Letter from Rhodocanakis to Albert Pike
Dated 14 July 1880
(Collection M – Masonic Archives #228)
Athens, 14 July, 1880
My dear Brother;-
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your fraternal letter to me dated 12 June. We have translated in Greek nearly all the rituals of the 1st to the 32 degree which you so kindly presented to our Library as well as that of the 33rd which was given to us in W. by Bro: Webber; and if we ever print them you may be sure that we shall not forget to send you a few copies of each, as a token of gratitude.
Will you do me the favor to send me enclosed in a letter one or two copies of the Key of the alphabet of the pass words, &c., mentioned in the rituals?
When I was in London in 1871 I was created an Honorary Magus of the Rosicrucian Society of England whose founder was the late Bro: Little, and whose Honorary President the Earl of Bective, with powers to establish a Supreme Lodge of that Society for the Kingdom of Greece. On my arrival here I established one. I announced the fact to London, and I was acknowledged in due course. A few years later I nominated our friend Colonel MacLeod Moore an Honorary Member of this Supreme College & a Magus IX, and granted him a warrant to establish a Supreme Council in Canada; this he has done.
There is not the slightest doubt he has the right to nominate any one he likes to the rank of Magus and to send warrants to create Supreme Colleges in Kingdoms and Republics where such do not exist. You are as legally established as he was established by myself, and myself by the Supreme Authority in London. I call it “Supreme Authority” by courtesy, as such authority does not exist, and as each National College being actually independent is at liberty to adopt its own regulations and to change the rituals.
For myself I found the rituals in use so full of nonsense that I returned them, and use none whatever. I have tried to give to that Society a sort of literary form and to connect it as nearly as possible with Hermeticism. You are aware that the Rosicrucian Order of which we are Supreme Magi pretends to represent the older fraternity of the Rose-Croix which flourished about the first fifteen years of the seventeenth century. If you could yourself write rituals for the various degrees of Rosicrucianism – Zelator, Theoreticus, Practicus, Philosophus, Adeptus Junior, Adeptus Major, Adeptus Exemptus, Magister Templi, Magus – having as basis the old ceremonies of that Order, the present order would owe a debt of great gratitude to you. Bro: John Yarker, a very learned and ill-used Mason, and a personal and dear friend of Colonel Moore and myself knows better than anybody else everything relating to this order, and would be of great assistance to you if you were to write to him to “Withington near Manchester” where he resides.
The Jewel of a Supreme Magus is as follows: – “An ebony cross, with golden roses at its extremities, and the jewel of the Rosie Cross in the center (gold enameled white with the Rosie Cross in the center). It is surmounted by a crown of gold for the Supreme Magus alone, and the jewel is worn round the neck suspended by a crimson velvet ribbon.”
Provincial Colleges have the same power like the provincial Grand Lodges in Blue Masonry and as the latter are under the Jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge, so the former are under that of a Supreme College, therefore cannot do anything without its sanction.
I repeat to say that by the powers granted to you by our friend Colonel MacLeod Moore, you can lawfully establish the Supreme College of the United States, and by this letter I beg to nominate you an Honorary Supreme Magus of this Supreme College, and at the same time its Grand Representative near the Supreme College of the United States. I shall be most happy and honored to represent you also myself at this Supreme College. From what I wrote to you above you will see that the mode of establishing a Supreme College in a kingdom or republic is similar to that of establishing a Supreme Council 33 degree and as a Supreme Council is entirely independent, as a Supreme College is.
I personally recommend you to establish the Supreme College for the United States of America, and to regulate the ceremonials and rituals of the order, which were concocted by Bro: Little and are worthless.
For myself I shall be delighted, and I doubt not Colonel MacLeod Moore will agree with me, to acknowledge you as Supreme Authority of the Order, which as I learn is in a very precarious state and nearly in a state of decomposition in London. There are no fundamental regulations of this Order; there is no general head of the Order. Each degree ought to have its own Ritual, and the degrees as I have said above are nine. Our only rituals, if I am not mistaken, are written by the late Bro: Little, the “founder” of the Order.
And so much for Rosicrucianism. Masonry, you will be very glad to hear, progresses quietly but steadily in Greece, and we propose establishing a Rose-Croix Chapter in Lamia the moment that town is given to us.
Yours very faithfully and fraternally,
General the Hon. Albert Pike, IX.
Supreme Magus of the Sup: College of the
Rosicrucian Society in the U. S., &
Hon. Sup. Magus of Greece.