Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition
No.5. Vol. 1, Autumnal Equinox 2003

The Thuileur of the Ecossois
by Frater L.

The following arose from a reading of the Grade Structure of the Antient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, in 33 degrees. This Rite arose in France, as the herald of what is known as "Ecossisme", a current imperfectly recognised in the Lodges and Orders within the jurisdiction of the UGLE (United Grand Lodge of England). The first profane mention of 'Ecossisme' in Masonry is in 1742, where a certain Abbé Pérau writes : "There is a vague rumour among Free-Masons concerning a certain order they calle "The Scottish" (Ecossois), above, as they pretend, the ordinary Free-Masons, and who have their secrets apart". The learned researcher Jouaust said that "they give importance to Heredom, where the First Lodge of Masonry was held", without seeming to know that the hebrew word 'Harodim' means the foremen who directed the workers during the construction of Solomon's Temple. Other writers link the reconstruction of this Temple with that of Jacques de Molay, or indeed with that of the House of Stewart. René Guénon saw Ecossisme as the reaction to the Orange tendancies of UGLE Masonry. Other writers link Ecossime to the story of the Abbey of Kilwinning, the King Robert the Bruce and his Order of the Thistle, and the supposed survival of Templars in Scotland. Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender, is also supposed to be an Initiator of this Rite, placing it in the perspective of the long chain linking Rosicrucianism at Toulouse, the Stricte Observance in Germany, and the emergence of the Asiatic Brethren in Central Europe during the years leading up to the French Revolution. Finally, Jean Palou brought up the interesting idea of the relation Ecossisme could have with the Carbonari, deriving from a common practice of Woodcraft Lodges, parallel to Stone Masonry.

Whatever truth may lie in these speculations, the Grades of the A&ASR show elements of all these themes, leading to a rich array of enlightenment. Commonly, only certain of these Grades are actually practised, the others being communicated by documents, of 'Flying Roll' type. The following scenario follows this plan, and is intended to serve perhaps as an intermediary "initiation" of Portal Grade in the common GD system. One could imagine the candidate in the role of I, with the Guardian of the Portal in the role of N, who is female, as befits the herald of Da'ath, the reflection of the Shekinah, the vision of Binah, the call of Lilith.

For amusement and exercise, see how many links to strands of reflection and symbolic paths of initiatory material, deriving from many systems of Western Tradition, are woven into the dialogue; some hints are supplied, but the exhaustive exploration of them all would necessitate a book of itself!


Scottish Thuileur

face to face, the table between the two, standing : N is female, I is male

N : From where does the Scottish come?

I : He comes from a Deep Valley

N : Where is this Valley ?

(Lodges of A&ASR are "Valleys")

I : It is to the Orient of Kilwinning, the Holy House of the Mary Chapel...but it can no longer be found

(the Mary Chapel of Holyrood in Edinburgh is symbolically Lodge No.1 of Scottish Masonry)

N : Why does the Scottish come thus, his knee bared ?

(the "bared knee" is an important part of the posture of the candidate to Masonry - and can have leads to other initiatory situations as a ..euphemism)

I : Because of the Great Chapter of the Thistle which is destroyed

N : Who destroyed it ?

I : Time..and the Passants.. Devoured it

(a rich mixture here..the "Passants" are the Compagnons, or Operative Masons and other Craftsmen who exist and flourish to this day in France ; their lore parallels speculative Masonry, and admits of the destruction of the Work by greed and the necssity to Redeem ; thus "Passants-Devorants", those who take the Tour de France of reconstruction..)

N : When shall it be reconstructed?

I : This cannot yet be known, there are Steps to climb

N : How many steps are there to climb ?

I : They are Thirty-Three, but some were of wood, and they were burnt. The others are of corner-stone, and they are extant ; all of them are from the Forest of Ogives

(another reference to Compagnonnage, but also to the woodcutter thesis, and to the worked grades - in stone - as opposed to the document grades : however, wood or stone, they are Ogival..)

N : Who will refashion the burnt Steps ?

I : The Heredom will strip the bark ; they are Unknown. These Unknown Servitors will initiate well the Work.

(other..Unknown Superiors are familiar…"stripping the bark" is the woodcraft equivalent of "fashioning the rough-hewn stone")

N : Where are they ?

I : Beyond the Steps, to the Orient of the Royal Arch, under the Porch of the Statues of Sabine de Steinbach.

(Royal Arch masonry is the only "accepted" higher grade in UGLE-type Craft ; Sabine de Steinbach was a female Mason who worked the statues of Strassbourg Cathedral, and proof of the Accepted nature of women into the Craft)

N : What should the Scottish do to find them ?

I : He should climb the Steps, leaping

N : What does the Scottish say, while he climbs the Steps ?

I : That depends, on the Step where he is. Which Steps are concerned ?

change : beginning with I in the centre, N to the East ; with each reply, N turns an eighth of a circle clockwise

N : the first Three are known under every heaven ; the following Ten were burnt, with the Great Chapter ; here is the Fourteenth

(the first Three are the common Grades of "Blue" Masonry)

(Sign of the Enterer, hands joined in front of the navel)

I : the Scottish first says : in the beginning was the Word ; but It is must listen, under the Sublime Vault ; the Question will be asked....

(the Sublime Vault of Perfect Silence is the Grade in the Rite of the Red Cross of Babylon, with links to the Vault of Rosslyn, Templar castle near Edinburgh)

N : he leaps to the Eighteenth, what does he say then ?

I : the Scottish must say : by St. John of Scotland, the Dove, and the Lord Saint-Amour… and he passes over, as the Pelican or the Rose, who nourish in passing over in their Piety.

(a rich Grade….)

N : What does he do, leaping as a Stag, to the Twenty-First Step, far to the Orient?

I : the Scottish finds there the World Egg, the Ring of the Green Dragon, by the Sword of the Saint-Empire ; and he will raise the Serpent in the Desert, like the Son of Man, so that never he shall perish......

(René Guénon studied extensively the notion of the Green Man, or el Khidr, derived from Middle Eastern and Asiatic lore..the Green Dragon is the Vril, or Kundalini, and the Sword of the Saint-Empire is symbolic of the Aggarthicheritage of Rosicrucianism)

N : then by the Eagle's flight, he may reach the Thirtieth Step, where.....

I : in the Perfect Silence, the Scottish is Elect ; Coën, Profes, he awaits the Kadosch, pacific, amidst the waters which do not wet, feet on the ladders of seven steps, with Justice and Faith, in Broceliande, in Anjou, in Agartha, in the fogs of Thulé, from Occident to Orient, from Septentrion to the Midi.. on the Parvis of the City Sainte-Sion.

(this Grade is Revenge, or Kadosch ; but a Revenge in Reconstruction and Redemption, in Righteousness, as Coën…and is the true Passage, as the list of Portals indicates)

(west for N)
(I makes the Sign of Silence, finger before mouth and right foot before left)


(Sign of Interrogation, palm lifted towards the exterieur)
I : may the Scottish climb to the Thirty-Third Step, Sovereign before the Arch ?

N : He must know the Royal Secret

I : How may he know It ?

N : He must regroup, under the Blue Veil, the Five Companion Standard-Bearers of the Starry Plough, in the shadow of the Willows, joined by the Chain of Union of Thirty-Two Links

(each image is fundamental to the achievement of this Grade ; the Blue Veil is Masonry - is not the whole of the Craft contined in the Three Blue Grades? The Compagnons are here, the Starry Plough is crucial to heavenly ("blue") comprehension….so much in so few words..)

I : Then he cannot...Philadelphe, he awaits the Kadosch, in Working the Good, by the Regime of the Stricte Observance, Antient and Accepted

(folding arms)

(why may he not? Because he has not yet finished the preparation of "rejoining" Binah, so he is Philadelphe, Rose Cross of the Toulouse system, the Stricte Observance…seeking to fulfill the motto of the Royal Arch "If thou canst comprehend these things, thou knowest enough!")

(N moves to north-east ; hesitates ; looks to I ; moves to the east)

N goes to her place ; I goes to the door

N : Good Cousin, when will the Chevalier Kadosch return ?

(a Brother of the Lodge is a "Good Cousin" in Woodcraft and Carbonarism)

I : When the Times are the Golden Dawn of a 17th of January, when the crows cover over the Rose of the World in the Name of the Mourning of the Thirteen Generations

(just a hint..and the 17th of January is St Rosemond's day, and Thirteen Generations have passed since de Molay was immolated)

N : And...from where will he come ?

I : Good Cousin, he will come from the Vente of the Woodcutters, in the Forest of the King of Orient......he will strip the bark ; the Forest will be his House and Heaven his Window

(Woodcraft..and Carbonarism)

N : Where is he now ?

I : He is in the Cavern. Solve et coagula, rectificando.

(serve the VITRIOL - lol)