Welcome to the February issue of The Square
I have to say that it’s a relief to see the green buds of spring appearing here in the Northern Hemisphere amidst the dreary grey of winter.
Then it got me thinking about ‘differences’. We tend to assume that by default wherever we are in the world is ‘our world’, which technically it is but there’s also the tendency not to be aware of, understand, or relate to things that are happening outside of our ‘patch’.
Something as simple as spring bulbs poking their heads through the earth can make us assume that there are spring bulbs doing the same the world over, when in fact in the Southern Hemisphere it’s not spring and in warmer / colder climes, ‘spring bulbs’ are not even on their radar.
It’s the same when we see news reports that highlight something that we don’t encounter personally, or as a particular society – it is sometimes hard to comprehend why someone else’s problem is such an issue for them when it clearly isn’t for us.
That’s where empathy and awareness comes in. I don’t mean the saccharine niceties that make us look good – the ‘virtue signalling’ or purported ‘wokeness’ – but true empathy, the ability to put yourself mentally in others’ shoes for a short time, even if we don’t necessarily agree with, or fully understand the situation.
That’s where universal brotherhood and the teachings of Freemasonry come into play; utilising the wisdom of the past to enhance our understanding of the present and what we need to take forward as lessons for our future.
As William Preston wrote in Illustrations of Masonry (1829):
Where the interests of one country interfere with those of another, Nature dictates an adherence to the welfare of our own immediate connexions ; but, such interference apart….
.. the true Mason is a citizen of the world, and his philanthropy extends to all the human race.
Uninfluenced by local prejudices, he knows no preference in virtue but according to its degree, from whatever country or clime it may spring.
We have several interesting articles this month that focus on past lessons and how we can use them to enhance the future – to truly become ‘a citizen of the world’.
In the December 2021 issue of The Square, our publisher Nicholas Broadway wrote a truly inspiring article about the future of Freemasonry, how it should evolve to embrace the expanding world of the Metaverse and allow us to make Masonry accessible to all across the globe without the physical barriers.
It has certainly sparked some interest.
If you haven’t already done so, you can read it here Great Architect of the Metaverse , and the preceding article he wrote on the Product Life Cycle of Freemasonry
Gerald Reilly expands on this theme within ‘Pure Ancient Masonry’.
The thesis for this series is that Pure Ancient Masonry consists of no more – nor no less – than Three Degrees and the Holy Royal Arch: as stipulated in the articles of the Union dated 27 December 1813.
The author is ‘advocating’ that the value proposition presented to existing members and future candidates for initiation, is that, UGLE Freemasonry should be promoted as a four-part offering, conferred in a Craft lodge opened in four stages.
On a practical basis, the HRA Chapter units would be absorbed back into the Craft lodges. The Craft lodge would either conduct meetings in the first three stages, or would be configured as a Chapter and opened in the fourth stage.
Membership of a Pure Ancient Masonry Lodge would automatically include all four stages which completes membership of Pure Ancient Masonry.
Part one explores the wisdom and origins of the first degree – The entering apprentice: Building Better Communities.
Still on the subject of the ‘Metaverse‘ article, we received a follow-up by a reader.
The author of the piece, who wishes that his identity remain anonymous, reached out to make contact via Instagram, having read the feature – you can read his response here Freemasonry and the Metaverse.
In Egypt’s Place of Truth, I explore my passion for ancient Egypt and take you on a visit to the ‘village of the artisans’, an exclusive settlement that housed the skilled workers who created the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings and Queens.
Nestled deep at the base of the Theban Necropolis, this heavily protected and somewhat secretive community were possibly the first known example of an artisan guild.
New research has also uncovered ‘identity marks’ used by the stone masons and artists, which are very similar to those we recognise as ‘masons’ marks’ made by the cathedral builders of the Middle Ages.
It is feasible to imagine that not only the techniques and skills of these tomb builders travelled outside of Egypt and across the world, but also some of the traditions.
A fresh new voice for The Square, Carlos Oliveira Santos, takes us to the heart of Masonry, on a journey into one of Freemasonry’s deepest roots when he experiences A Visit to the Mother Lodge of Scotland.
This month I was delighted to Meet the Author Angel Millar – author of five books on Freemasonry, esotericism, and world spiritual and initiatory traditions.
He is also a hypnotist and personal growth mentor with more than two decades of experience in meditation and related mindfulness training techniques, over a decade of experience in the martial arts, and several years as a public speaker on self-development, symbolism, and spirituality.
Kenneth Jack introduces us to another fascinating Scottish Freemason – Brother William Peck: Astronomer, Inventor, Freemason, Occultist.
In The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker, Paul Gardner explores the intriguing Masonic link between provincial towns’ craftsmen, shop keepers and traders in times past. Many remain in the modern era and are still to be found on the high street.
We offer you another extract of wisdom from Craig Weightman’s book A Journey in Stone, which serendipitously reflects several of the other articles by elaborating on the influence of the operative stonemasons on the imperative journey from rough to smooth ashlar that the speculative Freemason must take.
As always, we also have the usual features of old books, new books, reviews of books, and a whole host of Masonic knowledge to keep you busy with your ‘daily advancement’.
We hope you enjoy this month’s issue. If you do – or if you don’t – drop me a line at email@example.com
Until next time, stay safe and well.
Article by: Philippa Lee. Editor
Philippa Lee (writes as Philippa Faulks) is the author of eight books, an editor and researcher.
Philippa was initiated into the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons (HFAF) in 2014.
Her specialism is ancient Egypt, Freemasonry, comparative religions and social history. She has several books in progress on the subject of ancient and modern Egypt. Selection of Books Online at Amazon