Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Grande Oriente Feminino do Brasil

Grande Oriente Feminino do Brasil
Lodges Exclusively for Women.

The GOF of Brazil's main work is in Brazil, because they are Brazilian, but they maintain Masonic ties of amity around the world including with lodges existing inPortugal, France, England, and Greece.

Their Flagship Lodge is located in the capital state of São Paulo, but they have lodges across the country, in cities where they originally founded Masonic Triangles that are meeting places of Masons.

Besides their established lodges they also have twelve Masonic triangles across the country which in the future will be exclusive lodges for women Freemasons.

Their secretary of chancery and inquiries for joining Freemasonry is located in the city of Campinas, SP.

The GOF of Brazil notes that Freemasonry is not a religion, cult, or anything like that, nor is it connected to such institutions or practices. They are a civic entity and they do nothing hidden if they keep secrets it is part of their organization free of corruption and selfishness. 

The secrets of Freemasonry are spoken as words at meetings; only those knowing the passwords may enter. Someone who might try to infiltrate or are without our principles of loyalty, honesty, and service to others will not be admitted to meetings.

Their Grand Mistress, the Serenissima Sr Collins Lu states,

"If I need to define what is a Freemason would say that someone is committed to honesty, so are we." — Lu Collins ஃ 


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Memorial for Tata Bunseki Fu-Kiau

We wish to share in the tribute to the late Kimbwandende kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau, B.A., M.Ed., M.S. and Ph.D., was an indigenous African teacher, scholar, lecturer, healer and spiritual guide. He authored many books including “Simbi-Simbi: Hold Up That Which Holds You Up” (2006), “African Cosmology of the Bantu-Kongo” (2001), and “Self-Healing Power and Therapy” (1991). He lectured on African concepts of reality and African spiritual practices throughout Africa, Europe, the United States, the Caribbean and South America. He was one of the great elders of the African family and a true gift to humanity.

He was initiated into Lemba starting in 1964 in Manianga region of Congo-Kinshasha and the Lari region of Congo-Brazzaville. Fu-Kiau was initiated by this grandfather and both paternal and maternal uncles. Lemba is the highest Kongo society for healing and diplomacy. Starting in 1966 he was initiated into Kinkimba (aka Kimba) in the Yombe and Mtadi regions of Congo-Kinshasha and Cabinda Province, Angola and Luanda Province of northern Angola. The principle ngangas who initiated him were Simon Muyinu and Ntungulu, his uncle. Kinkimba is a society or discipline that deals with the value, understanding and use of herbs, particularly those from the Yombe forest. Kinkimba uses a special initiatory language to protect and preserve their teachings. Also in 1966, Fu-Kiau was initiated into Kimpasi in the Madimba areas of Inkisi and Ngungu, Congo-Kinshasha. He was instructed in Kimpasi by local ngangas. Kimpasi teaches youth, both male and female, how to endure in impossible situations, how to become moral fighters for the community.
Please find below the information regarding Tata Fu-Kiau's Services.

A viewing for Mbuta Fu-Kiau will take place on Friday, December 13th, from 6 to 8 pm at:

The Casper Funeral Home
187 Dorchester Street
Boston, MA 02127

A "Celebration of Life" Service will be held on Saturday, December 14th at:

The Chapel
Cedar Grove Cemetery
920 Adams Street
Dorchester, MA 02124

The service will begin at 12:30 pm., followed by internment at Cedar Grove Cemetery.

A repass reception will take place immediately after the services at:

AAMARP (African American Master Artists-in-Residence Program) Studio
76 Atherton Street
Boston, MA 02130

To see other videos of Tata Bunseki Fu-Kiau click on this link: Bunseki Fu-Kiau on Youtube

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Inauguration of Research Lodge Marqués de Gages!

With great joy and boundless enthusiasm, on November 22, 2013 (EV), was born a new Lodge under the Auspices of the Grand Lodge of Mixed Equatorial Andes and the Sublime Council of the Modern Rite for Ecuador, the R. ·. L. ·.  "Marquis de Gages" No. 9, with the grant of patent by the M. ·. Il. ·. S. ·. Olga V. ·., To work in Grades. ·. 1 (Apr. ·. Mas. ·.) To the 7th (IV Ord. ·., SPR +), also as a Sovereign Chapter of the Modern Rite or French.
The importance of the Marquis de Gages within the Order in general and of the Modern Rite in particular, as well as his outstanding performance and the Universalist spirit he displayed throughout his life, giving proof of this Easts Belgium, France, Holland, etc.., led the Brothers and Sisters, . ·. Members of the R. ·. Research Lodge. ·. , to take his name as identification of the unique  imprint of the R. ·. L. ·. and Brothers. ·., and Sisters. ·. who are part of it.

The purpose of this project, which will be chaired by M. · . V. ·. Alejandro. ·. G. ·. and which will have the invaluable support of both the M. ·. Il. ·. H. ·. Joaquim Villalta and the M. ·. Il. ·. Sr.. ·. Olga. · V.. ·. among others brothers and sisters, is masonic Study and deepening the Modern Rite and its various spheres of social projection and reflection, through monthly meetings, and even the resurrection to the practice of those obscure  rituals almost forgotten in a drawer, and share with the brothers and sisters not only in this Obedience in particular, but the entire Order in general, anyone who wants, through periodicals, the labors conducted by our R. ·. L. ·. and the conclusions we reach, always with humility and open to any kind of contribution, leading us all to a greater and better knowledge and understanding of our Rite.

We welcome, therefore, this Great Event it is for the whole Order, with Triple Battery and acclaim

Vivat, Vivat, Vivat SEMPER!

Joaquim Villalta, V ª Order · Gr. 9
Member of  Supreme Conselho do Rito Moderno - Brazil
Member of  Council of the Modern Sublime Rite for Ecuador
Member of the  International Academy of the First Order V  - UMURM
Member of the R:. Lodge of Research "Marquis de Gages" - SCRME

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Notice of the Sublime Council of the Modern Rite in Colombia

It has been reported by the Council and the Academy rector, at the request of Most Illustrious Brother Milciades Osorio of the Colombian GCGRM that the name of that Philosophical Potency of the Modern Rite, which controls and monitors the higher and symbolic grades in its Orient has undergone a change of name.

The Grand Chapter General Grand Orient of Colombia is now renamed The Sublime Council of the Modern Rite of the Grand Orient of Colombia, maintaining its membership in UMURM, maintaining the Regular Patents from I° to V° Order which it already possessed, and their involvement, responsibilities and privileges as a member of the Governing Council of the UMURM.

The president and UMURM Secretariat will send them a certificate documenting the acceptance of this name change.

Thanks to Ill.'.Br.'. Joaquim Villalta of Barcelona, Catalunya for this information.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Rough Ashlar No. 10

It is apparent that something is broken. I know the automatic chorus of objections to that remark will commence before I finish typing this sentence. However, I will reiterate, something is broken. Freemasonry is supposed to be about fraternal relations, writ large. It is supposed to be about brotherhood, and mutual support. 
Objections to the fact that some of us in Liberal Freemasonry admit women aside, the fact remains there is precious little brotherhood in Freemasonry as it exists today even where gender isn't in question. Certainly, many of those who are still reading this by the 7th sentence will object that they go to lodge and feel all warm and fuzzy. I'm happy for you. Even if they appeal to the higher aims of the Craft, in their heart of hearts they have to realize that serious problems exist.
There is warfare in the trenches. The list of obediences that don't speak to some other obedience is long enough to disguise itself as a senate appropriations bill. It has been this way as long as anyone can remember.

This isn't rocket science folk. I don't have to agree with everything you do, nor do you have to agree with everything I do. We don't even need to sit in lodge with each other, although I have yet to see in my lifetime a Catholic priest who would refuse to let a Baptist attend a mass, or even a Methodist who would refuse to let a Buddhist attend one of their church services. 

We are all Masons. We need to begin to grow up and start acting like adults. I know it goes against "tradition" or the rules and regulations of our obediences. But when rules cause more harm than good, they need to be fixed. Besides, and the language is not too strong, it is making us look like idiots. Perhaps that is what all of our territorial and regularity obsessions have actually made us.

At the least, we need to talk instead of continuing to bray like a certain species of stubborn animal. I was taught that the gift of speech was what distinguished humanity from the other species. At least, in the case of Freemasons, I am beginning to wonder.

Conversation, anyone?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Conference: The Archaeology of Gatherings

The Archaeology of Gatherings
Institute of Technology, Sligo, Ireland
25th to 27th October 2013
Conference Abstract

The Archaeology of Gatherings is a thematic international conference to bring together a range of speakers from different disciplines including both academics and professionals.  The aim is to explore the material culture and psychology behind gatherings of people.  With 2013 being the year of 'The Gathering' this theme was chosen to examine why people over millennia have come together, often in large numbers, for religious assemblies, social interaction, to exchange commodities and ideas, along with other reasons such as farewells, wakes, political opposition, inaugurations etc.

Organisers: Sam Moore, Fiona Beglane, Bridget Brennan, Ursula Garner

Applied Archaeology, Dept of Environmental Science, School of Science, IT Sligo, Ash Lane, Sligo, Ireland


Archaeology of Gatherings Programme: IT Sligo, 25-27th October 2013 

Friday 25th October
Informal drinks, Glasshouse Hotel, Sligo

Saturday 26th October
Session 1:
Opening address
Dr Jonathan Lanman, Institute of Cognition and Culture, QUB:
Ritual and Divergent Modes of Cohesion
Dr Hans Hognestad, Centre for Cultural and Sports Studies, Telemark University, Norway:
Identity, power and the sociality of football
Edel Barry MPhil, Built Heritage Collective Ireland: Gatherings:
The Archaeology of Railways in Ireland
Dr Robert Hensey, Archaeological Research Professional:
Crowd-sourcing in the Boyne Valley

Session 2:
Prof Elizabeth FitzPatrick, NUI Galway:
Shifting Territorial Boundaries and Medieval Assembly Places
Dr Dominic Bryan, Institute of Irish Studies, Queens University Belfast:
Public Space and Power – Ritual and Identity in a ‘Shared’ Belfast
Prof Stuart Tyson Smith, University of California, Santa Barbara, US:
Colonial Gatherings: The Presentation of Inu in New Kingdom Egypt and the British Imperial Durbar, a Comparison
Stephen Dixon, MSc, IT Sligo:
Archaeological and anthropological aspects of 'forced gathering' from within the Jewish Holocaust
Lunch with demonstration by Ancient Music Ireland from 1:30

Session 3:
Keynote Speaker:
Prof. Clark McPhail University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, US:
The Life Course of Temporary Gatherings
James Bonsall, University of Bradford, Earthsound Archaeological Geophysics, Dr. Chris Gaffney, University of Bradford, Prof. Vince Gaffney, University of Birmingham, Heather Gimson, Earthsound Archaeological Geophysics, Robert M. Chapple, William Dunlop Archaeological Photographic Archive, Irish Radiocarbon and Dendrological Dates, Wolfgang Neubauer, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, University of Vienna:
Tonight we’re going party like it’s 1985! The Archaeology of Festivals in Geophysical Data
Dr Edel Bhreathnach, Discovery Programme:
Medieval Gatherings
Tea/Coffee and Poster Session
Session 4:
Dr Stefan Bergh, Dept of Archaeology, NUI, Galway:
Meeting at the edge – Turlough Hill as a place of prehistoric assembly
Michael MacDonagh, NRA:
Under the same night sky – the architecture and meaning of Bronze Age stone circles in mid-Ulster
Patrick Gleeson MA, UCC:
Gathering the Nations: Kingdoms, Communities and Civil Society in Early Medieval Ireland
Close of Day

Sunday 27th October
Session 5:
Dr Una MacConville, Visiting Fellow, Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath, UK:
Gatherings on the ‘Far side banks of Jordan’
Dr Louise Nugent, Independent Scholar:
Gatherings of faith: Pilgrimage in medieval Ireland
Pádraig Meehan, Independent Scholar:
'Cargo Cults' in the Pacific; Irish Neolithic parallels?
Dr Candace Weddle, Assistant Professor of Art History Anderson University South Carolina USA:
Blood, Fire and Feasting: The Sensory Experience of Greco-Roman Sacrifice

Session 6:
Keynote Speaker:
Prof Mike Parker-Pearson, Institute of Archaeology, University College London:
Gatherings at Durrington Walls and Stonehenge
Dr Richard Madgwick, Cardiff University:
A Passion for Pork: Feasting in southern Britain from the Neolithic to the Iron Age
Dr Julia E. M. Cussans, Archaeological Solutions Ltd, Stephen J. Dockrill, University of Bradford, Ian Armit, University of Bradford, Julie M. Bond, University of Bradford, Jo T. McKenzie, University of Bradford:
 ‘You’re invited to a party, don’t turn up legless’: case studies in feasting and community gatherings in Iron Age Scotland.
Closing address
Poster prize presentation
Close of Conference followed by unofficial field trip

Monday, October 14, 2013

At a Perpetual Distance: Universal Freemasonry and Its Historical Divisions - Conference 2014

At a Perpetual Distance: Universal Freemasonry and Its Historical Divisions" An International Public Conference 
March 23, 2014, 2:00 to 5:00 P. M. (PST) 

Roosevelt Center for the
Study of Civil Society and Freemasonry
Los Angeles, California

Keynote Speaker:
Professor Cécile Révauger, University of Bordeaux 
Distinguished Speaker: 
Dr. John Cooper, Grand Master Grand Lodge of California, 2014
Distinguished Speaker:
Dr. Roger Dachez, President Masonic Institute of France 

Although Freemasonry prides itself as being universal, it is divided along historic cultural lines based on sex, religion, and - in some cases - ethnicity and race. This conference will examine the uniqueness of these streams of Freemasonry, as well as what they have in common. 

•Are the divisions of Freemasonry into a male-only fraternity, a female-only fraternity, and a mixed gender fraternity helpful or harmful to its universality?

•Is it possible for a form of Freemasonry which requires a belief in a Supreme Being as a condition of membership to be compatible with a form of Freemasonry which has no such requirement?
•Have historic forms of Freemasonry which originated as a result of racial distinctions, such as Prince Hall Freemasonry, make a positive contribution to the universality of Freemasonry?
•Can there be an organizational framework within which all expressions of Freemasonry work in harmony?

Liberal Arts Lodge Building
2244 Westwood Boulevard 
Los Angeles, California 

Inquiries may be sent to:

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Declaración de La Logia Mixta Anáhuac - Declaration of the Mixed Lodge Anáhuac

La Logia Mixta Anáhuac, auspiciada por la Gran Logia Mixta de Norteamérica y el Caribe, Hace la siguiente declaración, dirigida al mundo masónico y profano.
En relación a las decisiones de algunas Logia federadas a la Gran Logia de Cuba y que han sido publicadas en algunos foros de Internet, reiteramos nuestro  parecer al respecto y que están muy bien definidos en el articulo onceno de nuestra declaración de principios, donde se hace mención de las palabras del Benemérito de Las Américas, I:.H:. Benito Pablo Juárez, donde expresa que:” Tanto en los pueblos como en las personas el respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz”.

La Logia Anáhuac no comulga con ningún partido político, religión o grupo sectario de ninguna especie, reconocemos a todos los masones del universo como hermanos y respetamos las decisiones que se adopten en cualquier Logia del orbe, aunque no estemos de acuerdo con ellas; pero exhortamos a todos a mantener la unidad, que en definitiva es quien hace la fuerza y a tratar de zanjar las diferencias en las mesas de negociaciones, no atacándonos los unos a los otros, ni utilizando la fuera que da una determinada posición de cargos e dirección, dentro de las Logias o en las Grandes Logias, que la verdad salga a la luz, si, ese en definitiva es uno de los objetivos de la masonería, pero buscándola juntos no divididos, quitándonos nuestros intereses personales de la mente y trabajando en bien de la institución y de la humanidad.

Todos masones, todos iguales, todos hermanos

Libertad, Igualdad, Fraternidad
Miembros de la logia Anáhuac
La Habana, Cuba octubre 2013

The Mixed Lodge, Logia Anáhuac, under the Grand Lodge of the Mixed Modern Rite of North America and Caribbean, makes the following statement , addressed to the Masonic and profane world.
In relation to the decisions of some federated Lodges of the Grand Lodge of Cuba which have been published in some Internet forums, we reiterate our view in this regard and are well defined in the eleventh article of our mission statement, which references the words of  I: . H : . Benito Pablo Juarez, which states: "In both the villages as people respect the rights of others is peace ."

Logia Anáhuac does not subscribe to any political party, religious or sectarian group of any kind, we recognize all Masons universally as brothers and respect the decisions taken at any Lodge of the world, even if we disagree with them, but we urge all to maintain unity which ultimately is what gives us strength to try to resolve the differences at the negotiating table, rather than attacking each other , or using outside influence to support certain positions and address position within of Lodges or Grand Lodges , the truth comes to light, yes, that definitely is one of the aims of Freemasonry, but looking together undivided, forsaking personal interests of the mind and working for the benefit of the institution and humanity.

All Masons, all equal, all brothers

Liberty, Equality , Fraternity
Members of Logia Anáhuac
Havana, Cuba in October 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

Visions of Enchantment: ESSWE Conference 2014

Visions of Enchantment: Occultism, Spirituality & Visual Culture. An international Conference at the University of Cambridge, England: March 17-18, 2014.

This two-day conference is a collaboration between the Department of History of Art, University of Cambridge and the Arts University Bournemouth and is organised in association with the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE).
It seeks to investigate the formative role that occultism and spirituality have played in the creation of both Western and non-Western visual and material cultures. The conference aims to provide a stimulating platform for the presentation of innovative research in this field as well as to encourage dialogue and exchange between academics with a specific research interest in art and occultism.

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Antoine Faivre (Sorbonne)
Professor M. E. Warlick (University of Denver)
Professor Emilie Savage-Smith (University of Oxford)
Dr Marco Pasi (University of Amsterdam)
Dr Sarah Victoria Turner (University of York)

Conference fees:

Regular: £ 45
Students: £ 25
Speakers: £ 15


On both days, all presentations will take place in rooms 1 and 9 in the Mill Lane Lecture Theatres, University of Cambridge. They are located on 8 Mill Lane, Cambridge CB2 1RU.


The conference tickets include a luscious buffet lunch with assorted sandwiches, muffins, yoghurts and fresh fruit-platters, still and sparkling water, fruit juices and smoothies.
On each day of the conference, there will also be two 30-minute breaks for coffee, tea & biscuits.


Accommodations must be arranged by the attendee. The organisers will not be able to assist with any room bookings.

Conference Committee

Judith Noble (Arts University Bournemouth)
Rachel Parikh (Magdelene College, University of Cambridge)
Daniel Zamani (Trinity College, University of Cambridge)

For any queries, please contact the organisers at enchantment2014@gmail.com

Call for Papers

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mestre Didi: Great Afro-Brazilian Artist and Priest Dead at 95

Deoscoredes Maximiliano dos Santos, Mestre Didi died this morning at age 95. Master, internationally renowned artist and spiritual leader of Ilê Asipá.

The body of Alapini (High Priest) of the Cult of Egungun being veiled in the Terrero Ilê Asipá, located in Piata and founded by him on December 2, 1980, his birthday. Mestre Didi, primarily known for his beautiful sculptures, was the son of Mãe Maria, one of the main holy mothers of the Ile Axe Opo Afonjá. Burial will be on the 17h of October, in Jardim da Saudade.

Deoscóredes Maximiliano dos Santos ( Salvador de todos os santos, Bahia, Brasil, December 2, 1917 - October 6, 2013 ) was a writer, and artist of international repute and an important Afro-Brazilian priest of the Egungun tradition He was popularly known as Mestre Didi.

"Master Didi is a priest-artist. His expression works through aesthic creation , one rooted in intimacy with the existential universe where African ancestry and worldview merge with the life experienced in Bahia. Completely integrated into the Nago universe of Yoruban origin, he reveals in his works an inspiration of mythical proportions. He uses a Nagô visual language with which he express the experience of the sacred, which is manifested by a symbology of a formal aesthetic character." Juana Elbein dos Santos.

His Personal and Religious Life:

His father Arsenio dos Santos, who belonged to the "elite" class of tailors in Bahia when Mestre Didi was born, would later move to the Rio de Janeiro at the time there was a great migration from Bahia to the then capital of Brazil.

His mother Maria Bibiana do Espirito Santo, better known as Mãe Senhora (Lady Mother) was a descendant of the traditional family Asipa , originating in Oyo and Ketu, important cities of the Yoruba empire in what is now modern day Nigeria . His great-great grandfather, Sra.
Marcelina da Silva, Oba Tossi, was a founder of the first house of the Nago tradition of Candomble in Bahia , the Ile Ase Aira Intile afterwards known as Iya Ile Nassô. His wife Juana Elbein dos Santos , an anthropologist, was his companion in all his journeys overseas, to the countries of Africa , Europe and the rest of the Americas, which were of great importance for their exchanges and experiences that contributed significantly to the unfolding institutional struggle of the African-Brazilian tradition and fight for respect for minority rights and identity. His daughter Inaicyra Falcão dos Santos, an opera singer, graduated in dance by the Federal University of Bahia , a professor, researcher of African-Brazilian traditions, education, and the performing arts in the Department of Dance Art at Unicamp .

Eugenia Ana dos Santos, Mãe Aninha treated Didi like she was his grandmother, was initiated in Orixá religion and gave him the title of Assogba , High Priest of the Cult of Babalu Aye .Arsenio Ferreira dos Santos was the nephew of Theodore Mark Pimentel, Alapini the first Mestre Didi in the Egungun Cult, the male ancestor tradition, with origins in Oyo , one of the great city states of the Yoruba.

Arsenio Ferreira dos Santos continued the initiations of Didi, confirming him with the title Ojé Korikowe Olukotun. LaterDidi received the title of Alapini, highest rank in the Egungun society, in Ilê Agboula and one year later in 1980 he founded Ilê Asipa onde for the service of Baba Olukotun and other Eguns of the ancient tradition.

In September 1970, not finding anyone in Brazil who could make his confirmation of Balé Xangô, he went to Oyo and performed the rituals in the city which originated the cult of Shango. The ceremony was performed by Balé Sàngó and the Otun Balé of Xangô de Oyo.

His Art and Writing Career:

As a sculptor, writer, essayist and curator, Deoscoredes Maximiliano dos Santos or Mestre Didi was a towering representative of Afro-Brazilian culture.

The vision of Bahia of Master Didi was effectively transmitted via an extensive production of sculptures - which earned him international recognition as an avant-garde artist. Some of his  works are on permanent display at the Picasso Museum in Paris, the MAM of Salvador and Rio de Janeiro, and at several other foreign museums, including in the USA.

Their shapes made  with beads, shells, lace and leather palm leaves are inspired by myths, legends and objects used in the Orixá religion. His initiation - to art and religion - began when he was a boy of only 8. He began making wooden carvings, then came the "Lexus" carved in cement and clay. At age 29 he published his first book, Yorubá Tal Qual se Fala - with a foreword by Jorge Amado and graphics by Carybé.  20 Other books followed, among them stories and the tales of the religious temples of the African tradition of Bahia. But Mestre Didi always judged the written word inadequate in imparting knowledge. In the early 80s Mestre Didi ran a community center where he wrote and staged plays, taught singing, dancing, makeup and the arts to children. He believed there was no dichotomy between the arts, and that all the stories of his people were Afro-Brazilian songs. They were meant to be heard, sung and danced. This is why Master Didi was also recognized as a multifaceted artist, a Renaissance man of Afro-Brazilian culture.  He made the world a richer place for us all!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Refreshingly Different View of Masonic Responsibilities

This letter, addressed from the Venerable Master of Lodge Luiz Gonzaga do Nascimento  N°. 203  in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to the Municipal Mayor of Rio de Janeiro after the shocking attack of school teachers by military Police in City Chambers, came across my desktop yesterday. I feel it imperative to share this with Masons in North America. I feel this firstly because too few US citizens even are aware this atrocity occurred. Secondly, it clearly exemplifies a form of Freemasonry which those who speak much and do little, would object to as representing an "unseemly" breach of Masonic Dogma. That dogma favored in North America claims to forbid the admixture of Freemasonry and politics under any circumstances. While I will not excoriate those who hold that position, I will note that this unseemly example seems pretty seemly to me. I think it is a breath of fresh air, and demonstrates an alternate perspective of the best that Freemasonry can be. Sorry, London, I beg to differ!

School Teacher attacked by
Police in Rio de Janeiro 
The English translation follows:

Your Excellency Mr. Jorge Felippe Councillor, Mayor Municipal Cidadae of Rio de Janeiro.

The august and respectable Masonic Lodge Luiz Gonzaga do Nascimento     N°. 203, meeting in Ordinary Assembly, takes note of The VIOLENT ACTS which occurred within the Camara Municipal of Rio de Janeiro, involving teachers in the public education and municipal police officers at his command.

Thus, this Board has chosen to publicly express their vehement repudiation of all these VIOLENT ACTS, which are transforming the State to a stage of TRAGEDY, while we call for immediate and urgent measures confirming the FACTS and making the guilty accountable.

18 defenseless military police confronted by dangerous educator
In fulfilling its role in the struggle for human rights guarantees, it is requested that urgent measures are provided to rescue the democratic rule of law, PEACE, HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE GUARANTEE OF  SOCIAL JUSTICE, insisting that the priority be the RIGHTS OF CITIZENS.

Furthermore, we request that you, in a dignified and honorable manner, resign the presidency of the chamber and its mandate.

Rodrigo dos Santos Morato
Venerable Master

Monday, September 30, 2013

The French Rite: A Great Unknown For Some

I recognize the complexities that result from trying to find answers to the multiple unknowns that our Order poses for us on various levels - historical,  symbolic,  philosophical,  social ... I am amazed at how unknown the Modern Rite is for some.
We ignore or forget that they are one of most ancient of the Rites that were used by the "moderns" and I always try to avoid the contagion of titles that resulted from the anxious maelstrom of fashion in the last quarter of the eighteenth century.

Developing the " fons et origo " of our Masonic ritual inheritance in four lines, is almost a mission impossible in the context of communicating within a framework which mixes history, fantasy, reality, fiction, legends, fables and feelings. Screening all this objectively, pulling strings,  and drinking from the source,  has been the object of many highly qualified Brethren, thanks to whom we now have more light than 100 years ago.

By way of reflection, today we better understand that at the
time it became imperative, in the view of the Grand Orient of France, to regulate the existing ritualistic 'chaos' caused by the appearance of the higher mysteries that (perhaps) sought to maintain hegemonic dominance in certain groups, factors that contributed to a real and new initiatory experience.

Returning to the structural (not symbolic) simplicity of speculative Freemasonry (and I modestly think that adjective is valid also for the operative), the brothers of the Grand Orient of France at the time created an 'ordination' of existing procedural forms as well as by practicality, those other parallel processes of development in the Third Degree, or ways of working after reaching the Magisterium. And I say parallel in the fullest sense - not superior, although I "like" the term.

Maybe the key is to look - once again - in the proper sense of the Sublime degree as was raised at the time in French interpretation, in which the former Master's Word was replaced, but known, being the key of the degree of "mystical" experience "  (or psychic, conscience, mental, or call it what you will), thus completing the full progression without therefore needing further degrees, since everything has been said.

Some might argue the issue of the "Rule of Three ",  the divergence with the "Antient " (more modern), although we could always resort to collating the essence of English, Scottish, Irish and French Rites in bibliographical sources, minutes of Lodges, and rituals that we have today, surprising us with their very "great" similarities or connection points (as can not be otherwise).

Another step forward decided upon from the platform created through this rite,  was the "natural" and progressive acceptance of female initiation and recognition in our Order.

To this day, still entrenched in positions surprising for supposed freethinkers,  some are engaged in the defense of an outdated issue of the "male" initiatory ritual. So what if there are solar, active, phallic elements ... where's the "goodness " of enlightenment and initiatory reorganization"? Who measures the quality of individual personal life? How does one view  another's initiatory experience as pure or impure? How effective is the feminine procedure?

I only need raise these questions in the XXI century and I generate chill and discomfort from certain quarters.

Gràcies a Joaquim Villalta

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Brief History of the Modern Rite in Brazil

The Very Mighty and Sublime Grand Chapter  of the Modern Rite for Brazil (O Muito Poderoso e Sublime Grande Capítulo do Rito Moderno para o Brasil ) was founded by Manoel Joaquim Menezes, in 1842 under the title of The Grand Chapter of Blue Rites (O Grande Capítulo dos Ritos Azuis).  It was accepted and recognized as Grand Head of the Modern Rite in Brazil by the Grand Orient of Brazil.

On November 25. 1874, it chose to operate under the name of Grand Chapter of the Modern or French Rite (Grande Capítulo do Rito Moderno ou Francês). The designation of The Very Powerful and Sublime Modern Rite Grand Chapter for Brazil (O Muito Poderoso e Sublime Rite Modern Grande Capítulo para o Brasil )was adopted on March 9, 1953. On June 7, 1976 it was renamed The Supreme Council of the Modern Rite for Brazil (O Supremo Conselho do Rito Moderno para o Brasil).

Finally, since 1992, the year of the 150th anniversary of its foundation, and by virtue of being the only existing Official Head of the Modern Rite for all grades practiced continuously throughout universal Freemasonry, it was renamed Supreme Council of the Modern Rite (O Supremo Conselho do Rito Moderno). Remember that the Grand Chapitre Français received in 1989 a patent for the Orders of the French Rite from the hands of this Supreme Council of the Modern Rite, thus reaffirming its supremacy even in France.

The structure of the Modern Rite works with 7 Degree (3 symbolic and only 4 orders of wisdom until 1999. During that year using its unquestionable legitimacy it authorized the V° Order be restructured with two new Grades 8 and 9:

Order 5° - 8th Grade - Knight of the White and Black Eagle,  Philosophical Knight Kadosh, Inspector of the Rite.

Order 5° - 9th Grade - Knight of Wisdom - Grand Inspector of the Rite.

Previously in Portugal, these grades, under the names of Kadosh Perfect Initiate (Grade 8) and Grand Inspector (Grade 9) were worked in the Modern Rite.

Regardless, putting into practice the V° Order derived from those contemplated in the regulations of Grand Chapitre General de France in 1784 with respect to V° Order is varied depending on the various Bodies of Higher Modern Rite degrees today, but absolutely legitimate in application and use despite its formal diversity.

The first 3 degrees Symbolic Lodges meet in Lodges affiliated with the (in this case) the Grand Orient of Brazil.

The Philosophical Grades

Grades 4-7 (I to IV Order: Chosen, Elect Scottish Knight of the East, Knight Rose-Cross) gather in the designated Regional Sublime Chapters, Grade 8 (V Order) meets in the Great State Council Kadosh And Grade 9 (V Order) meets in the Supreme Council of the Modern Rite, which has national jurisdiction over all Philosophical Degrees.

The level of equivalence, in Brazil,  states that Grade 8 corresponds to the 30th Degree of the AASR and grade 9 is 33°.

Finally,  we strongly recommend an excellent book published by the Supreme Conseljo do Rito Moderno entitled: "The French or Modern Rite: Freemasonry for the Third Millennium".

This is a really exciting book that faithfully captures the experience of the Modern Rite in its pure form.

The Spanish edition is translated by the Circulo de Estudios del Rito Francés "Roëttiers of Montaleau" to whom the Modern Rite Supreme Council has generously given its authorization.

References and appreciation to the following authors for this material:

José Maria Bonachi Batalla
Antônio Onías Neto  (In the Grand East.)
Lourival Souza
Alcio de Alencar Antunes  (In the Grand East.)
José Castellani  (In the Grand East.)
Joaquim Villalta (whose writing was the source for this article)

Grande Conselho Kadosh del Rito Moderno. Rio de Janeiro:
Grande Oriente do Brasil:

Octavius V. Catto African-American Elks Lodge

Octavius V. Catto African-American Elks Lodge banner, 1903. Maker unknown; velvet, gold embroidery, fringe and wood. Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent

The banner commemorates the 1903 opening of the Octavius V. Catto Lodge, the Philadelphia home of the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of the World (IBPOEW), also known as the Black Elks. Fraternal organizations such as the Elks were increasingly common in the late nineteenth century, though such groups often established distinct chapters segregated by race.

The Black Elks, formed in Cincinnati in 1898 by Arthur Riggs and B.F. Howard, were a controversial offshoot of the exclusively white Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks (BPOE). After failing to gain acceptance into the BPOE, Arthur Riggs sought legal counsel and filed for copyright of the still unpatented BPOE meeting ritual. Although violent threats forced Riggs to relocate to Springfield, Ohio under an assumed name, the Black Elks endured under Howard and local chapters throughout the United States began to emerge.

Philadelphia's chapter of the Black Elks is one such example, and Octavius Catto (1839-1871) proved a fitting namesake for the lodge. A prominent educator and activist during and after the Civil War, Catto is reflective of nineteenth century Philadelphia's dynamic and vibrant black middle class. Born in South Carolina in 1839, Catto and his family settled in Philadelphia around 1850. He studied at the highly-regarded Institute for Colored Youth and eventually served as educator and assistant to the principal upon graduating in 1858.

A staunch advocate of equal rights among men, Catto became increasingly involved in political action, both formal and informal. During the Civil War, he and Frederick Douglass were instrumental in recruiting black volunteer regiments in and around Philadelphia, many of whom served in battle. In 1865 he staged a demonstration of civil disobedience against Philadelphia streetcar companies, which did not board black men and women. Having entered a streetcar, Catto quietly refused to get off when urged to by the conductor.

When the conductor eventually chose to derail the car, Catto remained seated in silence well after the car had emptied. The event received national attention. Threats of legal action were made against Catto, but he ultimately escaped reprimand. In 1866, with his friend Jacob C. White, Catto formed the Pythians baseball club. The Pythians club served three functions: first, it provided a social recreational network for members of the black community, many of whom knew each other from their days at the Institute for Colored Youth; second, it served as a political stage to demonstrate African Americans' love and mastery of an increasingly popular and distinctly American game; and third, it provided a means to negotiate acceptance into white administrative organizations such as the Pennsylvania Association of Amateur Base Ball Players (the Pythians were ultimately denied acceptance). As player-manger and skilled shortstop, Catto was well recognized on and off the field. Catto further lobbied for black citizenship as a supporter of the Republican Party. He served as secretary in the Republican-organized Pennsylvania Equal Rights League.

His political involvement brought his young and accomplished life to a sad, untimely end. In 1871, a year removed from Pennsylvania's adoption of the 15th Amendment, which granted voting rights to black males, racial tensions ran high in the city of Philadelphia. Newly enfranchised black citizens, who almost exclusively supported Republican candidates, posed a significant threat to Democratic leaders, who relied heavily on white support. On Election Day, October 10, 1871, rioters sought to suppress the black vote, largely by violent means. Catto himself was confronted on the street and shot to death by Frank Kelly, likely an act of political murder motivated by Catto's civil rights activism. Kelly stood trial in 1877 but escaped conviction. Catto's death was mourned by the city, by white and black alike. His legacy lived on in the benevolent work of the Elks and black fraternal organizations throughout the region.

Based upon original page on http://www.philadelphiahistory.org/

Saturday, September 14, 2013

La Respectable Lògia Lux Veritatis

La Respectable Lògia "Lux Veritatis" va ser fundada el 14 de desembre de 2007 amb la voluntat d’assolir i difondre els magnes fins i valors ètics, morals i socials que la nostra Ordre cerca i representa de forma plena i responsable. En el seu interior, aglutinem les nostres forces i energies per tal de materialitzar els principis maçònics, alhora extrapolables a la nostra societat civil dins dels seus objectius filantròpics, lliure d’ingerències polítiques de qualsevol tipologia i d’influències profanes en el nostre funcionament.Pretenem dur a terme els nostres Treballs amb rigor i solidesa, i mantenim fraternal contacte i relació amb d’altres estructures francmaçòniques internacionals amb qui compartim el desig d’Unió Universal de la nostra Ordre participant en la mateixa sinèrgia constructiva.

The Respectable Lodge "Lux Veritatis" was founded on 14 December 2007 with the aim of achieving the great and responsible goal of creating an ethical, moral and social order. Within our order this solidifies our efforts and energies to materialize our Masonic principles, while it also applies to our society at large in our philanthropic goals, free of political interference of any kind and within the secular influences on our organization. We intend to carry out our work with rigor and solidity, and maintain contact and fraternal relationship with all other international Masonic institutions with whom we share the desire of our Union of Universal Order and to be a constructive participant in the same synergy.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

ASE 2014 Conference Call for Papers

ASE 2014 Conference Call for Papers
Association for the Study of Esotericism
Fifth International Conference

Call for Papers: Esoteric Practices: Theories, Representations, and Methods
June 19-22, 2014

The Association for the Study of Esotericism (ASE) is seeking paper and panel proposals for its fifth International North American Conference on Esotericism to be held at Colgate University, in Hamilton, New York.

ASE is seeking proposals for papers exploring the many dimensions of Western esoteric practices, including theories, representations and methods of practice viewed from cultural, practical, religious and aesthetic fields of inquiry. ASE encourages papers that address the conference theme in terms of
diverse types of representation, including arts and literature, as well as methods that reflect specific theories of esotericism, either historically or in a contemporary context. ASE invites proposals on magic, alchemy, astrology, ritual practice, mysticism, spiritualism, occultism, hermeticism, neo-paganism, contemporary esoteric movements and teachers, Asian influences on Western traditions, and other relevant topics.  ASE is also interested in panels specifically on mysticism, contemplative practice, and other topics related to the conference theme. ASE regards esotericism as an interdisciplinary field of research and we invite scholars from all disciplines to share their research and writings in support of a cross-fertilization of perspectives. ASE welcomes scholars from a wide range of areas, including anthropology, American studies, art history, history, intellectual history, religious studies, literature, philosophy, psychology, medieval studies, sociology-the full range of academic disciplines and fields.

The deadline for panel or paper proposal submission is January 15th 2014.

If you wish to submit a paper proposal or a thematically focused panel proposal (with three presenters and short descriptions included) for review and possible presentation at the conference, please send it by regular email to ASE2014Conference@gmail.com

No attachments, please: simply copy and paste your abstract into plain text email. Individual abstracts should be limited to one or two paragraphs, and must indicate academic affiliation and/or other academic qualifications. Independent scholars are welcome to submit proposals. Please note that the previous conference was at maximum capacity, so it is best to submit your proposal sooner rather than later. ASE hopes to post a preliminary list of accepted proposals early in 2014. Possible venues for the publication of conference papers include the book series Studies in Esotericism (this will be the fourth volume in the series).

For more information on the ASE, see their website at www.aseweb.org

An additional announcement will be forthcoming on the 2014 ASE conference, with information on location, hotels, and conference registration.

About the Association for the Study of Esotericism

In May, 2002, the journal Esoterica hosted the First North American Symposium on the Study of Esotericism at Michigan State University. There, the invited participants created a new scholarly organization, the Association for the Study of Esotericism [ASE], along with a mission statement and a set of goals. This organization subsequently was incorporated in August, 2002, as a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The primary mission of this organization is to support excellence in scholarship and to foster communication among scholars who, though their work originates from a wide range of fields, find esotericism a common theme of their research.


In this groundbreaking collection, leading scholars in this emerging field explore how nature can be understood in a wide range of esoteric religious contexts. Included here are articles on subjects ranging from alchemy and panpsychism to music, Appalachian folk magic, and new religions. Esotericism, Religion, and Nature illuminates the way that nature is understood by major esoteric figures and traditions. Taken together, these articles shed new light on the connections between humanity, nature, and religion. Authors include Joscelyn Godwin, Wouter Hanegraaff, Lee Irwin, Richard Smoley, Arthur Versluis, M. E. Warlick, and many others. The second in a series of volumes on Western esotericism, this book emerged from international academic conferences held by the Association for the Study of Esotericism.

Their third volume in the series Studies in Esotericism is now in process. Esotericism, Religion, and Politics will be published in 2012.

Please visit the website of their sister organization, the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE), for information about other academic events in this field. http://www.esswe.org/