Sunday, July 1, 2018

‘Masonry in the Age of Enlightenment’

If you were afraid of having nothing to do in the summertime, don’t worry, and get thee to Masonic Hall. On Saturday, July 14, a day of—well—enlightening lectures will be presented by four of the best speakers one could hope for. From the publicity:

Legends of the Craft
Masonry in the Age
of Enlightenment
Saturday, July 14
11:30 to 4:30
Masonic Hall
71 West 23rd Street, Manhattan
FREE admission—Tickets here

“Since 1717, there have been over 1000 ‘Masonic’ degrees created. The most popular survived and are included in many of the rites, orders, and systems we know today. Like a meal, each degree is only as good as its creator. The recipe may include many of the same ingredients as other meals, yet taste completely different. By analogy, we may see many of the same ‘ingredients’ (features like the use of the term Scottish) in a number of degrees which teach completely different things. The predilections of a degree’s author affect the content as much as the taste buds of a chef. The ‘flavor’ of the foundational Craft degrees in various rites, orders, and systems (Webb working, Scottish Rite, York Rite, Swedish Rite, RER, etc.), differs immensely, and in the ‘Higher Degrees,’ the differences are even more dramatic and pronounced. Some are philosophical, others practical; some present allegory, and others offer discourses on symbolism or (quasi-) historical themes.”

Arturo de Hoyos
“Esotericism is a Matter of Degrees”

The Legends of the Craft Symposium “Masonry During the Age of Enlightenment” is a one-day educational experience for Master Masons interested in the development of many of our rituals. The focus this year is on degree systems and rituals developed during the 18th century in Europe. We’re filling the room with Brothers, Companions, Sir Knights, and Sublime Princes from around the nation. The Symposium is free and features a 30-minute talk followed by 15 minutes of Q&A. After, there will be an amazing Festive Board (only $55 per person).

The goal is to get the smartest minds in Freemasonry in one room, and then learn a whole lot from each other.

The hosts are Shakespeare Lodge 750, Continental Lodge 287, and

The Lectures

The Legend of Comte de St Laurent
and his role in Scottish Rite Freemasonry
By E. Oscar Alleyne

In 1832 there arrived in the City of New York the Count de St. Laurent. He was a member of the Supreme Council of France and Grand Commander (Ad Vitam) of the Supreme Council 33º for Terra Firma, New Spain, South America, Puerto Rico, Canary Islands, etc. He found the old council sleeping in consequence of political and anti-Masonic troubles existing at that time. This lecture discusses his role in resuscitating that council, and many of the mysteries connected to him as he introduced Scottish Rite to African-American Masons.

Early Scots Masonry, the Royal Arch,
and the Scottish Rite
By Arturo de Hoyos

In the early 1730s in England there were “Scotch Masons” or “Scots Master Masons,” a step after the Master Mason Degree (and apparently unrelated to Scotland). By 1742 in Berlin there was talk of “higher or so-called Scottish Masonry.” In 1743 the Grand Lodge of France adopted a regulation limiting the privileges of “Scots Masters” in lodges. It’s clear from these few mentions that something was going on behind the scenes with “Scottish Masonry,” but we’re not quite sure what. These developments were happening at the same time the Royal Arch was gestating before its birth. It’s even possible the Royal Arch and Scottish Masonry came from the same sources. We just don’t know, until now.

“Early Scots Masonry, the Royal Arch, and the Scottish Rite” explores the early migration of Scots Master from Britain to Europe, its association with Royal Arch Masonry, and how it became the foundation for the Scottish Rite degrees.

The Magician, the Mystic,
and the Mason:
The Unlikely Origin of the Rectified Rite
By Piers A. Vaughan

Pasqually, Saint-Martin, and Willermoz are names which are revered in continental European Freemasonry, yet are scarcely known in England or the United States. Nevertheless, their influence has spread far beyond the borders of France, and what they established has affected Freemasonry—and other Orders—ever since.

In this talk, you will learn how an almost chance encounter between these three men in the latter part of the 18th century led to the creation of one of the most astonishing orders in Freemasonry, one which still exists and which is considered one of the highest honors to be invited to join. Yet few of its members really understand the gnostic, theurgic, and symbolic underpinnings of an order which, had the French Revolution not taken place, was set to become the standard work across Europe for the following centuries. Had this order become the basis of Freemasonry, there would have been no doubt that the fraternity would have indeed been based upon deeply spiritual and magical practices, and would indeed have been full of “secrets!”

Stephen Morin
and the Baylot Manuscript:
The Origins of the Order
of the Royal Secret
By Josef Wäges

One of the most elusive questions of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite concerns its origins. Where exactly did it come from, and from what source do its rituals emanate?

Many scholars have rightfully determined that Étienne Morin, also known as Stephen Morin, is the founder of this system, but it is even less certain precisely from whence his authority came, let alone who Étienne Morin was. The truth is that we only have a partial picture of who he was and the circumstances concerning his authority to establish the rite. Nevertheless, when one assembles all of the evidence and gathers still more, there is still enough light left in the fragments to project a more complete vision of the truth.

A close examination of the Baylot Manuscript, in comparison to the Francken Manuscripts in particular, is necessary because it reveals that this manuscript forms the nucleus of what became the Order of the Royal Secret, and later the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.

No comments: