It has been quite some time since I have posted so this one will be all over the place...
I would like to begin by wishing everyone a very "Happy Holiday Season"! With all the commercialism that is now associated with this time of year, it is very easy to forget what is truly important. I wish you & yours all the best. The animated Masonic "Season's Greetings" image is courtesy of Pietre-Stones Review of Freemasonry. Visit the site, it is one of the best Masonic sites on the internet. My apologies for not crediting them with the image when I first posted this message...
Since my last posting, a lot has gone on in my life here in Syracuse, NY. I was in the middle of my Official Visits when I last was here, but I have since completed all of them except one. My own Lodge, Morning Star No. 524. I was all set to go on December 3rd when we had our first snow storm of the season. I cancelled my visit & rescheduled for January 7th, 2008. Hopefully the weather will cooperate better then. We had our second storm last weekend - not even Christmas yet & I am sick of my snow blower.
On December 5th, my step-son, Steve & his wife, Michelle welcomed their first son, Ian into the world. Everyone in the family is absolutely "over the moon" about the baby with everyone jockeying to hold him.
On the previous Saturday, I was privileged to be initiated into Glencairn Council No. 14, Order of Knight Masons, in Albany, NY. The Grand Council of Knight Masons of the United States of America is an invitational and honorary body created to, among other things, "perpetuate the ancient rituals of the Irish Masonic Canon, (the "Green" degrees) by promoting their frequent and regular conferral inits constituent councils, and by its expectation that such conferral will be executed with an accuracy, a precision, and a dramatic power congruent with the highest traditions of the Masonic institution." I became a citizen of Ireland this summer and I thought that it would be very fitting to accept their invitation. See their website to learn more about them.
Back in October, I managed to not post anything about the 700th Anniversary of the arrest of the Knights Templar. I wasn't because I didn't want to, in fact I was quite ready to, but time constraints kept me from getting here. The Templars are, in fact, related to my story concerning my Masonic membership. I had read John J. Robinson's book, Born In Blood, and found his theory concerning Freemasonry's descendency from the Knights Templar to be very interesting. My interests in the Templars continues and in future posts, I will pass on some non-fiction as well fictional book recommendations concerning them.
Another Templar related item for me is the Order of DeMolay.
"DeMolay is an organization dedicated to preparing young men to lead successful, happy, and productive lives. Basing its approach on timeless principles and practical, hands-on experience, DeMolay opens doors for young men aged 12 to 21 by developing the civic awareness, personal responsibility and leadership skills so vitally needed in society today. DeMolay combines this serious mission with a fun approach that builds important bonds of friendship among members in more than 1,000 chapters worldwide."
We are in the infancy stages of trying to resurrect a chapter here in the Central New York area. It has been a few years since we had a chapter in the area so wish us luck!
Finally, I wouldn't be doing my Librarian duty if I didn't recommend a book. I recently finished Mark Stavish's "Freemasonry: Rituals, Symbols & History of the Secret Society" which is a great introduction to the esoteric elements that can be found within the Fraternity's , well, rituals, symbols & history. It is easy reading and has a great introduction by Brother Lon Milo DuQuette. The group mentioned in his introduction sounds like it practices Masonry as a Path - I wish more could be known about it. Brother Stavish is, for those in the dark, the proprietor of the Institute for Hermetic Studies. If you have an interest in Alchemy, please check out his website and other books.