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Book of the Dead (Supreme Council of the Order of Rameses)

For works with similar titles, see Book of the Dead.


Book of the Dead

Being

"Chapters of Coming Forth by Day
of the Words Which Bring About
Resurrection and Glory, and
of Coming Out of and
Entering Into
Amenti."


Authorized Version

Adopted by the

Supreme Council of the Order
of Rameses

reorganized and incorporated
in Month Three of Growing
in the Egyptian Year 6424
being Anno Domini 1915,
February 22nd.


Louisville, Ky.
Maeonic Home Journal Print
1916



Copyrighted 1916 by the
Supreme Council of the Order of Rameses



GENERAL REGULATIONS.


  1. This Ritual is the property of the Supreme Council of the Order of Rameses, and is loaned to the subordinate Council for its use so long as the Council obeys the laws and regulations of the Supreme Council. This Ritual shall be and remain in the sole custody and control of the Pharaoh of the Council, and he shall see that it is promptly returned to him by any member to whom he shall loan the same for the purpose of learning the work. The number of Rituals (and their serial numbers) in the possession of the Pharaoh of the Council shall annually be reported to the Supreme Council.
  2. The Ritual of the Order shall be such as may be prescribed by the Supreme Council, and no Council shall confer the Order according to any other form, nor make use of nor perform any ceremony which has not first been specifically approved by the Supreme Council or its Committee on Ritual.
  3. The Pharaoh of each subordinate Council, including the presiding officer for the time being, shall immediately and personally arrest any attempt at vulgarity or obscenity in conferring the Order, and for failure to do so he shall be personally responsible to the Supreme Council, and, insofar as the Supreme Council may hereby authorize, to the Chapter of Royal Arch Masons to which the Council is attached.



Page 004 Book of the Dead (Supreme Council of the Order of Rameses, 1916).png

The Judgment of Amenti

THE JUDGMENT OF THE DEAD.


As the judgment of the dead, or Judgment of Amenti, formed a part of the Mysteries of Isis, it should be properly mentioned in that connection. Although this ceremony was part of the Mysteries, yet it was well known to all, as it was founded upon the peculiar funeral rites of the Egyptians. From this judgment in this world no Egyptian was exempt, no matter how exalted his position; and upon this trial depended the right to an honorable burial. All whom the deceased person had wronged, and all who knew of his evil deeds, were permitted to testify over his dead body, while his friends and kindred loudly proclaimed his virtues. The decision followed the weight of the evidence; and even a king who had led a bad and wicked life might be excluded from burial in his own sepulchre. And the "assessors" at the funeral were allowed to pronounce a condemnation, which all agreed would also be received in a future state. This trial of the dead in this world was typical of the Judgment of Amenti, where Osiris presided in the invisible world, and which the devout Egyptian believed took place there at the same time. From this peculiar custom of the Egyptians arose a part of the ceremonies of initiation into the Mysteries of Isis; for, as in initiation the candidate died symbolically, so also he underwent the judgment of the dead, to ascertain if he was worthy to receive the higher and more important secrets, by being raised and brought to light, typical of the admission of the good into the "mansions of the blessed." The last judgment is one of the principal subjects found depicted upon the walls of tombs and in the "Book of the Dead," sometimes referred to in the actual trial; at others, to its representation as enacted in the Mysteries. This judgment of the dead was peculiar to the national customs and funeral rites of the Egyptians, and does not appear to have prevailed in other countries. It was, therefore, naturally discontinued as a part of the Mysteries when they were introduced into other countries under other names.

There is nothing in the ancient sonic degrees in the least analogous to the Judgment of Amenti, that portion of the Mysteries of Isis not having been adopted into the Mysteries as celebrated in other lands and at a later age. The following representation of the scene, taken from the 'Book of the Dead." will, however, be interesting to all readers, and members of the Fraternity will not fail to recognize in it certain Masonic features which we may not particularize. The figure seated on the throne is Osiris., or Judge of the Dead; he holds the flail and crook, emblems of majesty and dominion. The deeds of the deceased, or of the candidate, typified by a vase containing his heart, are being weighed in the scales of justice by Anubis and Horus against an ostrich feather, emblem of truth, in the opposite scale. * * * Thoth (Hermes, Mercury, or the Divine Intellect) presents the result to Osiris. Close by is Cerberus, or Am-mit, the "Eater of the Dead." At the right the candidate is seen attended by the Goddesses of Truth and Justice; the Goddess of Truth holds in her hand the emblem of eternal life, and both wear upon their heads the emblem of truth. Close to Osiris is seen the thyrsus bound with a fillet, to which the spotted skin of a leopard is suspended. It is the same that the high priest, clad in the leopard-skin dress, carries in the processions, and which gave rise to the nebris and thyrsus of Bacchus, to whom Osiris corresponds in Greek mythology. The lotus flower, the emblem of a new birth, is represented just before the thyrsus. If. on being tried, the candidate is rejected, having been "weighed and found wanting," Osiris inclines his scepter in token of condemnation. If, on the contrary, when the sum of his deeds has been recorded, his virtues so far preponderate as to entitle him to admission. Horus, taking in his hand the tablet of Thoth, introduces him to the presence of Osiris. In the initiation, those who represent Thoth, Anubis and Horus wore symbolical masks, as represented in the drawing. (See Kendrick, Wilkinson, and also Arnold's 'Philosophical History of Secret Societies," from which last work the above drawing is taken.)



RITUAL

Ancient Egyptian Apron

Ancient Egyptian Apron



Officers of the Council


  1. Council of Rameses (Seated in the East).

  2. Rameses (center)
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    Pharaoh, Ruler of Egypt
  3. Heru-Set (right)
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    Prophet of Thebes
  4. Ta-Nefer (left)
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    Prophet of Horus
  5. Council of Khonsu (Seated in the West).

  6. Nit (center)
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    Gink of Gizeh
  7. Peta-Amen (left)
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    High Priest of Mut
  8. Set-Up (right)
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    Priest of Apis
  9. Rek-Mara (south)
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    Messenger of Abydos
  10. Tah-Tah (southeast)
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    Scribe to Rameses
  11. Mart-Amen(northeast)
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    Director of Offerings

Sentinel.

***

The Pharaoh is addressed "Iridescent Son of the Sun" while all other officers and members of the Council are addressed "Egyptian."



The Eye of Osiris

The Eye of Osiris

Opening Ceremonies


Altar, upon which rests the Book of the Dead, is in center of room with a Light stationed on the North and South; or, if Altar is triangular, a Light is placed at each angle, other lights in room beingturned out. The throne-room canopy is arranged in the East, the curtains being drawn open. The Pharaoh is seated in the center of the East. A tripod containing a lighted incense vase is placed upon one of the steps of the dais in the East. Between the Altar and the West is placed a pedestal, upon which rests a coffer or box covered with an appropriate cloth covering, which hangs half way to the floor. The box is empty.

Nit is seated in the West, Rek-Mara in the South, and the Director of Offerings and the Scribe to Rameses are in their places.

Heru-Set, Ta-Nefer. Peta-Amen and Set-Up, in the order named, respectively represent the Scribe Ani, Ushabti. the Cope Stone and the Ark. and are in the ante-room.

The seven parts of the Door, represented by members clothed in the robes of the Order and bearing a lighted taper, are stationed as follows:

The Leaf of the Door, inside the door of entrance. The Right-side Post of the Door, on the South, half way between the center and the West.

The Threshold of the Door, on the South, half way between the center and the East.

The Lock of the Door, in the East, half way between the Altar and the East.

The Latch of the Door, in the North, half way between the center and the East.

The Keeper of the Door, in the North, half way between the center and the West.

The Lintels of the Door, in the West, between the Altar and the pedestal, near the pedestal.

A bell is sounded in the ante- room twelve times, and after the twelfth stroke the Pharaoh addresses Rek-Mara:

Pharaoh—Egyptian Rek-Mara, great Messenger of Abydos, let the Sacred Council be convened.

Rek-Mara advances to the foot of the dais in the East, faces the West, gives one knock with his staff, and says:

Rek-Mara— Exas! Exas! Este Bebeloi!! Depart hence, ye profane! Egyptian Nit, most puissant Gink of Gizeh, where is the Scribe Ani?

Nit— He awaits without, my lord.

Rek-Mara— Without what?

Nit—Without food or raiment.

Rek-Mara—Feed him and clothe him, and let him name the seven parts of the Door.

Ani. Ushabti, the Cope Stone and the Ark, in the order named, enter in single file.

Leaf of the Door—I allow thee not to pass by me, the Leaf of the Door, unless thou tell my name.

Ani—Let Ushabti do it.

Ushabti—"The Pointer of Truth" is thy name.

Leaf—Pass.

Right-side Post of the Door—I allow thee not to pass by me, the Right-side Post of the Door, unless thou tell my name.

Ani—Let Ushabti do it.

Ushabti—"The Scale-pan of one who lifteth up Right" is thy name.

Post—Pass. Threshold of the Door—I allow thee not to pass over me, the Threshold of the Door, unless thou tell my name.

Ani—Let Ushabti do it.

Ushabti—"Ox of Seb" is thy name.

Threshold—Pass.

Lock of the Door—I, the Lock of the Door, open not to thee unless thou tell my name.

Ani—Let Ushabti do it.

Ushabti— "Bone of An-maut-ef" is thy name.

Lock—Pass.

Latch of the Door—I, the Latch of the Door, open not to thee unless thou tell my name.

Ani— Let Ushabti do it.

Ushabti— "The Eye of Sebak, Lord of Bachan," is thy name.

Latch—Pass.

Keeper of the Door—I open not to thee, and I allow thee not to pass me, the Keeper of the Door, unless thou tell my name.

Ani—Let Ushabti do it.

Ushabti— "The Knee of Shu, Which He Hath Lent for the Support of Osiris" is thy name.

Keeper—Pass.

Lintels of the Door—We allow thee not to pass by us, the Lintels of the Door, unless thou tell us our names.

Ani—Let Ushabti do it.

Ushabti—"The Dragon Brood of Renenut is your name.

Lintels—Thou knowest us; pass therefore by us into the Hall of Righteousness into the presence of the Sacred Council of Amenti, the Secret Council of Rameses.

They pass to the west of the Altar and face the East; Ani addresses Rek-Mara:

Ani—Do you know who I am?

Rek-Mara—Nay, tell us.

Ani—Let Ushabti do it.

Ushabti—I am the noble Ushabti. Of old, when an Egyptian died, I was fashioned in the form of a statuette and was placed with him in his mummy case to accompany him to the Hereafter. By virtue of the deep incantations and words of power written in the Book of the Dead, I was made to do his work for him in the Underworld. For thus it is written as the words of the deceased in the Chapters of the Coming Forth by Day:

"O Ushabti there! Should I be called and appointed to do any of the labors that are done in the Netherworld by a person according to his abilities, lo! all obstacles have been beaten down for thee; be thou counted for me at every moment, for planting the fields, for watering the soil, for conveying the sands of the east and west."

And thus, as it is further written in the Book of the Dead, do I answer him:

"Here am I, whithersoever thou callest me."

When, however, Rameses the Second, Pharaoh of Egypt, surnamed the Great, son of Seti, the son of Rameses, Ruler of Baq, Ta-Res, Ta-Meh and Suten Bat, the Iridescent Son of the Sun, decreed the formation of this Sacred Council, he commanded me to plow the fields, draw the water, carry the burdens, and perform all labor for the fortunate Egyptians received in his presence, in consequence of which it is common for men of this day, when assigned a task, to say, "Let Ushabti do it," whence arises amongst all good Egyptians that comely Order,

"Which nothing earthly gives, or can destroy, The soul's calm sunshine, and the heartfelt joy."

"Let Ushabti do it."

Rek-Mara—Sir Knights, whom have you there in charge?

Ani—The Cope Stone and the Ark.

Rek-Mara—Iridescent Son of the Sun, the Sacred Council is now formed. Nothing remains to be done but to seat the Cope Stone and to deposit the Ark in the sanctuary.

Pharaoh—Let Ushabti do it.

Heru-Set and Ta-Nefer are conducted to their stations, while Peta-Amen and Set-Up assume their stations.

Pharaoh—Egyptian Rek-Mara, display the..................

Rek-Mara proceeds to the pedestal in the West and removes cover from the coffer thereon.

Pharaoh(gives * * * with gavel; all rise)— Egyptians, together with the Sign of Distress and the name that loosens chains, blinds, brings dreams, creates favor, wherein is contained all names, all lights and all powers: "IAOOUEI."

Pharaoh—I now declare Council of .................... No ...... opened in form. "Konx Ompax."

Rek-Mara—Let it be so recorded. Princes and Rulers, be seated.

(Lights turned on.)

SHORT FORM.


Ordinarily, when it is desired to save time on ceremonial occasions, the Council may be opened in short form. All officers being in their stations, the Pharaoh may call the Council to order and say:

Pharaoh—Egyptians, come to order. I now declare Council.................... of No ...... opened in form. "Konx Ompax."

Rek-Mara—Let it be so recorded.


Closing Ceremonies


Pharaoh (gives * * * with gavel; all rise)—Egyptian Rek-Mara, great Messenger of Abydos, you will close the sacred chest and conceal the .............

(Done.) Pharaoh—I now declare Council of of .......... ........... No ...... closed in form. "Konx Ompax."

Rek-Mara—Let it be so recorded.

Argument


The candidate represents Ani, the Scribe, a zealous and devout Egyptian, who is ordered by the Council of Amenti to make search for the missing parts of the mutilated body of the slain Rameses. On finding them he is rewarded by being seated as Pharaoh, Ruler of Egypt.

EPISODE FIRST.

Scene—A room in the Temple of the Sphinx at Abydos. Ani is conducted by Rek-Mara and obligated by Peia-Amen. Thence to

EPISODE SECOND.

Scene—Council of Amenti. Ani's conscience weighed against Truth, found wanting, and he is decreed to search for the missing parts of the body of the slain Rameses. Reward promised.

EPISODE THIRD.

Scene 1—Before Set-Up. Ani seeks information: instructed in tradition and symbolism of Egyptian apron and told of Oasis of Bunk. Thence to
Scene 2—Before Nit. Given working tools—Hod and Ladder. Still seeks information. Told to search Oasis of Bunk. Thence to
Scene 3—Before Ta - Nefer. Admonished. Thence to

EPISODE FOURTH.

Scene 1—Oasis of Karnak Information obtained concerning the search. Thence to
Scene 2—Desert of Darfur. Rough road, obstacles, storm, etc. Thence to
Scene 3—City of Hyksos and Banks of the Nile. River, crocodiles, spiders, asps, etc. Thence to

Scene 4—Cavern of the Asp of Thothmes. Long net tunnel, slap-stick, etc. Captured by Nomes. If more than one candidate, then Ani escapes to

Scene 5—Ancient Tomb of Osiris. Ani is concealed.

EPISODE FIFTH.

Scene—A Street in Cairo, before Old Man Tchestcheset, Chief of the Nomes. Prisoners are led before the Chief. Inquisition. Contest.

EPISODE SIXTH.

Scene—Oasis of Bunk. Ani searches and discovers missing parts. Thence to

EPISODE SEVENTH.

Scene—Council of Rameses. Ani is rewarded and seated as Pharaoh, Ruler of Egypt. Explanatory lecture, signs, grip, words, etc. Deposed.

EPISODE EIGHTH.

Concluding address by the Pharaoh to all candidates, after which they are ordered to be conducted to seats within the Council.

Page 018 Book of the Dead (Supreme Council of the Order of Rameses, 1916).png

RITUAL


EPISODE FIRST.

Scene—City of Abydos; a room in the Temple of the Sphinx.

PersonsPeta-Amen, High Priest of Mut; Nit, Gink of Gizeh; Rek-Mara, Messenger of Abydos; Candidates.

Rek-Mara(in ante-room)—My companions, throughout your wanderings through the mysteries of our Order, each of you is supposed to represent the Scribe Arii. Allow me to recommend to you the virtues of this zealous and devout Egyptian.

Candidates are prepared by removing their coats and shoes and rolling up sleeves; hoodwinked; clothed with Egyptian apron. They are conducted within the Temple by Rek-Mara and led about the room, their right hands being raised vertically, during which Rek-Mara says:

Rek-Mara—Ani, the Order to which you seek admission was established by the great Rameses the Second in the nineteenth dynasty of the Egyptian Kings for the purpose of uniting into one brotherhood those Egyptians who, in good works and advancement of knowledge, had proven themselves to be leaders. From the humblest to the highest, any Egyptian was eligible, the requirements being, first, a belief in a Supreme Being; second, the accomplishment of some particular act of service to the Egyptian people and their rulers; third, the recognition of such act by the Secret Council of Rameses.

The honor was greatly sought, and although chosen for membership, so severe were the trials before being finally recognized and seated in the secret chamber of the Council, a few only survived the ordeal. But you are assured that throughout the ceremonies pertaining to this Order, no indignity will be offered you, nor will you be required to submit to any act or ceremony which cannot be accorded by one gentleman to another.

Halts before Shrine; candidates kneel, facing Book of the Dead: hoodwinks raised. Rek-Mara addresses Peta-Amen, who is concealed behind curtains:

Rek-Mara— O Peta-Amen, High Priest of the great Goddess Mut; Priest of the "God-of-the Lifted-Hand," O thou that observest what hath been brought into the Temple of the Sphinx, there is before the sacred shrine, contemplating the Book of the Dead, the Scribe Ani, who is desirous of being admitted to the Secret Council of Rameses.

Exit Rek-Mara. Peta-Amen, who is at all times wholly concealed behind curtains, addresses candidates:

Peta-Amen—Ani, by your acts in seeking a place in the Secret Council of Rameses and assuming the duties of membership in this Order, you have forever forsaken the paths of the profane, and in time will be instructed in the knowledge of the most profound truths known to man. You have been elected, but before you can journey further, it is necessary that you take a solemn obligation before being presented to the dread Council of Amenti. You may also be called upon to take other obligations as you progress in fulfilling the judgment of Amenti. If you can do so of your own free will and; accord, you will say, I, pronounce your name, and repeat after me:

"I,.................., do solemnly and sincerely promise, upon my honor as a Royal Arch Mason, that I will never unlawfully reveal any of the secrets or private ceremonies of the Order of Rameses.

"I do further promise that I will, so far as within me lies, conform to and comply with the Decrees and Judgment of Amenti.

"I do further promise that I will, to the best of my ability, support and maintain the laws of the Order.

"I do further promise that I will not be present nor consent to the conferment of this Order upon any person unless it be within a Council of the Order legally constituted by the Supreme Council of the Order of Rameses.

"All this under the penalty of being put to death, and having my body cut into fourteen pieces and scattered, as was the body of Osiris, throughout the realms of Egypt. So mote it be!"

Having assumed the obligation, you will await in patience and meditation the coming of the great Messenger of Abydos, whom you will follow in silence.

Hoodwinks replaced. Enter Rek-Mara, forward. Candidates are led about room while throne for Nit is arranged, with steps, etc., during which Rek-Mara says:

Rek-Mara—Arise. By your obligation you are forever bound to us, and in fulfilling that obligation you will be taken before the Council of Amenti for hearing and decree. Before that Council you will appear in judgment. Your conscience, represented by your heart, will be weighed in the Great Balance against the Feather of the Law, emblematic of Truth and Right—your good deeds balanced against your evil deeds. If your bad deeds are found to outweigh your good deeds, certain labors to be performed by you will be decreed by the Council, and, upon completion of these tasks satisfactorily to the Council, proper rewards will be forthcoming. We now approach the portals of Khon.su, the Goddess of the Moon, through which you must pass. These portals are guarded by the great Nit, the Gink of Gizeh.

Halt before Nit; hoodwinks raised.

Nit— O Messenger of Abydos, whom leadeth you there?

Rek-Mara— The Scribe Ani, duly elected, now obligated unto us, who seeks to pass the portals of Khonsu's Temple, to receive the Judgment of Amenti.

Nit— Ani, be warned of the solemnity of the step you are about to take. Be careful that your heart is cleansed of all evil e'er you pass these portals leading to the underworld and the unfathomable hereafter. None may repass without the consent of the Council of Amenti. Before you can appear before that dread council of the gods of Egypt, you must present a token. That token is your heart, an image of which I now hand you. It is emblematic of your conscience. Carry it in your right hand, and when it is called for by Anubis, present it. Pass on.

Hoodwinks are lowered and candidates are conducted about the room, and. after the Council of Amenti is arranged, thence before the Council.

EPISODE SECOND

SceneThe Underworld; Council of Amenti, seated in the West.

PersonsRek-Mara; Candidates; Shu (end next vault, on South); Seb (next Shu, on South); Thoth (end farthermost from vault, on South); Harmachis (end next vault, on North); Hathor (next Harmachis, on North); Horns (next Hathor, on North); Anubis (end farthermost from vault, on North).

Candidates are led before the Council by Rek-Mara and placed in line across the room, facing Council; hoodwinked. Twelve strokes in slow succession are given on gong in vault, after which Anubis addresses Rek-Mara:

Anubis—Whom leadeth you—you of Abydos? Knowest thou that the shuddering peal of yon melancholy chime, sounding forth Low Twelve through the recesses of our crypt, announces thy arrival before the dread Council of Amenti, the abode of the dead, where judgment is passed upon those who seek to penetrate our solemn mysteries? Whom leadeth you?

Rek-Mara—The Scribe Ani, duly obligated unto us, who seeks the Judgment of Amenti.

Anubis—How know we this?

Rek-Mara—Emblematic of his conscience, he holds this token, given him by the great Nit, at the portals of the Temple of Khonsu, and is willing that it be weighed in the Great Balance against the Feather of Truth.

Anubis(addressing candidate with heart)—Ani, are you prepared to answer our questions, to have this emblem weighed against the Feather of Truth, and to fulfill our judgment?

Candidate—I am.

Anubis—Then let his hoodwink be lifted, and let him behold the Council of Amenti!

(Done.)

Harmachis—Ani, by. your works have you become known to us, yet know this: Before you can gain membership in the Secret Council of Rameses, you have before you a perilous path, beset with strange scenes and much travail. In your journey there you will visit strange places, endure ordeals horrific and terrible, but before you are permitted to begin your journey you must submit to the Judgment of Amenti. Are you willing, and do you submit?

Candidate—I do.

Harmachis takes heart from candidate and hands it to the Council, who examine it in turn, after which it is passed behind the screen and placed in balances.

Harmachis (to candidate who had the heart)—Pay heed, then, to the questions of the great Thoth, and answer truly, gazing the while on the Great Balance, for upon your answers depends your future as an Egyptian.

Light in vault is turned on, disclosing silhouette of balances in center of screen. Heart is in one pan and feather in other. As candidate answers, balances move slowly up and down.

Thoth—Have you ever read the Book of the Dead?

Candidate—No.

Council—He has never read the Book of the Dead.

Voice—Let it be so recorded.

Gong is struck within vault and flame shoots from incense vase in center of Council.

Thoth—Have you ever visited the tomb of the lost Osiris?

Candidate—No.

Council—He has never visited the tomb of the lost Osiris.

Voice —Let it be so recorded.

(As before.)

Thoth —Have you ever made the Forty-two Negative Confessions?

Candidate —No.

Council—He has never made the Forty-two Negative Confessions.

Voice—Let it be so recorded.

(As before.)

Thoth—Have you ever caused any one to weep tears of sadness?

Candidate —No.

Council—He has never caused any one to weep tears of sadness.

Voice —Let it be so recorded.

(As before.)

Thoth—Have you ever meditated upon iniquity?

Candidate—No.

Council—He has (never) meditated upon iniquity.

Voice—Let it be so recorded.

{{center|(As before.)

Thoth —Have you ever been an excitable or contentious person?

Candidate—No.

Council—He has (never) been an excitable or contentious person.

Voice—Let it be so recorded.

(As before.)

At the end of the examination' the balances slowly come to rest, with the feather down. The candidates are hoodwinked, conducted around the room (supposedly until Council can consult), and caused to halt again before the Council. Hoodwinks raised.

Thoth—Ani, you saw your evil deeds outweigh your good! The Feather of Truth has prevailed over your conscience! Hear, then, our judgment and decree.

The great Rameses, the son of Seti, the son of Rameses, Irridescent Son of the Sun, Ruler of Egypt, is no more. Foully murdered, his body, seized by vandals and ghouls, has been dismembered and lost unto us, and his spirit wanders over the land. Before there can be a ruler over Egypt, his remains must be found and given sepulchre in the Pyramid. Some of the faithful have recovered for us parts of the slain Pharaoh, but some are yet missing. It is now decreed by the Council of Amenti that you find these missing parts of our lost ruler, and that he who finds and restores them to the paraschites shall be the successor to Rameses and Pharaoh over all Egypt. This is our judgment, and failing in its performance, you will be walled up within the abode of Am-mit, the loathsome "Eater-of-the-Dead," from which monster there can be no escape. Go, and may the blessings of the great Osiris attend you.

Hoodwinks are replaced and candidates led once around the room by Rek-Mara, who says:

Rek-Mara—Ani, sore indeed is your plight! You must find the missing parts of our lost ruler or you shall suffer death! What a gulf! The throne of the Pharaohs or eternal destruction! How, indeed, shall we know whither to travel? If so, how may we know the parts to be those of Rameses? In all the kingdom, but one may answer us. Let us pass the Towers of Silence and consult the great Set-Up, the Priest of Apis, the Sacred Bull.

Candidates are again led once around the room by Rek-Mara and halted before Set-Up, in the South.

EPISODE THIRD.

Scene I— Before Set-Up, Priest of Apis, in South. Scene 2— Before Nit, Gink of Gizeh, in East. Scene 3— Before Ta-Nefer, Prophet of Horns, in North. Persons— Set-Up, Priest of Apis; Nit, Gink of Gizeh; Ta-Nefer, Prophet of Horns; RekMara; Candidates.

SCENE 1.

Candidates are led by Rek-Mara before Set-Up in South; hoodwinks down.

Rek-Mara— O Set-Up, Priest of Ap's, the Sacred Bull, I lead an Egyptian — Set-Up— Another one! Rek-Mara ordered by the Council of Amenti to make search for the missing parts of the great Rameses. Set-Up— Does he know who I am? Rek-Mara—Not yet. Set-Up— How odd! Has he been seen by the Director of Offerings? Rek-Mara— Nay, he passed. Set-Up— Has he been instructed concerning the traditions of his apron? Rek-Mara—He has not.

Set-Up—Then I will instruct him. Ani, you have been instructed in the various manners of wearing your apron. You have been informed that the mode peculiar to each has emerged from the practices in vogue amongst ancient operative brethren, and that each symbolizes, in this modern day, some great, everlasting and moral precept.

The Egyptian apron, with which you are clothed, is of goat hide. It is divided into four principal parts, namely, the Bib, the Body, the Border, and the Binding String, and are thus explained:

The Bib, being an appendage, or rudimentary part of the apron, represents the beginning, or infancy.

The Body represents completion, or man in the fullest estate of his achievements.

The Border represents the superficial adornments that surround and ornament this earthly life, and are given to us by the Grand Architect for rightful use, else otherwise they would become a superstition and idolatry.

The Binding String is made use of to bind the whole of the apron to the body, indicating that man must need have something to hold fast to him those immortal truths inculcated by our Order, representing man's dependence upon the higher power.

As an Apisic Ramesian postulant, you will wear your apron thus: The Body of the apron is ripped off and annexed to the rear of your body at its middle portion. You are invested with the Bib only, it being tied with the Binding String thrice around your collarless neck. This is to teach you that before entering upon your present hazardous endeavors, you must be stripped of all those honors that achievement and years have heaped upon you; of that pride that success has instilled in you, and that you must have them so placed that they even be for your derision and humility. You must begin your journey even as an infant, as represented by the Bib, with a childish trust and dependence.

Rek-Mara—But canst thou direct us in our search?

Set-Up—I can, but the last three fell into the swamps of Thebes and were devoured by the sacred crocodiles. Packert tells us only yesterday that there remained only the Oasis of Bunk to be searched—perhaps there you may find clues of value. Take him to Nit, who will direct him and see that he is prepared for his journey.

SCENE 2.

Candidates led once about room and halt before Nit; hoodwinks are raised.

Rek-Mara—O noble Nit, most puissant Gink of Gizeh, by command of Set-Up, Slinger of the Sacred Bull, I bring you the Scribe Ani, who seeks information and preparation to explore the Oasis of Bunk for the lost parts of Lydia E.—no, the great Rameses.

Nit—Does he know who I am?

Rrk-Mara—He does not. Tell him.

Nit—I am the most noble Nit, most prissant Gink of Gizeh. I designed the Pyramids, the Pylons, and the Plinths of Karnak. I damned the Nile and coursed the Desert of Darfur astride the High Cost—no, the Cost of High Living. 'Tis I who put the salt in the ocean and the humps on the earners back. In future ages I shall design the Ford and concoct Peruna. I am Chairman of the Vice Commission of Gizeh, and a hot reformer. I control the lightning and devour the night. I walloped the Lion of Numidia, and tied a can to the Horned Donkey of the Queen of Punt and kicked her in the slats—the Donkey, not the Queen. I'm the guy that put the "Ram" in Rameses, and make straight things crooked 'Tis I, I. P. Phreely, who have spoke. Does he know who I am?

Rek-Mara—He does.

Nit—Is he prepared with the Ladder and Hod?

Rek-Mara—Not yet.

Nit—Egyptian, I now present you the working tools of an Apisic Egyptian postulant, which are the Ladder and Hod. They will be exemplified to you by Ta-Nefer, the Prophet of Horus.

Rek-Mara—But our information?

Nit—Ah, yes. Getting our feet on the ground, I may say that I, myself, have explored the Oasis of Bunk, but not in recent years. It is said in the Charity Bazaars and in the alley back of the palace, by the dockers, that the remaining parts of Rameses are probably concealed in the Oasis of Bunk. Is he willing to explore that wonderful and horrific Oasis of Bunk?

Rek-Mara—Yea, verily.

Nit—Yea, verily, bo, is good! Take him to Ta-Nefer.

Candidates are led once about room, hoodwinked, and are halted before Ta-Nefer, in the North.

SCENE 3.

Candidates are halted before Ta-Nefer; hoodwinks down.

Rek-Mara—O great Ta-Nefer, Prophet of Horus, listen to our prayer—hear our requests — give us your ears—and hearken unto us.

Ta-Nefer—I listen. I hear. I hearken. But nix on that ear stuff. I need 'em both. Barring riches, health, power, lands, tenements and hereditaments, what are your modest requests humbly beseeching us?

Rek-Mara—This former scum, now an obligated Egyptian, has been before the Council of Amenti. He has been enrolled by the Scribe to Rameses, has been to the Slinger of the Sacred Bull, and knows what Nit is—not! He has received the Ladder and Hod, and now requests that he be prepared for his journey to the Oasis of Bunk.

Ta-Nefer—'Does he know who I am?

Rek-Mara—Nay, nor does he give a hoot!

Ta-Neeer—I should worry! But have the Ladder and Hod been explained to him?

Rek-Mara—They have not.

Ta-Neeer—Again I should worry. Mortals, pause and go slow. That which you see you do not behold. Standing, as you do, upon the illimitable confines Of the inevitable void, cogitating upon the profundity of the yet-to-be, you are — yet you are not! Therefore, why? Go to the silent Sphinx, who sits in solemn grandeur, with the winds of the desert whistling through her whiskers, and the shining sands drifting through her stern. Ask her why? Wherefore? And of which? And she answers not. Perhaps she does not know.

Man's natural tendency is toward egotism. You think you amount to something—you do not. Nobody does—except us. Therefore, we, as Egyptian deities, teach you many beautiful things which you do not know, and of which we have never heard.

Be honest—and people will be suspicious. Be saving— and you will be called a skin-flint. Be virtuous—and you will be very, very lonesome. Stand up for your rights—and you will surely get it in the neck.

As a parting admonition, I will say: We have watched your coming and your going. Your past history is known to all of us, as it is known to you. You are ashamed of it — so are we.

Messenger of Abydos, was he examined?

Rhk-Mara— He was.

Ta-Nefer — Did he have any wampum?

Rek-Nara — Not a kopeck.

Ta-Nefer — Any papyrus pith in his jeans?

Rek-Mara — Very little.

Ta-Nefer — Can he distinguish a pylon steak from a canopic cheese?

Rek-Mara — Not he.

Ta-Neeer — He sure is a bum Egyptian, but at that he may improve. There is vast room for it! Evidently the Sacred Asp has fallen down on its job, or you wouldn't have gotten this far. But there may be qualities in him we do not suspect. Messenger of Abydos, take him. Treat him kindly. See that he is prepared for his awful journey. On your way, and as you go, prod the Sacred Asp.

Candidates are led outside the room and then brought in singly for the Fourth Episode.

EPISODE FOURTH.

Scene 1Oasis of Karnak.
Scene 2Desert of Darfur.
Scene 3City of Hyksos.
Scene 4Nile and adjacent swamps.
Scene 5Cavern of the Asp of Thothmes.
PersonsRek-Mara; Colonel in Kings Bodyguard; Candidates.

SCENE 1.

Oasis of Karnak.

Rek-Mara thus addresses all candidates, outside:

Rek-Mara— Egyptians, in pursuing our journey in search of the missing parts of the great Rameses, we must travel with all speed to the great and flourishing Oasis of Karnak, where we can secure plenty of fresh water and fruits, and can supply ourselves with provisions for our long journey through the stormy deserts and dreary waste places which we shall have to cross before arriving at our journey's end. In order to hasten our progress, the Council of Amenti have directed the Queen of Punt to place at our disposal her sacred Horned Donkey, which is swift and sure of foot. I will mount first and lead the way, after which the holy beast will return and bear each of you in turn to the place where I await you.

Each candidate is brought in separately and mounted on Donkey and carried to Oasis of Karnak.

Rek-Mara— We have arrived at the Oasis of Karnak. Ah, there is a Colonel in the King's Bodyguard. Colonel, we Egyptians have been commanded to go in search of the missing parts of the great Rameses. Have you seen any strangers pass this way?

Colonel— I saw several yesterda3% who carried with them a coffer or box, and who journeyed toward the Oasis of Bunk.

Rek-Mara— Just the place we want to go! Egyptians, take these baskets of food and water vessels and let us journey across the Desert of Darfur to the Oasis of Bunk.

SCENE 2.

The Desert of Darfur.

PersonsRek-Mara and Candidates.

Candidates, immediately after being supplied with food and water vessels, are conducted around room and given the following information:

Rek-Mara— This dreary Desert of Darfur is a most dangerous route, through whose rugged, mountainous defiles often rage the most terrific storms, but if we retain our hold the one upon the other, we shall go safely over.

Candidates are immediately led over rough road, logs, obstacles, trestles, chairs, boxes, etc., thence over rough road onto electric carpet, during all of which, storm, rain, etc. They arrive at Hyksos.

SCENE 3.

The City of Hyksos.

Persons— Rek-Mara and Candidates.

Rek-Mara— At last we are safely over. Ah, see the vegetation and signs of human habitation! We are now passing the prosperous City of Hyksos, the chief city and capital of the Queen of Punt. To the right we may see her sacred Donkey, the holy and aged beast that lent its services to our mission. (Halt.) The recent storm has brought down trees or limbs and other obstructions from the mountains, and, I should judge, has completely demolished the most retired, ancient, and necessary apartment of the Queen,

The vapor of the CS2 is blown in candidates' nostrils.

It was a narrow escape. Let us be thankful and press on. We now leave the city and cross the sacred river of the Nile and its adjacent swamps. Although it is greatly infested with vicious crocodiles, vipers, asps, spiders and other venomous serpents, let us continually bear in mind that all these creatures are sacred, and that should we, true and steadfast Egyptians, be attacked by these fearful reptiles, it will add greatly to our honors should we be spared to return alive.

SCENE 4.

The River Nile and Adjacent Swanips.

PersonsRek-Mara and Candidates.

Candidates enter river; crocodiles, asps, spiders, etc.

SCENE 5.

Cavern of the Asp of Thothmes.

Persons— Rek-Mara and Candidates.

Rek-Mara(to candidates after leaving the swamps)—We now approach the sacred Cavern of the Asp of Thothmes, where incense burns upon the altar both day and night. Egyptians, I desire particularly to impress it upon your minds that we have arrived at the most dangerous portion of our journey. Each of us must enter the sacred Cavern of the Asp of Thothmes reverently, but determinedly, for the demons and evil spirits which inhabit this cavern continually endeavor to prevent the passage of the upright and true Egyptian seeking to fulfill the Judgment of Amenti, and thus escape that dreadful monster Am-mit, the Eater-of-the-Dead. Each of you will now enter the sacred Cavern and press forward. No matter what resistance may be offered you, press forward, overcome the opposers, and pursue your journey.

Candidates are caused to enter, singly, at each end of the cavern; spanker, etc. Vapor of CS2 is continually blown into tunnel.

After exit from cavern, forward a few steps, and Rek-Mara says:

Rek-Mara— Egyptians, here comes a band of bloody Nomes! Let us flee for our lives!

Attacked by band of Nomes. and all but a previously selected candidate are made prisoners and are conducted before Old Man Tcnestcheset, the Chief of the Nomes.

Rek-Mara thus addresses the selected candidate:

Rek-Mara—Ani, that was a narrow escape. We alone, of all our companions, have escaped the band of savage Nomes which ravish this infested way. Conceal yourself in this ancient and abandoned tomb of Osiris while I explore the adjacent country.

(Candidate is placed in vault.)

EPISODE FIFTH.

SceneA Street in Cairo.

PersonsOld Man Tchestcheset, Chief of the Nomes; Candidates.

Prisoners are conducted before Old Man Tehesteheset, Chief of the Nomes, in the West. Here may be introduced anything of a proper character in keeping with the Order. Among other things, the Chief may conduct an inquisition into the character, habits, lives, professions, or other private or individual matters connected with the candidates. If properly introduced, it has been found effective to conclude with a contest to determine who shall receive the most trying ordeals of the Order. One of the candidates may be required to hold a goodly sized piece of ice, while another tells him all that he can think of concerning ice, etc.. after which the ice is transferred, and the former holder then tells what he knows of ice, etc. If desired, this Episode may be omitted entirely.

At conclusion, candidates are conducted to seats.

EPISODE SIXTH.

Scene—Oasis of Bunk. Persons—Rek-Mara and Selected Candidate.

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Rek-Mara goes to vault and secures candidate, whom he leads about room, while he says:

Rek-Mara—Ani, we are indeed fortunate. Our companions have been made prisoners and slaves by the band of bloody Nomes, and have been caused to suffer most fearful tortures. Finally, according to the decree of Amenti, they were slain for having set out in search with us and having failed.

As for us, I find, from questioning the inhabitants of this place, that we have arrived in the darkness of the night within the horrific Oasis of Bunk itself. I am informed that zealous Egyptians, seeking the body and vacant throne of Rameses, have discovered all the missing parts of the body except certain parts, which are said to be concealed in or near this Oasis of Bunk in a coffer or box. I am also informed that even now many Egyptians are here within this Oasis making search for the last missing parts, whose discovery will be so richly rewarded. Let us continue the search. Peradventure, we ourselves, or one of us, may be successful, and to him shall be awarded the throne of Egypt.

The underbrush and tropical vegetation hereabout greatly hinder our progress, but let us persevere and press on to success.

Under logs, obstacles, etc., through brush and branches of trees, onto bridge in West, to box at far end of bridge.

Rek-Mara—Ani, open the box carefully, but without displaying its contents, and see if it does contain the last and long-lost parts of the slain Rameses, the great Pharaoh of Egypt. (Done.) It does indeed, but in so mangled a condition that they can scarcely be recognized. Let us take them to Heru-Set, the Prophet of Thebes, for his inspection. Agreed.[1]

Candidate is caused to return through brush, etc, backwards, with the box, which he carries and presents to Hern Set in Seventh Episode.

EPISODE SEVENTH.

Scene—Before the Council of Rameses. Persons—Heru-Set, Prophet of Thebes; TaNefer, Prophet of Horns; Rek-Mara; Selected Candidate.

Selected candidate, having found box containing lost parts, carries them, conducted by Rek-Mara, to Heru-Set, the Prophet of Thebes, seated on throne in East. Hoodwink raised.

Rek-Mara—O Heru-set, Prophet of Thebes, Ani, the Scribe, has traveled far in search of the lost parts of the great Rameses, which he brought to light in the Oasis of Bunk. Having performed this valuable service to Egypt and to our Order, he appears before you with the sacred treasure.

Heru-Set[2] (examining treasure)—Truly so! Let the sacred treasure be deposited in the canopic jars.

Ani, I desire to impress upon your mind the fact that burlesque and pantomime may often teach as true and lasting lessons for the proper guidance of our conduct, as may the reflections of a more serious nature.

The ceremonies of the Order of Rameses, we solemnly assure you, are not the playful inventions of modern times, but are an arrangement of the legend of ancient Egypt, of the death of the god Osiris, or the Sun, slain by Typhon, the Power of Evil and Darkness, who cut and dissevered his body into fourteen pieces and scattered them in all directions throughout the land. Isis, the sister and wife of Osiris, also Goddess of the Earth, the Harvest, Nature, and so fourth, set out in search of the remains, which, after long journeys and arduous labors, she discovered, piece by piece, and buried, all except the distinctive parts, which latter were found only after a most extensive search, concealed in a coffer, or box, or ark.

Egyptian, the distinctive organs of the human body were, among the ancients of all nations, taken as emblems of the fertile and of the reproductive powers and principles of Nature, which they represented by the ancient Masonic emblem of a Point Within a Circle. As with the ancients, the legend represented the Sun as slain by Winter, and the Earth denied, during the long winter months, his vitalizing powers, so essential to the harvest, so, in later times, does the Order of Rameses attempt to demonstrate and inculcate by this ancient allegory, the all-important and vital principle of GOOD FELLOWSHIP and Brotherly Love, so essential to the harvest of Charity and Good Deeds which form the bountiful harvest of the great fraternity of which we all are brethren, and we strictly charge you, that from membership in the Order of Rameses, arises the duty and obligation upon your part to spread the cement of brotherly love and esteem, and to unite and cement the brotherhood with the true principles of good fellowship.

You have been caused to travel in search of this ancient emblem of essential vitality, and, having discovered the same and thus rendered this symbolic service to the Order, the Council of Amenti have decreed that you be rewarded by being seated upon the ancient throne of the Pharaohs as Ruler of Egypt, and, for a time, entrusted with dominion over our Order, that your life and works may be a living example of our precepts. I therefore, by virtue of authority in me vested, have the pleasure and honor to place upon your brow the Crown of Egypt; to. place within your hand the Scepter of the Pharaohs, and to invest you; for;the time being, with the, illimitable power and authority of the Throne of the great Rameses.

Action suited to the words; candidate is seated on throne and invested.

Heru-Set—Egyptian Ta-Nefer, Prophet of Horus, instruct the King in the secrets of the Mysteries.

Ta-Nefer rises,, makes obeisance, and says:

Ta-Nafer—O King, live forever! The jewel of our Order is an ancient Egyptian cartouche, which expresses in ancient, hieroglyphic form the great motto of the Order, namely:

"LET US BE SWIFT TO BATTLE WITH AND' OVERCOME EVIL IN THE WORLD; THAT, WHEN VICTORIOUS, WE MAY RECEIVE THE REWARDS OF IMMORTAL LIFE -CONSEQUENT THERETO."

Egyptian Heru-Set, present the cartouche to the Pharaoh;

Ancient Egyptian Apron

This .is taught by. the. hieroglyphs. Thus, in Jthe figure of the. Man in the sitting ' posture, Vthe ancient Egyptians represented the signature of the Goddess Hathor, the Goddess of Good, which was incomplete, however, without the figure of the Eagle on the left. These figures, as you have observed, are imposed above the figure by which the ancients represented Set, the God of Evil, thus clearly signifying the triumph of Good over Evil, which, however, we are taught, should not be put off until tomorrow, but should be done NOW, with speed and dispatch, represented by the Eagle.

But the story of the emblem is not complete, for, above all, well within the Royal Arch of Heaven, may be seen the sacred Crux Ansata — the ancient and universal emblem of Eternal Life, a glittering promise to those whose lives conform to the constructive principle taught by the fundamental hieroglyphs. The letters O and R form the initials of this Order, whose principles are taught by the emblem. The O is represented by the ancient emblem and hieroglyph of the Sun—a Point Within a Circle, so prevalent in Masonry—wherefore, it also becomes an emblem of the Good and Benevolent Principle triumphing over that of Evil. The Point Within a Circle is also a hieroglyph of Rameses—which we have emphasized by the addition of the modern letter R— who was called "Son of the Sun/' The Grand Hailing Sign of the Order and that with which you shall salute the Pharaoh on entering or departing from the Council in session, is given thus (done), being the ancient sign of salutation.

The Sign of Distress is given thus (done). It alludes to the ancient seaport of Joppa, where most of the material for the building of King Solomon's Temple, brought from Mount Lebanon by sea in floats, was landed. It is completed by retaining the position of the left hand and by lowering the right hand to the side.

The Grip of the Order is given thus: Egyptian Heru-Set, Prophet of Thebes, will act as the Egyptian who is challenged to prove his identity, and I will act as the Sentinel or examining officer. The Egyptian who is challenged will first take position. This is done by his advancing his right foot and placing his right hand on my left shoulder, thus (done). I, as the examining officer, will next take position by placing my left foot outside his advanced right foot. He will then take me by the Sign of Distress with his left hand, and I, as the examining officer, will complete the position by taking him by the Sign of Distress with my right hand. In this proper position only can the words of the Order be communicated. The Egyptian who is challenged will first communicate the pass, which is, "D** Y** K** W** I** A**?"

The examining officer will then communicate the response, which is, "E**," which is a Grecian word, signifying "I** H** F** I**."

Heru-Set calls the entire Council up with * * * with gavel and says:

Heru-Set—Iridescent Son of the Sun, behold your subjects! Egyptians, behold your Pharaoh!

Deposed candidate and all the others are placed in line in front of the regular Pharaoh, who. with all other regular officers, resumes his station.

EPISODE EIGHTH.

Candidates are in line in the East before the Pharaoh, who thus addresses them:

Pharaoh—Egyptians, the ceremonies of the Order are complete when one of your number, as representing the class, is seated on the Throne of Rameses and the mystical teachings of the Order are explained. In theory, each of you has been seated, through your representative, so that in the Order of Rameses each Egyptian is an equal to his fellow, and no distinction can exist except such as stand out through sterling individual worth, and such as are temporarily decreed for the proper government of the Order.

As an Egyptian and member of the Order of Rameses, you have become bound to us by a solemn obligation to support and maintain the laws of the Order; to keep concealed its secrets, and have promised never to be present nor assist at the conferment of the Order unless the same shall be within a Council of the Order legally constituted by the Supreme Council of the Order of Rameses.

Finally, Egyptians, remember the high ideals of the Order and the great principles it endeavors to establish, and be ever ready to check the slightest departure from established rules and forms. I am happy to greet each of you as a member in good standing in Council of ..................., of the Order of Rameses.

Egyptian Rek-Mara, Messenger of Abydos, conduct these Egyptians, newly crowned as Rulers of Egypt, to seats within the Secret Council of Rameses.

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This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).

  1. The contents of the box must never be removed therefrom while the Council is in session, nor shall the character of the same be generally communicated to the members. If the secrecy of the contents is maintained it will be found to add to the interest of the work.
  2. See footnote at end of Episode Sixth, page 37.