Common Elements in Freemasonry
and Neo-Pagan Ritual

Freemasonry is an ancient and venerable institution with many centuries of history behind it. Likewise, Pagan traditions fade into the most distant recesses of time. Yet few modern-day Pagans are intimately familiar with Freemasonry, undoubtedly as least in part due to the all-male nature of the fraternity in contrast to the prominent role of women in most traditions of neo-Paganism. And it is likely that even fewer Masons understand neo-Paganism. Yet there are striking liturgical similarities and historical ties.
Historians agree that the present-day structure known as the Masonic fraternity, whatever its antecedents may have been, began with the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in the year 1717 [1]. It is not surprising, then, to find that some of the symbolic and mythological elements in Masonic rituals would appear to be of Pagan origin. Examples include ritual circumambulation, which is rooted in Celtic practices centered around belief in sympathetic solar magic. By walking in the direction of the sun, Pagans believed (as many do today) that they could attune themselves to Nature's progress around the wheel of the year. Moderns understand the earth orbits the sun, but ancients contemplated a life-giving orb which "rose" in the east and "set" in the west.
Other striking examples occur in common vocabulary of the of the Masonic fraternity and certain neo-Pagan traditions. For example, the word "cowan," which comes from ancient Scottish language, refers to non-initiates in either instance.
No less than the eminent Masonic historian, Dr. Albert G. Mackey, tells of similarities between Freemasonry and ancient Druidism, which was one of thousands of ancient Pagan traditions. (Hereafter, the word "paleo-Pagan" will be used to distinguish between ancient and modern, or "neo-Pagan," beliefs or systems.) Dr. Mackey tells us:
The doctrine of the Druids were the same as those entertained by Pythagoras... The object of their mystic rites was to communicate those doctrines in symbolic language, and object and a method common alike to Druidism, to the Ancient Mysteries and to Modern Freemasonry. [2]
It is believed that the body of knowledge which has descended to us in the form of Freemasonry has its roots in many ancient sources. The most obvious are Semitic and Christian since the outward content of the rituals revolve around the construction of King Solomon's temple. But some aspects of Masonry appear to be of Pagan origin, in the most honorable and classical sense of that word.[3] One reason may be common historical roots.
Pythagoras, himself undeniably a Pagan, reportedly studied the teachings of "Brahmins and Druids," under the mental of an Assyrian philosopher named Ammanianus.[4] Pythagoras, who lived from 586 to 506 BCE, is remembered generally for his love of knowledge, and specifically for his writings on the mystical power of numbers, as well as for being the father of the science of geometry. According to Mackey, Pythagoras "...traveled through Egypt, Chaldea and Asia Minor, and is said to have submitted to the initiations in those countries for the purpose of acquiring knowledge. On his return to Europe, he is said to have established his school at Crotona, with liturgical practices resembling those subsequently adopted by Freemasons" [5].
The present paper will touch on a few of the elements evident in present-day Masonic liturgy, without revealing any of its so-called "secrets," which appear to have common aspects with some of the indigenous Pagan mythologies. Dr. Lewis Spence explains this by pointing out that in the middle ages, students of occultism were often initiated to a variety of societies. He adds his own assessment of Masonic mysticism:
No student of occultism can fail to be struck with the close resemblance of the constitutions of nearly all the mystical fellowships of the middle ages, and the resemblance of the verbiage employed by their founders and protagonists * * *
It is extremely doubtful if among even the higher ranks of masonry, the deepest significance of the tradition of the craft is thoroughly realised and it is the absurd works which every now and then emanate from the eminent masons regarding the history of their craft be accepted as criteria of their higher knowledge, it must indeed be of slight proportions. Regarding the grand secret, or secrets, of masonry, the layman may rest comfortably assured that if he has failed to join the brotherhood, he has missed no fact of supreme importance by so doing. There is no 'secret' at all. The original secrets in connection with the craft were those of operative masons, who were jealous of their position as workmen, and who rightly enough did not believe in giving away business secrets to all and sundry; but the so-called 'secrets' of modern speculative masonry are merely such as have brought alchemy, astrology, and the kindred sciences into unthinking disrepute among those who do not recognize their significance in the history of human thought. This is not to say that masonry as a whole consists of mere clap-trap. The trend of its entire constitution is nowadays frankly mystical, but it is a mysticism which is only half understood by the lower ranks of the craft, and which is imperfectly recognised by its higher officers. Its tenets are unquestionably mystic and lofty, but Masonic transcendentalism has scarcely kept in line with more modern forms of mysticism. [6]
Freemasonry has not been without influence in the neo-Pagan movement in the latter's efforts to reconstruct and recreate that which has been lost. Gerald Brosseau Gardner (1884-1964) is often cited as being chiefly responsible for reviving the religion of Witchcraft in England and the modern West [7]. Wiccan matriarch Doreen Valiente, an High Priestess who worked closely with Gardner, informs us:
Another tradition which has obviously been laid under tribute by Gerald's rituals is that of Freemasonry. Thanks to the work of such writers as Walton Hannah, the ordinary reader is able to find out a good deal more about Masonic ritual than was generally available before. We can therefore see that there are terms such as 'the Working Tools,' the reference to the candidate's being 'properly prepared' for initiation, the 'Charge' which is read to the new initiate, and the existence of three Degrees through which the initiate must advance, which are all very reminiscent of Masonic procedure when one finds them in the witch rituals. Indeed, both Masons and witches today refer to their cult as 'the Craft.' The Third Degree of the witches refers to 'the Five Points of Fellowship,' just as the Third Degree of Freemasonry does, though with a rather different meaning. In the third Degree initiation, the candidate is blindfolded, has a cable-tow placed about the neck and is admitted upon the point of a sharp instrument, in both Gardnerian witchcraft and Freemasonry.
What do these resemblances mean? It has been argued that there was an ancient connection between witch rituals and those of Freemasonry. This may be so, but it is a fact that both Gerald Gardner and Dafo were members of the Co-Masons. Co-Masonry is an offshoot of Freemasonry which permits the admission of women, something which, of course, the United Grand Lodge of England strictly forbids. It originated in France and spread to Britain in 1902, when its first British Lodge was formed in London. In this Lodge the famous leader of the Theosophical Society, Mrs. Annie Besant, was initiated and became the national delegate for Britain, and in 1922 Co-Masonry was affiliated to the Grand Orient of France. When Annie Besant died, her daughter, Mrs. Mabel Besant-Scott, became the leader of Co-Masonry in Britain -- and Mrs. Mabel Besant-Scott was Gerald Gardner's neighbour in Highcliffe, near Christchurch, on the edge of the New Forest. She was also a leading member of the Rosicrucian Fellowship of Crotona [8].
Another close associate of Gardner who is reported to have been a Freemason was Arnold Crowther (1909-1974) [9].
As has already been made clear in the passage from Spence quoted previously, the rise of speculative Freemasonry in the 17th and 18th century has been historically linked to an increase in the popularity among other secret magical orders whose rituals were based on the Hermetica, mystery schools, the Tarot, interpretations of the Kabbalah and astrology [10].
Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) provided other influences on the development of modern witchcraft through association with Gardner. Crowley was an adept of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (which included the Outer Order of the White Brotherhood, Order of the Red Rose and the Golden Cross, and the Silver Star or A.:.A.:. (Argentum Astrum). Even the distinctive three dots in "A.:.A.:." suggests a Masonic connection Later, Crowley advanced through the Ordo Templi Orientis, a German occult order that practices sex magick. Crowley is not known to have had any Masonic connections, though the organizations just named may bear, or once have born, historical or concordant or clandestine ties to the Fraternity.
Isaac Bonewits, Archdruid of Ar' nDrai'ocht Fe'in: A Druid Fellowship, in explaining the evolution of Pagan traditions and beliefs as they were passed through the generations, states the followers of the Old Religion were forced by persecutions during the Burning Times to conceal their "superstitious" beliefs and magical systems. "Instead," he says, "they became involved in Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism in the 18th century, Spiritualism and Theosophy in the 19th; for all of these movements were considered more respectable than witchcraft, and still allowed the Fam-Trads to practice their occult arts" [11].
Another specific common ritual element between Freemasonry and various Pagan traditions centers around the idea of iron as a source of evil to those who touch it. Blacksmiths of ancient Rome and Pompeii wore phallic amulets to counteract the effect which the constant handling of iron was expected to bring upon them. More recently, men who built needfires in Beltane bonfires of Scotland traditionally divested themselves of anything made of metal. Another Scotch custom was that in making the clavie (a fire-wheel used in celebrating Yule) any hammering must be done with a stone rather than metal [12].
Similarly, Masonic ritual requires a candidate for initiation to enter the Lodge "divested of all metallic substances," as it is said the masons who built King Solomon's temple cut each stone without blades of stone. Known as the "rite of divestiture," this Masonic ritual reminds the new initiate of the destitute condition in which all humans enter the world and that all must rely on the charity of others. Mackey explains: "In the divestiture of metals as a preliminary to initiation, we are symbolically taught that Masonry regards no man on account of his wealth" [13]
In ancient times, iron was forbidden inside Greek and Roman temples, just as it was during construction of both Hebrew temples at Jerusalem. Ancient Saxons would not use iron in cemeteries because it was feared the metal would scare away departed spirits. Brass has also been believed to be effective in repelling spirits. Many neo-Pagan traditions also have strict prohibitions about the types of metals, or whether any metal, which may be brought into a ritual circle.
An example of a more direct influx of Masonic material, and of its alteration to fit neo-Pagan system of worship, is documented by Janet and Stewart Farrar when they refer in a footnote to the evolution of Gardner's book of shadows:
Text A says 'Holy Twin Pillars, B. and J.' This stands for Boaz and Jachin, the Masonic names for the twin pillars of Solomon's Temple, representing the complementary principles of Severity and Mercy. The 'B. and J.' was dropped from Texts B and C. In this ritual, the 'Holy Twin Pillars' are the Priestess's breasts, which are kissed at this point. (In the alternative form of the Great Rite..., because of the different positioning of the Priestess and Priest, the Pillars are taken to be the Priestess's legs.) [14]
Two interesting literary references, in line with the Farrars' allusion to the pillars as figured in human breasts and legs, are found in the Song of Solomon, where the lyricist says: "I am a wall and my breasts like towers..." (8:10). And again: "His legs are pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars" (5:15).
Contrary to the Farrars' interpretation of the Masonic meaning of the two pillars, knowledgeable Masonic writers provide a different explanation of the twin pillars which stand at the "inner door" of Masonic lodges everywhere, which are emblematical of the two which supposedly stood in the ancient Temple:
It is believed that when a king was crowned he stood before one of them, for which reason it was called the 'King's Pillar;' when a high priest was consecrated he stood before the other, or 'Priest's Pillar.' For this reason the two pillars represented the foundation of a nation's life, the state and church government and religion, God and King. But... as used in the Second Degree they have more profound and important meaning: they are the symbol of the last step taken in Passing, the step taken between the hard and honest work a man does on his own nature to shape it into the character it ought to have and the reward of that work in honor, peace of mind, power, and self-respect. [15]
Interesting similarities, and also some differences, occur in the ritual assemblies in Freemasonry and various Pagan traditions both ancient and modern.
Wicca is a religion the roots of which, like those of Freemasonry, are lost in antiquity. This century, however, has seen a resurgence of Goddess worship, both in the form of various Wiccan traditions, and revitalization of other forms of Pagan worship. Many of these traditions worship a Great Goddess, side-by-side with a masculine deity.
In the casting of a modern-day Wiccan ritual circle, a process known as "erecting the Temple" includes the consecration of sacred space. This includes saluting the "guardians of the watchtowers" (or other similar language) of the East, South, North and West, usually in that order, at each quarter of the circle. Some also salute the center of the circle. It is explained that each quarter corresponds to one of the essential elements of Air, Fire, Earth, Water and Spirit.
A Masonic lodge, on the other hand, is described as an "oblong square," which denotes two squares joined together to form a rectangle. Masons generally sit or stand around the sidelines of the Lodge as rituals take place, with officers seated in the East, South and North. The Masonic alter is always situated in the center of the lodge, the spot which in a neo-Pagan circle might well represent the element of Spirit.
Russell A. Herner [16] puts forth the hypothesis that the prehistoric stones standing on Salisbury Plain, in England, were placed there by a Masonic organization some 2,700 or more years ago. Although Herner's writings appear more directed at a popular audience than a scholarly one, and are not generally accepted by historians, he raises a number of interesting observations, including that Stonehenge's alignments are oriented to the positions of the cycles of the sun and moon, and that its focal point is to the North-East, a significant direction in the rituals of modern Freemasonry. In addition, Herner notes, the stones are placed precisely in geographical directions, laid out nearly identically to a modern Masonic lodge-room, with officer stations at each of the four quarters.
Ritual space for Wiccans, Druids and other neo-Pagans, is often referred to as "a place that is not a place, a time that is not a time," in allusion to the idea of crossing mystical boundaries.
A Masonic initiate enters the lodge "...neither barefoot nor shod, naked nor clad...," again neither this nor that. In their lectures on Celtic poetry and myth, Taine Bwca and Erynn Darkstar explain the roots of such practices is cosmological terms:
[The Celts] had a very different way of classifying time and space than we do. Their day began at the fall of night. They liked going to boundaries. They enjoyed looking at an absurd concept and breaking it down in terms of things that were and were not. The song that Simon and Garfunkel popularized in the 1960s, 'Scarborough Fair,' has a little piece of ancient riddle that's very Celtic in form, 'between the sea water and the sea sand,' it's neither this nor that. They loved the neither/nor dichotomy. Most of the warriors that die gloriously (and they all basically die gloriously in Celtic tales) die under impossible, absurd situations, like standing on the back of a horse, right between the time when the bell is tolling, neither in nor out of the house, with a weapon that's not been made by anyone in particular... These were people that crossed boundaries * * *
They really, again, like boundary conditions, where the shoreline is, where you can't really see things that clearly, especially in Ireland and Scotland with all that fog there. Things happen at boundaries in Celtic culture, at least for purposes of religion. They don't happen in the middle, or in a 'safe' section. Things happen right on the edge. [17]
Mithraism is one of many paleo-Pagan religions about which more has been learned in recent years. James R. Russell (1994) of the Harvard University Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations presented a paper entitled "Mithraism and Freemasonry" at the Livingston Masonic Library in New York, in which he began: "It has long been recognized that there are very numerous similarities between the initiatory rituals and symbolism of the ancient Mithraic mysteries and those of modern Freemasonry." Dr. Russell proceeded to discuss the contents of Egyptian documents containing a Greek language Obligation which has elements similar to modern Masonic ritual; as well, we might add, as being similar to some current-day Pagan religious rituals.
At the conclusion of each Masonic degree a "Charge" is given. According to Mackey: "It is the admonition which is given by the presiding officer at the close of the ceremony of initiation, to the candidate, and which the latter receives standing, as a token of respect. There is a charge for each degree, which is found in all the monitors [19] and manuals from Preston onward" [20]. Respect for Masonic tradition and law prohibits reproduction of a Charge here, though versions may be found in publication in various places.
In some ways similar, a "Charge of the Goddess" is used among almost all branches of modern Witchcraft. It is published in varying forms. Some covens have Charges which they hold secret. The following version, set in modern language by Starhawk, was first published by Charles Godfrey Leland in 1899 [21]:
Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who of old was called Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Ceridwen, Diana, Arionrhod, Brigid, and by many other names. Whenever you have need of anything, once in the month, and better when the moon is full, you shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me who is Queen of all the wise. You shall be free from slavery, and as a sign that you be free you shall be naked in your rites. Sing, feast, dance, make music and love, all in My presence, for Mine is the ecstasy of the spirit and Mine also is joy on earth. For My law is love unto all beings. Mine is the secret that opens upon the door of youth, and Mine is the cup of wine of life that is the Cauldron of Ceridwen that is the holy grail of immortality. I give the knowledge and the spirit eternal and beyond death I give peace and freedom and reunion with those that have gone before. Nor do I demand aught of sacrifice, for behold, I am the mother of all things and My love is poured out upon the earth. [22]
Valiente was quoted earlier to the effect that some version of the "Five Points of Fellowship" of the Masons exist within the third degree of Witch rituals. Also called the "Fivefold Kiss," Guiley offers the following description:
A ritual kissing of five parts of the body done in certain rites and ceremonies, such as handfasting, in some traditions of neo-Pagan witchcraft. It is always done within a magic circle and is symbolic of the homage paid by the God and the Goddess to each other. The fivefold kiss can be done man to woman or woman to man. The kisses may be given on the parts of the body which, with arms and legs outstretched, correspond to the points of a pentacle: head, arms or hands; legs or feet. Or, eight kisses may be given in five body points: on each foot; on each knee; above the pubic hair; on each breast; on the lips. Each kiss is accompanied by a blessing... [23]
The closest thing to a Masonic counterpart of this, as noted, is the Five Points of Fellowship, which Mackey explains thus: "...In the old system, the symbols are the hand, the foot, the knee, the breast and the back. In the new system, the first symbol or the hand is omitted, and the mouth and the ear substituted." [24]
Among the first similarities observed by a Witch visiting a Masonic lodge, to a Wiccan circle (or vice versa), is the orientation of the ritual around the points of the compass. The "cardinal point" in Freemasonry is the East. It is here that the Worshipful Master sits and presides over the ritual, over whose head the letter "G" hangs from the vaulted ceiling of the lodge. According to Masonic custom, it is at the North-East corner that buildings are ceremonially commenced and the cornerstone laid. A nineteenth century Mason, Brigham Young, explained the laying of the cornerstone of a temple in Salt Lake City at the southeast corner, although he acknowledges that this was not traditional:
The First Presidency proceeded to the south-east corner, to lay the first stone, though it is customary at the north-east corner -- that is the beginning point most generally, I believe, in the world. At this side of the equator we commence at the south-east corner. We sometimes look for light, you know, brethren. You old men that have been through the mill pretty well, have been inquiring after light -- which way do you go? You will tell me to go to the east for light? So we commence by laying the stone on the south-east corner, because there is the most light. [25]
Ordinarily, it is at the North-East corner that buildings are ceremonially commenced, according to Masonic custom. Mackey tells us:
The organizers of the Mysteries did not leave things to chance. However vague some of their speculations may have sounded in the ears of the people, they were themselves dealing in as exact science as they were able to command. Hence, while the terrestrial 'East' was ever in the direction of the rising sun, a direction that describes a complete circle with every recurring twelve months, the celestial or true East was permanently situated in the sign of the zodiacal lion, or Leo, or the 'House of the Sun.' In every part of the world we always find the four cardinal points associated with the four elements, -- East, Lion, fire; South, Eagle (Scorpio), water; West, man, air; North, Bull, earth. [26]
These correspondences are similar but do not precisely match those commonly recognized by modern Pagan traditions. Though variation exists with the is diversity of Pagan traditions, following are the correspondences with which this writer is most familiar in a Pagan context, for exemplary purposes, in a table alongside the above noted Masonic counterparts:

East Air Intellect/Imagination East Fire Leo
South Fire Will/Vitality South Water Scorpio
West Water Emotion/Intuition West Air Man
North Earth Body/Foundation North Earth Bull

Another obvious common symbol used in Masonry and Pagan traditions, is the Pentagram, recognized as a symbol of many mystical traditions. With its point turned up or down, it is widely known as the emblem of the Order of the Easter Star, and has numerous layers of meaning. Neo-Pagan author, Amber K, on the other hand, relates some historic meanings this mystic symbol has had, and the meaning it continues to hold to modern Wiccans:
The pentagram has had many names through the ages: Pentalpha, the Endless Knot, the Pentacle of the Virgin, the Seal of Microcosm, the Star of Knowledge, the Pentacle of the Templars, and according to some, the Seal of Solomon. Medieval churchmen, however, called it Witch's Foot, or Wizard's Star, Goblin's Cross, Druid's Foot, and Devil's Sign. It has been used by Sumerians, Kabbalists, Celts, Egyptians, Christians and Gypsies.
It stands for Spirit ruling the world of Matter. Also life, health, protection (especially against hostile spirits). Also a human being as microcosm of the universe. The points can represent the five senses, stages of life, or states of consciousness. Small ones, of silver, are amulets favored by Witches. On a disc of wood or metal it is the Witch's Pentacle, the ritual tool of Earth. If inverted, it can stand for the Horned God or for Spirit hidden in Matter or subject to it. [27]
Of your own free will and accord
It would perhaps have been fitting to address the subject of Free Will first in this treatise, for it is at the beginning and end of both Freemasonry and Witchcraft, and woven throughout. The element of free choice is central to initiation in either, just as the concepts of exercising caution but fearing no danger while in the service of Deity.
Once a candidate for initiation vocalizes willingness to proceed with the ceremony, both in the cases of Masons and Witches (or at least many Witches, depending on tradition), he or she is ceremonially bound, hoodwinked, neither naked nor clad, and called upon to make a number of oaths all subject to free will. Although it would not be appropriate to go into the details here, the two rituals bear a number of other specific parallels.

Paganism and Freemasonry today
It is difficult to fix with certainty the number of neo-Pagans in America. The Witches League for Public Awareness, a nonprofit national organization based in Salem, Massachusetts, estimates there are between 200,000 nationwide. But J. Gordon Melton, a United Methodist minister and director of the Institute for the Study of Religion at the University of California, Santa Barbara, claims there are only 40,000 [28] Of course, Witches are merely a fraction of those who identify themselves as Pagan. At this writing, the EarthSpirit Community of Medford, Massachusetts is in the process of conducting a "Pagan Census Project," with funding from West Chester State University in Pennsylvania and the Covenant of the Goddess (a confederation of Witch covens), which hopefully will yield some meaningful results. Reports of the 1993 World Parliament of Religions indicate the neo-Pagan movement is among the fastest-growing religions in North America today. [29]
On the other hand, as an established organization with clearly defined membership rolls (which in many jurisdictions are computerized), obtaining a count of Freemasons is relatively easy. According to the New York Times, there are currently 2.4 million Masons nationally. This is down from 4.1 million in 1969.
It is unknown how many Masons hold Pagan beliefs, and it probably will never be known since religious affiliation is not something about which Masons traditionally question their members. Some portion of mainstream Masons who might agree with major aspects of Pagan philosophy and spirituality, might hesitate to label themselves "Pagan," partly due to a misunderstanding of what the word denotes and what it implies.
Assuredly, no atheist may ever be a Mason. But neo-Pagans are far from atheist. Some devote more time and energy to prayer, religious study, and other spiritual activities than most Christians, Jews or Moslems -- Mason or not.
Both Masons and Pagans have been subject to periods of intense persecution during their history. For example, a measure declaring Freemasonry Incompatible with Christianity failed by only to a close vote at the 1993 Southern Baptist Convention in Houston. Two reasons cited in support of the proposal were the following:

o The recommended readings, in pursuance of advanced degrees, of religions and philosophies, which are undeniably pagan and/or occult, such as much of the writings of Albert Pike, Albert Mackey, Manly Hall, Rex Hutchins, W.L. Wilmshurst, and other such authors.
o The heresy of universalism (the belief all people will eventually be saved), which permeates the writings of many Masonic authors. [31]
In keeping with the non-sectarian nature of the Masonic fraternity, a number of the members of any given lodge might be practicing Pagans ad the other members be totally unaware. A current Masonic introductory tract affirms:
Freemasonry welcomes men from every religious denomination or creed, requiring only that they affirm their belief in a Supreme Being, and that they are of high moral character and are good citizens. Masonic Lodges are non-denominational and non-political. Partisan and sectarian discussions are not permitted in Lodges.
Masonry is not a substitute for church or religion. The Fraternity urges its members to practice their own particular religious beliefs in their daily lives. [32]
Some Pagan men may find Freemasonry to be a rewarding supplement to their spiritual life. It can provide fraternal association with a broader segment of the men of a community than would be possible under other circumstances, in a Masonic ritual setting which attempts to be as non-threatening as possible on a personal level. While some Pagans may miss the presence of women in Masonry (aside from a small handful who have snuck in over a period of centuries), gender segregation is not unheard of in neo-Paganism, as Dianic Witches or those of certain Faery traditions can attest.
Pagans desiring more information about Masonry are invited to ask a Masonic friend about joining. Likewise, Freemasons who are interested in learning more about modern application of the ancient mystical techniques and philosophies, may contact any of a number of neo-Pagan organizations around the country.
As stated at the outset, the purpose of this article is to initiate a dialog. Nothing in this article should be interpreted to suggest that Freemasonry as a whole, or Freemasons as a group, endorse Paganism, any more than they endorse Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or any other religion.
So mote it be.


1. Lang, Ossian (1922). History of Freemasonry in the State of New, Grand Lodge of New York, F&AM, p. 1.

2. Mackey, Albert G. (1924). Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry, Chicago: The Masonic History Company, Vol. 1, p. 221, s.v. "Druidical Mysteries."

3. "Pagan, from the Latin paganus, peasant, and pagus, a district, the country, parallels HEATHEN: a dweller on the heath) both in sense and origin Pagan traveled a more circuitous route, however. First paganus became an epithet among Roman soldiers for civilian. Then, contemptuous usage was adopted by early Christians, who saw themselves as soldiers, milites, of Christ, and who naturally extended paganus to anyone who wasn't converted. See also HICK, PEASANT, and RENEGADE." (Hugh Crawson (1989). Wicked Words: A Treasury of Curses, Insults, Put-Downs, and Other Formerly Unprintable Terms from Anglo-Saxon Times to the Present, Crown Publishers: New York, P. 280.)

4. Rutherford, Ward (1990). The Druids: Magicians of the West, the doctrines, beliefs and practices of Druidism, New York: Sterling Books, p. 46. In this vein, Gerald Gardner (1959) alleges: "According to tradition, a Druid called Abarts was a friend of Pythagoras, who, it will be remembered, was also a believer in reincarnation" (p. 74.)

5. Mackey, op cit., Vol. II, p. 602, s.v. "Pythagoras."

6. Spence, Lewis (1960). An Encyclopaedia of Occultism, New Hyde Park, New York: University Books.

7. Guiley, Rosemary Ellen (1989}. Encylopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, New York: Facts On File, p. 216, s.v. "Magic."

8. Valiente, Doreen (1989). The Rebirth of Witchcraft, London: Robert Hale, pp. 55-56.

9. Guiley, op cit., pp. 77-78, sv. "Crowther, Arnold."

10. Guiley, op cit.

11. Bonewits, P.E.I. (1976). "Witchcraft," The Green Egg, Vol. 14, No. 79 {June 21, 1976.)

12. Elworthy, Frederick Thomas (1986). The Evil Eye: An account of this ancient and widespread superstition, New York: Julian Press, p. 220.

13. Mackey, op cit., Vol. II, p. 482, s.v. "Metals."

14. Farrar, Janet & Stewart (1981). A Witches Bible: Principles, rituals and beliefs of modern Witchcraft, Vol. II: The Rituals, New York: Magickal Childe, pp. 304-305.

15. Anonymous {1958). The Fellow Craft Degree, Grand Lodge of New York, Free & Accepted Masons, pp. 20-21.

16. Herner, Russell A. (1979). Stonehenge: An ancient Masonic temple, Richmond, Virginia: Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co.

17. Darkstar, Erynn and Bwca, Taine (1992). The Cauldron of Poesy: Lectures on Irish magick, cosmology and poetry, Seattle, Washington: Preppie Biker Press, pp. 4-5.

18. Russell, James R. (1994). "On Mithraism and Freemasonry," paper presented at Livingston Masonic Library on November 10, 1994, 7 pp.

19. Anonymous (1947). Monitor of the Work, Lectures and Ceremonies of Ancient Craft Masonry, Grand Lodge of New York, pp. 32, 51 and 65.

20. Mackey, op cit., Vol I, p. 143, s.v. "Charge."

21. Leland, Charles Godfrey (1899). Aradia: Or the gospel of the Witches, reprinted 1974 by Samuel Weiser: New York.

22. Starhawk (1979), The Spiral Dance: A rebirth of the ancient religion of the Great Goddess, San FranciSco: Harper & Row, p. 76.

23. Guiley, op cit., pp. 126-127.

24. Mackey, op cit., Vol. II, p. 572, s.v. "Points of Fellowship, Five."

25. Higgins, Frank (1992). Hermetic Masonry, Kila, Mont.: Kessinger Publishing Co., p. 105.

26. K, Amber (1984). The Pentacle (flyer), published privately.

27. Mackey, op cit., Vol. II, p. 553, s.v. "Pentalpha."

28. Rivera, Jennifer (1992). Hudson Valley, October, pp. 32-35.

29. Arthen, Andras Corban (1993). Earth Spirit: The newsletter of the Earth-Spirit Community (special Parliament Issue.)

30. Peterson, Iver (1993). "Freemasons begin to lift the veil of arcana," The New York Times, June 6, Metro section, p. 44.

31. Curtis, Richard H. (1993). "Can a Southern Baptist be a Mason?," Empire State Mason, Fall 1993, pp. 12-14.

32. Anonymous (no date). "Q&A: Answers to questions about the Masonic Fraternity," Grand Lodge of F&AM of New York State.

The author was raised as a Master Mason in September 1993. He has written numerous articles in on religion, spirituality, psychology and counseling. The statements expressed in this article do not represent any organization, including any grand or local Masonic lodge.
© July 25, 1994