Saturday, September 14, 2019

Grand York Rite of Wyoming

It's been a busy few days. Thursday morning I did some preparations with the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Idaho for next week (our Grand Lodge's Annual Communication) then a quick trip over to the Grand York Rite of Idaho office before a luncheon with my fellow Past Masters of Oriental Lodge No.60. After a quick trip to my house, I jumped on a plane to Billings, MT, and then drove to Sheridan, WY, where I've spent the last two days attending the annual sessions of the Grand York Rite of Wyoming.


For me, Thursday morning started with the business meeting of Wyoming Priory No.44 of the Knights of the York Cross of Honor. As Deputy Prior of Idaho Priory No.13 and a Past Grand High Priest, I was accorded a hearty welcome. Wyoming Chapter of the Sovereign Order of Knights Preceptor met next and conferred the degree upon three Sir Knights.

The Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of Wyoming met Thursday afternoon. I was introduced as I was representing the Most Illustrious Grand Master of Idaho, Companion Jeremy Vaughn, and given honorary membership in the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of Wyoming.

Friday morning began with the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Wyoming where I represented of Sir Knight Jerry D. Parson, Right Eminent Grand Commander of Idaho. Friday afternoon was the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Wyoming where I represented Companion Rick Rowe, Most Excellent Grand High Priest of Idaho. I was honored to be given honorary membership in the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Wyoming.

Now I'm getting ready to head to the Grand Banquet for some food and fellowship.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Birthday on the Road

Today is my 35th birthday and I am on the road for work in the Lilac City aka Spokane, WA. I am staying at an amazing hotel near the riverfront.

I spent the morning setting up for the training I am doing this weekend and the afternoon walking around the city playing some Ingress. Now, I'm going to find a good steak and have some libations.

Update: I found some food and drink.

A Prime Rib dinner and a Whiskey Sour

Apple Crisp and vanilla ice cream

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Templar Biography: Gilbert Horal

Gilbert Horal (also known as Gilbert Erail or Erill) was the 12th Grand Master of the Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon and served at the end of the 12th century. His tenure is marked by an increase in the tensions between the Hospitalliers and the Templars as well as the consolidation of Templar possessions in France and Apulia (southeastern Italy).

Gilbert Horal was born around 1150 AD in Aragonese (from the Kingdom of Aragon which is in modern-day Spain). He joined the Knights Templar at a young age and was stationed in Provence and Aragon where he took part in Reconquista in Spain. Around 1190 AD, Horal took command of the Aragon province before becoming Grand Preceptor of France. After the death of Robert de Sablé, Horal was elected as Grand Master of the order.

Horal wished for peace between the Christians and the Muslims which some thought was treasonous even with Horal's reassurances. This also fueled the disputes between the Templars and the Hospitalliers. Tensions between the two orders were already strained because of armed fighting over control of cities and castles around the Levant got so out of control that the Vatican had to intervene. Pope Innocent III favored the Hospitalliers which is likely due to Horal's favor for peace with the Saracens. Although the Pope did come to Horal's rescue when the Bishop of Sidon excommunicated Gilbert; only the Pope has the authority to excommunicate a Templar (see "Omne Datum Optimum"). Horal continued to give Templar support to the Reconquista for which they were rewarded with the fortress of Alfambra (sometimes spelled Alhambra) by King Alfonso II of the Kingdom of Aragon in 1196 AD.

During the reign of Horal, the world saw the rise of the Orden der Brüder vom Deutschen Haus St. Mariens in Jerusalem, or, simply, the Teutonic Knights, rise from a monastic order to a full fledged military order.

The Pilgrim's Castle was erected during Horal's governance which was located along the coastal road between Acre and Jerusalem. This massive fortress is said to have housed up to 4,000 troops.

Gilbert Horal died in December 1200 AD which was around the start of the Fourth Crusade. Phillipe de Plessis would succeed Horal as the Thirteenth Grand Master.

References

1. Addison, C. G. (1842). The History of the Knights Templars, the Temple Church, and the Temple. 

2. Gilbert Horal. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilbert_Horal 

3. Gilbert Horal (1152??-1200). (n.d.). Retrieved from Project Beauceant: http://www.templiers.org/gilbert-horal-eng.php 

4. Gourdin, T. S. (1855). Historical Sketch of the Order of Knights Templar: An Address Delivered Before the South Carolina Encampment No.1 of Knights Templars, and the Appendant Orders. 

5. Grand Masters. (n.d.). Retrieved from Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de Jérusalem (OSMTJ): https://www.theknightstemplar.org/1942-2/ 

6. Napier, G. (2008). A to Z of the Knights Templar: A Guide to Their History and Legacy. The History Press.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Templar Biography: Arnold of Torroja

The Ninth Grand Master of the Knights Templar was Arnold of Torroja was governed the order from 1181 to 1184. Most of Torroja's Templar career was in Spain where he took part in the Reconquista. His reign is marked by quarrels between the Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaliers, the latter of whom had reached a new peak of influence in the Holy Land and Western Europe. 

There is no known date of birth for Torroja, but it is believed that he was born around 1110/1111 AD somewhere in Catalonia (northwest Spain). Prior to serving as Grand Master, he served as Master of Provence and Aragon (Spain). Torroja was elected as Grand Master when the previous one, Odo de St. Amand, had died while in captivity sometime in 1180 AD. As mentioned before, Torroja spent most of his time in Spain and was considered an outsider which some believe would positively influence his election. St. Amand had become too involved with the politics of the Holy Land and many Templars saw this as a problem. Due to his appearance as an outsider and an impartial arbitrator, many groups used him to mediate disputes. 

The Knights Hospitalier had reached a pinnacle of influence during the governance of Torroja and there had been a growing rivalry that was mediated by Pope Lucius III and King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem (known as the Leprosy king). Such factionalism among the Christians was bad during the growing strength of Saladin.

During a truce between Saladin and Baldwin, Torroja went on a tour of Europe with Patriarch Heraclius and Roger des Moulins, Grand Master of the Hospitaliers, to get more soldiers for another crusade, Torroja fell ill and died on September 30, 1184. It is believed that he was buried at the San Fermo Maggiore church in Verona. He was succeeded by Gérard de Ridefort.
References

1. Arnaud de Toroge. (n.d.). Retrieved from Project Beauceant: http://www.templiers.org/arnaud-toroge-eng.php 

2. Arnold of Torroja. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_of_Torroja 

3. Newman, S. (2007). The Real History Behind the Templars. Penguin Publishing.

4. Read, P. P. (2014). The Templars: The Dramatic History of the Knights Templar, the Most Powerful Military Order of the Crusades. St. Martin's Press.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

One Year

It has been one year to the minute that my Father passed away. It has been a busy year and it has flown by, but not a second has gone by that he is not on my mind. He was stolen from us too soon. Some days I still expect him to call me or be sitting in his chair when I walk into my parent's house. I'd give anything to hear his voice again.


Saturday, August 24, 2019

A Busy Day

Today was a very busy day as I attended meetings for my Allied Masonic Degrees Council, Knight Masons Council, and Red Cross of Constantine Conclave in Glenns Ferry, ID, which is a small town along the Snake River.


Star Garnet Council No.560 met in the morning where we initiated a new member, I presented a paper concerning the Royal Ark Mariner degree, and then the Council held elections. I was elected to be the Sovereign Master for 2019-2020; I will be installed in October at our next meeting.

After lunch, Knights of Tara Council No.122UD of the Order of Knight Masons was instituted under dispensation and the officers were installed by Joe Crociata, the Most Excellent Great Chief of the Grand Council of Knight Masons of the USA, and Joseph W. MacIntyre, Right Excellent Grand Superintendent of the Northwest Territory. I will serve as the Founding Scribe (Secretary) of this Council. After our constitution, we initiated 4/5 new members. We chose to use Tara in our name as it refers to a hill that is important to Irish heritage: the ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland and the home of the Tuatha de Danann, a legendary precursor race of people.


In the late afternoon, St. Michael's Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine held its annual Summer meeting where we initiated a new member. After the initiation, we had a quick business meeting followed by a great banquet at a local winery that overlooks the Snake River Valley.

Monday, August 19, 2019

2020 Masonic Week

Here is the tentative schedule of events for the 2020 Masonic Week that will be held from February 5th - 9th, 2020, at the Hyatt Regency, Crystal City near the Reagan National Airport.

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020

8:00pm - Masonic Order of Pilgrim Preceptors


Thursday, February 6th, 2020


8:00am - Potomac Court No.107 of the Masonic Order of Athelstan

9:15am - Provincial Grand Court of the United States of America for the Masonic Order of Athelstan
Bryce Hildreth - Provincial Grand Master
John Bridegroom - Provincial Grand Secretary
11:30am - Athelstan Luncheon

1:00pm - Trinity Chapel No.2 of Ye Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon
Sidney Leluan - Worthy Master
Tom Taylor - Secretary
3:30pm - Grand Master's Council of Ye Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon, USA
Matthew Dupee - Grand Master
Louis Bartrand - Grand Prior
Seth Anthony - Grand Secretary
6:30pm - Grand Banquet of Ye Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon

9:00pm - Ye Antient Order of Corks


Friday, February 7th, 2020



7:00am - KYCH and York Rite Sovereign College Breakfast

8:15am - Allied Masonic Degrees: Installed Sovereign Master

9:15am - Grand Council of Knight Masons of the USA
J.S. Crociata - Great Chief
J. David Cashion - Grand Scribe
11:45am - Knight Masons Luncheon

1:00pm - Grand College of America of the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest
Blaine Simons - Grand Preceptor
Lawrence Tucker - Grand Registrar
2:30pm - Council of the Nine Muses No.13, AMD

3:45pm - Society of Blue Friars
Arturo de Hoyos - Grand Abbot
Richard Fletcher - Secretary General
5:00pm - Grand College of Rites of the U.S.A.
Sean Graystone - Grand Chancellor
Gerald Klein - Grand Registrar
7:15pm - The Masonic Society Dinner
Patrick Craddock - President
Nathan Brindle - Secretary/Treasurer
7:15pm - Dinner of the Great Priory of America of the Chevaliers Bienfasants de la Cite Sainte (CBCS)
Andre Lovas - Great Prior
9:00pm - Masonic Order of the Bath
James Elliott - Commander-General
Bill Snyder - Keep of the Bath Records

Saturday, February 8th, 2020


7:00am - All Masonic Breakfast

8:00am - Royal Order of the Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord

10:30am - Sovereign Order of Knights Preceptor
James Golladay, Jr. - Grand Preceptor
Lawrence Tucker - Grand Recorder
10:30am - Philalethes Society
Stephen Doan - President
Terry Tilton - Secretary
11:45am - Philalethes Society Luncheon

1:30pm - Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees of the U.S.A.
Paul Newhall - Sovereign Grand Master
Clyde Schoolfield, Jr. - Grand Secretary
2:00pm - Ladies Afternoon Tea

5:30pm - All Masonic Social Hour

6:30pm - All Masonic Banquet

8:45pm - Royal Order of the Red Branch of Eri Knight Commander

9:30pm - Royal Ark Mariner Worshipful Commander Noah

10:00pm - Order of the Secret Monitor Installed Supreme Ruler


Sunday, February 9th, 2020


8:30am - Washington Monument Assemblage

9:00am - Lodge of Menatzchim V° 

10:30am - Lodge of Harodim VI° 

12:30pm - The Operatives Brunch

Monday, August 12, 2019

Anti-Mason Jim Shaw

Anti-Masons, in their condemnation of the fraternity, often cite "former Freemasons" as proof that we Freemasons are evil (in whatever form) and involved with nefarious agendas. Next, to Bill Schnoebelen, Jim Shaw is often cited as he was supposedly a 33° and therefore "in-the-know" since anti-Masons think the Scottish Rite is the end-all authority over Freemasonry. Recently I saw an uptick in citing him and I thought it prudent to present the facts.

In 1988, Jim Shaw co-authored a book named "Deadly Deception" with Tom McKenney which recaps the story of Jim Shaw joining Freemasonry, joining the Scottish Rite, and, after supposedly receiving the 33°, leaving the fraternity. Shaw claims to have become a born-again Christian and decided that it was his duty to expose Freemasonry to save others from the "deadly deception." Along with his story, he calls his former Brothers drunkards and accuses them of appalling behavior.

It is sad to say, but Jim Shaw was a Freemason for a time. Shaw was initiated into Evergreen Lodge No. 713 in Indianapolis, IN, on September 11, 1945. He was passed to the degree of Fellow Craft and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in Biscayne Bay Lodge No. 124, Miami, FL, on May 21, 1946, and July 23, 1946, respectively. He affiliated with Allapattah Lodge No. 271 on July 1, 1952, in Miami, FL, and remained with this Lodge until his resignation on October 25, 1966. Shaw claims that he served as Worshipful Master Allapattah Lodge, but the records of that Lodge do not support his claim. Allapattah Lodge lists him as Junior Steward in 1964 and Junior Deacon in 1965.

He joined the Scottish Rite in 1952 and received the Knight Commander of the Court of Honor (KCCH) on December 18, 1965. Shaw claims he presided over the four bodies of the Scottish Rite, but, again, no records existed to substantiate his claim. What the records do show that is that within the Valley of Miami, he only served as an appointed officer: Prelate (1961), Captain of the Host (1963), Assistant Expert (1964), Expert (1965), and Master of Ceremonies (1966).

He also claims to have been invited and coronated a 33° on October 25, 1966. The issue with his claim is that within the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America, one must be a 32° for 46-months before he is eligible for the KCCH, and you must be a KCCH for another 46-months before he is eligible for invitation to the 33°. On top of those minimum time limits, you must be 35-years of age. So, it is entirely impossible that Shaw, by these standards, to have been a 33° when he resigned and demitted from Freemasonry entirely; he was still 37-months away from eligibility for an invitation to the 33°; well after he resigned from Freemasonry. It is also important to note that with his claims he never provides any documentation to support this argument. The only evidence was that he was a 32° KCCH. Anti-Masons claim that this lack of extant records is due to the fact that he burned everything else, but the KCCH investment (How convenient). I would also like to note that the Supreme Councils list all names of those elected to honors (KCCH, 33, and Grand Cross) in their annual "Transactions of the Supreme Council", none of which list Jim Shaw as a 33°. Brothers Arturo de Hoyos and S. Brent Morris, in their book "Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry?", did a lot of research and I recommend that every Freemason read this book. They point out that the supposed expose of the 33° ceremonies is plagiarized from "the 'Cerneau' 33° ritual in Jonathan Blanchard's Scotch Rite Masonry Illustrated" that was published in 1887. Much of his book is plagiarized from other anti-Masons such as Samuel Prichard and William Morgan.

When these glaring discrepancies came to light, Tom McKenney, the co-author, back-peddled and blamed the publishers for exaggerating Shaw's Masonic career and yet it wasn't the publisher who used those false credentials to fabricate the story of Shaw being coronated and defaming the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite. Some anti-Masons claim that Freemasons altered records to discredit Jim Shaw. Such a conspiracy would require the Grand Lodge of Florida recalling and altering every copy of its Proceedings that it sends out within its own jurisdiction as well as numerous copies that go to other Grand Lodges and Masonic bodies. This would have to have been done not just one year's proceedings either, but every year that Shaw was supposedly Senior Deacon, Junior Warden, Senior Warden, and then Worshipful Master. Then Allapattah Lodge would have to recalled and altered their Lodge minutes, officer photos, monthly bulletins, annual reports, Lodge awards, and their sign-in rosters for their Lodge that would have listed Shaw as a Worshipful Master. Then the Valley of Miami, the Orient of Florida, and the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, would also have had to recall and alter bulletins, minutes, reunion programs, pictures, and numerous other documents that would have listed Shaw as a 33°.

While I did not know him personally, it is clear from his actions that he was a poor Mason, a poor man, and a poor Christian. He manipulated facts, exaggerated his resume, and fabricated lies to increase is Masonic pedigree in the eyes of the foolish and the vicious. His lies were not just simple mistakes of a misguided Mason, but calculated to deliberately slander the fraternity that he fled from. The only "Deadly Deception" is the deception Shaw foists on his readers. As Brother Morris states, this book is a fine example of the level to which anti-Masons are willing to stoop in pursuing their vendetta against Freemasonry".

References

1. Beverley, J. A. (1998, February). The Struggle Over Freemasonry. Retrieved from Grand Lodge of BC & Yukon: http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/struggle.html 

2. de Hoyos, A., & Morris, S. (2004). Is it True What They Say About Freemasonry? M. Evans & Company. 

3. Excerpt from Jim Shaw's Deadly Deception. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Masonic Trowel: http://www.themasonictrowel.com/ebooks/fm_anti_masonry/Shaw_-_A_Freemason_33Rd_Degree_Initiation.pdf 

4. Flory, J. (2014, June 14). Book Review of Deadly Deception. Retrieved from James Flory's Memory-Holed Book Reviews: https://jamesflory.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/the-deadly-deception-by-tom-mckenney-and-james-shaw/ 

5. King, E. L. (n.d.). Jim Shaw. Retrieved from MasonicInfo: http://www.masonicinfo.com/shaw.htm 

6. Shaw, J. D., & McKenney, T. C. (1988). The Deadly Deception: Freemasonry Exposed by One of Its Top Leaders. Vital Issues Pr. 

7. Stewart, G. (2006, February 1). Jim Shaw and His Agenda. Retrieved from Masonic Traveler blog: http://masonictraveler.blogspot.com/2006/02/jim-shaw-and-his-agenda.html 

8. Stewart, G. (2011, April 21). A Deadly Deception? Retrieved from Freemason Information: http://freemasoninformation.com/2011/04/a-deadly-deception/ 

9. Transactions of the Supreme Council, S.J. (1965)., (p. 218). Washington, D.C.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Fraternal Orders in Game of Thrones

If you have not yet read the books or seen the 
TV show, please note there are spoilers ahead.

I've been re-reading the series A Song of Ice and Fire (ASOIF) and with the HBO show "Game of Thrones" ended I thought it fun to write about some of the organizations within the ASOIF universe. I chose to use "fraternal orders" within the name as I'm looking at groups that have elements found within Freemasonry. There are many groups within the ASOIF series such as sellswords (mercenaries), religious, knighthoods, naval, academic, alchemical, assassins, insurgents, banking, and mercantile. This article will be focusing upon the Alchemists Guild, the Warlocks, Order of Maesters, and the knighthoods of the Faith Militant, the Kingsguard, the Queensguard, the Rainbow Guard, the Brotherhood of Winged Knights, and the Order of the Green Hand. Please note that these groups differ particularly they are operative rather than speculative.

For those unfamiliar, A Song of Ice and Fire is a series of fictitious books written by George R.R. Martin which centers on a make-believe world where seasons last for years and are unpredictable. The continent of Westeros was once a land composed of several kingdoms, but 300-years prior to the first book, a family known as the Targaryens conquered Westeros and established a single kingdom based upon military supremacy through the use of dragons. The Targaryens ruled for three centuries when civil war broke out led by the Baratheon family. The Targaryens were deposed and the Targaryen children were exiled. Seventeen years after this rebellion, a power struggle ensues among the great houses over the control of the Iron Throne. The secondary storyline follows the defense of Westeros by Night's Watch against wildlings, but more importantly against the Others (ice demons) and their wights (undead army). The third storyline follows Daenerys Targaryen and her quest to get back to Westeros and reclaim her family's regency over the Iron Throne.



The Alchemists' Guild

The Alchemists' Guild or Guild of Alchemists is an old order of pyromancers, which is the controlling fire through magic and/or the divination through the use of fire. They also claim to be able to transmute metals. They were once a powerful organization within the continent of Westeros that claimed to have ancient magical and arcane knowledge, but as the Order of Maester's rose, their prominence declined. They were popular among some of the Targaryen monarchs, but by the time of Robert's Rebellion, they are a shadow of what they once were. They had lost favor after Prince Aerion Targaryen drank wildfire thinking it would turn him into a dragon, but regained the favor during the reign of Aerys II, also called the Mad King, who would use pyromancers to execute his perceived enemies.

Anymore, the Guild is relegated to only the creation of wildfire which the Guild calls "the Substance." The wildfire was modeled after Greek fire. Wildfire is described as a "volatile green liquid that burns for a long time." Once lit, the wildfire will burn until it is no more and will catch most material it touches on fire, to include water. The formula for making wildfire is a closely guarded secret of the Guild who claims it involves magic. This claim may be true as magic seems to re-emerge after the birth of Daenerys Targaryen's dragons and which coincides in an exponential increase in the production of wildfire. The Guild keeps wildfire in clay jars and they are placed in stone cells. If there were to be an ignition, the room has sand in a compartment above it to extinguish it. The wildfire was used in the Battle of the Blackwater and, in the show, when Queen Cercei used it to destroy the Great Sept of Baelor.


When one joins the Guild, you would start out as an Apprentice then move to an Acolyte before you become a full member which are referred to as "Wisdom" and they are led by a "Grand Master." Wisdoms wear striped black-and-scarlet robes for their uniform. Their headquarters is located on the Street of the Sisters near Visenya's Hill in King's Landing. Unlike the Order of Maesters, the Alchemist's Guild has members only in the major cities and castles in Westeros. 



Warlocks

Warlocks are magic practitioners in Essos and headquartered in the city-state of Qarth. They are housed in the House of the Undying and is led by the Undying Ones of Qarth. Like the Alchemist's Guild, the prominence of the Warlocks has declined in recent years. The House of the Undying is nicknamed the "Palace of Dust." Even with their lowered reputation, the Warlocks are still feared throughout Essos and still hold a permanent seat among the Thirteen, the ruling council of Qarth. As mentioned previously, the Warlocks notice a strengthening of their magic at the arrival of Daenerys Targaryen's dragons.

Warlocks dress in long dark robes and are characterized by their pale skin and blue lips which is caused by drinking "Shade of the Evening." The Shade of the Evening is a potion made from the leaves that grow on the trees around the House of the Undying.


The House of the Undying is described as a "long and low, without towers or windows, and is coiled through a grove of black-barked trees with inky blue leaves which are used to make Shade of the Evening." If one wishes to speak with the Undying Ones, one must first navigate through the House of the Undying. Before entering, one must drink a dose of the Shade of the Evening which "tastes like all the tastes a person has ever tasted, and some that a person hasn't." Once inside, one must always take the first door on the right and only use stairs that go up. To leave the House, one must use the same rules. While roaming through the House of the Undying, visions and sights will appear before them. Some of these visions may be from the past, from the future, from the present, and from a time that will never be.


The chamber of the Undying Ones holds a long stone table around which are the Undying Ones. The Undying One's are incredibly aged people (both male and female) with skin and eyes that are violet-blue, and nails that are so blue that they appear to be black. They stare unseeing and appear not to breathe or move. Above the table is a massive swollen heart, blue with corruption. The heart beats slowly and emits an indigo light. The Undying Ones speak in a low whisper. The Undying Ones use phantoms to show past, present, and future, but it also serves as a distraction as the Undying Ones try to draw life from those who come into their chamber.



The Order of Maesters

The Order of Maesters, or simply Maesters, is an ancient and secular order of scholars, healers, messengers, and scientists. The Maesters supplanted the Alchemist's Guild as the most prominent over the centuries as they were largely seen as more useful to the nobility and royalty as they focused more on scientific knowledge and have a negative opinion of magic and the "higher mysteries." Marwyn, Archmaester of the Higher Mysteries, believes that the order was behind the deaths of the last Targaryen dragons because of this stance. They are sometimes called "the knights of the mind." They are headquartered in the Citadel in Oldtown, a city in the Reach and one of the largest in all of Westeros. The entrance to the Citadel is flanked by two green marble sphinxes. The sphinxes' bodies are lions, they have eagle's wings, and serpents for tails. One sphinx's face is a man and the other is a woman's.

The Order of Maesters is open only to men. When one first enters the citadel as a student, he is referred to as a Novice. Once they have earned one link, they are referred to as Acolytes. It can take a year to earn each link. It is considered exceptional to earn three links in one year. When an Acolyte is ready, he will set aside his House name (if he had one), and take vows to serve the realm. The night before the vows, he is placed in a dark room with a "glass candle"; if he cannot ignite it he must sit in darkness all night.


Maesters are scholars and healers who have completed their training at the Citadel. Maesters are dispersed throughout the kingdom to serve the Lords and Ladies of Westeros who own a castle; a lord without a castle is seen as unimportant. While a Maester serves the realm, he is expected to advise the lord they serve, even in matters of warfare. If that lord is defeated and possession of the castle changes hands, the Maester is expected to serve that new lord. The Citadel is paid by the Lords in return for a Maester's services. A Maester also serves as a postmaster and use ravens to carry messages between castles. Maesters wear grey robes which have sleeves sewn with several pockets. Maesters are marked by their collar which is chain link of various metals and the collar is never removed, not even in sleep. The collar is meant to remind him that he serves the realm. Each metal of the chain indicates a particular subject he has mastered. Earning links is called "forging their chain." There are 15 metals that can be earned for their collar:

Black iron = Ravenry
Brass = Unknown
Bronze = Astronomy
Copper History
Electrum ("green gold") Astrology
Yellow gold = Math and Economics
Iron = Warcraft
Lead = Smithing
Pewter = Unknown
Platinum = Unknown
Red gold = Unknown
Silver = Medicine, Healing, and Biology
Steel Construction
Tin Unknown
Valyrian steel = Higher Mysteries
Archmaesters are those Maesters who have demonstrated that they are the subject matter expert in a particular subject. As a mark of distinction, they a mask, ring, and rod in the metal corresponding to the link of the maester's chain in which they are an expert in. The Archmaester teaches novices and acolytes on their particular subject and judges whether or not a novice or an acolyte has shown enough knowledge on their subject to receive a link for their chain.

The governance of the Citadel is given to an Archmaester who bears the title of "Seneschal." The Archmaesters see this office as a "thankless task" that takes away from their true work and so a new Seneschal is appointed annually by lot (in this case, drawing a black stone selects the Seneschal).


The position of Grand Maester was created during the reign of Aegon I Targaryen who had asked the Citadel for an Archmaester to advise him on governing his newly conquered kingdom. By his position, the Grand Maester sits on the King's Small Council and is the representative of the Citadel to the royal court. The Grand Maester is elected or unmade by a Conclave which is a council composed of Archmaesters. The Conclave also determines the changing of seasons which is irregular. The Grand Maester wears a dozen heavy chains wound together in a heavy necklace and is adorned with gems.


The legend and origins of the Maesters and the Citadel are said to have been started long before Aegon's Conquest when the Hightowers were kings in their land. Prince Peremore the Twisted, the second son of King Uthor of the High Tower, invited numerous scholars, including wise men, teachers, priests, healers, singers, wizards, alchemists, and sorcerers to Oldtown. After Peremore's death, his brother, King Urrigon, granted land alongside the Honeywine to develop into the Citadel. 



Knighthoods

There are several knighthoods within Freemasonry such as Knights of the York Cross of Honor, Red Cross of Constantine, Knight Masons, York Rite College, Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests, Knights Preceptor, Order Of St Thomas of Acon, Royal Order of Scotland, and the Rectified Scottish Rite.

The Faith Militant

The predominant religion of Westeros was known as the Faith of the Seven or, simply, The Faith. The Faith came to Westeros from Essos when the Andals crossed the Narrow Sea

Members of the Faith worship the "Seven Who Are One" which is a single deity with seven aspects or avatars (personifications). The Seven are: 
The Father who is depicted as a bearded man and who sits as Judge of all.
The Mother who is depicted as a loving and protective mother-figure. 
The Warrior is depicted with a sword and worshippers seek him for courage and protection from their enemies. 
The Smith is depicted with a hammer and is not only sought for by blacksmiths, but those seeking to mend or fix broken things. 
The Maiden or Maid is depicted as a beautiful, innocent-looking young woman and is sought for the protection of the innocent, particularly maidens. 
The Crone is depicted as an old, wise woman who carries a lamp raised in one hand and is prayed to for wisdom and guidance. 
The Stranger is depicted as an androgynous being, neither male nor female, yet both at the same time. He is the personification of Death.

Up to the time of Jaehaerys I, there existed the "Faith Militant" which was composed of the Poor Fellows and the Warrior's Sons. These could be akin to the chivalric orders that arose during the crusades such as the Knights Templar, Knights Hospitaller, and the Teutonic Knights.


The Poor Fellows, also known as the Stars (due to their logo), were a knighthood that served as the pleasure of the High Septon, leader of the Faith, and whose primary purpose was to protect and defend warfarers and pilgrims traveling on the road. The Poor Fellows chose their logo as a memorial to the Andal invasion of Westeros, when zealous warriors carved the seven-pointed star into their chests.

The Poor Fellows were considered less trained, disciplined, or well-armed than the Warrior's Sons, but composed the bulk Faith Militant. They had more members than the Warrior's Sons due to the fact that Poor Fellows accepted anyone from all ranks of society regardless of birth (lowborn, highborn, bastard, commoner) or gender. The Stars were primarily infantryman and were armed with whatever weapon they could make or find.


The Faith Militant clashed with the Targaryen monarchs who married their own kin and were seen as abominations by the Faith. Both orders were suppressed by Maegor the Cruel who outlawed them and fought battles against. With the help of Septon Barth, Jaehaerys negotiated a peace accord with the High Septon which disbanded both orders of the Faith Militant.


With the chaos and upheaval surrounding the War of the Five Kings, the Poor Fellows re-emerged. After a new High Septon, referred to as the High Sparrow, took office, he brokered a deal with Queen Cersei to restore the Faith Militant. Many of the new Poor Fellows referred to themselves as "sparrows." They would go on to protect the Great Sept of Baelor. Both orders of the Faith Militant escorted Queen Cersei back to the Red Keep during her walk of atonement after her imprisonment in the Great Sept.


The second order of the Faith Militant was the Noble and Puissant Order of the Warrior's Sons, or, simply, Warrior's Sons, which also was referred to as the "Swords." Like the Poor Fellows, they too only answered to the High Septon.

To be a Warrior's Son, one must be an anointed knight. Most were household knights or hedge knights, and a few were of noble birth. Upon joining, Swords take vows that give up any lands or gold that they possess. The original Warrior's Sons wore rainbow cloaks and silver armor over hair shirts, and their swords had star-shaped crystals on the pommel. The Warrior's Sons had chapters all over Westeros in the major cities such as Oldtown, Gulltown, and King's Landing. The entire order was led by an officer titled "Grand Captain."


As mentioned with the Poor Fellows, the Warrior's Sons were combative with the Targaryens. The Warrior's Sons took over King's Landing during the reign of Aenys I. Once Maegor took over, he defeated the Swords in combat and then burned down the Sept of Remembrance and all of the Swords that were inside. The Sept of Remembrance was replaced by the Dragon Pit by Maegor. After defeating an alliance of the Faith Militant and Riverland lords at Stoney Sept and then the Blackwater, Maegor threatened to burn down Oldtown and the Starry Sept (the then headquarters of the Faith). Upon arrival, Maegor found the gates to the city open and the High Septon dead. The Warrior's Sons had been arrested and were delivered to Maegor by Lord Martyn Hightower. The captives were given the choice: die or take the black (join the Night's Watch). Three-quarters of the knights took the black while rest, but one died. The one who was pardoned was Ser Morgan Hightower, brother of Lord Hightower and who was rumored to have killed the High Septon to earn the trust of Maegor. The captive Warrior's Sons were given a choice by Maegor: renounce the order and be permitted to join the Night's Watch or die as martyrs of the Faith. Three-quarters of the captive chose the Wall, while the remainder died. As mentioned above, the entire Faith Militant was disbanded after the new High Septon and King Jaehaerys I brokered a deal for peace.


The modern Warrior's Sons that re-emerged with the reign of the High Sparrow wear swordbelts and cloaks striped in the seven colors of the Faith. Their armor was like that of the old Swords, but now they also carry a kite shield displaying a rainbow sword shining brightly upon a field of darkness. The constant uncertainty caused a resurgence of zealotry and fanaticism, which is seen when over a 100-knights joined the Warrior's Sons once the High Septon got approval from King Tommen I and his mother Queen Cersei.


The Kingsguard

The Kingsguard, also known as the White Swords or White Cloaks, serve as the bodyguards of the Iron Throne: the king and his royal family. When the reigning monarch is a queen, this order is referred to as a Queensguard. There have only been two instances of a Queensguard. Once under Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen during the Dance of the Dragons (a civil war in Westeros) and Daenerys Targaryen after the death of her first husband, Khal Drogo. The order was established by Queen Visenya, sister and wife to Aegon the Conquerer, after a Dornish assassination attempt on Aegon and herself in the streets of King's Landing.

The order is composed of seven knights and who are led by an officer titled as "Lord Commander." The Lord Commander is chosen by the King and usually from the existing members of the Kingsguard. The Lord Commander also serves on the King's small council. The knights are kept within the Red Keep in the White Sword Tower; the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard has a room to himself at the top of the tower. In addition to protecting the king, they keep the king's secrets, give him counsel when asked, to keep silent, and to defend his honor. Due to their small numbers, the Kingsguard also utilizes household guards and the City Watch to protect the king and royal family.

All knights in Westeros take vows, and the Kingsguard take additional vows to include serving for life, giving up all lands, and having no wife or children. Knights of the Kingsguard were allowed to keep some titles such as Hand of the King or Prince (Targaryens or Dornish).

The most notable feature of the Kingsguard is that they all wear white cloaks over suits of white enameled armor. They are the only ones within Westeros who are allowed an all-white, unadorned shield.

The complete history of the Kingsguard is kept in the White Book, also known as the "The Book of the Brothers." The Lord Commander is charged with keeping the book up-to-date, but he is allowed to use Septons to adorn the book with heraldry.

The Rainbow Guard

Another version of the Kingsguard existed during the War of the Five Kings when Renly Baratheon created a Rainbow Guard to serve as his bodyguards. These knights wore a rainbow-striped silk cloak, but were allowed to use their own sigils on their shields and garb.

The seven colors of the rainbow were meant to be emblematic of the Faith of the Seven. Each member of the Rainbow Guard wears the armor of a single different color, with the group of seven together representing the seven-colored rainbow. The Rainbow Guard did not take as restrictive of vows as the Kingsguard did as they were allowed to hold hereditary lands. The Rainbow Guard was disbanded upon the death of Renly Baratheon and the Tyrell family declaring loyalty to the Iron Throne.

The Brotherhood of Winged Knights

The Brotherhood of Winged Knights is a chivalric order founded by House Arryn in 300 AC (In the fourth book called A Feast for Crows). The Lord of the Vale, Robert Arryn was a sickly child who was coddled by his paranoid mother. After her death, he was watched by Alayne Stone (Sansa Stark pretending to be the bastard daughter of Lord Littlefinger) and who would comfort him by telling him stories of the legendary hero of the Vale, Artys I Arryn, who was known as the Winged Knight or Falcon Knight.

The idea for the order is first suggested by Alayne Stone, after she notices that young Lord Robert Arryn is always comforted when she reads him tales of his legendary ancestor, Ser Artys Arryn, the Winged Knight. who was also called the Falcon Knight. He was an Andal who conquered and united the Vale under his governance, and founded House Arryn.

Alayne comes up with an idea to form a bodyguard for the young Lord. It was originally going to be composed of seven knights, but, in a childish fit, he wanted to have more bodyguards than the king so it was increased to eight. The knights were to be selected from a tournament held at the Gates of the Moon. The Vale of Arryn had been kept out of the War of the Five Kings and the knights were eager to compete and show their martial prowess so knights from across the Vale signed up.

The Order of the Green Hand

The Order of the Green Hand was a knightly order founded by House Gardener. House Gardener were kings of the Reach before Aegon's Conquest which resulted in the death of King Mern IX during the Field of Fire. The sigil of House Gardener was a green hand. House Gardener traces itself back to Garth Greenhand who existed during the Age of Heroes. Garth Greenhand, sometimes called Garth Greenhair or Garth the Green, supposedly wore a crown of vines and flowers, and had the power to cause the land to bloom and be bountiful. He had many sons, the first being Garth the Gardener who founded House Gardener and built Highgarden, the former seat of House Gardener and current seat of House Tyrell. He had other sons and many of the noble families within the Reach trace their family back to Garth Greenhand such as the Oakhearts, Redwynes, Fossoways, Hightowers, Florents, and Tarlys. The Kings of House Gardener wore crowns of vines and flowers when at peace, and crowns of bronze thorns (later iron) when they rode to war.

The Order of the Green Hand was created to acknowledge those knights who were both virtuous and skilled in the knightly arts. While the Gardeners were the only ones who bestowed this honor, the Lord of House Manderly still claims membership in the order. House Manderly started off in the Reach, but were exiled by the Gardener Kings and relocated to the North thus becoming vassals to House Stark.

References

1. A Wiki of Ice and Fire. (n.d.). Retrieved from Westeros: The 'A Song Of Ice and Fire' domain: https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Main_Page 

2. Game of Thrones Wiki. (n.d.). Retrieved from FANDOM: https://gameofthrones.fandom.com 

3. Martin, G. R. (1996). A Song of Ice and Fire. 

4. Martin, G. R., Garcia, E., & Antonsson, L. (2014). A World of Ice and Fire.