Volume 17 Issue 2 No. 132 February 2021
Cover Story, The Lewis The Key to a Better Lodge Relieve Their Necessities Did You Know? Ancient Allusions Lodge Greenock Kilwinning No. XII Famous Freemasons – Harry Corbett and Sooty The Old Past Master Mason’s Marks at Stonehenge Lets go out and Sell Freemasonry Due Form Did You Know? The Back Page – The Working Tools of a Newly Made Father
Main Website – Tools
In this Issue: Cover Story ‘The Lewis’ The Lewis, a device for lifting a block of stone, a son of a Mason, and a piece of Lodge furniture. This article looks at the definition and usage of this term and masonic tool. Page 9, ‘The Key to a Better Lodge’ So your a new Master, what now? Page 11, ‘Relieve their Necessities’ Page 13, ‘Did You Know?’ Questions about the Craft. Page 15, ‘Ancient Allusions’ Page 17, ‘Lodge Greenock Kilwinning No. XII. A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 19, ‘Harry Corbett and Sooty’ Famous Freemasons. Page 21, ‘The Old Past Master.’ “Do you study Geometry”, Nineteenth in the series. Page 23, ‘Reflections.’ ‘Mason’s Marks at Stonehenge.’ Page 27, ‘Lets Go Out And Sell Freemasonry.’ Page 28, ‘Due Form’ What does this mean in Ritual? Page 30, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 33, ‘The Back Page.’ The Working Tools of a Newly Made Father In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘Tools’ [link] Front cover –A stock graphic of a cut-away block of stone with a Lewis in place. 2
arrangement of metal pieces that gives its name to the whole structure. Definition and Derivation of the Word In most rituals, the only reference to the Lewis is in the Lecture of the First Tracing Board, where it is written that the Lewis signifies strength and the son of a Mason. Certain privileges are also mentioned. The Lewis is, however, far more important than is indicated by this scant ritual reference. The dictionary defines a Lewis as, "An iron dovetailed tenon, made in sections, which can be fitted into a dovetailed mortice, for example, an iron contrivance for raising heavy blocks of stone." Many suggestions have been put forward on how this word became adopted into the stonemason's craft, but no completely satisfactory explanation has been forthcoming. Many ideas display no more than the almost inexhaustible imagination of their authors.
Introduction Brethren! How many of you can remember distinctly your Initiation and all the strange and bewildering events that took place on that night, when you took your first Masonic steps. Without doubt, your strongest recollection, as designed, would be of the position in which you found yourself placed, in the NorthEast Corner of the Lodge Room. Only after having seen other Candidates Initiated, would you have become aware of the actual ceremony itself.
One explanation of the derivation of the word, "Lewis", stems from the Anglicism of certain Masonic terms from Hebrew and French. During the 18th and 19th centuries, it was not uncommon for the British to adopt affectations of speech, such as the false lisp, pronouncing the letter, "v" for, "w" and vice versa. This letter trait is particularly noticeable in Dickensian characters. Developing this hypothesis, it is possible to produce the word, "Lewis" as a corrupt singular form of the word, "Levite". The Standard English Dictionary defines the Levite as, "as one of the tribe of Levi, whose members were priests of the sanctuary in ancient Israel (to 586 BC) and later (when priesthood was restricted to descendants of Aaron's family) assisted priests in caring for the Temple." It we allow that the Old Testament is the basis for many Masonic terms, then, "Lewis", could be substituted for the younger entrants (or assistants) in either the Jewish or Masonic Temple.
At the time of your Initiation, mention would have been made of the various Jewels and Furnishings of the Lodge. As time and your proficiency in the Craft increased, many of them would have become more familiar to you. However, one item of Lodge furniture somehow seems to have become overlooked, maybe forgotten, but perhaps, more accurately, overshadowed. In those countries around the world where Freemasonry began under the influence of the English Grand Lodges, it is not uncommon to find, standing somewhere in the Lodge Room, what is known as a "Lewis". This piece of equipment takes the form of a tripod, or derrick, supporting, by means of a rope, a block of stone, usually in the form of a Perfect Ashlar. The way the rope is connected to the stone is by means of a five-piece metal cramp and it is this 3
The most generally accepted view is that the Lewis is derived from the French, “louve”, meaning, "she wolf". The word, “louve”, refers to the whole Lewis assembly. It is also generally accepted that the, “louveteau”, which means "wolf cub", or "little cub", refers to the two outer wedge shaped side pieces of the Lewis assembly. The word, “louveteau, was used, in France in the 1740's, to describe the son of a Mason, in the same way that "Lewis" was used, in England about the year 1738, to designate the uninitiated son of a Freemason.
and in conjunction with the Perfect Ashlar in the tripod assembly. It is noteworthy that once the English practice became popular, it found its way back across the English Channel, and was readily adopted by the French. They, however, adopted the view that the word came from the name, "Louis". The Implement of Operative Masonry The operative mason used three types of Lewis, namely; the three-legged, the chain and the split-pin Lewis. The common fivepiece or three-legged Lewis with which we are familiar, consists of two tapered pieces and a centre parallel piece, connected by a shackle and pin. The two tapered pieces are inserted into the Lewis hole and then the centre piece is placed in position. The shackle and pin are then connected and the stone is then ready to be lifted. The chain and split-pin Lewis are unknown to us as Speculative Freemasons.
It must be noted that, in the Egyptian mysteries of Isis, the Candidate was made to wear the mask of a wolf's head, hence, in these mysteries, a wolf and a Candidate were synonymous. This Osirian Rite arose from the legend that Osiris once assumed the form of a wolf during a contest with his brother, and ultimate slayer, Typhon. Within Greek mythology, according to Mackey, the wolf was consecrated to Apollo because of the similarity between "luke", meaning "light" and "lukos", meaning, "wolf". According to Ambosius Macrobius, a Roman grammarian of about AD400, the Ancients perceived a relationship between the wolf and the sun (or Apollo). As the flocks of sheep and cattle fly at the sight of the wolf, so the stars disappear at the approach of the sun.
In Operative practice, the Lewis has the advantage in that it lifts the stone and lowers it directly into its final position. This cannot be achieved by chains, or ropes. It also avoids damage to external visible surfaces of the stone, which results from the use of grabs. Our familiar three-legged Lewis is used for doing the most difficult jobs, that is, lifting the heaviest blocks of stone. Because of the weight involved, the forces exerted are high and, therefore, it is useful for handling only strong, sound stone. Weak stones, or stones with flaws or cracks, would crack, or break away. Thus we learn from the Operative practice that the use of the Lewis indicates strength.
Adopting the generally accepted view that the word, "Lewis", was handed down to us from the French, it is quite likely that the Rev. Dr. James Anderson incorporated it into the practice of the so-called English Moderns. This would have been done when he, according to himself, was asked by the infant Grand Lodge of England in September 1721, to "digest the old Gothic Constitutions in a new and better method". Thus he adopted the word both in its right
The Masonic Lewis Just as the Lewis works only with good, strong, perfect stone, so Freemasonry exerts its greatest influence on men of good, sound character. The use of the word, “Lewis”, in modern Speculative practice is a logical 4
development from its use in early operative days. The early Scottish manuscripts reveal that the Lewis, in the second half of the 17th century, was familiar with the Mason trade, because he had completed an apprenticeship in that trade. However, like a cowan, he was not a member of the Lodge, nor was he in possession of the Mason word.
people associated with Operative and the Speculative Masonry, have been designated by "The Masonic Word - 'Lewis'". Masonic Baptism and Adoption Masonic ceremonies of Baptism and Adoption are very closely allied and at one time were probably performed simultaneously. They were never popular in Regular Jurisdictions in spite of some attempts to promote interest in them. Albert Pike prepared a ritual for the ceremony of Adoption entitled, "Offices of Masonic Baptism, Reception of a Louveteau and Adoption". The ritual was published by the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction, United States of America, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Mackey records that the earliest reference to such ceremonies being practised in the USA, was in the Foyer Maçonnique Lodge of New Orleans, in 1859.
There is no doubt that the Lewis and particularly the later development of the Lewis being incorporated in the tripod arrangement, with the Perfect Ashlar, was of particular significance to the "Moderns". As far as the "Antients" were concerned, it was nothing more than another "Modern" innovation and therefore, worthy only of scorn. The "Moderns" were of a different mind. They included the Lewis, in one form or another, in the frontispiece of several editions of their Book of Constitutions. The union of the "Antients" and "Moderns" brought about the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England in 1813. Shortly before the unification, the greatest opponent of the "Moderns", Laurence Dermott, died and it became clear that one of the points won by them was the retention of the Lewis and tripod assembly. This is proved by the fact that it is still in use today.
The adoption of a “louveteau” created an obligation upon all members of the Lodge. They had to see to his education and, when that was completed, to furnish him, if need be, with the means of establishing him in business. A Minute, in detail, of the Adoption Ceremony was drawn up, signed by all the members of the Lodge and delivered to the “louveteau 's” father. When the “louveteau” (or Lewis) had attained the requisite age to be made a Freemason, it was necessary only, on production of the "Minute of Adoption", for him to take the Obligation. Possession of this document gave the holder the right of membership of any Lodge of his choosing, without the usual references or investigation. His character was taken for granted as being above reproach. Sadly, this preposterous assumption caused, at times, acute embarrassment to the Lodges concerned. A number of these Adopted Masons became expositors and revilers of the Craft, thereby
By the end of the 18th century, the Masonic word, "Lewis", had the meaning and significance given to it today. The Lewis of today is familiar with many of the teachings of Freemasonry, because of his father's influence upon him. Like his Operative counterpart, he has remained out of the Lodge, even though he is familiar and perhaps skilled in many of its facets. However, if he should join the Lodge, he ceases to be a Lewis and becomes a Brother - the equal of the other members of the Lodge. The early written references show that for nearly three hundred years, some 5
bringing dishonour, rather than the opposite, to the Lodge. The ceremony of Adoption is today, still practised in certain clandestine jurisdictions of France and Germany.
Grand Lodge of Victoria, includes a statement to the effect that, "The tripod bearing a perfect ashlar and lewis, suspended by a system of pulleys, when used, shall be placed at the South-west corner of the pavement." This statement demonstrates that the apparatus is not an essential part of the Lodge furnishings, but is permissible. The United Grand Lodge of Queensland specifies the same location in their official ritual. The United Grand Lodge of Western Australia laid down upon the authority of its Board of General Purposes that the tripod shall be in a position on the north side of the Senior Warden's pedestal. The Grand Lodge of South Australia specifies the north-west corner of the mosaic pavement. Lodges under the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales place their tripod assembly in some convenient corner of the Lodge Room, generally behind the organ, out-of-sight and out-of-mind.
The use of the Lewis in Lodges. The Lewis, as a piece of furniture in our Lodge Rooms and, as a subject for moralising upon, has been in use in "Modern" Lodges since the 18th century. According to current English practice, "as the Perfect Ashlar suspended from its tripod, is generally placed in the south-west, sufficiently towards the centre of the room to leave space for the Deacons and the Candidates to pass outside it." This refers, of course, to rooms set aside permanently as Lodge Rooms. In other cases, that is, where the furniture has to be stored at the conclusion of the meeting, the equipment is, of necessity, smaller. Under these conditions, the tripod is generally placed on the Senior Warden's pedestal.
The "Lewis" as Masonic Furniture It is interesting to realise that some of these Grand Lodges in Australia are, in certain cases, continuing a practice which is probably unique to them. In a small number of Lodges, the Perfect Ashlar is raised off its base when the Lodge is opened in the First Degree. It is raised a little higher in the Second Degree and higher still for the Third Degree. This process is reversed as the Lodge is closed and resumed in the First Degree. It appears that this practice, which may be likened to "flag-raising", began to lose favour towards the end of the 1930's and is found only rarely today in just one or two jurisdictions.
The use of the tripod assembly is purely of English origin, for it was unknown in Ireland and Scotland, (although Lodge Holyrood House St. Lukes No.44 S.C., was presented with one in 1897) and, as such, they can be found in a majority of Lodge Rooms throughout the British Commonwealth. In Australia, practices vary between states â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in some ways, quite considerably. Not all Australian Grand Lodges are specific as to where the tripod assembly should be placed. For example, the document titled, "Information on Lodge Working - 1979", issued by the United
However, a few Lodges still follow part of the practice. It is possible to find some Lodges in New South Wales and Victoria, in which the Perfect Ashlar is raised and lowered only when the Lodge is opened, or closed, in the First Degree. The Officer 6
performing this duty varies from Lodge to Lodge, but is generally either the Junior, or Senior Deacon.
reason of their age, ought to be exempt". It is for this reason that several jurisdictions choose to specify that the tripod assembly must be located in the West, near the Senior Warden.
The most widespread use of this practice is in the Victorian Constitution, Australia, where the Senior Deacon adjusts the Ashlar, while the Junior Deacon displays, or conceals, the Tracing Board. An interesting variation occurs in the Centenary Lodge No.54 of the Tasmanian Constitution, where the Senior Warden raises and lowers the Ashlar in the First and Second Degrees only. In this case, the Ashlar is situated on the edge of the Tessellated Pavement, in front of him. If a Third Degree is to be worked, the tripod assembly is removed from the room before the Lodge is tyled.
The reasoning behind this is that the Senior Warden, representing the setting sun, symbolises Man in the decline of years. Thus it is most appropriate that the Lewis assembly should be placed near him. Ideally, the Perfect Ashlar (or father) should be in a raised position, to indicate that the Lewis, that is, the son, is supporting him. The use of the Word in the names of Australian Lodges. An apparently unique Australian custom is the use of the word, "Lewis" in the name of a Lodge. With big, numerically strong Lodges, it is obvious that many capable Brethren never get the opportunity to demonstrate their ability and progress through the "Chairs". Many naturally become frustrated and disenchanted. Finally, they resign from the Lodge. Also, in big Lodges, fraternal fellowship is never as strong as it is in smaller Lodges. To overcome these difficulties, it had been the practice of these very strong Lodges to form spin-off, or daughter Lodges, as they have been called.
The practice of raising and lowering the Perfect Ashlar, suspended within the assembly, is dying out in all jurisdictions within Australia and in no State is it universally adopted. The use of the tripod assembly was introduced and fostered by the "Moderns" and its introduction into Australia was undoubtedly a direct result of English influence. The practice of raising and lowering the Ashlar was probably also of English origin. It is interesting to speculate that it is now only followed in a few Lodges in Australia, having died out everywhere else, including England.
All this is simple and straight-forward, with the process having been repeated many times. However, in the early part of this century, two Brethren in South Australia were in the process of submitting a petition for a new Lodge. They endeavoured to find a name for it, which would permanently identify it with the sponsoring, or Mother Lodge. They hit upon using the word, "Lewis" in its title. Ultimately, the new Lodge was formed under the auspices of Lodge Emulation No.32 of the South Australian Constitution. It was known as Lodge Emulation Lewis No.69 S.A.C., and
Some Masonic Symbolism As has been previously mentioned, the Lewis is used in Operative practice only on strong, sound stone. In the same way, Speculative Freemasonry is concerned only with individuals of the highest and strongest character. Lewis denotes strength and this is demonstrated by its use in lifting the Perfect Ashlar by means of a winch and tripod. It also alludes to the son of a Freemason, whose duty it is, "to bear the heat and burden of the day from which his parents, by 7
was consecrated on 8th August 1912, thereby becoming the first Lodge to be identified as a Lewis Lodge of Freemasons. Since that time, the use of the word, "Lewis" in Lodge names has expanded, but the practice has not been adopted outside of Australia, or indeed, throughout Australia.
and must take his place in the usual rotation of any waiting list of applicants that there may be." Clearly, this directive means that the Lewis comes first on the day of his Initiation, if there is more than one Candidate. It entitles him, by custom and not by rule, to be admitted before any other Candidate.
Lodges, like many other subjects such as ships and aeroplanes, are regarded as feminine. For example, we talk of our "Mother" Lodge, that is, the Lodge into which we were Initiated. We use the expression, "daughter Lodge", to describe the sponsoring Lodge of one newly Consecrated. How natural, therefore, to use the expression, "she wolf", or "louve", that is, "Lewis", to describe the new Lodge. By simply adding the word, "Lewis" to the name of the sponsoring Lodge, that affiliation is maintained and the close maternal link between the two Lodges remains clear for all to see.
A unique membership arrangement exists in the Alumim Lodge No.58 on the Register of the Grand Lodge of Israel. This Lodge, the name of which means, "Youth" , requires that every Initiate must be a Lewis. In this case, Lewis is defined as a man who was born after his father had been Initiated. To these Brethren, fathers and sons alike, the Masonic word, "Lewis" is of special significance. Conclusion In conclusion, we can see that the contrivance called a "Lewis" is of doubtless antiquity, being known to the ancient Romans. As a symbol of Speculative Masonry, the moral teachings attached to it would appear to have been born at the time of the transition of Operative Lodges to those of Free and Accepted Masons. The tripod and Perfect Ashlar can be seen to be of English origin. Indeed, that symbol has been appropriately recognised in England, by being incorporated into the cap badge of the Royal Masonic Institute for Boys. Although the derivation of the Masonic word, "Lewis" is lost in antiquity, to us as masons, it lives as one of the most important symbols of our Mysteries. As such it deserves much more prominence than it receives.
Lewis - The Son of a Freemason From the explanation of the First Tracing Board, we have learnt that it is the duty of the Lewis to look after the needs of his parents and, for so doing, can claim the privilege of being made a Freemason before all others. It can be claimed that this privilege is exercised by his being Initiated at the age of eighteen years, whilst others who are not Lewis's must wait until they reach the age of twenty-one. Such, however, was not the original intention. This is illustrated by an official directive issued by the Enquiry Office of the United Grand Lodge of England in these terms: "A Lewis has no special privilege other than, should there be more than one Candidate on the day of his Initiation, he can claim to be the senior for the purpose of the ceremony. He cannot claim precedence over Candidates proposed previously to himself
Sourced from the Myfreemasonry forum.
that, or about average? Are you satisfied with that attendance? If not, what are some of the things your lodge can do to improve those numbers? Remember that;
THE KEY TO A BETTER LODGE YEAR
“Freemasonry is a team sport.”
A new year in the Lodge is under way! So, how are things going in your Lodge? If you are the Master, congratulations and I hope your year has started out on a positive note. If it has, again, congratulations. But leaders of successful endeavours know there is always room for improvement. So, take the time to measure the start to your year and gauge the ways it could have been even better. If it hasn’t? Well then now is the time to fix it! Reflect on what has transpired in the first month of this new year and honestly appraise what you can do to “raise the bar” and better serve your members. Part of this process should include meeting with your Lodge officers to get their input. Remember, the old adage that “two heads are better than one” and keep in mind that one of your responsibilities is to mentor the officers as they progress through the line. The key is;
It takes the team members, working together, to create a successful lodge. First and foremost, COMMUNICATE with your members! Does your Lodge publish and email a monthly communication to the members? Is a hard print copy mailed to the older members who don’t have or use social media or email? Was the information in the communication timely and interesting? If you’re not comfortable with or technologically savvy, identify one or more of your members who may be willing to help you and your lodge by serving as a publications committee. (Great idea, editor) Second, have you analysed your lodge’s membership? Take a look at your lodge attendance book! What are the ages of those members who you haven’t seen in lodge lately? Where do they live? Which of your officers or members live in close proximity? Are they willing to serve as transportation for those brothers who may not drive at night or who have other difficulties that keep them from attending?
COMMUNICATION! Every organization, from the largest corporations in the world down to the corner shop, whether for profit or not, likely will find that their success or failure is due in large part to communication, or the lack thereof. Don’t let your lodge be a victim of a lack of communication. What percentage of your membership that lives within a reasonable distance to your lodge has attended your meetings since January first? Generally speaking, the average participation/attendance for volunteer organizations is around 10 percent. Is your Lodge doing better than that, worse than
Third, are your meetings worth the effort to attend? Remember, you are responsible for “setting the craft to work and giving them good and wholesome instruction for their labours!” How have your first several meetings been? Was something offered at every meeting that made attendance worthwhile? Did you give your members a reason to return any time soon? If not, now is the time to fix the problem. Do you have a 9
programs committee that can assist you in obtaining and scheduling quality programs that will interest and entertain your members? And yes, I said entertain.
lying in the back of a cupboard that have not seen the light of day for decades! Editor.) Don’t be afraid to think outside the box! Hold regular meetings with your Lodge and transportation committees to get progress reports and to fine tune your efforts. Above all, communicate what you are doing with your members. Publish both your intended activities and the results of the programs you have already offered. Develop interest among your members to attend your meetings. Give your members who didn’t attend a reason to say: “I’m sorry I missed that meeting. I’m marking my calendar right now, so I don’t miss the next meeting.”
Sporting events, concerts, movies, all are entertainment and all have become huge businesses that consume our time and our money. Recently I read an old paper from 1955 saying “Joe Bloggs professional football with United FC has just signed a contract for £50,000 a year to play football.” We’re a far cry from that today. Footballers make huge money, the apprentice footballer with the big teams probably makes more than £50,000 and that kind of entertainment is what your lodge meetings are competing against. “If you don’t make your meetings interesting and worth attending, then the only likely attendees will be your officers and a few “hardcore” members who attend because they’re in the habit of doing so.”
If you’re not constantly trying to improve, then there is a very good chance that you will fall short and your lodge will suffer. And if you’re not striving to improve, your lodge will move backwards. Being the Master of a lodge is not easy. This is not something that you can do “on the fly” reliably or for any extended period of time, nor are you guaranteed success because you’ve done it before. Each year is different, and its success requires planning, preparation, communication, and cooperation.
Don’t expect to turn your attendance around overnight, it will take time. That is especially true in a case where your lodge has been struggling in recent years and there is a history of a lack of activities. But if you want your lodge to survive and to prosper, the positive change needs to start somewhere, and it might just as well start with you.
I sat in a lodge installation earlier this year where the Worshipful Master was being installed for the second time. He related that he was excited and felt fortunate that there was a one-year break between his two terms. He related that he knew there were things that he should have done differently and that he now felt that this year, he would be better equipped to lead his lodge. I look forward to observing that lodge’s progress this year. Remember, the Master is only one man. The officers of the lodge are admonished that “the intelligent cooperation of his officers will do much to lighten his load.” However, the Master must lead in a constructive
Communicate! Identify a handful of key members of your lodge both from within the officers and your general membership. Sit down with them and develop a plan for improving your lodge and your meetings. Think about reviving some old, successful activities in which the lodge used to engage or introduce something new that could be of interest to your membership. (I’ll bet most Lodges have old tournament trophies for Golf, Fishing, Bowling etc., 10
manner. Do this for your lodge and for those who will succeed you as Master in future years. If you want a year that you can look back on with pride, you need to do the work now to lead your lodge in growing and improving. No matter how good your lodge is or has been, you have the remainder of this year to make it even better. Communication is the key to a successful year! You hold that key in your hand. Use it to unlock your lodge’s full potential.
The tenet of Brotherly love and relief as you can see is very much entrenched in our Craft and holds high as one of the important virtues that we need to aspire during our course of our journey in Freemasonry. Once again I ask Brethren are we doing enough or are we giving enough? That’s the question? W Bro. J.S.M. Ward in “The Moral Teaching of Freemasonry’ writes that “To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbent to all men, particularly Masons, who are linked together in one indissoluble chain of sincere affection, hence, to soothe the unhappy, sympathize in their misfortunes, compassionate their miseries and restore peace to their troubled minds, is the grand aim we have in view; in this basis we establish our friendships and our connections”.
This excellent article was sourced from Rhode Island Freemason Magazine Volume Forty-Five, Issue Four and written by By Charles Yohe, PGM – Connecticut.. The article has been slightly adapted by the editor for use in the SRA76 Magazine.
RELIEVE THEIR NECESSITIES
Giving here brethren does not necessarily imply financial or material assistance but also assistance in whatever nature the requester is seeking within reasonable bounds without detriment to ourselves and our connections. We must attend to whoever comes seeking service or relief from us. It is our duty to satisfy the need of that person through the service. We should avail ourselves of every possible occasion and render service to society and do it unhesitatingly.
One of the most important tenet’s of freemasonry is relieve or service. We as freemasons must ask ourselves whether are we doing enough, or giving enough to relieve those of need and care? The moment we entered into freemasonry during our initiation we were asked sternly from the Junior Deacon whether we would give were it in our power and we replied with affirmation that we would and that we would do it freely.
According to my preceptor, during our lives we accept the help rendered to us by many thousands. We have to pay back this debt by helping as many people as we can. What matters is the service done to a person who needs it. Your concern should only be with what kind of service or relief is required, when and where, and not the status or position of the person concerned. Offer service according to the needs of the situation. No distinctions should be made between rich and poor or the deserving and the undeserving. The primary requisite is a genuine spirit of love and fellow-feeling.
During the second degree obligation there’s a line which says “I shall encourage industry and reward merit; supply the wants or relieve the necessities of worthy Brethren to the utmost of my power”. In the third degree obligation there’s a line which goes like this…”that the posture of my daily supplication shall remind me of his wants and dispose my heart to succour his weakness and relieve his necessities….” 11
If there is no feeling of kindness and compassion, whatever service or relief that is done becomes an artificial exercise, done for getting publicity or recognition. Ostentation in rendering service or relief is harmful as it will only inflate the ego. This is bad spiritually for us.
deeper and contemplate within oneself this Absolute Truth of the hidden mystery as we constantly refer to in freemasonry will be known and he will be able to see all as ONE coming from the same stock. The desire to serve should flow from the heart and when it does opportunities to serve will appear all the time. As we serve our fellow man, so also we are serving ourselves there is no separation nothing than the Great Architect as All are one. Wherever you go to serve with a pure heart the Great Architect is there to receive the fruits of your labour of love. We should under no circumstances look forward the desire of rewards of our efforts, it should be selfless and coming pure from the heart.
We will also gain great spiritual mileage for mere fact that service to man is service to God, the Great Architect. This is because the in-dweller within our body or container, which is our soul is part of the whole omnipresent Divine Consciousness which scriptures of various faith refer to as God, the Great Architect. So if the piece of Divine power is within in each every living being then serving each and every being implies severing God, the Great Architect. For example looking at the Vedic scriptures the four Mahavakyas; (1) Tattwamasi (That Thou Art), (2) Prajnanam Brahma (Atma is itself Brahman), (3) Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman) and (4) Ayam Atma Brahma (This Atma is Brahman ) are Vedic declarations which emphasize the oneness of the individualized soul and the Supreme Soul or Divine Consciousness. Meaning there is only ONE and we are ALL ONE. (Brahman in Sanskrit means Divine Consciousness and Atma means the Soul).
A wise man wrote in the 12th century: “Whoever gives charity to the poor with bad grace and downcast looks, though he bestows a thousand gold pieces, all the merit of his action is lost. He must give with good grace, gladly, cheerfully, and with an abundance of sympathy for the poor in his plight. It is the kind word, the gentle reception and sympathetic attitude that help and encourage the poor and needy more than the giving of a coin.” So brethren the next time you provide relief don’t look and think that John is asking, or Chee Keong is asking or Subramaniam is asking but rather the Great Architect is seeking the help from you and not to attach the name to the body but look at the body as the receptacle of the supreme in-dweller before you seeking assistance. We must immediately without any hesitation serve him to the utmost of our power to relieve him of his necessities. Lastly a quote from my preceptor. - Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray. Just imagine then – How more holy those who serve and pray.
Masons are taught that because all men and women are the children of God, they are brothers and sisters, entitled to dignity, respect, and consideration of their feelings. Each person must learn and practice self– control, to make sure that his or her spiritual nature, the requirement to “do good, and avoid evil,” guides him or her when dealing with other persons. However we mortals are unable to see this because of the delusion of worldly desires that we treat each fellow brothers and sisters as distinct from ourselves and pay importance to external appearances and attachments. However if one would go
Sourced from - Singapore Masonic Reflection 16th March 2009, by Bro. Kish Ranai PM. 12
the 1841 B of C) 'within the porch of grand Lodge...for the purpose of guarding under the superintendence of the Grand Pursuivant against the admission of any but those qualified...and in all respects entitled to admission' (compare present-day B of C Rule 48).
DID YOU KNOW? Question: Why do we use the word 'Pursuivant'? Where and when did the word originate?
The duties of the Grand Pursuivant in a sense combine with those of the Inner Guard within Grand Lodge and Marshall in the 'Porch' or approaches to Grand Lodge. This may be why his emblem and jewel consist of The arms of Grand Lodge with rod and sword crossed', the two emblems thus expressing his dual function. Recent editions of the B of C do not detail the functions of the Grand Pursuivants, which are now somewhat perfunctory excepting that he does have a 'speaking part' in the Opening and Closing ceremonies in Grand, Provincial and District Grand Lodges.
Answer: The word Pursuivant first appears in connection with Freemasonry in a satirical print 'Scold Miserable Masons' published in the Westminster Journal for 8 May 1742. An officer bearing this title was appointed by the Grand Lodge of the Antients in 1752 and continued to be appointed unti1813. There is no description of his regalia but his duties ensure that the brethren who entered were entitled to do so and were properly dressed. The premier Grand Lodge never appointed such an officer. At the Union of the two Grand Lodges in 1813, numerous Grand Officers were created but not that of Grand Pursuivant, which office was resuscitated in 1833 and appointments thereto have been made ever since.
The dictionary defines a Pursuivant as: (a) an officer of the College of Arms below a Herald. (b) (b) The attendant or follower. The first part of (b) would appear to fit the Grand Pursuivant as his duty was to attend on those coming to Grand Lodge. Today there is also an heraldic implication to his office for in the Opening and Closing ceremonies he states that his duty, in part, includes seeing 'that the brethren are ranged under their respective banners'.
The 1841 edition of the Book of Constitutions contains the following description of the Grand Pursuivant's duties: 'The Grand Pursuivant is to preside over the Masters and Past Masters nominated to attend within the porch of the Grand Lodge. He is at every meeting of the Grand Lodge to preserve order in the porch and with the assistance of the brethren nominated for attendance there, to see that none, except those who are qualified and who have their proper clothing and jewels, and have signed their names to the accustomed papers, and who are in all respects entitled to admission, are admitted.'
Question: What is the Origin of the Skirret? Answer: Originally a simple cord or line used for marking ground it eventually became the skirret, a kind of reel of chalked line revolving on a centre-pin, probably used by surveyors, architects, horticulturists or gardeners for the same purpose.
The Masters and Past Masters mentioned above were those nominated (again to quote 13
The derivation of the name is one of the unsolved problems of the Masonic terminology. As one of the 'Working Tools' it probably came into our ritual around 1813 and its first appearance, in its Masonic sense, was in a letter dated 24 September 1816, in which the writer, Phillip Broadfoot, called it "The Schivit Line" He was a leading member of the Lodge of Reconciliation, 1813-1816 which was created to promulgate the ritual approved at the union of the two rival Grand Lodges in 1813. In that position, he should have known the name of the tool and how to spell it! The next appearance of the word was in print, in a collection of "Masonic Toasts" etc., in the "Free Masons' Melody", published in 1818. . . "May a Master Mason never forego the use of the skivet, pencil and compasses"
large ball of cord wound around one end of a pointed spindle, probably resembles a parsnip more than anything else. Since we have no definite root or source for the word 'skirret' is it possible that the tool took its name from the shape of a vegetable that it resembled? Question: How did Tubal-Cain come into the Ritual? Answer: The historical sections of nearly all our Old Charges contain a legend about the four children of Lamech (Gen. IV, 19-22). They were Jabal, a tent-dweller and cattle breeder; Jubal, founder of the arts of music and musical instruments; Naamah, who invented the art of weaving; and Tubal-Cain, 'an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron'.
The great Oxford English Dictionary does not give either of these two spellings. For 'Skirrit', as a tool, it gives the word 'Freemasonry' followed by two ' centrepin' definitions which paraphrases our ritual. There is no mention of its use as a tool in any trade or profession .
The story goes that fearing the world was going to be destroyed by fire or flood, they decided to preserve all 'the sciences" that they had founded, by engraving them on two pillars, one of marble that would not burn, and the other on clay-brick (lateris) that would not 'drown'. And many years after 'Noah's flood' â&#x20AC;Ś. 'these two pillars were found.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;
As to the derivation of the word, there is nothing definite. One suggestion is that it may be derived from the Old Norse, 'Skytra', which gives rise to the verb 'to skirt', to go along, around the edge of . . . as in skirting board or in marking out the ground. An alternative may be 'to skirr' i.e. to throw with a rapid skimming motion 'as a man hurls a Die or skirrs a Card (1652). But neither of these are given in the O.E.D.. as possible origins of the word skirret.
I have told the story as it is recounted in the Cooke MS, c 1410, the second oldest versions of the Old Charges, and these two pillars, not Solomon's, are the two earliest pillars in the legendary history of the Craft. It is impossible to say precisely when the name of Tubal-Cain came into Craft ritual but there is no trace of it in ritual documents until 1745. I have no doubt that this name was chosen because Tubal-Cain was the first founder of the craft in which Hiram Abif achieved fame. In fact, the Old Testament (Gen. IV: 22, and I Kings VII, 14) uses
Apart from its Masonic meaning, the only definition for 'Skirret' in the O.E.D is a water-parsnip. We are all familiar with the ornamental miniature skirret that we explain in Lodge, but the actual tool, consisting of a 14
precisely the same two Hebrew words in describing their craft, 'choreish nechosheth' a craftsman in brass.
I have been asked "Why was not a builder chosen?' Perhaps because Cain, the first builder of a city (Gen. I14 17), had murdered his brother before he started to build.
What do ancient Greek myths, medieval knights, and Roman Imperial troops have to do with Freemasonry? The four cardinal virtues used to illustrate the principle point of Freemasonry, and subsequently the points of entrance, have roots in ancient Greece and the end of the Roman Empire. The winding stairs of the Fellow Craft degree are largely based on the learning of the Trivium and Quadrivium, with their classical education themes. Yet there is one early and physically rooted connection that these things share in common; a little paragraph that men hear around the country upon becoming a Mason. This paragraph is the explanation of the Lambskin, or white leather apron.
Question: What is origin of the phrase 'darkness visible'? Answer: It appears in Milton's Paradise Lost (Bk. 1, 1.63): A dungeon horrible on all sides round As one great furnace flam'd, yet from those flames No light, but rather darkness visible Serv' only to discover sights of woe. . . This great work was begun in 1658 when Milton was already blind, and the sombre gloom of these lines may well be contrasted with the many beautiful passages in which the poet was able to conjure up his visions of light, in words which seem to acquire a greater strength and majesty because of the perpetual darkness in which he lived.
“The Lamb Skin, or White Leather Apron, which 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 and 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, which it is hoped you will wear with equal pleasure to yourself and honour to the Fraternity. “
The same phrase, 'darkness visible' was used, far less effectively, by Alexander Pope in the Donciad (Bk. iv, 1, 3) and by Gilbert White, in his Natural History of Selborne (Letter xxvi).
The white leather apron given upon initiation has been the subject of much contemplation and written speculation over the centuries. Some have speculated that it had druidic origins or that it comes to Masons from the priests of the time of the exodus in the Bible. Another tradition has that it comes from the workmen of the Temple of Solomon. Yet another tradition
The Questions and answers from ‘Did you Know’ were collected from various constitutions across the world, and in no way reflect the views or thoughts of the editor and or his Lodge or Mother Constitution.
speculates that aprons and their position worn by Masons are from a tradition of Kabbalism, esoteric Judaic schools of mysticism. Masons are often presented as the special inheritors of the wearing of white aprons around the waist. You may thus find it anti-climactic to learn that many 18th century livery companies continued to wear aprons in their profession when the Premier Grand Lodge of England began. Livery companies are a type of trade or craft corporation that have existed in the United Kingdom for centuries and derive directly from middle age guilds. The London Company of Masons is a particularly relevant example as the armorial bearings of the Grand Lodge are directly derived from this organization. These companies or guilds were given ancient precedence traditionally with the Great Twelve City Livery Companies taking pride of place. The Court of Aldermen of London determined the disputed precedence of the existing companies of 1515 and the Worshipful Company of Masons was deemed 30th of the 48. Several of these guilds used hats of various styles to designate status and also aprons. The Worshipful Company of Brewers wore aprons, and the Master had a white leather apron tied around his waist. We Free & Accepted Masons have made the apron a matter of significance to our fraternity and along the way have eschewed the white leather apron for aprons of many sizes, shapes, colours, and embroidered or painted them with special symbols and decorations. This is an interesting deviation from the second lesson taught to the initiate about the apron. The Second Section of the Entered Apprentice degree provides information on the nature of the “badge”:
purity of life and conduct which is essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge, where the Supreme Architect of the universe presides.” Here the apron’s material is not cloth or cow hide, as was often the case, but that specifically of lamb. The concept of the colour white equating to innocence and purity is woven into the ritual to add further spiritual significance to the apron. I’ll need to leave the history of colour aside for the moment. The lamb is used here as an “ancient allusion” and the first paragraph given the initiate alludes to not a white fleece, but a fleece of gold. What is the Golden Fleece and why is it important to Freemasons? The fleece compared here is that sought out by the ancient Greek hero Jason. The spectacular tale of the hero’s quest is probably the oldest. For thousands of years the tale has been told of the great sea voyage, travelling to the edge of the world - the land where the sun rises, to retrieve the celebrated fleece. The tale describes how Jason must use it to regain his kingdom and the tragedy that befalls ancient heroes. The author of our paragraph is utilizing the antiquity of the tale to make the point of how ancient the white leather apron is and imply that Masonry’s origins are ancient. The same is done with the Roman eagle, the famous standard held aloft by legions of soldiers that conquered the known world. Like we refer to the apron as a badge, so too are the golden fleece and the Roman eagle often used as heraldic badges. The court of Charlemagne and subsequent Carolingian leaders used the Roman eagle as their badge to claim the heritage of their kingdom from that of ancient Rome in the middle ages. The golden fleece would much later become a badge of other courts and of the military order of the golden fleece during the Spanish renaissance. A century
“The Lamb has in all ages been deemed an emblem of innocence. He, therefore, who wears the lambskin as a badge of Masonry, is thereby continually reminded of that 16
Lodge Greenock Kilwinning No. XII
earlier, the development of chivalry in the 100-year war between England and France of the Middle Ages would engender the creation of the “Orders of the Star and Garter”. The Most Noble Order of the Garter was founded in the middle of the 14th century by King Edward III of England. He had various political reasons to start this exclusive military order as he fought to support his claim to the throne of France. The French monarch, John II, then founded the Order of the Star a few years later in imitation. In the fires of these long wars the culture of England continued to develop in ways that were held important even in the centuries when America was founded. The apron that all candidates are given upon initiation in Great Britain and her colonies was accompanied by a statement, but the ones cited above were inserted into the ritual after the publication of a book on Freemasonry. Article by Bro. David Lavery and sourced from the Rhode Island Freemason Magazine.
A Brief Lodge History Captain Cook had yet to discover the Antipodes and Culloden was still eighteen years away when the first meeting of Lodge Greenock Kilwinning No XII was held in the hostelry of vintner Robert Moor on The Feast of St John, on 27th December 1728.
The New Candidate At a military lodge in Ireland, the brethren were delighted that their Commander in Chief had agreed to join the Craft. At the initiation ceremony, the two deacons responsible for the colonel being initiated were both ordinary soldiers in the unit. The secretary chose to record this historic event in the minutes as ‘one of those rare occasions when the candidate was led around the lodge by his “privates”.
No XII was represented at the institution of the Grand Lodge of Scotland at Mary’s Chapel, Edinburgh, on 30th November 1736. The lodge received its Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland on 12th October 1737, with the number on the roll of The Grand Lodge of Scotland based on the date of the first meeting of the lodge. As the town of Greenock prospered and expanded in shipbuilding, sugar refining, distilling and other industries, the new lodge experienced little difficulty in recruiting 17
members of eminence and importance into its ranks, as the aims and principles of the fraternity became more widely known. One such initiate, Alexander Drummond was a collector of Customs in Greenock. He joined the Lodge in February 1738 and became Master in December that year.
Sir Michael R Shaw Stewart 7th Bart. of Ardgowan was initiated into the lodge in 1847, and became not only Provincial Grand Master in 1848, but also, in 1873, the Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason. Sir Michael was Grand Master until 1882. The office of Provincial Grand Master of Renfrewshire West was held by a member of the Shaw Stewart family for over a hundred years from John Shaw Stewart, Sheriff of Stirlingshire in 1839 till Sir Walter Guy Shaw Stewart 9th Bart. MC demitted office in 1967.
In February 1739 he was commissioned by the Grand Master, The 3rd Earl of Kintore, to oversee the West County Lodges of Argyll, Clydeside, Dumbarton, Renfrew and Stirling as the first Provincial Grand Master in the Scottish Craft. A legacy of his appointment is the jewel which he presented to the lodge to be worn by the Right Worshipful Master at all regular meetings. This medallion is still part of the Right Worshipful Master's regalia and is commonly known as The Drummond Medal.
The regular meetings of the lodge were held throughout the two world wars and contact with the Brethren serving with the armed forces was maintained, financial contributions being made to services welfare and organisations for the relief of civilian casualties.
After a period of seven years the meeting place at Robert Moor's Hostelry was exchanged for the house of Bro David Govan until April 1765, when an agreement was made with the magistrates and council of the Burgh of Greenock that by contributing financial assistance to the project (equivalent to over two million pounds today) the lodge would hold a share in the property, and would thereafter secure the right in perpetuity to conduct its meetings and business in the new Town House and its replacement, the current Town Hall, without charge. The first meeting in the new venue was on 10th September 1766, and but for a short space between 1858 and 1865 while the current Town Hall was being built, all meetings were, and still are, held in the Municipal Buildings.
In the two hundred and seventy-five years and more of its existence, the Lodge Greenock Kilwinning No XII has been proud to count among its members, aristocrats, captains of industry, provosts, ministers of religion, servicemen, tradesmen, magistrates, butchers, clerks, lawyers and many others from all walks of life. All have had but one aim in view, to promote the fundamentals of our order brotherly love, relief and truth. Lodge Greenock Kilwinning No XII is the oldest organisation in Inverclyde. This History of Lodge Greenock Kilwinning XII was sourced from the Lodge Website. Please visit their excellent website at this link; here.
The Scott and Caird shipbuilding families contributed greatly to the growth and success of the lodge as did the sugar refining Kerrs and the Shaw Stewarts of Ardgowan. 18
fish and chip restaurant owned by his mother's brother Harry Ramsden, who would go on to open the ‘Harry Ramsden’ chain of fish and chip shops.
Harry Corbett and Sooty
In the year 1948, in order to entertain his children while on holiday in Blackpool, he bought the original yellow bear glove puppet, then called Teddy, in a novelty shop on the end of the resort's North Pier for seven shillings and six pence (7s/6d) (equivalent 37½p). Later he used soot to blacken its ears and nose, hence the name "Sooty". His first appearance with Sooty was in a 1952 BBC TV show, Talent Night. This particular show came from the TV Theatre at the annual British Radio Show held on this occasion at Belle Vue, Manchester. For ten days there had been nightly heats of hopefuls in the theatre culminating in each of the winners performing live on the Saturday night variety show transmitted nationally. Harry Corbett won his heat and then, by public vote, the overall winner on the live TV show. Sooty and Harry then became regulars on the BBC children's show Saturday Special from 1952–1955.
"Izzy wizzy, let's get busy"
The Daily Express TV critic wrote the day after Harry had won the talent contest, “After five minutes on the television screen, Sooty is a rival to Muffin the Mule," a huge favourite children’s TV show at the time.
Harry Corbett OBE (28 January 1918 – 17 August 1989) was an English puppeteer, magician and television and stage presenter, who is best known as the creator of the glove puppet character Sooty in 1948.
Harry soon had his own show and was a regular favourite throughout the 1950s and '60s. His show combined simple magic tricks with slapstick comedy in which Sooty usually poured liquid over or attacked Corbett. Sooty never spoke, he was able to communicate by ‘whispering’ in the ear of his handler Harry, and he made Corbett's life a misery, ruined his conjuring tricks, sprayed him with water, and from time to
Corbett was born in Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, to James W. Corbett, a coal miner, and his wife Florence, née Ramsden. A former electrician, deafness in one ear precluded Corbett from pursuing his musical ambitions to become a concert pianist, although he played the piano in the Guiseley 19
time laid about him with a distinctly rubber hammer.
In 1976, the then Prime Minister, Harold Wilson decided to award an OBE honour to Harry H. Corbett (of the TV show, Steptoe and Son, fame). The middle initial "H" was lost in the bureaucratic process, and the award went to Harry Corbett instead. Both were awarded the OBE on 1 January 1976, Harry Corbett being cited "for charitable services". In fact, at the investiture ceremony, Sooty was awarded with a miniature as well!
Since that debut on local television in 1952, Sooty has been on television shows in various forms since then. According to Guinness World Records, together they are the longest-running "non-consecutive" children's programme in the UK, with 857 episodes being aired as of 30 October 2018. In the early 60’s, Sooty was joined by other puppets; Sweep - ‘a doleful and rather dim dog’ (who communicated by a saxophone reed type squeak), Butch the dog, Ramsbottom the snake and of course Soo, a black and white lady panda, (very shy and sweetly spoken), and that’s when the trouble began, and the newspapers had a field day, albeit, all in good fun!
In 1988, Corbett was the subject of This Is Your Life, commemorating forty years in the entertainment industry and the debut of Sooty. He married Marjorie ('Tobes') Hodgson in 1944. Corbett and his wife lived in the Dorset village of Child Okeford for most of their married life. Harry Corbett died in his sleep on 17 August 1989, after playing to a capacity audience at Weymouth Pavilion in Weymouth, Dorset.
The BBC was accused of introducing a sexual element into children's television, the tabloids - even then - made merry. Finally it was agreed, that Soo the female panda could only continue if she and Sooty didn't touch, much less that the bear treat the poor thing like he treated Harry Corbett.
He was a Freemason under the jurisdiction of the United Grand Lodge of England. He was initiated in 1951 in Chevin Lodge No. 6848 in West Yorkshire. He became the lodge organist, and the lodge still meets at Otley. (UGLE)
Soo attracted further controversy, however, amid allegations that she was left to do all the housework. By way of equality of the Sixties' sexes, she thus got to mend Sooty's motorbike while Sooty and Sweep made fairy cakes. Soon, poor Sooty was even prohibited from laying about his uncle Harry with a rubber hammer.
Harry Corbett was one of the founding members of 'The Knole Lodge' in Bournemouth within the South West Area of Hampshire Freemasons, where they also made Sooty a member in a special meeting, as can been seen in the photograph which accompanies this short bio. Bro. Sooty’s foto is on display at the Lodge.
After Harry Corbett had a heart attack in 1975, he decided to retire and handed over to his son Matthew, whom Sooty had been originally bought for. However Harry did make occasional appearances on 'The Sooty Show' for several years with his son. Harry continued his one-man stage show after he gave up his television appearances.
In May 1996, Matthew Corbett sold the rights to Sooty for £1.4 million. Corbett commented: "I have worked hand in glove with Sooty for the past 20 years, but now it is time for him to stand on his own two feet. The plan is to use my 50th birthday in two
years' time as a springboard to shoot Sooty to true international stardom." Sooty did in fact become a global brand and has passed through many hands since the rights were sold, (pardon the pun) and is still appearing on popular television to this day, not bad for wee glove puppet who doesn’t talk! There have been numerous TV shows, stage shows, books, a TV documentary, guest appearances to many to name, and at one time a ‘World of Sooty ‘museum. This little bright yellow glove puppet has ben feted by the great and good since 1952 and continues to do so, all thanks to Bro. Harry H. Corbett. Did you know about Sooty;
Do You Study Geometry?
In 1996 Sooty featured on the 26p postage stamp issued by Royal Mail as part of the "Big Stars from the Small Screen – Children's TV Characters." set.
"I bought me a high school geometry the other day" confessed the Very New Mason to the Old Past Master, sitting on the benches waiting for the Worshipful Master to call the lodge to labour. "I was so much impressed with what I learned of its importance to Masons, during the Fellowcraft Degree, that I determined to go back to my school days and try again. But I am much discouraged."
The Magic Circle contains a showcase in their museum room to commemorate Sooty's magical exploits. And in 2017 Sooty was officially inducted into The Magic Circle. He is 'the first non-human to join the group of 1,000 illusionists.' Sooty raises £1m every year for the blind as a mascot of the Royal National Institute of Blind People’
"Why so?" asked the old Past Master, interested. "I recall geometry as rather an interesting subject. I don't suppose I could do a single original now, it's been so many years.... I don't know when I have looked in one!"
Let us leave Harry and Sooty with the catchphrase they closed every show with ;
"Bye bye everybody! Bye bye!"
"Why, you surprise me! I thought all good Masons must know geometry. We are taught.... how does it go?.... something about a noble science...." his voice trailed off in silence.
This article by the editor of the SRA76 magazine has been compiled from a Variety of sources freely available on the internet, some of which are; Wikipedia The Northern Echo 2006 Wihiwand - UGLE Sooty, Sweep and Soo facebook page.
"'Geometry, the first and noblest of the sciences'" quoted the Old Past Master, "' is 21
the basis on which the superstructure of Masonry is erected. By geometry, we may curiously trace Nature through her various windings, to her most concealed recesses. By it we may discover the wisdom and the goodness of the Grand Artificer of the universe and view with delight the proportions which connect this vast machine.'"
and which, in the form of his lectures modified by Webb (and somewhat tinkered with by various authorities and near authorities who at times have kept the husk and let the kernel escape!) builded better than he knew. For we may now justly and honorable take 'geometry' to mean not only the science of measurement of surface and area and the calculation of angles and distances, but to mean all measurement. And to study measurement, my son, means to study science, for all science is but measurement, and by that measurement, the deduction of laws and the unravelling of the secrets of nature.
"Yes, that's it!" agreed the Very New Mason. "And there is a lot more, isn't there?" "A whole lot!" smiled the Old Past Master, in agreement.
"I do not understand geometry anymore; it is long since I studied it. But I do study, and do try to keep my mind awake and always filling, if never full. It is true that to many a Mason the study of geometry itself would be a grand mental discipline and thus greatly improve his mind. But I do not think we are to take this admonition literally, any more than we are to accept literal interpretations for other wordings in our ritual. We meet upon the level, in Masonry, and we act upon the square. But that does not mean that we put our feet upon a carpenter's level, or sit upon stone masons' squares while we 'act.' The words are symbols of thoughts. I take the admonition to study geometry as a symbol of a thought, meaning that a Mason is to educate himself, to keep his mind open, to keep it active, to learn, to think, to develop his reason and his logic, the he may the better aid himself to know himself and his work to aid his fellowmen.
"Well, then, why doesn't a well informed Mason have to be a geometrician?" "There is certainly no reason why a good geometrician shouldn't be a good Mason," answered the Old Past Master, "but no reason why a man who doesn't know geometry shouldn't be a good Mason.â&#x20AC;?You see, my son, we hark back a great many years in much of our lectures, to a time when knowledge was neither so great nor so diversified as now. William Preston, the eminent Masonic student, scholar, writer, who lived and wrote in the latter part of the eighteenth century, conceived the idea of making the degrees in general, and the Fellowcraft degree in particular, a liberal education! A 'liberal education' in those days was comprised within what we still call, after Preston, the 'seven liberal arts and sciences.' In those days any mathematics beyond geometry was only for the very, very few; indeed, mathematics were looked upon rather askance by the common men, as being of small use in the world, save for engineers and designers and measurer's of land.
"Even Preston, literal-minded as he was, and focusing all his attention as he did, upon ritual and teaching by it and a formalism which is not yet outworn in our ranks, had a vision of what geometry might mean beside the mathematical science of angles. For.... how does it go? In our charge to a Fellowcraft, we say "Geometry, or Masonry,
"But Preston, if his lectures are no longer the real 'liberal education' which he planned, 22
Mason’s Marks at Stonehenge
originally synonymous terms, being of a divine and moral nature, is enriched with the most useful knowledge, while it proves the wonderful properties of nature, it demonstrates the more important truths of morality.' "It should be obvious that a study of mathematics of any kind cannot demonstrate morality unless it is considered a symbol as well as a science. As we are thus told in so many words to use geometry as a symbol, we may well agree with Pike, who wrote learnedly to prove a Mason's inherent right to interpret the symbols of Freemasonry for himself. To me, geometry is a symbol of science, and one which I should use to impress upon myself the need of something else. To a Mason who had had few educational advantages, the word might mean its literal sense, and he be greatly benefitted by a close study of the book which discourages you. "I do not attempt, my brother, to force upon you my understanding, or to quarrel at all with those Masons who find a different interpretation of the geometry which is Masonry as we understand it. I do but give you my ideas for whatever use they may be to you, and so you will not be discouraged in what is a praiseworthy attempt to profit by the Masonic lectures. Do you recall the end of the charge you received as a Fellowcraft?"
Brooding over Salisbury Plain in England, stands one of the wonders of the Prehistoric world, the monument known as Stonehenge. Various and wondrous theories, none of which has been complete, have been postulated to explain its existence. Probably the best known of these, and the one which is the least plausible, is that the monument was erected by the Druids. This theory is definitely not true. The stones were ancient many years before the First Druid set foot in England. The Druid theory owes it prominence to the famous antiquary, John Aubrey, who advanced the idea in 1663. Dr. William Stuckley, in his report of 1740, gave the theory more credence. Add to these famous men's beliefs, the fact that a group, which calls itself the "Most Ancient Order of Druids", though it was established in 1781, performs various unauthentic ceremonies at the monument each midsummer day, and it is apparent that these theories would so long survive. Merely let a group of people make some claim, no matter how outlandish and extravagant, and there wil1 be someone who will readily believe it.
"I.... I.... I am afraid I don't, just exactly...." "It runs this way," smiled the Old Past Master. "....'in your new character it is expected that you will conform to the principles of the Order by steadily persevering in the practice of every commendable virtue.' If you study the 'principles of the Order' you will, indeed, be learning Masonic geometry."
Freemasonry has, of course, been the target of a large number of these theorists. It is not necessary to mention the work of LePlongeon, nor Churchward, in which the claim was advanced that Freemasonry was the survival of the supposed "Lost Continent" of Mu. Neither should the Egyptian theories be dwelt upon wherein the Great Pyramid, from its orientation, and
This is the nineteenth article in this our regular feature, ‘The Old Past Master,’ each month we will publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
form the manner of its construction was supposed to be the seat of al1 arcane knowledge. The Druid theory, whether or not connected with Stonehenge, has been promulgated to explain the beginnings of the Masonic institution from the first century of its existence. Thomas Paine, though not himself a Mason, wrote a paper supposedly tracing the Masonic institution to a Druidical origin.
Recently our intelligence has been assailed by a spate of stories in the Masonic press, not only giving a Druidical origin to the Masonic institution, but purporting to prove that, on the upright sarsen stones at Stonehenge, a number of marks, allegedly made by operative Masons, appear. The only real Masonic research which has been done into the supposed connection between the Druids and Stonehenge, though it is implausible, was done by Brothers Dudley Wright and Sir Henry Lovegrove, in AQC, Vol. 15. These brethren go far afield and reintroduce the supposed ten lost tribes of Israel, etc., a subject on which far too many Masonic theories have been founded.
Winwood Reade in the "Veil of Isis", also tried to claim a Druidical basis for Freemasonry. In the European Magazine of February, 1792, George Drake, a Lieutenant of Marines, endeavoured to advance an explanation which involved the similar sounds of words in the Celtic language and in modern English. He endeavoured to convince his readers that the word Mason was derived from the goddess Maia and the "On", the supposed Celtic for man, where the word Maia's-on meant men of the May. W. J. Hughan gave this explanation short shrift. which it deserved. It is of interest, though, to note that the similarity of word sounds in various languages has been used by enthusiastic, though ignorant, brethren to endeavour to explain Masonic origins.
Actually the only Masonic connection which we have found with these stones occurs in an investigation made by Inigo Jones, early in the 17th century, in which he looked at the stones as an architect and made some well reasoned and inevitably wrong conclusions. Jones, however, whose name we preserve on the Inigo Jones manuscript, did not believe in the Druid theory. His sympathies were with the Romans: who, he stated, had undoubtedly built the structure. Since Stonehenge had first been built many years before Rome rose on the seven hills, we must regretfully abandon Jones' theory with the others.
Apparently many of our brethren cannot bear to belong to an organization which originated with a group of medieval stone workers, and must invent these outlandish explanations to give some type of mystic origin to the institution. Certainly no coincidence is too incredulous, nor any similarity too far-fetched, to give them any pause in their efforts. Merely let two stones get piled together, one on another, and some member of our fraternity will make the assertion that it must have been done by operative Masons. These same brethren would have us believe that Freemasonry is some type of ancient, arcane wisdom inherited from such semi-mystical places as Atlantis, Lemuria, or Mu.
Before entirely leaving the theories, a closer look should be taken at the most modern one. This one was postulated in 1964 by Gerald S. Hawkins, and published in 1965 as "Stonehenge Decoded". In the book Hawkins endeavours to prove that Stonehenge, though built approximately 1600 B.C., was a primitive astronomical observatory. Whether or not Mr. Hawkins' conclusions are correct, and it would appear that he has used only the evidence which is favourable to his theory, his approach is at least a scientific, hard-headed, realistic one. 24
The connections with the Masonic publications at Stonehenge first appeared in 1953. In that year there were discovered carvings of some bronze axe heads as well as a Mynacean dagger carving. Our theorists immediately came up with the explanation that these were marks of pre-historic stonemasons, and that, not only these, but a number of other Masons' marks were to be found on the stones of Stonehenge.
significant markings, the bronze axes and the dagger are the only marks on the sarsen stones. Dating these markings is difficult; but though the erection of Stonehenge was done in three different periods, a good beginning for the first markings would be approximately 1800 B.C. Perhaps the axe heads were of the axe cult of ancient Greece, perhaps there was some other reason for their being carved there, such as a group of symbolic weaponry by a Wessex chieftain. The only thing of which we can be certain is that these axes were not carved in the sarsens by any forerunners of speculative Freemasonry.
Having seen too many of these supposed proofs of the antiquity of Masonry turn out to be nothing but dreams, I determined to investigate these marks fully. Not having the time nor the money to travel to Salisbury Plains to undertake the type of investigation which would have to be made, I enlisted the aid of a friend, Anthony Chaffe of Oxford, England. Tony, while not a member of the Masonic fraternity, is a thorough and conscientious researcher. Tony visited the monuments, looked them over closely, took rubbing's of all the marks on the upright stones, and examined the entire area closely. Upon checking with Corpus Christi college, he was allowed to examine their fourteenth century manuscript which contains the oldest known drawing of Stonehenge as well as a number of other exhibits concerning the monument. He also forwarded a letter to me from Corpus Christi college which states that, within the limits of believability, there are "no Masons' marks on the drawings". nor is these any record of any in the archives of the college.
With this evidence, and with the assistance of the various agencies of Her Majesty's government, we are forced to the conclusion that the supposed Masons' marks on the pillars of Stonehenge, like many another would-be Masonic symbol, are the products of the imagination of some enthusiastic Masons who have not taken the time nor the trouble to investigate the phenomena about which they are writing. Stonehenge stands dark and gloomy on Salisbury Plain. Perhaps it was a temple, perhaps some other public building, perhaps even an observatory, as Mr. Hawkins claims. One thing of which we can be certain that it is not, is a structure erected by Operative Freemasons, complete with Masonic symbols and with Masons' marks. No matter how we would like to use this monument to establish a great antiquity for our Order, the Masons marks simply do not appear there.
Tony further went to the ministry of public works, and to the ministry of buildings and works. They advise that they have had the larger stones apart during reconstruction of the monument to keep it in its original state, and that they found nothing but the markings of axes and the bronze dagger, other than some graffiti which dates from the early fourteenth century. As far as
This is from our Regular feature of articles under the title, “Reflections.” Articles from all around the world from a variety of Constitutions and authors and adapted to use in SRA76. This is the another article from “How to Kick a Sacred Cow” series. Written by Jerry Jerry Marsengill A publication of Iowa Research Lodge # 2 Second Print - December 1978
LETS GO OUT AND SELL FREEMASONRY!
to sell Masonry to our members and we need to educate those members. Before someone comes up with the brilliant statement that his particular lodge has the entire membership already sold on Freemasonry, let me ask a few questions. How many lodges, in, can state that ten percent of their membership attend on a regular basis? How many members does your lodge have that haven’t attended since they took the third degree? How dedicated can some person be who joins an order and never takes the slightest interest in the working of that order?
Now if that title does not get your attention, I do not know what will. Freemasonry should be sold with all the expertise and all of the ability, which we can bring to the sales effort.
Am I proposing that all members become active in the ritualistic work of the Lodge? No, I am not. I am proposing that each and every member know enough about the fraternity hat he can intelligently discuss Freemasonry with anyone who might ask him about the order. I would think that we should not only educate and inspire our membership about Freemasonry but that we should continue to communicate with our entire membership and see that this membership is kept informed about current developments within the fraternity.
If you keep reading after those first two sentences, you are the man I am looking for. I am not advocating that we should go out and sell Freemasonry to the general public. I certainly am not proposing that we continue the insipid newspaper advertisements which I see far too many of in my own state. I don’t think that many of the brochures and the television spots supposedly informing the public of “what Freemasonry really is.” Not at all. What I suggest is that we sell Freemasonry to the people who really need to be sold on Freemasonry. Let’s sell Freemasonry to those who have been Freemasons for some thirty or forty years and have never bothered to learn about the Fraternity. In the USA, we used to call them “button Masons.” A friend of mine, who shall be nameless, as it might hurt him professionally, states: “How do you know yourself to be a Mason?” and he answers with: “By all the pot-metal pins which I wear on my lapel.”
A man who knows nothing about the orders to which he belongs is a man who, through ignorance and apathy, casts a negative rather than a positive vote toward that survival of Freemasonry. Source Masonic World
One Thing That You Can Always Give But Still Keep Is Your Word …..
We don’t really need advertising. We don’t need so much press-agency. What we need to do is sell Freemasonry to our own members. With some 3,000,000 salesmen out working for the fraternity, we could be a working organization once again. We need 26
"Yes," he went on, "Veiled in all'gory and illustrated in symbols – the Fatherhood of God an' the Brotherhood of Man; an' what more in Hell do you want. Look at ‘em!" he broke off, giggling. "See! See!" cried the one-footed Corporal. "I could ha' done it better myself – my one foot in France. Yes, I should think they ought to do it again!"
"All ritual is fortifying. Ritual is a natural necessity for mankind. The more things are upset, the more they fly to it. I abhor slovenly ritual anywhere. By the way, would you mind assisting at the examinations, if there are many visiting Brothers tonight? "You'll find some of ‘em very rusty but – it's the Spirit, not the Letter, that giveth life. The question of visiting Brethren is an important one. There are so many of them in London now, you see; and so few places where they can meet." So we read in the greatest of all Masonic stories, "In the Interests of the Brethren," by Rudyard Kipling. It is a vivid picture of how our gentle Craft helped its wounded members in the days of the Great War, dark, dreadful and confused. No Mason can read it aloud; a lump will climb into his throat and choke him.
Yet, in the midst of all the tragic confusion, the Master insisted that the Ritual be followed as nearly letter-perfect as possible; as had been the manner of Masonry from the first. In the Constitutions of 1738 we learn that Grand Lodge may be opened in Form, in Due Form and in Ample Form; all alike valid and with the same authority. When opened by any other Officer than the Grand Master, the Grand Lodge is opened only in "Form." If a Past Grand Master, or the Deputy Grand Master presides, it is opened in "Due Form." When the Grand Master himself is in the Chair, the grand Lodge is opened in "Ample Form." And the same is true, with but slight variations, on this side of the sea.
It tells of a Lodge of Instruction, formed by the Lodge of Faith and Works, No. 5837, for the benefit of wounded Brethren, under the guise of giving them a chance to rub up on the Ritual. The scene when the Lodge was called up at the sound of the Gavel; the rattle of crutches, the shuffle of feet – some with one leg, some with one hand – is a picture to break the heart, and mend it. The Signs were fearfully and wonderfully made!
Why does Masonry insist so strictly upon exactness in its Ritual? There is a profound reason, not to be forgotten or ignored. True, it is the Spirit, not the Letter, that giveth life; but the Letter does give a Body, without which the Spirit of Masonry would be a formless blur, losing much of its meaning, if not all of its beauty. Ceremony keeps things up; without form the spirit melts into thin air and is lost.
"D'you like it?" said the Doctor to a onefooted Brother, as they sat together, after the Lodge had been seated with difficulty. "Do I? It's Heaven to me, sittin' in Lodge again. It's all comin' back now, watching their mistakes. I haven't much religion, but all I had I learnt in Lodge," he said with flushed face.
What is true of Masonry is equally true of religion, of manners and of art. The Poet Tennyson speaks of those, "whose faith hath centre everywhere, nor cares to fix itself in form." That is, they believe in everything in general and nothing in particular. Their faith is like the earth in the story of creation, as the Bible tells it, "without form and 27
void;" a vague sentiment, as flimsy as a mist and as frail.
Masonry would be sacrificed, and its spirit evaporated. For that reason we cannot take too much pains in giving the ritual such a rendering as befits its dignity, its solemnity and its haunting beauty.
Manners, it has been said, are minor morals. That is, they are forms of a social ritual in which the spirit of courtesy and amenity finds expression. So essential are they as a form of social fellowship, that, as Emerson said, if they were lost, some gentlemen would be obliged to re-invent such a code. The phrase, "It is not done," has more than mere convention behind it. It bespeaks a standard, a sense of propriety, a fineness of feeling, a respect for the rights and feelings of others.
No wonder Masonry is jealous of its ceremonies and symbols. It hesitates to make the slightest change, even when errors have crept into the ritual, lest something precious is lost. Indeed, it is always seeking "that which is lost," not alone in its great Secret, but in all its symbols which enshrine a wisdom gray with age, often but dimly seen, and sorely needed in the hurry and medley of our giddy-paced age.
Some of our modern artists are trying to throw off the old classic forms of music, painting and poetry. The result is chaos, a formless riot of colour and sound, in which a horse may be green and a song a mere mob of notes, without melody. Without lovely form the spirit of beauty fades and is lost. Ages of experience have wrought out noble forms of art and life, which we cannot defy or ignore without disaster.
Mere formalism is always a danger. Even a lofty ritual may become a rigmarole, a thing of rut and rote. Sublime truths may be repeated like a parrot, as the creed in a church may be recited without thought or feeling, by force of habit. Still, such a habit is worth keeping, and often the uttering of great words stirs the heart with a sense of the cargoes of wonder which they hold, for such as have ears to hear.
The same is true of Masonry. Gentle, wise, mellow with age; its gracious spirit has fashioned a form, or body, or an art; if we call it so, in which its peculiar genius finds expression. Its old and lovely ritual, if rightly used, evokes the Spirit of Masonry, as each of us can testify. The mere opening of a Lodge creates a Masonic atmosphere in which the truths of Masonry seem more real and true. It weaves a spell about us, making fellowship gracious. It is a mystery; we love it, without caring to analyse it.
No matter; our fear of formalism â&#x20AC;&#x201C; its mockery and unreality â&#x20AC;&#x201C; must not blind us to the necessity of noble, stately and lovely form in which to utter and embody the truths that make us men. For that reason every part of the ritual ought to have Due Form, nothing skimped or performed perfunctorily, in order that the wise, good and beautiful truth of Masonry may have full expression and give us its full blessing. Only so can we get from it what it has to give us for our good.
By the same token, if the rhythm of the ritual is bungled, or slurred, or dealt with hastily or without dignity; its beauty is marred and its spell broken. Just imagine the opening of Lodge, or any one of the Degrees, jazzed up, rushed through with, and how horrible it would be. The soul of
Take, for example, the Opening of the Lodge, so often regarded as of no great importance in itself, save as a preliminary to what is to follow. Not so. Nothing in Masonry is more impressive, if we see it aright. As a flower "opens its Lodge," as 28
one poet puts it, when it unfolds its petals and displays its centre to the sun, which renews its life; so the opening of a Masonic Lodge is a symbol of the opening out of the human mind and heart to God. It is a drama of an inward and ineffable thing, not to be spoken of except in the poetry of symbol.
DID YOU KNOW? Question: Why do the Deacons “cross their wands” above the Candidate during prayers and Obligations? If there any particular significance in this procedure, should not the Candidate be made aware of it?
One sees more plainly in English ritual, in which the three Degrees, or grades as they name them, has each its stage. First is the stage appropriate to the Apprentice, a call to lift the mind above the level of external things. The second is a further opening, an advance in the science revealing greater things than Apprentices may know. It is an opening "upon the square," which the first Degree is not.
Answer: This is a difficult question, because there are many answers and none of them certain. The use of the wand, simply as an emblem of office goes back to ancient times, and there is little doubt that their introduction into the Craft was copied from the ceremonial use of wands in other spheres. As an example, the English exposure, Three Distinct Knocks, of 1760, in its plan of the layout of the Lodge, has a note:-
By the time we reach the Third Degree, a still deeper opening of the mind is implied, "upon the centre," for those of the Master rank, involving the use of finer powers of perception, to the very centre and depths of being. How far and to what depth any of us is able to open the Lodge of his Mind, is the measure of what Masonry is to us. As an ancient manual of initiation tells us, urging us to an inward quest:
“The Master and his two Deacons have each of them a Black Rod in their Hands, about 7 Foot High, when they open the Lodge and close it”.
"There lives a Master in the hearts of men who makes their deeds, by subtle-pulling strings, dance to what time He will. With all thy soul trust Him, and take Him for thy succour. So shalt thou gain, by grace of Him, the uttermost repose, the Eternal Peace." Such meaning, and far more than here hinted, lie hidden to most of us in the simple ceremony of opening the Lodge. How much Masonry would mean for us and do for us, if only it had its due form both of ritual and interpretation. It might not explain all riddles, but it would light many a dark path, and lead us thither where we seek to go.
But the text makes no mention at all of the Wands being used in any way during the ceremonies. The Grand Stewards carried “White Rods” in procession in 1721, but here, as with the Deacons “Black Rods” above, they were emblems of Office having no practical purpose. This suggests that the “Crossing of the Wands” probably has a symbolic significance, and it is at this point that our difficulties begin. One view is that the Deacons, at the proper moment, are forming a square with their wands. This may be directly related to an early exposure of 1730 which described the posture of the candidate at his initiation
Sourced from – STB Vol. VI No. 2 — February 1928
kneeling, with his “body with the square”. At that date, wands were not in general use in lodges, and the phrase “within the square” has usually been interpreted as a large wooden square laid on the ground, or on a kneeling-stool.
days, not were they mentioned in any of the early texts. This idea of an arch, or covering of some sort, goes back in all probability to pagan times, and relics of it have survived, especially in European country dances, in which many of the figures are executed under crossed or arched branches of blossom, or through an arch of joined hands.
Bernard Jones argued that the wands are arched nowadays to form “a gateway through which the Candidate passes to a new life”; and he quotes another view that the Deacons are forming a triangle – a symbol imbued with sacred qualities. But if so, where is the base-line?
The same idea had been brought into religious ceremonial, particularly at moments of solemn consecration. Thus the Queen of the United Kingdom walks under a canopy at her Coronation; the Holy Sacrament is carried in Roman Catholic processions under a baldachin, and a canopy covers the altar in their churches. Jewish weddings are solemnized under a canopy in their Synagogues, and in Israel (where those ceremonies are often performed in the open air) a large “tallith” or praying-shawl is held up by four congregants to form a canopy. The Hebrew word for canopy or coverings is linked with sanctity, “for all glorious things shall be covered over (or protected)”. Isaiah IV, v. 5.
In some lodges it is customary, during the Obligation, for the DoC standing behind the Candidate to join his wand to those of the Deacons, forming a tripod above the Candidate’s head. Algernon Rose suggested that this procedure was to symbolize that the Candidate at this moment “is in a state of suspense”, rather like a smooth ashlar hanging on the tripod of the S.W.’s pedestal. This must surely be the most extraordinary piece of symbolic explanation I have ever read, and it only serves to emphasize the dangers of introducing inexplicable items of “business” into our procedures, when they have no practical purpose.
In Jewish religious practice, a boy is first called to the Reading of the Law at the age of thirteen to mark his acceptance of the responsibilities of manhood. Only once a year, at the “Rejoicing of the Law” festival, all the boys in the Synagogue under the age of thirteen are called together for the Reading of the Law and when they are assembled on the Dais, a “tallith” is held above them throughout the Reading, to symbolize the supreme religious significance of the occasion.
Most of the writers on this topic have mentioned the arch of staves at a Scout’s wedding or of swords at a soldier’s wedding; but I have never seen those references linked with Masonic practice. Yet there is a definite link that goes back over 200 years. The French exposure Le Maçon Démasqué, of 1751 (published in England in 1755 as Solomon in all his Glory), describes the admission of the Candidate under an “iron vault” later described as an arch of swords (la voute ferrée … des épées croisées). There are numerous illustrations of the French ceremonies from 1745 onwards, and wands were not used in those
All this suggest that the canopy, the arch of swords, or staves, and the wands are directly associated with the idea of dedication, consecration, or a similar religious motive. 30
A priest, when blessing his congregation stretches forth his hands above them; an orthodox Jewish father, when he blesses his son on the Sabbath, also holds his hands above the child’s head, in benediction.
the view, very strongly, that the moment you have passed beyond the simple clear explanations that are actually embodied in the ritual (e.g. the Square, Level, Plumb rule, etc), the symbolism that really matters is what the Candidate can be encouraged to work out for himself. That will always be satisfying and seldom be far wrong. What we need is not more symbolism, but more encouragement!
In Masonic ritual, I have found only one example that is clearly linked with this practice. It appeared in the 4th edition of Claret’s ritual, c. 1850. For the prayer at the beginning of the Initiation ceremony, there is a footnote which says:-
The Questions and answers from ‘Did you Know’ were collected from various constitutions across the world, and in no way reflect the views or thoughts of the editor and or his Lodge or Mother Constitution
“While the Prayer is being given, the two Deacons join hands over the heads of the Candidate, holding their wands with the other”,
It should be emphasized, however, that the Crossing of Wands is not obligatory. It is the custom imported from outside the Craft, but now so well established as to be almost universal. During nearly 40 years in the Craft, I have never yet seen a Lodge in which the practice is omitted, and within my experience, the wands are only crossed or “arched” above a Candidate (i.e. never above the Chaplain of Master for the Opening of Closing prayers). For these reasons, I would suggest that the Wands are raised at those vital moments in the ceremonies to symbolize the Candidate’s dedication to the service of the Craft.
Not alone by the Apprentice Grip Can a man be raised above; Not alone by Virtue, Morality, Brotherly love; These attributes, though good to have, Are only aids, 'tis true, And serve to keep us in the Way, With worthwhile things in view. Not alone by the Fellowcraft Grip Can a mason e'er be raised; Nature and Science dispel the gloom And obstacles are effaced; The liberal Arts do lead us on, And intellect will serve, But not these things alone can save When we are wont to swerve.
In fairness, I mist add that two great experts, the late Bros. W.B. Hextall, and E.H. Cartwright were of the opinion that this practice had “passed into a custom, without any significance attaching to it”.
Not alone by the Master's Grip, Though faith be firm and true; No grip alone can raise man up, Though each may help him through. Each Grip, assisted by the other, The three Grips must entwine, To raise man to eternal life, That life in God, Divine.
As to the question, “Should not the Candidate be made aware of the significance of the raised wands”, I would say that so long as there is an acceptable symbolism, of course he should be made aware of it. But there are dangers in symbolism and I hold 31
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I now present to you the Working Tools of a newly made father: They are: The Baby Powder, The Napkin and The Safety pin. The Baby Powder is the first article placed in the hands of a new father to enable him to soothe and comfort all irritations before placing the Napkin and Safety pin on their proper base. With the Nappy he is enabled, with accuracy and precision, to cover the faces and angles of his work and thus keep rude matter in due form. The Safety Pin enables him to secure and fasten all coverings and thus provide against unfortunate accidents. You are not, however, called here as a speculative, but rather as a fully operative and experienced father and to you these tools are delivered as vehicles for further instruction. Thus the Baby Powder teaches us comfort, The Napkin prevention, and The Safety Pin security And so, by soothing irritations, preventing accidents and securing fastenings, we trust that you may rest well and enjoy that love whence all pleasure emanates. Sourced from From Lodge 227 Tullibardane, Brisbane, Australia - website.
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor 32