Monday, September 17, 2012

Masonry as a Beginners School of Esotericism

I mentioned in my first post that Freemasonry is an awful system to conduct magic.

 It is however a fantastic system to train yourself in thinking and acting in an esoteric ways, which can lead to magical outcomes.

 The initiate is given tools to see beyond that which is on the surface and is given an insight into tho possibilities that research, service to others and love of God can unlock. The use of symbolic language and the symbols of Freemasonry themselves give an invaluable tool for future esoteric exploration and tunes the Mason's mind to the possibilities of symbolic thinking. The use of a ritual space, ritual clothing and actions all give the Mason an insight into the possibilities around sacred space.

 With the idea of Sacred Space in mind, the Masonic lodge structure and layout has informed Magical and Esoteric orders ever since they have been in existence in the modern age. The opening and closing of a lodge are particularly at the forefront of my thoughts when it comes to identifying links between Masonry and Magic.

The identification of individuals by a special name (their office in a Masonic Lodge, motto or magical name in a Magical Order), allocation of seating (NE corner the East etc) and the protection and opening of a sacred space by a set ritual (the Opening ritual etc), all of these are found in Magical and Masonic orders, but with different focuses.

 Service is another key part of Masonic and Magical Orders, in Masonic orders it is impossible to advance without service to others; your Masonic Brothers, the poor and needy. The first office filled by a Mason moving through the levels of authority is that of Steward; this is a position that involves assisting the officers of the Lodge and service of food and drink at the meal following the meeting. This is an important idea for the new Brother to engage with. Many people find it hard to adjust their minds to the concept of putting others first and service leading to advancement. The highest office in a Freemasons Lodge is the Worshipful Master of the Lodge, who is the head officer, but also it's chief servant, he does most of the ritual work and is responsible for the running of the Lodge and ensuring it is viable.

 The initiate, much like a new member of a magical order is required to learn certain lessons, study daily in the lessons of Freemasonry and explore the hidden mysteries of nature and science. The Magician does the same.

The focus of Masonry is on morality and virtue. Other associated orders can be considered to be more esoteric in focus, but the central lessons taught by interacting with Freemasonry allows the individual to be able to see a magical point of view more readily.

 This reason is why many of the 'old masters of magic' may have supported Freemasonry as a Magical essential. It changes the way you see the world and interact with symbolism around you. If supports virtues that they praised; charity, faith, justice and other morals essential to being a good Magician.

 There are many other correlations between Magic and Masonry and I encourage the true seekers of light to investigate them, but if you seek Magic in Masonry alone, you will be sorely disappointed. Use Masonry as a tool in your magical toolbox. It will support your studies in ways that may surprise you... In my personal opinion, Freemasonry is emphatically NOT a Magical order, but, it allows the individual who engages with its mysteries to develop an esoteric way of thinking.

There is more to this relationship but I won't give it all away...



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