The Misraim Rite and Tarot
It's just past Valentine's Day as I write this, and the sun is shining on my riverbank with incredible brightness for February. We are only a month into this New Year, but hasn't it been extraordinary so far? Wild weather, wild headlines. The best summation I've heard so far is Revolution/Renaissance. Ready or not, here it comes.
I have finally succeeded, after all this time and with all this heaven-sent help, in getting this manuscript OFF my computer and into the hands of the editor and art director. I feel 1000 lbs lighter now that it's in the hands the physical "makers" of the book, even if it's only moved across the house, to Michael's computer. Wheeeee! My feet are barely touching the earth as I walk.
Because of that I don't have a single thing to contribute to an ArkLetter this month, my head is as empty as a dried up gourd. But fear not -- Samten de Wet has come to our rescue! I recently mentioned to him that I would most likely be a puddle of quivering ectoplasm right about now, so would he mind offering me something from his copious investigations to put up for my ArkLetter in February? He has kindly responded with a plethora of articles and sites, so now I stand amidst an embarrassment of riches.
To put Samten in context, we must first understand that the Tarot he has been studying is that of C.C. Zain. This stems from the turn of the 20th century, when the Brotherhood of Light represented one of the few English-language sources for in-depth investigation of Tarot's inner structure and esoteric referents. This pack and its accompanying encyclopedia (22 volumes!) is the modern manifestation an esoteric lineage that first appears to the non-Masonic world with Etteilla's Book of Thoth. At the point that Zain began to catalogue it, the core of Renaissance occultism has been updated into a self-cultivation program for the magus of the 20th century. I still remember how my Grandfather, a Mason, scolding me for possessing a copy of this deck and its support book while I was in my second year of college. "That is not a toy for little girls!" he thundered. Now I understand what he was referring to!
For those who might not be sure exactly which Tarot lineage I am referring to, let me point towards a most excellent webpage put together by Mark Filipas, which resides at the excellent Four Hares site: http://newsletter.tarotstudies.org/2008/08/history-of-egyptian-decks/
If we refresh our minds from last month's ArkLetter, you'll recall that I was excited about the work entitled Hidden Mutualities: Faustian Themes from Gnostic Origins to the Post-Colonial (by Michael Mitchell: Rodopi Press in Amsterdam and NY, 2006). I mentioned that Mitchell wasn't inhibited about making citations to the Masonic and Rosicrucian contribution that furthered the transmission of Renaissance magic through the Reformation and Enlightenment. Mitchell was also quite blatant about connecting the Tarot masters of the late 1800's and early 1900's with this same transmission of Faustian themes. We can now use those ideas as our backstop while we press into this article Samten has brought forward for us to examine.
The composite below was assembled from Masonic sources. As I read it, I see the outline of the very same "Underground Streams” I have been pursuing over my adult years. The goal is to detail the evolution of the Egyptian strain of Masonry. Let me call attention to the mentions of Court de Gebelin, Cagliostro and Papus (among others) in this roster of interpenetrating Masonic and Martinist relations. This whole presentation illuminates the esoteric politics running through history in the background and as the subtext of the histories we learn in school. We get another look at the "secret treaty of Egyptian Initiations" entitled CRATA REPOA that gave its outline to the newborn French Rite of Mizraiim. Interestingly enough, this "secret treaty" was actually rooted in a Hermetic tradition maintained from antiquarian lodges from 16th century Italy, most notably in Venice and Naples. We learn that this was a strain of Egyptian occultism that was unknown in France until the establishment of the new, populist Masonic Orders after the turbulence of the French Revolution. I have no doubt that this is the very same esoteric transmission that has been catalogued by Godwin and company, under the title The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor.
A number of open questions in Tarot history are resolved here, but only in outline form -- more work is needed to unpack all the implications waiting between the lines. There is a clear interweaving of Hermetic and Hebrew teachings among the lodges, which are distinctly delineated on the Etteilla packs as well. After reading this article, it becomes much more understandable why Etteilla's packs could bear such a distinct Masonic stamp, while Etteilla the man avidly disavowed being a member of the populist Orders of his time. I am also struck by the interactions between the Continental and English Masons in their response to the Italian material that animates the Misraiim Rite. It makes me wonder if we are looking at a preexisting bias or prejudice that prefigures the eventual split between the English and Continental Tarots that appeared a century later.
This article is entirely too long for me to clean up perfectly, which accounts for whatever roughness of formatting that I have failed to scrub out. Parts of the text have clearly been translated from older sources, so please forgive the slightly choppy syntax and spelling. The only modification I have introduced has been to remove repeated phrases or lines. I simply wanted to share this excellent substantiation of the insider's occult tradition, as reported through the history of the Masons in Europe.
Samten's contact information is here; please like him at Facebook and investigate the amazing esoteric archives he has collected over his life of research:
THE MISRAIM RITE
Legendary origins are generally attributed to the Masonic Order in general The Misraim Rite does not escape this rule. In addition, it holds a special place in the great Masonic family, partly due to the fact that it contains 90 Degrees.
Marc BEDARRIDE, one of the three brothers who promoted the Rite in France, goes so far as to say in his work "The Masonic Order of Misraïm" published in 1848, that Masonry is as old as the world. Which however, thinking over our commitment, is intrinsically far from absurd.
To substantiate this claim, he refers to the Old Testament. According to him, it is Adam himself, with his children, who created the First lodge of humanity; Seth succeeded to his father; Noah saved it from the flood; Sham established it in Egypt, under the name of Mitzraïm, or in other words, "Egyptians". (I will return later to the etymology of Misraïm).
Thus it is from this population alone that the secret tradition of esoterism must stem.
And again, according to Marc BEDARRIDE and his brothers, the last link in this uninterrupted chain is their own father, Gad BEDARRIDE, Mason initiated in 1771 in Avignon. In 1782, Gad BEDARRIDE was visited, in Cavaillon, by a mysterious Egyptian Initiator, of whom only his mystic name is known: « The Sage ANANIAH ».
This envoy revealed Egyptian Masonry to BEDARRIDE. He conferred on him a whole series of "high degrees".
We must point out that this is not the first historical allusion to the appearance of an Unknown Superior of Egyptian Masonry. Brother VERNHES in his defense for the Misraïm Rite, published in 1822, already mentioned the appearance of the missionary ANANIAH, in the south of France, in 1782.
Let's underline that if the "BEDARRIDE" version is pure fantasy, as far as the origins of Egyptian Masonry is concerned, Egypt is an original sphere in the history of esoteric traditions, totally distinct from the Judaic as well as the Judaeo-Christian sphere. It is understandable that each Masonic author tries to associate himself with as ancient a source as possible.
It must be remembered that Egypt has been known since the time of the Crusades and that interest in the Egyptian tradition and its "Mysteries" has practically not abated since. The Platonic Academy of Florence, dealing learnedly with Egypt and the Egyptians, was founded in 1450.
Translated for the first time from the Greek and Latin in 1471 by Marsilo Ficino, the Corpus Hermeticum, a group of texts attributed to Hermes, of which the most famous is known under the title of the "Emerald Table ", purports to reveal the ancient Egyptian wisdom. These texts assured the flourishing of the so-called hermetic (from Hermes) sciences such as Magic, Alchemy and Astrology.
Then followed more and more interest in hieroglyphics.
It is now too often forgotten that as early as 1650, the Abbot Athanase KIRCHER suggested an explanation of inscriptions found on the principal obelisks recorded in Egypt. His great work is grouped in the four volumes of the Oedipus Aegyptiacus. But his translations were soon found to be inexact.
However, all of this relates to the Egypto-Greek period, barely anterior to our era. We must wait for BONAPARTE and his Egyptian campaign and thus the discovery of the Rosetta Stone which enabled CHAMPOLLION to accomplish the works that we know.
(If needed, allow me to remind you that the Rosetta Stone, named after the place where it was found by Captain Bouchard, includes a decree written in three languages: in hieroglyphs, in demotic Egyptian, that is to say a cursive way of writing, and in Greek. In comparing these three texts Champollion, linguist and expert in oriental language (more commonly known today as dead languages), deciphered and translated the meaning of the hieroglyphs, thus paving the way for the scientific study of pharaonic Egypt.)
Moreover, it must be said that Antiquity is closely linked to the speculative Freemasonry of the eighteenth century, and is one of the basic ingredients of Masonic discourse (in the same way as Chivalry or the pleasure of Friendship). No need, I believe to remind you, among others and especially, our Brother MOZART's « Magic Flute » opera, which refers to the Egyptian Ancient Initiation Mysteries.
So, at the end of that century, we see the appearance of a new science of religions, with such authors as COURT de GIBELIN, CHARLES-FRANCOIS DUPUIS or ALEXANDRE LENOIR, who in huge encyclopædias show that the origin of all religions is to be found in Egypt. These works, written by Masons, were immensely successful at the time.
This Egyptian fashion was exacerbated at the Revolution when several attempts were made to create a new universal "secular" religion based on the Egyptian myths. It was subsequently crowned by BONAPARTE's Egyptian campaign, which established a direct physical link with the Egyptian land.
But the Egyptian campaign had another effect. The enthusiasm, general this time, for Egypt lead numerous Continental Masonic Lodges to modify the worldly way in which English Masons organized rituals and Table Lodges Freemasonry as introduced by the British, who held their meetings not in temples but in restaurants, limited itself to reciting the Rituals by heart, opening and closing them by canticles. Afterwards Important travaux de table followed. The Egyptian campaign favoured a movement already present on the Continent, whose ambition it was to practice effective Rituals by Initiated persons gathered together in a space resembling the ancient Temples.
The Initiate began to be considered as a living stone to be hewn by the work done in an atmosphere of study and mutual affection.
Thus in Masonry, some minor Egyptian rites, at the end of the eighteenth century, existed in France. They have now disappeared.
To name a few :
- The Rite of African Architects, created in Germany and which had a ramification in Bordeaux;
- The Egyptian Rite of CAGLIOSTRO;
- The Holy Rite of the Sophisians;
- The Perfect Initiates of Egypt;
- The Sovereign Pyramid of the Desert's Friends in Toulouse.
Veritable Masonic fables circulated about Egypt. Its sacerdotal initiations were described in a romantically and unbelievable manner.
A secret treaty of Egyptian Initiation, with transparent allusions to the Great Work, circulated already in the seventeenth century.
Around 1760 this same treaty was known, under the name of CRATA REPOA, in German Masonic circles, where it was considered as an authentic Egyptian initiation.
Translated and published in France in 1821 by the Brother Antoine BAILLEUL, this treaty describes the ancient Initiation conferred in the Great Pyramid.
It is faithfully reproduced by a symbolic reception in seven successive degrees. On reading it, one can find certain familiar ways.
Nevertheless, this "Egyptian Initiations" fashion which had conquered Paris did cause concern and was followed by a severe reaction from the Masonic authorities of the time. Masonic authorities confined to the Grand Orient.
Which partially explains the ostracism of which our Misraïm Rite became a victim during the first half of the nineteenth century.
GENESIS OF THE RITE
After this brief introduction, let us look at the history of this Misraïm Rite, which often passes for a hybrid and mysterious Rite often discredited in the past, and which nevertheless has respected, and still respects, above all the traditional principles of Freemasonry, and which has always maintained its specificity.
Now that we have left the eighteenth century, let us look at the beginning of the nineteenth, which takes us two hundred years into the past with reference to today. Let us question the masons tthen, ask them what they know of the Misraïm Rite at a time when it is about to « territorialise » France.
I purposely use the term territorialise and you will see below that because of its implantation at the time, the term is not too strong.
LEVESQUE, in 1821, published a " General Historic Overview " of the Masonic trends of his time. He speaks in these terms :
" Five or six years ago, I think, this Misraïm Rite has come to establish itself in Paris. It came from Italy where it enjoyed some consideration in the Ionic Isles and on the shores of the Adriatic Gulf. It was born in Egypt ".
Let us see what Brother THORY says in his two volumes of the " Acta Latomorum " and particularly in his " Nomenclature of the Principal Rites ":
" This Institution (Misraïm) which, in France, dates only from a few year, was much in vogue in Venice and the Ionic Isles. There are several Chapters of Misraïm in the Abruzzi and in Apulia " .
Let us now give the floor to the Masonic historian CLAVEL ( a member, as was his father, of Misraïm) who writes in his " Picturesque History of Masonry ", published in 1843, which to my knowledge seems to be one of the " assured sources " of our Rite:
" The degrees of instruction of Misraïm were borrowed from the Scottish and Martinis Rites, from Hermetic Masonry and from the various reforms formerly in use in Germany and France, and whose notebooks can only be found in the archives of a few connoisseurs. Not having been admitted to the Scottish Supreme Council founded in 1805, in Milan, several Brothers imagined a Misraïmic regime.
A Brother LECHANGEUR was given the responsibility to collect all the elements, to classify and co-ordinate them, to write a draft of General Statutes.
In the beginning, postulants could only progress to the 87th Degree. The other three Degrees <which completed the system were reserved for Unknown Superiors, and even the names of these Degrees were hidden from the Brothers of lower Degrees.
Organised this way, the Misraïm Rite spread through the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Naples. It was adopted among others by a Chapter of the Rose+Cross called " La Concorde " which had its headquarters in the Abruzzi.
At the bottom of a diploma delivered in 1811 by this Chapter to a Brother B. CLAVEL, Commissioner of War (he appears to be the father of the author), was placed the signature of one of the current heads of the Rite, Brother Marc BEDARRIDE, having received, at that time, only the 77th Degree.
The Brothers JOLY and BEDARRIDE brought Misraïmism to France in the year 1814. It was later transmitted to Belgium, Ireland and Switzerland.
I took this excerpt from a conference given in 1986 by Gérard GALTIER on the origins of the Misraïm Rite at the W:.L:. of Research CONSTANT CHEVILLON of the Order of Memphis Misraïm. Since then Brother GALTIER has received Initiation and published in 1989 " Egyptian, Rose-Cross and Neo-Chevalresque Masonry ", a work which today is a reference for the knowledge of the Misraïm and the Memphis Rites.
Another source brings us back to an earlier part of this paper.
When I said in the introduction that Marc BEDARRIDE's version , attributing the origin of Masonry and of the Rite to ADAM, seemed pure fantasy, if not deranged, it was the case only until the ascendance of Gad BEDARRIDE, his father.
It seems that the latter was indeed one of the precursors of the Rite. Already well versed in Masonic research, he was initiated into the Egyptian Secrets by the Scholar Patriarch ANANIAH, Great Egyptian Conservator and a great traveller, when he came through Cavaillon in 1782. Gad BEDARRIDE transmitted his taste for esoteric research together with a part of his knowledge to his three "wolf cubs", his sons Marc, Michel, and Joseph.
The BEDARRIDEs were of the Jewish religion. And at the time, before the Revolution, and before it was assimilated into France, Cavaillon was one of the four cities of the County of Venaissin (Avignon) where Jews had the right of residence.
The study of the Kabbalah was thus honoured in the Jewish communities of the County and Masonic Hermitic Rites particularly flourished there, for instance;
- the Rite of the Chosen Cohen of MARTINEZ de PASQUALLY, into which Gad BEDARRIDE seems to have been initiated,
- the Rite of the Illuminated of PERNETY
- and the Scottish Philosophic Rite.
A third source attests to the appearance of the Rite for the first time in Venice, in 1788, where a group of Socinian Masons (a protestant anti-trinity sect) requested a patent of foundation from CAGLIOSTRO during his stay in that city. (One can easily think that Brother TASSONI, about whom I shall speak later, held the patent of this esoteric Venetian Lodge).
However, since the members of this group did not wish to practise CAGLIOSTRO's magico-cabalistic ritualistics, they chose to work in the first Degrees of the Templar Rite.
CAGLIOSTRO thus, only gave them the Masonic Light. He held the first three Degrees from English Masonry and the Higher Degrees from German Masonry, quite influenced by the Templars tradition.
It has often been said that the name of Misraïm is the plural of Egyptian. It is rather the one of Egypt, in the sense of the two countries, the two kingdoms as symbolised by the Pharaoh's headdress, the Uraeus for the red Northern Bouto Kingdom and by the vulture for the white Southern Kingdom of El Kab).
At the time, the name of Misraïm is the only Egyptian reference in this Rite, with the exception of the « higher grades » (as they were called then, with an obvious militaristic stamp, and as some unfortunately still call grandiloquently them today, when it is simply a way towards the Degrees of Perfection for those who so desire. At least that is how I see it).
He rapidly founded lodges in Milan, Genoa, Naples, and appeared in France with one of the BEDARRIDE brothers (Marc or Michel ?), who had received magisterial powers in 1810, either in Naples from Brother De LASSALLE or in Milan from Brother CERBES. (my research at this time does not permit me to be inclined towards one or the other).
Arguing these three sources, one can with some certitude recreate the origin of the Rite under its name :
First Brother TASSONI, (Italian) who would have maintained a small Misraïm Rite in Venice, constituted in 1750 and structured in 10 or 20 Degrees.
Then Brother LECHANGEUR, (French, living in Italy), and friend of TASSONI, initiator of the Misraïm Rite in 70 Degrees inspired among others of " Scottish Style " Degrees.
Then De LASALLE, (French) Grand Master of Misraïm for the Kingdom of Naples. Member of old Napolitan Rites and bringing to the Rite some Neapolitan Degrees, including, as mentioned by Brother GALTIER, the " Arcana Arcanorum " of the 87th to the 90th Degree.
And finally CERBES, (French) Grand Mater of Misraïm for Milan (then the capital of the Cisalpine State), who held his powers from Brother LECHANGEUR. He is the one who is supposed to have given a patent to Michel BEDARRIDE, which subsequently permitted the constitution of the Grand Lodge of Misraïm in France.
We can see that the origin of the Rite is unquestionably Latin.
Let us read our Brother GALTIER's explanation of the genesis of Misraïm.
"It must be realised that there is quite an ancient hermetic tradition in Italy, unknown in France. It is a tradition which could be called neo-platonic and Pythagorean. Italy is not very far from Greece (and at one time had large Greek colonies on its soil) and this ancient tradition became substantially commingled into Italian Freemasonry in the eighteenth century.
On the other hand, as of this time there were Lodges of liberal spirit and Lodges of esoteric spirit.
In Italy the Lodges of esoteric spirit were present essentially in Venice and Naples, which, as we have seen, are two important cities for the Misraïm Rite.
It is interesting to note that these Venetian and Neapolitan Lodges were associated with all the great occultist and Templar systems of the time, whether it be the Strict Templar Observance or the Scottish Rectified Rite of Lyon, the Rite of the Mother Lodge of Marseilles or the Scottish Philosophic Rite of Avignon.
Which means that at the dawn of the French Revolution, these several Lodges had become depositories of whole series of systems of Degrees.
Thus we see that the Misraïm Rite partially descends from the synthesis of these systems, brought about in the Venetian and Neapolitan Lodges.
As for the historical and geographical aspect, I would like to recall that we are at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries, that Italy is constituted of independent states and that its political unity will not take place for nearly another hundred years.
The specificity at the time, strictly conserved since, of the Misraïm Rite, before calling itself Egyptian, resides thus in its 90 Degrees, divided into seventeen Classes and four Series.
- 1st to 33rd Degree -1st to 6th Class, 1st Series symbolic
- 34th to 66th Degree –7th to 10th Class, 2nd Series philosophic
- 67th to 77th Degree –11th to 14th Class, 3rd Series mystic
- 78th to 90th Degree –15th to 17th Class, 4th Series esoteric or hermetic.
(and especially from the 87th to the 90th the Arcana Arcanorum of the Naples Regime)
Let us look now at the development of the Rite in France in the nineteenth century.
MISRAIM in FRANCE in the XIXth Century.
The dates of appearance and of establishment of the Rit in France diverge slightly from one author to another.
What is known, it is that already in 1803 Michel; Marc and Joseph BEDARRIDE create several symbolic workshops and in particular the Council of the Grand Kadosch Knights (65° Degree).
Do I have to deduce from it that their raising at that time did not enable them to go higher?
Then from 1810 to 1813, the three BEDARRIDE brothers did develop the Rite successfully and almost under the protection of the Scottish Rite. Indeed, it counts famous Masonic names at its head: the count MURAIRE, Sovereign Great Commander of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, the duke DECAZES, the duke of SAXE-WEIMAR, the duke of LECEISTER, the Lieutenant General baron TESTS, etc...In 1813, we find the G:. L:. Rainbow, East of Paris, professing the Rite of Misraïm. Its G:.:.M:. is Ill:B..HAYERE. Three Lodges exists (Burning Bush and Pyramids).
I point out that then like now, three LL:. could create a G:.L:.
And on February 12, 1814, count MURAIRE and GG:.Dignitaries, all 33rd° Degree of the AASR:. forFrance, met at Marc BEDARRIDE's, with the Hotel of the Indies, street of the Mall, to create the Supreme Great General Council of the 90th° Degree of the Rit of Misraïm.But it is only on April 9, 1815 that it was officially decided that from this day, the Supreme Great General Council of the Wise, Grands Masters ADVITAM, 90th° Degree is established and made up in the Valley of Paris to govern the Masonic obedience of Misraïm in France.Letting my wandering imagination run free, I begin to think that Rit arrives to France under the Consulate, is established under the Empire and constitutes itself under the Hundred days. As we will see it:, not very royalist all that!. Quickly the Rite meets a great success. In 1822 it groups Lodges and Councils in 24 French cities, 22 in Paris of which our R:. Mother L:. Rainbow, 6 in Lyon, 6 in Metz, 5 in Toulouse, 3 in Bordeaux, 1 in Lille, St-Omer, Marseilles, Rouen, Strasbourg, Clermond-Ferrand, Nancy, Besançon, Montpellier, Carcassonne, Montauban, Moissac, Roanne, Tarare, Nantes, Sedan, Nimes, as well as in England, Switzerland and Belgium.
I have concerning Lille a summary of the Works (extracted from the Gold Book of Misraïm) on 29th day of 2nd month 5826, corresponding to 29 April 1822. It says that: " the Representative of the R:.L:., under the distinctive title of Osiris, Valley of Lille, claimed to the Sovereign Power so that it is regularly registered to the Large Gold Book. The proposal was unanimously adopted "
The reason why I wanted, at the time of our installation in a Right and Perfect L., that the name of Osiris be coupled with our name of Kemet, building so a bridge with our Brothers of this time.I am taking this opportunity to give you the significance of Kemet.
In opposition to "Desret" which gave birth to desert, red arid soil, Kemet, or Kemit is the name of the alluvial black earth deposited by the Nile. As these floods irrigated the delta, one step was for me enough to translate Kemet into "North fertile soil" Which appeared to me a good portent for our septentrional new seat.
Let us go back to subject.As for the composition of these Lodges and Councils, recruitment is rather composite. One finds there, as we have shown already, eminent persons, often dignitaries of the Scottish Rite. They are mixed with people interested by esoteric doctrines or " high degrees ", attracted by the " 90 Degrees hierarchy " and by the presumably Egyptian origin of the Rit and finally with Bonapartists and Republicans, sometimes Carbonari, searching of a cover. No surprise that all this doesn't please the Great East of France which makes a point of controlling the whole of the French Masonry, which is hostile to the " high degrees " system and to esoteric studies and which does fear so that LOUIS XVIII's government prohibits Masonry as a political movement, adversary to Monarchy.Accordingly, from the very start, the Great East shows a very strong opposition to Rit of Misraïm.
Already in 1817, the Marshal of BURNONVILLE, Grand Master of the Great East, prohibits with Members of Misraïm, under penalty of exclusion,.
In addition, as it is completely sadly banal nowadays,, dissentions burst within the Rit (Brother JOLY, (initiated by Misraïm in Italy, demand the Great Mastery of the Rit in France; he was supported besides by Jean-Marie RAGON). Also certain Brothers make reproach to the BADARRIDE for using Misraïm as their personal property. But the main troubles come mostly from the Government.It is indeed the time when Carbonari develop in all Meridional Europe and in France.Let me remind you n two words what was the movement of the Coalmen (Charbonniers)It was a secret political company, formed in Italy (however strange!), its purpose was the triumph of the liberal ideas. In this company found themselves many students and professionals. They were forming the most active element at the level of organization and propaganda.Charbonnerie, wanted to put down monarchy, to call a constitutional assembly, to obtain guarantees of freedom and free elections, to require the yearly vote of the taxes, the independence of justice, and of course, to institute the freedom of the press and of the cults. Carbonari. In 1823, roughly at the time of 4 sergeants of the Rochelle plot and of their subsequent condemnation, The Obedience is interdict in FranceThe fact that each Bedarride Brother is clearly supposed to be a Carbonaro, explains the remark of Pierre Mariel, stating that:" the extravagance of the origins of the Rit, makes of Misraïm the most disconcerting enigma of French Masonry because, as suggested by Gaston Martin:" it is allowed to wonder whether this string of absurdities was not a joke intended to mask an extremely different goal. In fact, the Rite of Misraïm was recruiting among the most eminent Masons … it seems that we are in the presence of a Masonry with a hidden agenda, undoubtedly political (certainly Bonapartist).
I like to believe that nothing of it goes against this Masonic ethics which is so dear to me, especially in these nervous times.Thus, the police of the Restoration has no difficulty in obtaining the dissolution of a Rit that is violently anticlerical but however fundamentally spiritualist and deist, antiroyalist and rather Bonapartist,. Clandestine for about fifteen years, it is restored in 1838.This year sees the creation of the Rite of Memphis by Jacques Etienne MARCONIS of NEGRE.While advancing on unsecured ground, my readings and documents authorize me to think that it results from a scission from Misraïm, MARCONIS of NEGRE having been twice member of Misraïm. First once in Paris in 1833 and one second time as Worshipping Master of the L. "Benevolence " in Lyon from 1835 to 1838, according to our late Brother Albert COOLS whose father, Gabriel Mathieu, has been himself Great Hiérophant of Misraïm in 1816 and in addition, founder of the Lodge of the " Disciples of Memphis " in Montauban.After the death of Marc BEDARRIDE in 1846 and of Michel in 1856, Brother HAYERE succeeded to them. the Rite of Misraïm did see a new rise and did recover a definitely initiatory character.Initiatory character that the Rite did not have or just a little. Indeed, in the Works summaries consigned in the Large Gold Book of which I made already mention, it is reminded to the Brothers raised or received in a higher Degree to have to affiliate themselves with a Lodge of the Rite.In 1862, Marshal MAGNAN, Great Master of the Great East of France, in agreement with his Council of the Grand Lodge, addresses to all Obedience's, a circular to propose to try for Masonic unity in France. Brother HAYERE, Great Keeper and and Great Master of the Rite of Misraïm, who received the request for union, answers him: " the Rite of Misraïm is too devoted to its independence, to recognize your powers and to accept your domination. If the Emperor believes his duty to remove us, then he does it, but we will never subject ourselves "
Well, this perfect and proud answer did not facilitate the relationship with the Great East, and in the art to make a friend, there are better ways!. (It should be noted that Memphis subscribed to the request, and that for this time the links have been maintained between the two Grand Lodges, even now when it is Memphis Misraïm. Now, according to some remarks of which I am not quite sure, the link would no longer be the same; the Great East being worried of the orientation taken by Memphis-Misraïm (split in three currents (Gerard KLOPPEL, Georges VIEILLEDENT and Marcel LAPERRUQUE), whereas our Rite " would be tolerated ". (Masonic tolerance is beautiful!).
What chance we have!.After the death of BROTHER HAYERE in 1876, BROTHER GIRAULT until 1884, then BROTHER OSSELIN father followed him.
This last close to the Great Commander of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Louis PROAL, got, practically for the first time, a recognition on an equal footing for the Rite of Misraïm. And on August 04, 1889 when the Rite celebrates its Grand Lodge festival, it is in the presence of Brothers PROAL and CONVENIENT (the well named), member of the Council of the Obedience of the Great East.This same year, the Rite counts 3 Lodges in Paris, 8 in province, 2 in New York, 1 with Buenos-Aires and 1 in Alexandria. This under the French jurisdiction, not counting the Italian one, independent at that time. But in 1890, a new conflict bursts between the Spiritualistic minority and the positivist majority, which led by the Great SECRETARY HENRI CHAILLOUX, joined the Great East. Brother CHAILLOUX had indeed announced in a speech:
"If one can read in our statement of principle, printed in 1885: Fundamental and immutable base, the existence of the supreme being, the immortality of the soul and the love of the neighbor; today one can read in our reformed Constitution:
Autonomy of the human person, justice and altruism ".Such a stand, in total opposition to the Statutes and Principles of the Rite, had to exclude ipso-facto its author.
Nevertheless the rite of Misraïm did survive until at the beginning of this century, directed by Great President Osselin and with only one Lodge, Rainbow (Mother Lodge of the Rite. Its members did include esoterists of high value. , Under its patronage appeared, at that time, the " Rosicrucian Library " which did publish again a certain number of the great classics of the occult.
It is also at that time that some Martinists did join. In particular, SEDIR and Marc HAVEN.
PAPUS (Dr. Gerard ENCAUSSE) solicited twice its admission, in 1896 and 1897. He was refused each time. Its Martinists (of Louis-Claude of SAINT-MARTIN the Unknown Philosopher) convictions coming in opposition with the martinezists (of MARTINES OF PASQUALY) ones from Worshipping Master Abel HAATAN.SEDIR, Marc HAVEN and some other Martinistes left then the Rite and joined Memphis-Misraïm (where PAPUS did become Grand Master in 1908).
MISRAIM in FRANCE in the XXth Century.
Some words on the creation of Memphis Misraïm will be useful to your better understanding of the current existence of Misraïm.In 1881 there had been an alliance between the Sovereigns Sanctuaries of Memphis in the United States, the United Kingdom and Romania and the Sovereign Sanctuary of Misraïm of Naples directed by Jean-Baptiste PESSINA.The General Joseph GARIBALDI was named Grand Hierophant of the whole obedience. This lasted little, because he died in 1882.This union did unite first again Memphis and Misraïm, later it caused the creation of the Rite of Memphis-Misraïm.However the French branch of the Rite of Misraïm did not take part in this operation. It did preserve its independence.The fact that Misraïm was put in sleep from the very start of this century did cause that fact to be forgotten. One took the habit to consider that only existed Memphis-Misraïm.Our current rebirth is due to our late V:.Ill:.B:. Robert AMBELAIN, Grand Keeper of the United Rites of Misraïm and Memphis and from which he transmitted Patents, in 1994, to Jean-Marc MAKE, current Serenissim Grand General Master and Past Immediate W. M. from the Lodge Rainbow of Paris. It is however to note that, between 1973 and 1978, a Lodge " the Sergeants of La Rochelle " did exist. It was working with the Rite of Misraïm within the Obedience of Memphis-Misraïm. Its first President was Robert AMBELAINMisraïm continuing to cultivate the paradox, we are proud to be at the same time Members of one of the oldest Rites and for this reason carrying an old and rich heritage and the youngest Obedience undoubtedly.The Present cannot consider the Future without the lessons of the Past. It is this Past that interests us in order to prevent that our Future is only a repetition of errors.Our Rite, resulting from our Rit, has to continue its Initiatic Will and all, Members from this noble Institution, we must commit ourselves to respect the creed of this beautiful and simple Masonry, made of Fraternal nonselective Tolerance and of an Understanding and Studious Search.However all the specificity of Misraïm, in addition to the egyptianization of which our ritual of the first three Degrees are impressed nowadays, always exists through its " High Degrees " succeeding the Degrees of Perfection of the 4° to the 33°, but it is not the Hour nor the Age to speak about it, here.
As said our Brother Rudyard Kipling " This is another history ".
Presentation of the Rite in a meeting open to BB. and SS. from all Grand Loges at the occasion of the first anniversary of KEMET, in Lille-Ronchin, January, 25, 1997
Presentation in an "inter-obediential" meeting at « Solférino », May1997 and Presentation at the R:.L:. "Les Athéniens" Grand Lodge Traditionelle et Symbolique « Opéra » in Valenciennes on April, 22, 1998 V. E:..
Presentation at the common meeting with the RR:.LL:. Rose du Parfait Silence et St Hugues in Ronchin on May, 31, 1999 V.E:..
Les Cahiers de Misraïm, N°1 1er trimestre 1996
Bulletin intérieur de Memphis Misraïm, spécial N°3 du 1er semestre 1988
Bulletin intérieur de Memphis Misraïm,
Loge de Recherche Constant CHEVILLON spécial N°5/90
Les Rites Maçonniques de Memphis et de Misraïm de Gastone VENTURA
Maçonnerie Egyptienne de Gérard GALTIER
L’Ordre Maçonnique de Misraïm de Marc BEDARRIDE
L’Egypte Ancienne et la Franc Maçonnerie, discours et conférence de Louis AMIABLE et Paul
Divers fonds Maçonniques concernant Misraïm et provenant des Bibliothèques de Paris,
Bordeaux et diocésaine de Chalons-sur-Marne.
Le Tuileur de VUILLAUME
Recherches sur les Initiations anciennes et modernes par l’Abbé ROBIN (1779)
Crata-Repoa (réédition de 1821, traduction BAILLEUL)
Diverses notes sur les Rites de Misraïm, de Memphis et de Memphis-Misraïm
Cahier de l’Académie des hautes études Araucadiennes
PARTICIPATE IN AN ONLINE CONVERSATION
If you want to engage in even more conversation about Tarot, I invite online comments to my ArkLetter essays. Just visit the ArkLetter URL of the article you want to discuss and tell me what you think - your comments are published immediately on the site, and may stimulate more dialogue over time.
GET MY ONLINE TAROT READINGS AT TAROT.COM
I wrote the divinatory text used at Tarot.com, an online place for exploring the self-guided initiatory arts. Astrology, Numerology, I-Ching and Tarot readings are all available there, and you might be both surprised and pleased with the services offered to members.
Learn how and why I think Tarot.com's computerized online Tarot readings work: http://noreah.typepad.com/tarot_arkletters/2005/07/tarotcom_readin.html
You may be receiving this note because you sent an inquiry to Tarot University or Tarot.com. Unsubscribing is easy - just follow the instructions. This list is free, and light - I send out one note a month, like this one, informing you of my new publications and discussions via these New Moon ArkLetters - http://www.tarotarkletters.com.
If you've received this through a friend and want this ArkLetter Announcement each new moon in your in-box, please visit our subscribe link: http://www.tarotarkletters.com/subscribe/index.html. We have an RSS syndication feed, too!!
If you're not sure whether or not you've subscribed, subscribe again and the program will let you know.
ArkLetter 118, February 18, 2015
copyright christine payne-towler 2005-2015, all rights reserved
TAROT ARKLETTERS are published by:
Christine Payne-Towler and Noreah Press
Tarot Interpretation & Charts
Tarot Reading text creation at Tarot.com
Bishop, Gnostic Church of St. Mary Magdalene
Founder: Tarot University Online
Author: The Underground Stream, the Tarot of the Holy Light
Anyone objecting to the use of their image in this free publication can have it removed immediately - Ed.