Saturday, October 16, 2021

2021 Northwest York Rite Conference

Today completed another Northwest York Rite Conference. Yesterday was dedicated to Royal Arch Masonry and Cryptic Masonry while today was for the Knights Templar. I had the pleasure of presiding over the Royal Arch Masons portion. I'd like to thank the Executive Director of the Royal Arch Research Assistance, the General Grand Scribe of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International, and the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Idaho for attending. The afternoon was dedicated to the Cryptic Masons and the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International.

Today was taken up by the Knights Templar and the Grand Encampment. After welcoming everyone, the Most Eminent Grand Master addressed the Sir Knights present concerning his actions and decisions since taking office. The rest of the morning was dedicated to the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, a Legislative update from the 68th Triennial, and the introduction of the candidates who are running for Right Eminent Grand Captain General at the 69th Triennial. The afternoon was spent with a workshop with the Membership Committee.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

A Busy Month

I apologize that I've slowed down on publishing new articles. Since my trips to Colorado and Wyoming, I've had several busy weekends. The last weekend of September, I had meetings for the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis, Allied Masonic Degrees, Knight Masons, and the Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon. 

The first weekend of October, I had a work trip in southern Idaho.

This weekend was busy as I presided over, on Saturday, the conferral of the two degrees of Cryptic Masonry (Royal Master and Select Master) in southern Idaho then drove back to Boise where, today, I served as Preceptor for the 32° (Master of the Royal Secret) of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite.

This next weekend is the Northwest York Rite Conference. Once that is finished I'm hoping to finish the updates to the site and get some new content out.


Sunday, September 19, 2021

Colorado and Wyoming

This weekend and last weekend I spent traveling to the Grand York Rite of Colorado and Grand York Rite of Wyoming. The Grand York Rite of Colorado chose to hold their business meetings virtually and then they held a one-day session where they conferred the Order of High Priesthood and the Knights of the York Cross of Honor afterward they installed the officers for each of the three bodies. It was a pleasure to attend and they did one of the best jobs at conferring the Order of High Priesthood that I've ever seen. I had the pleasure of assisting the outgoing Grand High Priest in presenting awards as well as presenting him with his lifetime membership in the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International.

This weekend was spent in Cheyenne with the Grand York Rite of Wyoming. Wyoming is like a second home and I enjoyed the hospitality. The Most Excellent Grand High Priest (who is also the Imperial Outer Guard for Shriners International) ran a very efficient meeting. During my comments, I called upon another Companion and we invested a very worthy Past Grand High Priest with the Ephraim A. Kirby Award. At the end of the first day, I helped cook dinner for the Pancake and Steak Dinner and was made a member of the Black Horse Troop. During the second day, I also attended the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of Wyoming and the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Wyoming. At the Wyoming Banquet, I presented several awards to include presenting the outgoing Grand High Priest with his lifetime membership in the General Grand Chapter.

On both weekends, I traveled with my best friend and who is also the Northwest Department Commander (my counterpart in the Grand Encampment). He and I have a 2-year overlap in our duties as regional deputies for our respective body of the York Rite. Now to get home and get ready for next weekend's Masonic activities.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Yeomen of York

Anyone familiar with the American York Rite knows there are many honorary and invitational appendant bodies. A relatively new honorary body is called "Yeomen of York." The purpose of this order is "to promote York Rite Masonry, including the Symbolic Lodge."

This order was first established in Merrillville, IN, around 1993 by seven York Rite Masons. This order is by-invitation-only by a current member and eligibility for membership is predicated on active membership in all York Rite bodies, but to be an officer, one must have been initiated as a Knight of the York Cross of Honor.

The basic organizational unit is known as a Preceptory. From what I can find, there are Preceptories in Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, and Missouri. Members are distinguished by a black beret, with a combined York Rite bodies patch. Preceptories are composed of the following officers:

Director General 

Deputy Director General 

Secretary/Treasurer 

Master of Ceremonies  

Chaplain

Guard

Recorder

Preceptories fall under the governance of a Grand Preceptory which is composed of the following officers:

Grand Director General

Grand Deputy Director General

Grand Secretary/Treasurer

Grand Master of Ceremonies

Grand Adjutant

Grand Chaplain 

Grand Recorder

Yeomen were traditionally servants associated with noble households and the military. Around the Hundred Years' War, you started seeing "yeoman archers" in the armies as well as the navies. By the 17th century, "yeoman" became a rank for the seamen who were in charge of the ship's storage. The derivation of "yeoman" is uncertain, but, in my opinion, it is clearly of a Nordic/Scandinavian origin. It is agreed that yeoman is a combination of "yeo" and "man". The root of "yeo" is heavily debated. Some believe it "youngman" or "youngerman" which is considered to be synonymous with "lesser thegn", a social status in old England. Their use of the term "yeoman" though is very appropriate as this group is for members who are faithful servants to the Craft.

References

1. Grand Preceptory. (n.d.). Retrieved from Yeoman of York: https://www.yeomenofyork.org/ 

2. Hodapp, C. (2008, April 06). Yeoman of York. Retrieved from Freemasons for Dummies: http://freemasonsfordummies.blogspot.com/2008/04/yeoman-of-york.html 

3. Preceptory No.3 - Yeoman of York. (n.d.). Retrieved from Clinton Masonic Lodge: https://sites.google.com/a/clintonmasoniclodge.com/clinton-masonic-lodge/york-rite/appendant-and-allied-bodies/preceptory-3---yeomen-of-york 

4. Yeoman. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeoman

Saturday, August 28, 2021

RIP Kent McCandless

It is with great regret that I announce the death of Most Worshipful Brother Kent R. McCandless. Bro. Kent was born in 1939 in Idaho Falls, ID. He joined the US Navy when he was 17 and was stationed in Kamisaya, Japan, and ended his service in October 1960 as a Petty Officer Second Class. He worked for a bank for several years where he met his wife Rosalyn whom he married in 1966. In 1977, he joined the Bonneville County Sheriff's Department where he served until December 31, 1999.

Kent was initiated, passed, and raised in Eagle Rock Lodge No.19 in the Spring of 1999. He served as its Worshipful Master in 2007 and 2008. He would serve as District Deputy Grand Master before being appointed as Junior Grand Steward and would serve as the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Idaho for 2018-2019. He was very active in several concordant bodies: he was a member of Shriners International for a period of time, a 33° in the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, and a Philosophus (IV°) in Wyoming College of the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis. He was also very active in the York Rite of Freemasonry: He presided over all three York Rite bodies in Idaho Falls and served as Right Eminent Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Idaho in 2017-2018, Most Excellent Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Idaho in 2020-2021, and was elected as an Honorary Past Grand Master of the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of Idaho in 2021. He was also a recipient of both the Knight Templar Cross of Honor and Knight Commander of the Temple. He is also a Past President of the Order of High Priesthood of Idaho, Past Thrice Illustrious Master of the Order of the Silver Trowel of Idaho, Past Preceptor of the Idaho Chapter of the Sovereign Order of Knights Preceptor, member of the Order of the Sword of Bunker Hill, Past Sovereign Master of Fidelity Council No.277 of the Allied Masonic Degrees, Emeritus Member of Redemption Tabernacle No.XL of the Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priest, Past 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 (Three Quadrants: Lodge, Chapter, and Commandery), Past Sovereign of St. Charles Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine, Past Pre-Eminent Governor of Tri-Valley College No.178 of the York Rite Sovereign College of North America, and 

I had the pleasure of working with him in several Masonic organizations. Kent was a model Freemason and he will be greatly missed. Godspeed Brother.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Worthy of the Name of Sir Knight

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox


I

Sir Knight of the world's oldest order, 

Sir Knight of the Army of God, 

You have crossed the strange mystical border, 

The ground floor of truth you have trod; 

You have entered the sanctum sanctorum, 

Which leads to the temple above, 

Where you come as a stone, and a Christ-chosen one, 

In the kingdom of Friendship and Love. 


II

As you stand in this new realm of beauty, 

Where each man you meet is your friend, 

Think not that your promise of duty 

In hall, or asylum, shall end; 

Outside, in the great world of pleasure, 

Beyond, in the clamor of trade, 

In the battle of life and its coarse daily strife 

Remember the vows you have made. 


III

Your service, majestic and solemn, 

Your symbols, suggestive and sweet, 

Your uniformed phalanx in column 

On gala days marching the street; 

Your sword and your plume and your helmet, 

Your "secrets" hid from the world's sight; 

These things are the small, lesser parts of the all 

Which are needed to form the true Knight. 


IV

The martyrs who perished rejoicing 

In Templary's glorious laws, 

Who died 'midst the fagots while voicing 

The glory and worth of their cause-- 

They honored the title of "Templar" 

No more than the Knight of to-day 

Who mars not the name with one blemish of shame, 

But carries it clean through life's fray. 


V

To live for a cause, to endeavor 

To make your deeds grace it, to try 

And uphold its precepts forever, 

Is harder by far than to die. 

For the battle of life is unending, 

The enemy, Self, never tires, 

And the true Knight must slay that sly foe every day 

Ere he reaches the heights he desires. 


VI

Sir Knight, have you pondered the meaning 

Of all you have heard and been told? 

Have you strengthened your heart for its weaning 

From vices and faults loved of old? 

Will you honor, in hours of temptation, 

Your promises noble and grand? 

Will your spirit be strong to do battle with wrong, 

"And having done all, to stand?" 


VII

Will you ever be true to a brother I

n actions as well as in creed? 

Will you stand by his side as no other 

Could stand in the hour of his need? 

Will you boldly defend him from peril, 

And lift him from poverty's curse-- 

Will the promise of aid which you willingly made, 

Reach down from your lips to your purse?


VIII

The world's battle field is before you! 

Let Wisdom walk close by your side, 

Let Faith spread her snowy wings o'er you, 

Let Truth be your comrade and guide; 

Let Fortitude, Justice and Mercy Direct all your conduct aright, 

And let each word and act tell to men the proud fact, 

You are worthy of the name of "Sir Knight".

Thursday, August 19, 2021

2021 Grand Encampment

Well, it's been a busy few days. Saturday I flew into Minneapolis to attend the 68th Triennial Conclave of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the USA. 

Sunday started with Divine Services led by the Grand Prelate and the afternoon was occupied with initiating of 14 new Knights by Trinity Chapel No.2 of the Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon. That night was the Grand Master's Reception after which many of us went to the Hospitality Suite hosted by Jack Harper and the Grand Commandery of Texas.

Monday morning was the public session of the Grand Encampment which included a large number of introductions. We had the presiding officer or their representative for the Social Order of the Beauceant, DeMolay International, Red Cross of Constantine, George Washington National Masonic Memorial, Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon, Knight Masons, Royal Order of Scotland, Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priests, Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite (both Southern Jurisdiction and the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction), General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International, General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International, Grand Encampment of Knights Templar - Prince Hall Affiliation, Grand Lodge of Minnesota, and Grand Lodge of North Dakota as well as the Grand Commanderies that form this body.

The Grand Master announced and the Sir Knights approved to make Sir Knight W. Bruce Pruitt, Past Grand Commander of California, an Honorary Past Grand Master of the Grand Encampment to which the Sir Knight enthusiastically approved. Sir Knight Pruitt was also elevated to Grand Cross Templar (GCT).

The afternoon session started with the Grand Master's allocation. After its approval, we moved into the Resolutions (and there were 28 of them). Here is a brief synopsis of them:

Resolution 2021-01: Amends Section 18 (Educational Foundation of the Grand Encampment) to allow for more people to be eligible for the scholarship - PASSED

Resolution 2021-02: Amends Section 18 1/2 (KTEF) which made sure that the Trustees are members of GEKT - PASSED

Resolution 2021-03: Amends Section 104 1/2 (Membership of KTEF Committee) and follows on to 2021-02 - PASSED 

Resolution 2021-04: Amends Section 52(d) (electronic proceedings) which allows Grand Commanderies to submit proceedings in digital format rather than printed to GEKT - PASSED

Resolution 2021-05: Repeals Sections 214 and 215 (public appearance in uniform) - PASSED 

Resolution 2021-06: Amends Section 36 to add a subsection about virtual grand conclaves - PASSED 

Resolution 2021-07: Amends Section 65 to add a subsection about virtual conclaves - PASSED 

Resolution 2021-08: Amends Section 259 allowing for Grand Commanders to set the dates for the wearing of the summer uniform - PASSED as AMENDED which struck out the final sentence of the resolution

Resolution 2021-09: Amends Section 66 (Short Form Opening) clarifying the use of the short form opening with a quorum of less than 9 knights - PASSED

Resolution 2021-10: Amends Section 235 (Retention of Rank) clarifying the retention of rank as long as the Sir Knight maintains membership in a Commandery under the Grand Encampment - PASSED

Resolution 2021-11: Amends Section 237 to add subsection about Retention of Honors (a follow-on to 2021-10) - PASSED 

Resolution 2021-12: Amends Section 2(a) (Grand Commander's Status) to allow Grand Commanders to retain honors if they move to a different jurisdiction (a follow-on to 2021-10 and 2021-11) - PASSED 

Resolution 2021-13: Amends Section 125 (Demise of Grand Commandery) clarifies what happens to remaining constituent Commanderies when a Grand Commander if they fall under minimum number of Commanderies - PASSED 

Resolution 2021-14: Amends Section 190(a) (Officers in Multiple Commanderies) to allow a Sir Knight to be an elected officer in more than one Commandery but not Commander of multiple Commanderies - PASSED 

Resolution 2021-15: Amends Section 204 (Trial of Offenses Post Adjudication by a Predicate Body) to clarify the language about a Commandery's right to being changes against a Sir Knight regardless of actions of predicate bodies (Lodge, Chapter, etc.) - PASSED 

Monday night, the dais officers and wives of the Grand Commandery of Idaho and our Jr. Past Grand Commander went to the Lyon's Pub in Minneapolis to have a "Family Dinner". The food and fellowship was excellent.

Tuesday morning's session started with the Committee on Charters and Dispensation. Sadly, the charter of the Grand Commandery of Croatia has been suspended for failing to file annual returns with the Grand Encampment. However, there is good news, we chartered Commanderies in Venezuela, Peru, Paraguay, Honduras, Lebanon, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.

After charters and dispensations, we returned to the remaining resolutions:

Resolution 2021-16: Amends Section 176 1/2 (Holding Commanderies) to allow the formation of Holding Commanderies in the event of Commandery demise or merger - PASSED as AMENDED to prevent Holding Commanderies from conferring orders. 

Resolution 2021-17: Amends Section 3(c)(2) (Special Purpose Commanderies) and Section 176 1/2 to permit formations for special purpose Commandery such as Research Commanderies - PASSED 

Resolution 2021-18: Adds a subsection to Section 176 for allowing the formation of Auxillary Units similarly seen with the Shriners - PASSED as AMENDED to allow flexibility for reporting to Grand Commander 

Resolution 2021-19: Amends 237(b) subsections a & c to amend qualifications of eligibility for Knight Templar Cross of Honor - PASSED 

Resolution 2021-20: Amends Chapter XXII, Section 260 and 261 for allowing aprons to be worn, if desired - PASSED

Resolution 2021-21: Replaces Section 178 for inclusion of an Attestation of Faith was AMENDED which struck the overly dogmatic language and used the words from the Order of Malta ritual that is more inclusive of all Christian denominations (see pic for change) - FAILED 

The Grand Encampment then recessed so that the Knights Templar Eye Foundation Corporate meeting could be held where the necessary business was conducted and the Trustees elected, then it was back to the resolutions:

Resolution 2021-22: Adds Section 99(a) for Recognition by Grand Encampment - FAILED for failing to achieve 2/3 vote. 

Resolution 2021-23: Rescinds 2012-01 and Duane Decision No. 5 concerning the Chevaliers Bienfaisants de la Cité Sainte - PASSED with over 3/4 votes

Resolution 2021-24: Amends Section 202 (forfeiture of membership or reinstatement for loss of predicated membership in the lodge, chapter, or council) to clarify the language and processes - PASSED 

Resolution 2021-25: Amends Section 82 (Exceptions to resident requirements for members of the uniformed services) to make changes and updates to the organizations listed in this section - PASSED as AMENDED with some housekeeping changes. 

Resolution 2021-26: Amends Section 201 (Forfeiture of Membership and Reinstatement non-affiliation in Lodge or Chapter or membership in an unrecognized Masonic Templar order) codified removing members from Chevaliers Bienfaisants de la Cité Sainte (CBCS) from the Grand Encampment - FAILED 

Resolution 2021-27: Amends Section 114 (Payment of mileage and per diem to officers and committee members) to include trustees - PASSED 

Resolution 2021-28: Amends Section 106(e) to make Electronic Communications a standing committee - PASSED

We then held elections for the officers of the 69th Triennium:

Most Eminent Grand Master: Michael Johnson 

Right Eminent Deputy Grand Master: David Kussman 

Right Eminent Grand Generalissimo: Jeffrey Bolstad 

Right Eminent Grand Captain General: Jack Harper 

Right Eminent Grand Treasurer: Bobby Simmons 

Right Eminent Grand Recorder: Larry Tucker

Congratulations to Jeff Nelson on his term as Most Eminent Grand Master for the 68th Triennium. You did a masteful job guiding the Grand Encampment over the last 3-years and with presiding over this meeting.

For the first time in Grand Encampment history, when the motion was made and approved to make Sir Knight Dickie W. Johnson of Tennessee a Honorary Past Grand Prelate of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the USA. Sir Knight Russell Duckett, Most Eminent Grand Master of the Prince Hall Grand Encampment, was made an Honorary Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the USA.

There being no further business, the Grand Encampment adjourned for the day and the Sir Knights and their ladies met for the Grand Master's Banquet. Afterward many of us met in the Texas Hospitality Suite to celebrate the election and impending installation of Sir Knight Jack Harper as Grand Captain General. Even though I am not a Texan, I am a friend of Jack's and extremely proud of him and all that he does.

With Wednesday morning came the installation of officers. Congratulations to all of the new officers, but particularly to Sir Knight Jeremy Vaughn of Idaho who was installed as the Northwest Department Commander. I am excited to travel throughout the Northwest with my best friend as my Commandery counterpart.

Bruce Pruitt

Family Dinner

Dickie Johnson

Sir Knights and Ladies

Sir Knights with Most Eminent Grand Master


Installation

New Membership Certificate available from the Grand Encampment

Now, I sit at the airport awaiting my flight back home. It's been fun, but it is time to get home. Also, this is also my 700th article on this site!

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Ancient and Heroic Order of the Gordian Knot

Born in central Macedonia in 356 BC, Alexander the Great would rise to be known for his military and leadership skills that built one of the largest empires of the world covering Greece, Turkey, North Africa, the Levant, northern Arabia, Persia, and western India (roughly 5,200,000 square kilometers). His military campaigns increased contact and trade between east and west; helped lead the way for the Roman and Byzantine Empires; helped create the infrastructure that would assist the spread of Christianity; and founded many cities that bore his name, the most famous of which was in Egypt. With such accomplishments, it is unsurprising that so much research has been dedicated to him, even among Masonic scholars and researchers, but what surprised me is that there exists a Masonic organization known as the Ancient and Heroic Order of the Gordian Knot whose rituals surround a curious episode of Alexander and the town of Gordium.

The basic organizational unit is known as a Synod. Synods fall under a Supreme Grand Synod and there are Synods in Washington, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Indiana. Synods are composed of the following officers:

Supernal Imperator Alexander

Inexorable Inquisitor

Imperial Exarch Ariston

Exalted Suzerain Parmenion

To be eligible for membership one must be a Master Mason in good standing. To serve as one of the four officers, one must be a Knight Templar of the York Rite or a 32° in the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite. Members wear a jewel in the form of an Ankh

The ritual is based upon the story of Alexander the Great during his time in Gordium. During his conquest of the Persian Empire, he stopped through the town of Gordium. Looking back at history, a Thracian tribe known as the Phrygians were settled in a town called Gordium. The Phrygian kingdom grew and the most famous of its kings was called Midas. This king is said to have fastened the yoke of his chariot with such a knot that nobody could untie it. The Phrygian kingdom would eventually fall to constant invasion and in 547 BC, King Cyrus of Persia conquered the region and made Gordium the capital of the region. Towards the end of 334 BC, the town fell to the armies of Alexander the Great. Now the chariot and with its know still existed and an oracle had declared that anyone who could untie the knot would become ruler of all Asia. Alexander entered the town and tried, but failed until he reasoned that it would make no difference how it was undone so he drew his sword and cut the knot in half. Another legend states that he pulled the linchpin and was able to untie it without cutting it. Some have suggested that this knot was a cipher communicated to kings of Phrygia while others suggest that it was used to legitimize Alexander's conquest and rule. Since that time, the term "Gordian knot" has referred to a complex or unsolvable problem. The chief lesson of this degree was to demonstrate the inherent unity of all regular Masons regardless of what rite or order they belong to.

The ritual was written by Varick Steele while he was working as a civilian employee in Germany in the 1960s. He spread this order throughout Germany and in Saudi Arabia, but with the downsizing of military troops, those Synods would eventually close. Lloyd Anderson, who had been initiated into the order in Germany, helped an inactive Synod get back onto its feet within the US. He, with the support of Brother Steele, then proceeded to establish more Synods which led to him re-establishing Supreme Grand Synod which is now headquartered in Indiana.


References

1. 10 Major Accomplishments of Alexander the Great. (2017, December 14). Retrieved from Learnodo-Newtonic: https://learnodo-newtonic.com/alexander-the-great-accomplishments

2. Alexander the Great’s Achievements. (n.d.). Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/summary/Alexander-the-Greats-Achievements

3. Andrews, E. (2016, February 3). What Was the Gordian Knot? Retrieved from History Channel: https://www.history.com/news/what-was-the-gordian-knot 

4. Outstanding Accomplishments of Alexander the Great. (2019, March 1). Retrieved from World History Edu: https://www.worldhistoryedu.com/accomplishments-alexander-the-great/ 

5. Supreme Grand Synod. (n.d.). Retrieved from Ancient and Heroic Order of the Gordian Knot: https://www.orderofthegordianknot.org/

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Masonic Week 2022

The schedule of the 2022 Masonic Week has been released. It will be held from February 9-13, 2022, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City near the Reagan National Airport.


Wednesday, February 9, 2022

7:00pm - Masonic Order of Pilgrim Preceptors

Jon Roberts - Grand Master 

George Haynes - Regional Governor

Alan Beidel - Regional Secretary


Thursday, February 10, 2022

  

8:00am - Trinity Chapel No.2, Ye Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon

Reed Fanning - Worthy Master

Tom Taylor - Secretary

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

Joseph MacIntyre - Grand Master

Brandon Yarbrough - Grand Prior

Seth Anthony - Grand Secretary

12:00pm - St. Thomas of Acon Festive Board

1:30pm - Sovereign Order of Knights Preceptor

3:15pm - Potomac Court No.107, Masonic Order of Athelstan

4:30pm - Provincial Grand Court, Masonic Order of Athelstan

Bryce Hildreth - Provincial Grand Master

David Cashion - Provincial Grand Secretary

7:00pm - Athelstan Banquet

8:30pm - Masonic Order of the Bath

Leslie Bale - Commander General

Bill Snyder - Keeper of the Bath Records


Friday, February 11, 2022

   

  

7:00am - YRSCNA Breakfast

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

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

9:00am - Ladies Breakfast

9:30am - Grand Council of Knight Masons of the USA

Martin Trent - Great Chief

David Cashion - Grand Scribe

12:00pm - Knight Masons Luncheon

1:15pm - Society of Blue Friars

Arturo de Hoyos - Grand Abbott

Mark Tabbert - Deputy Grand Abbot 

Richard Fletcher - Secretary-General

2:45pm - Council of the Nine Muses No. 13, AMD

4:00pm - Allied Masonic Degrees: Ark & Dove

5:15pm - Allied Masonic Degrees: Worshipful Commander of Noah

5:45pm - Allied Masonic Degrees: Installed Supreme Ruler

7:00pm - The Masonic Society Dinner

Jay Hochberg - President

Oscar Alleyne - 1st Vice President

Greg Knott - 2nd Vice President

Nathan Brindle - Secretary/Treasurer

7:00pm - CBCS Dinner

Louis Bartrand - Great Prior

9:00pm - Ye Antiente Order of Corks

Donald McAndrews - Grand Bung of the Americas 

Bobby Kitchens - Grand Bung of the USA


Saturday, February 12, 2022

   

7:00am - All Masonic Breakfast

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

9:15am - Grand College of Rites

Duane Vaught - Grand Chancellor

Gerald Klein - Grand Registrar

10:00am - Royal Order of the Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord: Fourth Grade conferral

11:15am - Philalethes Society

Rashied K. Sharrieff-Al-Bey - President

Ben Williams - First Vice President

Adam Kendall - Second Vice President

Oscar Alleyne - Third Vice President

Terry Tilton - Secretary

12:30pm - Philalethes Society Luncheon

2:00pm - Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees of the USA

Mohamad Yatim - Sovereign Grand Master

Clyde Schoolfield - Grand Secretary

2:00pm - Ladies Afternoon Tea

6:00pm - All Masonic Social Hour

7:00pm - All Masonic Banquet


Sunday, February 13, 2022

8:30am - Washington Monument Assemblage

David Ladd - Deputy Master Mason 

Alan Beidel - Clerk

9:00am - Lodge of Menatzchim V°

10:30am - Lodge of Harodim VI°

12:30pm - The Operatives Brunch

Sunday, July 25, 2021

SW RCC & SRICF

Well, I've spent the last 5-days in the Valley of the Sun enjoying the heat and taking some much-needed relaxation as well as enjoying some fellowship with my Knight Companions of the Red Cross of Constantine and Fratres of the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (SRICF).

Thursday afternoon I checked in to the conference and ran into several Knight Companions and we then spent the remainder of the day in the Hospitality Suite. Friday was a relaxing day just hanging out with my Knight Companions in the Hospitality Suite before going to the evening social then ending the night back in the Hospitality Suite.

Saturday morning started with receiving the degree of Priest-Mason, or Installed Eusebius by the College of Viceroys for the Red Cross of Constantine. After lunch, I went to the Masonic Lodge to watch the conferral of the Grade of Zelator (or I°) on nine neophytes as courtesy work for Mexico Rose Circle on behalf of the Supreme Magus College. Saturday evening was taken up by the Banquet of the Southwest Red Cross of Constantine followed by drinks in the Hospitality Suite.

Sunday morning was all SRICF which started with presentations by three Fratres:

  • "Mineral & Metal Kingdoms: Mineral and metal transmutation, self-realization demonstration" by Frater Briggs B. Cunningham (Arizona College)
  • "Plant Kingdom: A Discourse on Spagyric Alchemy" by Frater Jaime Paul Lamb (Arizona College)
  • "Angels in Vermilion" by Frater PD Newman (Mississippi College)

After lunch, the Supreme Magus gave some remarks, and then the SW SRICF Conference was adjourned. This was the largest regional SRICF conference with around 40 Fratres representing 10 SRICF Colleges.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

My Alaskan Trip

Well, I made it home from a work trip that took me to Alaska. It was my first time visiting the Last Frontier. Due to issues finding a rental car, my coworker and I had to fly into Anchorage and then drive up to Delta Junction where I assisted in the training. The drive up was beautiful, but the weather was definitely much cooler than in the continental United States. 

It was interesting being in Alaska during the summertime when there is so much daylight. Even at night, it didn't get very dark.

This was taken at 1:00AM

I got to visit North Pole, AK, and stop at the Santa Claus House

I even ran into a Texas Brother while in Fairbanks waiting for my flight home.

Friday, June 25, 2021

A Much Needed Update

After 10-years I'm making some cosmetic changes to the Traveling Templar. I will also be going back through every article to fix any broken images and/or hyperlinks as well as any grammatical errors I missed.

Until I finish going through all of the articles, I will not be publishing any new educational articles.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

15 Years in Freemasonry

Today marks 15-years since I was Raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. I am honored to be a part of this ancient and honorable fraternity. While COVID restrictions hindered the physical meeting of most Masonic bodies for several months, the year was still memorable. I advanced in the local officer lines within the Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon, Knight Masons, and the Red Cross of Constantine; I was re-elected as Sovereign Master for my AMD Council; and I was appointed as a Deputy General Grand High Priest for the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International.

April was a big month as I presided over the Order of the Silver Trowel, a Priory of Knights of the York Cross of Honor, and the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of Idaho. I was honored to have received the Ephraim A. Kirby Award and Order of the Secret Vault. The Grand York Rite of Idaho was the first time I got to attend, in-person, as Deputy General Grand High Priest. Following the Grand York Rite of Idaho came two weekends of Rosicrucianism (one in Idaho and one in Wyoming).

I wish I was home and attending Lodge around my anniversary, but I'm in California for work. Some great things are going to happen this year and I look forward to my future journeys through Freemasonry.



Sunday, June 20, 2021

Happy Father's Day

To all the Fathers out there, Happy Father's Day! This day is a hard day for me because of my own father's passing. I miss him and would give anything to hear his voice, but I cherish the memories and know that he lives through his family.

Today is also the Estival Solstice and the first day of Summer!




Thursday, June 17, 2021

Guest Host on the Masonic Roundtable

I had the pleasure of being a guest host for the Masonic Roundtable tonight. I spoke about Templar Symbols which included the Beauceant, Crosses, and several common symbols found within the medieval Templar order. Thank you Brother Jon for extending this invitation.


Related articles:


Monday, June 7, 2021

Baltimore Convention of 1843

When looking at Freemasonry around the world, most Grand Lodges cover a geographic jurisdiction of an entire nation or several, in some cases. Within the United States, however, each of the States has its own Grand Lodge. Early American Freemasonry came through merchants and military lodges from England, Ireland, and Scotland. Lodges received charters from both the Antient Grand Lodge and Modern Grand Lodge. Some Lodges formed their own Grand Lodges within a State while some Provincial Grand Lodges were formed first then would later establish themselves as their own Grand Lodge, each with their own rituals. As the US expanded westward, Masonic pioneers and degree peddlers expanded as well. Without a centralized national governing body, there was a wide variety of rituals within and among Grand Lodges.

One Brother named Thomas Smith-Webb had written a Freemason's Monitor or Illustrations of Masonry in 1797 which standardized much of the ritual, but was accepted by a few jurisdictions. This book was a compendium of William Preston's work as well as his own alterations and additions. Attempts would be made over the years to standardize the Masonic ritual among the US Grand Lodges, but nothing significant would happen until 1843. The first quarter of the 19th century saw rapid growth and expansion, and even a failed attempt to establish a national Grand Lodge, but then the Morgan Affair occurred and a tsunami of anti-Masonry hit the United States.

On March 13th, 1826, William Morgan, a supposed Mason, living in Batavia, NY, signed a contract for a book that was to expose the secrets of Freemasonry; some believe it was out of resentment for his Masonic affiliation being questioned by the Batavian Masons. Prone to drunkenness Morgan bragged about his book and soon everything came to a head in September of that year. He was arrested for theft, but upon making bail was rearrested for failure to pay a debt of $2.68 and upon his release from jail he disappeared by means which were never agreed upon by the "eyewitnesses". Anti-Masons push that he was kidnapped and killed by a band of Masons. Several Masons were arrested and convicted of kidnapping, but there was never any proof that he was killed. All of these circumstances culminated in an uproar of public outrage towards Freemasonry. Regardless of reality, ALL Freemasons were seen as guilty of the murder of William Morgan. Soon anti-Masonic propaganda spread into all avenues of society to include churches and politics which led Thurlow Weed, a NY politician, to form an anti-Masonic movement in February of 1828, gathering discontented opponents of President Andrew Jackson, known to be a Mason, into the Anti-Masonic political party. 

Some methods of the anti-Masons were to demonstrate the rituals, passwords, signs, and grips of all degrees in all of their variations so it became difficult for Lodges to tell who was a Mason and who was a cowan. Some anti-Mason degree peddlers went so far as to confer these degrees upon disreputable people so as to cause further havoc. This exacerbated an already difficult issue as communication between States and Grand Lodges was limited and dues cards were not yet a policy employed.

As a result of the Morgan Affair, many Lodges would surrender their charters or would just go dormant (NY, for example, went from 227 Lodges to 41). Freemasonry would resume labor in the late 1830s, but ran into a serious issue: many Freemasons had demitted out of fear of being harassed, died during dormancy, or had forgotten the ritualistic work which caused new Masons to be poorly instructed. When the Grand Lodge of Alabama met in 1839 the members present voted to request all Grand Lodges to send a delegate to Washington DC for a meeting in March 1842. Ten Grand Lodges were represented, but it decided that more representation was needed and the delegates needed to be one learned in the rituals of all Three Degrees. On May 8, 1843, 16 delegates assembled at the Saint Paul Street Masonic Hall in Baltimore, and all expenses were assumed by the Grand Lodge of Maryland. Of the 23 Grand Lodges that existed at the time, the following Grand Lodges were represented:

  1. Alabama 
  2. Washington DC 
  3. Florida 
  4. Georgia 
  5. Louisiana 
  6. Maryland 
  7. Massachusetts 
  8. Missouri 
  9. Mississippi 
  10. New Hampshire 
  11. North Carolina 
  12. New York 
  13. Ohio 
  14. Rhode Island 
  15. South Carolina 
  16. Virginia

The convention met for 9-days (with exception of Sunday). After setting the agenda of the convention, they divided the delegates into four committees:

  1. On the work and lectures in conferring the degrees
  2. On the funeral service
  3. On the ceremonies of Consecration and Installation
  4. On Masonic Jurisprudence 

The Committee on the work and lectures in conferring the degrees, over the next few days, worked on standardizing the ritual and lecture for the degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason; later the degrees would be exemplified. The delegate from New York was a constant dissenting voice and, after the second day of work, resigned from the committee, but stayed as a delegate to the convention. Among the alterations and standardization of the ritual was that they decided to make the Square, the Level, and the Plumb as the “Immoveable Jewels” as opposed to England where the Rough Ashlar, Perfect Ashlar, and the Trestle Board are Immoveable.

It recommended unity throughout the Grand Lodges as it saw the lack of communication and conformity as an evil that had magnified the fallout from the Morgan Affair. There were two ways in which this recommendation could be accomplished: through a national grand lodge or through a regular convention of the Grand Lodges. The Baltimore Convention decided with the latter. The Representative system was established after this thus ensuring some communication was kept between Grand Lodges.

Other recommendations from this convention concerned the issuance of certificates of good standing by the Grand Lodges or what we now know as the Dues Card, suspending Masons for non-payment of dues, and that Lodges transact all business only on the Master Mason degree except in conferring the 1° and 2°. They also recommended that sojourner Masons should be required to pay a portion of the dues of the Lodge they live near which I found to be particularly interesting.

At the conclusion, letters were sent out to all the Grand Lodges with the recommendations and a call for the Freemasons to unite in love, friendship and brotherhood. Generally, the extant Grand Lodges adopted many of the recommendations, but they also modified those suggestions so there is still variations among jurisdictions thought they are superficial in their differences.

As recommended, they attempted to hold another convention in Winchester, VA, in 1846, but only 8 delegates attended so they postponed it until 1847. This failed as well as only 7 delegates were present.

This convention clearly had a profound impact on American Freemasonry as many of the recommendations were adopted and, with one such recommendation, it wasn't until recently that Grand Lodges allowed for business meetings to be conducted in the Entered Apprentice Degree. While the attempts to hold further conventions failed, I see the spirit of the Baltimore Convention in the Conference of Grand Masters of North America which was established in 1928.

I recommend the Masonic Roundtable who did an episode about the Baltimore Convention:


References 

1. Atkinson, S. T. (n.d.). Masonic Ritual In Virginia. Retrieved from PhoenixMasonry: http://phoenixmasonry.org/historical_foundations_of_the_masonic_ritual.htm 

2. Chiles, H. C. (n.d.). Baltimore Convention, 1843. Retrieved from The Masonic Trowel: http://www.themasonictrowel.com/masonic_talk/stb/stbs/36-01.htm 

3. Jensen, B. J. (1996, December 2). The Baltimore Convention of 1843. Retrieved from York Rite Research Institute: http://www.thephylaxis.org/pdf/Guardian04ed.pdf 

4. Sigmon, M. (2011, April 9). The Convention that Changed Freemasonry. Retrieved from Wilkerson College Lodge No. 760: http://www.wcl760.com/docs/library/Baltimore%20Convention.pdf 

5. The Baltimore Convention. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Masonic Dictionary: http://www.masonicdictionary.com/baltimore.html


Sunday, May 16, 2021

Order of Quetzalcoatl

Some years ago, before I joined the Shrine, I was talking to a Brother who was involved with the local Shriner's Temple and we started talking about a group he was calling "Q". I knew about the Royal Order of the Jesters, but, until that point, I had not heard of "Q" or, by its full name, Order of Quetzalcoatl. This order is an invitational body for those Masons who are also Nobles of the Mystic Shrine and whose philanthropy focuses on transportation funds for Shriners hospitals.

The basic organizational unit is known as a Teocalli. "Teocalli" is defined as a God-house or temple that surmounted a terraced pyramid commonly found in Mesoamerica, which is where the legend of this order stems from. Local Teocallis falls under the governance of the Supreme Teocalli, but the Teocallis are given a lot of autonomy. There are Teocalli in United States, Canada, Mexico, and Panama. Members of this order are known as "Artisans." There are two degrees conferred by this order: Artisan and Master Artisan. 

Teocalli is led by the following officers:

Camaxtli (presiding officer)

Chimalma (similar to a VP)

Huemac (similar to a VP)

Titlauacan (similar to a VP)

Tlacuilo (Secretary)

Calpixque (Treasurer)

Cuatemoc (Inner Guard and Guide)

Netzahualcoyotl (Outer Guard)

High Priest or Teopixqui (Chaplain)

Teocallis can come together and form regional associations which are presided over by a Chief.

If Nobles are interested in forming a new Teocalli, they need at least 15 Shriners that reside in the same jurisdiction as their Shriners Temple, are in good standing, and a Teocallis doesn't already exist in that jurisdiction. Then they would contact the Supreme Teocalli and petition for dispensation.

The Order of Quetzalcoatl was founded on March 14, 1945, by Arthur J. Elian in Mexico City. He was a scholar of ancient Mesoamerican history and of Mexican lore. He was also a very involved Mason having been elected as Grand Master of the Muy Respectable Gran Logia Valle de Mexico as well as being recognized as Emeritus Registrar and 33° of the Scottish Rite of Mexico, and Recorder Emeritus of Anezah Temple. Not much is known of the formative years of the order, but the order spread after Shriners from Arizona and California had made trips to Mexico City and were initiated into it. They carried it back to the US where it spread over the years and eventually led to the formation of the Supreme Teocalli.

This order takes its name from an ancient Mesoamerican god by the same name. Quetzalcoatl is known as the Plumed Serpent and his name comes from the Nahuatl words "quetzalli" meaning "precious feather" and "coatl" meaning "serpent". Quetzalcoatl was a storm god who was considered the creator of the world and mankind, and is often associated with the rain god, Tláloc. He was considered patron and god of learning, science, agriculture, crafts, and the arts. In Aztec mythology, he was the brother of Tezcatlipoca (god of night and sorcery), Huitzilopochtli (god of war, the sun, and human sacrifice), and Xipe Totec (god of spring and vegetation). Other legends state that he was a prophet and leader of a group of men known as the Toltecs (craftsman or builders) who was then deified after he had attained such enlightenment that merited his ascension.

Once a Noble accepts an invitation into the order, he is obligated as a Coate or tribesman. Within one year of that happening, he must receive the Artisan degree. Within two years of becoming an Artisan, one must obtain the Master Artisan degree during the Feast of Fire (their annual business meeting). It also seems like one can attain Master Artisan by going on a pilgrimage to the Temple of Quetzalcoatl at Teotihuacan (north of Mexico City) or Chichen Itza (Cancun).


References

Brief History of the Name Quetzalcoatl and the Toltec Ancestry of the Order. (n.d.). Retrieved from Supreme Q: https://www.supremeq.com/menu_bar/history.pdf 

Cartwright, M. (n.d.). Quetzalcoatl. Retrieved from Mukilteo Teocalli Number 111: http://teocalli111.org/page6.htm 

Order of Quetzalcoatl. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_Quetzalcoatl