Book: Memory Palaces and Masonic Lodges: Esoteric Secrets of the Art of Memory by Charles B. Jameux

Just about a fifth of the way through this book - quite interesting - anyone else read it? Reading it?


I’ve got a nice wee library of books on memory - but only a couple on Freemasonry and “their” take on Memory Systems. Yates does discuss it a bit, but I don’t really ‘get’ Yates’ style of writing.

As far as I can tell - and as would be expected - most religions / faiths use the same techniques and methods (layout of temples, churches, iconography etc journey plan - like the Stations of the Cross which is in every catholic church and quite a few Episcopalian / Anglican ones too), but the Masons seem to have gone further - and they are explicit in using the term ‘memory palace’…

Which is why I am posting this here.

Four years ago, while studying symbols and dabbling in using Memory Palaces to teach people scripts I bought a book called “The Secret History of Freemasonry”,

While this book is a (very) basic outline of the history and traditions of Freemasonry, from a memory point of view it was of interest to me as it explained a lot of the imagery I did not get at first at Rosslyn Chapel. Anyone who has been there will (I hope) readily agree that Rosslyn Chapel is a Memory Palace at Rosslyn Chapel. Rosslyn is just south of Edinburgh and the Chapel is literally STUFFED full of carved Masonic, Pagan and Christian symbols and visual representations of masonic, Christian and Pagan and Scottish traditions and doctrine, as some of you may know it was featured in the Dan Brown book The Da Vinci Code - and the film of the book was filmed at the actual Chapel hee in Scotland. Though to be honest I do not think that the film does the chapel visual justice. For anyone around here, who is new to Memory Palaces a trip there can be a fabulous interactive introduction to memory palaces as you can walk through and there are great guides to help explain the imagery (I have taken Business Managers there to introduce them to the concept of memory palaces, they also get a day out :slight_smile: Though not any more as I am writing this at home on the first day of THE Coronavirus Lockdown )

Well worth a virtual visit as well - or a look via this video from the BBC

Anyway, that Freemasonry book is all very well, but I have just picked up another couple

Memory Palaces and Masonic Lodges: Esoteric Secrets of the Art of Memory by Charles B. Jameux

I am only just about a fifth of the way through and quite honestly it is very impressive, very impressive indeed.

and this one (which I only have as an e-book)

And have not yet started…

Anyone read it? Any thoughts? I’ll maybe do a review once I have finished it - but that may take a few weeks what with all that is going on. Or perhaps I should say All that is NOT going on.

K, Glasgow


Excellent recommendations @MMScotofGlasgow…Thank u!

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Very interesting indeed! I never knew the secret societies were aware of memory systems and palaces, but it seems it’s been going on for a while. I’ll look forward to reading your review about it.

Hi Erol,

Yeah it was a bit of an eye opener for me when I got into using Memory Systems when I found that a lot of the ‘theory’ had been kept alive by the likes of (I think from memory) the Jesuits - or one of the other sects in teh Catholic Church and especially the Freemasons (let’s face it these are not exactly bedfellows). The Freemasons make extensive use of (as you probably know) are not allowed to tape, write down, practice out loud etc. their rituals - but one thing is glaringly obvious when anyone sees their ‘tracing boards’ (for each level) - they are essentially just memory palace routes with symbols usually in the form of ladders or room layouts. My own interest was the use of symbols in an ordered sequence which I found very useful.

The verbatim book - so far - is interesting - but I note a lot of similarity between the methods in there and what any actor learns to do.

That’s about all I have time for just now - we might be in lock down but business seems busier than ever… Take care


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That makes a lot of sense. But what doesn’t make sense is that they have a book about how they use their secrets using memory palaces.

Did you buy it from amazon? or downloaded? I’ll probably order a copy . It’s very interesting.

Hi Erol,
I have hard copies of the Secret History of Freemasonery and the memory Palace one but not the Verbatum one. I bought them both (years apart) in Voltaire and Rousseu the bookshop in Glasgow.

The point about method is interesting - they don’t tell anyone what they use it for but they tell the method…


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Hi. I fascinated by these two books and will try to track them down. I’m a Freemason struggling to memorize my lines and have returned to memory techniques after loosing 6 months memorizing the 2nd Degree Tracing Board verbatim. I used Tony Buzan and the Major System to memorize information for my masters exams back in the 1980s. In Masonry we do have ritual books and it’s only a few specific items that are secret where we use initials. If anything, it’s the wisdom and full understanding gained from the memorization process that proves most valuable in making good men better. It’s the rote part of the learning that has stumped me and I’m thinking of using a shorthand of images to represent more esoteric and purely grammar type words. I still remember using ‘shell’ for ‘social’ back in the 1980s. Anyway, any assistance and advice would be gratefully received.


Just purchased the electronic versions of these books on Amazon.

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I read the book. Very well written book! I highly recommend the book to those that want to memorize texts verbatim!

The author mainly discusses two things elaborately:

  1. How to convert words into images
  2. Method of loci

He recommends to memorize texts verbatim using above two methods!

It’s a well written book,easy to understand what the author is pointing out!

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That particular book “Memory Palaces and Masonic Lodges” is recommended by me.

However, the book doesn’t discuss actual Lodge memory practices for the 3 “Blue” Lodge degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason.