Rituals, Degrees & Ceremonies
Learn more about the rituals, ceremonies and degrees undertaken in this sublime order.
The Priory of Sion´s (Rectified) oldest rituals derive from the Essenes, combined with various ancient spiritual alchemical traditions. As Sion evolved throughout the centuries it included additional Alchemy practises, and has been influenced no doubt by the Merovingians. We hold a number of original ancient texts in our archive, some are unpublished.
An example of an unpublished German alchemy text, circa mid 16th C, disclosing “alchemy of Fire and water” amongst other knowledge, held in the archives of the Priory of Sion (Rectified).
Unpublished original Masonic wood cut, 1534, from Holland predating The United Grand Lodge of England by nearly 200 years, showing hidden secrets as well as hinting to the “hidden Templar stream” in Mull.
We are able to demonstrate that the “Priory of Sion” of that name existed before 1956, at least from around the mid 1800’s as illustrated here; taken from part of a parchment from France. Note the “P” and the “S” in-between the split elm, also the “N”, symbol for Nautonnier beneath them at the base of the Elm.
Nautonier (Helmsman) 9° (Honoris causa 9°)
(title of Grand Master of the Priory, or overseas Grand Masters)
Sénéchaux or Royal Steward 8° (Honoris Causa 8°)
Connétable or Constable 7°
Commandeur or Commander 6°
Chevalier or Knight 5°
Ecuyer or Squire 4°
Preux or Valiant 3°
Croisé or Crusader 2°
Postulant (Candidate waiting for admission into the Priory).
The nine traditional grades of hierarchy are from Novice 1° through to Nautonier 9° as are to be found in the 1956 statutes-there are no changes to these grades in our ancient tradition within “Prieuré de Sion (Rectifé) or, “The Priory of Sion (Rectified)”.
Our rituals are divided into two classes depending on the Adept’s spiritual abilities; “the Lesser Mysteries” and “the Greater Mysteries”.
Candidates for each Mystery or degree can only proceed once they have fulfilled the necessary spiritual and essential theoretical work and have undergone tutelage under a Guardian. Degrees are not handed out randomly, nor are they a lethargic means of bland transmission cloaked in romantic verse. The ceremonies are an actual Alchemical form of initiation where the candidate has to do the work under secure guidance in order to experience spiritual liberation and transformation.
The 8° is reserved only for the Sénéchaux and Nautonier, while the 9° is exclusively reserved for the Nautonier. The 8° & 9° may be obtained by members as Honoris Causa 8° and Honoris Causa 9°.
There are also a number of other Rituals that are additionally bestowed.
One of these sublime rituals is the “Rite de la Santé Croix”, or “Rite of the Holy Cross”-originally bequeathed in France, though now can be transmitted elsewhere. It connects Sion with the Templars and a shows a link to modern Freemasonry. It derives its origins from great antiquity, divulging its “truth” via the Templar stream.
Our Rituals are unique and are like no other rituals. The Marseille tarot has traditionally influenced our ceremonies; this is echoed in the 1° degree initiation and in the church of Marie Magdalene in Rennes le Château where the grotesque devil figure is specifically placed for such reasons. “Satan” is renounced by all candidates, which should be ubiquitous to all genuine Priories of Sion.
No 15 (Satan) from a variation of the Marseille tarot; secretly representing Judas Iscariot.
A commonly held misconception is that the “Knights square” is part of the initiation of the 1°, perhaps so in some Priories, however a more ancient version is actually an alchemical journey over 9 squares, or square of Saturn which relates to the No 15 tarot card and varies 9 times (9×9) which equals “81” as to be found in older hidden French rituals dating back to the early 18th C, and before that, to Geber the Arabic alchemist.
Members of all ranks or grades are encouraged to request any ritual that they have already received. They may experience these degrees as many times as they wish. Such is the high spiritual nature of our rituals, not only do they impart Knowledge on many levels, they also cause change on every level; experienced differently each time they are practised.
Eventually, over time, it is expected that the Adept will finally experience the Grail- the Philsopher´s stone.
“Sion” influenced and “sealed” the original Templar initiation ceremonies and statutes of which aspects are still used by Le Prieuré de Sion (Rectifé) to this day. The original Knights Templar ceremonies are historically proven via the French translation from the Latin known as “The Primitive rule” circa 1135-1147.
In our modern era there are “rituals” claimed to be from Pierre Plantard, who became famous as first “Known” Grand master, who later recanted to becoming “Unknown”. These modern variant rituals are abundantly available for all to purchase and see, however, the Prieuré de Sion (Rectifé) does not recognise them in totality. As might be expected, these “modern ritual variants” are already in our archives. It is true that certain aspects of these “modern” rituals are valid and traces of which are to be found in the Priory of Sion’s older rituals, which as we have stated, can and do demonstrate historical validity.
There are a number of other festivals that we observe; such as the “Emet Festival” at the beginning of March, which celebrates the actual birth of Christ. The veneration of the Madelaine is also observed on the 22 of July, when Magdalene cakes are shared.
No 16 “The Tower” from a variation of the Marseille tarot, secretly representing the Madelaine.
The original known stautes are explicitly clear about the final and most sublime degree in the Ordre De La Rose-Croix de Véritas being that of 9° or Nautoinier; Grand Master. The reason there is no higher degree in the statutes of 1956 is because the “Nautonier” is the highest degree, there is only one person holding it; there are no more higher degrees, unless, 9° is by “Honoris Causa”. The Grand Master, steers his ship by the nine strars of arcady, in the four realms of the universe as exhibited by the plough, or big dipper.
Traditionally in line with the statutes of 1956, a white linen garment with a white cordellier and white sandals are worn by all members. The linen garment is traditionally cleaned with Frankincense. An ancient “PS” jewel is worn around the neck which originates from the South of France circa late 12th century. All members wear the same regalia regardless of rank, the only difference is the red sash worn from the right shoulder to left hip which is bestowed at the 5°, that of “Chevellier or Knight” There are slight differences to this sash as the Adept passes through further grades.
Regalia in previous times, was always minimal for obvious reasons; we still maintain this antient custom.
Meditation is taught from Postulancy onwards. In the Priory, meditation takes many forms in terms of its practise. We use ancient breathing meditations, with additional secret hand seals (also known as Mudras in East) these being introduced at a later stage. Visualisation is another technique widely used amongst members. The Sion Rosary method is an example of a tradition incorporated since antiquity, it is also combined with the method of “advancing through the 7 levels”. Varied alchemical practices are taught that encompass physical practises as well as meditating on and interpreting ancient texts. At advanced levels, trance methods are also used albeit with caution and only when the Adept is ready. The most significant practice is ” knowing” Christ amongst others incuding the Magdaline. Many other methods are used.
The language of “Alchemy” has at the heart of Sion the method of creating “change” and “enlightenment” through specific and general use of language.
We use “Generalised, or indirect language” “Mystical language” , “Simple directive language” and other methods.