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 and spiritual rebirth. The primary symbol of Rosicrucianism is the Rose Cross.
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.
What does the symbol of the Rose Cross mean?
The Cross is a symbol which indicates conjunction, the binding together of opposing forces. It is also a symbol of the heart—the mystic center of the universe, or a place of union for the forces of the cosmos. The Cross affirms the primary relationship between the two worlds of Heaven and Earth (Spirit and Matter). It represents the Divine Spirit descending into the realm of the physical. The four arms of the Cross allude to Life—symbolized by the four elements of the alchemists—which are the components of Life.
The Rose is a symbol of completion, purity, and perfection. The rose and cross together refer to the fusion of these ideas. The red color of the Rose also alludes to the compassion and sacrifice of Christ, and the Golden Cross refers to the Spiritual Gold, the Gold of the Alchemists, hidden within the nature of humankind.
What is the proper acronym of the Society’s name, SRIA or SRIAm?
The proper acronym of the Society is SRIA, which stands for Societas Rosicruciana in America. Some people prefer to use “SRIAm” in order to differentiate the Societas Rosicruciana in America from the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (England). The use of the meta-acronym “SRIAm” has developed fairly recently—within the last thirty years. While there is certainly no harm in using it, and it may in fact be helpful when discussing the two organizations, the proper, official, correct, and historical acronym of our Society is SRIA.
Was the Society ever chartered by the English SRIA?
No. An organization originally called the Societas Rosicrucianae Republica Confoedera America (SRRCA) was chartered by the Societas Rosicruciana in Scotia (Scotland) in 1880. The name of this organization was eventually changed to the Society of Rosicrucians in the United States (SRIUS). In 1907 one of the members of the SRIUS, Sylvester Gould, assisted by George W. Plummer, founded our Society as a new, independent Rosicrucian Order.
Is the Society affiliated with the English SRIA?
No. After the High Council of the Societas Rosicruciana in America was established in 1912, it was no longer recognized by the Scottish or English Rosicrucian Societies, or by any other Masonic organization.
We are in no way connected with the Masonic SRIA or the SRICF (the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis which officially changed its name from the “Society of Rosicrucians in the United States” to the Latinized version of the name in 1934.) However, we are on good terms with both of these organizations and count many of their members as friends and companions on the Quest for Light.
Do I have to be a Mason to join the Society?
No. There is no Masonic Requirement to join the Society. We accept Masons and non-Masons alike. Anyone who believes otherwise is confusing us with either the English SRIA or the SRICF.
Do I have to be a Christian to join the Society?
No. All true Seekers of the Light are welcome to join the Society. As our founder George. W. Plummer stated: “The Society, while including among its teachings the wisdom of several religions, is definitely not interested in its members’ religion, race or creed. Recognizing the value that inheres in every form of religious expression, it seeks, among other things, to show each member the true, inner meaning of whatever he has already been taught as religion.”
Our Order is open to men and women of good character and mental fitness who have signified their desire to enter upon a study of Nature’s Laws, as revealed through the teachings of the Society. Our members come from a variety of different faiths: Christian, Gnostic, Jewish, Buddhist, Sufi, Neo-Pagan, Hindu, and more.
Do I have to quit other Rosicrucian organizations I belong to in order to join the Society?
No. We do not require that our members quit other Rosicrucian groups. Rosicrucian organizations that respect us, will be respected by us in turn.
How is the Work of the Society carried out?
The work of the Society is conducted along two general lines: the Associate System, which is comprised of subscription courses, and the Collegiate System, which is comprised of Colleges that carry out ritualistic and initiatory work. At the present time only the first line of approach, the Associate System, is available to students.
Does the Society use the same Rituals as other Rosicrucian organizations such as the English SRIA or the SRICF?
No. Our ritualistic work is unique to the Society. However, initiation into the Collegiate System is not being offered at this time.
How can I apply for Associate Membership?