Hello, Brethren, Family, and Friends.
We are now in full swing with summer. As such, activities are dialed down a bit in order to accommodate the very hot days we typically experience. That’s not to say we have no activities. We had a most successful reception on July 20th for our very own Worshipful Joseph Dongo, PM. This reception was held in recognition of his service to the Grand Lodge as Grand Standard Bearer. There were over 100 people in attendance. We had a wonderful turnout in support of our esteemed Past Master, who is very deserving of such recognition and accolades. We were privileged to have Grand Master Most Worshipful Randy Brill in attendance along with several other Grand Officers. Thank you so much to all who attended championing Worshipful Dongo on his special day.
A photo gallery of the reception is to be published soon. We will keep you posted.
We also held a Ladies' Luncheon on July 29th to honor, thank, and recognize the ladies in our life. Their contributions, commitment, and encouragement are present every day. And of course, their leadership is without equal. This was something a bit different. It was a Bingo and Wine Tasting event. Brother Brandon Jenkins was the Bingo caller. No question that he has a future in this endeavor. To top it off, we matched up the wine tasting with very delicious pizza. How is that for a combination? It was a lot of fun.
EVENTS THIS MONTH (AUGUST)
No major holidays this month. However, our Lodge is holding some activities noted here.
The first is the Annual Family BBQ Picnic. This will be held at 12:00 PM on Saturday, August 12th, at Ben Ali Shrine picnic grounds. This promises to be another fun event for the whole family. I encourage you to attend and bring the family. There will be fun for all ages, including kids and kids at heart. Food and games will all be provided for you and your family.
On Saturday, August 19th, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, our Lodge will be participating in supporting the River City Food Bank, together with the Knights Templar of Sacramento Commandery No. 2. This is a particularly rewarding experience as we distribute food to members of the community.
The location is the Center at St. Matthew's in the Arden Arcade area. FREE parking. Map
We are looking for twelve (12) volunteers that day. Please click HERE to sign up today.
This will help us accommodate those who wish to participate. Remember, families and friends are welcome to attend. Youth volunteers aged 10-14 must be accompanied by an adult during a volunteer shift. Volunteers aged 15 and up are welcome to come on their own. So please bring others to experience the joy of helping.
EVENTS NEXT MONTH (SEPTEMBER)
The Annual Past Masters’ Night will be held on September 21st. This year, I am particularly excited about what’s in store. The plan is to have a Third-Degree ceremony raising Brother Moises Gonzalez to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. Now, if that’s not exciting enough for you, there is more! There is a full lineup of Past Masters who will be performing each and every part of the complex Degree Ceremony. As I have stated before, our Lodge is honored to have such an active, supportive, and contributing group of Past Masters. The experience, knowledge, and wisdom that is offered by this group are unparalleled. Dinner will be at 6:00 PM, with the ceremonies immediately following. Master Masons only. I look forward to honoring and recognizing our Past Masters, also to seeing the brethren in attendance, and of course, being present for Brother Moises Gonzalez's Third Degree ceremony.
On September 28th, our Annual Constitutional Observance Night. It will be held at 6:00 PM in the Banquet Room. This is being spearheaded by Worshipful Phil Hardiman, PM. Worshipful Hardiman brings a great depth of knowledge and information. Add this to your calendar and join us for fun, fellowship, refreshment, and information. See you there.
MASONIC INFLUENCE ON THE DESIGN OF WASHINGTON D.C.
In the heart of the United States lies a city shrouded in mystery and intrigue—Washington, D.C. As the nation's capital, it serves as a symbol of power, democracy, and governance. But hidden beneath the city's grand architecture and iconic monuments lies a secret history, one that whispers of a Masonic influence on its design.
It all began with the visionary architect and Freemason, Pierre Charles L'Enfant. Charged with designing the new capital city in 1791, L'Enfant's plan embraced the principles of Freemasonry and sacred geometry. His layout carefully incorporated symbolic elements believed to represent the ancient mysteries and ideals upheld by the Masonic fraternity.
The city's most recognizable structure, the Washington Monument, stands tall as a testament to both the nation's first president, George Washington, and Masonic ideals. Rising majestically towards the sky, the monument's design mimics the ancient Egyptian obelisks—a symbol of power and enlightenment. Some speculate that its height, measuring 555 feet, is a reference to the Triple Tau, an emblem revered by Masons for its representation of wisdom, strength, and beauty.
Intriguingly, the Capitol Building's layout also holds secrets of Masonic influence. The east-west axis of the Capitol's design aligns perfectly with the rising sun during the spring and autumn equinoxes—a practice steeped in esoteric symbolism. It is said that this alignment signifies the balance and harmony sought by Freemasonry.
Venturing further into the city, the White House, the official residence of the President, is not exempt from the whispers of Masonic influence. Its original design, attributed to Irish-born architect James Hoban, is believed to have subtly incorporated Masonic principles into its facades, from the symmetrical layout to the use of sacred geometry in the proportions.
The influence of Freemasonry also extends to the street plan of Washington, D.C. The city's roads form geometric patterns, including pentagrams, hexagrams, and triangles, leading some to speculate that these are symbols linked to Masonic beliefs.
Yet, while these connections between Freemasonry and the design of Washington, D.C., add an air of mystique to the city's history, it is essential to approach these claims with a discerning eye. The influence of Masonry is subtle and open to interpretation, allowing the city's symbolism to be appreciated by both Masons and non-Masons alike.
As the sun sets over the Capitol, the mysteries of Washington, D.C., remain, leaving us to ponder the enigmatic blend of history, symbolism, and myth that shrouds the nation's capital. Whether whispers of a Masonic influence are fact or fiction, the allure of the city's design continues to captivate and inspire, leaving visitors and residents alike in awe of its grandeur and complexity.
When examining the history of the United States and the individuals who laid the foundation for this great nation, it becomes clear that Freemasonry played a significant role in shaping the ideals and principles that guided our founding fathers. Freemasonry, a fraternal organization that promotes moral and ethical values, had a profound influence on many of the key figures of the American Revolution and the subsequent establishment of the United States.
To bring a smile to you:
Question: Why did the secret service bring a herd of cows to the White House?
They were trying to beef up security.
From the West
Matthew Mason - Senior Warden
As we move forward in 2023, next year’s planning is already starting to take place. This includes activities and how those activities will take place.
What I am looking to hear is your input into what YOU would like to see in the lodge. This includes both you and your spouse, as we cannot do our work without them.
What I want to know from you are the things the lodge is doing well and that you like. I would also like to know things that you would like to see and participate in. I would also like to hear from you on things you would like to see tweaked, whether that be how we run and what happens at meetings, degrees, and anything else in general.
Remember that this is your lodge and as Officers, we are here to serve you. We have many new younger members and I want to make sure you and your families feel welcome with those of us who have been here for a while. After all, we cannot build better men unless we have the support of our families and spouses, as well as being connected as a lodge.
I look forward to hearing from you your ideas and thoughts, so please don’t be shy in contacting me.
From the South
Joseph Wallach - Junior Warden
Welcome to August and being in the midst of the Dog Days of Summer or as the Romans referred to it, Dies Caniculares (Days of the Dog Star). A time of year when the hottest days occurred marked by the appearance of Sirius in the sky just before the sun. An opportunity for rest and repose during the hottest part of the day when outdoor activity is ill-advised and best postponed.
August 10th is a day, National Lazy Day, which is dedicated to such an endeavor. Or if you would like to dedicate the time to the expression of creativity there is National Bad Poetry Day on August 18th.
When you face the East, the Sun never falls,
It rises to illuminate and enlighten our souls.
Of Masters, Fellow Craft and Entered Apprentice, Brothers all.
Until our Stated Meeting, when we all heed the call.
Francisco Marques (PM) - Secretary
I recently came across a fascinating article by WB Arturo de Hoyos, 33° Mason, and Grand Archivist and Grand Historian of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, USA, entitled Our Scottish Rite Blue Lodge Ritual, from which I here share a few excerpts with you:
"One of the pleasures of Masonic membership is the opportunity to visit lodges in other jurisdictions. With few exceptions, the Grand Lodges in the United States work rituals that have much in common, although small differences in language and action may be experienced. This is because the form of Blue Lodge ritual generally used throughout the United States owes much of its uniformity to the work of Thomas Smith Webb (1771-1819), author of The Freemasons Monitor or Illustrations of Freemasonry (1797), which was the first guidebook to the American Freemasonry. If, however, you have seen Pennsylvania's "Ancient York Masonry," you know that ritual is not the same everywhere. An even bigger surprise awaits those who see a Scottish Rite Blue Lodge ritual for the first time.
Why are there different versions?
Webb's rituals were partially based upon the book Jachin and Boaz (1762), which claimed to reveal the ritual of the "Moderns" Grand Lodge, founded in London in 1717. Webb promoted his ritual by teaching it to students who preserved the text by making their own copies as aides-mémoire (the ancestor of today's ritual cipher texts), several of which still survive today.
Written as "ciphers," they usually were inscribed with one to three letters representing each word. Webb's students traveled around the United States as itinerant degree lecturers, paid to teach Masonic rituals to other students and sometimes also paid to give the lectures in local lodges. This became a common practice at the time.
The preface to Webb's Freemason's Monitor noted, "The whole are here digested and arranged in such order, through the several degrees, from Entered Apprentice to Royal Arch Mason, that they will be easily understood..."
He thus not only created a model work for the Blue Lodge (a.k.a. Craft or Symbolic Masonry) ritual, but he also laid the foundation for, and was the driving force behind, the creation of the York Rite. Today, most American Grand Lodges continue to have their own unique forms of ritual, although most show Webb's influence.
Since its founding in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1801, the Scottish Rite has required Blue Lodge membership, and its members joined, as they still do today, at the Fourth Degree, Secret Master. However, in 1804, a unique Scottish Rite Blue Lodge ritual was created in France. For more than 220 years, the Scottish Rite Craft ritual has become the most popular form in terms of distribution. It is used in more Grand Lodges than any other form of ritual.
Curiously, the ritual's sources and origins remained unknown until discovered by Brother Pierre Noël, who described them in his critical edition of the Guide des Maçons Écossais (Paris, 2006). Brother Noël explained that in the archives of the Supreme Council for Belgium, he discovered a 48-page Scottish Rite ritual of the First Degree Apprentice (Rit ancient accepté. Premier Grade d'apprentif), stamped with the seals of the "Scottish Triple Unity Lodge" (Triple Unité Écossaise), in Paris, which seals are dated 1804.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Scottish Rite is that its rituals are more dramatic and esoteric than the Webb-form rituals. To be sure, the Scottish Rite’s rituals share many similarities with Webb-form Freemasonry, in terms of the working tools, regalia, and accouterment, but there is purposeful attention devoted to exploring and explaining such things as the symbolism of numbers, the elements, and the planets in terms of Masonic philosophy.
Webb-form rituals generally provide ceremony and symbolism, whereas the Scottish Rite occasionally adds a deeper analysis by comparison to other practices and philosophies. Its lessons are sometimes akin to a course on comparative philosophy and religion, which aids participants as they compare and contrast and perhaps discover a personal harmony of ideas, or points of intersection, which may add value to the Masonic experience.
Although any Grand Lodge can permit the use of any ritual, there are only a few that work the Scottish Rite ritual. Yet the number is growing. Today in the United States, there are Scottish Rite Blue Lodges in California, New York, D.C., and elsewhere.
Readers familiar with Pike’s many addresses and lectures already will know the high regard in which he held rituals of Craft Masonry. His devotion to Blue Lodge Masonry also led him to write what many consider his most important work, Esoterika: The Symbolism of the Blue Degrees of Freemasonry (1888).
Although Grand Lodges had approved using a Scottish Rite Blue Lodge ritual, it was not until 1868 that the Southern Jurisdiction developed a version of its own. Albert Pike’s high regard and the desire to have a complete system resulted in his Blue Lodge ritual, which he named The Porch and the Middle Chamber: The Book of the Lodge.
How important is it to study these rituals?
In 1882, Albert Pike took it upon himself to answer this question: “For if men can never have the Rituals to study, they can never be fully and perfectly invested with the Degrees.”
La Parfaite Union Lodge No. 17 - founded in 1851 and located in San Francisco - conducts Degree Ceremonies in an ancient Ritual very similar to the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite's Degrees.
Early next year, that loge maçonnique will be performing a very special First Degree in the Sacramento Area, and Brethren from all over California will be invited.
This is a unique experience with Masonic Ritual performed entirely in the French language, and an occasion that should not be missed by our Brethren.
The event will be open to all regular Masons in good standing and reservations required.
As done in the past, each Brother should bring his own Masonic Apron and current Dues Card, as this will be a tiled event.
Additional details will be forthcoming as they become available.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
AUGUST (First Responders Month)
• 01 Monthly Executive Committee Meeting (Zoom) Tuesday 06:30 PM
• 03 Fellowship Dinner (Banquet Room) Thursday 06:00 PM
• 03 Monthly Stated Meeting (LR1) Thursday 07:30 PM
• 10 DARK
• 12 Annual Family BBQ Picnic (Ben Ali Shrine) Saturday 12:00 PM
• 16 OSI (Officers School of Instruction) (LR3) Wednesday 07:00 PM
Topic: Advanced Stations - 1st Degree
• 17 DARK
• 19 Charity Drive (River City Food Bank) Saturday 10:00 AM - 02:00 PM
• 24 DARK
• 31 Third Degree Practice (LR1) Thursday 06:30 PM
SEPTEMBER (Public Schools Month)
• 05 Monthly Executive Committee Meeting (Zoom) Tuesday 06:30 PM
• 07 Fellowship Dinner (Banquet Room) Thursday 06:00 PM
• 07 Monthly Stated Meeting (LR1) Thursday 07:30 PM
• 14 Third Degree Practice (LR1) Thursday 06:30 PM
• 20 OSI (Officers School of Instruction) (LR3) Wednesday 07:00 PM
Topic: Advanced Stations - 2nd Degree
• 21 Annual Past Masters’ Night (LR1 + Banquet Room) Thursday 06:00 PM
• 28 Annual Constitutional Observance Night (Banquet Room) Thursday 06:00 PM
Past Masters' Night
Third Degree Conferral upon
Brother Moises Gonzalez
Thursday, September 21st
06:00 PM Past Masters Dinner Celebration
Followed by Raising Ceremony
performed by Past Masters
Our Lodge is honored to have such an active, supportive,
and contributing group of Past Masters.
RSVP for Dinner by 09/14/2023
01 Mark Hammer (Entered Apprentice)
02 Branden Polupan (Master Mason)
04 Charles Moore Jr. (Master Mason)
06 Richard Hixson (Past Master)
06 Marcus Bole (Master Mason)
07 Carlos Brusel-Casals (Master Mason)
07 Lance Vayder (Master Mason)
08 Kamyl Assé (Senior Steward)
09 Anthony Contreras (Entered Apprentice)
16 Phillip Richards (Master Mason)
17 Creston Whiting-Casey III (Master Mason)
22 Jared Yoshiki (Past Master)
23 Ehsan Ghanizadeh (Entered Apprentice)
24 Douglas Dern (Master Mason)
26 Dwight Bradish (Master Mason)
26 Robert Brooks (Master Mason)
27 Robert Cameron (Master Mason)
28 Reaburn Lenau III (Master Mason)
30 Luis Montero (Past Master)
30 Terry Cooley (Master Mason)
31 Ramey Packer (Master Mason)
31 William Hill (Master Mason)
MASTER MASON ANNIVERSARIES
01 Patrick Fischer (Junior Steward) (3 Years)
08 Jeret Burnett (Past Master) (16 Years)
10 Robert Hovorka Jr. (21 Years)
13 Stanley Sanders (42 Years)
14 William Sherrard (24 Years)
20 Ronald Speno (8 Years)
24 James Dimmitt (Organist) (13 Years)
26 David Huez (13 Years)
27 Frederick Hardiman (Past Master) (25 Years)
29 Juan Faranda (Past Master) (45 Years)
30 Heath Hamm (11 Years)
Washington Lodge No. 20
To practice and promote a way of life that binds like-minded men in a worldwide
brotherhood that transcends all religious, ethnic, cultural, social and educational differences.
Through Masonic principles and tradition, and by the outward expression of these
through its fellowship and compassion, Washington Lodge No.20 Free & Accepted Masons provides ways in which to serve God, family, country, neighbors, and self in an environment that contributes to the enrichment and betterment of its members, mankind, and its communities.
By Albert Pike
For many years Pike was principally known only as the author/compiler of Morals and Dogma, or as the author of the rituals of the Supreme Council, 33°, Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite in the US. Few knew about his Book of the Words or that he was the editor of the 10-volume Bulletin of the Supreme Council, and fewer still realized that he was the author of literally hundreds of other works, cataloged in Ray Baker Harris’s Bibliography of the Writings of Albert Pike (1957).
Almost 30 years ago, after the scholar Arturo de Hoyos, 33°, Grand Archivist and Grand Historian of the Scottish Rite, obtained Harris’s Bibliography, he became intrigued by its final entry: an unpublished manuscript entitled, “The Symbolism of the Blue Degrees of Freemasonry.” On the manuscript’s spine was the word Esoterika, curiously spelled with a k.
Written in 1888, there were only two manuscript copies in existence: one in the archives of the House of the Temple, and the other was sent by Pike to London.
Two of England’s greatest Masonic scholars, Robert F. Gould and George W. Speth (founding members of Quatuor Coronati Lodge 2076 in London, the premiere research lodge) informed Pike that his “Symbolism of the Blue Degrees of Freemasonry” was also the most important work of the kind they had ever studied.
In his introductory remarks, Pike discouraged the distribution of copies by “anyone who is not fit and qualified to teach and instruct his Brethren, and who does not propose to use it as their teacher and instructor.”
This gave Arturo de Hoyos the idea that with proper preparation, an introduction, annotations, notes, and appendices, the book could be made available. After discussing the matter with the Grand Commander, the Scottish Rite Research Society printed the book in 2005.
Esoterika has since become extremely popular among Masonic students, and it is now the textbook for the first component (with accompanying quizzes) of the Supreme Council’s Master Craftsman education courses.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Albert Pike (1809 - 1891) became a Freemason in 1850 and participated in the creation of the Masonic St. Johns’ College in Little Rock that same year. In 1853, he associated with the Scottish Rite and rose rapidly in the organization.
In 1859, he was elected grand commander of the Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, the administrative district for all parts of the country except for the fifteen states east of the Mississippi River and north of Ohio, and held that post until his death. After the war, he devoted much of his time to rewriting Masonic Rituals. For years, his Morals and Dogma (1871), still in print, was distributed to members of the Fraternity.
Over his career, he published numerous other works on the order, including Meaning of Masonry, Book of the Words, and The Point Within the Circle. As he aged, he also became interested in spiritualism, particularly Indian thought, and its relationship to Masonry. Late in life, he learned Sanskrit and translated various literary works written in that language. As a result of his work in this area, he published Indo-Aryan Deities and Worship as Contained in the Rig-Veda.
Pike died at the Scottish Rite Temple in Washington DC on April 2, 1891. He was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery there. On December 29, 1944, the anniversary of his birth, his body was removed from Oak Hill Cemetery and placed in a crypt in the temple.
LOVE OF COUNTRY
IS THE MASONS' DEED
IS HIS THOUGH
HOW TO PAY
1. ONLINE at Freemason.org
- Lodge Number: 20
- Your Member ID: (Ask Secretary)
- Your Last Name: (Case Sensitive)
2. ONLINE at Square.com
3. CHECK payable to:
Washington Lodge No. 20
(Mailed to 1123 J Street 95814)
(In-Person at 1123 J Street 95814)
Washington Lodge No. 20
Eric Hixson (PM)
Francisco Marques (PM)
Richard Wilson (PM)
Russell Tomas (PM)
Junior Past Master
D. Edward Entrican (PM)
Jared Yoshiki (PM)
Joseph Dongo (PM)
Head Candidates' Coach
Michael Woo (PM)
Inspector 414th Masonic District