Egyptian Priests, Initiations of The
In the year 1770, there was published at Berlin a work entitled Crata Repoa; oder Einweihungen der Egyptischen Priester; meaning in English, Crata Repoa, or Initiations of the Egyptian Priests. This book was subsequently republished in 1778, and translated into French under the revision of Ragon, and published at Paris in 1821, by Bailleul. It professed to give the whole formula of the initiation into the Mysteries practiced by the ancient Egyptian Priests. Lenning cites the-work, and gives an outline of the system as if he thought it an authentic relation; but Gadicke more prudently says of it that he doubts that there are more mysteries described in the book than sere ever practiced by the ancient Egyptian Priests. The French writers have generally accepted it as genuine. Forty years before, the Abb Terrasson had written a somewhat similar work, in which he pretended to describe the initiation of a Prince of Egypt. Kloss, in his Bibliography, has placed this latter work under the head of Romances of the Order; and a similar place should doubtless be assigned to the Crata Repoa. The curious may, however, be gratified by a brief detail of the system.
According to the Crata Repoa, the Priests of Egypt conferred their initiation at Thebes. The Mysteries were divided into the following seven degrees:
1. Pastophoros. 2. Neocoros. 3. Melanophoros. 4. Ristophoros. 5. Balahate. 6. Astronomos. 7. Propheta.
The first degree was devoted to instructions of the physical sciences; the second, to geometry and architecture. In the third degree, the candidate was instructed in the symbolical death of Osiris, and was made acquainted with the hieroglyphical language. In the fourth he was presented with the book of the laws of Egypt and became a judge. The instructions of the fifth degree were dedicated to chemistry, and of the sixth to astronomy and the mathematical sciences. In the seventh and last degree the candidate received a detailed explanation of all the mysteries, his head was shaved, and he was presented with a cross, which he was constantly to carry, a white mantle, and a square head dress. To each degree was attached a word and sign. Anyone who should carefully read the Crata Repoa would be convinced that, so far from being founded on any ancient system of initiation, it was simply a modern invention made up out of the high degrees of continental Freemasonry. It is indeed surprising that Lenning and Ragon should have treated it as if it had the least claims to antiquity.
Brother Hawkins says that it has been suggested that Crata Repoa may be an anagram for Arcta Opera or close finished works. The letters of a word being so transposed as to give a different one, then the one is an anagram for the other.
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