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Thread: Free Masons Info?

  1. #1

    Free Masons Info?

    Hey, I was wondering if any members on here are Free Masons? I have been thinking about applying to become one for sometime and am looking for Concrete info about the brotherhood.

  2. #2
    I am. Where do you live and what do you want to know about it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Awani View Post
    I totally understand your point however I would argue that both spiritual and practical alchemy is "operative". Freemasonry is ONLY speculative, because the operative masons have totally died out... there are people that can do masonry work, but they are really not "masons".
    I have to admit I've never thought about it like that. I guess in my mind I consider the more "mundane" members that are there for the fraternity of their "regular" lodge as "operative" masons, while the ones that have that intellectual curiosity I consider "speculative" masons.

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    Greg are you by any chance a member at a masonic lodge? If you are I'd like to ask if every lodge practices alchemy or just some? I heard from a mason that most lodges only have meetings. Dunno if they are esoteric or just chit chat about general stuff. Can you enlighten me on that one please? Thanks

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    I'm not a Mason, but I can answer your question. The short answer is "no".

    This is assuming you are talking about "regular" Masonry (accepted by a Grand Lodge). There are many "irregular" or pseudo-masonic organizations which combine whatever teachings or add/remove whatever rules they want, and are therefore not recognized by "regular" mainstream Masonry.

    The "local" lodge you speak of (sometimes called the "blue" lodge) consists of the 3 normal degrees, Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, Master Mason. Each consist of "degree work" to be completed before each rite/ritual. While there are knowledgable alchemists who could most likely interpret some of these through alchemy, it's not part of the program. You can become a Master Mason in any regular lodge without knowing alchemy. There are really no big secrets to the regular lodge.. It can all be researched online, including the degree work (although if you are planning on joining, it's recommended that you don't "read ahead" and spoil the effect of the ritual.

    The vast, vast majority of masons in the regular lodge are there for the fraternity and other mundane reasons. And for them it's mainly about the meetings and "general chit chat". Even with the more advanced degrees like the York Rite, many members are simply going through the motions for the masonic bling (jewels) to wear on formal occasions and the party afterwards.

    What you may get out of networking there will boil down to the actual members of the lodge.

    Also, for any local lodge "building", there may be several different Lodges that hold their meetings there. And there may be talks held (or papers delivered) on any number of different subjects, including alchemy, and other topics of interest to Masons. (but not a part of any degree work). It doesn't hurt to go talk to the people at the lodge. They are a pretty friendly bunch. Membership has been dwindling for decades. (to the point that one of my local lodges had a "past master" who had been a mason for THREE years)

    There may be some confusion about what Masonry teaches since there are masonic authors that write on a variety of topics, and use their masonic credentials. (and masonic websites that host information on a number of topics)

    You may be interesed in 'Philalethes', the journal of Masonic research.. Or the Quatuor Coronati lodges (which are research lodges) and their publications of Ars Quatuor Coronatorum (which I beleive are available on archive.org)

    This is not regular masonry, and I personally consider Cagliostro to be a charlatan, but his "rite" might be interesting to you (although not used in regular masonry). Here's a quick excerpt, it's pretty easy to find online:

    Q.—Are you an Egyptian Mason?
    A.—Yes I am, with skill and without bias.

    Q.—Whence came you?
    A.—From the Far East.

    Q.—What did you observe there?
    A.—The great power of our founder.

    Q.—What significance does it have for you?
    A.—Knowledge of God and myself.

    Q.—What was recommended to you before you departed?
    A.—To take two routes, that of natural philosophy and that of supernatural.

    Q.—.What does natural philosophy signify?
    A.—The marriage of the sun and moon and knowledge of the seven metals
    "All this I tested by wisdom and I said, “I am determined to be wise” — but this was beyond me. Whatever exists is far off and most profound— who can discover it? So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly." - Ecclesiastes 7:23-25

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    Ah thank you so much. That was very enlightening. Though I must say I am somewhat disappointed. I would expect that they held their members to a more strict curriculum of esoteric work including daily rituals like LBRP, middle pillar, etc and alchemy work. Maybe such a curriculum may be found at the golden dawn then. What are your thoughts?

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    Okay well, I have a pretty low opinion of just about any new age group, and your mileage may vary. I'm going to restate now, for the record, that I have no experience in practical alchemy, and while I find it interesting, I don't have a lot of interest gaining that experience. The first thing I went after is Kabbalah, and so the opinions I've formed on these modern groups has mostly to do with looking for information on that early on.

    In general, the teachings of the Golden Dawn are a syncretism of kabbalah, hermeticism, astrology, tarot, alchemy, etc. And I hate modern syncretisms. In terms of their kabbalah, I find they merely learned to read hebrew to translate pretty literally and interpret in terms of hermeticism. I don't believe they had a lot of respect for or interest in the cultural context.. jewish history and th evolution of jewish mysticism. I'm not confident that any of the other elements received better treatment. Alchemy may have faired a bit better. The founders published some alchemy (the everburning lamps comes to mind) and Mathers was introduced to Freemasonry by an alchemist. Also, Woodman and Westcott were licenced to practice medicine, and that seems to be a common correlation to an interest in alchemy.

    The original Order quickly came to an end because of secular shenanigans. There was a lot of competition between different occult groups, racing to publish new material first.. creating splinter groups with themselves in charge, creating new degrees to confer upon their friends and deny to their enemies. Mathers was the wackiest of the group of founders.. He added the "Macgregor" to his name in connection to his unsubstaniated claims of Scottish heritage. (probably some imagined connection to older Scottish orders), and he has a lot to do with the chaos that lunatic Crowley caused. There were people who literally went crazy working with their systems. A priest even died. All in all, not really the behaviour of sincere, genuine people who have "cleaned themselves up" - IMO.

    Some of the first kabbalah I found was from the Golden Dawn, the old "VT Sophia" website in the 90s. But then i was 'saved' when Gershom Scholem's "Kabbalah" fell into my lap. And by the time I got to Regardie's big "The Golden Dawn" book, i had gained a decent foundation in traditional jewish kabbalah and earlier jewish mysticism. There's another thread on here where someone claims that GD Qabbalah is 100% Lurianic kabbalah, and that's not true at all. My major problem with it is that it skips around, "cherry picking" from different systems without differentiating between them. I knew enough about the different arcane traditions listed above to see they focused on the 'correspondences' between them (and forcing a few to fit) and ignoring the subtleties. By the time I got to their rituals with the intoning of badly anglicized hebrew in a corruption of Abraham Abulafia, I was done.

    Among the "second line" of G.D. authors Regardie wrote a lot about Kabbalah and the Golden Dawn itself, and A.E. Waite wrote a lot about Rosicrucianism and Alchemy.

    I don't really know how experienced any of these people were in practical alchemy, but they don't seem to be mentioned much in serious alchemy discussions.

    And no, there's no focused practical alchemy that you need to do to move up the "grades". Its much like I said about the Masons.. there are Golden Dawn affiliated authors that published on a variety of subjects, including alchemy, but its not something that members have to involve themselves with. You'll also find, especially with more recent books, that they don't cite a lot of sources or refer to a lot of "names", other than other Golden Dawn sources, preferring to keep you feeding from their trough instead of encouraging actual independent study. If practical alchemy was important to them, they'd have a line of Golden Dawn lab gear, and act like it was the only lab gear in existence. And it would be the only lab gear that you'd be allowed to mention in any Golden Dawn groups.
    "All this I tested by wisdom and I said, “I am determined to be wise” — but this was beyond me. Whatever exists is far off and most profound— who can discover it? So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly." - Ecclesiastes 7:23-25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire View Post
    Ah thank you so much. That was very enlightening. Though I must say I am somewhat disappointed. I would expect that they held their members to a more strict curriculum of esoteric work including daily rituals like LBRP, middle pillar, etc and alchemy work. Maybe such a curriculum may be found at the golden dawn then. What are your thoughts?
    There's a heavy emphasis in Masonry on symbollic teaching, to aid in memory - many members of early public freemasonry were illiterate. You expect to much. It's lowest-common-denominator.
    "All this I tested by wisdom and I said, “I am determined to be wise” — but this was beyond me. Whatever exists is far off and most profound— who can discover it? So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly." - Ecclesiastes 7:23-25

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    There's a heavy emphasis in Masonry on symbollic teaching, to aid in memory - many members of early public freemasonry were illiterate. You expect to much. It's lowest-common-denominator.
    You don't like masons much do ya ?

  10. #10
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    Masons I'd judge on a case by case basis, as individuals... some are good, some are bad, just like with anything.

    I actually think Masonry is good if that's something you are looking for, it just doesn't have a whole lot to do with practical alchemy. And the gate is wide, you don't have to have any particular knowledge or intellectual capacity. Pretty much there just can't be an obvious reason to blackball a potential member. I think seriously working the program would make any man better than they were before, regardless of capacity.

    I think people sometimes expect too much because of supposed masonic exposés in publications and tv shows, which as often as not are actually pro-masonic propaganda intended to stir up curiousity and interest in potential new members. Everyone likes to be in on the secret.
    "All this I tested by wisdom and I said, “I am determined to be wise” — but this was beyond me. Whatever exists is far off and most profound— who can discover it? So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly." - Ecclesiastes 7:23-25

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