Rocky Mountain Mason Vol. I Iss. 2. June 2013
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Craft • Capitular • Cryptic • Templar • AASR High Light in Freemasonry
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Dedication: W.Bro. Bob Van Sell
he Rocky Mountain Mson is proud to dedicate this, our second issue, to :
W. Bro. Robert Eugene Van Sell
Past Master of Norwood Lodge No. 111, and past Secretary of the same. Bro. Bob Van Sell passed from this life on February 11, 2013, in Cortez. He was 78 years old. Among many other worthy accomplishments in his life, Bro. Bob trained the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne.
Born July 15, 1934 Initiated Oct. 27, 1977 Passed Nov. 19, 1977 Raised Dec. 17, 1977
"Twilight & evening bell, And after that the dark! And may there be no sadness of farewell, When I embark!"
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Rocky Mountain Mason EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
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Chad Reed Gen Roach
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Shanna Syme Write to us at: P.O. Box 1200 Norwood, CO 81423 (970) 327-4199
From the Editor
t is with pleasure that we present to your attention this second issue of the Rocky Mountain Mason. We hope you enjoy reading it, our delight is in pleasing our readers. In this issue you will find as diverse topics as P.G.M. Joseph Milsom’s address at the annual San Juan Masonic Association’s St. John the Baptist’s Feast, On Masonry and its Relation to Religion, to the Kabbalistic rendering of the Big Bang, more than 700 years before modern science articulated it, to the lighthearted Best Masonic Beard Award. Our hope is this eclectic mix will find enjoyment and appeal across diverse interests, ideas, and opinions, as various and unique as the Brethren who comprise our Gentle Craft. We continue to solicit photos from our readers. If you have pictures of your Masonic events, please send them to me. I will likely publish them. We are also now accepting Letters to the Editor and, a sad but necessary item, Obituaries. Please send Letters to the Editor and Obituaries to email@example.com. As always, please free to contact me anytime with feedback, criticism or concerns, or just to let me know that you appreciate this endeavor. After all, publishing a magazine is a serious undertaking, we only hope that our efforts are well received. For the benefit of the Craft. Ben Williams Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
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Thomas Cox Michael McMillan Michael Smith SUBSCRIPTIONS: visit: www.rockymountainmason.com $33 per annum, payable online. Or mail a check to:
Cover Photo by Ben Williams
Laughing Lion PO Box 1200 Norwood, CO 81423 Rocky Mountain Mason is a trademark publication of Laughing Lion, LLC. All rights reserved. All articles used with permission. First publishing rights. No articles, pictures, content, or parts of this magazine useable without the express permission of the author. Contact the Editor for inquiries.
© 2013 Laughing Lion All rights reserved Title is protected by a Trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Printed in the U.S.A. Rocky Mountain Mason
JULY, 2013 July 3 & 4 Grand Lodge Band Camp Concert & Parade Greely, CO
July 13 Angel of Shavano Blanchard Ranch near Salida
July 19 & 20 Rocky Mountain Conference, Helena, Montana
July 27 State Scholarship Awards Ceremony, Denver
AUGUST, 2013 AUGUST 3
Grand Lodge Budget Session, Lodge Room Over Simpkins Store Annual Communication Colorado Springs Fairplay, CO
Unless otherwise noted, all articles and photos are by the Editor. Copyright 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All others, see by-line. Used by permission. Articles do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the M.W. Grand Lodge of Colorado A.F. &A.M., the Grand Chapter, Council, or Commandery of Colorado, or the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction. 7
Table of Contents S
New Master Mason, Dusty Carlson, repairs to study in the Masonic tradition.
On the Origin and Object of Freemasonry
By the Editor What is the origin of Freemasonry, and where is it going? Page 11
Masonry & its Relation to Religion
By. M.W. Bro. Joseph Milsom, P.G.M. of Masons of Colorado The Address of the Grand Master at the Annual St. John the Baptist’s Day Feast at the San Juan Masonic Association, June 25, 1901 Page 12
Brethren of the Craft – How well do you know your Brother? W. Bro. Wes Bailey, P.M., Gunnison Lodge No. 39 By M.W. Bro. Rodney Johnson, P.G.M. of Masons of Colorado Presenting an intimate portrait of our worthy Brother Wes. Page 16
The Turk – The Marvelous Chess Playing Robot of Bro. Wolfgang Von Kempelen By the Editor The remarkable story of the illusion that changed the world and ushered in the Industrial Revolution Page 18
The History of Alchemy in the United States
By Guest Author, Mark Stavish of the Institute for Hermetic Studies Being a historical account of the practice of operative alchemy across these United States, from the early settlers and into modern times. Page 24
Awarding Students and Educators
By the Editor Award Ceremony at Revelation Lodge for Cherry Creek School District honoring students and educators for their academic and social accomplishments. Page 34
Upon the Perfect Points of My Entrance
By the Editor Upon the symbolism of the Perfect Points of Entrance, and why they must be perfected for an Apprentice to receive his Wages. Page 37
Music of the Spheres
The Integrated Knowledge of the Ancients from a Musical Focus By W.B. John P. Trainor, Ph.D. Grand Musician of the M.W. Grand Lodge of Colorado A scholarly account of the integrated worldview of the Renaissance, and the planetary correspondences of Pythagoras’s musical scale. Page 38
From around the State – Photos of Masonic Events for your Enjoyment & Perusal Page 48
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Miss Kansas Job’s Daughter’s Speech at the Grand York Rite of Kansas Sessions By Jordan Stofer, Miss Kansas Job’s Daughter, 2012-2013 Listening to our youth groups, with mind to the future of our gentle Craft. Page 52
Ideas From the Vault
Worthy ideas for the consideration of the Brethren. But can it stand the Past Masters? Page 54
Origins of Freemasonry – The Iranian Plateau, and Beyond
By M.W. Bro. Hugh Ferdows, P.G.M. of Freemasons of Iran A presentation on the evolution of the mystery traditions from the Levant to the Lodge Room, where all religions combine. Page 57
Brick by Brick – The Wardens’ Workshop: Lodge Leadership Revamped and Revised By R.W. Bro. Michael McMillan, Senior Grand Warden of the M.W. Lodge of Colorado An account of the revitalized Wardens’ Workshop, bringing leadership training ot the fore. Page 58
Best Masonic Beard Award, 2013
Recognition of facial hair from around the State. Page 62
Pictures of Masonic tattoos submitted by Brethren from across the land. Page 63
An alarming statistical trend in membership figures. Page 64
Kabbalah and the Creation of the Worlds
By the Editor The Big Bang as recorded in the Kabbalah of 12th Century France and drawn upon by Albert Pike in his compilation, Morals & Dogma. Page 66
Bro. Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues Page 71
Where in Colorado?
Do you recognize this building? Page 72
Grand Lodge of Colorado’s Budget for 2013-2014 Page 74
Rocky Mountain Mason
tand on the square, Walk by the plumb, But stay on the level. A Mason’s work is never done For Holiness to the Lord Is not idle But made true, in the world For the Glory of the Word And the subduction of evil Give the lie to the devil. Holiness Is its own reward. 9
Letters to the Editor Elk Crossing
Sing Singing Praises
The elk crossing sign on highway 77 is in the wrong place. With all the auto traffic, it is far too dangerous for elk to cross here.
Thanks for the great magazine – I think it is the best magazine ever printed at any time throughout all history, and probably into the future as well.
Please notify the requisite authorities and have the crossing moved. There’s a good place probably three miles down the road. Thank you, Bro. Tensley Wiles Curmudgeon Lodge. No. 322
Please keep up the good work. By the way, I have moved. Please mail my next issue to: Canyon City Super Max Cell D Canyon City, CO All the best, Bro. Saddlewax Clandestine Lodge No. 3
Dear Eater, I am strongly abject to the numberless typoglyphical errors rife in this magazine.
There was also an evident lack of bullet points throughout the magazine.
When I buy a magazine, I expect there to be bullets in it. Tanks, Bro. Grimly Gibbons Sanctity Lodge No. 88
I cannot tolerate these spurious letters. They are clearly false, and written for effect. Moreover, that last one (above) belittles the Craft: Bro. Saddlewax is clearly clandestine, and should not be receiving a copy of this magazine. Please convey my fury to the publisher post haste. W. Bro. Ingred Whitsunday, PM, 34º Gentile Lodge No. 101
The Rocky Mountain Mason is now accepting Letters to the Editor. For more sincere and genuine letters, please write one, and send to: Rocky Mountain Mason P.O. Box 1200 Norwood, CO 81423 or email firstname.lastname@example.org 10
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On the Origin and Object of Freemasonry
s Masons we are encouraged to study the origins and philosophy of Freemasonry, to “converse with well informed Brethren”, to better understand what Masonry is and to what ends its “Art” is directed. What Masonry is likely differs from Mason to Mason, but there are common attributes that signal certain constants throughout its course. One such universal, for example, characterizes Masonry rather like a labyrinth – with appendant bodies cropping up behind every corner to disappear amid the circuitous twists and turns of an alternatively visible and invisible hierarchy. Folks will likely disagree as to what end this labyrinth is wrought, and what is at its center. But all will agree that Masonry is a path of a kind, or an allegorical journey. The character of our degrees necessitates such. Every journey has its steps, and the steps of our institution invariably lead the seeker before the altar of Freemasonry – each time approaching a specific allegorical place to receive another teaching and further instruction relative to the degree at hand. We’ve all heard Brothers use the phrase “Masonic journey”, many times no doubt. But where does this journey lead? Few can point to a common future; the future, always uncertain, is generally conceived through individual perception and therefore variegated by individual desires. But a common past is more easily sought. As an object’s end typically derives from its origin, or is at least influenced thereby, seeking a common past is a good place to begin – and so many have, seeking to understand what Masonry is, what its objects are, and from whence they are directed. Following the corresponding multitude of opinions on the subject, the suspected origins of Freemasonry can be grouped into two general categories1. The first, loosely termed the “Authentic
School”, seeks our origins in the guilds of operative stone masons active during the high middle ages. The Authentic School is concerned with facts and verifiable documentation, it is less interested in highfalutin intimations of secret doctrine steeped in antiquity and the metaphysical aspirations of a secretive society. The second category is loosely termed the “Romantic School”. Proponents of this view seek our origins down hidden avenues, avenues rife with arcane and esoteric imagery. They follow its symbols as if learning a secret language, a language which speaks of a lasting knowledge removed from a distant past through a concatenated chain of initiates intent on tending the fire of spiritual illumination.
The Romantic School counters that such symbolisms emerged from Masonry, that Freemasonry has a longstanding tradition, in one form or another (even if unrecognizable to modern Masons), back through ancient Egypt2, perhaps even to antediluvian times. Masonry, according to this opinion, is not merely the forms and ceremonies of our institution, but foremost an idea that has taken many forms to communicate its tenets. The Authentic School is often couched as a pragmatic, down-to-earth school, the Romantic School lofty and enigmatic. The truth is neither of these extremes is necessary. This author believes that both are true, to an extent. Much depends on perspective. So let’s focus on a point where both these views converge. Both schools agree that Freemasonry was codified in the high middle ages into a nascent form perhaps recognizable to the one we know today3. It is important to remember that the operative stonemasons of the high middle ages were more than just cutters of stone. To properly understand the origins of our institution – or the origin of the historically verifiable documents of our institution – one must be conscious of the worldview of the society in which such referential documents were fashioned. It’s a common limitation of the modern mind to view the past from a presentist point of view. But to the contemporaries of the high middle ages the way of seeing the world was entirely different indeed. To construct a cathedral, or any edifice, really, was not simply a matter of engineering and physical concern. Rather, such an endeavor necessarily touched upon the metaphysical philosophies which utterly informed the day. To an operative stonemason such construction was the manufacture of a microcosmic Cont. pg. 15
“To an operative stonemason such construction was the manufacture of the microcosmic representation of creation itself...”
Rocky Mountain Mason
These views are typically anticipated as mutually exclusive. The Authentic school contends that Freemasonry might well have adopted various symbolisms from other mystery traditions, but, they insist, Masonry proper, as practiced today, did not evolve such symbolisms. Rather, Masonry was subsequent them.
he San Juan Masonic Association of Colorado held its first meeting on June 18, 1897, at Silverton. According to its by laws, the San Juan Masonic Association’s primary object was “the uniting of all the Masonic Lodges of South-Western Colorado, and holding conventions thereof in order to promote a better acquaintance among the members of the Order, and a more fraternal feeling among the Lodges, members and families of Masons1”. The Association met on St. John’s day each year at one of the member Lodges, coming to each in turn through the years. Most Lodges in Southwestern Colorado were members, including: Mancos Lodge No. 100, Norwood Lodge No. 111, Pagosa Lodge NO. 114, San Juan Lodge No. 33 (in Silverton), Crystal Lake Lodge No. 34 (Lake city), Ouray Lodge No. 37, Durango Lodge No 46, Telluride Lodge No. 56, Montrose Lodge No. 63, and Rico Lodge No. 79. The 5th annual meeting of the Association, in 1901, was held at Telluride Lodge No. 56. Back then, Telluride was a bustling town with a railway connection to Grand Junction. You could travel to New York and back on rails. At that meeting Grand Master Joseph Milsom delivered an address. President of the San Juan Masonic Association on that day was Charles Painter - a man-about-town in Telluride, Past Master of Telluride Lodge, and would-beGrand Master of Masons in Colorado in 1906. Among other endeavors favorable to his many pursuits in Telluride, M.W. Bro. Painter also owned and operated The Telluride Daily Journal. As a result, many events at Telluride Lodge were featured in print. So it is that this Grand Master’s address was printed on June 27th, 1901, in the Telluride Daily Journal. Here is what Grand Master Joseph Milsom had to say to the Brethren, families, and guests assembled that day, on Masonry and its Relation to Religion.
Article II, Constitution, San Juan Masonic Association of Colorado
Masonry Relation Religion being the
Grand Master’s Address by M.W. Bro. Joseph Milsom
at the San
Juan Masonic Association
Telluride Lodge No. 56
St. John the Baptist’s Day June 25th, 1901
Rocky Mountain Mason
y Friends:– We have assembled here to celebrate the festival of St. John the Baptist. This is one of the days set apart by the Masonic fraternity throughout the world to worship the Grand Architect of the Universe, to implore His blessings upon all mankind, and to participate in a royal feast of brotherly love and affection: and this we should do in a manner most conducive to the honor and benefit of our beloved institution. And so, as there are many here today who are not members of our fraternity, it seems especially fitting that I should direct your attention briefly to some of the things which have called forth criticisms from a few who were not members of our fraternity. In discussing these matters I shall necessarily incorporate thoughts and words of others. Perhaps it would have been more acceptable if I had compiled more and composed less*. Our secrecy has been objected to on the theory that if masonry is good we should disclose it, so that all might be benefited thereby. One of the principal things that makes a man be deemed wise, is his intelligent strength and ability to keep and conceal such honest secrets as are committed to him, as well as his own serious and private affairs. The Athenians bowed to a statue of brass, which was made without a tongue, thus showing their reverence for secrecy. The Egyptians worshipped Harpocrates, the God of Silence. The Romans revered Angerona, the Goddess of Secrecy. The Persians severely punished all those who violated the law of secrecy. King Solomon says, “He who keeps his tongue keeps his soul.” He also says that “He who discovers secrets is a traitor, and he that conceals them is a faithful brother.” The first duty enjoined upon a candidate in the first degree of Masonry is silence and secrecy, and speaking of the origin of these duties in the primitive period, Brother Nicholson says: “As idolatry prevailed upon the earth, it became necessary for those who held worship of the true God to form themselves into a
distinct order – not only those who were children of Israel, but also others who retained the traditions of Israel’s God, though of Gentile blood; the time arrived when openly to worship the true God was attended with danger; and then it was that our ancient brethren had special recourse to hieroglyphics and symbols to preserve secrecy, lest they should be exposed to persecution; and as the recondite points of religion were always in possession of the priests alone, among the different idolatrous peoples, and as peculiar forms of initiation were practiced by them, attended with the greatest secrecy, so the same practice was resorted to by the votaries of the true God, at least so far as secrecy was concerned, secrecy from that time forth ranking as a virtue among Masons, and justly so.”
verbally down to all the great characters celebrated in Jewish antiquity among whom both David and Solomon were deeply conversant in its most hidden mysteries. Nobody, however, had ventured to commit anything of the kind to paper.” The Christian church, in the age immediately succeeding the Apostolic, observed the same custom of oral instruction. The early fathers were eminently cautious not to commit certain of the mysterious dogmas of their religion to writing lest the surrounding pagans should be made acquainted with what they could neither understand nor appreciate. St. Basil, treating of this subject in the fourth century, says: “We receive the dogmas transmitted to us by writing, and those which have descended to us from the Apostles beneath the mystery of the oral tradition; for several things have been handed to us without writing, lest the vulgar, too familiar with our dogmas, should lose a due respect for them.” A custom so ancient as this, of keeping the land marks unwritten, and one so invariably observed by the Masonic fraternity, we may very naturally presume, must have been originally established with the wisest intentions; and the usage was adopted by many other institutions, whose organism was similar to that of Free Masonry. We are all possessed of secrets. Does the merchant disclose the cost of his wares? Does the banker tell us of the financial distress of his customers? Does the prospector proclaim his latest discovery until he has secured himself? Does the fortunate inventor disclose his secrets? No my friends. If secrecy and silence be duly considered, they will be found most necessary to qualify a man for any business of importance, and so are beneficial in many ways, and I believe that the welfare and good of mankind was the cause of motive of our grand institution, which not only tends to protect its members from external injuries, but to polish their minds and keep them within the bounds of true religion, morality and virtue: for
“Masonry is the universal morality which is suitable to the people of every land and to the people of every creed: it has taught no doctrines except those truths that tend directly to the wellbeing of man”
Rocky Mountain Mason
Again, to preserve the privileges of the fraternity strict secrecy was observed lest those privileges should become abused. The instructions which constitute the hidden or esoteric knowledge of Free Masonry are forbidden to be written, and can only be communicated by oral intercourse of one Mason with another. In all the ancient mysteries, the same reluctance to commit the esoteric instructions of the hierophants to writing is apparent, and hence the secret knowledge taught in the initiations was preserved in the symbols, the true meaning of which was closely concealed from the profane. The Druids had a similar regulation and Caesar informs us that it was not considered lawful to trust their sacred verses to writing, but these were always committed to memory by the disciples. The same custom prevailed among the Jews with respect to the oral law, which was never intrusted to books, but being preserved in the memories of the priests and wise men, was handed down from one to the other through a long succession of ages. The mythical philosophy of the Hebrews was also communicated in an oral form, and Maurice says, “transmitted
such are our teachings that if those who have the honor of being members will live according to our true principle their lives will shine with good deeds and they will receive mankind’s approval. And that brings me to another subject that I desire to refer to; that is, Masonry and its relation to religion. The Masonic fraternity is governed by the ancient land-marks of Masonry and the laws and regulations flowing therefrom. The landmarks are twenty-five in number and their greatest peculiarity is that they are unchangeable and unrepeatable. They are absolute law to every Mason and must be maintained inviolate. Now let me read three of these landmarks: 19th – “That every Mason must believe in the existence of God as the grand architect of the Universe.” 20th – “That every Mason must believe in a resurrection to a future life.” 21st – “That a book of the law of God must constitute an indispensable part of the furniture of every lodge.” Does that savor of indifference to religion? Yet such have been our laws even from a time antedating the Christian era. The history of our institution does not disclose a solitary instance in which an avowed atheist was ever made a Mason. No Mason within the walls of a Masonic temple has the right to measure for another the degree of veneration he shall feel for any form of religion. We teach a belief in no particular creed as we teach unbelief in none: but Masonry, with her traditions reaching back to the earliest times, and her symbols antedating even the monuments of Egypt, the dawn of history, permits men of all religions to enlist under her banners or wage war against evil, ignorance and wrong, and to assist her in disseminating truth and right. Some schools of religion are not equally liberal. In fact one great church has in recent years been Masonry’s bitterest foe, but as it is likewise the foe of all forms of Protestantism, that cannot be urged against us by other religious societies. The temple built by King Solomon and our ancient brethren sank into ruins long ago, when the Assyrian armies sacked Jerusalem. The Holy City is a mass of hovels cowering under the dominion of the Crescent and the Holy Land is a desert. The Kings of Egypt and Assyria, who were contemporaries of King Solomon are forgotten, and their histories mere 14
fables: the ancient Orient is a shattered in any true sense of the word. wreck, bleaching on the shores of time, Masonry is the universal morality but the quiet and peaceful institution of which is suitable to the people of every Free Masonry, of which the son of a poor land and to the people of every creed: it Phoenician widow was one of the Grand has taught no doctrines except those truths Masters, with the Kings of Israel and Tyre, that tend directly to the wellbeing of man: has continued to increase in numbers and it requires of its initiates nothing that is influence, defying the angry waves of time impracticable; it asks that alone to be done and the storms of persecution. which is easy and right to do; it does not Age has not weakened its firm expect one whose business or profession foundations, nor marred the beauty yields him little more than the wants of of its harmonious himself and family require and whose proportions: and time is necessarily occupied by his daily it continues to avocation to abandon or neglect teach to its millions the business by which he and his of initiates those family live and devote himself and lessons of his means to the diffusion of peace and knowledge among men: but it good will, does expect each member to do of reliance something within according to in God and his means, but never beyond confidence them. in man, To the Mason, God which it is our Father in Heaven, to learned whom our most fervent love when Hebrew is due and our most humble and Giblemite and patient submission: whose worked side by side most acceptable worship is a pure on the slopes and compassionate heart and a of Lebanon. beneficent life, in Whose constant Joseph Milsom, GM 1900-1901 But it b. June 8, 1853; d. July 21, 1930 presence we live and act and by is neither MM, Rosita Lodge No. 36, 1881 Whose merciful disposition we a political WM, Rosita Lodge No. 36, 1885 are resigned to that death, which party nor a Affiliated Mount Moriah Lodge No. we hope and believe is but the religious sect: 15 at Canyon City, 1895 entrance to a better and brighter it embraces world. As to our feeling toward all parties Him, and our conduct toward and all sects, to form from among them a men, Masonry teaches little about which vast fraternal association; it recognizes the men can differ: He is our Father and we dignity of human nature and man’s right are all his brethren: this needs no priest to to intellectual freedom, and it teaches and teach it nor anybody to endorse it: and if has preserved in its purity, the cardinal each did that only which is consistent with tenets of the old primitive faith, which it, it would banish from this world forever, underlie and are the foundations of all all cruelty, treachery, selfishness, and all religions. kindred vices and passions. It is not possible to create a true My conclusion I shall quote from and genuine brotherhood upon any one of the ablest and most illustrious of theory of the baseness of human nature, Masonic writers**: “It is the dead that nor by a community of belief in abstract govern; the living obey; and if the soul sees proportions as to the nature of the Deity, after death what passes on this earth and nor by the establishment of a system of watches over the welfare of those it loves, association simply for mutual relief. There then must its greatest happiness consist can be no genuine brotherhood without in seeing the current of its beneficent mutual regard, good opinion and esteem, influences widening out from age to age, mutual charity and mutual allowance for as rivulets widen into rivers, and aiding faults and failings: it is to those only who to shape the destinies of individuals, learn, habitually, to think better of each families, states, the world; and its bitterest other and expect, allow for and overlook punishment in seeing its evil influences evil, who can be brethren one of the other, causing mischief and misery, and cursing Rocky Mountain Mason
and afflicting men, long after the frame it dwelt in has become dust, and when both name and memory is forgotten.” We know not who among the dead control our destinies: the universal human race is linked and bound together by those influences and sympathies which in the truest sense do make men’s fates; humanity is the unit, of which man is but a fraction; what other men in the past have done, said, thought, makes the great iron network of circumstances that environs and controls us all: we take our faith on trust: we think and believe as the old lords of thought commands us: and reason is powerless before authority. We would make or annul a particular contract, but the thought of the dead judges of England, living when their ashes have been cold for centuries, stand between us and that which we would do and actually forbid it. Awe would settle our estates in a particular way, but the prohibition of the English parliament, its uttered thought when the first or second Edward reigned, comes echoing down the long avenues of time and tells us we shall not exercise the power of disposition as we wish. We would gain a particular advantage of another, and the thought of the old Roman lawyer who died before Justinian, or that of Rome’s greatest orator, Cicero, annihilates the act, or makes the intention ineffectual. This act Moses forbids, that Alfred. We would sell our land, but certain marks on a perishable paper tells us that our father or remote ancestor ordered otherwise, and the arm of the dead emerging from the grave with peremptory gesture prohibits the alienation. About to sin or err, the thought or wish of our dead mother told us when we were children by words that died upon the air in the utterance and many a year forgotten, flashes on our memory and holds us back with a power that Is resistless. Thus we obey the dead, and thus shall the livening when we are dead, for weal or woe, obey us. The thoughts of the past are the laws of the present and future. That which we say and do, if in its effect lasts not beyond our lives, is unimportant. That which shall live when we are dead as part of the great body of law enacted by the dead, is the only act worth doing, the only thought worth speaking. The desire to do something that shall benefit the Rocky Mountain Mason
world when neither praise nor obloquoy will reach us where we sleep soundly in the grave is the noblest ambition entertained by man, and that is the ambition of a true and genuine Mason. Knowing the slow process by which the Deity brings about results, he does not expect to reap as well as sow in a single lifetime. It is the inflexible fate and noblest destiny, with rare exceptions, of the great and good, to work and let others reap the harvest of their labors. To sow that others may reap; to work and plant for those that are to occupy the earth when we are dead; to project our influence far into the future and live beyond our time; to rule as the kings of thought over men who are yet unborn; to bless with the glorious gifts of truth and light and liberty those who will neither know the name of the giver nor care in what grave his unregarded ashes repose, is the best office of a Mason and the proudest destiny of a man.
*Aside from rendering some good-natured humility becomming of the occasion, this statement appears to be a direct allusion to Albert Pike's Morals & Dogma – see, for example, the Preface of Morals & Dogma by Pike, wherein we read: In preparing this work, the Grand Commander [i.e. Pike himself] has been about equally Author and Compiler; since he has extracted quite half its contents from the works of the best writers and most philosophic or eloquent thinkers. Perhaps it would have been better and more acceptable, if he had extracted more and written less. [Emphasis added] ilsom seems to have used this phrasing, M perhaps, to signify a profound influence on his speech to worthy and well-informed Brethren who, being well read in the era, would likely catch the reference. **Milsom is quoting Albert Pike, from the 19º – The Grand Pontiff, in Morals & Dogma
From. pg. 11 representation of creation itself, suitable for the indwelling of Deity, wherein man could offer praise to the undeniable Source of All, which, fashioning man in its own likeness, had imbued man with a creative potential. Aligning this innate human potential with the Will of God was considered the ultimate purpose of humanity, and a fair display of creation adoring its Creator under the dominion of an all powerful Deity. An operative Mason was, by virtue of his trade, already a speculative Mason to a certain extent. Thus a cathedral was not just a house of worship. It was a small universe, a veritable nexus where the influences of the higher spheres and the lower world combined. It was a chamber for communing with God, a holographic piece which contained the whole in representation. Building a cathedral is indeed a monumental task. It is even more monumental when that superstructure is oriented to the seasons and the rising and setting of the Sun, among other super-terrestrial concerns. At the height of this period cathedrals were cropping up everywhere, along supposed lines of mystical power crisscrossing the old world, all mirroring a spherically ordered cosmos. This time period also coincided with a decentralized form of currency minted by monasteries individually (as was done in the Roman days – the term “money” derives from the Latin Moneta, a goddess in whose temples coin was fashioned), and it represents a time of relative plenty across the old world. How and why this should be the case is beyond the scope of this paper, but suffice it to say that such a form of currency engendered a sustainable and plentiful economy by separating the store of value from the medium of exchange. Philosophy, requiring an amount of plenty to sustain its musings, reflection and inquiry, was therefore prevalent; the Cathars were rising in Southern France, promulgating a philosophy with two degrees, the higher claiming a direct revelation of Deity; the Kabbalah was being written down in multidenominational cities where Moslems, Christians and Jews interacted peaceably, as a system for understanding and revealing God; the crusades were bringing trade and knowledge of distant civilizations together; and a great syncretism was underway. As was again evidenced in this time period, Cont. pg. 33 15
Brethren of the Craft How well do you know your Brother? W. Bro Wes Bailey, PM, Gunnison Lodge Born June 20, 1918
by M.W. Bro. Rodney Johnson, P.G.M
es Bailey? Oh sure I know . He is a CPA in Fort Collins, married, several from Crested Butte, Gunnison and Wes.” This is often the and together John and Kelly have given Lake City. The U.S. was joining the war; response I get from those Wes and Josephine two grandchildren, the Nazi’s had to be stopped. “ Prior to of whom I ask if they know him. “He’s Brandon and Tara. Wes lives alone now; reporting for service, a special dispensation the Brother from Gunnison with the deep, Josephine died a few years ago. allowed Wes to become a Master Mason. booming voice. He seems to stay active, He was born on Smith Hill in Crested He still did his proficiencies, just in record tho’ he’s gettin’ up there in years.” Butte and has spent his whole life in time. He joined after talking with the Did you know that A Wesley Bailey’s Crested Butte and Gunnison except for his local barber who made a few “suggestions” first name is Anderson? This July 20th, time in the U.S. Army. He believes staying to Wes. Wes’ father was a Mason, but his Brother Anderson Wesley Bailey Jr. will active is the key to long life and certainly dad never said much about it to him. be 95 years old. Having that many years the key to productivity. Wes laments He has vivid recollections of the would provide anyone with bloodiness of the war. He’s "Wes recounts several instances of hours of standing at seen many who were killed quite a story to tell, Wes certainly has his. attention, long marches, cold weather conditions, poor or maimed, in horrible He lives in Gunnison circumstances. He was health and confrontations with guards who could have in Africa when he was in a wood frame house on a relatively large lot in town. captured. He describes how easily pulled the trigger." Wes relates that the house his battalion was left to “hold has had a few renovations/additions over that kids today don’t have the chores their ground” after which circumstances the years and though it is not extra large and responsibility of times past and that left them without water. They came by today’s standards, “It is probably four such duties are needed to instill proper upon some Arabs who gave them some times as big as when it was first built!” water that looked pretty bad, but Wes and character in tomorrow’s adult community. The house began as a 1 bedroom with an others drank after adding some tablets to He is quick to admit that it is tougher to outhouse; the yard: 1 tree, no grass. It’s the water that seemed black. Later, those accomplish in today’s society. now a 3 bedroom with indoor plumbing. same Arabs told the Nazis the battalion’s Wes was doing some kind of chores The large yard is watered with a pump and location and thus Wes became a prisoner as young as 5. At 12 he was milking irrigation water. Wes has lived there since of war. He spent over two years as a POW. cows. He graduated from Gunnison High 1949. Seems that was when he married a School in 1936. Later he began work in He and two others escaped once, only to local girl, Josephine Venturo, after a couple a coal mine and then in October of 1941 be caught within a few days and brought of years of dating. They later had a son John he was drafted into the Army--- artillery back - for a time in solitary confinement. Wesley who graduated from high school, with a certain amount of infantry duties. Wes recounts several instances of hours then college at Western State in Gunnison “Lots of us were going in; I went in with of standing at attention, long marches,
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ON cold weather conditions, poor health and confrontations with guards who could have easily pulled the trigger. He went in the Army at about 190 pounds and when liberated by the British he weighted 125. His diet was pretty much bread, potatoes and water... and not very much of any. Wes also recounts that the U.S. and the British appeared to be the only main combatants that largely abided by the Geneva Convention and that German POW’s were generally treated better than their U.S. and British counterparts. .. so much so that it was not uncommon for liberated German POW’s to apply for visas to relocate to the U.S. after the war. Wes tells of terrible conditions, rampant dysentery in the stalag’s at which he was kept and of open sores on his neck that made him believe he was a goner on several occasions. His arm once swelled up so large that when it was lanced to relieve the pressure it spewed blood and infection everywhere. But, after fighting in Africa and all through Europe, Wes survived and was discharged from the Army in 1945. He returned home and spent 10 years working in the coal mines and 25 years hauling freight . He never said much about the war until more recent times. He said, “Nobody really wanted to hear about Rocky Mountain Mason
it.” By the time he started getting requests to make presentations he just didn’t feel up to it. After a second request by a middle school teacher, Wes’ wife Josephine said, “Just go do it; it’ll be good for them to hear it and it’ll be good for you too.” He reluctantly agreed, went to the school and was surprised how fast the hour went once he got started. Afterwards, the whole class came forward and thanked Wes for his presentation and for his service. The teacher said, “This was as quiet as the class has ever been.” He became Master of Crested Butte Lodge (several times) and a presider of each of the local York Rite bodies. For many years he’s been a member of the Grand Junction Scottish Rite and participant in the 29th degree. He of course has his memberships in several military-related organizations: VFW Chaplin for 15 years, American Legion Past Commander, member of DAV and POW’s. Wes is a strong promoter of the Gunnison County Pioneer Club/ Museum where he is Vice-president and has been a member for 27 years. And, in his spare time Wes was on the city council for 10 years and continues to be a member of the Board of Appeals & Adjustments... 33 years, and counting! Wes has been President of the Young
at Heart - Meals on Wheels and continues to help set up for the regular (3 times per week) meals. He helped deliver for years and has always enjoyed the friendships and conversations with those he met along the way. About four years ago (when he was only 89 or 90) his hip gave away when helping deliver meals. He agreed to go to the hospital, but only after the last three meals were delivered. It was about 5 pm that evening that he had an operation for a broken hip, after which he spent three weeks in the hospital! Wes still drives around town and is quick to point out that the lodge isn’t far from his house. He enjoys attending lodge although he admits he doesn’t make it every time, like he used to. He recalls one time not long ago in lodge, as the Past Masters introduced themselves, he said, “Wes Bailey, Past Master 1892 and 2005.” Another Past Master of Gunnison Valley lodge, T. Tom McKelvie said, “DId I hear 1892?” Wes laughed his deep and booming laugh and said, “I just wanted to see if anyone was listening!” When asked, after such a long life is there anything that stands out that he might still look forward to - without hesitation Wes stated, “Becoming 100!”
‰ Photo by Getty Images, used by Permission of John Gaughan
‰ The Turk ‰
The marvelous Chess Playing Robot of Bro. Wolfgang Von Kempelen 1734 - 1804
Rocky Mountain Mason
Photo by Getty Images, used by Permission of John Gaughan
ro. Johann Wolfgang Ritter von lasting innovations in mechanics and was heralded as a masterpiece across the Kempelen de Pazmand (1734engineering that contributed to the onset land. 1804) is a man often unnoticed of the industrial revolution, Kempelen “The Hungarian court will benefit and overlooked in modern times. Yet it’s is best known for a magical illusion – an greatly from young Mr. Kempelen,” she hard to overestimate his impact said, and appointed on the world. The space created him Counselor to the by his absence would stretch a Imperial Court. vacuum into modern times, and, During this time quite possibly, render the world of scientific awakening, as we know it unrecognizable. across Europe the best A rare genius of the and the brightest Enlightenment, Kempelen minds were delighting inspired no less and diverse greats the royal courts as James Watt (and his steam with displays of engine), Edgar Allen Poe (who their “Automatons”, wrote a story about the chess mechanical devices playing automaton), Edmund created to resemble Cartwright (the inventor of the natural phenomena. “power loom” that automated These would play a weaving), Alexander Graham lasting role in ushering Bell (inventor of the telephone) in the industrial and Charles Babbage, the revolution. inventor of the world’s first Chief among computer. For half a century these minds was a man Kempelen was a prominent called Vaucason, who figure in the Enlightenment, had already made a the talk of European Courts, mechanical duck that appearing in unexpected places, could eat and digest and mystifying the world with food. It could flap his scientific and “magical” its metallic wings, diversions. and moved in striking Among his diverse and similarity to its natural eclectic accomplishments, so counterpart. In the varied and wide-ranging, are: process of making Master Illusion Builder, John Gaughan's Recontstruction of the Turk, 1989 he was patronized by Frederick this remarkable device, the Great (the great protector of Vaucason invented a new the Scottish Rite). He was appointed a ingenious chess playing robot, known as way of valcanizing rubber. Knight of the Holy Roman Empire. He the “Turk”. Vaucason also unveiled a mechanical was admitted into the Imperial Academy The secret of its operation eluded the flute playing boy, who could play recitals of Arts. He assisted in moving an entire world for over 100 years. In fact, aside of popular tunes when coded drums university. He invented a particular type from the surety modern science affords were fitted into a revolving, clockwork, of steam engine. He was placed in charge us to the contrary, no one can be quite machine. The mechanical boy played the of Hungary’s salt mines and their manifold certain it didn’t work, as many supposed flute with his fingers, and blew air through engineering operations. He became in that time when science and magic were his mouth. The effect was remarkable: Councilor of the Royal Chancellery of so closely allied, via the agency of “spirits”. “Bold Vaucason, rival of Prometheus,” Hungary. He wrote plays. He consulted The reality is just as intriguing. wrote Bro. Voltaire. on a channel to connect the Danube Bro. Kempelen was born in 1734, and An Englishman, James Cox, became with the Adriatic sea. He could move studied philosophy and law at Vienna. In famous for his large, jewel encrusted water uphill. He built a typewriter for 1755 he was introduced at the Viennese automata, which were sent as gifts to China the blind composer, singer, and pianist, Court by his father, and took the task of by the East India Company. He made an Marie-Therese Paradis. And he invented translating the Hungarian Civil Code from eight foot mechanical elephant, covered a machine capable of emulating human Latin into German. This he accomplished in rubies, emeralds, diamonds, and other speech. It actually answered questions – in in just a few days. The Empress of the precious stones, a mechanical peacock, a different languages! Austria-Hungarian empire, Maria Theresa, mechanical tiger, and a mechanical swan. But despite all this, as well as several was impressed by this feat – the translation One Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz, a
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Swiss clock-maker, made a mechanical harpsichord player, a mechanical draftsman, and a mechanical writer, each operable by means of irregularly-shaped disks, programmed with bumps and valleys, the rotation of which coordinated among a set of spring-loaded levers to actuate the mechanical movements and appendages by which these robots effected their actions; to play music, draw pictures, and write letters respectively. A truly remarkable time. One where the digitization of music, words, and motions were realized, in the pits and valleys, the bumps and knobs, of clockwork gears and steam powered engines. But a time also full of deception and affect. Some automatons were not actually genuine. One flute playing boy, for example, was discovered to conceal a real flute playing boy inside. But this was part of the fun – each Court baring witness to an invention would try to discover the secret of its operation, to the elevation or denigration of the inventor, and the real automatons became sensations – enough to provide an inventor with a lifetime of fame and a good income. Legends and reality blurred, popularized by stories of the Renaissance, of Leonardo Da Vinci’s mechanical lion, the mechanical, flying Eagle of Regiomontanus, and the magical devices of the alchemists of the Arabian East. So it was that, one evening in 1769, Von Kempelen was invited by his patroness, Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria-Hungary, to observe the “scientific conjuring” of one Pelletier, a French naturalist, who was to demonstrate the newly popularized sensation of magnetism, other natural phenomenon, as well as display his collection of automata. 20
Vaucason's Mechanical Duck It could eat and digest food.
Vaucason's Mechanical Fluteplayer All couched in the supremacy of French science, no doubt. Maria-Theresa invited Kempelen to observe and discuss the mode of operation of these automatons, to explain away any supernatural effect or spot a deception. Throughout the performance, Kempelen instructed the Empress on the probable mechanics driving the machines, explained away the mystery of magnetism, and, we must suppose, brought the whole affair and sweeping rhetoric of the Frenchman down to earth. At the end of the show, the Empress rose, and addressing the room, asked Bro. Kempelen what he thought of the Frenchman and his devices. The room fell silent when Von Kempelen said, for all to hear, that he was not impressed with this Frenchman and that he, Kempelen, could deliver, to the delight of the Court there assembled, a better automaton than any displayed that
evening – and, in fact, quite possibly the greatest automaton ever seen! This delighted Maria Theresa, who gave him six months to live up to it. Sequestered away, amongst the sounds of saws, we might imagine, iron on iron, the scratch of the quill, and the rustle of parchment, Von Kempelen worked in secret. True to his word, six months later, he arrived at the Royal Court with the most famous automaton ever constructed. It would capture the attention of the world. So it was that, on an evening in 1770, Von Kempelen rolled his Chess Player into the Imperial Court. The Chess Player was a wooden figure of a man, wearing a turban, seated behind a cabinet on top of which was positioned a chess board. In one hand he held a long, elegant pipe. We might imagine the room quieting as Kempelen introduced, to the attention of that assemblage of European nobles, his Chess Playing marvel – the “Turk”. Kempelen passed in front of the machine, opening the first of three doors, to reveal an intricate web of cogs and machinery, a spidery mass of brass and steel, somehow ordered in some myriad of complexity. He would walk, slowly we must imagine, behind the machine, open a rear door, and pass a candle thereabouts to mark a clear line of sight through the machinery. Nothing concealed. He would wind it up just a touch, with a large key, and the machine would whir – all those cogs and wheels turning in synchronized wonderment. He would open the second and third doors, to demonstrate a predominantly empty cavity, having a few chains and rings suspended mysteriously therein, and open the rear doors to mark a clear line of sight through the machine, where the Turk was seated. Then he would close it all up, wind the machine at an aperture Rocky Mountain Mason
Photo by Getty Images, used by Permission of John Gaughan
at the side with a large key he kept about any square on the board, any square at mystery. him for the purpose. You could hear the all. This done, the room looked on as the So it was that Kempelen was ordered sound of the clockwork put-put-putting Turk performed the fabled Knight’s Tour, to take his invention around Europe, away, a mechanical pulse ready to animate placing the knight, through increments to showcase the perspicuity of Austriathe inanimate, and breathe life into the of its L-shaped move, onto each and Hungarian science to the world. He unliving. every square on the board but once. This played in Paris – then the best known seat There was among the nobles there in was a popular problem of the era, had of chess masters in the world. He played witness that night, the Count of Cobenzel, several solutions, but the Turk’s solution – in London. He played across Italy and at who was known as a chess player, and which could perform the Tour from any all the prized courts of the land. And he considered quite good at the game. Von particular square the knight was placed on played well. Kempelen bid him sit opposite the Turk – was apparently a novel one. The room Kempelen increased his aura of and nodding, gestured that he should was astounded. mystery by allowing spectators to place begin. The Count, with a bemused The box was too small to conceal large magnets upon the cabinet, to assuage smile perhaps, ponderously picked up a a person. And, besides, Kempelen had the growing suspicion that magnetism pawn, and made an somehow opening move. He controlled probably seemed the device satisfied, and smiled – operated at the crowd behind mysteriously him. But then, gasps by Kempelen all round: the Turk himself by lifted an arm, moved means of in synchronized the elongate fluidity, to grasp a box, which black pawn, and Kempelen countered. carried with The game him, never continued, a tense letting anyone silence punctuated look inside it. only by the sounds of Of course, wonder as the Turk it was a rouse. began to dominate Ingeniously the game. Von rendered, Kempelen would there was a periodically wind man concealed up the machine, inside. But with his large key – how was he at random intervals able to fit in Gaughan's Reconstructed Turk, on Exhibition, c. 1989 obeying no particular there, how could he expanse of time – see the board, and and puzzled the room by mysteriously allowed thorough scrutiny of the box by how could he translate the movements to checking a small elongate box, which he his audience. Rumors began to spread. It the Turk, who fluidly grasped pieces by had removed from a drawer in the Turk’s was operated by the agency of spirits. It opening his hand and placing the pieces cabinet previous to the onset of the game, concealed a chess playing monkey, like with exactness in calculated strategies? as if secretly checking some disembodied the one trained by the Sultan of Baghdad. Whoever he was, he was a near genius function of the device. There was a famous chess-playing soldier chess player to boot. The Count lost. The room exploded concealed inside, who had lost his legs The Turk did lose a few games. In with applause. The Legend was born. in battle, and he somehow controlled that day, chess was a fad. One of the “The wheels and springs make the Turk. It was operated by Kempelen best players, the Frenchman Philidor, was planned moves, but under the control himself, by magnetism, by means of the documented in London playing three of an unknown, directing force,” wrote small elongate box. games simultaneously, blindfolded. He one commentator. “Notwithstanding But no one could provide a won two, and drew the third. Philidor the minute attention with which I have convincing explanation, and Kempelen’s would play the Turk, in a highly repeatedly observed it, I have not been able legend grew. Letters appeared in scientific publicized match, which the Turk lost. in the least degree to form any hypothesis journals across Europe. It wasn’t long until But Kempelen’s fame was assured – even which could satisfy myself.” Here, they the whole continent erupted in discussions without victory, the Turk delighted all said, was a machine that could think. and awe of Bro. Von Kempelen, and his present. The illusion continued when the chess playing Turk. Many hypotheses were On May 28, 1783, Bro. Kempelen Count was asked to place a knight on concocted. But none explained away the wrote to Benjamin Franklin, who was Rocky Mountain Mason
in Paris subsequent the signing of the Treaty of Paris that ended the American Revolution. Bro. Benjamin was, the world recognized, a chess enthusiast. Bro. Benjamin came to the Hotel d’Aligre, where Kempelen was set up for part of his tour around Europe, and played the Turk. Bro. Benjamin is said to have lost the game, and anecdotal evidence supplied by Bro. Benjamin’s grandson supports that assertion. But he was well pleased. Over time, it became harder for Kempelen to keep the game afoot. Perhaps the man concealed inside (we still don’t know who he was) was no longer tolerant of the discomfort required to play the Turk, or perhaps he wanted more money, but after this tour Kempelen complained to his requestors that the Turk was broken, and that he didn’t want to repair it. At all turns, he tried to downplay the Turk, and focus people’s attention on his other, more significant (he believed) and more practical inventions. But he couldn’t escape the shadow of the Turk. It would haunt him the rest of his days. He declined offers to purchase the Turk (perhaps he didn’t want to explain its function). He was ordered periodically to resuscitate it for various nobles who commanded that kind of authority, and a couple of times he resurrected it – perhaps with a new player inside. In time, consensus built that, indeed, there was a man inside. But no one could replicate its operation. And credulity remained. Kempelen died on March 26, 1804, and the Turk was packaged up, the mystery of its operation still unsolved. Non omnis moriar, Kempelen’s epitaph read – “I do not die completely”. And, sure enough, his legend would live on. By 1809, another showman, polymath, and mechanical genius, known as Maelzel, had already acquired the Turk from Kempelen’s son. He resurrected it, rebuilt it from the pieces, to discover its secret mode of operation, and would bring it to its most famous game yet, against Napoleon Bonaparte, the Emperor himself! Maelzel was a marvelous genius, capable of great feats of invention. He had made an automaton, called the Panharmonica, six feet wide, six feet deep, and five feet tall, that replicated an entire orchestra, using coded drums to control the multitude of instruments required. It was heralded as one of the greatest musical 22
Hypothesis of the Concealed Man's positions during Inspection by an Audience
automatons ever devised, rivaling the musician of Vaucason from years prior. He befriended Beethoven, who wrote a piece to be played by the Panharmonicon, but that’s another story, for another time.
• Napoleon vs. the Turk Napoleon arrived at Schonbrunn in 1809, the same year Maelzel – then acting as engineer for the royal court there – had successfully completed the rebuild of the Turk. Maelzel brought the Turk to one of Napoleon’s General’s houses, and Napoleon arrived to play. There are a number of accounts of this game, some more fantastical than others. The most likely account derives from the memoirs of Napoleon’s valet, who records Napoleon cheating after three moves. The Turk shook its mechanical head and replaced the piece. Napoleon then cheated a second time, and the Turk – shaking its mechanical head – confiscated the piece. Napoleon apparently said, “that’s right,” and then cheated a third time. The Turk
then swept the pieces off the board and the game ended to applause. Another account then records Napoleon requesting a second game, with assurances to comply by the rules. This second game was printed in the Illustrated London News, in 1844, and records Napoleon’s loss to the Turk. The game lasted nineteen moves, and has been alleged to be spurious for a number of reasons, not least of which was the Turk’s capture of Napoleon’s queen instead of mating Napoleon on the fifteenth move. But that alone doesn’t necessarily mean the game never happened. If the game was real, then Napoleon was not a very strong player. The author of this article rather likes that possibility (the word “Russia”, Bonaparte, “Russia” springs to mind) and therefore chooses to believe in the veracity of the reported game. That Napoleon cheated in the first game is also, perhaps, worthy of note. Either way, Napoleon lost. Interestingly, Napoleon’s stepson, Eugene de Beauharnais, did purchase the Turk from Maelzel, for 30,000 francs (three times what Maelzel had paid for it), in Rocky Mountain Mason
thought impossible, and years later would obtain a patent for it. It’s important to note that, even though it was an illusion, and not an automaton per se, the Turk still combined an amount of ingenuity in its operation. Kempelen had designed the Turk to effectively conceal a full grown man inside, without the most thorough examination revealing his position. He had devised a means of communicating the movements of the pieces to that concealed man, and a contraption by which the man could communicate moves through the Turk proper. And he maintained the showmanship required to conceal its true operation – a feat rivaled by the most seasoned stage magicians of the modern day. Even by modern standards, it was an Playbill for Maelzel's Exhibition at the Masonic Hall illusion of force. It was, in actual fact, probably order to procure the secret of its operation the first “cabinet illusion” for himself. Perhaps disappointed on devised by man, a model after which many finding it out; which would make sense, famous magical illusions would be crafted. considering it was all an illusion which The Turk’s presence was sequestered to depended on the witting collaboration of legend for a century, left to the descriptions an anonymous chess player; the Turk went recorded in history, but in 1989 a famous into a period of dormancy, forgotten in American illusion builder succeeded in Eugene’s palace at Milan. Until Maelzel constructing a replica of the machine. John reappeared (with a new chess player to Gaughan is a master illusion builder, who conceal inside the machine, perhaps) and has spent his life designing and crafting gained rights to use the Turk in displays, illusions for the best known magicians of once again in London, possibly with some the 20th Century. He even consulted on profit-sharing agreement with Eugene. the mechanical orange tree – an actual It was in London that the Turk was illusion built by Robert Houdin (perhaps seen by a young Charles Babbage, who, the greatest stage magician of all time) – inspired by the idea of a machine that could featured in the movie, The Illusionist. think, spent the rest of his life realizing the John Gaughan brought much first computer, his “Difference Engine”. expertise to the task, and much research. A machine driven by logic to arrive at He built a cabinet, and then positioned a determinable outcomes form a variable set man inside in the various postures necessary of data. All inspired by the deception of to conceal himself during the examination the Turk. of the cabinet and the presentation of the Charles Cartwright, a minister from interior to the audience. He figured out Leister in northern England, would be how to use magnetism to communicate inspired enough by the Turk to start work the movements to the undersurface of the on an automated loom, which many had board, so the man could witness the game Rocky Mountain Mason
– small metal discs suspended under the board that could wobble for up to thirty seconds to indicate a move had been made, and where the piece had been placed. He made the Turk’s eyes roll, shake its head, and rap on the table the same way Kempelen had done, to signify check, or provide an element of comedy in the midst of a game. And he reconstructed the “pantograph” by which the movements of the man could be communicated to the Turk’s arm, and pieces picked up and moved to the corresponding position on the board atop the cabinet. In November, 1989, the Turk reappeared, at the History of Magic conference in Los Angeles, and again delighted the world by winning a number of games. It has since traveled the world again, been featured on television, and reclaimed its position as an inspiring work of the ingenuity of man, communicating legend and mystery, and the myth of Bro. von Kempelen. You can see the Turk yourself, on November 7, 8, and 9, 2013, at the Beverly Garland Holiday Inn in North Hollywood, Los Angeles.
• Further Reading The Turk, The Life and Times of the Famous Eighteenth-Century Chess Playing Machine, by Tom Standage, from which the above article was synopsized.
Guest Article by Mark Stavish Alchemy, in its operative form, has been derided by modern science. But that didn’t stop Newton, Kepler, Von Welling, or other prominent men of the Enlightnement giving it a go. Whether you think Alchemy is a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, idiotic nonsense, or just an interesting symbology describing personal transformation, its history in the US is still worthy of note. So says guest author, Mark Stavish.
hile alchemy has strained the credulity and pocketbooks of many Europeans since its general appearance in the 16th and 17th centuries, it has also held a fascination for a fair number of prominent and not-soprominent Americans as well. Most of us are familiar with the writings of Thomas Vaughn, Paracelsus, Bacstrom, and dozens of other authorities on the “Royal Art”, yet it was from colonial America that one of the most famous and mysterious Alchemists arose -- Philalethes. It is among the apocalyptic Pietists of Pennsylvania, said to have been Rosicrucians fleeing the religious wars of Central Europe, that we also find hints of laboratory alchemy being practiced in their wooden, gothic-structured cloister in Ephrata, on the Pennsylvania frontier. Even late in the “Golden Game” (that is, the 18th Century), the illustrious, ivy-covered halls of Harvard were teaching their students the theory of the transmutation of metals. And the Governor of Connecticut and Massachusetts dabbled with quicksilver 24
now and again as well. Even with the death of New England’s last known practicing alchemists in the third decade of the 19th century, the torch did not completely die out. Less than one hundred years later, H.S. Lewis, Imperator of the fledgling American organization, the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosea Crucis (AMORC), claiming European recognition and authority for its activities, is reported to have preformed a public transmutation of zinc into gold. By the mid 1940’s this same organization, using its newly formed Rose+Croix University, situated in the lush valley of San Jose, California, would be the only known location where the public study of laboratory alchemy was taking place…. With a little bit of help from a major corporation or two as well. While this re-birth of laboratory alchemy was short lived, out if it came the now famous Paracelsus Research Society, founded by “Frater Albertus”, a new series of AMORC classes in the mid to late ‘80’s, and the latest addition to American alchemical studies, the Philosophers of Nature.
• The Philalethes Period
he 17th century world-view of America saw a magical land filled literally and figuratively with gold. It was from this world, not that of an old and rugged Europe, that one of the most mysterious and renowned of alchemical figures emerged, one who is often called the last of the great alchemists: Eirenaeus Philalethes, better known as, the Cosmopolitan. His first work, The Marrow of Alchemy, Part One, appeared in London in 1654. It was published by E. Brewster in English; Part Two was published the following year. Because George Starkey edited the first edition of The Marrow of Alchemy, it has been suggested that he was its author, along with the remainder of the 16 groups of alchemical publications attributed to “The Citizen of the World”. Philalethes is often translated as “Lover of Truth”, Latinized of the Greek original term. According to one of the publishers of Philalethes, William Cooper, Rocky Mountain Mason
“...[Philalethes] is acknowledged by all except to historians of esoterica, and other ambassador for the expressed intention hands to be an Englishman, and an Adept people with too much time on their of increasing Winthrop’s knowledge of and supposed to be yet living, and traveling, hands. For practical alchemists, all that practical alchemy5. and about the age of 55 years, but his name is of importance is the practicality of the Even with this semi-constant flow is not certainly known.” This appeared in information supplied. Whether or not of ideas, trade, and people between Cooper’s advertisement for Ripley Reviv’d there was a person behind the persona of the colonies and Europe, the chemical in 1678. In total, Cooper published ten the Cosmopolitan is as important as asking discoveries of the 18th century did not of the sixteen major titles written by the the same of his more modern European spell the end of alchemy in New England as mysterious adept. Beyond being a prolific they had across the sea. The Philosopher’s counterpart Fulcannelli4. At some point writer and a marked philanthropist, what the personality must die so that the Stone was still actively being pursued in helped the mystery last and kindled the Light may shine unobstructed – this is a New England until the third decade of the legend, was the assertion that Philalethes fundamental tenet in esoteric teachings. of the last century6 – at least a half-dozen achieved the manufacture researchers were known of the fabled Philosopher’s throughout Connecticut "At some point the personality must die so that the Light Stone in 1645, at the age of and Massachusetts, most may shine unobstructed – this is a fundemetal tenet in of them graduates of Yale twenty-three!1 So then, back to or Harvard. esoteric teachings." the question: who Among them was was Philalethes? Well, Samuel Danforth, born traditionally two names have been put Maybe in the end, Starkey actually was, at Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1696, forward as being closely associated, and and became, the Citizen of the World. and graduated from Harvard College in even identified with, our mysterious Adept: But Starkey wasn’t alone in his search 1715. Among the texts used during his Robert Child and George Starkey. As for for the Philosopher’s Stone. Among his stay at Harvard, was a curious manuscript, Child, little evidence is given to back up contemporaries was Christian Lodowick Compendium Physicae by Charles Morton. of Newport, Rhode Island. This former the claim, and possibly even evidence to Morton, a Puritan, received his M.A. Quaker, mystic, physician, musician, and the contrary. With Starkey, the situation from Oxford in 1652, and emigrated to mathematician was also an alchemist. This is different2. Massachusetts in 1686. His Compendium is not surprising, Newport was a major While much of the evidence is was a strange blend of the science of trading post being honored with not only circumstantial, it does originate from the period with Aristotle. A lengthy a large Quaker congregation, but also the contemporaries of both men. Care is section was devoted to the “Artifice of oldest continually operating synagogue given to distinguish between those works Gold by Alchymy” or “the finding of the (Turo) in the United States, and one of the on alchemy by Starkey himself, and those Phylosophers stone” , even stating, “Some oldest Masonic lodges as well. Lodowick have done it, such are cal’d the Adepti”. whom he attributes to his mysterious was an important philologist, his EnglishHe listed among them, Lully, Paracelsus, New England Adept, the Cosmopolitan. German dictionary and grammar became and his disciple, van Helmont. However, as Jantz suggests in his article, standard throughout most of the 18th Danforth began his alchemical library America’s First Cosmopolitan, could century. as early as 1721, and achieved remarkable Starkey have written the Cosmopolitan Several famous New Englander’s works while in a heightened state of success in his life, serving 34 years as a returned to Europe, among them Thomas consciousness? Were they the result of judge and chief justice in Massachusetts. Tillman. Tillman made contact with a his own transcendental awareness as part He had a reputation as an adept prior to group of German Anabaptists in England of the alchemical process? While such is being publicly ridiculed in the press in and eventually went to the Continent with only speculation, what cannot be denied 1754 for his alchemical studies. In 1773 them. Jantz proposes that Tillman’s poetic is that Philalethes is an American original, he wrote to his long-time friend Benjamin influence may have eventually returned to an adept in the now classical alchemical Franklin offering to send him a piece of America through the writings of Conrad tradition, even being referred to as the the Philosopher’s Stone. It is important to Beissel and the Ephrata Cloister. This is “American Philosopher” on the second note, that while Franklin himself had no not unrealistic, as members of the Cloister title page of the Amsterdam edition (1678) known interest in laboratory alchemy, he went as far north as Rhode Island in search of his second group of works, Enarratio knew several active practitioners, as well as of contacts and converts, a group which Methodica. the leading members of the Ephrata and was (for a while at least) deeply involved in So then, was Starkey actually Fairmount Park Communes. He served not laboratory alchemy. Philatheles? If we accept the evidence, only as a focal point for American esoteric However, it is John Winthrop the then probably, yes. In the anagram of two activities, but was also a major connection Younger (1606-1676), founder and first of the principle characters in Vade Mecum, to English and French esoteric societies as governor of Connecticut, who made major the name of the pupil, Philoponus, and his well. contributions to alchemy, if only through mentor, Agricola Rhomaeus, we discover With his death in 1777, his son, his literary donations. During his second that in Latin, Agricola become Georgios in Samuel Danforth, Jr. inherited his books. tour of Europe, Winthrop visited the poet Greek, and the Greek Rhomaeus becomes However, professional pressures of his John Rist while in Constantinople in 1642. 3 medical and scientific careers forced him Stark, or Strong, in Anglo-Saxon . The visit was at the urging of the French to donate his father’s books to the Boston Does it matter? Probably not, Rocky Mountain Mason
Athaenum in 1812. The books are signed by both Danforths, and are heavily annotated, showing more than three-quarters of a century of study. Among the twenty-one volumes were the much standard works to be expected, as well as Philalethes’ Secrets Reveal’d (London, 1699). However, the most distinguished supporter of alchemy was probably Reverend Ezra Stiles. Born at New Haven, Connecticut in 1721, he graduated from Yale in 1746, served as tutor until 1755, and was president of Yale from 1778 to 1795. In 1775 he accepted the position of minister to the Second Congregational Church of Newport, Rhode Island. Stiles was also a friend of Benjamin Franklin. While he made remarks concerning “the Rosacrucian Philosophy” that interested his contemporaries, Stiles himself disavowed any knowledge of practical alchemy or ever having witnessed any aspects of it. Yet shortly after his disavowal of such knowledge, Stiles participated in several experiments of his own. Stiles even repeated the legends of Governor John Winthrop, Jr. which recounted him as an “Adept” who performed alchemical operations each year at his mine near East Haddam, Connecticut, along with his associate Gosuinus Erkelens.
• The Later Colonial Period: Ephrata and the End in New England
ith the advent of religious liberty in colonial Pennsylvania and religious wars in Central Europe, it is little wonder that so many Germans came to the New World in the 17th century. William Penn openly recruited many and others simply went on their own, and among them were the Pietists. These quasimystical, semi-magical, often secretive, and usually apocalyptic groups settled in two main communities in Pennsylvania: the Wissahickon Valley, in present day Fairmount Park (Germantown), Philadelphia, and farther west in Ephrata. It is to the latter group that we turn our attention, for it is there, in Ephrata, that we have some of the clearest information regarding the extent and degree of Rosicrucian and alchemical practices of these communal mystics. While the degree, if any, of these Anabaptist 26
An Alchemical plate from the 18th Century showing Mercury uniting the opposites Pietists being influenced by Rosicrucian philosophy has been debated, they definitely were influenced by Hermeticism in general, and for at least a period, experimented with practical alchemy. According to E.G. Alderfer, in his work, The Ephrata Commune: An Early American Counterculture, Conrad Beissel was born in 1691, in the strategically located town of Eberback, on the Neckar River, in the political domain of the Electoral Palatinate. The day given is usually March 1st. Conrad was incredibly magnetic, and despite his pale, frail, and thin appearance, women swooned in his presence. His reputation, and the rumors of his magic, grew. By twenty-five he was initiated into the “Ancient Mystic Order of Rosea Crucis”7 and may have even attained its highest rank. He was familiar with the writings of Beohme, Paracelsus, and the kabbalah. Utopian, mystical, and secret societies abounded, and there was much cross-fertilization of ideas and membership. However, it is on the Pennsylvania frontier in the first half of the 18th century that his fame and mission grew, as chief teacher-pastor (Leher) of the utopian community of Ephrata. Here, far away from civilization, at least for a while, Beissel and his followers established a community comprised of three orders: celibate male (the Brotherhood of Zion), celibate female (Sister of the Rose of Sharon), and married lay congregation. However, as with all utopian plans, all was not well in this little
patch of Eden. Power struggles were somewhat constant, with only the power of Beissel’s charisma to unite them. The Brotherhood of Zion, under the leadership of the Eckerling brothers - Israel, Samuel, Gabriel, and Emanuel, leaned more in the direction of theurgy than mystical union. According to Julius Sachse8, the principle advocate of a Rosicrucian connection at Ephrata, the brethren in the Berghaus (main prayer and living quarters) passed their days in quiet speculation, but the Eckerling’s advocated what more closely resembled “ ‘strict observance’ of the Egyptian cult of mystic Freemasonry.” Sachse further states: The speculations and mystic teachings of Beissel and (Peter) Miller were nothing else than the Rosicrucian doctrine pure and undefiled, while the Zionitsche Bruderschaft or “Brotherhood of Zion”, of whom Gabriel Eckerling was first “Perfect Master” or prior, was an institution with an entirely different tendency...in fact, it was one of the numerous rites of mystic Freemasonry practiced during the last century (18th). The professed object and aims of the members of the Zionic Brotherhood was to obtain physical and moral regeneration. Yet, despite distrust and suspicion, and even charges of being cryptoRocky Mountain Mason
Catholics, Beissel permitted the formation of a chapter and chapter house for the Brotherhood of Zion. The building was raised in May of 1738. It was occupied under ritual solemnity five moths later, and building was completed in 1743. It was three stories high, with the first floor used partially for storage; the second floor being the sleeping temple area, circular in shape with no windows; and the third floor being 18 feet square and the main temple area, with a window in each of the cardinal directions. It was here, in this building, that the members of the Brotherhood, up to thirteen at a time, for 40 days, enacted their secret rites of spiritual rejuvenation – but only after physical rejuvenation had been completed. It was these rites of physical rejuvenation that employed alchemical medicines. Beginning on the full moon in May, a 40 day seclusion began. It included fasting, prayer, and the drinking of rain water (collected in May), and laxatives. On the 17th day, several ounces of blood were removed and a few white drops of an unknown substance given to the participating neophyte. Six drops were to be taken in the evening, and six in the morning, increasing two drops per day until the 32nd day of seclusion. At sunrise on the 33rd day, more blood was removed, and the first grains of the materia prima was given. The effects of the “grain of elixir” was instant loss of the powers of speech and recognition, with convulsions and heavy sweating. After these subsided, the bedding was changed, and a broth made of lean beef and a variety of herbs was provided. On the second day, a grain was added to the broth repeating the above symptoms, and upon which “a delirious fever set in which ended with a complete loss or shedding of the skin, hair and teeth of the subject.” On the 35th day a bath of prescribed temperature was given, and on the following day, the 3rd and last grain of the materia prima was given in a goblet of wine. The effects of the final dose were much more mild, resulting in a deep sleep during which the skin, hair, and teeth reappeared. On awakening from this ordeal, an herbal bath was given, and an ordinary bath (with saltpeter added) on the 38th day. On the following day (the 39th) ten drops of the elixir of life were given in two spoonfuls of red wine. This final dose Rocky Mountain Mason
was known as the “grand master’s elixir” or balsam. On the 40th and final day, the initiate was said to have been reborn into primordial innocence and capable of living 5,557 years with the grace of God before being called back to the heavenly lodge. The process however, had to be repeated every forty years in the month of May if this were to happen. Unfortunately, we know neither the contents of the elixir or the herbs administered as bath or broth for this ceremony. It is also very likely that such a recipe or listing may be sitting somewhere, written in Old German, or even frakture script, in a local historical society somewhere in Eastern Pennsylvania, with no one able to read it, or ascertain the meaning of its contents otherwise. We are also at a loss for any idea as to who may have survived the ordeal. However, the effects of the recipe sound strikingly similar to those given in Paracelsus’ writings regarding the Melissa Ens, a potent spagyric medicine said to convey long life and rejuvenation9. We know at least one recruit, from the Shenandoah, Jakob Martin, set up an alchemical laboratory at Ephrata. He attempted to transmute gold for the establishment of the New Jerusalem, as if gold were needed for such a task. While Martin’s efforts were in vain, his close friend Ezekiel Sangmeister, leader of an anti-Beissel faction, claimed that his friend and founder of Universalism, George de Benneville, possessed a large supply of the gold tincture. However, this appears to be near the decline of the Commune, and any real knowledge of practical alchemy may have left with the departure of the Eckerling brothers. The Brotherhood of Zion was reconstituted as the Brotherhood of Bethania, and any trace of Eckerling influence was removed from Ephrata before the first half of the 18th century was over.
• The AMORC Period: Round One
oon after its founding in 1915 in New York City, the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, known simply as AMORC, found itself in a variety of ‘authenticity struggles’ that would last until the present day. Behind AMORC’s growth
Harvey Spencer Lewis Founder of AMORC and longevity, something many other organizations have publicly and privately envied, was its claim to being the only authentic, authorized Rosicrucian body operating in America. This claim to be the only one and true Rosicrucian body attracted not only disillusioned seekers from other organizations, but also attracted new members who felt comfort and security in the idea of belonging to an organization that had not only ‘traditional’ roots in antiquity, but historical ones as well. Fancy charters from Europe, stories of ancient initiations and the trials of seeking out the ‘secret chiefs’ or “Unknown Superiors” of the Order’s High Council in France added to the mystery and the attraction. Yet, none of this would have been possible if it weren’t for the keen and brilliant mind of the organizations founder, first Grand Master, and ultimately Imperator (Emperor), Harvey Spencer Lewis. Born in Frenchtown, N.J. on November 25, 1883, Harvey Lewis developed the talents early in life that would serve him as the single most important force in modern Rosicrucianism. Writing, painting, public speaking, and a sense for the ‘positive spin’ helped him develop an early and lucrative career in advertising. Then, after a series of experiences, he abandoned his career in search of the Rosicrucian Order in Europe, allegedly going to Toulouse, France10, where his contacts were made. While much is debated about the degree and genuineness of these contacts, it is clear that he believed that they were genuine, and as such they were the moving force behind his organization. After a false start in 1909, AMORC finally got off the ground in 1915, and by 1917, had several Grand Lodges established in the United States, 27
o N tra on C
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Rosae Crucis, in July of that year. In summary, the article states the following: On Thursday night, June 22, 1916, “a demonstration of the ancient art, or science, of transmutation” was given to the officers and councilors of the Supreme Grand Lodge in New York City. Stating that this was the first time that such a convocation was held in America, and very well could be the last for some time to come, it was permissible for each Grand Master to demonstrate once in their lifetime and term of office the process of transmutation.
An Alchemical plate from a book by famed Alchemist, Nicolas Flamel, of the 14th Century along with other smaller bodies, where members would receive the teachings and initiations in a strictly oral format. However, Harvey’s love for the advertising world never left him and he developed and promoted AMORC like it was the next best thing to sliced bread. Adopting a Masonic style lodge pattern, and initiations from the 17th century Gold-and Rosy- Cross (of twelve degrees, not ten), and similar to that used by the Golden Dawn (Neophyte, Zelator, Practicus, etc.)11, he single handily mainstreamed esotericism and Rosicrucianism for the American public. With emphasis on practicality, not abstract metaphysics or obtuse rituals, AMORC’s membership grew. But that wasn’t all that sold AMORC, for Harvey and AMORC were one and the same. Harvey Lewis had a keenly developed psychic sense, and was at the forefront of proving that what he was selling, the teachings of AMORC, worked. To this end, he decided that it was time for the ‘Big Show’, and announced in 1916, that he was going to publicly transmute a base metal into gold using alchemical means. An article describing the event was written by Harvey Spencer Lewis, using a nom de plume, and appeared in the organizations magazine, The American Rocky Mountain Mason
It further stated, that all of the laws necessary for such an accomplishment were clearly stated and explained in the first four degrees of the Order. In preparation, a week earlier, fifteen members of the Fourth degree drew at random cards upon which were written the ingredients each was to bring, specifying that all of the ingredients were non-toxic (with the exception of the nitric acid used to test the metal at the end of the demonstration) and easily obtainable. Each initiate was to pledge secrecy – they were not to unite with the others the total of the ingredients for at least three years after the death of the Grand Master General, Harvey Spencer Lewis. Dressed in regalia, but devoid of ritual, the procedure began after a brief introduction on the history and theory of alchemy. In an attempt at objectivity, the article states that, “In order to meet the demand for one outside and disinterested witness, a representative of the New York World’s editorial department was invited.” The critical phase of the transmutation took exactly “sixteen minutes” and resulted in second and third degree burns to Lewis’ hands. Examinations were made on zinc placed in the crucible to show that it was the matching half to the piece that was not used. The World’s representative was invited to examine the pieces as well, and to place his initial on them before the operation began, to insure that no slight of hand was involved. The article further states that half of the metal was sent to “the Supreme Council of the Order in France along with an official report” as well as the admonishment of the unnamed journalist that while the experiment was fantastic, he is in no position to judge whether an
actual change took place. The transmuted piece of zinc and its unaffected matching half were left on display and observed by “Newspapermen, editors and several scientists (who) have examined them and gone away greatly perplexed.”12 Unfortunately, much of the information in this article is hardly objective or even verifiable. While the article has been reprinted several times, no photograph of the ‘gold’ produced, or replies from the French Supreme Council, or even of the implied news article from the New York World, have been produced along with it. If this had been all there was to AMORC’s modern Rosicrucian alchemical legacy, it would have been written off as a failed publicity stunt, and ended up as a footnote in the development of American alchemy. Despite the obvious questions regarding the article’s validity, and historical accuracy, it was reprinted by AMORC in the March 1942 edition of the Rosicrucian Digest, the organization’s magazine having changed its name sometime in the early 1930’s. This edition also included a footnote at the end of the article which advertised the availability of a “home alchemy course’ complete with herbs, glassware, even a small oven!13 It also mentioned the “extensive alchemical course given at Rose+Croix University” which brings us to the second phase of AMORC’s alchemy period.
• Richard and Isabella Ingalese: The Nicholas and Perenelle of California14
he East Coast wasn’t the only place of alchemical transmutations in the first half of the 19th century. The land of the “Gold Rush,” California, is home to America’s own immortal alchemical couple. In the vein of Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel, these two American originals are reputed to have achieved “The Stone” and live on to this day. Left mostly to oral lore and legend, the story of the Ingaleses first appeared in print in the November 1928 issue of Occult Review, and later was mentioned in a sidebar on “Alchemy” in the encyclopedia, Man, Myth, and Magic, in 1970. Their early years are unremarkable 29
with the couple marrying in 1898. Richard was a lawyer specializing in corporate and mining law, and Isabella was a full time psychic, teacher, and healer. They lived in several locations across the country, until settling in Los Angels around 1912. In the 1928 article, the author, Barbara McKenzie, interviews Isabella regarding how she and her husband became interested in alchemy. With the approach of advancing age, Mrs. Ingalese states, she and her husband Richard sought to discover the Philosopher’s Stone so that they might “perhaps add another score of working years to man’s so-called allotted span.” Despite the many blinds and false routes given to alchemical work, the couple pursued their work guided by Mrs. Ingalese’s psychic gifts. In a pamphlet written by Richard, he describes their original goal as the creation of Oil of Gold, but instead chose to work with copper because of the cheaper price. After six years of work, two mortgages, several explosions, and two asphyxiations later, Richard states that in 1917, they were able to produce the White Stone of the Philosophers. McKenzie was offered a sample of the White Powder, but readily accepted a sample of the Red Stone. It is not clear why she accepted one and refused the other, however, she records her experiences as follows: ...it was little more – on my tongue, saying it must lie there and not be swallowed. I immediately noticed an intense bitterness, which is said to be the gold, but other metals I could not detect. In two or three seconds it had been absorbed or dispersed, so that not even a flavor remained in my mouth. Continuing their search for the Red Stone from 1917 to 1920, the Ingaleses felt they had achieved success and shared their results with members of their “renewal club,” possibly made up of investors who supported their alchemical research. At the time of their discovery and potentizing of the Red Stone, Robert was 66 and Isabella 54 years of age. Richard states that they did not respond as well as others to the curative powers of the Stone. However, the usual claims of virility, fertility, and incurables being cured, are reported. Ms. McKenzie notes that she was unable to verify any of the Inglases claims in this regard. Richard 30
is quoted as noting that they were familiar with other alchemists who were over 600, 400, and 200 years old. All looking and acting as if they were “about 40 years of age.” The most remarkable part of the story however, is Richard’s matter of fact description of the resurrection of the wife of a prominent physician who had been dead for thirty minutes: Half an hour had elapsed and her body was growing cold. A dose of the dissolved White Stone was placed into the mouth of the corpse without perceptible results. Fifteen minutes later a second dose was administered and the heart commenced to pulsate weakly. Fifteen minutes later a third dose was given and soon the woman opened her eyes. In the course of a few weeks the woman became convalescent, after which she lived seven years. As for the methods they used, Isabella states that they followed the methods of Paracelsus, particularly Waite’s edition of The Alchemical and Hermetic Writings of Paracelsus, but no further details were forthcoming. Several books were written by the couple, but are very difficult to obtain. While stories of their longevity survived them, it is quite clear that the Ingaleses died in 1934, Isabella in May and Richard in October. Extensive debts were piled against their property, which included 440 acres of land in San Diego. The property was awarded to the plaintiff to satisfy the suit, and surprisingly, the property was acquired by a New Thought group in 1940, being operated as spiritual center continuously ever since. It would be nice to believe that Isabella and Richard are still alive and that their deaths had been faked, but evidence it to the contrary. Unlike their alchemical predecessors, the age of bureaucracies was catching up with them. Death certificates on file in Los Angeles are full of details prior to and immediately following their deaths, as well as the causes. Maybe this should be a lesson to would-be seekers of immortality, that even if death can be escaped, or at least delayed, you still need to have a Social Security Number.
• The AMORC Period: Round Two
n the first part of the 1940’s, AMORC’s librarian and later Dean of the Order’s Rose+Croix University (RCU), Orval Graves, proposed a series of classes on practical laboratory alchemy. In those early classes, the techniques of Paracelsus were generally followed, artificial stones were created, and students would often take turns staying up throughout the night, to regulate the heat of the furnaces for the herbal work. A great sense of harmony prevailed. Yet, not all of the results were purely spiritual. According to Russell B. House, F.R.C., and (at the time of his writing) member of AMORC’s International Research Counsel, Frater Graves produced for him, at their meeting in June of 1989, several artificial stones alchemically manufactured during those early classes. Among the collection was included a large artificial diamond grown by the late French Rosicrucian alchemist F. Jollivet-Castelot. Castelot was among the leading practical alchemists in Europe at the turn of the century. He was pastPresident of the Alchemical Society of France ( Societe Alchemique de France) and editor of its journal, La Rose+Croix (The Rose+Cross)15. A photograph of Castelot in his laboratory has been repeatedly reproduced by AMORC in the front of its Rosicrucian Manual for its members16. Of those gems produced during the RCU days of the ‘40’s, one topaz was declared by a gemologist to be among the finest he had ever seen. In addition, Dr. A Whaley, a member of the RCU faculty at that time, reproduced what was then current government research on the manufacture of synthetic precious stones, including diamonds. Aside from esoteric chemistry, the students of these classes also had a little help from exoteric chemistry as well. The DuPont company sent some samples of its synthetic stones, and even revealed ‘tricks of the trade’. The B&J Star Company of San Francisco lent a hand; however, not all of its methods could be reproduced, as the furnaces at RCU were not powerful enough. During this time several articles appeared, and since have been reprinted, in the Rosicrucian Digest regarding alchemy. Several by Orval Graves offer considerable Rocky Mountain Mason
insight into the purifying nature of fire and its esoteric implications17. As well as several articles from a Hungarian Rosicrucian, Victor Scherbak of Budapest, which dealt with the mythological origins of alchemy, its relationship to Altantas, Lemuria, and the creation stories in Genesis18. How many students, all members of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, that practiced alchemy at RCU is not easily known, however, at least two of its alumni would re-emerge later on: George Fenzke, and Dr. Albert Richard Riedel, better known by his pseudonym, “Frater Albertus”19.
founder of the L.A. Free Press, and inheritor of Regardie’s library. For over a quarter of a century, Albertus initiated hundreds of students into the modern practices of alchemy. Over 600 by one estimate attended his classes. Yet, in 1984, when he died, the Paracelsus Research Society was left without a successor, Albertus never planned for one. His dream of an alchemical university never materialized, although some of his students attempted it. After a brief period as the Parcelsus College, it finally closed its doors.
• AMORC: Round Three • Frater Albertus
hile AMORC had done much to re-vivify the study of laboratory alchemy in twentieth century America, it was one of its students that would make it accessible to more than just the members of one, albeit large, esoteric fraternity. Dr. Albert Riedel, remembered by Frater Graves as “a little too complicated for the rest of us”, went on to publish at least nine books, two of which have become almost standard reading: The Alchemist’s Handbook, and The Seven Rays of the QBL. It was in 1960 that his first title appeared, under the pseudonym Albertus Spagyricus, F.R.C., which included the Alchemical Manifesto 1960 declaring the opening of the Paracelus Research Society. The use of the initials “F.R.C.” after his name not only designates a general Rosicrucian connection, but also may have been an allusion to his attaining a particular status within the grade system of AMORC. At the Paracelus Research Society (PRS) Frater Albertus conducted classes on plant, mineral, metallic, and animal alchemy. In the beginning, classes lasted for three, twoweek sessions and were later expanded for a period of seven years, under the Latin titles of Prima, Secunda, etc.. Albertus’ specialty was spagyrics, along with antimony based on the alchemical text, Triumphal Chariot of Antimony. In addition, Qabalah, and specialized applications of astrology were taught. Among his students were his former classmate at RCU, George Fenzke, Hans Nintzel20 who was sent there by Israel Regardie (who also studied with Albertus), and Art Kunkin21, editor and Rocky Mountain Mason
y 1988, the need for a new laboratory alchemical movement was growing. Many of the former students of Fr. Albertus were also current or former members of AMORC, as well as students of the Golden Dawn. It was at this time that the administrators of RCUI approached Jack Glass to teach a new two-week class on alchemy in San Jose, California. In addition to being a member of AMORC, Glass brought with him over thirty years of experience in alchemy, fourteen of them with Albertus. George Fenske, Albertus’ old classmate, co-taught the class as well22. The first class debuted in June of 1989 and had over 40 students enrolled. Unfortunately, less than a year after the fires of the ovens were re-kindled, Frater Fenzke passed through transition in April of 1990. In an attempt to fill the void left by his passing, Glass asked Russell B. House to co-instruct the program. The course was originally designed to last for three years, with each class lasting for two weeks for eight hours per day. Plant, mineral, and metallic work were taught, with each class building on the work of the previous one. Originally, the classes were to be open only to those members of AMORC who had attained its Illuminati section, or beyond its Ninth Degree. This was later dropped and they were made available to any AMORC member who had completed the previous class, and was in the Fourth Degree or beyond. In 1991 the classes were shortened to one week each year. Alchemy I covered the basics of plant preparation, as well as history and theory. Herbal elixers, tinctures, and methods of
producing the ‘plant stone’ were examined and experimented with. The second year of the program consisted of Alchemy II or the mineral kingdom. Here tinctures were prepared with the toxic semi-metal antimony, along with oil of sulfur and tartar preparations. The curriculum for year three included the preparation of oils or “Sulphurs” for the seven planetary metals, and illusive Philosophic Mercury. The program was so successful that a two-day intensive for RCUI extension campuses was developed with enough information to allow students to begin their own explorations into the world of plant work, or the Lesser Circulation. This program of activity was conducted by both Glass and House until 1993. After a brief period of inactivity, the program was re-instituted, and at the time of this writing is being taught by a former student of George Fenske.
• Alden, LPN, and The Philosophers of Nature
fter the demise of PRS, Parcelsus College was not the only one trying to keep alchemy alive. Scott Wilber, an AMORC member and PRS alumni, founded Alden Research. Presumably taking its name from H. Spencer Lewis’s esoteric name “Alden”, it attempted to verify early alchemical experiments to see if they matched chemical experiences. In 1985, an associate of Wilber’s heard from Hans Nintzel about a French alchemical organization called Les Philosopes de le Nature (LPN) founded by Jean Dubius in 197923. Dubuis actually began his alchemical studies with one of the alchemical kits supplied by AMORC, and in addition was a former high ranking member of the AMORC in France and the Traditional Martinist Order (TMO). Dubuis derived some of his early work from research done by Albertus and PRS, and acknowledges a debt to Albertus for connecting alchemy and Kabbalah. At the time, LPN was the only school of its kind offering a complete course of plant and mineral alchemical studies, along with Kabbalah, and general esoteric studies. It required no oaths of secrecy from its members, only that they respect the copyright and ownership of the materials they received. All true initiation was seen 31
as being strictly a personal and interior thing, not something conveyable by external means. After making contact with LPN in France, arrangements were made for the lessons to be sent to the United States for translation into English. Initial funds for the project were supplied by Bill van Doren who had completed seven years of alchemical study with Albertus in PRS. However, it was made clear by Dubuis, that neither LPN nor he would accept any money for the lessons, they were given freely to the United States with no strings attached. This was his gift to esoteric students here, and in other English speaking countries that would derive benefit from the subsequent translations. In 1986 LPN-USA was officially founded, and in 1994 changed its name to The Philosophers of Nature (PON) to show its independent status from the French parent organization.
o how many alchemists are there in the United States? There is no way to really tell. While several hundred have been trained by AMORC and LPN/PON classes and seminars, and 600 or more by Albertus, many of them overlap. According to Samuel Weiser Publications24, Frater Albertus’ Alchemist’s Handbook is in its fifth edition, making a total of 12,500 copies in print. How many copies of Manfred Junius’s Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy have been published is unknown, but could easily equal Albertus. So, does that mean that there are over 12,000 or 13,000 practical alchemists in America? Probably not. It would be surprising if over five percent of that total number actually continue laboratory work on a regular basis. However, we do know, that alchemy is still alive and well in America. AMORC continues its summer courses in San Jose, with an occasional off-site seminar; PON distributes lessons and holds yearly weeklong seminars and weekend workshops, and many of the PRS alumni quietly go about their business of teaching what they have learned, the old fashioned way. Even the Internet has a Website by Adam McLean complete with an alchemical
course ready for the downloading; along with PON’s site offering sample courses for the esoterically curious. Maybe Albertus’ predictions of a new Golden Age of Alchemy, with scientist and layman working alike is right on target25. So, as we enter the second decade of the 21st century, the future for alchemy at least, looks bright. Maybe with this many people grinding, boiling, and macerating into the lonely hours of the morning, somebody will actually find the Philosopher’s Stone. If they do, hopefully they’ll break their pledge of secrecy and share it with me!
(Endnotes) Alchemical Works: Eirenaeus Philalethes Compiled, ed. S. Merrow Broddle, CINNABAR, P.O. Box 1930, Boulder, CO. 80306-1930. P. xix. 2 America’s First Cosmopolitan, by Harold Jantz. Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 84 (1972), p.9. 3 Ibid. p.21. 4 The Fulcanelli Phenomenon, by Kenneth Rayner Johnson. Neville Spearman Ltd., Sudbury, Suffolk, England. 1980. 5 The Alchemical Library of John Winthrop, Jr. (1606-76) and his descendants in Colonial America, by R.S. Wilkinson. Ambix 10 (1962), p.135. 6 New England’s Last Alchemists, by Ronald Sterne Wilkinson. Ambix 10 (1973) p. 128. 7 The term “Ancient Mystic Order of Rosea Crucis” is used here by Alderfer and does not originate with its more popular use by AMORC of similar name. It may even have been used by a Swiss group prior to the twentieth century. 8 The German Baptists of Provincial Pennsylvania, by Julius Sachse. 1898. 9 The Complete Writings of Paracelsus, ed. A.E. Waite 10 Rosicrucian Questions and Answers with Complete History of the Rosicrucian Order, by H.Spencer Lewis, F.R.C., Supreme Grand Lodge of AMORC, San Jose, California. 1984. P. 16 photograph, p. 178. 11 The Rosicrucian Manual, Lovett Printing Co., Charleston, W.V., 1928; and Supreme Grand Lodge AMORC, San Jose, 1
Calif., 1975. 12 An article published in the March 1926 edition of The Mystic Triangle states: “When a demonstration of the transmutation process was made officially by our Order in New York City a number of years ago, a piece of zinc was so changed in its nature that it looked like gold and stood the acid test of gold; in other words it would have served the same purpose as gold. But the transmuted piece of metal did not weigh the same as gold would weigh, and therefore in that regard it was not gold… There is no reason for us to believe that all artificial or transmuted gold must have the same weight as gold...” (p. 27) A similar statement is made by Frater Albertus, in The Alchemist of the Rocky Mountains, page 123. However, here the gold is lighter by a mere fraction of its original weight, making it still almost three times heavier than zinc. 13 A second kit was later offered, without the oven and of lesser quality in some respects. At some point in the 1980’s this was discontinued, and all that became available to members was a 22 page lecture on basic water distillation techniques. The copy I have has no date or copyright, and may date back to the original alchemy classes during the 1940’s. 14 The following account of the Ingaleses is summarized from Tim Scott’s article, Did They Confect the Philosophers Stone? An Updated Report on 20th Century Testimony, The Stone, July 1996. Pgs.1-6. 15 The Alchemists, by M. Caron and S. Hutin. Translated from French by Helen R. Lane. Grove Press, Inc. New York, New York. 1961. P. 95. 16 An article appeared in the August 1926 edition of The Mystic Triangle describing the chemical recipe used by Castelot to artificially make gold. However, at the end of his letter he states, “Undoubtedly, there was a loss of gold in the experiment just as occurred in all my anterior attempts; because we know that arsenic, antimony and tellurium carry away gold during their fusion and volatilization.” (p.130) 17 Fiery Philosophy, by Orval Graves. The Rosicrucian Digest, October 1944, pgs. 273-278, 287. 18 The Mystic Path of Alchemy, Dec. 1947; Ancient Traditions of Hermeticism, Sept. and Oct. 1948. Rocky Mountain Mason
Albertus attempted a transmutation of gold while attending RCUI in 1942 and 1943 but “partially” failed. Alchemical Laboratory Bulletin, Second Quarter, 1963. 20 Alchemy is Alive and Well, by Hans Nintzel, GNOSIS, No. 8, Summer 1988. Also, interview with the author, September 1994 (3rd Annual LPN Seminar, St. Charles, Illinois) and January 1995 (Dallas, Texas). 21 Practical Alchemy and Physical Immortality, An Interview with Art Kunkin, by Christopher Farmer. Ibid. 22 Alchemy the Living Tradition, by Russell B. House, F.R.C., I.R.C., The Rosicrucian Digest, vol. 69, no. 3. Fall 1991. Also, interview and personal correspondence with the author, 1995 and 1996. 23 Interview with Bill van Doren, 5th Annual Philosophers of Nature Seminar, Silver Springs, Co., May 27-31, 1996. 24 Telephone conversation with Samuel Weiser, Publications, York Beach, Maine. Spring, 1996. 25 Albertus, Alchemist of the Rocky Mountains. Special thanks to Russell B. House, current vice-president of the Philosopher’s of Nature (PON-USA); without him sharing his extensive experience, insights and articles regarding the world of modern alchemy, this article would be considerably less than it is. Thanks to Myra Marsh, Librarian of the Rosicrucian Research Library, Rosicrucian Park, San Jose, California, for sending me Canseliet’s recipe for making gold!
Rocky Mountain Mason
From. pg. 15 there is one constant that informs every human civilization. There are traditions documented in each, throughout time, that illustrate a man’s awakening to his true and ultimate nature. This revelation concerns all creation, it reveals the true situation of being. The individual consciousness of the human being is merged with a superconsciousness. The All is known, and All is One. This is the origin of everything, and – returning to the subject of this paper – everything can be known by its origin. This is really the only thing that persists through the ages, and proof of its existence is scattered through the millennia. You have either had this experience or you haven’t. If you think you might have had it, you haven’t. It’s an experience that cannot be given to another, nor explained – although all human endeavor is, in one way or another, an attempt at such an explanation. It is an experience that is simply known. The varying traditions that speak of this experience were coming into contact with each other around the time of the high middle ages. Many were killing each other in pursuit of it. They nonetheless influenced each other – suddenly the same experience referenced through other traditions could be evinced from a new perspective, and a common center found. One syncretism pouring Westward, that lucidly explained the logical process of awakening to the Western mind, is now known as the Hermetica, a group of writings attributed to Hermes, the Greek archetype of the Egyptian Thoth, the Jewish Michael, or messenger of the gods. These writings, if properly understood, are known to actually effect awakening in the reader. The earliest known mention of the word Freemason comes from a September 8 entry into a Calendar of Coroner’s Rolls of the City of London from 13254, wherein reference is made to one Nicholas le Freemason, a fellow who abetted the escape of a couple of prisoners. Was he simply a fabricator of rock working at the end of the high middle ages? Who knows. But by the dawn of the 18th Century four hundred years later the term had come to represent a type of philosopher and learned man. At the time of the founding of the first Grand Lodge of England, Renaissance thought had codified much in the way of Hermetic and Gnostic philosophy from
the previous centuries and across various traditions. It was believed that a system of experiential lessons could engender the aforementioned awakening in others, as had been done before in the mystery traditions of the ancient world (including the practices of the Essenes and the early Christians). It was believed that by a series of actions, thoughts, words and deeds man could commune with heavenly intelligences. Such thinkers as Euclid and Pythagoras were revered because the sciences these philosophers used to demonstrate the principles of divine understanding became practical sciences by which man transformed his world. This was – is – magic. (It is ironic, but no less interesting, to consider that the geometry of Euclid was at once a “speculative” science before it became an “operative” one.) By the fifteenth century such esoteric practices as the invocation of angels and spiritual entities (as is now known of the Essenes) was so commonplace that manuscripts extent today reference King Edward the IV (reigned 1461 – 1483) conjuring, or having his court magician conjure, the spirit Birto to find hidden treasure5. Within a century, references to spirits and Masonic precepts are clearly discernible in Shakespeare’s plays, popular plays accessible as much to the common people as to the nobles of the day. (In the Tempest for example, a play whose main premise is the use of “magic”, Gonzalo waxes idly on an idyllic society, where there would be “No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil…”, and in Henry V, Nym states to Pistol in the beginning of Act II, “I am not Barbason, you cannot conjure me…”.) With John Dee counseling Elizabeth I at the height of the English Empire, invoking angelic intelligences to invent (or, perhaps, transmit) his famous Enochian script – a script recorded among the Scottish Rite ciphers6 – it is easy to see how prevalent this “magical worldview” really was at a time integral to the formulation of Masonry as we recognize it today7. While earlier traditions may well have evolved certain rites to awaken their initiates, the type of philosophy practiced in the Elizabethan age was distinctly Theurgical, and had central to its philosophy the inherent divinity of man whereby to command the spirits8. In other words, Cont. pg. 70 33
n April 25, 2013, Revelation Lodge held its annual schools night awards ceremony, recognizing students and educators from the Cherry Creek School District. It is important to encourage our youth in their studies, that they may continue to tread the better road to success, and not slip the idle way into indolence and substance abuse. One by one the students beamed when their names were called out, smiled when each plaque was handed over, and stood tall when asked to say a few words. The event itself helped foster in these young adults practice at public speaking, humility, and rewarded their hard work, volunteerism, and academic achievements with positive reinforcement. Even though the ceremony was simple – a plaque is just a symbol, applause a fleeting moment breaking the silence – the effect of this night on these students’ lives, and thus across future generations, cannot be calculated. It shone from youthful faces, brought confidence to faltering steps, and made parents visibly proud. It’s easy to underestimate the power of an evening like this. But make no mistake about it, to publicly thank someone, to recognize them before the world for their contribution, is meaningful. Many men have died for less. An event like this creates a positive memory, a feeling of joy, and makes the journey that much easier – like an oasis that leads the traveler out of the desert, and inspires his right direction. Each of these students was lifted to the forefront and elevated among strangers. And, of course, the evening is an event in and of itself. Parents had to make plans to attend, a date was marked out in a calendar, and plans arranged, students dressed formally, families had to find the Lodge, park, and enter in in that uncertainty that resonates between strangers. All this creates a memory and reinforces correctness. Some of the students’ extended family had drove in especially for the event. One set of grandparents had arrived from Florida. Just to see their grandson receive this award. That says it all. If your Lodge does not do an event like this, perhaps it’s time to consider one. After all, too much in the modern world is taken for granted. And too many children, too.
Photos by Bro. John Burns
Rocky Mountain Mason
Cherokee Trail High School Students Chelsea Clay & Anthony J. Richardsen Teacher Thomas Southall, Unified Track and Basketball Coach
Cherry Creek High School Students Mia Hoover & Teller Cunningham Teacher Wendy Yee, Foreign Language Teacher
Eaglecrest High School Students Jennifer Stobbs-Vergara & Steven Tibbits
Teacher Erin Kesler, Science Teacher
Grandview High School Students Erin Norton & Craig Kinney Teacher Debra Stamatis, English Teacher
Overland High School Students Victoria Berzins & Edgar Rivera Garcia Teacher Linda Tran, English Teacher
Smoky Hill High School Students Linsey Paricio & James Grinage Teacher Michele McElreath
Winner of the 2013 Jack Burns Administrator Award Kurt Wollenweber
Funny Moment When W.Bro. Don Fecko asked Erin Kesler, Science Teacher, what â€œsignâ€? she was. Rocky Mountain Mason
F O R T I T U D E
P R U D E N C E T E M P E R E N C E
J U S T I C E Rocky Mountain Mason
lthough it is upon the weaker part of Masonry that the Apprentice enters, there are several necessary qualities he must nonetheless possess if he is to stand upon the threshold. These are well alluded to by the perfect points of entrance. It is no accident that the perfect points of entrance are termed such. The Entered Apprentice is at the threshold of his Masonic journey, and while he has been often tried, never denied, and remains ready to be tried again - it is the prefect points of his entrance that enable him to pass by, with his left foot in the door. He is tried again, of course, by his proficiency. The proficiency is a labor. It is difficult and - especially now in the modern age - unfamiliar and unexpected. It is meant to challenge the Apprentice, to ensure that he does indeed possess those four cardinal virtues, so essential to his first undertaking as a Mason and all his subsequent labors, to which the perfect points of his entrance naturally allude. Should the Apprentice lack fortitude, his tenacity wanes. He fails to prioritize Masonry, committ to the necessary schedule his memorization requires. He gives up at the first burden. He is like the seed sown on rocky ground, that sprouts quickly, but withers fast under the meridian sun. Lacking temperance he cannot readily acquire the words, nor effect his memory with the required agility to retain what is freely given him. He becomes frustrated, and wanes at the door. He is like the seed that fell on the pathway, taken up by the birds. If he lacks fortitude or temperence, then he already lacks prudence. For intemperance is the end of prudence. And yet, without a certian prudence to comprehend the words the proficiency entails, memorization becomes nearly impossible - it is so much easier to remember that which is first understood. If he cannot understand what is being given him, then, like the seed sown among thistles, he chokes out the word.
And Justice. No man can have justice without the fortitude to empower mercy, nor the prudence to seek the level upon which justice is balanced. Justice here is also truth - in the way that a man is just and true - and without the candidness required to meet his coach on the level, to receptively receive the words, understand and articulate the answers, with a sincere and open heart - that place where he was first prepared to be made a Mason - he will surely fail as a candidate. A candidate must be just. He must, by definition of the term, be candid. Without this receptivity, this honesty, there is no place for the seed to land at all. Thus, only when these points of entrance are perfected can the candidate pass to the degree of a Fellow Craft and walk the winding stairs that lead to the sheaf of wheat. Only then, when he has proved himself a student capable of being taught, possessing the discipline for instruction, can he undertake the final seven steps, that lead to the middle chamber and there receive his Masonic wages. It is no accident that, symbolically, he comes to cross a river. From one side to the next: From an old country to a new one. Those unable to frame their words rightly cannot cross. Masonry has been devised concentrically. A man is vouched for, and passes the apeture of the ballot box. But he awaits another test that will send the unready home. The Entered Apprentice proficiency tests the perfect points of his entrance, and, without such being perfected, he cannot enter: he will, of his own volition, fall away. This is good. Because the interior of the Lodge, where all Brothers meet on the level, is a place that is earned. Only then can such a sanctuary persist - without being squandered or counterfeited. The Brotherhood is exclusive. But Masonry doesnâ€™t exclude people. People exclude Masonry. Let them: Only the ready remain. For peace and harmony prevailing.
Music of the Spheres: The Integrated Knowledge of the Ancients from a Musical Focus by W. B. John P. Trainor, Ph.D., G.Mus
n the Fellowcraft degree we are taught that Music, through its mathematical proportions, is a language more eloquent than words. So, it should come as no surprise that Pythagoras, Ptolemy, Kepler, and many others were convinced that music provides the keys to an understanding of the relationships of the Muses, planets, and the vibrations of the entire universe. For the ancients, there was little difference between scientific and artistic endeavor. Music, art, poetry and rhetoric were considered as important as mathematics or astronomy. Indeed, a person could not be considered educated without a thorough knowledge of all of the arts and sciences. In Masonry, we confirm this notion when, in the second degree, our candidates are informed about the seven liberal arts and sciences but none is singled out as more important than another. It was not until the Enlightenment period that theoritians such as Jean Jacques Rousseau and, later, technicians such as Ferdinand David wrote with an exclusivity that saw music as a specialty, that we observe a division of music and art from science and mathematics. By the Industrial Revolution, we see musicians like Nicolo Paganini who practiced their art so many hours of each day that they certainly had no time for any other endeavors and probably, after investing their all with only one Muse, had not the training or skill to approach science. Similarly, we
see scientists such as Lister, Koch, and Currie who devoted themselves only to their science. Sadly, this diminution of synthesis has continued to our present day. It is our purpose here, to examine and revisit some of the ancient wisdom of a more interdisciplinary era with especial attention to relationships between music, the planets, the Muses, and the hermetic arts. In the music of the Western world, we rely upon major and minor keys, i.e., the Ionian and Aeolean modes. Many musicians have studied modality in Western art music, but a more complete examination of the permutative structure of the modal system is essential to our study of the relationships so vital to our consideration of Classical thought. What we commonly refer to as the Church modes (because of their extensive use in Gregorian organum) are permutations of the Ionian mode, more commonly recognized as our major scale. A basic understanding of these permutations can be gained from a brief study of our familiar C major scale, i.e., the white keys of the piano ascending from C to the C an octave above the first note. For the benefit of those who are unfamiliar with the piano keyboard and note reading, let us take a brief diversion. The keyboard has white keys separated by sets of black keys alternating in sets of two and three. As one moves to the right the pitches increase, or move higher, and their letter names move forward in the alphabet.
Conversely, moving left produces lower notes and the letter names go backwards in the alphabet, see figure 1. The note names replicate after G, i.e., there are no S, M, or P notes1. Between the two black keys we find D and the adjacent white key to the left is C. This is true in all octaves, and the C nearest the middle of the keyboard (often close to the brand name written above the keys) we call “middle C.” It is this note that forms the foundation for the following discussion of modes2.
Figure 1 The notes of the Ionian mode (see figure 2) are the same as the C scale above. The last note begins the pattern over again 1 In Europe, H is used to denote B and B refers to b-flat. 2 The reader unfamiliar with music reading may find it helpful to play these examples on a keyboard. Those interested in further study of note reading will find several helpful resources by searching “Music Fundamentals” on the internet. Rocky Mountain Mason
with the C just to the left of the next higher set of two black keys. The modes are constructed by starting on each note and moving successively along the white keys to the note an octave, or a spacing of eight notes, above the initial note. This is more easily understood if we walk through each mode. The mode Rocky Mountain Mason
starting on D and ending on the next higher D is called Dorian. See Figure 3. Phrygian begins on E and proceeds to the E eight notes higher, see Figure 4. Each successive mode replicates this pattern and produces Lydian (Figure 5), Mixolydian (Figure 6), Aeolian (Figure 7), and Locrian (Figure 8).
Each mode can descend, or be written backwards, and all the modes can be transposed to each of the twelve different chromatic pitches, but such convoluted complexities should be postponed for later examinations of the process. Playing the modes on an instrument allows us to hear the different nuances of the scales. The 39
reader who takes a moment to play the notes in figures 2 through 8 will quickly recognize the major tonality of the Ionian and the minor flavor of the Aeolian. Indeed, Aeolian is usually thought of as the natural minor scale. Dorian, Phrygian, and Locrian also have a minor feeling, while Lydian and Mixolydian sound more like the major sonority. These differences in sound are due to the changing positions of whole tones and half tones in the upper and lower tetrachords. Each scale consists of eight notes. The first four are referred to as the lower tetrachord and the last four are called the upper tetrachord. If we refer again to the keyboard the reader will notice that some notes are separated by one of the black keys and others are adjacent white keys. Those with a black key between them are referred to as whole tones and keys adjacent to each other are half tones. The patterns of whole and half tones between the notes provide the differences in sonorities. For instance, Ionian has a pattern of tone, tone, half tone, tone, tone, half tone while Dorian displays tone, half tone, tone, tone, half tone, tone, tone. This is illustrated in Figure 9 where we have borrowed from the pedagogical notation for stringed instruments where the circumflex indicates a half tone. Intervals that are not marked are whole tones. The names of the modes are geographic. The ancient Greeks attached each mode to areas of Greece and Asia Minor that they felt represented the cultures of the people living in those countries. For instance, the Lydians occupied the central area of what is present-day Turkey. For the Greeks, music created with the notes of the Lydian mode sounded like the music performed in Lydia. For those interested in pursuing an in-depth study of modes, it should be mentioned that the Greek names of the modes are offset by one mode from the names of the Church modes we use today. That is to say, what we call Dorian the ancients called Ionian. Phrygian was known as Dorian, Lydian was Phrygian, Mixolydian was Lydian and so on. This author spent many hours in his youth trying to discover a mathematical rationale for this divergence only to discover later that the fifth century music theorist, Boethius, simply made an error in his translation of an earlier work. It may have been as simple as labeling each 40
mode above the staff instead of below. Regardless of the reason, later writers on modal theory used the names provided by Boethius and the pattern has remained to this day. Heinrich Galrean, a fifteenthcentury Swiss music historian is generally credited with arranging the modes in an order relative to the Ptolemaic planetary order, the muses, and the days of the week as we shall discuss later. When composing in the modes, melodies are created that are oriented, primarily, around the first note of the scale. Melodies often start and end on the first note. For instance, a tune in C Dorian might start and end on D. This note is referred to as the tonic pitch and will tend to be the most important note. The secondary note is usually the fifth note of the scale which, in our Dorian example, is A. Melodies in Dorian will often use D most prominently, A often, and most of the other notes of the scale will appear occasionally or in passing. This hierarchical note usage is important in the distinction between Hypo modes and the authentic modes discussed above. Hypo modes3, more properly called plagel modes, adjust the authentic mode to a starting pitch four notes lower. This results in scales that are an octave below other authentic modes. For instance, Hypodorian starts on the A below the D of Dorian resulting in a scale that 3 From the Greek, Hypo, beneath, e.g., Hypodermic, beneath the skin.
is an octave below Aeolian (see Figure 10). The question arises, is Hypodorian simply a lower variation of Aeolian? The difference lies in the use of the principle and secondary tones. The most important pitch in Aeolian is A and the next most important tone is the fifth above or, E. Hypodorian employs D as the most important note while the tonic pitch, A, becomes the secondary pitch. The result is an interesting melding of the two modes allowing the composition of melodies that sound like Dorian for some patterns of notes and Aeolian for others. The principle pitch is often called the final in discussions of modal melodies since tunes usually lead to the principle pitch on the last note of the song.4 All of the authentic modes have plagel relatives, Hypophrygian, Hypolydian, Hypomixolydian, Hypoaeolian, and Hypolocrian (see Figure 11). Locrian and its plagel along with Hypophrygian are not used often and were never used in Liturgical music because of the frequency of the augmented fourth between the first and fifth notes. The interval of an augmented fourth, or tritone, is dissonant and unstable. It occurs as a part of the dominant seventh chord and usually resolves to a tonic chord to release the 4 For examples of modes sung in Hypodorian and Dorian see, Ohl, J. and Parrish, C., Masterpieces of Music Before 1750, Haydn Society, Hartford, Connecticut, 1951. Rocky Mountain Mason
musical tension. The Church proclaimed this interval diobulus in musica, the devil in music, and forbade its usage in sacred music. Accidental usage would occasionally occur and lead to severe punishments. Deliberate use of a tritone could result in charges of heresy. This understanding of the modes of Western art music forms the basis for our examination of the relationships early scholars observed between planets, Muses, and what they call the music of the spheres. An introduction to this portion of our study is summarized elegantly by the Victoria University professor of physics, Oliver Lodge, in his discussion of the ordering of the seven Ptolemaic planets and their correlation to the days of the week which he attributes, originally, to Hipparcus, the famous Nicean astronomer and mathematician working in the second century before the Common Era5: To explain the motion of the planets and reduce them to any sort of law was a work of tremendous difficulty. The greatest astronomer of ancient times was Hipparchus, and to him the system known as the Ptolemaic system is no doubt largely due. But it was delivered to the world mainly by Ptolemy, and goes by his name. This was a fine piece of work, and a great advance on anything that had gone before; for although it is of course saturated with error, still it is based on a large substratum of truth. Its superiority to all the previously mentioned systems is obvious. And it really did in its more developed form describe the observed motions of the planets.
Each planet was, in the early stages of this system, as taught, say, by Eudoxus, supposed to be set in a crystal sphere, which revolved so as to carry the planet with it. The sphere had to be of crystal to account for the visibility of other planets and the stars through it. Outside the seven planetary spheres, arranged one inside the other, was a still larger one in which were set the stars. This was believed to turn all the others, and was called the primum 5 . Lodge, O. Pioneers of Science, MacMillan and Co., London, 1893, pp.19-20.
Rocky Mountain Mason
mobile. The whole system was supposed to produce, in its revolution, for the few privileged to hear the music of the spheres, “a sound as of some magnificent harmony.” Before we proceed to the musical comparisons, there are elements of Lodge’s citation of the heptagram of the planets seen in figure 12 that need further explanation. Lodge alludes to several ideas that he assumed to be part of common knowledge. We cannot make that assumption today. The Ptolemaic ordering of the planets is geocentric, i.e., they are in the concentric order that they appear to an observer standing on the earth. The earth-bound observer looking into the heavens sees first the moon, then Mercury, Venus, and the sun. This may seem strange to us modern Heliocentrists, but the explanation lies with the abilities of the ancient observers. Due to Mercury’s small orbit, Mercury appeared to be closer to the Earth than Venus most of the time. The larger orbit of Venus usually carries the planet further away from Earth and the sun often appeared further away than Venus. The order of the other planets are familiar to us and, indeed, appeared to the ancients to be the same increasing distances that we recognize today; Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. If we place the planets in a clockwise order around a circle we arrive at the sequence, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn as seen in figure 12. The placement of each planet around the circle may be changed but the sequence will always be the same. The placement of the Sun at the top of the diagram is a perfectly logical starting point to sun worshipers and a pivotal point to our understanding of the musical and artistic relationships to the heavens. Apollo was, of course, the god of the sun who drove his fiery chariot across the heavens from dawn to dusk. But, he was also the governing god of music, the arts, healing, and prophecy as well as being in charge of the Muses and the Fates. The anticlockwise arrows in the diagram are indicative of the celestial motions of the crystalline spheres spoken of by Eudoxus. Beginning at the top of the figure with the Sun (Apollo), we follow the arrows that trace the heptagram within the circle to the moon for Monday, Mars for Tuesday, Mercury for Wednesday, Jupiter for Thursday, Venus for Friday, and Saturn
for Saturday.6 In English, our days of the week are reflective, for the most part, of the Norse gods, but their correspondences are similar to the Greco-Roman counterparts, and are tied to the same planets. We refer to Sunday, the day of the sun. Monday (Moonday), the day of the Moon. Tuesday is named for the Norse goddess, Tew (Tew’s day) who was the goddess in charge of conflict, anger, strife, and war. She holds the same place in the Norse pantheon as Mars (Aries) held in the Greco-Roman world. Woden functioned in many ways for the Norse believers, but many of his duties were similar to those of Mercury (Hermes), hence we refer to Wednesday (Woden’s day). Thor, the powerful thrower of thunderbolts, occupies a similar position to Zeus, governed by Jupiter, and we still look forward each week to Thor’s day (Thursday). Friday is our worn down pronunciation of Fria’s day. Fria was the goddess of beauty, artistry, and fertility. As such, she was the Norse equivalent of Venus (Aphrodite). We retain the GrecoRoman word for Saturn’s day when we say Saturday. Each day corresponds to the same planets regardless of the language used and the musical modes are tied to the planets. Ancient, medieval, and renaissance scholars were aware of the above information as a matter of common knowledge, but Gafurius (Frachini Gafori) published a document interweaving these relationships in 14967. The frontispiece of his Practica musicae displays this generally acknowledged understanding of the music of the spheres and is presented below in figure 13. The cover is not really explained in his work, though it would have drawn attention to his writing. Gafurius wrote extensively about the constriction of modes and their usage in the polyphonic music of his time. Practica musicae, written in Latin, demonstrated to scholars of the day a number of specific techniques for composing melodies and counterpoints in all of the prominent plagel and authentic modes in all transpositions, and were reflective of the ideals of late Medieval 6 The initiated will recall the Scottish Rite degree, Knight of The Sun or Prince Adept. 7 Gafori, Franchini, Practica musicae, first published in Milan, 1496, 226p
liturgical music. His musical examples throughout the book have been considered outstanding models, which is to be expected since he was friends with, not only Leonardo, but also the famous Josquin des Prez, considered the greatest composer of the 15th century. The printing of books was still a new contrivance in the time of Columbus and the Spanish reclamation. Consequently, many scholars thought it to be a passing fad. Indeed, some even decried the new contraption of the printing press as a device that would cause the demise of scholarship. Prior to Guttenberg, scholarship was a matter of memory work. A learned person memorized thousands of pages of history and knowledge. Debates between scholars would go on for hours in public squares with all references being cited from memory. Established scholars feared that the ability to “look up” facts stored in printed books would allow students to stop memorizing and relegate scholarship to the level of a librarian’s information retrieval system. Consequently, not everyone was excited to possess books. Gafurius, concentrating most on compositional intricacies and less on the interconnected humanistic aspects of modal relationships, would still have been interested in having a compelling and intriguing frontispiece to attract potential readers. The frontispiece in figure 13 shows Apollo enthroned and holding a lute, one of the symbols of his governance of music and the performing arts. To his right are the three Fates Euphrosine (cheerfulness), Aglala (splendor), and Thalia (blossom). Thalia stands aside as a special member of the fates who answers personally to Apollo and who also acts as governess of Muses. To his left is an urn filled with flowers, symbols of the natural beauty of the arts that Apollo represents. Troubadors serenade from the upper corners on stringed instruments, a salute to Pythagoras, who is credited as the first to write about the harmonic series. Pythagoras used strings to demonstrate the overtone series and the acoustical construction of all natural pitches. He showed that a string of a given length stretched across a resonation device such as a hollow box and allowed to vibrate freely, produces a fundamental pitch. If that length is divided by two, i.e., the vibrating length of the string is half as long, the pitch is eight notes higher. That is to say, the second note is an octave Rocky Mountain Mason
above the fundamental. If the vibratory length of the string is one third the length of the fundamental, the pitch goes up another five notes. A string one fourth the length of the fundamental produces a note an octave above the second division or two octaves above the fundamental. Dividing by five yields a major third over the previous note. Dividing by six gives the note a minor third higher. Dividing by seven produces a natural third and the note created by the eighth division is three octaves above the fundamental. We can define this operation as:
1 _ n
which mathematicians will recognize as the harmonic series and can be visualized by musicians as the musical harmonic series in figure 14. Consequently, stringed instruments performed for Apollo remind us of the mathmatico-musical contributions of Pythagoras. Beneath Apollo and running through the center of the chart is a serpent, a symbol for knowledge. The serpent has three heads: a dog, a lion, and a wolf facing three directions referring to past, present, and future. Joseph Campbell describes this well in Creative Mythology:
FIgure 14* *The first note is the octave below middle C. Ordinarily, we would write this in another clef but, for the benefit of those new to reading notes we have kept the treble clef. The symbol in front of the penultimate not indicates that the note is slightly flat from the tempered B flat. This occurs naturally in the harmonic series but sounds strange to our modern ears that have become used to the tempered notation of the keyboard. Rocky Mountain Mason
The beast’s heads symbolize Devouring Time in its three aspects – Present, Past and Future – through which the unchanging presence of the god is experienced, ever passing, here on earth. As we read in Macrobius’s Saturnalia (fifth century A. D.): ‘The lion, violent and sudden, expresses the present; the wolf, which drags away its victims, is the image of the past, robbing us of memories; the dog, fawning on its master, suggests to us the future, which ceaselessly beguiles us with hope.8 The serpent of knowledge appears to 8 Campbell, J., The Masks of God: Creative Mythology, Penguin Books, Viking Penguin Press, New York, NY, 1968, p.101. 43
separate the modes from the muses, but it reminds us to unite and synthesize the modes, planets, Muses, ancient Greek music theory, and all aspects of Apollo’s domain. Its head at the bottom of the page breathes upon the silent muse, Thalia, within the spheres of the four elements, Earth (Terra), Air (Aer), Fire (Ignis), and Water (Aqua). This was to remind the reader of the medicinal properties of music and the performing arts. The Greeks attached modes to the humors and the humors were attached to the elements. As a result, music was medicine. It was believed that illnesses could be treated with appropriate music. For instance, a person suffering from a Phlegmatic ailment such as catarrh or sinusitis was perceived as having too much of the element, water (the element governing the Phlegmatic humor), and listening to or playing music in the Hypodorian mode could ease his distress. Dorian was believed to increase the amount of water and was used to treat ailments requiring more moisture.9 Above Apollo is a banner with the Latin, “Mentis Apollinae vis has mouet undique musas.” This is also an assumption on the part of Gafurius that scholars were well versed in all of the liberal arts and sciences. It is found as a line from “The Muses,” a poem by the anonymous author calling himself Dionysius Cato who wrote in the third or fourth century of the Common Era and whose works were used as the standard texts for learning Latin until comparatively recent times. Benjamin Franklin used them when he studied Latin. A fair translation is: “The force of Apollo’s spirit has thus moved the Muses everywhere.” It is part of the last sentence of the poem, the previous lines of which describe and name each of the Muses. Since educated individuals throughout Europe had studied and memorized much of the works Dionysius Cato during their own studies of Latin, quoting such a line would have been as understandable in the 15th century as if we were to quote, “… government of the people, by the people, for the people.”10
The Muses are illustrated and named on the left side of the frontispiece and are ordered in such a way as to correspond to the planets, modes, and governing deities listed on the opposite side of the page. The nine Muses were the magical creations of Zeus, who bewildered Mnemosyne and slept with her nine consecutive nights. Each morning a new daughter was born each of whom became one of the nine Muses. Let us consider the Muses in the order they appear for Gafurius. The first Muse cited is Urania who inspires those concerned with philosophy, astronomy and the heavens. She is shown pointing to the stars and holding an orb of the heavens. Polihymnia, the Muse of “many hymns,” functions as the inspiration for the wealth of hymns and sacred poetry recited in liturgical settings. Euterpe11 is portrayed playing an aulos (the doublepiped, end-blown flute which is the symbol of Dionysius and Apollo) because she is credited with discovering several musical instruments, and oversees the playing of wind instruments such as flutes and pan pipes. She is usually thought of as the Muse of lyric poetry. The Muse responsible for inspiring and overseeing love poems is the oft-cited Erato (Eratho). She is one of the most famous Muses and has been mentioned by poets for centuries. Erato is often portrayed with a harp or lyre to remind us of such occupations as latenight serenades beneath the windows of lovely senoritas while professing our love and adoration. Melopmene, with Thalia, govern the inspirations of the theatre. She is the Muse of tragedy and appears here in a dramatic pose. Melopmene, in other representations, is often shown with the mask of tragedy while her theatrical counterpart, who also functions as one of the Fates, often displays the mask of comedy. Terpsicore is one of the more famous Muses because the well-known suite of dances by Michael Praetorius which he entitled Terpsicory. Terpsicore is the Muse of dance and is portrayed in various dance poses or with various musical
9 For a more complete examination of the humors and musico-medical treatments see Opsopaus, J. “Greek Esoteric Music Theory,” self published, 1999
11 Several different spellings are extant for the Muse, Fates, and characters of Greek and Roman mythology. Where applicable, I have tried to use the modern accepted spelling first and have included the spelling appearing on the Gafurius frontispiece in parentheses.
10 Lincoln, A, “Gettysburg Address”, 19 November 1863. 44
instruments used to provide the music for dances. Calliope (Caliope) was the Muse of epic poetry and we see here depicted with books or scrolls. Rounding out the list of Muses is Clio who inspired those writing history. She is often show holding books or a clarion trumpet. Thalia appears at the bottom of the frontispiece near the three-headed serpent. In statues and paintings of Thalia she is shown holding the mask of Comedy, her specialty. Opposite the Muses we see planets in their Ptolemaic order and portrayals of the gods and goddess related to them labeled in Latin. At the bottom we see the first planet labeled with the symbol for the moon and Hestia labeled Luna (moon). Hestia was the goddess associated with the moon as well as the hearth and home. She is portrayed with a child and a spear that branches with flowers. Goddesses are often depicted with a spear in hand as a symbol of their power. Hestia’s badge of authority is flowers to suggest her governance of domesticity. Next appears Mercurius (Mercury), who is shown with his badge of office and symbol of his speed, his caduceus, the winged staff entwined with two serpents. He is in his chariot drawn by falcons, the fastest of birds. Venus, the goddess of love, appears in her chariot drawn by love birds. She holds a spear to demonstrate her power and authority while cupid rides in the chariot with her, ready to shoot arrows of desire into anyone Venus requires. Her mirror is the symbol of her planet, shown in the right margin. The symbol of the Sun (Sol) is the circle with a dot inside and we see the corresponding god, Apollo, in his chariot of the Sun. Mars is shown with his drawn sword riding to a conflict in his chariot drawn by war horses. Above Mars appears Jupiter in a chariot drawn by eagles, which often appear on his staff of authority. Standing before him is a person arguing his case, since one of the aspects of Jupiter is to sit as the administrator of justice. Saturn appears here as the god of agriculture. His official symbol is the scythe of harvest, which he holds in his right hand while he rides in his chariot drawn by dragons. The uppermost sphere is labeled celum stellarum, (starry heaven,) which is referent to the Eudoxus description of the crystalline spheres. Each planet and the upper sphere of the celestial heavens are connected to their corresponding Muses by arcs labeled Rocky Mountain Mason
with the modes tied to their planets, to the right of the serpent, and notes of their Greek equivalents to the left of the serpent. The modes and the intervals between the notes of the finals of the modes are written in Latin, and the Greek equivalents are transliterated in the Latin alphabet. To analyze these, let us begin with the modes with which we have already gained some familiarity. Gafurius ties Hypodorian (Hypodorius) to the Moon, Hypophrygian (labeled Hypophrygius) to the next planet in the Ptolemaic order, Mercury, and Hypolydian (Hypolydius) to the next planet, Venus. Dorian (Dorius), Phrygian (Phrygius), Lydian (Lydius), and Mixolydian (Mixolydius) are attached to the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn respectively. Hypermixolydian (labeled Hypermixolydius) is an anomaly constructed on the note just above Mixolydian and Gafurius attaches it to the final celestial sphere. Between the arcs designating the modes are the Latin terms for whole tones, tonus, and half tones, semitonium. If we start Hypodorian on A as in our previous examples (see figure 10), each succeeding mode ascends one note, i.e., B for Hypophrygian, C for Hypolydian, D for Dorian, E for Phrygian, F for Lydian, G for Mixolydian, and A for Hypermixolydian. The distance between each results in the tone and semitones shown on the frontispiece. The pattern of whole tones and half tones starting on the B of Hypophrygian creates a perfect mirror symmetry of two overlapping tetrachords, see figure 15. Gafurius and others did not relate these modes to the planets and notes arbitrarily, but relied upon the correlations given them by the ancients. For the keys to understanding these relationships we must turn to the Greek systema teleion. Gafurius cites the lower portion of the systema teleion meizon, or Greater Perfect System. Several of the citations are too long to fit on the arc banners, and parts of the words appear above the rest of the word. Some writers have even tried to attach significance to the word fragments. This gives readers pause, but as we have mentioned before, Gafurius would have been confidant that anyone capable of reading would have been able to recognize his references because of the depth of their interdisciplinary knowledge. An astronomer would have been as readily Rocky Mountain Mason
FIgure 17 able to recognize ”proslambenomenos” as any of the stars he observed in the heavens. An architect would have been as familiar with the “mese” as he was with a Corinthian column. Gafurius lists from bottom to top, proslambenomenos, hypate hypaton, parhypate hypaton, lychanos hypaton, hypate meson, parhypate meson, lychanos meson, and mese. Each of these refers to notes on the sytema teleion. Professor H. S. Macran describes and defines each as being in relationship to their position on the seven-note lyre: he name Hypete signifies the T ‘highest’ chord (i.e., highest in its position on the Instrument), Parapate signifies ’next the highest,’ Lichanus ‘forefinger,’ Mese, middle,…”12 Meson refers to the notes of the middle tetrachord in systema teleion. To explain this let us examine the background of the systema teleion in greater detail. Hellenic Greeks looked back to Doris, an area around Epirus in Macedonia, as the source of their civilization, and thought of the Doric culture and language as the most pure form of their own society. Consequently, they saw Dorian as the perfect mode on which to base the fundamentals of their musical system. We must remember that Dorian was the scale that we think of as Phrygian. Greek 12 Macran, H. S., “Greek Music”, in Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Vol. 2, p. 223, MacMillan, New York and London, 1908.
musicians thought of scales as descending, perhaps because of the sound created by strumming the lyre toward one’s body, i.e., from the shortest to the longest strings. This would create a natural set of descending pitches. The descending Greek Dorian appears in figure 16, where we see the middle two tetrachords are two identical constructions of whole tone, whole tone, half tone. This, the Greeks considered an element of the perfection of the Dorians, and evidence of the purity of the system. The scale was extended by a lower and higher tetrachord overlapped, i.e., the last note of one tetrachord is the first note of the next tetrachord as in figure 17. The common note is called the synaphe or “the place of notes together,” and, because of the overlapping of the tetrachords, one extra note is created to complete the scale two octaves below the starting pitch. This note was called the proslambenomenos and was usually marked with a gamma (F). Each tetrachord was named as in figure 17, Hyperbolian or “of the extreme,” Diezeugmenon, “of the disjunct,” Meson, “of the middle,” and Hypaton, “of the highest string. “13 Combining professor Macran’s explanation of the notes with the names of the tertrachords gives us the classical names for each note in the lower octave of the scale above, that is to say, the Meson and Hypaton tetrachords along with the Proslambenomenos (see figure 18). Each tone, mese, lichanos, parhypate and hypate are applied to each of the tetrachords
13 Op. cit. p. 225. 45
FIgure 18 yielding the Greek notes: mese, lichanos meson, or second note of the tetrachord Meson, parhypate meson, or third note of the Meson, and so on through both tetrachords. Consider again figure 13, the Gafurius frontispiece. Mese is the note that starts the hypermixolydian mode, and is associated with Urania, who is the inspiration for Astronomy and items dealing with the heavens. Lychanos meson is the note on which we construct the Mixolydian mode which is related to Saturn and the muse Polihymnia. Euterpe, the muse of poetry, is tied to the parapate meson, which is the starting pitch used to create the Lydian mode. She, the Greek note, and Lydian are all attached to Jupiter or Zeus. Eratho, who functions as the muse of love poems, is associated with the hypate meson which is the same as the fundamental note of the Phrygian mode, and which we relate to Mars. It is of some interest to note that the Muse who is responsible for the inspiration of so many odes, poems, sonnets, and other great works of liturature is tied to the synaphe, the modulatory pivot point connecting the two tetrachords. The next descending note, Lychanos hypaton, we see attached to the muse Melopmene. Her attention to tragic drama is also related to the Dorian mode, the Sun, and the god governing all of art, music, performance, poetry and literature, Apollo. Remember that Dorian for the ancient Greeks was the scale we now call Phrygian, and was related to the element fire. There would be no mistaking its relationship to the fiery god of the Sun or the impassioned and tragic Melopmene. Preceding downward one more note to the parapate hypaton, we observe a connection to Hypolydian, Tepsicore, and Venus. Calliope (Caliope) is tied to the hypate hypaton, which corresponds to the initial note of our Locrian or Hypophrigian mode. Gafurius relates them to Mercury. The “extra” tone or prolsambenomenos, is attached to Clio (Muse of History) the Hypodorian mode, and Hestia, the goddess associated with 46
the moon. Reading all of this information in a linear description is sometimes difficult to digest and we have, therefore, summarized the relationships described above in the table seen in figure 19. During the last few centuries we have become increasingly specialized in our knowledge. But, are we better, when individuals hold only isolated threads of the fabric of knowledge, than the
ancients whose integrated knowledge provided them a greater view of a larger interwoven tapestry? Perhaps if we delved deeper into the vastness of the wisdom of the ages rather than submitting to the conformist demands of plutocratic corporate oligarchy, our world would be a better place. Perhaps the arts, in general, and music, in particular, are the keys to our ascending to this knowledge.
Consistory bodies and has performed in various degrees. In 2007 he received the rank and decoration of Knight Commander of the Court of Honor and was appointed to be the Grand Musician for Colorado. Professionally, Dr. Trainor is an ethnomusicologist, music educator, and past lecturer in Ethnomusicology, Music Education, and Theory at the University of Washington and Denver University’s Lamont School of Music. He was with the public schools for 34 years and is the winner of the 2003 Denver Public Schools Outstanding Graduates’ Award. He is also an internationally published author and composer. Dr. Trainor recently retired from the public schools to be the director of the Nova Vivaldi Music Academy and pursue Masonic endeavors. He is pictured here playing Thomas Jefferson's violin, which is available for viewing at the MWGL of Colorado's Museum.
r. John Trainor was born to parents of Sephardi Jewish and Romany heritage. The family traveled several places and finally settled in Denver. John studied Violin, Music Theory, and Composition with Howard Reynolds, a student of Ysaye and retired concert master of the Denver Symphony. He went on to University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music where he received the Bachelor of Music Education degree, and became interested in Ethnomusicology. John continued in graduate school at the University of Washington, Seattle where he earned the M.A. and Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology. Later, he performed in musical, artistic, and theatrical venues as well as doing Ethnomusicological research in Southeast Asia, Spain, Austria, and Hungary. John Trainor was initiated, passed, and raised in Columbine Lodge #147 in 1982 and was twice Past Master (2005 and 2006). He was Prelate for the Denver
Rocky Mountain Mason
Day of the week
Evergreen I By W. Bro. Ben Williams
traveled fast for an Evergreen Falling first, here in between Such disparate worlds, the vast Unseen causes, aloft the wilderness of bone and flesh This marrow of my emptiness Pauses. Some went North, and some fled West Seeking the path through bewilderedness Where silence ceased. Some when West But I went East.
Rocky Mountain Mason
From Around the State 1
1. Guest Speaker, W. Bro. Kevin Townley, with W. Bro. Tim Hogan at East Denver 160.
2. Having been tended the sword of authority and invited to preside, the Grand Commander was pleased to wield said sword of authority, at Montrose-Ouray Commandery No. 16. 3. Rifle Lodge No. 129 honored W. Bro. E. Wayne Beights with a “Mason of the Year” Award, for his decades of faithful service to the Craft. Bro. Beights has raised innumerable Masons across the Western 3 Slope, including the Editor of the Rocky Mountain Mason, and W. Bro. Doug Williams, standing beside him.
5. Three Companions ascended by regular gradations to the summit of our sublime and royal art, at Delta Chapter No. 38.
by Rodney Johnson
4. M.W.Bro. Dana Speaks, G.M. of Masons in Colorado, addresses the John Davis Memorial Scottish Rite Class of 2013 at the Valley of Grand Junction.
6. M.W.Bro. Thomas Cox contemplates the length of the candles before beginning on the 14º, at the Scottish Rite Reunion, Valley of Grand Junction. 7. Tilers. Good luck getting by this crowd!
Rocky Mountain Mason
by Wally Cooley
8. Paying dues in the York Rite. Some things never (pardon the pun) change. 9. After a meeting at Glenwood Springs Lodge No. 65, W.Bro. Murph kicks back. 10. Further Light in Masonry at the Agape at East Denver 160. Rocky Mountain Mason
11. REGC David Reynolds with REPGC T.Thom McKelvie. 12. Leadership guru, W.Bro. Robert Herd speaking at the Wardenâ€™s Workshop on the differences between leadership vs. management, instilling vision among the Craft. 13. Moses was seen in Grand
Junction, at the Scottish Rite. 14. This golden eagle spans its wings in the entry room to Rifle Lodge No. 129. 15. A departed Brother, reduced by death to anonymity, readies for the 30th. 49
by Michael Thayer
16. The lovely ladies of Grand Junction Assembly No. 12, Rainbow Girls. 17. Traveling East, in East Denver No. 160. 18. Readying to accompany the marching Knights Templar during the pass and review, Elizabeth French prepares her music in Delta Commandery.
20. W.Bro. Kevin Townley answers questions regarding his talk at East Denver 160 regarding the divine proportions of the Lodge. 21. Are you SURE you wish to proceed? Into the boneyard. 22. This chap was seen entering Telluride Lodge No. 56. A wise guy, if ever I saw one. 50
by Rodney Johnson
19. Something happened to the Scottish Rite. Jeff Cyriacks and Don Hobbs are wearing grass skirts. (Theyâ€™ll remember to bring a Hawaiian shirt next time!)
Do YOU have pictures from YOUR local Masonic events? Email them to us, we'll publish them! email@example.com 300 dpi resolution preferred. Include brief description. Rocky Mountain Mason
by John Waltrip
by John Attebery
23. A couple of unlikely fellows hanging at Naggy Mageeâ€™s. Tunrs out one was a Mason. Can you guess which one? 24. Turns out all roads do lead to Hotchkiss, Colroado. 25. A knight Templar readying to wield his sword in defense of the innocent maidens. 26. Masters of the Veils await three zealous sojourners from Babylon.
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27. A Fellow Craft receives an unexpected promotion in Manitou Springs Lodge during an Office Visit, with M.W. Bro. Dana Speaks, G.M. of Masons of Colorado 51
Miss Kansas Job’s Daughter Speech At the Grand York Rite of Kansas Sessions by Jordan Stofer, Miss Kansas Job’s Daughter 2012-2013
At a time of membership crisis, we cannot overlook our youth groups. They're the future of the Masonic Family. So says Jordan Stofer, Miss Kansas Job's Daughter 2012-2013.
o the Grand High Priest, the Illustrious Grand Master, the Grand Commander, Disgusted Guests, Members of York Rite and Masonic family and friends: Good evening. Thank you for the invitation to attend your annual Grand York Rite and to bring words on behalf of the girls and adults of Kansas Job’s Daughters. First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Jordan Stofer, I am Miss Kansas Job’s Daughter 2012~2013, and I am part of the future of the Masonic family of Kansas. My husband, when I marry, will be a Mason if he chooses to do so. My children, when I settle down with the man I love and have successful job, will be a part of the Masonic family. We, the Masonic youth, are your future and we are slowly dying. In Kansas Job’s Daughter, we have less than 80 members, which are scattered through nine different Bethels. When Kansas Job’s Daughters were at their high, we had 75 active bethels. Simple math shows that 66 bethels are gone since then. What does this tell us? Between now and 2006, the year I was initiated into Job’s Daughters, we have lost three bethels and about 50 members. With our numbers lowering, this also could affect our Masonic family. The Job’s Daughters are your legacy members. We are there to create a better future for you and we need your help. We need you to look out for potential members, we need you get us involved with your activities, and to volunteer your time with the bethels. Everyday we are looking for potential members who are between the ages of 1020 who are related to a master mason. We would like you to reach out to any girl. If you do know girls but you know they do not have a Masonic relationship, this could
be an opportunity for the Masons. The male figures could start getting involved and becoming a Mason, which is a winwin for both of us. The Masons and Job’s Daughters could gain membership. These girls and/or males would benefit from valves, lessons, new experiences and just the great time that Job’s Daughters and Masons offer. Reach out and invite the Job’s Daughters to help with your activities. We love helping our family and it would be neat for the girls to experience more sides of Masonry. Not only get us involved, but also
Guardian. We currently have positions open for Master Masons who are fun, supportive, caring, enjoy road trips, and girl talk such as boys, clothes, makeup, and the latest gossip. You get to be an idol to all the girls. You may not realize it, but we look up to all of you. If you cannot be there all the time, we understand but we would also love to see some sidelines filled. Our best shines through when we get to show off our memory work. For the past couple of years, the Supreme Guardian Council has presented a bylaw change about taking away the need for a Masonic relationship in order to be a member. In 1920, our founder Mother Mick set a landmark which states membership is to be composed of developing girls who believe in God and bear a Masonic relationship. If a day comes where this is pasted, we would loose a part of us. We would not be able to stand out from the rest. As my final word, the Kansas Job’s Daughters would like to extend an invitation to attend our annual Grand Session. It is June 19 through 23, 2013 at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Topeka, KS. We would love to see all of you attend if you could. Also, thank you for your donations. Your donations have been going toward $1,000 scholarships to give to deserving Kansas Job’s Daughters to help with college and the Kansas Job’s Daughters general fund. If you have any questions about Job’s Daughters, please ask me! Again, thank you for the invitation to represent Kansas Job’s Daughters this evening. I wish you all a successful Grand York Rite. It is my hopes and prayers for my future family to have the opportunity for the Masonic experience. It is the actions that we take today that insure a brighter future for generations to come.
"You may not realize it, but we look up to all of you. If you cannot be there all the time, we understand. But we would also love to see some sidelines filled."
your families. My family has been very active of the Masonic family. My greatgreat grandfather was a 33° mason, my grandfather and dad were past Worshipful Masters and are still active today and are part of the Widow Sons, past Grand Masters, past Master Masons, past Job’s Daughters, past Rainbow Girls, and my brother is currently an active member in Demolay. I can go to any of my family members and they would be able to understand what I am talking about or would be able to help me study my part. You become a lot closer to your family. Every single member of your family could be a part of our Masonic family and experience what my family and other families have been through. We love to get involved with your lodges; we also would love to have you volunteer your time and get involved with Job’s Daughters. Male involvement with our organization is important. In Job’s Daughters, we only have one council position that you need to be a Master Mason and that is our Associate Bethel
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Ideas from the Vault Every now and again ideas bubble up from the depths Some good. Some bad. Share your ideas with the Craft, but can you stomach the Past Masters?
For the worthy consideration of the Brethren: “Mirror Lodges”.
he idea of “mirror Lodges” is straightforward. The aim, to garner participation and reciprocating visits between Lodges in Colorado. It works like this: Lodges that have symmetry between their Lodge numbers, where one Lodge number is a reflection of another, second Lodge, become “mirror Lodges” (the term “mirror Lodges” is suggested, but any suitable name will do). Examples include: El Passo Lodge No. 13 and Pueblo Lodge No. 31. Telluride Lodge No. 56 and Glenwood Lodge No. 65. Mirror Lodges agree to meet at least once a year at one of the two Lodges. One Lodge is host Lodge, and receives their counterpart. The visiting Lodge is required to provide a program of entertainment – be it a talk, a debate, slide show, or some other occasion suitable for the enjoyment of the Brethren. The following year, the tradition is reversed, the visiting Lodge is now host, and the host Lodge visits and provides the program. Conviviality should be paramount; a dinner should be hosted by the host Lodge after the meeting. And worthy toasts (and some roasting) performed. An example might be the following. June 24th falls on a regular meeting night for Lodge No. 45. It is their turn to host Lodge
No. 54, the Brethren of which arrive in due form. Lodge 54 has put together a rendering of an old proficiency recorded in the ancient charges. The meeting is opened, Lodge No. 54 is formally received, the Brethren introduced, and the visiting Master invited to a seat in the East. After the general business of Lodge No. 45 is concluded (if any such important business cannot be postponed to a later meeting, that is) the Master of Lodge 54 is cordially inquired of his program for the evening
to Lodge, but you get the idea. It is suggested that at least once every several years a debate is held, Oxford style, between the two Lodges. Each Lodge would choose two Brethren suited to the task, and, at a suitable time previous to the meeting, a topic will be agreed upon. It may be of particular enjoyment for the Brethren if the visiting Lodge forwards a topic, and the host Lodge determines its side of the issue. It is vital that good humor is maintained throughout the preceding. Secret ballots are cast before the debate – white for the motion, black against. After the debate a second secret ballot is performed, and the side with the greatest change is declared the winner of the coveted prize. (Maybe a silly hat, a traveling trophy, or what have you.) A Masonic quiz could also be conducted, wherein a Grand Officer, or other third party, could be quiz master with each Lodge forwarding teams to the challenge. Many other activities should be considered, for variety, including skits, parodies, soliloquies from famous dramatic episodes (think of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, or Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, for example), comedy, or some other interesting event (but pugilism should be discouraged, except under the
"Other activities should be considered, for variety, including skits, parodies, soliloquies from famous dramatic episodes think of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, or Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, for example.."
(which could be kept a secret, if such occasion requires, for the good humor of the Brethren). Whereupon, the necessary Brethren of Lodge 54 perform a recitation of the ancient proficiency. Some gift, or token is then bestowed upon the visiting Master. After the meeting, the Brethren retire for a festive board. The gift should be either of such low cost as to be symbolic and amusing, or suited to a particular need of the Lodge, as the will and pleasure of the hosting Master dictates. The idea is to create enjoyment, Fraternity, and education. Of course, the particular flavor of the evening will likely change from year to year, and from Lodge
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most elaborate circumstances). Even gocarting could be scheduled, or a shooting competition, should the Brethren be ingenious enough to arrange for such endeavors. Now, of course, not all Lodges will be able to find another Lodge with a mirror number. However, the following solution is offered, perhaps pleasing to the Brethren. Lodges that are “round”, like No. 1 and No. 10, for example, can, should they so agree, recognize each other as mirror Lodges. Lodges that are 100 numbers apart, or are multiples of each other, or sum into each other, could so agree. The idea is to enable some adaptability, but still afford some randomization so that geography alone cannot dictate the “mirroring”. Thus, Norwood Lodge No. 111, for example, might “mirror” with Lodge No. 3; Lodge No. 55 could pair with Lodge No. 10. Various other numerical combinations are, of course, possible, limited only by the agreement of such Lodges and the imagination of the Brethren. It is important that minutes are kept to well reflect the outcome of any debate held or any Masonic quiz performed, any race championed, any prize won, and every gift given. This should help solidify the tradition, create some good humored rivalry, and no end of fun. And, of course, all pictures should be sent to the Rocky Mountain Mason to be counted among these pages. So, what do you reckon? Stupid idea, or worth a shot?
o you have an idea you want to share? Can you stomach the scrutiny of the Past Masters? Send submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org And see if you cut the mustard.
Rocky Mountain Mason
Freemasonry: The Iranian Plateau, and beyond
by M.W.Bro. Hugh Ferdows, P.G.M. Freemasons of Iran
hen the Aryan tribes, who lived in Central Asia some 8000 years ago, began to sweep down from the steps and scatter in different directions some 4000 years ago, they took their gods Mithra with them. They went east towards China, southeast to India, southwest to the Iranian plateau, and west to Anatoly (present-day Turkey), Greece and north Europe. Their descendants finally reached British Isles through the Roman conquest of Britain. Documents show that the last week of December is related to the mythological birth of an Arian God whose name is Mithra that, according to their beliefs, happens at the night of Solstice. Mithra, a derivate of the Aryan word Mei, means “relationship”. Mithra is the God of friendship, love, and any other mutual contracts and exchanges. He supervises these relationships and punishes those who break their vows. To fulfill this function of supervision, he is situated in the sky, with the Sun and stars being his watchful eyes. He is called “the God of a Million Eyes and Ears”. He is also the God of the Sun and the last day of each week is called Sunday in his honor. Consequently, he is the God of purifying fire in front of which people settled their contracts and by which nations set up their boundaries. Mithra’s followers called each other ‘brother’ and were led by a priest called 'father', whose symbols were his staff and ring, his hat, and a crooked sword. Mithraic priests were ruled by a 'father of fathers', and were elected by a council of priests. In the mysteries of Mithra, in
Persia, the candidate was vested with a white apron. The superior orders of the priesthood were adorned with highly ornamented girdles. Think about one of the most ancient belief systems and rites of human beings, centered around the God of the Sun. This is the meeting point of East and West, the melting pot of the human perpetual wish for Brotherly love, peace and friendship between individuals and nations. As the mystics of the east say: Call it by any name, if there is love in your intention, all names become one – that of love itself! Somewhere around 650 BC, a new presentation of religion suddenly took hold. While we know little or nothing about the Persians in this period, we know the man who invented this new religion was called Zarathustra. In its roughest outlines, Zoroastrianism is interpreted as a dualistic religion, although there was a singlular formlessness that poured forth the first emanation into opposites. In Zarathusra’s cosmos, the universe was under the control of two contrary gods, Ahura-Mazda ,the creating god who is full of light and good, and Ahriman; the god of dark and evil. All of creation, all gods, all religions, and all of human history and experience can be understood as part of this struggle between Light and Dark, Good and Evil. Zarathushtra reformed the fire cult and made it the symbol par excellence of Ahura. The Avesta tells us that just as fire can burn and destroy physical impurity, 55
The Grand Master of Iran's Jewel, Ahura Mazda in the same way it can remove spiritual uncleanliness or sin. When Zoroastrians stand in devotion before a sacred fire they believe that they are standing in the presence of the radiating power of Ahura Mazda. Do not say the Zoroastrians are fire worshipers, for they worship only God, the Holy. Zarathustra honored Mitraismus by the definition and simplicity of his new religion, and the new presentation of gods captivated the spiritual and social imagination of the Persians and their Kings. This political role in the world was put together by Cyrus, (Koorosh) Called the Great, the founder of the Achaemanids Dynasty. In 559 BC, Cyrus become the chief of the Persian tribe in the south of Persia. Devoted to Zoroastrianism, he recognized that all the gods, worshipped by other people, were really the same gods – some were underlings of Ahura-Mazda and some were servants of Ahriman. Cyrus saw as his mission the tearing down of religions for evil gods and the shoring up of religions of gods allied with Ahura-Mazda. Cyrus believed Yahweh was one of the good gods, and he claimed that Yahweh visited him one night. In that vision, Yahweh commanded him to reestablish Yahweh worship in Jerusalem and to rebuild the temple. Cyrus ordered the temple rebuilt; the shining symbol of this new state dedicated to Yahweh was the temple of Solomon, which had been burned to the ground in 585 BC During rebuilding of the Temple, the Temple Craftsmen exchanged views with Persian Craftsmen and borrowed many rituals and traditions from them. The Achaemanids ruled from 550330 B.C. and the Saradostra Religion Rocky Mountain Mason
remained until the creation of Islam.
• After Islam
he same (Masonic) principles can be found in the history of some religious sects like Ismail'i shi’as. Hassan ibn Sabbah and his followers are described as “Eastern Freemasons”. During the Crusades, the Temple Guards (Templers), who probably founded the first formalized system of freemasonry in Europe, exchanged views with Hassan ibn Sabbah’s followers and borrowed many rituals and traditions from them. The Templars deployed their forces in Jerusalem in 1099 A.D., after Jerusalem was captured by Crusaders. In 1291 A.D. many of the Templars moved back to Europe – mostly to France, Germany, and England. Many Ismail'is who had converted to Christianity could be seen among them. The Templars became strong, and had much influence in France. Their last leader was Jacques de Molay. De Molay has been recognized as the pioneer of the school of Masonic philosophy and the first Freemason who sacrificed his life for his Masonic beliefs. Referring to the world Masonic encyclopedias, we can see Freemasonry dates back to the Mitra and Zoroastrian periods, and still pays tribute thereto when we say, “May all our thoughts, words and actions be in accordance with our professions as Masons.” We can find influences of Iranian traditions, from the Achaemanids to the Sassanids, in modern Freemasonry. The Masonic apron is derived from the leather flag used in the ancient world, since the time of Cyrus the Great and the other Achaemanid kings.
Brick by Brick
The Wardensâ€™ Workshop: Lodge Leadership Revamped and Revised
Radioactive disposal, Blindfolds, Team Building, Finances, and more...
ach year the Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Colorado organizes a series of workshops for the education of our members. This year it was my pleasure to arrange four sessions around Colorado, available to as many of our Brothers as possible. We held them in Fort Collins, Glenwood Springs, Manitou Springs, and Durango. Each year, the SGW chooses the format, and this year I chose to focus on leadership training, being an area I feel is much neglected by our fraternity. We devised the program to be pertinent to all personal, professional, and fraternal undertakings.
The program covered budgeting and financial management, with a presentation on budgeting basics and a discussion of various investment strategies, suitable for the home, business, or your Lodge. The next topic was leadership. Bro. Robert Herd, a past Grand Orator, spoke about transformational leadership, planning processes for effective leaders, the difference between leaders and managers, and led experiential exercises that kept the Brothers engaged and active (see side bar). We then moved on to my section on critical decision making and strategic planning. We discussed the art of Rhetoric (now known as Argumentation in educational institutions), critical
thinking skills, errors of perception and memory, and the use of logic in forming and expressing our thoughts and ideas. A strong focus was placed on the concept of service-oriented leadership, which is important in an organization such as ours. This was an experimental program, taking a different direction than in the past. We didnâ€™t focus on ritual, by-laws, and floor work. Instead we focused on strategy and leadership development. The average attendance was about 20 Brethren. Their active and enthusiastic participation in the discussions made all the difference. ~ R.W. Bro. Michael McMillan, SGW Rocky Mountain Mason
May 19, 2013 â€˘ Durango, CO
Anonymous comment by an attending Brother
1. W.Bro. Robert Herd sets up the game. The team selects a leader. The leader can speak only to the managers, and can touch nothing.
2. W.Bro. Rob points out the "radioactive source" to the leader. 3. W.Bro. Rob explains the resources available to retrieve and move the radioactive source to the safe haven. The leader strategizes. 4. W.Bro. Herd gives the leader blindfolds. 5. The leader instructs the managers to blindfold their workers. 6. The managers blindfold their workers. 7. The leader explains to the managers the resources available. Only the workers, now blindfolded, can touch and manipulate the resources. Each manager relays the leaders explanations and instruction to their respective workers.
8. A manager starts the first worker to grab a resource. 9. Managers explain to their respective workers the nature of the resources (color, connectivity, etc.)
10. Feeling bungee cord, the blindfolded workers begin to comprehend the nature of the game. 11. W.Bro. calls time out to survey the workers. How do you feel? He asks. Are you getting enough information? The workers express their frustrations.
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12. The workers, now with individual ropes in hand, are organized by the workers. 13. The workers are directed to the radioactive source. No one can step inside the periphery designated by the yellow rope on the ground.
14. The workers are directed to position the elastic ring over the radioactive source. 15. Mangers direct each worker to position the elastic ring over the radioactive source. Workers are synchronized to pull in tandem to stretch the elastic ring appropriately. 16. The ring is almost in position. 17. The ring is centered above the radioactive source. If the bucket falls over, everyone dies!
18. The ring is in position. 19. The workers are coordinated to slacken their ropes in tandem so that the bucket is clasped by the elastic ring. The workers are coordinated to simultaneously lift the radioactive source from the floor. No tipping!
20. The ring is lifted to transport height. 21. To demonstrate the vicissitudes of real life, W.Bro. Rob removes the radioactive source from the bucket and suggests replacing it with a more voluble rubber ball. He also explains that sometimes workers strike or are sacked, in which case one team of workers and managers would be removed from the project at this most crucial 19 point necessitating adaption to change. Fortunately, this did not happen.
22. Up, up and away. W.Bro. Rob replaces the radioactive source atop the bucket.
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23. The workers are coordinated across the Lodge room towards the safe haven.
24. Workers are directed to lower the radioactive source atop a small yellow area.
"Reliable, trustworthy information to help me, not only with my Masonic career, but with my dealings and plans in my chosen career." Paul Stitt, WM San Juan Lodge No. 25
25. Almost there!
"Very informative and enjoyable, hope to see more educational seminars like it in the future." Jeff Henderphan, JW Monte Vista Lodge No. 73 "This was a great seminar. It was educational." Ed Roberts, WM Monte Vista Lodge No. 73 26. Easy does it, the workers slowly lower the bucket in a coordinated attempt to save the world.
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27. Touch down, we can all sleep well tonight!
28. The successful team â€“ leader, managers, and workers, with W.Bro. Rob in the foreground.
The One and Only Highly Coveted
Best Masonic Beard Award!
Goes to W. Bro. Reed Fanning, of East Denver No. 160.
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1. Bro. Brian Weiss, Pueblo Lodge No. 95. Tattoo Art by Nic Montgomery at Your Flesh Tattoo. 2. Bro. Ben Schroeder, Ekert Lodge No. 136, Cedaredge, CO. Tattoo art by Greg at Liberty2 Tattoo, Montrose, CO. 3. Bro. Christian Stevens, Damascus Lodge No. 10, Utah. Tattoo art by Zane Collins, Midvale UT.
Do you have a Masonic tattoo youâ€™d like to show off? Send pictures of your ink to: email@example.com. Please make sure pictures are at least 300 dpi.
Do you think your facial hair is up to snuff? Submit photos of your beard, moustaches, sideburns, goatees, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe your fuzz will garner the much coveted, one and only, Masonic Beard Award of 2014! No nostril hair, please. All pics 300 dpi. Rocky Mountain Mason
Membership Stats If current trends continue, there will be no Masons left in Colorado by the year 2023
t is no secret that membership in the Fraternity has been declining. In 1985, the M.W.G.L. of CO claimed 30,515 Brothers among the fold. A linear decline, consistent with the death rate, brings that number down to 9,320 in 2011. Thatâ€™s a whopping 66% decline, and shows our inability to retain new members, or maintain a simple replacement rate. On average, Colorado lost 806 Masons each year. However, a recent flurry of initiations across the state will hopefully yield a bump in the curve; perhaps the rate of decreasing members is lessening. And, in a few years, we might even see positive growth. Check out the graphs below for a more detailed overview of our membership, both here in Colorado and in the United States.
Colorado Membership 35000
0 198519861987198819891990199119921993199419951996199719981999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011 Year
linear decline shows consistent membership losses from 1985 through 2011. An illustration of a failure to retain new members to equal the natural death rate of members. If this trend is continued unabated, by â€œmore of the sameâ€?, there will be (statistically speaking) no Colorado Freemasons in the year 2023.
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Data compiled and provided by the Masonic Services Association
Membership Losses per Year, Colorado
Colorado Membership Losses per Year
Net Loss 1000
he greatest loss of members was in 1988, when membership declined by 1,978. The lowest year was in 2003, with a net loss of only 60 members. In 2011, the most recent records available at time of press, membership in Colorado declined by 1,036. At the current average rate of decline, 806.36 members per year, there will be no Masons in Colorado in less than 10 years.
Masonic Membership USA 4,500,000 4,000,000 3,500,000 3,000,000
2,500,000 2,000,000 1,500,000 1,000,000 500,000
24 19 27 19 30 19 33 19 36 19 39 19 42 19 45 19 48 19 51 19 54 19 57 19 60 19 63 19 66 19 69 19 72 19 75 19 78 19 81 19 84 19 87 19 90 19 93 19 96 19 99 20 02 20 05 20 08 20 11 *
Masonic Member ship in the United States
n the 1920s there were more than 3 million Masons in the USA. That number declined during WWII, and then shot up to over 4 million following the war, as soldiers returned home and joined the ranks of Masonry to replace, perhaps, the rank and file of soldiery. A similarly linear slope then declines membership to less than 1.5 million (1,336,503) in 2011. Thatâ€™s a 67% decrease from the high of 4,103,161 in 1959. The average net loss in US membership per year from 1959 to present is a staggering 53,205 Masons per year. The highest year loss was in 1988 â€“ 81,291 net loss for the year. Since 2000, the average loss has been 47,174, and since 2005 the average loss has been 40,076. If the current trend is not reversed, however, there will be no Freemasons in the United States by the year 2037.
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K A B B AL h a
The Creation of the Worlds Ex Nihilo Lvx
he word Kabbalah is a misunderstood and misused term in the modern age. It’s fraught with poor associations: Pop stars seeking substance beyond their material excesses, witches drawing pentagrams in the air, even sinister wills to power among practitioners of “magic”. It seems out-ofdate, pretentious, even dangerous or silly. But Kabbalah isn’t any of these things any more than an alphabet is merely the profanities coined by a particular person using certain letters. Like an alphabet, Kabbalah is merely a set of symbolic tools used to impart abstract truths between people. Only Kabbalah is an alphabet of alphabets. It exists on another level of communication altogether. It’s influence on Masonry cannot be overstated. Albert Pike, in his chapter in Morals and Dogma on the XVIII Degree, The Knight of the Sun or Prince Adept, stresses this when he writes:
Swedenborg, Saint-Martin, and others, is borrowed from the Kabalah; all the Masonic associations owe to it their Secrets and their Symbols. Albert Pike, Morals & Dogma, page 744 An introduction, then, into the Creation as rendered by Kabbalists should interest the Brethren some. Perhaps this brief and incomplete presentation will
Masonry is a search after Light. That search leads us directly back, as you see, to the Kabalah. Ibid, page 741 An understanding of the Kabbalah must begin, at the very least, with an overview of the Sephiroth, figuratively ten emanations that come from the eternal Deity into the bounded worlds of Creation. The Kabbalah makes choice words. Sephiroth (sephira singular) comes from the Hebrew root ספר (SFR), the root of the words “to count” (safar), “book” (sefer), “communication” (sippur), “boundary” (separ), “scribe” (safra) and “sapphire” (sappir). All these allusions are deliberately within the word sephiroth. And in this wise the Sephiroth are the number and letter of the Word itself, the dimensions in which the construct of reality was projected. It’s important to note that there really is no beginning. When talking about these things we’re talking about something that always existed, before and outside of time itself. But the symbolism must be couched in mortal terms, so we talk of a beginning, a ‘before’ and an ‘after’. In reality, there is no such thing. So, before the emanation of the Sephiroth there was
“...a complete understanding of Freemasonry is impossible without some familiarity with the Kabbalah.” Junior Warden, 4th º
All truly dogmatic religions have issued from the Kabalah and return to it: everything scientific and grand in the religious dreams of all the illuminati, Jacob Bœhme,
suffice to inspire a ready and dedicated research into these obscure and darkened corners where, indelibly, the Light shines. For Kabbalah is, as the root of its Hebrew word alludes, about receiving knowledge; the revelation of Light. The Kabalistic doctrine was long the religion of the Sage and the Savant; because, like Freemasonry, it incessantly tends toward spiritual perfection, and the fusion of the creeds and Nationalities of Mankind. Ibid, page 625
the Unknowable. “Before the Deity created any Ideal, any limited and intelligible Nature, or any form whatever, He was alone, and without form or similitude, and there could be no cognition or comprehension of Him in any wise.” [Ibid, page 745] The absolute Deity, with the Kabalists, has no name. The terms applied to Him are אור פסותAOR PASOT, the Most Simple [or Pure] Light, “called און סוףAYEN SOPH, or INFINITE, before any Emanation. For then there was no space or vacant place, but all was infinite Light”. Ibid, page 745 This is not visible light. But visible light offers a fine analogy for our limited minds. It fills all space, and remains invisible until it strikes up against something. It reveals that upon which it falls, remaining itself imperceptible. This is much like Deity. Ever effulgent, ever revealing His own majesty through the revelation of the Worlds. (This principle exists in you, also. To contemplate your own image you must seek something in which to reflect yourself. For God, the universe becomes like this mirror, and the Sephiroth the house in which, and by which, the mirror is held up. And just like the physical light in which the lineaments of the face are borne, this Light – pure intellection, pure reason itself – must then be the medium for the conveyance of His great revelation.)
Unity can only be manifested by the Binary. Unity itself and the idea of Unity are already two. When the Infinite God willed to emit what were to flow forth, He contracted Himself in the centre of His light, in such manner that that most intense light should recede to a certain circumference, and on all sides upon itself. And this is the first contraction, and termed צמצםTsemsum. He descended therein, that, by means of this Idea, He might be called by the name TETRAGRAMMATON; that created things might have cognition of Him, in His own likeness. Ibid, page 770, 745 & 746 Deity pulled back from within Himself, surrounding the center on all sides. (This space was not left empty, there remained a vestige of the Light that was withdrawn, like a layer of water after the retreat of the tide. Kabbalists call this remnant, the Rashimu.) Into this newfound space, in the center of All, distinction was born. The Sephiroth were extended into the void; now there was an up and a down. Up was connected to the Infinite by a ray of His ineffable Light. Down was removed from the surrounding, there was a space between the projected Light and the Surrounding Light. If it had touched, the whole would be reabsorbed into Sameness.
Before the Emanations out-flowed, and things were From the word created, the Supreme Light was infinitely extended, and filled the whole Where: nothing was, except that extended light, called This version of the Tree of Life, the ten AOR H’ AINSOPH, the Light of the Sephiroth, is from the Ari (Rabbi Isaac non-finite. Luria). Lurianic Kabbalah had a profound Ibid, page 747 effect on mysticism in the 17th century. Thus, similitude united the eternal in unchanging sameness. There was no space, or time, only God, the Eternal and Unknowable. A shining Unity. But there was the revelation. Because no matter where a single point is placed in eternity it must always be the center: no matter where a single point is, in an eternity it remains equidistant from all sides. This is the remarkable fact of eternity – every point is the same. Every point is equidistant. The eternal unbounded and the conceived center are one thing: The infinite and the infinitesimal are joined. This contraction into two (the infinite and the infinitesimal), this sudden understanding of the center, is the I AM moment. Kabbalists refer to it as the Tzimtzum. Pike, drawing heavily on the Sefer Zohar, writes: Rocky Mountain Mason
אצילATSIL, to emanate or flow forth, comes the word אצילות, ATSILOTH
or Aziluth, Emanation, or the System of Emanants. When the primal space was evacuated, the surrounding Light of the Infinite, and the Light immitted into the void, did not touch each other; but the Light of the Infinite flowed into that void through a line or certain slender canal; and that Light is the Emanative and emitting Principle, or the out-flow and origin of Emanation: but the Light within the void is the emanant subordinate; and the two cohere only by means of the aforesaid line. Ibid, page 746
From this line, or ray, (called by Kabbalists the Kav) the Sephioth emanated in stages. They emanated in stages, it is said, because the Light went through a series of gradations that diluted it, as it were, and allowed the forms to take shape. A 67
The point, Kether… was the aggregate of all the Ten . . . when it first emanated, it consisted of all the Ten; and the Light which extended from the Emanative Principle simultaneously flowed into it; and beheld the two Universals [that is, the Unities out of which manifoldness flows; as, for example, the idea, within the Deity, of Humanity as a Unit, out of which the individuals were to flow], the Vessel or Receptacle containing this immitted Light, and the Light Itself within it. And this Light is the Substance of the point Kether; for the WILL of God is the Soul of all things that are. Ibid, page 755 It’s generative potency is such that all the manifest and unmanifest are contained within it. It begins as the very tip of the letter ( יYod) in the Tetragrammaton. After thus forming the Crown, He constituted a certain smaller receptacle, the letter Yod, and filled it from that source; and this is called “The Fountain gushing with Wisdom,” and, manifested in this, He called Himself WISE, and the vessel He called HAKEMAH, Wisdom, Sapientia. From this crown, this Will, came forth Wisdom. Solomon reminds us that the world was created in Wisdom (Proverbs 24: 3). Wisdom necessitates Understanding, and from here all things knowable spill into existence. 68
Atziluth Beriah Yetzirah Assiah
Then He also Ain Soph Aur constituted a great Ratzon reservoir, which He 'i called the Ocean; and to it He gave the name of BINAH, K Understanding, A V Intelligentia. In this He characterized Himself as Intelligent or Conceiver. HE is indeed the Absolutely Wise and Intelligent, but Hakemah is not Absolute Wisdom of itself, but is wise by means of Binah, who fills Himself from it, and if this supply were taken from it, would be dry and Schematic of the Four Worlds unintelligent. The world of Action (Assiah) is the furthest away from the Ain And Soph Aur (Limitless Light). The Sephiroth project through the thereupon seven four worlds in complex arrangments too large for presentation precious vessels here. They are both in and around the four worlds become, to which are given the following names: So it is that the archetypal natures GEDULAH, Magnificence or were born in distinction; contradistinct yet Benignity [or KHASED, Mercy]; indispensable to each other. The former GEBURAH, Austerity, Rigor or begets the latter, the latter sustains the Severity; TEPHARETH, Beauty; former. They are inseparable; inevitable NETSAKH, Victory; HOD, Glory; results of becoming. (Just as up cannot YESOD, Foundation or Basis; exist without down, so without might and MALAKOTH, Rule, Reign, mercy cannot possibly exist.) This Royalty, Dominion or Power. concatenated chain replicated and And in GEDULAH He took the informed all the worlds, from the highest character of Great and Benignant; most hidden Light to the grossest material in GEBURAH, of Severe; in form. All things converged into necessity TEPHARETH, of Beautiful; in from the first possibility. NETSAKH, of Overcoming; The Sephiroth are much more complex in HOD, of OUR GLORIOUS and complete than this brief overview. A AUTHOR1; in YESOD, of Just, by lifetime could be spent in determining Yesod all vessels and worlds being their attributes, symbolisms, potencies upheld; and in MALAKOTH He and positions. They are not concrete applied to Himself the title of King. forms, but ever-living concepts. They are These numerations or essentially one, but our perception makes Sephiroths are held in the Kabala to them manifold. They exist in layers, have been originally contained in through what Kabbalists term the four each other; that is, Kether contained worlds. There are parts above and beyond the nine others, Hakemah contained them that unite them with the Endlessness Binah, and Binah contained the last (known as the Ancient of Ancients and the seven. Ancient of Days); they exist in the shape of a Ibid, page 753 man (Adam Kadmon, the primordial being Assiah Yetzirah Beriah Atziluth
too bright light, from all directions, outshines all shadows, and swallows all. But it emanated in stages also because there was a concatenation to creation (called the סדר השתלשלות, Seder Hishtalshelus, or “chain or being”), where the first principle converged possibility into the next necessary, sustaining step. It is like music; a note by itself is not an interval. But the scale, or mode, births itself in relation to the preceding note. All things become certain - through Truth all things converge into existence. The highest Sephira, then, is called Keter, (the “Crown”), and in this first sphere all the other spheres were already existent.
previous all creation) who informs yet
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more Spehiroth within him; they consist of Light and vessels; and are united in Faces (or Parzsufim). They combine opposites, often analogized to gender, and maintain all in balance. Hockmah is Abba, the Father, and Binah is Amma, the Mother. Their union pours forth the sextet, beneath them the abyss opens and the universe washes into forms and turnings, wheels upon wheels, turning into Arik Anpin, the Macroprosipus, or Large Face, and Zeir Anpin, Microprosipous, or Small Face. These in turn engender Kalah, the Fallen Bride, Nukva, the feminine essence of the Shekinah which Solomon drew down into the Temple, that Bride of the Sabbath who is raised each week. They are variously divided. On the left side the triad Binah, Gevurah, and Hod form the pillar of Severity (or Strength). It is female, receptive, vespertine. In the vacuum it is magnetism. On the right side the triad Hockmah, Chesed, and Netzach form the pillar of Mildness. It is considered male, active, seminal, matutine. In the vacuum it is electricity. In the center, the quaternary unites these opposing sides in equilibrium. Both night and day bring forth the turning of the world. Electricity and magnetism form electromagnetism, the propagation across the void. The marriage of man and woman bring forth progeny. In all cases creation begins again. The Sephiroth depend through the worlds, spheres of spheres, ten lights united by 22 paths (which number 32 should be of interest to Masons), and yet each light is within lights. They stretch through the totality of existence, from the highest, subtlest Idea to the lowest, densest material. All shapes conform to their symbolism. They are not of the shape we give them in discussion. Nor are their virtues confined to the words we use to relate them. Kabbalah is a simple system, but its beauty resonates. It is not meant to espouse a gospel truth, rather offer a conceptual system to intuit scintillations at the reaches of reason itself. But these same Sephiroth, Persons and Lights, are not creatures per se, but ideas, and Rays of THE INFINITE, which, by different gradations, so descended from the Supreme Source as still not to be severed from It; but It, through them, is extended to the production and government of all Entities, and Rocky Mountain Mason
is the Single and Perfect Universal Cause of All, though becoming determinate for this or the other operation, through this or that Sephiroth or MODE. Ibid, page 759. The four worlds can be ascribed to them, with various similarities. The quaternary combines into ten (1+2+3+4 = 10), which Pythagoras used to inform his tetractys. Pike writes, again drawing on the Sefer Zohar: The four Worlds or Universals, Aziluth, Briah, Yetzirah, and Asiah, of Emanation, Creation, Formation, and Fabrication, are another enigma of the Kabalah. The first three are wholly within the Deity. The first is the Universe, as it exists potentially in the Deity, determined and imagined, but as yet wholly formless and undeveloped, except so far as it is contained in His Emanations. The second is the Universe in idea, distinct within the Deity, but not invested with forms; a simple unity. The third is the same Universe in potence in the Deity, unmanifested, but invested with forms,--the idea developed into manifoldness and individuality, and succession of species and individuals; and the fourth is the potentiality become the Actuality, the Universe fabricated, and existing as it exists for us. Ibid, page 759 The material universe where we dwell is in the world of Assiah, or action. This world is the farthest removed from the Light. An analogy is our bodies. The gross body itself is like Assiah. The sunlight upon the skin is like Yetzirah, the world of Formation. The sunlight upon the atmosphere is like Beriah, the world of Creation. And the Sun itself, all the way on the other side of the void, is like Atziluth, the world of Emanation. Adam Kadmon is the Big Bang. And Deity is that which precedes and informs all this. And yet the worlds are folded such that the neuron’s action potential within the body is like the world of Yetzirah (Formation), the initiating thought is like Beriah (Creation), and the imagination, that light of reason, is like Atziluth (Emanation).
All things can be organized and arranged in conformity to the Sephiroth. On the whole, it is a very powerful symbolism. It is hard, in so short a space, to relay the profundity of this symbolism. Suffice it to say, though, much more could be said. This attempt can only serve to prompt further investigation on your part, investigation that is earnestly encouraged.
he kingdom of heaven is like a great house whose master was called away to attend his daughter’s wedding. In order to protect his good name, and for the security of his title, he locked all his treasure (a great fortune) in a single room, yea, a room within rooms. To whom did he entrust the keys? Why, he gave them to his blind servant, knowing there they would be safest. What is the treasure within the room? I tell you, it is the gift of sight!
Pike refers to the following in Chapter XVIII, Morals & Dogma: Sefer Zohar Idra Sutra (a section of the Zohar, the “Lesser Assembly”) Emech Hammelech (Valley of Kings) You Might also find of interest: The Tree of Life, The Palace of Adam Kadmon, by Chayyim Vital, translated by Donald Menzi and Zwe Padeh 138 Openings of Wisdom, by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato
End Notes 1
Pike is alluding to Hermes Trismegistus, (Mercury to the Romans, Thoth to the Egyptians), the messenger of the gods and patron of the alchemical traditions.
From. pg. 33 it was not necessary to be enlightened per se. All that was required was a type of knowledge; of barbarous names, arcane rituals, mathematical formulae, the ability to erect an astrological horoscope to elect appropriate times, all fairly complex in their own right. Such knowledge took education, literacy in several languages, dedication, and was considered dangerous in the wrong hands. (For one, despite counting a number of magician Popes in their cannon, the Catholic Church – certainly mystical and magical in its own right – typically outlawed such practices as heresy. From another perspective, if this stuff actually worked it could be dangerous in the hands of those unready to wield such power for the betterment of humanity.) It should come as no surprise, then, that the English Royal Family, among other such families across Europe, has had a longstanding interest in all things magical and mystical9. Lest we forget, the Royal Family was central to the Moderns, who would formulate their “speculative” Masonry in service thereto, as more and more nobles were attracted to the Craft. Some of the earliest known speculative Masons, having association with the Royal Court, were pronounced “esotericists”, including Alias Ashmole who, without doubt, practiced Theurgy. Also of note is Christopher Wren. The point here is that an occult tradition was absolutely central to the philosophies of the time in which Masonry, as we know it today, began to take form. And it was indeed organized around principles that have a longstanding tradition – across a multitude of faiths – through antiquity. Many of the Founding Fathers of the U.S. shared this worldview. Benjamin Franklin, especially, is worthy of note in this regard. So too, of course, is Albert Pike. So what is the origin of Masonry? Some magical occult tradition that was popular in the Renaissance? Probably not, although I think that is part of it. I think Masonry, though, is more concerned, in its origin and intent, with that awakening mentioned earlier. Also, with the general corruption of the transmission of that awakening among contrary traditions that soon appropriate it. Traditions are typically originated by disciples who witness an awakened individual and transmit his teaching. A 70
few generations down the line and the transmission is corrupted, the tradition enforced, and unenlightened individuals co-opt it for their own ends – new clothes for old sins. Therefore, in my mind, Masonry has three main objects – first, to create an equitable Brotherhood tolerant among teachings of various traditions wherein a series of moral instructions can better be performed which, when properly rendered, awaken a candidate to his true nature; without corruptible dogma, but perpetrated instead via universal truths. Second, to protect such individuals from the danger of the slumbering masses whose misunderstanding often creates a deadly, clumsy force, and third, to enact a system graduated in stages so to weed out and stifle any wills to power that might arise in clandestine candidates seeking more than light in Masonry. Masonry is a safe haven for awakening. True to our Art, perhaps allegory will better explain these thoughts. If you discovered a valuable treasure, too great to keep, would you run down the streets announcing it to everyone? If you did, you would rapidly loose it, and those who plundered it would have only a fraction of it between them – it would rapidly become worthless, no treasure at all. A good man would instead use such a treasure in secret, funding deeds better performed anonymously,in service to God and humanity. This treasure (a spiritual treasure), is alive in Masonry. And such a treasure has existed as long as there have been people, because as long as there have been people God has been recognized within and through the world; love has overflowed and performed miracles across religious differences; and an awakened few have awaited the arrival of others willing to walk the path to enlightenment. Don’t forget, Masonry is concerned with these things. In seeking Masonic light, we must eventually approach a spiritual awakening, one that transcends all differences, and see all things as One: “God and man united after the species.”
See Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor and Guide, by Arturo De Hoyos 33º, pg. 75 2 Ref. For example the writings of C.W. Leadbeater, who claims the origin of the word “Freemason” from the Egyptian for “child of light”. 3 For example the Regius Manuscript, or “The Grete Sentence of Curs Expounded,” in Thomas Arnold’s Select English Works of John Wyclif and Robert Gould’s The History of Freemasonry, vol 2, pg. 308, as cited in Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor and Guide, pg. 76, and pg. 77, both of which trace a distinction between ‘freemasons’ and stone layers to the 14th Century. 4 See Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor and Guide, pg. 76. 5 See Sloane MS 3824, as published in The Book of Treasure Spirits, by David Rankine, 2009. 6 See Appendix 5, Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor and Guide, pg. 964. 7 A great book to better understand this worldview is The Elizabethan World Picture, by E. M. W. Tillyard. 8 The inherent Divinity in man is a central tenet of the Order of the Royal Secret, codified by Etienne Morin in 1734, or thereabouts. 9 The Royal Library is home to many interesting esoteric manuscripts, among them, the Liber Juratus. Also of interest, Fredrick the Great, the authority behind the Grand Constitutions of 1786, was a known Hermetecist, Kabbalist and alchemist. From Definitions of Hermes Trismegistus to Asclepius, reading “species” from speculare, Latin for “to spy out”.
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G 13 Virtues H 1. T emperance: Eat not to dullness and drink not to elevation. 2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation. 3. Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time. 4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve. 5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing. 6. Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions. 7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly. 8. Justice: Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty. 9. Moderation: Avoid extremes. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve. 10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation. 11. Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; Never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or anotherâ€™s peace or reputation. 12. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. 13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
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Issue 2 of the Rocky Mountain Mason (June of 2013) featuring the two candles on the cover - light divided – a candle loses nothing by sharin...
Published on Jul 24, 2019
Issue 2 of the Rocky Mountain Mason (June of 2013) featuring the two candles on the cover - light divided – a candle loses nothing by sharin...