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May the Craftcast be with you: An Interview with the Sci Fi and Fantasy Lodge

Get ready for an out-of-this-world experience as the hosts of Craftcast sit down with David Leask, Secretary of the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Lodge. 

The meeting of the Sci-Fi Lodge
A meeting of the Sci-fi Lodge

In Episode 3, Season 2 of Craftcast, the Freemasons Podcast, hosts delve into the intriguing world of Sci-Fi and Fantasy Lodge No 10016 with David Leask, its Secretary. This unique group combines the ancient traditions of Freemasonry with their love for all things sci-fi and fantasy, offering a departure from previous discussions with the Football Lodge, yet equally intriguing given the broad spectrum of interests within the realm of science fiction and fantasy.

The idea originated about four years ago when two Freemasons from Burton engaged in a whimsical exploration they dubbed 'fantasy Freemasonry.' Their imaginative game involved pondering which characters from the Sci-Fi genre would occupy each office within the Lodge. Would a Klingon serve as the Inner Guard? Could Captain Kirk lead as the Master? These discussions sparked intrigue, revealing a previously unnoticed community of science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts within Freemasonry. As the conversation spread, it drew in more participants, unveiling a significant interest among Freemasons in this unique blend of interests. Thus, the idea to unite Sci-Fi fandom with Freemasonry was born, laying the foundation for a vibrant endeavor. The initiative officially commenced in 2018, marking the beginning of an exciting journey.

When the concept was proposed to Freemasons and potential petitioners, the reception was a mix of excitement and practical hurdles. Engaging with individuals through social media platforms, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, became crucial for garnering interest and fostering communication. Zoom calls facilitated discussions and attracted participants from diverse locations, all eager to contribute as founding members. However, adhering to certain prerequisites, such as requiring Master Mason status for three years to qualify as a founder, posed challenges for some prospective members. Consequently, those unable to meet the founding criteria were welcomed as joining members. Despite these initial obstacles, a dedicated group of 31 founders emerged. Amidst pandemic-related restrictions, collecting physical signatures for the petition presented logistical complexities, necessitating meticulous efforts to ensure each signature was obtained in person. Finally, in November 2021, after navigating these challenges, the petition received approval, marking the green light to proceed with the initiative.

One of the Lodge's unique features is its incorporation of Sci-Fi and fantasy elements into traditional Masonic ceremonies, from lightsaber-wielding Deacons to Thor's hammer-wielding Wardens. Despite these creative touches, the Lodge maintains a deep reverence for Masonic ritual and tradition, ensuring that the essence of Freemasonry remains at its core.

In reflecting on the Consecration ceremony, vivid images flood the mind. For those unfamiliar with Freemasonry, the Consecration marks the beginning of a new Lodge, complete with special ceremonies. This particular event stood out for its unique blend of seriousness and fun, with nods to sci-fi and fantasy woven throughout. It was a moment where everyone revealed their inner sci-fi and fantasy fans.

Right. Are you primarily a Lodge for existing Freemasons to become joining members of, or are you a Lodge that Initiates, Passes, and Raises people? And if you do that, is it sort of an explanation process you have to go through with those new members? 'This is unusual; this is not normally what would happen in Freemasonry, the ceremony, yes. But the fact that I'm carrying a lightsaber around, you're not going to see that anywhere else.' Yeah. So, as you can imagine, forming the Lodge, everybody had to already be amazed. So effectively, the first couple of years are going to be pretty much like almost a Past Masters lodge, and we've put structures in place for progression and how people move forwards. But in December, we'll have our first candidate, and he's a friend of a member, so he's already had an induction. He's very much a science fiction fan, so that's a soft landing into where we really want to be, which is a primary lodge for bringing on board new members. I'm really interested on this particular point. Do you think that he would have joined what I will call a traditional Lodge, or do you think the fact that you have these slight quirks around Sci-Fi and fantasy is a hook that's brought him in? I think it's definitely a hook. One of the things that we always say, and there's a presentation that we've been delivering to a number of other lodges, talking about the foundation of the Lodge is we almost draw a bit of a Venn diagram. We have a traditional Freemasons Lodge. Everybody's interested in Freemasonry, but everybody's then got separate interests. If I was sitting next to somebody talking about football, I wouldn't have a clue. But if you come to our Lodge, everybody's got a love of Freemasonry, but they've all got a common love of science fiction and fantasy. So you've actually got the double whammy.

The Lodge's fusion of Freemasonry with elements of science fiction and fantasy acts as an enticing draw for new members. This distinctive blend offers what they describe as a 'double-whammy' - attracting individuals who not only appreciate Freemasonry but also resonate with the imaginative realms of science fiction and fantasy.

Members embrace the opportunity to explore new realms of experience, driven by their cerebral disposition. They find delight in contemplating Freemasonry within the vast landscapes of the Star Wars universe, Game of Thrones, Brave New World, or other imaginative spheres. Fuelled by passion, they eagerly delve into the intricacies of these fictional worlds, recognising the inherent value of a captivating narrative, whether rooted in science fiction or fantasy.

In conclusion, it's evident that people are deeply passionate about their hobbies, just like Freemasonry. Combining these interests is a fantastic idea, allowing individuals to connect with like-minded enthusiasts. As highlighted in the podcast, this fusion plays a crucial role in enhancing the member experience and fostering community bonds.

Will you join us in filling our principal officer roles with beloved sci-fi and fantasy characters? Ready to embrace the excitement and make Freemasonry even more extraordinary?

Listen to the full 'May the Craftcast be with you: An Interview with the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Lodge' podcast

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