So to counter balance the challenges of my Biblical scholastic endeavors I took up a book that caught my eye weeks ago and finally started reading it. You can click on the cover picture to learn more about it.
If your a Mason and you don't own it, shame upon you! If you're in anyone of the numerous orders which have sprang from the loins of Freemasonry, go get it now or shame upon you!
The foreword is written by Reynold E. Blight, 33', K.T. and I must say it is quite eloquent. My favorite part of his forward is this nice gem.
"...So wisdom drapes her truth with symbolism, and covers her insight with allegory. Creeds, rituals, poems are parables and symbols. The ignorant take them literally and build for themselves a prison house of words and with bitter speech and bitter taunt denounce those who will not join them in the dungeon..."
Just like Masonry, the Matrix is a movie filed with Religious and Philosophical symbolism and I often find myself using using Matrix metaphors. The last time I did was in a conversation about my Witchvox article Kangaroo Magic. Someone replied to my Matrix comment with the snide rebuttal "so I suppose you think that makes you Neo then huh!?"
My response was no. Not at all. My beliefs and practices would paint a picture more to the likeness of Morpheus. Living in the real world, trying to free people, with a paintball gun full of Red Pills.
Now do me a favor and hold still...
I've been an active student of Masonry for over ten years, which when compared to the Hermits beard is merely stubble. But I have learned quite a bit in that short time and have applied it to a great many things including my life and my Craft. It's no coincidence that there are so many "similarities" between Masonry and Wicca, after all Gardner was a Mason too. Its a fact, and any Mason who looks at Wicca can see it as plainly as I do. But that's a whole other post altogether.
The Wiccan Cingulum has been the topic of conversation within our Coven. It is of little surprise to find that ours bares a striking similarity to the Masonic Cable Tow. Bearing in mind that neither the Wikipedian article, nor myself give away anything considered "oath bound" it still leaves lots of elbow room to write within.
When I began my first degree, the first thing I learned was the Cable Tow. There was a group of us going through together and we were taught that together we formed a Cable Tow. Everything was done with and within our Cable Tow. Later I learned more about its symbolism, and the importance of its length.
As Masons we are taught that we should attend lodge regularly, if it is within the length of our Cable Tow. Later we become obligated to assist a worthy fellow brother Mason, if it be within the length of our Cable Tow, meaning I should help, or give aid to a worthy brother if I am able to do without injury to myself.
One of the things Masonry has taught me is to appreciate the proper use of words, word craft is a beautiful thing. It is important to note the use of the word "Worthy". It functions as a virtuous clause implying a status that is not freely given, but earned. Because sadly, not all Masons are worthy of our fraternal assistance. But for the great many that are, how far do we go? How long can we stretch our Cable Tows? How long and how far should we? What is the limit of our obligation?
There is an unwritten rule of thumb within all lodges: "...You don't have to like any or everyone in your lodge, you just have to get along long enough to get the work done..." and sadly I agree.
But that's where Wicca is different; we must like each other, we must care. Perfect Love and Trust is not just another magical cliche, it's the secret ingredient to life altering rituals, and the simple secret to our magic.
The length of my Cingulum far outstretches that of my Cable Tow. Because the Masons may be my Brothers in the light, but it is my Coven that is there for me in the darkness. And I have stretched my Cingulum to amazing lengths for a Worthy Wiccan Brother because there are so precious few so deserving.
When I fulfill my obligations to the Craft (people, place and thing) I do so without conditions, expectations, or requirement, I do so not because of some external requirement, but because of an internal desire. That's why we use the word "Perfect".
So what about you? What Cable Tows do you bare? How strong are those straps, how tight those chains, to what length would you be willing to stretch them? Can people count on you, who can you count on? I bet one of them is a Mason, a Wiccan, or if your lucky both.