A review by Shawn Eyer of Tracing Boards of the Three Degrees in Craft Freemasonry Explained
Julian Rees was initiated in the Kirby Lodge No. 2818, under the United Grand Lodge of England, in London in 1968. He was a regular contributor to the quarterly magazine Freemasonry Today since its founding in 1997, and from 2003 to 2007 he was Deputy and News Editor. Julian was honoured by the Institut Maçonnique de France with the Ordre Maçonnique de Lafayette.
Click here to contact Julian about scheduling a talk at your lodge or organization.
Welcome to my site!
Many masonic authors write about history, about connections to the ancient mysteries, about other degrees and quasi-masonic bodies and fraternal societies, and there is a rich field there to be explored.
But here we deal with what Freemasonry means, or can mean, to each individual. There is a host of good and inspirational things about Freemasonry to be enjoyed and absorbed, and those who have delved into the many aspects of Freemasonry, as many of us have, will tell you of the rich rewards that are waiting there for the truly inquiring mind and spirit.
But why another website? Aren’t there enough sites about Freemasonry?
Well, it depends what you mean by a meaningful masonic website. It depends, in short, on what Freemasonry means to you - in your heart and life. And some of my friends have suggested that I might keep writing some of the things that have inspired them over the course of time.
Recently, I was re-reading an article I wrote way back in 1997. Part of the article went as follows: ‘Freemasons belong to an organisation which ought to be dedicated to self-knowledge, the nature of being, love, tolerance, the brotherhood of man, liberty of conscience and, yes, perhaps a brush with the Deity on the way.’ It’s surprising, when you look back, to see just how right the things are that you wrote all those years ago.
Let us perhaps free ourselves from the eternal repetition of degree ceremonies. Let us engage in proper philosophical and intellectual debate. Remember, the word ‘philosophy’, translated into English, is nothing more than ‘the love of wisdom’, and when I speak of intellect, I mean the intuition of the heart, not the taxing exertions of the brain. We need to feel with our senses; we need to think with our heart. And don’t let anyone tell you that Freemasonry is not a spiritual pursuit.
Freemasonry is what you make it.
Roll out the rich tapestry of Freemasonry, and enjoy!
What intelligent being, what being capable of responding to a beautiful sight, can look at the jagged, silvery lunar crescent trembling in the azure sky, even through the weakest of telescopes, and not be struck by it in an intensely pleasurable way, not feel cut off from everyday life here on Earth and transported toward that first stop on celestial journeys? What thoughtful soul could look at brilliant Jupiter with its four attendant satellites, or splendid Saturn encircled by its mysterious ring, or a double star glowing scarlet and sapphire in the infinity of night, and not be filled with a sense of wonder? Yes indeed, if humankind – from humble farmers in the fields and toiling workers in the cities, to teachers, people of independent means, those who have reached the pinnacle of fame or fortune – if they knew what profound inner pleasure awaits those who gaze at the heavens, then France, nay, the whole world, would be covered with telescopes instead of bayonets, thereby promoting universal happiness and peace.
– Camille Flammarion, 1880
Freemasonry is often looked upon as an all-male pursuit, a social activity. But since 1893, when French Freemason Georges Martin founded the mixed masonic Order Le Droit Humain, Freemasonry for men and women has flourished and grown from strength to strength, currently boasting more than 30,000 members in over 50 countries.
The International Order of Freemasonry for Men and Women Le Droit Humain forms part of a larger Masonic family, namely the liberal branch of Freemasonry alongside Orders such as the Grand Orient of France and many others worldwide. The British Federation of Le Droit Humain prides itself on being the home of spiritual and esoteric Freemasonry in the United Kingdom.