Interesting titles for a Masonic Library

Principal Category Title Author/Editor Date Foundational
History & Biography The Masonic Myth Jay Kinney 2009 1
History & Biography The Mason’s Words Robert G. Davis 2013 2
History & Biography An Introduction to the High Degrees of Freemasonry to the The High Degress of Freemasonry Henrik Bogdan 2006 3
History & Biography Light on Masonry. The History and Rituals of America’s Most Important Masonic Expose Arturo de Hoyos 2008 3
Masonic Philosophy Some Deeper Aspects Of Masonic Symbolism A.E. Waite 3
History & Biography The Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland’s Century, 1590–1710 David Stevenson 2001 3
Masonic Philosophy Contemplative Masonry CR Dunning 2016 4
History & Biography The Builders JF Newton Varies 4
Ritual & Ceremony An Examination of the Early Masonic Catchisms Harry Carr 5
Ritual & Ceremony Masonry Dissected by Samuel Pritchard Samuel Pritchard; Harry Carr; Arturo de Hoyos; S. Brent Morris. 5
Masonic Philosophy A Radical in the East S. Brent Morris 1993
Masonic Philosophy Albert Pike’s Esoterika: The Symbolism of the Blue Degrees of Freemasonry Arturo de Hoyos 2005
History & Biography Brill Handbook of Freemasonry Henrik Bogdan;J.A.M. Snoek 2014
Ritual & Ceremony Collectanea (All) Varies Varies
History & Biography Committed to the Flames: The History and Rituals of a Secret Masonic Rite Arturo de Hoyos; S. Brent Morris 2008
History & Biography Compasses and the Cross Stephan Dafoe 2004
Ritual & Ceremony English Masonic Exposures 1760–1769 A.C.F. Jackson 1986
Masonic Philosophy Freemasonry and Western Esotericism Henrik Bogdan
History & Biography Freemasonry in Context: History, Ritual, Controversy Arturo de Hoyos; S. Brent Morris 2004
Ritual & Ceremony Freemasonry’s Royal Secret – The Francken Manuscript Arturo de Hoyos; S. Brent Morris
History & Biography Freemasons Guide and Compendium, rev. ed. Bernard E. Jones 1950, 1956
Masonic Philosophy Freemasons’ Book of the Royal Arch Bernard E. Jones
Varies Heredom (All) Varies Varies
History & Biography Martinezism, Willermozism, Martinism and Freemasonry Dr. Gérard Encausse;Piers A. Vaughan 2020
History & Biography Masonic Rites and Systems Arturo de Hoyos
History & Biography Prince Hall Life and Legacy, 2d ed. Charles H. Wesley 1977, 1983
Ritual & Ceremony Reprints of Old Rituals Arturo de Hoyos; S. Brent Morris
Ritual & Ceremony Secrets of the High Degrees of Freemasonry: The Allegorical Conversations Arturo de Hoyos; S. Brent Morris
History & Biography The Craft: A History of English Freemasonry Mark Hamill 1986
History & Biography The Early French Exposures (London: Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 207) Harry Carr 1971
Ritual & Ceremony The Early Masonic Catechisms Douglas Knoop; G. P. Jones; Douglas Hamer 1943
Masonic Philosophy The Entered Apprentice Handbook JSM Ward
Masonic Philosophy The Fellow Craft Handbook JSM Ward
Masonic Philosophy The Freemason at Work Harry Carr 1992
Masonic Philosophy The Influence of Neoplatonic Thought on Freemasonry Favio Venzi 2007
Masonic Philosophy The Master Mason’s Handbook JSM Ward
Ritual & Ceremony The Most Secret Mysteries of the High Degrees of Masonry Unveiled Arturo de Hoyos; S. Brent Morris
History & Biography The Origins of Freemasonry: England Matthew D.J. Scanlan
Varies The Presontian Lectures (All) Varies Varies
History & Biography The Rite of Seven Degrees David Harrison 2021
Masonic Philosophy Western Esotericism and the Rituals of Initiation Henrik Bogdan 2007
Masonic Philosophy Whither are we Traveling Dwight L. Smith
History & Biography York Mysteries Revealed Neville Barker Cryer 2006

Version 2023.07

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When Worlds Collide

Great lecture but knowing that further knowledge in the esoteric lodges is by invitation only just bums me out and feels like you external qualities mean more than your internal qualities.

~ Name Redacted

Dear Unknown Brother,

I address my message to this Anonymous You. I don’t know your name. I don’t know your Lodge. I don’t know your age, your faith, your profession, or your blood type. Your identity was, and remains, obfuscated. But I do have some sense of you because you were strong enough to share your mind and your apprehensions.

I also address my message to those Brothers who feel the same as you, now and in the future, in hopes of relieving them and you of your concerns.

You are correct, to a certain extent. The most overtly esoteric bodies of Masonry, in the ‘woobity-woobity-woo’ sense of esoteric, are invitational, viz. exclusive, prohibitive, restrictive.

While not invitational, our Blue Lodges – all of Craft Masonry in fact – are no less exclusive, prohibitive, or restrictive; externally, and internally.

Externally, not everyone has what it takes to be a Mason. Yes, everyone can petition a Lodge for the Degrees and membership, but even duly and truly prepared, worthy and well-qualified petitioners, risk rejection or lack of access (to a Lodge). Our Lodges prohibit women. Our Lodges exclude good men who are atheists. Our Lodges are populated with men, who, on any given day, could be suffering under the peccadilloes of their baser self.

Internally, our Lodges restrict the fundamental human rights of Freedom of Association and Freedom of Movement from Apprentices and Fellows, cf. preventing Work and Travel. Indeed, per the Code of the MW GL F&AM of UT, no Master Mason has indefeasible claims to access his or any other Blue Lodge. Indeed a Master Mason can be disbarred from Fellowship with his Brother, by his Brother.

This shouldn’t be surprising or disconcerting or offensive to the esoterically minded. The very act of Initiation is exclusionary; perhaps even violent. Initiation marks a point in time and space dividing and separating all that came before from all that which comes after. Initiation constricts behaviors, it limits possibilities and requires the Initiate submit. Practically, not everyone has the impulse to start Initiation. Not every Novitiate completes/survives the Initiation. And not every Novitiate advanced to Initiate fulfills the ethical course of the Initiatic journey.

Indeed, Masonic tradition informs us;

  • 12 out of 15 Fellowcrafts never come back from the wilderness;
  • 1 out of 3 Grand Masters will not live the see completion of their Work.

I don’t use ‘woobity-woobity-woo’ derisively. I cannot go through a single day without some type of woobity-woobity-woo. I use the phrase playfully – you may understand this as Matthew xi, 30, or as our Dear Unknown Friend did; both are acceptable. The wordplay creates an apparent contradiction which (if I did my job) calls your attention to the foundational imperative of the presentation: the Blue Lodge, Craft Masonry, is intrinsically and immutably, ritual magic.

  • Through our ritual, we assert upon a room/apartment/grove/building, an assertion of difference, thereby establishing an ontologically distinct time and place.
  • By physical crossing barriers/thresholds/perimeters, e.g., a magic circle we psychologically buy into the fictive narratives populating this separate, i.e., sacred, time and space.
  • Through study and inculation, and dwelling within sacred time and space we deposit these fictions within the repository of our sacred breast.
  • By degrees, these fictions transform us internally/spiritually, and we develop the wisdom to contrive, and strength to establish;
  • Ultimately, by proper application of wisdom and strength, we become Magicians in the Jungian sense, manifesting the unrealities within our hearts; beauty to adorn the real world.

To make the unreal, real, is by definition, magic. No wands required.

You may wish to see more Qabbalah, or more Tarot, or more Astrology, or more Alchemy. And I agree one obtains great value mining those depths. William Connolly – the philosopher and political scientist, not the comedian – describes identity formation by encounters with difference; by copying what resonates with you, and rejecting what repulses you. Connolly asserts repulsive experiences (I am not that) provide perspective, context, and frameworks allowing us to derive value from resonating experiences (I am that). Put, Qabbalisticly: אֶהְיֶה and all it entails.

But I digress.

I invite you to consider our Blue Lodge is theurgic and the Initiatic and Transformative; that the esoteric power of Masonry is intrinsic unto itself, and in no way is Masonry reliant upon the transitive properties of close association to other esoteric traditions; especially to those streams of though Christopher McIntosh called the Post-Napoleonic French Occult Revival; what others may call the “Lodge Tradition” or the “Western Mystery Tradition”.

Every Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason is an inheritor of a self-contained, and self-capable tradition of esoteric Initiation and Ritual Magic. You do a disservice by denying yourself access to that tradition because it doesn’t conform to your preconception of “esoteric”, cf. divesting yourself of all those worldly distinctions and equipments.

A Brave World, New or Otherwise.

Freemasonry has the potential to restructure how individuals – and by transitive property communities and societies – organize and identify themselves by directing wisdom towards living, and away from pursuing wisdom as a goal unto itself. It only requires Masons to be brave enough to do so.