The Societas Rosicruciana (or Rosicrucian Society) has traditionally been a Rosicrucian order which limits its membership
to Christian Master Masons. The order was founded in Scotland, but which now exists in England, Scotland, Canada,
France, Portugal, Romania, Ireland and the United States. While a prospective member must be a Trinitarian
Christian Master Mason in good standing with a Grand Lodge that is recognized by the Grand Lodge of the
jurisdiction in which the Society meets, the various Societies have no other Masonic links, ties, or official
recognition. Additionally, in a few jurisdictions membership is by invitation only. As the Society offers
assistance to all its members in working out the great problems of nature and science, it functions in some
respects as a research society.
History of Rosicrucian Societies
The Societas Rosicruciana claims a link to the original Rosicrucian Brotherhood and bases its
teachings on those found in the Fama and Confessio Fraternitas texts published in Germany in the early 1600s, along with other similar publications from
the same time.
There are a number of Societas Rosicrucianas throughout the world:
- SocietasRosicruciana.com - Societas Rosicruciana ARO ⊕ 1764 in New Orleans -
ARO Loge de Parfait of 1764 - Which was imported by a patent from the Bordeaux Germanic
- Societas Rosicruciana in Scotia (SRIS; Scotland)
- Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA; England)
- Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (SRICF; United
- Societas Rosicruciana in America (SRIAm; United
- Societas Rosicruciana in Canada (SRIC; Canada)
- Societas Rosicruciana in Gallia (SRIG; France)
- Societas Rosicruciana in Lusitania (SRIL; Portugal)
- Societas Rosicruciana in Romania (SRIR; Romania)
- Societas Rosicruciana in Hibernia (SRIH; Ireland)
Societas Rosicruciana ⊕ - ARO⊕
The first Haut Degree Societas Rosicruciana was that of
Louisiana, known as the Ledge de
Parfait de Escosse (LPE ). The
Magus Incognito is the Leader of This Mystical Organization from the 1700s.
Societas Rosicruciana in Scotia
One of the first Societas Rosicruciana was that of Scotland, known as
the Societas Rosicruciana in
Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia
The Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia was founded in 1867 and derived from the SRIS
following the admission of William James Hughan and Robert Wentworth Little into that order. The two of them
were advanced quickly in Scotland and granted a warrant to form a Society in England. The formation meeting
took place on June 1, 1867 in Aldermanbury, London, with Frater Little elected Supreme Magus.
Australian colleges belong to provinces within the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia
Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (SRICF)
The Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (Rosicrucian Society of the
United States) was formed on September 21, 1880, through Colleges founded again through Scotland. The Pennsylvania
College received a charter from SRIS on December 27, 1879. This was followed by charters issued to New York on
April 9, 1880; Massachusetts, May 4, 1880; Maryland, May 10, 1880; and Vermont on September 22, 1880. Of all the
Colleges in the United States, only the one located in Massachusetts maintains continuity from its origins and was
never reorganized. 
Societas Rosicruciana in America (SRIAm)
In 1909, Dr. George Winslow Plummer(1876-1944) founded
the Societas Rosicruciana in
America, apparently seceding from the SRICF; this group dropped the
requirement that members be Christian Master Masons and admits women. It was never formally recognized by the
SRIA, as they (the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia) have formal relations in the USA with the SRICF.
Societas Rosicruciana in Canada
The Societas Rosicruciana in Canadiensis was first mentioned in a declaration dated May 31,
1876, but it was not formally constituted (by a Col. McLeod Moore, through his acquaintance
Yarker) until September 19 of that year. Most of the membership came
from the town of Maitland,
Ontario. The society constituted a High Council exactly one year later,
but the Society went into abeyance at some point after 1889.
In 1936, Ontario College was created via a charter from
SRICF. Manly Palmer
Hall's father, E.H.D. Hall, a member of Canada's first Rosicrucian
Society, was voted a charter member of the Ontario College. Due to possible jurisdictional issues, rather than
procure a charter from SRIA or SRIS, a Canadian High Council was formed on June 29, 1997, and the SRIC is now an
Societas Rosicruciana in Hibernia
The Societas Rosicruciana in Hibernia, (SRIH) was
brought about through the efforts of two Irish Masons, namely, Frater Rev. Sean P. McCabe and Frater John Phelan,
both of whom previously held membership of an SRIA College in England. It was formally Declared on 1st August, 2008
and is the official regular Societas for the Island of Ireland, (Hibernia) and exists independently of any other
organisation.The SRIH is recognised by the Body of Christ.
Degrees and governance
The Order is subdivided into three smaller orders, each with its own governance.
The various orders confer a total of nine degrees, here called grades .
Members of the 1st Order (Frater (singular) Fratres (plural)) meet in a College,
which is equivalent to a Lodge. A College is empowered to confer the first four degrees of the Society, also called
- Grade I - Zelator
- Grade II - Theoricus
- Grade III - Practicus
- Grade IV - Philosophus
A minimum of six months must elapse between the
receipt of each grade. However, the emphasis on the work of the society is learning; therefore every member is
encouraged to deliver a paper of their own work on some topic of interest in open college.
This is equivalent to a Masonic Provincial Grand Lodge, and is headed by
Adept and his deputy (Suffragan)
who have jurisdiction over all of the first order Colleges within the Province.
The Chief Adept is empowered to confer three further Grades at this level to
deserving Fratres of
Grade IV who have been members of the Society for a minimum of four years.
- Grade V - Adeptus Minor
- Grade VI - Adeptus Major
- Grade VII - Adeptus Exemptus
A minimum of one year must elapse between the
receipt of grades at this level. A member can only serve as the Celebrant (Master) of a College of the First Order
after receiving the Grade of Adeptus Exemptus.
This is equivalent to a Grand Lodge, and is headed by
Magus, Senior Substitute Magus and Junior Substitute Magus.
Members of the second order who have given service
to the society and been selected by the Supreme Magus for such advancement may be awarded a further two
- Grade VIII - Magister
- Grade IX - Magus
In 1888, three members of SRIA
(William Robert Woodman, William Wynn Westcott,
and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers) formed the Hermetic Order of the Golden
Dawn, which removed the
restriction on membership, allowing non-Christians, non-Freemasons, and women to join. A great deal of the
SRIA structure survived in the new order, which went on to greatly influence (some might say cause) the
modern occult revival in the 20th century.
Due to the fragmentary nature of Rosicrucian orders, there are a number of
historical Rosicrucian societies with similar names that either no longer have a Masonic connection, or have gone
dormant: The SRIA (A for "America") was chartered by the SRIA (in England) in Philadelphia in 1878. It reformed in
1889 as Societas Rosicruciana in the United States (SRIUS), and reformed again as SRIA in 1912. In 1916 the order
began admitting women, and its charter was revoked. It is in existence today, but has no Masonic connections