[identity profile] erik-j-meyer.livejournal.com
crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] esotericmasons

Last week I was at the meeting for Hyde Park Council. The meeting was short and we had the Grand Secretary of MA as the speaker for the night. A lot of the talk focused on how we sell Masonry to cheaply here. That I am sure we can hash over in some thread somewhere.

The fun part for this group came after the meeting at the collation.

I was approached by one of the Brethren who works at Grand Lodge. He asked me if I had heard of the idea of a Traditional Observance Lodge. When I told him I had he continued with pointing out that he was getting one approved for MA. We then talekd about it some more. Given that he gets to wear a purple apron at Grand Lodge I am guessing the application from his group is fast-tracked. I pointed out that I knew others that have similar interests.

So, if someone else was getting a charter for a traditional observance Lodge in MA would folks here still be interested?

An Idea

Jan. 2nd, 2008 12:26 pm
[identity profile] frommy.livejournal.com
I think we have a very good opportunity coming up this month which it is important for us to take advantage of.

January 18-21st will be Arisia in Cambridge. As in the past, there will be a (quite large) Masonic meeting at the convention which men from many lodges around the state attending. I'm thinking to myself, where is there a higher concentration of esoterically-minded Masons than at a sci-fi/fantasy convention? In theory, we only need 15 more men to charter ourselves as a lodge and we could potentially get all the other charter members we need through schmoozing at Arisia if we play our cards right.

If we organize properly in advance we could arrange to make an announcement at the meeting and have fliers to hand out. Who wants to attend and help out? Anyone got any other ideas on how to best take advantage of this opportunity?
[identity profile] erik-j-meyer.livejournal.com
With the poll about what night works best for a meeting night something came to mind.

What about a Lunar Lodge?

In Massachusetts currently there are less than a handful of Lunar Lodges. They do not meet on the night of the full moon. Looking at the Grand Lodge proceedings they meet on the 'Thursday before' or the 'Monday after' the particular lunar occurence.

So, would potential members be interested in having the meeting based around the phase of the moon, as was done in ages past? Looking at the poll that would have it as the Wednesday or Thursday before the full moon. Would that lend to the atmosphere of esotercism? Or would it change the meeting night too much and make it an annoyance on the members?

Personally I like the idea. Hence me bringing it up here. Anyone else?
[identity profile] frommy.livejournal.com
Greetings brethren,

I hope everyone is settling back into their fall fraternal schedules without too much trouble. For those who haven't noticed, we've picked up some more men who are willing to sign the charter for the future Argamon Lodge as listed in the community profile here. Now we're up to 9, which I think is a pretty good start.

I'm still trying to get responses from a few more people on when they might be available to come to an Argamon Club meeting in person before I suggest date for one, but there are still some other aspects of meeting that are worth discussing here:

Firstly, do people think it would be more appealing to bring in outside speakers for most of our meetings or would you be more interested in having open discussions on set topics (Masonic, esoteric, or anything else appropriate to our club)?

Are there any other types of events you would like to see from this club?

What sort of topics would you be most interest in for speakers and/or discussions?
[identity profile] frommy.livejournal.com
I figure this is the best place to post this since its local to Massachusetts and has men of a similar philosophical bent to myself. I'm moving to Newton soon and am still trying to figure out which of the lodges in that town to join. There's about 5 of them so I have a few to pick from. Does anyone happen to know which of them has men of an esoteric/philosophic mindset or perform particularly good ritual? Do any of them happen to server kosher food? (hey, it's Newton so that's a real possibility as I see it). I'd appreciate any intelligence on the lodges in Newton or perhaps referrals to someone who would know.

Question

Aug. 27th, 2007 10:35 pm
[identity profile] escodaiichi.livejournal.com
When petitioning to form a new lodge, do the Masons have to be under the Grand Lodge of Mass, or do they just have to be in good standing with a Grand Lodge recognized by the Grand Lodge of Mass?
[identity profile] frommy.livejournal.com
According to the descriptions of King Solomon's Temple given in the Bible, there were three dyes used in the decoration of the Temple: Techelet, Tola-at Sheni, and Argamon. Techelet was blue, Tola-at Sheni was red, and Argamon was purple (sometimes called "Royal Purple").

In addition to their literal use in the construction of King Solomon's Temple, these colors also metaphorically have spiritual significance. Specifically, they are said to relate to three parts of the human soul: the animal soul (red), the spiritual soul (blue), and the human spirit (purple) which mediates between the two. In addition, the blue and red can be thought of as the principles of "Mercy" and "Severity" or "Wisdom" and "Strength" with purple or Argamon referring to the principle of "Balance" or "Beauty" which unifies and completes the set. These principles are alluded to in the symbols of a Masonic lodge.

Ultimately, Argamon relates to balance and reconciliation in all things. As such it is a fitting emblem of our attempt to make ourselves better men through Masonry and through our project to get a group of men together to petition for the charter of a new Masonic lodge dedicated to the spiritual aims of Masonry.
[identity profile] pierceheart.livejournal.com
"Rural Lodge is hosting a large 2-day event on 9/7 and 9/8.
Approx. 300+ guests are expected each day. The GM and his suite are
coming on 9/7 but not on 9/8.

I would very much like you and other Esoteric-minded brothers (and your
spouses, friends, and families) to consider yourselves invited and
welcome on either or both days.

9/7 ceremony starts at 6pm sharp. 9/8 ceremony and installation starts
at 4pm sharp. Guests are being asked to arrive 30 to 60 minutes prior.

Both days wil be filmed. People will be invited to be interviewed. Half
the crowd will be from the community. The rest are our members and
reps from nearly every Masonic body... On Sat., they will be in full
regalia of their particular body.

Please come. And encourage other esoteric-minded Masons to do so, too.

Fraternally,

Steve Whitmore
Master-elect"
[identity profile] pierceheart.livejournal.com
The following users have been successfully invited to this community. They will need to accept the invite from the Community Invitation Page before they can become a member of the community:

[livejournal.com profile] badbrad
[livejournal.com profile] erik_j_meyer
[livejournal.com profile] jducoeur
[livejournal.com profile] cryptoron
[livejournal.com profile] divineserpent

Anyone else you guys think we should add?
[identity profile] pierceheart.livejournal.com
I am less disheartened than I was.
If you look at the following link:
http://forum.srmason-sj.org/printthread.cfm?Forum=6&Topic=438

you will see that we aren't the only ones feeling these issues in Freemasonry.

I knew that.

But it's widespread in the US.

Esoterika Lodge #316 in Washington State
St Alban's Lodge #1455 in Texas
The Lodge of the Nine Muses #1776 in DC

As more and more lodges spring up, or groups wanting them spring, it will become more and more of a phenomenon.

As Arlo Guthrie once said (and with apologies for one of the derogatory words Arlo uses)
You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he's really sick and they won't take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they're both faggots and they won't take either of them. And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin' a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day walking in singin' a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. And friends they may thinks it's a movement.

So, I propose we start meeting again, maybe simply online at first ... maybe at someone's house.
Simple stuff, where we don't need to pay for the building.
Still pay our dues, establish an account, whatever.

Get some more guys to show up.

And then ask for a meeting with the Grand Master in Massachusetts.
Ask him for support for a Traditional Observance Club. Not a Lodge, but a club.
Get GL approval to investigate the principals, and try to attract likeminded Masons.
Eventually, maybe not right away (and I have to accept, we may not see 25 consistent members in one year, or even two ... but we'll see them), we'll have what it takes. If it takes longer to get to Lodge status, that might be good. Gives us time to build up funds, get regalia, investigate time and place of meeting.

I don't want this project to die.
[identity profile] frommy.livejournal.com
To help get everyone up to speed on where we left off...

Argamon Masonic Club By-Laws

1. The name of the club shall be "The Argamon Masonic Club."

2. The purpose of the club shall be to study esoteric Masonry and various other topics related to it and to work towards the establishment of a Masonic lodge with an esoteric focus.

3. The club shall elect a President, Senior Vice-President, Junior Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer.

4. The club shall meet the 4th Wednesday of every month at the IOOF hall in Dedham, MA at 6:30 PM.

5. The dues shall be $200 to be paid annually or in monthly installments of $20.

6. Membership in the club shall require the degree of Master Mason and good standing in a lodge recognized by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, AF&AM.

7. A quorum to conduct business shall be half of the members in good standing, rounding up.

8. The By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of all members in good standing.

9. If and when a Masonic lodge is instituted, all the assets of this club shall be transferred to the new lodge and this club shall be dissolved.

10. In the event that this club is dissolved and no lodge is instituted in its place, all lodge monies shall be donated to a charity selected by majority vote at the final club meeting.
[identity profile] pierceheart.livejournal.com
We propose to be a different style of Lodge than most American Masons are used to.

One of our easiest to understand guidelines, and,m therefore, our most probably model (but not the ONLY model we will consider) is the Traditional Observance Lodge, within guidelines established by the Masonic Restoration Foundation.
Their guidelines may be found at the following link:
http://masonicrestoration.com/tomasonry.html

Here's a short explanation, however:

The Traditional Observance Lodge of the Masonic Restoration Foundation (MRF) is a relatively new term in Freemasonry. It refers to lodges that are similar to European Concept lodges in that they also incorporate higher dues, festive boards, a strict dress code, and higher standards of ritual, but differ in that they choose to follow a close observance of the traditional initiatory elements of Continental European Freemasonry.

Why?

Higher dues: the post WWII influx of thousands of members allowed Lodges to set low dues structures. However, most of those dues stayed at the low level for some time, and did not keep up with inflation.

Some TO Lodges have dues that are over $200 per year. Some are higher. Lodge buildings cost money to operate. Lodges cost money to run. Some of these costs can be reduced by relying on electronic communications (where allowed by Grand Lodge law). But what else does that money cover? In many cases, those higher dues feed (pun intended) directly into the next point:

Festive Boards: Festive Boards are mostly unheard of in American Masonry, where our Lodge diners are usually sandwiches or fish fry.
A Festive Board is a formal dinner, usually after the Lodge meeting, with multiple course, and toasts. It is very similar to, but not identical to, a Table Lodge. In Scottish Constitution Lodges, these are usually referred to as Lodge Harmonies.

Strict Dress Code: In Massachusetts, officers are expected to wear tuxedos (known as dinner jackets in Europe). In many Prince Hall Lodges, tuxedos are the norm for ALL members. In other jurisdictions, members may show up in street clothes, and I have seen Masons show up in jeans. While, yes, i prefer men to show up in work clothes in stead of not at all, when we dress up, wear our semi-formals, we are showing that what we are doing is set apart from the mundane/profane world. In TO Lodges, the standard is usually that all masons wear tuxedos.

Higher standards of ritual: In England, some Lodges READ the ritual from the ritual books. This definitely ensures that the right words are spoken. In many US jurisdictions, there is NO cypher at all, and, when someone does memorize it, they DO know it. I work in a tradition that is predominately an oral tradition, though we do have some written item ... which are hand copied. Knowing the ritual by heart allows better transcription when it does need to be written down, or copied.

But it's not just about having the work perfectly memorized. It's about the whole slate of officers knowing their portion of the work, and understanding it. A smooth flowing presentation of the degree allows the candidate to focus on what is happening, not someone on the sideline muttering "oh god, I can't believe he said that wrong!"

It's about giving a man a truly initiatory experience that cut directly to the psyche, and give him, in his heart and mind, the working tools of masonry as tools for personal growth and improvement.

We do this not by rushing a man through the degrees, but by taking our time. In European Lodge, candidates often wait one year between degrees, and are required to present a paper before taking each degree, on some philosophical topic ... which, after the first, should have some relation to the degree just taken.
[identity profile] pierceheart.livejournal.com
I originally made this community to be for those showing up, or likely to show up, for Argamon meetings.

Originally, [livejournal.com profile] esotericmasons was supposed to be for the Quincy MA Esoteric Club, and now, understandably, it has members who are nowhere near Quincy, and never will be.

So I made this one.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not looking to exclude anyone who has some good advice to give.
Because by doing that, I'd be alienating men whose support we need.

Men whose prayers can help us, can help show us that we aren't crazy for wanting this, can help us push forward ... because I do believe in the power of prayer.

One additional note: I just added [livejournal.com profile] frommy as a maintainer, that way if I am unavailable, he can approve requests to join.
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