Masons and Tarot conenction?

january

I don't know why I haven't thought of this earlier, but a certain connection just dawned on me...

When I was 12, in fulfillment of my parents' wishes, I became a "Rainbow Girl". The International Order of Rainbow is a group sponsored by the Masons for girls aged 12-20. The local chapter into which I was initiated was really very service-oriented, i.e., raising money for the community, volunteering in homeless shelters, et al. And you couldn't just "join". You had to be sponsored by a current member (if your father was a Mason that was a big plus) and the group would vote as to you would be allowed or not. We had bi-monthly meetings which were very ritualistic including assigned offices such as pages in the east and west, Faith, Hope and Charity ruled in the North, West and South and a "Worthy Advisor" who was throned in the East. In the middle sat the "Rainbow" which is made up of seven officers, each representing a color of the rainbow. This is when it hi me. Those colors the officers wore were the colors of the chakras the one I remember most is "green" for love. When I was younger, I always thought of red as love and heart but now that I am familiar with the chakras. Hmmm... We sang Christian hymns (The Old Rugged Cross, for example) and had to wear white gowns for meetings and initiations.

I'm sure more than a few of you are educated in Masonic history. Their women's group is the Eastern Star and also connected are the Shriners and Jesters and DeMolay for boys. All of these groups have a very Egyptian theme: fez hats, scrolls, scribes, etc.

It all of a sudden seemed so Golden Dawn? I could be way off because my knowledge of Crowley is quite limited.

When I was initiated, I had to promise to never tell the "secrets" discussed in the temple, but I've obviously broken that now... or not!

I may not have the right forum for this but I'm fascinated by the "maybe" connections between these rituals and the symbolism on Tarot cards and Tarot history. (especially Golden Dawn).

Any thoughts?

~ january
 

january

Oh, I almost forgot...

When a girl was being initiated, she had to walk the "rainbow" and each of the thrones until she came to the "worthy advisor' At each stop, she had to listen to the message and advice of their position. At the end, she was granted knowledge to continue her mission. The Fool's journey perhaps?

~ january
 

Cocobird5

The two men who originally founded the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn were Masons.

I don't remember their names, but I imagine they borrowed quite a bit of the ritual and symbolism from Freemasons.
 

jmd

The founders of the Order of the Golden Dawn were all high ranking members of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA), which was itself restricted to males who were Freemasons.

Apart from the Order of the Eastern Star, there is also the Droit Humain (generally known as the Co-Masons), who use Masonic rituals (with minor appropriate modifications).

With regards to Tarot and Freemasonry, apart from the obvious fact that many people who are interested in the esoteric also become Freemasons (and hence there are many people interested in Tarot which are also brothers in the Craft), and the Masonic deck created with a few additional obvious Masonic imagery, Freemasonry and the Tarot are independent of one another.

From Eliphas Levi onwards (including, therefore, Wirth and Waite), a number of not-so-subtle Masonic 'clues' have been included in some cards (eg, II the Popess/High Priestess).

Here in Victoria (Australia), I know quite a number of Freemasons who also have an interest in Tarot... and I can vouchsafe that the Tarot, nor its symbolism, is used in Masonic ritual or otherwise.
 

Jeanette

My grandmother was an Eastern Star member, but since I was baptized Catholic I never was told much about it :( It sounds pretty good!
 

jmd

Membership to the Order of the Eastern Star is restricted to male Freemasons and their immediate female relatives.

Co-Masonry is not. If you're interested, here's a link (by the way, I'm not a Co-Mason).