2020 Annual Issue articles

From the Editor

Warm welcome from the Editor to the 2020 Annual Issue

The Feasts of St John

What is the connection with the Feasts of St John and Freemasonry

Masonic Miscellanies

Why do Freemasons use different 'calendar' to our regular calendar?

Masonic Blogs

The Masonic Philosophical Society seeks to recapture the spirit of the Renaissance

Science & Citizenship – P3

Towards a 21st Century Masonic Mindset: Part 3 ‘Freemasonries’ and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Day in the life of a Freemason

As we start a new year, maybe start it with a new habit?

Duke of Wharton

Who was Philip, Duke of Wharton and was he Freemasonry’s Loose Cannon Ball ?

Be a Unifier

Freemasonry is local. This is where we need to start. We start with our Facebook friends, our neighbours, our colleagues, our lodges, and our city councils.

Kipling’s In the Interests of the Brethren

‘The colour is in the feeding,’ said he. ‘Unless you know how to feed ’em, it goes. Canaries are one of our hobbies.’

Masonic Reflection on Christmas

Freemasonry, Christmas and pagan festivals.

Ashlar Chippings

Hugh O’Neill's regular chippings whilst smoothing the ashlar: - 1) The Future of Masonry, 2) Why is the apron flap sometimes up and sometimes down? and 3) The scandalous William Preston

Understanding of Freemasonry

Two approaches regarding the understanding of Freemasonry

The Lesser Lights

What are the lesser lights and where are they placed on our Lodges

Meaning of the Acacia

What is the meaning of the Acacia and where did it originate ?

Officers of the Lodge – Tyler

Who is the Tyler ? being placed outside the door of the lodge, symbolically to protect our moral selves.

Woman and Freemasonry

Published in 1922, this interesting, and whimsical book was penned by Dudley Wright.

Meet The Author

Last month we featured a review of Charles Warren: Royal Engineer in the Age of Empire - this month we Meet the Author: historian and biographer Kevin Shillington.

Book Review

The Temple That Never Sleeps - Freemasons and E-Masonry Toward a New Paradigm by Josh Heller and Gerald Reilly

A 1657 Masonic? Bookplate

What makes this interesting is its date: 1657, and the fact that the possessor of the book presents himself as a ‘Free Mason’.

Masonic Miscellanies – What is a ‘Lewis’?

The English word 'Lewis' is a term belonging to operative Masonry, and signifies an iron cramp, which is inserted in a cavity prepared for the purpose in a large stone. - The Builder - November 1922

Science & Citizenship – P2

Towards a 21st Century Masonic Mindset: Part 2: ‘Freemasonries’ and Religiosity.

Seven Liberal Arts

The Seven Liberal Arts - why 'seven', why 'liberal', why 'arts'?

Critical Thinking

How the Trivium is applied to Critical Thinking - {who, what, where, when} - {how} - {why}

‘Brother’ among Freemasons is more than a name

Are we to be forever crushed by evil and allow it to distort our lives ? Or maybe we can learn a lesson of understanding, tolerance and reconciliation.

Masonic Research in England c1930

An article which appeared in an American Masonic magazine, c1930 and which was reproduced in England, provoking a little controversy.

Sankey Lectures 2012

The Heart of Masonry: Upstate New York and the New Nation, 1776-1826.

Q∴H∴ Jaime Galté Carré

Jaime Galté had the gift of mediumship, which he always generously put at the service of his brothers.

Ashlar Chippings

Hugh O’Neill's regular chippings whilst smoothing the ashlar: - 1) That ‘H’ word what does it mean?, 2) Lesser Lights - what are they?, 3) The darkness comprehended it not!, 4) Interpretations of Symbols and 5) Tailpiece

Kipling’s War

Kipling’s critics are quick to include him as one of the ‘fathers’ who ‘lied’ – echoing his short poem ‘Common Form’ – ‘If any question why we died, Tell them, because our fathers lied’.

The Winding Stairs

Like so much else in Freemasonry the Middle Chamber is wholly symbolic.

Forget Me Not

The Forget-Me-Not and the Poppy - two symbols to remind us to 'never forget' those who died during the two World Wars.

How to Avoid Confrontation

How can we use masonic leadership skills to avoid confrontational situations?

Ten Basic Rules For Better Living

Ten Basic Rules For Better Living by Manly P Hall

Meet The Author

This month in 'Meet the Author' we look at the life and work of Carl H. Claudy, a prolific Masonic author who believed that Masonic education is the foundation for the Fraternity.

Book Review

Sir Charles Warren is most likely remembered for his role as the Metropolitan Police Commissioner who failed to catch 'Jack the Ripper' - but there is far more to the man and his distinguished career than is readily found in the history books.

Science & Citizenship – P1

Towards a 21st Century Masonic Mindset: Part 1: ‘Freemasonries’ and Governance.

Masonic Miscellanies

Ever wondered why masons had to be 'free' or why we have a Tyler? What is the meaning of 'hele'? And where did the term 'eavesdropping' come from?

Freemasonry in the Works of John Steinbeck

We examine Freemasonry in the Works of John Steinbeck

What is the Kirkwall Scroll?

The Kirkwall Scroll is a hand-painted floor cloth depicting a myriad of symbolism - Masonic and otherwise

The Enigma of the Royal Arch

Holy Royal Arch What's it all about

Freemasonry in the time of pandemic

The Rule of Six. Localised lockdowns. Second wave? What do we do now?! The answer is simple - engage with members, promote Masonic education and get thinking outside the lodge.

Hail Holy Light!

Light symbolises knowledge, and darkness symbolises ignorance

Graham MS 1726

The Graham Manuscript dating from 1726 is an early Masonic document that calls upon Noah and this 3 sons in respect to Masonry, an alternative allegory to the Hiram legend.

Sankey Lectures 2014

Brothers in Arms: Freemasons and the War of 1812

Development of the Emulation Ritual

Relevant historical background in the evolutionary development of the Emulation Ritual


In the true sense of the words Freemasonry is not a secret society but a society with secrets.

Jesse James and the Lost Templar Treasure

Jesse James and the Lost Templar Treasure: Secret Diaries, Coded Maps, and the Knights of the Golden Circle 

Nicholas Hawksmoor – the ‘Devil’s Architect’

Nicholas Hawksmoor was one of the 18th century’s most prolific architects

Richard Carlile

Will the real author behind The Manual of Freemasonry please stand up!

Meet The Author

Daniel Duke, the great-great grandson of Jesse James, grew up surrounded by stories of lost outlaw treasures. For more than two decades he has researched the mysteries involving his family, Freemasonry, and the Knights Templar....

Franklin’s Virtues, Freemasonry, and Jewish Practice

Benjamin Franklin's Virtues, Freemasonry, and Jewish Practice.

Franklin’s Virtues Revisited For Today’s Mason

How are the virtues and the pursuit of self-improvement and knowledge as pertinent for today's Mason, as they were for Benjamin Franklin.

Routine or Ritual?

Ritual. Why are we doing this repeatedly, over and over again. We all know the words. What is the point?

The Lost Jewel

In 1912, Sarah Dowd of Dromore, Ireland, found a Masonic jewel dated 1517 - a date two hundred years before the establishment of Grand Lodge...

Cooke Manuscript c1450

Matthew Cooke Manuscript was written c1450. A transcript of a yet older document, written by a Speculative Mason

The Unlawful Societies Act of 1799

Although the Unlawful Societies Act of 1799 is often mentioned in Masonic scholarship, some nuances remain.

The First Degree Retejador

What is Retejador? And why is it so important?

Sankey Lectures 2011

Global Fraternalism: Canadian Freemasons, the British Empire, and the World

Harmony in the Lodge

Music can make you either remember everything or forget everything! They even call it the 'rhythm' of life because life does have a beat, a rhythm, a song! Music is equally important for Freemasons.

Ashlar Chippings

Hugh O’Neill's regular chippings whilst smoothing the ashlar: - Neville Barker Cryer personal view of Freemasonry

What Future for Freemasonry ?

The current functioning of the Masonic movement has some positive aspects and others that are blatantly backward and counterproductive.

Three Great Lights

Three Great Lights – the Volume of the Sacred Law, the Square, and the Compasses

How to Learn a Speech

Memory tips on how the learn ritual. Do you need to speak in public, or present masonic ritual without notes ?

Speak Like a Leader

How to improve your public speaking skill with 6 techniques

book intro

The Meaning of Masonry, (1922) a set of essays which discuss the esoteric side of Masonry by Walter Leslie Wilmshurst

Meet The Author

Stephen Dafoe - numerous books on the Knights Templar, and Morgan: The Scandal That Shook Freemasonry.

Sunglasses Ritual Amendment

Are the sunglasses a fix? If Freemasonry cannot meet, is this an opportunity to make a change to how we do things?

The Old Charges

This article first appeared in The Builder magazine,1923. Are you interested in the 'musty old documents of the past'?

Renegade Scottish Freemason

Who was John Crombie and why was he a 'renegade'?

The Anti-Social Impact of Social Media

Robert Jackson's searingly honest account of his experience of the 'dark side' of social media and its negative effect on our mental health.

Sanctifying with Grace

Feelings, instincts, can be our best defence against mistake or attack.

Origins to English Freemasonry – P3

The Origins and Links of English Freemasonry - Part 3. Quasi-Masonic societies - are the highly secretive Skull and Bones the real Illuminati?

The Two Pillars

Biblical history surrounding the two pillars that stood at the entrance to King Solomon's Temple

Sankey Lectures 2010

Perceptions of Freemasonry from the 18th Century to the Internet

Membership Marketing

How to improve your Lodge Membership Marketing Program.

Ashlar Chippings

Hugh O’Neill's regular chippings whilst smoothing the ashlar: - 1) Equality, 2) The Faithful Few, 3) What’s the Attraction? and 4) Slap on the wrist for a Past Grand Master

Lambskin Apron

Entered Apprentice Lambskin Apron; More ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle, more honourable than the Star and Garter ...

Logical Fallacies

What are logical Fallacies and how to spot them ?

The Mason: A Gentleman

This opening article was written 145 years ago, yet it resonates with Freemasons today as it did then. First published in The Freemason's Chronicle, January 2, 1875, Issue 1

book intro

Introduction to Illustrations Of Masonry by William Preston (1742-1818)

Quatuor Coronati

An introduction to the Premier Lodge of Masonic Research - Quatuor Coronati

Meet the Author

Paul Sparks – author of A Guide for the Masonic Treasurer

Freemasonry and Fascist Regime

Interesting speech by the famous historian Prof. Aldo A. Mola, who links the fascist regime with the Masonic Associations.

Millennial Masons

What is a 'Millennial' and what do they want from Freemasonry? You'll be surprised at the answers.

Brother of My Brother

Is the brother of a brother a brother ? Rights to visit - recognition and regularity re-evaluated.

The Beehive

The symbolism of the beehive in Masonry and its association with omphalos stones and the sacred feminine.

The Importance of Masonic Research

Why is accurate - or authentic - Masonic research so important?

The Place of Brotherhood in Freemasonry

To what extent are the fraternal relations between my fellow Freemasons and myself different to those which I hold with my neighbours and friends?

Ovid 25 Lodge

Was the famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin a Freemason? And if so, was he a member of the lodge ‘for which all the lodges in Russia were destroyed’?

Origins to English Freemasonry Part 2

Discover the oldest of the known manuscript charges of Freemasonry, written about 1390.

Judaism and Freemasonry

Is there a direct link between Judaism and Freemasonry ?

Sankey Lectures 2015

A look at the he Masonic Empire of Thomas Dunckerley on a video presentation by Sankey Lectures

The Dream After The Initiation

The dream, in a profane sense, is understood as a biological state or condition, as that which is an integral part of daily life

Ashlar Chippings

Hugh O’Neill's regular chippings whilst smoothing the ashlar: - Fifty Shades of Blue! - The discussion of Provincial Honours amongst UGLE members appears to be ever contentious

Meet the Author

The Editor meets up with Craig Weightman – author of A Journey in Stone


To the initiate, the penalty in his obligation comes with a shock of surprise and sometimes consternation.

Critical Thinking

What is a critical thinker and what are their characteristics?

Public Speaking

How can we use the 7 secrets of the greatest speakers in history

The Gormogons

The Antient Noble Order of the Gormogons had a brief existence in the eighteenth century; they left few records or accomplishments, and there is no indication as to their true purpose other than to parody and degrade Freemasonry, and perhaps further the Jacobite cause.

The Light of Reason

How does man think to himself and think of the universe, when you try to answer, between dogma and reason, the crucial questions of human existence?

Kindle with Celestial Fire

The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled

Scottish Witchcraft And The Third Degree

How is Witchcraft connected to the Scottish Third Degree (Many Scottish Freemasons will bristle with indignation on reading the title of this piece)

Stay Hungry Stay Foolish

What can we learn form Steve Jobs' address given at Stanford in 2005

Origins and Links to English Freemasonry – part 1

Unexpected links between the Freemasonry of today with the original Operative builders

Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences

What do you know about Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences

Sankey Lectures 2019

Democracy, Freedom and the beginnings of Black Freemasonry

Point Within A Circle

What is a point within a circle

Ashlar Chippings

Hugh O’Neill's regular chippings whilst smoothing the ashlar: - Masonic Sea Chest from the Orlop Deck of HMS Victory

Corn Wine Oil

The Wages of an Entered Apprentice

Public Speaking

An introduction to the art of public speaking - speak with confidence

Heroes in Masonry

I've heard people say that we don't have heroes

The Two Headed Eagle

A brief look at the origins of the two headed eagle, probably the most ornamental and most ostentatious feature of the Supreme Council 33rd Degree Ancient and Accepted (Scottish ) Rite, comprising a carving of a double headed eagle, surmounted by an imperial crown.

Kipling the Freemason

Kipling's interest in Freemasonry is easily recognised in much of his work and examples are too numerous for one article.

Sankey Lectures 2017

The Badge of a Freemason: New Stories from Old Aprons

Four Times of the Day – Night

Hogarth's mockery of Freemasonry. A humorous depictions of life in the streets of London, the vagaries of fashion, and the interactions between the rich and poor.

Ashlar Chippings

Hugh O’Neill's regular chippings whilst smoothing the ashlar 1) Symbolic Masonic Penalties, 2) Eligibility? – It depends and 3) Provincial AGMs During COVID-19 Suspension

Three Words That Will Change Your Life

This article discuss a common situation found in many lodges - a difficulty in holding a conversation with a stranger.

Women and Freemasonry

Look at the History of Women in Freemasonry. Although Several women had been introduced to Freemasonry prior to the 18th century, it was more by accident than invitation.

Making Good Men, Better

Ask a random Freemason the purpose of Freemasonry and the likely response will be to “make good men, better”. Research undertaken by James Justin Davis Pennsylvania Academy of Masonic Knowledge

The North East Corner

An explanation of the North East corner charge which explores beyond one meaning Charity - Extracted from William Harvey – the Complete Works

The Curious Case of the Chevalier d’Éon

A cross-dressing author, diplomat, soldier and spy, the Le Chevalier D'Éon, a man who passed as a woman, became a legend in his own lifetime.

The Tipping Point of Freemasonry

Why do brothers lose interest in Freemasonry and what can we do to get that spark back? At what moment did our own thoughts begin to waver?

Parable Against Persecution

According to Benjamin Franklin’s letters, he took the inspiration for two of his parables “from an ancient Jewish tradition”.

Audi Vide Tace

The three Latin words -{Listen, Observe, Be Silent}. A good moto for the wise freemason

Mozart and Freemasonry

Rev'd Dr Peter Mullen provides a historical view on the interesting topic; Mozart Freemasonry and The Magic Flute

Russian Freemasonry

Russian Freemasonry a combination of a short sketch of its history and a review of the present-day Masonic landscape in this country

Ashlar Chippings

Hugh O’Neill's regular chippings whilst smoothing the ashlar: 1) We are where we are, because… and 2) Ornaments to the Society

Sankey Lecture – 2016

Prof Andrew Prescott will discuss what information we can assemble about the Apple Tree and consider how far it supports Anderson’s story about the formation of the Grand Lodge.

Egyptian Rite

Egyptian Freemasonry, founder Cagliostro was famed throughout eighteenth century Europe for his reputation as a healer and alchemist

A Masonic Interpretation

A Muslim is reminded of his universal duties just as a Freemason. A Masonic Interpretation of the Quran's First Two Chapters

Mental Health and Freemasonry

Mental Health - Raising its awareness and how we as Freemasons throughout the entire UK can help our fellow brethren and their families when they need it.

What Kind of Library Do You Have?

Many Brothers have no clue as to what kind of "Craft" library they actually have in their home or office. Most of these Brothers don’t care that they don't know – so, what kind of library do you have?

Last Page

2020 annual issue final note from the publisher and your feedback ....

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