I've always wanted to ask a freemason about a few of things. So here it goes. 1. Do the freemasons study the qabalah? 2. The freemasons never seem to talk about the above, so bellow, thing that hermeticists and occults always talk about. How come? 3. From what I gather, freemasons don't seem to have an emphisis on an end result that occults tend to have. With the golden dawn and thelema and such things. It seems more of a consistant working. Why is that?
Thank-you for the questions. This topic of freemasonry in relation to the occult and other ritual organizations is one that people often ask me.
1. Freemasonry is not a religion, and is not supposed to favor any one religion more than another. Each freemason is FREE to practice the faith of their choosing. In reality there are no official texts, books, or writings for freemasonry. All books by Ward, Pike, and Hall, are nothing more than those men’s opinion of, and their own paths to enlightenment. They are meant only to serve as a guide, and in no way should be considered the official “word” on freemasonry. Only required reading is the ritual books, and even those differ slightly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. So while some freemasons may personally study the qabalah for their own enrichment, that holy book, along with all other holy books are not actually masonic. I would even go a step further to suppose that most american freemasons today have never even seen the qabalah, let alone study it. This of course leads me to your other questions.
2. You mentioned the concept of as above, so below, hermetiicism, and the occult in relation to freemasonry. The short answer is they have very little to do with modern, american freemasonry. Most American lodges today consider themselves to be charity and social organizations first, and magical orders second. Discussions of the esoteric are usually limited specifically to what is in the ritual, and then it is on to child fingerprinting, bake sales, blood drives, meals on wheels… and the thousands of other social causes freemasons champion. So serious magical, elemental, and hermeticism is just not a priority, nor has it been for the past 30 years or so. This is beginning to change in some States and lodges. However, in Europe, and in American lodges chartered out of Europe, you will find the charity aspect is significantly diminished, and is held in a more equal footing with ritual and esoteric workings. My lodge is a mixed gender lodge, chartered out of France; we are primarily an esoteric lodge.. focusing on ritual work, magical working, energy, and general metaphysical stuff. We are not focused on charity work, except to the degree that is required. All that being said, even my order, which is the most esoteric that I have encountered, is in no way even a 10th as esoteric as your true occult ritual traditions such as the Golden Dawn, OTO, Theosophy…etc. If you are a seeker who wants to delve into serious magical work, freemasonry, unfortunately, will most likely leave you disappointed. In my order, we have many members who belong to freemasonry and other ritual orders also. Many find that freemasonry gives them just the tiniest taste of occult workings, but leaves them hungry for more.. I would join the Golden Dawn myself, for these very reasons, but i just don’t have the time to devote to 2 ritual orders at this juncture in my life.
3. Finally, your observations that freemasonry doesn’t have an emphasis on the “end result” is both true and false. Freemasonry is focused on A result, but not really on an end like in occult rituals. Our end is being called to “the grand lodge eternal”. The workings and rituals in freemasonry is meant better humanity, by making good men (and women) better. That and preparing us for the reality of death. And while much of the ritual trappings are evident, I would not consider our ritual workings to be the same as say a true invocation or evocation in the sense that is understood in traditional occult magical workings. Our rituals are meant to be contemplated allegorically, as a guide to “building our inner temple”.. and while members of my lodge believe we are contacting the elemental forces, most of us get our hermetic, alchemical, and occultist kicks elsewhere.
What does the middle chamber mean to you?
We know from the ritual, that the middle chamber is where the operative freemason goes to receive the wages that are due to him. They are Due him for the work that he has completed. The work of a freemason is to smooth and square the ashlars and to assist in the building of the temple.
As speculative freemasons, the temple we are building is ourselves. And if we are the temple, then the middle chamber symbolizes where we lock up the secrets of freemasonry. It is eluded to by the sign of fidelity, and the oaths that we memorize. It is where we give ourselves the wages we are due for the work we have completed.
How does one go about joining the masons
Thanks for the Question.
The easiest way is to speak to someone you know in your regular life, that you already know is a freemason. If this is not an option, never fear, in this day and age of the internet, it is easy to find freemasons and a lodge in your area. Go online, and search for masonic lodges, within your city and state. Many lodges maintain robust websites and facbook pages. Wikipedia also has list of masonic grand Lodges http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Masonic_Grand_Lodges
Once you find a lodge, contact them via email or telephone. It may take a while to be put in contact with the right person, or in some cases even get a response. But be PATIENT. Nothing, and I MEAN NOTHING moves quickly in freemasonry. If this going to be problem, I suggest not even progressing any further.
When talking with the brothers (or sisters, depending on the lodge you wish to join) be prepared to answer questions about yourself, your morals, your upbringing, your family, your finances, and in a few states, your religion, ethnicity, political views, and sexual preference. But most importantly, why you wish to join the order, what you hope to learn, and your personal goals pertaining your potential involvement with the group.
Please also keep in mind, that if you do not seem to “fit” with the first lodge you contact, there are always other lodges with distinctly different values and traditions. For instance, some are very christian, some are very active in charity work, some are into esoteric study, others are more like a social club. These things will all vary state to state and lodge to lodge.
Finally, I would suggest for anyone actually interested in pursuing freemasonry to stop reading about it online, in books or whatever. If you desire to actually go through the degrees, you would not want to accidently read something, see something, or learn something that would confuse or make the actual physical experience less moving or fun for you. (Assuming, of course that you find dressing up and preforming rituals fun, because that is a large part of freemasonry.)
What do you think about the fact that Masons in the US can progress so much faster through the degrees than their counter parts across the atlantic?
In my order, we do not progress fast, at all. I am a female freemason initiated into the mixed gender lodge, Le Droit Humain. We are governed by a Supreme Council, Headquartered in Paris, France. We progress at the rate of one degree per one year / or attending 12 regular meetings of your mother lodge. Only after memorizing and reciting in open lodge, the answers to both constitution and ritual questions during one lodge meeting. Then memorizing and reciting in open, lodge the oath of that degree in a subsequent lodge meeting. Followed by the ritual being held during another subsequent meeting.
I do have opinions about how the male only lodges in america advance, but I will not discuss them, with an anonymous asker. If you are a brother, and wish to speak about this further, feel free to message me your name and contact info.
Or feel free to search the archive to find the post (or 2) that I address just this subject.
hello, you ok? could i be ignorant and curious at the same time? what are freemason views on jesus christ?
I’m fine.. (thanks for asking)
As for individual freemasons’ views on Jesus… that depends on which freemason you ask. Ask a christian freemason, they will tell you he is the son of god… ask one who isn’t and they will tell you something different. (I for one, am not Christian, and I just see him a wise man, a teacher, and a philosopher)
Freemasonry is not a religion, and it does not sanction or endorse any one religion. Every freemason is FREE to choose their own religious and spiritual beliefs. However, freemasonry does teach that there is merit in all forms of spiritual study, and does encourage its members to pursue a path to enlightenment. Furthermore, every freemason must also profess a belief in a higher power of some form or another. (even in the most abstract belief, like deism, is OK in many of the more progressive orders. Mine included)
All that being said… in america, Christianity is the most dominate religion across the entire populace, so in most american freemason lodges, Christianity is also the dominate faith. Especially in regions that are historically more conservative.
Thanks for the question. :)
Could you recommend me some Masonic books?... Like Kybalion.
Currently online there are quite a few websites that list recommended masonic books and texts. The books listed on the pages below are intended to be read by members of the craft. Since I do not know if you are freemason or not, I would not feel comfortable making more specific suggestions. Enjoy, and Thank-You for the question.
oh, and I wouldn’t exactly call the Kybalion a masonic text. It is definitely a mystic, esoteric text, but it really isn’t something that is universally read by freemasons. However, I do believe that all freemasons could definitely gain wisdom and perspective by reading and studying it.
This is re-post.. But I just saw it again and thought re-posting was in order
“You have learned that Freemasonry calls God, ‘The Great Architect of the Universe” (G.A.O.T.U.). This is the Freemason’s special name for God, because he is universal. He belongs to all men regardless of their religious persuasion. All wise men acknowledge His authority. In his private devotions a Mason will pray to Jehovah, Mohammed, Allah, Jesus or the Deity of his choice. In a Masonic Lodge, however, the Mason will find the name of his Deity within the G.A.O.T.U.”
(The Craft and Its Symbols by Allen E. Roberts, pg. 6)
Hi, I was wondering if you are familiar with this Albert Pike quote and if you believe there is any truth in it?: "The Blue Degrees are but the outer court or portico of the Temple. Part of the symbols are displayed there to the Initiate, but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations. It is not intended that he shall understand them; but it is intended that he shall imagine he understands them. Their true explication is reserved for the Adepts, the Princes of Masonry.".
yes… And below is my opinions.
Anti masons LOVE to take the quotes of individual freemasons, and attribute them to the entire order. But much like this blog only represents MY interpretation of freemasonry; The words of Albert Pike, are just HIS interpretation of freemasonry.
No one person, body, or group represents all freemasons. Every member is required to interpret the symbols and allegory in a way that is meaningful to them, and in a way compatible with their existing spiritual and religious beliefs.
I do not agree with the teachings, saying or actions of all other freemasons in the world. Nor do all members of any group or organization have to be in agreeance in all aspects. Let us remember that Albert Pike not only wrote the degrees of Scottish Rite (1857) but was a controversial figure during his lifetime. So his opinion as to the higher Masonic Bodies is biased and not without critics. And while widely practiced today, in the infancy of their conception, higher bodies and degrees such as the York and Scottish Rite were actually frowned upon by masonic purists. Many freemasons today who are interested in the craft from a historical standpoint, only ever raise to the first three symbolic degrees of the Blue Lodge.
In any case, none of these are of any concern to anyone who isn’t a freemason, which I can assume you aren’t, based on this question.