Structure and Grades
Much of the hierarchical structure for the Golden dawn came from the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, which was itself derived from the Order of thr Golden and Rosy Cross.
Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia
Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (Rosicrucian Society of England) is a Masonic Esoteric Christian order formed by Robert Wentworth Little in 1865, although some sources acknowledge the date to be 1866-67. Members are confirmed from the ranks of subscribing Master Masons of a Grand Lodge in amity with United Grand Lodge of England .
The structure and grade of this order, as A.F. Waite suggests, were derived from the 18th-century German Order of the Golden And Rosy Cross. It later became the same grade system used for the Golden Dawn.
Structure and Grades - Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
- First Order
- -Introduction—Neophyte 0=0
- Zelator 1=10
- Theoricus 2=9
- Practicus 3=8
- Philosophus 4=7
- Intermediate—Portal Grade
- Second Order
- Adeptus Minor 5=6
- Adeptus Major 6=5
- Adeptus Exemptus 7=4
- Third Order
- Magister Templi 8=3
- Magus 9=2
- Ipsissimus 10=1
The paired numbers attached to the Grades relate to positions on the Tree of Life. The Neophyte Grade of “0=0” indicates no position on the Tree. In the other pairs, the first numeral is the number of steps up from the bottom (Malkuth), and the second numeral is the number of steps down from the top (Kether).
The First Order Grades were related to the Four Elements of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire, respectively. The Aspirant to a Grade received instruction on the metaphysical meaning of each of these Elements and had to pass a written examination and demonstrate certain skills to receive admission to that Grade.
The Portal Grade was an “Invisible” or in-between grade separating the First Order from the Second Order.
Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross.
The Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross (Orden des Gold- und Rosenkreutz, also the Fraternity of the Golden and Rosy Cross) was a German Rosicrucian organization founded in the 1750s by Freemason and Alchemist Hermann Fichtuld. Candidates were expected to be Master Masons in good standing. Alchemy, was to be a central study for members. Much of the hierarchical structure for this order was used in Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA) and from there, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.