Phoenix St. John is a lifelong student of numerous religious and esoteric traditions. Phoenix’s studies have largely focused on the history of Judaism and Christianity. Phoenix became a Freemason in 2008 after years of studying Masonic and Knight Templar history. To Phoenix, Freemasonry is a stable philosophical system that, nevertheless, allows each Mason to interpret its tenants and contribute original work and thinking. Therefore, Phoenix is a supporter of today’s Masonic writers, artists, and promoters. Phoenix is a hardworking, committed, and creative Mason for whom Freemasonry is a way of life.
“All symbols have their origin in something tangible, and the Phoenix is one sign of the secret orders of the ancient world and of the initiate of those orders, for it was common to refer to one who had been accepted into the temples as a man twice-born, or re-born.” Manly P. Hall
From St. John’s baptismal fire, Phoenix was birthed. Phoenix St. John
Below is an excerpt from an interview with Phoenix by Bro. Frederic Milliken of Freemason Information:
The Phoenix St. John site has two purposes. One is to present my thoughts on Masonic topics and literature and the other is to provide a place for Masons to explore various disciplines within Masonry and related to Masonry through the Liberal Arts and Sciences. I post bi-monthly studies on Masonic literature. I will begin with The Meaning of Masonry by W.L. Wilmshurst. The idea is to study the book, cover to cover, adding my own insights and research. People can subscribe to the site’s posts to get them by email.
My interest in religious and philosophical traditions began as a kid, when a few documentaries on mysterious ancient civilizations sparked my interest. I was drawn to old religious and philosophical beliefs from civilizations such as Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and South America. When I was about 14 years old, my father bought me a rather cheap but heavily researched encyclopedia of religions. It was heavy reading, one book per religion. I did my best to process what I could from them. I grew up around Jesuits, with whom my parents had a close academic relationship. I was a spoiled teen because I was invited to religious and philosophical discussion groups they organized for adults only and even a poetry group they put together for college students.
I became interested in the history of Christianity and the Bible after being re-baptized by a Jesuit friend of the family in my mother’s garden fountain in a simple yet profound ceremony. I read the Bible in its entirety pausing to research terms and reflect on its ideas. From there, I studied Judaism and its history, as well as the history of the Temple of Jerusalem. I studied the history of the Catholic Church and various heretical philosophes it has fought. Once I learned that the Temple of Jerusalem is such a prominent feature in Freemasonry, I was hooked.
Religion and philosophy remain strong interests of mine and this is reflected on the Phoenix St. John site. I have studied ancient Greek philosophy on my own time and in college and law school. I have endeavored to understand the gnostic currents of Christianity, such as Cathar history, from the middle ages back to its known origins. I was lucky enough to visit Carcassonne and Toulouse in France, two Cathar sites where much fighting took place between Cathars and the Catholic Church. Seeing the Languedoc region in France, the places where Cathar massacres occurred, and such controversial ideas flourished was incredibly stimulating for me.
I developed an interest in the history of the Prophet Muhammad in Junior High School when I had a fantastic history teacher so the history of Islam and the Crusades is also a favorite subject of mine and this is reflected on the site. Finally, I have also studied modern religious cults and movements such as FLDS and the history of Jonestown, where residents ended up committing suicide and were poisoned, but the site is focused on non-recent history. In short, I am interested in all things religious and historic. I could go on and on as this subject has truly captured me for life, which is one reason I love Freemasonry so much: Freemasonry is inclusive as far as religion goes. I believe my sincerity and long years of study on these subjects qualifies me to produce Masonic and philosophical insights Freemasons will hopefully find worth reading.
I am an attorney by trade. International Law is my forte but, of course, I also love historic topics within law such as how the U.S. Constitution came to be and the numerous Freemasons involved in constituting this great nation. I also appreciate just how many Masons have done the same in countries such as France, Mexico, Argentina, England, you name it! Freemasonry is incredibly rich in history and has produced so many movers and shakers throughout the world, it is an honor to participate in the preservation of our traditions and history, even if in such a small way as having informative galleries on Masonic history online.
I am also a musician, which is why you will find a lot of music included on the site. I am a singer/songwriter, I play the guitar, and have done a lot of theatre. I have played in many bands over the years and have toured with various music and theatre groups. I did three years of intensive Theatre training at a performing arts school. I studied and performed classical music, choir, and opera in college and elsewhere. Of course, music history has been a favorite interest of mine as well. I love traditional world music and that always has been my contribution to groups I have played with. I love to add native flutes, chants, and elements to electronic and acoustic music alike.
The site contains all these interests of mine with an eye to providing valuable education. The only other time I felt I could bring these elements together was during my last trimester in law school, when I wrote and performed a musical which had an esoteric theme based on Michelangelo’s work. It had music, theatre, esoteric undertones, art, and law. I was in Heaven! That is exactly how I feel about the site now. It is truly a pleasure for me to offer a varied and hopefully stimulating website. Each Masonic piece of art, each original article or paper, each lecture a Mason prepares and shares contributes to the philosophical system that is Masonry, both originality and newness and an appreciation for our history and tradition. Not all Freemasons are engaged in creating new Masonic works or celebrating our old, but for those who are and for those who benefit from what other Masons create and contribute, I believe it is important to support each other’s work. That is why you find poems by Masons and artwork by Masons on the Phoenix St. John site. I try my hand at poetry myself but I have yet to produce presentable art. I do make my own memes though.
Phoenix St. John is a pen name I plan to keep for life. Did you know Voltaire is a pen name? Most people know or have heard of Voltaire but how many can tell you his real name? François-Marie Arouet. I can write under a name that means much in its symbology so I will. The undulating line with two dots is my secret signature. I have used that symbol since I was 17 years old. I just had to include it. Another fun secret, or used to be secret, is that I use two periods instead of three as can be seen in this meme.