The Knights of Chivalry
Although a member of the Confederation of Initiates, the Knights of Chivalry is not a part of the spiritual Orders of the Great Work. However, its members do provide a very important function in the service to God and country. The Knights of Chivalry advocates that God’s Divine Law should be obeyed at any price, as well as the spirit of the Constitution under which one lives. This is especially true of those Sir and Lady Knights who have assumed the most sacred vows as servants of God.
A Sir or Lady Knight leads a life above the commonplace. He or she is decidedly not a follower, or one of the many who are still subject to slavery to their lower selves. A Sir and Lady Knight must be the “Captain of the Soul;” an individual in the highest spiritual sense. Such individuals choose to step aside from the beaten path and to chart a course of their own. They live to exemplify the highest attributes of honor, nobility and morality.
Since the early 1900's, individual freedom and liberty have been progressively
eroded, both in the United States and in the world at large. However, liberty
is being resurrected by those imbued with the spirit of
the Knighthood from the quagmire of social experiments in which it has
been buried. Spiritual
liberty is exemplified in this communication from an individual who was both a
Minister of the Church of Illumination and a Sir Knight of the Holy Grail:
“I am an American. I also am a Priest of God. I look back to the years when those leaving foreign lands, tyrant rule, bereft of all religious freedom, not too well educated, with little of worldly goods, dreamed of a place, a country, where men would be free to work out their own destiny to the best of their ability. They desired to be free to worship God as they pleased, and as they felt Him in their hearts. I read the thought in their minds as:
“’I am one of those who, leaving civilization, came to a wilderness, bewildering and strange; peopled with those who would be my enemies, unable to understand my desires as I their fears, because I saw as with an inner vision the light of freedom, individual liberty, the noninterference with likes and dislikes of others, allowing them the same privileges I seek for myself, that we, differing in many things, might work together in harmony. I came to free from slavery, both to myself and others, that I might stand as a free man before my God. By Divine grace and the help of others of like mind, my dreams were realized.’”
“Such was the dream and the expectation of the Pilgrims. What do their descendents envision?
“ ‘I am an individualist because I believe in the letter and the Spirit of the United States Constitution as written by my forefathers. Their vision of freedom was realized for many years, but now, because of foreign intrigue, we are in danger of losing all and becoming worse slaves than when our forefathers left foreign soil.’
“I, who write this, for one, am perfectly willing, as were the men and women of ancient Rome, to be imprisoned or liquidated, rather than give up my religion and service to God and humanity, a religious teaching which I believe to be the Divine Law.”
The Knighthood is not radical or extreme. It is decidedly not a militia. However, it does recognize the many great and present dangers to individual freedom, liberty and spirituality. It sympathizes with the views and feelings of those ministers and priests who are truly spiritual at heart and who are able to read the “handwriting on the wall.” These individuals openly express their views in the same manner as the Nazarene in denouncing evil and harm. They especially denounce those acts that are not in harmony with Divine Law and which concern God and the souls of men and women.
History of the Knighthood
From time immemorial, people sharing similar ideals have united together for a specific purpose cemented by holy vows. Their object was not only immediate protection and self-benefit, but moreover, the ultimate good and welfare of others.
The Knights of the Garter in England and the L'Ordre du Lis of France most exemplify the highest ideals of the past Knighthood Orders. Both of these Orders were established by individuals belonging to an older Order, the Knights of the Holy Grail. The emblem of the Knights of the Garter was the garter (guard-her) and the emblem of the L’Ordre du Lis was the Fleur-de-lis, also symbolic of the “eternal feminine.”
The Order of St. George was the oldest of the medieval knighthoods. Its patron saint, St. George, was born in the third century. King Edward III later merged the Order of St. George into the Order of the Garter in 1350.
In 1714 one of the great authorities on Knighthood, Thomas Dawson, D.D., stated that the object of medieval Knighthood was threefold: Religious, Military and Chivalric. These Knights fought equally well for their church, for their king and for the protection of womanhood.
However, the object of Knighthood has a deeper, more spiritual foundation. Since the conception of these orders, there has always been an inner circle silently working to bring about nobility of thought and action in its members and humanity at large. Moreover, this inner circle protected and taught the Mysteries the Holy Grail, the sacredness of womanhood and the spiritual elevation of the sexual forces in men and woman. King Edward III belonged to this inner circle and was a powerful factor in the restoration of the Round Table of King Arthur. Guided by the moral and spiritual principles of these medieval Knighthoods, this inner circle of spiritual men and women re-founded in America the modern Knights of Chivalry, Order of the Holy Grail, Order of the Rose.
The Design of all Knighthoods: The Sacredness of True Friendship
The design of all Knighthoods is very practical. However, as stated above, its mission was, is and must ever be, of a moral and spiritual nature. These ideals reside in the heart of the Knight. Throughout the ages, the heart has always symbolized the home for the Divine Ideal. Any individual whose heart is morally clean is also to some degree spiritually conscious.
Of all the virtues, friendship is perhaps more of the heart and Soul than any other human feeling. The past and present Knighthood Orders exemplify true friendship of the heart. The admonition given to the Knights of the Garter illustrate this deep feeling of friendship:
“By this Garter the Knights are admonished religiously, sincerely, friendly, faithfully and dexterously to go through whatsoever they undertake, but not to undertake or attempt anything contrary to the oath and statutes of the Order, neither to frustrate the Rights of Peace and Friendship in any thing farther than Faith or Compact or the Bond of friendship will admit.”
Centuries earlier, the apostle John said it this way:
“There is no greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for the sake of his friends” (John 15:13).
The feeling of friendship is perhaps the highest of all human emotions. In every heart there is a longing for true friendship. This desire can be stronger than that for love. Friendship gives freely and forgives easily. Love, at times, can be both arrogant and possessive in that it seeks its own satisfaction and fears to give unless it receives in return. Friendship on the other hand, embraces the innocent and the guilty. It does not judge, nor does it condemn. Love can do all of these things, but if unrequited, can turn to hate and in its bitterness destroy that which it had loved. “My friend” is the deepest, most heart-reaching salutation that any man or woman can speak or write. The Knights of Chivalry honors and upholds the sacredness of friendship.
The Knights of Chivalry also mandates, like the religious Knights of old, that each candidate continually search for the Holy Grail- the Soul. To the unawakened individual, the soul, just like the cup, appears to be lost because it is hidden until the individual is willing to make continued effort to find it. This spiritual quest is viewed as an absolute necessity for all members of the Knights of Chivalry.
Respect for Womanhood, Manhood and Country
Unquestionably, the basis for many of the great Knighthoods has been respect for womanhood, especially the ideals of womanhood that embody self-respect and which in turn, demands the same respect from all men. In a similar manner, the modern-day Lady Knight holds true manhood in high esteem.
The story of the origin of the Knights of the Garter is old, but never too tiring to repeat. It epitomizes the virtue of honor that Knights hold so dear to the heart:
A celebratory ball always completed the ceremonies of the day on the Feast of the Order of St. George. On one of these occasions, while dancing, the Countess of Salisbury accidentally dropped an article of clothing essential to women at certain periods. King Edward notice this event and observed the smiles and sneers of some of the guests as well as the humiliation and confusion of the Countess. As the King was as gallant at heart as in manner, he quickly took action, picked up the “Guard‑her” and pinned it around his arm, exclaiming, “Honi soi qui mal y pense” (Evil to him who evil thinks) and commanded all present not to betray or speak disrespectfully of the circumstance. As a further protection of the lady, the King called those of high rank before him and, by the power of his royal authority, dubbed, created and bestowed upon them the title of Knight of the Garter. In such manner was the Knighthood of the Garter born.
A Sir or Lady Knight loves his or her country and at the same time recognizes the possibility of a true Universal Brotherhood of all men and women. Such unity will occur as all individuals raise themselves, by their own individual efforts, to a common level of physical, educational, moral and spiritual achievement. As each individual develops physically and spiritually, he or she sets the example for others to follow.
Knighthood in its true sense recognizes nationalism as the foundation upon which Manhood and Womanhood is founded. It demands that those entering its ranks will be loyal to their own country, constitution and flag, and to defend it against the intrusion of any foreign of domestic enemy. This form of nationalism is not the type that all too often leads to hate, prejudice and tyranny. To the contrary, it is the type of nationalism that embraces a loving pride in one's county to set a high example for other nations to follow and by doing so uplifts all humanity.
It recognizes nations as it does families. Each family is a unit unto itself, having its own beliefs and philosophy, yet at the same time having a common interest under one law. Families function best when they live in peace by cooperating, without interference, with neighboring families whose philosophy, religion, politics and outlook may be entirely different from their own. Likewise, nations can live harmoniously together despite their differences in philosophy, customs and religion. This is the kind of nationalism that the Knighthood Order works to achieve in a world of diverse people, families and countries.
The Knighthood recognizes all nations as one family under God, but as a union in diversity. Furthermore, individuals are recognized for what they have achieved in their life. Equality is possible only by equal development and achievement. A Knight recognizes the potential of each individual soul and vows to uphold individual rights. A Knight is ever vigilant to protect and preserve individual freedoms and liberty. The Holy Grail is a spiritual treasure to believe in, search for and ultimately find within each individual. By doing so, each Knight becomes truly free and can then offer the same freedom to all men and women who seek for the Grail.
The Order of the Rose for Women
For the women who enter the Knights of Chivalry, Order of the Rose, the focus is on the qualities that a lady of the highest degree strives to attain:
1. The Soul Passion for Her Creations: Her children, her profession, her inherent talents; the arts; her sacred sexual fires.
2. The Honoring of Her Wisdom: Her desire to teach, mentor and freely give back that which she has learned. Honoring of the wise Elder in her, the Elder who finally becomes the Master Teacher.
3. The Honoring of Her Love: The unconditional love and compassion that she unselfishly gives to her husband, children and friends; the heart connection she feels with other women in universal sisterhood; and her love and compassion for humanity.
4. The Honoring of Her Search for the Holy Grail: Her consecrated devotion to God, her connections to the Holy Light, the realization of her sacred divinity.
Who May Become A Knight
The Knights Order is composed of both men and women enrolled in the Fraternitas Rosae Crucis as well as others who are not enrolled. Although any individual may request to become a neophyte member of the Knights of Chivalry, the admission process is highly selective.
Applicants must prove their sincerity by their manner of life, morality, humanitarian service, love of their own country and faith in the existence of God. Applicants are to possess a desire to find the Divinity within them. Each individual, whether Apprentice, Squire, Sir or Lady Knight, is to exemplify the virtues of honor, nobility and morality in their daily life.
At the 1948 meeting of the Supreme Grand Dome of Europe, the moral and spiritual attributes of one who would aspire to Knighthood were outlined as follows:
One who is conferred a Knight of the Holy City, but will not kneel with humility and devotion in the heart at the tomb where the Christos lies buried is not a true Knight.
One who is gentle at heart and gracious in action; who is kind in thought and heart, actually is a Knight. Knighthood needs only to be conferred for full recognition.
One who is true in heart will make a kindly, noble and Knightly act of that which is lowly; while one who is crude in heart will debase the most Knightly honor.
It is not that which is conferred upon the candidates, but the gracious manner in which they respond which makes them Knights.
The true Knight is not honored by the position, but instead, brings honor to his or her office.
The individual sincere in heart, honest in all things, morally clean, a friend, in fact, brother or sister to all humanity, and with faith in God brings a greater gift to a Knightly office than any honors that can be conferred upon the shoulders of a Knight.
One who is vulgar at heart will remain vulgar, no matter how often Knighthood is conferred or how great the honor of the office.
For more information on the Knights of Chivalry, Order of the Holy Grail, we refer the reader to:
1. The Rose Cross College, R.S. Clymer. 1917. (This book contains the history, preamble and constitution of 1916.)
2. Knights of Chivalry; Order of the Holy Grail, R.S. Clymer. 1917.
3. Book of Rosicruciæ, Vol. III, R.S. Clymer. 1949.
 The Knights of Chivalry maintains that the U.S. Constitution is the most perfect governing document ever conceived. It further maintains that the U.S. Constitution is a Divine document and was written by individuals Divinely guided and willing to die for the freedoms that this document espouses.
 For more information, refer to the book, Book of Rosicruciæ, Vol. III by R.S. Clymer.
 The flag is not to be worshipped, but is a symbol to be exalted and defended at all times.