The Occult Lodge: Part One
Defining a Lodge of the Spirit
by Midnight Freemason Emeritus Contributor
Introduction of the Occult Lodge:
If there is one fact that any freemason cannot deny is that the teachings of the craft have produced some of the most influential members of society. It has shaped the foundation of political dynasties, sculpted a variety of artists and writers, and it has produced some of the brightest leaders of industry. It is clear that masonry in itself produces self-actualized members of society who have become significant leaders in their fields. Even religious or spiritual leaders have been under the influence of Masonic teachings. Even though the Masonic system has produced Christian leaders such as Rev. Jesse Jackson 33, or Jesuit priest Father Francisco Calvo. But the Masonic Teachings have also produced leaders within alternative spiritual currents. This series will focus on the Western Esoteric Tradition and it’s relation to Freemasonry.
These Occult Lodges, as I will refer to them, were prevalent ever since the beginning of the Masonic institution. Since the Rosicrucian influence on the Royal Society during the Enlightenment, to the Egyptian influenced the Occult Revival of the late 1800s. Over the course of this series, we will address occult connections within freemasonry, the strong spiritual leaders that it produced, and the infamous masters that dwell in the shadows of the craft. As masons it is imperative to show reverence to all spiritual teachings, never to take what may be considered sacred to one in a profane or disrespectful way.
Defining a Lodge of the Spirit:
Within the Western Esoteric Tradition, the Occult lodge can be described as a group of Cabbalists, Magicians, Alchemists, or Hermetically minded members that gather in a group, with a common goal of spiritual advancement. These different groups may have a variety of perceptions and beliefs but what connects them together is the common desire to experience the realm of the spiritual firsthand without subduing to a specific dogma or faith.
The Occult lodge is mythical in both folklore and modern culture. The image of a shadowy cabal of men in black hooded robes in a dark smoky room doing mysterious rituals comes to mind. Mountains of old leather-bound books filled with forbidden knowledge line shelves alongside jars of strange herbs and large pieces of quartz and crystal. What is interesting about this description is how it strikes an archetypal chord in our imagination, but also how accurate it actually is. In the occult lodge, the balance of mystical lore and reality is held only in the mind of the beholder, which makes distinguishing fact and fiction difficult.
As with a Masonic Lodge the members often live two lives, in one they are normal members of society with mundane jobs and relationships, but once they are behind closed doors they transform themselves into the mythos of a Master Mason. Occult lodge members similarly escape their day-to-day lives to focus their consciousness to inherit a symbol of a being that travels between worlds and glimpse behind the veil of reality. These members meet to converse with angels, summon Gods, and transform themselves through ritual to become more than just men through the embracing of Divinity. The Occult Lodge is not a social club, it is not for charity, it is not meant to benefit anyone outside of its Sacred circle. Its only concern is the advancement of its members spiritually and allowing them to forge their own spiritual path to define their relationship with God.
But how did the Occult currents in the Western Tradition adapt a lodge structure? The Occult Lodge at times has very little to do with mainstream Western religions and even less to do the social clubs, charities, and fraternal organizations that seem to fit into this lodge structure. So how did these Occult Currents become emerged with the concept of a Lodge? The answer is Freemasonry. It was through the Masonic influence that these Western Esoteric teachings were given the lodge format as they progressed.