A Free Illuminist Approach to the Antient & Primitive Rite of Memphis Misraim
Written & Illustrated by Tau Palamas
SPIRIT BUILDERS explores a radical expression of a little known branch of mystical Freemasonry for men and women, and provides a ritual monitor and guide for those desirous of practicing this avant-garde system.
Book One—In Free Communion, explores the movement of Free Illuminism, its central tenets, the spiritual transmissions it has inherited, the nature of the points-chauds empowerments & the relationship of the Rites of Memphis+Misraim with these same empowerments.
Book Two—The Violet Lodge, provides a complete three-degree system for working bodies to fully integrate the points empowerments in a Lodge setting.
Book Three—Hauts Grades, includes a complete ritual monitor & guide for working all 97 Degrees of the Antient & Primitive Rite of Memphis+Misriam, according to the Ecclesiastical Revision of 1921-22, and as expounded upon by Free Illuminists in the Jean-Maine lineage. Book Three also functions as one of the expressions of the intuitional instrumentations of the INNER RETREAT as found in the Third Year Course of the Monastery of the Seven Rays.
Appendices include an Afterword by T Allen Greenfield, an Elemental Mass of the Misraim and multiple essays by Free Illuminists from around the globe who are experimenting with the points-chauds empowerments.
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This post is about the original Scottish Rite Masonry of New Orleans. To give it its correct name, The Supreme Council of Louisiana. It was founded in the late 18th or early 19th century and the records of the Grand Commanders of this Council stretch from 1839 until today. Common wisdom suggested that it ceased to exist in the late 1800s, but recent work by Michael Poll has uncovered that it is still active.
This post is however, in another way, as much about, as I will present it, Brother Michael Poll's research as it is the fruit of that research. I hope he will forgive me for saying this, as I know he is a modest man. He is as stubborn and as dedicated a researcher into obscure history as I am, and extremely talented!
Over the last few years we have engaged in a friendly exchange. Apart from this enjoyable communication, without any doubt this gentleman deserves complements. He is a superb academic researcher. Far too many who call themselves Masonic historians are amateurs, and not all who have academic training are talented researchers. A good researcher requires both skill and talent. There is nothing amateur about the work of Michael Poll. In my view, he has thrown himself into what may be the most unique and important research on Masonic history in the United States. It certainly is, in my opinion, the most interesting research of recent years. As you will discover when you watch this video he has recorded, he is also a great raconteur in the old tradition.
After becoming aware of this work and the video Bro. Poll created to present an account of his own discoveries, I sat down with a beer and a cigar to enjoy a fifty minute account of his research on the original Supreme Council of Louisiana.
What followed for me represents a fascinating account of the best sort of research. Allow me to make a preliminary observation of my own. Research by definition deals with persistent and hard work. It requires an attention to detail and the willingness to spend sometimes untold hours reading through often mind-numbingly dry material, looking for specific hints that may (or may not) lead to what one is seeking, and when we are very lucky, this can lead to information we had no idea even existed. When one is on the correct trail, in my opinion, spirit steps in. Synchronicity and serendipity play a role in good research. Listening to Bro. Poll's account of his research we see how unexpected connections occurred again and again! These seeming coincidental occurrences can lead someone who is in the flow of true connections, to the most amazing discoveries. What Michael Poll describes here, in a very personal and natural way, indeed a very engaging way, provides the viewer with a front row seat to a most fascinating voyage of discovery in the living history of New Orleans, Louisiana, and American Freemasonry.
Along the way, we are not only treated to a fascinating story of discovery, but for those who are attuned to and interested in such matters, insight into the techniques and nuances of a careful and thorough field researcher. I note that because for those not familiar with research, the distinction is an important one. There are researchers who spend all their days in rooms looking at old documents, and while that is both important and difficult work, there is another kind of research. Those who go beyond the library and seek information concerning living history and living culture require an additional set of skills. Those who are capable of excelling at both are rare. This video details exactly that rare form of research and Michael Poll makes it sound as if it was as simple as a drive on a Sunday afternoon. Don't allow his "natural" presentation fool you. There were years of hard work behind this video.
What Poll has discovered is nothing short of remarkable. This research has uncovered not a history of an ancient and now defunct obedience of Scottish Rite Masonry which played a role in the development of that Rite in the 18th and 19th centuries, but that this obedience has survived up to our own day, little noticed and largely ignored, hidden in plain view. Not only does he present the first information of this remarkable survival, but an invaluable record of the process of research and discovery, which will be of interest to academics almost as much as the discovery of the original Supreme Council of Louisiana itself.
Rather than repeat the content of the research Michael Poll discusses in this video, in part because I don't wish to give the reader any spoilers, but also because his own account is too fascinating to paraphrase, I urge you to watch this video and experience a unique window into how the best Masonic research should be done. He suggests that further videos will follow, and I for one hope they will, as this one simply whets the appetite!
A personal look at the discovery of the continued existence of a long lost supreme council.
Many Masons today make much of St. John's Day and in recent years we have seen blog posts, including posts on the Hedge Mason concerning the ritual bonfires still lit in Haiti. What I suspect that at least most Freemasons in North America have little or no awareness of is just how widespread that practice was and still remains.
Indeed, if historically Freemasons lit bonfires in celebration of Saint John's Day, they had a great deal of company. In Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Cornwall, Brittany, Spain, especially Galicia, and other parts of Europe, people regularly lit bonfires to celebrate Saint John's Day which in all practical terms coincides with the Summer Solstice.
The evening of 23 June, St John's Eve, is the eve of celebration before the Feast Day of St John the Baptist. The Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:36, 56--57) states that John was born about six months beforeJesus, therefore the feast of John the Baptist was fixed on 24 June six months before Christmas. This feast day is one of the very few saints' days to mark the supposed anniversary of the birth, rather than the death, of the saint commemorated. In some rural parts of Ireland, particularly in the north-west, Bonfire Night is held on St. John's Eve, when bonfires are lit on hilltops. Many towns and cities have "Midsummer Carnivals", with fairs, concerts and fireworks, around the same time. in County Cork in southwest ireland the night is commonly referred to as bonfire night and is among the busiest nights of the year for the fire services
Tá Oíche Fhéile Eóin ar cheann de na féilte is ársa in Éirinn; téann sí chomh fada siar sin nach fios cathain go díreach a ceiliúradh don chéad uair í. Lastar tinte cnámh fós i roinnt áiteanna in Éirinn chun an fhéile a cheiliúradh. Ceiliúrtar Oíche Fhéile Eoin ar an 23 Meitheamh, seachas ag grianstad an tsamhraidh a thiteann ar an 21 Meitheamh. Is féile réamh-Chríostaí í ach, mar a tharla le féilte pagánacha eile, tá sí tar éis athrú le himeacht ama agus tá tionchar na Críostaíochta le feiceáil inti sa lá atá inniu ann. Mar shampla, is nós é, le linn na féasta, uisce beannaithe a chroitheadh agus paidreacha a rá chun Naomh Eoin chun go mbeadh rath ar an obair agus ar na barra.
The Knight Masons of the Universe, the Rose Croix, Kadosh Desert Fathers, Royal Arch Masons, Masters Masons, Family and townspeople all take part in this ritual administered by the Haitian Freemasons in Haiti.
In Galicia and even other parts of Spain, the feast day of San Juan is kept in a similar fashion, demonstrating the universal nature of this celebration.
So join us all now, Brothers:. and Sisters:. and all others to celebrate Saint John's Day, 2015!
As a larger society, not merely in the US but world-wide, we need to become aware of the threat that Fundamentalist Evangelic Christianity represents. It has become a dangerous force. We can see in the current news in the US where "pastors" in the religious right, are threatening violent action, even self-immolation if Gay Marriage isn't stopped. In Brazil, followers of the Evangelical Christian cults are attacking members of Afro-Brazilian religions and vandalizing temples of both Afro-Brazilian religions and of the Catholic Church. Simultaneously, they are trying to extend their political power so that they can institutionalize their hate and intolerance. It is time to identify this as a threat to civil society and do something about it. Any and all religion, if it is religion, is fine. But hate and repression masquerading as religion is not acceptable. As a society committed to universal equality and religious neutrality, Freemasons need to speak out about this problem. Lest you, as Freemasons think you can afford to remain silent, remember what Martin Niemöller (1892–1984), a prominent Protestant pastor said about Adolf Hitler and his concentration camps. "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—