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International Order of Freemasonry for Men and Women*
Le Droit Humain

British Federation

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THE INNER VOICE OF FREEMASONRY

Njördur P. Njardvik 33° Past Grand Master of the International Order of Freemasonry for Men and Women Le Droit Humain

In the huge headquarters of the United Nations in New York, there is a small room arranged by its former Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjöld. This small room, which has only eleven chairs, is called the room of silence. In the centre there is a polished dark stone illuminated by a single shaft of light, and on the wall facing the entrance, an abstract painting in soft colours. That is all.

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TNO BannerThe Tir N’An Oige Triangle No. 990

 

Arm Thyself with the Torch of the Mysteries and in the Night of Earth
Thou shalt uncover Thy Celestial Soul

There is an exciting new development in the British Federation. A new Triangle has been formed, in effect the resuscitation of the Tir N’An Oige Lodge no. 990 which went into abeyance some years ago.

Tir N’An Oige worked the Irish ritual, the oldest ritual in the Federation, which probably had its roots in the Freemasonry of the mid 18thC. This ritual is still worked by St Michael Lodge no. 878 in Newtownards, Northern Ireland. Tir N’An Oige is a London Triangle.

Trinity KnotThe aims of this Triangle are of course to become a consecrated Lodge as soon as possible. It will furthermore be a forum for discussion and exploration, presenting papers of a high quality on esoteric Freemasonry, and as such will appeal only to those who are dedicated masonic scholars or who aspire to a deeper understanding of the Craft.

We welcome visitors, not only from the British Federation, but from other Obediences and from overseas.

If you are interested in visiting, please get in touch with the current WM, Ills∴Bro∴ Julian Rees at jrees@aol.com

THE ORIGINS OF TEMPLES

caves10002 smallPaul Devereux asks us to consider why some places are sacred

The concept of the temple is a particularly familiar one to Freemasons because of the legendary associations of masonry with the Temple of Solomon.

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NATIONAL CONVENTION 2017

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We are looking forward to welcoming you to the 2017 National Convention on Saturday 25 November.  This year's theme is
"The Unity which Lies Behind Diversity".

 

 

Here is a link to the National Convention website: https://natcounc.wixsite.com/natconvention2017

We are very pleased that prices for refreshments remain the same as last year - £4.00 for lunch only, £28.00 for dinner only and £32.00 for lunch and dinner.

We are very pleased that prices for refreshments remain the same as last year - £4.00 for lunch only, £28.00 for dinner only and £32.00 for lunch and dinner.

The British Federation is part of an International Order, and a National Council and annual National Convention are requirements of the Constitution.  National Council is responsible for all administrative matters; it is the 'body' side of the Federation, whereas the ceremonial work can be seen as the 'life' side.

The National Convention elects the members of the National Council and the Finance Committee every three years, agrees changes to the General Regulations, receives presentation of the audited accounts of the previous year and votes the budget of the next year. All members in good standing can attend, but only those above the degree of Entered Apprentice have full voting rights. This year we will be holding additional elections to fill Officer vacancies amongst the National Council team and member vacancies for the Finance Committee.

Along with the business, there will also be workshops to stimulate thinking and opportunities to chat and share learning. Convention is a great opportunity to meet other members and enhance our fraternal bond, as well as contribute to the development of the Federation.

The ceremony will be open to all Freemasons of recognised Obediences, and the dinner will also be open to non-Masons.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF A NEW AFFILIATE MEMBER

 

 

What makes the British Federation such a special and unique Masonic Order? As a recently affiliated member perhaps I can humbly offer an answer to this question being as I am new to the order and, in theory, totally unbiased. Maybe not totally unbiased since I do have a point of reference to which I can compare Le Droit Humain: my previous Masonic reincarnation.

I think that disagreement with the 1717 Anderson constitution landmarks is an obvious place to start for a member of Le Droit Humain and I also think that this is a subject that is so clear to us who disagree with these landmarks (or some of them, in particular with the prohibition to accept women) that there is no need to further discuss it. Suffice it to say that to exclude more than fifty per cent of the human population is in itself a disregard for the Democratic essence of Freemasonry. It reminds me of how Aristoteles talks about the freedom and democratic values of Greek citizens in his “Politics” without sparing one thought for those who didn’t have the rank of citizen, i.e. the slave population.

A very odd notion of democracy indeed.

001u052v6pdIt is also important to note that there isn’t “one Freemasonry” but several Masonic orders or models of Freemasonry roughly split between Regular or Dogmatic orders (depending on the point of view of the speaker, pretty much like the difference between the use of the terms terrorist and freedom fighter) and Irregular or Liberal orders (ditto). Some Masonic orders focus on the social and fraternal aspects of the Craft and don’t get too involved with the symbolic and esoteric side of Freemasonry. Other Masonic orders are really involved in social and political affairs and yet other orders see Freemasonry as the heir of the Enlightenment and approach the Craft from a philosophical standpoint. Remarkably or paradoxically I might say, for some Masonic orders Freemasonry isn’t a spiritual pursuit.

But Le Droit Humain, I am learning, does see Freemasonry mainly as a spiritual and intellectual pursuit and aligns it with the Western Mystery Tradition. In the words of our M.P. S. C Brian Roberts:

Freemasonry is an initiatory system containing the keys to the Ancient mysteries, which are experienced through a series of mystery dramas designed to open up and deepen our awareness and understanding”

This is exactly the same conclusion I had reached on my own during my ten years in Freemasonry- although I appeared to be the only one reaching this conclusion in my old Order. It would be fanciful to pretend that what we do today in a Masonic meeting is what the High Priests from Eleusis did in their Mysteries or that the first Freemason was an Egyptian Pharaoh or a Gnostic leader from the I Century or even an alchemist from the middle ages but it is clear that there is such an undercurrent in the history of Western culture, a golden thread, and that Freemasonry is an expression of that undercurrent today. Freemasonry is at the end of a long line- that golden thread- that started with the Ancient Mysteries and continued with the Gnostics, the Neo- Platonists, the Alchemists, Renaissance Magic and Kabbalism, the Rosicrucians etc.

demeterThe Eleusinian mysteries were open to everyone: men, women and slaves. There were processions and initiation ceremonies. The mysteries tried to repair or heal the loss described in the myth of Persephone and Demeter in order to achieve a kind of magical summoning of agricultural fertility. The intention was not unlike the one that the people who lived in the Neolithic period had when they painted enormous, disproportionate Mammoths in their caves with the hope of hunting down the largest possible pray available: an act of sympathetic magic, of transferring the ideal into the real in order to obtain tangible results. I personally believe that what we do in Freemasonry, among other things, is to unite that which has been dispersed. Masonic ritual demands that we acquire self knowledge and perhaps knowledge of the Divine or the Transcendent.

And the British Federation is entirely focused on this notion as far as I can see. This may be partly due to the Theosophical background of the founder but can also be seen in the names of the lodges: Light of Amen Ra, Maa Kheru, Golden Rule, Hermes, St Germain...and also in the particular mottos of these lodges: “The light is within you, let the light shine” “From the Unreal lead us to the Real, from Darkness to Light, from Death to Immortality” etc.

I have been privileged to witness this spiritual and intellectual pursuit first hand in a number of degree ceremonies. But I have also been very privileged to see the fraternal side of the British Federation in action when the new R.W.M was installed in the Chair of King Solomon recently at a lodge meeting. The warmth, the fraternalism and dare I say it the love shown to both the Master Elect and the Installing Master was touching. In fact it was something tangible that permeated the whole ceremony.

This is an order in which one can always be an absolute beginner, a permanent entered apprentice regardless of his or her Masonic rank- chatting in the library with a long serving R.W.M and a MM I was made aware of some analogies between the mudras from Yoga and the signs and grips used in Freemasonry, both miles away culturally but human expressions, perhaps, of the desire to unite Mind, Body and Soul. There is never a dull conversation rn 14f2in Hexagon House. Not one mention of golf or of Masonic rank in fact. Rank is about service in the British Federation: As Georges Martin said somewhere the difference between a MM and a 33 degree in Le Droit Humain is that both have the same rights but the 33 degree brother (sister) has more responsibilities. I noticed this from the first day. For the members of Le Droit Humain rank equals service to others. The beautiful ideal of the Philosopher King springs to mind. Shame we don’t see this in the profane world. Regardless of their rank, the members are constantly learning. When we stop learning we die.

So here is a Masonic order, Le Droit Humain, British Federation, that has managed to combine the fraternal aspects of freemasonry with a stimulating and challenging pursuit of Truth, Self knowledge and spirituality. This has to be the reason why our ritual is filled with Gnostic and neo-platonic references after all.

So to employ a rather crude expression, this model of Freemasonry “ticks all the boxes”. I would like to be able to balance this article by saying something negative. I can’t. The members, my lodge brothers and sisters have been nothing but welcoming, accommodating and supportive. The question wasn’t should I join but rather how could I not join.

I have much to learn and maybe because of this I feel alive again. May God preserve the Craft.

Bro Superabo, Maa Kheeru Lodge 975

Royal Art Freemasonry movie

The long awaited 33 and Beyond, the Royal Art of Freemasonry movie 🎥 premier is happening on the 13th! Check out this great interview with Johnny Royal where he goes into great detail about the movie. Worth watching!

Read interview with Johnny Royal

Esoteric


(es-uh-ter-ik)    "adjective

1.    understood by or meant for only the select few who have special knowledge or interest; recondite: poetry full of esoteric allusions.
2.    belonging to the select few.
3.    private; secret; confidential.
4.    (of a philosophical doctrine or the like) intended to be revealed only to the initiates of a group: the esoteric doctrines of Pythagoras."

Freemasonry The Esoteric traditionFreemasonry - The Esoteric Tradition

It's now only increasingly rare individuals who behold something of a deeper nature in our Masonic ritual and teachings and are often considered as somewhat eccentric or individuals or 'fantasizers'; to be charitably tolerated as long as they do not overstep the mark with their fantastical interpretations.

This volume is devoted to those members of society who maintain that Freemasonry should be interpreted, experienced and lived as an authentic Initiatic School, as was doubtless intended by the creators of its complex ritual forms, brimming with symbols, allegories and hidden meanings.

From a metahistorical point of view, the true 'figure' of the Freemason will be portrayed as a sort of 'Archetype of Enlightenment',which is clearly recognisable and presented in the western tradition throughout history. From the Epoptes of the Eleusinian Mysteries, to the Hermetic of the first centuries B.C.; from the Magician and the Neoplatonist of the Renaissance to the Rosicrucian; from the Alchemist to the Freemason, the same goal of, an individual featuring a series of common characteristics and, in particular, a similar 'vision of the world', is manifested cyclically in specific historical moments. (Quote from the Lewis Masonic website)

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First impressions of a new member

What makes the British Federation such a special and unique Masonic Order? As a recently affiliated member perhaps I can humbly offer an answer to this question being as I am new to the order and, in theory, totally unbiased. Maybe not totally unbiased since I do have a point of reference to which I can compare Le Droit Humain: my previous Masonic reincarnation. Read More

Bro Superabo, Maa Kheru Lodge 975

Mystic Masonry

The Symbols of Freemasonry and the Greater Mysteries of Antiquity

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New Grand Master Installed

New lodge forming in Bristol

Moves are afoot to form a new lodge of our Order in Bristol. Anyone interested in helping, either as a Freemason already or by initiation into this lodge, is welcome to contact us for further information, quoting “Bristol initiative”. Contact Us

Freemasonry, Esotericism, and Spiritual Development: An Interview With Piers Vaughan

Published Mar 18, 2017

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Ritual, Freemasonry, and Allegory: Julian Rees in Interview

Published Sept 24, 2016

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BBC Radio Wales

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Listen to an interview with the former head of the British Federation of our Order, Brian Roberts 33° and BBC Radio Wales Listen

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Weekly Podcasts

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Weekly Podcast on different masonic subjects for the enquiring mind. View

Event Calendar

November 2017
M T W T F S S
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December 2017
M T W T F S S
27 28 29 30 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
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  • 1* EA
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  • 3* MM

Esoteric Freemasonry - A growing trend

M.'.P.'.G.'. C.'. retires

Brian retirement

 

Two tributes to a very worthy Brother


The V ∴ Ills ∴ Bro ∴ Brian Roberts 33° has stepped down as M ∴ P ∴ G ∴ C ∴ of our Federation. His Mother Lodge, Lodge Maa-Kheru 975, could not let this occasion pass without marking it in a special way and in addition the Federation put on a surprise party for him on Saturday 1 July.


To celebrate his outstanding contribution to the British Federation during his time as MPGC over the past fifteen years, his Mother Lodge, Maa-Kheru No. 975, presented The V∴Ills∴ Bro∴ Brian Roberts 33° with a specially commissioned jewel.

Read full article in July issue of the Freemason Digest

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Freemasonry: A Journey Through Ritual and Symbol

Dr Annie Besant 1847 - 1933

Annie Besant
Annie Besant was the founder of the British Federation of the Order, the International Order of Co-Freemasonry, Le Droit Humain as it was known at the time. She was the first ruler of Lodge Human Duty No. 6 which still exists today.

The Besant Accord

- The Declaration of Principles grants the Lodges the right to choose their acclamation: To the Glory of the Great Architect Of The Universe and/or To the Perfection of Humanity.

 Read Background information

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The Hidden Code in Freemasonry

* Previously known as the International Order of Co-Freemasonry.

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