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Thursday, August 8, 2013


In the preface to his 1921 work Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods, J.S.M. Ward, with a nod to the researches of Albert Churchward, announced the development of a new school of Masonic research, one which he (Ward) proposed to call the anthropological school. The focus of this school would be the study of the customs and initiatory ceremonies of primitive and modern semi-civilized societies in an attempt to gain a greater understanding of the symbols and formalities of Masonic ritual. While Ward’s contributions to this field of research are indeed relevant and cannot be overestimated, his hypotheses oftentimes appear to suggest an underlying naivete and unfamiliarity with the discipline of anthropology as a whole, and in many cases his conclusions are dubious at best. It is due perhaps to these and certain other unfortunate factors that, with the exception of a small handful of dedicated Brethren like Robert Davis, Ron Watkins, Frederick Shade, Stephen Osborn, and Michael Pearce, the anthropological school of Masonic research is at present day virtually nonexistent. This is to some extent understandable. Although Arnold van Gennep’s landmark study The Rites of Passage was initially published in 1908, the same was not translated into the English language until almost forty years following the publication of Ward’s Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods. The latter therefore lacks much of what one would expect from a 20th century work purporting to provide an authentic anthropological approach to the problem of Masonic ritual. The function of the present article is thus twofold. It is first and foremost an attempt to link up the aims and interests of the anthropological school of Masonic research with the established methods of the genuine scholastic discipline of anthropology, the latter being understood in its broadest, academic sense. Secondly, the present article is an attempt to remedy the very lack of scholarship available in recent years within the anthropological school.

Right up until the time of the publication of Sir James G. Frazer’s monumental study of magic and religion The Golden Bough, the trend within the field of anthropological research had been to limit one’s observations and speculations to the social, familial, economic, political, and other ‘mundane’ aspects of the lives of the individuals within the societies under scrutiny, excluding for the most part any and all inquiries into the nature of the spiritual or internal life of primitive and semi-civilized man. Lewis Henry Morgan expressed this tendency when he wrote in his 1877 anthropological classic Ancient Society that

“The growth of religious ideas is environed with such intrinsic difficulties that it may never receive a perfectly satisfactory exposition. Religion deals so largely with the imaginative and emotional nature, and consequently with such uncertain elements of knowledge that all primitive religions are…to some extent unintelligible.”1

However, since the publication of Frazer’s highly influential work, there has grown a gradual interest in the magico-religious life of primitive and semi-civilized man. The first anthropologist widely accepted to successfully provide a structural analysis of the ritual process was Frenchman Arnold van Gennep. Aside from Van Gennep’s innovations concerning the classification of various rites and ceremonies, arguably his most important contributions to the field of anthropology were the concept of the rite of passage, and his development of the notion liminality.

Van Gennep defined rites of passage as “rites which accompany every change of place, state, social position and age.”2 From this it is made clear that the term is not limited to celebrations solely of birth, puberty, marriage, and death, but is also inclusive of initiations into magico-religious orders as well as secret societies.

“Whoever passes from one [state] to the other finds himself physically and magico-religiously in a special situation for a certain length of time: he wavers between two worlds. It is this situation which I have designated a transition…[T]his symbolic and spatial area of transition may be found in more or less pronounced form in all the ceremonies which accompany the passage from one social and magico-religious position to another.”3

A rite of passage then is constituted by any ceremonial or ritual observance of a given individual’s passage from one state of being to another. This includes not only the well-known puberty rites celebrated by primitive, semi-civilized, and civilized societies throughout the world, the same of which are designed to pass the boy from the realm of childhood to that of manhood, but the term is also inclusive of any initiation into a secret society or magico-religious order. In illustration of this rite, we might compare it to the process to passing through a doorway or threshold, which itself is a common feature in many rites of passage.

“[T]he door is the boundary between…the profane and sacred worlds…Therefore to cross the threshold is to unite oneself with a new world. It is thus an important act in [a rite of passage].”4

A similar motif appears in the ritual work of the Adoptive Rite of Freemasonry. In the degree of Apprentice we read the following questions and answers:

Qu:. What is [“the school of virtue”]?

Ans: Masonry.

Qu:. How did you arrive there?

Ans:. Through a Brother ready to help me who, becoming my guide, led me to the door of the Temple of Virtue, whose brilliancy dissipated the darkness that enveloped me while a profane.

Qu:. Did you enter into the Temple?

Ans:. I did…traversing a vault of iron and steel.


Qu:. Why was the vault of iron and steel?

Ans:. To teach us that we ought to flee from the criminal pleasures of the age of iron, if we desire to enjoy the innocent delights of the age of gold.”5

The above excerpt is a prime example of a portal or threshold rite which, through the imagery of a symbolic change from iron to gold, not unlike the alchemical pursuit of transmutating base metals into the same, is directly implicative of a rite of passage from a profane state to one of sacredness.

Rites of passage are divided by Van Gennep into three principle stages: pre-liminal, liminal, and post liminal; that is, separation from the profane, a transitional phase or passage, and lastly, aggregation or incorporation into the sacred.  In illustration of this scheme, it may be helpful to cite the well-known puberty rite of the Ndembu of Zambia, with whom anthropologist Victor Turner spent a considerable amount of time. The underlying formula of that rite aligns perfectly with Van Gennep’s classic description of a rite of passage.

First, there is a separation of the pubescent child from the hut of the mother. In this case the mother constitutes the realm of the profane. In many primitive societies, children are not distinguished sexually from their mothers. Whether they are male or female physically, a child is not considered to possess masculinity until he has been passed into manhood by the other men of the tribe. As religious scholar Mircea Eliade phrased it,

“man is made – he does not make himself all by himself. It is the old initiates, the spiritual masters, who make him….The material universe [is] that of the profane world. The universe that the novices [then] enter is that of the sacred world. Between the two, there is a break, a rupture of continuity.”6

Under these circumstances, it is easy to see why the mother is in this instance considered profane. For, she represents the undifferentiated state from which the child passing through the puberty rite must forsake if he is ever to individualize and become a man. As Masons, we might compare this state to the rough ashlar, having just been cut from the quarries, though still rough, unrefined, and by no means fit for the Builder’s use. In most rites of passage, this phase involves the symbolic or actual purification of the novice, be it via baptism, smudging, or ritualized flagellation.

The second phase of the rite of passage is the transitional state proper. In this phase of the formula, the individual undergoing the rite of passage is marginalized and isolated. According to Turner, individuals who are passing through this phase are “neither here nor there; they are betwixt and between the positions assigned and arrayed by law, custom, convention, and ceremonial.”7 An individual passing through the transitional phase of the rite of passage is therefore said to exist in what anthropologists call a liminal state. The word liminal stems from the Latin word limen, meaning threshold. Liminal entities are thus individuals who literally exist on the threshold of being. As Masons, we might compare this phase to the process of working the ashlar, the same of which, through the use of the common gavel and level, removes any irregularities that would distinguish the rough ashlar from those already prepared for the Builder’s use. Indeed, in his 1962 book Asylums, Erving Goffman suggested that liminal entities must submit to “the stripping and leveling processes which…directly [cuts] across the various social distinctions with which the recruits enter.”8 Another aspect commonly seen during this phase of the rite of passage is the ritual crossing of a sacred bridge, a threshold, or the climbing of a sacred tree or ladder.

The third and final phase of the rite of passage is the incorporation of the individual into the sacred, which in this case is constituted by the community of men and manhood itself. For the Ndembu, and indeed for most rites of passage in general, this final stage is marked by a symbolic death of the boy and resurrection of the “new man”; a veritable rebirth.

“The majority of initiatory ordeals more or less clearly imply a ritual death followed by resurrection or a new birth. The central moment of every initiation is represented by the ceremony symbolizing the death of the novice and his return to the fellowship of the living. But he returns to life a new man, assuming another mode of being. Initiatory death signifies the end at once of childhood, ignorance, and the profane condition….Passing from the profane to the sacred world in some sort implies the experience of death; he who makes the passage dies to one life in order to gain access to another.”9

As Eliade makes clear, the importance of the symbolic death which must precede any psychological rebirth and spiritual regeneration cannot be overestimated. The ceremonial observance of the death of an individual to his old life, and subsequent resurrection or rebirth into something new, is the physical anchor which allows true psychological and spiritual growth to ‘take root.’ In some rites of passage the element of death is so marked that ritual mourning and even funerals are oftentimes observed by those present or close to the novice. As Masons, we might compare this stage to the sacrifice of the rough and superfluous characteristics of the ashlar, the same of which had up until that point prevented its inclusion in the temple’s composition. While both the liminal and post-liminal states imply a “stripping and leveling” of one’s defining characteristics, it should be noted that, in the former case, the sacrifice of one’s definition is designed only to demolish his personal distinctions, while in the latter case the sacrificial act is directly connected to the notion of making one refined or perfect, in contradistinction to undefined and anonymous. It is during this last and final phase of the rite of passage that the novice is for the first time exposed to the primordial myth of the Ndembu, which tells of not only the world’s creation, but also of the origins of the initiatory rite itself. In most rites of passage, the third and final phase of the formula underlying the rite of passage also involves the novice’s first instruction in the sacred steps or dances of his people, which in themselves are replete with symbolism and meaning pertaining to the primordial myth.

Even from this rather cursory introduction, it should be clear to the reader that the ritual work of Freemasonry most certainly falls under the category of rites of passage. In the paragraphs which follow we will examine the underlying structure of Masonic ritual in light of Van Gennep’s notion of the rite of passage. It is the author’s hope that this analysis might bring himself and others to a greater understanding of just how exactly Freemasonry excels at ‘making good men better.’ Let us then proceed to a discussion of Masonic ritual, and how it might be understood within an authentic anthropological context. It should be noted however that the author is not an anthropologist, religious historian, sociologist, nor psychologist, but rather a member of the Masonic fraternity and lover of its ritual. Any original proposals in this paper are therefore to be understood to be those of an amateur.

Any true ceremonial rite of passage first requires the creation of sacred ground or space. In the case of most primitive and semi-civilized societies, this is constituted by a circular clearing of ground which has been surrounded by a barrier consisting usually of tree limbs or stones. According to Eliade,

“what is involved is a reactualization of [deity’s] creative work, and hence a regeneration of the world. For the sacred ground is at once an image of the world (imago mundi) and a world sanctified by the presence of the divine being….[T]he sacred ground plays an essential role in…initiation ceremonies because it represents the image of the primordial world as it was when the divine being was on earth.”10

Thus we see that, like the Masonic Lodge, the sacred ground is intended to be a miniature reproduction of the created world. The events acted out therein then are meant to be reenactments of that which took place in the beginning of time. One might even go as far as to say that with each performance of the ceremony, the celebrants are recreating the world and man anew. The notion that man and the world of order are recreated with the initiation of each novice is significant. In the ritual work of Freemasonry, we see this same motif repeated within each degree, when the candidate is ‘brought to Light’ immediately following the recitation of a pertinent section from the book of Genesis. This implies directly the notion that the candidate is moving from a state of darkness, chaos, and formlessness, and into one of light, order, and shape.

As Carl G. Jung explained in his landmark publication The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, the circle has an ‘organizing’ effect on an individual’s consciousness. The sacred ground may therefore be considered a definite order created amidst an otherwise chaotic environment. Another example of such a sacred space was to be found at the annual Haloa in Eleusis, a festival celebrated within the circular vicinity of the village threshing-floor.

As I wrote in a separate article,

“[T]he threshing-floor also happens to be an important symbol within Freemasonry. In the lectures of the so-called ‘American Ritual,’ which Albert Mackey lamented as “being lost or becoming obsolete” even in his day, the candidate for Masonic initiation is described as one who is travelling “to the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, where language was restored and Masonry found”. The association of Ornan’s threshing-floor with Freemasonry stems from the fact that King Solomon’s temple was said to have been erected on that very same site. The land had earlier been purchased from Ornan by King David, Solomon’s father, for the purpose of erecting there an altar, whereon David was to make sacrificial offerings after witnessing a vision of the “angel of the Lord” whom was seen standing within the vicinity of the threshing-floor. Before that time, all sacrifices would have generally been made on the ‘altar of the burnt offering’ which was housed in the tabernacle. However, following David’s sacrifice, it was decreed that a permanent temple should be erected atop Ornan’s threshing-floor – a temple which would eventually come to replace the ‘tabernacle in the wilderness’ as the domicile of the Jewish deity. It is this permanent temple wherein the various degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry symbolically take place. Therefore, it was said of the candidate for Masonic initiation that he is allegorically travelling “to the threshing-floor of Ornan,” i.e., the temple of Solomon the King. The threshing-floor is thus implicative of initiation and the Masonic Lodge.”11

In his book Building Boaz, John Nagy rightly associates the symbolism of the threshing-floor with the checkered pavement of King Solomon’s temple, and thus with the degree of Entered Apprentice, when he says that “[t]he Threshing-floor is the very foundation of King Solomon’s Temple.” The practice of threshing is directly associated with the idea of ritual flagellation or whipping, the same of which is observed by the natives of Australia, among other primitive and semi-civilized peoples. Sir J.G. Frazer considered ritualized flagellation to be intimately connected to the idea of purification. Insofar as the function of threshing is to separate the superfluous chaff from the precious wheat, it too can be said to be a form of symbolic purification.

“On the threshing-floor, the fruit of the harvest is laid out before [the threshers]. Further work is done to separate the grain heads from the chaff that nurtured it to maturity. Winnowing efforts are put forth in this activity, forcing movement of the chaff away from the desired grain….Winnowing is the act of fanning, thus creating a wind to eliminate unwanted material.”12

Thus we see that “Threshing and Winnowing are common metaphors for…purification.”13 This ritual of symbolic flagellation and purification is an indication to us that the first degree of Freemasonry, that of Entered Apprentice, constitutes the initial phase of our rite of passage. For, it represents the separation and purification from the profane world which must precede the transition proper. Other examples of this form of “separation” within the degree of Entered Apprentice include the ‘due and true’ preparation of the candidate, the same of which divests him of any defining characteristics, such as valuable minerals, metals, personal clothing, and even sight. This last factor is particularly interesting to us as the act of veiling the eyes of a novice, i.e., blindfolding or hoodwinking him, is considered by Van Gennep to be an example of a rite of separation, and thus a common constituent in the first stage of a genuine rite of passage.

“With reference to the veil, Plutarch inquired, “Why do people veil their heads when worshipping the gods?” The answer is simple: to separate themselves from the profane…”14

Mention also need be made of the significance of the Masonic cable-tow, the same of which is used to bind the candidate for initiation. While the “tie which cannot be broken” alludes, just as in the case cited by Van Gennep of the novice “being tied with a single rope or belt” at the end of the ritual, to the act of aggregation or incorporation of the candidate into the fraternity, the implication of being tied with the cable-tow at the beginning of the ritual signifies in all probability a rite of separation. It is therefore pertinent to the pre-liminal stage of the rite of passage. Another example of separation within the first degree is the reference to the so-called perfect points of entrance. These signify the four Cardinal Virtues, the same of which an aspirant must exhibit before he is eligible for Initiation into the Craft. The requirement of an aspirant’s exemplification of the perfect points of entrance therefore serve to separate him from the world of the profane before the former has ever even begun his approach to the ‘light of east,’ i.e., the realm of the sacred.

The next phase in the formula underlying any and all genuine examples of a rite of passage is that of the transition. It is this stage in the process which constitutes the liminal state proper. In the ritual work of Freemasonry, this phase correlates to the degree of Fellowcraft. Regarding the rite of transition, Van Gennep has the following to say:

“The rite of passage between the parts of an object that has been halved, or between two [objects]…is one which must, in a certain number of cases, be interpreted as a direct rite of passage by means of which a person leaves one world behind him and enters a new one.”15

The applicability of the above statement to the second Degree of Freemasonry is absolutely remarkable. As we all know, it is the Fellowcraft degree which is characterized by the ceremonial passing of the Candidate through “the representative of those two famous brazen pillars which were set in the portico of King Solomon’s temple.” In his extremely rare book The Threshold Covenant, H. Clay Thrumbull illustrates this requirement when he recounts the fascinating story of General Grant’s passage into Upper Egypt. According to Thrumbull,

“a bull was sacrificed as [Grant] disembarked. The head was placed on one side of the gangplank and the body on the other, so that Grant had to pass between them as he stepped over the spilled blood.”16

As mentioned above, another characteristic of this stage in the formula is the ceremonial or symbolic crossing of a bridge, the climbing of a ladder, or, in the case of the ritual work of Freemasonry, the ascension of the spiral staircase. In many primitive societies, this phase is frequently marked by the ritual climbing of a sacred tree or pole which has been painted, carved, or adorned with sacred symbols or relics, the same of which signifies the axis mundi or world tree. The axis mundi represents the link that bridges the divide between the world of man and that of deity, not unlike cosmic pillar of Egyptian cosmology. According to Eliade, the Wiradjuri tribe observes a rite which has striking affinities with the nature of the spiral staircase.

“[T]he men cut a spiral piece from the bark of a tree to symbolize the path between sky and earth. In my opinion, this represents a mystical reactivation of the connections between the human world and the divine world of the sky. According to myths, the first man, created by [deity], ascended to the sky by a path and conversed with his creator. The role of the bark spiral in the initiation festival is thus clear – as symbol of ascension it reinforces the connection with the sky world of [deity].”17

As with the similarities between the primitive rite of transition and the ceremonial passing between the two brazen pillars in Freemasonry, we find these analogues to be simply extraordinary.

Any discussion of this aspect of the ritual work of Freemasonry would naturally be incomplete without at least some mention of the liminal qualities of the middle chamber itself, to which the spiral staircase leads. Aside from the inherent qualities of ‘middleness’ and its relation to the idea of being passed, the middle chamber is also pregnant with other aspects, the same of which are clear expressions of the concept of liminality as it is communicated in the symbol of gestation. Rollin C. Blackmer wrote in his book A Practical Explanation of the Work of Freemasonry, that

“[t]he lodge is a representation of King Solomon’s Temple and the Temple was calculated to symbolize the maternal human body, wherein the candidate must enter to be born again. The uterus and vagina represent the porch of the Temple, the pillars of the porch represent the fallopian tubes, the network, the broad ligament with its accompanying blood vessels…and the pomegranate, the ovary and its exuberant seeds, the ova cells.”

As Blackmer makes blushingly clear, the middle chamber is a symbolic representation of the transition which separates potential from the realization of the actual. The notion that a period of gestation must precede any true psychological or spiritual rebirth is naturally an integral part of the liminal or transitional phase of the formula underlying every genuine rite of passage.

The third and final phase in the formula underlying Van Gennep’s description of the rite of passage is that of aggregation or incorporation. It was explained above that the primary aspects of this post-liminal phase are threefold: death, resurrection, and instruction. In the case of the ritual work of Freemasonry, the instruction of the candidate regarding the primordial myth, i.e., the legend of our beginnings as Freemasons, coincides with the ceremonial observance of his initiatory raising, so that his symbolic death and resurrection is executed within the context of a ceremonial reenactment of the primordial myth. As Eliade put it, the novice’s “initiatory murder is justified by an origin myth.”18 This, like several other elements described above, is identical to the types of rites of passage observed by primitive and semi-civilized societies the world over. The central myth of Freemasonry, the same of which concerns the allegorical death and raising of grand master Hiram Abiff, is not normally interpreted as having cosmic implications. However, in his imaginative study In the Fields of Chaos, Manly P. Hall did an applaudable job of explicating the legend of grand master Hiram Abiff in terms of a cosmic beginning. But, because space does not permit us to provide a full description of Hall’s treatment of the subject here, the interested reader is directed to Hall’s 1923 work The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, where his Fields of Chaos study may be found in its entirety.

Also of interest to us here is the technique used by certain natives of the Upper Amazon, as well as the Caribbean, to induce the state of ‘death’ in the novices which leads to their eventual resurrection as men. It also plays a prominent role in the ritualized death which creates and maintains a shaman’s manas or wisdom that gives him his mysterious, magical powers. In this remarkable case, the ritual murder is accomplished via an entheogenic snuff powder that is prepared from a certain species of acacia, a tree with a long history of use as an initiatory and visionary sacrament. Abundant in the hallucinogenic compound dimethyltryptamine, the acacia flourishes in kaolenite-rich soils, namely, clay. The snuff is prepared by combining the powder of the inner bark of the tree’s roots with the calcium carbonate containing powder of ground bones or shells that have been ‘roasted’ over an extremely hot fire. This primitive yet complex process of chemical conversion renders the inert plant material susceptible to absorption by the mucous membranes in the nasal cavity, effectively producing a notably powerful insuffulate. As calcium carbonate is basically common, everyday chalk, one can see that, provided the charcoal which is required to fuel the flame needed to fire the skeletal remains, we are presented with more than a few simple similarities to the particulars of Masonic ritual.

Other notable features include the widespread notion among native peoples that the miraculous resurrection of the man from the symbolic death of the child is accomplished via the intervention of a divine animal spirit, whose magical assistance makes the task possible. As Mircea Eliade explains in his Rites and Symbols of Initiation,

“the divine beings who play a part in initiation ceremonies are usually imagined in the form of beasts of prey [such as] lions…This comes out quite clearly in African initiation ceremonies; here…the operators are dressed in lion skins…[b]ut soon afterward the novices themselves are dressed in…lion skins; that is, they assimilate the divine essence of the initiatory animal and hence are restored to life in it.”19

The author is hesitant here to point out the exact significance of the above excerpt, but he is content that any man who has been raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason will be instantly struck by the magnitude of its implications. Other notable examples of a rite of incorporation include “libations, ceremonial visiting…the sharing of a meal,”20 and, interestingly, “a handclasp.”21 A last point that remains to be made concerning the post-liminal phase of most primitive and semi-civilized rites of passage is the instruction of the novice regarding the sacred dances of his people. In many cases, the sacred dances of native peoples are wrought with symbolism, the steps themselves oftentimes retracing those of deity in his path of creation according to the primordial myth of the society in question. As Freemasons, we too are taught the sacred dances of our ancestors when we learn the secret steps pertinent to each degree. What is a dance but a series of regular steps? The communication of the due guards and penal signs to the new Initiate might also fall under the category of the sacred dance.

Before closing, we would like to first mention that, once a novice has passed the ordeals of the rite of passage and is officially incorporated into the group, he is given full access to the rights and benefits thereof. He is thenceforth considered to be an Initiate, and is thus permitted to wear the sacred regalia associated with the society which distinguishes him as such. According to Van Gennep, this might manifest in the form of a ceremonial tattoo, hairstyle, badge, ring, or article of clothing. In the case of the ritual work of Freemasonry, this would no doubt be constituted by the bestowal of the lambskin or white leather apron to the newly-raised Master Mason; the true badge of a Mason.

It is our hope that we have at least been somewhat successful in our foremost attempt to link up the aims and interests of the anthropological school of Masonic research with the methods of the genuine scholastic discipline of anthropology. By establishing substantial and solid connections between the ritual work of Freemasonry and the proposed steps involved in Van Gennep’s classic description of the rite of passage, we as Masons may come to a fuller knowledge of just how we succeed at ‘making good men better,’ as well as a greater understanding as to why, as Julian Rees once put it,

“[w]e need, in the Christian description, to ‘die to ourselves,’ to contemplate our inevitable destiny, in order to guide us to that most interesting of all human studies. The holy confidence referred to is that in ourselves we can be perfect: we can in ourselves defeat defeatisms, defeat pain, defeat suffering, defeat low self-esteem, defeat insecurity, defeat inner chaos and outer hostility, and lift our eyes to a brighter horizon.”22



[1] Victor Turner’s The Ritual Process, p. 1

[1] The Ritual Process, p. 94

[1] Arnold Van Gennep’s The Rites of Passage, p. 18

[1] The Rites of Passage, p. 20

[1] Arturo de Hoyos’s Albert Pike’s Formulas and Rituals, p. 628

[1] Mircea Eliade’s Rites and Symbols of Initiation, pp. 23, 36

[1] The Ritual Process, p. 95

[1] The Ritual Process, p. 108

[1] Rites and Symbols of Initiation, pp. 20-21

[1] Rites and Symbols of Initiation, p. 31

[1] Masonry and the Mysteries of Eleusis

[1] Building Boaz, pp. 27, 34

[1] Building Boaz, pp. 34-35

[1] The Rites of Passage, p. 168

[1] The Rites of Passage, p. 19

[1] The Rites of Passage, p. 19

[1] Rites and Symbols of Initiation, p. 42

[1] The Rites and Symbols of Initiation, p. 55

[1] The Rites and Symbols of Initiation, pp. 54, 55

[1] The Rites of Passage, p. 24

[1] The Rites of Passage, p. 105

[1] Ron Watkins’ Freemasonry and Initiation, originally published in Philalethes Vol. 64, No. 3 (Spring issue, 2011)



Blackmer, Rollin C. A Practical Explanation of the Work of Freemasonry

Davis, Robert G. Understanding Manhood in America

De Hoyos, Arturo. Albert Pike’s Masonic Formulas and Rituals

Eliade, Mircea. Rites and Symbols of Initiation

Frazer, James G. The Golden Bough

Goffman, Erving. Asylums

Hall, Manly P. The Lost Keys of Freemasonry

Jung, Carl G. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious

Mackey, Albert G. The History of Freemasonry

Morgan, Lewis H. Ancient Society

Nagy, John S. Building Boaz

Newman, Phillip D. Masonry and the Mysteries of Eleusis

Newman, Phillip D. Phallism in Freemasonry: Fact or Fallacy?

Newman, Phillip D. The Widow’s Son: the Dead Father in the Work of Freemasonry

Osborn, Stephen M. Rites of Passage, the Mysteries and Freemasonry

Pearce, Michael. The Function of Secrecy in the Work of Freemasonry

Ratsch, Christian. The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants

Rees, Julian. Freemasonry: A Spiritual Quest

Shade, Frederick A. Rites of Passage and Masonic Initiation

Thrumbull, H.C. The Threshold Covenant

Turner, Victor. The Ritual Process

Van Gennep, Arnold. The Rites of Passage

Ward, J.S.M. Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods
Watkins, Ron. Freemasonry and Initiation

Valley of Corinth, Orient of MS

Disclaimer: This paper entitled. "FREEMASONRY: A RITE OF PASSAGE FOR THE MODERN MAN", was submitted to Tupelo Masonic Lodge No. 318 F&AM for publication by the author, P.D. Newman. The printing of this or any other writing does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Tupelo Masonic Lodge No. 318 F&AM or the Grand Lodge of Mississippi. Please read our Terms of Use for full details.

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  3. i want to share my testimony of how i become rich and famous today… i was deeply strangled up by poverty and i had no body to help me, and also i search for help from different corners but to no avail… i see people around me getting rich but to me i was so ashamed of my self so i met a man on my way he was very rich and he was a doctor so he told me something and i think over it though out the day so the next day i looked up and i keep repeating what he said to me. ” if you want to get rich quick and be famous” you need to cross your heart and do what is in your mind so i tried all i could in other for me to do as he said so later on i told my fellow friend about this same thing then my friend was interested in my suggestions so i decided to look in the internet and i found their number so we decided to contact them and unfortunately we did as they instruct us to do and later they told us to get some requirements and all the rest… so this initiation took us just a week and later on the great fraternity gave us $1,200,000 to start up our lives…. and now am testifying that if in any case you want to join any great fraternity all you need to do is for you to contact them because they are legitimate and they do as what they instructed them to do, so you can as well WhatsApp me +2348106618681 or for more information +1(705)8062021 you can Email: illuminatipowerful666@gmail.com...

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