Waite's FRC Tree of Life Diagram


I've been studying Waite's Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, so I created this diagram to help get organized. Thought I'd share it.

The source information comes mainly from these books, Complete Rosicrucian Initiations of the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross. It's a gold mine. The other one is, Rosicrucian Rites and Ceremonies of the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross. It's a little shorter and not quite as informative but still quite interesting.

Waite keeps the Hebrew letters with their usual paths but the order and arrangement has been change for a lot of them as you'll see. The tarot images associated with them has changed for nearly all of them. The images are referred to as the "Symbols of the Paths" and the first book describes a lot of them in detail. They can be seen online here. There are at least two images for each card with the exception of one, the Fool I believe. One card in each set has a Roman numeral at the bottom that indicates the path. The 0 card corresponds to Daath.

The Neophyte grade represents the postulant's symbolic entering of the temple and isn't associated with a Sephirah, but the 0 = 0 and 1 = 10 taken together correspond to Assiah and the First Order.

I'm up for discussion if anyone would like to. I find the whole thing pretty fascinating.

Enjoy! :)

Symbols of the Paths Diagram


I've updated the diagram a few times. If anyone's interested in this you might check periodically. I'll be updating as I come across new info. At the bottom of the post window where it says "Reason" [for editing], I'll put an update number that'll make it easier to keep track.

**Note** I'll try not to make changes or post anything unless I'm fairly sure it's accurate, but as this is an ongoing learning process for myself, things are bound to creep in that aren't exactly right. Hopefully as time goes on these will be fewer and fewer. There's so much that could be included there simply isn't enough room for it all, so I will from time to time update and replace things. This is based solely on my own point of view of what seems interesting or important; it doesn't necessarily mean that what is included is more important. If anyone out there has additional information or insight to add it's very welcome. :)


Was just over at the British Museum checking out their scans and apparently they've rescanned them all. They're a lot bigger and clearer. Very nice! :)


I'm very interested in this, but will need a few days to look over the images in relation to the Tree. Quite thorny stuff, by the looks of it.


True, it's a bit overwhelming at first. The whole thing is very Christian mysticism oriented.

I made another diagram that shows the initiation paths taken. When the initiate reaches Netzach he or she returns to Yseod and enters Tiphareth by path 26. It's the same thing from Tiphareth to Daath. None of the other paths are used to travel upward, but can be traveled downward in some cases, and are also avenues for "influences" from the Supernals to move downward.

Initiation Paths

All the paths are covered in the book except 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 & 17. For those I followed the information given here, but not all the correspondences given there are correct. Where they disagree, my correspondences match those given in the rituals more closely. The correspondences for the paths at the top are mostly guesswork I believe, but they seem to make some sense the way they are. This part of it would be fertile territory to explore imo, but it's all good. :)


A lot of Waite's new images are recognizable, but some aren't. To make it easier I made a table that shows which images go on which path. In the rituals, Waite uses different names for some of them and I've shown them in parentheses, otherwise the standard titles are used.

At the British Museum website, each image has a unique identifying number below it. Here's a pic showing where it's located.


Path 0 #9 #10 #62 (Melchisedek)
Path 11 #63 The Emperor
Path 12 #2 #64 The Empress
Path 13 #65 The Wheel of Fortune (or Wheel of Spirit)
Path 14 #66 The Chariot
Path 15 #67 Strength
Path 16 #6 #68 The Magician
Path 17 #69 The Fool
Path 18 #8 #70 The High Priestess
Path 19 #12 #71 Judgement (Resurrection)
Path 20 #14 #72 The Hermit (Keeper of the Secret Tradition and the Mysteries)
Path 21 #16 #73 Death (Mystical Death, Gate of the Setting Sun)
Path 22 #17 #74 Hierophant (Sovereign Pontiff of the Official Church)
Path 23 #19 #20 #75 The Hanged Man (The Crowned Titan, or Crowned Master)
Path 24 #22 #76 The Sun (The Christ Spirit)
Path 25 #23 #24 The Devil (Lucifer, Lapsed but light-bearing)
Path 26 #25 #26 The Lovers (Marriage)
Path 27 #27 #28 Temperance (Lady of Reconciliation)
Path 28 #29 #29* #30 The Moon (The Natural Mind)
Path 29 #31 #32 Justice (Justice of the Elect)
Path 30 #33 #34 The Star (The Law of Grace)
Path 31 #35 #36 The Tower (The Tower of Babel)
Path 32 #37 #38 The World (Nature)

* There are two #29 Moon images.


I've got an update for the Tree diagram.

1. I changed the names of the Great Symbols back to the Waite-Smith titles. While not technically correct, they're of more practical value since that's what people are used to.

2. I fine tuned Daath based on information I found in this document [Direct download]. It's an excellent resource on the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross. There's another paper online by the same author entitled, Charles Williams and Modern Occultism: The Influence of A.E. Waite [Direct download]. I think they're basically similar though I haven't read each one thoroughly. Comparing them briefly they don't seem to be exactly the same.

3. I discovered something new and interesting in the rituals. Waite assigns "Desire" to the left pillar, "Mind" to the middle pillar, and "Will" to the right pillar. These correspond to Sulphur, Mercury, and Salt respectively. Each is purified and elevated as the candidate moves through the Grades. The thoughts, desires, and will are said to be contained within earth and the senses in Malkuth. In the World of Formation they begin to be purified.

"The thoughts, desires and will of man are contained within earth and his senses. In other words, the native Mercury, Sulphur and Salt have not been made subject to the operations of Divine Wisdom. They begin to be purified and prepared in the World of Formation, containing three Sephiroth, allocated respectively to Mind, Desire and Will. . ."​

"The World of Creation, or Third Order of the Rosy Cross, is the First Reflected Triad, and it answers to the same principles of our nature, when they have been changed by the work of Wisdom."​

"But in the World of Divinity the Three Principles are symbolised as Kether, the Divine Mind, Chokmah, the Eternal Wisdom, the goodwill and good pleasure of God’s purpose, and Binah, the Eternal Love."​

The path of progress is the path of Mind in the middle pillar. The other pillars have lessons to teach but the ultimate goal is the Mind's progress from World to World along the middle pillar.

"As regards Mercury, it is affirmed that we know it now as it exists imprisoned in a body, but a day will come when it shall be liberated from present limitations and manifested as a pure, fixed, intelligible, constant fire. It is a fluidic and volatile substance, to fix which is the work of Wisdom. I say unto you that our Mercury is Mind, and that in fixity, rest and simplicity it can attain a Divine Mode."​


I've made several updates to the Tree diagram (link above) in my ongoing project to illustrate visually what Waite describes verbally in his FRC Rituals.

As far as I can tell, Adeptus Exaltatus 0 = 0 In Supernis (Daath) is the highest actual designated grade. In Daath, words and symbols begin to dissolve; it's the link between the Supernals and the lower grades. I think there was work and progress beyond Daath, just no visible rituals or ceremonies (that I'm aware of). :)


I've done a lot of work on the Tree design the last couple of days and made many improvements. I left off the names of the Sephiroth on purpose to free up space.


Thanks for your hard work, Abrac. I find it interesting that there are different versions of the tree. Are we looking at either an evolving or devolving science, or perhaps the Tarot is not meant to match the paths of the T.O.L. at all? IMHO, it's easier to attribute the cards to the sephiroth. Attributing them to the paths seems to lead to some very complex arrangements, like heading into chaos and away from order. Were these organisations (Rosicrucians,GD,Freemasons, etc.) keepers of this knowledge or, like us, trying to reassemble a system that was already lost? Delicious food for my brain though.