Order of the Temple of the Rosy Cross

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The Order of the Temple of the Rosy Cross was founded in 1912 by Annie Besant, Marie Russak Hotchener, and James Ingall Wedgwood.

In a letter to Fritz Kunz, Charles Webster Leadbeater had this to say about the new temple and its rituals:

It is really a matter of termperament, and this Temple of the Rosy Cross was founded by Mrs. Besant in order to meet the requirements of the people to whoom ceremonial is the easiest method of expression. I have not a word to say against it in any way, but I think we must be careful that it is not put forward as something esoteric in which additional knowledge will b given, and we must see that people do not get the idea that it is necessary for them to join it in order to demonstrate loyalty. That idea ws to some extent afloat in England - that not to follow Mrs. Besant when she founded this new organisation was to hang back to some extent, and thereby to lose an opportunity. What I said in my answer to the question on the subject is no more than Mrs. Besant has herself said on several occasions...[1]

Additional resources

  • Tillett, Gregory J. Charles Webster Leadbeater 1854-1934: a biographical study. Doctoral dissertation submitted to Department of Religious Studies, University of Sydney, 1986. Sydney: University of Sydney, 2007. In 2008 an online version became available at Leadbeater.org, and another digital version is from the University of Sydney.


  1. C. W. Leadbeater letter to Fritz Kunz. November 12, 1912. Kunz Family Collection. Records Series 25.01. Theosophical Society in America Archives.