Sunday, January 31, 2016

‘Red Book events coming to the Big Apple’

In happier publishing news (see post below), Carl Jung’s enigmatic and irrepressible Red Book, or at least the art within, is making the rounds worldwide, including two events in New York City coming soon. As reported previously on The Magpie, the huge Occult Humanities Conference at New York University is only a week away. Coming soon are two related events in Brooklyn and Manhattan. From the publicity:

The Incantations on Page 54 of the Red Book by C.G. Jung.

Snakes, Dragons, and Other Scaly Creatures:
A Red Book Event and Conference

Gallery Opening Event: March 4
Exhibit: February 29 to April 1
Salena Gallery of Long Island University
One University Place, Brooklyn

Conference: March 5
C. G. Jung Center of New York
28 East 39th Street, 
Click here

From February 29 to April 1, an exhibition of the DigitalFusion prints from Jung’s Red Book will take place at the Salena Gallery of Long Island University-Brooklyn. You are cordially invited to the Opening Reception on Friday, March 4 at the gallery at One University Place in Brooklyn. These magnificent 25x33-inch reproductions of Jung’s paintings made their art world debut at the 55th Annual Venice Biennale in 2013, where the original manuscript of the Red Book was on display.

In conjunction with the exhibit, a conference will be held on Saturday, March 5 at the C.G. Jung Center of New York (28 East 39th Street). Titled “Snakes, Dragons, and other Scaly Creatures,” the conference will be co-sponsored by the C.G. Jung Institute of New York, the New York Association for Analytical Psychology, the C.G. Jung Foundation of New York, the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism, and the Analytical Psychology Club of New York.

Jung asserted that when we meditate on a particular image, it comes alive and takes on an independent life of its own. “That is the case with any fantasy image… It gets restless, it shifts, something is added, or it multiples itself; one fills it with living power.” We invite you to muse on the symbol of the snake. Let the image speak to you and stir your imagination. Follow your ideas into realms such as psychological theory, mythology, clinical practice, and contemporary culture.

‘Salamander and Sons: the presses stopped’

Atalanta Fugiens by Michael Maier, 1618.

“According to Paracelsus, the salamander lives in fire, but not in dark, material fire, but rather in the essential ‘spirit-fire of nature.’”

Alexander Roob
Alchemy and Mysticism

Another essential publisher has gone out of business. From the unhappy publicity:

Closure Announcement

Salamander and Sons collapsed financially, and ceased publishing operations effective 31 December 2015.

The press will remain partially operational, until its complete closure on 31 March 2016.

During the first quarter of 2016, it will remain possible to purchase titles from the Salamander and Sons back list, consisting of books published between 2007 and 2015.

All remaining Salamander and Sons stock will be heavily discounted, as any stock unsold after 31 March 2016 will be destroyed.

Wholesale and other bulk orders are encouraged, as such orders will be even more heavily discounted.

Sales revenue generated will be utilized to square accounts with authors, process refunds of pre-orders for two failed fine binding projects, and to settle with creditors.

Note that it may take until 30 June 2016 for all matters administrative (including refunds, etc.) to be tended to. Thanks for your understanding.

Click here to see the remaining stock available to you. Titles by Greer, Hardacre, Millar, and others should be snapped up.

‘Masonic stamp club celebrates 50th’


Celebrating its golden anniversary in 2016 is the George Washington Masonic Stamp Club, which will hold its annual meeting in February. From the publicity:

George Washington Masonic Stamp Club
Sunday, February 28
George Washington Masonic Memorial
Alexandria, Virginia

1:30 - Social/Cover Exchange
2 p.m. - GWMSC Opens (no officer elections this year)
Cancelled Covers: Ken Hanson, Past President, Truman E. Boutar, Huge A. Schwen, and Dr. Allan Boudreau
2:30 - Reading and vote of applications
2:45 - Special Acknowledgment of Robert Domingue, newest member, Society of Blue Friars.
2:50 - Degree of Philately
3:30 - Door prizes awarded
4 p.m. - Close of GWMSC meeting
4:30 - Adjourn to Theismann’s Restaurant for “no host” dinner.
4:40 – Introductions
4:50 - Guest Speaker Mark Wright, PM, Federal Lodge No. 1, on “Native Masons,” with illustrations of Native American stamps.
5:20 – Dinner
6:30 - Adjourn

About Our Speaker:
Mark A. Wright, 32°, KCCH

His family has a long history of Masonic memberships documented back at least to his great-grandfather Samuel Long, principal chief of the Wyandotte Tribe of Indians, who was a Shriner and Knight Templar. His Masonic career in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, when he received the degrees of the Order of DeMolay in Howard Weber Chapter on June 10,
1972. He is a past grand commander of Nation’s Capital Court of Chevaliers and a past dean of Nation’s Capital Preceptory, DeMolay Legion of Honor.

Initiated an EA in Bartlesville Lodge No. 284 on March 8, 1980; passed to FC in Lawrence (Kansas) Lodge No. 6 (as a courtesy) in 1980; and raised a MM by his father, Luther A. Wright, Jr., on August 5, 1980. Federal Lodge No. 1 elected him to dual membership in 2007. Federal Lodge No. 1 elected Mark Aaron Wright on November 12, 2012 to serve as its 153rd Master.

Tulsa Consistory elevated him to the 32° of Scottish Rite Masonry in 1980, and he was invested a KCCH in 2011. He serves the Valley of Washington as general tiler since 2010, and chairman of membership and development since 2011. He was exalted in Bartlesville Chapter No. 55, Royal Arch Masons; greeted in Bartlesville Council No. 41, Royal and Select Masters; and knighted in Cavalry Commandery No. 26, Knights Templar. Mark was hailed a prophet in Kara Grotto, Mystic Order of the Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm; and initiated into Topeka (Kansas) Council No. 1, Ancient Toltec Rite. He was created a noble in Akdar Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, in 1982, and currently belongs to Almas Temple.

Mark served as a Justice of the Supreme Court for the Sac and Fox Tribe from 1991 to 1999, taught Indian law at colleges in Oklahoma. Came to Washington during the Bush Administration to serve in the Department of the Interior as Indian probate program national director.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

‘Freemasonry is a verb in New York’

Where else should a Knight of the North be than in the service of the NorthStar Project?

NorthStar is a Grand Lodge of New York initiative being rolled out under the direction of Deputy Grand Master Jeffrey Williamson. While it is a strategy to improve membership development and membership retention, it is a comprehensive approach that makes Masonic education the common ground on which Masons young and senior may build tomorrow’s Freemasonry together. It will put very deliberate action into key teachings of the fraternity, and that’s why it will succeed.

NorthStar is understood under two denominations: Candidate Selection Process and Success Coaching. The former is a vetting system that will screen potential petitioners to ensure appropriate and informed guarding of the West Gate. This is apart from, and in advance of, the procedural investigation of a candidate already undertaken by the lodge. I’m always reluctant to use business jargon in discussing Freemasonry, but I suppose this can be considered Quality Assurance. Candidate Selection permits the prospective petitioner to learn about both the Masonic fraternity at large, and the particular lodge he has contacted, while allowing the lodge to assess the man, and decide if he is the right fit for Freemasonry, and, if so, which lodge would be best for him. The right lodge may turn out to be a different lodge than that he contacted to inquire into membership. Success Coaching is the logical next phase of the strategy. If you are familiar with the term “godfather,” as employed in Continental Masonic systems, then you know this Grand Lodge is embarking on a change of culture that will instill action into brotherhood.

Freemasonry is a verb in New York.

In this endeavor, the Success Coach fulfills a great duty to the candidate, from the petitioning phase through his Masonic maturation. Just as the Selection Process is distinct from the standard candidate investigation, the coaching is not to be confused with the mentoring that helps the candidate prepare for the initiatory degrees. It is to be the method of instructing the new Freemason in the meaning of Masonry. This plan acknowledges that Freemasonry is a lifetime pursuit, and that Masonic education is essential for advancing on the path. While many mistake Masonic education for ritual instruction and etiquette lessons, it is explained in perfect clarity in NorthStar that education shall encompass “the Craft’s history, purpose, operation, symbolism, law, philosophy, obligations and ideals.”

This is where I’ve always wanted to be in Freemasonry—aiding others in acquiring the meaning of Masonry, and metabolizing the tenets and values for the improvement of the individual, and the invigoration of the fraternity. As of Monday night, about 75 of us from various Metropolitan lodges are certified to bring the NorthStar Project to fruition in our lodges and other lodges. This is a very ambitious enterprise that could reform an entire culture in the Craft that for decades has acquiesced to initiating every man with a pulse who asks, before practically abandoning him to find his own way after his Third Degree, and then barely noticing his absence and inevitable quitting the fraternity. To too many Masons for too long that has been the accepted lodge model, but NorthStar delivers the guidelines that bring focus and purpose to the art of initiation and to the making of a Mason. Light added to Light.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

‘Past MWM Night’


The flier says it all, so click on the graphic to enlarge, but I do want to say the dinner to be served at this event will be terrific. I have eaten in Bro. Thind’s restaurant and enjoyed every forkful, so, in addition to “the food that lasts for eternal life,” enjoy a great meal.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

‘Western NY Lodge of Research’

Buffalo is far beyond my orbit, but here’s what Western New York Lodge of Research No. 9007 has planned for the coming months. From the publicity:

Stated Communication
Saturday, February 13
10 a.m.
Cheektowaga Masonic Center
97 Lucid Drive in Buffalo
Program: “The Gothic Cathedral Builders” by Mark Robson.

Discussion Group
Saturday, March 12
10 a.m.
Masonic Service Bureau
121 South Long Street in Williamsville
Program: “The Book of Enoch” (The group circulates a PDF to be read before the meeting.)

Field Trip to the Morgan Monument
Saturday, April 9
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Batavia Cemetery
Batavia, Genesee County, NY
A visit to “the infamous statue and obelisk erected in 1883.”

This research lodge does something that I admire: meeting monthly! The regular communications are held in February, May, and October on the second Saturdays, but there also is the Discussion Group that gathers in each of the other nine months.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

‘Postal Service to issue Richard Allen stamp’

While at the local post office Tuesday afternoon, I spotted the promotional poster on the wall announcing the upcoming issue of a stamp commemorating Richard Allen as part of the Black Heritage series. From the publicity:

Courtesy USPS
A 49¢ Forever stamp.    
Richard Allen: Preacher, activist, and civic leader Richard Allen (1760-1831) was an inspiring figure whose life and work resonate profoundly in American history. This stamp coincides with the 200th anniversary of Allen’s founding of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the most important institutions in African-American life, as well as his election as its first bishop.

The stamp art is a portrait of Allen, a detail from an 1876 print titled “Bishops of the A.M.E. Church.” Featuring Allen in the center surrounded by ten other bishops and six historical vignettes, the print is from the collection of the Library Company of Philadelphia. The noon ET February 2 First-Day-of-Issue ceremony will take place at the Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia.

In Freemasonry, Richard Allen was a member of African Lodge No. 459, the original Prince Hall Masonic lodge in Boston, and it was he who founded a daughter lodge in Philadelphia also named African Lodge. This event ignited the process of the Boston lodge becoming a grand lodge, and the rest is history. I do not know if any of that would be significant in the eyes of the U.S. Postal Service, but I recall there was a petition several years ago to create a stamp commemorating Prince Hall himself. I don
t know the disposition of that, but I hope there is such a stamp in production.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

‘Shakespeare at Anthroposophy NYC’

When you are active in Freemasonry and/or kindred arts, you appreciate and endeavor to harness the science of language and, with that in mind, I will be at Anthroposophy NYC on the 21st for this lecture and performance. From the publicity:

Shakespeare and the Mystery
of the Human Being
Presented by Michael Burton
Thursday, January 21
7 p.m.
Anthroposophy NYC
138 West 15th Street
New York City

Magpie file photo

This evening revolves around the dilemma spoken aloud by Hamlet when he asks, “To be or not to be?” The question means much more than just, Does one go on living? It asks how a person is going to live: With truth, with authenticity, or in a manner that turns their life into a lie? Through 17 excerpts from Shakespeare plays (with Hamlet the most used), actor Michael Burton unfolds this meditation on what it means to be a human being.

Michael Burton has worked with artistic speech and drama for more than 35 years as a writer, speech performer, actor, speech therapist, and voice teacher. He is the author of In the Light of a Child, which turns Rudolf Steiner’s Soul Calendar into poems for children, and is used by many Steiner/Waldorf teachers and parents. He has written and performed one-man plays about Rembrandt, Beethoven, Dag Hammarskjold and World War II kiwi soldier Jim Henderson.

Burton’s visit is connected with Lemniscate Arts’ project, begun in 2012, to awaken forces of renewal worldwide for the performing arts initiated by Rudolf Steiner. The goal is a globally touring repertory production including symphonic eurythmy (like the New World Symphony Tour of 2004-5), a Shakespeare play using artistic speech and eurythmy, and a new mystery drama written by Michael Burton from an outline of scenes developed by Marke Levene with the characters in Rudolf Steiner’s Mystery Dramas.

Click here for more on Hamlet and the power of language.

Burton will perform again, on the following night, at the Waldorf School of Princeton.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

‘Rosicrucian wedding invitation’

A much anticipated convivial appointment will prevent me from attending, but there is no reason why you should miss the Rosicrucian Order’s program Saturday afternoon where one of the original Rosicrucian manifestos will be the topic of discussion. From the publicity:

The Chymical Wedding:
A Marriage with the Soul
Saturday, January 9
1 to 3 p.m.

Rosicrucian Cultural Center
2303 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd.
New York City

Courtesy AMORC

On the four hundredth anniversary of the publication of the third Rosicrucian manifesto, join Grand Master Julie Scott in an exploration of the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz, an initiatic narrative describing one person’s quest on the way to the marriage with his soul.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

‘Collectanea: Cerneau in print’

By now some of you may be tired of me promoting and encouraging membership in the Grand College of Rites, something I’ve been doing here and there in social media and in my travels for about fifteen years, but if you are a thinking Mason, then the GCR merits your attention.

Especially now.

The Grand College of Rites is custodian of a multitude of defunct Masonic rites and orders, conserving their rituals and publishing them for education Masons, like you and me, in its annual edition of Collectanea, edited by Arturo de Hoyos, Grand Archivist extraordinaire. It is about to go to press with its 2015 book William H. Peckham’s Cerneau Scottish Rite, Part 1: 4°-9°.

This will be the first time complete Cerneau rituals will be available in print, says Grand Registrar Gerald Klein in a letter to the membership. Those who were members in good standing for 2015 will receive this volume of Collectanea soon. If you are not a member and will attend Masonic Week next month in Virginia, you may join there. (Don’t quote me, but I believe you’d receive this Cerneau book there and then.) The ideal way to join is simply to click here and download the petition for membership and send it in.

Annual dues cost a mere $15. (In New York City, you can’t even take yourself to the movies for fifteen bucks, so just sign up already.)

So who was William H. Peckham? He was Sovereign Grand Commander of the Cerneau Scottish Rite during the 1880s. Look into some of his correspondence, courtesy of the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library of the Grand Lodge of New York, here.

But about the Cerneau book. From the publicity:

Named after Joseph Cerneau (1763-184?), “Cerneauism” was a rival and illegitimate form of Scottish Rite Masonry that challenged the Southern Jurisdiction and Northern Masonic Jurisdiction during most of the 1800s.

Cerneau, a Frenchman and resident of Havana, Cuba, was a jeweler and Secretary of a Pennsylvania lodge, La Temple des Virtus Theogalis. In 1806 he was appointed Inspector of the 25-degree Order of the Royal Secret (Rite of Perfection), with authority to create one new 25° Mason each year in Cuba. In 1807 he moved to New York City. After the Mother Supreme Council in Charleston created the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction in 1813, Cerneau’s Consistory put forth a Supreme Council of 33 degrees and claimed territory over the “United States of America, its Territories and Dependencies.” In 1853 it chartered two Blue lodges in New York City, which may have sealed its fate as forever illegitimate.

Despite its many ups and downs, the Cerneau Supreme Council became a strong rival to the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, and in 1867 merged with the NMJ. In 1881, dissatisfied former members of the Cerneau Supreme Council renounced their vows of fealty, withdrew from the NMJ, and reactivated the Supreme Council for the United States of America, its Territories and Dependencies. Eventually the conflict between the Supreme Councils (primarily in the NMJ) spilled over into Blue lodges. The courts ultimately upheld a grand lodge’s right to control what Masonic groups its members could belong to, and only then did “Cerneauism” come to an end.

So I’m looking forward to this edition of Collectanea to see what the hubbub was all about. If I’m not mistaken, to this day those visiting a lodge in Pennsylvania must affirm to the brother tiler that they are not members of the Cerneau Masonry. But to be fair, it must be remembered that Cerneau died in the 1840s, and the more infamous deeds undertaken in his name followed in the ensuing decades.

Cerneau was a jeweler by profession. I would love to see what he crafted for the officers of his Consistory.

The annual meeting of the Grand College of Rites will convene Saturday, February 13 at 8 a.m. amid the Masonic Week events in Arlington, Virginia. Hope to see you there.

Friday, January 1, 2016

‘Journal No. 30 is out’


Issue No. 30 of The Journal of the Masonic Society is in the mail now, providing indispensible insights into things Masonic to members of The Masonic Society and to non-member subscribers. Click here to join us.

In other news, the bustling Forum, our on-line place for discussion among paid members, has been reborn in time for a new year. Thanks to Bro. Nathan, the change is from phpBB, which is fraught with technical inferiorities, to XenForo, which is a contemporary platform with a better look and improved functionality. I just logged on, and I’m very pleased with the results.

And don’t forget our upcoming annual meeting. Click here for details.

But about the new Journal: Progress, even when arrested, seems to be a theme.

Bo Cline, a Past Grand Master of Alaska and a Past President of The Masonic Society, gives us “Ahead of Their Time: The Grand Lodge of Washington, and the Aborted Recognition of Prince Hall Freemasonry” in which he recounts the story of William Henry Upton.

Upton was grand master of the Grand Lodge of Washington at the close of the nineteenth century—so you see how incomprehensively ahead of his time he was—when he guided the grand lodge through the revolutionary process of extending recognition of Prince Hall Masons in Washington.

Of course it was not to endure (it wasn’t until 1990 that the two grand lodges in Washington established relations), but the details are amazing.

Executive Editor Michael Halleran, a Past Grand Master of Kansas, suggests “Let Him Wait with Patience?” in which he analyzes the effects of the crazy membership drives on Freemasonry in the United States. This is not a familiar retelling of the arguments over one-day classes and other exertions to boost membership; Halleran follows “doctrinal shifts” in Masonic history to form his bold conclusion summarizing where Masons are today, and hinting at where we must go tomorrow.

And one aspect of Masonic progress that is near to my heart is communications, namely those strategized by lodges to maintain a consistent reputation and relevance within their communities. Here, Ms. Emily Limón, the Grand Lodge of California’s vice president of communications and the executive editor of California Freemason magazine, outlines her plan for a professional Masonic awareness campaign. And—Hey!—it’s not about membership development. Owned media and shared media; paid media and earned media; goals and results are explained clearly. Freemasonry has a unique reason for being, she says, and strategic communications “can make all the difference in motivating members, educating the public, and moving the organization forward for future generations.”

(Not for nothing, but I was saying that to anyone who would listen fifteen years ago in my home jurisdiction. The closest I came to any success was seeing the PR committee in another jurisdiction brazenly plagiarize my Masonic media plan.)

In his “Thoughts on the Craft,” Stephen J. Ponzillo, Past Grand Master of Maryland (To be clear, it is not necessary to be a grand master to write for The Journal of the Masonic Society!) explains demographic changes in Freemasonry, drawing a conclusion about today’s youngest Master Masons that may be surprising to a certain kind of thinker stuck in the past.

Elsewhere in the name of progress in this edition of The Journal, President Jim Dillman of Indiana writes of “New Horizons for the Masonic Society” in his eighth and final President’s Message. He does not say goodbye as he welcomes Ken Davis to the presidency, but promises to continue serving The Masonic Society for as long as he has something to offer. And that he has. TMS is planning several historic initiatives to be unveiled in the near future. (Actually, we will share some of this information at our annual meeting next month.) The Masonic world is going to take a new look at The Masonic Society.

In other regular features of The Journal, Masonic Collectibles by Yasha Beresiner shares several hilarious vintage Masonic postcards. Book reviews delve into new titles (John Bizzack’s Taking Issue and the long awaited Masonic Perspectives by Thomas W. Jackson, for starters) and a classic text from eighteenth century German Enlightenment.

Membership in The Masonic Society costs only $39 a year—the best money you’ll spend on a Masonic affiliation outside your lodge. January 1 is a great time to start.