Le Droit Humain Mexico

I ran into a first degree ritual of the Mexican federation of Le Droit Humain (“editado for el delegado del supremo consejo de la co-Masoneria Universal en la Republica Mexicana”). I was surprised about the year of publication: 1922. Something else caught my attention. Immediately after the title page follows the “Apertura de los trabajos” (‘opening of the work’) and after that: “Ceremonia simplificado del incienso en logia”, a simplified incense ceremony. Where did I see that before?

Also:

El templo deberá estar iluminado por une luz muy tenue. El retrato del J. de todos los verdaderos MM estará colocado por encima del trono del VM y si es posible estará ilumine solamente el retrato, sobre el cual estará colocada la Estrella de Oriente.

or:

The temple should be illuminated by a very dim light. The portrait of the H. of all true FM shall be placed above the throne of the WM and if possible only the portrait shall be illuminated, above which the Star of the East shall be placed.

These are a few elements to look at trying to see if the source for this ritual can be identified.

I have a few American LDH rituals, but they are much different from the Mexican one. The American rituals have plans of the lodge and no incense at all (they appear to be slightly reworked “Dharma” rituals in which there was no incense yet).

Incense was introduced in the third edition of “Dharma” of 1913, but I have not yet found a simple incense ceremony (even though it sounds familiar). The Mexican ritual has no procession (which was also introduced in 1913), nor the “introcessional” (1916). There is a lengthy: “ceremonia de encender la luces del templo” (‘ceremony of lighting the lights in the temple’) (1913). Note that in “Dharma” this is called “ceremony of lighting the candles“, but the Mexicans chose not to use “velas” (‘candles’), but “luces” (‘lights’).

Concerning the placement of the image of the ‘head of all true Freemasons’, this is introduced in 1916 and at the time it was placed above the seat of the Worshipful Master. By 1925 it has moved to the nowadays more common place, the North, where it has been located since. This raises the suggestion that the Mexican ritual has the 1916 edition of “Dharma” (sometimes called “Sydney Ritual“) as basis. There are some major differences with that ritual though, most notably the absence of the “introcessional” and the procession in the Mexican text and the fact that “Sydney” does not have a shortened incense ceremony.

All in all the text looks more English / Australian than American, so can we find out from where Le Droit Humain moved to Mexico? Unfortunately the book An Outline on the Origins and Development of the Order of international co-Freemasonry “Le Droit Humain” is short about Mexico:

Co-masonry, introduced as from 1921, became a constituted Federation despite all the difficulties it had encountered. Headquarters were at Tampico and, at the International Convention of 1947 it was represented by the V. Ills. Bro. Ernest De Craene, M.P.G.C. of the Belgian Federation.

If The V. Ills S. Germaine Desbordes mentions this Federation as being amongst the most important, it is, at the present time, not more than a Jurisdiction.

If co-Masonry found its way to Mexico in 1921, I might have their first published ritual. The above doesn’t say much about these 1921 origins though. That they are Belgian is not too likely. There are colonial ties between Belgium and parts of Mexico, but Freemasonry in Belgium is a much different beast. When Le Droit Humain was introduced in Belgium in 1911, the origins were not the Theosophical Freemasons that started co-Masonry in so many countries, but rather the Grand Orient of Belgium with their already secular direction. I would be surprised if Le Droit Humain was introduced in Mexico through Belgium and still decided to use their own version of Theosophical rituals.

Co-Masonry in Argentina was also early, 1916. I have a 1925 ritual. That ritual is ‘very English’. This text does include the procession, etc. In Brasil there has been Le Droit Humain since 1919, but I have no ritual to compare.

The conclusion for now it that I can’t find out the route by which Le Droit Humain reached Mexico. The ritual gives a few clues, but if an English ritual such as the 1916 edition of “Dharma”, was the basic for the Mexican text, the Mexicans felt confident enough to edit them quite a bit or there was another reason that they didn’t stick to the English text.

Does anybody have more information?

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