Welcome to the December issue of The Square
We wish you all a wonderful Hanukkah, Christmas, Yule, Holiday/Festive Season, New Year’s Eve/Hogmanay/Ōmisoka – may there be light wherever you are in the world!
Christmas has a special place in millions of people’s hearts, not only Christians celebrating the birth of Christ, but it embodies a time of reflection, joy, and is a welcome respite from the long dark days of winter.
Just as our ancestors celebrated the wheel of the year with festivals of Yuletide and Saturnalia with feasts and light, we can do homage to that – eat, drink and be merry!
The month leading up to our ‘modern’ traditional Christmas celebrations around the world are focused on giving and receiving – food, gifts, love.
But there is also a dual nature to the celebrations – light and dark, rich and poor, young and old, religious and secular.
We seem to be able to make room for this duality at this time of year more than at any other – there is a certain ‘magic’ of Christmas that helps to thaw our hearts and minds from the cold reality of daily life; something that can steal so much from us.
One book I have loved since I was a child, is ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.
I read it every Christmas Eve until I was well into my thirties. I’m not sure why I stopped, but this year I intend to read it again.
The ‘Christmas magic’ I mentioned above, seems to flow through that short story – it encompasses so many concepts, archetypes and lessons that I later discovered are embedded in Freemasonry.
Many years ago, I felt there was a connection between Dickens’ tale of redemption and the Masonic rituals – not in the sense that it is ‘Masonic’ but like the rituals it is a form of the morality play, with layers of symbolism and allegory.
Charles Dickens wasn’t a Freemason, and you don’t have to be a Freemason to understand the basic premise of being a decent person.
But from my experience some of the best lessons to becoming a better person, to letting go of our fears, embracing humanity and basically do some good in the world, are to be found in both Freemasonry and ‘A Christmas Carol’ – it is a suitable Masonic allegory.
This month’s Editor picks:
We have a feast of fabulous articles to gift you this month!
A Christmas Carol – a suitable Masonic allegory – what are the important lessons to be learned in both Freemasonry and Charles Dickens’ famous Christmas story?
Masonic Miscellanies – The Mosaic Pavement: – why mosaic, why pavement? We are all familiar with the black and white chequered flooring of the Masonic lodge but where did it originate? There are a few theories…
8 Schools of Freemasonry – we end this series with the ‘Romantic School’. Not a flowery tribute but one that explores the various ‘romantic’ theories as to the origins of Freemasonry, such as the Biblical aspects, the stone masons guilds, the Knights Templar.
The Huguenots and Early Modern Freemasonry – Nigel Wade answers the question: who were the Huguenots and what was their influence on Freemasonry in the Eighteenth century? One clue – Jean Theophile Desaguliers!
Druidism and Freemasonry – Kenneth Jack offers an intriguing subject this month but what are the connections, if any?
Paul Gardner gives us a taste of Mason’s Relish – a potted history uncovering ‘Freemasons, Monarchs, and Politicians in Pot Culture’. I won’t elaborate more, you just have to read it!
High Meridian – The perfect Christmas gift! We have an *Exclusive Extract* of Ben Zion’s superb new book. The Preface is the hook, the rest of the book is the big catch. Look out for a full review in January.
Manockjee Cursetjee – The first Indian to enter the Masonic Brotherhood of India. Alex Lishanin explores Mumbai and discovers the story of Lodge Rising Star of Western India and Manockjee Cursetjee – the first Indian to enter the Masonic Brotherhood of India.
The Egyptian Rite of Memphis: Past, Present and its Relevance for Today’s Freemasonry – Over time many Masonic Rites have developed, each having its own history, legends, and rituals. Some of them are still practiced today, and others have ceased to exist. Gabriel Anghelescu discusses ‘The Rite of Memphis’ – a branch of Esoteric Freemasonry and specifically one of the Rites of Egyptian Freemasonry.
Carl Jung’s “Living Symbols” – the introduction to a serialisation of an extraordinary paper by Stephen Brock Schafer, Retired Prof., Dept. Chair, PM, 32⁰ Scottish Rite. Professor Schafer’s work originated with the emergent field of research on the cognitive dynamics of the mediated reality with an emphasis on Jungian/neuro-linguistic processes. It’s not a light read but it is enlightening.
Do check out my Editor’s Pick – Book Review – ‘More Light Collected Masonic writings 2017-2021‘ by Austin R. Shifrin – an absolute gem of a book!
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