Tuesday, May 31, 2011

'210 in 2011'

Brethren, be sure to raise your glasses at some point today. (No time like the present!) On this date in 1801, the Mother Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third Degree was formed in Charleston, South Carolina.

And this year marks the 20th year of the Scottish Rite Research Society's labors. What better way to celebrate both milestones than to enroll in the SRRS?
Members of the SRRS who were
in good standing in 2010, are now
receiving both Volume 18
Heredom, and Albert Pike's
Masonic Formulas and Rituals.

Grand Archivist and Grand Historian Ill. Arturo de Hoyos has published the fruits of his recent years of research and editing. Titled Albert Pike's Masonic Formulas and Rituals, this beautifully bound and hefty work of scholarship is a time capsule that transports us to the era before Albert Pike revised the Scottish Rite's rituals, creating the fraternity we know today. In its pages, we see what Pike and his contemporaries knew as their corpus of rituals, although we enjoy the benefits of modern publishing.

In addition, and in yet another instance of the SRRS serving the Craft at large, this book reveals the three lodge degrees (and more) of what was Adonhiramite Masonry, affording us a look into a French Masonic order of the 1780s wherein Adoniram was the architect and builder of King Solomon's Temple. This is almost archeological in perspective, considering the bloodbath of revolution that nearly would eradicate Freemasonry in France several years hence.

And that's not all! (Are ya following me, camera guy?)

There are early versions of York Rite degrees and orders, and the four degrees of the True Masonry of Adoption. Championed by some of the same French elites behind the Adonhiramite rite, this system of degrees brought women to see the light by which Masons work.

I don't claim to have read all of this already; I received my copy only a week ago. Whenever I receive a tome of this scope, my first action is to turn to the Rose Croix chapters (pun!) and see what's going on there, and then I try to begin at the beginning. I'll be gnawing on this for a number of months, so if you see me clutching this to my chest, it may be best to just wave hello from a distance. In the meantime, join the Scottish Rite Research Society.

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