Academia Lodge

№ 847

A Cordial and Engaging Masonic Experience.

 

Academia Lodge was instituted in 2004 under charter from the Grand Lodge of California, with the intention to provide a traditional environment in which Masonic studies were deeply interwoven with the degree work and overall culture of the Lodge. We are committed to the idea that Freemasonry, to be relevant, must be put into meaningful practice in the lives of its members.

In support of that goal, we encourage serious reflection on the centuries-old Masonic tradition through a carefully-maintained atmosphere of fraternal respect, individual exploration and general conviviality. It is by means of this sincere and thoughtful fellowship that we strive to understand the Craft in its full historic and philosophic depth.

We invite you to learn more about the precepts of Academia Lodge, and to contact us with any questions you may have – we would be honored to make your acquaintance! If you are considering joining our Lodge and would like to attend one of our open meetings, please email our Secretary.

We very much look forward to hearing from you!

Statement of Principles

I

Academia Lodge is a fellowship of Brothers devoted to the observance of traditional Freemasonry and united in the conviction that the beautiful ceremonies of Freemasonry are best complemented by an adherence to the atmosphere and forms that existed at the time during which they were originally developed. Thus, the activities and atmosphere of our Lodge are informed by a close and continual study of the classical phase of Masonic practice, especially as exemplified during the eighteenth century.

II

Academia Lodge holds that the officers of a Masonic Lodge should be selected according to their merit and only after their good faith, commitment and exemplary discharge of duties have been clearly demonstrated. The honor and responsibility of the office of Master are particularly reserved for those well-versed in Masonic teachings, whose character and behavior consistently express Masonic values, and who are unwaveringly committed to the preservation of traditional Masonic practices.

III

Academia Lodge believes that determining the true qualifications of men seeking admission is essential to the integrity of our ancient institution. The investigative procedures of this Lodge are rigorous and the Brethren are willing to reject candidates when circumstances require.

IV

Masonic Formation at Academia Lodge is a slow and careful process that requires great care and effort by both candidates and Brethren of the Lodge. Each Brother advances only when – after due study and contemplation – he can demonstrate sufficient progress in his understanding of Freemasonry and himself.

V

As silence and circumspection have always been Landmarks of the Order, no Brother of Academia Lodge seeks to disturb the sacred space of the Lodge with idle speech or disruptive action; the highest standards of personal and Masonic decorum are demanded of all members and guests.

VI

The meetings of Academia Lodge reflect an initiatic focus and promote a deeper understanding of Freemasonry, as Brothers present thoughtful and well-researched papers on the symbolism, history and philosophy of the Order. We cultivate fellowship by holding a regular Agape after Lodge is closed, where ideas inspired during the ceremony are discussed and debated in the spirit of fraternal conviviality, and where fine food and drink are enjoyed in token of Brotherly Love.

VII

As every Craft lodge represents the Temple of Solomon, every Brother of Academia Lodge demonstrates due regard and respect for the tiled assembly as a proper place for the most solemn and sacred reflections, bearing in mind his faith in the Great Architect of the Universe, and continually strives to exemplify that unfeigned piety which is so memorably inculcated within the Craft tradition.

What is Freemasonry?

Masonry is a community of worthy men stretching back 300+ years – together, we strive to exemplify integrity, honor, wisdom, love, trust, and knowledge, seeking to connect with other men of similar mindset.

Specifically, Masons (aka Freemasons) are members of the oldest and largest fraternity in the world, with more than six million active members and Lodges have been opened on all 7 continents (yes, even Antarctica!).

We are Brothers regardless of race, color, religious beliefs, political views, sexual orientation, physical ability, citizenship, or national origin. We are friends as well as Brothers, and are connected through this vital and uplifting organization of moral men.

Masonic Brothers have included Kings, Presidents, scholars, and religious figures, who in Lodge are considered as equal to the humblest member. Want to know more? Learn how to become a member of our esteemed Brotherhood!

More About Academia Lodge:

At Academia Lodge № 847, we look to Freemasonry as a path to follow for truth – it is a vehicle for self-improvement, philosophical development, and the discovery of one’s inner potential to be shared with men of similar mindset and equal good character.

To be clear, we are named Academia not because we are academics (though we are so inclined temperamentally) but rather after Plato’s Academy.

The Academy (Ancient Greek: Ἀκαδημία) was founded by Plato in c. 387 BCE as a school outside the city walls of ancient Athens, located in or beside a grove of olive trees dedicated to the goddess Athena.

The school did not have any particular doctrine to teach; rather, Plato (and probably other associates of his) posed problems to be studied and solved by the others as well as giving lectures on philosophy.

Above the entrance to the Academy was supposedly inscribed the phrase “Let None But Geometers Enter Here.” This has relevance to Freemasonry today and we are proud to carry on the tradition of critical thinking and esoteric study established by these ancient masters.

Are You Sincerely Interested in Freemasonry?

Many people claim to know the secrets of Freemasonry, but only the initiated understand the vital, uplifting, and profound difference it makes in the lives of Brothers and their communities.

If you are interested in the Fraternity and seek to make common cause with other men of good will – you may be ready to ask more questions and take the next step.

Every Lodge is unique, with a specific culture and goals shaped by the vision of its founders and shared by its membership. We at Academia Lodge № 847 offer our Brothers – those initiated here, and visiting – an opportunity to explore esoteric wisdom and virtuous knowledge with a special emphasis on tradition, research, and strict observance of Masonic ideals.

Academia Lodge № 847 is proud to have been one of the first Lodges in the United States to be formed around these specific precepts and remains a guiding light today as good men seek out nobility, honor and sensibilities in an often chaotic world.

Our renowned online research library (for Masons only) has thousands of rare esoteric texts to assist our members and Masons worldwide in writing papers (a cherished Academia tradition) on a variety of subjects related to our interests.

Formal Meetings

In accordance with Academia Lodge № 847’s mission to meet in strict observance of Masonic ideals and our ancient traditions, we conduct all our meetings with reverence and respectful intent.

The presentation of papers is viewed as an essential aspect of the life of the Lodge and promotes the continued study of Masonic lessons by the brethren, addressing esoteric work, symbolism, initiation, ritual, metaphysics, history, philosophy and art.

While the true and self-evident principles of the Craft provide the cornerstones of our work, our Brothers place their Masonic research in the context of the major world religions and schools of mysticism such as Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Neoplatonism, Rosicrucianism, Kabbalah and other rarefied traditions.

Our ritual, full knowledge of which is the sacred preserve of the initiated, reinforces our common commitment to Masonic ideals and connection with other Masons from all over the world.

Once a month, after the close of Lodge, brethren are proud to partake in the Agape, which is a festive board resounding with formal toasts according to a traditional order of ceremonies, during which a discussion of the main paper presented earlier takes place.

In conclusion, Academia Lodge № 847 seeks to provide its members and visitors the opportunity to practice a ritual-based system of learning, morality, and sociability found nowhere else.

The History of the Fraternity

No one knows with certainty how or when the Masonic Fraternity was formed. A widely accepted theory among Masonic scholars is that it arose from the stonemasons guild during the Middle Ages. The language and symbols used in the Fraternity’s rituals come from this era.

The oldest document that makes reference to Masons is the Regius Poem, written in approximately 1390 (which was itself a copy of an earlier, now lost work). In 1717, four Lodges in London formed the first Grand Lodge of England, and records from that point on are more complete.

Within thirty years, the Fraternity had spread throughout Europe and the American Colonies. Freemasonry became very popular in colonial America. George Washington was a Mason, Benjamin Franklin served as the head of the Fraternity in Pennsylvania, as did Paul Revere in Massachusetts.

Over the centuries, Freemasonry has developed into a worldwide fraternity emphasizing personal study, self-improvement, and social betterment via individual involvement and philanthropy.

During the late 1700s it was one of the organizations most responsible for spreading the ideals of the Enlightenment: the dignity of man and the liberty of the individual, the right of all persons to worship as they choose, the formation of democratic governments, and the importance of public education. Masons supported the first public schools in both Europe and America.

During the 1800s and early 1900s, Freemasonry grew dramatically. At that time, the government had provided no social “safety net”. The Masonic tradition of founding orphanages, homes for widows, and homes for the aged provided the only security many people knew.

Today in North America, the Masonic Fraternity continues this tradition by giving $2.6 million each day to causes that range from operating children’s hospitals, providing treatment for childhood language disorders, treating eye diseases, funding medical research, contributing to local community service, and providing care to Masons and their families at Masonic Homes.

Millions of Masons worldwide continue to help men and women face the problems of the 21st century by building bridges of brotherhood and instilling in the hearts of men ideals for a better tomorrow.

A Partial List of Famous Freemasons

  • Founding fathers: America’s most famous Freemason – George Washington – was initiated in 1752 in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Other founding fathers who were also Masons include Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, the Marquis de Lafayette, Robert R. Livingstone, John Hancock, and Aaron Burr.
  • U.S. Presidents: George Washington, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, James Polk, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, James Garfield, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Gerald R. Ford.
  • Explorers and adventurers: Freemasons who blazed new trails include Davey Crockett, Jim Bowie, Sam Houston, Christopher “Kit” Carson, Lewis and Clark, Charles Lindbergh, Sir Richard Burton, Sir Ernest Shackleton, John Glenn and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin.
  • Science and medicine: Many Freemasons have played important roles here, including Edward Jenner (discovered the cure for smallpox), Joseph Lister (pioneered the concept of antiseptics in medicine), Enrico Fermi (Nobel Prize-winning nuclear physicist), Luther Burbank (world-renowned Botanist) and Alexander Fleming (won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of penicillin).
  • Athletes: Famous athletic Masons include “Sugar Ray” Robinson, Jack Dempsey, John Elway, Shaquille O’Neal, Arnold Palmer and Scottie Pippin plus baseball legend Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner (the most valuable baseball card ever!).
  • Actors and entertainers: The entire entertainment industry has its fair share of Masons, including William “Count” Basie, Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, John Wayne, Harry Houdini, Richard Pryor, Clark Gable, Roy Rogers, Will Rogers, Timothy Hutton, Pat Morita, Don Rickles, Peter Sellers, and Mel Blanc.
  • Businessmen: A wide range of legendary tycoons have been Masons, including Henry Ford, Walter P. Chrysler, Nathan Meyer Rothschild, John Jacob Astor, Charles Hilton, Colonel Harland Sanders, and Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple Computer).
  • Statecraft: Masons have made great world leaders across several centuries. Among them are Sir Winston Churchill, Fiorello Laguardia, Kalakaua (King of Hawaii), and many English Kings (including William IV, Edward VII, Edward VIII, George IV, and George VI).
  • U.S. Civil Rights leaders: Masons who have been active in the quest for equal rights for all citizens of the United States include Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, Jesse Jackson, Thurgood Marshall, and Medger Evers.
  • Classical Music and letters: Classical music and literature wouldn’t be the same if not for the contributions of artistically-inclined Masons, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Jean Sibelius, Aleksander Pushkin, Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Alex Haley, and Mark Twain.

Requirements to Become a Mason

Freemasonry was founded by men who shared a commitment to supporting each other in friendship, fellowship and service to mankind.

For hundreds of years, men have found spiritual and philosophical fulfillment as members of the Fraternity, which still operates on the same core values as when it was founded. In order to become a Freemason, it is necessary to meet these requirements:

  • Be a man.
  • Have a sound reputation, and be well-recommended by your peers.
  • You must believe in a Supreme Being, regardless of your religion.
  • Be over the age of 18 years.
  • Be interested in character building and morality. The Freemason motto is “better men make a better world.”

Please allow us to help you know the truth about the Fraternity before you decide to proceed – there is a great deal of misinformation concerning Freemasonry that has done the Craft a serious disservice.

Books and movies like ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and ‘National Treasure’ have perpetuated the notion that Freemasonry is a ‘secret society’ with designs on taking over the world or possessing ancient mystical treasures from long ago. While they offer pulse-pounding reading and viewing, it is very important to recognize they perpetuate fictions with no basis in the facts.

The first goal of a ‘secret society’ is exactly that – to REMAIN SECRET. Given that California Freemasonry alone has hundreds of official Lodge Websites, plus thousands of members openly wearing symbols of the Craft, we are the very antithesis of a ‘secret society’ – though it is true we are a group with secrets reserved only for the initiated.

The simple truth is that people who attempt to join Freemasonry hoping to gain access to so-called ‘Illuminati’ secrets are not approaching the Fraternity with the right intentions or a grounded reality as to what Freemasonry truly offers.  

Requesting Membership to the Fraternity

Potential members in California must approach the Brotherhood of their own accord, although a few other states do allow members to issue invitations – given our location, we are not one of them.

Many Freemasons proudly display Masonic symbols on bumper stickers, hats, clothing or on a ring. They are always happy to talk to people who wish to seek out more information about the Craft.

If you’re sufficiently intrigued, accept an invitation to meet with us once you’ve reached out to our Secretary – we have regular open meetings to explain Freemasonry and how Academia operates.

After several meetings if you decide we are the best Lodge for your needs, then a formal petition to join can be filed with us. After your petition has been reviewed, you will be called to the Lodge for an interview with a group of Freemasons who form an Investigative Committee.

You will be asked questions concerning your reasons for wanting to become a Freemason, your history, and your character.

The Investigative Committee will spend a week or two contacting references with regard to your character and conducting a thorough background check. Alcoholism, drug abuse, abuse of family, or a felony conviction are all grounds for denial.

The Lodge’s members will then vote on whether to accept you. If you are accepted, you will receive a formal invitation to become a member and be initiated as a Brother.

Becoming a Freemason

As part of the journey of Freemasonry, you must proceed through the process of obtaining three symbolic degrees. The Entered Apprentice is the first degree, and introduces candidates to the basic principles of the Craft. Moral truths are impressed upon new candidates by the symbolic use of building tools.

Apprentices must become proficient in one catechism before they can move on to the next step – the Fellow Craft, or second degree.

The second degree continues to instill in candidates the principles of their new membership, especially their close association with the arts and sciences. Candidates are tested on their mastery of knowledge learned as an apprentice.

Candidates must memorize the second catechism to complete the degree and become a Master Mason.

The Master Mason degree is the highest degree a Freemason can earn, and the most difficult. Candidates must demonstrate proficiency in the values of Freemasonry. Completion of the degree is celebrated with a symbolism-rich ceremony.

Calendar

august, 2019

07aug6:30 pm10:00 pmLOI & AGAPE BR. BROOKSHIRE MM PAPER

14aug6:30 pmFC Practice

21aug6:30 pmInformation Night

24aug11:00 am7:00 pmAcademia Summer Cookout and Party

28aug6:30 pmStated Meeting

How to Contact Us

We appreciate your taking the time to evaluate our Lodge to see if it meets your expectations and needs.

If you wish to seek further information, or are considering joining our Lodge, please feel free to email our Secretary. Thank you so much for reviewing the Website and we hope it proved helpful!