The Occult Lodge: Part Eight


The Electronic Lodge
by Midnight Freemason Contributor 
Bro. James E. Frey 32° KT, ROS







In this new century the occult lodge has struggled to remain relevant and re-establish itself. Similar to Masonry the occult lodges have found less and less individuals interested in applying themselves to the practical application of their teachings. Many will attest that for some Masonic lodges it is difficult to find interested prospective members, even more difficult to convince newer members to abandon their comfy couches with cable TV and high speed internet and become active in regular attendance at business meetings and degrees. It is even more difficult yet,  for occult lodges to find interested individuals to proceed through degrees and education materials and to become active in attending ceremonies and meditations. 

In this progressive materialist and secular society balanced by the polar opposite of often misguided fundamentalist evangelicalism, the students of the esoteric mysteries often have no outlet to connect with people of a similar mind. Many young men join the Masonic lodge hoping to find those who are occult minded, but often become discouraged with the planning of pancake breakfasts and the paying of the bills. With the occult in  mind,  with no where to turn, many have turned to the internet. Internet and mail order occult orders have become quite common, with a wide reach they can be a connection for those who are interested in occultism with no active groups in the area.
 
The Ancient Mystical Order of the Rosae Crucis, or AMORC, is one of these more popular orders. This washed down Rosicrucian system has claimed to be founded by Sir. Francis Bacon, but in actuality was formed in 1909 by Harvey Spencer Lewis. Lewis claimed to be initiated into a Rosicrucian Order in France in which he received permission to transport these teachings in an American order. AMORC tends to appreciate the Egyptian motif and has a fantastic foundation in alchemical symbolism in its system, but over the recent years it has become more New Age focused. Still though, AMORC has a plethora of information and education programing available to those who are interested, and for a beginner in esotericism they are an excellent starting point. But if Rosicrucianism isn’t quite your thing maybe Martinism is.

The Traditional Martinist order or the TMO is considered by many Martinist groups to be the bane of

Martinism due to their openness with Martinist teachings and the accessability to its programs. Martinist teachings focus on being an unknown superior and they value their discreteness due to its roots in French Gnosticism. But the TMO is open for all to apply, aiding you with teachings rooted in the works of St. Martin. They offer do it yourself mail order degrees that allow you to make Martinism your own experience. Even many Golden Dawn Groups will offer "astral initiations" on perspective members who are not in travel distance to an active temple.

Another education focused program one could peruse is the Builders Of The Adytum, or BOTA. Founded in 1922 by Freemason and occult writer Paul Foster Case, BOTA has been heavy influenced by both the Golden Dawn and Ancient Craft Masonry. BOTA is organized into regional study groups, which focus on the Outer Porch Work which contains a correspondence program which is rooted in the main aspects of the western mystery school Qabalah, Tarot, Alchemy, and Hermetics. But after completion of this first order the student is presented an option to continue into the second order or porch work. This second order is an initiatic school that uses the Tarot to as a basis for the aspirant to attain spiritual advancement.

Over the years the Occult Lodge has been largely reduced to online study and mail order programs that promise occult secrets but do not provide a community to support one’s practical application of this knowledge. But what can Masonry learn from the Occult Lodge? Are we doomed to the same fate? With online education programs and Scottish Rite degrees on DVD it is hard not to recognize that asonry is following this trend. What can be learned from the occult lodge is that we must also provide an esoterically minded mason with a community open to them using Masonic teaching and symbolism as a spiritual tool. Remember there is nothing stopping masonry from being an individual spiritual path, except the individual’s perception of its symbolism. So if you get an occult minded young man interested in masonry for its ‘mysteries’ embrace him like a brother. Chances are good his interest in the esoteric has made him feel shunned by society or church. This might be why he seeks out masonry, to find that spiritual truth he has not found in any other group. Allow him to make masonry into a system that promotes their own enlightenment. Young men like this need local lodges to fill this void because the Occult Lodge for the most part has faded into obscurity. But still somewhere they will always exist, in the dark corners of our mind, in the back of occult shops or deep in the woods there still are secret groups dedicated to spiritual awakening. Just as always, they have been hidden in plain sight. 
~JEF
James E Frey 32° classifies himself as a gentleman of the old world, which means he is known to stand in the great forests reciting poetry to fair-haired damsels while wrestling bears for sport. He is a District Education Officer for the Grand Lodge of Illinois, a Past Sovereign Prince of the of Danville AASR, member of the Oak Lawn York Rite, Medinah Shriners, Royal Order of Scotland, Quram Council Allied Masonic Degrees and initiate of the Golden Dawn Collegium Spiritu Sancti. He is also a guest lecturer on Occultism and Esoteric studies in masonry for the R.E.B.I.S Research Society 



2 comments:

  1. I am trying to understand what the author means by "misguided fundamentalist evangelicalism." Please elaborate.

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    Replies
    1. He means that Christ never meant Christianity to be interpreted through a materialist (literalist) perspective, as does fundamentalist evangelicalism.

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