History of Amen Ra Lodge #584 LDH Milwaukee Wis by Theresa Wysocki 33’ Nov 2017
Amen Ra Lodge was founded in July 1043 by members of Sirius Lodge #556: Helen Palmer Wycherley,
Annette Schmitt (mother of Marcella Lord) Elizabeth Anholt, and Marjorie Hurd Dawn. Elizabeth
Anholt introduced Co Freemasonry to Caroline Ross, Joy Mills,and Vera Bruce, Jack Bruce and Clara
Bruce, as well as Kathleen and John Hitchcock at the Theosophical Society in Milwaukee, Wis.
Meetings were first held at the Schmitts’ home, then at the Oddfellows Hall. Request for rental from the
Oddfellows resulted in the Male Masons of Milwaukee finding Co Freemasonry to be clandestine and
An effort to stop Amen Ra from meeting was taken to court. However the judge determined the suit
Unfounded and dismissed the case. The male masons tried to claim that we were unlawfully using
Masonic symbols. Meanwhile meetings were held above a bowling alley until the Oddfellows agreed
To rent to Amen Ra Lodge at a church on Hilda St. until it was sold. For several years four of us, Vera
Bruce, Joy Zick, Martha Long and I kept the lodge active by meeting at the home of Vera Bruce.
Finally the Oddfellows built a kitchen in anticipation of building a new temple. We met in the
kitchen, which was the size of the carpet, until membership grew. During this time, Sirius lodge
members assisted us with ceremonies. Geneva Rice found the next Meeting place at Marian Hall.
It too was sold in 2016. However we found our current place in the hall of the Elks Club.
Amen Ra members held strong during trying times of unrest in Larkspur and Illinois.
In 2005,2008, and 2010 and again this year 2018, Amen Ra and Sirius Lodge hosted the Federation convention at the DeKoven center in Racine Wis.
We look forward to celebrating the 75th anniversary of our beginnings at the Convention.
Is Esoteric Freemasonry for everyone? First, let us find the true sense of the word esoteric, so we can get a clearer view. Esoteric was birthed from the Greek word esoterikos “belonging to an inner circle” from esotero “more within,” also found in the doctrines of Aristotle and Pythagoras.
With that understanding, it is only for a select few (e.g. Inner Circle) but it doesn’t mean everyone else is eliminated. Outer participants can become the “Inner Circle” as they unfold the degrees within themselves.
It is everyone’s duty to develop and unfold their entire being physically and spiritually, but most people are not ready to tackle the expansion of their own consciousness. Most people don’t know how to communicate with or don’t know they have their own venerable elder inside of them.
Sacred dramas are keys to esoteric knowledge. This knowledge has always taken care of or guarded itself, for, the populace have different levels of consciousnesses, and as for the lodge members, each member has to master their own chemistry, psychology etc. and unfold specific attributes to enter into these ancient and sacred teachings.
In Closing, “esoteric or inner knowledge is no different from other kinds of human knowledge and ability. It is a mystery for the average person, only to the extent that writing is a mystery for those who have not yet learned to write.” Rudolf Steiner
Popular opinion says,”NO WOMEN IN FREEMASONRY!” Well, that have not always been Masonic Law… Let alone a ‘Ancient Landmark’ (prehistory is considered ancient). Just because we’re born into an ideology, that doesn’t make that ideology true in history. Besides, “No Women!” is not in the Old Constitutions.
(See: York Manuscript No. 4, Operative Masonry, Works of Christine de Pizan and Halliwell Manuscript)
Mystical societies did include the other pole of being a human being. In the 17th century, enlightenment salons provided a place for WOMEN and MEN to investigate important questions while in a patriarchal society. Women were also governors in salons which included Madame du Deffand, Madame Necker, Jeanne Julie Éléonore de Lespinasse to name a few. A woman who went by the name of ‘THE MOST HIGH’ was Hypatia in the 4th century who taught geometry, philosophy, astronomy and metempsychosis. Other women who taught metempsychosis include Pythais and Theano. Another venerable woman was ‘The Light of the World’ Esclarmonde the Great.
In Conclusion, each individual Mason will have to do their own digging to get a peek of history, then formulate their own personal view once they focus their eye on the full puzzle and then the truth shall be!
The inquirer eventually will change into the candidate; if all is in order with the lodge and if the members and inquirer see and feel a good fit. This is also an inner process on both parts, for “something” has to spark the questioning process.
Freemasonry has the power to change the willing candidate. If the candidate is ripe, the change will take place as a natural seamless process.
First of all, let us understand the word ripe; one who have arrived at such a stage of growth or development as to be ready for eating, or one who has an urge to feed the soul. To be completely matured.
When speaking of change; one can see, something different from what is…to vibrate at another level. Subtle changes are all around us. From the changes of the seasons, the earth rotates on its axis in its orbit, our skin cells rejuvenate and a multitude of other minor and major developments in nature, which also includes humanity.
The candidate within their Masonic Career will stay a candidate since there are always more degree’s and experiences.
Let’s look deep inside the word candidate, which is a derivative of the Latin “candidus” (shining white) Or to shine. Eventually, the candidate will emit light, as the ancient hermeticist said “As above, so below, As within, so without!”
This ability to emit light will not happen all at once or from the beginning for most….because; I believe, we get “Aha moments,” later down the road in our career staying in sync with the motto “As within,So without,” in other-words, as the light from the Sun take eight minutes to travel from the orbs center of the planet Earth; perhaps, it takes time for a specific experience to illuminate our minds in Freemasonry.
In Conclusion, we will never know or have gnosis, about this phenomena unless we start the process from the inquirer to the candidate.
Throughout the ages there have always been mystics, whether in darkness or in an age of illumination, although relatively few they return in all cultures and in many forms. First of all,let me try to define the word mystic and to bring it down to an understandable level. It would be a male or female who had a personal experience of direct knowledge of the source of all things, it is a different kind of knowing without belief or scientific knowledge,”A Knowing” In other words, the development of the spiritual consciousness. The art of mysticism can be learned by anyone and unfolded with practice and time, but it is not a belief system nor is it synonymous with religion since being a spiritual being was the first cause of the body taking its first breath.
This path usually starts by the seeker asking questions usually only answered by a force within them,WHY AM I HERE? WHAT IS LIFE? WHAT IS THE UNIVERSE? IS THERE MORE TO REALITY? Having the tools to answer these questions that arise have been practiced before the recorded history of humanity. From sages to poets, philosophers, Gnostic Christians, yogi’s, shamans, and the Sufi’s they have all spoken of an individual experience of a Divine Nature, Louis Claude de St. Martin said “All mystics speak the same language, for they come from the same country.”
With all shades of people come all opinions and that is what being free is, the ability to share your thoughts freely without repercussion. Many people will have a different understanding of the fusion of the Divine Will and that is fine since experiences of mystical or non mystical truths shape us all. Your true nature is in the Soul and we should all try to unfold that nature the best way we can and Freemasonry have assisted many in this alchemical transmutation.
Since we are having a human experience in a female or male body, we each have a right to find the tools to help us to seek the light by digging deep under the rubble of the broken stones.Initiation of the female principle is a fundamental truth in Nature and by adding the male force completes the circle. Throughout the human experience, the one who seeks will find the ‘female mystics,’ that tied us to the Divine in us and in Nature. Most of these stories are hidden,written in stone or on papyrus and sent down from age to age by word of mouth.
Hypatia (370 – 410 CE) was the daughter of the great Theon Alexandricus, who was one of the most eminent scholars of his time—a renowned mathematician and geometrician. She was a teacher and philosopher and did a great deal of research in astronomy. Very early on she was interested in Neoplatonic mysticism,She was a disciple of Ammonios and so surpassed the thinkers of her time (and according to various accounts, even some of those who preceded her) in knowledge and wisdom that she obtained a chair in mathematics and philosophy at the Platonic school of Alexandria. She had many disciples and instructed them in the sciences which in turn brought her many students that heard of her radiance and sublime reflections. Synesius, a Greek bishop of Ptolemais said she surpassed the apex of speculative knowledge of the day. The more she would bring out of others (or educate) the more light she would bring to her disciples and soon would receive the attention of lower spirits. Her time on the physical plane began to dim when a dissension arose between the archbishop Cyril of Alexandria, who was Hypatia’s friend. Hypatia was blamed for the dissension. One day a small group of fanatical Christians followed her while she was strolling and abducted her. She was brought to a church, beaten to death,flayed, and burned. We will remember with libations the other women of Platonists time, Gemina, mother and daughter (disciples of Plotinus), Amphiclea (Iamblichus’s daughter-in-law), Ahmose-Nefertari, Theano (daughter or wife of Pythagoras). For ages, women played a huge role in philosophy, alchemy and mysticism. These women truly illuminated their time and lighted the darkness. She once said,”Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fantasies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child’s mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in after years relieved of them.”