(Epiphany – illuminating discovery)
Recently, after reading about the history of the Grotto, and after deep contemplation while sitting alone on my back patio enjoying a cigar and a sipping a glass of scotch something occurred to me… I really need to buy better scotch. Oh and something else too.
As you know, the Supreme Council of Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm was founded all the way back in 1890 on June 13th. It was a spin off from the York Rite Bodies. The York Rite Bodies are rich with ritual and can be a rewarding and prophetic experience. So why would it be necessary that a new group be formed? It started when a group of York Rite Masons were having fun by playing jokes on one another. Of course they could not do this during the ritual so they would meet at different pubs, residences and other locations (sounds similar to the founding of freemasonry). Their changing locations were marked by the placing of an old lighted red railroad lantern. They had so much fun or good fellowship and developed such compassion or sympathy for one another they decided to form a new group which we now endearing refer to as The Grotto. Upon reflection and after another puff of my cigar I had another realization… that I really need to buy better Cigars too.
But seriously, thinking about some of the many Masonic bodies that are available to us including Blue Lodges, Scottish Rite, Shriners, Eastern Star, Youth Orders and of course the York Rite I wondered how are we tied together and why would we need the Grotto? Well, I think we could all agree that Freemasonry and its appendant bodies are tied to one another by the ritual of Masonry. To share a secret and to share an experience together like that of the ritual causes us to be “linked together by the indissoluble chain of sincere affection”. Although this has helped us to be better men by learning, history, philosophy, various religious and esoteric theories, leadership, organization and even business acumen, there still remains emptiness. For many of us our positions have become that of dutiful meeting attendants. For others with only average ritualist abilities our positions have become that of angst while interacting before the meeting. Lastly, for those of us with busy lives our positions have become hurried while rushing home after the meeting never to truly enjoy the friendship of our fellow masons.
Finally, after another sip of scotch and puff of the cigar, I thought about being alone on the patio. I remembered why I had originally joined Freemasonry – friendship. I had an epiphany… that it wasn’t the cigars or the scotch but the Sympathy and Good Fellowship that was most needed. It was illuminating to discover this hasn’t changed in over 100 years. Freemasonry needs Fun. Freemasonry needs The Grotto. The Grotto needs more fun. The Grotto needs you. Most importantly you need The Grotto. To have more fun with one another “causes true friendship to exist among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance”. I started to view us as the social arm to all Masonic organizations. We have much more freedom than other Masonic bodies and by accepting only Master Masons (we are all good men) and by not reporting up to Grand Lodge (we have less red tape) we therefore hold a unique position to help everyone have more fun.
Think about how great it would be to help everyone be happier and become better friends.
Fez, Shirts and Quarters required at all meetings!
Stay Thirsty Prophets,
Michael Schneider Monarch – Cinema Grotto 2018