One of the highlights of my year so far was a February evening I spent in Salem with the Essex Lodge Masonic Study Group, run by Wor. Dean Gilligan. The topic that evening was Manly P. Hall’s “The Lost Keys of Freemasonry.” If you haven’t read it I highly recommend that you pick up a copy. As a Masonic traveler and seeker of further light, I found it to be a profound study of the true meaning of what it means to be a Freemason. Though written in 1946, the book is timeless. Manly Hall’s interpretation of our symbols and mysteries will provoke thought and initiate some scintillating dialogue if you present it as a group project.
Another great read that will leave you with a profound understanding of the origins of modern Freemasonry is the classic history by John J. Robinson called “Born in Blood.” I read it for the first time about five years ago and recently picked it up again. Learn why the Catholic Church opposed our fraternity so violently in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Discover how a fraternity of speculative stone-cutters came to use military symbolism in their ritual. What really happened to the Knights Templar? All of this and more are explained in this book. Forget Game of Thrones. This is a real life story or war, betrayal, politics, persecution, and the ultimate victory in North America that helped define modern Freemasonry.