The Rite Word

From the Venerable Master (Decembe 2021)

"In the past I have written about the return of Masonry, the success of our valley, and other Masonic topics I collect loosely in my mind of the heading of Masonry: Reflection, Revelation, Renaissance.

Much of this about Society, how we live, the agreement we have in being here together as set up by our founding fathers, how we live in our communities, our states, and our Great Nation and how Masonry does this. The simple agreement to live together and to respect each other in how we move though our daily lives. These are as simple stopping at a stop sign, moving ahead when it is our turn, and as esoteric as respecting the rights and viewpoints of others, in addition to our own.

These ideals are currently being stretched and tested now, as we move out of the pandemic and into recovery. Our Masonic views of Tolerance, the cornerstone civility, are more powerful now than ever. We have a great opportunity to move within society and set an example of tolerance and civility, to help everyone realize that together we are stronger as a community and society. This at times isn’t easy and we are still tested almost daily

We see this test often in society these days, the fear of not being able to consider the opinions of others without feeling like we endorse them, we seek the company of those that appear to agree with us, or say what we think we want to hear. In doing this we short circuit our natural ability as humans to evaluate and consider circumstance in favor just getting what we think we want. Like defaulting our internal fight or flight mechanism to a dumbed down moment where we don’t consider anything but staying with the ranks of others, as they spew hate and deception. I encourage us all to continue to think and discuss these moments and move to understand others, not just be heard.

In an article from the Sociological Mail (www.thesociologicalmail.com) recently, it talks about the “Why did Memberships in Fraternal Organizations Die” out over time? While this is one source and point of view, and I acknowledge that in media for any report or point of view, there are many others that can debunk, repudiate, or otherwise invalid this information, I found what they had to say intriguing. It is too much to go into here but suffice it to say much of the content is about how our society has been changing and evolving, primarily though media and in the context of how we spend our time.

I would argue that even now this is reversing, people are interested in spending time with others, exchanging ideas and experiences. This is one of the primary functions of our Craft, to engage with brothers, along with and helping others, contribute back to the community and consider the great mysteries of life. Like three tenants of how we might life and follow so closely.

The holidays are a perfect time of year to do this, at home, in lodge and in the community. I would encourage all of us, when ever we can to engage others, express empathy, offer assistance and in contributing to the lives of others, feel our own lives and experiences grow. Sometimes this is as simple as opening a door for someone or waiving hello to a stranger at a stop light. Or considering another point of view.

I wish you and your families all the best as you retire this past year and we look to 2022 and the continued growth & repair of our great society, to practice civility in our daily lives and expand a doctrine of tolerance. We are fortunate to be Masons and have the opportunity to do this – for ourselves and to be an example for others.

In the past I have written about the return of Masonry, the success of our valley, and other Masonic topics I collect loosely in my mind of the heading of Masonry: Reflection, Revelation, Renaissance.

Much of this about Society, how we live, the agreement we have in being here together as set up by our founding fathers, how we live in our communities, our states, and our Great Nation and how Masonry does this. The simple agreement to live together and to respect each other in how we move though our daily lives. These are as simple stopping at a stop sign, moving ahead when it is our turn, and as esoteric as respecting the rights and viewpoints of others, in addition to our own.

These ideals are currently being stretched and tested now, as we move out of the pandemic and into recovery. Our Masonic views of Tolerance, the cornerstone civility, are more powerful now than ever. We have a great opportunity to move within society and set an example of tolerance and civility, to help everyone realize that together we are stronger as a community and society. This at times isn’t easy and we are still tested almost daily

We see this test often in society these days, the fear of not being able to consider the opinions of others without feeling like we endorse them, we seek the company of those that appear to agree with us, or say what we think we want to hear. In doing this we short circuit our natural ability as humans to evaluate and consider circumstance in favor just getting what we think we want. Like defaulting our internal fight or flight mechanism to a dumbed down moment where we don’t consider anything but staying with the ranks of others, as they spew hate and deception. I encourage us all to continue to think and discuss these moments and move to understand others, not just be heard.

In an article from the Sociological Mail (www.thesociologicalmail.com) recently, it talks about the “Why did Memberships in Fraternal Organizations Die” out over time? While this is one source and point of view, and I acknowledge that in media for any report or point of view, there are many others that can debunk, repudiate, or otherwise invalid this information, I found what they had to say intriguing. It is too much to go into here but suffice it to say much of the content is about how our society has been changing and evolving, primarily though media and in the context of how we spend our time.

I would argue that even now this is reversing, people are interested in spending time with others, exchanging ideas and experiences. This is one of the primary functions of our Craft, to engage with brothers, along with and helping others, contribute back to the community and consider the great mysteries of life. Like three tenants of how we might life and follow so closely.

The holidays are a perfect time of year to do this, at home, in lodge and in the community. I would encourage all of us, when ever we can to engage others, express empathy, offer assistance and in contributing to the lives of others, feel our own lives and experiences grow. Sometimes this is as simple as opening a door for someone or waiving hello to a stranger at a stop light. Or considering another point of view.

I wish you and your families all the best as you retire this past year and we look to 2022 and the continued growth & repair of our great society, to practice civility in our daily lives and expand a doctrine of tolerance. We are fortunate to be Masons and have the opportunity to do this – for ourselves and to be an example for others.

Mark Burger

From the Wise Master (December 2021)

As you all know I moved to Henderson Nevada in July of 2020. My situation at the time was draining my finances after a criminal did quite a lot of damage to my house and my finances. This was a retirement move and one that I do not look back on. I served this year as an officer and had guaranteed that I would make the live stated meetings and fulfill my office. I have been able to attend board meetings via zoom most of the time this year.

Obviously this is the last office I will serve for the San Jose Scottish Rite; and it has been a pleasure to work with our fellow officers in the preservation of our membership. This does not mean that I will not be joining you for dinners in the coming year; I will from time to time. I will also remain on the degree teams for San Jose.

I wrote about some of the disappearing verbiage from our degrees in terms of its flavor, a couple of months ago. It is sad for me to see so much of those degrees being depreciated with the expectation that the candidate will study the concepts and precepts for themselves.

I have also written from our American history with selections arranged by David Barton in The Founders Bible. Other sources include rabbinical studies, Emmet Fox and our degree scripts. I thank those of you who have commented to me about those articles.

My lodge has voted in a new treasurer and I will be training my replacement soon. Thus I will be shedding financial responsibilities that have been very hard to keep track of on some occasions. Also this will place more local control over those duties. I will also be taking a lifetime membership at Monterey to never miss paying my dues. All that being said I have affiliated with the Las Vegas Scottish Rite and attend a few of the lodges here as well. I eventually will affiliate with one and participate in the line here, if asked.

Thank you all again for being brothers in my Masonic family:

Martin Maxey

From the Commander of Kadosh (December 2021)

December 27,2021

On this day, Freemasonry celebrates one of our two Patron Saints, St. John the Evangelist. Some 60 years ago in Magnolia Lodge No. 120 in Biloxi, Mississippi I silently wondered why these two Saints among the many. These six decades later I am still not sure how it came to be though I have fully accepted it to be so because our Ancient Masters deemed it to be so. Masonic tradition informs us that ………………, etc, etc.

To help me better understand I found a December 2015 article from the Grand Lodge of Missouri on the subject of our Patron Saints. Here is a part of the article which I hope you find helpful if you are like me in search of some light on the St. Johns.

“Saint John the Apostle or Evangelist (considered by many to be one and the same) has a more obscure history than St John the Baptist our other Patron Saint. Numerous sources cite the persona of the Evangelist as the likely combination of several biblical persons assimilated over the millennia for emphasis and clarity. Much of the writing attributed to the Evangelist echoes Masonic themes, phrases and even ritual, however history falls short of being able to tell us whether the writings of the Evangelist are the actual source of our ritual. Regardless of the lack of traceable history, it seems reasonable to conclude that those intimately familiar with the Evangelist and his writings find him to be the “sensible” patron Saint of the fraternity. Writings such as those in the Book of Revelations, the Gospel of John along with the Epistles of John display a more ideological or philosophical perspective, often hinting at the deeper meaning of a person or event

The adoption of both Saints’ John to equally represent the fraternity seems to further distinguish Masonry at its core. The methods of religious practice for these two Saints are very different yet both are fully committed to the same belief. St. John the Baptist is strict and literal while St. John the Evangelist is lofty, philosophical and esoteric; a perfect “yin and yang” example. As the Patron Saints they serve as an example of the balance and harmony men can achieve in Freemasonry.

The Grand Lodge of England was formed on June 24, 1717, on the feast day of St. John the Baptist which corresponds closely with the summer solstice and ancient celebrations marking the longest day of the year. It is most fitting to begin a light-seeking Grand Lodge during one of the longest days of light. The observance of the feast of St John the Evangelist is held on December 27th just after the winter solstice. This is the time that the world begins moving from darkness to greater light, and it became one of the more important days in the Masonic calendar. It was reported that George Washington refused to miss attending the Masonic observance of St. John the Evangelist. Regardless of how or where it began, it is accepted that every regular and well-governed Lodge recognize and celebrate both days as a remembrance and recognition of our patron Saints. Typically celebrated with feasts, processions and regalia, the Holy Saints John are metaphoric pillars of our Lodge, for Saint John the Baptist is implied as the pillar beneath the earth and Saint John the Evangelist as the pillar beneath the heavens. They are our history and our legacy; they are our obligation to forever remember, explore and celebrate the boundaries of our faith”. Masonic tradition informs us that …………………!

We recently completed the Roger Bibb Reunion and I believe it to have been quite a success. I hope many of you had the opportunity to attend and participate in this wonderful activity. We capped the new members as part of our November Stated Meeting Dinner Program and look forward to sharing their Scottish Rite travels. Plans are already being made for our 2022 reunion/s. Stay tuned for dates for your calendar.

Chuck Cowden

From the Master of Kadosh (December 2021)

I hope everyone is doing well and in good health. As the year comes to a close, I feel like we have done so much as a community in such a short amount of time. 'Tis truly the season of giving, brotherhood, and love as the air grows colder at night and the hint of burning firewood fills the twinkling skyline as we huddle up with the ones we love, enjoying some hot beverages and exchanging gifts. The gifts that I treasure most are the unrecorded instances of the time I spend with friends and loved ones and being able to enjoy each and every fleeting second of that particular moment. Gaudy and exuberant worldly things are nice, but their shine is only temporary, special moments on the other hand shine the brightest in our hearts and lasts for a lifetime in our minds.

We have been exploring different ancient sites and as well as the ancient stone masons who built them. It's such a fascinating subject because there are new findings every day, and yet, it leaves us with more questions than answers. There are countless clues left behind by those who came before us out in the open just waiting to be discovered. From the polygonal interlocking stone walls to the different placements of the ancient sites all throughout the world. Join me as we try to connect the dots of our ancient past.

The Ancient Great Circle. The world holds a lot of mysteries surrounding the ancient world. There are countless sites around the globe that baffles and astounds both the bystanders and as well as experts in the field of archeology.

The Easter Islands, Nazca lines, Ollantaytambo, The Pyramids of Giza plateau , The ancient city of Petra, The Ritchat Structure in the Sahara, Machu Picchu in Peru, The temple of the Oracle of Siwa, Cusco, Mohenjo Daro in Pakistan, The Sumerian city of Ur, and the Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia are only a handful of iconic examples of ancient sites that are almost perfectly aligned with each other across the world if you were to draw a line around them with only less than 1 degree of deviation. Is it only just mere coincidence, or were the people from our ancient past trying to tell us something? There are clue left behind for us to decipher.

The Great Circle has a circumference of 24,892 miles which is slightly smaller compared to the modern day Equatorial circumference of the Earth. The circle also passes over other natural key landmarks such as the Great Amazon river, entrance to the Tigris Euphrates river, as well as the Bay of Bengal in the Ganges and not to mention a vast area of the unexplored Sahara desert of ancient Mesopotamia. A handful of historians and scientists suggests that the Great Circle was the ancient equator of the Earth before a great cataclysmic event happened around 12,500-14,500 years ago. We all know that different cultures from around the world talked about a flood myth, from the Holy bible, to the ancient Sanskrit texts, to the Cuneiform clay tablets of ancient Sumeria, and even the Pillar 43 of Gobekli Tepe in Turkey indicated that there was a world-wide cataclysmic event that triggered the great flood, which interestingly, also, happens to coincide with the Younger Dryas period that happend approximately around 12,500- 14,500 years ago that lead to the rapid cooling of the Earth for less than 100 years, and then persisted roughly for the next 1,300 years. Ice-core samples taken from different parts of the world by various scientists confirmed this abrupt change in climate due to a sudden tilt of the Earth's axis.

There are some theories being investigated by experts and scientists, and yet, they can't agree on a definitive cause. The most prominent is the Impact hypothesis which suggests that there was a fragmented comet or asteroid that collided with the Earth, therefore triggering the chain of events such as wildfires, floods and mass extinction of some animal species. The idea of the tilting the Earth's polar axis not too far-fetched as we look into the year of 2011 as an 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit Japan and moved it's mainland by 8 feet, and shifted the Earth axis by approximately 4 inches. We can only speculate what a massive object composed of rocks, ice, and metals can actually do. What if because of an impact event, the celestial axis was inclined at an angle of about 30 degrees from it's present location, which in turn suggests that the terrestial axis then is oriented differently from what it is today. What if the Great ancient circle was indeed the pre-Diluvian equator of the ancient world, and maybe, the reason why these various ancient sites are located where they are is that, the equator is the obvious place to start a settlement or civilization that ensures a good climate for agriculture, a natural protection from the cold climate, and a logical place for a civilization to evolve.

We are at the end of our journey, and yet, we barely scratched the surface of the mysteries surrounding the ancient world. Fin.

John Patrick Absalon