Today, the 24th June, in the Christian calendar is the feast of St John the Baptist. It is also the anniversary of the founding of the first Grand Lodge of Freemasonry in England. It is now referred to as the “Premier Grand Lodge” although this is a ret-con in light of later developments.
It is not the anniversary of Freemasonry in England, as Elias Ashmole claimed to have been made a mason during the era of the Civil War in the previous century. The first official Masonic publication, Anderson’s Constitutions (1720), claims that it thrived during the latter part of the 17th century (even including Sir Christopher Wren as one of its prominent members), suffered a lull roundabout the time of the first Jacobite rebellion (1715) – whereupon, the existing lodges in London decided to get their act together and formed a Grand Lodge.
Neither, for that matter, is it the anniversary of Freemasonry itself. There are lodges in Scotland which date back to the mid 16th century. Indeed I once met a Brother who said his mother lodge still had a minute book dating back to 1560 or thereabouts. Unfortunately he later said that his lodge had lent it out to someone who had not returned it. D’oh!
Anywho, I have therefore decided to bring my astrological powers to bear by casting a chart for the “birth” of the Premier Grand Lodge.
In the above chart I have estimated the time of “birth” to 6pm, given that the aforesaid Anderson’s Constitutions says that the four lodges which met at the Goose & Grid Iron that day were primarily meeting for dinner. I therefore opted for earlier in the evening, as any later a bunch of Freemasons in a pub would have been in no fit state to form anything.
By looking at the chart we immediately notice that Premier Grand Lodge is Sun Cancer, Moon Capricorn – its first meeting was the very day after the full moon. Of this combination it is said:
The combination of your Sun and Moon signs produces a good deal of ambition and determination in your personality. Yet this is well disguised in a mask of congeniality and understanding.
You are well equipped for a role in some type of public or official responsibility, and apt to gain recognition for your work in this regard. Prestige and status are likely to flow your way if you make any effort to achieve before the public.
You appreciate the value of a dollar, but you’re not likely to spare cost when it comes to obtaining quality for your investment. A high degree of self-discipline allows you to save or even hoard money for that rainy day … You know how to drive a hard bargain with a smile on your face, and you have a keen sense for understanding people and instinctively sensing their motives.
Moving on, we also notice that there is a T formation in the chart, between a conjunction of Sun / Venus / Jupiter, Caput Draconis, and the Moon. This would be a grand cross if we counted the Cauda Draconis as well. This would indicate that Grand Lodge’s “destiny” is to seek to achieve the “love and harmony which should at all times characterise Freemasons” (Caput Draconis in Libra). However, its fall-back position to which it may feel tempted to revert is that of a brash, power-hungry mentality.
It feels under pressure to achieve this love and harmony by works which increase the self-esteem, pleasure and good fortune of its members. However it feels it needs to balance this against a sense of propriety. This prudishness causes it to act in an authoritarian manner at times, making it want to dictate the enjoyment experienced by it members on its own terms.
So I wish all Brethren well this day, and remember that it is our destiny to succeed in the noble ideals on which the Craft was founded.
In memoriam: Michael Baigent, 1948 – 2013, former editor of Freemasonry Today and tireless campaigner to uphold the traditional standards of Masonry.