Ronald Keith Barrett

Ronald K. Barrett (September 29, 1944 – June 27, 1998) was the High Priest of the Temple of Set from March 15, 1979, until his resignation in May, 1982. He lived in Potter Valley, California.

Barrett made several changes to the Temple of Set, including instituting exams for advancement from one degree to another. His chief contribution to the Temple was his use of the word “Xem”. “Xem” is a modern rendition of the Ancient Egyptian word “Khem” which was the word used by the Ancient Egyptians themselves for the Nation that today is known as “Egypt”. Some possible interpretations for the Word Xem by outsiders range from “state of being” to “Fire” (derived from “sekhem”). Xem Magus Barrett stated that “Xem” was the progressive aim of “Xeper”, the Ancient Egyptian word meaning “to become”, which is the central concept of the Temple of Set (Flowers, Stephen E. Lords of the Left Hand Path: A History of Spiritual Dissent). Barrett resigned from the Temple amid controversy and was followed by Michael A. Aquino, who reclaimed the rank of High Priest of Set. Ronald Keith Barrett expired in 1998 after a short illness. Among Xem Magus Barrett’s Legacy are his Keys of Xem, 5 in total, plus the Stele of Xem. Xem Magus Barrett also wrote also a lot of other essays during his stint in the Temple of Set. The Order of Anubis considers the additional Work of Magus Barrett within the Temple of Set (“ToS”) beyond the scope of our interests. A feature of Xem Work is the fact that Xem is a trans-Aeonic Word, meaning that Working with Xem cannot and should not be done within the boundaries of  Aeon-based organizations. In fact, Xem destroys the notion of Aeons and it was precisely this consideration that led Xem Magus Barrett to leave the Temple of Set in 1982 CE altogether. The Work of Xem Magus Barrett remains controversial to this day within the Temple of Set.


The Order of Anubis comes forth from the Order of Anubis , an Order within ToS that was created by Magus of Xem Barett to further the Xem Work within the ToS, before he became the High Priest of ToS in 1979 CE. After RKB’s departure from ToS, the legacy of Xem was guarded in a second ToS Order, the Order of Anpu. A part of the current senior Initiates of the Order of Anubis are ex-members of the Order of Anpu, one of them being a former Master of the Order of Anpu.  The Order of Anpu conserved the Legacy of Xem Magus Barrett, until the Xem Work of a few individuals led to the Coming into Being of several “second generation” Xem Magi that extended the Work of Magus Barrett beyond ToS itself and the Aeon of Set in particular. Xem Magus Barrett literally destroyed himself in the attempt to teach “Xem” to others. The current Xem Magi, however, have discovered though their own hard and long Initiatory Journeys that Xem cannot and may not be taught. Henceforth the coming into being of the Order of Anubis, that does the only thing that can be done: Provide a Space and Environment where Initiates may pursue their own Xem Work along with the Guidance of the current Xem Magi Collective.   In order to establish a starting point for Initiates that Seek Initiation into Xem, the Order of Anubis provides a compendium of Order of Anubis documents called “The Book of the Living” that is available to Probationers of the Order. Lone wolf type seekers may obtain a copy on request after dialogue with a Priesthood member.

If you have any questions or a desire to talk to our Priesthood, contact us via the Contact Form and we will get back to you.

The pictures of Ronald Keith Barrett are used under the ‘fair use’ provision of this copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law and are extracted from “Temple of Set” Version 11 by Dr. Michael A. Aquino available here

Original Stele of Xem by Magus of Xem Barrett

Stele of Xem, original version

Modern Stele of Xem by Magus of Xem Lopez

Stele of Xem, original version