What are the connections, both historical and contemporary, between the Freemasons and Witchcraft?

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The Order of the Golden Dawn was founded by Freemasons. The symbolism in the Tarot is said to have originated from Freemasonry. The Wiccan tradition was founded by Gerald Gardner who was a Co-Mason. Do contemporary Pagans and witches generally favor or disfavor Freemasonry?

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Shen

There both practice the Craft. They both have 3 grades. Thats about all the have in common unless you want to dredge up the Gardner / Crowley ritual writing incident. But you could argue that was only a small segment of the entire history of Witchcraft.

Spydr

There aren’t any. witchcraft if practiced properly, is a form of religion, freemasonry is a fraternity, like those in colleges to an extent. No matter what is said on TV or by conspiracy theorists, It is NOT a religion, NOt a cult, does NOT worship Satan.

cl_freemason

i see, these are the “historical” connections you mention.
http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/aqc/fringe/fringe.html in the mid-late 1800’s
“freemasonry” as such had been around for 150 years, however what became freemasonry had been around for around 1,000 years befor this.
as you note, gardner was not a freemason, neither was his drug buddy crowley, you can’t equate bogus masonry with regular masonry….
that said, most pagans/witches i know generally have no opinion about freemasonry

maiingan2

This article compares Wicca with The Golden Dawn and The Key of Solomon. How accurate it is, is unknown to me, but I found it an interesting read:
http://www.hecatescauldron.org/Key%20of%20Solomon.htm
I personally don’t know much about Freemasonry…all I know is that it was a male oriented tradition.

Tom S

You are reading too much conspiracy theory…

Eric S

No connection. I know that this spoils your theory.

Crystal

There are a couple of similarities in structure and ritual. The use of the phrase “So Mote It Be” in Witchcraft is also seen in the Regius Manuscript, the earliest known document that mentions Freemasonry. The use of the challenge (holding a sword against someone’s chest before they enter your ritual space) also appears in both traditions. As someone said, both use three degrees of initiation. If you look into Masonic ritual, you’ll also find similarities in the set-up of sacred space and the use of the directions. For more information, check out “The Meaning of Masonry” by W.L. Wilmhurst.
As for similarities between initiatory Witchcraft of the Key of Solomon, there are portions which appear in Gardner’s BoS that rip phrases from the Key almost word-for-word, including the use of ritual tools and the casting of the Circle.
Should also be noted that the Golden Dawn founders also had backgrounds in Theosophy and Rosicrucianism, and Gardner had some ties to the Rosicrucians as well.

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