The revised, 2017, Torazzi Press edition contains additional material on Aleister Crowley and Sufism. The book looks at a rarely-discussed, 18th-century Masonic catechism and its mention of an Islamic mystic influential in the development of Islamic gnosticism.
Besides minor edits made throughout, the section on Moorish science and African-American religious thought and spiritual expression has been slightly expanded and revised to reflect the development of my own understanding of these movements in the two years since the release of the first edition.
Other chapters explore Ayatollah Khomeini and Islamic gnosticism; Prince Hall, Africa-American Freemasonry, and the birth of Black nationalism in the USA; the development of Sufism; and the Ancient Order of Zuzimites, and the influence of René Guénon on contemporary Islamic and pro-Islamic thought.
Praise for The Crescent And The Compass:
“A Pioneering study” — Andrei Znamenski, author of Red Shambhala: Prophecy, and Geopolitics in the Heart of Asia.
“Millar’s […] understanding of his chosen subjects is deep. I can recommend this book wholeheartedly as an example of scholarship and research in the interest of making clearer Freemasonry’s tangled relationship with little-understood trends and figures in the modern world” — The Plumbline (Scottish Rite Research Society).
“The Crescent and the Compass is a highly significant work… of extraordinary importance in this time of cultural and even spiritual conflict” — New Dawn magazine.
“… an excellent reminder of the wisdom that can come studying the intersections of cultures, people, and places” — Aimee E. Newell, The Northern Light.
“Millar calls to us to develop new ways of looking at the world, especially the religion of Islam” —Gangleri.nl.
“… absolutely the best book I’ve read about Freemasonry” — Mindaugas Peleckis, radikaliai.lt.
“Millar argues convincingly that the historical connections between Muslims and Freemasonry are much more abundant, and much more complex, than is usually given credit for” — Correspondences, an online journal for the academic study of Western esotericism.
“… a brilliant exposition on a neglected topic… crucial for an accurate understanding of Islam and Freemasonry today” — Greg Kaminsky, Occult of Personality podcast.
The Crescent and The Compass: Islam, Freemasonry, Esotericism, and Revolution in The Modern Age (Numen Books, 2015)
From the publisher:
A timely survey of radical spirituality and political activism in Islam and the West over the last century and a half, The Crescent and the Compass uncovers numerous previously unknown and unexplored connections between European, American, and Muslim movements, organizations, secret societies, and thinkers.
Subjects covered include Ayatollah Khomeini and Islamic gnosticism (‘irfan); Sufism and Shi’ism; the influence of the ideas of Rene Guenon, a former Catholic and Freemason, and convert to Sufism; and Charles, the Prince of Wales, Traditionalism and Islamic spirituality. At the heart of the book, however, are the many connections, during the 19th and early 20th centuries, between various Muslim revolutionaries and Freemasonry, a fraternal movement that was highly influential in the spiritual and occult avant-garde of Western Europe and America,
The Crescent and the Compass not only explores how revolutionaries and anti-colonialists, such as Sayyid Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani, attempted to mold Masonic Lodges for political aims, but how interpretations of Islam and Freemasonry converged in the writings and practices of such figures as poet and occultist Aleister Crowley; Noble Drew Ali, founder of the faith of Moorish Science in the USA; Abdullah Quilliam, Shaykh-ul-Islam of the British Isles; and, as anti-Freemasonry, in the contemporary Islamist movement.
Exploring one of the least documented yet one of the most important historical chapters of the modern era, the picture that emerges will challenge the way readers looks at the Middle East and Islam, and their relationship to the West.
Freemasonry: Foundation of the Western Esoteric Tradition
In the early 18th century the Masonic fraternity emerged to change the shape of the Western esoteric tradition forever. Within a few decades, the fraternity had spawned numerous esoteric societies that claimed to communicate with spirits, teach the secrets of alchemy, and to perform rituals of healing. During the next century, the still-surviving Masonic Rosicrucian society was established, attracting the founders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn – William Wynn Westcott and S.L. MacGregor Mathers – and Theodor Reuss, co-founder of the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), among others.
Freemasonry: Foundation of the Western Esoteric Tradition explores the history of Western esotericism, beginning with the early Masonic Ritual, and its symbolism of natural law and death, essential to understanding the Craft, high-Degree Freemasonry, and the contemporary Western esoteric tradition. Other subjects explored include:
Mystical Masonic societies, practicing séances, alchemy, healing, etc.;
- The Masonic influence on the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the O.T.O.
- Masonic Lodges practicing Roman Catholic mysticism;
- The contemporary Masonic-Rosicrucian society;
- Aleister Crowley’s adventures in Freemasonry;
- The Rose Croix Degree;
- Freemasonry and alchemy;
- Wicca and Masonic symbolism.
Freemasonry: Foundation of the Western Esoteric Tradition includes a series of 12 rare etchings by Hejonagogerus Nugir, originally published in Freymäurerische Versammlungsreden der Gold- und Rosenkreutzer des alten Systems (Amsterdam, 1779), presented here as plates. Fifteen chapters. Illustrated, with two appendices, plus bibliography. Indexed.
Praise for Freemasonry: Foundation of the Western Esoteric Tradition:
There are plenty of books on the market that tout the civic, military, and governmental influences of Brethren through time. Likewise, there are a number of books that speculate on the esoteric threads that contributed to the fabric of Freemasonry as we know it. Freemasonry: Foundation of the Western Esoteric Tradition is an unusual entry into the body of contemporary Masonic work, in that it deals directly with the mystical, but as manifested by Brethren. The Masons featured within this book may not be remembered as great political or social leaders, and the esoteric focus will not be on the mists of our past. But the concepts of “influence” and “mystery” are clearly addressed, as an examination of how Brethren contributed to the larger Masonic, spiritual, and cultural zeitgeist. The subtle message thus conveyed is one that stands contrary to the “minimization” of the Craft by some contemporary Brethren: Freemasonry is, indeed, an esoteric institution. If it were not so, then the Craft could not possibly serve as the fertile ground in which so many subsequent groups took root. It could not inspire men to seek greater understanding of the Divine and our connection with The All. When Bro∴ Millar points out that such stalwarts of the “authentic” school as Bro∴ W.J. Hughan were members of these esoteric groups, and that such figures as Alistair Crowley were inspired by Masonic emblems, he is emphasizing the point the Craft is an Initiatory Order.
Framing these different profiles and assessments, Bro∴ Millar offers his observations and reflections on—and what may be construed as warnings regarding the shortcomings of—“modern” esotericism. For instance, when considering the very question of “Mystery school”, Bro∴ Millar concludes:
“Its modern representatives often appear less interested in illuminating the inherently mysterious nature and quality of life, than with mystifying the initiate with vague and shifting theories that advocate the ‘moral relativeness’ of the modern age. This has not occurred in regular Freemasonry in the English-speaking world.”
Such opinions not only support the assertion of the book’s title, but also further emphasize Freemasonry’s mystic purposes. They also underscore Bro∴ Millar as one who is immersed in the mystery traditions, and as one whom less instructed Brethren can trust as an authority — Chris Murphy, Philalethes: Journal of Masonic Research & Letters (Vol. 68, No. 1, 2015).
Freemasonry: A History
Freemasonry: A History was published in December 2005 by Greenwich Editions/Thunder Bay Press.
The work explores the history of the fraternity from its origins as Lodges of the stonemasons’ guild in medieval and early modern Britain to its development into various (often competing) societies conferring mystical teachings through rituals, alchemical and occult symbolism.
Freemasonry also contains well over 150 photographs, many of them of artifacts never seen before. These include rare textiles, paintings, chinaware, etchings, and more.
A Polish edition, Masoneria: Zarys Dziejow, was published in 2006 through Elipsa.