Monday, November 24, 2014

‘Have a Quattro Coronati cigar’


I take my tobacco seriously. To quote Winston Churchill, “My tastes are simple. I am easily satisfied with the very best.” In addition to smoking cigars and pipes for just about three decades, I worked part-time for a number of years in Lew Rothman’s flagship store, learning everything I could about quality tobacco, from the agriculture to the last ash. So, I am happy to have found out this morning of the release over the weekend of Quattro Coronati cigars. “Ultra premium Dominican handmade cigars by brethren for brethren.” That’s brother Freemasons by the way.

The Feast Day of the Four Crowned Martyrs passed this month, so the timing of this launch is right. The Freemasons behind this endeavor are Eduardo R. Adam, Oliver M.S. Guillet, and Timothy W. Hogan. You’ve probably heard of Hogan, the author and traveling lecturer.

  • The Agape is a robusto shape. Ten to a box that retails for $144.
  • The Sanctum is a figurado measuring 5 7/8 x 56. Also 10 to a box that retails for $144.
  • The Magus is a double corona at 7 x 50. Ditto 10 to a box that retails for $144.
  • The Gran Solomon is a monster of 7.8 inches with a 63 ring. Five cigars, each in a coffin, per box at $165.
  • The Ruffians, a toro shape, also sells for $144 for a box of 10.
  • The Anthology is a sampler containing two sticks of each shape. Also 10 to a box for $144.

Sales are mail order only. So far, at least.

I look forward to trying these smokes, and I wish the brethren all the best!

‘Mark Tabbert on George Washington, Freemason’

(Another cross-post with American Creation.)

Mark A. Tabbert
This is premature—the ink on the contract may not be dry yet—but also scratches an old itch. I want to report the inevitability of a serious biography-history on the subject of George Washington the Freemason by Masonic scholar Mark A. Tabbert. The author figures the book will be published in about three years, a deadline I assume might be intended to coincide with the tercentenary celebration of Freemasonrys emergence into the public, which occurred in London in 1717.

It is a necessary book. Practically all existing literature on the subject of Washington the Mason was published in adoration of both the man and the fraternity. Much of that offers a childlike mythologizing (think Grant Wood’s spoof of Washington the youth, with a 60-year-old face, taking the rap for felling the cherry tree) of the subject, and none of the material is recent enough to have profited from modern research abilities and standards. I wouldn’t say Tabbert aims to eviscerate anyone, but there is a need to cut to the truth. Too many within and without the fraternity think Washington lived and breathed Freemasonry. Too many believe the man had almost nothing to do with Masonry. The truth, I imagine, is somewhere between, and encompasses information that will birth a new understanding of American Freemasonry’s most famous brother.

A cropped image of Parson Weems' Fable by Grant Wood.
Oil on canvas, 1939.

For the past nine of his twenty years of museum experience, Tabbert has served as Director of Collections of the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia. Prior to that, he devoted almost seven years a Curator of Masonic and Fraternal Collections at the National Heritage Museum (now the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library) in Lexington, Massachusetts. He also is a leader in the fraternity itself, having served as President of the Masonic Library and Museum Association, as Treasurer (previously Secretary) of the Masonic Restoration Foundation, as Trustee and Founding Fellow of The Masonic Society, as a published scholar in the most prestigious research lodges and research societies in Freemasonry in the United States and England, and in numerous other capacities in the fraternity that share responsible scholarship. Among his books are American Freemasons: Three Centuries of Building Communities.

My point: He knows his business, and he is capable of rendering an honest portrait of Freemason George Washington based on what one of my former teachers at university calls “the best obtainable version of the truth.”

Tabbert’s book will be published by an academic press. The most credible books attempting to define this subject were published under Masonic auspices, the most recent dates to 1952, to commemorate the bicentenary of Washington’s initiation into Freemasonry.

For fun (my word, not his) Tabbert maintains a blog where interested readers can follow his research. American Creation readers who want the truth about Freemason George Washington and related subjects should check it out, as the most recent post addresses Masonic membership among the Founding Fathers.

Disclaimer: Mark Tabbert not only is my brother Mason, but also is a friend.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

‘The Anthroposophist Alka-Seltzer ad man’

Courtesy Adweek
One finds the strangest facts in the oddest places. It is unsurprising that Adweek would publish actress Julianna Margulies’ obituary of her father, advertising legend Paul Margulies, but she explains how Anthroposophy was central to his life.

The following is copyrighted ©Adweek magazine.

My father always thought it was ironic that people swooned when they found out that he was the genius behind the famous ad campaign for Alka-Seltzer.

I grew up not really understanding his fame in the advertising world because he never allowed us to watch television. I knew he had a big job, a job that took us to different countries. Ad agencies hired him as their creative director and boasted to have him as their leader. He was the man, after all, who had come up with “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!”

I remember on a happy occasion one summer, my father taking my two older sisters and me to Beverly Hills, California. We stayed at the Beverly Hills Hotel! It was so exciting. He had to shoot the commercial in California, and we got to watch them film it. I must have been about seven years old. I remember thinking he was so cool, in his fedora straw hat, his silk cravat, denim shirt and khaki safari jacket.

He was, tall, dark and handsome, and women were constantly blushing around him. I understood how dashing he was at a very young age. We were living in Paris, I was three years old, and we walked into a shop, and I thought the shop lady was pretty. Worried about his well-being, not having a wife, I said, “Mon papa est tres jolie, n’est-ce pas?”

My father always regaled that story, with his sweet chuckle, to anyone who would listen. And everyone always seemed to listen to my father. He was unique to this world, not because of his success in advertising, although some may argue that, but because he was a gentle soul who found himself, at a very young age, searching for the meaning of man.

He had been a philosophy major at Dartmouth College, and then, feeling the pressure from his parents (his mother was one of the first women lawyers to practice in New York state), he found himself at Columbia Law. He told me he dropped out after one year because he always found his way to the philosophy library. Law studies just didn't hold his interest.

What did hold his interest was the question of Being, Self, Soul. Why are we here? What is our journey? How can we make this world better? How can we advance ourselves to a life of truth and goodness and love? It was deep stuff.

In his quest, he went to a farm in Pennsylvania and studied biodynamic farming. It was there that he decided to stop eating meat. It was 1959 and still a time when people thought if you didn’t eat meat, you would get sick and eventually die. My poor grandmother would send him steaks and leave them at his door on Cornelia Street in Greenwich Village, begging him to stop the nonsense. But he never did. He always understood other people’s concerns, never pushed vegetarianism on anyone, but kept quietly to his regimen.

My father was drawn to a philosophy called Anthroposophy, founded by Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher. He began to read Steiner’s books and study his lectures. It was in Anthroposophy that my father found his calling.

He bumped into advertising at around the same time, and having three little girls and two ex-wives, he saw a way to make a living. But he had tremendous conflicts with the demands of the advertising industry. He was worried that his love for Anthroposophy, the way in which he was choosing to lead his inner life, would contradict his work life. He sought out Dr. Franz E. Winkler, the man who had originally introduced him to the works of Steiner, and expressed his concern. Dr. Winkler told him that as long as he was true to himself, it could never be a contradiction.

And so he embarked on a career as a copywriter with his ideals intact: He would never write for tobacco, alcohol or the meat industry, and he stuck to those principles for his entire career.

In his later years, my father wrote an essay that was published for the Anthroposophical Press: “A Comparison of Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl, and Knowledge of Higher Worlds, by Rudolf Steiner.” He had written many famous jingles, several children’s books and a wonderful screenplay about the boxer Daniel Mendoza, but it was in this essay that his most fulfilled work shone through. He delighted in the response to it, the depth of it. He was somehow able to explain the esoteric in simple English.

This is not to say that my father looked down on his life in advertising; he knew he had a talent for it, I would say a great talent, but I’m just a gloating daughter. But he constantly struggled to enrich his inner life while working in an industry that was only skin deep. At times that was frustrating for him; but at other times he really enjoyed it. However, it wasn’t who he was. It wasn’t where he wanted to be. He always told me his dream was to retire to the countryside somewhere in New England, just to be left alone with his books and his study groups. And he did just that at the young age of 50, and embarked fully on a lifelong dream.

As I became more prominent in my career as an actress and voiceover artist, I began to understand what an effect he had in the advertising world. People knew him, respected him, reacted to his name as though he were an iconic figure. He was known as The Man who created “Plop Plop, Fizz Fizz.” I got a kick out of showing up to my voiceover sessions and hearing the writers ask me if my father had approved the copy. When I landed the Chase Bank campaign, I told my dad and he brought out his portfolio that had his original ad from the ’70s: “The Chase is on!” He kept everything he had ever done, and he showed them to me with a gleam in his eye.

I know my father has helped many people find their inner peace. He was heralded as a great teacher, friend and leader in his community in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where he had retired. But I also know that without his ability to sell a product in 30 seconds and excel at it so beautifully, he wouldn’t have been able to reach all the curious minds that ask the question, “How can we live in truth, goodness and love?” As he often quoted from Socrates, one of his favorite philosophers: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

And that’s exactly how he lived his life.

Monday, November 17, 2014

‘Cultivating an Enlightened Mind’

New York Theosophical Society will host a national lecturer Sunday at its headquarters in Manhattan. From the publicity:

Cultivating an Enlightened Mind
Presented by Pablo Sender
Sunday, November 23 at 2 p.m.
New York Theosophical Society
240 East 53rd Street in Manhattan
(Enter through Quest Bookshop)

In some of her writings Mme. Blavatsky described a state of mind (manas) that is illumined by the spiritual wisdom (buddhi). She called this the radiant mind (manas taijasa). In this program we will explore the philosophical foundations of the subject as well as some practices geared towards stimulating the union of our mind and the principle of divine wisdom in us.

Pablo Sender, Ph.D., became a member of the Theosophical Society in his native Argentina in 1996. He has worked at the International Headquarters of the Society in India, and currently is a staff member at the National Center of the Theosophical Society in America, in Wheaton, Illinois. He has presented Theosophical lectures, workshops, and classes in India, several countries in Europe, and the Americas.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

‘Cincinnati’s Freemasons’

Congratulations to Bro. Donald Crews of Ohio on the publication a few weeks ago of his book Cincinnati’s Freemasons by Arcadia. From the publicity:

The first Masonic lodge in Cincinnati was chartered in 1791, less than three years after the town’s founding. Many prominent Cincinnatians have devoted their time, money, and effort to the fraternity. Many have also found knowledge, fulfillment, and camaraderie within the main and appendant bodies of the brotherhood. This book offers an introduction to the order’s members, buildings, and related organizations in southwest Ohio. The contributions of the Queen City’s share of the world’s oldest and largest fraternity are revealed through images from lodges and other bodies, buildings, individuals, and numerous other sources.

Donald I. Crews moved to Cincinnati as a sojourning Freemason 25 years ago and was immediately drawn to the city’s oldest lodge in part because of its long and fascinating history but also because of its home in the massive and amazing Cincinnati Masonic Temple. Images of America: Cincinnati’s Freemasons is an outgrowth of that interest, appreciation, and amazement at the variety of people, organizations, and buildings connected to the Cincinnati Masonic family.

Those of us who attended the Masonic Restoration Foundation’s Fifth Annual Symposium in Cincinnati in August met Bro. Crews, who presented, unsurprisingly, a history of Freemasonry in Cincinnati. He is a Member of The Masonic Society too.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

‘Symposium Sunday in San Francisco’

This just in: The Scottish Rite Valley of San Francisco will be the site of a symposium (free admission) on Sunday titled “Revisiting the California Gold Rush, Stories Untold: The Role of Freemasons, Women, African-Americans and Religion.” The Scottish Rite is located at 2850 19th Avenue.

I usually do not publicize events 3,000 miles away, but those of us who like to see academia study the role of Freemasonry in general history are obliged to support the endeavors however we can. From the publicity:

The Policy Studies Organization invites its partners and friends around the nation to join us for the 2014 Enriching History Colloquium. The event will be held in San Francisco, California and streamed in multiple cities around the country, courtesy of the American Public University System. Enriching History aims to be part of a new series enriching American Studies and social science teaching, to deepen interest in the American saga by showing new ways of looking at our past. The series’ mission is to influence the ways in which we learn and discuss the various experiences that have produced an ever evolving country. The program brings together a diverse group of individuals who believe in the wide dissemination of, and attention being paid to, scholarly works on important historical events and figures.

Organized in cooperation with the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of California, this year’s Enriching History conference looks to explore the California Gold Rush and the involvement and influence of different minority populations within the period. This year we explore the role of Masons, women, and Jewish forty-niners, as well as examining the culture that surrounded them. This annual seminar is for social science educators and all persons interested in aspects in the social history in America.

The presenters will include Ava F. Kahn on “Jewish Voices of the California Gold Rush: Transnational Traditions,” and historian Gary Kurutz, director of the Special Collections Branch of the California State Library, with a lecture “On the Extremity of Civilization: The Golden Words of the Argonauts.” And Carson City songster CW Bayer will play music from the Gold Rush-era.

Satellite viewing locations will be offered throughout California in Scottish Rite Centers. There will be time for questions submitted via e-mail from those joining us at the below venues. Please contact each center to find out details:

· Burlingame Masonic Center at 145 Park Road in Burlingame
· Fresno Scottish Rite Center at 1455 L Street in Fresno
· Long Beach Scottish Rite Center at 855 Elm Avenue in Long Beach
· Palm Springs Masonic Temple at 450 South Avenida Caballeros in Palm Springs
· Pasadena Scottish Rite Center at 150 N. Madison Avenue in Pasadena
· San Bernardino Scottish Rite at 4400 N. Varsity Avenue in San Bernardino
· San Diego Scottish Rite Center at 1895 Camino Del Rio South in San Diego
· San Jose Scottish Rite Temple at 2455 Masonic Drive in San Jose

Please note that refreshments and lunch will be provided, free of charge, thanks to our generous sponsors. However, we do ask that you register for seating and catering purposes. Click here for the schedule of events. We hope that you will be able to join us at this exciting and informative event!

Policy Studies Organization also is planning the World Conference on Fraternalism, Freemasonry, and History: Research in Ritual, Secrecy, and Civil Society for next May in Paris. Click here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

‘Mystic Tie in Maryland’

Maryland Masonic Research Society will meet for lunch at noon on Saturday, December 13, and Past President Joi Grieg will present “The Mystic Tie: Tying and Untying with Words.”

This will take place in the Roman Room of the Grand Lodge of Maryland, located at 304 International Circle in
 Cockeysville. Dining fee: only $15.

In addition, there will be the election and installation of officers for the ensuing year.

From the publicity:

Joi Grieg will present for discussion the topic of the Mystic Tie that connects Masons, and the language used across the fraternity to tie it together, or, in some cases, to distance. In the field of linguistics, this is called the language of inclusion and exclusion. Examples of the terms and the range of definitions used across the United States, some common and others almost contradictory, will be covered. It will include trends away from use of some of these words (such as “profane”), in the public sphere. There are choices that can be made by each of us as individuals, bound by obligations, rules, and Masonic entities, which can continue the status quo, or become more inclusive.

The Maryland Masonic Research Society was founded in 1979 with the mission and motto “Masonic Enlightenment through Research.” It is not a lodge, and is open to all who have an interest in Freemasonry. Lodges, libraries, and other organizations may become institutional members. MMRS meets at least four times a year at various locations throughout Maryland to hear and discuss research papers and presentations on philosophy, science, Masonic history, and other subjects of interest to members.

Please send your intent to mmrs1979(at) by December 7 if you plan to attend.

Monday, November 10, 2014

‘Introduction to Rosicrucianism’

Several programs that are worth your time are scheduled for this week and beyond at the Rosicrucian Cultural Center in New York City (2303 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd.).

Tuesday, November 11 at 6:30
Introduction to the Rosicrucian Order

Who are the Rosicrucians and what do they do? Join Julie Scott, Grand Master of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, in this experiential introduction to Rosicrucian teachings and practices.

Wednesday, November 12 at 6:30
Rosicrucian Techniques for Radiant Health

In this experiential workshop, Grand Master Julie Scott introduces many Rosicrucian practices for Radiant Health on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. All are welcome!

Saturday, November 15, from 1 to 5 p.m.
Discuss Spiritual Laws with Dr. Lonnie Edwards

It is important for us as students of spirituality and mysticism to become aware and acquainted with the tremendous resources that are available to make our lives more harmonious.

Once we learn to tap these inner resources, living will be an invigorating affair, advancing and expanding the consciousness.

Through lectures, participation in meditation, and visualization exercises, we will be given the opportunity to experience the value of these principles in a group setting. Facilitating the discussions will be Dr. Lonnie Edwards, Vice President of the English Grand Lodge Board of Directors, and author of Spiritual Laws that Govern Humanity and the Universe.

Sunday, November 16 at 5:30
Spiritual Movie Night: What the Bleep Do We Know!?

Each Sunday, November through December (with the exception of December 21 when we will meet on Friday the 19th at 6:30), we will watch a film that dramatizes spiritual lessons, then discuss the film through the lens of Rosicrucianism. Our selection for this week is What the Bleep Do We Know!?


‘Tonight it’s AnthroPOEsophy’

It’s Edgar Allan Poe night at Anthroposophy NYC. From the publicity:

Literature Alive: Edgar Allan Poe
With Lenard Petit, Daniel Kelly & Ensemble
Monday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Anthroposophy NYC
138 West 15th Street in Manhattan
$10 per person

Join us for a haunting evening of dramatic reading and musical interpretation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Raven,” and “The Bells.” Lenard Petitfrom the Michael Chekhov Acting Studio, and award-winning composer Daniel Kelly’s inventive chamber ensemble pull at the fabric of Poe’s textured writing. Poe’s poems and stories of suspense and terror have their place in our collective cultural psyche. Come hear these stories anew, with Petit’s powerful performance accompanied by animated and uncanny music from Kelly, whose work Time Out New York calls “powerfully moving.”

Sunday, November 9, 2014

‘Remembering the cold cheap masonry’

I couldn’t let today’s silver anniversary of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall pass without comment. Something I had thought wouldn’t happen in my lifetime was made real as I watched in suspicious disbelief as it occurred on this date in 1989. An amazing turning point in human history that, amazingly, is nearly forgotten already in the United States.

The lessons for Freemasonry are stark. Speculative builders who work in virtue and morality, in brotherly love and truth, “create societies out of freedom,” as one Mason (a total stranger) I met before my initiation phrased it. (“A lodge cannot deprive a brother of his civil rights…” Constitution and Laws, 29-27, Grand Lodge of New Jersey, F&AM.) What was wrought in the “Democratic Republic of Germany” in 1961 was an immoral and hateful masonry: cheap concrete that surely would have crumbled by now, leaving only the rebar and rocks that went into the cement. When masons are free, they can build temples and churches of resources gifted by nature and handcrafted into masterpieces. When they are not, they’ll throw up slabs of shitty cement to imprison a city. Freemasons should never forget the symbolic working tools found on the flag of the DDR: The hammer of industry and the compass of science should serve to remind us all of the versatility of any tool. What matters is the hand that wields it, or as German filmmaker Fritz Lang put it in his Weimar era masterpiece Metropolis: “The mediator between the head and the hands must be the heart.”

My own mementos of the Berlin Wall acquired during a visit in 1990 include
several shards of the Wall and a few East German military and political medals.

‘Rosicrucian workshop at Nutley’

Julie Scott, Grand Master of the Rosicrucian Order’s English Grand Lodge for the Americas, will present a workshop Saturday, November 29 at the Order’s Pronaos in Nutley, New Jersey. From the publicity:

H. Spencer Lewis Pronaos
175 Chestnut Street in Nutley
Saturday, November 29
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
AMORC members only
Fee: $54—Click here

H. Spencer Lewis Pronaos, AMORC will be honored to have Grand Master Julie Scott present a workshop at our Pronaos quarters. The theme for the day will be “Expansion of Awareness.” You will be participating with her in an experience that will help you discover your eternal, infinite, inner Cosmic Consciousness that seeks to guide you on your life’s journey. Be sure to take advantage of this precious opportunity.

Doors open at 9:30
Council of Solace at 10
Workshop Part I at 10:30
Lunch at 12:30
Workshop Part II at 1:30
Convocation at 3:30
Social hour at 4:30

Saturday, November 1, 2014

‘Garibaldi Lodge at 150’


In the name of Freemasonry, Virtue, and Universal Benevolence, historic Garibaldi Lodge No. 542 was re-dedicated last night in celebration of its sesquicentennial year, as was done on its centenary and golden anniversaries—and no doubt will be done in 2064—too. By comparison, Italy, as a nation-state, is only 153 years old.

The first Italian-language lodge under the Grand Lodge of New York, Garibaldi would beget no fewer than nine daughter lodges over the years, yet Garibaldi remains unique for its periodic conferral of the French Rite Entered Apprentice Degree. In italiano. Spectators swarm from seemingly everywhere to witness the stunningly symbolic ritual of spiritual transformation that the lodge received from L’Union Française No. 17.

The Grand Master and the Worshipful Master.
Grand Master William J. Thomas and a team of Grand Staff officers opened the Grand Lodge in the Corinthian Room, spreading the elements of consecration upon the symbolic lodge in a ceremony open to the brethren’s ladies and friends. Masons from afar were in attendance; I chatted with brethren from Portugal and Paris. 

The first great care of the two GLNF brethren upon entering the room was “Why are the women here?”

Courtesy Bill Thomas
October was a busy month for the lodge, with New York City’s Columbus Day Parade and an anniversary banquet leading up to the lodge re-dedication last night.

Congratulazioni e buon anniversario, i miei fratelli!

Monday, October 27, 2014

‘Prevention and presumption’

If they aren’t already, they inevitably will start looking at me, so I hereby solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, &c., &c. that I have nothing—nutzing!—to do with the pamphlets, nor have any knowledge of the pamphleteer(s), so don’t even ask me about it unless you’re buying me a drink.

Friday, October 24, 2014

‘Gurdjieff: The Search for Meaning’

The Gurdjieff Foundation of New York City will host an event next month at the Theosophical Society to introduce us to the concepts of the Gurdjieff Work.

Toward Awakening:
The Search
for Meaning
in the Midst of Life

Friday, November 14
6 p.m.
Quest Bookshop
240 East 53rd Street

RSVP to gurdjieffevent(at)gmail(dot)com

After attending one of the Foundation’s introductory events, one may attend Ongoing Readings, such as those scheduled for November 21 and December 5. Each session will consider an aspect of this Gurdjieff quotation:

“The point is to re-establish what has been lost, not to acquire anything new.
 This is the purpose of development.”

Send a note to that same e-mail address for more information and to reserve your seat at the Readings if you have attended an introductory event first.

‘Two Magic Flutes’

We have two options to see Mozart’s Masonic opera this fall.

The Metropolitan Opera is staging Die Zauberflöte, now running in repertory through November 8. This is the full-length (more than three hours) version in German.

Courtesy the New York Times
Toby Spence in Julie Taymor’s production of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Click here for tickets.

Click here to read the New York Times’ review.

The New Victory Theater will stage a kid-friendly, two-hour production of The Magic Flute in English in early November. Tickets for $15. 209 West 42nd Street, just off Times Square. From the publicity:

From the townships of South Africa, Isango Ensemble bursts onto the stage in an inspired reimagining of Mozart’s masterpiece opera The Magic Flute: Impempe Yomlingo. Sung in English by an ensemble of more than two dozen vibrant voices, classic arias are enlivened with exhilarating orchestrations of merry marimbas and powerful percussion. Winner of an Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival (Young Vic, London) and a Globes de Cristal for Best Opera (Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris), this fresh, fearless and fantastical production, co-produced by Eric Abraham and the Young Vic, brims with dazzling drama, crisp comedy, and the sublime joy of finding true love.

Courtesy The New Victory

New York City’s first and only full-time performing arts theater for kids, their families, and classmates, The New Victory presents a full season of adventurous multidisciplinary works from around the globe and close to home.

Click here for tickets.

Monday, October 20, 2014

‘Coming attractions’

Discussion, music, film, literature, tarot, Anthroposophy, Rosicrucianism, BOTA, history, philosophy, psychology, religion, mythology, mindfulness, morality, and more. I provide this list of upcoming events—all but two in Manhattan—gently to suggest to my Masonic brethren that it is okay to hop outside the oblong square of the lodge to enjoy other activities and meet new people. We all know already what is going to happen at your next Masonic meeting. Try something new. Some of these events are free; others are somewhat costly; all are worth a thinking adults time. Try one.

Tuesday, October 21—“Masonic Ideals: The Magic Flute” discussion at the Metropolitan Opera House. Click here.

Wednesday, October 22—“Let God in the Room: The Music and Spirituality of Jack White” is the latest evening of Ancient Currents at Aish Center’s Center for Arts Education. 7 p.m. at 266 West 37th Street, ninth floor, in Manhattan. Enter on the Eighth Avenue side. Admission is free. Pizza will be served. Click here.

If you are over forty, Jack White’s name may not mean anything, but if for no other reason than his generous rescue of the Detroit Masonic Temple from the Sheriff’s auction last year, you should know of him.

“Join Rabbi Adam Jacobs on Wednesday evening for Ancient Currents, a weekly series that explores current events and popular culture through the lens (and long memory) of classical Judaism.

Gain insight into what’s going on now in our world, and walk away with valuable lessons on how to navigate the trends and take inspiration from an old perspective on the news.

Saturday, October 25—Builders of the Adytum to meet at 10 a.m. in Masonic Hall (71 West 23rd Street, Manhattan) on the 12th floor for its monthly “The Elements in Tarot and Hebrew” study.

Saturday, October 25“Drinking from the Haunted Well: A Mystical Exploration of the Fairy Land of A.E. Waite” presented by Stuart Südekum. Catland Books in Brooklyn. $15 admission (or $7 with fairy or Victorian costume). 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Courtesy Stuart Südekum
Stuart Südekum shakes the dust from the unknown fairy stories and poetry of Arthur Edward Waite, who is remembered for his long and technical tomes of scholarly mysticism. It might surprise many to learn his work also contains a beautifully interwoven mythos of esoteric Romances set in a visionary realm of fairies.

Waite carried this secret kingdom in his heart throughout his life, even into his late, post-Golden Dawn work.

Stuart Südekum will serve as a mystical tour guide to this forgotten realm, exploring how Waites fiction, drama, and poetry can be used to better understand the challenging concepts we encounter in his non-fiction works.

A delicious tea will be served.

Saturday, October 25—The C.G. Jung Foundation will present “The Experience of the Divine/Sacred after the Death of God: Jung and the Quest for an Individuated Spirituality,” a daylong workshop (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) led by Donald R. Ferrell, Ph.D. and Joanna Mintzer, MA. 28 East 39th Street in Manhattan. Click here.

“Friedrich Nietzsche’s 19th century declaration of the Death of God has had a profound influence upon the intellectual and psycho-spiritual life of Western culture. C.G. Jung emerged from his early encounter with Nietzsche deeply aware that the dominant God image of the three great monotheisms of the West was in decline. Jung understood that with that decline the spiritual lives of Western peoples were in crisis. This workshop will explore Jung’s contribution to the quest for a spirituality brought forth from the loss of soul and the death of meaning. It will also explore post-Jungians, philosophers, and theologians who continue that quest in our time. Through presentations and discussion, we will seek to explore that essential Jungian question: What can the divine and sacred mean for us today?”

Monday, October 27—The New York Mythology Group (the NYC Roundtable of the Joseph Campbell Foundation) will meet in the Mann Library of the C.G. Jung Institute to discuss reading assignment “Archaic Man” by Dr. Jung. 28 East 39th Street in Manhattan. 6:15 to 8 p.m.

This essay is from Collected Works, Vol. 10, Civilization in Transition, from the Bollingen Series and can also be found in Modern Man in Search of a Soul.

“Primitive man is no more logical or illogical than we are. His presuppositions are not the same as ours, and that is what distinguishes him from us. His thinking and his conduct are based on assumptions other than our own. To all that is in any way out of the ordinary and that therefore disturbs, frightens, or astonishes him, he ascribes what we should call a supernatural origin. For him, of course, these things are not supernatural; on the contrary, they belong to his world of experience(s).”

C.G. Jung
Modern Man in Search of a Soul

Thursday, October 30—Anthroposophy NYC will host Mr. Owen Barfield, who will present “Reflections on My Grandfather, Owen A. Barfield.”

Owen Barfield
Owen Barfield (1898-1997) was one of the preeminent Anthroposophists of the 20th century and a well-known thinker from his university days, when he was a founding member of The Inklings—a group that included C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams. His History in English Words and Poetic Diction are well known to lovers of language. What Coleridge Thought did much to reveal that famous poet’s greatness as a general philosopher, and Barfield’s insights into the evolution of consciousness (see Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry) have met with considerable attention in the United States from the 1960s forward.

This evening is a presentation and open conversation with his grandson Owen A. Barfield, his trustee since 2006. Along with Owen A. Barfield’s experience growing up, and how he came to be trustee, it will cover what has happened with the literary estate and what is still to come.

Owen A. Barfield: lives near London and is a practicing oil-painter and healer.

Admission: $20 per person, but first time visitors will be admitted free. Time: 7 p.m. 138 West 15th Street in Manhattan.

November 1, 2, 7, 8, 9The New Victory Theater to stage The Magic Flute, the Masonic opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Tickets start at $15. 209 West 42nd Street, just off Times Square. From the publicity:

From the townships of South Africa, Isango Ensemble bursts onto the stage in an inspired reimagining of Mozarts masterpiece opera The Magic Flute: Impempe Yomlingo. Sung in English by an ensemble of more than two dozen vibrant voices, classic arias are enlivened with exhilarating orchestrations of merry marimbas and powerful percussion. Winner of an Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival (Young Vic, London) and a Globes de Cristal for Best Opera (Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris), this fresh, fearless and fantastical production, co-produced by Eric Abraham and the Young Vic, brims with dazzling drama, crisp comedy, and the sublime joy of finding true love.

Courtesy The New Victory

New York Citys first and only full-time performing arts theater for kids, their families, and classmates, The New Victory presents a full season of adventurous multidisciplinary works from around the globe and close to home.

Sunday, November 2—“Mindfulness and Meditations in Three Faith Traditions” at the NYU Center for Spiritual Life. Click here.

Sunday, November 2“Drinking from the Haunted Well: A Mystical Exploration of the Fairy Land of A.E. Waite” presented by Stuart Südekum. Hosted by GnosticNYC at the Center for Remembering and Sharing, 123 Fourth Avenue, second floor, in Manhattan. Admission: $10 suggested donation. 2 p.m.

Scroll up to October 25 to see program details.

Friday, November 7—The Rosicrucian Order will screen a motion picture every Friday night in November and December at the Rosicrucian Cultural Center, located at 2303 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard. 6:30 p.m. This evening: Groundhog Day, not uncommonly called “the most spiritual movie of our time.”

Courtesy Columbia Pictures Corp.

Yes, we all have seen it, but if you view this movie as just another Bill Murray comedy, you are missing the point. The late Harold Ramis, director and co-writer, had something very meaningful in mind.

Wednesday, November 12—Tarot scholar Robert M. Place to host “An Afternoon of Tarot History at the Metropolitan Museum of Art” from 2 to 4:45 p.m. In an e-mail last week, Mr. Place told me there were four (4) places remaining—cost $70 per person in advance, NOT including the cost of admission to the museum—but I don’t know where that stands now. Contact him at alchemicaltarot(at)aol(dot)com.

Queen of Flowers playing card.
The group will venture “into the back rooms of the Metropolitan Museum to look at the collection of historic Tarot and divination cards, ranging from the earliest woodcut Tarocchi, printed in 15th century Italy, to rare 19th century Le Normand divination decks. All accompanied by [Place’s] talk on the history and symbolism of the cards. This year we will also see The Queen of Flowers, created in 1435, making it one of the oldest European playing cards still in existence, and one of the oldest richly illustrated books on divination with cards, Le Sorti, published in Venice in 1540.”

Friday, November 14—The Rosicrucian Order will screen a motion picture every Friday night in November and December at the Rosicrucian Cultural Center, located at 2303 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard. 6:30 p.m. This evening: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring.

Sunday, November 16—The School of Practical Philosophy offers the irresistible “Plato Study Day: Socrates on Trial.” 12 East 79th Street in Manhattan. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. $35 per person, which covers study materials, refreshments, catered Greek luncheon and, at four o’clock, a wine reception.

“Join us as we follow Socrates’ defense—one that is no apology at all, but a tribute to living life dedicated to the care of the soul, discovery of wisdom, and fidelity to truth. Enjoy the power of group study as we engage in a thoughtful conversation about the meaning of Socrates’ life and teachings. Reserve now, as space is limited.

No prior knowledge of Plato is required.”

Click here to register.

Friday, November 21—The Rosicrucian Order will screen a motion picture every Friday night in November and December at the Rosicrucian Cultural Center, located at 2303 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard. 6:30 p.m. This evening: The Matrix.

Monday, November 24— The New York Mythology Group (the NYC Roundtable of the Joseph Campbell Foundation) will meet in the Mann Library of the C.G. Jung Institute to discuss reading assignment “Ancient Myths and Modern Man” by Joseph L. Henderson. 28 East 39th Street in Manhattan. 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. This is the second essay in the pages of Man and His Symbols.

Friday, November 28—The Rosicrucian Order will screen a motion picture every Friday night in November and December at the Rosicrucian Cultural Center, located at 2303 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard. 6:30 p.m. This evening: The Last Mimzy.

Saturday, November 29—H. Spencer Lewis Pronaos of the Rosicrucian Order will host Julie Scott, Grand Master of the English Grand Lodge for the Americas at its Nutley, New Jersey meeting place (175 Chestnut Street). I will share more details when they are available.

Wednesdays, December 3, 10, and 17—Tarot historian Robert Place returns to New York City for three nights at New York Open Center to present “An Introduction to the Tarot: Guidance and Wisdom for Our Spiritual Journey.” 8 to 10 p.m. NY Open Center is located at 22 East 30th Street.

“The Tarot, ostensibly a deck of decorated cards, is in fact a symbolic system whose images express Pythagorean, Platonic and Hermetic mystical ideas. Once one grasps the Tarot’s philosophy and structure, the cards can be used as an intuitive device to connect with one’s inner wisdom. In this class we will study the symbolism of the Tarot as its Italian Renaissance creators intended, come to understand its spiritual messages, and then learn and practice techniques that develop our intuition and enable us to read the cards as messages from our Higher Self. Note: Bring a Tarot deck (Waite-Smith or one of Robert Place’s decks) and some unlined paper.”

Click here for registration info.

Saturday, December 6—The C.G. Jung Foundation will present “The Many Faces of Loneliness,” a daylong workshop (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) led by Heide M. Kolb. 28 East 39th Street in Manhattan. Click here.

“If a man knows more than others,
he becomes lonely.”
C.G. Jung

Loneliness is one of the most prevalent ailments and complaints in our time. We live in a culture that pathologizes the need for solitude while clinging to the belief that interpersonal relationships are indispensable for a fulfilled life. Yet even if we accept that the tolerance of solitude is a necessity for human development, loneliness remains a source of terrible suffering for many.

Automat by Edward Hopper, oil on canvas, 1927.

While this workshop can stand on its own, it is also a continuation of a previously offered seminar of the same title. We will continue to explore the meaning and possible purpose of loneliness through a Jungian lens. While we will never lose sight of the potentially transformative aspect of loneliness, we will particularly focus on how to make sense and how to engage the often unbearable suffering of loneliness when all seems dead and lost and nothing and no one seems to be there.

Participants are encouraged to bring a journal.