Mystery School Roots
The tradition of mystery schools began with a Khemitian (Egyptian) king titled Men-Kheper-Ra—Djehuti-Mesu known in Egyptology as Thutmose “III”—who ruled in the 18th dynasty during the “new kingdom” (around 1,500 BCE). His title Men-Kheper-Ra has many translations but could mean “fertility of the dawn and noon.” His other title Djehuti-Mesu means the “rebirth of Thoth.” These weren’t his names but his titles; out of the five given by priests. During Thutmose’s early years, he was co-regent with his aunt Hatshepsut, who would later refuse to co-rule with her nephew and name herself king—and appoint him as head of her armies. He would ascend to the throne as the sixth king of the 18th dynasty after Hatshepsut’s death; becoming a great “warrior-king”—an exemplary leader who extended Khemit’s (Egypt’s) borders and “empire” further than it had been before—at least in recorded history. Thutmose oversaw around seventeen campaigns; conquering lands from Niya in North Syria to the Fourth Cataract of the Nile in Nubia.
This is how he is acknowledged in general and in Egyptology, as a legendary military leader and conqueror—however according to Rosicirucian records, he underwent a “spiritual reformation” in his later years after a life of warfare. Thutmose would refrain from further campaigns and devote his time to spiritual teachings and the “greater mysteries of life.” He then went on to form the arrangement of initiations and rituals which would later become the foundation of mystery school teachings. Thutmose “III” is considered to be the traditional founder of the mystery school teachings which would later become the basis of the Rosicrucian Order.
In his book From Light into Darkness, Stephen S. Mehler (Author and Khemitologist) explains,
“I believe the terms ‘great white brotherhood’ or ‘white lodge’ refers to what Hermetic philosopher and alternative Egyptologist R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz had termed the Inner Temple—those sages, masters and adepts in ancient Khemit who maintained the oral tradition and were responsible for knowing and transmitting the true histories and meta-physical truths known as The Greater Mysteries. Harvey Spencer Lewis wrote that it was the royal families and high priests who emphasized these inner temple traditions in the 18th dynasty of the New Kingdom Period, ca. 1500 BC. The documents that Lewis received in France indicated that one particular king of this dynasty started the modern tradition of mystery schools and held the title known in Egyptology as Thutmose III.”
Later on in the 18th dynasty his great-great grandson Amen-Hotep “IV,” which means “the fulfillment or sacrifice of the hidden;” would carry on this mystical tradition. He went on to change his title to Akhen-Aten which means “the shadow or shade of the wiser.” His kingly titles were Nefer-Kheperu-Ra-wa-en-Ra—Akhen-Aten. He had changed his title to honor the principle of Aten and rid affiliation with the religion of the corrupt Amen priesthood. Akhenaten is misinterpreted as being the first to establish monotheism, when the first to establish the worship of one “deity” or “god” was the all controlling Amen priesthood. In “new kingdom” times Amen was highly revered and worshipped as the “state god;” the king of the Neters—characterized as a man with a ram head or plumed-hat. Akhenaten rejected the distorted and established religion of the Amen priesthood and brought back original spiritual teachings to the Egyptian people (“The Sesh”). The spiritual teachings of Aten in summary taught an individual that they didn’t need a priest or an intermediary to access the divine—effectively putting the priests out of the job.
As an act of rejecting the “religion of Amen,” Akhenaten and his great hemet and co-regent Nefertiti would move the capital of Khemit (Egypt) from Thebes (Luxor) to Akhet-Aten which means “the horizon of the wiser”—near modern day Tel-El Armana. Amen was not only worshipped by the priesthood at Thebes but had been dedicated to the city—which is one of the reasons why the capital was moved. There at Akhet-Aten (Armana) he would organize the mystery school from the foundational teachings of his great-great grandfather—which would later become the Rosicrucian Order. He then chose the symbol of the rose-cross and created the initiations and degrees that are still used by Rosicrucians today. Akhenaten would oversee not only the birth of a mystery school but a renaissance in Egyptian Art.
Akhenaten’s revolution would later fail as the Amen priesthood gained power and plotted against him—murdering him and his family. He is improperly understood by historians and Egyptologists as being a “heretic;” when in fact the heretics were the priests. He is revered in the indigenous oral tradition, brought forward by Abd’el Hakim Awyan (Archaeologist and Indigenous Wisdom Keeper)—as a respected master and an enlightened being who brought back the original spiritual teachings of Aten. The same could be said about the Rosicrucian order, who celebrate him as an exalted spiritual leader and mystic. In summary, Akhenaten established the original Rosicrucian forms and teachings; from the foundations set forth by great-great grandfather Thutmose “III”—and would directly influence the roots of Mosaic Judaism. He is considered to be the traditional grandmaster of the Rosicrucian order—according to the Rosicrucians.
In episode 3 of Ancient Egypt Mystery Schools, Stephen S. Mehler explains, “So Akhenaten, even though one could say his revolution was a failure…to Egyptology he is a failure, in history he is considered a failure; his revolution failed. After he disappears they go back to the religion of Amen, they went back to the old ways; however as we point out, his teachings continued in what is today The Rosicrucian Order and the essence of what we call Mosaic Judaism.”
Although the Rosicrucians can trace their origins back to “dynastic” Egypt—the Freemasons were only established as recent as seventeenth century in Europe; even though they suggest to go back further history. These two mystery schools were actively connected in Europe for hundreds of years—but not so much in the United States today. It is worthy to mention that in Europe in the 1800s, one couldn’t be initiated as a Rosicrucian unless they reached the 18th degree of Free Masonry—known as the Rose-Croix. Many western mystery schools including the ones mentioned, along with the world’s mystical and meta-physical traditions had many of their foundations come from “dynastic” Khemit (Egypt).
Thousands of years later in 1798, French “Emperor” Napoleon Bonaparte would land in Egypt with hundreds of ships and over 50,000 men. He continued to invade the country and brought along with him sailors and soldiers, 150 savants—scholars, engineers and scientists, whose assignment was to obtain, not the land itself but Egyptian culture and history. Even though the military invasion was ultimately a failure, the scholarly pursuit was beyond successful. Detailed surveys of everything were carried out, giving way for the discovery of many archaeological sites and artifacts—thus “introducing” the modern world to ancient Egypt. Never before has a single country sparked such inspiration and wonder into the minds of many. Perhaps Napoleon was in pursuit of a spiritual journey under the guise of a military campaign. In fact he is considered usurper by many. He was a low-level Freemason who was never officially initiated into the Rosicrucian Order and after declaring himself “Emperor,” he also proclaimed himself grand master of both the Freemasons and the Rosicrucian Order—earning neither positions. The man himself was said to have slept inside the great pyramid—only to “see a vision” that he would later never speak about. His campaign whether for power or knowledge paved inroads for later scholars and researchers—whom were fascinated in the mysteries of Egypt.
In the early 1900s, a gentleman by the name of Harvey Spencer Lewis (Occultist, Mystic and Author) would superintend the establishment of the modern Rosicrucian Order in the United States of America. He was so interested at a young age about the mystical and meta-physical, that he conducted further research into the Rosicrucian Order—especially after being told by a “sensitive” that he was immersed in the mystery traditions of Egypt in a past life. Shortly after he would find himself traveling to Europe after discovering that the Rosicrucians were in France, after acquiring some information from Parisian professors. There in France he met a professor who asked him about his intentions and curiosity—who then instructed him make his way to south France, where upon arrival would “clear” all trials and be initiated into the Rosicrucian Order. H. Spencer Lewis didn’t just become a member of the Order but was made Imperator—and was bestowed the assignment of reestablishing the Order in the Americas. He then oversaw the establishing of AMORC, the ancient and mystical order Rosae Crucis; the American branch of the Rosicrucian Order—with its headquarters at San Jose, California. Lewis is not only responsible for starting the modern age of Rosicrucianism but was said to have fulfilled a prophecy according to French elders and masters of the Order—who proclaimed that a reincarnation of Akhenaten would restore the Order in the Americas.
In summary, the mystery school teachings and traditions which have root in “dynastic” Egypt, were established to preserve ancient knowledge that was kept alive by the oral traditions of the world’s indigenous wisdom keepers—only later to go underground as a reaction to the prosecution of modern orthodox religions. However, today the future seems brighter than ever, as we bring this old age knowledge “back into the light.” We are without a doubt the next generation of wisdom keepers, true scientists and mystics—may we lead the way for humanity and generations to come!
“The purpose of evolution is to attain understanding of the necessity of doing good and living in harmony with Cosmic Laws; and to express your Divine Nature in everything you think, say and do.” — Rosicrucian Manuscript
”A candle loses none of its light by lighting another.” — Rumi
Article written by Efraín Arroyo for Adept Initiates