Swedenborg Rite

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The Swedenborg Rite or Rite of Swedenborg was a fraternal order modeled on Freemasonry and based upon the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg. It comprised six Degrees: Apprentice, Fellow Craft, Master Neophyte, Illuminated Theosophite, Blue Brother, and Red Brother.[1]

It was created in Avignon in 1773 by the Marquis de Thorn. It was initially a political organization, whose aims might bring freemasonry into disrepute, although the political ideology was eventually discarded from the rite.[2] This version of the Swedenborg Rite died out within a decade of its founding.

Starting in the 1870s, the Rite was resurrected as an hermetic organization. This version faded out sometime around 1908.[3] In 1982 a patent of the Swedenborg Rite was transmitted by the English Freemason Desmond Bourke, in his office at the British Museum, to Masonic author Michele Moramarco, who after revising the rituals by Bourke's permission revived that tradition in Italy under the title of "Antico Rito Noachita" ("Ancient Noachide Rite")


  1. ^ Albert Gallatin Mackey and H. L. Haywood, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry Vol. 2, p. 997 reprinted by Kessinger Publishing, 2003 ISBN 0-7661-4720-7
  2. ^ Augustus Row (1868). "Illuminati of Avignon or Swedenborg Rite". Masonic Biography and Dictionary. Philadelphia: J.P. Lippincott & CO. p. 139.
  3. ^ R. A. Gilbert (1995-09-14). "Chaos Out of Order: The Rise and Fall of the Swedenborgian Rite". Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon A.F. & A. M.

Further reading[edit]

  • William G. Peacher (1992). "Swedenborg, The Man, The Religion and The Rite". Maine Lodge of Research, AF&AM. Archived from the original on 2008-07-05.
  • Samuel Beswick (1870). Swedenborg Rite and the Great Masonic Leaders of the Eighteenth Century (republished 1994 ed.). New York: Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 9781564594242.
  • Michele Moramarco (1989). Nuova Enciclopedia Massonica. Reggio Emilia: Centro Studi Albert Schweitzer.