- Initated an Entered Apprentace:
- Passed to the degree of Fellowcraft:
- Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason:
On the 23d of June, 1780, the eve of the Festival of St. John the Baptist, the most important occasion of the German Masonic year, Goethe, then in his thirty-first year, was duly initiated in the Lodge Amalia in Weimar. He had previously made two unusual stipulations, first, that he should not be blindfolded, but that his word of honour to keep his eyes closed should be accepted instead, and secondly, that the ritual of the Grand Lodge of Hamburg should be substituted for that ordinarily in use in his lodge, which then followed the Rite of Strict Observance. (5) In the latter we probably see the influence of Bode, who occupied the chair during the ceremony. Fritsch, whose right it was to preside, was not fully reconciled to the admittance of the poet, and felt it impossible to take any part himself, in the initiation.
If Fritsch had been unfavourably disposed towards the candidate to begin with, the setting aside of the Strict Observance ritual, of which he was a staunch supporter, would not help in smoothing away the difficulties. This no doubt accounts for the fact that nearly a year elapsed without any move being made towards passing Goethe to the Fellowcraft Degree. Accordingly, on the 31st of March, 1781, he again addressed the Worshipful Master in the following letter: