This article is the final entry in a series highlighting some the best print resources available to the Brethren no matter what their interest or where they are in their Masonic journey. All of the books mentioned in this article are available to borrow from the Lodge library.
Today we take a look at books for the esoterically minded Mason, that Brother who is ready to dig into the root sources and spiritual cousins of our Degrees.
Book of Words
Albert Pike - 1874
In the Book of Word Pike explores the origin, meaning, symbolism, and relevance of the words, phrases and passes found in the ritual of Blue Lodge and Scottish Rite. While later revisions have removed the focus from many of these words, Pike's research is still fundamental in understanding the ancient rites and cultures that the authors of our Work drew their inspiration from.
The Golden Builders: Alchemists, Rosicrucians, First Freemasons
Tobias Churton - 2004
The Golden Builders takes up the ambitious goal of tying ancient Gnosticism to the Masonic ritual of today. Churton divides history into three principal parts: a survey of Hermetic rituals of the Hellenistic Greeks; the transition of those ancient rites through the Brothers of the Rosy Cross and other Rosicrucian fraternities and; the efforts of Elias Ashmole in weaving the symbols and lessons of the Rosicrucians into the early rituals of the Craft.
The Lost Keys of Freemasonry
Manly P. Hall -1923
Always a controversial topic in Masonic circles the Lost Keys of Freemasonry was written 31 years before Hall was initiated into a Masonic Lodge. Despite Hall's lack of first hand knowledge he weaves our rituals in with his substantial knowledge of tarot, Rosicrucianism, and philosophy to produce a unique interpretation of the foundations of our Fraternity. A must read if only to see how we and our rites viewed by other esoteric orders and practitioners.
A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe:
Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science
Michael S. Schneider - 1995
As Freemasons we often concern ourselves with immortality, the nature of the soul and other spiritual topics. In the face of these serious matters it is easy to lose sight of the most basic of Masonic tools: Geometry. A Beginner's Guide discusses numerical and geometric symbolism through the ages, and concepts such as periodic renewal and resonance and is a perfect introduction to the unseen underpinnings of the world around us.
Hermann Hesse - 1922
The first introduction to Eastern religious thought for untold numbers Siddhartha serves to combine Western individualism, Eastern spirituality and Jungian archetypes in the story of one man's search for enlightenment. Siddhartha quest takes him from the opulent court of his father to the most abject of poverty and every human condition between before he finally discovers the light of the Grand Architect of the Universe within himself.
The Masonic Magician: The Life and Death of Count Cagliostro and His Egyptian Rite
Philipa Faulks and Robert Cooper - July 2017
Prophet or fraud? Count Alessandro Cagliostro was a cult figure throughout the courts of Europe in the leading up to the French Revolution. Cagliostro traveled through Europe, and the Middle East offering his services as an alchemist, healer and Freemason before his arrest by the Inquisition and condemnation to death for heresy. This well sourced novel attempts to sort through the lies and embellishments to fine the true Cagliostro with the added bonus of providing an English translation of his Egyptian Rite.
The Hero with a Thousand Faces
Joseph Campbell - 1949
A seminal work in comparative mythology The Hero's Journey, a universal motif of adventure and transformation that runs throughout all times and cultures from Sun Wukong to Skywalker all of humanity's great stories follow a familiar pattern of Departure, Initiation and Return that should be instantly recognizable to all Brethren.
King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine
Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette - 1991
Freemasonry is by its nature a deeply masculine order. King, Warrior, Magician explores the Jungian understanding of manhood by reviewing he four mature male archetypes that stand out through myth and literature across history: the king (the energy of just and creative ordering), the warrior (the energy of aggressive but nonviolent action), the magician (the energy of initiation and transformation), and the lover (the energy that connects one to others and the world).
Basic Applications of Mindfulness, Meditation, and Imagery for the Craft
C. R. Dunning Jr. - 2016
One of the most accessible books on this list Contemplative Masonry is an exploration of Freemasonry through contemplative practices like prayer, meditation, breath work, chanting, and visualization. This book is an excellent guide to self discovery and improvement without the need for a prior understanding of any other esoteric system.