Tuesday, May 27, 2014

La Table d'Hermes: A Masonic Bookstore in Toulon

There are some amazing things happening in other corners of the Masonic world. Here, the Hedge Mason is spotlighting a fascinating Masonic Bookstore in the city of Toulon on the French Riviera. Since 1998 La Table d'Hermes has been located in the historic center of Toulon, opposite the Provençal market commemorated in song  by Gilbert Becaud.

La Table d'Hermes takes its name from Hermes, the intermediary between the gods and men. Hermes, or Mercury to the Romans, is appointed to the communication, hidden and sealed knowledge.

La Table d'Hermes reminds us of the famous alchemical table called also: Emerald Tablet where it is said that “as above so below.”

The bookstore specializes in books of Masonic tradition and symbolism. It offers a wide selection of books, new and used, as well as accessories including:

• Tarot and Oracles
• Masonic decorations and accessories all grades and all persuasions
• Varied purest incense: resins, tears or compounds
• Candles and Accessories
• Gifts: jewelry and Moustiers faience (customizable decor)

La Table d'Hermes organize workshops and meetings on various topics relating to spirituality and wellness; they are partners of the Annual Conference on Hermeticism. La Table d'Hermes is run by Antoine Palfroy, and is open Tuesday to Saturday.

55, cours Lafayette
83000 Toulon
Tél : 04 94 92 09 39

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Vade-Mecum des Ordres de Sagesse du Rite Français
(Vade Mecum of the Orders of Wisdom of the French Rite)
Author: Claude Darche
Edition: Dervy, 2011
€ 10.61

This book is one of a series of Vade Mecum, guides for learning Masonic symbolism with a clear, explanatory approach. Claude Darche discusses the Orders of Wisdom of the French Rite.
The high grades Rite French stand out even in their name: they are orders and unlike the high degrees of the AASR, the term perfection is not mentioned, because here the goal is wisdom. Daniel Ligou in his book on the Modern French Rite Rituals notes that "one of the most significant innovations of the French Rite is the use of the term Orders, where other systems speak of degrees or grades, (...) as well as to have greatly reduced the number.
The explanation usually given is that each of these orders synthesizes a series of various grades of Scottish rites, and thereafter, the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite with its 33 degrees which obviously did not exist in 1786. " The French Rite is practiced by different obediences, by the Masonic Grand Orient of France where it is the majority, but also the French National Grand Lodge, the Grand Lodge and Traditional Symbolic Opera, the Grand Mixed Lodge of France, the French National Grand Lodge, Obediences in Spain, Latin America, and most significantly, in Brazil.
The work of Claude Darche present each of these orders, their symbolic meaning and associated symbols. For each, she says interpretations should be complete and explicit, clear and precise, in order to understand its deeper meaning.

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Le Rite Egyptien au Grand Orient de France
(The Egyptian Rite in the Grand Orient de France)
Author: Christian Perrotin
Edition: Dervy, 2012
€ 20.90

Ten years have passed since the awakening of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis Misraim within the Grand Orient of France. Ten years of rebuilding the Grand Egyptian Order, the establishment of a vibrant structure values ​​of democracy, transmission of initiations, dedication to  research, and to find its place in the landscape of World freemasonry.
The nature of the work of the Egyptian Grand Order of the Grand Orient of France plunges us into Alexandrine Egypt, the melting pot of cultures, philosophies, and religions of Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Mesopotamia and Asia Minor.
These works lead us on the path of initiation within Hermeticism which led to the famous aphorism "Know you, yourself, and you will know the Universe and the Gods." The works of Plato's Academy and the Medici are here revitalized. This book tells the story of the Rite, the philosophical material that Brothers work and opens a window on the future for this part of the Tradition and the problems facing modern society.
A spiritual path.

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Chants Maçonniques des Hauts Grades
(Masonic Songs of the High Degrees)
Author: Bernard Muracciole
Edition: Vega, 2008
€ 25.07

While continuing his artistic career on stage, opera-director Bernard Muracciole became intrigued that the early Masonic Brothers sang songs after their meetings, at Agape which occupies an important place in Freemasonry. Most were drinking songs celebrating the virtues of the Venerable or Officers of the Lodge. Some showcased Masonic symbols such as the compass, square or rough stone. Other developed goals or feelings of high moral values ​​such as freedom, equality, fraternity, solidarity and tolerance, etc.
Here is a CD, with tunes from of early origins to the present day. Thee songs on earlier CDs were concerned with the first three degrees of Freemasonry, the blue Grades. Were there others specific to High Degrees or Degrees of Wisdom? After painstaking research, the answer turned out to be yes, and it is these songs, all previously unreleased that Bernard Muracciole presents in this new CD, accompanied by an explanatory book on which senior officials of the Rites practiced in France and Europe have collaborated. Music of some of these pieces were found, and where none could be recovered, new melodies were written.
Book and CD.

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