Social Media and Freemasonry, The light at the end of the tunnel

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To a cynical sort, the future of Freemasonry might be in jeopardy, what with the 21st century and the ‘internet’ generation now obtaining any or every bit of information on seemingly everything they want at the click of a mouse or a google search.

we find ourselves asking do the traditional secrets and values of freemasonry hold up against this ever changing world of fast demand for information? I certainly like to think so.

One of the main things I truly believe is going to help freemasonry carry on into the future is the use of Social Media in order to promote, report on and indeed, enlighten the world on freemasonry in general.

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) are especially hot on this topic, with a official twitter account (@UGLE_GrandLodge) which is followed by over five thousand freemasons and steadily increasing every day.

But it’s not just an account that provides a live-tweet commentary of every quarterly communication, (it does do that as well…) but what makes it good is that it re-tweets local freemasons and provincial grand lodges who report on all of their amazing charity work and personal achievements inside the craft. this makes for a MUCH improved masonic twitter experience. it is a personal opinion that masons need to see whats going on not just in their own lodges or provinces, but need to be aware of the entire bigger picture of what freemasons around the country and indeed the world are doing and experiencing. not only is this beneficial for the craft’s brethren but also to the outside world. we NEED to show the world the good work our lodges and individual masons do. This is a free and amazing way to advertise freemasonry.

Another great idea that I’m seeing is the use of twitter accounts being set up for individual lodges. not only does this give your lodge an online presence, it gives your lodge a voice. and a way for your grand lodges and provincial grand lodges to see what you’re doing outside of meetings, but above all. it is a perfect way to advertise your lodge to non-masons.

the most successful of these being the North Harrow lodge no. 6557 (@HarrowFreemason) who boasts a huge influx of candidates who have made enquiries of membership straight through the website.

However, Twitter isn’t the only way that Freemasonry is getting a helping hand.

Recently, The metropolitan Grand Lodge of London have made their Facebook page completely open to masons and non-masons a-like. I believe this to be a wonderful idea for visibility as many people approach the page with questions and comments and find them met by a friendly open answer, not quite a devil worshipping sort are we now, eh?

Within London, The Connaught and Kent Clubs continue to push their social media presence with incredibly active closed Facebook groups for brethren to invite other members and friends to meetings, share photos of meetings and talk about any masonic business they want to without fear of criticism.

In this day and age, Freemasonry MUST adapt to social media and embrace it with open arms. even if you’re the only member in your lodge with a smart phone.. even if you don’t have a twitter account yourself for personal use. It makes so much sense to open a lodge account and just update it now and again. utilising these tools will ensure we are engaging the world and even more so the right kind of people in order to make sure future generations can enjoy the same Freemasonry we all love, for years to come.

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Written by: 4 of Hearts

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Who was Hiram Abif?

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Masonic history is notoriously difficult to trace, its origins are shrouded in mystery and lost in the fog of time. The Masonic legend of Hiram Abif is no different with various opinions and theory’s surrounding the man at the forefront of masonic allegory.

Meet Hiram Abif, a shadowy figure who features prominently in the craft degrees of Freemasonry. Hiram Abif was the chief architect of King Solomon’s Temple, situated on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, constructed around the 10th century BC. Hiram Abif was the master builder, who held the secret word & knowledge of a Master Mason. A description of King Solomon’s Temple is given in the early bible, and now many other famous structures copy that original design. Due to huge religious tension surrounding the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, excavations looking for King Solomons Temple have not been possible in modern times. King Solomon’s Temple, built and designed by Hiram Abif, remains like many freemasonic tales, an unproven legend.

The story of Hiram Abif, as told in America, sees the chief architect being the only master mason on the production of the temple. In European masonic ritual Hiram is joined by a larger group of master masons, but the story of his death and symbolic metaphors remain the same.

Freemasonry uses Hiram Abif and the building of the Temple to describe an allegorical tale, a lesson in keeping your promise and your word. Hiram Abif understood the advanced techniques needed to build and design a magnificent temple. These advanced techniques although relatively primitive in the modern day, were reserved only for master stonemasons. Not divulging these secret techniques and secret word of a Master Mason eventually led to Hiram’s demise, and he took his secrets to the grave. The full story is explained in the craft Masonic degrees, as each initiate is given this secret knowledge under the same strict caution and ruling.

There are many theories surrounding the life and actions of Hiram Abif, but nothing is solid fact. Many scholars agree that Hiram Abif is one of the original “Hiram” characters to appear in the bible. It has long been stated amongst masons that Hiram Abif was the widows son, as mentioned in bible verses. The bible however is clear that the chief architect of the Temple of Solomon was God, who passed the plans down to David, who in turn gave them to King Solomon.

One Interesting theory, put forward by Masonic researchers “Lomas & Knight”, is that Hiram was an Egyptian king whose death triggered the new kingdom in Egypt. The links between ancient Egypt and masonry have long been talked about, and King Seqenenre Tao certainty ticks most of the boxes in our search for Hiram Abif. Seqenenre Taos mummified body was discovered in 1881, the method of death is identical to that found in the story of Hiram Abif in the masonic 3rd degree. Another theory is that Hiram was Mansur Al-Hallaj, a Persian mystic teacher of Sufism and the inner mystical dimension of Islam. Believers in this theory point to Mansur Al-Hallaj being part of the Al-Banna, a religious sect of builders who also built on the Temple Mount.

Whether or not Hiram Abif existed as a real person, the beauty of the story lives on through Masonic ritual passed from generation to generation. Keeping a promise is something important, and is often a clear measurement of an individual’s moral compass. Hiram was willing to take his secret knowledge to the grave, and with this act proved himself a very worthy brother.

Written By: 5 of Clubs / Joker

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