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Way of the Hermit

Philosophy Podcasts

Way of the Hermit discusses the Western Esoteric Tradition of Freemasonry, mysticism, Hermetic lore and more. E-mail: info@wayofthehermit.com.

Location:

United States

Description:

Way of the Hermit discusses the Western Esoteric Tradition of Freemasonry, mysticism, Hermetic lore and more. E-mail: info@wayofthehermit.com.

Language:

English

Contact:

8653845328


Episodes
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S2E3: Introducing Gnosis

7/6/2024
In this episode, David and Gene begin their deep dive into Gnosticism and its intimate connection to Freemasonry. They explore the key concepts that form the foundation of Gnostic thought, including the Monad, Emanations, Duality, and the pursuit of Gnosis, and discuss how these ideas are woven into the fabric of Masonic philosophy, particularly within the Scottish Rite system. The Way of the Hermit Podcast: https://www.wayofthehermit.com David and Gene discuss how the ancient wisdom traditions use symbols and allegories to convey deeper truths about the nature of reality and human consciousness. Through the symbols and stories of sacred scriptures, they conceal hidden truths, that are revealed to those who possess the key to their interpretation. They also delve into the historical context of Gnosticism, touching on its suppression by orthodox religious authorities and its survival through esoteric traditions, and how Gnostic concepts like the Aeons are related to the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. The conversation also draw parallels between Gnostic ideas and Masonic symbols and rituals, revealing the esoteric underpinnings of Freemasonry, and discuss the works of influential thinkers like Albert Pike, Carl Jung, and contemporary Masonic scholars who have recognized the Gnostic elements within Masonry. Join us we begin our exploration of the mysteries of Gnosticism and its profound impact on Freemasonry, and on the world... and find out what it really means, to establish a "New Order for the Ages." Deep Dive: Gnosticism, Freemasonry and Gnosis Chapters: Resources: 2024 Southeastern Masonic Symposium & HarmonyContemplative Masonry: Basic Applications of Mindfulness, Meditation, and Imagery for the CraftArcanum PodcastIke BakerGnostic Philosophy: From Ancient Persia to Modern TimesThe Alchemical Keys To Masonic RitualNovo Clavis Esoterika

Duration:00:29:57

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S2E2: The Path to Providence - Part 2 of 2

6/6/2024
In this episode, David and Gene delve into the world of esoteric Freemasonry with their esteemed guests, Worshipful Brother Ben Wallace and Most Worshipful Brother Shaun Bradshaw. As authors of the book "A Path to Providence", Shaun and Ben share their inspiring journey in reviving the mystery school roots of Freemasonry through the establishment of groundbreaking esoteric education programs in North Carolina. The Way of the Hermit Podcast: https://www.wayofthehermit.com From humble beginnings in small esoteric discussion groups to the formation of the first Traditional Observance Lodges in North Carolina, Ben and Shaun recount the challenges and triumphs they faced in introducing these programs to the Masonic community, as well as their vision for the future. Shaun and Ben emphasize the importance of "nudging" Masonry in a more esoteric and spiritual direction, as well as keeping their own curriculum within the bounds of Masonry while still exploring interconnections with other esoteric traditions. They discuss the development of the "Middle Chamber Program" for Blue Lodge Masons and the "Key to the Mysteries" initiative for Scottish Rite degrees, both aimed at providing a structured approach to esoteric education. They also discuss the profound experiences offered by the "Inner Chamber Experience", a capstone program involving guided meditations and other preparation for what has proven for many, to be a transformative Lodge exercise. In this fascinating conversation, Shaun and Ben share their insights on the role and future of Freemasonry, where they envision a shift towards greater emphasis on the philosophical, spiritual, and esoteric aspects of the Craft... and challenge listeners to not sit on the sidelines, but instead get involved with this esoteric movement at whatever level they feel capable. Join David, Gene, Worshipful Brother Ben Wallace and Most Worshipful Brother Shaun Bradshaw, on this enlightening exploration of the esoteric path within Freemasonry. Chapters: Resources: A Path to Providence: The Creation of the Middle Chamber ProgramObserving the CraftThe Way of the CraftsmanContemplative MasonryThe Meaning of MasonryFree Masonry: It's Hidden MeaningThe Rough and Rugged RoadIn Search of LightContact Information: Most Worshipful Brother Shaun Bradshaw shaun.bradshaw@zenergytechnologies.com Worshipful Brother Ben Wallace bengradywallace@gmail.com

Duration:00:41:05

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S2E1: A Path to Providence - Part 1 of 2

5/1/2024
In this first episode of the second season of the “Way of the Hermit” podcast we are “tying up loose ends” left over from last season. In this first part of our two-part season opener, we are looking at the book “A Path to Providence: The Creation of the Middle Chamber Program.” The Way of the Hermit Podcast: https://www.wayofthehermit.com In "A Path to Providence", authors Shaun Bradshaw and Ben Wallace address the problems within modern Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite, offering solutions to revive the esoteric core of the craft. The book tells the story of the founding of the first "Traditional Observance" Lodge in North Carolina and the creation of an esoteric Masonic study program called "The Middle Chamber". It explains how the deeper meanings behind Masonic symbols were lost or forgotten in the post-World War II era, when membership swelled but understanding of the esoteric side diluted. Freemasonry today still largely reflects this era, with a focus on charities and business meetings rather than the profound truths of the ritual. Seekers of Masonic enlightenment often feel they are in the wrong place and drift away from the fraternity. Traditional Observance Masonry, a movement that began in the 1990s, aims to revive traditional Masonic practices, rituals, and symbolism to provide a more contemplative experience focused on esoteric and allegorical meanings. Andrew Hammer's book "Observing the Craft" is considered a manifesto of the movement, emphasizing the importance of taking time to observe and understand the wisdom within the symbols. In 2013, Sophia Lodge No. 767 was created as the first Traditional Observance Lodge in North Carolina, openly dedicated to the pursuit of esoteric knowledge. The book "A Path to Providence" shows how Brothers Bradshaw and Wallace addressed the problems of Freemasonry from the inside, making it official and sustainable through years of concerted effort. It also lays out a program of study that fills in much of the esoteric knowledge that is lacking in modern Masonic education. And they make a case that the time is ripe for a Masonic esoteric renaissance. Chapters: Resources: A Path to Providence: The Creation of the Middle Chamber ProgramObserving the CraftThe Way of the CraftsmanContemplative MasonryThe Meaning of MasonryFree Masonry: It's Hidden MeaningThe Rough and Rugged RoadIn Search of Light

Duration:00:35:25

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Podcast Update

10/31/2023
In this brief episode, we discuss:

Duration:00:07:10

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Scottish Rite: Epilogue

3/19/2023
Transcripts, Chapter Markers and Show Notes for all episodes are available from our website - WayOfTheHermit.com. In the podcast, the evolution of the Square and Compass, the primary symbol of the "Blue Lodge," is examined after the hosts' journey through the Scottish Rite degrees. It is now seen as a more profound representation, with the Compass over the Square symbolizing Spirit ruling over the material, and the 'G' inside representing the "Grand Architect of the Universe." The discussion also covers the double-headed eagle, the emblem of the Scottish Rite, which symbolizes the unity of human and divine nature and the concept of equilibrium. The hosts delve into the essential textbooks for the Scottish Rite, including "Morals and Dogma: The Annotated Edition," "Scottish Rite Ritual - Monitor and Guide," and "A Bridge to Light," emphasizing their importance for understanding the degrees. They revisit the origins of the Scottish Rite degrees, focusing on Albert Pike's revisions and his complex legacy, which includes both his contributions to Freemasonry and his controversial personal beliefs. The esoteric aspects of the Scottish Rite are explored, drawing parallels with psychological concepts from various traditions and emphasizing the introspective nature of the degrees. The podcast concludes with reflections on the meaning of holding a Scottish Rite degree, the importance of personal study and understanding, and the distinction between merely holding a degree and truly embodying its teachings. The series on the Scottish Rite uses the following primary sources (which you are encouraged to read as well): Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma: Annotated EditionScottish Rite Ritual Monitor & GuideA Bridge to LightImages: The Double-Headed EagleYoung Albert PikeOld Albert PikeOverview: Links: Albert PikePrince Hall FreemasonryPrince HallAlbert Pike MemorialHouse of the TempleSigmund FreudCarl JungSigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical TraditionThe hidden Chasidic roots of Sigmund FreudTheJC.comGnosis, Gnosticism and Jungian PsychologyGnosis.orgThe Gnostic Jung and the Seven Sermons to the DeadThe Search for Roots: C. G. Jung and the Tradition of GnosisThe Birth of Tragedy

Duration:00:29:54

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32nd Degree: Master of the Royal Secret

3/5/2023
Transcripts, Chapter Markers and Show Notes for all episodes are available from our website - WayOfTheHermit.com. In this episode, the intricate details of the Degree Ritual and its profound symbolism are explored, shedding light on the culmination of Masonic teachings. The ritual, set against the backdrop of the Vernal Equinox, serves as a symbolic journey through the Scottish Rite degrees, leading to the understanding of the Royal Secret and the Holy Doctrine. The Encampment, a central symbol of the Degree, is meticulously described, revealing its nested geometric figures that represent the journey of enlightenment from the outer Nonagon to the inner Circle. This journey through the Encampment, from the broad understanding of Masonic philosophy to the individual realization of profound truths, is emphasized as a path to achieving equilibrium between the divine and the human. The discussion delves deeper into the symbolism of Freemasonry, focusing on the Temple, Light, and the sacred names of God. The vows taken during the Ritual underscore the commitment to fight against despotism and to pursue enlightenment. The significance of the Vernal Equinox, representing the triumph of light over darkness, is highlighted as a metaphor for the renewal of life and the spirit's victory over matter. The concept of the Logos, or the Divine Word, is explored as a symbol of divine ratification and the transmission of light from initiate to initiate. The metaphorical construction of the "Third Temple" within oneself is presented as the ultimate goal, symbolizing a new conception of divinity brought to life through the individual's journey of self-discovery and enlightenment. The series on the Scottish Rite uses the following primary sources (which you are encouraged to read as well): Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma: Annotated EditionScottish Rite Ritual Monitor & GuideA Bridge to LightImages: 32nd Degree Regalia32nd Degree - Encampment DiagramThe Hermaphrodite by Heinrich KhunrathOverview: Links: Solomon’s TempleTetragrammatonSecond TempleINRINew JerusalemOmMonochordCymatics: Chladni Plate - Sound, Vibration and Sand

Duration:00:37:09

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31st Degree: Inspector Inquisitor

2/19/2023
Transcripts, Chapter Markers and Show Notes for all episodes are available from our website - WayOfTheHermit.com. In the heart of the episode, the mythological setting of the Egyptian "Hall of Judgment" from the Book of the Dead is explored, serving as the backdrop for the degree ritual. This setting is not just a mere stage but a profound allegory for the final judgment, a theme resonant across many world religions but here, uniquely intertwined with ancient Egyptian mythology. The ritual itself, focusing on the "Weighing of the Heart," is a dramatization that uses symbolism to probe the depths of one's character and actions through a series of questions posed at four altars, each representing different aspects of the participant's life. This process is not merely a ritualistic formality but a deep introspective journey, encouraging participants to reflect on their actions, intentions, and motivations, ultimately leading to a judgment of their worthiness to dwell in the everlasting light. The episode further delves into the philosophical underpinnings of justice as discussed in the degree's lecture, drawing from Theodore Parker's "Ten Sermons of Religion." It challenges the listener to consider the source of our sense of justice, suggesting it comes not from observing nature but from an innate moral faculty or conscience. This distinction between ideal and practical justice is highlighted, emphasizing the importance of striving towards an ideal while being grounded in the realities of the world. The discussion on the Tetractys and its symbolic significance in relation to the degree adds another layer of depth, connecting the dots between the principles of the natural world, cosmic harmony, and the ascent to the divine. Through these discussions, the episode not only sheds light on the rituals and symbols of the degree but also invites listeners on a journey of self-examination and spiritual enlightenment. The series on the Scottish Rite uses the following primary sources (which you are encouraged to read as well): Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma: Annotated EditionScottish Rite Ritual Monitor & GuideA Bridge to LightImages: 31st Degree RegaliaWeighing the HeartGates of the Duat - 5th HourOverview: Links: Ten Sermons of ReligionBook of the DeadEnneadMaatNegative ConfessionsPapyrus of AniChrist’s Harrowing of HellWinged SunTetractys

Duration:00:38:28

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30th Degree: Knight Kadosh

2/5/2023
Transcripts, Chapter Markers and Show Notes for all episodes are available from our website - WayOfTheHermit.com. In the episode, the historical context of the Knights Templar's fall and the execution of their Grandmaster, Jacques de Molay, is examined, revealing the financial might that led to their downfall by King Philip IV of France and Pope Clement V. The degree ritual is described as a symbolic journey through four apartments representing Earth, Water, Air, and Fire, where initiates confront death, undergo purification, face judgment, and ultimately ascend. The purpose of the degree is to shed light on the historical persecution of the Templars and draw parallels with Anti-Masonic movements, suggesting a vision for enlightened leadership and a "New World Order" free from corruption. The discussion then delves into the Templars' aspirations to rebuild the Temple of Solomon and reclaim the Papacy for the East, with the "Ladder of Kadosh" serving as a metaphor for the initiatic journey of moral and philosophical growth. The "Templar Treasure" is speculated to be not a physical artifact but the realization of inner spiritual enlightenment. The symbolism of the Templars' demise and the destruction of physical temples points to a spiritual rebirth and the construction of an inner temple. The episode concludes with the idea that the initiates themselves are the angels in Jacob's dream, representing the journey of spiritual ascent and descent, and the construction of the "Third Temple" within oneself. The series on the Scottish Rite uses the following primary sources (which you are encouraged to read as well): Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma: Annotated EditionScottish Rite Ritual Monitor & GuideA Bridge to LightImages: 30th Degree RegaliaHeinrich Khunrath - Cosmic RoseJacques de MolayOverview: Links: Knights TemplarPhilip IV of FrancePope Clement VHugues de PayensJacques de MolayEmerald TabletTriviumQuadriviumJacob’s LadderFriday the 13thTour de Nesle AffairChurch and state in medieval Europe

Duration:00:34:44

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29th Degree: Knight of Saint Andrew

1/22/2023
Transcripts, Chapter Markers and Show Notes for all episodes are available from our website - WayOfTheHermit.com. In this episode, the rich symbolism and rituals of the "Scottish Knight of Saint Andrew" degree in Freemasonry are explored in depth. The Saint Andrew’s Cross, an equal-armed x-shaped cross, is identified as the main symbol of the degree, with its presence in the ritual space and on the regalia of the officers, who are dressed as Knights. The cross is adorned with the Tetragrammaton, emphasizing the spiritual and elemental significance of the symbol. The ritual involves lighting candles in the shape of the cross, each representing a duty expected of a Knight of Saint Andrew, such as reverence for the Deity and service to Truth. The episode delves into the nine knightly virtues that are central to the degree, which are grouped into three categories reflecting one's relationship to self, others, and actions in the world: Humility, Patience, and Self-denial; Charity, Clemency, and Generosity; and Virtue, Truth, and Honor. The discussion also touches on the challenges posed by scientific skepticism to spiritual beliefs and the balance between embracing technology and maintaining spiritual integrity. The esoteric interpretations of the Saint Andrew’s Cross are examined, including its representation of the alchemical process and the integration of elemental forces within the individual. The symbolism of the Banner of the Order, the concept of Western Yoga, and the significance of the Tetragrammaton are also discussed, culminating in reflections on the depth of the Scottish Rite system and its encapsulation of the Western Mystery Tradition. The series on the Scottish Rite uses the following primary sources (which you are encouraged to read as well): Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma: Annotated EditionScottish Rite Ritual Monitor & GuideA Bridge to LightImages: 29th Degree RegaliaOverview: Links: Andrew the ApostleRobert the Bruce“Outlaw King” TrailerKnights TemplarBattle of BannockburnPictsFlag of ScotlandStream of ConsciousnessMagician Tarot CardLemniscateThird EyePineal Gland

Duration:00:35:35

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28th Degree: Knight of the Sun - Part 3 of 3

1/8/2023
Transcripts, Chapter Markers and Show Notes for all episodes are available from our website - WayOfTheHermit.com. In the episode, the exploration of light and darkness as primary metaphors in "The Mysteries" is revisited, with a deep dive into the symbolic significance of these elements across various religious and mythological contexts. The unity underlying apparent dualities is emphasized, alongside the quest for higher conceptions of God. The discussion transitions into the exploration of the "Central" or "Formless Fire" from Kabbalistic and Egyptian cosmologies, raising philosophical questions about the nature of reality and the human mind's role in shaping it. The "Cosmic Egg" and the "World Animal" are discussed as symbols representing the universe's vitality and interconnectedness, with the "Astral Light" highlighted as the creative force within human imagination. Alchemy is explored as a metaphor for personal and spiritual transformation, with the "Emerald Tablet of Hermes" and the concept of "The Great Work" in alchemy examined as the ultimate goal of self-creation and mastery over one's faculties. The episode culminates in a discussion on the "Dual Current" and the figure of Baphomet, symbolizing the unity of opposites and the creative potential of the human mind. Baphomet is presented as a misunderstood symbol, historically obscured by superstition and fear, yet holding significant philosophical and spiritual implications. The episode concludes with reflections on the transformative power of the discussed symbols and concepts, inviting listeners to continue their exploration of these themes in their own lives and spiritual practices. The series on the Scottish Rite uses the following primary sources (which you are encouraged to read as well): Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma: Annotated EditionScottish Rite Ritual Monitor & GuideA Bridge to LightImages: Knight of the Sun RegaliaBaphomet by Eliphas LeviOverview: 01:14 IntroductionLinks: Dogma and Ritual of High MagicEmerald Tablet of HermesOrphismPhanesLuciferWorld EggBaphometRider-Waite TarotTrials of the Knights TemplarOedipus ComplexPhrygian Cap

Duration:00:41:31

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28th Degree: Knight of the Sun - Part 2 of 3

12/25/2022
Transcripts, Chapter Markers and Show Notes for all episodes are available from our website - WayOfTheHermit.com. In the episode, the depth and complexity of the 28th Degree - Knight of the Sun are explored, revealing its position as a distillation of the entire Scottish Rite system. The discussion begins with Albert Pike's Christian interpretation of the Blue Lodge Degrees, which symbolizes the human condition of blindness and the journey towards enlightenment through Masonic initiation. The conversation then transitions to the universal myths of celestial bodies, where the similarities in worship and personification of these entities across various cultures are examined. The focus shifts to the gods of nature, highlighting the symbolic representation of the alternation of light and darkness. The Greek god Dionysus is presented as a symbol that unifies light and darkness, transcending the duality found in mythological interpretations. The Ancient Mysteries are discussed for their role in preserving sacred symbols and their true interpretations, emphasizing the importance of initiation. The rise of the priesthood is critiqued for transforming religious symbols into objects of worship and acting as intermediaries rather than teachers, leading to a loss of original truths. The episode also delves into the metaphorical journey of understanding, drawing parallels with "The Matrix" and the awakening to a deeper reality, as exemplified by the story of Helen Keller and her "soul's awakening" through the acquisition of language. The concept of living in a dream world, shaped by language and symbols, is explored, suggesting that the perceived separation from the divine is an illusion. The Kabbalah is examined for its teachings on the unity of God and the symbolic language of creation. The process of creation is likened to esoteric counting, illustrating the journey from the abstract to the concrete, and the dual current of creation and destruction is discussed in the context of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes. The episode concludes with a reflection on the intense exploration of Masonic philosophy and the anticipation of continuing the discussion in the next episode. The series on the Scottish Rite uses the following primary sources (which you are encouraged to read as well): Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma: Annotated EditionScottish Rite Ritual Monitor & GuideA Bridge to LightImages: Knight of the Sun RegaliaOverview: Links: ZoharJoseph CambellDionysusHelen KellerLanguageEmerald TabletThe Matrix

Duration:00:33:22

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28th Degree: Knight of the Sun - Part 1 of 3

12/11/2022
Transcripts, Chapter Markers and Show Notes for all episodes are available from our website - WayOfTheHermit.com. In the episode, a comprehensive examination of the "Knight of the Sun" degree's Ritual, both in its original and revised forms, is undertaken, revealing significant philosophical and symbolic depth. The revised Ritual, simplified for modern practice, is described as featuring two presiding officers and a choir of angels representing the planets, focusing on teaching through symbolism such as geometry, the pentagram, and alchemy. Despite its accessibility, the revised Ritual is critiqued for lacking the depth and esoteric richness of the original, which included elaborate decorations, costumes, and a more profound invocation of spiritual and intellectual themes. The original Ritual's emphasis on equilibrium, the power of the Magus, and the importance of mastering reason and knowledge for societal benefit is highlighted, showcasing a stark contrast to the revised version's approach. The episode also delves into the original Ritual's lectures, which offer deep insights into Kabbalistic philosophy, the Macrocosm and Microcosm, and the practical application of these teachings. The discussions underscore the Ritual's influence on the formation of The Golden Dawn and other esoteric groups, emphasizing the legacy of Pike's work in the broader context of occult and Masonic traditions. The importance of the "Knight of the Sun" degree is further underscored by its extensive coverage in "Morals and Dogma," with the Rebis symbol serving as a focal point for understanding the degree's teachings on equilibrium and the interplay between the material and spiritual. The episode concludes with reflections on the Ritual's significance and its potential connections to ancient myths, suggesting a deeper, esoteric lineage that continues to inspire and challenge practitioners and scholars alike. The series on the Scottish Rite uses the following primary sources (which you are encouraged to read as well): Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma: Annotated EditionScottish Rite Ritual Monitor & GuideA Bridge to LightImages: Knight of the Sun RegaliaThe Hermaphrodite by Heinrich KhunrathMacroprosopus by Eliphas LeviOverview: Links: ZoharChristian Knorr von RosenrothAncient of DaysAdam KadmonRebusHermetic Order of the Golden DawnFraternity of the Inner LightArgenteum AstrumOrdo Templi Orientis

Duration:00:39:10

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27th Degree: Knight Commander of the Temple

11/27/2022
Transcripts, Chapter Markers and Show Notes for all episodes are available from our website - WayOfTheHermit.com. In the episode, the intricate rituals and profound symbolism of the "Knight Commander of the Temple" degree are explored, revealing a ceremony steeped in historical reverence and moral testing. The degree, originating from the siege of St. Jean d'Acre, is depicted as a transformative journey where candidates undergo a rigorous process of self-examination, confession, and amends-making before being led into a ceremonially adorned hall. Here, they embody "Constans," a figure tested through trials that challenge their virtues of chastity, poverty, and obedience. The trials, designed to mirror the knightly vows, culminate in a knighting ceremony that only those who prove their unwavering commitment to justice and humanity can undergo. This segment of the episode vividly illustrates the degree's purpose: to instill in candidates the essence of knighthood, emphasizing truth, duty, and sacrifice. The discussion further delves into the moral teachings from "Morals and Dogma," emphasizing the scarcity of truth in society and the knightly virtue of honesty. The episode draws parallels between historical knights and modern-day heroes who embody the spirit of self-sacrifice and duty, such as firefighters and pilots. The symbolism of the degree apron is analyzed, revealing layers of meaning in its heraldic elements that signify the union of light and darkness and the quest for inner truth. The episode concludes with reflections on the transformative power of ritual and the embodiment of chivalric values in the modern world, likening the degree to a "Grail Quest" that challenges individuals to live by a code of honor and truth. This summary encapsulates the essence of the discussion, highlighting the degree's rich symbolism and its relevance to contemporary moral and ethical challenges. The series on the Scottish Rite uses the following primary sources (which you are encouraged to read as well): Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma: Annotated EditionScottish Rite Ritual Monitor & GuideA Bridge to LightImages: Knight Commander of the Temple - RegaliaOverview: Links: Siege of Acre (1189–1191)Hospitaller commandery of Saint-Jean-d'AcreTeutonic OrderKnights HospitallerKnights TemplarSir Gawain and the Green KnightHeraldrySaladinKingdom of JerusalemTrue Cross

Duration:00:33:10

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26th Degree: Prince of Mercy

11/13/2022
Transcripts, Chapter Markers and Show Notes for all episodes are available from our website - WayOfTheHermit.com. In the exploration of the third and final Degree dedicated to the Greater Mysteries, a profound journey through the symbolism and progression of the Mystery Degrees is undertaken. The discussion delves into the intricate teachings and secrets reserved for the final degree, where the grand mysteries of the Christian religion, such as the incarnation, nativity, passion, and resurrection of Christ, are unveiled. This revelation is made exclusively to "The Faithful," highlighting the profound secrecy surrounding the celebration of the Holy Sacraments, particularly the Eucharist. The narrative extends to the nature of perception and consciousness, where the mysteries and miracles that constantly surround us are contemplated. The everyday phenomena, often overlooked, are presented as unseen miracles, prompting a reflection on the forces beyond mechanical explanations and the enigmatic origins of colors, perfumes, and tastes in nature. Further, the significance of the Trinity in various religious traditions is examined, revealing the "Masonic Trinity" as a universal concept encompassing the Universal Soul, the Thought in the Soul, and the Word or Thought expressed. This exploration into the esoteric interpretations offers a unique perspective on the interconnectedness of material, intellectual, and spiritual realms. The discussion is enriched by the examination of symbols such as the Triple Triangle and the Tessera, each carrying deep allegorical meanings that contribute to the overarching narrative of the Degree. Through this journey, the listeners are invited to ponder the profound mysteries of existence, the nature of divine creation, and the endless quest for understanding that transcends the boundaries of conventional religious doctrines. The series on the Scottish Rite uses the following primary sources (which you are encouraged to read as well): Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma: Annotated EditionScottish Rite Ritual Monitor & GuideA Bridge to LightImages and Diagrams: 26th Degree - Apron, Cordon and JewelOverview: Links: The History of the Christian ReligionPalladiumAthenaNashville ParthenonNashvilleParthenon.comNotarikonYahwehDemiurgeYaldabaothThe Jesus PrayerPhilip K. Dick

Duration:00:32:48

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25th Degree: Knight of the Brazen Serpent

10/31/2022
Transcripts, Chapter Markers and Show Notes for all episodes are available from our website - WayOfTheHermit.com. This episode marks a significant shift from the previous degree's focus on Jewish Mysteries, in that it delves into the teachings and traditions of Islamic mysticism, emphasizing the importance of inward purification and personal sacrifice to establish a covenant with God. The ritual underscores the challenge of genuine transformation and self-assessment, illustrating the difficulty of true change. The Degree highlights the philosophical depth and the continuous effort required to grasp the deep truths of existence, that require a continual focus on self-improvement and the readiness to sacrifice for the greater good. The themes discussed include celestial influence on human life, the soul's journey, and the symbolism of light in Masonic ritual. The allegory of the Fallen Angels and the significance of celestial symbolism in conveying spiritual truths are also discussed. The episode also delves into the symbolism of the stars and constellations in Masonic mysteries, the transition between astrological ages, and the mythological symbolism of the Precession of the Equinoxes. The myth of Isis and Osiris is examined as a representation of celestial movements and their influence on earthly cycles, as well as the ancient perception of celestial bodies as intelligent beings influencing earthly affairs, and the pitfalls of idolatry stemming from misconceptions about causality. The episode concludes with reflections on the interplay of light and darkness, the cyclical nature of life, and the Masonic pursuit of knowledge and self-improvement. The series on the Scottish Rite uses the following primary sources (which you are encouraged to read as well): Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma: Annotated EditionScottish Rite Ritual Monitor & GuideA Bridge to LightImages and Diagrams: The Brazen Serpent25th Degree - Apron, Cordon and JewelOverview: Links: The Middle ChamberMiddleChamber.orgPrince Hall FreemasonryHamlet's MillThe Spiritual Science of the StarsThe Geography of the HeavensThe Origin of All Religious WorshipSabaean ResearchesThe Progress of the IntellectThe Worship of the SerpentDruzeSufismNehushtan

Duration:00:38:52

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24th Degree: Prince of the Tabernacle

10/16/2022
Transcripts, Chapter Markers and Show Notes for all episodes are available from our website - WayOfTheHermit.com. This degree is associated with the Greater Mysteries, following the "Chief of the Tabernacle" degree, and its timing is linked to the Jewish festival of Sukkot, also known as the "Feast of Tabernacles." David and Gene discuss the ritualistic aspects of the degree, and the symbolic items used such as the Lamp of Trismegistus, the Cloak of Apollonius, and the Staff of the Patriarchs. These items symbolize reason, liberty or self-control, and faith, respectively. The Sphinx and its elemental teachings are also examined, emphasizing the "Power of the Magi" and its components. The episode further delves into the philosophical aspects of the degree, emphasizing the commonalities among the world's major religions and the universal search for Divine Truth. It touches on the soul's journey, the struggle between divine and natural will, and the concept of the soul as a battlefield. The narrative of detachment from the natural order and the soul's eventual return to the divine source is also discussed. Gene and David conclude the episode by reflecting on the teachings of the degree, its emphasis on self-improvement, and the Masonic tradition's connection to ancient mysteries. They share their personal takeaways, discussing the importance of self-examination and the elimination of unnecessary elements in one's life to embody the force one wishes to bring into the world. The series on the Scottish Rite uses the following primary sources (which you are encouraged to read as well): Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma: Annotated EditionScottish Rite Ritual Monitor & GuideA Bridge to LightImages and Diagrams: 24th Degree - Cordon, Jewel and ApronHarmonia Macrosmica of Andreas Cellarius - Plate 05Harmonia Macrosmica of Andreas Cellarius - Plate 19Overview: Links: SukkotHistory of InitiationEleusinian MysteriesDionysusDemeterPersephoneSacred WayTelesterionHierophantThe Spiritual Science of the Stars: A Guide to the Architecture of the SpiritTikkun Olam

Duration:00:39:52

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23rd Degree: Chief of the Tabernacle

10/2/2022
Transcripts, Chapter Markers and Show Notes for all episodes are available from our website - WayOfTheHermit.com. This degree begins with a journey back to the biblical era of Moses and the construction of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, a structure that symbolizes the universe and reflects the Hermetic principle of "As Above, So Below." This allegorical representation serves as a foundation for the ritual's aim to guide the rebuilding of the participant's mind and character in alignment with divine intentions. The ritual unfolds within a court designed to mimic the encampment of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, with each tribe symbolized by a standard bearing specific colors and emblems, linking the ritual to astrological and biblical symbolism. The officers of the ritual, including the "Venerable High Priest" and "Excellent Priests," guide the candidate through a process of initiation that emphasizes purity, dedication to God, and the welfare of humanity. The Degree's teachings underscore the importance of enlightenment, symbolized by the sun's path, and the transformation of the candidate into a "Son of Light." The lecture accompanying the Degree delves into the initiatic “Mystery Traditions”, the significance of symbols, and the role of personal interpretation in spiritual development. It also addresses the responsibilities of priesthood and the moral lessons of devotion to divine service and zeal for the betterment of mankind. This series on the Scottish Rite uses the following primary sources (which you are encouraged to read as well): Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma: Annotated EditionScottish Rite Ritual Monitor & GuideA Bridge to LightImages and Diagrams: 23rd Degree Cordon, Apron & JewelOverview: Links: History of InitiationTabernacleZodiacArk of the CovenantEleusinian MysteriesThe Sungod's Journey through the NetherworldMysterium Coniunctionis - Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 14KykeonMannaEleusis: Archetypal Image of Mother and DaughterThe Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries

Duration:00:39:28

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22nd Degree: Knight Royal Axe

9/18/2022
Transcripts, Chapter Markers and Show Notes for all episodes are available from our website - WayOfTheHermit.com. In this episode, Gene and David first discuss the Degree Ritual, a ceremony with roots tracing back to the Crusaders' interactions with the Druze, a mystical Islamic sect from Lebanon. This ritual, set in the Middle Ages, involves a candidate assuming the role of a Prussian Knight, undergoing a transformative journey through two symbolic apartments. The first apartment, representing a carpenter's workshop on Mount Lebanon, hosts an induction ceremony emphasizing the dignity of labor and the rejection of idleness. The candidate is introduced to the College of Artificers, an ancient group of artisans with connections to Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite, suggesting a lineage of knowledge and craftsmanship dating back to Rome around 700 B.C. The second apartment in the Ritual of the Degree symbolizes the Council of the Round Table, where the candidate learns about the College's ties to the construction of Solomon's Temple, highlighting the Druze's central role in the shared mysteries of Solomon and Hiram, King of Tyre. The working tools of the Degree - the Saw, Plane, and Ax - serve as metaphors for patience, equality, and civilization, respectively. The purpose of the Degree is to instill an appreciation for work as a noble, humanizing force, essential for personal and societal advancement. The discussion also covers the Degree Lecture's emphasis on work as worship, the nobility of labor, and the lifelong duty to contribute meaningfully to the world, encapsulating the Masonic valorization of industriousness and moral integrity. This series on the Scottish Rite uses the following primary sources (which you are encouraged to read as well): Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma: Annotated EditionScottish Rite Ritual Monitor & GuideA Bridge to LightImages and Diagrams: Knight Royal AxeOverview: Links: DruzeSons of NoahAholiabBezalelEzraNehemiahThe Matrix Reloaded - The Architect Scene Part 1Oath of the AbyssHermetic.com

Duration:00:36:40

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21st Degree: Prussian Knight

9/4/2022
Transcripts, Chapter Markers and Show Notes for all episodes are available from our website - WayOfTheHermit.com. In this episode, Gene and David delve into the 21st Degree’s dark and strange Degree Ritual, which is based on the secret medieval German tribunal, the Vehmgericht or "Holy Vehm". The Vehmgericht was an extra-legal but efficient criminal tribunal that emerged in Westphalia near the end of the 12th century. It combined old traditions with new legal forms and operated where ordinary territorial justice failed. The degree's ritual is intended to be performed under moonlight, on a full moon night, which is a reference to this secretive justice system. The ritual setting serves as a backdrop for discussions on humility, modesty, and the importance of faith in divine providence, contrasting the dangers of arrogance and the necessity of focusing on the positive aspects of others. The episode highlights the challenges of ensuring justice in a world where judges may be corrupt, and the belief in a higher justice that operates unseen. The hosts also touch upon the historical context of the degree, including its previous association with the Tower of Babel and the Noachites, and the significance of moon lodges in the ritual. The discussion concludes with reflections on the degree's teachings, emphasizing self-reflection, the avoidance of harsh judgment, and the belief in a higher justice that, while not always visible, is ultimately inevitable. This series on the Scottish Rite uses the following primary sources (which you are encouraged to read as well): Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma: Annotated EditionScottish Rite Ritual Monitor & GuideA Bridge to LightImages and Diagrams: The Tower of BabelHarpokratesOverview: Links: Resolves, Divine, Moral and Political, of Owen FellthamVehmic CourtNoahidismSeven Laws of NoahTower of BabelHarpocratesSub RosaWhat’s a Moon LodgeTranquility Lodge #2000Fiat justitia ruat caelum

Duration:00:35:28

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20th Degree: Master of the Symbolic Lodge

8/21/2022
Transcripts, Chapter Markers and Show Notes for all episodes are available from our website - WayOfTheHermit.com. This degree is characterized by its simplicity and focus on the fundamental principles of Masonry. The ritual involves a straightforward lecture on symbols, with an emphasis on personal interpretation rather than elaborate drama. The degree uses classic Masonic symbols such as squares, triangles, and pillars, and highlights the significance of the number nine, which is represented by nine candles forming a right triangle around the altar. This arrangement symbolizes the "47th Problem of Euclid" or the "Pythagorean Theorem." The degree's purpose is to teach leadership and the virtues of leniency, kindness, and humility, and advocates for restoring Masonry to its original purity and simplicity. It criticizes the dilution of Masonic values through unnecessary innovations and emphasizes the importance of moral centering and fair judgment. The "Symbolic Lodge" is seen as a metaphor for the mind, with the degree teaching a way of thinking through symbols and allegories. This series on the Scottish Rite uses the following primary sources (which you are encouraged to read as well): Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma: Annotated EditionScottish Rite Ritual Monitor & GuideA Bridge to LightImages and Diagrams: Pythagoras of CrotonaOverview: Links: ThothPythagorean TheoremSquaring the CircleTrigonometryKabbalahNuma PompiliusHammurabiManiAlfred the Great

Duration:00:33:22