Friday, September 18, 2020

Grand Lodge of Idaho

Today the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge AF&AM of Idaho met and held the 153rd Annual Communication. The officers and a limited few essential Brothers were allowed in the Lodge room while everyone else observed and participated via Zoom. Only the reports of the Grand Master, Grand Treasurer, Grand Secretary, Board of Custodians, Jurisprudence Committee, and Accounts & Finances were read and approved. Finally, we elected the officers for the 2020-2021 Masonic year. All other committee reports were in the advanced proceedings and resolutions were tabled until next year.

I'd like to congratulate now Jr. Past Grand Master, Steven L. Hall, on his year in the Grand East. He served as Grand Master of Cryptic Masons when I was Grand High Priest, and he and I spent a lot of time traveling together. We also discussed much about his plans when he would be Most Worshipful Grand Master. His year started out strong, but then COVID-19 came into the world and halted Masonry worldwide. He had to make many hard decisions and I didn't envy the burden he carried on his shoulders.

Now we have a new Grand Master of Masons in Idaho and I wish him the best of luck. At his installation, Grand Master Steven Zimmerman announced his plan to start reopening Freemasonry in Idaho which will also allow for the reopening of the rest of the Masonic family.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

A Masonic Giant

If I were to ask a Mason to list notable authors, I'd probably be given the following names: Albert Pike, Albert Mackey, Manly P. Hall, A.E. Waite, Chris Hodapp, Brent Morris, Robert Gould, Carl Claudy, Robert Macoy, Ray Denslow,  Art de Hoyos, and W.L. Wilmshurst. Many Masons don't know or recognize the name Harold Van Buren Voorhis who was an extremely influential Mason, historian, and author; a proverbial "Masonic Giant."

Harold V.B. Voorhis was born on January 3, 1894, in Red Bank, NJ. After high school, he attended Cooper Union College and Columbia University Teachers Extension. He worked for a number of years as a chemist for Bull & Roberts in New York City and even served in the US Navy during WWI.

He was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on June 1, 1920, in Mystic Brotherhood Lodge No.21 (Red Bank, NJ) and served as its Worshipful Master in 1937. He was also a Past High Priest and Past Grand Historian of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of New Jersey, Past Grand Master of the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of NJ, Past Eminent Commander and Past Grand Historian of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of NJ, 33° and member of the Committee on History in Supreme Council 33° of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, Fellow of the Philalethes Society, member of the Order of the Eastern Star Past Grand Preceptor (1951) of the Grand College of the USA of the Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priests, Past Great Chancellor (1968) of the Great Priory of America of the Chevaliers Bienfaisants de la Cité Sainte, and a number of other groups that will be discussed further.

Voorhis was one of the original "Innovators" who helped establish the Grand College of Rites and served as its first Grand Registrar and its third Grand Chancellor. Voorhis had been elevated by Henry Parsell to the 97° in the Rites of Memphis & Misraim before the Sovereign Sanctuary of the USA surrendered its charter to the Grand College of Rites.

After he took over as Commander-General (1939-1957) of the Masonic Order of the Bath, he started holding its meetings at Masonic Week, where it still meets today. Voorhis would serve as the Most Venerable Sovereign Grand Master of the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees for the USA from February 1943 to February 1944.

In 1946, he became Vice President of the Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., and would serve in that position until 1970. He was a prolific Masonic author covering subjects such as Masonic Rosicrucianism, the Order of the Eastern Star, Knights Templar, Royal Order of Scotland, Red Cross of Constantine, the Scottish Rite, and the Allied Masonic Degrees.

Voorhis was responsible for reviving the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis. Voorhis helped start the New Jersey College in 1931 where he first served as Secretary before becoming its Chief Adept in 1932. He would go on to help establish several other Colleges. He served as Junior Substitute (Deputy) Supreme Magus from 1940-1948, Senior Substitute (Deputy) Supreme Magus from 1948-1950, and Most Worthy Supreme Magus from 1950-1979; the longest-serving Supreme Magus.

Voorhis was a key player in the formation of the Grand Council of Knight Masons for the USA. Prior to 1967, the USA fell under the jurisdiction of the Grand Council of Ireland. For a time there were 2-provinces and Voorhis served as one the Provincial Grand Superintendents. Eventually, the two provinces would be merged into one and Voorhis was the sole Provincial Grand Superintendent until 1967. Over the next 17-years, he grew the Knight Masons on an average of 75 new members each year. In February 1967, having the support of the Grand Council of Ireland and the support of American Knight Masons, the Grand Council of Knight Masons for the USA was formed and Voorhis was elected its first Most Excellent Great Chief.

He passed away on May 23, 1983, and left behind his mark on American Freemasonry.

References

1. Denslow, W. R. (1957). 10,000 Famous Freemasons - Volume IV. Richmond: Macoy Publishing. Retrieved from http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/10,000_famous_freemasons/Volume_4_Q_to_Z.htm 

2. Hanttula, D. (2017). The Masonic Tour Guide - Vol.1. 

3. Harold Van Buren Voorhis. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Van_Buren_Voorhis 

4. Jordan, D. L. (2002, May 15). A History of Knight Masonry in the United States of America. Retrieved from MasterMason.com: http://www.mastermason.com/StPatrickCouncil/a_history_of_knight_masonry__in_.htm 

5. Marples, J. A. (2015). The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, Blossoming yet Thorny. Retrieved from Nebraska College, SRICF: http://www.masonic.benemerito.net/msricf/papers/marples/2015-06.marples-brotherhood.rosy.cross.blossimng.yet.thorny.pdf 

6. Shute, J. R. (1975). The Innovators. Retrieved from Grand College of Rites: http://grandcollegeofrites.org/innovators/ 

7. Voorhis, H. V. (1952). Masonic Organizations and Allied Orders and Degrees. Red Bank, NJ: Press of Henry Emmerson. 

8. Voorhis, H. V. (1983). A History of Organized Masonic Rosicrucianism.

Monday, August 31, 2020

I Remember My Father

 Today marks 2-years since my Father passed away. I sit here in California working and I've started writing down everything I remember about him. This doesn't nearly encompass everything he was, but it is what I wish to share:

I remember him working multiple jobs to support his wife and kids. 

I remember him carrying me when I broke my arm in elementary school. 

I remember watching horror movies with him and Laura then scaring Laura while we cleaned GeriKens. 

I remember him saving me when I thought I was stronger than the river's rapids. 

I remember him giving me my first beer and so many more over the years. 

I remember every hunting and camping trip to the Cabin. 

I remember him teaching me to ride motorcycles and encouraging me to get back up when I fell. 

I remember his stories and jokes, many of them inappropriate, but hilarious. 

I remember his wrath when I messed up and stepped over the line...which was a lot. 

I remember him teaching me Pinochle when I was sick and the countless games we played over the years. 

I remember the look of pride on his face when Laura was sworn in as a police officer. 

I remember how he melted when his grandchildren were born. 

I remember the look of fear in his eyes when Laura and I deployed to Iraq, and the relief when we were returned I remember the values and lessons he passed on, some were harder to learn than others. 

I remember the last words we spoke to each other. 

I will cherish every good memory and reflect upon the bad ones. 

I miss you Dad and God knows what I would give to just hear your voice one more time.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Sights and Places: Dayton Masonic Center

Another beautiful Masonic building lies in the State known as the "Mother of Presidents". Lying near the Great Miami River in Dayton, Ohio, the Dayton Masonic Center stands a very impressive structure sitting on a large property that is beautifully landscaped. It was built by an association established by 14 Masonic groups. It took nearly 3-years to complete using around 450-workers total (many of whom were Masons themselves) and, today, would cost around $40-million. The ground was broken on July 20th, 1925, the cornerstone was laid on May 19th, 1926, and the building was opened on April 1st, 1928.

Prior to this building, the Dayton Masons were located at a renovated Lutheran church that they purchased in 1903. In 1913, there was a massive flood that damaged their old Lodge room so they were looking for a new location. That and they were also running out of space to accommodate every Lodge and Masonic groups. They purchased land that was higher up and safe from floods in the form of the Stoddard Mansion; the Stoddard family was a car manufacturer that went bankrupt and had to sell the mansion.


The building measures 265-feet long, 190-feet wide, and 80-feet high. It is composed of steel, cement, and stone. The stone includes 55,000 cubic feet of Bedford Stone as well as 15,000 cubic feet of hard limestone and marble from Vermont, Alabama, and Tennessee which took 20 train carloads to transport. The marble was used for the interior floors, wainscotings, partitions, and stairways. The building was designed to incorporate Grecian-style architecture. Land was later purchased that was converted to a parking lot that can hold roughly 250-vehicles


Entry Hall

The Dayton Masonic Center houses a number of impressive rooms to include the Schiewetz Auditorium which has 1500 seats. This auditorium would be used for large initiation ceremonies for groups such as the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.


Entrance to the Auditorium


View of the stage


View from the stage

For use by the York Rite, specifically the Knights Templar, there is the Templar Room which is covered with rich colors and woodwork and can seat up to 200.


The Templar Room

They have a number of Lodge rooms, but I am only showing you one which has been described as the most beautiful in the building.


A Blue Lodge

It also holds a library that I think is beautifully furnished.



The last room is the Ballroom which is used for a number gala events and can be rented out for a number of public or private events.


The Ballroom prepared for a wedding

I hope one day to visit this location and get a tour.

Reference

1. Dayton Masonic Center. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayton_Masonic_Center 

2. Dayton Masonic Center Video Tour. (2018, April 22). Retrieved from Freemasons for Dummies: https://freemasonsfordummies.blogspot.com/2018/04/dayton-masonic-center-video-tour.html 

3. History. (n.d.). Retrieved from Dayton Masonic Foundation: http://daytonmasonicfoundation.org/history/ 

4. S2: The Masonic Temple. (n.d.). Retrieved from Decoding Dayton: https://indigo.life/decoding-dayton/the-masonic-temple/ 

5. The Dayton Masonic Center. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.daytonmasoniccenter.org/

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Royal Order of the Red Branch of Eri

As I mentioned in my first article on the Allied Masonic Degrees (AMD), is an invitation organization composed of detached degrees and honors, one of which is known as the Royal Order of the Red Branch of Eri. The Red Branch of Eri is said to be an ancient order that was established in Ireland that was passed down through the generations before being housed within the AMD. This order exists "within the bosom of the Grand Council and is a Chamber thereof" and is considered the pinnacle of the Allied Masonic Degrees. It is important to note that there is a slight difference between the English and American orders. The American confers this order for meritorious service while in England a member needs to be a VIº in the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia before they are eligible.

The degrees embodied in the Royal Order of the Red Branch of Eri are: 

Man-at-Arms or Associate, Red Branch of Eri (ARBE)
Esquire or Member, Red Branch of Eri (MRBE)
Knight or Knight Red Branch of Eri (KRBE)
Knight Commander or Knight Commander Red Branch of Eri (KCRBE)
Knight Grand Cross or Knight Grand Cross Red Branch of Eri (KGCRBE)
Knight Supreme Grand Cross or Knight Supreme Grand Cross Red Branch of Eri (KSGCRBE)

Councils may elect a Brother a Man-at-Arms (ARBE) for exceptional service to their Council and who are not presently holding an elected office. Each year, a Council may elect up to two Brothers who hold office in a Council to the rank of Esquire (MRBE). For distinguished service to the AMD and having membership in the AMD for 7-years, each year a Council may honor up to two Brothers by investing them with the rank of Knight (KRBE). For those Brothers who have served or are currently serving as Sovereign Master of an AMD Council, they can be elected to be invested with the rank of Knight Commander (KCRBE). The rank of Knight Grand Cross (KGCRBE) is available for those Brothers who are Present or Past Grand Officers of the Grand Council. The rank of Knight Supreme Grand Cross (KSGCRBE) is for those Brothers who currently or have served as the Most Venerable Sovereign Grand Master of the Grand Council.

Like the Blue Lodge, the Red Branch of Eri presents the legendary history of the order and a series of lessons for the candidates being invested with the rank of Man-at-Arms, Esquire, and Knight. The ranks of Knight Commander, Grand Cross, and Supreme Grand Cross are not exemplified.

The basic organizational unit is known as a Faslairt and represents an encampment. Per the Constitution of the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees of the USA, only Knight Commanders may preside over a Faslairt or serve as a governing official. Tradition holds that the Senior Knight Commander presides over the Faslairt which is composed of the following officers:

Commander or Chieftain
Ard Brehon
Ard Cruimthear
Ard Ollam
Four Bards
Master of Ceremonies
Captain of the Guard
Herald or Bollasain
Standard Bearer
Sword Bearer
Sentinel
Trumpeter
4 Knights

NOTE: 'Ard' and 'Knight' are used synonymously, though 'Ard' actually means 'High.'

The Jewel of the Order is a white Salem Cross having a red branch in leaf superimposed thereon, but not all wear this jewel. Each degree wears a slightly different regalia. Men-at-Arms (ARBE) wear a blue and white sash and their jewel is that of a red cross over a green wreath (see Fig 1). 

Fig. 1

Esquires (MRBE) wear a sash of green, white, and blue and their jewel is a green Templar cross suspended from a blue ribbon (see Fig 2). 

Fig. 2

Knights (KRBE) wear a yellow, green, white, and blue sash; a pocket jewel that depicts the motto "Erin Go Bragh" a circle surrounding a harp with an 8-pointed star; and they wear the jewel of the order suspended from a green ribbon (see Fig 3).

Fig. 3

Knight Commanders (KCRBE) wears a sash of red, yellow, green, white, and blue; the same pocket jewel as Knights do; a gold Latin cross with clovers adorning it; and their jewel is a Patriarchal cross surmounted with a crown (see Fig 4).

Fig. 4

Knights Grand Cross (KGCRBE) wear a sash of black, red, yellow, green, white, and blue; a pocket jewel that depicts the motto "Erin Go Bragh" looped around a Patriarchal cross embossed upon a style of a Maltese cross; and they wear the same jewel as Knight Commanders (see Fig 5).

Fig. 5

Knights Supreme Grand Cross (KSGCRBE) wears a pocket jewel that depicts the motto of the order which surrounds a Salem Cross surmounted with a cross, and a collar from which a Salem cross surmounted with a crown is suspended (see Fig 6).

Fig. 6

According to legend, the Red Branch of Eri traces its history back to ancient Ireland. An ancient book known as 'The Annals of the Four Masters of Ireland' tells of the Knights of the Collar of Eri as instituted by King Eamhium and his eight princes over the armies of the four provinces of Ireland, i.e.: Ulster, Munster, Leinster, and Connaught. In these ancient times, there seem to have been multiple knighthoods and this order seems to be an amalgamated descendant of those knighthoods.

As to the modern history of the order, Worshipful Brother F. G. Irwin, of Inhabitants Lodge No.178, received the order in 1858 from the O'Donnell family who had passed it down father to son. W:.Bro. Irwin would go onto restore and reorganize the order in England under the aegis of the Grand Mur-Ollamham; the name "Mur-Ollamham" translates as "College of the Learned." Bro. John Yarker of England would preside over the "English Revival Order of the Red Branch of Eri" and whose ritual is currently used. In 1933, John R. Shute and William M. Brown, both Past Sovereign Grand Masters, obtained permission from England to establish the order in the US.

References

1. Article XX, Constitution. (n.d.). Retrieved from Grand Council, Allied Masonic Degrees, USA: https://www.amdusa.org/downloads/AMD.Constitution.Draft.pdf 

2. Dominic, J. (2016, October 31). Royal Order of the Red Branch of Eri. Retrieved from Doylestown Lodge 245: https://www.doylestownmasons.org/royal-order-of-the-red-branch-of-eri/#:~:text=Legend%20says%20that%20the%20Royal,Ireland%20possessed%20highly%20developed%20literature. 

3. Moore, T. (1835). The History of Ireland. Paris: Baudry's European Library. Retrieved from https://highlander.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Thomas-Moore-History-of-Ireland-Vol-1.pdf 

4. Red Branch of Eri. (n.d.). Retrieved from Grand Council, Allied Masonic Degrees, USA: https://www.amdusa.org/degrees/RBE.html

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Robert Samber

In November 2017, I attended a presentation by Shawn Eyer at the Detroit Masonic Temple. During the presentation, he referenced several Masonic authors from the 18th century. I learned that one of the earliest known essays written by a Mason concerning Freemasonry was by Robert Samber. Robert Samber was an English Freemason, author, and translator.

Samber was born in 1682 around Lymington, Hampshire, England. He faced many disadvantages as he was a younger son in a Catholic family when Protestantism had taken hold of England which limited his career choices. After considering joining the clergy, he began a literary career. Samber authored several documents and include "Treaties on the Plague" which gives instructions on how to prevent and mitigate the spread of the plague. This document was dedicated to the Duke of Montague who was the Grand Master of the Premier Grand Lodge (the Moderns).

Samber also wrote under the pseudonym "Eugenius Philalethes" which was also used by alchemist Thomas Vaughan. It is debated as to whether he was a Rosicrucian or not, but using this pseudonym as a homage to Thomas Vaughan, himself a famous alchemist and Rosicrucian, seems to support the possibility. Long Livers, a compilation of the gathered knowledge of the time, was written by Harouet de Longeville and was translated, with a preface, by Robert Samber using his pseudonym. This preface was a dedication to the Grand Master and brethren of England and Ireland. Samber made some very bold pronouncements about Freemasonry and its lineage in this preface. In one instance he stated that Freemasonry belonged to "an uninterrupted Tradition" and that Masons are "a chosen Generation, a royal Priesthood." I was fascinated to learn that he is also the first known author to use the term "living stones" in regards to Freemasons which is still used in our ritual today and is one of my favorite orations in Freemasonry.

Among his non-Masonic translations is Charles Perrault's "Histories and Tales of Long Ago, with Morals", which later became known as "Tales of Mother Goose" which contain tales such as "Sleeping Beauty," "Little Red Riding Hood," "Cinderella," "Puss in Boots," and other children's stories.

For the most part, men and Masons alike saw him as an honorable man. One paper I read about him was not a fan as he was described as a "rogue Catholic" and a "rogue Freemason" who used his connections for his own profit.

References

1. Armitage, E. (1898). Robert Samber. Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, 11, 103-108. 

2. Blom, J., & Blom, F. (n.d.). Samber, Robert. Retrieved from Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-69872 

3. Brother Eugenius Philalethes sendeth greeting. (2007, May 31). Retrieved from The Burning Taper: http://burningtaper.blogspot.com/2007/05/brother-eugenius-philalethes-sendeth.html 

4. Eyer, S. (2017). Wisdom of the Founding Brethren. Retrieved from Academia.edu: https://www.academia.edu/35121020/Wisdom_of_the_Founding_Brethren_Light_from_the_Earliest_Lodge_Writings_and_Orations 

5. Eyer, S. (n.d.). The Essential Secrets of Masonry. Retrieved from Academia.edu: https://www.academia.edu/35111939/A_Dissertation_upon_Masonry_1734_with_Commentary_and_Notes 

6. Gould, R. (1884). The History of Freemasonry. London. 

7. History of the Philalethes Society. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Philalethes Society: http://freemasonry.org/history.php 

8. Loiselle, K. (2017, May). From Enlightenment to Revolution. Retrieved from The California Freemason: https://californiafreemason.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2019/04/17-MOC-056_CFM_MayJune.pdf

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

RIP Jerry D. Parson

It is with a heavy heart and great regret that I report the death of Worshipful Brother Jerry D. Parsons. Jerry was born on August 8, 1944, in Seattle, WA, but was raised in Boise, ID. Jerry enlisted in the US Air Force in 1964 and served with the Idaho Air National Guard until 1970. He held jobs in Golf, Food and Beverage, and Bus Transportation industries.

He joined Freemasonry in 1989 when he was initiated into Boise Lodge No.2 where he served as Worshipful Master in 1994 and 2009 (same year when I was Master of my Lodge). He is a Past Grand Tyler, Past Grand Historian, and Past Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge AF&AM of Idaho. Jerry was a Charter member and Past Master of Idaho City Historic Lodge No.1863

He joined the York Rite in Boise in 1991 where served as Excellent High Priest of Boise Chapter No.3 in 2009 and 2020, Illustrious Master of Idaho Council No.1 in 2010, and Eminent Commander of Idaho Commandery No.1 in 2011. He also received the Order of High Priesthood, Order of the Silver Trowel, and Order of Knights Preceptor. He was a Past Grand Historian of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Idaho, Past Grand Chaplain of the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of Idaho, and Right Eminent Past Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Idaho. He was also a recipient of the Knights Templar Cross of Honor and Knight Commander of the Temple.

He was also a member of the Redemption Tabernacle No.XL of the Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priests, current Deputy Prior of Idaho Priory No.13 of the Knights of the York Cross of Honor (and recipient of the Knights of the York Grand Cross of Honor), Past Governor of Tri-Valley College No.178 of the York Rite Sovereign College of North America, and a Past Sovereign of St. Michael's Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine. He was also a member of Syringa Order No.121 of the Order of the Sword of Bunker Hill, Boise Valley of the Scottish Rite, and El Korah Shriners.

Jerry died this morning from complications due to cancer. He is going to be greatly missed. I've known Jerry my entire Masonic journey and he was a constant companion. He was an extremely skilled Brother. He was always positive and was always willing to help out.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Holy Mary Magdalene

Today is the Feast Day of Mary Magdalene (also known as Mary of Magdala). An enigmatic and marginalized figure whose role with the Savior has transformed in recent times, particularly with the discovery of the Gnostic texts. With many Christian denominations and traditions, and for many centuries, Mary was seen as a repentant whore who was saved by Jesus, the witness to the Resurrection, and messenger to the Apostles. However, with Gnostic traditions, Mary was much more than a mere follower and in Gnostic Gospels, she is depicted as a prominent disciple of the Savior.

Without question, we can be sure that the early leaders of the Roman Catholic Church amended, revised, and sanitized the Holy Bible to conform to their beliefs and policies rather than the pure message of the Savior. Due to her prominence and interaction, Mary couldn't be wholly expunged from the Gospels, but they did much to wash away her status. Even with that, she is mentioned in the Bible more times than most male apostles. Ultimately, this inaccurate portrayal of Mary comes from Pope Gregory I which came through in the form of a sermon given on Easter in 591 AD.

It is not surprising that the Magdalene has been so defamed and diminished as for centuries Christendom was under the thumb of the Roman Catholic Church established through Peter. Peter and his followers hated women and you can see this aggressive sexist tone in much of the books compiled and revised by that church. With the discovery of the suppressed Gnostic Gospels, this anti-Marian narrative is expressed in several verses.

The Gospel of Philip notes that she was a constant companion of the Lord. In the Gospel of Thomas, Peter proclaims that females are not worthy of life and wishes the Savior to dismiss her from their company. The Pistis Sophia ("Wisdom of Faith") recognizes Mary as insightful and wise, and that Mary will surpass all other disciples. This codex also records Mary stating that she fears Peter as he threatens her and hates her race. This latter statement has to be interpreted to mean the feminine race while others see it to mean that Peter hated Gnostics (which he did). In the Gospel of Mary, there is recorded one instance where Peter and his brother, Andrew, attempt to bully her because of her standing with the Savior; the profane often despise the enlightened.

In recent years, the Magdalene's role has been reviewed and found to be more than just a saved prostitute. Even the Roman Catholic Church has acknowledged her as "Apostola Apostolorum" or "Apostle of the Apostles" or "the First Apostle." It also has come to be known that Mary of Bethany (sister of Lazarus) is one and the same as Mary Magdalene. The use of the epithet of Magdalene or Magdala further demonstrates that she was a prominent woman or possessed wealth in some way. The Gospel of Luke even states that Mary supported the Savior and his entourage which gives credence to her being a wealthy woman.

In the Templar Revelations by Clive Prince and Lynn Picknett, they provide evidence to a theory that Mary was wife and companion to the Savior, that the episode with Lazarus was an initiatic tradition not a literal resurrection, and that Lazarus was St. John the Beloved. This latter point is supported by the Johannite tradition that the name "John" is a title.

To me, Mary stands as an exemplar for one who is transformed by the Logos and achieves Gnosis. As I alluded to on the Feast Day of Adam and Eve, Christ fulfilled his role and completed the Advent and being the New Adam and, in this instance, Mary fulfills the role as the New Eve. Some have even called her an incarnation of the Holy Sophia, the Divine Feminine.

I hope everyone has a blessed day and I leave you with a a great article written by Most Reverend Timothy Mansfield, Bishop of New South Wales for the Apostolic Johannite Church: https://www.johannite.org/bishop-tim-mansfield-the-magdalene/

References

1. Apostola Apostolorum. (2017). Retrieved from Project Muse: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/659085/summary 

2. Conner, M. (2015, July 15). Why Do Gnostics Consider Mary Magdalene the Greatest Apostle? Retrieved from Aeonbyte Gnostic Radio: https://thegodabovegod.com/why-do-gnostics-consider-mary-magdalene-the-greatest-apostle/ 

3. Kelly, B. (2016, July 19). St. Mary Magdalene is the Same Mary, the Sister of Lazarus and Martha of Bethany. Retrieved from Catholicism.org: https://catholicism.org/st-mary-magdalene-is-the-same-mary-the-sister-of-lazarus-of-bethany.html 

4. Mansfield, T. (2018, September 2). The Magdalene. Retrieved from Apostolic Johannite Church: https://www.johannite.org/bishop-tim-mansfield-the-magdalene/ 

5. Mary Magdalene. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Magdalene 

6. Mary Magdalene, apostle of the apostles. (2016, June 10). Retrieved from Vatican Press Office: https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2016/06/10/160610c.html 

7. Picknett, L., & Prince, C. (1997). The Templar Revelation. New York: Touchstone. 

8. Price, R. M. (2009). Mary Magdalene: Gnostic Apostle? Retrieved from RMP: https://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/art_mary_magdalene.htm 

9. The Gospel of Mary. (1998, April). Retrieved from Public Broadcasting Service: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/map

Sunday, July 12, 2020

On the Road Again

Well, after 3.5-months of my job stopping all travel, I am back out on the road for work. It's been interesting adjusting to the new travel policies, but it feels good to be back out and traveling.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy Independence Day

2020 has been a rough and strange year, to say the least. Today, let us stop with the pettiness of politics and remember the sacrifices of all of the forefathers who established this amazing Nation. God bless the United States of America and its Founding Fathers! God bless the members of the Armed Forces! God bless all First Responders!

Have fun today and celebrate, but be safe and stay healthy.


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Masonic Week 2021

Here is the tentative schedule of events for the 2021 Masonic Week that will be held from February 10th - 14th, 2021, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA. Registration and hotel links are not yet available.


Wednesday, February 10th, 2021


07:00pm - Masonic Order of Pilgrim Preceptors

George Haynes - Regional Governor
Alan Beidel - Regional Secretary


Thursday, February 11th, 2021

   

08:00am - Trinity Chapel No.2, Ye Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon

10:00am - Grand Master's Council, Ye Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon

Matthew Dupee - Grand Master 
Joseph MacIntyre - Grand Prior 
Seth Anthony - Grand Secretary

12:00pm - Festive Board, Ye Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon

1:00pm - Grand Chapter, Sovereign Order of Knights Preceptor

Ronald Wood - Grand Preceptor
Larry Tucker - Grand Recorder

2:45pm - Potomac Court No. 107, Masonic Order of Athelstan

4:30pm - Provincial Grand Court of the United States of America for the Masonic Order of Athelstan

Bryce Hildreth - Provincial Grand Master
David Cashion - Provincial Grand Secretary

7:00pm - Athelstan Banquet

9:00pm - Ye Antiente Order of Corks

Don McAndrew - Grand Bung of the Americas
Bobby Kitchen - Grand Bung of the USA


Friday, February 12th, 2021

    

   

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

8:00am - Allied Masonic Degrees: Installed Sovereign Master 

8:15am - Grand Council of Knight Masons of the USA

Robert Maynard - Great Chief
David Cashion - Grand Scribe

9:00am - Ladies Breakfast

11:45am - Society of Blue Friars Luncheon

Arturo de Hoyos - Grand Abbot
Richard Fletcher - Secretary General

1:30pm - Special degree conferral, Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest 

1:30pm - Grand College of Rites of the U.S.A. 

Robert Malwitz - Grand Chancellor 
Gerald Klein - Grand Registrar

3:15pm - Council of the Nine Muses No. 13, AMD

5:00pm - Grand College of America of the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest 

James Herndon - Grand Preceptor 
Lawrence Tucker - Grand Registrar

5:00pm - Knight Commander, Royal Order of the Red Branch of Eri

5:30pm - Worshipful Commander Noah, Royal Ark Mariner

6:00pm - Installed Supreme Ruler, Order of the Secret Monitor

7:00pm - Dinner for the Masonic Society

Jay Hochberg - President
Nathan Brindle - Secretary-Treasurer

7:00pm - 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

Leslie Bale - Commander-General
Bill Snyder - Keeper of the Bath Records


Saturday, February 13th, 2021

  

7:30am - All Masonic Breakfast

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

4th Grade: Councillor 
5th Grade: Keeper of the Hidden Secret

11:00am - Philalethes Society

Rashied K. Sharrieff-Al-Bey - President
Terry Tilton - Secretary

12:00pm - Philalethes Society Luncheon

1:30pm - Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees of the USA

Glen Cook - Sovereign Grand Master
Clyde Schoolfield - Grand Secretary

2:00pm - Ladies Afternoon Tea

6:30pm - All Masonic Social Hour 

7:00pm - All Masonic Banquet


Sunday, February 14th, 2021


8:30am - Washington Monument Assemblage

9:00am - Lodge of Menatzchim V°

10:30am - Lodge of Harodim VI°

12:30pm - The Operatives Brunch

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Mob Tears Down Pike Statue

It's been reported on the news and social media that a mob has pulled down the statue of Illustrious Brother Albert Pike, 33°, that was located at 3rd and D St. NW in DC. This statue was defaced early, but with the recent spree of ripping statues down, a group composed of around 80 people toppled the statue and then tried to light it on fire.



This statue was targeted because many believe it to be a statue honoring the Confederacy, but, in reality, the statue commemorates Pike as a Mason and specifically as a Scottish Rite Mason which is seen with him holding a copy of Morals & Dogma and that the Greek figure in front of Pike is holding a banner of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite. He’s not in a military uniform, nor does he carry a firearm or sword, as would be found on statues commemorating war leaders. This statue was purely Masonic and had nothing to do either with slavery or the Confederacy.

In his book, Esoterika, Pike ironically spoke on the dangers of the mob mentality:
"The populace has always been ready to turn upon and rend its benefactors.... the mob or populace is aptly symbolized by the setting maul or club, the fit weapon of blind and frenzied brutality. And as nothing is so unreasoning as a mob, as it hates nothing so much as the superiority of the intellect, which it always regards as its enemy, always the ready instrument of the Priesthood and of the Kings, it always has rejoiced when it could destroy the wise and the great."
As I mentioned in a previous article, people are taking advantage of the raw emotion to attack American culture and history. They are dividing rather than uniting.

Albert Pike is a controversial figure, mostly due to rabid anti-Masons fabricating conspiracies against him and Freemasonry. However, Pike was human and subject to the flaws inherent in mankind. As Brother Arturo de Hoyos stated, "We are all, to some degree, products of our environments, and have all changed our minds as we mature and receive better information." Such as it was with Pike who once disagreed with black men belonging to Freemasonry, but later changed his opinion. He even worked with the Prince Hall Scottish Rite with their ritual and corresponded with their Sovereign Grand Commander, who he acknowledged as such.

It's tragic to see such a destructive culture seek to destroy symbols of the past that they disagree with or do not understand. To me, these mobs are no better than the Taliban who destroyed Buddhist monuments or ISIS who destroyed ancient Assyrian works. We shouldn't be destroying our history.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Anti-Mason Disinformation: Masonic Police Patches

If the death of George Floyd and the senseless violence that has eclipsed the peaceful protests wasn't enough, anti-Masons are taking advantage of people's raw emotions to spread disinformation to further their agenda against the Masonic fraternity and cause further division.

As of late, this picture has emerged and has been frequently used as evidence that the Police are owned and ran by Freemasonry.


Anti-Masons, using this picture, come to the conclusion that the Police is not a legitimate body of government and are inherently evil by its subservience to Freemasonry. They think that an Obligation a Freemason takes overrides their loyalty and allegiance to anything else. Freemasons fail to understand or simply ignore the fact that our Obligations do not supersede the Obligations or duties to God, country, family, or friends.

Freemasons come from all walks of life and we take pride in our membership so many Masons have customized items personal to them to also reflect their membership. Those patches, pictured above, are collectibles only and not authorized for wearing on official uniforms or by any governmental agency.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Officers of a Priory of the KYCH

Jewel of a Past Prior
The basic organizational unit of the
Knights of the York Cross of Honor (KYCH) is the Priory. The officers of the Priory are the Eminent Prior, Deputy Prior, Warder, Treasurer, Registrar, Prelate, Orator, Herald, and Sentinel.

The Eminent Prior is the chief officer of the Priory and is equivalent to the presiding officer in any other body of Freemasonry or concordant body. This officer carries the honorary title of Eminent which is rooted in the Latin word "eminentem" meaning "standing out, projecting, prominent, or high." A Prior is a traditional title used to represent a monk or priest who is the head of a religious house or order. This rank is below that of abbot. Prior comes to us from the Latin tongue and is used to mean "former, previous, first, etc." from which it was used to figuratively as "superior (in rank), forefather, and better." The KYCH is a Christian knighthood and the title presiding officer was commonly used by some among the medieval knighthoods.

The Deputy Prior is the second-in-command of the Priory, assists in the opening and closing of the Priory, has a ritualistic part in the initiation of new Knights, and assumes the duties of the Eminent Prior in his absence. This officer carries the title of "Deputy" which is rooted in the Latin words "de" and "putare" which combined means to "to cut away or purne", but adopted in Anglo-French words meaning to "appoint or assign"

Third-in-command of the Priory is the Warder. It is interesting to note that in the Commandery of Knights Templar, the Warder is a junior appointed officer, but in the Priory is an elected official and has a part in the initiation ritual. The word "Warder", like Warden, comes from the Proto-Germanic word "wardon" meaning "to watch or guard."

The Treasurer and Registrar correspond to the Treasurer and Secretary (or Recorder) in other Masonic bodies. In some Priories, these two officers are combined and held by one Knight. This is often done in smaller Priories, but to counter any possibility of bad book-keeping, the Prior is required to assign a Finance Committee whose job it is to examine the records of the Priory and ensure all is in proper order.

Corresponding to the Chaplain in the Lodge, the Prelate is the spiritual leader of the Priory. A Prelate is traditionally a high ranking member of the clergy and the word is derived from the Latin word 'prelatus' referring to a clergyman of "high rank or of preference over others." 

There is no Orator known in the Blue Lodge or in the York Rite bodies, but in the Priory, the Orator is an appointed officer whose entire job is to announce the four Knights who will give the four lectures during the initiation ritua. An orator is a public speaker, often known for their eloquence. The word "orator" comes from the Latin word "orare" meaning "to speak."

The Herald is the first appointed officer within the door of the Priory and has duties similar to the Junior Deacon and Marshall within the Blue Lodge. A Herald was traditionally an officer who conveyed messages or proclamations as well as acted as diplomats or ambassadors for monarchs. This word derives from the old French word 'heraut' meaning "messenger or envoy."

The final appointed officer of the Priory is called the Sentinel and whose duties correspond with that of the Tyler in the Blue Lodge. The Sentinel guards the Priory from without the door to ensure the Knights are not caught or taken by surprise by those wishing to cause harm or those who are not entitled to be there. The Sentinel is one who stands guard over some kind of structure, whether it be an installation, a gate, or a passage. It is there job to prevent intrusion by enemy or those unauthorized. The word Sentinel stems from the Latin word "sentire" meaning "to watch or perceive by the senses."