We are the pulp villains!

Ah, once again Freemasons take the role of nefarious villains, what with our devious rituals and shadowy society. Yes, yes. This time around it is a pretty big production of Sherlock Holmes by Guy Ritchie, with the titular character played by Robert Downey, Jr and Jude Law as Doctor Watson. The pacing is little different from what you may remember, and I am certain Sir Arthur Conan Doyle will be spinning in his grave, but I am a fan of Downey, and it could be good fun.

The attached images are from the first trailer. First is the obligatory, campy satanic ritual. Next one you see what appears to be the same person, who was blindfolded earlier, now standing – this is shot on location in Freemasons Hall, London. Last one I think is from one of the lodge rooms, but I am not 100% certain. No mention of freemasons, though, so these guys may just be your archetypical, run-of-the-mill secret society, we’ll see.
SH2SH3SH1

Pictures: From the movie, © Warner Bros 2009

London: more Light

I saved this post on my recent London trip to the last, hoping that I would be able to put into words the experience of joining S.R.I.A. But I can’t – well, some of it maybe, but I also think that the experience is too important to try and simplify for a 100 word blog post. The road just opened up ahead of me in a way I hadn’t dreamed. And strangely, that was unexpected. I believe I grasped beforehand, what this Rosicrucian society was about, and I already felt, coming from Swedish Rite, that I had had true mystic experiences. But something here just clicked. I’ll do the reading, but it is processing the emotional and spiritual aspects that I am really looking forward to.

Let’s just say that it was everything I had hoped for and more. My name goes into the Golden Book with some incredible Fratres – it is quite an honour.

London: women freemasons

At the museum in Freemasons Hall there is an ongoing exhibition about women’s freemasonry in England to mark the centenary of the first lady freemasons in England. I find the subject very interesting, and we have two women-only lodges in Denmark. Their French origins seem to me more ‘feminine’ than the two English organisations (HFAF and OWF) that have stayed very close to UGLE’s way of doing things; and by that I don’t mean that freemasonry is based on gender, but it seems to me that the Danish women freemasons bring their female character more into their way of doing things. But of course it’s difficult for me to say, from the outside looking in.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t really much to see. Some letters, charters, personal effects and a couple of photos. The stuff that was there was fine, but not very inviting, and I think the background and history could have been presented better. Overall a little bit disappointing.

Telegraph has a handful of pictures from the exhibition (including the one in this post), and Pietre Stones wrote about it.

London: the sights

This is the first of three posts on my recent trip to London.

We were four Danes coming over to join S.R.I.A. The weather was great, and the climate is much milder than in Denmark, so we had two wonderful days. Of course, our hosts made the trip even better (not to mention the ritual side of things). We made four distinct stops:

We first stopped by Mark Masons Hall in St. James Street. This is the headquarter of Mark masonry in the UK, as well as half a dozen other different side orders, such as Mark Mariner and Knight Templar Priest. The hall had 8 or so lodge rooms, all quite intimate by our standards; very nice. The really nice thing was the cozy bar, where we hooked up with our host, forum regular ‘Middlepillar’.

Next stop was the temple of the Supreme Council 33° Ancient and Accepted rite (or Rose Croix, as they say) in England, just around the corner. This was where we joined our College, so we didn’t really tour the facility (I believe there are three lodge rooms there), but the large temple, in which we met, was very beautiful, with colourful coats of arm on the walls and a gothic atmosphere. I look forward to going back and perhaps seeing some more of the building.

The day after, we did the obligatory tour of Freemasons Hall in Great Queen Street, the headquarters of UGLE, the ruling body of Craft masonry and Chapter in England. The museum remains awesome, and even though it was the same brief tour as the last time I was here, the guide added new details, and the grand temple seemed even more magnificant the second time around.

Finally, we stopped by S.R.I.A.’s ‘headquarters’ in Hampstead. It’s really just one quite small room, stacked with books, including many rarities and antiques, and many donated by A. E. Waite. Still, the placed oozed history, and Hampstead is a lovely neighborhood.

And then it was back to the airport. An intense stay, with much to digest while stile managing to be comfortable enough that I consider it a small vacation. It was certainly invigorating.

Pictures: first, the obligatory self-photograph, at Leinster Square where we stayed. The other pictures are taken by a fellow traveller: a lewis at Mark Masons Hall, the bronze doors to the grand temple in Freemasons Hall and an antique book at Stanfield Hall in Hampstead.

Cornerstone Conference 2008

Martin Faulks pointed to this event: The Cornerstone Society conference in London, November 29, 2008. I mention it because two of the speakers are Swedish Rite brothers: The author of Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiations, Henrik Bogdan (who only became a member after the book), speaking about “The Quest for the Lost Word”. And Tom Bergroth, Grand Marshal of The Swedish Order of Freemasons, speaking on “The Swedish Rite”.

Papers are usually made available from the site after the event.