Esoteric Freemasonry A Growing Trend

pic Khunrath’s Amphitheatrum sapientiae aeternae (1595)

Heinrich Khunrath’s Amphitheatrum sapientiae aeternae is an alchemical classic, the best known of Khunrath’s works. The work is infused with a strange combination of Christianity and magic, illustrated with elaborate, hand-colored, engraved plates heightened with gold and silver. The tension between spirituality and experiment, and the rich symbolism of Khunrath’s writings and their engravings brought condemnation of the book by the Sorbonne in 1625, and now attracts attention from scholars.

The body of Freemasonry is comprised of many types of individuals whose Masonic pursuits vary according to that individual’s personality and interests. Freemasonry has been very aptly been compared to a complex tapestry composed of many colourful overlapping individual threads which taken as a whole form a larger picture.

Brother Mason Pratt developed[I]  a list of different “Brands” of Freemasons based upon behavioural characteristics which included: “Socialite”, “Historian”, Ritualist”, “Philosopher”, “Masonic Law”, “Symbolism”, and “Collector”. I would add to this list the brands “Charitable” and “Fiduciary”. I suspect that most of us can think of Brothers in our own Lodge who fit one of these diverse profiles.

Esoteric Freemasons usually fit into one or more of these “Brand” categories, although “Historian”, “Ritualist”, “Symbolism”, and “Philosopher” are the most common. Every initiated Freemason however is a potential Esoteric Mason, since all Freemasons seek illumination (light) through the initiation process. It is this quest for light revealed through the comprehension of hidden spiritual knowledge which distinguishes the Esoteric Freemason and defines Esoteric Masonry.

Esoteric Freemasonry is not for everyone, not even for everyone who receives the gift of illumination. This is in no way a reflection upon the character or works of Masons who for various reasons find themselves disinclined to pursue the esoteric path. Unfortunately, there are many Masons who pronounce that there simply is no esoteric content at all to be had in Freemasonry, even though Masonic Ritual is ripe with evidence to the contrary. Brother Robert G. Davis eloquently echoed this sentiment when he wrote[II] :

 “We all know Masons who believe with all their heart there is nothing spiritual about the rituals of Masonry. There are those who claim there is nothing to learn beyond the ritual words. There are even more who are appalled when it is suggested that Kabalistic, Alchemical, or Hermetic associations might be made from a study of the Degrees of Masonry. Never mind that every aspirant is told before he receives the very first Degree that Masonry is a course of hieroglyphic instruction taught by allegories.”

Some Grand Lodges openly discount esotericism and consider esoteric Masonic pursuits to be the substance of “Fringe Freemasonry”. “Fringe Masonry” is actually a term which is legitimately reserved[III] for specific non-masonic organizations which usually have been founded by individuals who may also happen to be Freemasons, and which explore exclusively esoteric and mystical topics. These organizations typically have a system of progressive degrees, and are often structured in a manner which reflects a Masonic influence. Examples include theHermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (HOGD) and the Ordo Templi Orientis.The National Heritage Museum maintains[IV] a small collection of occult texts which are accurately classified under the heading of “Fringe Masonry”. It should be noted that the term “fringe” as applied to these organisations does not imply that their tradition or curriculum is bogus, or without merit; in modern times we would more accurately use the term “quasi-Masonic” in lieu of the word “fringe”.

It is difficult to determine the extent to which attempts to disavow the esoteric nature of the Craft stem from ignorance and which are an ongoing reaction to the Anti-Masonic movements[V] of the early 1800’s. It is interesting to consider that over the past three centuries, the reputation of worldwide Freemasonry has suffered the greatest blows from allegations of Treason[VI]  in England which culminated in the “The Unlawful Societies Act of 1799”, allegations of murder associated with the Morgan Affair[VII]  (United States, 1826),and perceived challenges to the authority of the Church resulting in Pope Leo XIII issuing a Papal Encyclical[VIII]  known as theHumanum Genus in 1884. Note that unless one considers the Templar persecution[IX]  (for which charges of heresy have since been refuted[X] ) specific allegations of occultism have never played a significant role in inflicting lasting damage or discredit to the Craft. Even in today’s world of internet access such misinformation has not been effective in spite of a seemingly endless stream of sensational allegations of “occultism” levied by critics of the Order; this is because for the most part, these allegations are so fantastic as to be laughable, and are on the whole obvious as nonsensical rants of the ignorant.

The truth is that Esoteric Freemasonry is a growing trend. The reasons for this are numerous; however the two most common are that men coming into the Craft are in search of a type of spiritual experience which they find lacking in their current religious and secular paths; and that the Dan Brown series of novels and films have piqued their interest in esotericism; these men believe that Freemasonry is the path to greater esoteric knowledge. Sadly, they often go away disappointed.

This paper will present a viewpoint which purports that esotericism is a legitimate element of the Craft and exists by design, and that Freemasonry is the inheritor of a great wealth of secret knowledge which has been encoded in our rituals, symbols, and traditions. It will also present a description of what constitutes Esoteric Masonic practice and will identify some useful resources for esoteric study.

Esotericism

“Esoteric” is a term which literally means “hidden”. Although it is synonymous with the term “occult” it is currently the preferred term used when discussing the arcane meanings present in Masonic ritual and symbolism. This is in large part because of the negative connotations which the word “occult” has acquired in connection with scary Hollywood movies and inept journalistic reporting of gruesome pseudo-occult crimes which could more properly be characterized as “bizarre” or “deranged” than as truly “occult”. That which the truly occult hides is knowledge; usually knowledge considered sacred or knowledge maintained secret because it could result in the persecution of those who possess it. I will not belabor this point further other than to point out that history is filled with examples of persons persecuted for holding beliefs which are contrary to the beliefs and interests of those in authority (or even suspected of holding such beliefs).

Freemasonry is often described[XI]  as “a system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols”. An allegory can be simply described as a story with two meanings; in the New Testament of the Christian Bible for example allegory, or parable, was used extensively by Christ. In Freemasonry we expand the definition of allegory to include metaphoric content which exists in our ritual, our tradition, and our symbolism.

Regarding the veiled content and deeper meaning of our Ritual, Brother W.L. Wilmhurst wrote[XII] :

Our teaching is purposefully veiled in allegory and symbol and its deeper import does not appear upon the surface of the ritual itself. This is partly in correspondence with human life itself and the world we live in, which are themselves but allegories and symbols of another life and the veils of another world.”

Consequently we generally consider the esoteric aspects of Freemasonry to be those hidden elements of our exoteric (open) practices which allude to deeper and usually mystical meanings. In the course of discovering and interpreting these deeper meanings, we engage in educated speculation (i.e. we formulate a thesis). For a single given esoteric element we may legitimately find several different meanings, or find similarities between the meanings of several apparently unrelated esoteric elements. In our speculation we bring to bear arcane knowledge accumulated from our degree work, from historical accounts, and from esoteric sources. It is important to understand that “speculation” is not the same as “conjecture”. Speculation is often exhausting and frustrating work; but it is also a labor of love which we willingly undertake in the search for “illumination”.

The experience of “illumination” is a bit like many other spiritual experiences in life; it can be sensed but cannot be fully described or explained, and defies all attempts to do so. Artists over the ages have attempted to no avail to use music, paintings, sculpture and other non-verbal media to convey the essence of the mystical experience of illumination. Carl Jung, a pioneer in the science of psychoanalysis spent considerable time exploring the nature of the mystical experience[XIII] . His efforts resulted in the development of a complex theory which identifies a part of our minds known as the “Collective Unconscious” from which he believes spiritual experience originates. One would likely conclude that the experience of illumination is in this category.

One of the absolutes which Esoteric Freemasons agree upon is that Freemasonry is an “Initiatic” tradition, meaning that we follow a system of ritualistic initiation. The process of initiation in the degrees of Freemasonry serves to enhance the initiate’s ability to receive the epiphany of illumination; some would even argue that initiation is absolutely necessary for such illumination to properly manifest. If queried, most Freemasons will recall with great reverence that single moment when they received the incredible gift of enlightenment. This said, not all Freemasons respond to initiation. There are many reasons for this; for example the ritual of initiation may have been poorly or inadequately performed, or the individual (or the observing Brothers) may not have been adequately prepared for the initiation. Often times the spiritual state of the initiate may have been such that he was not yet ready.

The true mark of an Esoteric Freemason however, is not that he has received illumination, but rather by what he chooses to do once he has received it.  Illumination itself is a cosmic “spark” which alerts the initiate to the fact that there is more to the universe than meets the eye if only he searches to find it. Obviously if he fails to search for this hidden knowledge the entire experience of illumination is for naught.

Sources

During the Fellowcraft degree, the Candidate is admonished to further study the “Seven Liberal Arts  and Sciences”[XIV] , which are the Quadrivium (the four roads) and the Trivium (the three roads). The Quadivium is comprised of the subjects of Arithmetic (number in itself), Geometry (number in space), Music (number in time), and Astronomy (number in space and time). The Trivium includes the subjects of Grammar, Rhetoric, and Logic. These subjects once were considered the standard curriculum for an educated man, and even today remain the core requirements for a degree from many highly regarded Liberal Arts Colleges. As important as the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences may be in developing a rational mindset, they do not necessarily provide the optimum foundation for successful esoteric study; for this, supplemental education is required.

Optimally, this supplemental work is achieved by self-study under the guidance of a knowledgeable mentor who offers the occasional hint when the initiate wanders off the correct path. This is rarely the case however since many Lodges cannot offer such a mentor, tending to offer instead an instructor who is proficient in interpreting the ritual Codex, assist the Candidate in memorization tasks, and who offers the Initiate only the literal (exoteric) meanings of what may actually allude to very profound esoteric concepts. Often the instructor will discount any questions as to the esoteric content present in ritual. Consequently, self-education and undertaking the solitary research are required to reach a basic understanding of the mysteries and are a critical component in the process of enlightenment. This work should be undertaken with only minimum guidance from others. Said otherwise, when the answers are freely given, they are seldom appreciated as much as those which are acquired by one’s own effort.

Where then does the hapless newly illuminated Brother start in his quest to expand his knowledge and gain more light ?  For the Master Mason, perhaps the best place to begin is by seeking membership in the Scottish Rite or the York Rite, or preferably both. These organizations expose the new Master Mason to even greater Esoteric content, and do so under somewhat lesser veil than is encountered in the Blue Lodge. It is rare to find a truly well-educated and prepared Esoteric Mason who is not a member of one or both of these Organizations. This having been said, the responsibility for illumination remains that of the individual and there will rarely be any easy answers which do not require self-study.

The primary sources for self-study are found in the literature, history, and traditions of the ancient mystery schools especially those related to the Hermetic Arts and Sciences, and the Kabala. While the majority of the written works associated with these subjects can generally be found in a public library or are available online at no cost, there are a number of general references which every Esoteric Mason should acquire and which should form the heart of his personal library. Appendix 1 of this paper lists the recommended texts.

I will also include in this category of permanent reference materials which belong in one’s personal library a copy of the VSL which is most significant to you. For those choosing the Hebrew Torah, I would suggest that the esoteric commentary to the Torah known as the Zoharshould also be acquired. While there are many versions of the sefer-ha-Zohar, that which I suggest is the Pritzger Edition[XV]  , currently available in 6 volumes (12 are scheduled). From those selecting the Koran, I would recommend that the excellent translation by Toby Mayer[XVI]  entitled “Keys to Arcana: Shahrastani’s Esoteric Commentary on the Qur’an” should be selected to accompany the VSL. For the Christian Bible, one of the better known reference works such as Strong’s Concordance[XVII]  should be acquired along with one of the many available commentaries on Biblical esotericism. In the case of the Christian Bible, the reader may also wish to invest in copies of one or more of the “Gnostic Gospels” (the Gospel of Thomas or Gospel of Mary are both good choices). Additionally, I would recommend the excellent Esoteric Commentary[XVIII]  on Biblical Symbolism written by Harriet Tuttle Bartlett. I will mention in passing that if you are a religious fundamentalist and a staunch believer in the literal (as opposed to the metaphoric) meaning of the VSL, and refuse to consider the influence of ancient (including “pagan” and mythical) traditions upon modern religion, you will probably struggle with Esoteric Masonry. An open mind is in itself a valuable resource for a student, regardless of the subject matter being studied. Remember that we possess a free will and are at liberty to reject that which is in conflict with our core beliefs, or alternately to modify our belief systems as we see fit. My own experience has been that challenging my beliefs results in strengthening my understanding.

To heighten one’s understanding of the basis for Esoteric Masonry, it is helpful to have a general knowledge of the history, traditions, and philosophies which formed the broader current of the mystery tradition upon which Masonic Esotericism is based. Consequently a reading list which might be considered background literature has been provided as Appendix 2 of this paper. The provided list is somewhat lengthy, and there is a bit of overlap in topic between several of the listed materials. This is intentional as attempts have been made to facilitate comparative reading study methods. Comparative reading is the technique in which the same topic or concept is studied using multiple texts; usually the different explanations of a topic given in multiple texts will, when taken together, provide a far more complete understanding than will the study of only one source.

There are also a number of specific texts which should be read with the aim of acquainting the Esoteric Mason with more specifically focused materials which are core to an understanding of the individual arts and sciences which collectively comprise the mystery traditions. These texts span a broad range of subjects which include Alchemy, Astrology, The Tarot, Kabala, Numerology, and other such topics. A brief reading list of such is provided as Appendix 3 of this paper, organized according to topic. As these resources are examined and comprehended, it is useful to simultaneously review the content of Masonic Ritual; during this review many previously hidden clues will no doubt be revealed. Unfamiliar terms and concepts encountered during this activity can be clarified either by consulting one of the recommended reference texts (Appendix 1).

It is also suggested that the new Esoteric Mason should seek out and join one or more of the internet forums or newsgroups dedicated to Esoteric Masonic content. Two excellent examples of such groups are the Sanctum Sanctorum Education Foundation[XIX]  and the Facebook Group “Esoterically Inclined Freemasons”; be aware that many of these groups are tyled and require verification of Masonic membership and grade. Not only do these online resources provide an opportunity to
communicate with like-minded seekers of light, they also provide additional resources for study which would otherwise be unavailable, and provide access to members with advanced knowledge. These include internet websites such as Pietre-Stones Review of Freemasonry[XX]  which provides the very latest in scholarly work on Masonic topics, including those which are decidedly Esoteric and the website of theRose Circle Research Foundation[XXI]  an organization which frequently sponsors formal lectures by prominent authorities on Esoteric topics and maintains a library of related scholarly works.

For those who desire not only a more structured, but also a more rigorous course of study, there are select Colleges and Universities which offer high level coursework and advanced degrees in Esoteric studies. Some of these programs are available as online courses of study. These programs include:

  • Master of Arts in Western Esotericism; School of  Humanities & Social Sciences, University of Exeter, Oxford, United Kingdom.
  • Master  of Arts in Mysticism and Western Esotericism; Graduate School for  Humanities, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Master  of Arts in the Study of Mysticism and Religious Experience. The School  of European Culture and Languages, Department of Religious Studies, University  of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, England.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Gnosticism, Esotericism, and Mysticism;  Department of Religious Studies, Rice University, Houston, Texas, United  States.

There are also established Esoteric curricula provided for members of Organizations such as “Builders of the Adytum[XXII] ” (BOTA) founded by Brother Paul Foster Case which are reasonably priced and paced for optimum comprehension.

No doubt the Esoteric Mason who converses with like-minded Brethren in the more popular internet forums will receive additional recommendations.

For those unable to avail themselves of internet resources, or unable to pursue structured educational programs, but who feel they would benefit from a written curriculum of self-study, I offer a topical study outline (Table 1) which is indexed to the two reading lists provided in the Appendices. This outline provides a brief curriculum composed of thirty-eight texts selected from the reading lists (Appendix 2 and 3), the study of which will provide the student with an excellent grasp of the principles upon which Esoteric Masonry is based. Depending upon one’s reading speed and comprehension this curriculum can be completed in about eighteen months or less.

Note that while the reading lists identify specific versions of each text, more modern and less costly versions of the same texts are often available and are perfectly satisfactory substitutes. In many cases electronic versions are available for use with the Kindle and similar electronic e-book readers at no cost whatsoever. Note also that text list index numbers in Table 1 separated by commas are intended to signify opportunities for comparative reading. If the reader prefers to eschew comparative study the first text listed in the series is that which is best recommended.

Table1
– Topical Study Outline Indexed to the Reading Lists

Topic Reading List Index
Appendix Text Index No.
General Background
(Hermetic Arts & Sciences and the Kabala)
2 1
2
3
4, 5, 6
Astrology 3 9
11, 12
14
15
Alchemy 3 18
19
21, 22
23
Tarot 3 41, 42, 43
44
45
Theurgy (Magick) 3 28
29
30, 33
34
39, 40
Kabala 3 1, 2, 3
4, 5
7
Numerology &
Symbolism
3 46
47, 52
51

This outline is not in and of itself complete, and the reader will no doubt find that others will have a different view of the subject matter, order of study, and specific resources which are best. The important thing is that when the Individual finds a topic which with which he finds particular fascination or which is difficult to understand, that he supplements his studies with other similar titles from the reading list. If sufficient interest is shown, the Author is willing to lead a weekly (or bi-weekly, or monthly) internet group discussion based upon this curriculum.

I strongly caution the reader to avoid so called “New Age” materials, which while entertaining, have not withstood the scrutiny of time. Such materials were obviously not available when those who framed our ritual were so engaged; consequently they will do little to assist the Freemason in his task of examination of our traditions.

Esoteric Practice

Esoteric Practice is meant to convey those arcane activities and techniques such as meditation, skrying, and invocation which are described by much of the Esoteric literature. While such practices are an important part of experiencing esotericism, a word of caution is certainly due. Unless you have received detailed written or personal instruction by qualified Mentors experienced in these practices, it may be wise to wait until such instruction becomes available. The most common problem with new students of Esotericism is the tendency to work beyond their own level of capability. While this rarely results in any true harm, it severely reduces the effectiveness gained by learning the correct form of these activities. One of my favorite quips is that “there is nothing more dangerous than two karate lessons, and a pitcher of beer.”. Be patient; when beginning, experiment within your absolute range of knowledge only. Be aware that your own perception of your capability may not accurately reflect the reality of the situation. If you have questions about performing an activity, ask someone more knowledgeable than yourself before you start.

Conclusion                   

I hope that it is evident that Esotericism is both a valuable and valid part of Freemasonry. True understanding of our ritual and tradition is the key to its preservation. I also hope that this modest guide will serve the many new Masons who begin their Esoteric Journey.


APPENDICES


Appendix 1 – List of General Reference Texts

List
Number

Description
1 Hanegraaff, Wouter J.  (Ed.), Faivre, Antoine; Van Den Broek, Roelof; Brach & Jean-Pierre (Collaborators). (2005). Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism. (2 Vols.). Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN-10: 9004141871; ISBN-13: 978-9004141872.
2 Macoy, Robert. (1989). A Dictionary of Freemasonry. New York: Gramercy Books. ISBN: 0-517-069213-9.
3 Mackey, Albert G. (1917). Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and its Kindred Sciences. Philadelphia: McClure Publishing Company
4 Waite, Arthur Edward. (1970). A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and of Cognate Instituted Mysteries: Their Rites Literature and History. New York: Wings Books. ISBN: 0-517-19148-2.
5 Mackey, Albert G. (2004). Lexicon of Freemasonry. New York: Barnes & Noble. ISBN: 0-7607-6003-9.
6 Kaplan, Stuart R. (2006). The Encyclopedia of Tarot (4 Vols.). United States Games Systems. ISBN-10: 157281540X; ISBN-13: 978-1572815407.
7 Knight, Gareth. (1993). A Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism. (2 Vols.). 1993. Samuel Weiser Inc.
8 Skinner, Stephen (2006). The Complete Magician’s Tables (Tabularum Magicarum). Singapore: Golden Hoard Press.
9 Richardson, Alan. (2008). The Magician’s Tables: A Complete Book of Correspondences. Godsfield Press.  ISBN-10: 1841812358; ISBN-13:  9781841812359.


Appendix 2 –
Reading List of Texts for General Background Study

1 Wilmhurst, W.L. (1999). The Meaning of Masonry. New York: Barnes & Noble. ISBN: 0-7607-1092-9.
2 The Three Initiates. (1908). The Kybalion: A Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece. Chicago: The Yogi Publication Company.
3 Tillyard, E.M.W. (1944).The Elizabethan World Picture: A Study of the Idea of Order in the Age of Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton. New York: The MacMillan Company.
4 Pike, Albert. (1905). Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Charleston: Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States.
5 Hugo, T.W. (1923). Digest-Index of Morals and Dogma of Albert Pike. Charleston: Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States.
6 Clausen, Henry. (1974). Clausen’s Commentaries On Morals and Dogma. Charleston: Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States
7 Jung, Carl G. (1964). Man and His Symbols. London: Aldus Books Ltd. LCCN: 64-18631
8 Churchton, Tobias. (2002). The Golden Builders: Alchemists, Rosicrucians, and the First Freemasons. New York: Barnes & Noble. ISBN-13: 978-0-7601-7610-0. ISBN-10: 0-7607-7610-5.
9 Bromwell, Henry P.H. (1909). Restorations of Masonic Geometry and Symbolry: Being a Dissertation of the Lost Knowledges of the Lodge. Denver: The H.P.H. Bromwell Masonic Publishing Company.
10 Blatavsky, H.P. (1930). Isis Unveiled: A Master Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology. London: Rider & Company.
11 Fortune, Dion. (1967). Sane Occultism. London: Aquarian Press
12 Hall, Manly P. (1936). Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabalistic, and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy. Los Angeles: Philosophical Research Society.
13 Regardie, Israel. (1946). The Romance of Metaphysics: An Introduction to the History, Theory and Psychology of Modern Metaphysics. Chicago: Aries Press.
14 Frazer, James George. (1947). The Golden Bough: A Study In Magic And Religion: A detailed examination of the forms of occult practice across the world and the ages. Supernatural Beliefs and Mysticism , Magic Spells & Practice , Ancient Deities , Witches & Witchcraft , Fairies , Demons , Human Sacrifice , the Druids , etc., etc. New York: MacMillan Company.
15 Lomas, Robert. (2004). Freemasonry and the Birth of Modern Science. New York: Barnes & Noble. ISBN: 0-7607-5431-4.
16 MacNulty, W. Kirk. (2006). Freemasonry: Symbols, Secrets, Significance. London: Thames & Hudson Company, Inc. ISBN-13: 978-0-500-51302-6. ISBN-10: 0-500-51302-3.
17 De Hoyos, Arturo & Morris,  S. Brent . (2007). Committed to the Flames: The History and Rituals of a Secret Masonic Rite. Lewis Masonic Publications Ltd. ISBN-10:  0853182930; ISBN-13:  9780853182931.
18 Skinner, Stephen. (2006). Sacred Geometry: Deciphering the Codes. New York: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. ISBN-13: 978-1-4027-4129-6. ISBN-10: 1-4027-4129-4.
19 Yarker, John. (1909). The Arcane Schools: A Review of Their Origin and Antiquity with a General History of Freemasonry and Its Relation to the Theosophic, Scientific, and Philosophic Mysteries. William Taft.
20 Atwood, Mary Ann. (1976). A Suggestive Inquiry into Hermetic Mystery. Yoga Publication Society. ISBN-10: 0911662642; ISBN-13: 978-0911662641.
21 Blavatsky, H.P. (1921). The Secret Doctrine: Religion and Philosophy. (Vols. 1-3 & Index). London: Theosophical Publishing.
22 Boehme, Jacob.(1911). The Forty Questions of the Soul and The Clavis. (John Sparrow, Trans.). London: John M. Watkins. Facsimile Edition Sure Fire Press, 1993
23 Leadbeater, C.W.. (1923). The Monad & Other Essays Upon The Higher Consciousness. American Theosophical Society.
24 Mead, G.R.S. (1906). Thrice Greatest Hermes: Studies in Hellenistic Theosophy and Gnosis: Being a Translation of the Extant Sermons and Fragments of the Trismegistic Literature With Prolegomena Commentaries and Notes. (3 Vols.). London, Benares: Theosophical Publishing Company.
25 Pike, Albert. The Book of Words: Sephir H’Debarim.(1999).Washington, DC.: The Scotish Rite Research Society.
26 Plummer, George Winslow. (1918). A Masonic Compendium to the Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East: Being a Digest of all Allusions to the Antiquity, Archaeology, and Ceremonial … with a Guide to Masonic Research. New York: Masonic Publishing Company.
27 Thorndike, Lynn. (2005). The Place of Magic in the Intellectual History of Europe. (Joel Radcliffe, Ed.) Seattle, Washington: Ars Obscura Press. ISBN: 0-9623780-9-7.
28 van den Broek, R. & Hanegraaff, Wouter J. (Eds.) (1997). Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiquity to Modern Times. State University of New York Press. ISBN-10: 079143611X; ISBN-13: 978-0791436110.


Appendix 3 – Topical Reading List

List
Number
Topic: Kabala

Description
1 Regardie, Israel. (1932). A Garden of Pomegranates an Outline of the Qabalah. New York: Rider & Company.
2 MacGregor Mathers. S.L. (1951). The Kabbalah Unveiled: Containing the Following Books of the Zohar. The Book of Concealed Mystery, The Greater Holy Assembly and The Lesser Holy Assembly. London/New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
3 Wescott, William Wynn. (ND). An Introduction to the Study of The Kabalah: With Eight Diagrams. Hackensack, (New Jersey: Wehman Bros. Publishers & Distributors). New York: Allied Publications.
4 Achad, Frater (Charles Stansfeld Jones). (1969). Q.B.L. or The Bride’s Reception. (QBL): Being a Short Cabalistic Treatise on the Nature and Use of the Tree of Life. New York, NY: Samuel Weiser Inc.
5 Dedopulos, Tim. (2005). Kabbalah: An Illustrated Introduction to the Esoteric Heart of Jewish Mysticism. New York. Gramercy Books. ISBN: 0-517-22648-0.
6 Fortune, Dion. (1979). The Mystical Qabalah. London: Ernest Benn Limited.
7 Waite, A.E. The Holy Kabbalah. (1929). New York: University Books. (LCCN: 60-12164).
List
Number
Topic: Astrology

Description
8 Crowley, Aleister and Smith Adams, Evangeline. (2002). The General Principles of Astrology. Red Wheel Weiser. ISBN-10: 0877289085; ISBN-13:  9780877289081.
9 Adams, Evangeline. (1931). Astrology: Your Place Among The Stars. New York: Dodd Mead
10 Eshelman, James A.  & Stanton, Tom. (1976). The New Instant Astrologer. Los Angeles: The Astro Press. ISBN-10:  0893220140; ISBN-13:  9780893220143.
11 Gaston, Wilbur. (1927). First Principles of Astrology. London: Rider & Co.
12 Lilly, William. (1835). An Introduction to Astrology : Being the Whole of that Celebrated Author’s Rules for the Practice of Horary Astrology, Divested of the Superstitions of the Seventeenth Century : to Which are Added Numerous Emendations, Adapted to the Improved State of the Science in the Present Day. Zadkiel (Richard James Morrison) (Ed.). London: Sherwood, Gilbert, and Piper.
13 Heindel, Max & Foss, Augusta. (1927). The Message of the Stars An Esoteric Exposition of Natal and Medical Astrology Explaining the Arts of Reading the Horoscope and Diagnosing Disease. California: Rosicrucian Felowship.
14 Gauquelin, Michael. (1973). Cosmic Influences on Human Behavior. New York: Stein and Day. ISBN: 0812815432.
15 Sepharial (pseud.) (Walter Richard Gorn Old). (1909). The New Manual of Astrology in Four Books. London: Nichols & Co.
16 Llewellyn, George & Bytheriver, Marylee. (1977). The New A to Z Horoscope Maker and Delineator. St. Paul, Minnesota: Llewellyn Publications.  ISBN: 0875422632
17 Parker., Derek. (1975). Familiar to All: William Lilly and Astrology in the Seventeenth Century. London: Jonathan Cape Ltd. ISBN: 0 224 01112 X.272.
List
Number
Topic: Alchemy

Description
18 Case, Paul Foster. (2008). Esoteric keys of Alchemy. Vancouver: Ishtar Publishing.
19 Albertus, Frater (Albert Richard Reidel). (1974). The Alchemist’s Handbook. (Manual for Practical Laboratory Alchemy). New York, NY: Samuel Weiser Inc.
20 Regardie, Israel. (1970). The Philosophers Stone: A Comparative Approach to Alchemy From the Psychological and Magical Points of View. St. Paul, Minnesota: Llewellen Publications.
21 Maxwell-Stuart, P. G. (2008). The Chemical Choir: A History of Alchemy. Hambledon & London. ISBN-10:  184725148X; ISBN-13: 9781847251480.
22 Skinner, Stephen. (1976). Lapidus; In Pursuiit of Gold Today: Alchemy in Theory and Practice. New York: Samuel Weiser, Inc.
23 Clymer, R. Swinburne. (1959). The Science of Spiritual Alchemy. The Philosophical Publishing Company.
24 Ashenden, Gavin. (2007). Charles Williams: Alchemy and Integration. Kent State University, Press. ISBN 0-87338-781-3 ; 978-0-87338-781-1.
25 Bacstrom, Sigismund (Trans.). (1983).Aurea Catena Homeri : The Golden Chain of Homerus.That is a Description of Nature and Natural Things. San Francisco: Sapere Aude Metaphysical Republishers.
26 De Rola, Stanislas Klossowski. (1988). The Golden Game: Alchemical Engravings of the Seventeenth Century. George Braziller. ISBN-10:  0807612006;  ISBN-13:  9780807612002
27 Raleigh, A.S. (1916). Philosophia Hermetica: A Course of Ten Lessons, Being an Introduction to The Philosophy of Alchemy. San Francisco: Hermetic Publishing Company .
List
Number
Topic: Theurgy (Magick)

Description
28 Regardie, Israel. (1968. The Art and Meaning of Magic. London and Edinburgh: Morrison & Gibb Ltd..
29 Barrett, Francis. (1967). The Magus: A Complete System of Occult Philosophy. New York: University Books.
30  Christian, Paul. (1972). The History and Practice of Magic. Citadel Press. ISBN-10: 080650126X; ISBN-13: 978-0806501260.
31 Regardie, Israel (1969). The Tree of Life: A Study in Magic. New York: Samuel Weiser, Inc.
32 Hartman, Franz. (1970). Magic: White and Black. The Science of Finite and Infinite Life. Containing Practical Hints for Students of Occultism. New Hyde Park, New York: University Books.
33 Levi, Eliphas. (1957). The History of Magic. A.E. Waite, Trans. London: Rider & Sons.
34 Levi, Eliphas. (1896). Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual. (A.E. Waite, Trans). London: George Redway.
35 MacGregor Mathers, S.L . (1948). The Book of Sacred Magic of Abra=Melin the Mage.  (L.W. de Laurence, Ed.). Chicago: The de Laurence Company.
36 Redgrove, Stanley H. (1971). Magic and Mysticism: Studies in Bygone Beliefs. New Hyde Park, New York: University Books.
37 Von Nettesheim, Agrippa (Henry Cornelius). (2009). Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Willis Whitehead (Ed.).
38 Waite, A. E. (1923).The Occult Sciences A Compendium of Transcendental Doctrine and Experiment Embracing an Account of Magical Practices; of Secret Sciences in Connection with Magic; of the Professors of Magical Arts; and of Modern Spiritualism, Mesmerism and Theosophy. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd.
39 Hockley, Frederick. (2010). Invocating By Magic Crystal and Mirrors. York Beach Maine: Teitan Press
40 Tahil, Patricia. trans. (2005). De Virtutibus Lapidum: The Virtues of Stones Attributed to Damigeron. Ars Obscura: Seattle. ISBN: 0-9623780-3-8.
List
Number
Topic: Tarot

Description
41 Waite, A.E. Pictorial Key to the Tarot. (1959). New Hyde Park: University Books. LCCN: 59-15903.
42 Case, Paul Foster. (1920). An Introduction to the Study of the Tarot. New York: Azoth Publishing Company
43 Papas (Gerard Encausse). (1914). The Tarot of the Bohemians: The Most Ancient Book in the World. (2nd Ed.). (A.P. Morton, trans.). London: William Rider & Sons, Limited.
44 Case, Paul Foster. (1947). The Book of Tokens: Tarot Meditations (2th Ed.). Los Angeles: Builders of the Adytum.
45 Wang, Robert. (1983). The Qabalistic Tarot. New York: Samuel Weiser. (ISBN: 0-87728-520-9).
List
Number
Topic: Numerology & Symbolism

Description
46 MacNulty, W. Kirk. (2006). Freemasonry: Symbols, Secrets, Significance. London: Thames & Hudson Company, Inc. ISBN-13: 978-0-500-51302-6. ISBN-10: 0-500-51302-3.
47 Lewis, Ralph M. (1984). The Universe of Numbers: Rosicrucian Library Volume XLI. (1st Ed.). San Jose, California: The Supreme Grand Lodge of AMORC, Inc.
48 Berloquin, Pierre. (2008). Hidden Coded & Grand Designs: Secret Languages From Ancient Times to Modern Day. New York: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. ISBN: 978-1-4027-2833-4.
49 d’Alviella, Count Goblet (Eugene Felicien Albert). (1956). The Migration of Symbols. New York: University Books.
50 Oliver, George. (1984). The Pythagorean Triangle or the Science of Numbers. San Diego: The Wizards Bookshelf.
51 Pike, Albert. (2006). Lecture on Masonic Symbolism and A Second Lecture on Symbolism: The Omkara and Other Ineffable Words. Washington D.C: The Scottish Rite Research Society.
52 Wescott, W. Wynn. (1911). Numbers Their Occult Powers and Mystic Virtue.(3rd Ed.). New York: Allied Publications.

Endnotes

[I] Pratt, Mason. (2006-2010). The Different Types of Freemasons. in Edward J. Wildblood Jr. Vermont Lodge of Research #110. Retrieved April 21, 2012 from http://www.vermontlodgeofresearch.com/Publications/Official/Different%20Types%20of%20Freemasons.pdf

[II] Davis, Robert G.The Path of the Esotericists Among Us. in Essays of Robert G. Davis. April 15, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2012 from http://robertgdavis.blogspot.com/2010/04/path-of-esotericists-among-us.html.

[III] Bransgrove, Stanley J. Toward a Fraternal History of Marin County: A Survey of Secret Societies being a General History of Various Fraternities and Their Specific Impact in Marin. Retrieved April 22, 2012 from
http://mill-valley.freemasonry.biz/marin-fraternities-01.htm

[IV] Fringe Freemasonry. National Heritage Museum. Retrieved April 22, 2012 from
http://nationalheritagemuseum.typepad.com/library_and_archives/fringe-freemasonry/

[V] Palmer, John C. (1925).Morgan and anti-Masonry. in The Little Masonic Library, Vol. 7. Richmond, Va.: Masonic Service Association of the United States. Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Company, Inc.

[VI] Presscott, Andrew. (2000).The Unlawful Societies Act of 1799. in the Centre for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism, University of Sheffield. Retrieved April 20, 2012 from
http://freemasonry.dept.shef.ac.uk/index.php?lang=0&type=page&level0=243&level1=387&level2=393&op=746

[VII] Huntington, Pope Catlin. (1886).The True History Regarding Alleged Connections of the Order of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons with the Abduction and Murder of William Morgan in Western New York in 1826. New York: M.W Hazen. Available: Baylor University, Poage Library, Gallery II. Call no. HS525 .H8 1886.

[VIII] Humanum Genus: Encyclical of Pope Leo XII on Freemasonry. Retrieved April 23, 2012 from Vatican Website at
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_18840420_humanum-genus_en.html

[IX] Barber, Malcolm. (2006).The Trial of the Templars. New York: Cambridge University Press.

[X] Burkeman, Oliver.The Guardian, “Knights get an apology from the Vatican 700 years too late”, 11 October 2007.Retrieved April 23, 2012 from http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,2188125,00.html.

[XI] Reilly, Gerald. (2007).Freemasonry: A Peculiar System of Morality?. In Candide’s Column, Pietre-Stones Review of Freemasonry. Retrieved April 17, 2012 from http://freemasons-freemasonry.com/column 1207.html.

[XII] Wilmhurst, W.L. (1999). The Meaning of Masonry. New York: Barnes & Noble. ISBN: 0-7607-1092-9.

[XIII] Jung, Carl Gustav. (1969).The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. in Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 8.Gerhard Adker (trans.). Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

[XIV] Marcus, Richard D. (1997-2010). A Stroll Through the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences. in Masonic World. Retrieved April 22, 2012 from
http://www.masonicworld.com/education/files/artjan02/marcus/sevenliberalartsandsciences.htm

[XV] Matt, Daniel (trans.).(2003 – 2011).The Zohar: Pritzker Edition. 6 Vols. Stanford University Press.

[XVI] Mayer, Toby (Trans). Arabic/English.(2009).Keys to Arcana: Shahrastani’s Esoteric Commentary on the Qur’an.
Oxford University Press.ISBN-10:199533652; ISBN-13:9780199533657.

[XVII] Strong, James. (1991).The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible: Classic Edition. Thomas Nelson. ISBN-10: 078526096X: ISBN-13:978-0785260967.

[XVIII] Bartlett, Harriet Tuttle. (2009).An Esoteric Reading of Biblical Symbolism. Bibliolife. ISBN-10:  110304740X; ISBN-13:  9781103047406.

[XIX] Sanctum Sanctorum Education Foundation.http://www.thesanctumsanctorum.com/

[XX] Pietre-Stones Review of Freemasonry. Bruno Gazzo (Ed) http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/.

[XXI] Rose Circle Research Foundation. http://www.rosecircle.org

[XXII] Builders of the Adytum. http://www.bota.org