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Book of the Law & Freemasonry

To: alt.magick
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: Book of the Law & Freemasonry
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 23:36:45 GMT

Alan O'Brien wrote:
> "catherine yronwode"  wrote: 
> >  Yes. Join the freemasonry list and check it out -- women and men 
> > from all sorts of Masonic and Co-Masonic jurisdictions memet there 
> > in amity. Times change. Old folkloric concepts of spooky dark 
> > Masonry and grey dull Masonry don't play well anymore; they are as 
> > outdated and inaccurate as images of wart-nosed witches on 
> > broomstricks.
> One of the unfortunate side-effects of this "corporatization" 
I did not speak of the elist as "this corporatization" of Freemasonry
and i have no knowledge that any such "corporatization" exists. Your
statement certainly is a non sequitor in response to what i wrote. 

< is the total disinheritence of 
> any esoteric background to freemasonry. 

I have had a great deal of experience with Masons from various
jurisdictions and i know that your presumption here is false. The
esoteric nature of Freemasonry has NOT been lost or "disinherited." 

It is an urban myth of many (not all) mages working in non-Masonic
bodies, such as the OTO, Rosicrucianism, Martinism, etc., that
"Freemasoney has "lost" its core teachings, that only non-Masonic bodies
can "restore" these "true" teachings. 

This idea is so common in occult crcles that there is even a cliche
phrase for it: folks smugly tell each other that Freemasonry has "lost
its keys" Certainly this term relates to Manly P. Hall's 1925 book "The
Lost Keys of Freemasonry," but whether Hall's book title came first or
simply reflected an already-coined cliched phrase, i do not know. 

However, be that as it may, this notion that Freemasonry has "lost its
"keys"  or, as you put it, "disinherited" its "esorteric" teachings, is
totally bogus and untrue. 

I once believed this, back in the 1970s, as it was common currency in
the occult community. Here's how i learned it to be a myth:

While living in the wilds of the Missouri Ozarks, i met a woman whose
husband was a Mason in a lodge in Morgan City, Louisiana. He was a tug
boat captain and spent three weeks on the water and a month off at his
farm in the Ozarks. These folks were self-described "Cajun Coon Asses"
who played the accordian and raised appaloosa horses. 

The wife, who knew nothing aboiut Masonry or occultism, was curious
about the fraternity, and i -- as a woman who had not yet connected with
a Co-Masonic mixed-gender lodge -- felt that clandestinely reading the
man's Masonic books while he was away in the Gulf would be my only
chance at understanding Masonic teachings. So i asked her if i could
read the books, and she agreed to let me. (I don't feel great now about
having done this, but, as i said, i did not know that Co-Freemasonry was
still in existence, having last seen mention of it in Arthur Edward
Waite's "Enclyclopaedia of Freemasonry, published in 1922.) 

I pulled one of this man's Freemasonic books off his shelf at random and
opened it -- to a diagram of the Sephiroth on the familiar Lurianic Tree
of Life. You could have knocked me down with a feather.

The woman asked me what the picture was, and i explained that it was a
portion of the Jewish Kabbalah. "Oh, that's why he learned Hebrew, i
guess," she said. 

I was smack up against the fact that my preconceptions about Freemasons
as used car salesmen with secret handshakes who had despoiled or wasted
a great esoteric tradition were WRONG.

I read every book in the man's library, and i realized that if he had
studied them, which i saw that he had, by the notes he had stuck in some
of them, then he must have as firm a grasp on the Western Esoteric
Tradition as i did. 

In the 1990s, i joined the freemasonry elist, mentioned above, and i
have since met esoterically-adept Masons from small towns in Iowa,
Nebraska, Michigan --  and from all over the world. Some have nore of an
interest in th esoteric aspect of the teachings, others prefer to work
within the framework of brotherly love and relief (charity) that also
distinguishes Masonic teachings -- and there is room for both types of
men in mainstream Masonry. 

> about UGL of England 

The UGLoE is no more dismissive of esoteric teachings than the smallest
rural lodge in America. 

> (France is more enlightened). 

There are six different, competeing, mutually non-recognized Grand Lodge
systems in France, so your notion that they are "more enlightened" may
be taken as the bias of someone unfamiliar with the vagaries of French
Masonry, no doubt. 

> That's where they get all this bollocks about 
> "Not a Secret Society, Just a Society with Secrets".

Well, Alan, with that attitude, you are simply posturin. Unless you take
time to participate in conversations with Freemasons, there is not much
more you will learn about the subject of esoteric Freemasonry, i think.

> Alan

cat yronwode 

Freemasonry for Women -------

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