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Scottish Rite Officers - April 2024


From the Venerable Master (April 2024)


My Brethren,


I begin by saying "Hi", and welcome to the April Rite Word. I hope as of this writing, I find you all in good health. At our last stated meeting, though our numbers were few, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.


I mentioned back at our February Stated and Dinner meeting that on Saturday, June 29th we will be having a Dinner and Musical. Songs of the 50'S and 60'S will be performed by Mr. Hardy Hemphill. He has already told me that he has a 4 piece band put together for the occasion. Remember my Brethren this Event is to raise funds for our Scottish Rite Care Clinic. Dinner at 6:30 PM with the Musical starting at 7:30PM. If you haven't already done so, please call the Scottish Rite office and make your reservations. The meal needs to be prepaid. This event is going to be great. The Dinner and Program is open to anyone that wishes to attend. Bring friends, relatives and anyone that would enjoy this music. It's for a great cause.


I came across a poem that fit me to some degree, when I joined masonry. It's entitled The Lamb Skin by Edgar Alan Guest.


"It is not ornamental, the cost is not great, there are other things far more useful, yet truly I state, tho of all my possessions, there's none can compare, with that white leather apron, which all Masons wear. As a young lad I wondered just what it all meant, when Dad hustled around, and so much time was spent on shaving and dressing and looking just right, until Mother would say: It's the Masons tonight, and some winter night's she said, what makes you go, way up there tonight thru the sleet and the snow, you see the same things every month of the year. Then Dad would reply: yes, I know it, my dear, Forty years I have seen the same things, it is true. and though they are old, they always seem new, for the hands that I clasp, and the friends that I greet, seem a little bit closer each time that we meet. Years later I stood at that very same door, with good men and true who had entered before, I knelt at the Altar, and there I was taught that virtue and honor can never be bought. That the spotless white Lambskin all Masons revere, if worthily worn grows more precious each year, that service to others brings blessings untold, that man may be poor tho surrounded by gold. I learned that true brotherhood flourishes there, that enmities fade 'neath the compass and square, that wealth and position are all thrust aside, as there on the level men meet and abide, So, honor the Lambskin, may it always remain forever unblemished, and free from all stain, and when we are called to the Great Father's Love, may we all take our place in that Lodge up above."

May you always have Love to Share, Health to spare, and Friends who care. May you be blessed.

San Jose Lodge of Perfection Art Pasquinelli, 32° KCCH 2024 Venerable Master



From the Wise Master (April 2024)

As of this last month, my time in the East as the Wise Master is confirmed with performing the opening for the bodies in March. I am always interested in how our opening ritual for each of the bodies for the meetings unfolds and proclaims the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite as our flagship, our intention, and

our organization.


For me the Scottish Rite is the next best step in experiencing more light in Masonry. It is organized, exemplifies the structure and intention to the Craft and contributes to our Great Society and its members on an ongoing basis. More so for me than most other Masonic bodies. The Rite consistently each month provides help and support though our language institute to the younger and less fortunate members of

our society.


This is important in several ways. With all that is going on in the world, and all the well intention actions that many of its members take, we often find we are struggling. Looking for truth, for peace, for growth and prosperity in our country and the world. And yet we find ourselves often mired in discord, false truths, and discord. Why is this? I am sure there are many that feel they have the answer, perhaps that is even part of the problem. For me, I think a lot of this is comes from our inability to listen. To hear what others say and consider their views without bias, only remembering it is only their opinion. This is inability to consider others I believe often comes from our past, how we were raised, who we admire, what their views were and are, without learning for ourselves. This ongoing cycle often only perpetuates discord and slows the progress of civilization. There are actually countries in the world that teach their children to hate other races or countries, not even knowing who or what they have achieved and contributed to the world. This is why what we do for children in our clinics, the opportunity and generosity we show them, hopefully will give them the opportunity to slow or break the cycle of misunderstanding and lack of trust in others, their countries and their actions as they become adults and ultimately contribute to our society and the world. Interestingly it was Frederick Douglass, the great American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman of the Civil War that said “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Of course, he also said ‘Without a struggle, there can be no progress”, so perhaps we are on the right

path after all.


The pandemic provided the backdrop for my ongoing experience of what it takes to create and maintain a great society such as ours. One that contributes to the growing the welfare of its population, the concept and context of civility in living in such a society as well as the never greater opportunity of Freemasonry to contribute to everyday lives of members of such a society and the growth of opportunities & achievements of both our great society and the people that build it every day.


These times we live in are ever more challenging, both locally in our homes and towns but nationally as we as Masons, continue to find our way and continue to build our country, find our place in the world order, and contributing to mankind across the globe in our neverending effort to create peace, prosperity, and tranquility for all. These are no better times for the practice of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.


Having just past the Spring Equinox this last month, we are at the tipping point in moving from Winter to Summer and as such, our lives change with the various activities and opportunities for the Craft by actually receiving more light in each day.

San Jose Chapter of Rose Croix Mark Burger, 32° KCCH 2024 Wise Master



From the Commander of Kadosh (April 2024)


The 21st degree is called Noachite or Prussian Knight. One of these two names, Prussian Knight, is easy to understand from the content of the degree. The degree uses the symbolic image of the Vehmgericht, the secret courts of medieval Westphalia, to teach a lesson of humility and modesty. But what about the name Noachite? The Noachite are the descendants of the biblicalNoah, who built the ark and survived the flood. The answer is that the degree, before it was rewritten, originally referred to a legend which is no longer included in Masonry but which at one point was well known. The legend of Noah and his three sons, which culminates with the building of the Tower of Babel.


The Noachite legend, seen in the original degree, was not consistent, with either the legend of Solomon’s Temple or with the chivalric theme of the other high degrees. However the underlying ideals, known as the Seven Laws of Noah, were preserved, and presented with different symbolism. These seven laws contain familiar prohibitions against murder, stealing, adultery, and idolatry. They also contain the positive injunction to establish justice, which is represented in the degree by both the court and the lecture’s focus on a fair and balanced press.


The degree previously included the story of the Tower of Babel and the legendary failure of a people who aspired to build a structure to reach heaven. This was worked into a lesson about humility and avoiding hubris, the main points of which were salvaged, and re-homed, in the modern degrees. In the new degree the hubris is found in the form of a dishonest official of the Vehmgericht who believes he can deceive even God. Of course, like the descendants of Noah who built the ill-fated tower, this official is humbled eventually by justice. Additionally, the candidate is rewarded for his own humility and given the place of the disgraced nobleman.


There is also, included in the lecture, a warning against libel and gossip, and a reminder of the importance of a fair press. Humility extends to our words and thoughts. To condemn others falls short in many ways. Our duty is to improve ourselves, not to point out the flaws of others. The work of self-improvement should keep a Mason occupied for his whole life. We’ve also been instructed to forgive. To be uncharitable is an affront to masonic values.


It’s by modesty and humility that we improve our own character, avoid harming others, and become useful to the work in which Masons are all engaged; that of making the world a better place by making ourselves better men.


Until Next,

San Jose Council of Kadosh Peter Cardilla, 32° 2024 Commander of Kadosh



From the Master of Kadosh (April 2024)


Greetings, Scottish Rite Brethren.


In the February Rite Word, I mentioned some events. Here’s more information on them.


We have scheduled the Spring Consistory BBQ on Saturday April 13th from 11:30 until about 2:00 or so, downstairs just outside of the Lounge. We do this a couple of times a year. The one for the Fall is tentatively scheduled for Saturday October 5th, again mid-day.


The big Consistory trip this year is to the Hiller Aviation Museum on Saturday July 20th, chosen because it is the 55th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing back in 1969. The Museum has group rates ($2 off of regular admission with a minimum of 12 attendees) and senior discounts ($7 off), and there are no Hiller event conflicts at that time, so we should be good for then. There is also, however, the Cornerstone Awards that evening, so if it looks like a more serious scheduling conflict then we may move the trip to Sunday July 21st. Stay tuned.


Continuing our series on Geometry, we occasionally hear about “Masonic Secrets”. In operative Masonry, many of these "secrets" were the different geometrical rules and properties used to construct various angles. In particular, the “47th Problem of Euclid” (also known as and which we will refer to as Pythagoras’ Theorem) described precisely how to generate a right angle of exactly 90 degrees (nominally using only integers). Here, I include an excerpt from Stephen Skinner’s book Sacred Geometry about Pythagoras and his work (see my February article for the introduction to that book).


Note: Many of my articles this year are adapted from a series I presented in 2013 in our Blue Lodge’s Trestleboard (Friendship Lodge No. 210).


From Chapter 1 of Sacred Geometry, pages 16 & 17:


<excerpt>


Pure Arithmetic

Pythagoras takes pride of place as the first major philosopher to state clearly that numbers in themselves are sacred and exist in their own right. He made distinctions between various types of number, separating the prime numbers and the perfect numbers from the rest. His division of numbers into odd and even created the lambda, l, a figure whose properties still stimulate modern mathematicians and physicists to discover new things about the periodic table of the elements and the universe.


Pythagoras’ discovery that whole numbers governed musical harmonies convinced him that harmony and planning lay behind the complex universe. He reasoned that if whole numbers created harmonious sounds, as distinct from discordant ones, numbers must be behind the harmony of the universe at every level, from the paths of the planets to the strings of a lyre.


For archaeologists to determine the important numbers that helped to create the measurements of a particular building, they have to know what special units the original architects used. [Next month], we look at phi, a most intriguing number and one that generates the self-replicating Golden Mean, which is found again and again, both in nature and in the sacred geometry of many buildings.


Pythagoras and the worship of number


Pythagoras declared that numbers themselves were sacred – they had a separate and real existence and were not just convenient counting markers. The regularities derived from such numbers, be they musical, astronomical or architectural, were also sacred. This idea is at the root of sacred geometry. In fact, Pythagoras could be called the ‘father of sacred geometry.’


Pythagoras (569 – c.475 B.C.) was born on the island of Samos in the Aegean Sea. He also lived in the Greek colony of Croton in southern Italy and spent as many as 20 years in Egypt where he learned both mathematics and philosophy. He may even have been to Babylon, where he would have encountered Babylonian mathematics.


Pythagoras is undoubtedly the foremost among those who investigated the sacred and mystical properties of numbers, but he also strayed into geometry. He probably learned the theorem named after him in Egypt or Babylon. Pythagoras’ Theorem defined the lengths of the sides of any right-angled triangle [refer to pages 44-45 of the paperback version of Sacred Geometry for illustrations]. He proved that the length of the side (hypotenuse) opposite the right (90-degree) angle was, if squared, equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.


Draw a right-angled triangle with the two shorter sides (a and b) measuring exactly one unit and two units long respectively. You can then determine the length of the hypotenuse using Pythagoras’ Theorem:


The length of the hypotenuse2 = side a2 + side b2


To find the length of the hypotenuse, square the length of both of the short sides and add them together.


Hypotenuse2 = 12 + 22 = 1 + 4 = 5

Therefore, the hypotenuse = square root of 5 (or Ö5 or 2.2360679)


Thus, arithmetic and geometry are inextricably linked. If you measure the sides of a number of right-angled triangles you will soon find that there is a range of typical whole number dimensions that fit this theorem and that are therefore called Pythagorean Triplets.

Side A

Side B

Hypotenuse

3

4

5

7

24

25

8

15

17

17

144

145

Pythagorean Triplets were seen as significant magical numbers. They can be found listed on Babylonian tablets dating as far back as 1600 B.C.


A Pythagorean triangle proving that the sum of the squares on two sides equals the square on the hypotenuse.






</exerpt>


The Pythagorean triangle which author Stephen Skinner originally included on page 17 of the book had the 3 orthogonal on the bottom, the 4 orthogonal on the right, and the 5 angled on the upper left where the 3 is shown above. I rearranged it to a form more familiar to Masons, which we often see on jewelry and adornments. I have numerous times, however, seen this diagram (especially on smaller jewelry) drawn with the 3 and 4 squares at an arbitrary same size of about 3-and-a-half (i.e., distorting the intent by forcing symmetry where none exists). If you get lapel pins (or the like) which represent the true Pythagorean triangle then ensure that it is like the indicated diagram above.

San Jose Consistory Helmuth Litfin, 32° 2024 Venerable Master of Kadosh




From the Chief Knight (April 2024)


Hope everyone enjoyed their Easter celebrations and have enjoyed the beginning of this year's spring. It is common to wait for planting in nature, but never wait to plant the seeds of masonic virtue and new life in ourValley. The chapter looks forward to seeing everyone at the State Wide Reunion this month. As we continue to work in our degree teams, let us support and encourage each other, and make this a Reunion worth remembering.


The San Jose chapter KSA has arranged to host the Bay Area Masonic Get Together, also known as “The Smoker,” on April 21st, between 1pm – 6pm. This event is a potluck gathering for fellowship among Masons. It is traditionally a stag event and is open to non-masons. Come down and join us in the lounge. We will have plates, plasticware and napkins available out on the patio for whatever potluck contribution you’d like to bring. We hope to see you there!


Any members interested in getting more involved in our Valley, and who have reached at least 29th degree, the KSA is a great opportunity to help serve the Valley, as well as getting involved with other events and activities. See any member with a KSA hat for more information.

... Kilt not required.


San Jose Knights of St. Andrew

Michael Lammer, 32°

2024 Chief Knight, KSA


The Knights of Saint Andrew 2024 Officers

First Knight

Bro. Chris Boyes 32º

Chief Knight

Bro. Mike Lammer 32º

Knight of the Watch

Bro. Alan Porjesz 32º

Secretary

Bro. Tim Lynch 32º

Monk Knight

Bro. Adrian Otero 32º

Sentinel

Bro. Angelo Encarnacion 32º


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