|Theosophical Society Basement Hall in Stuttgart, Germany. Dedicated by Steiner, 1911|
Rudolf Steiner gave lectures on Masonry in 1905. He made it clear then, that he was speaking as a non-Mason, but in November of that year, he and Marie von Sivers, received a warrant, a diploma, to practice the higher degrees of Masonry:
24th November 1905: Rudolf Steiner and Marie von Sivers each pay 45 Marks to Theodore Reuss for their membership in Memphis-Misraim.
The following day, 25th November 1905: Steiner writes to Mrs. von Sivers: "Yesterday, you have seen how little has remained from the former esoteric institutions" and he plans to use "the medium of the religion" in its sensual-beautiful form: Religion as "subsequent experience of science and art." (Nevertheless, the later developed Anthroposophical Society is not a body of beliefs - which would have gone against Steiner's expressed intentions, but a body of ideas.)
30th November 1905: "[Theodore] Reuss is not a man who can be trusted ... We have to deal with "a framework" only and not with more [substance] in the reality. Presently nothing at all is behind the thing. The occult powers COMPLETELY withdrew themselves from it."
2nd January 1906: For the first time, Steiner gives a lecture to men AND women at the same time and calls "Masonry" (by which he possibly means the irregular AASR and Memphis Misraim rite) "a caricature" "with snoozing forces to be woken up again"; which is "our work to do". Steiner considers it as his "duty to save the Misraim-Dienst for the future." The Misraim-Dienst is to combine Terrestrial with Celestial, Visible with Invisible and to again renew the Eleusinian Mysteries.
3rd January 1906: Reuss signs a contract with Steiner making the latter a 30°, 67° and 89°, for Berlin. His Misraim-Service is now called "Mystica Aeterna". Marie von Sivers is authorized for the accommodation of women. "The exaggerations of the male culture must be back-drawn by the occult forces of the woman" (according to Steiner). "
[John Yarker disagreed with Reuss and Encausse's activities in France, and nominated George Lagrèze in their place on the 9th of September 1909]."
|The Seal of the Rite of|
Memphis & Misraïm
"According to legend the Memphis Rite is supposed to have originated with a man called Ormus, who was converted to Christianity by St. Mark in the year 46. It is said that the Crusaders carried this masonic knowledge with them from the Holy Land and founded a Grand Lodge in Scotland in the twelfth century. The legend derives the name Misraim from Mizraim, one of the sons of Ham. He came to Egypt, possessed himself of the country and called it after his name (Misraim or Mizraim — an old name for Egypt).
The teaching about Isis, Osiris, Typhon, etc., is supposed to have come from him, cf. Schuster: Die geheimen Gessellschaften, Verbindungen und Orden (Volume 2, Leipzig 1906). According to Heckethorn: (Secret Societies, Book 8, Chapter 20), the Egyptian masonry was founded by Cagliostro. The Rite of Misraim is attributed to a foundation in Milan of 1805, i.e., ten years after the supposed death of Cagliostro, which foundation was laid by several masons ‘who had been refused admission into the Supreme Grand Council.’ The Rite of Memphis is said to be a copy of the Rite of Misraim and was founded in Paris in 1839. It is supposed to have been combined with the Misraim Rite towards the end of the nineteenth century, since when it has been known as the ‘Memphis-Misraim Rite.’
- John Yarker
It is an occult fact that the new is grafted on to the old, and this is what Steiner was looking to do. "The new moss grows at the foot of the ancient tree."
Now how do we know that the above is correct?- because Steiner says so in his autobiography:
"Some years after the beginning of the activity in the Theosophical Society, Marie von Sievers and I were entrusted by certain persons with the leadership of a society similar to others which have been maintained in preservation of the ancient symbolism and cultural ceremonies that embody the "ancient wisdom." I never thought in the remotest degree of working in the spirit of such a society. Everything anthroposophic should and must spring from its own sources of knowledge and truth.....
"And so wherever possible I also favored the linking of the newly given to the historically existent. I therefore took the diploma of the society referred to, which belonged to the stream represented by [John] Yarker. It had the forms of Free Masonry of the so-called high degrees; but I took nothing else – absolutely nothing – from this society except the merely formal authorization, in historic succession, to direct a symbolic-cultural activity.
"Everything set forth in content in the "ceremonies" which were employed in the institution were without historic dependence upon any tradition whatever. In the formal granting of the diploma only that was fostered which resulted in the symbolizing of anthroposophic knowledge.
"And our purpose in this matter was to meet the needs of the members. In elaborating the ideas in which the knowledge of spirit is given in a veiled form, the effort is made to arrive at something which speaks directly to perception, to the heart; and such purposes I wished to serve. If the invitation from the society in question had not come to me, I should have undertaken the direction of a symbolic-cultural
activity without any historic connection.
"But this did not create a "secret society." Whoever entered into this practice was told in the clearest possible manner that he was not dealing with any "order," but that as participant in ceremonial forms he would experience a sort of visualization, demonstration of spiritual knowledge."
end of quote
John Yarker was indeed a powerful learned man- you can find some of his articles online.
Rudolf Steiner was a Rosicrucian- this he admitted when asked. Also, in the Theosophical days he titled his teachings "Rosicrucian Spiritual Science" and greeted the audience "My Dear Rosicrucian Friends".
For more consult:
Freemasonry and Ritual Work: The Misraim Service: Texts and Documents from the Cognitive-Ritual SectionReferences: Peter Koenig's site