In this issue: Cover Story ‘100 Issues of SRA76’ The story behind the magazine, this article by the editor traces the history of the magazine since it’s beginning in 2005. The tale of how a one page flyer developed into the magazine that it now is. Page 5, ‘Lodge Sir George Cathcart No. 617.’ A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 9, ‘Casanova.’ A Famous Freemason. Page 11, ‘The Ancient Egyptian Order of Sciots.’ Fraternal Societies throughout the World. Page 13, ‘Origin of the Word, Freemason.’ The earliest reference to the word.. Page 15, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 17, ‘Rays of Masonry.’ “Old Time Masonry” our Regular feature. Page 17, ‘The Old Tiler Talks.’ “Country Lodge”, the 57th in the series. Page 19, ‘Sun, Moon and Stars.’ Their place in Freemasonry. Page 24, ‘Did You Know’ Page 26, The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple. Page 27, ‘The Order of the Golden Fleece’ Page 29, ‘The Art Of Masonry – Poem. Page 30, ‘The Kirkwall Scroll – Part 2. Page 33, ‘The Emblems of Freemasonry.’
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘Brotherly Love and the Golden Rule. [link] 1
The 100th issue front cover artwork was designed by the editor
SRA76 Masonic Magazine 2005-2017 By the Editor.
How did it all begin? Well, prior to the year 2000, I had developed and maintained a website for my Mother Lodge, Stirling Royal Arch No.76. This was a normal Masonic website with meetings, what’s on in Lodge and news of what had happened in the Lodge. Looking back on those early years, it really was very basic, and if I’m really honest, not much to look at! And when I updated the website, I would send out an e-mail to those that had computers about anything new happening on the site. Then in the year 2003, I set up a new website, and called it Lodge 76 lectures; this was simply to be a Masonic education site, where articles, stories, lectures and anything interesting about Freemasonry could be published online. I thought that the two Lodge websites could run side by side, compliment each other, and benefit our Brethren, with news, interesting facts and try to educate our old and new members of the Craft. The problem was, I was sending out a monthly email to just a few interested parties, who would forward that onto Masonic friends who also had email. There had to be a better way, and there was, a Lodge newsletter was the answer. Years before this, a typewritten newsletter of the Lodge called “The Arch” by PM Paul
Miller had been tried. The idea was good but sadly never came to fruition, we had moved into the 21st century and in the era of the internet, and the new cyberspace, online newsletters were the way forward. I had been considering for a long time over whether to produce an Online Newsletter about Lodge events and sending it out in a mailing list. The timing along with the lecture website was now perfect and from that idea, on January 2005 I brought out the first newsletter, called, “Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76. Website Mailing List.”
Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76. Website Mailing List Volume 1 Issue 1
This was a one page flyer, informing Brethren about a new lecture on the website, a news page that had been created, and news of a forthcoming whisky tasting to be held at the Lodge. That’s was it! I had decided that it would be produced eight times a year, January to April, and then September to December. However the format remained the same from January 2005 until October 2007, a one page info sheet with just the odd bits and pieces that I thought were interesting, but it was boring. That was when I decided to change it. I had an idea in my head to make the newsletter into something that Brethren wanted to read and to look forward to getting in the mail each month. The first thing I decided to change was the set-up; could I make it look a bit like a printed magazine? I always liked the idea of newspaper columns, (which I have kept) 2
but the banner was awful and so changed it to “Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76. Masonic Newsletter.” And then I gradually increased the pages to two, then to three and onto four! Heady stuff!
Special Anniversary Newsletter, which was the most ambitious production so far, 36 pages in total, colour, a full history of the Lodge and one which was well received with the Brethren, and in fact it is still one of the most downloaded magazines that has been produced.
The next big change occurred in September 2008, which was the first newsletter with a full colour front page. I still wanted the newsletter to get the feel of a magazine, so the old page banner went, and in came more pages, and an article about the picture on the front cover. We had got posh, and by the end of the year, we were producing a whole eight pages!
Moving through the rest of the year 2009, the number of articles increased as did the pages, and throughout that year we averaged 16 pages per edition, and in 2011, the average was 19 pages. It was during this period, I started to do more of the front cover art work myself, producing five out of the eight front covers.
2009 was a big year for Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76, for that year we were to celebrate our 250th anniversary, having been charted in 1759. So we produced a 3
Although I was happy with the direction the newsletter was going, with the content, the increase in pages and the feedback, something was niggling away at me that I just wasn’t quite happy with, and then in early 2012, I realised what it was. I had achieved the ‘magazine’ effect, but the heading on the front cover and the name of
the newsletter needed changed, it was dated, it was time to make changes. How to get the magazine look I wanted was a challenge, the full title in Old English Script had run it’s course, so I set about producing a new banner for the front page. After several attempts, I hit on the name SRA76, eye-catching, modern and to the point, it was perfect and still had the identity of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76, which I didn’t want to lose. The result is what we have now, and with the ‘No’ running vertically, it looked good and so I ran with the new title in February 2012. (I only had one remark about the title, one brother who had received the newsletter for quite some time, nameless to save his blushes, emailed me to ask what does the new SRA76 stand for?)
Also that year, I was approached by Scotland’s premier Masonic Magazine, “The Ashlar” if they could use the cover from our November 2012 Issue for one of their forthcoming magazines, this was reproduced in their March 2013 issue. On a roll now, I increased the pages to 24, now I was getting close to what I had envisaged all those years ago. 2013 saw a content average off 26 pages, and still the number on the mailing list was increasing as was the number of hits I was receiving on the Lectures website.
the 700th Anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn and Robert the Bruce. Being a Stirling Lodge and within a short distance from the Battlefield, I knew that come June 2014 I would have to produce something special for our magazine, and so I came up with a special edition, 23 pages long and dedicated to Bruce and Bannockburn, with some great articles.
Now, for some time, something had been niggling me about the look of the SRA76, I knew what it was, but I was loath to change it, but come 2016, I knew it was time to do it. And so, in the September issue, I changed something that had been part of the fabric since the inception of the newsletter in 2003, and probable not many of our regular readers will have noticed! I changed the title, ‘Masonic Newsletter’ to ‘Masonic Magazine,’ for in truth, that’s what it had become.
Then in January 2014, we produced the 75th issue of the magazine. The year 2014 was always going to be a momentous one for Scotland as a nation, for that year was 4
I now believe after all these years, I’ve finally reached the Magazine look that I wanted, something that our readers would continue to enjoy. From those early days, when we started with only a handful of subscribers, most who are still with us now, to today with the hundreds that receive it. I thank each and every one of you for the support given in these past years. I don’t honestly know how many Brethren get the magazine, I personally email it to over 300 brethren. I know that many forward it onto other Brethren they know and so it goes all around the world. The magazine features in lots of Masonic Websites. I frequently get asked for permission from editors to use some of our featured articles and lectures. My mother Lodge has had numerous Brethren from all over visiting the Lodge because of something they read in the magazine. I’ve met countless numbers of Brethren through my association with SRA76, with, “are you the guy that produces that masonic magazine?” I’ve made vast numbers of friends through it, and continue to do so. When I started out, it was to reach Brethren and share with them, my love of Freemasonry and my desire to further Masonic education, I hope our wee Masonic Magazine has done just that. So thank you Brethren from all around the World, thank for being part of this marvellous journey of 100 issues. Thank you to those who have sent me articles to use, and those who have stopped and said hello to me during my travels, and to those that have contacted me. But most of all, thank you to all you dear readers, for taking the time to read this work and making it all worth while. The Editor 5
Lodge Sir George Cathcart No. 617
The First 100 Years The district in which the Lodge had its birth and is still situated has romantic and heroic traditions. It is recorded that in 1157 the territory was granted in a charter by David I. to Walter, the founder of the Royal and Illustrious house of Stuart. Walter a few years later made a donation of the Church of Cathcart to the monks of Paisley. In 1179 there is the first mention of the family of the patron hero of the Lodge—Ranaldus Cathcart having been a witness to the confirmation by Alan, son of Walter, of the gift of the church of his father to the monks of Paisley. The ancient castle—the ruins of which still attracts and interests the visitor—is supposed to have been erected so far back as the eighth century. On the 13th May, 1568, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, from an eminence within the castle grounds—the place is marked by a stone—saw her army routed by the Regent Moray, and then became a fugitive, ending her career in the tragedy of Fotheringay. Sir George Cathcart, after whom the Lodge is named, was brother to the second Earl Cathcart (Charles Murray
Cathcart). An English general, he served with the Russians as aide-de-camp in the campaign of 1813-1814, and under Wellington at Quatre Bras and Waterloo. In 1852 he was appointed Governor and Commander-in-Chief at the Cape of Good Hope, where he succeeded in restoring peace to the Queen’s Dominion in South Africa. Appointed Adjutant-General in 1853, he served under Lord Raglan in the Crimea. He fell gloriously in command of the 4th Division at the Battle of Inkerman on the 5th November, 1854, killed by a musket ball, and was buried in the old fort on the heights above Sebastopol. A memorial stone erected by his widow, Lady Georgina Cathcart, is in the Abbey Churchyard, Paisley. In 1877 the outflowing population of the City of Glasgow had begun to build on the wooded knolls and plains of the village of Cathcart, and now the banks of its once romantic stream are lined with houses. The city outcomers brought with them many social wants not found among the farmers of the secluded parish. Many had received the Light of Masonry and in their rural homes desired to keep up their connection with the Brotherhood. On the 5th December 1877 a meeting was held in Graeme’s Temperance Hotel, New Cathcart, which was attended by the following seven Master Masons: James Martin 275 in the Chair; Thomas Mailley 512; D. Nochar 321; Robert Caskie 153; John McIndoe 153; Richard Robb 175; and Robert Graeme 89. The Chairman having stated the object of the meeting, Bro Robb moved: “That an endeavour should be made to establish a Masonic Lodge in Cathcart, as members of the craft were placed at a disadvantage
when attending Masonic meeting, there being no travelling accommodation at late hours and the roads being far from good, therefore a committee of all present be appointed to carry out the object.” The motion was seconded seconded and unanimously agreed to. Various meetings were held, and on 18th January, 1878, having obtained the support of the Officebearers of Busby St. John’s and Albert Edward, Polmadie, a form of Petition to the Grand Lodge of Scotland for a Charter was adopted. It was unanimously agreed to name the new Lodge “The Sir George Cathcart “after General Sir George Cathcart, of the district family. On 23rd January it was resolved to accept the use of a hall—a wooden erection, which stood on the opposite side of the road from the present hall. The charter, dated 4th February, 1878 A.D., and the year of Light 5882, came to hand, and the inaugural meeting of the Lodge, with 11 affiliates on the Roll, was held on 22nd February, 1878, at 8 p.m. Bro. T. White, R.W.M., Albert Edward Lodge, attended with a deputation of three brethren. Five candidates were initiated, and then on 3rd October, 1878, the ceremony of consecration was performed by Bro. Colonel Sir A. C. Campbell, P.G.M. in presence of numerous deputations from Sister Lodges. When the trustees of the late Mr. Couper built the Couper Institute, the Lodge removed its meeting place to that building, and has continued there except during the years 1915-1917 when it had necessarily to remove to Langside Hall during the rebuilding of the Institute by the Corporation of Glasgow. A souvenir of the original Couper Institute has been retained for the Lodge in the presentation of a 6
model crane and three ashlars made from the cornerstone of the old building. The first honorary Chaplain of the Lodge, the late Bro. Rev. Dr. Smith, minister of the local Parish Church, reached his jubilee as a member of the craft on 13th June, 1881, and the same year was appointed to the Moderatorship of the General Assemblyâ€”the highest honour the Church of Scotland can bestow on any of its members. To mark the event the Lodge presented to Dr. Smith an eloquent congratulatory address, in which they referred to the consummate tact, dignity and efficiency with which he had discharged his high duties as Moderator of the General Assembly, and to his long life as a Mason, reflecting honour on the craft Ceremonial Masonic functions have at all times enlisted the interest of the Lodge. One notable ceremony on record was the laying of the foundation stone of Langside Parish Church on the 3rd October, 1885. Bro. Col. Sir Archibald Campbell of Blythswood, M.W.M.M., officiated, with some 400 brethren taking part in the procession. The 60th Anniversary of the Lodge was celebrated on 3rd February, 1938, by a dinner in the Lodge Room, Couper Institute, Bro. James Balmer, R.W.M., in the chair. Then at or near the beginning of the Second World War, the Lodge Room was taken over by the Glasgow Corporation for Civil Defence duties, and the meetings were then held in Edith Cottage, Old Castle Road, Cathcart, but after a short absence the meetings were resumed in the Couper Institute New chains of office, along with a new set of regalia for the Office-bearers were 7
consecrated at the Installation Meeting on Saturday 3rd December, 1949, and then on 4th February 1953 the Lodge celebrated its 75th Anniversary. For most of Lodge Sir George Cathcartâ€™s 100 years, progress has marked each year of the Lodge history, the membership growing with the residential development of the district. However, in the past decade changes in the area have meant slightly leaner times for the Lodge, but the Lodge has been fortunate in retaining a goodly number of new members, and coupled with a large number of active Past Masters, the interest manifested by our early brethren has not waned, and the principles of Masonry are earnestly advanced by the work of the Lodge and Regular Instruction Class meetings. The Lodge continues to meet in the Couper Institute, Clarkston Road, Cathcart, on the first and third Wednesday of each month, except during June, July and August.
The Second Century Saturday 11th February 1978 a ceremony of rededication was held within the Couper Institute to mark our centenary. The ceremony was carried out by a deputation from the Grand Lodge of Scotland headed by The Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason Bro. Captain Robert Wolrige Gordon of Esslemont. This service was very well attended and saw the return of many Brethren. A commemorative jewel and Lodge tie, both designed by P.M. Brother Sam McNicol were made to mark the occasion. Thereafter, a personally hand written letter was received from The Most Worshipful
Grand Master Mason, thanking the Brethren for the kindness and hospitality extended to himself and the Brethren of his deputation. On the 19th of April 1978 R.W.M. Brother Robert Thomson had the unpleasant duty of informing the Brethren that the Masters Chain of office had been stolen from his car, fortunately by the 17th of May it had been recovered intact and in good order. In May 1978 P.M. Brother Bruce Watson presented Brother William Young Smith with a Jubilee Diploma to mark his 50 years service to the craft. Bro. Smith at 92 years of age, still attended the Lodge on a regular basis. December 1980 saw the initiation of five members of the same family, namely the Brothers Norman, Gordon, Kenneth, Albert and David Wright. In the early eighties a Lodge fishing club was established. P.M. Brother Bert Dick presented a trophy in memory of his late wife “The Anne Dick Trophy” which the brethren still compete for on a regular basis. 1987- P.M. Brother Arthur BRUCE Watson was installed as Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master of Renfrewshire East. Brother Bruce was initiated as a “Lewis” September 1946, he served the Lodge as R.W.M. 1956 – 57, he then went on to P.G.L. serving as Provincial Grand Master 1987 – 1992. In 1992 the brethren of the Lodge presented Brother Bruce with a Past Provincial Grand Masters Jewel in recognition of this outstanding achievement and service to the craft. Brother Bruce was known throughout the province for his eloquence as a degree
worker and orator among his many other fine qualities as a man and mason. He died in 1998 aged 71 years. P.M. Brother Aeneas MacNeil progressed through the ranks of P.G.L. becoming Worshipful Provincial Grand Senior Warden in 1984. The Brethren recognized Bro. Aeneas’s achievement with the presentation of a Past P.G.S. Wardens jewel. January 1993 - P.M. Brother Sam Milwain suggested the introduction of a Burns harmony on the second meeting of the month. This event has become very popular and continues to this day. 1999 - Honorary Member Brother Gill Paton presented to the Lodge a special jewel to be worn by the R.W.M. at harmony meetings. Over the years the Lodge has given many gifts and donations to outside charities and organizations and will continue to do so when appropriate. The closure of the Couper Institute in 1996 caused the Lodge to move it’s meetings to the Meikle Hall, Clarkston and then Langside Hall, this was between April and December 1996. The Couper Institute reopened in 1997 and the Lodge returned to it’s familiar home on the 15th January 1997 and meetings continue there on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, except June, July and August. Brethren continue to enjoy the Masonic fellowship and visiting Brethren will always be welcomed. Sourced from
Famous Freemasons Giacomo Girolamo Casanova “Italian adventurer and writer”
wrote of his being shipped off to boarding schools as “So they got rid of me.” It was at boarding school that he taken in by a priest and his family. The priest taught at the boarding school. It was in the priest’s home that Casanova would have his first sexual experience at the age of 11 with the priest’s younger sister, who was still much older than Casanova. In 1742, Casanova graduated from the University of Padua with a law degree, which Casanova hated but would utilize it through much of his life. Casanova travelled back and forth between Padua and Venice. On a chance encounter, Casanova saved the life of a senator, who would later become his patron. When the senator was felled in a gondola, which he was sharing with Casanova and some other men, with a stroke, Casanova leapt into action. He watched as a physician who was summoned failed to help, pushing the physician aside, Casanova went to work on senator and was able to revive him when the physician had said that he was surely going to die.
Casanova was born on April 2nd 1725 in Venice, Italy. Venice at the time of Casanova’s birth was a city that was on the “must” list for any young European man on his Grand Tour, a tradition of travelling around Europe. It is probably the environment of Venice that helped to form who Casanova would later become. By his own description Casanova’s parents were disinterested in him. He was largely raised by his grandmother before being sent away to a boarding school. In his memoirs he 9
The senator who believed that Casanova possessed an occult knowledge wanted him close. Casanova would actually say that he wished that he had been allowed to become a doctor instead of a lawyer stating “I should have been allowed to do as I wished and become a physician, in which profession quackery is even more effective than it is in legal practice.” Casanova who was barely out of teens already found himself in trouble due to his sexual appetites. He would already be kicked out of one patrons home for having a sexual relationship with a young woman who his patron already had his eye on.
Before long he would leave Venice and head to France, before travelling all over Europe. Casanova would begin gambling heavily and would find himself on several occasions thrown in jail for his debts or forced to flee the country he was in. A similar situation occurred on his first trip to Paris. Casanova essentially slept his way into Paris and drew the attention of Paris police. By the age of 30, Casanova was back in Venice. This time the local authorities in Venice would not allow him to get away with his behaviour. He was arrested and place in a high security jail that was reserved for political and high profile prisoners. At first in solitary confinement he would eventually be allowed to take walks around the grounds. As the story goes, told in writing a couple of times by Casanova, he found a metal bar and a stone with which to sharpen the bar. He then used it in two escape attempts. The first was in his original cell where he had began cutting through the floor with the bar. Before he could use the hole to escape, he was moved and then he and a renegade priest would use the bar to escape. Some scholars are sceptical of this story, while others claim that there is some historical evidence to at least imply the story is true. No matter how Casanova got out of the cell he would end up spending the next two decades in exile from Venice. During his exile, Casanova would travel again around Europe, starting in Paris. There he became the head of the state lottery, an idea he had come up with. Casanova made a fortune, unfortunately he very quickly lost the fortune as well. Casanova began travelling around trying to convince other countries to utilize his state lottery ideas. He found no takers, although
his travels allowed him to further his sexual escapades. Eventually he travelled to Rome and sought permission to return to Venice. Eventually he was given permissions and he returned to his home. Again though it was short lived, and once again Casanova was back on the road. In 1783, Casanova met Benjamin Franklin in Paris. Franklin was not the only prominent man and mason that he would meet in his second round of travels. He would also meet Voltaire who he would eventually get into a philosophical battle with. He would also meet Mozart. At the time Casanova met Mozart, Mozart was composing his opera Don Giovanni, which was essentially like holding up a mirror to Casanovaâ€™s life. It is unknown how Casanova reacted to seeing what essentially his life was being shown as immoral, it is claimed that Casanova wrote lines for Don Giovanni but they were not used. Casanova spent his remaining days in Bohemia, a shell of the out going man he once was. In 1797, he received word that the state of Venice no longer existed after Napoleon had taken it over. Casanova passed away on June 4th, 1798. Casanova joined Freemasonry on his first trip to Paris. He was fascinated by the rituals of the fraternity. He would use his Masonic connections over and over again as he travelled around Europe and tried to ingratiate himself to the local nobility. Casanova was a member of Lodge of the Duke of Clermont. Sourced from http://www.thefraternity.info/ References to Freemasonry can be found sprinkled throughout his MĂŠmoires. The major references can be found on pages 276-79, tome II, chapter xiii and page 286, tome VIII, chapter xi of the Librarie Garnier Freres edition
Fraternal Societies Of the World â€˜The Ancient Egyptian Order of Sciotsâ€™
boosters and brothers and has the same right of protection, as has the household. Its membership shall be composed of our best citizens, moral, upright, virtuous, law-abiding fathers, husbands, sons and brothers, and all of them Masons in good standing. The idea was an instant success. It was recognized that such an Organization filled a long-felt want because it brought the brethren into closer contact in their daily lives; fostered the true spirit of fraternity; caused men to forget their worries, troubles and cares of life; made them look upon the bright side of things and gave them new hope and much joy. The slogan was: BOOST ONE ANOTHER!
In 1905 a number of Masons Met in Mission Masonic Temple, in the City of San Francisco, for the purpose of forming a social club, where Masons could get together on an equal footing, free from the restraint of the lodge room, yet organized for the purpose of furthering Masonic teachings and applying, in a practical way, in everyday business affairs, the teachings of the fraternity. The result of this meeting was the organization of the "Boosters". Charles H.S. Pratt, known for many years for his activity in boosting his Brethren and wherever he could render assistance or boost them along, was chosen the head of the order and given the title of Kadih Al Malik, or King of the Ceremonials. A Constitution and By-Laws were adopted, which vested the Government of the Organization in a Council of Twelve. The purpose of the Organization was set forth as follows: It is secret, not that it has anything to conceal, but simply that it may choose its own associates. It is to be one family of 11
The first Ceremonial and Banquet was held at Pioneer Hall, San Francisco, December 12, 1905, and the Organization as a live factor in Masonic Circles came into being. The earthquake and fire of April 18, 1906, having destroyed the meeting place and reduced a part of San Francisco to ruins, the Sciots devoted their time and money to such releif as came under their observation. In the course of time it was discovered that on account of the popularity attained by this Organization there were a number of other organizations that had taken the name of "Boosters". A general meeting was called for January 23, 1910, at which time the name was changed to "Sciots" as typifying every- thing that it stood for in the way of ritual assistance, social and fraternal intercourse. The Government of the Organization was changed from the Committee of Twelve to the Supreme Pyramid, the first Supreme Pyramid, similar to a Council, was composed of the Committee of Twelve, all of whom were
made Pharaohs, which is the highest honour that can be conferred in the order. They adopted the following preamble: "To bind closer the time of Masonic Brotherhood, to promote the well- being and elevate the condition of its members, to widen the field and increase the harvest of brotherly love; to cultivate the Social and Fraternal Instincts and increase the Happiness of those who are or may become members of it; to provide for its Government, and to lay the foundation of a permanent Fraternal and Social Organization." At the same time the official name was declared to be: "ANCIENT EGYPTIAN ORDER OF SCIOTS"
The Government of the Order is vested solely in the Supreme Pyramid, the the officers of which are a Pharaoh, a Supreme Mobib, Supreme Armeses, Supreme Pastophori, Supreme Lecturer, Supreme Scribe, Supreme Chancellor, Supreme Mazai, Supreme Marshal, Supreme Standard Bearer, Supreme Neokori, and Supreme Chief of the Me. The Supreme Pyramid meets semiannually in the month of May and annually in the month of November, at a city selected by vote of the Supreme Pyramid in Annual Session. At the Annual Session most colorful parades are held and pageantry unfolded to the populace. During the interim between the Sessions of the Supreme Pyramid, the Pharaoh is in absolute authority and his rulings stand as the law of the order until modified or set aside by the Supreme Body. But one subordinate pyramid can be established in any one city. Fifty Masons in good standing,
who may sign a petition to that effect, if the same is approved, shall be deemed as sufficient - "to organize a Pyramid". There are many inquiries at hand as to what are the Sciots, and that question this pamphlet is expected to answer; The Supreme Pyramid is composed of Past Pharaohs, Past Pharaohs Honorary, Toparchs, Past Toparchs and representatives elected by the subordinate Pyramids on the basis of one representative for each one hundred members in good standing, and for a fraction of one hundred if over sixty; provided that no Pyramid shall have more than five representatives, and provided further that any Pyramid having less than one hundred members shall have one representative. Past Toparchs have a collective vote for each Pyramid. The Organization has been called the Blue Lodge Shrine. That is only true so far as the eligibility to membership and the amusement features, being referred to as the accepted term, "The Playground of Masonry" is concerned, as every Blue Lodge Mason is eligible to become a Sciot and thereby entitled to enjoy the social intercourse of on organization in his own locality which in many instances is now denied him. The practical features of the Sciots are many and varied and closely follow the actions of our ancient brethren whom we can trace back to 1124 B.C. The Sciots maintain a Foundation Fund, which is for the rehabilitation of underprivileged children, between the ages of two and fourteen years, - no matter of what race, creed or color. They also have a Sunshine Fund for the dissemination of pleasure otherwise denied these underprivileged children. 12
Then in later years, a Youth Activity Program was instituted, which is open to all Youth Organizations, but which has so far been directed to DeMolay, Rainbow Girls, and Job's Daughters. As far as the local youth groups are concerned, the greater part of our effort is directed towards helping the new groups get started. The Sciots Youth Activity Fund also sponsers the California State DeMolay Association. By sponsoring, we mean financially. Sciotry is also the owner of seventy acres in the High Sierras bordering on the south-eastern corner of Sequoia National Park. Sciotry has made this property into a Youth Camp Site. There is also a Widows and Orphans Fund, which a Sciot under the age of sixty-one years may join for a minimal fee and nominal assessments, which pays $1000.00. The Widows and Orphans Fund Association is incorporated under the laws of the State of California. . Any further information desired, may be obtained by communicating with: http://www.sciots.org/ These societies which are featured in the newsletter do really exist; there are virtually hundreds of them throughout the World, and you can see from the ritual they were mostly all based on Freemasonry.
Origin of the Word, Freemason? In the Winter 1963 issue of THE ROYAL ARCH MASON magazine there is an article entitled â€˜Earliest use of word Freemasonâ€™ which indicates that the first known use of that word was in 1526, and then states that an earlier use of that word, if found, would arrest immediate attention among Masonic students. It then gives the opinion that correctly fixing the date when this word was first used would tell when the history of the craft took definite form. This latter conclusion would seem to be in error after consideration of the following information. I have a paperback edition of a book written by G.G. Coupon of St. Johns College, Cambridge, England, entitled Medieval Faith and Symbolism (published by Harper and Brothers, New York). This book is Part I of a larger work entitled Art and the Reformation. This is not a Masonic book, but is a learned and extensive documented survey of medieval architecture and the related arts covering the period of roughly A.D. 1000 to 1600. It gives a mass of detailed information and data regarding the operative stone masons of that period who were the architects, builders and sculptors of the great cathedrals, castles and government buildings with their accompanying statuary, gargoyles and ornaments. In his study Mr. Coulton examined the original records, contracts, building accounts and payrolls, which have been preserved with many of these ancient buildings, as well as the statutes affecting them. The information following is all extracted from that book.
Mr. Coupon states that prior to 1350 all masons came under the general term caemantarii which had been a common name for them in much earlier times, but in 1350 a statute was passed which fixed the wages of ‘master freestone masons’ at four pennies a day, of other masons at three pennies, and of their servants (apprentices) at one and one-half pennies. He says this phrase Mestre mason de franche pere is most significant for the probable origin of the term ‘freemason.’ In 1360 the statute was amended which fixed the wages of the ‘chief masters of masons’ (chiefs mestres de maceons) at four pennies a day, and the other masons at two pennies or three pennies according to their worth, and then went on to provide that: ‘All alliances and covines of masons and carpenters, and congregations, chapters, ordinances and oaths betwixt them made, or to be made, shall be from henceforth void and wholly annulled; so that every mason and carpenter, of what condition that he be, shall be compelled by his master to whom he serveth to do every work that to him pertaineth to do, or of free stone, or of rough stone.’ Here again is an indication suggestive of the original derivation of ‘freemason’ from ‘free stone.’
About 1830, Wycliff, the English reformer, was much concerned at the self-seeking, which the guilds encouraged, and specially ‘Men of subtle craft, as Freemasons and others, who conspire together to refuse statutory wages and insist upon a rise.’ Here is the first instance that Mr. Coulton found of the use of the word Freemason.
Many of the masons were bondmen or serfs under the old feudal system, but no serf or bondman was accepted into the masons’ guilds. Many masons, who had enough work near their homes and had no need to travel, did not join the guilds. But the guild was of extreme importance to those masons who travelled from place to place for work. Mr. Coulton surmises that the term ‘Freemason’ might have grown up; it did gradually come to connote certain privileges enjoyed by the master masons who belonged to the guilds.
In 1444 we have the first statutory occurrence of the name Freemason – ‘ frank mason.’ Such Freemasons, like master carpenters, are to take five pennies a day, while the rough-mason and undercarpenter take only four pennies.
In the original building records of Eton College near Oxford (which was begun in February 1441) Mr. Coulton states that often the same man would be called ‘mason,’ ‘freemason’ or ‘master mason,’ just as an English college teacher might be called ‘master,’ ‘doctor’ or ‘professor.’ The accountant at first calls the freemasons simply ‘masons’ and adds the full title as time goes on, but by February 1442 the payroll listed 41 employees as ‘freemasons,’ which was a separate classification of masons. The payroll listed, for instance, on the week ending May 28, 1442: 49 Freemasons, 14 rough masons, 16 carpenters, 2 sawyers, 2 daubers, 1 jacker, 1 tiler, 10 hard hewers and 28 labourers. Six years later, an estimate for the chapel work in the same building reckons the need of 40 to 60 ‘Freemasons,’ 12 to 20 masons of Kent called ‘hard hewers’ and 12 layers.
In 1495 the statute is in English, and the word is ‘Freemason.’ He and the roughmason are now valued at the same wage of six pennies a day. In 1513 the mastermason who contracted to finish King’s College Chapel undertook to ‘keep continually 60 ‘Freemasons’ working upon the same works.’ In 1515 the ‘Freemasons, 14
rough-masons and carpenters’ of the City of London sent a petition to the King. In 1548, for the first time in any one statute, comes the three-fold classification of ‘Freemasons, rough- masons, and hardhewers.’ In Sir Thomas Elyot’s Latin Dictionary (1538) caementarium is translated ‘rough masons, which do make only walls.’ In Cooper’s Latin Dictionary (1578) caementarius is translated ‘a dauber, a pargeter, a rough-mason’; and latomas is translated as ‘a mason, one that cutteth and diggeth stones.’ In 1602 the Oxford English Dictionary states that at Burford, the ‘master freemason’ and the ‘master roughmason’ who were employed together on a job were paid five pennies a day. Mr. Coulton says that in the Eton College accounts the ‘hard-hewers’ are evidently connected with the Kentish rag-stone, of which large quantities were used in the upper courses of the chapel. Their job was rather that of quarryman than of the skilled mason, and they probably worked with axes, not with chisels. The hard-hewer, then, dealt with stone in its most elementary form, and it is probable that he was often regularly employed in preparing the work for his more skilled colleagues. For those who may be interested, the above book by G. G. Coulton also has a chapter dealing with the masons’ marks on stones, and another chapter regarding the stonemasons - grip and signs and means of recognition, and still another chapter dealing with the advancement of apprentices to journeymen and then to master masons. Sourced from The Royal Arch Mason – Winter 1964 by Bird H. Dolby, PGHP (Maryland)
DID YOU KNOW? Question: What are ‘cowans’ and why were they excluded from the Craft? Answer. The O.E.D. definition is: `One who builds dry stone walls (i.e., with-out mortar); a dry-stone-diker; applied derogatorily to one who does the work of a mason, but who has not been regularly apprenticed or bred to the trade'. Cowan is an essentially Scottish trade term, and it belongs to the time when lodges, as trade-controlling bodies, put restrictions against the employment of cowans, in order to protect the fully-trained men of the Craft from competition by unskilled labour. The earliest official ban against cowans appeared in the Schaw Statutes in 1598: Item, that no master or fellow of craft receive any cowans to work in his society or company nor send any of his servants to work with cowans, under the penalty of twenty pounds so often any person offends hereunder. The first record of a breach of this rule is the oldest surviving minute of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) dated 31 July 1599; [word for word, in modern spelling]: George Patoun, mason, granted and confessed that he had offended against the Deacon and Masters for placing of a cowan to work at a chimney-head for two days and a half.. . He made `humble submission' offering to pay whatever fine might be imposed. Having regard to `his estait' the offence
was pardoned, but with a strict warning to all future offenders. The minutes suggest that the Edinburgh masons were very well behaved in this respect, perhaps because of the limited and clearly-defined area under the control of the Lodge. At Kilwinning, where the Lodge had jurisdiction over a very wide territory, with consequent difficulties of proper supervision, a large number of breaches were recorded and substantial fines were paid in each case. Cowans also appear regularly in the minutes of several other old Scottish Lodges. Nevertheless, there are several records for Edinburgh Castle, in 1616 and 1626, where cowans were permitted to work, apparently on certain special duties and when no masons were employed in the same weeks. Some of these unspecified jobs must have been exceptional, because `One cowan received 16s. 8d. a day, one 13s., one 12s., one 10s., and two 6s., as compared with a mason's normal rate of 12s. a day on the same building operations. (Knoop and Jones, The Scottish Mason and the Mason Word, pp. 28-9. Manchester Univ. Press, 1939.) In the Burgh of the Canongate, adjoining Edinburgh, cowans were able to attain to a higher status and the minutes of the Incorporation of Wrights, Coopers and Masons &c. show how readily the ban against cowans could be lifted when trade conditions (or local circumstances) permitted. On 27 May 1636, John McCoull was admitted to the Freedom `during his lyftyme to work as a cowan any work with stone and clay only and without lime'. For this privilege, he was to pay ÂŁ4 a year to the Craft or the boxmaster (i.e.
treasurer) in four instalments, with a doubled fine if he failed to pay. On 30 May 1649 Williame Reull was admitted ... during his lifetime to work as a cowan any work with stone and clay only without lime except only to cast with lime timber doors cheeks and timber windows and clay chimney heads . . . within the Canongate and whole Regality of Broughton .. . Reull was to pay ÂŁ6 a year, again in four instalments and with doubled penalties for any failure. There are altogether some fifteen records of `cowaners' admitted to work in the Canongate, including several men from neighbouring areas, and several records of penalties levied for infringement of the rules when they dared to undertake work that was not permitted to them. (A. A. A. Murray, `Freeman and Cowan with Special Reference to the Records of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning'. AQC, Vol. 21, pp. 198-9.) In 1705, the minutes of Lodge Mother Kilwinning indicate that although there were still some restrictions, the employment of cowans was occasionally to be permitted in the territory under its jurisdiction, but always depending on the availability of labour. The Lodge resolved: ... that no man shall employ a cowan, which is to say without the word [i.e., the Mason word] to work; if there be one mason to be found within fifteen miles he is not to employ a cowan under the penalty of forty shillings, Scots.
The above answers were given by W. Bro. Harry Carr, a former Secretary of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076.
Rays of Masonry â€œOld Time Masonryâ€? Many Brothers refer to Masonry of another generation as "Old Time Masonry." The next generation, too, will refer to Masons of our day, using the same expression. It is true that we are living in what seems to be the "efficient age." Yet when we yearn for a type of Masonry that we believe existed in another day, and when we feel some anxiety about Masonry of today, we are looking at scenes rather than events. Scenes change. Customs change. But the character of man does not change. The principles of Freemasonry, founded upon the irrevocable Laws of the Creator, do not change. The Mason placed in any period of history would be the same Mason. The Mason who attends lodge regularly, who comes to know the members of his lodge as brothers and friends, understands "Old Time Masonry" is a living, vital factor in the present, just as it has been through the centuries. A crisis arises. From our lodges throughout the world, Masons, men who know the value of freedom, and the sacrifices necessary to preserve it, come forth and willingly offer their lives in defense of Masonic principles. In spirit they are the same as those Masons of Washington's days. Masonry and the Mason are "Old Time" whether of yesterday or today. Dewey Wollstein 1953.
Country Lodge "It was the funniest thing I ever saw!" "What was?" asked the Old Tyler of the New Brother. "That lodge meeting I attended Hicksville. Listen, and I'll tell you!"
"I'm listening. Anyone who can find a lodge meeting funny deserves to be listened to!" answered the Old Tyler. "The lodge room was funny!" began the New Brother. "Lodge rooms ought to have leather-covered furniture and electric lights, a handsome painting in the east, an organ, be dignified, like ours. This lodge room was over the post office. There were two stoves in it. And every now and then the Junior Deacon put coal on! The Lesser Lights were kerosene lamps, and the Altar looked like
an overgrown soap box! The benches were just chairs, and they didn't have any lantern or slides- just an old chart to point to in the lecture.
mind. A man who is slovenly in dress is apt to be slovenly in his heart. A lodge which reveres the work probably reveres the meaning behind the work.
But it wasn't so much the room, it was the way they did their work. You'd have thought they were legislating for a world, not just having a lodge meeting. Such preciseness, such slow walking, such making every move and sign as if it were a drill team. There wasn't a smile cracked the whole evening and even at refreshment, there wasn't much talking or laughing. I'm glad to belong to a lodge where people are human!"
"You criticize the Hicksville Lodge because it is too precise. Would that our own was more so! The officers who have so deep a regard for appearances can only have learned it through a thoughtful appreciation of what the appearances stand for.
"Yes," answered the Old Tyler, "I expect it is." "Expect what is?" "Impossible for a New Brother to understand the work of a country lodge," answered the Old Tiler. "What you saw wasn't funny. Listen - it is you who are funny." "Me funny? Why, what do..." "I said for you to listen!" sternly cut in the Old Tyler. "I have never been to Hicksville, but I have visited in many country lodges and your description is accurate. But your interpretation is damnable! "Masonry is beautiful, truthful, philosophical, strives to draw men closer to God, to make them love their fellow, to be better men. Is that funny? The more regard men have for outward symbols, the more apt they are to have regard for what is within. A man who won't clean his face and hands won't have a clean heart and
"You have been taught that it is not the externals but the internals which mark a man and Mason. What difference can it make whether a lodge seats it membership on leather benches or chairs, or the floor, or doesn't seat them at all? Our ancient brethren, so we are taught, met on hills and in valleys. Think you that they sat on leather benches, or the grass? "It's good to have a fine hall to meet in. It's a joy to have an organ and electric lights and a stereopticon to show handsome slides. But all of these are merely easy ways of teaching the Masonic lesson. Doubtless Lincoln would have enjoyed electric lights to study by, instead of firelight. Doubtless he would have learned a little more in the same time had he had more books and better facilities. But he learned enough to make him live forever. "We teach in a handsome hall, with beautiful accessories. If we teach as well as the poor country lodge with its chairs for benches, its kerosene lamps for Lesser Lights, its harmonium for organ, its chart for lantern slides, we can congratulate ourselves. When we look at the little lodge with its humble equipment, thank the Great Architect that there is so grand a system of philosophy, with so universal an appeal, as 18
to make men content to study and practice it, regardless of external conditions. "I do not know Hicksville Lodge, but it would be an even bet that they saved up money to get better lodge furniture and spent it to send some sick brother South or West, or to provide an education for the orphans of some brother who couldn't do it for his children. In a country lodge you will get a sandwich and a cup of coffee after the meeting, in place of the elaborate banquet you may eat in the city; in the country lodge you will find few dress suits and not often a fine orator, but you will find a Masonic spirit, a feeling of genuine brotherly regard, which is too often absent in the larger, richer, city lodge. "I find nothing 'funny' in the dignity and the seriousness of our country brethren. I find nothing of humour in poverty, nor anything but sweet Masonic service in the Junior Deacon putting coal on the fire. Would that we had a few brethren as serious, to put coal upon our Masonic fires, to warm us all." "You've put coals of fire on my head!" answered the New Brother, "I deserved a kicking and got off with a lecture. I'm going back to Hicksville Lodge next week and tell them what they taught me through you." "If you won't expect me to laugh, I'll go with you!" answered the Old Tyler, but his eyes smiled. This is the fifty seventh article in this regular feature, ‘The Old Tiler Talks,’ each month we publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
Sun, Moon and Stars
We have more right to be astonished that the astronomical references are so few, rather than to be surprised that there are so many! We are taught that geometry and Masonry were originally synonymous terms and geometry, fifth of the seven liberal arts and sciences, is given more prominence in our Fellowcraft degree than the seventh, astronomy. Yet the beginnings of astronomy far antedate the earliest geometrician. Indeed, geometry came into existence to answer the ceaseless questionings of man as to the “why” of celestial phenomena. In these modern days it is difficult to visualize the vital importance of the heavens generally, to early man. We can hardly conceive of their terror of the eclipse and the comet, or sense their veneration for the Sun and his bride, the Moon. We are too well educated. We know too much about “the proportions which connect this vast machine.” The astronomer has pushed back the frontiers of his science beyond the inquiries of most of us; the questions which occur as a result of unaided visual observations have all been answered. We have substituted facts for fancies regarding the sun, the moon, the solar system, the comet and the eclipse. Albert Pike, the great Masonic student “who found
Masonry in a hovel and left her in a palace” says: We cannot, even in the remotest degree, feel, though we may partially and imperfectly imagine, how those great, primitive, simple-hearted children of Nature, felt in regard to the Starry Hosts, there upon the slopes of the Himalayas, on the Chaldean plains, in the Persian and Median deserts, and upon the banks of the great, strange River, the Nile. To them the universe was alive - instinct with forces and powers, mysterious and beyond their comprehension. To them it was no machine, no great system of clockwork; but a great live creature, in sympathy with or inimical to man. To them, all was mystery and a miracle, and the stars flashing overhead spoke to their hearts almost in an audible language. Jupiter, with its kingly splendours, was the Emperor of the starry legions. Venus looked lovingly on the earth and blessed it; Mars with his crimson fires threatened war and misfortune; and Saturn, cold and grave, chilled and repelled them. The ever-changing moon, faithful companion of the sun, was a constant miracle and wonder; the Sun himself the visible emblem of the creative and generative power. To them the earth was a great plain, over which the sun, the moon and the planets revolved, its servants, framed to give it light. Of the stars, some were beneficent existences that brought with them Spring-time and fruits and flowers - some, faithful, sentinels, advising them of coming inundations, of the season of storm and of deadly winds some heralds of evil, which, steadily foretelling. They seemed to cause. To them the eclipse, were portents of evil, and their causes hidden in mystery, and supernatural. The
regular returns of the stars, the comings of Arcturus, Orion, Sirius, the Pleides and Aldebaran; and the journeyings of the Sun, were voluntary and not mechanical to them. What wonder that astronomy became to them the most important of sciences; that those who learned it became rulers; and that vast edifices, the pyramids, the tower or Temple of Bel, and other like erections elsewhere in the East, were builded for astronomical purposes? - and what wonder that, in their great childlike simplicity, they worshipped the Light, the Sun, the Planets, and the stars; and personified them, and eagerly believed in the histories invented for them; in that age when the capacity for belief was infinite; as indeed, if we but reflect, it still is and ever will be?” Anglo-Saxons usually consider history as their history; science as their science; religion as their religion. This somewhat naive viewpoint is hardly substantiated by a less egoistic survey of knowledge. Columbus’s sailors believed they would “fall off the edge” of a flat world, yet Pythagoras knew the earth to be a ball. The ecliptic was known before Solomon’s Temple was built. The Chinese predicted eclipses long, long before the Europeans of the middle age quit regarding them as portents of doom! Astronomical lore of Freemasonry is very old. The foundations of our degrees are far more ancient than we can prove by documentary evidence. It is surely not stretching credulity to believe that the study which antedates “Geometry, the first and noblest of sciences,” must have been impressed on our Order, its ceremonies and its symbols, long before Preston and Webb worked their ingenious revolutions in our rituals and gave us the system of degrees we use - in one form or another - today. 20
The astronomical references in our degrees begin with the points of the compass; East, West, and South; and the place of darkness, the North. We are taught the reason why the North is a place of darkness by the position of Solomon’s Temple with reference to the ecliptic, a most important astronomical conception. The Sun is the Past Master’s own symbol; our Masters rule their lodges - or are supposed to! with the same regularity with the Sun rules the day and the Moon governs the night. Our explanation of our Lesser Lights is obviously an adaption of a concept which dates back to the earliest of religions; specifically to the Egyptian Isis, Orsiris and Horus; represented by the Sun, Moon and Venus. Circumambulation about the Altar is in imitation of the course of the Sun. We traverse our lodges from East to West by way of the South, as did the Sun Worshipers who thus imitated the daily passage of their deity through the heavens. Measures of time are wholly a matter of astronomy. Days and nights were before man, and consequently before astronomy, but hours and minutes, high twelve and low twelve, are inventions of the mind, depending upon the astronomical observation of the Sun at Meridian to determine noon, and consequently all other periods of time. Indeed, we are taught this in the Middle Chamber work, in which we give to Geometry the premier place as a means by which the astronomer may “fix the duration of time and seasons, years and cycles.” Atop the Pillars representing those in the porch of King Solomon’s Temple appear the terrestrial and celestial globes. In the Fellowcraft degree we are told in beautiful 21
and poetic language that “numberless worlds are around us, all framed by the same Divine Artist, which roll through the vast expanse and are all conducted by the same unerring law of nature.” Our Ancient brethren, observing that the sun rose and set, easily determining East and West in a general way. As the rises and sets through a variation of 47 degrees north and south during a six month’s period the determination was not exact. The earliest Chaldean star gazers, progenitors of the astronomers of later ages, saw that the apparently revolving heavens pivoted on a point nearly coincident with a certain star. We know that the true north diverges about from the North Star one and one-half degrees, but their observations were sufficiently accurate to determine a North - and consequently East, West and South. The reference to the ecliptic in the Sublime Degree has puzzled many a brother who has not studied the elements of astronomy. The earliest astronomers defined the ecliptic as the hypothetical “circular” plane of the earth’s path about the sun, with the sun in the “centre.” As a matter of fact, the sun is not in the centre and the earth’s path about sun is not circular. The earth travels once about the sun in three hundred and sixty-five days, and a fraction, on an “elliptic” path; the sun is at one of the foci of that ellipse. The axis of the earth, about which it turns once in twenty-four hours, thus making a night and a day, is inclined to this hypothetical plane by 23 and one-half degrees. At one point in its yearly path, the north pole of the earth is inclined towards the sun by this amount. Half way further around in its path the north pole is inclined away from the sun by this angle. The longest day in
the northern hemisphere - June 21st occurs when the north pole is most inclined toward the sun. Ant building situated between latitudes 23 and one-half north and 23 and one-half south of the equator, will receive the rays of the sun at meridian (high twelve, or noon) from the north at some time during the year. King Solomon’s Temple at Jerusalem, being in latitude 31 degrees 47 seconds north, lay beyond this limit. At no time in the year, therefore, did the sun or moon at meridian “darts its rays into the northerly portion thereof.” As astronomy in Europe is comparatively modern, some have argued that this reason for considering the North, Masonically, as a place of darkness, must also be comparatively modern. This is wholly mistaken - Pythagoras (to go further back) recognized the obliquity of the world’s axis to the ecliptic, as well as that the earth was a sphere suspended in space. While Pythagoras (510 B.C.) is much younger than Solomon’s Temple, he is almost two thousand years older than the beginnings of astronomy in Europe. The “world celestial and terrestrial” on the brazen pillars were added by modern ritual makers. Solomon knew them not, but contemporaries of Solomon believed the heavens to be a sphere revolving around the earth. To them the earth stood still; a hollow sphere with its inner surface dotted with stars. The slowly turning “celestial sphere” is as old as mankind’s observations of the “starry decked heavens.” It is to be noted that terrestrial and celestial spheres are both used as emblems of universality. They are not mere
duplications for emphasis; they teach their own individual part of “universality.” What is “universal” on the earth - as for instance, the necessity of mankind to breathe, drink water, and eat in order to live - is not necessarily “universal” in all the universe. We have no knowledge that any other planet in our solar system is inhabited what evidence there is, is rather to the contrary. We have no knowledge that any other sun has any inhabited planets in its system. Neither have we any knowledge that they have not. If life does exist in some other, to us unknown world, it may be entirely different from life on this planet. Hence a symbol of universality which applied only to earth would be a self-contradiction. Real universality means what it says. It appertains to the whole universe. While a Mason’s charity, considered as giving relief to the poor and distressed, must obviously be confined to this particular planet, his charity of thought may, so we are taught, extend “through the boundless realms of eternity.” Hence “the world terrestrial” and “the world celestial” on our representations of the pillars, in denoting universality mean that the principles of our Order are not founded upon mere earthly conditions and transient truths, but rest upon Divine and limitless foundations, coexistent with the whole cosmos and its creator. We are taught of the “All Seeing Eye whom the Sun, Moon and Stars obey and under whose watchful care even comets perform their stupendous revolutions.” In this astronomical reference is, oddly enough, a potent argument, both for the extreme care in the transmission of ritual 22
unchanged from mouth to ear, and the urgent necessity of curbing wellintentioned brethren who wish to “improve” the ritual. The word “revolution” in this paragraph (it is so printed in the earliest Webb monitors) fixes it as a comparatively modern conception. Tycho Brahe, progenitor of the modern maker and user of fine instruments among astronomers, whose discoveries have left an indelible impress on astronomy, made no attempt to consider comets as orbital bodies. Galileo thought them “emanations of the atmosphere.” Not until the seventeenth century was well underway did a few daring spirits suggest that these celestial portents of evil, these terribly heavenly demons which had inspired terror in the hearts of men for uncounted generations, were actually parts of the solar system, and that many if not most of them were periodic, actually returning again and again; in other words, that they revolved about the sun. Obviously, then, this passage of our ritual cannot have come down to us by a “word of mouth” transmission from an epoch earlier than that in which men first commenced to believe that a comet was not an augury of evil but a part of the solar system. The so-called “lunar lodges” have far more a practical than an astronomical basis. In the early days of Masonry, both in England and in this country, many if not most lodges, met on dates fixed in advance, but according to the time when the moon was full; not because the moon “Governed” the night, but because it illuminated the traveller’s path! In days when roads were but muddy paths between town and hamlet, when any journey was hazardous and on black nights 23
dangerous in the extreme, the natural illumination of the moon, making the road easy to find and the depredations of highwaymen the more difficult, was a matter of some moment! One final curious derivation of a Masonic symbol from the heavens and we are through. The symbol universally associated with the Stewards of a Masonic lodge is the cornucopia. According to the mythology of the Greeks, which go back to the very dawn of civilization, the God Zeus was nourished in infancy from the milk of a goat, Amalthea. In gratitude, the God placed Amalthea forever in the heavens as a constellation, but first gave one of Amalthea’s horns to his nurses with the assurance that it would forever pour for them whatever they desired! The “horn of plenty,” or the cornucopia, is thus a symbol of abundance. The goat from which it came may be found by the curious among the constellations under the name of Capricorn. The “Tropic of Capricorn” of our school days is the southern limit of the swing of the sun on the path which marks the ecliptic, on which it inclines first its north and then its south pole towards our luminary. Hence there is a connection, not the less direct for being tenuous, between out Stewards, their symbol, the lights in the lodge, the “place of darkness” and Solomon’s Temple. Of such curious links and interesting bypaths is the study of astronomy and its connection with Freemasonry, the more beautiful when we see eye to eye with the Psalmist in the Great Light; “The Heavens Declare the Glory of God and the Firmament Sheweth His Handiwork.”
Sourced from SHORT TALK BULLETIN - Vol.VIII March, 1930 No.3.
DID YOU KNOW? Question: What is the origin and significance of the Three Steps and the First Regular Step? Answer. The use of three steps in the course of the ceremonies, or for advancing to the W.M. or to the Altar, is very old practice, but the manner in which the steps were taken is not described in the early texts. In the Grand Mystery of FreeMasons Discover'd, of 1724, and in its twin, the Institution of Free Masons, of c. 1725, there is a question: Q. How many Steps belong to a right Mason? A. Three. But these two documents have nothing more on the subject. A Mason's Confession, which is supposed to represent lodge practice of c. 1727 (but was published in 1755-6), speaks of three chalk lines drawn on the lodge floor, and reproduces a rough diagram showing the lines with a set of three right-angles, indicating that the `advance' was by three steps, the feet being placed in the form of a right-angle at each step, and, if the diagram is to be trusted, it seems that the Candidate advanced sideways, i.e., with his left shoulder towards the W.M., but, although the steps are described very clearly, they are not explained in any way. The Wilkinson MS., c. 1727, and Prichard's Masonry Dissected, 1730, both mention that the Candidates of their day took three steps towards the Master, as a preliminary to the Obligation. Thus it seems fairly certain that the three steps were in use before 1730, and although we
do not know how many there were for each degree, or how they were taken, it would appear that only three steps were known. By this time a certain amount of symbolism was already making its appearance in the ritual and it seems rather strange that the significance of the steps was never explained. In 1745 the European exposures, French and German, give good evidence that the steps in the third degree had been expanded into something approaching modern practice and they are shown in diagram as three zig-zag steps. Note, there were then only three steps, but they still remained without verbal or written explanation or symbolism. An English exposure of 1760, Three Distinct Knocks, which is supposed to represent the practice of the Antients, indicates that their Cands. took only one step in the 1!, two in the 2! and three in the 3!, and this may indeed have been Antient practice, but we cannot be certain. Laurence Dermott, their Grand Secretary, in the 1778 edition of Ahiman Rezon (their Book of Constitutions), derided the various steps used by the Moderns, and, if we read between the lines of his criticism, it looks as though Moderns' practice in this respect was by this time approaching our presentday custom. After many years' observations on those ingenious methods of walking up to a brother &c., I conclude, that the first was invented by a Man grievously afflicted with the Sciatica. The Second by a Sailor, much accustomed to the rolling of a Ship. And the third by a man, who for recreation or through excess of strong liquors, was wont to dance the drunken Peasant. 24
Dermott, of course, was being malicious, but two noteworthy points emerge from all this. First, that the Moderns' Grand Lodge, the older foundation, had adopted substantial changes in practice. Secondly, that practices were by no means uniform in regard to the steps. The extraordinary thing is that even at this late date there seems to have been no explanation or symbolism attaching to the various methods of `advancing', and this leads to the conclusion that any interpretation offered on this point nowadays is a comparatively modern introduction. John Coustos, in his confession to the Inquisition at Lisbon in 1742, spoke of three steps (and seven steps), the first of them always `heel to heel', and apparently they were all `heel to heel'. The modern practice of a particular place for the R.H. seems to have been unknown in the eighteenth century. The Pilgrim Lodge, No. 238, London, take only three steps in all degrees, and this serves to emphasize that the variations in practice that existed in the eighteenth century still exist to this day. The step (feet forming a square) goes back to c. 1700. In the Sloane MS. of that date, we find: Another signe is placing their right heell to the inside of their left in forme of a square so walk a few steps backward and forward and at every third step make a Little Stand placeing their feet Squre as aforesd. Are we safe in drawing a distinction between `heel to heel' and `inside of their left [heel]'? Undoubtedly, the step, 25
however it was made, was already a means of recognition, and in the next thirty years or so we begin to find evidence of three steps. In 1730 there were still three steps prior to the Obligation and entrusting. In the 1760s the E.A. was `taught' to take only one step as a preliminary to the Obligation and the entrusting that followed it. The F.C. took two steps, and the M.M. took first the one E.A. step, then the two F.C. steps, and finally three M.M. steps. Note: all these steps were before the Obligation. There is no record, so far as I know, of additional steps before the entrusting. In Browne's Master Key, of 1802 (one of the last major works on ritual to appear before the Union in 1813), the E.A. advanced `by three regular steps' to the Master for the Obligation, and no step is mentioned for the `entrusting'. The three steps are symbolically explained as follows: What do they morally teach us? Upright lives and well squared intentions.
Later, in the N.E., the Candidate stood with his feet forming a square, symbol of `a just and upright man and Mason'. I quote these only to show how practices were developing during the eighteenth century. They were standardized at the Union. On the symbology, I have little to offer, because none of the early records explains the symbolism of the steps. We work that out for ourselves (the simpler the better), and Browne's explanation, above, is certainly adequate.
The above answers were given by W. Bro. Harry Carr, a former Secretary of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076.
Lodge Chaplains I have been asked the question many times. If Freemasonry is not a religious institution, why do Lodges have chaplains? The immediate response is that the military and police have chaplains too, yet these are not religious institutions. Their chaplains are appointed to provide counselling and support, especially in times of crisis; they do not administer liturgical or theological services unless specifically requested. However, it is a flawed analogy, because Lodge chaplains are not merely or mostly pastoral workers but carry out a liturgical role. On being invested, a Masonic chaplain is told quite clearly, “Your duty is to offer up prayers and invocations to the Great Architect of the Universe”. His role encompasses also the reading or reciting of Biblical passages, especially at the opening of the Lodge in the three degrees. Yet his prayers and readings are tightly prescribed and nondenominational, other than in the sense that they assume the general belief in the Deity which Masonic membership requires (though in some places there is specific Christian content). Further, the chaplain does not have to be, and frequently is not, an ordained clergyman; any Mason is able to be appointed and act as Lodge chaplain. The general concept of chaplaincy derives from a Biblical passage in Deuteronomy 20 concerning the conduct of an Israelite military operation. The kohen mashu’ach lamilchamah, “the priest anointed for battle”, was a spiritual adviser to the soldiers, available and required to sustain their morale and faith. A major difference from the Masonic model is the professional nature of military
chaplaincy. A second is that the military chaplain serves two masters – both the Almighty and the military leadership. The name “chaplain” first appears in British military history in the reign of Edward I between 1272 and 1305, but chaplaincy historians derive the word from a much earlier source, the story of St. Martin of Tours in the 4th century. Concerned for a starving, shivering beggar on a freezing cold night, Martin, a soldier, took off his cloak, cut it into two and gave half to the beggar. His dream that night of Jesus wearing the half cloak turned him into a believer. He was eventually the patron saint of the kings of France, who carried his cloak (capella) into battle to symbolise the Divine presence. The keeper of the cloak (capellanus) was the king’s spiritual adviser (i.e. chaplain) and the place where the cloak was housed was called a chapel. Though William of Hawthorne (early 18th century) spoke blithely of the chaplain being charged “to keep the army in the fear of God”, it was never easy to be responsible at one and the same time to two institutions, the church and the army, and to this day chaplains experience an internal tugof-war. The tug-of-war problem does not arise in Masonry, which recognises no dichotomy between religion and life. The chaplain is not a semi-outsider but a Mason like any other Mason. His chaplaincy is not on behalf of an outside organisation but arises from within and is integral to the Masonic world view. As we often say, Masonry is religious but not a religion. Nonetheless it might have been better if the craft had chosen a different name for the chaplain. Less confusion would have been caused and we would have suffered less criticism. By Rt. Wor. Bro. Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple, AO RFD, Past Deputy Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales & the Australian Capital Territory. Click the name to go to his website.
The Order of the Golden Fleece "My brother, I have now the pleasure of presenting you with a lambskin or white leathern apron. It is an emblem of innocence and the badge of a Mason, more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle; more honourable than the Star & Garter, or any other Order that can be conferred upon you at this or any future period by king, prince, potentate, or any other person except he be a Mason." Upon hearing these words do we ever wonder just what all these named honours betoken? The Star & Garter is an honour bestowed by the English Crown. The Roman Eagle remains a mystery to this writer. The Golden Fleece reference brings to mind three different experiences. The first is Biblical. In the Book of Judges (6:28-40) it is recorded that Gideon has been directed to enter into battle with the Midianites, Amalekites, and the people of the East. While Gideon is faithful to sound the trumpet and call together various tribes of Israel to engage the enemy, he has some reservations about the forthcoming battle. So, in effect, he puts God to the test about God's promise that Gideon will prevail. And the scripture text is an account of a miracle of sheep's fleece, consisting in the dew having fallen at one time on the fleece laid out by Gideon with out any dew on the ground about, and at another time with the fleece remaining dry while the ground was wet with the morning dew. Since this is an account of doubt and failure to trust in God's word, it is doubtful that the writers of our Masonic ritual were thinking of 27
Gideon's fleece as they composed this particular piece of ritual related to our pristine aprons, emblems of innocence and badges of great honour. The second is mythological. Surely, many of us have heard and/or read of the valiant efforts of Jason and the Argonauts to reclaim Jason's throne stolen from him by a wicked cousin. The entire epic poem tells of the many dangers and trials encountered by these brave men pledged one to the other. In reading this great poem, the treacherous intrigues entered into by the pagan gods, the deceit of humans, the lying of one to another, the dishonour brought upon families because of lust, murder and mayhem, it is hard to conceive that the great ritual writers had this ancient account of Golden Fleece as the basis for the bestowal of aprons upon newly initiated brothers. Therefore, our inquiry leads us further to investigate an imperial Order of the Golden Fleece of the Holy Roman Emperor. Interestingly, the founder of this Order looked to both of the previously discussed references, however, lifting them both to a higher spiritual plane through contemporaneous interpretation to achieve acceptance by the Sovereign. It was during the marriage celebration for Duke Philip the Good and his third wife, Princess Isabella of Portugal on January 1, 1430, that the Herald of Flanders announced to the assembled guests that his master, His Most Serene and Powerful Prince and Lord, the Duke of Burgundy, Count of Flanders and Artois, and Palgrave of Namur, had founded a new Order, The Order of the Golden Fleece. The first ceremonial meeting of the new Order occurred on November 30, 1431, on the
feast day of the Apostle Andrew, patron saint of the House of Burgundy and now of the new Order. At that time, the regulations of the new Order were acknowledged in the presence of the Duke and the first 24 knights nominated by him. The Order of the Golden Fleece was intended as a knightly brotherhood and a friendly alliance of noblemen. Membership was originally intended to be limited to 31; although various subsequent emperors increased that number to 51 and eventually to 70. Requirements included that the nominees be noblemen "in name and arms" and 'truly devoted' to the sovereign of the Order, the respective bearer of the title Duke of Burgundy. The principal aims of thee Order were to promote the glory of God and to defend the Christian faith. At its inception, the use of the word â€œOrderâ€? was carefully chosen to instil the deeply held respect for religious Orders as was contemporaneously held by other knightly Orders. Membership was thus experienced as a strong, holy bond by which one pledged loyalty to the sovereign of the Order. Probably one of the reasons that Duke Philip conceived the Order was political, creating a band of extremely faithful nobleman loyal to himself and his dynasty. In the beginning, those who received the honour of membership were the highest-ranking nobles of the realm. Thus the Order of the Golden Fleece outshone all other Orders with its wealth, standing, and splendour of the Burgundian dukes. The Order of the Golden Fleece claimed pride of place among all the Christian Orders, and later when the Hapsburghs of Austria acquired all the Spanish property and titles they consolidated this position with even grander accoutrements to accompany the
bestowal of membership in this extremely selective Order. Philip the Good used the positive aspects of the Greek myth of Jason and the Golden Fleece as the springboard for the Order. And upon the Order's first meeting, the chancellor interpreted the Miracle of the Fleece demanded by Gideon in a "politically correct" manner so as to receive the Emperor's approval. Being extremely devout Christians, the Emperor laid a solid spiritual foundation for the Order and had the outstanding artisans of the day create elaborate and exquisite liturgical vestments for the celebrants to wear upon the occasion of chapter meetings. Additionally, these artists created outstanding robes and collars for the recipients to wear at all festive occasions pass post cards and books with pictures of capes, etc. Upon initiation into the Order, the newly elected knight laid one hand on the Gospel, the other on the Cross of Allegiance, which contained a particle of the True Cross, and swore to abide by the statues of the Order. He then received the neck chain of the Order around his neck. On festive occasion members of the Order were permitted to wear the magnificent robes of the Order, which had been crafted in bright red, white or black, according to the event. For a chapter to meet and conduct business, in addition to the Sovereign, four officers were appointed: a chancellor, a treasurer, a secretary and historian, and a king-at-arms. With the passage of time and the transfer of realms from house to house for variety of reasons, the Treasury of the Order was eventually evacuated from Brussels under pressure from the French 28
Revolutionary army in 1797 along with the liturgical vestments. Some of these treasures are in the Imperial Art treasure museum in Vienna, Austria. In viewing these beautifully crafted treasures today and having the eye of history, one can understand the pride and honour a recipient would have. And knowing the intrigue and political machinations of that day, one can envision how a recipient would take great care to make his opponents aware of his stature with the Emperor. Thus, speculative Masons should be all the more honoured and humbled to have bestowed upon them by their peers the distinctive white lambskin apron denoting their membership in our humble craft. Sourced from; The Order of the Golden Fleece by RW R. L. Boetnner - Presented at Madison Lodge 14 January 2004
The Art of Masonry Let drunkards boast the power of wine, And reel from side to side; Let lovers kneel at Beauty's shrine, The sport of female pride: Be ours the more exalted part To celebrate the masons' art, And spread its praises wide. To dens and thickets, dark and rude, For shelter beasts repair; With sticks and straws the feathered brood Suspend their nests in air; And man untaught, as wild as these, Binds up sad huts with boughs of trees, And feeds on wretched fare. 29
But science dawning in his mind, The quarry he explores; Industry and the arts combined Improved all nature's stores; Thus walls were built, and houses reared, No storms nor tempest now are feared Within his well framed doors. When stately palaces arise, When columns grace the hall, When towers and spires salute the skies, We owe to masons all! Nor buildings only do they give, But teach men how within to live, And yield to reason's call. All party quarrels they detest, For virtue and the arts, Lodged in each true mason's breast, Unite and rule their hearts. By these, while masons square their minds, The state no better subjects finds, None act more upright parts. When royal houses are forgot, Free-masons will remain; Mushrooms, each day, spring up and rot, While oaks stretch o'er the plain: Let others quarrel, rant, and roar; Their noisy revels when no more, Still masonry shall reign. Our leathern aprons we compare With garters red and blue; Princes and kings our brothers are, May they our rules pursue; Then drink success and health to all The craft around this earthly ball, May brethren still prove true.
This poem was taken from William Harvey’s booklet, ‘Masonic readings and recitations.’ As Published in 1834 in the Universal Songster.
KIRKWALL SCROLL Part Two William Graham could have acquired the scroll from his father Alexander Graham, who was a merchant trader in Stromness. As a Royal Burgh, of Kirkwall held a royal monopoly on trade with Orkney, only Kirkwall burgesses had the right to import and export. But this was not accepted by the rising merchant class of Stromness. Orkney historian Willie Thomson said of them: Matters came to a head in 1742, when Alexander Graham and a number of fellow Stromness merchants received an assessment from Kirkwall magistrates: Graham was required to pay a mere £16 Scots, but Kirkwall was to find him a stubborn, single minded and litigious opponent, ultimately willing to ruin himself and his family for principle, or perhaps just cheer obstinacy. The case dragged on for sixteen years through local courts, to the Court of Sessions and eventually to the House of Lords, where Alexander Graham was ultimately victorious. Alexander Graham was trading in small luxuries with ships passing through Aberdeen. Consequently, he could well have the opportunity to acquire a Masonic floorcloth from that long established Masonic centre, (often Masonic relics pass into the hands of non Masonic relatives, who end up selling them). His son William was living in London, where he made a living as a house painter.
He joined his local Masonic Lodge, No 128 in the Atholl or Antient Constitution, which before 1771 met at the Red Horse Inn in the Old Bond street. (The Atholl, or Ancient Constitution was a breakaway group of Masons, unhappy with the Grand Lodge of London’s Hanoverian leanings, who felt the Hanoverians had betrayed the ancient Scottish teachings of Freemasonry. In 1748 they set up their own Grand Lodge under the Duke of Atholl’s patronage and worked a ritual they claimed was truer to “Ancient freemasonry”. They called Masons of the Grand Lodge of London” the Moderns”, and themselves “the Ancients”.) William was described by his friends as ‘Mason-mad’, and followed the Scottish traditions of Masonry, would certainly recognise the value of such a floorcloth. Alexander spent a considerable time in London while his dispute was heard in the House of Lords, and at this time he could have given the Scroll to his son. So here, there is a feasible way for William to come on the Scroll. But how did Lodge Kirkwall Kilwinning acquire this Scroll? William Graham returns to Orkney in 1785, and was invited by the new Master Robert Baikie to attend his installation and soon afterwards asked the brethren to accept Graham as a joining member of the Lodge. Graham joined the Lodge on the 27 December 1785. A month later he presented the Master and the Lodge with a Masonic treasure, the floorcloth or Scroll. The minutes for 27 January 1786 record: 30
The Master presented to the Lodge a floorcloth, gifted to the Brethren by Bro William Graham of 128 of the Ancient Constitution of England. After his death, he left in his will a ceremonial shroud, known as Mort Cloth, (Kirkwall Scroll) and various books to the Lodge. We do not know who painted the Scroll, and if William Graham painted the side parts. This we will never know. But let us go back to the Scroll and try to ascertain the reason it was painted? Wilmshurst explained it thus in a series of Lodge lectures he gave in 1929. In early days, when the Craft was not a popular social institution but a serious discipline in a philosophic and sacred science, instruction was not treated casually. The Board was not, as now, a product of the Masonic furnisherâ€™s factory; it was the most revered symbol in the Lodge; it was a diagram which every Brother was taught to draw for himself, so that both his hand and his understanding might be trained in Masonic work. The literary records show that at each Lodge meeting the Board of the degree about to be worked was actually drawn from memory with chalk and charcoal on the floor of the Lodge by the Master; who from previous practice was able to do this quickly and accurately. In advancing from the West to East during the ceremony, the candidate took the steps of the degree over the diagram. The diagram was explained to him as an integral part of the ceremony, and before being restored to his personal comforts, he was required to expunge it with a mop and pail of water; so that uninitiated eyes might not see it and that he might learn a first lesson in humility and secrecy. 31
In the course of the 18th century the drawing of the diagram from memory upon the ground was superseded. First by the painted floorcloths and afterwards by wooden boards resting on trestles on which the diagram was permanently painted. The boards are cryptic prescriptions of a world-old science; taught and practised in secret in all ages by the few, spiritually ripe and courageous enough for following a higher path of life than is possible as yet to the popular world. The detailed interpretation of their symbolism is necessarily difficult, for symbols always comprise so much more that can be verbally explained, and few Masons have as yet educated themselves in the language of ancient esoteric symbolism. When we look to the drawing, we see from the bottom Masonic pictures what looks like, what we call the blue degrees, and when going upwards we find other Orders, but the story does not flow. Taking a long look at the Scroll and going back to the time it was supposed to be used by the masons I came to the conclusion that in 1400 for the most part people could not read and write. The masons were operative masons, so this floorcloth was maybe used for teaching but not the same way we do in modern Freemasonry. The top part of the scroll starts with the creation of the world and Adam & Eve in paradise. At this time most of the people belong to the Christian faith. As many could not read or write most of the teaching was done by symbols. Like the Bible. When I start from the top, the beginning, now this Scroll makes some sense. But this is purely my idea, and I could be wrong!
So let us look and follow the seven middle pictures or steps in this painting.
entrance (West), later it became a church for the Virgin Mary.
Here we see the Garden of Eden, with Eve under the tree, animals around her, but where
There is also another link between Freyja and early Freemasonry. All key events of
Scottish Freemasonry take place on the feast day of St John the Evangelist – 27 December, but this is also the feast day of the Goddess Freyja’s birth.
Or is this picture telling us something different? So let us find out. We forget that in those times until 1468 Orkney remained Norse and they worshipped a range of Gods and Goddesses. One of their favourites is the Goddess Freyja, who gives her name to our Friday. She is originally worshipped as a fertility goddess, but often portrayed as a goddess of love, beauty, and attraction. A temple to Freyja was built at Trondheim by Sir William St Clair’s ancestors, and it was from them that he derived his claim to the Norse Earldom of Orkney. Here are some further points of Masonic interest. The temple was built facing eastward and had two pillars standing at the
And close to Xmas and the winter solstice. This is when the days are getting longer i.e., Light or Rebirth. Is this pure coincidence? This is telling me of the beginning of Earth, and the evolution of all life forms. The story of creation; so if the Gods formed the human race by having intercourse that makes us both Divine and human; then the conclusion could be, we all are part Gods and can therefore create our own world. Part 3 of this Kirkwall Scroll article will continue in the March Issue of the SRA76 Magazine. Again we are thankful to W.Bro. Fred Vandenberg of lodge Kring Niew Holland in Melbourne Australia, the Masonic Study Circle.
THE EMBLEMS OF FREEMASONRY The First Degree The Rough Ashlar. The Rough Ashlar is a stone, rough and unhewn, as taken from the quarry. By the industry and ingenuity of the workman it is modelled, wrought into due form, and rendered fit for the intended building. In its rough state it represents the mind of man in its infant or primitive condition - rough and unpolished as that stone - until by the care and instruction of parents and guardians in giving him a liberal education lie is made a fit member of civilised society. The Perfect Ashlar. The Perfect Ashlar is a stone of a true die, and fit only to be tried by the Square and Compasses. As a finely finished stone ready for its place in the building, it represents Man, educated and refined, who passes his days in acts of piety and virtue, living always by the Square of Godâ€™s Word, and the Compasses of a good conscience. Centre. A Centre is a point within a circle from which all parts of the circumference are equidistant. As the Circle of Masonic Duty is contained in the V... of the S.. L..., then the Centre is a point from which no Master Mason can err. It represents the Throne of God, the Great Architect and Creator of the Universe, who radiates light through boundless space. A Lodge working in the third degree is always declared as opened on the Centre. The reason for this is that all present are of equal rank, no one is nearer to or further from the Centre than any of his brethren, whereas in the inferior degrees of F.C. and E.A. this, necessarily, is not the case. Circle. The Circle, which plays so prominent a part in Freemasonry, is doubtless derived from the circuit of the Sun in the Heavens, It represents the Boundary Line of a Freemason 5 conduct, and the Circle of his duty is that laid down in the V... of the S... L..., which teaches him the important duty he owes to God, to his neighbour and to himself. The Circle is bounded between North and South by two grand parallel lines, one of which in ancient days represented Moses, and the other King Solomon, but in Christian times these represent the Holy Saints, John the Baptist and John the Evangelist. On the upper part of the Circle rests the V... of the S... L..., which contains the Laws and the Prophets, and which supports Jacobâ€™s ladder, the top of which reaches to Heaven. If the Freemason were as conversant with the Holy Book and as true to the doctrines contained therein, as these early and later parallels were, he would be led to Him who will not deceive neither will He suffer deception. In traversing the Circle, the Freemason must of necessity touch both of those parallel lines as well as the V... of the S... L and while he keeps himself thus circumscribed it is not possible for him to err. 33
The Three Virtues. The Three Virtues of an Entered Apprentice Freemason are an Attentive Ear, a Silent Tongue, and a Faithful heart. These are symbolically described as the Precious Jewels of the First Degree. An Attentive Ear. The Freemason should ever lend an attentive ear to his superiors, whose duty it is to instruct him in the paths of virtue and science ; but more especially should he be ready to listen to the calls and cries of a worthy brother in distress. Day by day the attentive ear may hear lessons of wisdom from the mouth of Mother Nature, and the Freemason who devotes himself to a patient study of the science will find that the Craft is eloquent for those who have ears to hear. A Silent Tongue. The silent tongue should be a prominent characteristic in every Freemason. It is an essential virtue, as by its means the valuable secrets of the Fraternity may be hidden from the curious world. The emblem of a Silent Tongue is a Bell reclining on its side. A Faithful Heart. A Heart faithful to the best interests of the brotherhood is a safe repository in which the Freemason may lock up his secrets, and also those of a Brother when entrusted to his charge. It is one of the Five Points of Fellowship which bind the members of the Fraternity in a sincere and true communion of brotherly affection. Chalk. Chalk is an emblem of Freedom, one of the three qualifications necessary to promote independence, devotion, and love in the heart of every faithful servant. There is nothing freer than Chalk, the slightest touch of which leaves a trace behind. Charcoal. Charcoal is emblematical of Fervency, another of the qualifications which are necessary to the promotion of independence, devotion and love in the heart of every faithful servant. It is adopted as this emblem because no heat is more fervent than that emitted by burning charcoal, for, when properly lighted, metals cannot resist its force. Earth. Earth is an emblem of zeal, since there is nothing more zealous than earth to bring forth. The Freemason should ever be zealous in the pursuit of knowledge, in the practice of charity, and in the cause of truth and righteousness, ever remembering that Mother Earth is daily labouring for our support, and will receive us all into her ample bosom at last. This monthly feature is taken from William Harvey’s book, “The Emblems of Freemasonry” 1918.
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor. 34
Published on Jan 29, 2017