Wiccan Masons

Discussion in 'The Voting Booth' started by Payne, Nov 20, 2009.

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How many people here are wiccan?

  1. I am

    7 vote(s)
    7.9%
  2. I am not

    82 vote(s)
    92.1%
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  1. Huw

    Huw Guest

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    Very interesting, masonicknight. Thanks for that.

    In UGLE we don't publish an official list of this sort, and I suspect that most other GLs don't do so either, although our GL office stands ready to advise on what's appropriate when necessary. Interestingly, GLoCA includes the Scriptures of certain religions which I don't believe are generally eligible, because the usual teachings of those religions don't include a Supreme Being. However, I acknowledge the possibility that individual followers of those religions might hold a non-standard interpretation which does include a Supreme Being, in which case of course I've no objection - but again, that's a situation in which I'd want to ask a petitioner a couple of questions to satisfy myself that this is so.

    Here in England, when we use an alternate VSL for a Candidate of non-Christian religion (as indeed we do fairly often), we keep the Bible open in addition to the Candidate's VSL, not closed as in GLoCA. In some of our overseas Lodges in countries which are religiously very diverse, it is standard practice to use several VSLs side by side. UGLE rules require that the Bible is always there as a VSL regardless of where the Lodge is, and other VSLs are used as appropriate for the place and the membership. I've heard of UGLE Lodges in India and south-east Asia where it is normal to use 6 different VSLs simultaneously at every meeting!

    T & F,

    Huw
     
  2. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Brother knight your post got me curious to see if the GLoT prints a list as well. They do not and are a little more vague on that issue to allow almost any booh divinely inspired, next to the open bible of course. I also found some other neat stuff that might add to the convo.

    Art. 18. Recognition Criteria of Other Grand Lodges. Fraternal recognition may be extended to a Grand Lodge when it appears to the satisfaction of this Grand Lodge, a Committee having first considered and reported thereon:
    1. That such a Grand Body has been formed lawfully by at
    least three just and duly constituted Lodges, or that it has been
    legalized by a valid act issuing from the Grand Lodge of Texas, or
    from a Grand Body in fraternal relations with this Grand Lodge.
    2. That it is an independent, self-governing, responsible
    organization with entire, undisputed and exclusive dogmatic and
    administrative authority over the Symbolic Lodges within its
    jurisdiction, and not in any sense whatever subject to, or dividing such authority with, a Supreme Council, or other Body claiming ritualistic or other supervision or control.
    3. That it makes Masons of men only.
    4. That it requires conformity to the following, which the Grand
    Lodge of Texas considers necessary in a Masonic Body:
    A. Acknowledgement of a belief in God the Father of all
    men.
    B. Secrecy.
    C. The Symbolism of Operative Masonry.
    D. The division of Symbolic Masonry into the three degrees
    in Texas.
    E. The legend of the Third Degree.
    F. That its dominant purposes are charitable, benevolent,
    educational and religious; and that it excludes
    controversial politics and sectarian religion from all
    activities under its auspices.
    G. The Sacred Book of the Divine Law, Chief among the
    Three Great Lights of Masonry, indispensably present
    in the Lodges while at work.
    5. That it occupies exclusively its territorial jurisdiction or else
    shares the same with another by mutual consent; and that it does
    not presume to extend its authority, or presume to establish Lodges
    in, a territory occupied by a lawful Grand Lodge, without the
    expressed assent of such supreme governing Masonic Body.
    Art. 397. (434). Religious Belief. A firm belief in the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, and the divine authenticity of the Holy Scriptures is indispensably necessary before a candidate can be initiated, but this Grand Lodge does not presume to prescribe any canonical books or what part thereof are inspired. It is the policy of this Grand Lodge to permit a candidate whose religious persuasion is based upon other than the Holy Bible to be obligated upon the % book of his chosen faith, and same may be situated upon the Altar in front of the Holy Bible during the conferral of the three degrees of Masonry. In which event, all esoteric references to "The Holy Bible" during the conferral of the degree(s) and the lessons appropriate thereto shall be substituted with "The Book of your (my) Faith."
    (Revised 1995)
     
  3. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    interesting that it doesn't specifically say "the bible"
     
  4. Huw

    Huw Guest

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    Hi JTM.

    Note that this reference was in your recognition criteria, not in your rules for what you do at home in TX. So by avoiding saying "the bible" in the recognition criteria, you allow yourselves to recognise GLs in countries where some other Book (or perhaps combination of Books) might be the standard VSL instead of the bible. There may be one or two cases where you do in fact recognise such GLs.

    Incidentally, your recognition criteria are noticeably different from ours in UGLE.

    T & F,

    Huw
     
  5. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    I also found this definition in the back of my Texas Monitor for the word Scripture-the sacred writing of any people
    I wanted to compare it to what Webster's had as the definition- 1 a (1) capitalized : the books of the Bible —often used in plural (2) often capitalized : a passage from the Bible b : a body of writings considered sacred or authoritative
    2 : something written <the primitive man's awe for any scripture — George Santayana>
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Registered User

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    To me, the issue is very simply one of applicability. Freemasonry isn't for everyone. We already say that we don't take bad men and make them good; we take good men and make them better. Right there we've excluded a group of men (bad men) from Masonry, presumably on the basis that they won't get anything out of membership in our order. I think the same argument applies to anyone without certain beliefs which axiomatically underlie all of our ritual and teaching. They either wouldn't get anything out of our ritual, or they would feel left out by some of it.

    For instance, we speak a lot about our Supreme Being as both a creator, and as a guiding figure in the world, someone who has a plan for mankind in general, and each of us personally. He/she is called the "Great Architect of the Universe", implying both that he/she is the source of all creation, and has an intelligent purpose in its design. We don't vet candidates for these same attitudes, but if I know a friend of mine is much more determinist-minded, and simply doesn't believe that Deity either drove the ordering of the universe or is involved in mankind, I'm reluctant to point him to the Fraternity. He's likely to find the ritual and teachings somewhat absurd because he doesn't share the beliefs that underlie them, that give them their applicability to the lives of the Brethren. I can only imagine how awkward the third degree must be for someone who doesn't believe in the immortality of the soul.

    Another point. When Masons gather, for whatever reason, we pray. This is not only a very frequent activity for Masons, but one which serves to unite us, since where creeds differ, still I know of no established religious tradition, not even a polytheistic one, whose adherents do not reverently bow their heads to their God or gods in regular petition. For someone who believes in only a single deity, even if in all seriousness he believes his pet to be that deity, it's easy to join in and enjoy the prayer, especially if the one praying tries consciously to pray in an interfaith style. Where one only believes in a single deity, then only a single deity can be prayed to. Hence, the applicability of the Masonic style of prayer to all monotheistic/pantheistic/panentheistic brethren.

    However, for a brother who believes in many deities, none of which is supreme over the others, I can only imagine a certain awkwardness during Masonic prayer. Which of their deities do they imagine is being prayed to on their behalf by the chaplain, if any? If they don’t conceive of a single omnipotent, omniscient Deity, creator of all, and guider of earthly affairs, such as the chaplain is invoking, then perhaps they would imagine the chaplain is praying to no one. Or else that the god of the Masons is yet another god among the many, but one which they don’t worship. Either way, prayer among the Brethren would serve not to unite the polytheist to his Brothers, but to divide him from them. At every Masonic convocation, he’d be reminded of how different he is from his Brothers. I think over time, he would simply stop coming to any Masonic functions, if only to avoid the awkwardness. I also think any attempt to pray in a manner that would suit both the hard polytheist and the monotheist/pantheist/panentheist, would be comical, at best.

    I think if anyone attends a Masonic degree and tries to view it through the lens of someone who earnestly believes in a collection of less-than-omniscient, less-than-omnipotent deities, and denies a grand creator/father deity, he will find that the lessons of Masonry begin to look misguided at best, and comical at worst.

    For this reason, I think it is as much in the interest of the candidate as it is in the interest of the Lodge that the candidate is fully informed, to a sufficient detail, the faith requirements of admission as given on the petition, and that the Lodge satisfy itself that the candidate meets those requirements.

    Christopher
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2010
  7. Seeker

    Seeker Registered User

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    Well said Bro. Christopher
     
  8. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    We do talk of GAOTU as being the creator and of divine intelligence who will lend his hand the moment he is asked but I am not sure where the personal plan part comes in? I completely agree with the general plan being stated all in our ritual but not sure what part of the ritual refers to God having a specific plan for me or any other mason?

    The second statement about prayer seems a pretty narrow scope on the power of prayer. The are the possibilities that said prayer might reach all of the Brothers Deities and each assist accordingly to the prayer or at the very least he might enjoy the energy which the ritual of prayer creates especially when said Brother believes the power of prayer grows according to the number of people involved. Seems to me they may love the ritualistic environment no matter who says the prayer or to which God they pray.
     
  9. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Some good info on Wiccans I found
    these are the sires
    http://www.wicca.org/
    http://www.wicca.com/celtic/wicca/wicca.htm
     
  10. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Yeah I have reached a point that it is not my job to decide what god that person prays to but that they are good people and they pray to a god. The line says "a supreme being" not Jesus or Muhammad. Too often we are so quick to shun the different when we would be considered different ourselves somewhere else.
     
  11. SSG_Morrison

    SSG_Morrison Registered User

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    +1
     
  12. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    The ancient charges where written by men about their version of the most popular form of Masonry at the time, which we proudly adhere to in modern times but the craft had obviously existed for many many years before the ancient charges which ultimately means it was around before many sacred volumes of law where around. Freemasonry as we know it in Christian countries is firmly rooted in the Old Testament which tends us to assume the bible was all that has ever been used in a Masonic lodge but how could that be the case if we have been around since time immemorial? I found a great article I will post on Isalm and Freemasonry but I feel a quite from the paper is relevant.
     
  13. masonicknight

    masonicknight Registered User

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    So very true Owls, so very true.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Registered User

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    Fair enough, I may be reading too much into the degrees.

    I suppose that's possible, but it still seems strange to me.
     
  15. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Well the one thing I know about Masonry is that one could not read into it to much. It was not my intention to disolve this believe for you or any others but to hear philosphy on how you derived this conclusion. I cannot say for sure this is not indicated in the ritual but I am oblivious to its where abouts.
    As for it being strange, to me this is what the craft is all about bringing knowledge and experience of the unknown and strange. I think it goes "concilates true friendship among those who mght otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance."
     
  16. peace out

    peace out Premium Member

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    Viewing Masonry as a new EA, this thread contains the very essence of why I sought initiation. The level of civility and open mindedness is astounding. Try posting some of these in a Religious forum and see the closed minds. Amazing.
     
  17. drowen

    drowen Registered User

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    mch4970,
    Religious entities would blow you out of the water for bringing up an advesarial religion. Masons don't talk about religion, nor politics inside the Lodge Room for a really good reason.
     
  18. bpire2002

    bpire2002 Registered User

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    I am a master mason and I do not recoginze any mason who believes in multiple gods. The end.
     
  19. drowen

    drowen Registered User

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    Hi bpire2002,
    You may not as a Master Mason, but Grand Lodge of Texas and all other jurisdictions do. In the Masonic Tenets, there is no restriction placed on God. The question is who do YOU place your faith, not anyone else. If an individual who believed in a different God took an oath to a different God in whom they did not believe, the oath would not be binding. Might try some floor school to brush up on some of the primary tenets of the degrees.
     
  20. Ashton Lawson

    Ashton Lawson Premium Member

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    I see there are 6 Wiccans in this thread. Help please, PM if you prefer.

    I just wrote a paper on the cardinal virtue of justice from a Masonic perspective, and I referenced the Holy Books of several religions as well. Frustratingly, I had an extremely difficult time trying to find much of anything on how Wicca perceives justice. Can any Wiccans shed some light here? I could not locate an online copy of the Book of Shadow either.

    The best I could come up with was a poorly written paper that essentially suggested the only real method of applying justice that a Wiccan adheres to, is trying to catch the attention of the Crone(?) and focus it onto the person who is need of justice. I had a very difficult time quantifying this into anything I could readily understand. Research is frustratingly hard to come by aside from how to work spells. If that's the answer, that's fine, but I am having trouble specifying methodology or practice.

    Help?
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
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