From Whence come you?
How did you first become interested in Freemasonry?
I have been a student of esotericism and the Western Mysteries since childhood. As I traced various groups – their histories, beliefs and practices – back to their roots and influences, I repeatedly found Masonry as an important piece, either as source material or a carrier of earlier material.
What made you decide to petition a Lodge?
So that I could have direct access to that source material and better understand why/how these other groups do what they do.
How long have you been a Mason?
I was initiated on Nov. 14, 1991, passed on Dec. 12, 1991 and raised a MM on Feb. 13, 1992. So almost 24 years.
What do you feel is the most important or impactful things you’ve taken away from Freemasonry?
A deeper and fuller understanding of the initiatic process and how it can be used for the betterment of society.
What’s your Masonic history?
- Past Master of White River Lodge #90 F& AM VT (1997-1998)
- Charter member and Master of Fibonacci Lodge #112 F&AM VT (Traditional Observance model lodge) (2015-2017)
- Past Right Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master, Grand Lodge of VT (2013-2015)
- Right Worshipful Grand Senior Deacon, Grand Lodge of VT (2015-2016)
- Member of the Grand Lodge Ritual Committee and Grand Lodge Masonic Education Committee
- Past High Priest of Whitney Chapter #5 VT
- Past Most Excellent Grand High Priest of Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Vermont (2011-2012)
- Past Thrice Illustrious Master of Barre Council #22 Royal and Select Masters of VT
- Most Illustrious Grand Master of Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of VT (2015-2016)Generalissimo of St. Aldemar
- Commandery #11 Knights Templar of VTPast Puissant Sovereign of St.
- Helena Conclave #3 Red Cross of Constantine
Adeptus Major and Second Ancient in NH College of Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis
Member of Green Mountain York Rite College #139, the Grand College of Rites, and the Masonic Society. 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason (Northern Jurisdiction)
‘Fibonacci Lodge #112’, I always love nicely named Lodges, not far from me we have ‘Lodge Vitruvian #767‘
Do you currently have any Masonic book(s) in the works?
Several. But the one closest to completion explores the Renaissance worldview pieces that are embedded in Masonic ritual
Have you written any non-Masonic works for profit or pleasure (I know you have but sounds better in the author’s words)?
I have – three books on spiritual practice for the modern Pagan movement. (The Librarian’s note: these titles are Adept Circle Magic and Advanced Circle Magick: Essential Spells and Rituals for Every Season can be found on Amazon)
What’s the most interesting Lodge you’ve ever visited, what made it stand out?
While I appreciate that beauty, grandeur and craftsmanship that has gone into many lodges, my favorite are tiny, old rural lodges still heated by a woodstove and which haven’t changed much in 100 years or more. They make me feel closer to the Masonry our great grandfathers probably experienced.
While I don’t belong to the Lodge the three generations before me did, I do belong to the Lodge my father did DeMolay at and the photo I have of him inside the Lodge show the building EXACTLY the same, I know the carpet has been replaced and the walls repainted the same colour but that is the only change and it really does make me feel closer to him despite the fact he passed just before I turned 13
In writing Operative Freemasonry: A Manual for Restoring Light and Vitality to the Fraternity what did you find to be the most interesting thing you learned/realized?
For me, it was how simple and yet effective a daily, intentional practice of the Masonic principles could be for personal and potentially societal change.
While writing Operative Freemasonry did you decide to leave any content out, if so what and why?
My goal for this book was to have something short, concise and easy to read. It was intended to be a user’s manual for Freemasonry rather than an academic or scholarly work. So I left out lots of theory, historical and cross-cultural examples, etc. to make it something the average brother would read.
Is there any content in Operative Freemasonry you wish you could change or plan to change in a future version?
There are parts that might be expanded in future editions but I am unsure at this point if they are substantial enough to merit it.
What was your original reason for writing Operative Freemasonry?
To show brothers the actual mechanism through which “Masonry makes good men better”. By understanding why and how things in the ritual and fraternity are as they are, we can then maximize those things that promote further Light and refrain from those things that distract from it.
If readers could only take one thing away from Operative Freemasonry what would you want it to be?
Initiations are designed to change men into brothers on psychological, spiritual and social levels and will do so if taken serious and performed properly. To restore the fraternity, we just need to remember that and make use of it.
What book, Masonic or otherwise, do you find yourself giving the most as a gift?
Recently it would be “Operative Freemasonry“. Prior to that I loaned/lost lots of copies of Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco.
What charitable cause(s) are you most passionate about?
I am a member of the Rotary Club and am a major instigator in revitalization of my town’s social, cultural and business aspects. I donate a lot of time and money to various activities including our town’s “pop-up university”:www.betheluniversityvt.org .
Ok, now time for the fun questions!
Growing up what was your dream career?
Really?!? Gandalf?!?! I always wanted to be Thomas Covenant the White Gold Wielder from Stephen R. Donaldson‘s various Thomas Covenant fantasy works.
Have any hobbies you are passionate about?
The Great Work is my hobby. So I spend most of my time trying to increase Light (knowledge/ exposure to unknown things) in world in both big and small ways. My home is host to a variety of exotic and esoteric events ranging from Hermetic and Qaballistic study groups to being the site of the regional Burning Man event. A favorite quote of mine is: “Tis an ill wind that blows no minds”. Occasionally I take a break and shoot hoops.
Are you a reader? If so, favorite book/genre/author?
Esoteric texts. Recently lots of Renaissance grimoires, theological tracts, etc.
Renaissance grimonires you say… Clavicula Salomonis Regis and I are old friends.
If you could have one wish granted, what would you ask for?
World harmony (which would require an end to war, social injustice, pollution, etc., etc.)
If you could say anything to the Masonic community, and you can now, what would it be?
Here’s my recent soapbox:
Recent findings of the Pew Poll of Religious Identification and other similar research have identified that within the Millennial and Gen-X generations of men and women (last teens to mid-30’s), the fastest growing segment identify religiously as “None”. These folks have a strong desire for spiritual knowledge and experience but are not interested in identifying with a specific denomination that dictates theology and specific ethical codes. They want to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences and not be told who or how to worship. THIS generation is the future of Freemasonry. They are desiring the exact thing we have to offer. They want a spiritual experience in lodge and they expect to have to learn and study things. The trick is for the fraternity to not lose them by being stodgy and boring…. by having these young guys lose the Light because the Mystic Tie they expected turned out to be a bunch of grumpy old men, long boring business meetings, poor ritual, no mentorship or understanding of the meaning of the ritual, and seemingly endless fundraising. These guys WILL pay higher dues to avoid fundraising, WILL learn the ritual perfectly, and WILL spread the Light to other younger brothers just like them if we don’t stifle the passion and hopes they have upon joining. We need to do better and we need to do it now while the opportunity exists.
I agree 100% Brother.
I think everyone has contemplated what super power they’d love to have at one point in their life, what power did you always want?
Teleportation — so I can go everywhere and do everything. I’m a Gemini.
Me too! But I’d like to add not only teleportation but you need to have the ability to understand space and time as well, if you think about ityou have the same issue you would with time travel, basically the Earth is moving 66k miles per hour through our solar system, while the sun moves 43k miles per hour around the galaxy, and the galaxy is chugging along at 483k miles per hour through the universe ( and our universe, in my opinion, is certainly part of something even larger and is likely moving far far faster through it) so if you’re standing on earth and think “I want to teleport to the break room 30 feet away” even at the speed of light you’d find yourself floating in space rethinking your life choices. Ha!
Thank you so much for your time Bro. Kirk!
This interview was conducted via electronic mail between Bro. Kirk White and Bro. Ryan Carl Mercer on November 13th 2015 AD 6015 AL