Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pooling resources

One of the most important reasons for lodges to exist is to allow their members pool resources.

Historically, this motive was behind the large numbers of lodges that existed a century ago. The purpose behind many of them were the type of social safety net that we now expect our government to provide. My grandmother belonged to the Modern Woodmen of America, which was basically an insurance company with lodge rituals. And when the government started to provide the safety net, the lodges numbers started to drop.

But providing a social safety net is not the only goal that lodges can pool their resources towards. Like for instance, in Golden Dawn, a full set of lodge equipment can be time consuming and expensive to assemble. Plus many of the more valuable texts are out of print. A lodge can assemble to collect library resources for its membership, or to exchange reading material and lessons with one another.

And it is not just old books that are expensive. Some of the newer books can be expensive also. I was reminded of this fact the other day when I brought a copy of Steve Nichols "Enochian Chess Four Board Set." Privately published though Lulu (a Print On Demand Service), it is expensive (in part due to the fact that copies are made one at a time, rather than in the big lots major publishers use). In my review of the kit (the above link), I had mixed feelings about it.

On one hand, I could see the reason for it to exist (it provides a quick way to make an Enochian Chess set). And the other hand, it is so expensive that I am not sure if it is good enourgh to justify the cost of it. Now if a lodge brought it, the entire group could use it and the per person cost would be lower.

So it is something to consider if you belong to a lodge; perhaps you want to pool resources together in order to defray the cost of assembling a decent library and set of tools.

(The issue of how to adminster such a library and tool set I will discuss another time.)

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