Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis
The Rosicrucian Order, Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC), is a worldwide mystical, Rosicrucian, educational, humanitarian and fraternal organisation founded by Harvey Spencer Lewis.
Its common name in Latin is Antiquus Mysticusque Ordo Rosae Crucis. The traditional and authentic Latin name is: Antiquus Arcanus Ordo Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis (AAORRAC), which translates to English as 'Ancient and Mystical Order of the Red Rose and the Golden Cross'.
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Organisation & Structure
AMORC is organised as an educational charitable non-profit organisation which is classified by the United States Internal Revenue Service under section 501(c)(3).
The Supreme Grand Lodge
AMORC is governed by The Supreme Grand Lodge of AMORC, which is responsible for the worldwide coordination of AMORC, the establishment of new administrations, etc.
Grand Lodges (Jurisdictions)
AMORC is divided, by language, into several jurisdictions, called Grand Lodges. Each Grand Lodge has a Grand Master.
Lodges, Chapters, Pronaoi
AMORC is organised in each country in Lodges, Chapters, and Pronaoi. Information on these bodies is contained in the US edition of the Mastery of Life, which is available online.
Members have the privilege of attending an affiliated Lodge, Chapter or Pronaos and participating in organised convocations there. Attendance is optional, but the member may be asked to pay additional dues if he or she wishes to attend and become a member of a local Rosicrucian group. Many local groups offer Open Meetings where non-Rosicrucians may meet members of AMORC and attend a lecture.
The Lodge is the largest local group and requires at least 50 members (according to the US edition of Mastery of Life). Only a Lodge may offer the Degree Initiation Rituals. There are no fees for the initiation rituals but an optional donation is usually requested.
The Chapter is a group of at least 30 Rosicrucians. Attendance of the Chapter Convocations is restricted only to members who have completed the First Temple Degree initiation.
Pronaoi are groups of at least 15 Rosicrucians. Pronaoi is plural. The singular is Pronaos, from Ancient Greek, meaning antechamber. According to the number of its members, a Pronaos may become a Chapter or a Lodge. All members of AMORC, including the Neophytes, can take part at the Pronaos Convocations.
The highest chief of AMORC is called Imperator. He or she is responsible for coordinating and representing the Order worldwide.
- Harvey Spencer Lewis, Ph.D., F.R.C., Founder & Imperator 1915-1939
- Ralph Maxwell Lewis, F.R.C., Imperator 1939-1987
- Gary L. Stewart (1987-1990)
- Christian Bernard, F.R.C., Imperator April 12, 1990 - Today (as of 2004)
Each Grand Lodge has a Grand Master:
- Julie Scott, S.R.C., Grand Master of the English Grand Lodge for the Americas.
- Maximilian Neff, F.R.C., Grand Master of the German Grand Lodge
AMORC was founded by Harvey Spencer Lewis in 1915 and was represented by him in FUDOSI, a federation of independent esoteric orders. The early headquarters were located in New York City, San Francisco and Tampa. The headquarters moved to San Jose, California in 1927.
Francis Bacon is considered to be a past Imperator of the Rosicrucians.
"For many centuries the strange, mysterious records of the Rosicrucians were closed against any eyes but those of the high initiates. Even editors of great encyclopedias were unable to secure the weird, fascinating facts of the Rosicrucian activities in all parts of the world." - From an official 1946 AMORC advertisement of Dr. Lewis' book Rosicrucian Questions and Answers with Complete History of the Order contained in the Seventh Edition of Rosicrucian Principles for the Home and Business by Harvey Spencer Lewis.
Many AMORC members have a close relation with Martinism and especially the Traditional Martinist Order, a Martinist order cooperating with AMORC.
AMORC reports that it has a traditional connection to Ancient Egypt and to the Ancient Egyptian Mystery Schools.
The Egyptian Mystery Schools, aimed at educating mystics and passing esoteric mystical knowledge across the generations, were founded at least from the 15th century BCE and may be related with the King Tuthmosis III.
King Akhenaten, a figure often respected by many mystics, popularized the concept of one divine force behind everything.
Rosicrucians, as AMORC states, trace their past to Ancient Egypt because their beliefs, wisdom, practices and methods are consistent with the ones taught by the Ancient Egyptian Mystery Schools.