Sunday, July 25, 2021

Kelly Ranasinghe: On Masonic Diversity

As someone who participates in many Masonic groups online and on Facebook, I have on occasion asked myself why. The answer is that on occasion one meets an outstanding Brother whose insight renews both optimism and enthusiasm. One such Brother is Kelly Ranasinghe, of El Centro, California. He wrote a post that deserves to be shared and taken to heart. In fact, although specific to Freemasonry, the advice he offers is applicable to all areas of human interaction. Thank you, Brother Ranasinghe.


Kelly Ranasinghe is a Mason from California and past master of Imperial Valley Lodge 390. He currently serves as the Senior Warden of that Lodge. He was raised in San Diego Lodge 35 in 2010.




"Hey brothers, we need to talk about some racism and microaggressions against Masons of color and Masons who are not from western countries. We are all brothers here, but we may want to keep in mind:

1) Ritual is NOT the same everywhere and neither are obligations, degrees, ceremonies, and literally every other aspect of Masonry. Your Masonic experience is not indicative of everyone's experience, and the American Masonic experience is not universal. For example here in the Southwest, we sometimes do our rituals outside. Just across the border, our sister lodge in Mexicali has entirely different ritual more akin to a Commandery or appendant order. A few miles down the road in Yuma, people wear their aprons differently. All that happens within a few miles of us, so imagine what it is like when the distance is far greater.

2) English is not the lingua franca (pun intended) of Masonry or the world. In fact, it's tied with Mandarin for the most populous language with Hindi and Spanish coming in second. Remember that Brothers may be using English as a second language and be respectful. The way you speak and communicate in your jurisdiction may be socially and culturally different from other jurisdictions.

3) Telling people to "remember their obligation" when the basis of their offense is entirely subjective is called "gatekeeping" but not in the Masonic sense. Gatekeeping is bad. It is when you limit who can and cannot be part of a community or identity based on subjective and arbitrary rules, which often are racist, sexist, elitist, ableist, colorist or other similarly bad subjective judgment calls. Gatekeeping exists in every community, but should not exist in Masonry among people who are Masons. Said another way, it's a way of saying "you don't belong here."

4) Finally, remember that the way you act cordially and friendly is ENTIRELY different based on where you are, your age, your region, your job, and a hundred other dimensions of your identity and subcultures. A Mason in Virginia or Massachusetts is going to speak and communicate differently than me, who lives in the rural border community of South-eastern California. That's the beauty of Masonry, we pull together people who are from entirely different areas for common purposes.

So please, remember we are all walking a very long road to the East, and we ALL can use help to carry the load.

Peace brothers "

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

2nd Anniversary of the Letter of Porto

 JUNE 23, 2021

Second Anniversary of the "Letter of Porto" and of the 2nd International Academic Congress of the Modern Rite / French Rite

Today is the Second Anniversary of the preparation and signing of the "Letter of Porto" emanating from the 2nd International Academic Congress of Modern Rite - French Rite held on June 21, 22 and 23, 2019 with the logistical collaboration of the Sovereign Grand Chapter of Cavaleiros Rosa-Cruz of Portugal and of the UMURM (International Masonic Union of the Modern Rite) being open to all Masonic Powers.

This event was warmly welcomed by the Host and Co-Director of the Congress, the Very Illustrious Brother Belmiro de Sousa, Very Wise and Perfect Grand Venerable of the Sovereign Grand Chapter of Cavaleiros Rosa-Cruz of Portugal. Said act counted as Director of the Congress with Brother Joaquim Villalta (President of the International Academy of the Vª Order) and as Academic Director with Brother Víctor Guerra (President of the Circle of Studies of the Modern and French Rite “Roëttiers de Montaleau”), who were in charge of declaring it open, held at the Losófona University of Porto.

The congress had some extraordinary quality presentations covering such diverse fields, but at the same time intertwined, such as the historical, the symbolic, the sociological and obviously the reflective one on the evolution and prospective of the Modern Rite - French Rite whose values ​​remain in full force 21st century and that must be at the height of a free society tending to an ethical, moral, egalitarian and respectful improvement with the future of all humanity. Likewise, we had the pleasure of enjoying artistic musical interpretations, which interludes of pure gold, in charge of first-rate lyrical voices, reflected a careful organization in detail.

The presence of Illustrious Brothers and Sisters such as Jean-Pierre Duhal, Luigi Sorrento, Antonio Fonseca, Fabrizio Frigerio, Claudie Sorrento, Eric Decanis, Belmiro de Sousa, Rui Alburqueque, Olga Vallejo and Víctor Guerra, among other of the most relevant referential personalities of the French Rite / Modern Rite worldwide made their exhibitions and interventions of the highest level highly valued by some attendees who prevailed the reigning Masonic quality.

The Letter of Porto 2019 signed as the culmination of this Congress of Modern Rite - French Rite by members of the Vth Order from different countries and Masonic Powers, to which other Very Illustrious Brothers adhered whose physical presence was not possible for various reasons beyond their control. will, brings together the essence and the procedural framework that is still in full force. We remember with great gratitude the welcome of the hosts, the historical Sovereign Grand Chapter of Cavaleiros Rosa-Cruz of Portugal, of 1804, who appointed some of us Honorary Members of their Masonic Power, which flooded us with a feeling of infinite joy and healthy pride, aware that the Modern Rite - French Rite is very much alive and present in various continents, committed to working as a Union Center and a model of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, since it is the Universal heritage and property of all the Masonic faithful to the highest values ​​of the Order, above acronyms, cases or crude messianic attitudes that claim to be the sole guarantors.


This rich Masonic experience and experience of ethical-moral and intellectual growth, despite the pandemic that has hit the planet, generated an unstoppable push of constructive synergies, which has led us to successfully probe different methods of progress and interaction, and that It has given fruitful results on the Masonological level, and relational at all levels. With absolute certainty, we will soon begin to design and coordinate all the procedures leading up to our next meeting since the values ​​of the aforementioned "Charter of Porto" remain intact and its content is a radiant beacon and an example to be followed by its universal values ​​that all of us seek to emulate.


Joaquim Villalta, Vª Orden, Gr. ·. 9.
Director of the International Academy of the Vth Order - UMURM
Joaquim Villalta at 7:46 p. m.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Angels in Vermilion

Our intrepid entheomason has been hard at work. The results are at hand.  A new book by P. D. Newman, Freemason and author of what is arguably the most radical (not to mention interesting) book on Freemasonry ever  is availabee to grace your bookshelf.


Once considered the "Holy Grail" of hallucinogens, over the last quarter century, DMT has entered the public mind like never before. No longer a taboo topic to be discussed in the hushed tones among an esoteric elite, P.D. Newman's Angels In Vermilion traces the secret lineage of transmission, beginning with Elizabethan alchemists, Dr. John Dee and Sir Edward Kelley, winding through the Royal Society and Masonic fraternity, and leading all the way up to the nineteenth-century occult revival - and beyond. Fathoming Hell and soaring angelic, Newman leaves no stone unturned in his quest to uncover the hidden, hallucinatory history of the "Spirit Molecule," DMT.


As the publisher's site notes, "In Angels in Vermilion, Newman uncovers the story of the fabled red power known as the philosophers’ stone, while revealing a history of sorcerers, Freemason’s, con-men and alchemists. He makes a compelling argument for where the hallucinogenic powder might have come from as well as why it was such a jealously guarded secret."


More to follow!


Click here to buy the book!

Monday, January 25, 2021

A New Cerneau

Joaquim Villalta Mata

Apuntes sobre Joseph Cerneau y su Supremo Consejo del Rito Escocés Antiguo y Aceptado: El otro legado de Étienne Morin


A fascinating new book on a major figure in Masonic history has just been released. Joseph Cerneau has long deserved a fair deal. He has, for millions in the United States, been unjustly positioned as a villain as a result of power struggles which took place after he no longer was a part of North American Masonry.

Yet, for most of Latin America, he remains a major figure and highly regarded. Through this work, Joaquim Villalta brings us closer to the image of this determining and prominent Freemason of the 19th century, restoring his image to the place it deserves within Masonic History, initially in the Rite of Perfection and in its legitimate evolution as the other line of what would come to called the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, derived from the Morin - Francken - Hays affiliation. It should be noted the closeness and permanent collaboration of Cerneau with the Grand Consistories of Rites of the Grand Orient of France, whose Supreme Council was chaired by his friend Germain Hacquet since its foundation.


To purchase click here!


Saturday, June 20, 2020

Albert Pike has died for your sins!

Following a day of peaceful protests celebrating Juneteenth, protesters pulled down the statue of Albert Pike in Judiciary Square in Northwest D.C. and set it on fire.

So much for keeping discussions of politics out of the lodge. The pidgeons have come home to roost. Now, I have dear friends who will be having an emotional moment, so I am far from insensitive about the matter. I will state that I am sorry for the distress that I am certain they are feeling at this moment.

That being said, American Masons have been largely disingenuous when it comes to dealing with this symbolic matter, just as they have been with the entrenched racism within North American Freemasonry. It's time to get honest, brothers.

We need to use this moment to deal with the skeletons in our closets, and there are many. Let's get real.

Friday, June 5, 2020

A Persistant Fiction: The A-Political Freemason!

John Wesley Dobbs
Freemasons Are Political and they need to be more so in the fight for Civil Rights today!




There is this persistant myth in the US that Freemasons are a-political. Nothing could be further from the truth. Again and again over the past centuries masons in numerous countries have acted as masons rather than as private citizens to change the course of history.

Freemasons in Ireland consistantly supported uprisings against the English occupation as late as the 19th century.  Indeed, it was such activity and those very masons whose nickname is enshrined in the name of this blog.

There were masons in the US War of Inbependence, and as masons, they helped arrange and carry out the Boston Tea Party, under the name of "Th Sons of Liberty."

Masons were also actively involved in the Haitian Revolution, and subsequently the Bolivarian Revolution which freed Latin America. Masons were active in the Mexican Revolution.

Many masons are proud of these past political activities, until the subject of contemporary civil discord comes up. Teen they all deny it.

In relation to Civil Rights, a particular American Mason stands out. John Wesley Dobbs used the power of African American Freemasons to fight for human dignity. Read his amazing story by following the link below, and be inspired to actually walk the walk like he did!

https://blackartblog.blackartdepot.com/organizations/freemasonry-organizations/john-wesley-dobbs-using-the-power-of-freemasonry-in-the-struggle-for-civil-rights.html

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Dreaming and Espiritismo

Long before I knew what Espiritismo was, or had any interest in it, I was a dreamer. I still am. I can in fact recall the time when my dreams decided to initiate me into another world in earnest. That marked my first glimmer of awareness of something more.

I was about 9 years old, and had gone through several days of illness. It wasn't the first time, nor the last. It was however the occasion in which my dreams were carried to a new level. 

At that time, largely bedridden, and with a touch of fever which at least seemed to spike the intensity of the dreams, I embarked on a series of dreams that took me from familiar places to underground worlds and Oz-like scenes of wonder and adventure. It was then that I first experienced solo flight (without any mechanical assistance) and serial dreams which resumed night after night.

Dreams have, a half century later never deserted me. They remain the method by which, despite initiations into various religious and magical traditions, and study of various forms of divination, spirit communicates with me in ways I find most satisfying. 

In dreams, both at night and while awake, the spirits that walk with me communicate, often at length. Spirits have come to teach as well. There was an old Congo who taught me in front of his nkisi on the floor, a class I attended on literal shape shifting (which still requires discipline at the dinner table in waking life) and a woman in a business suit who came to teach me how to throw bones. Dreaming is for me, and for many who practice Espiritismo and Bantu religions, the most consistant means of communion with spirit. 

As one of my spirits remarked once, "When we descend in possession, we visit your world, but when you dream, you visit ours."

TODAY ONLY: To schedule a reading to find out which spirits walk with you in Espiritismo Cruzado, pm Eoghan Craig Ballard on Facebook Messenger to get the particulars. If you pay today (Sun. July 28, 2019) I will extend a $25 discount off my regular fee for a one hour reading.