Pure Ancient Masonry; P2. A Fellow of the Craft

‘A body without a soul?’ 

Pure Ancient Masonry consists of Three Degrees and no more, including the Order of the Royal Arch  

Introduction: A new thought-provoking series on ‘conjoined’ Masonry and ‘the soul of the body Masonic’.

Part 1: An Entering Apprentice, Building Better Communities.
· Contractually entering an order to learn and serve.
· Learning from the Master: technical craftsmanship, ethical workmanship, and interdependence.
· Learning through a guild: charitability, state craftsmanship and engaging with the community.

Part 2: Fellow of the Craft, Building Better Knowledge.

Part 3: The Master, Building Better Character.

Part 4: A Companion in Rule, Building a Better World.

These building activities comprise the soul of the body Masonic. To be of any earthly use, Freemasonries must engage with the world as it is becoming; not as it is receding.

Therefore, to promote migration from analogue to digital Freemasonry, a temporary conjoining of physical and virtual experience will be necessary.

The series will draw on the implications of ‘Metaverse’ as excellently introduced by The Square Publisher, Nicholas Broadway.

see Great Architect of the Metaverse

‘It is the ability to do anything imaginable, albeit in a virtual world.’ (The Gospel according to Mark [Zuckerberg]).

In so doing, it will assume that the old and new will coexist until the former withers. See Broadway’s Product Life Cycle of Freemasonry – Square Magazine

The four-part series seeks to identify the defining characteristics, lessons and benefits of each of the Three Degrees and the Order of the Royal Arch, which when conjoined, comprise Pure Ancient Masonry.

Semantics aside – degrees/orders/steps – Pure Ancient Masonry consists of four parts. (‘Building the Temple’ is the fundamental, overarching Masonic allegory for building better people to build a better world.)

This must be understood as four aspects of a seamless whole: why not confer each part in a Lodge opened in four stages?

Progressing from the third part to the fourth should be no more protracted than from first to second or second to third.

Yes, this series is proposing Three Degrees and the Royal Arch as a practical, unifying, unified theory; four cardinal aspects of world citizenship as enunciated in the First Degree and realised in the Royal Arch.

For Freemasonries to survive, their digitisation is necessary: ‘…without the means of change is without the means of…conservation.’ (After Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France.)

Pure Ancient Masonry is to be understood as a fraternal order predicated on being an enhanced form of citizenship: we are what we do.

The contemporary Post Truth milieu claims that so much of what is said and done is driven by feelings/emotions; as such, they are outside of a truth – falsehood analysis.

Readers of The Square should not believe anything they are told but not disbelieve it either! We must cultivate respect for, and be comfortable with, ‘I do not know’ with decision-making based on: ‘What would a good citizen do?’ 

Part 2: A Fellow of the Craft, Building Better Knowledge.


Tracing Board – Second Degree
IMAGE LINKED:  wikimedia Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Having acquired and learned to apply technology, the apprentice has progressed to Fellow of the Craft, a journeyman, with rights of citizenship, trading and being paid by the day.

Having climbed a misterie winding staircase, there is both permission and imperative to study the Liberal Arts and Sciences and reveal the hidden misteries of nature and science.


Left: A woman teaching an infant to read; representing grammar.
Right: A woman with a bird on her head; representing dialectic.
IMAGE LINKED:  Engraving by A. Vallée after M. de Vos.. Wellcome Collection 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

The three Liberal Arts pertain to language: Grammar is an algorithm (set of rules) applied to both rhetoric – language of the emotions; and logic – the language of rationality.

The four ‘Sciences’ are based on number comprising: arithmetic = pure number; geometry = number in space; music = number in time; and astronomy = number in space & time.


Left: A female figure book keeping; representing arithmetic.
Right: A female figure with a castle on her head measures a globe with a compass


Left: A female figure playing a stringed instrument; representing music.
Right: A female figure with wings and a globe; representing astronomy.
IMAGE LINKED:  Engraving by A. Vallée after M. de Vos.. Wellcome Collection 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

One of the best kept Masonic ‘secrets – although hidden in plain sight – is the distinction between nature and science.

‘Nature’ the physical, measurable, universe is the subject studied: scientific methodology is the means of study.

This methodology does not offer ‘truth’ and certainly nothing ‘absolute’; rather, a paradigm which includes:

(i) observing repetitions in nature;
(ii) these repetitions being replicated in controlled experimentation; and
(iii) describing experimentational findings in terms of prediction and control – utility.

Today’s utility is tomorrow’s inefficiency and the day after’s museum piece – ‘daily improvement / advancement’; scientific citizenship is membership of a ‘lodge of daily advancement’.


By Jastrow – Self-photographed, Public Domain,
IMAGE LINKED:  wikimedia Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

The traumatic effects of Reformation on state, religious, ‘scientific’ and trading loyalties continued through the seventeenth-century as manifested in imperial, international, religious, and civil wars.


Left: Opere … ora per la prima volta raccolte e pubblicate da Adolfo Wagner / [Giordano Bruno].
Right: Galileo Galilei. Wood engraving by L. Dumont after H. Rousseau..
IMAGE LINKED:   Wellcome Collection. 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

In 1600, the Roman religious/state authorities were ‘following Jesus not the science’: they burned Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) at the stake for writing in 1543: ‘The earth constantly revolving on its axis in its orbit around the sun’.

His writings and similar ones of Galileo, 1613, were placed on the Index of Forbidden Books until 1835. Yet long before then, in some freemasonries, acceptance of Bruno’s proposition was requisite for progress from the First to the Second Part.

It is impossible for a person to play both football and cricket at the same time – the rules are different – incommensurate.

For the same reason, it is impossible to follow Jesus and the science simultaneously; although, switching from one to another can be achieved with deceiving alacrity. For some, a long-term, fixed choice is made.

From 1642, England experienced revolution, civil war and in 1649, the world’s first judicial regicide.

No longer acceptable to the landed/merchant classes, the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings had been executed along with Charles I.

In 1659, the apprentices of London took to the streets in support of their petition for a free Parliament: the City Fathers were withholding tax.

At the request of the 1660 Parliament, Charles Stewart returned from exile in the Netherlands; yet, and certainly in the case of Charles II, even ‘constitutional’ monarchy was an expensive business.

However, technological advances in coal mining were enhancing the value of land; textile manufacture was in nascent industrialisation.

Thus, not only were scientists demanding freedom; as beneficiaries of the application of ‘science’ and technology, the owners and controllers of wealth demanded that manufacture and trading should be free of state interference.

They ensured the selection of their representatives to sit in Parliament – the controller of taxation. Charles was smart enough to recognise an interdependent commonality of interests.

And, he could tolerate religious differences, ‘… as long as they do not threaten the peace’: he’d been there before!

Charles II’s monarchical tenure was maintained by his lack of principle in matters of governance and theology.

Whilst exiled in The Netherlands, he appreciated the benefits of a trading empire thriving on daily advancement in: mapping and navigation; weapons design and manufacture; and, the construction of naval and merchant shipping.

To facilitate this for his Kingdom, Charles chartered the scientists meeting at Gresham College as his Royal Society. (See Robert Lomas, The Invisible College.)

Perhaps aided with and by the King’s pragmatism, the Royal Society created order out of post-Civil War political and religious chaos.

It declared itself to be:

‘A society to ‘overcome the misteries of all the works of nature for the benefit of human life …not to lay the foundation of an English, Scotch, Irish, Popish, or Protestant philosophy; but a philosophy of Mankind’.

It brought together ‘scientists’ and others who had been divided Royalist – Parliamentarian: Sacerdotal – Puritan. Whilst providing a superficial mantle of peace, beneath heaved a magma of divided loyalties.

The Charter:

(i) purported that Charles was the founder and patron of the Royal Society (RS);
(ii) confirmed its identity and interdependence;
(iii) enabled the RS to study nature without state interference;
(iv) to print and publish; and
(v) to correspond on ‘scientific’ matters with ‘foreigners’. These were ‘presents’ indeed!


Royal Society, Crane Court, off Fleet Street, London: a meeting in progress, with Isaac Newton in the chair. Wood engraving by J. Quartley after [J.M.L.R.], 1883.
IMAGE LINKED:   Wellcome Collection. 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

There to the Duke’s chamber and find our fellows [members of the RS] discoursing there on our business… Thence I to the Exchequer …thence to Trinity House [provider of coastal navigational aids] being invited to an Elder Brother’s [a Director of Trinity House] feast; and there met and sat by Mr Prin [William Prynne, Presbyterian, Whig MP and constitutional lawyer] and had good discourse about the privileges of Parliament… Thence with my Lord Brunker [first President of the RS] to Gresham College [home of the RS]. And here a good lecture of Mr Hooke’s [FRS] about the trade of felt-making…alone with me about the art of drawing pictures by Prince Rupert’s [cousin of Charles II inventor, experimenter] rule and machine, and another of Dr [Christopher] Wren’s [FRS]… (Samuel Pepys FRS, Secretary for the Navy, Diary, Wednesday, 21 February 1665/6)

This quotation indicates that much of the milieu of the Royal Society was assimilated by the Grand Lodge of England when constituted in 1723.

Perhaps the most significant connection with the Royal Society and English Freemasonry was in the person and work of Dr John Theophilus Desaguliers FRS; ubiquitously, a power behind both thrones; Grand Master in 1719, and thrice Deputy.

As an employee of the Royal Society, he presented public demonstrations of the propositions of Sir Isaac Newton et alia.

Newton was godfather to his children. Throughout the eighteenth-century, the paths of state, Freemasonry and science met rather than crossed. (For a comprehensive guide to RS and GLE joint membership see: Clarke JR Royal Soc and Early GL ex AQC 80 (1967).pdf


Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex wearing the robes of a Knight Companion of the Order of the Thistle. Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas (1799 – 1848) History of the Orders of Knighthood of the British Empire,of the order of the Guelphs of Hanover; and of the medals, clasps, and crosses, conferred for naval and military service, Volume iii, published in London, 1842
IMAGE LINKED:  wikimedia Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

This continued beyond the 1813 Union of Antients and Moderns. The Union’s Grand Master, the Duke of Sussex (FRS) enthusiastically supported the study of nature and science.

In 1830, even though the son of a King, he submitted to a competitive ballot for election to the Presidency of the RS: it must have meant a lot to him!

With the demise of Sussex (1843), it would seem that English Freemasonry advanced daily into establishmentarianism.

It is said of Pro Grand Master, the Earl of Carnarvon, ‘It is surprising, too, to discover he [Carnarvon] should have been so bluntly anti-Darwinian.’

(From the Carnarvon Diaries, quoted in Jim Daniels, Earl of Carnarvon, Thesis, Sheffield, 2010.) See also, The Christianising of British Freemasonries – Square Magazine

(Image The current Grand Master of English Freemasonry, the Duke of Kent, is the Royal Patron of the RS.)

Andrew Prescott concludes in his A Body Without a Soul: ‘…. the essence of British Freemasonry lies in a brotherhood, but one which stems from a consciousness of God, and which is rooted in a loyalty to the country and its monarchy.’ Yet, Carnarvon was being challenged by ‘the science’.

To mark the Darwin bi-centennial celebrations in 2008, the Church of England indicated regret for its previous ‘anti-evolutionary fervour’. Perhaps Freemasonry can apologise for Carnarvon being, ‘so bluntly anti-Darwinian’ – a position at variance with principles of the Second Part of Pure Ancient Masonry.

These are: square conduct, level steps and the intention to practice good citizenship.

These same principles underpin scientific methodology; Masonic and scientific learning and practice and share the same rigour. (See Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations.)

Military lodges confirm the seminal role of soldiers and sailors in the world-wide propagation of Freemasonries; lodge histories celebrate the military, civil, and civic participation of members.

With the twentieth-century’s World Wars came the introduction of mass conscription and the right to ‘conscientious objection’; evidence that it was claimed by Freemasons and any outcomes is being sought.

WWII ended with twentieth-century science and technology applied in the form of nuclear weaponry: the threat remains.

Will twenty-first-century nanotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence be the basis of a new creation, the metaverse, a world without nuclear threat?

In a shift from analogue physic to digital physic will Freemasonries adapt and survive?

A commitment to follow the science (Latin scientia ‘knowledge’) must be confirmed by an Entered Apprentice before passing to the second of the four-part process of Pure Ancient Freemasonry and become a Fellow of the Craft.

Through the journeyman’s practice of technical craftsmanship, ethical workmanship and through a guild, engagement with the community, the Fellow of the Craft, is now fit for the Part Three Raising to Master and then, preparation for rulership and leadership in and over the community.

This is achieved by building better character. It will include processing knowledge into wisdom; yet, as taught by scientific methodology, there are times when saying, ‘I do not know’ is the ultimate wisdom. Perhaps ‘the knowledge of yourself’, is rhetoric rather than reason and ‘the self’ must be understood as without a place in nature, rather as a construct of the imagination.

‘The world is all that is the case; my world is my language, and the limits of my world are the limits of my language; therefore, whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must be silent.’

– After Ludwig Wittgenstein

Further Reading:  Robert Lomas, The Invisible College ( see link below )

previous chapter
P1. An Entering Apprentice
continue reading next chapter
P3. The Master, Building Better Character

Article by: Gerald Reilly

Gerald Reilly was initiated in 1995 into St Osyth's Priory Lodge 2063. Essex. England (UGLE). 

He was a founder member of Josh Heller's Allthingsmasonic, and with Josh co-wrote 'The Temple that Never Sleeps' (Cornerstone Books, 2006) he is committed to the development of e-Freemasonry.

Awarded the Norman B Spencer Prize, 2016.

The Invisible College :
The Royal Society, Freemasonry and the Birth of Modern Science

By: Robert Lomas

In 1660, within a few months of the restoration of Charles II, a group of 12 men, including Robert Boyle and Christopher Wren, met in London to set up a society to study the mechanisms of nature.

At a time when superstition and magic governed reason, the repressive dogma of Christian belief silenced many, and where post-war loyalties ruined careers, these men forbade the discussion of religion and politics at their meetings.

The Royal Society was born and with it modern, experimental science. This book is a study of the turbulent political, economic and religious background to the formation of the Royal Society – an era of war against the Dutch, the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London.

It aims to make readers reassess many of the key events of this period, showing how Freemasonry, supported by Charles II, was the guiding force behind the birth of modern science, under the cover of the Royal Society.


Book: by Gerald Reilly

The Temple That Never Sleeps

by Josh Heller and Gerald Reilly

Freemasons and E-Masonry Toward a New Paradigm

A revolutionary book for every Freemason.The two authors, American and UK Masons, present a radical view of Freemasonry for both today and tomorrow.

In addition to their ideas are those of numerous Internet Masons (E-Masons) from around the world who, by sharing the experience of their own Masonic journey, have provided stunning personal insight into the viability of the Craft in the Internet Age.

This book will challenge your understanding of Freemasonry today and how it might transform for future generations.


Recent Articles: by Gerald Reilly

From Tower to Temple

How can the allegory of the Tower of Babel teach us tolerance? Language can be a divide. Not confusion among languages but rather within language, a seriously unclear understanding of another’s world-view. We assume it is so different from our own and yet with clarity, a realisation there is more which unites than separates.

The Imperative Study of Nature and Science

At some stage during Freemasonry's Second Degree, the candidate is advised that there is now permitted, something like, the extension of their research into the hidden mysteries of nature and science. Such is an excellent permission and one that each and every Freemason should pursue with awe and passion.

Pure Ancient Masonry; P4. A Companion in Rule, Building a better world

P4. A Companion in Rule, Building a better world - The four parts of Pure Antient Masonry comprise the ‘body’ Masonic; they are the building blocks of the vital relevance, through enhanced citizenship, wherein the soul of Freemasonry abides.

Pure Ancient Masonry; P3. The Master, Building Better Character

Part 3: The Master, Building Better Character - Being raised is a transition from knowledge to wisdom.
Also preparation for leadership and management, demonstrated by election to Master of a Lodge.

Pure Ancient Masonry; P2. A Fellow of the Craft

Part 2: A Fellow of the Craft, Building Better Knowledge. Pure Antient Masonry consists of four parts. ‘Building the Temple’ is the fundamental Masonic allegory for building better people; this must be understood as a seamless whole:

Pure Ancient Masonry; P1. An Entering Apprentice

Part 1. An entering apprentice: Building Better Communities; Pure Antient Masonry consists of four parts. ‘Building the Temple’ is the fundamental Masonic allegory for building better people to build a better world

Pure Ancient Masonry; Intrduction

This series will consider the defining characteristics, lessons and benefits of Three Degrees, the Order of the Royal Arch and when conjoined, Pure Ancient Masonry.

The Christianising of British Freemasonries - P4

This concluding article in the series considers the separation of British freemasonries from the Grand Orient of France (GOdF) and maintaining fraternity with the Prussian Grand Lodge of the Three Globes.

The Christianising of British Freemasonries - P3

Discover the battle for the 'soul' of Masonry. Part 3. French Perdition: ‘…for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness’?

The Royal Arch – ‘the fourth step in regular Freemasonry’

United Grand Lodge of England, has now designated the Royal Arch, the fourth step in regular Freemasonry, it therefore must be concluded that…publications…should now be revised, and based on attracting to the benefits of the four steps.

The Christianising of British Freemasonries - P2

How might the battle for the souls of Freemasonries be identified in a way that ensures thriving in the 21st Century? There is no guarantee of the immortality of the soul of Freemasonry! ‘We study the past in order to free ourselves from it.’ (Hariri)

The Christianising of British Freemasonries - P1

This four-part series considers: 1. the separation of British Freemasonries from the Grand Orient of France (GOdF); and, 2. maintaining fraternity with the Prussian Grand Lodge of the Three Globes.

The Royal Arch - Back to Basics

In the Royal Arch ceremony, the sojourners are buried with their tools in a vault. The sun, at its highest, provides enlightenment and the principal sojourner is returned to the former companions of his toil

The Holy Land and the Holy Sites P4

Fourth instalment of the four-part series, considers ‘masonic’ aspiration and activity regarding the Holy Land and The Holy Sites

The Holy Land and The Holy Sites P3

Third instalment of the four-part series, considers ‘masonic’ aspiration and activity regarding the Holy Land and The Holy Sites

The Holy Land and The Holy Sites P2

The four-part series will consider ‘masonic’ aspiration and activity regarding the Holy Land and The Holy Sites

The Holy Land and The Holy Sites P1

In this four-part series, we will consider ‘masonic’ aspiration and activity regarding the Holy Land and The Holy Sites

Science & Citizenship P4

Science and Citizenship: Towards a 21st Century Masonic Mindset.
Part 4: Towards a Universal Civil Society.

Science & Citizenship P3

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

Science & Citizenship P2

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

Science & Citizenship P1

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

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