The August Order of Light
The August Order of Light supplies a series of grades and rituals which illustrate the the mythologies of India, with side-lights from the cults of Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. While the Rosicrucian Societies illustrate the teachings of the Mystics of the Middle Ages of Europe, this Order gives a view of Oriental ideas of Theology and Cosmogony.
The Order was founded by Maurice Vidal Portman, a politician, who went to India in 1876. During his stay there, Brother Portman made himself familiar with the literature and ritual observances of Brahmans and other Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Muslims, and gained much curious lore from fakirs and religious devotees of all creeds.
The Order in its first form did not become widely known, and for some years was in abeyance.
The rituals of the Order were revised between 1875 and 1900, to recast the original rituals and to present a series of ceremonies and lectures which confer instruction in a convenient form, and contain in its series of grades and rituals many profound esoteric Universal Truths. The rituals of the Order were again revised in 2011.
The Order is open to all Master Masons of good standing in the English, Scottish and Irish Constitutions and other Constitutions recognized by the United Grand Lodge of England.
It welcomes its members to contribute to discussions, so that all knowledge and opinion on relative subjects can be pooled, and each member thus gain experience which he can apply for the good of Freemasonry and of the inhabited world.
The primary charity of the Order is tasked with administering eye surgery among poor and disadvantaged communities in the developing world.
The regalia worn by members of the Order is a robe and belt. In the First Degree, Brethren are invested with a breast jewel, while in the Second Degree, brethren receive a neck-jewel. Each piece of regalia is of special significance to the lessons of the Order.