Thursday, November 22, 2018

A Decade in Chivalric Masonry

Today marks my 10th anniversary as a Knights Templar. I had the honor of being dubbed and created a knight by the then Worshipful Master of my Lodge. The ceremony for the Order of the Temple was so impressive that it stands out as one of the most memorable moments in Freemasonry for me, next to getting Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason and being initiated into the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (SRICF).

I have the honor of currently serving as Eminent Commander of my Commandery, Eminent Grand Standard Bearer of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Idaho, and member of the Committee on Social Committee of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the USA.

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.

Tarot Card of the Month: Temperance

The Tarot Card for November is Temperance. Temperance is also referred to as Art or Equilibrium. Temperance is the Fourteenth of the Major Arcana in Tarot. Temperance is associated with the planet Jupiter, the element of fire, and the zodiacal sign of Sagittarius.

Temperance represents balance, moderation, patience, and peace. Temperance reminds us that harmony comes from the union of dualities. In Freemasonry, Temperance is a cardinal virtue and defined as "that due restraint upon our affections and passions which renders the body tame and governable, and frees the mind from the allurements of vice." One must exercise caution in his action, speech, thought, feeling, judgment, and life.

Temperance is depicted by a winged angel, considered both male and female, pouring water from a cup in her left hand to a cup in her right. The angel is wearing a white robe with a golden triangle within a square. The angel has one foot on the ground and one in the water. On one side of the angel are golden lilies and on the other shows a mountain with a setting sun.

The angel upon the earth represents one's interaction with both the material and the divine. The androgynous nature of the angel represents balance between the sexes. The pouring of water between cups represents the act of finding the right balance between two sides. The golden triangle is said to be an ancient symbol of healing. It is also interesting to see the alchemical symbol of fire contained within the square, another emblem to represent the earth. Combined they represent the sacred flame, the soul of man, contained within the body; Temperance is a reference to the soul. The foot in the water represents the subconscious and the foot on the ground represents the material world. The mountains in the distance represent a future journey to be taken that will bring spiritual fulfillment.


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thanksgiving

By Jamie Harris Coleman

Thanksgiving should be every day
Instead of once a year. 
Give thanks each day, give thanks each night, 
To Christ who is so dear. 

Give thanks each day, give thanks each night, 
For all the Lord has done. 
He’ll help us fight our battles 
Until the victory’s won. 

Give thanks unto the Savior, 
His joyous praises sing; 
In the ears of every Christian 
Let the name of Jesus ring. 

Give thanks to Him each morning, 
Give thanks at noon and night. 
Ask Him for daily blessings, 
And stand up for the right. 

Let each day be Thanksgiving, 
For the blessings from above, 
For guidance and protection 
And His eternal love.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Anti-Mason Disinformation: Jintao, Putin, & Bush

I see this picture of Hu Jintao, Vladimir Putin, and George constantly circulating on the Internet. Anti-Masons and conspiracy theorists alike claim that this picture was taken at a secret Grand Lodge meeting and that all those in attendance are secretly Freemasons. This claim is taken further, and said that they act like enemies, but as they are all supposedly Masons that they all serve evil and this is just part of the Hegelian Dialectic (manufactured conflict). They believe Freemasonry is involved with creating chaos in order to establish our order onto the world.

In reality, this picture of those three men comes from the 2006 APEC meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam. APEC standards for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation which is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific. It is composed of 21-members who aim to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration. Each year, one of the 21-members hosts the annual meeting and it has become the custom to try on the host country's traditional costume. It was Bill Clinton, a non-Mason, who started this custom when he had leather bomber jackets for each of the world leaders in attendance. In 2006, the members wore robes known as silk "ao dai" with golden lotus flowers. This flower was chosen as it is a traditional Vietnamese symbol for nobility and purity. You can see the pictures over the years here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2011/nov/14/apec-summits-what-leaders-wore-in-pictures


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Happy Veterans Day

To my Brothers and Sisters in Arms, who are serving or have served, Happy Veterans Day!


The High Council and the Idaho Rose Circle

The last two days I've spent in Louisville, KY, at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the High Council of the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (SRICF). This meeting was held at the historic Brown Hotel. This hotel is absolutely beautiful and a perfect place for this prestigious order to meet. 

I had an amazing time meeting all of the Fratres from all over the world. The meetings were meaningful and educational; there were presentations given by Piers Vaughn, W. Stephen Burkle, and Ian Robertson. I particularly enjoyed attending the Celebrants Workshop and the educational materials that were given out. More importantly, the Supreme Magus of the SRICF authorized the formation of the Idaho Rose Circle. The Rose Circle is equivalent to a Lodge Under Dispensation. I spent the last night talking with the Supreme Magus and the Senior Deputy Supreme Magus who spoke words of encouragement and said they look forward to granting us a charter in the upcoming year. 

I now am heading back to Idaho energized and ready to get the Fratres to work into getting the Idaho Rose Circle off of the ground. I have a set of goals and aims in hopes that it will set us on a path to success.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Words & Phrases: College

The Words & Phrases series will be looking at terms that are sometimes used in Freemasonry but are not commonly used. As the Grand Lodge of Idaho just approved the resolution on recognition of the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis, I'll be starting with the term "college" which is the name given to the basic organizational unit of that order. 

"College" is defined as a body of clergy living together and supported by a foundation, or a building used for an educational or religious purpose. The term "college" is rooted in the Latin word "collegium" meaning "community, society, or guild" and is used in the context of "a body of scholars and students." This definition and etymological root perfectly align with the purpose and mission of the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis and the York Rite College, as well, as both of those orders are dedicated to education and research.

The oldest known collegiate institution is the University of Karueein that was founded in 859 AD in Fez, Morocco. The oldest college in Europe is the University of Bologna in Italy and was founded in 1088. The oldest university in Germany is the University of Heidelberg which was founded in 1386 (during the lifetime of Christian Rosenkreutz, the founder of Rosicrucianism). An interesting note to see the correlation between the robes of college graduations and the attire for Chief Adepts or High Council officers (see the picture). According to Columbia University, the practice of gowns and hoods dates back to the 12th century when this regalia was worn by clergy, and their students adopted the same garb. For one thing, the gowns provided warmth in unheated buildings and served as a way to set the student apart from his fellow citizens. Knowing the religious roots of colleges and universities as well as the roots of Rosicrucianism, it is not surprising to see similar clothing.



Thursday, November 1, 2018

A Decade in Capitular & Cryptic Masonry

Today marks my 10th year as a Royal Arch Mason and Cryptic Mason. I knew after I was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason that I wanted to join the York Rite: There were two Masons in my Lodge that I looked up to and they were both York Rite, and, being a historian, I found the York Rite more appealing than the Scottish Rite. I went through when I was Senior Warden of my Blue Lodge and these degrees were very timely as they helped prepare me to serve my Lodge as Worshipful Master. 

This decade has flown by and I am surprised at how much I have accomplished. I am honored to be serving as Most Excellent Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Idaho and as the Right Illustrious Grand Principal Conductor of the Work for the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of Idaho. I am celebrating this anniversary while on the road for work in Montana.