My St. Andrew’s Lodge

CCV: a young and progressive lodge

I now have an official date for my advancement into the Lodge of St. Andrew, the second “tier” of the Swedish Rite. I will join Cubus Causa Vera (CCV) on October 9, 2009

ccvnyt60dummyCCV was born in 1989, so quite young. It is also the smallest of Denmark’s lodges of St. Andrew. These two factors are part of why I chose this lodge: I know that the lodge’s leadership is willing to think outside of the box, and there is room to get involved in offices, education and more, should I wish. My first responsibilty, one I have already signed up for, is editing the revamped publication; we are quite ambitious about this, and have a professional layouter on board, as well as advertising, which allows for buying picture rights and full colour printing. Other than that I look forward to experiencing these new degrees, which are supposed to be extremely thought-provoking.

ccvmc3a6rke(I will try to write a few lines about our Lodge of St. Andrew, but I have to weigh my words carefully, so as not to reveal too much. For now it will suffice that these degrees share themes with Mark, Royal  Arch, Cryptic, and possibly a few others.)

I mentioned in a recent post that I had had a small “crisis” over my freemasonry, and another reason for choosing CCV, is that it is quite open about esoteric work, and works hard to educate its brethern. It is also a lodge that has a high percentage of active brethren; in my experience a benefit of being a smaller lodge.

I will also look forward to having a handful of Welsh/English brethren over, who were also at my Initiation and Third. Their presence have been a great boon, and to me a symbol of the strength of our ideas and bonds.

Picture: Dummy cover for the new publication, and the jewel of CCV.

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Re-evaluating the itinerary

218899_1804At the end of 2008 I was looking forward to returning to Copenhagen, following my travels abroad, and setting to work in my motherlodge, as well as possibly joining a lodge of St. Andrew, beginning the higher degrees of the Swedish system. Things didn’t quite pan out as planned; which is what can happen when you set out on any journey: I made it to where I wanted to be, but “I” had changed, to a point where arriving to this threshold of what should have been the next step felt … slightly awkward, not quite right … disappointing, perhaps.

At the same time, I was confronted with the simple fact that not everyone wants, what I want, from freemasonry. And I can rail however much I want, that “They don’t get it!” but at the end of the day, I can’t decide what anyone else takes from it. I have to stay focused on my own goals, and the first step is defining what they are, and then how to work on achieving them. For me it boils down to freemasonry as a journey of self-discovery and self-improvement through spiritual and symbolic Work, within and without. It then becomes clear that I cannot simply sit on the sidelines and wait for the world to turn in my favour, that I need to get involved, and not just in an administrative capacity, but also through holding an office, participating in education and offering my thoughts through lectures.

But I did feel lost for a few days, wondering if freemasonry was the right path for me, and how to rectify the situation without hurting anyone needlessly, and at the same time staying true to myself.

866188_50028248I have now taken steps to remedy the situation and realign my personal goals with reality, so to speak. First of all, I have withdrawn my letter of passage from CFS, opting instead for a much smaller and younger lodge of St. Andrew, CCV (Cubus Causa Vera). This gives me the opportunity to join the active ranks much sooner than in the larger and older (more settled) lodge, and I will be involved in editing the quarterly publication, for which we have high ambitions . More on this in a future post. Secondly, I have demitted from my motherlodge to join St. John’s Lodge Z&F (Zorobabel and Frederick to the Crowned Hope). This decision is based on pull, rather than push: I have lost none of my love for the lodge that initiated me, but the fact remains that I have bonded closer with a number of brethren of Z&F, and I can only apply myself to (and serve as an officer in) one lodge, so it had to be done.

I have also passed on the responsibility of the weekly Odin newsletter, which I am very happy about: it frees up time, but more importantly the whole idea behind Odin is activating new brothers, and I no longer qualify for that moniker; although I will remain active in Odin, where ever I can help. I also stepped down as Admin of a Facebook-group, and signed out of a number of online forums. A bit of spring cleaning – I’ll get involved in new projects soon enough.

So, following a very brief “crisis”, I have emerged re-envigorated and positive about my freemasonry once more. And I a week or two, when all the details are in place, I’ll return to Work.

Photo: from stock.xchng; by LotusHead and andrewatla.

Waiting for St. Andrew

l13Just a “half-way” report …

Nine months after having advanced to the Third degree, I was given a “letter of passage”, which allowed me to approach a Lodge of St. Andrew (the next step in the Swedish Rite, see this post), and I decided on “CFS”: Cubus Fredericus Septimi, Orient Copenhagen. It is the oldest St. Andrew’s lodge in Denmark, named for the monarch, Frederick VII, who introduced the Swedish Rite here. It is also the largest in Copenhagen, and the one with the most applicants, so I am still waiting for a date, even though I was confirmed for advancement more than a year ago; the earliest possible date is now fall of 2009, two and a half year after my Third.

I think the wait between degrees is a good thing, but I have to admit, I am itching by now. The third degree was very enlightening, and I could happily spend another couple of years here. But since we don’t have a system of progression through chairs, the only way to move on is to move “up” (through the degrees). It is definitely one of my big hopes for the Masonic year of 2009, but it could come as late as 2010. I will just have to find other paths to explore until then and exercise patience.

Picture: The emblem of CFS.

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.

Taking a chair

When I move back to Copenhagen sometime around new year, I will take the office of assisting Junior Warden in St. John’s lodge Hafnia. The official press officer of the Order has stated this many times, so I am not revealing anything by saying that the JW in Swedish Rite represents Conscience (and SW Reason). The two wardens are seated side by side in the West and mostly act in tandem, without the aid of any Deacons. This makes it a very active office that also offers opportunity to give “free” speeches, small talks prepared by the warden (within the confines of the ritual).

In our system there is no progressive line, and to hold an office one has to have the prerequisite degree. For instance a (Worshipful) Master of a lodge of St. John must have the IX°, and I believe that it is VII° for the Wardens. For this reason I cannot actually hold the office yet – from Initiation until VII° may be as long as 10 years. But a Master (III°) can serve in an assisting capacity. This is like an understudy, where he gets to take the chair and do all the things that is associated with the office, without actually holding the title. One can do this for several years, if everyone is happy with the work. In this way brothers can get involved without a line, and get a lot of practise for a specific office.

This is what I will be doing. Hopefully well enough that I can keep doing it and “breathe” the ritual for a couple of years. Until January all I can do is watch the work done in my temporary lodge and try to get it down. Something to look forward to …

The new season

For the next few months I am staying in Århus, so I am not going to be going to my motherlodge, Hafnia, but rather the local one, St. Clemens, which is also a wonderful lodge, meeting in the Århus Provincial Lodge (ÅPL). This means that I won’t be looking into any offices at this time, unfortunately.

There are several anniversaries this year hosted by ÅPL. Part of that will be launching a public exhibition in the city museum, which happens to be organised by a friend (non-mason) of mine, so I am looking forward to reporting on that.

If time permits I’ll also take the opportunity to visit some lodges withing range of Århus, that I wouldn’t otherwise have seen. One big wish is to the consecration of a new lodge in November – should be something special.

I am still waiting for a date for my St. Andrew’s degrees (IV/V) – I know it won’t be in the autumn, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the spring. I am so ready.

Which is not to say that I won’t be entering new degrees. I have been looking into Sociatas Rosicruciana in Anglia for some time, and hopefully this will happen in October. The Rosicrucian angle is one that speaks strongly to me, and one that I feel will complement the Swedish Rite very effectively.

Before I left, I helped start ‘Odin’, an initiative to strengthen the bonds between my lodge, Hafnia, and another lodge (Z&F) meeting on the same day in the same building (Freemasons Hall in Copenhagen). But because of my travels, I haven’t been able to follow up on that. Time to put some effort into it. I plan on taking responsibility for doing a small, monthly PDF-publication. (Read more about Odin.)

Writing is what I do for a living, so I am also going to write some articles for Masonic magazines (in Danish). About the journey which I have also described here, but also more topical stuff and general musings. Just when I can find the time – I have a few brewing already.

Also, BOTA continues. As well as training for a Marathon.

I know I have been complaining about the long summer break, but I just found out that St. Clemens have a series of workshops for the St. John’s (craft) degrees in August, so I’m set to begin the new season on Thursday …

Marathon – a year from now

Some months ago I wrote an entry about why it was important for me to run: fitness and meditation – both, which play into my mental, physical and spiritual well-being. I am not a health freak by any stretch, and there’s a lot I could do better. But on a very basic level, I believe that taking care of the physical temple is as important as caring for the temple within (and this is true of both the micro- and macro-cosmos).

At that time I set up a loose goal of running a Marathon at some point. I have now decided to run the Copenhagen Marathon, in May 2009 – exactly a year from now (and if it falls through, there is Berlin in September). Having a specific goal is good for the motivation, and sticking to it is where the discipline comes in. Beating the Marathon distance is all about pushing the barriers of body and will. It’s a challenge that I look forward to.

I still plan to combine it with a good cause somehow. Actually, I guess part of making the decission was buying a (RED) iPod Shuffle for running, so I guess I’m off to a reasonable start …