I recently had the pleasure to be the English Lecture Speaker at the renowned Ars Macionica Lodge which meets at the Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium in Brussels. The Lodge publishes their annual Transactions and includes many papers in a variety of languages, the lodge attracting Masonic speakers from around the world to present their papers. In this respect, the lodge certainly reflects Brussels itself; a multi-cultural melting-pot of a city that is not only the political heart of the European Union, but includes an array of languages, ideas and cultural styles. The Transactions are indeed filled with worldwide Masonic history and studies on ritual and symbolism, and provide a multi-lingual backbone to any Masonic library.
My lecture was on Lord Byron, his awareness of Freemasonry and his links to the Carbonari during his time in Italy. The talk was well received and will be published in a future edition of the Transactions of the lodge. The Grand Lodge itself has an excellent Masonic library and some beautiful Masonic artefacts, many of which having been hidden by brethren from the Nazis during the occupation in World War II. There are many ‘esoteric’ artefacts such as the famous ‘Tableau of the 30th Degree’, the ‘Dharma Wheel’ and the Buddha that is on display. There is also a large canvas that reveals Mithras and there are many items on display that show the Scottish Rite which has been practiced since it was introduced to Belgium in 1817.
After the talk I was guided around the Hall to see the Temples and the library, before dining with the brethren. The main dish was a Belgian speciality; raw horse meet served with a helping of French Fries.