Friday, March 27, 2015

Ar Hent Vreizh: The Breton Way of Alternative Masonry - La Fédération des Loges Libres et Souveraines

A little over a year ago, I posted to the Hedge my thoughts about one alternative future for Freemasonry. In my blog entry A Few Thoughts Under An Open Sky, I spoke of the idea of independent lodges functioning without the baggage associated with Masonic Obediences and why it might be viewed as a desirable alternative to the present situation.  While I did not suggest it should replace organized obediences, I believe there is room for both approaches.

I have often felt that ideas have a life of their own and when the time comes for them, they will present themselves to as many people as possible, to see where they can take root. Well, not only have others given this idea serious thought, but there's a site which is assisting exactly that, and has been doing so since at least 2008.  What is more, much to my pleasure, it seems that we Celts are ahead of the times and leading the way in Freemasonry yet again. The group is founded in Breizh, (Brittany or Bretagne to you philistines).

 La Fédération des Loges Libres et Souveraines is modeled upon a similar idea to those which inspired the creation of Clipsas and La Confederación Masónica Interamericana. The difference here is that while CLIPSAS is an organization for obediences who received their charters from The GOdF, and CMI is based upon a common geo-political origin, the motivation for La Fédération des Loges Libres et Souveraines is a resource dedicated to promoting lodges which are not associated with, nor wish to become part of any obedience. While I can hear the same old tired comments issuing from certain quarters, this is indeed an idea whose time has come. I predict we will see lodges in the US coordination with this organization or others like it and it will doubtlessly inspire the creation of new independent lodges here in the US and elsewhere.

Below I provide a free translation of the first post on their blog in June of 2008:


Hello to all.

The first article of this blog will be dedicated to an ambiguity that literally plagues Masonic recruitment:

I refer to the confusion which is made by the media between the Lodge (sacred space-time, or is exempted initiatory education) and the obedience (it's structural organization whose role is to collect contributions and manage property assets).

The source of this confusion is very easy to understand: just look to the high-sounding titles and how the members of the boards of these organizations are dressed to understand how impressionable outsiders can be deceived by our words: We do not say, for example, "Chairman of a Federation of Lodges" but "Grand Master of Symbolic Sovereign Power" ...

I am not decrying this aspect of masonic administration for its being a bit exotic, but I want to emphasize it from the outset because it is the cause of many misunderstandings and even many disappointments.

The problem is that things are distorted from the start:

Initiation is a process that has come down through the ages to us, which is primarily designed to put the individual in touch with their inner nature, to help overcome ancestral fears. It acts in the introspective mode so it presupposes a sidelining of the world (this is the role of the Lodge, and also that of the famous Secret).

But what does the seeker who knocks at the door of the Temple see? A structured masonry on the model of secular societies, a storefront, local silkscreens such as one might encounter at supermarkets, officials also easily identifiable, wearing in magazines, when it's not in the street, elements of Masonic decorations that their elders had the decency not to show off in public because they represented for them the sacred symbols of their spiritual quest.

That is why after twenty years of obediential masonry I decided to leave this artificial world where everything aims at inflating the human ego although the initiatory approach is supposedly about controlling the ego.

And to my surprise, I found that I was far from alone in this case: I had no trouble finding Brothers and Sisters to constitute Independent Lodges, even better, thanks to the internet, I've discovered that this type of Lodge was relatively widespread.

Hence the idea of ​​this blog, intended to offer our Lay Friends another vision of the Masonic Order which may be more relevant to the purpose of their personal research. Hope to see you on the Web. 


Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Book of Wisdom: Freemasonry Through the Veil of an Ancient French Manuscript

The Book of Wisdom: Freemasonry Through the Veil of an Ancient French Manuscript

Compiled by Freemason Jean Doszedardski (b. 1770) during the early 1800s, the “Book of Wisdom” contains “statutes and general regulations” for Lodge le Choix des Hommes, located in Jacmel, San Domingo (sic).  (Blogger's note: The correct name was Saint Domingue which became Haiti after the revolution in 1804.) Now translated from the original French, the book provides an entrée into the lodges of the West Indies during the late 1700s and early 1800s.  In addition to details about how the lodge pursued its routine business, the end of the book includes a history of the development of Scottish Rite Freemasonry as it traveled from France to the West Indies and, eventually, to the United States.

The original manuscript is part of a collection of documents compiled by Doszedardski, now in the collection of the Van Gorden-Williams Library and Archives at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library.  Kamel Oussayef, 33°, completed the translation over several years as a volunteer at the Museum & Library.  Director of Collections Aimee E. Newell, Ph.D., provided an introduction and historical notes for the text.

Book of Wisdom: Freemasonry through the Veil of an Ancient French Manuscript is available now for $34.95 plus shipping from the Supreme Council, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, at

Scottish Rite Northern Jurisdiction Museum Shop

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hispanic Grand Lodge for North America Elections

The Most Worshipful Hispanic Grand Lodge for North America (Gran Logia Hispana De Norte América) held its elections of officers in accordance with the revised Grand Constitución.
The elected Grand Dignitaries for the Masonic cycle of 2015 - 2018 are:

David Muñoz Jr. - Most Worshipful Grand Master
Federico Carrillo - Deputy Grand Master
Arturo Perea - Grand Senior Warden
Juan Antonio BeceRril - Grand Junior Warden
Aaron Reyes - Gran Secretary
Victor German Serna Escuza - Grand Orator
Alexander Acosta De Leon - Grand Treasurer
Jose Luis Terrazas - Grand Chancellor

Felicidades a nuestros venerables hermanos.'.
Congratulations to our worshipful brethren.'.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Masonas. Historia de la masonería femenina - New Book on Feminine Freemasonry

Masonas. Historia de la masonería femenina by Yolanda Alba (5 mar 2014)

Freemasonry, as a method of knowledge, claims ancient roots, but their societies were, with a few exceptions, predominantly male until 1770 when the Grand Lodge of the Grand Orient in France created the rite of adoption, allowing the participation of women. This crystallized one of the most important moments for society and may be viewed as an early development of a revolution that would upset the established social order: the emancipation of women. In this work, Yolanda Alba provides a fascinating journey through the historical process that led to women of differing social statures  to enlist in an influential organization which is still  poorly understood, often marked by prejudice and obscurantism.

Yolanda Alba is a journalist, translator and editor. She began publishing in Pueblo before graduating in Information Sciences at the Complutense. Afterwards she worked for El País, leaving there to work in the cabinet of Minister Alberdi. Since then, she has worked for UNESCO,  as the director of The Bulletin, a trilingual publication on women's rights in the Mediterranean. She was founder of the Forum of Women Journalists of the Mediterranean, vice president of the European Network of Female Journalists; has published poetry, essays and novels. In 1998 she received the UNESCO Marseille Literary Excellence Award.

EUR 16,15

Masonas-Historia-masonería-femenina on

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Como No Ser Masón - How Not to be a Mason

Cómo no ser masón: Una guía iniciática para pasajeros en tránsito
How Not to Mason: An initiatory guide for transit passengers

Author: Abdel Basit, Abunnur
ISBN: 978-84-938704-7-8
Price without VAT: € 14.41
Price with VAT: € 14.99
VAT only in Spain and the EU

It is a law of Apprenticeship that learning is gained by dint of repetition, which in fact reduces its effectiveness. This work proposes that Masonry look in the mirror of other forms of Initiation in order to recover lost meanings, clarify some of its own misunderstandings, invigorate what it has weakened and underline the strength of the indelible.

An indispensable tool for understanding ourselves through other's work.

As Ibn 'Arabi taught, toleration of the other not only overcomes our discomfort with difference, but helps us understand the other's need to know the One. For the One alone is known from multiplicity.

From the introduction:

If someone trained in Masonry were to say that the Mason should aim to stop being a Mason, any sensible reader would think this was an expression born of disappointment or disillusionment.
And they'd be right. However, throughout these pages you will discover that the object of that disappointment was not what it might initially be assumed and, moreover, that statement is the only one possible: the Mason should aspire to not be a Mason...

Some critics reproach Masonry for its heterogeneity, its deep disunity, its irreconcilable schisms,
paradoxical points of view, apparent anachronisms and flagrant injustices. These reproaches are also accurate, but again for very different reasons than those that one might assume. It is true that there are as many understandings of Freemasonry as there are Masons, this too could not be otherwise...

However, if you were to ask the author if he would recommend his best friend consider joinging
Masonry, the answer would be yes, beyond doubt, but with some prior information about
what to expect and what not to expect.

Anyone with curiosity or interest in the literature on Freemasonry will come across the statement that in the XXI century we can no longer speak of Freemasonry but Freemasonries, in the plural. However, once you have understood the essence of initiatory experience, that statement will become nonsense that only contributes to spreading misunderstanding...

Many sincere Masons have devoted years of their lives to try to reconstruct Masonic history, from the guilds of medieval builders and further back until the successive refoundation in London pubs and the halls of Versailles; their schisms, alliances and all the details of their respective lineages. Hundreds of thousands of Masons were formed in one or other Obedience to which they have been transformed in turn a reflection of their own abilities and skills their different contexts and aspirations. Some of these Lodges have been exemplary in exercise of solidarity and charity among equals. Others in study and perseverance. Yet others, for their implementation of Human Rights. Others, too, are not worthy of fame. As different as the companies from which they emerge, all Lodges are perfect and equally legitimate provided that they put virtue and law above any other interest. But that does not mean that all are capable of providing training in a genuine initiatory sense. Consequently the differences between them are reduced to a mere disparity  of subjective criteria of debatable merit. They are nothing more than the banks of the same river.  Initiation consists precisely in avoiding such banks and peripheries, and dive into that river, merge into it and get carried away by the Original Source...

There are even Obediences claiming to not provide initiation but reception. And although their sincerity in openly dismantling their own rules should be appreciated they fall short of their goal, creating a Freemasonry which does not understood the full extent of what it is. Yes, there Initiation can be received without understanding, not because it does not have substance, but because they have no true masters to instruct them in its meaning. Or because, the initiate has not been prepared for it, just as one cannot learn to reason mathematically, or master weightlifting or chess, without proper preparation. There are other Obediences, however, proclaiming to guarantee an Orthodox Initiation
and regularity of practice who are unable to transmit a legitimate initiation for very similar reasons...

For anyone who is curious there are excellent studies on the development of all Masonic lines, in
detail, that amply satisfy such desires. But for those who wish to approach the initiatory experience, the real estate and uniqueness of Freemasonry as a Traditional Way, these studies will be of much profit as the Census of Beirut, because man learns from the man, not from books...

This text is about Initiation. And how Initiation is served in the Western cultural context of a
ritual form called Freemasonry. Try Masonry without adjectives. Because only from the lower plane
of reality can one speak of "masonries." Talk of "masonries"means to have resigned oneself to the relative vision of multiplicity and deny access to the Absolute Oneness...

There is no other way to say it. As recalled by Cervantes, "Nature has a law which states that everything engenders its like." Hence Freemasonry can only be one because Initiation is only one, though their multiple external languages ​​are necessary. There is a natural hierarchy of things and Masonry is a consequence of Initiation, not the opposite. Pretending to ignore the initiatory nature of Freemasonry is as vain as denying our own liver. And equally impossible, no matter whether or not we are aware of it.

Ah, if only we had the funding to do the necessary work of translation. There is a wealth of information available, in Spanish, French, and Portuguese which would provide North Americans with greater insight into Continental Freemasonry. Even those who are steadfastly committed to UGLE derived Freemasonry have so much to learn from this literature.