Tag Archives: masonic lodges

All these things served to attract to the masonic lodges not merely those who were desirous of freedom of speech, but also those who desired to learn forbidden secrets; and, moreover, adventurers of all kinds sought to gain admittance and sometimes succeeded.

Franz Hartmann, In The Pronaos of The Temple of Wisdom

Hermetic quote Hartmann In the Pronaos of the Temple of Wisdom all served to attract masonic lodges those desirous freedom speech learn forbidden secrets moreover adventurers

Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America by Mark C Carnes:

Mark C Carnes' Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America


This book presents a fascinating historical study of the golden age of fraternal initiatory organizations in the late 19th Century in the U.S. During that period, more men were attending Masonic and quasi-Masonic lodges each week than were attending church services. Ritualistic lodge work was sought out by as much as 40% of the adult male population.

In Secret Ritual, Carnes leavens substantial historical data with dramatic vignettes of initiatory ritual and fraternal socializing from the period. He also provides some fascinating and suggestive theories about why lodges were so overwhelmingly successful in that period, as contrasted with their earlier marginality, or their later fading from view.

The book does include many scholarly exposures of ritual from the 1800’s, from a wide diversity of orders and societies, but the approach is sympathetic and intellectual. There is no secret-mongering, despite the title. I recommend it to anyone seeking to understand the place of Masonry and similar organizations in American society. [via]



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The Deeper Symbolism of Freemasonry from The Meaning of Masonry by Walter Leslie Wilmshurst.

“In some Masonic Lodges the candidate makes his first entrance to the Lodge room amid the clash of swords and the sounds of strife, to intimate to him that he is leaving the confusion and jarring of the religious sects of the exterior world, and is passing into a Temple wherein the Brethren dwell together in unity of thought in regard to the basal truths of life, truths which can permit of no difference or schism.” [via]