comfort me.
(The Conductor  times himself  so that there is but one repetition for
each round made. There is soft music in harmony with this.)
(When the  East is  reached on  the seventh round, the Conductor takes
him to  the Hall, where there should be a small table whereon there is
pen and  red ink  and slips,  one of  which the  candidate signs. When
possible, this  room is draped in black. There is a Cross, a skull and
cross-bones on  the table and a coffin along-side of it. The hood-wink
is raised so he can see. But one candle is allowed on the table.)
(Soft funeral music while in the Hall of Meditation)
(After the  card is  signed, the  Conductor replaces the hood-wink and
takes the  Candidate before  the Master,  who stands between the Cross
and Rose on the Wall and the Altar.)
(The Candidate  is told  to kneel before the Altar and places his hand
on the  Holy Bible. The Master presses the lower point of the Triangle
against the Breast of the Candidate, and says, in a low and impressive
If you  still wish to proceed you will now take the Obligation of this
I ...  in the presence of God the Father, the great Jehova, Adoni, God
of Light,  Agla and  Ahih, Masters of the Hierarchic forces and in the
presence of these, my brethren, and of my living soul, promise vow and
pledge, that  I well  never, in any manner whatsoever, betray anything
that shall take place in this Sacred Temple.
I further  promise and  swear, that I will, to the best of my ability,
remain faithful  to this  Temple and to the Great Temple; that I shall
work for the Fraternity; and that I shall not, in any manner, do aught
that might  bring disgrace or disrepute to any member hereof or to the
Order generally;  and that  if I  cannot interest and bring members to
this Order  I shall  not in  any way  whatsoever, interest them in any
other work not in harmony with this.
To this  Order and  its work  I shall  remain faithful unto death; and
should I,  for any  reason, be  expelled from  the membership  of this
Temple, I  shall not,  in any manner whatsoever, either by look, word,
or anything  written or  engraved, do  aught against  it. Furthermore,
should I  thus be expelled, or should I leave the work, the Temple, or
the Order  of my own free will, I shall return all manuscripts, books,
regalia, or aught else that I may have received with my scholarship or
Should I, for any reason bear ill-will to any member, I will not enter
this or  any other  Temple until  such time  as I  may be able to free
myself from  such destructive passion, knowing that should I enter the
Temple, and take part in the Invocations it might bring death to me.
All these  things I  vow, promise, and swear, to hold and to keep unto
death. To work harmoniously with all Brothers; interest others who are
worthy so that they will become workers for this mighty Order.
These things  I vow,  upon my  heart, my Soul, and my Sacred honor, in
the presence  of Almighty  God, the Father of all. So help me God, and
witness all Hierarchies. Amen
(After the  obligation, the  Master  places  his  right  hand  on  the
Candidate's head.  High Priest  places his  left also on his head, and
then extending his right hand to meet the Master's left they thus form
a triangle  in which the Brother is closed. Both remain thus while the
High Priest says:)
                             High Priest
Mayst thou  be anointed  with the  oil of  eternal joy  and receive an
Unction from  the Holy  Fire, by which thy heart will be purified, thy
mind illuminated and thy whole being prepared for the Holy Work before
thee, and the Holy Light which thou art to radiate to the world.
(There is  now silence  for a  few  minutes  whole  there  is  dreamy,
imaginative music.)
(The Master now asks the Candidate.)
What is the wish of thy heart?
(Prompted by Hight Priest:) More Light.
(Extending the  right hand  of fellowship) Arise, Brother, I greet you
as a  Brother and  extend the  right hand  of fellowship while you are
still hood-winked  to indicate  that  even  to  Brothers  unenlightend
defenseless the hand of brotherly love must ever be extended.
(The Master  now removes  the hood-wink, places a taper in the hand of
the Brother and bids him light it. After he has lighted it, the Master
again extends his right hand and says.)
Again I  give the  right hand  of  fellowship  and  welcome  you  into
Brotherhood of  Light. You are now a Knight of the Rose and the Cross.
Your pass-word is ...

I will  now interpret  the significance  of the different steps of the
Initiation. Unbiased  by any  person or  persons, but through your own
choice and  free will,  you made  application to  become a  Brother of
Light in  this Temple.  In the vestibule as you waited, you sat on the
seat of  decision. You  were blindfolded  to  indicate  your  groping,
unenlightened state.  Your right hand was placed upon the back of your
Brother, a  searcher after light like yourself, as emblematical of the
brotherly help  to be given in time of darkness and need, and also the
strong, brotherly  support which  should uphold  all Brothers  in  the
Brotherhood work.  The one knock given by the Conductor, signified the
one yearning  desire of  your whole  soul to  enter into  the Holy  of
Holies within  your own Temple where the Altar flame of God's presence
forever glows with a fadeless radiance. You were admitted because this
one pointed  desire swallowed  up all  others and  you were willing to
undertake an  unknown journey,  blindfolded and ignorant, were willing
to promise  obedience even  though you  were required to work with the
dead which  in reality  refers to  your own  dead and dying self which
must be  prepared for  death, before the resurrection, and all this in
order that  you might find the Light. You perceive the significance of
the journey  through the  unknown vale  of darkness  and how it can be
accomplished, when  trusting to the Lord of Salvation and leaning upon
the rod  and staff  of Omnipotence.  Even in  the midst  of  the  dark
shadows and  the grim reminders of ephemeral mortality, you still held
to your  purpose and  solemnly inscribed your name in blood-red ink in
token of  your loyalty  to your  ideal and  the obligations you assume
toward God  and the  Brotherhood which  represents humanity.  You were
then brought  to the foot of the cross still blindfolded as indicating
that, though  partically ready for the light, you had not yet received
The triangle  is a  symbol of  Deity, of  which more  will be revealed
later. Your admission on the point as it pressed against your forehead
is a  reminder that  God only  may open  the eye of intuition and that
when you  begin the  search for  the True Light, you are touched  with
Divine Wisdom.
You were asked to kneel in token of your willingness to be taught, and
again touched  the point of the triangle as an indication that, though
touching it  while still  on the  plane of  human weakness, yet as the
side  of  the  triangle  reaches  towards  its  own  apex,  or  Divine
Perfection, so do your aspirations and strivings after spiritual light
traces the  straight, upward  path, by which you rise into the apex of
your God-like nature. Your hands upon the Holy Scriptures revealed the
child-like spirit of consecration which is essential to the finding of
the Light, either within or without.
My Brother, go thou still further on your quest.
(The Conductor now turns the Brother towards the High Priest.)
(The High  Priest, with  a slender rod in his hand, points to the Rose
and the Cross and says: -)
                             High Priest
Out of  the mystery  of darkness  cometh light.  You  are,  therefore,
dressed in  black and standing on a black background to represent that
out of  the black  ground of  your earth nature, shall be manifest the
light of  the Soul,  and that  your earth  must be  under your Soulual
foot. This  cross upon which you gaze, is an age symbol of the passing
from death  to life,  or the crucifixion of the sense man [!] upon the
cross of  material conditions.  Back of the flesh man is the Soul man,
back of the red cross of the sensual life is the radiant effulgence of
the Soul,  and man, though he appears nailed to the rod, will be freed
by the  transmuting power  of the  gold and awaken to find, though the
human die  in the  process, the  Divine Will  live, for  back  of  the
visible, or  earthy cross,  is the one invisible of living light which
unites the  individual, or  resurrected Soul, to the Universal Source,
though individualized  according  to  the  channel  through  which  it
passes, is  yet at  one with  the sun  from which  it comes. The cross
stands now  as it  ever has through all the ages of human history as a
symbol of life, the life emanating from God.
The rose  flushed with  the tint  of awakening  day is  the  beauteous
emblem of  the Aurora,  dawn or resurrection of life, and together the
cross and the rose signify the dawn of Eternal Life.
The rose is also a symbol of discretion concerning the mystery of life
which dawns  slowly and secretly upon the Consciousness and concerning
which no loud or profane word should be spoken, but rather revealed by
lips consecrated  to the  sayings of  words of  life and  light  which
display the  inner Soul  beauty, as  the rose  silently,  sweetly  and
beautifully reveals  the ideal  of itself as it must be in the mind of
the Creator.
(The High  Priest turns  to face  the Master  who stands  back of  the
altar. Conductor motions the Brother to form a circle around the Altar
with the Master opposite the High Priest.
Brothers, you  are now  in the  first circle  of Light. Your faces are
turned to the eternal goal. You are committed to the Pathway of Light,
on which  are many  whose feet  might stumble  and whose  hearts might
falter were  not your  Brotherly hands  ever extended  in sympathy and
strength. To  the light  of Love  be true and the Light of wisdom will
ever illuminate your life and conduct in your family, social, business
and civil relations.
You are now a Knight of the Rose and the Cross, Entrance Degree
Faithful unto death, is the watchword of a true Knight.
Love God above all, and your Brother as yourself.
Live the interior life and prove yourselves Brothers by the outer.
Remember the word ...
Remember the sign ...
(Silence, then  soft music,  then the High Priest raises her [?] hands
in benediction, and repeats seven times to soft music:)
The sun  shall be  no more  thy light  by day;  neither for brightness
shall the  moon give  light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee
an everlasting Light and thy God thy Glory.
Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself,
for the  Lord shall  be thine  everlasting light  and the  days of thy
mourning shall be ended. Amen. Amen. Amen.
(Triumphant music.)

                          Queen of the Night
                      (Music is to be operatic)
                                               Queen of the Night
            Thou Goddess Queen,
            Diffusing silvery light.
            Osirian born,
            And wandering through the gloom of night.
            With stars surrounding,
            paying homage to thy beauty
            Night's torch extending,
            Through the heavens you ride:
            Mother of ages,
            Fruit-producing Moon,
            Whose amber orb makes Night's reflected noon:
            Creator of Love,
            Beautiful Queen of the night,
            Lover of vigilance,
            the foe of strife,
            In peace rejoicing
            And a prudent life:
            Fair queen of Night,
            Beautiful and sublime,
            Who giveth to Nature's work their destined end.
            Queen of all the stars,
            All-wise Diana, hail.
            Decked with a graceful rove and ample veil.
            Come blessed Goddess, prudent, starry, bright,
            Come, moony lamp, with chaste and splendid light,
            Shine on these sacred rites with prosprous rays,
            And please accept thy supplicants mystic praise.

© P.R. Koenig, 1993/2000

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.

More about all this in: Andreas Huettl and Peter-R. Koenig: Satan - Jünger, Jäger und Justiz.

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