Magic and Freemasonry flourished in the late 1700s in Britain. It was so successful that many trades set up their own similar organisations with their own lodges. After all, they do doubt thought, why should it just be Masons who had mutual support and protection for their trade secrets. What many members of these newer organisations didn’t always appreciate was that they were also dabbling in a form of magic.
Freemasons were initiated by being led blindfolded, bare footed or with one foot slip-shod, with clothes rearranged to expose parts of the body, were challenged with a sword, had a noose round their neck and had to swear a loyalty before being ‘reborn’. This initiation went back to the Ancient Mystery Schools. Millers, Shoemakers, Coopers and many others tried to duplicate these ceremonies and often created pseudo-history for their lodges.
The 1830 Shoemakers Union, for example had ‘a full set of secret order regalia, surplices, trimmed aprons etc., and a crown and robes for King Crispin’ (the legendary patron of their craft)…… continues
Reproduced courtesy of Mike PerryFull Article Source