Countdown to the publication of The Lost Rites and Rituals of Freemasonry
My latest work The Lost Rites and Rituals of Freemasonry will be finally published by Lewis Masonic in late August/early September. The research for the book has been fascinating and has opened up a new interest for me in the more esoteric nature of Masonic research. The book itself, which was indeed a journey of discovery, not only examines many of the more exotic lost rites of eighteenth century Europe, but looks at how they inspired the occult revival of the nineteenth century and how some of the rites were resurrected by occultists such as John Yarker and Papus, many of whom used Freemasonry as a gateway to the exotic higher degrees. I also discuss the English lost rites and there is a chapter on the development of the English Craft ritual after the union of 1813, looking at how various differing rituals evolved, some of which are under threat today as lodges close or merge. I also examine lost symbolism in the book, especially some of the symbols that were related to many of the lost rites (we can recall perhaps Minerva in relation to the Bavarian Illuminati or the lion used in a part of the Rite of Strict Observance). The book can not only be used as a guide to the lost rites, but presents how some particular rites offered a pathway to the Divine and discusses how the practice of magic became important to certain Victorian Freemasons in their never ending search for lost knowledge.