Rose Croix and Freemasonry
The first trace of the Rosicrucian movement dates from 1614. This is the year of publication in Germany of a manifesto called the Fama Fraternitatis. The Fama was aimed at political and religious audiences and authorities of the time. The Fama is foremost a highly symbolical text and book of initiation. It tells the story of the movement’s founder, Christian Rozencreutz and at a certain point the discovery of his tomb, a happening which cannot but catch the eye of the Freemason.
In 1615 a new manifesto was published: Confessio Fraternitatis. This book likely is a completion of the first in the sense it is intended for researchers and scholars. It invites the breadth and depth of European society to work towards its own regeneration and indicates that the Rosicrucian Society holds the keys for the spiritual and religious regeneration. The main idea of the Confessio is to inspire and assist work toward the happiness and well being of mankind.
The best known Rosicrucian book is certainly the Chemical Wedding of Christian Rozencreutz. This mystical and esoteric book was published in 1616. It describes an initiatic journey in which the action takes place over seven days in a castle. Christian Rosencreutz Christian is invited to the wedding of a King and his Queen.
Then the presence of the Rose+Croix appeared in France in 1623. The people of Paris one day discovered written on their walls the following:
We members of the main Rosicrucian College, are both visible and invisible in this city by the grace of the Almighty, which ever lights the hearts of the righteous. We present, teach and speak without books or markings in many languages in those countries where we seek to pull men, our fellow human beings, out of the errors leading to death.
If someone wishes to find us out of simple curiosity that one will never contact us, but if he is sincere his name will be entered into the registry of our Society and he will discover the truthfulness of our promises even without knowing the place in which we reside in this city. We will know his heart and thoughts and make ourselves known to him.
The Rosicrucian manifestos appeared at a time when France and Europe were undergoing a major spiritual crisis: Christianity was once again divided, and the Reformation was at hand.
It has been said and written that modern Freemasonry had its origins in the Royal Society in London, a movement that brought together some of the finest scholars and researchers of the time. The Royal Society itself is sometimes believed to have been founded by members of the Rose + Cross.
In any event, several Masonic Rites have one or more degrees inspired by the “Rosy Cross”: The French Rite with its IV Order of Wisdom, the eighteenth degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, the Royal Order of Scotland, and the Societas Rosicruciana Anglia.
This section is intended to present texts and documents attributed to the Rosicrucians or having some connection with the movement.