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Wow, ok, need more advice guys....

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posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 10:26 AM
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Hello again,

Well much has happened in regards to my joining my local Lodge, and some very, very interesting things have come about, which I'm at a loss to really understand. So I decided I'd put this out here in hopes that some of you fine gentlemen can help guide me in the right direction. As follows:

OK so the other day I met with several Masons inside the "public area" of the lodge(where non masons can rent for weddings or parties, you know). I was thoroughly questioned about my joining The Craft, what are my intentions, what do I seek, what do I think of Masonry at present etc. This line of questioning was re-worded many different times, and asked by the various brothers in different ways. It seemed to last for an eternity, however that is probably because I was so very nervous throughout the whole ordeal.

Well, throughout the first few questions, you know where it's nothing really specific to "you", more of a "get to know you" type thing; well I just had this overwhelming feeling to "Just say what I truly feel" no false pretenses, no "stroking" so to speak.

So throughout the entire ordeal I just let fly with my search for esoteric knowledge, understanding of the ancient knowledge(I think I may have said that several times at least). They asked where I got the idea that I could learn of such things in Masonry, and I explained I'd been an avid researcher of Masonry for a long while, and that in addition to that, I have spoken to some great Masons, and the combined experiences reinforced my desire to join.

So after an "eternity" of this type of questioning, things became much more relaxed. I mean you could almost feel the mood lighten in the room, like the air became "lighter" hehe, I mean you could tell that the "meat" of the interview had ended. So we "bull#ted" for awhile, my friend was there, and they were poking fun at us for a certain fiasco the Police and Sheriff's office had with one old lady and her cats a few weeks back. You know, just your average b.s. . Well after that the older one, who'd been quite stood up, I guess that implied that the session was finished, as soon as he rose, the others did as well, we exchanged handshakes and smiles, and I was more than ready to leave, not out of discomfort, quite the contrary, and I wanted to really really focus on the entire incident, I was really excited, and yeah a little nervous still(did they like me? did I come off "flaky" you know?).

Well in the parking lot, my friend and I where having a smoke, just a bit quiet, minor discussion. I wanted to ask him what he thought of the interview and so on, ,but I thought it'd be best not to "push it".

I hopped into my Jeep and started to head out but the old man who seemed so quiet inside earlier came out and I saw him at my friend's car. He then came over to me and asked me to come inside to discuss things. I went in and we sat in a normal office looking thing. He was rather quiet for a minute or so, kinda just like thinking of what to say or whatnot. He opened with some trivial comment on my being "grilled" and we shared a laugh, very kind man, thoughtful eyes. No clue who he is though, and in a town of 6,000, that's a tad rare.

He then basically implied that I would be most welcome to join, if I wished to, and I stated I was indeed most interested, and thanked him for easing my mind on the subject. He then went on to explain that since I'd moved to the town(about 7yrs ago), and wasn't born "here", that the fellas just wanted to see what I was all about. At this time it's getting a bit late,and I'm sure the wife wants my butt home, and I get the feeling he sensed my "eagerness" to head out. So when he brought up the next thing, it got interesting, and this is where I need your advice:

He basically told me that from what had been discussed, it was clear that I wanted a deeper understanding of Masonry's core [than] most do, as they don't get a ton of "initiates", mainly just the sons of other Brothers, small town etc, and that most that join are really joining to carry a tradition, as much as to better themselves, and a distant third would be any esoteric value. Needless to say I was a bit puzzled as to what the heck he meant, and he'd just basically said I was most welcome to join, and now it almost sounded that he was discouraging me from doing so.

He must've noticed that thought on my face because he just kept talking, almost as to keep me from "over-analyzing" the discussion at the moment. He basically said that there are those that do want the same things as I, and that he was only one of the few. He, without going into too much detail, said that if I wanted, they could move me through the 3 fairly quickly.

Needless to say, as you know, I'm about the deeper meanings, and as I stated to you all, I wanted to take my time with the knowledge. So I had to ask him just how "rushing" things would be in my best interest. I mean I thought he'd totally not understood me.

He explained that there are locally, some, "un-official" orders(Clandestine I guess?), that require you to be Master Mason before you can join, and one that you must hold the title Master Mason(in good standing) for at least a year to join. He explained that basically these orders expand upon the symbolism and knowledge found in the "Blue Lodge", and that if I were really wanting to pursue such things, that is where I want to align myself.

Anyway, we parted ways kindly, but I think he knew that I was already trying to contemplate these thoughts, and he left me to it. You know, Masonry is so interesting, there's no pressure to do anything, in fact they almost discourage to see if intent is pure, and I very much respect that. Despite what many on here may think, a cult, Masonry is certainly not.

So for about a week, I have thought of these things, and cannot decide what to do. I mean do I take his advice, and he seems to really be on the same "wavelength" as I, or at least really really understood me and my vision. I don't know what to do, or think. I mean that's a hell of a lot to think about. Anyone with any general thoughts on these "Clandestine" arms of Masonry, have any thoughts for me? Really need advice, as I want to get back to him soon, I hope he knows I'm just really thinking, not that he's "scared me off" or that I'm "disinterested". I appreciate your thoughts and advice on this.

TS

P.S. I thought about it, and yeah, I probably could ask my friend many of these questions, but I don't want to feel like an ass, or make it seem that I'm "scared" to him of all people. Funny the confidence the anonymity of the web can produce, heh.

TS




P.P.S. Also FWIW, I don't want to imply that he was speaking to me in a "Official capacity" when we spoke of "Clandestine" orders, as I thought that they were not "Officially" recognized by freemasonry, and therefore weren't to be condoned. Am I mistaken on this? I never paid them much attention in my research, as I thought they were not part of Masonry proper, maybe that was an error of mine. Thanks again!

TS


[edit on 13-6-2004 by TheSeeker]




posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 11:10 AM
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Good questions, im glad you feel comfortable enough to ask us such things. First and foremost congratulations on your interview, it definitely seem's to have gone well.

What the older brother told you about those who wish to joing freemasonry is true in many cases. Many do in fact join because their father was a mason, or because they wish to carry on a tradition, or simply for fraternal value. Some join in hopes of bettering themselves as a man through masonry, many join for all of the combined reasons above but there are definitely very few in comparison who join for the esoterics. Lodges vary in terms of how esoteric they may or may not get, this can be frustrating for a brother who joined in search of such things and has not been able to attain them through his lodge. Hence why it is was very important to be honest in your interview, which you apprently were. The brother was kind for letting you know in his terms it seems that the lodge is not that esoteric and most likely your thirst for such things would not be found within it. Hence why he cut through the chase in my opinion and shared the information regarding the clandestine lodges which apparently he is not only aware of but a participant one would imagine as he claims the same thirst for esoterics as you.

We recently had a brother who is a Master Mason come to our lodge from another because of this same reason, they were not esoteric enough for him. My lodge is quite esoteric and as I stated earlier this varies from lodge to lodge. Obviously in large metropolis's such as the one I reside in one has more options but in a small town such as yours these options can be quite limited.

The clandestine option is quite ...... interesting. They are not recognized as official masonic lodges because in some way or another they do not abide by Masonic Law, Charter or Tradition, but this does not mean they are negative in any sense. The interesting thing about them however is that many of them although not recognized as official lodges and consequently orders, are made up of Master Masons who do in fact sit in official lodges, so its a toss up. (just for clarification this is based upon my personal experience)

So I guess the question is what do you have to loose by doing either? My recomendation to you, based upon your desire would be to join the official lodge, learn what you can there and if you indeed do still seek more, speak with that brother again about the clandestine lodge and make your decision from there once you understand things a bit better.

HOTEP



posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 11:12 AM
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TheSeeker,

Congratulations on what I'm sure was an excellent interview. It's obvious they want to get you in.

As for the older man, I suspect he probably saw your interest in esoterica and was trying to encourage you to join a concordant body after you become a Master Mason. I'll be honest, I do it all the time with new candidates - "So, you've bcome a Mason! Mazel Tov! Listen, have you ever heard about the Scottish Rite? If you don't like that, how about the York Rite? I can help you out getting into either... I'm in everything!
"

I suspect the concordant body which he wanted you to join was not a clandestine one... it's always possible, but clandestine means much more than unofficial. Clandestine usually means a body to which a Mason cannot belong without potentially forfeiting his membership, a body of which the Grand Lodge disapproves (Say, for example, the Rite of Memphis-Mizraim in many places in the States, or some branch of the Grand Orient of France). Now, in most cases, even if you join these bodies, Grand Lodge doesn't care... GL is usually loathe to use its power in that way, since it would be as if it is trying to control what a Mason can and cannot study - not a good scene.

But in all likelihood, the older brother was simply trying to pique your interest in something non-clandestine, but fairly esoteric, like the SRICF in the States, or maybe the Martinists or the AMD or something. Don't worry even a little.

If I were you, I'd proceed with joining your Lodge normally, but keep in touch with this older fellow, and see what he has to say. He's obviously picked you out as "someone special."



posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 11:21 AM
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Well, I'm not a Mason (due to a little problem called "being a woman"
), but my personal opinion is that if I were you, I'd join in a heartbeat! What a fascinating experience. If it turns out that you don't like these "clandestine" groups, you can always quit. Clandestine secret society stuff - how fun! If it weren't for the fact that I know he'd keep his vows to keep things secret, I'd tell my husband to join and report back to me.



posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 11:24 AM
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My advice would be for you, at the moment, to concentrate on your Blue Degrees. Once you become a Master Mason, be very wary of joining any so-called “clandestine” organization. Membership in clandestine bodies is forbidden, and will cause a regular Mason to be expelled.
I salute your interest in the esoteric, as this is also why I myself became a Mason. And the Brother you talked with is mostly correct: the vast majority of the “older Masons” have absolutely zero interest in the esoteric. However, you will find many younger Masons who are indeed interested in the esoteric. In a sense, the older guys look at Masonry as a civic club, while the younger ones see it as an opportunity for inner growth.

As you are yourself interested in the esoteric, I would recommend the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, but even this Rite, although filled with mysticism, is not a “teaching Order”, in the sense of practical application of esoteric science.

There are, however, non-Masonic esoteric Orders that do teach such disciplines. Since they are not technically Masonic, they are not clandestine, and a Mason does not put his Masonic membership in jeopardy by joining them. One such organization, the Builders of the Adytum, I have belonged to for many years, and I invite you to view our website at:

www.bota.org...

BOTA admits both men and women who are of full age, and are of good report.

Good luck on your Masonic journey, and keep us updated!

Fiat Lvx.


[edit on 13-6-2004 by Masonic Light]



posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 11:32 AM
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Hi all, this post isn't really anything to do with the thread apart from the "advice" part, but I was hoping that some of you knowledgeble masons could help me with something.

I came home from University and was helping my gran clear out a lot of my grandfather's old things (he died 10 yrs ago), and we came accross a Masonic item that I was hoping you could help me identify. Apparently he was a "grandmaster" in our local lodge, and I was just wondering if any of you could tell me what in fact this was :

www.justonemorething.co.uk...

Sorry about the quality (and size) of the picture, its the best I could manage with my dodgy digital camera. The item consists of the main part which has a "G" in the middle, a compass on the top and a ruler on the bottom, which I think is pretty standard masonic imagery? Then inscribed on the detail surrounding this says "Vigilant Masonic Lodge No. 456", and there is also some detail on the middle part of the ribbon, which would seem to be letters but I cant actually make out.

She apparently had a lot of other items of his from the Masonic that she has since unfortunately misplaced, so this one is probably not that important but it would be nice to know what it is
She also mentioned that he had some sort of "jewel", sorry to be so vague but she was just as vague I can assure you! Would anyone be able to offer any insight into what this might have been also?

I realise the image is bad and this isn't a masonic help forum, but any information would be greatly appreciated



posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 12:08 PM
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The item consists of the main part which has a "G" in the middle, a compass on the top and a ruler on the bottom, which I think is pretty standard masonic imagery? Then inscribed on the detail surrounding this says "Vigilant Masonic Lodge No. 456", and there is also some detail on the middle part of the ribbon, which would seem to be letters but I cant actually make out.


I enhanced the pic as far as I could, but you still can't see much.
I think it may be a medal of some kind. Possibly an award, but I can't be sure. No doubt one of the Masons here will know.




[edit on 13-6-2004 by Pisky]



posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 05:14 PM
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Well, first of all, it's important to note that it is impossible to be the "Grandmaster" of a single Lodge. The title Grandmaster means the leader of Grand Lodge, that is, the leader of an entire Masonic Jurisdiction (so, for example, the Grandmaster of my Jurisdiction is "leader" of all of Alberta plus a fairly large portion of the Northwest Territories).

As for the object of which you took a picture it appears to be a "jewel." It's not a medal, per se, but is a decoration given to Masons, usually after they have completed a year in certain offices. From what you've said, I suspect it is a Master's Jewel. If you look on the back, they are usually engraved with years and the title of the office, and sometime the holder's name. Often, they are passed down from person to person, so it may not have your grandfather's name. You should also check with the Lodge to which your grandfather belonged.



posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 05:24 PM
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Thanks a lot for the information, you were absolutely right about the inscription on the back. It was presented to a person called James W. Reid in Jan 1947 (not my grandfather
), I thought maybe he had it to present to someone and he didn't get around to it before he died, so thanks for clearing that up. Unfortunately it doesn't mention the office or anything like that, so I think I will take it down to the lodge and see if anyone can help me out. Most intruiging


Could you point me in the direction of some useful web sites with information on the structure of masonry and perhaps more information about what being a "master" is and involves? I've googled some web sites for myself but its hard to sift through the inaccurate information and plain anti-masonic sites.

[edit on 13-6-2004 by slick]



posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 07:53 PM
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Originally posted by slick
Could you point me in the direction of some useful web sites with information on the structure of masonry and perhaps more information about what being a "master" is and involves? I've googled some web sites for myself but its hard to sift through the inaccurate information and plain anti-masonic sites.


Worshipful Master is the title of the Presiding Officer of a Lodge. Other organizations would call their equivalent to this Officer the “President”.
In most states, the Master is elected to one 1 year term, although some states have 2 year terms (the other Lodge officers serve terms continuous with that of the Master).
To respond to your request for a good Masonic website, see www.mastermason.com...

Fiat Lvx.



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 03:29 PM
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Hello all,

I'm truly sorry for such a late response, but the current of life swept me away for a little while.
Let me first say that I hope I find each of you well. I'm so glad that I got the responses I did, as it really helped to stabilize my views, and grounded me back to my true focus of joining The Craft.

Khonsu,Masonic Light, Alex Kennedy, and others,

Thank you for your kind words, I too am sure things have gone very well regarding my soon initiation. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am, but I'm sure you all know the same feelings personally.

Thank you for reinforcing the statement that many join as a tradition etc, on some level I knew that was true, maybe before he even stated it. I don't judge anyone due to the fact that they may have joined The Craft at first due to a sense of duty or tradition. In fact, I wish I had such a tradition, I'd have became a Mason much earlier on in life.

Also it's my firm belief, after some reflection, that even if one does join due to tradition etc, that he most likely finds more there as his time goes on. In fact it may be that the door to membership is opened by a sense of tradition, but that enables Masonry to foster a set of values in the initiate, which transcends his initial thoughts on joining.

You can probably tell I'm very proud of my decision to join.

I too agree that the "clandestine" invitational is most interesting, but after much thought, and taking these words under advisement, I've decided not to follow that path at the moment. While I can tell that yes, I would most certainly find like-minded persons there, it is probably best that it is not my current focus. As a Mason here who I have come to really respect told me via U2U, it's best to focus on the foundations of The Craft, and then branch out to other, avenues(paraphrasing). That is not to say I will not, but I do most certainly want to focus on the Three, and devote as much understanding to them, as well as SR and KT, which I really am looking forward to.

All in all I am ready to move forward, and will be calling to state my desire to continue, with the caveat that I go along this road at my pace, as I want more than image, I want understanding!

Couldn't have done it (again) without you all!

Sincerely,

TS

Now for some more specific responses, nothing fancy, but I'd be nothing if I wasn't thorough.

Khonsu,

I appreciate your thoughts, and wanted to let you know that they really helped "center" me and my goals. I truly appreciate it!


Alex,

Quite right about the term "clandestine", I'd suppose it was not actually a "clandestine" order, but more of a "unofficial" one as you suggest. I can tell by spending more time over the past week or so with these men, they're of the highest caliber. While I'm unsure who of them are also in this other order, I must say that any one of them alone would lend credence to the fact that it must be a fairly good and righteous order itself. Thank you, yet again for your thoughts and insights. Most appreciated!

Masonic Light,

Your words exemplify what I seek personally in joining The Craft. I hope one day to hold Light as I believe you do. I appreciate you voicing your thoughts, and they were also taken under advisement before deciding, as stated above. I hope to speak further with you, after I've progressed a bit in my initiation, and beyond.

I appreciate you all, probably more than you're aware; and I hope that threads like these, and your knowledge, can prove to others that Masonry is one of the wisest decisions a man can come to in his journey of life.

Thank you,

TS

Oh, and Estrella, If you hold any interest in furthering your knowledge and understanding of Masonry, I'm certain that these fine and seasoned Brothers would be happy to speak to you about The Eastern Star, which I hear is an *excellent* Order that allows both Male and Female members, and finds much of it's roots directly in Masonic form. I know very little of this, but I plan to find out, for my wife.


Good Luck to you,

TS



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