What is ETAR+C
Ecclesia Theurgica Apostolica Rosae+Crucis literally means the Theurgical and Apostolic Church of the Rose Cross. Its higher ordinations are those of the Theosophia Apostolica Rosae Crucis of 1796 - that is the Apostolic Theosophy of the Rose Cross – an old Rosicrucian church. The ETAR+C is the Silent Chamber of the initiates and it perpetuates the core of the Rosicrucian tradition, both mystical and theurgical.
All these terms need clarification, for if you but understand the proper area of investigation to each of them, much of our inner mysteries will already have been revealed unto you. But first a few words tending towards why the work of the ETAR+C is so important.
ETAR+C has a mystical rather than magical approach to our mysteries, and as a result it can be seen as the antithesis of the Magical Orders. The very same mysteries are put forth from another perspective. This can be very helpful in the quest to unveil the secrets of nature and of man. The student who is able to unite these two different perspectives will discover the hidden truth that lies behind both systems. This truth cannot be described in words, but can only be approached by a paradox, symbols or experience. The easiest way to find this truth is to compare two esoteric systems.
Never before has any organization offered a parallel perspectives such as is done by the ETAR+C to initiates of any other esoteric organization. It is centred round the Sephirothic initiations and the mysteries described therein. While usually Magical Order (ie: Golden Dawn) describes each Sephirah as it is understood from its own point of view, the ETAR+C explains these same Sephiroth as they are understood from the perspective of Tiphareth, and therefore can the ordinations be read as expressions of that Sephirah.
The word Ecclesia means ‘church’ but has little to do with what most people associate this term with today. The Ecclesia of our mysteries is neither one of stone nor dogma, but is constituted by those who have been found rightful before the Throne of the Most High - those who have partaken in the secrets of the Body of the Christ, for they comprise the congregation of our Inner Sanctuary. For this same reason, our Sacraments are restricted to those that hold the Rosicrucian grade of Adept. Our Ecclesia is divided in two, the first is the Ordines Minor and the other the Ordines Major - or the Lesser and Greater Ordinations. The Lesser Ordinations explore the mysteries of the microcosmos – that is the nature of Man. They are five in number, corresponding to the four elements in addition to that of spirit, and they are called: Cleric, Doorkeeper, Reader, Exorcist and Acolyte. The Greater Ordinations study the nature of the macrocosmos – the greater world, and the Mystery of Hidden Light and Life penetrating the universe and man. There are three Greater Ordinations and these are Deacon, Priest and Bishop. All our secrets are explained to those who have been ordained Priests of our Inner Sanctuary. The office of Bishop is administrative both regarding the lineage and the outer manifestation of our Ecclesia.