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

British Federation

seeing in a different light

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

Surbofest 2017

SATURDAY 30th September - SURBITON

10.00am - 5.00pm

 

The big day - Surbofest Saturday, a full day of stalls, entertainments, the procession, live music, freshly cooked food, friends, festivities and fun.

Saturday 30th September sees the Surbiton Festival hit it's 26th annual event.

 

 

Lodge Light of Amen Ra No. 717

Our Order will be running a stall from 9:30am till 5:00pm where members of the public can ask us questions, and if interested later to attend the informal Festive Board at 5:30pm of Lodge Light of Amen Ra No.717. This would be a great oppertunity to meet more members and discuss historical, philosophical and esoteric topics of mutual interest.

Our HQ is 8 minutes walk away.

(See map at bottom of page)

 

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

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

Crata Repoa

Crata Repoa

This small, and largely forgotten work was influential on the development of the Western Mystery Tradition. Concepts and the belief in the idea of a particular type of initiation system, or the Mysteries, were first formed by this text.

Historically its claims are bogus or unlikely but have been up-held by groups that used it as a template including the European Esoteric Freemasonic Groups. (from the introduction by N. Farrell)

 

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

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Event Calendar

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Freemason Digest July 2017

Retirement Ceremony

Ceremony to celebrate the retirement of The M.’.P.’.G.’.C.’. The Very.’. Ill.’. Br.’. Brian Roberts 33*

View Ceremony

Also see our July Freemason Digest magazine

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.

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Freemasons launch recruitment drive for young women Read

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Darren Lorente Bull on Spiritual Freemasonry

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The freemasons who allow women to join Read more

The Hidden Code in Freemasonry

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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."

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

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