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Happy St John’s Day! .’.

FreemasonryToday, 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.

Chart for the formation of the Premier Grand Lodge of England, 24th June 1717, London. Time approximated to 6pm.

Chart for the formation of the Premier Grand Lodge of England, 24th June 1717, London.
Time approximated to 6pm.

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.

Also:

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.

And even:

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.

By way of comparison, cool people born with this combination include scientists such as Rupert Sheldrake and Stanislav Grof, celebrities such as Julius Caesar, and world leaders such as Liv Tyler.

Liv Tyler. Yes this is relevant to this article!

Liv Tyler. Yes this is relevant to this article!

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.

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Florida Grand Master Decides Pagans Can’t Be Freemasons

Over at the the Wild Hunt I notice that the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Florida has decided that certain named types of pagans – including Wiccans and Odinists – cannot be Freemasons. Here is a scan of the edict:

Florida Grand Master Decides Pagans Can’t Be Freemasons

Now, get this. As far as I understand Freemasonry, the authorities he has cited as part of his edict – the Landmarks, and the charge of a Freemason – are entirely correct. However he seems to have excluded a number of things from his consideration, to wit:

The Volume of the Sacred Law is not necessarily a specific book (e.g. the Bible), but that which constitutes the revelation from heaven which is binding on the conscience of the individual. Hence, it would be the Holy Book of the religion of the candidate being initiated – and indeed, non-Christians are allowed to swear their G.’. and S.’.O.’. on the Holy Book of their choice, e.g. the Tanakh, Koran, Zend Avesta, etc. It is my understanding of Freemasonry, therefore, that one may become a Mason so long as one believes in a God, who is the G.’.A.’.O.’.T’.’.U.’. from one’s own point of view,  and one is prepared in all good conscience to swear on a Holy Book of one of the world’s religions.

Furthermore, the GM of Florida has managed to discriminate against pagans, without exercising discrimination! Whilst Agnosticism probably isn’t compatible with the craft, Gnosticism and Paganism are far too general terms to bandy about and there is a lack of explanation as to what is exactly wrong with Wiccan and Odinism. The thing is, religious and political discussions are banned within craft lodges anyway, so once they are in, they cease to be members of different religions and are simply Brothers of one Craft. It is within my personal knowledge that there are many pagans who are Freemasons, though not within Florida in the United States.

Now let me tell you a little story. In my novella, Shall We Kill The President? I described a conversation between a taxi driver and a Vampire in the Deep South of America.

“The bus-boycott was when, exactly?” Elijah said.

“You’re from out-of-state, right?” the driver said. “Just cause it’s fifty years gone don’t mean attitudes change much in these parts.”

“Tell me about it,” Elijah muttered.

“Like when I joined the Masons,” the driver continued. “Whenever I tried going to a Lodge in this state, immediately they go to ‘refreshment’ soon as I walk in the door. ‘So, Bros,’ I sez to ’em, ‘when we gone from refreshment to labour again? Ain’t you got a ritual today?’ But they just plain ignore me as if I ain’t there. I gets the message real quick, and take mysel’ down to Prince Hall sharpish, if you know what I’m sayin’.”

“Huh!” Elijah snorted. He paused, before adding: “So how do you join the Masons? The Prince Hall ones, I mean.”

“Oh, you just need to believe in God and that you’re goin’ to Heaven when you die,” the driver said. “Why? Does that sound like something which appeals to you?”

Elijah frowned. “No,” he said.

The fact of the matter is that although dressed as fiction, the experience described by the taxi-driver is a real-life phenomenon experienced by African-Americans who are either Masons or who want to become Masons in certain parts of America. I know this because it was related to me by an American Mason – in the state of Florida.

That’s right: the unpalatable truth is that pagans might feel aggrieved because they can’t become Masons in Lodges warranted by the Grand Lodge of Florida, but black Masons have been discriminated against in the same state for far longer than just November 2012. The problem is far more serious than pagans seem to realise.

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A Method of Vibrating Adonai Ha-Aretz To Unite Yourself with your Personal Kether

This is a follow up to my previous blog post, Golden Dawn Manuscripts and Where To Find Them. Your Humble Blogmaster, and basset-hound of all things GD, has found yet another cache of original Golden Dawn manuscripts, i.e. in addition to the one which I said its owner did not want publicised. This new cache, however, is reasonably accessible to the public – it is also at a venue that I happened to mention in passing the last time – the Library and Museum of Freemasonry at Freemasons’ Hall in London.

It hasn’t been hidden away at Great Queen Street all this time, it was actually purchased by them in 2008 (I would not be surprised one bit if it is Bob Gilbert’s old hoard). It has only just been catalogued in the past few weeks – i.e. since I first wrote my original blog post. Most of the papers, from my initial perusal, appear to be from the collection of the Reverend Ayton, who was amongst the very first members of Isis Urania temple. Ayton, an alchemist who had briefly met Eliphas Levi many years earlier, became a 5=6 in the original order, and stayed with Isis Urania after the split, becoming a member of Waite’s Holy Order of the Golden Dawn.

As you might expect, the contents of most of the documents have found their way into the public light by other routes, although there are a few rare gems. By way of example, I present the following ritual, which to my knowledge has never before been published. There is a saying in the Golden Dawn – “Invoke the Highest, First.” In this spirit I present the following: the first goody to be revealed from the archives at Great Queen Street is an invocation of the Highest, a ritual of pure Theurgy. It is a particular method of vibrating “Adonai Ha-Aretz” which was distributed to advanced members of the 5=6 Adeptus Minor grade. NB: This is substantially different from the method mentioned in Regardie’s “The Golden Dawn” ! It is, however, similar to a document in the other archives to which I have had access.

Unfortunately I don’t have a facsimile of the ritual. When I asked about making a copy, I was informed that they don’t do photocopies – as this damages the books. They can arrange to make digital photographs of the pages, but this is charged at the rate £2.50 per image (+ £1 for burning it to CD-Rom). Hence the ritual I present below, which was two pages long, would have cost £6 (I didn’t have any change on me at the time when I had a look at it). NB the National Library of Ireland charges similar rates for making facsimiles, which is why Yeats’ papers are not more widely known.

Hence I will have to rely on my notes which I made.

Pay attention – it’s the Scholarly Bit!

The ritual is hand-written on both sides of a sheet of foolscap octavo, which on the front bears a hexagram device in the top-left corner. It is illustrated through at key points in the text with pencil line-drawings. It is bound with other papers of different handwriting in a volume called “Grade of Geburah etc,” which despite its name contains just two documents relating to the 6=5 of the Holy Order of the Golden Dawn, whilst the rest are mainly Adeptus Minor documents of the original order, along with some miscellaneous items.

The hand-writing itself is very neat. I was not able to make a comparison with any known handwriting samples to establish precisely who copied or wrote it. The only thing I can definitely say that it wasn’t Wynn Westcott! Doubtless it would be possible to work out who did it simply by spending more time studying it.

The Ritual Itself

First clear the room with the Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.

Stand in the form of a cross. Say I N R I

YOD NUN RESH YOD*

Alex’ note: in the original this is written in Hebrew, right to left.

Virgo Isis Mighty Mother

Scorpio Apophis and Typhon Destroyer

Sol Osiris slain and risen

Isis Apophis Osiris. IAO

The Sign of Osiris Slain.

L the sign of Isis mourning.

V the sign of Apophis and Typhon.

X the sign of Osiris Risen.

Alex’ note: the above lines are each accompanied by a miniature line drawing demonstrating the signs of an Adeptus Minor. Think of a stick-figure wearing a tau-robe and you get the idea. Interestingly, the “L” is not a straight-armed “L” as given in Regardie’s books, but more of a crooked-arm swastika-like arrangement demonstrated by Crowley in the plates that accompany “Magick in Theory and Practice.” I.e. from the sign of Osiris slain, turn the right arm straight up at the elbow, and the left arm straight down from the left elbow.

L V X Lux the light of the Cross.

Trace the Rose-Cross in the four cardinal points.

Alex’ note: Here there is an illustration of the Rose-cross. Note that the ritual clearly says the “four cardinal points,” not the cross-quarters – thus differentiating it from the more well-known Rose Cross Ritual. Thence over to page 2…

Formulate whilst facing the East before you in flashing white brilliance:

Illustration from the ritual - Adonai Ha-Aretz formulated in flashing white brilliant letters. Recreated from memory. (c) Alex Sumner 2010

Alex’ note: The word Formulate conceals far more than it reveals. As a magician I would guess this means vibrate “Adonai Ha-Aretz” by the vibratory formula of the Middle Pillar 16 times – once for each letter of the cruciform version of the divine name. However – and note well – this is not indicated in the text.

Attach yourself to your Kether until you see brilliant white light.

Alex’ note: The ritual ends with a sketch of an Adept standing in the sign of Osiris slain, a globe of brilliance immediately above his head (i.e. Kether).

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Royal Society

Was up at Freemasons’ Hall in London yesterday and popped in to the Freemasonry and the Royal Society Exhibition in the Library and Museum of Freemasonry. The main thrust of it is that many of the founders of the Royal Society were – and perhaps their current members still are – Freemasons, e.g. Elias Ashmole, Desaguliers, etc.

The stated origin of the Royal Society is illuminating to say the least:

The origins of the Royal Society lie in an “invisible college” of natural philosophers who began meeting in the mid-1640s to discuss the ideas of Francis Bacon. Its official foundation date is 28 November 1660, when 12 of them met at Gresham College after a lecture by Christopher Wren, the Gresham Professor of Astronomy, and decided to found ‘a Colledge for the Promoting of Physico-Mathematicall Experimentall Learning’. This group included Wren himself, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, Sir Robert Moray, and William, Viscount Brouncker.
History of the Royal Society

In other words, what we have here is not just a Masonic institution, but a group of individuals who attempted and succeeded to create a society based on the model of the Rosicrucians – i.e. the Invisible College.

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99 Problems But Being A Mason Isn’t One

Another blog post in my series of presenting an insider’s guide to the New World Order.

How quickly all talk of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol fades from the public consciousness. If Google News is to be believed at all, the only hot topic in Freemasonry at the moment would appear to be whether rapper Jay Z is on the square or not. However when I researched it, apparently it is not a new story at all, it goes back to at least 2007. Apparently the evidence goes like this:

  • Jay Z read the Latin inscription which is printed on the back of the $1 bill in one of his lyrics – and now he is a member of the NWO.

Get real! By that definition any American can get into the club by reading their own currency.

  • There is a picture of Jay Z on the net giving Nas a funny handshake.

OK the guy does look as if his thumb is bent at an unusual angle. But I would be slow to draw conclusions from this.

  • He is a successful rapper and has earned millions.

Hmm? Might this not be more to do with the fact that people have been buying his records? Masons cannot actually produce money out of thin air, you know.

In fact, the evidence for saying that Jay Z is a mason is pretty slim. He has not done anything which could not have been achieved by not being a mason. In my opinion, the only sign of a conspiracy would have been if his contacts had managed to get him an unusual gig, which he would not have been able to get otherwise – say for example headlining at a major British festival traditionally reserved for rock acts only. 😉

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Square Dealings

Folks, I have a confession to make: I am on the level. What is more, in this blog post I am going to reveal some of the deepest darkest secrets of Freemasonry. Now the first thing that everyone who does not know anything else about the Craft knows is that Masonry has something to do with “funny handshakes.” These funny handshakes are technically known as “modes of recognition” and are supposedly the most secret bits of the masonic rituals which true Masons will always refuse to divulge even if the rest of Masonry is publicly discussed.

The fact that most of the handshakes are described on the internet somewhere if you search hard enough on Google is beside the point.

Now I am going to reveal something which no Mason has hitherto said on a public forum. So if you hear that I have been brutally murdered like one of Jack the Ripper’s victims or been found hanging underneath Blackfriars Bridge or died as a result of a bizarre accident at a cricket match, you know the reason. The gripping revelation is this:

The traditional modes of recognition are no longer in use: instead there is a new and completely different way of telling a brother by day or by night.

Yes, I shit ye not, there is a method now in use at lodge meetings and meetings of appendant bodies for telling if someone is a real Mason or not. And I am goint to reveal it to you! It is this: you go up to a bloke you suspect of being a Mason and say:

“Have you read the new Dan Brown book? It’s really rather good!”

OK I am joshing somewhat. But the fact of the matter is that up and down Great Queen Street and the various other masonic venues in London, the current talk is that The Lost Symbol is actually the greatest advert for Masonry in a long time: it actually depicts Masons as heroes. Not that it is an accurate description of Masonry at all: Brown has deliberately played hard and loose with the details, presumably to make it more exciting.

I was watching a programme on British TV “Channel 5” in which there were some lurid descriptions of American Freemasonry, whilst UGLE’s own Director of Communications, John Hammill, appeared defending the Craft. Reading through the credits at the end, I noticed that one of the masons interviewed in the programme was the executive producer thereof, and the production company was called “Three Degree Productions.” Oh ho!

I want to clear up some ambiguities which I feel have arisen, certainly amongst people I have spoken to. Firstly, this whole business of  there being 33 degrees … there are in fact only three degrees in Craft Freemasonry, the supposed other 30 being worked by an appendant or side order known as the “Ancient and Accepted Rite,” or as it is more colloquially known in Britain, Rose-Croix. Now get this: the supreme authority for Freemasonry is not the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree of the Ancient & Accepted Rite, it is the United Grand Lodge of England – the reason being that the former has bound itself to source all its members from Craft lodges. You see the point here? The A&AR may work more degrees than the Craft, but it is only the Craft who work the three most important ones.

In any event, the A&AR do not work all 33 degrees. The first three are not worked at all – they are left to Craft Masonry. Of the remainder, the A&AR work only five degrees, the rest being conferred in name-only.

Another cannard that pops up regularly is some idea that Freemasons are somehow involved in a giant conspiracy. The fact of the matter is that there is no mechanism in Freemasonry which would allow such a conspiracy to operate. One of the reasons why Masonry has survived so long is that subject to a token amount of supervision, individual lodges are treated with a great deal of independence by United Grand Lodge. However the flipside to this independence is that just as the central hierarchy does not generally interfere with individual lodges, so the lodges are not in a position to interfere with the central hierarchy. Hence, the mere fact of joining a lodge is not going to increase one’s influence in the new world order.

It is conceivable that a mason could eventually use his connections to achieve some influence: however, if he did that much networking, he would not need Masonry to do so.

According to my personal research, there are at least two forms of corrupt networking which are far more sinister than Freemasonry, but these are seldom mentioned by the chattering classes. The reason I think is because Freemasonry has all the glamour – the rituals, the regalia, the nice big Art Deco grade 2 listed building on Great Queen Street – it attracts all the attention!

Far more serious in the conspiracy stakes is the Old-Boy Network. It is quite easy to get into Freemasonry, so long as you have a belief in a Supreme Being, but the OBN and the “old-school tie” are by their very nature exclusive. I seem to recall that many years ago the OBN got more publicity than it does now, but that was before Stephen Knight came up with his Jack The Ripper: The Final Solution. How one badly written conspiracy theory can affect public perception!

But by far the most insidious conspiracy in the world today is neither Masonry nor the OBN. It is quite simply a matter of sniffing cocaine with the right people in the right toilets. This is especially so in some of the more glamorous industries which appeal to young and creative types.

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What am I doing?

Over the past few years I have not been updating my original website so often – this has been for a number of reasons. Firstly, work has been keeping me busy. This is not so bad: one of my money spells must have worked for a change!

Secondly, the Great Work has been keeping me busy. In the past few years I have been heavily involved with various magical projects, which have meant I have had little time to write new material for my website. When I realised that this was the situation I was in, I sort of retired from being an online-presence.

Irony of ironies, however! I have been meeting a number of different people through my magical projects, and when they heard that I was the great author Alex Sumner, they basically press-ganged me into writing papers for their own study groups, etc.

La plus ça change, la plus c’est la même chose, as some Martinist no doubt said in the past.

Essentially, my esoteric work is organised on the following lines:

  • I am heavily involved in Golden Dawn magick – as indeed I always have been. Certain aspects of the GD have taken on a greater degree of importance in my life, such as Tarot and Astrology. I am still involved with Enochian Magick: I am currently in the process of translating a book of John Dee’s conjurations from the original Latin into English.
  • Lucid Dreaming and astral projection. My lucid dreaming practice has evolved somewhat, as I am now on a quest to discover that which is more advanced than Lucidity per se.
  • Freemasonry – especially the esoteric aspects thereof; and
  • Rosicrucianism.

I am also exploring Fiction writing. Having experienced the occult in real-life, I am conscious that if I tried to write a fictional occult story that was completely authentic, it would actually be quite boring. As a fiction writer one should not write about ordinary characters – one should write about extraordinary ones – people who are the best at what they do, who take unusual risks, get into unusual scrapes, who have extraordinary adventures, etc etc. Thus, if I want to write about a villain in an occult novel, I cannot just describe someone who practices black magick – I would have to invent someone who practices magick which is sicker, blacker, more extreme and more evil than anything which would occur in real life.

My only problem so far has been that whenever I think “what is the most vile and disgusting practice someone could possibly do?” I am astounded to find that some pervert somewhere has already claimed to have done it. If I had not shaved my head already I would be tearing my hair out in frustration! 🙂

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