Tuesday, September 19, 2017

‘The Art of the Pipe at Hiram-Takoma’

     
Magpie file photo

It’s been too many years since I last visited Hiram-Takoma 10 in the District of Columbia. (Nothing personal. I’m 250 miles away.) But I’d love to make the trip next week for this meeting. From the publicity:


The Art of the Pipe
Thursday, September 28 at 7:30
Hiram-Takoma Lodge 10
Takoma Masonic Center
115 Carroll Street NW
Washington, DC

This open program is about the art of pipe smoking, presented by Bro. Jacob E. Easton. Dress is business casual. RSVP to W. Bud Michels here to ensure sufficient amount of refreshment.

Dinner (all welcome) at 6:30 p.m. Lodge (Masons only) at 7:30. Program (non-Masons, ladies welcome) at eight o’clock.


Maybe the brethren will form a pipe club. Yeah. A pipe club that meets during Masonic Week! Yeah, that’s it.

Magpie file photo
     

‘Masonic identity in funerals’

     
Maryland Masonic Research Society will gather for a meeting next month to hear about facets of Masonic obsequies that you might not have considered before. From the publicity:



Regular Meeting
Maryland Masonic Research Society
Saturday, October 14 at noon
209 Washington Blvd. in Laurel

Carolyn Bain, Ph.D. will present “Masonic Funerals: Identity, Performance, and Transformation—Constructing a public-facing identity of Freemasonry within historical, contemporary, and theoretical contexts.”

A member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Texas Chapter 219 and president of the award-winning, digital media services firm, Bain Pugh & Associates, Inc., Bain is a noted researcher, author, and presenter.

For the Masonic Service Association, she co-authored “Moving Masonry into the 21st Century” and consulted on the Mark Twain Award Project. For the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, she produced the award-winning film “On the Wings of Words.” She has spoken for many Masonic audiences including the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and the International Conference on the History of Freemasonry.

Lunch ($20 payable at the door) will be served at noon. The meeting will open at 1 p.m. RSVP to the Secretary here before October 10.
     

Monday, September 18, 2017

‘Who is Liberty Lodge No. 7?’

     
Two events this week in the Hudson Valley must be mentioned.

The Master of Solomon’s Lodge 196 in Tarrytown will present a lecture Thursday at the lodge’s meeting.

EDIT: Lecture is rescheduled to Thursday, December 7.

“Who Is Liberty Lodge No. 7?” is the result of W. Bradley Corsello’s research into the period of New York Masonic history characterized by the schisms that might have left the state with various competing grand lodges.

Solomon’s Lodge is located at 54 Main Street. Dinner at 7 p.m. Lodge opens at eight.

On Saturday afternoon, Colonial Day at Tappan will be hosted at DeWint House, the Washington Headquarters owned and operated by Grand Lodge.

That’s noon to five o’clock at 20 Livingston Street. Sponsored by Tappantown Historical Society. From the publicity:

Step back in time and visit Colonial America. Tour the Carriage House Museum and the DeWint House with costumed guides. See Colonial Army re-enactors, encampment soldiers, farm animals, and preparations for winter in the DeWint House kitchen. Watch spinners, lace-makers, quilters, embroiderers, woodcarvers, a sheepshearer, blacksmith, and colonial singers and dancers. For the children there is apple-pressing, stenciling, candle-dipping, writing with quill pens, making tussie mussies, juggling, and making a mob cap. Refreshments available.
     

Sunday, September 17, 2017

‘Live from Masonic Week?’

     
This week’s X-Oriente podcast just concluded (will be posted soon), and the brethren were thinking out loud about possibly going live from Masonic Week in 2019, or maybe even giving it a go next February. It’s not even an embryonic idea yet, but Eric and Jason are interested in exploring the feasibility of hosting their show from the hotel.

The questions they ask now are: Would you attend in person and perhaps take part or observe; or would you watch on line from afar?

Or “if you think this is a horrible idea,” they want to hear from you also. Topic suggestions are welcome too.

Eric launched X-Oriente more than a decade ago to continue the magic of Masonic Week (then called AMD Weekend) conversations year round. Masonic Week consists of the annual meetings of a bevy of obscure Masonic fraternities, which can be pretty dull but, outside and between these meetings, Masons from all over meet in hospitality suites and other nooks to discuss the meaning of Masonry. Friendships are cemented, and it is not unusual for the brother you’ve just met to wind up guest lecturing at your lodge later in the year. (Some of these guys have been dining out on the same lectures for ten years! Hmmph.)

But check in with X-Oriente to make your opinions heard. Click here.
     

‘The Over Soul’

     
The School of Practical Philosophy has another Emerson Study Day in store next month. The School delivers a curriculum and these extra-curricular occasions that comprise an ideal complement to Masonic studies, and I commend them to you. (I may miss Grand Masters Day at Tappan for this.) From the publicity:


The Over Soul
School of Practical Philosophy
Sunday, October 15 at 8:30 a.m.
12 East 79th Street
Manhattan
$30 per person, click here

Come explore the spiritual and intellectual legacy of America’s great philosopher and teacher, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Drawing on the wisdom of Plato and the Eastern traditions, Emerson knew from direct experience and observation that Unity is the true reality. He spoke of “one mind common to all” and “one soul which animates all things.” His affirmation of Unity was total, and he encouraged people to discover this for themselves.

We shall study selected passages from his most transcendental pronouncement. The Over Soul is his description of the Supreme Self, the Param Atman, the Divinity within. This essay offers wise and practical advice on how to remain open to the Unity by living in “an attitude of reception,” receiving and reveling in “the disclosures of the Soul.”

From the essay:

“Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the eternal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related; the eternal One. And this deep power, in which we exist and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one.”

All are welcome. No prior study of Emerson is required. Sign in at 8:30. The program will begin at 9 a.m. Registration fee covers a light brunch and the printed reading materials. Tutor: Barbara Solowey.


Click here to read the essay at hand.
     

Saturday, September 16, 2017

‘Die Zauberflöte AND The Magic Flute at The Met this fall’

     
The Met is serving a double-shot of Mozart’s Masonic opera The Magic Flute this season. The annual holiday crowd-pleaser production, in English (less than two hours), will come in November, but Die Zauberflöte, the German staging (more than three hours), will open in about a week and a half with tickets starting at 25 bucks. From the publicity:


The Metropolitan Opera
Die Zauberflöte
September 27 through October 14
Tickets here

Courtesy The Met

Music Director Emeritus James Levine conducts the full-length German version of Mozart’s magical fable, seen in Julie Taymor’s spectacular production, which captures both the opera’s earthy comedy and its noble mysticism.

Die Zauberflöte—a sublime fairy tale that moves freely between earthy comedy and noble mysticism—was written for a theater located just outside Vienna with the clear intention of appealing to audiences from all walks of life. The story is told in a Singspiel (“song-play”) format characterized by separate musical numbers connected by dialogue and stage activity, an excellent structure for navigating the diverse moods, ranging from solemn to lighthearted, of the story and score. The composer and the librettist were both Freemasons—the fraternal order whose membership is held together by shared moral and metaphysical ideals—and Masonic imagery is used throughout the work. The story, however, is as universal as any fairy tale.

Courtesy The Met
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91) died prematurely three months after the premiere of Die Zauberflöte. It was his last produced work for the stage. (The court opera La Clemenza di Tito had its premiere three weeks before Die Zauberflöte, on September 6, 1791, though its score was completed later.) The remarkable Emanuel Schikaneder (1751-1812) was an actor, singer, theater manager, and friend of Mozart. He suggested the idea of Die Zauberflöte, wrote the libretto, staged the work, sang the role of Papageno in the initial run and even recruited his three young sons to join the roster.

The libretto specifies Egypt as the location of the action. Egypt was traditionally regarded as the legendary birthplace of the Masonic fraternity, whose symbols and rituals populate this opera. Some productions include Egyptian motifs as an exotic nod to this idea, but many more opt for a more generalized mythic ambience to convey the otherworldliness that the score and overall tone of the work call for.

Courtesy The Met

Die Zauberflöte was written with an eye toward a popular audience, but the varied tone of the work requires singers who can specialize in several different musical genres. The comic and earthy are represented by the baritone, Papageno, while true love in its noblest forms is conveyed by the tenor, Tamino, and the soprano, Pamina. The bass, Sarastro, expresses the solemn and the transcendental. The use of the chorus is spare but hauntingly beautiful, and fireworks are provided by the coloratura Queen of the Night.
     

‘Library lecture: Prince Hall and African Lodge’

     
Coverage of last weekend’s Masonic Society Conference in Kentucky is still to come, but here is some news from Masonic Hall concerning a lecture in a few weeks. From the publicity:



Prince Hall and African Lodge 459
Presented by Jo-Ann Wong
Thursday, September 28 at 6:30
Livingston Masonic Library
Masonic Hall, 14th Floor
71 West 23rd Street
Manhattan

Prince Hall
Jo-Ann Wong, Librarian of the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library, will present a lecture focused on the treasures of the Library’s Books and Artifacts Collection related to Prince Hall and the beginnings of African Lodge 459. Materials include a 1792 pamphlet containing a “charge” that Prince Hall led in Massachusetts, a facsimile of the charter for African Lodge, and related archival material.

Jo-Ann Wong received her Master’s Degree in Information and Library Science, with certification in Archives, from Pratt Institute. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature, with a minor in Mathematics, from SUNY Geneseo. She has worked in New York Public Library’s Map Division and Gagosian Gallery. Now, she is responsible for supervising the library sector of this institution and for maintaining its bibliographic and archival material for future preservation and access.

Make your reservation here. Photo ID is required to enter Masonic Hall. White wine will be served.
     

Friday, September 1, 2017

‘September at Centerpoint’

     
Resuming its normally busy schedule of all sorts of gatherings and events, the Anthroposophical Society of New York City offers an abundance of attractions for September. The address is 138 West 15th Street in Manhattan. Check out the bookstore too. Here are just a few of the evening offerings, from the publicity:


Wednesday, September 13 at 7 p.m.

David Taulbee Anderson presents “Anthroposophic Psychology”

This series of ten lectures will explore and elaborate on Rudolf Steiner’s lecture series “Anthroposophy, Psychosophy, and Pneumatosophy.”

Anthroposophy deals with the relation of the soul to the body and senses. Psychosophy studies the soul itself, in its own realm. Pneumatosophy is the study of the soul’s relation to the spirit.

The first two lectures will be concerned with Anthroposophy in the special meaning described here. Lectures 3-6 will be concerned with the soul or psyche itself. Lectures 7-10 will be on pneumatosophy.

1. “The Human Being and the Senses.” We will look at differences between anthropology, anthroposophy, and theosophy. At this point in Steiner’s research he enumerated ten senses that he would later expand to twelve. He did not yet include the ego sense and sense of touch, which he spread out and distributed among the senses of smell, taste, sight, and warmth.

2. “Supersensible Processes in the Human Senses.” How Manas, Buddhi, and Atman work into the ego, astral, etheric, and physical bodies. The etheric body’s relation to the inner senses: balance, movement, and life sense. The astral body’s relation to the outer senses: hearing, speech, and concept senses. Between the inner and outer senses lie the touch senses; they are related to the sentient, intellectual, and consciousness souls.

Subsequent lectures to follow monthly.

David Taulbee Anderson has taught drawing and painting around the world. He has an MA in art, and certificates (Waldorf education) from Emerson College and (teaching painting) from the Wagner School at the Goetheanum.


Saturday, September 23 at 7 p.m.

Eugene Schwartz presents
“Joseph Smith and Rudolf Steiner:
Prophecy and Initiation”

Building on his May presentation, Eugene Schwartz will present three further lectures this season on anthroposophy and Mormonism. Although Joseph Smith and Rudolf Steiner lived at opposite ends of the nineteenth century, their lives had some remarkable similarities, as well as glaring contrasts. We will explore the young adulthood of both men and their efforts to share their experiences of soul and spirit with others, at the chronological and geographic contexts in which Smith preached and Steiner lectured, as well as the ridicule, verbal, and even physical attacks that both endured. Most importantly, we will examine the markedly different ways in which Joseph Smith’s “revelations” and Rudolf Steiner’s “research” led them to the world of the spirit.

Future lectures:
April 7, 2018: “Jahwe and Jesus, Gabriel and Michael.”
May 19, 2018: “From the Great Lakes to the Salt Lake.”

Eugene Schwartz taught for many years at Green Meadow Waldorf School and directed the Teacher Training Program at the Sunbridge Institute. He lectures internationally on Anthroposophy and Waldorf education, and has pioneered numerous online presentations, among them the Online Conferences for Waldorf teachers and the Online Rudolf Steiner Course. His hundreds of lectures and articles may be found here.
     

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

‘New Book: A Freemason’s Harlot’

     
The artist William Hogarth, FRSA (1697-1764) was a Freemason in the lodges that met in the Hand and Apple Tree Tavern and the Bear and Harrow Tavern in London in the early eighteenth century, and he served as a Grand Steward in 1735. He is beloved in the art world for having revived the medieval art form called “Pictured Morality,” where the grim consequences of human weaknesses are exposed to warn us all. He would create series of images that could be taken together, like a cartoon strip, or could be appreciated individually without diminishing the moral of the story. He is beloved by me because, as a fairly recent edition of Chambers Biographical Dictionary paints him: “With an unerring eye for human foibles, [Hogarth] was often forthright to the point of coarseness, but although his didactic purpose was unmistakable, seldom indulged in melodrama.”

Click here to purchase.

A new book by art historian and Freemason Jeremy Bell, published for the tercentenary celebration of English Freemasonry, threatens to expose all the Signs of the Craft, as the author jokes in his promotion of the book, adding:

Don’t worry Brother, this was all done in paintings from the 1700s! William Hogarth, Grand Lodge Steward, concealed the following in his popular prints:


  • signs, passwords, and knocks of the EA, FC, MM, and Mark Master;
  • Grand Hailing Sign and Five Points of Fellowship;
  • riddles that hint at the Grand Masonic Word;
  • Royal Arch sign and Ineffable Word; and
  • The first depiction of the letter G, Square and Compass, Labor to Refreshment, and much more!


William Hogarth: A Freemason’s Harlot contains 300 illustrations—and there’s more! What makes this new art history book remarkable is its author’s theory of Masonic symbolism being encoded in Hogarth’s work. More than the obvious Masonic regalia plainly seen in “Night,” but more esoteric imagery that I suppose only the initiated eye can discern. To wit:



About the author, from the publicity:

Jeremy Bell has written articles on Freemasonry for British Art Journal and for the monthly publication of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. He was asked to contribute a paper to a recent anthology that commemorated the 250th anniversary of Hogarth’s passing: Hogarth: 50 New Essays: International Perspectives on Eighteenth-Century English Art.

And, he writes:

I fulfilled the dying wishes of my grandfather when I became a Freemason in Edinburgh’s Celtic Lodge 291 on the Royal Mile. I was 18. When I emigrated to America, I bought an 18th century coaching inn which had a ballroom that was a Masonic lodge in the late 1700s. It just so happened that the Grand Master of Grand Lodge lived next door. He made me his Grand Lodge Piper and granted me a dispensation to hold Masonic meetings in my home. I was able to put some friends through their degrees in the 18th century manner in the ballroom!

I was actually researching Hogarth’s prints at the same time for a speech I was doing on the history of rum for Goslings Black Seal (Bermuda). Hogarth features bowls of rum punch in several of his prints. I started to find more Masonic details within his lesser known paintings.

More than 10 years of research went into writing the book. What seems obvious now, actually took years for me to find! I sent a few emails around to Hogarth experts and they were kind enough to reply and comment. Professor Shesgreen was a huge help, and introduced me to the editor of British Art Journal, who suggested writing this book.

A sequel to this book already is in production.
     

Monday, August 28, 2017

‘Friday: Reunion of Brothers in the Blue and the Gray’

     
Take a break from the Orwellian insanity being foisted on American society these days by treating yourself to a first rate historical lecture on one intersection of Freemasonry and the U.S. Civil War. Cornerstone Lodge 711 will host the curator of the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library a second time Friday, making this officially an annual happening. Catherine Walter will present the history of Freemasons aiding their brethren across the divide of war, and will display remarkable documents disinterred from the archives of the library. From the publicity:

Don’t miss the Second Annual Curator’s Civil War Lecture in Monroe, New York Friday evening.



Captain Dimmick, Captain Mosscrop, and Corporal Dubey, 10th Regiment NYS Volunteers; and Captain Hugh Barr, 5th Regiment, Virginia Riflemen.

Reunion of Brothers
in the Blue and the Gray
Friday, September 1
Cornerstone Lodge 711
300 Stage Road
Monroe, New York
Lodge opens at 7:30 p.m.
Lecture at eight
Free admission

On Friday, September 1, the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library of the Grand Lodge of New York; the Cornerstone Masonic Historical Society of Cornerstone Masonic Lodge No. 711, Monroe, New York; and Museum Village in Monroe will proudly present a free lecture highlighting one of the artifacts of the Livingston Library’s collection: a 1905 copy of a set of resolutions sent by three northern Masonic brothers to a former Confederate Captain and Masonic brother who saved them after the Second Battle of Bull Run at Manassas, Virginia.

On Saturday, September 2 and on Sunday the third, Museum Village will host its 42nd Annual Civil War Re-enactment, with the Livingston Library’s curator in attendance on Saturday.

The original of these resolutions was sent in 1881 to the Captain Hugh Barr, the former Confederate officer, whose actions reflected the commonly discussed theme of Masonic Brotherhood: that, even in the midst of battle, the bonds of brothers are stronger than any other affiliation.


Click to enlarge.
The artifact’s history was lost to time until recovered by Catherine M. Walter, Curator for the past 14 years of the Grand Lodge of New York’s collection. During the lecture, she will share the story of the resolutions and the Masonic brothers associated with it. The Library houses more than 60,000 rare books and 50,000 artifacts reflecting the material culture of a group filled with significant and historic figures.

Freemasonry has played an important role in the history of New York State, spearheading a social safety net for widows and orphans, and homes for the elderly, as well as supporting the establishment of public education in the fraternity’s aim to uplift the state of humanity in general. While known as the quiet fraternity, its members have stood as pillars of their communities across the state since before the American Revolution. Learning the histories of the men associated with the artifact collection only highlights the nature of those men who joined the fraternity and who embraced the core tenets of Freemasonry: Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.

While there is a lot of misinformation about Freemasonry, its true nature has been best described as “a beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.” The symbols often have layered meanings, but by using the working tools of an operative stone mason as symbols to teach moral lessons, a Freemason strives to keep his spiritual nature in control of his earthly nature, to remember that all men are equal, to be morally righteous and upright in conversation and action, to maintain a straight course of action in work and interactions, to work hard at labor and at home, to gain accurate knowledge, and to spread the cement of Brotherly Love.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see and learn about one of the amazing artifacts of the Grand Lodge of New York which sheds light on the incomparable bonds of brotherhood within the Masonic fraternity.
     

Thursday, August 24, 2017

‘Contemporary Art and Esoteric Traditions’

     
This recurring event at New York University has no connection to Freemasonry or the other main subjects discussed on The Magpie Mason, but I’d say there is a tangential artistic sympathy in it. From the publicity:


Occult Humanities Conference
Contemporary Art and Scholarship
on the Esoteric Traditions
October 13-15
New York University
Barney Building
34 Stuyvesant Street
New York City

Hosted by Phantasmaphile and New York University’s Steinhardt Department of Art and Art Professions, the third Occult Humanities Conference will present a wide array of voices active in the cultural landscape specifically addressing the occult tradition through research, scholarship, and artistic practice. Tickets available here.

The arts and humanities at present are acutely interested in subjects related to the occult tradition, which represents a rich and varied visual culture that displays a complex set of relations at once culturally specific and global in their transmission. Roughly defined, the occult tradition represents a series of culturally syncretic belief systems with related and overlapping visual histories. Though there are as many ways into this material as there are cultural and personal perspectives, universal occult concerns often include a belief in some sort of magic; a longing to connect with an immaterial or trans-personal realm; and a striving for inner-knowledge, refinement of the self, and transformation of one’s consciousness—if not one’s physical circumstances.

Intensely marginalized throughout most historical periods, these traditions persist and represent an “underground” perspective that periodically exerts a strong influence on structures of dissent, utopianism, and social change. Though history is marked with several so-called “Occult Revivals,” the contemporary digital age is a perfect confluence of several factors which make this moment prime for a re-examination of all of the esoteric traditions. While the information age has allowed for easier access to previously obscure writings, imagery, and social contexts, it alternately elicits a deep desire for sensorial experiences and meaning-making when one steps away from the screen.

The presenters at the OHC represent a rich and expanding community of international artists and academics from multiple disciplines across the humanities who share an exuberance and excitement for how the occult traditions interface with their fields of study as well as the culture at large. The small scale of this conference (approximately 100 attendees) will give ticket holders an intimate look at the presenters and their views.
     

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

‘Pennsylvania Academy’s plans for October’

     
The Pennsylvania Academy of Masonic Knowledge has announced its plans for the October 28 meeting. This flier tells the tale:

Click to enlarge.
     

Sunday, August 20, 2017

‘Alchemy Journal returns!’

     
The front cover of the new issue of Alchemy Journal,

Vol. 13, No. 1, published August 20, 2017.

Alchemy Journal is back, after an absence of—well, too long!

The International Alchemy Guild announced today that its quarterly periodical of esoteric thinking and practice returns this very day with Volume 13, Number 1.

The new editorial team is Editor Daniel Coaten and Assistant Editors Jim Baldwin, Tracy Cranick, and Gabriel Maroney, with Founding Editor Dennis William Hauck.

Alchemy Journal now is an online publication. Click here to sign up and get access.

This issue contains:






The Alchemy Guild “is an international organization whose members are practicing alchemists or interested in studying various aspects of spiritual and practical alchemy.” Read more here.

This is so exciting it actually may motivate me to start writing again.
     

Saturday, August 19, 2017

‘Traubenfest in six weeks!’

     
It’s hard to think of October right now, but October 1 is only six weeks away, and that’s the date of Traubenfest 2017.


Traubenfest is the annual German culture outdoor party hosted by the Freemasons of the Ninth Manhattan District, the organization under the Grand Lodge of New York that unites historically German lodges. It takes place at German Masonic Park (89 Western Highway) in Tappan. German food, German beer, German music, and a host of attractions await us. It’s a rain or shine event.

Traubenfest has a new website here. Admission is just five bucks, but kids under 14 get in free.

Traditionally, Traubenfest and Grand Master’s Day coincide on the same day in Tappan, but this year Grand Master’s Day will be hosted on October 15.
     

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

‘Albert Pike in bronze: A statue of limitations?’

     
UPDATE: On the eve of the opening of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction’s Biennial Session, vandals splashed red paint onto the Albert Pike statue. WRC-TV, the Washington NBC affiliate, reports:

Demonstrators and some D.C. leaders have said Pike was a racist and supported slavery. Friday morning, a banner was draped against the statue with the message

“#ModernConfederates John Kelly. Gary Cohn. Rex Tillerson.”

Courtesy WRC-TV

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton said she plans to meet with the National Park Service to discuss removing the statue. He certainly has no claim whatsoever to be memorialized in the nation’s capital, Norton said in a statement.



Following the weekend of violence at the University of Virginia initially sparked by anger over the disposition of a statue of Robert E. Lee, dormant calls for the removal of the statue of Albert Pike in Washington, DC have been revivified by local politicians.


Courtesy dcist.com

Today dcist.com reports rallies Sunday and Monday nights at the statue, located at the corner of Third and D streets NW in the Federal City, brought together activists and city officials to renew calls from a generation ago for the removal of the monument because it memorializes a general in the army of the Confederate States of America during the U.S. Civil War. It is the only statue in Washington dedicated to a Confederate figure, but it is Pike the Freemason, not Pike the general, that is commemorated by the 11-foot bronze.

Sculptor Gaetano Trentanove executed the work, creating what National Parks Service records say is Albert Pike:

“...in civilian dress and presented as a Masonic leader rather than a military man. Pike stands 11 feet tall upon a high granite pedestal. Below his feet about halfway down the west face of the pedestal, sitting on a ledge, is the allegorical Goddess of Masonry, holding the banner of the Scottish Rite. The figure is in Greek dress and posed as looking down. Pike holds a book in his left hand, perhaps his popular Morals and Dogma of Scottish Rite Masonry.”

The statue is situated on federal land, so the calls of the local pols are not an eviction notice; the matter will have to be decided by the NPS. I suppose there may come a day when the House of the Temple will become the statue’s next home. The Southern Jurisdiction’s Biennial Session will convene on Saturday. The leadership may want to empanel a committee to prepare for that possibility. It would not be the statue’s first move, but relocating it to private property may be the best thing. While it was the U.S. Congress that authorized the pedestrian statue, it was the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite that raised the $15,000 to create and install the bronze Pike, dedicating it October 23, 1901.

Letter, dated today, from DC officials to the Acting Director of NPS:


Click to enlarge.
     

Sunday, August 13, 2017

‘What is Masonic success?’

     
The upcoming meeting of the Masonic Philosophical Society in Queens will focus on the meaning of success. From the publicity:



Masonic Philosophical Society
‘Freemasonry: Is There
a Secret to Success?’
Saturday, September 2 at 2:30 p.m.
Whitestone Masonic Temple
149-39 11th Avenue
Flushing, New York


You are invited to the Masonic Philosophical Society’s next hosted discussion and study. Each month a different topic, ranging from philosophy and science, to religion and metaphysics, is discussed and debated. This group, which is open to the public, is where non-members can learn more about Freemasonry, as well as meet local Freemasons.

September’s topic will be “Freemasonry: Is There a Secret to Success?” After a short lecture, a discussion and debate by the group will follow.

What do we define as success? The word “degree” in its primitive meaning signifies a step. Is it possible to achieve personal success through steps or degrees, and if so, what are they? Business strategists claim to use certain defined steps to achieve their goals, psychologists help patients through personal struggles using defined steps to navigate through myriad human emotions. Is Masonic knowledge a guide for a successful, balanced life?

The Masonic Philosophical Society embraces the concept of learning, not for school, but for life, and believes that all men, who seek it, deserve access to continued education. We further embrace the concept of a community environment, where ideas can be shared and debated in an open forum. From the Seven Liberal Arts to the arcane, we seek to gain and to share the knowledge that is the legacy of mankind.
     

Friday, August 11, 2017

‘This month’s Livingston Library lecture’

     
This month’s lecture at the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library at the Grand Lodge of New York will be hosted Thursday, August 31 at 6:30 p.m. in Masonic Hall (71 W. 23rd Street in Manhattan) on the 14th floor. Photo ID is required to enter the building, but admission to the lecture is free of charge. White wine will be served. Reserve your seat by email here. From the publicity:


Bro. Lajos Kossuth
‘Hungary’s George Washington’
Catherine M. Walter, Curator of the Livingston Masonic Library, will present a lecture focused on the artifacts in the Livingston Masonic Library’s collection that relate to Brother Lajos Kossuth, a Hungarian freedom fighter and Freemason who has been called “Hungary’s Washington.” The artifacts include those involved with the S.S. Kossuth, a Merchant Marine ship built with $4 million of War Bonds raised by New York Freemason Morris Cukor, and a letter in Kossuth’s own hand, written while in prison in Turkey.

She will describe the curatorial process of discovery with the largely unknown collection of the Livingston Masonic Library, and will trace how she regained the Christening Bottle of the S.S. Kossuth, held by the Lasdon Park Veterans Museum in a long-forgotten loan to them.

Ms. Walter has been with the Grand Lodge of New York since 2003 and is responsible for the re-housing, cataloguing, and researching the 50,000-piece artifact collection. She has designed and installed more than 90 exhibits for the 39 exhibit cases found throughout Grand Lodge. She also created the Library’s Virtual Museum, which holds more than 700 artifacts and biographies. Since 2010, her work also includes the copy-editing and production of 11 Grand Lodge books of proceedings.

Her earlier work with museum collections was at the American Museum of Natural History, with the African, Great Basin, and Great Plains Ethnographic Storerooms. When she started at the Livingston Library, she had worked with more than 80,000 artifacts. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from SUNY Geneseo, with study at CUNY Lehman, and at the Université Paul Valery in Montpellier, France. She has worked on archaeological digs in Westchester and Nevada, and has made a photographic survey of 25 Mayan archaeological sites during a solo-voyage through the Yucatan. She is an author of poetry and short stories, and has completed her first novel.