Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia

views updated

Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia

The Rosicrucian Society of England, organized in 1865 by Robert Wentworth Little (who claimed to have found some old Freemasonry rituals) and Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie (who claimed to have received Rosicrucian initiation in Austria). The Metropolitan College was founded in London in 1865 with Little as supreme magus, and a Societas Rosicruciana in Scotia was started soon afterward, followed by provincial lodges.

Some famous names associated with the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia include Sir Francis Burdett (vice president) and author-occultist-politician Lord Edward Bulwer Lytton (grand patron 1871-73). Kenneth Mackenzie became an honorary magus. William Wynn Westcott was supreme magus in 1916.

The aims of the society were:

" to afford mutual aid and encouragement in working out the great problems of Life, and in discovering the Secrets of Nature; to facilitate the study of the system of Philosophy founded upon the Kabala and the doctrines of Hermes Trismegistus, which was inculcated by the original Fratres Rosae Crucis, of Germany; and to investigate the meaning and symbolism of all that now remains of the wisdom, art and literature of the ancient world."

In spite of these resounding aims, the society confined itself mainly to lectures and Freemasonry rituals.

In 1887, Westcott, Mackenzie, and W. R. Woodman were concerned in the formation of the Isis-Urania Temple of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, in which the esoteric Freemasonry of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia was expanded into a more complex occult system. The Societas Rosicruciana in America was modeled on the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia.


King, Francia. The Rites of Modern Occult Magic. New York: Macmillan, 1970.

About this article

Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia

Updated About content Print Article