Should I have gone, and what did I miss?
A year ago, some brothers decided to plan a masonic conference, not unlike the MasonicCon that has happened at Ezekiel Bates in Massachusetts, but with a strict observance on Esoterica. No history—no debate on origins of ritual. Just an exploration of the spiritual aspects of the craft, of philosophy and of the teachings that have been written about for thousands of years.
First thing’s first, lets just set this out there. This event sold 147 tickets, (which was the limit for the occupancy of where the event was held.) and pulled in attendees from as far as Canada and Washington state. The Mid-Atlantic Esotericon also partnered with the largest Rainbow Girls Assembly in the state, 20+ girls served food, drinks and cleaned. They [the Rainbow] took in a staggering amount of donations. Conversely, The Mid-West Conference of Grand Lodge Education had a whole 20 dudes present. Let that sink in--a moment of thought. Alright, ready for more? I thought so.
Brother Joe Martinez and Kevin Homan were the architects of the event and had wanted to do something like this for a long time. It just took the balls to do it. And you know what? They did it.
Should you have gone? That depends. Do you feel like their is more to Freemasonry than ritual? More to Freemasonry than fellowship? More than almoners funds and paying bills? Do you enjoy reading and researching the mystical? How about questioning the literal translations of our religious texts? What about the teachings of a medieval genius? The psychotropic substances and references to the plants mentioned within our ritual? The axial procession of planets and their relation to Freemasonry? If you answered yes to any of those, than you definitely should have come. If you didn’t...well...you should have come anyway.
The night before, my wife Cori and I took an Uber with Joe Martinez and his wife Barb to a brewery where we were meeting everyone who was coming to Esotericon. We packed the place. I have to say that I was so overwhelmed with those Brothers who went out of their way to say hello to my wife. She had a wonderful time!
A quick run down of presentations:
- Pierce Vaughan talked about John Dee and his philosophy.
- Jon Ruark talked about the many pieces of symbolism contained within Freemasonry that have an archetypal value to other systems.
- P.D. Newman gave us information on the Acacia and opened our eyes to the ancient references to the plant in the early rituals which clearly alluded to its use as a psychoactive compound used to open the mind for ritual.
- Jamie Lamb talked about the Anno Lucious dating system and how the procession of stars gave us clues to ritual origins and even magick.
- Don McAndrews spoke to us about a great book which told of Jewish Patriarchs moving into Europe, who were actually Pharos from Egypt.
- Greg Kaminsky gave an amazing talk on the medieval thinker, philosopher and genius, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. He also offered insights into ritual prayer.
- Frater O, spoke about the hidden symbolism within the temple of Solomon and how it aligned with chakras and other systems.
- And Yes, I presented as well. I spoke on the topic of immortality and manifesting your destiny.
I was impressed with the questions that were asked after the presentations. We were truly surrounded by men and women who understood the deep concepts to which we were all speaking . I took copious notes on topics that I was unfamiliar with. I looked around the room, no sleepers, no one snoring, all awake, all mentally present.
I can’t say much more, other than THANK YOU! Thanks to the attendees, the speakers, the organizers. It went from the Mid-Atlantic Esotericon, to the First Inaugural Mid-Atlantic Esotericon. That’s right, it’s coming back next year. I'll end on a quote from a newer Masonic Blog that recently posted about the event - From Darkness to Light,
"This is what Freemasonry should be, and this is what Freemasonry needs to become again."~RHJ
RWB, Robert Johnson is the Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. He currently serves as the Secretary of Spes Novum Lodge No. 1183 UD. He is a Past Master of Waukegan Lodge 78 and a Past District Deputy Grand Master for the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts weekly Podcasts (internet radio programs) Whence Came You? & Masonic Radio Theatrewhich focus on topics relating to Freemasonry. He is also a co-host of The Masonic Roundtable, a Masonic talk show. He is a husband and father of four, works full time in the executive medical industry. He is the co-author of "It's Business Time - Adapting a Corporate Path for Freemasonry" and is currently working on a book of Masonic essays and one on Occult Anatomy to be released soon.