Continued from PART 2
All was not lost because one day, I met Brother Jim, a Rosslyn Chapel docent with an encyclopedic knowledge of the Chapel. Jim and his wife became my dear friends. They supported my quest and offered their hospitality so that I could test the waters with a meeting of the Sauniere Society to be held in historical New Battle Abbey, (just south of Edinburgh) as an alternative way to connect with people of similar interests.
As I sat in the back of the medieval hall that was now a meeting room, my heart spoke to me with such rapid speed that I could not absorb the content! I felt overwhelmed, not understanding that my stars were “lining up” to give me my heart’s desire.
I was the only American in the group, but luckily, not the only woman (finally!). The other attendees came from nearby in Scotland and England. But a group of foreign men, all dressed in dark suits sat together in front of me. It soon became apparent that the presence of this striking faction was causing quite a stir within the Sauniere Society.
[It is interesting to note that the issue in which my first article ran in THM also featured an article on the author Henry Lincoln, who was knighted during that same Sauniere Society meeting where I met the Austrians… Small world!]
It was during a break between lectures, under the starry night sky that I met Thomas, one of the men in the dark suits. Immediately, conversation flowed like quicksilver! It was only later the next day at Rosslyn Chapel, that I met the other members. They explained (in fluent English!) that they come from the (non-Masonic) Templar Order of Austria where women are equally accepted as members.
Without knowing of my aspirations, they cordially invited me to come to Austria to see and meet their female members and experience the dynamic of the group. I was shocked at first and a bit wary. Yet… could this be the answer I had been seeking?
After getting to know one another over our final meal before my return to Texas, we promised to correspond… and we did. Email correspondences flew “across the pond” at sometimes breakneck speed as we (all eight of us!) stayed in touch.
I pondered my options. While the fit was not right for me with the Sauniere Society, I was intrigued by the Austrian offer. I was already planning a choral engagement in London in January 2004, so I decided to accept their invitation. I believe that both the Austrians and I acted on pure faith during this fragile time. Neither side was sure of the other’s character, motives, or expectations. We were all taking risks… saying YES to Spirit!