Dr. David Harrison is probably the best-known contemporary British historian of Freemasonry. He received his PhD from the University of Liverpool in 2008, and his thesis was published the following year as The Genesis of Freemasonry. His other books include Rediscovered Rituals of English Freemasonry, The Rite of Seven Degrees, and The Lost Rites and Rituals of Freemasonry (published by Lewis-Masonic).
In this interview, Dr. Harrison discusses the 18th century Rites and Masonic mystics (such as Martinez de Pasqually, Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin, and Jean-Baptiste Willermoz) that paved the way for such secretive esoteric and occult Orders as the Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn and the Ordo Templi Orientis.
Described as a “devotional Mason,” Jonti Marks is the author Hiram’s Way: Meditations On The Masonic Path To Enlightenment (published by Lewis Masonic), among other books. Over the last quarter of a century, he has lived in England, Zambia, and Kenya. And, in 1990, he was initiated into Freemasonry in Nairobi. He developed a deep interest in spirituality early in his adult life, and this interest has led him to “temples, mosques, synagogues and churches; to teachers and teachings of East and West.”
In this interview, we discuss the Masonic path of initiation, enlightenment, and some of the world’s spiritual traditions.
You can find out more about Jonti at his website here and at Masonic Meditations, here. And you can find Hiram’s Way at Lewis Masonic here.
You can also find out more about Ange Millar here.
Freemasonry, magic, Kabbalah, and alchemy all fused together in Count Cagliostro’s Egyptian Rite of Freemasonry. In this interview, Philippa Lee (AKA Philippa Faulks) discusses Cagliostro’s life, his Egyptian Rite, alchemy, Egyptology, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and important, lesser-known esotericists such as Martines de Pasqually.
Philippa is the author of The Masonic Magician, Cagliostro: The Unknown Master, and Modern Mantras, among other books. She is also currently the editor of The Square magazine. You can find out more about her work here.
The self-styled “count” Cagliostro is believed to have been initiated into a Masonic lodge, attached to the Rite of Strict Observance, in London in 1776. A decade later, he attended the Lodge of Antiquity in London. During that time, he also founded his Egyptian Rite, which drew upon alchemy, Kabbalah, and related esoteric phenomena.
Although it died out after a few years, much of its ritual was adopted by the Rites of Memphis and Misraim. It was also the first esoteric Rite to be inspired by the idea of the Mysteries of ancient Egypt (though we find Egyptian aesthetics turning up in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Ordo Templi Orientis, and A.M.O.R.C., among other esoteric and occult Orders later on).