The Path of Freemasonry: The Craft as a Spiritual Practice (Paperback)
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A practical guide to the symbols and rituals of Freemasonry as a path of spiritual development and self-realization
• Shares the history and meaning of Freemasonry and its symbols
• Offers thoughtful explorations of different areas of Masonic experience, drawing on esoteric doctrines and paralleling them with experiences found in daily life
• Provides simple exercises and practices to help internalize and personalize the lessons presented, including dreamwork, journaling, meditation, and prayer
In this practical guide, Mark Stavish details the spiritual lessons and rituals of Freemasonry as a step-by-step path of spiritual development and self-improvement for both Masons and non-Masons, men and women, alike. He explores the history and meaning of Freemasonry and its symbols--from its origins in the Temple of Solomon to the Medieval craft guilds to the Renaissance--and explains how the Craft promotes personal growth through the symbolic building of self and an inner Temple of Wisdom in much the same way that Masonry’s rituals symbolize the building of Solomon’s Temple in accordance with the mystical architectural instructions of Hiram.
Drawing on esoteric doctrines, including the Qabala, alchemy, sacred geometry, John Dee’s angelic magic, and the secrets of the Gothic cathedral builders, each chapter addresses an area of the Masonic experience, paralleling them with experiences each of us finds in our own lives. The author provides simple practices to help internalize and personalize the lessons presented, including dreamwork, journaling, meditation, prayer, and understanding sacred architecture. The author also examines the crafting and use of the spiritual and symbolic tools of Freemasonry, such as the trestle or tracing board and the Chamber of Reflection.
Providing the tools to make the Craft an initiatic experience of self-improvement, the author shows that, ultimately, the Masonic experience is the human quest for self-realization and self-expression, so that we each may find our place in the Temple of Wisdom.
About the Author
Mark Stavish is a respected authority on Western spiritual traditions. The author of 26 books, published in 7 languages, including The Path of Alchemy and Kabbalah for Health and Wellness, he is the founder and director of the Institute for Hermetic Studies and the Louis Claude de St. Martin Fund. He has appeared on radio shows, television, and in major print media, including Coast to Coast AM, the History Channel, BBC, and the New York Times. The author of the blog VOXHERMES, he lives in Wyoming, Pennsylvania.
Arturo de Hoyos is a historian of the Scottish Rite in the Southern Jurisdiction.
Lon Milo DuQuette is the author of Enochian Vision Magick.
“Like a drowsy lion, Freemasonry arouses in the outsider both curiosity and mistrust. This landmark book anatomizes the creature without apology or mystification. At the same time, it summons insiders to revive their moribund craft in all the grandeur of its original mission to humanity. Mark Stavish, whose work is informed by a profound knowledge of esoteric traditions, has earned gratitude from both sides.”
— Joscelyn Godwin, professor of Music Emeritus, Colgate University and coauthor of Symbols in the Wild
“An ideal guide for those beginning their Masonic journey or who have already begun their journey to the East. If you want to build a better life for yourself, to become a ‘Renaissance’ person, then this book will help get you on your way.”
— TJ Bell, 32°, guitarist for Escape the Fate and founder of Black Earth Spagyrics
“Mark Stavish’s The Path of Freemasonry provides a comprehensive introduction to the Craft--its history, inner structure, beliefs, objectives, rites, and even its symbolically rich language. Unusually, however, it goes far beyond this brief to encompass the broader social and cultural issues surrounding the tradition; and in particular its relationship with, and profound connections to, the occult societies and esoteric currents toward which some of its most respected members have contributed their energy and organizational and ritual know-how. Indeed but for the disciplinary bedrock provided by Freemasonry it is arguable whether there would be a Western esoteric tradition worth talking of. This commendable work provides the reader with an accessible and engaging overview of this subject.”
— Peter Mark Adams, author of The Game of Saturn, Mystai, and The Power of the Healing Field
“Mark Stavish has written a must-read for anyone considering Freemasonry and the esoteric path within it . . . This book will take you on a journey through its unique history, touching upon rituals, symbolism, and diving into the philosophies of its uncharted beginnings and into the modern era. Get ready for a journey and an exciting read into the world’s most venerable fraternity.”
— Erik W. Krogstad 33°, master Masonic scholar, lecturer, and blogger