I knew I had a connection with Beyonce…

April 23, 2014

It’s funny how people’s perceptions of things can be so different… My view of Freemasonry is of something so benign, so potentially positive, such a force for good in the world… I’m not completely doe-eyed about it, mind you. I know there are things about it that i don’t like that much. Anything that ends up as hugely centralised institution, no matter how innocently it began its life (I have to say I include most major religions and political systems here) is bound to have more than its fair share of in-fighting and divisions. No matter, though. Freemasonry is better than most and it manages to avoid a lot of the troubles that beset such institutions by side-stepping the two greatest initiators of conflict known to mankind: religion and politics.

Anyway…I digress…

One of my hobbies is relief carving in slate…random, I know, but I like it. It relaxes me; and it gives me a break from writing and whatever other chores are lurking (there are always some.) I decided recently that I wanted to give a gift to a couple of members of my Lodge as a ‘thank-you’ for their support. I would give them copies of my books but – bless them – they’ve already bought both of them… so I thought I’d make something: a carved slate tile with a Masonic theme.

So…I Googled things like ‘Tracing Boards’ and ‘First Degree Tracing Boards’ and ‘Masonic Symbols’ in the search for suitable designs that I could use to base the carving on. There were lots, of course, but translating them into designs that are simple enough for an amateur like me to be able to do but, at the same time, not too simplistic is not easy. it takes time and I trawled through many, many pictures…

And on my way, I came across a lot of things: deadly serious to some, of course, and I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but I’m still chuckling at some of them… There were endless diagrams of dollar bills pointing out the Masonic symbols ‘hidden’ within them; there was also a picture of a five-pointed star on the dollar bill, the points of which land on letters that are an anagram of Mason; there were maps, mostly of Washington DC (gotta love Dan Brown) with geometric designs superimposed on them; even the Nigerian 1000 Naira note is full of them…

All of which is very interesting and seems somehow to suggest that Masons are everywhere, running everything… Although how we get from the alleged appearance of Masonic symbols to a world-wide conspiracy  is anyone’s guess. The thing is: we all know that many of America’s ‘founding fathers’ were Freemasons. So what? Did they put Masonic symbols on their currency? Maybe. Why not? They may well have believed that those symbols had power for good and at least had positive, uplifting connotations.

Were any Freemasons involved in designing Washington DC? Did they ‘hide’ Masonic symbols in the road lay-out? Don’t know. Don’t care. So what? If they did, they probably had too much time on their hands – although, to be fair, they might also have seen those symbols as being beneficent to those who had to live, work on travel on them. And how amazing that if you superimpose  a five pointed star (even if you have to do it upside down & a bit top-heavy) on to a series of words written in a circle, that those words – or their letters – also conform to a star fitting in to that circle…and the letters nearly spell, Mason… Help, me mummy, I’m scared…!

But my favourite one of the day was a picture of Beyonce and two dancers in a still picture from the video of ‘Single Ladies’ with the caption: ‘Snake like body movements and Masonic symbolism are used throughout this dance routine. 3 Angels flying around a Sun Disc The Sun Disc, aka UFO…’ and later in the same article: ‘The Triple X & Triple Masonic “M” (inverted). The “M” acts as 3 Pyramids (2 facing up & 1 facing down) All 3 dancers are standing on a sun disc…’

Hooray! It takes me back to being an English teacher: full marks for creative writing to the paranoid conspiracy theorist in the corner… Is Beyonce a Mason now?  Her choreographer, perhaps? Maybe. Is her husband a Mason? Maybe. Don’t know… don’t really care beyond the fact that, if he is, it’s great that he’s aligned himself with something that will help him become more compassionate, more socially aware and more ready to ‘make himself an ornament’ to our society…and if he does it, others will follow…

Now, I want you to know that I’m not just saying this stuff…I’ve done my research: I’ve had a very careful look at that video a couple of times and I can tell you that it looks perfectly fine to me…have a look yourself, if you’re worried…

So what is it with people who see evil and danger and threats in every unknown thing: it strikes me that they are the same people who  would have burnt witches in a previous age. But I don’t want to condemn…this about learning to understand each other; about not being scared of differences or the unknown. It’s about education and trust and tolerance and, for us as Freemasons, it’s about showing the world the truth of what we are, of breaking down prejudice with all the tools at our disposal: patience, understanding, tolerance, love…

It’ll take time…but it’s worth the effort…

Now…let me just have one more check of that video…

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