Rosicrucians have a hierarchical system of initiation and advancement based
on different levels of knowledge and understanding.
Some of the degrees that are commonly associated with the Rosicrucians
- Grade I - Zelator
- Grade II - Theoricus
- Grade III - Practicus
- Grade IV - Philosophus
- Grade V - Adeptus Minor
- Grade VI - Adeptus Major
- Grade VII - Adeptus Exemptus
- Grade VIII - Magister
- Grade IX - Magus
- Grade X - Illuminated Meister
Here is a description of some of the degrees.
- Probationer: This is the first level of initiation into the Rosicrucian order.
Probationers are typically required to study the teachings and beliefs of the organization and to
demonstrate a commitment to their spiritual growth and development.
- Neophyte: This is the second level of initiation in the Rosicrucian order.
Neophytes are typically required to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the teachings and beliefs of
the organization and to begin participating in more advanced studies and practices.
- Practicus: This is the third level of initiation in the Rosicrucian order.
Practicuses are typically required to demonstrate a mastery of the teachings and practices of the
organization and to take on more responsibility in their local community.
- Philosophus: This is the fourth level of initiation in the Rosicrucian order.
Philosophi are typically required to demonstrate a deep understanding of the spiritual and philosophical
principles of the organization and to begin teaching others.
- Adeptus Minor: This is the fifth level of initiation in the Rosicrucian order.
Adepti Minores are typically required to demonstrate a mastery of the advanced teachings and practices of
the organization and to take on leadership roles within the community.
- Adeptus Major: This is the sixth level of initiation in the Rosicrucian order.
Adepti Majores are typically required to demonstrate a deep understanding of the esoteric and mystical
aspects of the organization and to take on more advanced leadership roles.
- Adeptus Exemptus: This is the highest level of initiation in the Rosicrucian
order. Adepti Exempti are typically considered to be the most advanced and enlightened members of the
organization and are responsible for guiding and directing the activities of the community.
The Original Rite of 25 High Degrees
A French trader, by the name of Estienne Morin, had been involved in high degree
Masonry in Bordeaux since 1744 and, in 1747, founded an "Ecossais" lodge (Scots Masters Lodge) in the city of Le
Cap Francais, on the north coast of the French colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti). Over the next decade, high
degree Freemasonry continued to spread to the Western hemisphere as the high degree lodge at Bordeaux warranted or
recognized seven Ecossais lodges there. In Paris in the year 1761, a Patent was issued to Estienne Morin, dated 27 August creating him "Grand Inspector for all parts
of the New World." This Patent was signed by officials of the Grand Lodge at Paris and appears to have originally
granted him power over the craft lodges only, and not over the high, or "Ecossais", degree lodges. Later copies of
this Patent appear to have been embellished, probably by Morin, to improve his position over the high degree lodges
in the West Indies.[10 ]
Early writers long believed that a "Rite of Perfection" consisting of 25 degrees,
the highest being the "Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret", and being the predecessor of the Scottish Rite, had
been formed in Paris by a high degree council calling itself "The Council of Emperors of the East and West". The
title "Rite of Perfection" first appeared in the Preface to the "Grand Constitutions of 1786", the authority for
which is now known to be faulty. It is now generally accepted that
this Rite of twenty-five degrees was compiled by Estienne Morin and is therefore more properly titled "The
Rite of the Royal Secret", or "Morin's Rite".
Morin returned to the West Indies in 1762 or 1763, to Saint-Domingue, where, armed
with his new Patent, he assumed powers to constitute lodges of all degrees, spreading the high degrees throughout
the West Indies and North America. Morin stayed in Saint-Domingue until 1766 when he moved to Jamaica. At Kingston,
Jamaica, in 1770, Morin created a "Grand Chapter" of his new Rite (the Grand Council of Jamaica). Morin died in
1771 and was buried in Kingston.