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Scottish Rite Officers - March 2024

From the Venerable Master (March 2024)

My Brethren,

I begin by saying Hi, and welcome to the Rite Word. February's Stated Meeting and Dinner were a great success. We had the honor to recognize our Sweethearts at Dinner. Each was given a beautiful flower. It was a good turnout.

Don't forget to sign up for our March Stated Meeting, which is on Tuesday, March 12th.

On March 28th we will be having Maundy Thursday. Dinner at 6:30 PM and presentation of program at 7;30 PM. Please make reservations to attend that evening. Our members work very hard to put on the program.

In this Month's Rite Word, I would like to quote a few Statements on Freemasonry and Religion. It was prepared by the Masonic Service Association of North America.

Basic Principles-------Freemasonry is not a Religion, nor is it a substitute for Religion. It requires of its members a belief in God as part of the obligation of every responsible adult, but advocates no sectarian faith or practice. Freemasonry is open to men of any faith.

The Supreme Being------Masons believe that there is one God and that people employ many different ways to seek, and to express what they know of God. Masonry believes in religious freedom and that the relationship between the individual and God is personal, private, scared.

Volume of the Scared Law------An open volume of the Scared Law is an essential part of every Masonic meeting. The volume of the Scared Law in the Judeo/ Christian tradition is the Bible; to Freemasons of other faiths, it is the book held holy by them.

The Oath of Freemasonry------The obligations taken by Freemasons are sworn on the volume of the Sacred Law. They are undertakings to follow the principles of Freemasonry and to keep confidential a Freemason's means of recognition.

Freemasonry compared with Religion------Freemasonry lacks the basic elements of Religion, no dogma or theology, no Sacraments. The secrets of freemasonry are concerned with modes of recognition, not with the means of salvation.

Freemasonry Supports Religion------Without interfering in religious practice it excepts each member to follow his own faith and to place his duty to God above all

other duties.

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 (March 2024)

Quam Sit Humaniter Vivendum - How might I lead a more humane life.

This month we celebrate Maundy Thursday. The word Maundy is the name of the Christian rites of foot washing. In our Rite, this is the one day that the Chapter of Knights Rose Croix officially closes and then reopens on Easter Sunday . The rest of the year, the Chapter just moves from Labor to refreshment at each meeting.

Maundy Thursday, is a remembrance day for the last supper, as was described in the canonical gospels, it is also for remembering The Maundy, which was the aforementioned washing of the feet. In a Masonic parlance, the Maundy Thursday is envisioned as a ceremony to commemorate the Extinguishing of the Symbolic Light, more specifically the crucifixion of the Christ in the gospel telling. On the immediate Sunday, there is a follow-up observance aptly called the Relighting of the Symbolic Light which marks the resurrection. The key point of this observance is to remember those brethren who have passed on in the preceding year. Where once these events were mandatory attendance events for Knight Rose Croix, in most locations, as in our Valley, they serve as remembrance events open to all.

This year we will be celebrating Maundy Thursday at the Scottish Rite Center on Tuesday March 26th to allow so many of our brethren to make their Blue Lodge Stated meetings on Thursday.

Let us at the Symbolic Relighting of the Lights, dedicate ourselves to duty, renew our vows, so often repeated in our Rite, and lead the Life of Love, one to another, that our light will shine among men in the world, that we may be known truly as men and as Masons who mean eternal truths learned in our Rituals and who, by our personal acts and conduct, portray those meanings to their ultimate fulfillment.

Other holidays this month include the much less reverent St. Patrick’s Day. According to tradition, Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity.The Declaration says that he spent many years evangelizing in the northern half of Ireland and converted thousands. While it is the traditional day of the death of the Saint, it is celebrated throughout the world with must fever with parades, green beer, songs and the wearing of green clothing.

It is holidays like these, and our times together in Masonry, that keep us connected to each other and society as a whole. This connection allows us to grow humanity peacefully and as Masons we strive to build these ties that promote this growth and respect for each other. If you share the principals of most of the Renaissance thinkers at the time you will know it is incumbent upon us to all turn our lives in to works of art, that is, carefully crafted, elegant models of individual behavior, closely working with others in free association to achieve the mutual goals of our shared humanity. These should include the pursuit and production of beauty, as well as the accumulation of wealth, and we must always be aware that culture and the society that sustains it are fragile. But that in so many ways, makes its preservation even

more necessary.

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

From the Commander of Kadosh (March 2024)

The Council of Kadosh comprises twelve degrees. My hope, through the year, is to refer to them, one each month, and shed some light on a symbol or lesson. This month I looked at the twentieth degree, The Grand Master of All Symbolic Lodges.This degree is meant to prepare the aspirant to be master of a lodge, and advises that one should be competent before accepting, and fair in discharging the duties of, this position of power. I won’t pretend to explain to you, a group of experienced masons who well know, the importance of these things.

Instead, I want to visit a point that is made in Pike’s lecture for this degree, which is another that was adapted from the earlier rite of the Royal Secret. However, unlike some Royal Secret degrees, which survived in some recognizable form, the twentieth degree was entirely overhauled. The degree lecture even includes Pike’s strongly worded criticism of many high degrees, including, it is obvious, the very one he was currently rewriting, the twentieth.

The criticism mainly concerns the use of symbols for which the meanings were, for whatever reason, unknown. The degrees themselves bore the indulgences of innova- tors, who amplified their own misunderstandings to farci- cal levels. Of the denigration he wrote:

horrid [symbols] appeared in [Masonry], without sufficient explanation of their symbolic meaning. Oaths out of all proportion with their object, shocked the candidate, and then became ridiculous, and were wholly disregarded.

This concern, frankly, still resonates. Pike obviously realized that a man can’t take seriously what he doesn’t under- stand, and won’t take seriously what he doesn’t believe. A verbose man, famously enamored of symbols, Pike is conspicuously neither of those things when it came to the obligations of the Scottish Rite degrees. Compared to the onerous penalties, symbolically detailed in the blue degrees, Pike’s stipulations – essentially only that one should feel remorse – are strikingly plain and understated.

The penalties of the blue degree obligations are not perfunctory or arbitrary. They are symbolic and have meaningful explanations which, however, too few masons ever receive. Many, I suspect, have privately, perhaps unconsciously, disregarded their obligations. Having, at first, accepted them, sportingly, on face value, but then never receiving an explanation, they would no doubt find them ridiculous.

I encourage each of you to recall the obligation of your first degree. Did you understand the penalty then? Do you understand it now, or has it long been discarded as nonsense? Consider your answer because this is what you model to other masons. Re- member your obligations and your responsibilities to your brothers and never lose sight of what makes each of us a mason.

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

From the Master of Kadosh (March 2024)

Greetings, Scottish Rite Brethren.

Starting this month, instead of the usual histories, biographies or poetry from past years, I feel that it is my duty to bring to the forefront a subject which is very close to each Mason’s heart, but never really discussed: GEOMETRY. Yes, the first and foremost of the liberal arts and sciences is given high honors in our Second Degree work, but how much do we, as Masons, really know about this most important art?

Over the next several months, I will be posting articles or excerpts about geometry from various sources (most notably from Sacred Geometry – Deciphering the Code, by Stephen Skinner), with my own comments enclosed in italicized braces [ ... ] , but also occasionally generating my own works as well.

From the Introduction to Sacred Geometry, page 6:<excerpt>Geometry is a Greek word that literally means the ‘measurement of the earth.’ Long before it was committed to paper, geometry was concerned with the measurement of the land, a practice we today call surveying. Subsumed under geometry is the measurement and construction of buildings and the determination of the boundaries between one man’s land and another’s. At a more exalted level, geometry distinguishes between the domain of the sacred and the profane.

Euclid (325-265 BC) was the first to summarize in detail the axioms and theorems of this fascinating subject. What Euclid wrote in Elements on plane geometry is still completely valid and has not been superseded even after 2,000 years. What other type of geometry, perhaps more secret or sacred, might have survived in the form of buildings or in the handiwork or nature?

Of course, not all geometry is sacred. Geometry was seen as be- ing useful to site and construct buildings beneficial to those who inhabited them. When it was pleasing to the gods, it became ‘sacred.’ A temple, for example, may be hallowed if it is constructed according to certain sacred proportions and oriented in a specific direction. Such concerns with proportion and direction are so universal across so many cultures that they must reflect a reality. [ In his book, author Stephen Skinner then outlines his proposal to search for those specific measurements that are sacred... ]

Just as numbers were sacred for the Pythagoreans, so geometry was sacred for all ancient Greeks because it was the most concrete and yet the most abstract form of reasoning. Geometry the archetypal patterning of many things, perhaps even all things, be they noumenal (something whose experience may be felt but not proved), conceptual, mathematical, natural or architectural.

Almost all ancient peoples created their temples and other sacred spaces with careful reference to the correct numbers, geometry and proportion. Geometry governed the very movement of the heavenly bodies and the seasons. The megalithic builders of Britain and the designers of the pyramids in Egypt applied this sacred geometry to the positioning and orientation of their constructions.

Geometry in its purest, simplest form is sacred. Yet it is founded on ordinary geometry and the geometric figures of Euclid— circles, triangles, squares—as well as ratios and harmonics. Just as growth is expressed by repeating patterns, so art and virtuos- ity in architecture are often expressed by harmony. What is harmony but the (maybe subliminal) repetition of the same proportions. The parts of the whose do not even have to be in precisely the same proportion but can be an harmonic of that proportion.

The proportions that are sacred are governed by certain numbers, such as phi (also called the Golden Mean) [ to be introduced in the May Rite Word ] . They occur again and again in the work of the ancient Greeks as well as the Gothic architects of the Middle Ages, and also in the growth of living things. Through these numbers the sacred geometry of living things and the perspectives of art and architecture coincide.</excerpt>

In the book, Stephen Skinner continues (for several pages) with further discussion of possible examples. Sacred Geometry is a fascinating read, and highly recommended (publishing information can be found on the web). I will provide further excerpts on specific subjects in later articles.

See you at the meeting and dinner!

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

From the Chief Knight (March 2024)

Hello again brethren. I hope everyone has been keeping warm. Whether you are celebrating the transition into Spring, wearing some green, or sticking to the proclaimed Youth Orders Month, this month will bring plenty of opportunity for activity.

I would like to remind our Sir Knights and the rest of our brethren that you all have opportunities coming up this month, not just at the stated meeting, but also at the Maundy Thursday even- ing, and time needed while working with degree teams in preparation for the State Wide Reunion.

In addition to the 158th Highland Games later this year, our Chapter of Knights of Saint Andrew are planning to host one of the Bay Area Masonic Get Togethers. Keep an eye out for more details in the future.

Any members interested in getting more involved in our valley and have reached the 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.

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


Bro. Tim Lynch 32º

Monk Knight

Bro. Adrian Otero 32º


Bro. Angelo Encarnacion 32º


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