Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Review: The Craftsman's Symbology: Selected Symbols of the Entered Apprentice Degree


Back in December I wrote a rather blunt opinion about the declining quality I'd been seeing in Masonic research and writing entitled Finally The Evidence That Abraham Lincoln Was a Freemason!  You've Got To Be Kidding Me!  In that piece I'd said "just because anybody can write a book these days doesn't mean everyone should."  I also said I wouldn't be reveiwing any more Masonic books because so many of them were so badly researched and written.

That piece got a tremendous amount of attention--apparently I'd said some of the things that a lot of Masonic researchers and writers had been thinking for a long time.  And right in the middle of the conversation that followed, primarily amongst writers and researchers, comes a message from a new writer--Bro. Anthony Mongelli, Jr.  He wanted to send me copy of his book.  He didn't want a review, he just wanted me to look at it.  After the tone of my piece and all the conversation that had followed, I thought Anthony must be absolutely nuts.  After thinking about it, I realized either Anthony had missed the entire conversation that had been going on (which I thought was unlikely), or more likely he knew he'd written a very good book.  

As it turns out, it was the latter.  Anthony Mongelli, Jr. has written a really good book on the symbology of the 1st Degree of Freemasonry--one I enjoyed a great deal.  In this book, which is the first book in what he expects will be nine volumes, he examines three symbols in the 1st Degree--the circumpunct, the apron, and the pillars.  I'm not well versed in symbology, but the book is well written, and well researched.  It was fascinating the way Mongelli traced the symbols used in the degree back through all the various uses and meanings throughout ancient history.  

Anthony plans on writing nine books in total--three books on each degree, and in each book, he'll cover three symbols.  He selected the symbols to cover based on the ones he's most enamored with and devoted to.  That's a good way to do it--that's exactly how I decided which famous Freemasons to include in my own books.  I'm very much looking forward to his next installment.  I learned a lot in the first book that I didn't know, and during a 1st Degree at my Lodge a couple weeks ago, I was kind of surprised at how the things I learned in Mongelli's book had enhanced and advanced my understanding of the Entered Apprentice Degree.  

You'll find Brother Mongelli's book at online booksellers like Amazon.  It's well worth the price of admission.  

~Todd E. Creason

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