Friday, March 6, 2020

Words & Phrases: Magister Templi

The next article in the Words & Phrases series is on the word "Magister Templi." This is a title used in the Knights Templar and Rosicrucians as well as other occult organizations. Magister Templi is Latin for "Master of the Temple".

It was also used by certain officers of the medieval Knights Templar such as the Grand Masters. Bro. Albert Mackey states that the Master of the Temple was "originally the official title of the Grand Master of the Templars" which is true enough, but it wasn't a title solely used by the Grand Master as Templar officers in charge of various provinces and lands would often sign official documents using "Magister Templi." Such confusion with this title has caused disputes to arise over the names of those who presided over the Knights Templar. It is debated whether or not Richard de Bures served as Grand Master or if he was just in charge of a Province. As a remembrance of the Knights Templar who created Temple Church in London, the head of this church carries the title of "Master of the Temple."

Within the Societas Rosicruciana, the Eighth Grade is known as Magister and is the first of the Ruling Grades of the Society. While today the word "Templi" is dropped, some older documents of the Society show "Magister Templi." There are theories as to the relationship between Rosicrucianism and the Knights Templar. Obviously, the common use of a red cross and similar philosophies drives much of these theories; there are just as many theories between the Knights Templar and Freemasonry. However, when looking at this title, in the Templars, "Temple" was a reference to King Solomon's Temple while in the Rosicrucians the Temple would be the Vault of Christian Rosenkreutz. This suggests that a Magister Templi should be a Master of the history, rituals, and Mysteries of Rosicrucianism. It also symbolizes that a Magister should master not just his physical body, but also the Self, remembering that ancient Hermetic maxim "as above, so below; as within, so without."


1. Addison, C. G. (1997). The History of the Knights Templars, the Temple Church, and the Temple Book. Adventures Unlimited Press.

2. Appendix II: Grand Masters of the Temple. (n.d.). Retrieved from Erenow: 

3. Case, P. (1927). The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order. Claremont: Frances Bacon Library. 

4. Description. (n.d.). Retrieved from High Council, SRICF: 

5. Magister Templi. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: 

6. Master of the Temple. (1873). In A. G. Mackey, An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and Its Kindred Sciences.

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