Thursday, March 29, 2018

‘Testament of Solomon the King’

Many years ago, I had the good luck to speak from the lectern at a statewide Allied Masonic Degrees event. While the title of my presentation is long forgotten, I recall it discussed the narratives of several tales of King Solomon—one from an extra-biblical Jewish source, and the other from a Muslim source. (My primary source was a trio of books penned by a favorite professor from my university days.) It went over very well, partially because outside in the world a war was being fought between Israel and one of its perennial tormentors. The Jewish text inspired the book described in the publicity below from Ouroboros Press, a book I think you will want to read.

Testament of Solomon the King
Notes on King Solomon’s Magic Ring
Indexed Demonology,
Angelology, and Deities
Fine Book Arts:
72 pages with ornaments,
illustrations, and index
All editions are now being bound
and will begin shipping in April

Title Page
Solomon, son of David, is famous in many texts of Western Esotericism as being a master of magic and wisdom. His fame extends through Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

The Solomonic grimoire cycle is among the most cited and most used of magical texts, and the Testament of Solomon provides a background for one of Solomon’s potent acts: the building of his Temple. Dating from the first to third centuries A.D., this apocryphal text describes how King Solomon summoned, bound, and commanded a host of demons to build his Temple through the use of a Magic Ring. In addition to the original text, the book also includes an appendix on the lore surrounding Solomon’s Magic Ring and an index of more than 100 names of angels, demons, and gods mentioned in the text.

Ouroboros Press

Orders accepted here.

‘Esoteric Book Fair returns’


Esoteric Book Fair will be back in 2018! Details to come later in the spring, but note the dates September 15 and 16. It will take place at Greenwood Lodge 253 in Seattle (7910 Greenwood Ave. North).

It’s now a book fair and no longer called a conference, but there also will be “a literary colloquium on esoteric thought and practice.” Recommendations for guest speakers are being accepted. “The Texts & Traditions Colloquium offers the attendees an opportunity to experience presentations from contemporary authors, scholars and practitioners in the spirit of cultural discourse. Two days of talks allow for questions and conversations within a convivial context.” Send an email here. Read more here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

‘The professor’s reading list’

I meant to get to this yesterday, but let me send belated happy birthday wishes to the late Joseph Campbell, who would have turned 114 years old on March 26. To mark the anniversary, let me share the professor’s reading list from his days—38 years, actually—teaching at Sarah Lawrence College. This comes courtesy of Mr. David Kudler, publications director of the Joseph Campbell Foundation, and via, where Mr. Kudler is a librarian. Now read these books before Monday for a group discussion.

Ovid. Metamorphoses.

Frazer, Sir James George. The Golden Bough. One-volume ed. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1922.

Durkheim, Emile. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life.

Levy-Bruhl, Lucien. How Natives Think. Trans. Lilian A. Clare. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985.

Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation of Dreams. Trans. James Strachey. New York: Basic Books.

Three Contributions to a Theory of Sex. Trans. A. A. Brill. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1962.

Totem and Taboo. Trans. A. A. Brill. New York: Vintage Books, 1950.

Moses and Monotheism. Trans. Katherine A. Jones. New York: Vintage Books, 1967.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Integration of the Personality. Trans. Stanley M. Dell. New York and Toronto: Farrar & Rinehart, 1939.

The Secret of the Golden Flower: A Chinese Book of Life. Translated and explained by Richard Wilhelm, with a foreword and commentary by C. G. Jung. Revised and augmented edition. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1962.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead, or, The After-Death Experiences on the Bardo Plane: according to Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup’s English renderings. Compiled and edited by W. Y. Evans-Wentz. New York: Oxford University Press, 1960.

Coomaraswamy, Ananda. The Dance of Ṥiva. London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co., 1924.

The Bhagavad Gita. Trans. W. J. Johnson. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

Okakuru, Kazuko. The Book of Tea. Tokyo & New York: Kodansha International.
Watts, Alan. The Way of Zen. New York: Pantheon, 1957.

Herrigel, Eugen. Zen in the Art of Archery. Trans. R. F. C. Hull. New York: Vintage Books.

Lao-Tze, The Canon of Reason and Virtue (Tao Te Ching). Chinese and English. Trans. D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus. La Salle, Ill: Open Court, 1974.

Sun-Tzu, The Art of War. Trans. Thomas Cleary. Boston: Shambhala.

ConfuciusAnalects. Trans. and annotated by Arthur Waley. Reprint of 1938 Allen & Unwin edition. London and Boston: Unwin Hyman.

The Great Digest and Unwobbling Pivot. Trans. Ezra Pound. New York, 1951.

Chiera, EdwardThey Wrote in Clay; The Babylonian Tablets Speak Today. Ed. George G. Cameron. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1938.

Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm. The Birth of Tragedy. Trans. Walter Kaufmann. New York: Vintage Books, 1967.

Bible, New Testament, Book of Luke.

Aeschylus. Prometheus Bound. Trans. James Scully and C. J. Herrington. New York: Oxford University Press, 1975.

Euripides. Hyppolytus. Trans. Richard Lattimore, In Four Tragedies. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1955.

Alcestis. Trans. William Arrowsmith. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974.

Sophocles. Oediups Tyrannus. Trans. and ed. by Luci Berkowitz & Theodore F. Brunner. A Norton Critical Edition. New York, Norton, 1970.

Plato. Phaedrus. Trans. R. Hackforth, in The Collected Dialogues of Plato. Ed. Edith Hamilton & Huntington Cairns. Bollingen Series LCXXI. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961.

Symposium. Trans. Michael Joyce, in The Collected Dialogues of Plato.

The Koran. Trans. N. J. Dawood. 3rd rev. ed. Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1968.

The Portable Arabian Nights. Ed. Joseph Campbell. New York: Viking Books, 1951.

Beowulf. Trans. Lucien Dean Pearson. Ed. Rowland L. Collins. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1965.

Prose Edda of Snorri Sturluson. Trans. Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur. New York: The American-Scandinavian Foundation, 1916. Also, trans. Jean I. Young. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1964.

Poetic Edda. Trans. Henry Adams Bellows. New York: The American-Scandinavian Foundation, 1926. Also, trans. Lee N. Hollander. 2nd ed., rev. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1962.

The Mabinogion. Trans. Jeffrey Gantz. New York: Dorset Press, 1985.

Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm. Grimm’s Fairy Tales. New York: Pantheon, 1944.

Adams, Henry. Mont Saint Michel and Chartres. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1932. Also New York: New American Library, 1961.

Boas, Franz. Race, Language, and Culture. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1940.

Mann, Thomas. “Tonio Krøger,” trans. H. T. Lowe-Porter, in Stories of Three Decades. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1936.

Thompson, Stith. Tales of the North American Indians. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1929.

Opler, Morris Edward. Myths and Tales of the Jicarilla Apache Indians. New York: The American Folklore Society, 1938.

Benedict, Ruth. Patterns of Culture. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1934.

Stimson, John. E. Legends of Maui and Tahaki. Honolulu: The Museum, 1934.

Melville, Herman. Typee. The Library of America. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, distrib. by the Viking Press, 1982.

Frobenius, Leo, and Douglas C. Fox. African Genesis. New York: B. Blom, 1966.

Radin, Paul. African Folktales and Sculpture. 2nd ed., rev., with additions. New York: Pantheon Books, 1964.

Deren, Maya. Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti. New Paltz, NY: McPherson, 1983.

Friday, March 23, 2018

‘Behind the Scenes of the Secret Triangle’

Courtesy Grand Lodge of France

It is without hesitation, secret reservation, etc., etc. and with free will that I admit to knowing nothing of graphic novels, comics, and other illustrated media. Nothing against them; it’s just that other things come first. Anyway, there is in France a series named “The Secret Triangle” that involves Freemasons at the headquarters of the Grand Lodge of France. (The GLdF is the French Masonic jurisdiction that is regular, but is not recognized by grand lodges in the United States, because we recognize the National Grand Lodge of France, which was created by the United Grand Lodge of England a little more than a century ago. If you’re keeping score.)

The Grand Lodge of France will present an exhibition on “The Secret Triangle” comic in its museum next month. Running from April 16 through June 22, “Behind the Scenes of the Secret Triangle” will “summarize this saga with the presentation of boards, accompanied by explanatory texts to share the general context of the series,” says the GLdF publicity. “Cult objects that inspired the author will also be placed in the windows of the museum atrium.”

More from the publicity:

The famous esoteric series “The Secret Triangle” sold more than 2 million copies, being a precursor to The DaVinci Code as an adult comic strip bridging science and the occult. Author Didier Convard has permitted his seven chapters of the story to be the basis of this museum exhibit.

There will be three events in connection with the exhibit:

Saturday, April 21 at 1 p.m. – In the presence of the author, the museum will host a public conference to discuss “The Legend of the First Lodge” inside the Pierre Brossolette Temple of the Grand Lodge.

Wednesday, May 16 at 3 p.m. – To Be Announced.

Thursday, June 21 at 4 p.m. – Music Festival.

Register for these events here. More on the exhibit here.

Courtesy GLdF
Didier Convard began as a draftsman. At Glénat, he succeeds François Bourgeon on Brunelle and Colin. In 2000, he published the first volume of the famous esoteric series composed of seven chapters, “The Secret Triangle,” drawn by several authors. He continues the exploration of “The Secret Triangle” with “INRI,” “Hertz,” and finally “The Guardians of the Blood,” three series with 1 million readers again. In 2016, he released a new hit series from the world of “The Secret Triangle”—Lacrima Christi.

Courtesy GLdF

Didier Convard sweeps the last 2000 years of our history, starting from a mad and reckless hypothesis: The Church hides a terrible secret since the arrival of Jesus on earth, leaving mankind in ignorance and deception. The story of the first volume of “The Secret Triangle” thus draws directly on the sources of metaphysics and religion. It features two researchers, Didier Mosèle and Francis Marlane, who, initiated together in Freemasonry, have been working for nine years on the mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls, through the restoration of one of the scrolls that deals with the origins of Christianity.

This quest for meaning is coupled with a real investigation, because Didier sets out in search of his missing friend, who, through a recorded tape, confesses that he has seen the Light, but that he will not deliver the truth, in order to preserve it.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

‘Paschal Lamb next Thursday’

It’s that time of year again, when the lessons of the Passover feast and Good Friday are united in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry’s ecumenical celebration of Light and Life.

Courtesy Valley of NYC

The Feast of the Paschal Lamb
New York City Chapter of Rose Croix
Thursday, March 29 at 8 p.m.
(Seating at 7:30)
Masonic Hall, Grand Lodge Room
71 West 23rd Street, Manhattan

Open to the public, the Ceremonial Feast of the Paschal Lamb presents a rare opportunity for the Scottish Rite brethren to reveal a fundamental aspect of the Rite’s traditional mission: to employ meaningful ritual to convey urgent human truths.

The Feast of the Paschal Lamb is not a meal. The ritualists exemplify a symbolic banquet to communicate teachings from both the Passover Seder and the Last Supper. (In the Southern Jurisdiction, it is called Maundy Thursday, and, I guess, has a different ritual.)

I think it noteworthy that this event next week will be hosted in the Grand Lodge Room (third floor), which may indicate an anticipated large turn-out. You should be there.

The keynote speaker will be The Rev. Canon Clive Oscar Sang, 32º, of Trinity Episcopal Church. After the Feast, the brethren invite you to enjoy refreshments in the French Ionic Room on 10.

Photo ID is required to enter Masonic Hall.

Friday, March 16, 2018

‘Two weeks notice: El Quijote will close’

Courtesy Eater New York

Arguably the most beloved and famous eatery in closest proximity to Masonic Hall, which until 2014 had been owned and operated by a Brother Freemason, will serve its last meals two weeks from today, local media are reporting.

El Quijote, at 226 West 23rd Street, on the ground floor of the historic Hotel Chelsea, has been serving delicious Spanish dishes for nine decades but, like everything else in New York City that you ever loved, it will cease to be.

“…it’s an end of an era for El Quijote, which opened in 1930,” Eater New York says. “After the closure of El Faro, it was the oldest surviving Spanish restaurant in the city. The legendary restaurant features a floor-to-ceiling mural of scenes from Don Quixote, the book that inspired the name. There are three dining rooms in the maze of a restaurant, which also has a series of strange oil paintings and carved Don Quixote figurines.”

For four years, the future of the famed restaurant had been in question. The landmark hotel itself was purchased then by a group that pledged to renovate and “rebrand” what had been cherished for generations for being a cheap place to live for artists of all kinds. The investors also acquired El Quijote, and told reporters they planned to leave the restaurant unmolested.

As Leonard Cohen might say, “I remember you well at the Chelsea Hotel.”

Thursday, March 15, 2018

‘Lecture: Searching for George’

This month’s free lecture at the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library at the Grand Lodge of New York will highlight the fine arts. From the publicity:

Searching for George
By Bro. Evar Miller
Thursday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m.
Masonic Hall
71 W. 23rd Street, 14th floor

Brother Evar Miller of O-At-Ka Lodge 759 in Scottsville, New York, a painter and art teacher, will explain the symbolism in the 100-square-foot mural featuring George Washington that he painted on the east wall of his lodge’s Fellow Craft room.

He also will highlight details about Brother Washington’s life, which he discovered during his research, and will additionally discuss other paintings of George Washington by other artists.

Brother Miller received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from the University of Illinois, his MFA in Painting from Yale University, and his Master of Arts in Teaching from Harvard University.

He has taught in public schools in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, and at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.

Photo ID is required to enter Masonic Hall. Please RSVP here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

‘May his place of rest be in Gan Eden’

Sad news just announced by the Grand Lodge of New York:

Dear Brethren and Friends,

RW Paul M. Rosen
It is with a very heavy heart that I learned this morning of the passing of our Grand Secretary, Right Worshipful Paul M. Rosen. Brother Paul laid down the working tools of a Mason last night around 11:30, when he was called to the Celestial Home above.

A Masonic and Jewish Religious Service will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 15 at his local synagogue, Congregation Sons of Israel, located at 1666 Pleasantville Rd., Briarcliff Manor.

The Masonic Service will begin at 1 p.m. on Thursday followed by the Religious Service. After the services, the burial will take place at Mount Eden Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York.

Clare and her family will sit shiva at the family residence until Tuesday.

“May the Great Architect of the Universe, our Heavenly Father, bring Solace and Comfort to all who loved and new Paul. And may Paul rest in Heavenly Peace. Amen.”

Richard W. Bateman

Thursday, March 8, 2018

‘Rashied back at the lectern’

Bro. Rashied K. Sharrieff-Al-Bey, Past Master of Cornerstone Lodge 37 under the MW Prince Hall Grand Lodge of New York, has a few speaking dates upcoming in Manhattan. He is one of the best in the business, and it has been too long, so go and listen.

Magpie file photo
Next Wednesday, the 14th, Bro. Rashied will be hosted by Mariners Lodge 67 in the First Manhattan District. That’s a 7 p.m. start, and Rashied’s work of the evening is titled “Three Knocks and an Opening,” which discusses certain distinct knocks and the Scriptural verses to which they relate.

Mariners always serves a feast for which reservations are required unquestionably. Don’t be one of those guys. It will sell out. Click here.

On Friday, April 20, Rashied will be the guest of Consolidated Lodge 31, also in the First Manhattan. The lodge bills the event as an eight o’clock start, and Rashied’s topic will be Bro. Prince Hall.

Masonic Hall is located at 71 West 23rd Street. Photo ID is required to enter the building.

Hopefully more dates will be announced; if so, I’ll share the info here.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

‘Research lodge meeting upcoming’

New Jersey Lodge of Masonic Research and Education No. 1786 will meet for its quarterly communication next Saturday, and has two worthy presentations slated.

That’s Saturday, March 10 at 9:30 a.m. at Hightstown-Apollo Lodge 41 (535 North Main Street) in Hightstown.

Junior Warden Michael Carducci will speak of his analysis of the Scriptural passages employed in the Craft degrees. Howard Kanowitz, who we continue to fail to draft into the officer line, will deliver “Growth of Science.” I have no idea what that will entail, but if you know Howard’s work, then you know this will be another brilliant talk on an unusual subject. will be a continental breakfast—don’t ask me which continent—before the meeting, and a light lunch afterward. Then, please feel free to follow me to Newark, where the 25th Annual New York Pipe Convention will be in progress already. That’s at the Wyndham near the airport. With the losses of McClelland and Dunhill pipe mixtures, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, but itll be fun overall.