Brotherhoods are groups of highly evolved entities, both discarnate and incarnate, whose missions are to provide spiritual growth and teachings to mankind throughout Earth’s history. Brotherhoods are dedicated to selfless service and manifesting the law of divine love. They carry on most of their work invisibly, contacting only those persons who have advanced to a sufficiently high level of spiritual awareness. When necessary, they incarnate themselves.

One of the best-known brotherhoods is the Great White Brotherhood, the Brotherhood of the Cross of Light within the Circle of Light. The teachings of this brotherhood were publicized by Grace Cooke, a British spiritualist, with the help of her spirit guide, White Eagle, a master of the brotherhood.

According to White Eagle, the Great White Brotherhood has sent messengers to Earth in different ages to teach secret wisdom and help human beings in their search for truth. They come from more advanced planets, incarnating on brotherhoods as priests and adepts. They have been called Sun-gods, Sun-men, the Illumined Ones, and Ascended Masters.

The Great White Brotherhood is said to exist all over the world and has been present throughout the history of the human race. They were responsible for the great, lost civilizations of Atlantis and Lemuria, the survivors of which went to Egypt, the Americas, Britain, and elsewhere. In the Americas, the brotherhood was given to the Indians. The Master of the Great White Brotherhood is the Christ, also known as Quetzacoatl, who pours out love from the Sun in his heart. The symbol of the brotherhood is a cross within a circle, the symbol of sacrifice and suffering within God’s eternal love.

Franz Bardon was said to be a high-ranking adept in the legendary Brethren (Brotherhood) of Light, as he claimed in his novel Frabato the Magician, which his secretary said was actually his spiritual autobiography. In the novel, the brethren have 99 secret lodges around the world, each of which has 99 members, all of whom are the highest initiates in the cosmic system and masters of the highest state of magical perfection.

They are led by a Prime Initiator who has the rank of a mahatma and who possesses knowledge of all cosmic secrets. The Prime Initiator has held his post since the beginning of the world and seldom materializes in a physical body. He does so only when it is of utmost importance and when he wishes to give advice to members. Second in rank are 12 adepts who have taken on the most difficult spiritual tasks.

These adepts also seldom materialize in bodies and work in the “Earth Girdle Zone,” or astral plane. On average, they may incarnate once every 100,000 years or so. The Prime Initiator and the 12 adepts form a “Council of the Old,” which meets regularly to decide the fate of people. Each of the 12 has subordinate to them 72 wise men or illuminated men, each of whom in turn has 360 masters reporting to him. All of these adepts report to a general assembly when one is convened.


  • Bardon, Franz. Frabato the Magician. Salt Lake City: Merkur Publishing, 1979.
  • Cooke, Grace. The Illumined Ones. New Lands, England: White Eagle Publishing Trust, 1966.


The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley Copyright © 2006 by Visionary Living, Inc.