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Archive for Book Review

Book Review – The Meaning of Masonry

The Meaning of Masonry – W.L. Wilmshurst momwilmhurst

My father gave me this book as a gift right before I got my First Degree in the Blue Lodge. The author does a very good job of covering some of the deeper aspects of the Craft within Freemasonry as well as very good commentary on some of the historical background of the degrees and Rites.

The real value in this piece, is the abstraction of the Degree initiations and their respective symbolism and philosophy. While there are many, many books on masonic symbolism (see series on Symbol), this book does a very good job of tying the core Blue Lodge journey together with the articles and symbols (example: a very good section on the Apron) associated with each degree through the Royal Arch. The author’s writing style is very natural and flowing and a sense of quiet reverence and respect is felt when reading it. There is mention and commentary on the further degrees and Rites as well as a refreshing dive into the mystical heritage (Mystery Schools) and alchemical tenets of the Order.

While the original publishing is relatively dated ( 1927; my copy is a 1980 revised edition), the content is no less applicable today as it was then. In many cases, the tempo and subject matter are better suited than most of the more recent published works, for the newest generation of Brethren joining for esoteric reasons, rather than purely fraternal or political ones. As I mentioned earlier, this book does have sentimental value to me ( my father and many family members are active in Freemasonry, Eastern Star etc ), but I genuinely see this work as a solid addition to any personal Masonic library… Knife and Fork Masons included 😉

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Amazon

Book Review – In Pursuit of Gold~Alchemy Today in Theory and Practice

In Pursuit of Gold~Alchemy Today in Theory and Practice – Lapidus  IPG

I purchased this book several years ago during a period of exhaustive research and obsession with alchemy. This book was a limited printing and has become increasingly rare and is relatively costly to acquire. It contains a great deal of information and includes the classical wisdom from the core contributors, back to Artephius.

The text includes at least 4 complete instruction sets on how to make the stone and does reference the white powder. There is a fine assortment of classic alchemical plates in the center binding as well as modern sequences for completing the work and a useful Q&A section in Appendix I.

I must stress that this book is only useful to those with full grasp of symbolic teachings and esoteric interpretation (see series on Symbol). Those attempting to access this book using traditional western thought or a midrash-esque view of alchemical texts will find this work frustrating.

Chapters 3 (The Secret Book) and 12 (Vade Mecum) may be especially useful to those ensconced in alchemical pursuits. A fine collectors piece.

In Pursuit of Gold~Alchemy in Theory and Practice on Amazon

Book Review – The Mind as Healer ~ The New Heresy

The Mind as Healer ~ The New Heresy – Onslow Wilson, Ph.D. and contributing Authors

ThisMhealer2 book was recommended to me, by my long time mentor and Brother in several of the Orders I belong to. It is a collection of essays, reports and presentations from the First Annual Metaphysics Symposium in 1986.

The event was held at the Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California and marks a pivotal transition in Western culture’s attitude towards a mind-body connection. This piece details early references to the role and influence of the Observer, holistic health models, problems inherent to fragmented and reductionist approaches in health care as well as the myriad inconsistencies in pharmaceutically oriented treatments.

There is supportive research on the role of glands and their effectiveness in self healing when stimulated by mediation (pineal, hypothalamus, pituitary) as well as slew of case studies and documented accounts of spontaneous healing by the practitioners who treated the patients.

This piece is an eye-opener.

The Mind as Healer on Amazon

Book Review – The Initiatory Process in Ancient Egypt


The Initiatory Process in Ancient Egypt – Max Guilmot, PhD., F.R.C.

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This is the first of many book reviews that will be appearing on this forum . During  the past decade, I’ve amassed a fairly respectable collection of esoteric volumes and have decided to review most of them to some extent. At only 35 pages, this book is one of the shortest reads in my collection, but does have praiseworthy qualities.

Max Guilmot was a Rosicrucian and Belgian Egyptologist. His insight into the initiatory process in Middle/Old Kingdom Egypt is evident within the first few pages. The key concepts that are conveyed in this piece rather well are that of the rites and initiations done in life and the Raising of the Dead in Temple context; the final Temple degree initiation. While the Regeneration (reintegration) topic is set in the Osirion, rather than the Great Pyramid, it is clear that the experience of transition was being fulfilled while living. The negative confessions of Ma’at and the preparations of the journey are fairly well visited in this piece. I must note that this piece must be read in a traditional esoteric interpretive way… much reading “between the lines” is required to truly understand the authors intentions and knowledge he intended to impart.

To see the Book of the Dead, (Book of the Coming Forth of Day, Book of What is in the Duat) played out as an intitiatory Rite, the true Rite of Passage, is a welcome change. A quick note: the Book of what is in the Duat, can also be interpreted as: the Book of what is in the Bardo, or even the Book of what is in the Intermediate Gap, for those with a background in Tibetan Buddhism. While that parallel has not been publicly authored before to my knowledge, it is apparent to me that access to that conscious state is a shared teaching between those Mystical branches. For those of you that choose to do so, this rarely documented relationship is an excellent topic for mediation.