The Independent Magazine for Freemasons
By: Kevin L. Guest
If like me you know nothing of the Mandorla, this book will explain all; its significance and the secrets it holds. Over 250 pages, well presented, fully indexed and amply illustrated, though there are some proof reading issues and some illustrations are too small to be useful.
Having been a Freemason for over 25 years, he sought to answer the following questions
To quote the author “The purpose of this book is to try and shine a light into the somewhat darkened corners of Masonic ceremony and life…” He started the book 20 years ago – his third on Freemasonry. It is difficult to decide if this book was aimed at Freemasons, or non-Freemasons looking for information on the subject. The sub-title “The Secrets and Mysteries of Freemasonry Revealed” hints that this may be a disclosure. Most Freemasons will find a lot of his explanations different from their own “traditional” ideas of what it is all about.
This book is not a disclosure and discloses none of our Secrets, though he does examine the degrees, and some of the ritual in detail to explain their content, be it in a way that I have never come across before! He draws heavily on geometry and astronomy for a lot of these explanations and has quite obviously approached this from a scientific background. There also seems to be a confused non-traditional explanation of The Royal Arch.
He approaches the problem of anti-freemasonry and the reasons behind it and looks at the different theories of the origin of Freemasonry. This includes various legends; Euclid, the Regius, Cooke, and Dowland Manuscripts, etc as being sources for some of our ritual. He produces an interesting table of main cultures, events and people in history in the form of a “timeline”.
The book also covers the early characters in Freemasonry, such as William Preston, Dr. Plot, Elias Ashmole, and Anderson.
A section deals with the stonemasons of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome; the Guilds system from 7th Century; Merchant and Craft Guilds; the formation of Religious and social guilds, and Livery Companies, and discusses their links to Freemasonry, eventually deciding there was none!
The book makes for a fascinating and interesting read, though I am not convinced that the reader will find the answer to the “how and why” of our ceremonies!