Thursday, February 21, 2008

Templar Obsession

I have been obsessed with the Knights Templar for some time. I love to find books & movies with Templar references and that is what I have been doing with my free time over the past few months.

I received the Director's Cut of "Kingdom of Heaven" for Christmas. The theatrical version of this film had several plot points and characters cut from it in order to get the time down. While it was still a good watch, you were definitely cheated from seeing Ridley Scott's vision of the epic. Unfortunately for someone with an interest in the Templars, the two nastiest characters in the story happen to be Knights of the Order. I guess they couldn't all be great guys and there are still excellent examples of what a knight (and Freemason) should be in the character of Balian as portrayed by Orlando Bloom. Check out the Director's Cut!

I have also been reading some Templar novels over the past few months, namely Robyn Young’s “Brethren: An Epic Adventure of the Knights Templar” and “Knights of the Black and White” by Jack Whyte.

Robyn Young’s debut novel centers mostly upon the character of Will Campbell, a young man in training to become a Knight of the Temple. He becomes involved with a secret organization within the Order and risks his life while trying to retrieve the Book of the Grail. This book, it seems, allegorically tells the Order’s secrets and if it were to come to light would spell the end of the Knights of the Temple. The author has done an excellent job in her research of the period. She describes the time & places beautifully without slowing down the story. If you like it, the second book (yes, it’s a trilogy), “Crusade” is already on the shelves.

Jack Whyte has a little more writing experience under his belt, with his Camulod series of Arthurian novels. He steps in the Knights Templar arena with “Knights of the Black and White”, the first novel in, yes, you guessed it, another trilogy. This book tells of the creation of the Knights by members of the Order of the Rebirth of Sion; their acquisition of the stables over the famed Temple of Solomon as their headquarters and their years of digging under the said Temple to find??? Well, I can’t tell you what they find but while they were digging a lot is going on in Jerusalem. This a massive story but when you finish it, you will be ready for the second one, “Standard of Honor” – check them both out!

Lastly it would be a crime not to mention "The Templar Code for Dummies" by Brother Christopher Hodapp and Alice Von Kannon. I have really enjoyed reading this book and can't recommend it highly enough. History can be powerfully boring to read at times, even when it's a subject that you are really interested in, but the authors have written a very enjoyable reference book that keeps you very entertained. This book belongs in every Templar enthusiast's and Freemason's library. Stop reading this blog & get out there buy this book!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sanctum Sanctorum Forum: Interactive Online Alchemy 101 Course

A friend of mine over at the Sanctum Sanctorum Forum asked me if I would pass on some info about the Interactive Online Alchemy 101 Course that will be running over there. So without further adeau, heres the scoop...

TSS is hosting its first interactive Alchemy 101 course proctored by world-reknowned master alchemist and author WB Timothy W. Hogan! Available only in the restricted Master Mason forum. Register, inquire within and someone will help you. The date and time the course begins will be announced this weekend on TSS. Bro. Hogan has written The Alchemical Keys to Masonic Ritual, and Revelation of the Holy Grail.

What is (TSS)?
TSS is a resource for Masonic education and networking established by Freemasons to educate the Craft and the general public on what Freemasonry is all about. It is designed to put into electronic practice the three principal tenets of Freemasonry--Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. It is a window into which the world of Freemasonry may look and see the true reflection of Freemasonry around the world.
Why is there a need for
The internet is rife with inaccurate information about Freemasonry. TSS was created as a public forum where people with a genuine interest in the ancient Craft may come to ask sincere questions and get replies from experienced Freemasons. TSS is an online masonic community, where Freemasons from around the globe can learn from each other.
I am a member of Co-masonry. May I join the forum?
TSS has a policy prohibiting anyone claiming to be a Freemason who is not a member of a Grand Lodge or Orient that is not recognised by at least one regular Grand Lodge, as defined by the various regular Grand Lodges of North America.

Is this just “another” forum about masonry? What is different about
TSS is firmly committed to providing quality educational discourse about Freemasonry on the web. Some of the very best minds in Freemasonry have gathered at TSS to assist the developing Freemason get the most out of his Craft, and to assist the public to understand Freemasonry. At TSS we are constantly developing projects and programs to meet our goal of providing quality interactive and educational experiences about Freemasonry.