Montauban 1815

Rite of Memphis

Before 1721, when it was mentioned for the first time, there was, in Narbonne, a Rite called “
Rite of Narbonne”.
It was the heir of two currents coming from the Egyptian and Rosicrucian past. Egyptian by the “Order of African Architects” (referring to Egyptians) and Rosicrucian by the “Brothers of the Golden Rosy-Cross” or from Asia (in reality EASIE which are the initials of Eques A Sancti Johannis Evangelistae). Early Primitive Rite was that of the Philadelphes, or Primitive Rite of Narbonne. This was associated both with the various esoteric currents in the area, and with the Philalethes. The Philalethes and the Scottish Philosophic Rite had common threads. The Scottish Philosophic Rite drew a lot from the early Scots Lodges in France, as well as the systems founded by / based upon Antoine Joseph Pernety. Ultimately these would lead to The Rite of Memphis.

The Rite of Memphis, or Oriental Rite, was introduced into Europe by Ormus, a seraphic priest of Alexandria and Egyptian sage, who had been converted by St. Mark, and reformed the doctrines of the Egyptians in accordance with the principles of Christianity. The disciples of Ormus sontinued until 1118 to be the sole guardians of ancient Egyptian wisdom, as purified by Christianity and Solomonian science. This science they communicated to the Templars. They were then known by the title of Knights of Palestine, or Brethren Rose Croix of the East. The Masonic Rite of Memphis is a combination of the ancient mysteries; it taught the first men to render homage to the Deity. Its dogmas are based on the principles of humanity; its mission is the study of that wisdom which serves to discern truth; it is the beneficent dawn of the development of reason and intelligence; it is the worship of the qualities of the human heart and the impression of its vices; in fine, it is the echo of religious toleration, the union of all belief, the bond between all men, the symbol of sweet illusions of hope, preaching the faith in God that saves, and the charity that blesses. The Rite of Memphis is the sole depositary of High Masonry, the true primitive Rite, the Rite par excellence, which has come down to us without any alteration, and is consequently the only Rite that can justify its origin and the combined exercise of its rights by constitutions, the authenticity of which cannot be questioned. The Rite of Memphis, or Oriental Rite, is the veritable Masonic tree, and all systems, whatsoever they be, are but detached branches of this institution, venerable for its great antiquity, and born in Egypt. The real deposit of the principles of Masonry, written in the Chaldee language, is preserved in the sacred ark of the Rite of Memphis, and in part in the Grand Lodge of Scotland, at Edinburgh, and in the Maronite Convent on Mount Lebanon.

This Rite had almost disappeared when, in 1779, it was restored in its primitive strength by the Marquis of Chefdebien on the model of the Rite of the Philalethes and took the name of Primitive Rite of the Philalethes or the Primitive Rite of Narbonne. Napoleon was initiated, passed and raised into an Army Philadelphe Lodge of the Ecossais Primitive Rite of Narbonne between 1795 and 1798.
In 1798, officers of the army of Bonaparte, all members of the Grand Orient of France and disciples of  the Rite of Narbonne, in mission in Egypt, got in touch with initiates of Sufism and Druzes initiatory Colleges of Lebanon. They decided to give up the relationship with the Grand Lodge of England and to create a new Rite.

Thus was born the Lodge “Disciples of Memphis’ in Cairo, following the tradition of the Rite of Narbonne.

Samuel Honis, initiated at this Lodge, came back to France in 1814 and installed in Montauban, on May 23, 1815, a branch of the Lodge “Disciples of Memphis” which became the Mother-Lodge of the Rite of Memphis.
During period of time, the Rite recruited not only aristocrats but Bonapartists and Republicans, and sometimes even revolutionary Carbonari. It became the meeting-place of opponents to the regime. This progressively let to its decline. Toward 1890, the last Masons of the Rite regrouped in the only remaining Lodge: Arc-en-Ciel.

Constituted by Jacques Etienne Marconis de Nègre in 1838, the Rite of Memphis is a variant of the Rite of Misraïm. It takes the Egypto-alchemical mythology and completes it with pieces borrowed from the Templars and chivalry. The Rite of Memphis attracted personalities in quest of an ideal. It knew a certain success among military Lodges until 1841; the date where it was put to sleep. But, with the dismissal of Louis - Philippe in 1848, the Rite was reactivated. In England, from about 1850 numerous English Lodges worked the Rite of Memphis in French. In Egypt, from 1873, the Rite of Memphis developed quickly, under the direction of Brother Solutore Avventure Zola, Grand Hierophant until the reign of king Farouk. In the United States, Marconis de Nègre implanted the Rite around 1856. There was a noticeable emphatuation, particularly under the Grand Mastery of Brother Seymour in 1861. Grand National Lodges then took roots in different countries, particularly in England where it was officially settled in the Freemason’s Hall of London on June 4, 1872. in Egypt, in Romania, in Bulgaria, in the United States of America, in Australia etc.

Modern Revivals

As promulgated by John Yarker, under the name of Ancient and Primitive Rite, it was a combination of the
Rite of Mizraim (established 1813) and Oriental Rite of Memphis (established 1814), and it never had more than 300 members. Yarker claimed a history going to Bonaparte's armies in Egypt, and traced the development of the Rite until his present day. He professed also that "Its Rituals embrace all Masonry, and are based on those of the Craft universal; they explain its symbols, develope [sic] its mystic philosophy, exemplify its morality, examine its legends, tracing them to their primitive source, and dealing fairly and truthfully with the historical features of Symbolical Masonry. They contain nothing in their teaching but what Mahommedan, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Brahmin, or Parsee may alike acknowledge."

In the modern day, there are various "Sovereign Sanctuaries" that claim a jurisdiction over the Rite, claim the same history. The Ancient and Primitive Rite, also called the Order of the Ancient and Primitive
Egyptian Rite of Memphis, is a Masonic Rite generally considered clandestine by Masonic organizations within the UGLE framework.

The Degrees of the Oriental Rite of Memphis:

First Series

Historical, Ethical, Symbolic, and Philosophic:

Class I

º. Apprentice.
º. Companion.
º. Master.
º. Discreet Master, or Secret Master (1862).
º. Perfect Master, or Master Architect (1849).
º. Sublime Master, or Intimate Secretary (1867).
º. Just Provost, or Just and Perfect Master (1849), or Provost and Judge (1862).
º. Knight Intendant of the Building, or Knight of the Elect (1849) or Master in Israel (Ragon).
º. Knight Elect of Nine.
º. Illustrious Knight Elect of Fifteen.
º. Sublime Knight Elect.
º. Knight Grand Master Architect.
º. Royal Arch.

Class II

º. Knight of the Sacred Vault, or Grand Scottish Elect (1862).
º. Knight of the Sword, or Knight of the Sword or East (Ragon), or Knight of the East (1862).
º. Prince of Jerusalem.
º. Knight Prince of the East and West, or Knight of the Eas t(1849), or Knight of the East and West (1862).
º. Knight Prince of the Rose of Heredom, or Knight of Rose Croix (1862).
º. Knight Grand Pontiff of Jerusalem, or Knight Prince of the West (1849), or Grand Pontiff (1862).
º. Knight Grand Master of the Temple of Wisdom, Chief of the First Series, or Grand Master of Lodges (1862), or Venerable Grand Master of all Lodges (Ragon).
º. Knight Noachite, or Knight of the Tower, or Prussian Noachite (1862), or Master of the Key of Masonry (Ragon).
º. Knight of Libanus, or Prince of Lebanon (1862), or Noachite Knight, or Knight of the Tower (Ragon).
º. Knight of the Tabernacle, or Chief of the Tabernacle (1862), or Knight Royal Axe, or Knight of Libanus( Ragon).
º. Knight of the Red Eagle, or Prince of the Tabernacle (1862), or Knight of the Tabernacle (Ragon).
º. Knight of the Brazen Serpent, or Knight of the Red Eagle, or Prince of the Tabernacle (Ragon).
º. Knight of the Holy City, or Scottish Trinitarian (1862), or Knight of the Brazen Serpent (Ragon).

Class III

º. Sovereign Grand Commander of the Temple, or Knight of the Holy City, or Prince of Mercy (Ragon).
º. Knight of Johan or of the Sun, or Grand Sublime Knight of St. Andrew of Scotland (1862).
º. Knight of St. Andrew, or Knight of Johan or of the Sun (1862).
º. Knight Grand Kadosh Sovereign Grand Inspector, or Knight Kadosh (1862), or Knight of St. Andrew (Ragon).
º. Grand Inquisitor Commander, or Grand Master Commander (1862), or, Knight Grand Kadosh(Ragon).
º. Sovereign Prince of the Royal Mystery, or Prince of the Royal Secret (1862), or Grand Inquisitor Commander (Ragon).
º. Knight Grand Inspector General, or Grand Master Genera l(1862), or Sublime Prince of the Royal Mystery (Ragon).

Second Series

Natural Sciences, History, Poetical Myths, and Humanitarianism:

Class III (continued)

º. Knight of the Temple, or Knight of the Red Eagle (1856), or Knight of Scandinavia (1862), or Knight Grand Inspector (Ragon).
º. Knight of Scandinavia, or Knight Master of Angels (1865), or Sublime Commander of the Temple(1862).
º. Knight Philalethes, or Knight of the Holy City (1856), or Sublime Negotiaie Commander of the Luminous Triangle (1862).

Class IV

º. Doctor of the Planispheres, or Knight Adept of Truth  (1856), or Knight of Shota (same as Adept of Truth) (1862).
º. Master of the Great Work , or Wise Siviast (1849), or Sublime Knight Elect of Truth (1856), or Sublime Elect of Truth or Philalethes (1862).
º. Prince of the Zodiac, or Knight Philalethes (1856), or Grand Elect of the Eons (1862).
º. Sublime Hermetic Philosopher, or Doctor of the Planispheres (1856), or Wise Siviast, or Perfect Sage (1862).
º. Knight of the Seven Stars, or Wise Siviast (1856), or Knight of the Arch of Seven Colors (1862), or Knight or the Seven Stars (Ragon).
º. Knight of the Arch of Seven Colors, or Hermetic Philosopher (1856), or Sublime Hermetic Philosopher(1862).
º. Knight Supreme Commander of the Stars, or Adept Installator (1856), or Doctor of the Planispheres(1862).
º. Grand Pontiff of Isis, or Adept Consecrator (1856), or Sublime Sage of the Zodiac(1862).
º. Sovereign Master of the Mysteries, or Shepherd King of the Hutz(1849), or Adept Eulogist (1856), or Sublime Sage of Isis (1862).
º. Sublime Prince of the Sacred Curtain, or Adept of Sirius (1856), or Sublime Pastor of the Hutz (1862).
º. Interpreter of Hieroglyphs, or Sage of the Pyramids (1849), or Adept of Babylon (1856), or Knight of the Seven Stars (1862).

Class V

º. Pastor-King of the Hutz, or Philosopher of Samothrace (1849), or Adept of the Rainbow (1856), Sublime Guardian of the Sacred Mount (1862).
º. Prince of the Sacred Curtain, or Titan of the Caucasus, or Adept of the Seven Stars (1856), or Sublime Sage of the Pyramids (1862).
º. Sage of the Pyramids, or Child of the Lyre (1849), or Commander of the Zodiac (1865), or Sublime Philosopher of Samothrace (1862).
º. Philosopher of Samothrace, or Knight of the Phoenix, or Knight Banuka (1856), or Sublime Titan of the Caucasus (1862).
º. Prince of the Golden Fleece, or Sublime Scald (1849), or Knight of the Luminous Triangle (1856), or Sage of the Labyrinth (1862).
º. Titan of the Caucasus, or Knight of the Sphinx (1849), or Knight Zaradust (1856), or Sage of the Phoenix(1862).
º. Child of the Lyre, or Knight of the Pelican (1849), or Knight of the Luminous Ring (1856), or Sublime Scald (1862).
º. Knight of the Phoenix, or Sublime Sage of the Labyrinth (1849), or Prince Magus(1856), or Sublime Orphic Doctor (1862).
º. Orphic Doctor, or Pontiff of Cadmea(1849), or Doctor of the Sacred Vedas(1856), or Sage of Cadmus(1862).
º. Sublime Scald, or Sublime Mage (1849), or Prince Bramin (1856).
º. Knight of the Sphinx, or Prince Bramin (1849), or Sublime Scald (1856), or Wise Bramin (1862).
º. Perfect Master of the Sloka, or Pontiff of Ogygia (1849), or Scandinavian Knight (1856), or Sublime Sage of Ogygia (1862).
º. Knight of the Pelican, or Scandinavian Knight (1849), or Prince of the Sacred Name  (1856), or Sublime Guardian of the Three Fires(1862).
º. Sublime Sage of the Labyrinth, or Knight of the Temple of Truth(1849), or Prince of the Golden Fleece(1856), or Sublime Unknown Philosopher (1862).

Class VI

º. Pontiff of Cadmus, or Sage of Heliopolis (1849), or Prince of the Lyre (1856), or Sublime Sage of Eleusis (1862), or Sage of Heliopolis (Ragon).
º. Wise Siviast, or Pontiff of Mithras (1849), or Prince of the Labyrinth (1856), or Adept of Sirius (1862).
º. Grand Architect of the Mysterious City, or Guardian of the Sanctuary (1849), or Prince of the Lybic Chain (1856), or Adept of Babylon (1862).
º. Sublime Magus, or Prince of Truth (1849), or Sublime Sage of Eleusis (1862).
º. Brahmin Prince, or Sublime Kavi (1849), or Prince of the Covenant (1956), or Companion Zaradust (1862).
º. Guardian of the Three Fires, or Most Wise Mouni (1849), or Prince of the Sanctuary (1856), or Companion of the Luminous Ring (1862).
º. Pontiff of Ogygia, or Grand Architect of the Mysterious City (1849), or Prince of the Temple of Truth (1856), or Companion of the Sacred Vedas ((1862).
º. Sovereign Grand Master of the Light, Chief of the Second Series, or Sublime Prince of the Sacred Courtine (1849), or Commander of the Second Series  (1856), or Companion of the Sacred Name(1862).


Third Series

Historical, Higher Philosophy, and Myths.

Class VI (continued)

º. Doctor of the Sacred Fire, or Interpreter of Hieroglyphs (1849), or Orphic Sage (1856), or Companion of the Golden Fleece (1862).
º. Knight of the Luminous Triangle, or Orphic Doctor (1849), or Sage of Eleusis (1856), or Companion of the Lyre (1862).
º. Theosophic Knight, or Guardian of the Three Fires (1849), or Companion of the Lybic Chain (1862).
º. Sage of Heliopolis, or Guardian of the Incommunicable Name (1849), or Sage of Mithras (1856), or Companion of the Sanctuary (1862).
º. Pontiff of Mithras, or Supreme Master of Wisdom (1849), or Sage of Delphos (1856), or Patriarch of Truth (1862).
º. Guardian of the Sanctuary, or Sovereign Prince of Senates of the Order (1849), or Sage of Samothrace (1856), or Sublime Master of the Secrets of the Order( 1862).

Class VII

º. Prince of Truth, or Sovereign Grand Master of Mysteries (1849), or Sage of Eleusis (1856), or Sage of Ellia (1862).
º. Sublime Kavi, or Supreme Master of the Sloka (1849), or Sublime Sage of the Mysteries (1856), or Sage of Mithras (1862).
º. Doctor of the Sacred Vedas, or Doctor of the Sacred Fire (1849), or Sage of Wisdom (1856), or Sage of Delphi or Sacred Curtain (1862).
º. Most Wise Mouni, or Doctor of the Sacred Vedas (1849), or Sublime Sage of the Mysteries (1856), or Wise Theosopher (1862).
º. Knight of the Redoubtable Sada, or Sublime Knight of the Golden Fleece (1849), or Priest of the Sphinx (1856), or Sublime Sage of Symbols Interpreter of Hieroglyphs (1862).
º. Guardian of the Incommunicable Name, or Sublime Knight of the Luminous Triangle (1849), or Priest of the Phoenix(1856), or Sublime Sage of Wisdom (1862).
º. Supreme Master of Wisdom, or Supreme Knight of the Redoubtable Sada  (1849), or Priest of the Pyramids (1856), or Sublime Sage of the Mysteries (1862).
º. Grand Pontiff of Truth, or Sublime Knight Theosophe (1849), or Priest of Heliopolis(1856), or Sublime Sage of the Sphinx(1862).
º. Grand Inspector Intendant, or Sovereign Grand Inspector (1849), or Priest of On (1856).
º. Sovereign Prince of Masonry Chief of the Third Series, or Grand Defender of the Order(1849), or Priest of Memphis (1856).
º. Sovereign Grand Master Constituent of the Order, or Sublime Master of the Luminous Ring(1849), or Pontiff of Serapis (1856).
º. Sovereign Prince General Ruler of the Order, or Regulator General of the Order (1849), or Priest of Isis (1856), or Pontiff of Isis (1862).
º. Sovereign Grand Inspector-General Chief of the Supreme Representative Council of the Order, or Sublime Prince of Masonry (1849), or Priest of Knef (1856), or Pontiff of Knef (1862).
º. Knight of the Knef Member of the Supreme Grand Council General, or Sublime Master of the Great Work (1849), or Pontiff of the Mystic City(1856).
º. Prince of Memphis Member of the Sovereign Tribunal Defender of the Order, or Sublime Knight of the Knef (1849), or Perfect Prince Sublime Master of the Great Work (1856).
º. Sovereign Patriarch Grand Commander of the Order: Grand Emperor, or Sovereign Prince of Memphis Chief of the Government of the Order (1849), or Past Grand Defender of the Rite (1856), or General Inspector of the Order (1862).
º. Sovereign Prince of the Magi of the Sanctuary of Memphis, or Sublime Interpreter of Science and Hieroglyphs (1856), or Grand Defender of the Order (1862).
º. Grand Inspector Regulator of the Rite (1856), or Grand Regulator General of the Order (1862).
º. Sovereign Prince of Memphis (1856), or Sovereign Prince of Memphis or of Masonry (1862).
º. Sovereign Patriarchal Grand Conservator of the Rite (1856), or Sublime Prince of the Magi (1862).
º. Sublime Magus (1856), or Sovereign Pontiff of Magi of the Sanctuary of Memphis (1862).
º. Grand Hierophant.

Reduced Rite of Memphis confers the degrees from 4° through 32°:

First Series: Chapter
Class II: College

    4° - Discreet Master
    5° - Sublime Master
    6° - Knight of the Sacred Arch
    7° - Knight of the Secret Vault

Class III: Chapter

    8° - Knight of the Sword
    9° - Knight of Jerusalem
    10° - Knight of the Orient
    11° - Knight of the Rose Croix

Second Series: Senate
Class IV: Senate

    12° - Knight of the Red Eagle
    13° - Knight of the Temple
    14° - Knight of the Tabernacle
    15° - Knight of the Serpent
    16° - Knight Sage of Truth
    17° - Knight Hermetic Philosopher

Class V: Areopagus

    18° - Knight Kadosh
    19° - Knight of the Royal Mystery
    20° - Knight Grand Inspector

Third Series: Sublime Council
Class VI: Consistory

    21° - Grand Installator
    22° - Grand Consecrator
    23° - Grand Eulogist
    24° - Patriarch of Truth
    25° - Patriarch of the Planispheres
    26° - Patriarch of the Vedas

Class VII: Council

    27° - Patriarch of Isis
    28° - Patriarch of Memphis
    29° - Pontiff of the Mystic City
    30° - Perfect Pontiff, Sublime Master of the Great Work

Grand Tribunal

    31° - Grand Defender
    32° - Prince of Memphis

© 2009 Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis Misraim, Sovereign Sanctuary for Bulgaria