Membership in Ecclesia Gnostica Universalis is conferred by the Ceremony of Anointment, and is open to any person of good report and at least 18 years of age. Membership confers the right to vote within Ecclesia Gnostica Universalis: The People have the right to vote on any matter referred to them by the College of Bishops. They also have the right to petition the College of Bishops with the assistance of any Templar.
A Templar maintains a Temple suitable for the celebration of the Rituals. A Templar must be an Anointed member of the People, and must be recognised by a Bishop or Sophia. The Templars also assist the Episcopate when Church matters are referred to the People for a vote, and when the People put a Petition before the College of Bishops.
The Deacons are Anointed members of Ecclesia Gnostica Universalis who have established a working relationship with any member of the Priesthood or Episcopate. A Deacon must be an Anointed member of the People, and must be recognised by a Bishop or Sophia through a formal ceremony of Ordination.
The Priesthood of Ecclesia Gnostica Universalis includes both Priestesses and Priests. They have the power and authority within Ecclesia Gnostica Universalis to celebrate Rituals. They also have the power and authority to perform Anointments, Marriages, and Last Rites. Priests and Priestesses of Ecclesia Gnostica Universalis must be Anointed members of the People, and must be recognised by a Bishop or Sophia with a formal ceremony of Ordination. However, they operate independently from any given Bishop or Sophia, under the authority of the Episcopate as a whole.
Bishops and Sophias have the power and authority within Ecclesia Gnostica Universalis to celebrate Gnostic Masses and other Rituals; to recognise and Ordain Priestesses, Priests and Templars of Ecclesia Gnostica Universalis; and to perform Anointments, marriages, and last rites.
Bishops and Sophias furthermore hold the power and authority to establish Temples of Ecclesia Gnostica Universalis: one for each Templar who has chosen to work together with the Bishop or Sophia for this purpose. Bishops and Sophias may also establish and maintain their own Temple.
They collectively hold the power and authority to recognise and consecrate new members into the Episcopate of Ecclesia Gnostica Universalis; All of our Bishops and Sophias are self-made men and women, being recognised, rather than made, by their peers.
Gnostic Bishops of the Ecclesia Gnostica Universalis may be of either sex; female Bishops are called Sophias, and preface their Mystic Name with the Hebrew letter “Shin” or “Sh”. Male Bishops assume a Mystic Name prefaced with the Hebrew letter “Tau” or “T”. The Shin represents the Hebrew word Shekinah, the divine feminine presence or Shakti, as well as the triple flame of the Spirit, the threefold mantra of the Dakini, and numerous other Mysteries. The Hebrew Tau represents the shape of the Body of Nuit.