Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition
No.5. Vol. 1, Autumnal Equinox 2003
The Thuileur of the Ecossois
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!
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 ?
I : It is to the Orient of Kilwinning, the Holy House of the Mary Chapel...but
it can no longer be found
N : Why does the Scottish come thus, his knee bared ?
I : Because of the Great Chapter of the Thistle which is destroyed
N : Who destroyed it ?
I : Time..and the Passants.. Devoured it
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
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.
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.
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
(Sign of the Enterer, hands joined in front of the navel)
I : the Scottish must say : by St. John of Scotland, the Dove, and the
and he passes over, as the Pelican or the Rose,
who nourish in passing over in their Piety.
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......
(west for N)
(Sign of Interrogation, palm lifted towards the exterieur)
I : How may he know It ?
I : Then he cannot...Philadelphe, he awaits the Kadosch, in Working the
Good, by the Regime of the Stricte Observance, Antient and Accepted
(N moves to north-east ; hesitates ; looks to I ; moves to the east)
N goes to her place ; I goes to the door
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
N : Where is he now ?
I : He is in the Cavern. Solve et coagula, rectificando.
(serve the VITRIOL - lol)