Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Words & Phrases: Adept

The next article in the Words & Phrases series is on the word "Adept." While it is not employed heavily in Freemasonry, "Adept" is defined as someone who is "an expert or attained a specific level of knowledge, skill, or aptitude in doctrines relevant to a particular subject or organization." For Western esotericism, the word "adept" is used to describe someone who is an expert in the science of alchemy and, later, in occultism. I chose to include "Adept" with Words & Phrases series rather than Station & Places as "Adept" is used primarily in the naming of degrees rather than with any office.

The word "adept" is etymologically rooted in the Latin word "adeptus," meaning "having attained, obtained, or achieved," an adjective used by medieval alchemists. Adepts were historically seen as caretakers of ancient occult knowledge (such as the transmutation of metals) which seems a necessary explanation why such initiatic and occultic orders would use this name in reference to degree name or officer titles such as with the Chief Adept in the Masonic Rosicrucian Societies. An Adept try not only to become a master of knowledge, but strives to master himself. An Adept is one who is governed by reason and logic, rather than being unduly swayed by their emotions.

There are a variety of groups that use Adept in the names of their degrees such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Rosæ Rubeæ et Aureæ Crucis (The Ruby Rose and Golden Cross), A.A. (look up group), the Temple of Set, Illuminates of Thanateros, and the Masonic Rosicrucian Societies (SRICF, SRIA, SRIC, SRIS, SRIR, and SRIL).

The Masonic Rosicrucian Society is composed of 9-grades that are divided into 3-orders. The Second Order is known as the Teaching Order or Teaching Grades. It is composed 3-grades: V° - Adeptus Minor, VI° - Adeptus Major, and VII° - Adeptus Exemptus. An Adept is one who is obligated to be a teacher and instruct those worthy aspirants in the knowledge of the order. In the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, the 28º is called "Knight of the Sun" or "Prince Adept." The lessons of this degree teach one to be devoted to truth, honor, loyalty, justice, and humanity. 


1. Adept. (n.d.). Retrieved from Online Etymology Dictionary: https://www.etymonline.com/word/adept 

2. Adept. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adept 

3. Adept. (n.d.). Retrieved from Merriam-Webster Dictionary: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adept 

4. Adept. (n.d.). Retrieved from Paranormal Encyclopedia: https://www.paranormal-encyclopedia.com/a/adept/ 

5. Adept. (n.d.). Retrieved from Eternity of Spirit: http://www.eternityofspirit.com/adept-what-does-it-mean/ 

6. Aene, F. (2010, January 24). What Makes An Adept? Retrieved from A Golden Dawn Magician's Thoughts: https://frateraene.wordpress.com/tag/what-is-an-adept/ 

7. Bedard, M. (2014, August 17). Adept. Retrieved from Gnostic Warrior: https://gnosticwarrior.com/adept.html 

8. Brodeur, C. (n.d.). Path of the Adept. Retrieved from Advances in Consciousness: http://zenol.tripod.com/adept.html

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