To all Illustrious and Enlightened Masons throughout the World.
Union, Prosperity, Friendship, Fraternity.
On the Denomination of The Rite
ANCIENT: One finds the origins of our Rite in the Rite of Mizraim [Venice, 1788] and the Rite of Memphis (Montauban, 1815). In 1881 these two Rites were united.
PRIMITIVE: The actual Rite of Memphis-Mizraim stems from the first filiation, coming from the Primitive Rite of Paris in 1721, which was followed, in 1779, by the Primitive Rite of Philadelphs at Narbonne.
RITE: The Rules and Ceremonies practised in our Tradition.
The Rite is an Initiatic Way in itself.
MEMPHIS: Is a capitol city of ancient Egypt, situated at the point of the Delta of the Nile. It was here that the Rite was created by Initiates in contact with this ancient civilisation.
MIZRAIM: This word is the plural of Egyptian and first appeared in a group of Sociniens in Venice. The Patent and Constitution was given by Cagliostro.
SOVEREIGN SANCTUARY: Specified by the Rite of Memphis-Mizraim, is the government of the Rite, of the Order, and the Obedience.
History of the Rite
More than 200 years old, this Rite still engenders lively interest and enjoys important developments on an international level. Faithful to its founding principles, it affirms itself as a Rite that is traditional, symbolic and spiritualistic, and associated with the principles of tolerance and liberty.
Upon entering into the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis Misraim, one places a foot on the path of tradition, with respect for human values and tolerance. This Rite is characterized by an initiatic quest founded on:
A spiritualistic and deist orientation,
A vocation to transmit the philosophical reflection on symbols of Ancient Egypt and the different esoteric currents Hermetic, Gnostic, Kabbalistic, Templar and Rose+Croix)
An open search for a better understanding of oneself.
Such is the spirit of traditional Freemasonry for which, in every act, there is both the visible and the invisible, the positive and the negative, already bearing the seeds of the future.
The Oriental Masonic Order of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis and Misraim or Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis and Misraim, is a dual Masonic – Illuministic system that contains in itself various forms of the western initiatic tradition. It starts from the esoteric systems of the ancient Egyptian Hyerophants.
Our Worshipful Rite, because of its reference to Misraim (deriving from the word ‘Mizr’ that signifies ‘Egypt’ in Hebrew) is also known as Egyptian Rite. Cagliostro’s Egyptian Masonry related to the A.P.R.M.M. by its study of mystical and theurgical practices.
The two United Rites of Memphis and Misraim, form in their union an authentic Order and not a simple Rite. The Order was conceived with the purpose of collating in a single organisation, all the wisdom, knowledge of initiates scattered in the numerous Ritual Bodies of higher Masonry and in the Illuministic and Chivalric Orders.The A.P.R.M.M. is of Chivalric and Illuministic character, deeply rosicrucian and hermetic, with particular cabalistic functions, that does not in its higher degrees have correspondences with the other degrees practised in Ritual Masonry.
The creator of the Egyptian Freemasonry of Egyptian Rite was the Count Alexander of Cagliostro (1749-1796). Alexander of Cagliostro was initiated to the secrets of the Egyptian Freemasonry by the mysterious Master Altothas in 1776, year of the foundation of the Illuminati Order. The summit of the Illuminati Order was constituted by six members: four were known (Weishaupt, von Knigge, Goethe, Herder) and two were secrets (Franklin and Cagliostro).
In effects a secret connection existed between the Illuminati Order of Weishaupt and the Egyptian Freemasonry of Cagliostro that was officially founded in 1785, year of the suppression of the Illuminati Order. Besides, Napoleone Bonaparte was initiated by Cagliostro to the Egyptian Freemasonry and the Masonic Rites of Memphis, of MisraÃ¯m and of Memphis-Misraim come down from it. Gad Bedarride was received into the Rite of Misraim by the Sage Patriarch Ananiah, Grand Egyptian Conservator, who has been identified by the author Gaston Ventura.
It is said that at this time that Cagliostro was in England, elaborating his famous “Egyptian Rite” which he officially founded in 1782. According to his own account, this rite was derived from a manuscript by a certain George Cofton – whose identity has never been discovered – which he bought by chance in London. John Yarker, however, is of the opinion that “the Rite of Cagliostro was clearly that of Pasqually,” and that if he acquired it from a manuscript in London it would indicate that Pasqually had disciples in that city. A far more probable explanation is that Cagliostro derived his Egyptian Masonry from the same source as that on which Pasqually had drawn for his Order of Elected Priests, namely, the Kabbalah, and that it was not from a single manuscript but from an eminent Jewish Kabbalist in London that he took his instructions….
It is said that at this time Cagliostro created the Mother Lodge of the Egyptian Rite at Lyons. Cagliostro, it is said, had established the system of Egyptian Freemasonry which consisted of both male and female Lodges, the latter being headed by his wife, Serafina. The fruits of Cagliostro’s researches into the occult societies of Europe were a body of knowledge known as the Arcana Arcanorum, or A.·. A.·. He took this term from the original Rosicrucians of the 17th Century, but his corpus consisted of descriptions of magical practices that stressed “Internal Alchemy,” so it goes. Cagliostro had learned these Tantrik techniques from German Rosicrucian lodges.
A few years [after 1776] the celebrated Count Cagliostro founded at Strasburg his Egyptian Masonry. [His first Lodge was founded at Lyons, under the name of “Triumphant Wisdom”; but he afterwards extended his scheme, and opened at Paris an androgyne Lodge, which he termed the “Mother Lodge of Egyptian Adoptive Masonry”. He afterwards went to Courland, and was so fortunate as to number among his dupes the Countess de Meden, who recommended him to the notice of the Empress Catherine. He was, however, finally exposed and denounced.]
In 1782 a new and attractive Order sprang up, consisting of 90º degrees, which was called the Order of Mizraim, or Le Rite Orientale. It made its appearance in Italy, and was said to have been brought from Egypt by a learned Egyptian, of the name of Ananiah. [Barruel places the introduction of Egyptian Masonry a little earlier. He says, ‘A Jutlant merchant, who had lived some time in Egypt, began, in the year 1771, to overrun Europe, pretending to initiate adepts in the ancient mysteries of Memphis. He stopped some time at Malta, where the only mysteries which he taught were the tenets of Manes; and these he sedulously infused into the minds of the people. These principles began to expand, and the island was already threatened with revolutionary confusion, when the Knights very wisely obliged our modern Illuminee to seek his safety in flight. The famous Count Cagliostro is said to have been a disciple of his, as well as some other adepts in the county of Avignon and Lyons.
The Rite began around 1805 amongst Napoleon’s soldiers in Egypt who were Freemasons. It was based primarily on the degree work of the Philadelphes of Narbonne as well as several other masonic Rites that were operating in France during this period. The Rite was then introduced to France from Egypt by Samuel Honis in 1815 and also spread to Italy.
It was soon transplanted into France, and flourishes there at 1850s; although it was subsequently shown to have been invented and brought to maturity by two Jewish Masons, called Bedarride [In one of the degrees, detached portions are introduced of the lecture of the Royal Order of Bruce; and therefore it is utterly impossible that this system could have been imported from Egypt, where the above Order was unknown. Before the French revolution, there were some Chapters of it in France. During the ensuing anarchy, some copies of several of the lectures had found their way into improper hands; and it is probable that the Bedarrides had obtained possession of them; although they had never been initiated into the degree; and thus the fragments of these lectures became incorporated into their new system of Misraic Masonry.], and doubts are entertained whether it be so old as the commencement of the present century. Thory says it was not known in France till 1814, although he acknowledges that it was previously practised in Italy.
Between 1810 and 1813, in Naples (Italy), the three brothers (Michel, Marc and Joseph) received the Supreme Powers from the Order of Misraim and developed the Rite of Misraim in France. They made it official in Paris in 1814. The Rite was composed of 90 degrees, taken from the Scottish freemasonry, from Martinism and other Masonic currents, and the last four degrees received the name of “Arcana Arcanorum.”
In 1815, in Montauban (France), the Mother Lodge of the Rite of Memphis was constituted with the Grand Master Samuel Honis as head, whom followed, in 1816, Gabriel-Mathieu Marconis. In 1838, Jean Etienne Marconis de Negre, son of this last one, took over the Rite of Memphis. The Rite, for J. E. Marconis de Negre, was a continuation of the ancient Mysteries practised in the Antiquity, in India and in Egypt. The Constitutions of the Rite said: “… the masonic rite of Memphis is the continuation of the Mysteries of the Antiquity. The Rite taught the first men to pay homage to the divinity… “. The Rite of Memphis reached the 92º and 95º degrees.
The Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis and Misraim is inarguably the most Hermetic Masonic Order in the International Masonic scene. It is the fusion of the esoteric process of the Egyptian Rite or Rite of Misraim that came from Venice at 1801 and the Eastern Rite or Rite of Memphis that was founded at 1839 in Paris. The Rite of Misraim came from Venice at 1801 due to the efforts of Filalete Abraham and immediately spread into Italy and France, Italy and France. The Eastern Rite of Memphis was founded at 1839 in Paris from Etienne Marconis and it was based on a nomenclature that worked through the degrees of Misraim from start, including the Initiations and Rites of the Eastern Rite.
The information about these two Rites are a bit fractioned due to the historical inflexions that both Rites underlay, mostly the Rite of Misraim that in the course of time came across with the political power and authority of other Masonic forces which having lost the true spirit of the Ancient Initiation, rendered elite clubs that could hardly accept the occurrence of an orthodox elite. These forces always tried to absorb the orthodox elite Rites in any way they could, obviously, so that they could restore their lost for ages traditional genuineness. Especially in Italy, the fights that were conducted in the 19th century from the Austrian Government in the Lombardy – Venice and other Governments of different states of the peninsula were very poisonous. During the 20th century, a lot of mud-slinging was spilled from the fascistic established order of Italy.
Nevertheless, the most important documents were saved and spread till our days.
Such documents allow us to guarantee that the Rite of Misraim was active at Zakynthos Island at 1782 and at Venice at 1796. In Venice the Rite was put to sleep after the capture of Enetic Democracy from Austria and awakened from Filalete Abraham, which was the name of Byron Tassoni di Modena, on 1801.
Up to 1881, the Rites of Memphis and Mizraim went the same parallel and harmonious way in the same very particular climate; indeed these Rites began to gather together in two appurtenances the Masons of the Grand-Orient of France and those of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite who were interested in studies bearing on Esotericism and Symbolic Masonry, Gnosticism, Kabala, even Occultism and Hermeticism. These two Rites were the inheritors and the Trustees of old initiatic Obediences of the XVIIIth Century: the Philalethes, Philadelphs, the Hermetic Rite, the Primitive Rite, etc. And all this represented to Mizraim: 90º various degrees, and to Memphis, 95º.
The problem was how to administer and utilise such an incongruous collection. When Garibaldi was appointed first Grand Master-General for life, (Ad Vitam) for the entire world (because to a foreigner, the brothers abroad had not known political persecutions as they had in France) the decision was to set up a kind of classification by no means hierarchic in origin, but which rapidly became so. Indeed the 95Âº degrees of the Rite of Memphis-Mizraim must be considered as a pathway, wherein lie old Masonic degree’s which were no longer practised and which were not a scale of values either. Giuseppe Garibaldi revitalised the Order, gathered both rites and expanded them to South America through italian and french inmigration.
In 1856 the Rite was established in the USA, Romania, Australia and Switzerland by Jacques Etienne Marconis de Negre. After the Rite was chartered in the USA in 1862, it was the only Rite high-degree Rite in the USA to be recognized by the regular masonic powers and to have a charter of origin. During the Civil War, the Rite in the USA lost so many members that it fell into a decline from which it never recovered.
The agreements of 1863 with the Grand-Orient of France and in 1896 with the Grand Symbolic Scottish Lodge, future Grand Lodge of France did not concern the normal 33º degrees (Rite of Perfection following the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite). The Superior Workshops of Memphis-Mizraim obligatorily practice the: 4º degree (Secret Master), 9th degree (Elect of the Nine), 13º degree (Royal Arch), 14º degree (Grand Elect of the Sacred Vault and Sublime Mason), 18º degree (Knight R+C), 20º Degree (Knight of the Temple), 28º degree (Knight of the Sun). The 30tº degree, (Knight Kadosh) 31º degree (Grand Inspector), 32º degree (Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret), 33º degree (Sov.’. G.’. Inspector General. The 66º degree (Grand Consecrator) 87º, 88º, 89º and 90º degree called the (ARCANA ARCANORUM).
The Superior degrees that is all degrees above the 33º degree are conferred as an honourary title upon Masons in recompense for their valour and fidelity to the Rite.
The 20º Degree confers the Ancient Strict Observance Templar degrees, of Baron Von Hundt, and the succession of Jean Baptiste Villermoz, the C.B.C.S., Chevaliers Bienfaisants de Cite Sainte.
Many prominent and leading personalities of the esoteric community at the time, were also involved with the Rite. Gerard Anaclet Encausse (Papus,1865-1916), for instance, was Great Hierophant of the M:.M:. from 1913 on until he died in 1916. Theosophic Society of H.P. Blavatsky had an ‘Inner Order’ for “practical work”, called the ‘Esoteric Section’ (or Esoteric School). The Leading members, who resided within the E.S., were also members of the M:.M:. Rite. It was a co-membership! When one aspired to be a member of the inner circle of the Theosophical Society, one automatically had to become a member of the M:.M:. Rite….. Rudolf Steiner, for instance, became the Grand Master of the Rite in Germany while being a member of the Theosophical Society (He left the Rite in 1914).
In 1934 one of the aims of the M:.M:. Convention was “The Return to the fundamental source of the Misraim Rite”. The French Obedience, to which the Belgian branch belonged until 1933, worked the system of John Yarker, called officially The Antient and Primitive Rite of Masonry. Yarker’s system worked 33º degrees, divided into 3 sections, embracing MODERN, CHIVALRIC, and EGYPTIAN Masonry. In fact the system compressed the Rituals of the 90º working degrees of the Memphis Rite into 30 Rituals. One has to understand that the original system needed the fortune of a kingdom to carry on a Rite of 90º degrees with the necessary splendour. And this has been one of the main reasons that during the 19th century in several cities throughout Europe the original Rite was abandoned. Abandoned because of financial difficulties…
The Rite did, however, continue to be practiced in Europe and was chartered for the jurisdiction of Chile in the 1920’s where it is still practiced and where it survived until recent times. The Rite has experienced somewhat of a renaissance recently, and is now being practiced once again in the regular jurisdictions of France, Brazil, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic. Famous people who have been members of the Rite include Kenneth McKenzie, John Yarker, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Salvatore Zola, David McLellan and several members of the Romanian royal family prior to the suppression of Freemasonry as a whole by the Communists in that country.
Primitive Rite of the Philadelphians (Narbonne 1779) Rite of Misraim (Venice 1788) Rite of Memphis (Montauban 1815) United Rites of Memphis and Misraim (1881)
SOVEREIGN SANCTUARY: Specified by the Rite of Memphis-Misraim, is the government of the Rite, of the Order, and the Obedience.
The scale of the Egyptian Masonry in 99º degrees (three times 33º).
The ritual structure of Our Worshipful Rite, developes, in 4 Sections:
- Symbolic section;
- Philosophical-cabalistic section;
- Gnostic-hermetic section;
- Hermetic section.
Each section having its own characteristic and specific function, is composed in turn, by one or more Ritual Bodies that are, partly, practiced ritually and, partly, studied and conferred by communication.
Practice Rite follows:
Grade 1º to 3º, free choice of ritual or the ritual of Memphis Misraim.
Degree 4º to 33º, adapted from the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
Degree 34º to 66Âº, the Oriental Rite of Memphis Misraim.
Degree 67º to 86º, Rite of Memphis Misraim.
Degree 87º to 90º, Naples Regime Rite of Misraim (Arcana Arcanorum).
Degree 91º to 99º, Administrative Degrees.
- Symbolic section
This section is composed from Ritual Bodies denominated Lodges.
The objective of this section is the study and the practice of the first three degrees of Universal Freemasonry.
- Philosophical-cabalistic section
This section is composed by 30 Ritual Bodies denominated Chambers of which 9 are ritually practiced, while the others are not and the degrees to them corresponding are conferred by communication (on the sword).
The 9 practiced Chambers are:
4°. College of the Discreet Teachers
7°. Chapter of the Sublime Masters, Great Elects, Knights of the Vault of Perfection
8°. Chapter of the Sword Knights
9°. Knight Elect of Nine, Sublime Minervale
11°. Senate of the Knights of the Eagle and the Pelican , Rose-Croix Princes
16°. Senate of the Knights of the Sun, Sages of Truth, Adept Princes
21°. Senate Supreme Commanders of the Stars
30°. Senate of the Knights of the Black and White Eagle, Kadosch Knights
33°. Supreme Counseil of Sovereign Grand Inspectors
- Gnostic – Hermetic Section
This section is composed of 38 Ritual Chambers, of which Grand Consistory of Great Consacrator Patriarchs.
The teaching in this Section finds its study and its research in the classical gnosis and its derivations.
Only the 66 degree is practiced.
66°. Great Consacrator Patriarch
- Hermetic section
This section is composed of 24 Ritual Bodies
The hermetic section represents the conclusion of the initiatic path that the Brother Master Masons have accomplished in the traditional journey, through this immemorial and mysterious repository, that is the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis and Misraim.
The following are ritually practiced:
90°. Great Counsel of Sovereigns Principles, Sublime Patriarchs, Masters of the Great Work (Arcana Arcanorum).
91°. Grand Tribunal of Sovereigns Principles, Grand Defenders of the Order and the Rite.
92°. Sovereign Prince of the Magi of the Sanctuary of Memphis, or Sublime Interpreter of Science and Hieroglyphs (1856), or Grand Defender of the Order (1862).
93°. Grand Inspector Regulator of the Rite (1856), or Grand Regulator General of the Order (1862).
94°. Gran Mystical Temple of the Sublime Patriarchs of Memphis; Sovereign Prince of Memphis (1856), or Sovereign Prince of Memphis or of Masonry (1862).
95º. Deputy Grand Hierophant National, (members of various national Sovereign Sanctuaries)
Sovereign Sanctuary of Sublime Patriarchs, Sublime Patriarch Grand Conservator of the Rite, Grand Conservators of the Order, Sovereign Patriarchal Grand Conservator of the Rite (1856), or Sublime Prince of the Magi (1862).
96º. Grand Hierophant National, Grand Master National;
Member of the International Sovereign Sanctuary.
Grand and Puissant Sovereign of the Order, Sublime Magus (1856), or Sovereign Pontiff of Magi of the Sanctuary of Memphis (1862).
International Sovereign Sanctuary
96º. Grand Hierophant National, Grand Master National;
97º. Deputy Grand Master International.
98º. Grand Hierophant Universal; Grand Master International; Incognitos Superiors (I.S.)
(O.C.I. – Ordine dei Cavalieri Illuminati; Order of the Enlightened Knights) .
99º. Grand Hierophant International (Grand Hierophant Invisible).
“ESOTERICISM IS NOT LEARNED, IT IS NOT TAUGHT, IT IS NOT GIVEN IT COMES FROM ABOVE”
The Initiatic Teaching of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis and Misraim
Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis Misraim (A.P.R.M.M.) it is the result of the complex intertwining of the Rite of Misraim (or Egyptian), risen in Venice in 1801 and spread into Italy and France, and of the Rite of Memphis (or Oriental), founded in 1839 in Paris, on the basis of reelaborating the degrees of the Misraim, including the oriental initiation and ritual style.
The A.P.R.M.M., differentiated itself, right from its conception, from the other Masonic Ritual Bodies, since it was structured to represent, in a single Ritual Body, the twofold masonic-illuministic system. Thus containing in itself the great western and oriental Iniziatic systems. It is essential to clarify that the path offered by the A.P.R.M.M., to the Brothers Master Masons, through its Ritual Chambers has as its primary purpose to furnish traditional tools for a secure individual spiritual growth. Furthermore the Masonic work, founded on the universal principle of aware, elective and spiritual cooperation, carried out by the Master Masons in the ritual Chambers, creates conditions for the generation of positive effects of a spiritual nature, not only within the Masonic structure, but also to the outside, that is on the whole Universe.
The return of these spiritual values on all the living beings, certifies and justifies the goal of our worshipful Rite. The diffusion of goodness and justice to all the levels of human and social life, the diffusion of true prosperity and happiness for all the beings, no longer needs to be a utopia. Other Ritual forms, instead, more or less similar to Our Worshipful Rite, immediately after their conception, suffered re-elaborations and drastic simplifications of the own philosophical ladder (of 33º, or less practiced degrees), so much to twist the true purpose for which these ritual Bodies had been created. In fact these Rites having excluded from their ritual articulation the cabalistic, gnostic and hermetic degrees, mutilated the Masonic organisation in its totality, including the first section, craft Masonry, transforming it, against its grain, in a philanthropic and political association.
As far as it concerns us, in fact, philanthropy and deep social sensibility, accompanied always by the maximum respect of individual and collective liberties, are values that the initiate should have conquered already before receiving the Masonic light and certainly not afterwards. Such values must constitute the input (of the initiatic process) and not the output. They need to be the motivation and the tool and not the final objective. The end of the traditional work and ritual practiced in the various degrees of Our Worshipful Rite, is exclusively individual spiritual growth. It has never been and will never be the development of political or philanthropic activity, directly or indirectly in relation to the profane world, and any action of this kind, from the Brothers of the A.P.R.M.M., even if appreciable, must be considered exclusively as a personal/private activity.
The return of spiritual values on all the living beings, certifies and justifies the goal of our worshipful Rite. The diffusion of goodness and justice to all the levels of human and social life, the diffusion of true prosperity and happiness for all the beings, no longer needs to be a utopia. Other Ritual forms, instead, more or less similar to Our Worshipful Rite, immediately after their conception, suffered re-elaborations and drastic simplifications of the own philosophical ladder (of 33º, or less practiced degrees), so much to twist the true purpose for which these ritual Bodies had been created. In fact these Rites having excluded from their ritual articulation the cabalistic, gnostic and hermetic degrees, mutilated the Masonic organisation in its totality, including the first section, Craft Masonry, transforming it, against its grain, in a philanthropic and political association.
The end of the traditional work and ritual practiced in the various degrees of Our Worshipful Rite, is exclusively individual spiritual growth. It has never been and will never be the development of political or philanthropic activity, directly or indirectly in relation to the profane world, and any action of this kind, from the Brothers of the A.P.R.M.M., even if appreciable, must be considered exclusively as a personal/private activity.
The philosophical ladder of Our Worshipful Rite is composed of 99º degrees or, it would be be better to say ‘steps’. These different levels of Masonic work, even if they can seem redundantly numerous, they must be always considered as a project to be realised in stages, in which the Master Mason undertakes a descent in the depth of his own being. To have a correct understanding of the Corpus used by the A.P.R.M.M., it is opportune to consider it, in his complex structural unity as a repository of masonic degrees that are no longer practiced, due to various circumstances, in contemporary Masonry. The rituality of the A.P.R.M.M. is only a precious opportunity of study and deepening of all spiritual currents that have transited within Universal Freemasonry, from its to rise to today.
One of the objectives of our studies is the acquisition of the principles of Classical Gnostic Tradition, being so little diffused and superficially treated during the work of Craft Masonry. When we speak of Classical Gnosis we refer to the doctrine that is founded on the followings principles: pre-existence of the souls; descent in carnal forms; consequent abandonment of the Pleroma (superior world, beyond the senses) for the Kenoma (inferior world of the form) and, subsequently, the possibility re-ascending again it toward the Pleroma; study of the Arcana of a posthumous existence, evoked in the ritual Masonic symbolism with the expression Eternal East. The study of these Arcana that follow the first three degrees of Craft Masonry will be faced through opportune rituals containing symbols and elements deriving from ancient traditional disciplines (for instance, the Alexandrian Gnosis and the Jewish Qabalah) and characterized by signs, marches, passwords traceable to the ancient oriental traditions (like Taoism and Tibetan Buddhism).
We will not dwell on the numerous symbolic references, used in the ritual Chambers, relative to the so called occult sciences like the Alchemy, Astrology and Theurgy. The Fundamental characteristic of Our Worshipful Rite is, finally, its firmly deist and spiritual intimate nature. It is the definite acceptance of the fundamental principle of the eternity of the Spirit and the immortality of the soul. The objective of our Worshipful Rite is to constitute a real but invisible thread that ties the Lower with the Higher. It offers the key to the Arcana, to all the men of good will, so that these same Arcana can be unveiled and practiced.
Spirit of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis-Misraim
The Lodges of Memphis-Misraim work the Egyptian Rite. On their Altars are found the Traditional Square and Compasses, and Ruler, symbol of the Great Architect of the Universe. The Lodge of the A.P.R.M.M. is symbolically a closed and sacred place. It is in this place, in this workshop that the ties and privileged relations of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity between the Brothers are established. Masonic discipline is founded on a tradition that puts into play a Human and sacred experience and constitutes a liberating Authority.
The Degrees of Instruction, conferred by the Order of Memphis-Misraim, are divided into three series:
- From the 1º to the 3º Degree – Symbolic Masonry.
- From the 4º to the 33º Degree – Philosophical Masonry.
- From the 34º to 95º Degree – Esoteric Masonry.
(Differing constitutions appear to have some differences, including whether there are 95°, 96°, 97°, 98° or 99° effective grades or degrees.)
Memphis-Misraim members conceive Freemasonry as an Order that is located outside Time and Space. It unites the Initiated from all places and all eras, Brothers of all conditions, all origins, all beliefs or philosophies who join their efforts in order to build the Ideal Temple of Truth, Justice and Harmony Concorde. They consider that, more than an institution, Freemasonry is a traditional method of accessing to Knowledge and, through such, to Freedom. The fundamental quest is that of Truth and such cannot be Christian, Buddhist, Islamic, not even Masonic, it is only Truth.
Initiation is closely connected with Tradition and is composed of a Ritual Mass which can be made up. For ages, Initiation has been imparted, preserving its essential guidelines and basal rules in a continuum. Inside Initiation intrudes a non-human element consisting of a spiritual influence that achieves the connection with the Divine Order via Rite. However preparative to this happening, the Rite activation is necessary and compulsory according to Traditional rules. The cardinal purpose of the initiation is to set in motion all personal and individual processes which have to provoke the excess of the human confinements, awakening the capabilities of emancipation dormancies which each one bears. Initiation substantially entails the person interiority, which has nothing to do with populace, and this is why Massive Initiation is a contradiction inconsistent and something nonsensical. Initiation must provoke a transmutation within the individual making them realize their inner Divinity; it must render the individual a New Person, and must comprise the departure point of its true liberation from the human limitations as well as the awakening of their Divine Consciousness.
The 90º degrees of Misraim plus the 94º degrees of Memphis are united, while containing the entire Masonic range via a special nomenclature. The first set of degrees, which is called Masonic, includes the first 30º degrees and it is divided in two rows, Symbolic and Philosophic.
The Symbolic row is comprised of the first Holy Work Zone and joins Lodges and Triangles:
1º to 3º, the Laboratories are working at the Chambers of the Apprentice of the Art, of the Fellow Craft of the Art and of the Master Mason of the Art.
The Philosophic row degrees are grouped as follows:
4º to 7º, the College of Sublime Masters of the Perfection Arch (or Dome).
8º to 11º, the Sword Knights Synod, Perfect Masons of Heredom (11º is the degree of the R+C Knight).
12º to 17º, the Sun Senate Knights, Wise of the Truth – Hermetic Philosophers.
18º to 30º, the Stars Brigadiers Council – Patriarchs of Truth.
From 30º to the 90º degree, we enter a sequence which escalates on Arcana Arcanorum (87º-90º). Those who bear 30º – 90º degrees are called Sublime Masters of the Great Work.
The second row is the Illuminant section, which is comprised by four Constitutions:
THE NATIONAL SANCTUM of Patriarchs Preservers of the Rite (33º -90º- 95º).
THE SUBLIME SECRET TEMPLE of Patriarchs Princes of Memphis (32º- 90º -94º).
THE GREAT TRIBUNAL of the Defenders of the Rite (31º -90º- 91º).
THE SUBLIME CONSISTORIUM of the Sublime Masters of the Great Work.( 30°- 90°)
Two more degrees left, which correspond with the function of the National Grand Hierophant, Grand Master 33º-90º- 96º and finally the 97º degree is given, as a privilege, to the Emperor Sovereign Grand General Hierophant who retains the Sovereignty of the Rite while he is in charge of all continents on both hemispheres.
The Works of all Chambers and Chapters of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Misraim and Memphis must be conducted in Gloria of the Supreme Artificer of the Worlds and under the Aegis of the Sovereign Grand Sanctum of Adriatic (Superum), which is the Supreme Force of the Order and the Rite on both hemispheres. Otherwise, all Holy Works are invalid.
On 8º -11º degree, the seeker attempts the through the water crossing. He can pass over the bridge which connects the two river banks, but he can also douse into the water with no hope.
On 12º- 17º degree, right after having passed through the water, he is able to face the Alchemic path and on 18º- 30º degree the Astrological and Cabbalistic path.
Hereafter on the 30º – 90º degree the seeker starts to work on the Elements Powers and hence with higher powers. The Sanctum Rite, which acts on thin fields, helps and protects the seeker because the Ritual action allows the activation of both channels, the one raises the “Fides” upwards and the other one lowers the “Virtus” downwards, just as in the Emerald Tablet. It is however advisable that great attention exists.
It is pertained on the Rite Basis that we should know that all facts are produced in the physical world and all causes in the metaphysical world. And this is why nothing can be produced in physical world, unless it has first been produced beyond the Vail.
The Ancient and Primitive Rite of Misraim and Memphis dont have at all any views on speculation or sociopolitical level. Indeed, the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Misraim and Memphis show no interest in politics while respecting all Religion confessions.
For us God is one, even if we appeal Him under different names. That is why we support equally all religions.
One of the fundamental principles of Ancient and Primitive Rite of Misraim and Memphis, is that God is Truth and lies everywhere, suffice it to be realized by human via inner work.
Characteristics of the Ancient and Primitive Order of Memphis-Misraim
The characteristics of the Universal Masonic Order of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis-Misraim are:
Egyptian, Traditionalist, Symbolic, Esoteric, Deist.
Our rituals originate from the Rite of Memphis which conveys the survival of ancient Egyptian Mysteries that were celebrated long ago in the Temples of Memphis and rediscovered in Lebanon within Druze Masonry encountered by Gerard de Nerval. Freemasons who were accompanying Bonaparte during the mission in Egypt then rejected the Masonic authority of the United Grand Lodge of England and began anew with a new Rite.
By this qualification, the masons of the Rite want to remind their strong attachment to the Masonic Tradition, vehicle of the Primordial Tradition, universal in basis, a patrimony formed by the actualization of mankind millennium old quest for Knowledge.
Masonic Tradition is nothing more than the expression of the mutable Charter of essential values of all civilizations past and future. This Charter is founded on the respect of Rights and Dignity of the human being in the independence of its spirit and the integrity of its body.
The negation of these values which forge our ethic would undoubtedly mean a certain regression regardless of the explosion in technological or scientific progress.
In the confusion that often characterizes our era, this term of Tradition has been sweetened, even misrepresented, by assigning it either an out-of-date or stiff, conservative and fundamentalist connotation. Let us beware of the language deviations that convey a degeneration of corresponding ideas.
Our reference to Tradition must not be confused with a sterilized attachment to the past or a bounded conservatism. Breaking up with Tradition is breaking up with Wisdom and Universal Principles of Human Consciousness.
Operative Freemasonry originates in the most distant past, from the builders of the pyramids to those of cathedrals through the Tyrian and Judaic corporations, the roman collegia and the medieval corporations of craftsmen. It has been the vehicle of an initiatory technique well before giving birth to speculative Freemasonry.
It created a symbolical language, of which the tools assigned to the degrees of Apprentice, Companion and Master are examples, in order to transform the raw stone (the layman) into a polished stone fitting in the building of the Universal Temple. The initiatory teachings rest on the will and the effort made by each individual member to polish his stone.
The purpose of the symbol, universal language making it possible to overcome the obstruction of languages and their confusions, is to suggest: it remains an open system for Free Thought.
In the Constitutions of the Rite of Memphis-Misraim is proclaimed the following: You have two ears to hear the same sound, two eyes to perceive the same aspect, two hands to perform the same act.and The Masonic science is esoteric and exoteric”:
– Esotericism forms the Thought
– Exotericism is the action that results there from.
And yet, even today, the concept of esotericism is often unknown.
It seems then necessary to remind the definition of esoteric which comes from Greek esoteric reserved only to the adepts, qualification given in the schools of thought of ancient philosophers, meaning that certain domains were incomprehensible or hardly interpretable by the non-initiated.
According to the definition of this term, the Order of Memphis-Misraim does not refer to any Revealed Deity.
If it works To the Glory of The Sublime Architect of All Worlds, it also has faith in the human progress and postulates the probable existence of an Intelligence at work in all the Universe.
It is adogmatic (without adherence to any dogma) and it practices the greatest tolerance toward each Mason to forge his own convictions, to keep or to change them. Each Mason is free of his beliefs and opinions, however on the condition not to force them upon others and not to belong to any fundamentalist or intolerant tendency.
The Masonic Order of Memphis-Misraim calls the Sublime Architect of All Worlds the Principle Arranger that we can evoke under a hundred different names and that the human reason is as powerless to define as to den.
As international Freemasonry, the Rite of Memphis-Misraim is currently present in many European countries, such as France, Belgium, Bulgaria, Roumania, England, Switzerland, Italy and Spain, in Canada, the United States of America, the Antilles, Brazil, Peru, Argentina and Chile. Also in many African and Indian Ocean countries, and as far as Australia… Memphis-Misraim is a deist rite which involves the belief in a spiritual absolute that the masons name the Great Architect of the Universe or the Sublime Architect of all World which can also be defined as the Source of Love and Joy. The rite claims to be spiritualist which means that it admits a kind of survival after death. The strength, vigor and notoriety of our Rite is founded more on its specificity and the quality of its work than on the quantity of its members. Memphis-Misraim does not recruit in an intensive way. It is intended for sincere seekers eager to improve themselves by working on Symbolism and Esotericism.