Saturday, November 13, 2021

‘Possible MBC offerings’


You’re all subscribers of the Masonic Book Club, yes?

Well, if you aren’t, you will want to remedy that to avail yourselves of the rare titles the MBC is considering for publication.

Last month, the vast support staff at the MBC polled its subscribers—“and I think we all know how painful that can be”—to assess our interest in these seven books. You’ve read a few; you’ve heard of some; you don’t know others. From the survey:

The Arcane Schools by John Yarker was published in 1909 and is a survey of initiatory practices and connections worldwide which may share a relationship to Masonry and esoteric societies. The book is similar to Frazer’s The Golden Bough in some regards, and contains much interesting (as well as highly speculative) material.

The Book M or Masonry Triumphant was first published in 1736 and has never been reprinted. This rare work contains early versions of Masonic history, lectures, charges, and songs. The title may allude to Rosicrucian themes, and has an esoteric bent.

Burlesque Degrees were popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These are parodies of fraternal initiations intended to be performed for the amusement of members, families, and friends. This collection would feature the more popular such scripts.

The Meaning of Masonry and Masonic Initiation by W.L. Wilmshurst are two of the most popular esoteric Masonic books. Wilmshurst’s works explore deeper esoteric aspects of the rituals, and how they relate to practical Masonic work for the member.

Reprints by the Leicestershire Lodge of Research No. 2429 were published from 1907 to 1929. They were much like MBC volumes, reproducing significant Masonic documents (usually pamphlets) with commentaries. The collection is very scarce and valuable.

The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry by Arthur Edward Waite was first published in 1911. The expanded and revised 1937 edition was so much improved that he considered it a new text. It traces esoteric themes within the degrees and rites.

Three Distinct Knocks and Jachin and Boaz, with commentary. After Masonry Dissected was published in 1730, there was almost a 30-year gap before new exposures like these appeared in England and showed how the ritual had evolved. These purported to reveal the rituals of the Antients and Moderns.

I want ’em all, but we were asked to rank them in preference, so we’ll see how it shakes out.

Join the Masonic Book Club today and cast your vote!

1 comment:

S. Brent Morris said...

It is fortunate that the MBC "vast support staff" has a total of 45+ years of statistics experience and should be able to analyze the data. The staff works under the definition that a statistician draws a mathematically precise line from an unfounded assumption to a foregone conclusion.