What is Rosicrucianism?

The term “Rosicrucianism” refers to a mystical and philosophical movement that emerged in the 17th-century and later produced several secret or semi-secret organizations, fraternities, and orders professing spiritual beliefs which focused on the study of religious mysticism, alchemy, astrology, Qabalah and other elements of the Western Esoteric Tradition. Legend has it that the fraternity was founded by Christian Rosencreutz, whose name means “Christian of the Rosy Cross.” The story of Christian Rosencreutz (or C.R.C.) first surfaced in Germany in 1614 in an anonymous Rosicrucian manifesto called “Fama Fraternitatis.” Other mysterious publications, such as the “Confessio” and the “Chemical Wedding,” soon followed.Much of the symbolism of Rosicrucianism deals with esoteric Christianity, and the Rosicrucian path emphasizes the way of transformation through the Christ impulse, spiritual rebirth, and inner alchemy. The primary symbol of Rosicrucianism is the Rose Cross.

Over the years there have been many groups that link themselves to Rosicrucianism, and these can be generally divided into three categories which can sometimes overlap: 1) Esoteric Christian groups that study the inner teachings of Christianity and sometimes have a Trinitarian requirement; 2) Masonic Rosicrucian groups that study ancient wisdom and have a Masonic requirement; and 3) Initiatory groups which follow a degree system of study and initiation.

The Societas Rosicruciana in America falls within this last category. Our organization, while including among its teachings the wisdom of several religions, is not interested in its members’ religion, race or creed. Tolerance for all religions is stressed. Recognizing the value inherent to every form of religious expression, it seeks, among other things, to show each member the true, inner meaning of whatever has been taught as religion. Additionally, we have no Masonic requirement: Our Order is composed of honorable men and women who are dedicated to the Rosicrucian Path.

Our Order was founded in 1907 by Sylvester C. Gould and George Winslow Plummer, both prominent Freemasons and Rosicrucians. After Gould’s death in 1909, Plummer assumed leadership of the Society and immediately set about the reconstituting the Society, based upon the broadest, non-Judgmental principles of the Rosicrucian Art which would be open to “all true seekers.” The SRIA was incorporated on September 8, 1912.

The Societas Rosicruciana in America became truly inclusive in 1916, when the Society began to admit women into its ranks. We admit both men and women on a fully equal basis, and do not insist upon any prior membership of any other organization, be it Masonic or Rosicrucian.

The work of the Society is conducted along two general lines of approach: Associate Membership, which is based on correspondence lessons, and Collegiate Membership, which is open by invitation only to advanced members. At the present time, only Associate Membership is offered to prospective new members, although this may change in the future.

Our Society’s syllabus of correspondence lessons includes: Rosicrucian Series, Hermetic Series, Alchemical Series, Spiritual Fundamentals, and more.

 Rosicrucianism today represents a synthesis of those Universal Truths which are to be found in all religions. It embraces the whole spiritual development of the world and of humankind—past, present and future. While the roots of Rosicrucianism are deeply planted in the ancient wisdom teachings of the past, its primary focus is on nurturing the seeds of esoteric knowledge that are latent in present-day human experience. Such knowledge provides insight into nature, the physical universe, and the spiritual realm.

 

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