Publishers: please click here for marketing details: Spiritual Freemasonry series.
The series Spiritual Freemasonry consists of four books, as shown below. Here I will give you an overview of the series and the how I came about to write the books.
About the covers: Each cover tells a story; in Spiritual Alchemy the focus is on St. Paul's Cathedral, but at the same time the reader notices all the spires in the image of London on the cover. This part of London is the old trading part, called the City of London, but what is unique is the number of churches there. In the Great Fire of 1660, it is said that 80 churches were burned down, and it seems that many of them were rebuilt by the time this engraving was done, 1751. This is an indication of the religious fervour of the times. St. Paul's was the centre of the New Jerusalem that the Stuarts wanted to build, to move the seat of Christianity from the Vatican to London. The rebuilding of the cathedral was a national project, and three of the first Lodges whose constitution is immemorial can be found near here.
In Quest for Immortality, the focus is on the Tower of London. As there was so much detail and little sky in the etching, it was decided to darken the image slightly and use a white font for the title, as a red font would not have shown up. There is no other intention than that! The reason that the tower is important is because it was the focus of Venner's Rising in 1661, when the Fifth Monarchy men tried to seize power in the name of "King Jesus." It is also a symbol of transformation, from the bloody rule of Henry VIII who executed in excess of 50,000 political opponents, to the forward thinking of the Enlightenment.
The cover of Initiation by Light shows more of the sky, ergo "light." There are several points of note; firstly in top left can be seen Westminster Cathedral, where monarchs are crowned. Work on the towers had been started by George I in 1722 by a contemporary of Christopher Wren, Nicholas Hawsmoor, and completed in 1745, after the king's death. Another indication that religious fervour had not dampened in England. At centre right and centre bottom, another three cathedrals can be seen - for a population of about 700,000! Currently, only one, Southwark Cathedral, still stands.
In the distance on the cover of Royal Art can be seen a hill, with a building on it. This may be St Mary's Church at Harrow on the Hill. It was where Charles I stopped to view London from the high ground, for the last time, before surrendering to the Presbyterian army in 1646, he was executed in 1649. Later, Lord Byron would visit the church from his school, Harrow School, nearby. Between this hill and St. Paul's can be seen St. Clements Danes church that had been rebuilt by Wren in 1682, and a new tower was added by James Gibbs in 1719. Identifying this church on the etching, helped me triangulate St. Paul's and London Bridge to identify Harrow on the Hill. However, it is London Bridge that is important to this book - but for the reason, you will need to read the book! Sorry!
All four of the covers line up, side-by-side, to shown the River Thames, from the City to Westminster, which the politician John Burns called "liquid history." The choice of the etching and which bits to use were mine, but the cover design and titles were the inspiration of designer Matthew Morse. He did a great job! (http://www.heymatthew.com)
You can get other insights from my YouTube channel: Spiritual Freemasonry where you will find about 60 introductory videos on these books and Freemasonry in general, and my blog: Spiritual Freemasonry. Thank you!
Available at Amazon (in all major countries) Spiritual Freemasonry
This book focuses on the First Degree
From the back cover:
Modern Speculative Freemasonry was born at a Lodge meeting at the Rummer and Grapes Tavern, later moving to the Horn Tavern. The first three Grand Masters had changed the existing Operative Mason’s rituals in some way, and the only way to find out what those changes were, was to compare the current ritual to the bits of ritual that exist prior to the establishment of the Premier Grand Lodge in 1717, the event Masonic scholar Albert Pike calls the “Revival.” The allure of researching the early days of Freemasonry is that we can learn about the objectives of the first three Grand Masters, and thus answer some or all of the following questions:
This book focuses on the Second Degree.
From the back cover:
In 1716 four Lodges of Operative Masons met at the Apple Tree Tavern in London and decided to create a “Grand Lodge” to reorganize Freemasonry, which was slowly dying out. After the establishment of the Premier Grand Lodge the next year, 1717, one of the Lodges, the Rummer and Grapes, took a decidedly new direction that resulted in the creation of what would later become known as Speculative Freemasonry, the basis of modern Freemasonry. However, as there is very little documentation from this period, many questions are left unanswered:
This book focuses on the Third Degree.
From the back cover:
After the Premier Grand Lodge was established in 1717, which later became the Grand Lodge of England, the first three Grand Masters were urged on by a moral imperative to rewrite and expand the existing two degrees of Operative Masons, and then add another, the Third Degree. However, their reasons have, until now, remained obscure, for example:
This book focuses on the Royal Arch as well as the Third Degree.
From the back cover:
After the spiritual awakening following the Transmission of Light in the First Degree, the stimulation of the “dew” that animates the soul in the Second Degree, followed by the “Dark Night of the Soul” and the mystic resurrection in the Third Degree, the Mason is now perfected. However, without understanding the 25th Signpost, he is without a guide: “The Grand Master is dead, the Temple is not complete, and we have not found the Lost Word.”
Like the Royal Arch Degree, this book completes the journey, and understanding the symbolism of the Royal Arch, completes this remarkable transformation.