Volume 14 Issue 6 No. 112 October 2018
THE LOST WORD â€“ in search of that which was lost!
In this issue: Cover Story ‘The Lost Word.’ In search of that, which was lost. (On the front cover is a grid which contains the saying – THELOSTWORD – this appears in the puzzle once, and only once) (How soon can you find it?) Page 5, ‘Give me the secrets of a Master Mason.’ Page 7, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 8, ‘What’s meant in a Mason?’ One Brother’s Journey Page 11, ‘The Modern Cowan.’ Page 12, ‘Impressions of the E.A. Degree’ An Apprentice looks back Page 14, ‘Lodge St. John Busby No. 458’. A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 16, ‘Colonel Sanders’ Famous Freemasons. Page 19, ‘Meaning of the term Fellowcraft.’ A look at this purely Masonic word. Page 23, ‘Rays of Masonry.’ “Strength and Understanding” Page 24, ‘The Old Tiler Talks.’ “Gambols on the Green”, 69th in the series. Page 26, ‘The Sponsor/Mentor.’ Page 27, ‘The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple. Page 29, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 30, ‘The Working Tools of an Online Mason’ Page 31, ‘The Back Page – Abracadabra!
In the Lectures website; The article for this month is ‘History of the Apron’ [link]
Front cover – The Lost Word Puzzle made by Editor
The Lost Word Each Mason is tasked with finding the Lost Word, lost when the Master Chiram (Hiram) was slain, and from which twelve Fellow Craft Masons were tasked to search for his body; to return and tell of the first sound they heard; which would then act as a substitute for the Lost Word. The symbolism here is interesting, in that the Word is not heard without, only a substitute for it, just as the Word of man is only a substitute for the Inner Word, the Word of God, of the Cosmic, of The Grand Architect of the Universe speaks to our heart. Ptah, the eldest god of the Memphis Triad, was known to the Egyptians as the Grand Architect or Builder. It was he that spoke the word from which all of creation came into being. The Egyptians had complete confidence in the Divine origin and creative power of speech. All living beings, of the material or spiritual worlds and objects, had their origin in the utterance of sound. The entire universe was understood to be under the control of men and gods who knew the sacred speech. For the Egyptians, material creation was sound made substantial. Every sound, verb, noun, and descriptive word has substance and life – creative power – when uttered properly. In sacred speech, there is complete harmony between the spoken and the incarnate, between the ideal and the material form. Iamblichus regarded the Egyptian language for that body of ancient theosophy known as Hermeticism, of which Freemasonry is an expression.
It is important to note that the Egyptians had no word for religion, only heku, of poorly translated, ‘magical of creative power.’ The more creative power, as we have seen, was closely linked to speech and writing. Written words or hieroglyphs were seen as living things, not unlike an animal, plant, or human being. Defacing them was tantamount to defacing the message they contained. Given that few people could read or write in all primitive cultures, it is easy to see why the written word was held to be sacred, for it was memory, wisdom, and direction for its people. However, Thoth’s real power comes from the spoken use of the words, not simply their static, engraved, fixed, or ritualistic use. Through the power of speech, and the vibrations it creates, words gave the power of men, nature, and the invisible worlds. The names of the gods were held in secret, and even two names were had – one for public, the other for private ceremonies. This idea regarding the power of Names is carried over into Judaism, with the Sacred Four-lettered Name of God, often called the Tetragrammaton in Greek, as being whispered from mouth to ear of the initiate. If it were pronounced aloud, all of creation would be undone. The Masonic Encyclopaedia states that the Lost Word in none other than the search for the true pronunciation of this name – Yod Heh Vau Heh. Of course, this doctrine of sacred or esoteric speech finds some of its most sophisticated development in the works of the alchemists and Qabalists respectively, often referring to it as the ‘Green Language’ or the ‘Language of the Birds’ of which Solomon was said to be able to understand. Given the symbolism of the colour green for life and the well 2
known use of various birds in Egyptian and Oriental mystical schools, and even Christianity, for the consciousness – or soul – this term is easily understood as meaning that Solomon understood the inner voice of his Being. Farther East in India and Tibet with their practices of mantra yoga, mantra being a Sanskrit word that literally means ‘mind protector’, we see the use of sacred speech reach its pinnacle of development and application. So as you can see, by the time we get to the first line of the Gospel of John, in which we are told, ‘In principa erat Verbum…’ or ‘In the beginning was the Word…’ that idea of the creative power of the spoken word, to effect all of nature, see and unseen, is highly developed across the Middle and Far East, and for reasons that are easily understood by the modern mind when we consider that; • • •
Words reflect out inner state. Words set in motion emotions and ideas that can not be taken back. Words are our foremost means of creating after sex, and it is no wonder that the thyroid is a secondary sexual organ, and considered to be critical to the effective communication with the Divine.
Consider this last point when we remember that with Hiram’s murder, the first blow was to his throat. It is often said that this was so he could not cry out for help. But help from whom? More likely it was so that he could not utter the sacred words that would protect him from his attackers, for as Jesus said, ‘If I wished it, a thousand legions of angels would come down to protect me.’ 3
By this time, the deed is done, and the slain Master could not have communicated the word, even if he wanted to. Not only is he injured, but the Word is something we must each discover within ourselves. In the New Testament we read that the sick approach Jesus and proclaim, ‘Say the Word, and I will be healed!’ We also read of Jesus telling his closest Disciples, to go out among the multitudes and to heal the sick, raise the dead, and perform what we in the modern world call miracles, all in the ‘In the Name of the Holy Spirit.’ These things are possible, and when we look at the theosophical record, have been can, can be done, and are being done, as we meet, because as Brother Jean Dubuis, a French alchemist and well known esotericism wrote; According to the mystics, a long time ago, there used to be a unique language called the original language which is sought today as the ‘Lost Word.’ The true Verb (Word), the Verb (Word) of the Bible’s ‘Fiat Lux’ is the energy which is ceaselessly radiated by the formless being. The Fiat Lux is simply the vibration of this energy as they are subjected to the Law which is dictated by the Being, the Harmony where Beings, the Elohim came from, and all those who use this energy to create the worlds, the bodies of men and light of the sun which is but a pale reflection of this energy. Putting order into this energy results in Time, form, space; without these operations there can be only the Void, the Non-Manifest. Our body, our flesh, our blood are but vibrations which are subject to the ultimate law of vibrations; Harmony. Harmony exists in all realms, but we can get a clear idea of it in the realm of music. We
see that some notes, while different, seem to have analogies between them. Let’s imagine a keyboard, extending to the infinite of space. Let us strike the note of ‘G’, and increasingly move upward in octaves. Each G is recognized as being similar to those that went before it, yet different, of a higher vibration. The number of vibrations per second for G is 384, and doubles with each increase in octave. Given this increase in vibration, after the first six or seven G’s we go beyond the realm of human hearing – but the note G still exists and vibrates. If we could build a keyboard with these higher octaves we could strike a note that would disrupt radio, television, even radar. We could even produce heat, and after the forty-second G a red light would be generated. Then, neither sound nor light. A ‘C’ note would produce hydrogen, an ‘A’ note produce oxygen, and a cord would generate physical water. We see in the Old Testament the idea that Adam named the animal, but can clearly understand now, that the First Being, or Adam, did more than name them. Through speaking he actually brought them into existence. Moses as well knew the true name of water, and as such, brought it forth from the rock. This original language is all but lost, and it is the initiate’s duty to restore it. Just as the 12 Fellowcraft went in search of the Word and found it not, but brought back a substitute Word, initiates also use a substitute language, or series of languages until this inner Word can be re-established. For us, Hebrew, as well as its Egyptian cousin, and in some instances Latin are used to supply us with the needed sounds and ideas present in the Original Tongue.
Given this meaning, the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel, and the idea of the Lost Word in Masonry are more easily understood. In many ways, the Tower of Babel is a fitting story for Masonic study, as it more closely fit’s the Masonic myth than does the Temple of Solomon, for the Temple was completed and destroyed twice. The Tower of Babel, on the Plains of Shinar however, was not completed. For Masons, like humanity after the collapse of the Tower, are confined to speak many languages and as such, encounter difficulty in the world of matter. The unity that we originally had is a faint memory, and the desire to re-establish it is seen un the desire for various forms of cultural, racial, and linguistic purity. Masonry even has an injunction against ‘babbling’ or meaningless speech both inside and outside of the Lodge. However, the only way that it can be established is individually, in and through each of us. The working tool to rebuild this Tower is the same as the Temple – the Trowel, for it spreads the cement of brotherly love and affection. Only love, the emotion of the heart, the true organ of human consciousness and spiritual perception, can allow us to unite the many bricks needed to rebuild the Tower that reaches to Heaven. Only love can open the door to the Inner Temple, the true Sanctum Santorum, that each Freemason must complete and build for himself. The Original Language, or Word, is a vibratory image of reality, when we reintegrate our consciousness with the Inner Unity, symbolized by the Pillar of Wisdom, and the station of the Lodge Master in Freemasonry, this language becomes a reality for him. 4
As Masons we can begin, that is truly begin, our search for the Lost Word by examining our own use of language. It is meant to be beautiful and harmonious, or is it sarcastic and divisive? Do we use clear, precise, and simple speech, or excessive, vague, and complex phrases to hide our true meaning? Are we vulgar and profane, or cultured and inspiring? Our attitude is also a clue to where must work. A positive attitude is critical to successful work in the material, as well as spiritual realms. Only by having a firm, steadfast, and unwavering conviction can we accomplish anything, and in the realm of our self-Becoming, this is even more important. If we find ourselves complaining, talking about illnesses, troubles, or problems (while not seeking a genuine solution), given the power of our speech how can we expect anything else in our life? If we focus on the beautiful, the strong, the wise, and invoke the spirit of harmony into our life, we learn that all things, no matter how difficult they may seem, are only passing, and that as Shakespeare said, ‘A thing is neither good nor bad, except as we make it so.’ It is said, our word is our bond, and how true it is. Through our speech we bind ourselves to happiness or sorrow, health or illness, success or failure, and as creator of that bond we are the only one that can change it – and build a life for ourselves reflective of the genius of Masonry. Source - Freemasonry–Rituals, Symbols & History of the Secret Society by Bro. Mark Stavish,- Taken from the Chapter called ‘The Lost Word and the Masonic Quest.’ Grateful thanks to the Author.
Give Me the Secrets of a Master Mason In the second half of the third degree, the candidate is confronted by the three ruffians. Each one demands of him the "secrets" of a master mason. The ruffians say they were promised the secrets of a Master Mason, when the Temple was complete, so that they might travel to foreign lands, work, and earn Master's wages. The candidate is told later in the degree that the Master's Word has been lost with the death of Hiram Abiff, but King Solomon substitutes a word to be used "for the regulation of all Master Masons lodges until future ages shall find out the right". By the end of the third degree, the newly made Master Mason has a password and grip to gain entry into a lodge of Master Masons; and he has learned the Grand Masonic Word, and how it is given between brothers. He also learns how to signal distress and enlist the aid of fellow brother Masons, should that be necessary. Are these words, grips, tokens, and signs the "secrets of a Master Mason"? My premise is that they are not the true secrets of a Master Mason, and that the secrets of a Master Mason are individual and must be learned by each brother by walking the path we call Freemasonry. The Masonic ritual has been recorded in many different books that are available in public libraries and book stores. One such book, ‘Born in the Blood, the Lost Secrets of Freemasonry’ by John J. Robinson, not only describes our degrees, but also gives the passwords, including the Grand Masonic word. The author discloses these "secrets"
to show his theory of the origin of the craft and the words themselves. If our passwords, grips, and rituals are readily available in print to anyone desirous of learning them, are they truly our "secrets"? Bro. C. Bruce Hunter, in his paper in the â€˜Transactions of the Quator Coronati Lodge No. 2076, Volume 117â€™, states that when Freemasonry made itself public in the beginning of the 18th century, most members of the craft did not take the "secrets" seriously. " Any secrets that originated as early as the 11th or 12th centuries- be they architectural or militarywere certainly obsolete when the Craft entered the modern era ........... This may explain the levity with which the rank and file were apparently treating their traditional secrets in the 1720's." It appears that when Masonry changed from being an operative craft to a speculative craft, the "secrets" of the craft also changed. The secrets of building stable, beautiful edifices were left and other, philosophical secrets were sought. If our secrets are not words, grips, or signs, i.e. material; then they must be immaterial. A look at our ritual will be helpful. In the first degree the Senior Deacon asks the Stewards how the candidate expects to gain admission, and the answer is partially that he is well recommended. In the second and third degrees, the answer to the same question is, "By the benefit of the pass". We later hear that the candidate does not have the pass, but in turn the Senior Steward and then Senior Deacon will give the pass for him. Entrance to the lodge to be initiated is dependent upon another brother or brothers, not the knowledge of the candidate himself In the first degree, the newly made brother is asked to "deposit something of a metallic kind" to commemorate that he has been
made a Mason. Being divested of all metals, he cannot. He is instructed that this request is to teach him to contribute to brothers who are in need so long as it does not cause inconvenience to himself Again, we see the theme of one brother helping another. In the second degree, the brother learns about education, the various disciplines of learning, and how they relate to both operative and speculative masonry. The lecture by the master on the letter "G" relates the importance of geometry and willing subjugation to Deity. In this degree, the theme of learning to improve oneself, and following the will of Deity, not our own will is illustrated. The lesson and drama of the third degree demonstrate to the candidate that since death is a part of life, there is all the more reason to live with-integrity. The explanation of the five points of fellowship, reinforce the idea of assisting each other through life, when needed, as brothers should. The instruction of the proper use of the trowel, teaches us to work in harmony together: an important ingredient in accomplishing any goal. Ideas of how to live as a man are distilled into the three degrees of ancient craft masonry. Psychologists tell us that a person has to hear something about fifteen times before it is understood. So, every time a man witnesses or takes part in one of the degrees, he may "see" something new or have a revelation about how he can be a better man, how he can change his life for the better, or how he may help a brother. And, improving himself translates into improving his family, and by extension, his community. So we come to see that the true "secrets" cannot be given to any brother. They must be earned by walking the path of a Masonic life of trying to "imitate that 6
celebrated artist" and incorporating the lessons of the degrees, as they apply to each individual brother's life. This is why Hiram Abiff cannot give the secrets of a Master Mason to the Ruffians. Each man has to find the secret of how he should best live, himself, while "labouring" on earth. Hiram's admonition to the Ruffians that they should wait with patience until the proper time is described in a poem by Robert Frost entitled "Snow". In closing, here are Frost's lines that describe to me how we learn and grow from the rituals of Masonry: "Things must expect to come in front of us A many times-I don't say how many That varies with the things- before we see them. One of the lies would make it out that nothing Ever presents itself before us twice. Where would we be at last if that were so? Our very life depends on everything's Recurring till we answer from within." This article is the copyright of Dr. Stuart V. Corso, who is recognised as the author. The original article was sourced from the Vermouth Lodge of Research.
DID YOU KNOW? Question: Is there further information to be obtained of the working tools of a Fellow Craft than is to be found in the ritual? Answer. Decidedly so; it is half concealed, half revealed in the association of the level with the Senior Warden, the plumb with the Junior Warden and the square with the Master, particularly in the ceremonies of closing a Lodge. In a Lodge all brethren meet on a level of exact equality, which is not concerned with brains! Or education, or wealth, or position; men are equal in a Lodge in manhood, and in Masonic right 7
and Masonic character. "We meet upon the level" means just what it says; Masons trust each other, believe in each other, help each other because they are, Masonicly, level with each other We "act by the "plumb" in accord with Amos VII--the plumb line God said He would place "in the midst of my people Israel." In other words, they were to be judged by their own plumb line, not another's. Masons are to judge their fellows, if at all, by their fellows' plumb lines, not their own. One brother must not condemn another by his own personal standards; he may inquire into those standards but only when a brother is false to his own standards can he judge him. To "part upon the square" signifies that while a square points in different directions, and men "part" to go each his own way, it is a known way, not a devious way--a wrong way, a bad way--but a "square" way. The Mason who goes his own way, so it is the square way, is never alone, even if out of sight of his Lodge and his brethren. The square is the fundamental tool of the operative Mason; without its use no building would stand. It is the fundamental tool of the Speculative Mason; without square thoughts and actions, no spiritual building can stand. Question: If King Solomon's Temple was built in 967 B.C. and globes were placed on top of the pillars, how did they know the world was round? Answer: This question is quite pertinent because it was not until 1522 that Magellan proved the world was round. How could the men of King Solomon's period know the world was round? The answer is they did not know. The contemporaries of Solomon believed the earth stood still, and was inside a hollow
sphere with its inner surface dotted with stars revolving about the earth. This slow turning "celestial sphere" is the oldest theory of mankind observations of the "starry-decked heavens". This could explain the globe on the pillar at the right, but what about the one on the left? Even if they knew the earth was round this globe could not be a good representation of it. They did not know about the Americas. They thought the earth was an oblong square or rectangle, so there should have been a rectangle on the top of the pillar. What was there? It is believed that the "globes upon the pillars" are a corruption of the lily-work of the old testament. The lily was apparently the Egyptian lotus which was in Egypt a symbol of the universe. Thus the symbol of the universe was placed atop the pillars and referred to, as centuries past, as globes because of there round hollow shape. GLOBES - by William R. Fischer
Question: Masonic dates are written "A L." before figures, which never correspond with the number of the year in which we live: why? Answer. Freemasonry's practice has followed the ancient belief that the world was created four thousand years before Christ; that when God said, "Let there be light", the world began. Therefore Masons date their doings four thousand years plus the current year, "Anno Lucis, " or "In the year of Light." It is but another of Freemasonry's many ties with a day so old no man may name it. 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.
What’s meant in a Mason?* A Brother’s Journey
One of my greatest regrets is that I didn’t heed my late Father’s encouragement to join the Craft until I was nearly 40. There were a number of reasons for this: one being that I’d no idea what it was all about, and another being that I’d worked for a national Waste Management Company in my late 20s and on my first encounter with the drivers, mechanics and other staff, most after shaking hands with me shook their heads and went off muttering ‘John Young must be turning in his grave.’ I later found out that the Company I’d joined had previously acquired a family business in Giffnock where the owners had encouraged all employees to become Freemasons. I have to say however I didn’t see any evidence then of favouritism for Masons over those in the Depot who weren’t in the Craft and in later years, some of these workmates remained longstanding friends. But how do you ‘sell’ Freemasonry to those who haven’t joined? When I became semiretired, I was able to wear my masonic lapel badges and rings openly and with pride (before then I’d worked for a number of Scottish Councils, where freemasonry didn’t have much support and Masons tended to keep their membership private. Mostly, I only found out workmates were in the Craft when they turned up as visitors at our meetings or I was visiting their meetings). After it became clear that I didn’t care who knew I was in the Craft, I was amazed at the number of blokes I’d known for years who told me ‘my Dad, Grandad and all my 8
uncles were Masons’ and they’d reel off all the honours they’d achieved (a particularly proud and recurring theme was where Fathers had installed their sons in the Chair.) I even came across guys who had the Grip and some of the words simply because they’d found their Father’s rituals among their papers and had worked out what some of it meant. And of course with the internet, it’s not difficult these days to find out what we get up to in Lodges, Chapters and other Orders. As we all know, it isn’t hard to find out who is pretending to be a Mason and on several occasions I’ve said to ‘pretenders’ ‘Why don’t you join?’ – you’d find it very interesting.’ The responses often included ‘don’t have the time’; ‘would need to know more about it’; ’not sure if I could live with the promises they demand’ etc. One of the down-sides of the decline in Scottish industry that included the loss of the steelworks, the shipyards, the sugarworks and the deep mines was the facility of large groups of men working together and if you look at the places where these industries flourished, you’ll see Masonic Lodges were also prevalent. The Garnock Valley where I was brought up had steelworks for decades and still has three Lodges, each with its own Royal Arch Chapter. Another area where local industry once employed thousands also have three separate Lodges and at one time three separate Royal Arch Chapters. This phenomenon isn’t exclusive to Ayrshire. But why have the sons, grandsons and nephews of those active Masons of the past not followed in their footsteps? If asked why I became a Freemason, I tell them that when my Father asked me (for the last time) if I’d consider joining, my first question was that in my job I’d had to sack people 9
(something I’d never enjoyed) but if I did join and someone tried to use membership of the Craft (or the Grip) as a reason for my not sacking them, it wouldn’t stop me. I asked him if that would be a problem? He said it was only a problem if I’d acted unfairly towards the person I was dealing with, and he wasn’t aware of anything in Freemasonry that would be problematical for me. He also said that in the 30-odd years he’d been self-employed, he’d never been aware of getting any business through being a Mason and he was very proud of this fact. And so I was raised in Lodge Mother Kilwinning No 0 in March 1988 with a very proud Father among the Brethren. On a visit to Lodge Old Inverness Kilwinning St John’s No 6 some eighteen months later, he and I wandered through their Temple and found a Royal Arch Temple at which point my Father told me he’d been exalted in a Royal Arch Chapter in 1948 but had never gone back after joining (possibly because my Mother was pregnant with me at the time?) We bumped into two other Kilwinning Brethren who on noting my interest, invited me to join a Royal Arch Chapter. I did so in November 1989 and the next month my Father affiliated to the same Chapter. Over the next fourteen years we spent many a happy night together among our Companions there and the crowning glory was when I took my Father back to his Mother Chapter in May 2003. Although some 55 years had passed since his last visit, he could recall the name of their Scribe E when he was exalted and was made most welcome! For me, Freemasonry is a great leveller and I marvel at the ability and skills of colleagues from all walks of life who learn and deliver our rituals to very high standards. Everybody is treated equally and
those working their way through the various Orders are given great support from those who have been through the Chairs before them. There’s nothing more pleasing or satisfying that seeing the look on the face of a Brother, Companion or Fratre who has just delivered a particular part of a ritual for the first time and is then congratulated afterwards by ‘an old hand’ for his efforts. As I go along to meetings I do wonder however what the general public think of a bunch of (now mostly middle-aged and older) men dressed in dark suits and ties converging on Masonic Temples with their wee cases? But what of the ‘being in the know’ and ‘conspiracy’ allegations that bedevil Freemasonry? I moved to Lytham in Lancashire over seven years ago not knowing anything about the Craft south of the Border. An obituary in the local newspaper mentioned that the deceased had been a Member of a local Lodge so I googled it to find they had a website. I then emailed their Secretary and introduced myself, receiving an invite to their next meeting, where after test, I was made very welcome. At the dinner afterwards, I met all the Brethren, some of whom were in the other Orders I’d joined in Scotland so I received further invitations to their meetings. And so I now have a new circle of friends from all walks of life. If that’s evidence of a ‘conspiracy’ then bring it on! In their excellent books (‘The Origins of Freemasonry’ and ‘The Rosslyn Hoax’) Professor Stevenston and Bro Robert L D Cooper respectively talk about the original Stonemasons although being illiterate, having devised methods of ensuring that only properly qualified Journeymen could be allowed to work on edifices that attracted
workmen from all over the country. I’m sure these Stonemasons would approve of our practices today and the fact that wherever we go, we can be sure of a warm welcome when visiting a Lodge or Chapter. What has the Craft done for me? It can best be summed up when a former colleague that I hadn’t seen for over twenty years told me he and his son (whom he’d installed) were visiting a Lodge in Blackpool and invited me to join them. The harmony we enjoyed (together with other Masons) before, during and after the meeting summed up everything that’s good about the Craft. I also hope it has made me a better person because of the lessons it has taught me.. ‘What’s meant in a Mason?’* (Submitted to SRA76 by Bro John F Crawford, Lodge Mother Kilwinning No 0) (* This is the second line of the first verse of a poem called ‘The Mason’s Portrait’ that a friend gave me soon after I was raised)
The King and the Craft Come, come, brother Masons, assemble with joy, Let friendship and mirth still our labours employ. Let vigour possess us in this glorious cause, That gains from the heart most certain applause; Still our work shall repel every envious shaft, And honour ourselves, our country, and craft. Come away, come away, to the lodge-room repair. For union and truth are the badges we wear. The compass, our guide, doth this lesson impart, Content in our station, and upright in heart;
The paths we pursue are with virtue combined, And conscious in truth, we are level in mind. Here unite all opinions, what's here understood â€” Is the light we receive, "be just and be good." The world may endeavour our secrets to gain, Industry and worth can the mystery obtain; Here all are alike, no distinctions are known; When friendship invites us, her dictates we own; No politics ever we mix in our cause, Though we honour our king, his religion, and laws. Our hearts are expanded at charity's call, No ambition or pride our enjoyments appal, The secret that binds us is pure and refined, And diffuse in our bosoms "good will to mankind." 'Tis thus we unite, and with firmness endeavour, For the king, and the craft, and old England for ever.
The Modern Cowan In Scotland, the operative Mason knew cowans to be ignorant builders who put stones together without mortar. They piled rough fieldstones into a wall without hewing them true, or squaring them. They masqueraded as Masters, but they did not have the Word. Now and again, today - fortunately not too often - we find a modern equivalent of the operative imposter. One such is the Mason who manages a place in an officer's line with little or no effect of his own to deserve it. With only that exertion that is necessary to maintain his place, he continues to 11
advance in line until he receives the jewels and honours that he prizes so highly. But he does not know the Constitution, and he does not understand the traditions and dignity of the Craft. As a presiding officer, his vocal ability is more noteworthy than his executive ability; and when his term is ended, he is seldom seen until another honour or prize appears to be within his grasp. He is a contemporary builder who works without the benefit of the mortar of real enthusiasm or accomplishments. His structure is liken unto the rough stone wall, having little beauty of value. He is the cowans of modern speculative Masonry. He is to be pitied, for he is a Masonic failure. His honours are shallow. Bringing no interest to his position, he received little of the satisfaction and respect that belong to the real Master. Masonry has failed to reach him with a clear understanding of those marks of true devotion which she has to offer. He never knows the opportunities that the Craft makes available to those who diligently seek them. He misses the opportunities that the Craft makes available to strive for a just and worthy cause. He misses the opportunity for continuing fellowship and friendship. He misses the opportunity for loyalty and devotion. He misses the opportunity for development of his executive, intellectual and oratorical abilities. And most of all, he misses the opportunity for service - to God - to his community - and to his fellow man. These are the jewels that Masonry has to offer, but in his quest for position and honours, the modern cowan misses them. Like the operative cowan, he does not have the Word. The Modern Cowan by Floren L. Quick Sourced from the Skirret
Impressions of the Entered Apprentice Degree In this paper I present my understanding of Freemasonry relevant to the first degree. The past few months have been extremely difficult and challenging. I have been challenged by the information I have learnt from my instructor, my own research and my journey of self discovery. Many questions have come to my mind during the time of my instruction. It is with these questions that I present this paper. The questions are as follows: 1. Why have I chosen to become a Freemason? 2. Have I been practicing Freemasonry unknowingly before I became one? 3. What is my basic understanding of Freemasonry in the first degree? 4. What is my understanding of the Tracing Board? And how can I apply the symbolic meaning of it to my life?
Why have I chosen to become a Freemason? I have always had an enquiring mind, always questioned and never took anything for granted. Coming from a background of following instructions and ideas simply because â€œthat is the way things areâ€? you can imagine that questioning everything could not have been easy. Very often I was not given the answers that satisfied my curiosity. Thus, I was led from the outset on a long and very difficult journey of self knowledge and self discovery. I found myself searching for people who shared my
thoughts and ideas about life and its interpretations. I needed a place in the world were I felt understood. I feel that I have found that place in Freemasonry. In this space I find my sincerest beliefs and ideals. I am not judged by my beliefs, faults or achievements. I remain a person like everyone else rich or poor. I am here to learn more about life, myself and to be supported and guided to achieve one of my ultimate goals, to serve humanity, to give back to GOD and to myself.
Have I been practising Freemasonry unknowingly before I became one? I live by the three principle virtues of Hope, Faith and Charity. Hope that the difficulties we face are within good reason and part of a better plan and outcome. Faith that hope will carry us through our trials and tribulations and Charity I have often given in material and immaterial ways, by contributing with acts of loving kindness, friendship and support among other things.
What is my basic understanding of Freemasonry in the first degree? I remember my experience in the chamber of reflection vividly. I experienced feelings of impatience and restlessness. In retrospect, I realise how conflicted my mind was at the time and still is at times. The fear of the unknown had been ever present at that moment. My initiation felt overwhelming. I could not absorb the ritual and I could not make out what was happening around me. From a human perspective, I felt torn between two worlds. One that was unknown to me and which at some points in the ritual seemed to have been in total contradiction with my already internalised belief system. I realise now, that every act of the ritual was symbolic of something relevant to my faith 12
and encompasses all of the basic principles thereof. I have learnt that Freemasonry is a system of knowledge and self discipline. It is a system that requires the willingness to be open to the truth and other ideas. It simply requires mental self surrender. One often has to unlearn some aspects in oneâ€™s life in order to grasp concepts of the system beneficially, all in the quest for personal growth and development. Furthermore, Freemasonry is based on a universal belief in the divine. This belief is illustrated by certain virtue that symbolically teaches me a system of self discovery that leads to a personal degree of self improvement and a inclination towards the betterment of society. Symbolically Freemasonry has given me the light. A way of seeing and interpreting the world, my life and the lives of otherâ€™s differently. I have learnt that the physical symbols have underlying symbolic meaning. Different meanings for different individuals. The symbols and tools taught in Freemasonry have special use for each aspect in my life. Therefore, one has to understand the symbolic meaning of the philosophy in order for the heart to be fully present and the mind to be willing to participate. It is only through understanding that the symbols of my new way of interpreting life can reflect in a meaningful way. Silent meditation and introspection is necessary to discover the lessons learnt about Freemasonry.
esoteric wisdom and light within Freemasonry. The goal and purpose of the tracing board in my view is to pursue a personal understanding of the Divine in the context of man and his/her individuality. It represents human life, always comprising of opposites. The tracing board has inherent in it principles of piety and virtue. The tracing board is a plan designed for individuals, to use as a guide for right thought and right action. In this plan my body represents the temple. Once the spiritual principles are developed within it, it will radiate through me just as the canopy of diverse colours shines bright. Man is physical, psychological and spiritual, all encompassing of an embodied self. Very similar to moving up a ladder these qualities are attained with progress and through time and study. I identify myself with my body, my habits, my soul, my desires, my thoughts and my spiritual self all ascending to a high order of being.
What is my understanding of the Tracing Board? And how can I apply the symbolic meaning of it to my life?
The three principles Faith, Hope and Charity symbolically represents my mind, body and spirit. Faith represents my mind, faith to hold onto what I have been taught before, until I learn and experience Truth. Hope represents my body, hope for my body to become one with my spirit for me to have hope for a fulfilling life and charity represents my spirit since charity symbolically represents love which cannot be seen with the naked eye, the same way the spirit of man often goes unnoticed. Charity also represents the point of light in oneâ€™s life since one cannot live freely without caring for GOD, others and oneself. Temperance, prudence, justice and fortitude is charity in its most ample sense.
The tracing board as I understand it is dedicated to the further discovery of
In this world and the next, wisdom, strength and beauty remain relevant to ones
existence. Life requires wisdom to be of service to humanity. Wisdom is where the son rises and never sets, just as GOD is all knowing and never sleeps. One requires strength for spiritual energy and enlightenment and beauty for spiritual life to seek knowledge and then to reflect, and to reflect and seek knowledge again.
Lodge St. John Busby No. 458
I realise the only way in which I would be able to attain improved spiritual developed is through self discipline, spiritual inspiration, spiritual intuition and spiritual insight. I will have to love and be sympathetic of my spiritual self for the light to shine through. In conclusion, I have discovered that understanding Freemasonry is difficult and complex. Interpretation and introspection is important in understanding how meaningful the Philosophy is to life. Studying Freemasonry requires objectivity and subjectivity respectively. Objectivity is needed for one to keep an open mind while studying the symbolic meaning of Freemasonry and subjectivity is needed for one to understand the symbolism in relation to ones life. Freemasonry can be defined on three levels. It can be defined on a philosophical, historical and contextual level. Freemasons are individuals who seek universal Truth and self travel. It is an adventure that requires stripping the mind bear where necessary. The process is gradual and requires self love, respect, understanding and patience all of which are necessary to achieve self development and the challenge to work towards the betterment of humanity. This article was authored by an Anonymous Apprentice in 2010 and was sourced from the Sunday Masonic Paper No. 828.
Lodge St. John. Busby is a vibrant hard working lodge situated in the Renfrewshire Village of Busby, which is on the A726 road leading from the old town of Paisley to the new town of East Kilbride. The Lodge was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Scotland on the 6th of August 1866. The original proclamation was in the name of “Lodge Busby, St, John” but the Charter was granted and the Lodge Consecrated as “ Lodge St. John Busby No 458” The RWM of Pollokshaws Royal Arch Lodge No.153 consecrated the Lodge on 20th of August 1866 assisted by his office bearers and the members of our other sponsor Lodge, Rutherglen Royal Arch Lodge No 116. The Provincial Grand Lodge would normally have carried out this duty, however, the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire East was not consecrated until some six weeks later. The newly elected Provincial Grand Master, Bro A.R.Campbell did visit the Lodge on the 7th 14
of October 1866 and on that occasion consecrated the Wilson hall, then in use, for Masonic purposes, with our new RWM Bro Joseph Hamilton occupying ‘The Chair.' The Lodge has had several “homes” over the years, notably ‘McGuffie's bar,' but in the 1950's moved into our own premises on Busby Main St, and in 1972 moved through redevelopment to our present location in Hawthorn Road, Busby. In those days Busby also had a very successful Brass Band, many of whom are Lodge members, and they proudly performed many important duties since its consecration, including assisting with the laying of the foundation stones of the General Post Office building in George Square, Glasgow , The Johnston Town Council buildings, and the Paisley Museum and Free Library. The present Lodge premises, has its own claim to fame, being home to ‘Rudolph Hess' on his first nights stay in Scotland, having parachuted in that day, before he was taken to Giffnock Police Station the following morning. There have been many brethren of note in the history of Lodge St John Busby, amongst the foremost of these are Dr Anderson PM whose Jewel the reigning Master now wears, and who looked after the local community during the depression years. The late James “Jimmy” Orr PM who was a very prominent ambassador of the Lodge for over “Sixty Years” and was granted the rank of Grand Bible Bearer of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. The late Bro John ‘Ian' Cameron PM who occupied ‘The Chair' in 1954 and rose to the rank of Provincial Grand SW in 1973. He also attained the Rank of ‘Honorary Grand President of the Board of Grand Stewards,' for his services to the craft. Brother Hugh 15
Thomas Hodge Gavin PM who after a successful Army career, served for over “50 years” as a Lodge Office Bearer mainly as our Secretary and was consequently honoured by being made an Honorary Grand Sword Bearer of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Brother Alexander George Murray PM, installed as RWM of ‘458' in 1960, served the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire East as PG secretary for 5 years, as PG SM for three 5 year terms, as PGDM for a further 5 years, and was installed as Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master in April 1992, in the Busby Parish Church, Hawthorn Road, Busby by the then Grand Master Mason Brother Sir Gregor McGregor of McGregor, and thereafter all retired to the Lodge for the Official Dinner and Harmony. In 1975 the Lodge saw the opening of the “Busby Masonic Social Club” for the purpose of raising funds and providing a facility for the brethren and the local community. The “Club” is open every Thursday, Friday Saturday and Sunday. The Lodge hold their meetings on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month from September until May at 7.30 pm, with the last Wednesday of each month set aside for our “Lodge of Instruction.” The annual “Installation of the RWM and the Office Bearers” takes place on the 1st Saturday in December at 3:30pm in the Masonic Hall, Hawthorn Rd. Busby. The Lodge extends a warm welcome to all Freemasons in good standing to attend and further the Bonds of the Order. This History of Lodge St. John Busby No. 458 was sourced from their website which can be viewed by clicking here. (Please visit their site) Our thanks go to the Lodge No. 458 whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright owner of this History.
worked on various railroads for most of the next 10 years.
Harland Sanders was a Jack-of-all –trades, and found it difficult to keep down a job for any length of time, in fact, he was sacked from most of them, mainly due to his temper and fighting! However, it was during his time with the railroad that he studied Law through a correspondence course. After spending some time in the life insurance business (fired), he qualified as a Lawyer, and eventually practiced law in the state of Arkansas. Sanders legal career soon ended in the same way as the rest, he had a fight with his client in court!
‘Finger Lickin’ Good’
Harland David Sanders, better known as ‘Colonel’ Sanders was an American icon. Born on September 9th 1890 in Indiana, his father died when Harland was aged only 5. His mother began work in a canning factory and Harland was left to look after his younger brother and sister while she was at work. It was these circumstances that he learned to cook to feed the family when his mother was out. When Harland was 12, his mother remarried, the young boy and his step-father did not get on, and soon left school and moved away from home to work on a farm. When he was 15, he worked as a streetcar conductor in New Albany, Indiana and then in 1906 aged 16, he enlisted in the US Army and spent a year as a soldier in Cuba. After this he moved to Alabama and
His various occupations took him all over the country, and he began a series of businesses which he owned, and ran himself. He sold insurance, worked as the Secretary for the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, and started a steamboat ferry on the Ohio River between Jefferson and Louisville, Kentucky, which was a successful venture. He then met an inventor who had discovered how to operate natural gas lamps on gas from carbide and water, he sold the ferryboat business and bought the patent rights for the invention and started a manufacturing company. Unfortunately for Sanders, electricity was becoming more commonly used for lighting, and the new product became obsolete, the Gas Company went bust! Sanders was a jack-of-all-trades. He sold insurance in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and started a steamboat ferry company that operated on the Ohio River between Jeffersonville and Louisville, Kentucky. Sanders even worked as secretary of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. It was there that he met an inventor who discovered how to operate natural gas lamps on a gas derived from carbide and water. 16
Sanders bought the patent rights and launched a manufacturing company. Unfortunately, as electricity became more commonly used for lamps, the product became obsolete, and the Gas Company went bust. In 1924, a chance meeting with a representative from the Standard Oil Company led Sanders to own a petrol (gas) station in Kentucky, which did well until 1930, when it was closed due to the depression! But that same year, the Shell Oil Company offered Sanders another Gas Station rent free in exchange for a percentage of the profits. Sanders took up the offer and decided to open a small restaurant alongside serving southern style cooking. A local competitor took offence over a sign Sanders had painted directing passing traffic to his petrol pumps and restaurant. The owner of the other business turned up at Sanders with a gun and killed a Shell employee standing next to Harland, he was jailed for murder and that put paid to the competition. The restaurant and its menus became very popular, and in fact a food critic visited it and included it in his ‘Adventures in Good Eating’, and in 1935 he was made an honorary Colonel by the Governor of Kentucky. Harland decided it was time to branch out and in 1939 opened a motel in North Carolina, they same year his original restaurant in Kentucky burnt down! It was re-built as a motel and 140 seat restaurant, and by the following year 1940, Sanders had perfected his secret recipe for his frying chicken which cooked in a pressure cooker, which is still used to this day. In 1949, Sanders was re-commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel by the then Governor, and it was at this time that Sanders began to dress the part, (partly to promote his restaurant) he wore a white linen suit, a 17
white shirt and a black string tie. He started to refer to himself as ‘Colonel Sanders’, and with a cane, a white moustache and goatee beard, he looked the part of a gentleman from the ‘Old South.’ He was never seen in public wearing anything else during the last 20 years of his life, and to keep up the appearance, he bleached his moustache and goatee to match his white hair. In 1952, Colonel Sanders wanted his secret recipe to reach more people, and he began working on the idea how to sell it and his cooking method. He came up with franchising and was the first time this had ever been done. The idea was that any restaurant interested in cooking the Colonel’s famous chicken, he would ship them his seasoning made from the secret recipe and they would pay him a nickel for every chicken sold. Travelling all over the country and being turned down every time, until he met Pete Harman a Utah restaurant owner and sold the idea to him. The first year of the franchise Harman’s sales tripled and he is credited with coming up with the name, Kentucky Fried Chicken, he also introduce the ‘bucket’ to take away Colonel Sanders chicken along with the slogan, ‘Finger Lickin Good.’ Colonel Sanders still continued with his motel and restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky, where he would often be seen working in the kitchen, things were going well for Colonel Sanders but trouble was never far away. In 1956, the federal government made plans to build a new highway, and a landowner offered large sums for the property and land. Sanders refused all offers, even one where the developer told the Colonel to write his own figure. Sanders knew that once the highway came bye his motel and restaurant, profits would go sky high and said he would never sell out. Unfortunately the route of the highway was
changed and bypassed the town and the Colonel’s famous restaurant. Customers dropped, the value plummeted and Sanders had to auction off the property for $75,000 to pay off his mounting debts, he had been offered $360,000 just the year before! At the age of sixty-six, Colonel Sanders was all but wiped out and living off a monthly Social Security check of $105. Sanders then went on the road, he took his spices and pressure cooker and travelled throughout the United States in his 1946 Ford, often sleeping in the back. He visited restaurants trying to persuade owners to use his recipe. Most better restaurants would have nothing to do with him, they threw him out of their places. But he found small places that took on his methods, he shipped them the seasoning and they paid him a nickel a chicken. With sheer hard work, by 1960, Colonel Sanders had 400 franchisees, and his image as the southern gentleman was being used to sell chicken throughout the country. In 1963 he made $300,000 in profits alone. In order to protect the image, Colonel Sanders obtained patents to protect his method of pressure frying chicken and trademarked the slogan, ‘It’s Finger Lickin’ Good.’ Sanders also protected his famous seasoning of herbs and spices, he made up the recipe himself, and even today it is still a closely guarded secret, only two Company officers know all the ingredients. By 1964, the franchise had rapidly grown to 600 restaurants in different countries including the UK and Canada, and Colonel Sanders now aged 73 knew the Company was too much for just one man. He was persuaded by family to sell to a group of investors for £2 million. ($15.4 million today) He also received a lifetime salary of $40,000 a year, which rose to $75,000. Colonel Sanders was the Company spokesman, making personal appearances
and on television commercials. Not part of the deal was the Canadian franchises, where he established a charitable foundation so that the profits could benefit various charities. He moved to Canada and remained a resident there until his death. Colonel Sanders was diagnosed with acute leukemia in June 1980. He died at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky of pneumonia on December 16, 1980 at the age of 90. Sanders had remained active until the month before his death, appearing in his white suit to crowds. His body lay in state in the rotunda of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort after a funeral service which was attended by more than 1,000 people. Sanders was buried in his characteristic white suit and black western string tie in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville. His gravestone displays the Masonic square and compasses, Shriners and Scottish Rite symbols In 1972, his first restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky, was named a Kentucky historical landmark. Today, there are more than 5,000 KFC restaurants in the U.S. and 4,500 overseas. Kentucky Fried Chicken went public in 1969. The restaurant that started as one table and six chairs next to a Kentucky service station was sold to PepsiCo in 1986 for $840 million. Brother Harlan Sanders was a member of Lodge No. 651, Henryville, Indiana. He was raised a Master Mason in 1919. He later became a member of Hugh Harris Lodge No. 938, Corbin, Kentucky. He was a 33° Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Shrine. (He is wearing a 33º ring in the foto above) This article has been assembled by the editor from various sources the principle of which were, Famous American Freemason Vol 2 – Todd E. Creason, Masonrytoday.com website, Masons on the Level Website. NSW FreeMasony blogspot, and Wikipedia, to who go my grateful thanks to all.
Meaning of the term â€˜Fellowcraft.â€™
term is no longer in use with its original sense.
Fellowcraft' is one of a large number of terms which have a technical meaning peculiar to Freemasonry and are seldom or never found elsewhere. In the dictionary sense it is not difficult to define. A 'craft' was an Organisation of the skilled workmen in some trade or calling, as for example, masons, carpenters, painters, sculptors, barbers, -,etc. A ' fellow ' meant one who held full membership in such a craft, was obligated to the same duties and allowed the same privileges. Since the skilled crafts are no longer organised as they once were, the
we may be assisted to that end by noting that with us it possesses two quite separate and distinct meanings, one of which we may call the Operative meaning, the other the Speculative. We can consider first the Operative meaning:
It is more difficult to give it the larger meaning as it is found in Freemasonry, but
1. In its Operative period Freemasons were skilled workmen engaged in some branch of the building trade, or art of architecture; as such, like all other skilled workmen, they had an organised craft of their own. The general form in which this
craft was organised was called a 'guild'. A Lodge was a local, and usually temporary, organisation within the guild. This guild had officers, laws, rules, regulations, and customs of its own, rigorously binding on all members equally. It divided its membership into two grades, the lower of which was composed of apprentices. As you have already learned, the Operative Freemasons recruited their membership from qualified lads of twelve to fifteen years of age. When such a boy proved acceptable to the members, he was required to swear to be teachable and obedient, upon which he was bound over to some Master Mason; after a time, if he proved worthy, his name was formally entered in the books of the Lodge, thereby giving him his title of Entered Apprentice. For about seven years this boy lived with his master, gave his master implicit obedience in all things, and toiled much but received no pay except his board, lodging, and clothing. In the Lodge life he held a place equally subordinate because he could not attend a Lodge of Master Masons, had no voice or vote, and could not hold office. All this means that during his long apprenticeship he was really a bond servant with many duties, few rights, and very little freedom. At the end of his apprenticeship he was once more examined in Lodge; if his record was good, if he could prove his proficiency under test, and the members voted in his favour, he was released from his bonds and made a full member of the Craft, with the same duties, rights and privileges as all others. In the sense that he had thus become a full member he was called a ' Fellow of the Craft '; in the sense that he had mastered the art, and no longer needed a teacher, he
was called a ' Master Mason'. So far as his grade was concerned these two terms meant the same thing. Such was the Operative meaning of Fellowcraft; now that the Craft is no longer Operative the term possesses a very different meaning usually, yet at the same time it is still used in its original sense in certain parts of the Ritual, and of course it is frequently met with in the histories of the Fraternity. 2. We come next to the meaning of the term in Speculative Masonry. As you have already learned, Operative Freemasonry began to decline at about the time of the Reformation, when Lodges became few in number and small in membership. After a time a few of these in England began to admit into membership men with no intention of practising the trade of Operative Masonry but who were attracted by the Craft's antiquity and for social reasons. These were called Speculative Masons. At the beginning of the eighteenth century these Speculatives had so increased in numbers that at last they gained entire control, and during the first quarter of that century they completely transformed the Craft into the Speculative Fraternity as we now have it. Although they adhered as closely as possible to the old customs, they were compelled to make some radical changes in order to fit the Society for its new purposes. One of the most important of these was to abandon the old rule of dividing the members into two grades, or degrees, and to adopt the new rule of dividing it into three grades, or degrees. It was necessary to find a name for the new degree and the expedient was hit upon of naming the second the Fellowcraft Degree, the third the 20
Master Mason Degree; why this somewhat confusing advice was adopted we do not know, but adopted it was and it continues until this day. As a result, the term Fellowcraft is now used in general as the name of the Second Degree; more particularly it may serve as the name of that Degree, or of the ritualistic ceremonies and other contents of that Degree, or of a member of it, or of a Lodge when opened in it. You are yourself a Fellowcraft; this means that you passed through its ceremonies, assumed its obligations, are registered as such in the books of the Lodge, and can sit in either a Lodge of Apprentices or of Fellowcraft but not of Master Masons. Your function as a member of that Degree is to do and to be all that it requires of you. In order to make that function clearer let us pause for a moment to consider one fact about Freemasonry as a whole. That fact is this: Freemasonry is altogether too large to be exemplified in a ritual or to be presented through initiation in only one evening, and there would be too much of it for a man to learn in only one evening (or even in one day!) if it could be thus presented; it has therefore been divided into three portions, called Degrees. One of these Degrees follows another and the members of each stand on a different level of rights and duties; but this does not mean that the portion of Masonry presented in the First, or in the Second Degree, so far as its nature and teachings are concerned, is one whit less important, or less binding, than the portion presented in the Third Degree. All that is taught in the First or Second Degrees belongs as necessarily and vitally to Freemasonry as what is taught in the Third; there is a necessary subordination 21
in the grades of membership but there is no subordination among the portions of Masonry as presented to each grade; one portion stands on the same level as the others. Do not therefore permit yourself to be tempted, my Brother, to look upon the Fellowcraft Degree as a mere stage, or stepping stone, to the Third. Freemasonry as a whole gave one portion of itself to you in the First; it has given another portion in the Second; in the Third that same Masonry will give you another portion, but it is always one and the same thing. There is but one Masonry throughout, therefore let me urge you to give it the same studious attention while you are a Fellowcraft that you doubtless expect to give it when you are a Master Mason. This is number 7 of a series of Papers or Addresses prepared in association with the late Brother T. G. Winning for the use of Lodges when no ceremonial work is before the meeting. It may be read by the Master or some other Brother appointed by him. Sourced from GLOS year book. The graphic accompanying this article was sourced and adapted by the editor from; Sherer's Masonic degree book of ancient craft masonry: being a correct presentation of the emblems of the blue lodge degrees of entered apprentice, fellow craft, and master mason according to the American system. 1866.
First Charge â€œMuch of what you have heard and seen at your initiation, passing and raising will appear to you somewhat confusing, but by regular attendance you will complete your instruction when the full beauty and value of all you have passed through will no doubt be realised.â€?
Without Scruples or Diffidence All Masons are aware, of course, that Fellowcrafts received their wages without scruples or diffidence. Very few of them have any idea whatsoever what this might mean. Indeed the usage of these two words is now so far lost that the only way that we can come to an understanding of these words is through the responses we learn in the Fellowcraft catechism. "Scruples" are doubts or objections to a proposed action on the grounds of morality. We might refuse to join in a scheme to defraud someone on the grounds that it would be immoral; an "unscrupulous" person would have no hesitation in joining. When the Fellowcrafts received their wages "without scruple" does this mean that they were unscrupulous? The answer shows us that it's the opposite, actually. They had no scruples because they knew that they had justly earned their wages and that no moral objection could be raised to their receiving them. Just think about that for a moment. How many employees, as they are getting their paycheques, ask themselves, "Did I really earn this money? Or did I slack off or do shoddy work or pretend to be sick when I really wasn't or do anything else that would make my accepting this money morally tainted?"? Isn't it much more common to hear employees insist not only on their wage but on extensive fringe benefits while at the same time complaining that their employers want them to do their jobs properly? The concept of diffidence is even more difficult. It is defined as "self-distrust, lack
of confidence, modesty, shyness". "Without diffidence" means "confidently, boldly". When I think of someone receiving wages diffidently I think of a teenage babysitter on the job for the first time. She is so shy about the payment end of the transaction that she will not even mention it if you forget to pay her altogether. She will certainly not raise the question of the amount of her pay. The experienced babysitter receives her wages without diffidence; she knows what she is entitled to and is not afraid to insist. It is experience, of course, that usually helps us overcome youthful shyness and lack of self-confidence. So why does the Work tell us that the ancient Fellowcrafts lacked diffidence because of "the unbounded confidence they placed in the integrity of their employers."? Shyness is so often a fear that if one speaks up one will be treated with ridicule or contempt. But if you are confident in those around you those fears do not arise. I imagine the Fellowcraft counting his pay with a puzzled look on his face and then asking the Warden, "Does this include my pay for working last Tuesday?". He knows the Warden will give him a straight answer and in a kindly and courteous manner. How many employers these days would do that? The payment of wages in Masonry is often a symbol for the benefits we receive from life. God is our paymaster. Our job as human beings is to work not only in the mundane world but also in the spiritual quarries where we are building a temple to His glory. And we receive not only "our daily bread" or the benefits we require for o our physical well-being but also spiritual benefits as our wage. How do we receive them? Do we think that "the world owes us a living"; that we can live the high life 22
without doing our share that we can cheat our way to the benefits that God offers? No, we receive them without scruple. We would not think of accepting the good things of life without doing our part; therefore, we do our job without stinting and earn our wage. Nor are we afraid of accepting the gifts God gives us. We accept that God wishes us to have them and to use them to benefit mankind and glorify Him. We are not diffident about accepting those benefits. Life can be so good. We are neither ashamed or afraid to enjoy it. Sourced from the website of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba.
The Past Master's Job It is written down in cryptic script, the Master's Job and where he sits, every thing for this or that... when to stand or wear his hat! In every form our lodge may open he has a form, a word, a token. The only problem I can find... is when he's left the job behind. And so we try with verse and rhyme to form a guide for this troublesome time! Support the Master of TODAY and remember, your gavel's been put away Think of your favourite job in line and fill that chair from time to time! Whenever an empty chair appears... fill it fast it brings good cheer. Give good council when you're asked help relieve the Master's task. The only words we hate to hear: “THINGS SURE WERE DIFFERENT IN MY YEAR!” 23
Rays of Masonry “Strength and Understanding” We must ever keep in mind the fact that the strength of Masonry is in the ideal of Universality. It has never offered a prescribed religion, but has forever offered the inspiration for the individual Mason to grow in his religious beliefs. The instant there is a monopolistic trend to distribute religion to men, ignoring their private and personal beliefs, the system then becomes the master of the man and is a danger to society. The individual is submerged and no longer is a seeker of Light. On the other hand, when an institution gives proper emphasis to Spiritual Enlightenment in relation to Intellectual Development, the individual stands as "the image of his Creator," not bound by dogma or edict, and free to develop spiritually and mentally, unhampered by a mighty pre-fabricated system. The strength of Masonry is in the tolerance and understanding of those of many beliefs who unite in Love, the pinnacle of all religions. The proper relation between Spiritual Growth and Mental Development is the balance wheel of Masonry. The highest good of all religions (and here is the common ground upon which Masons meet), is determined by the degree to which we recognize the same ingredients of love, of unselfishness, of service to humanity, in our brother's religion, as we claim for our own. There is a fine distinction between a Landmark and a Wall. Dewey Wollstein 1953.
games and picnics thought these were all of Masonry?" "But they are not dignified! Masonry is grave, impressive, grand, solemn. Picnics and ball games and entertainments are frivolous. They can't mix." "Go on, you interest me strangely," commented the Old Tiler. "Tell me, is it irreligious for a church to have a picnic or a social?" "Why-er-I suppose not. But it isn't the church that has 'em, it's the Sunday School."
Gambols on the Green
"It's disgusting!" began the New Brother. "Morton must think more of his stomach than he does of his Masonry. Insisting on expensive refreshments for ladies' night. What's the use of a ladies' night, anyhow? Jenkins is trying to start a ball game and Elliot wants a picnic! All this isn't Masonry!" "Why isn't it?" asked the Old Tiler. "What a foolish question. You know that Masonry isnâ€™t just enjoyment and foolishness." "I've been a Mason half a century," said the Old Tiler, "but maybe I don't know what Masonry is. Certainly I don't know all that it is. Who told you these chaps who want refreshments and ladies' nights and ball
"Where they train children to be good, love God and come to church. The minister should know better than to try to impress children with the Fatherhood of God by holding a picnic! Any church entertainment which makes people come and laugh and know each other better and make money to decorate the church is wicked. I would speak to the district attorney about it, if I were you." "Now you are laughing at me!" protested the New Brother. "That's more than anyone else will, if you keep on chattering," went on the Old Tiler. "Masonry is all you have said it is, and a great deal you haven't said. Religion is more than going to church. If God call stand seeing His ministers, and those who love and follow Him, having innocent enjoyment in an entertainment or a ball game or a picnic, it should not hurt Masonry to do tile same thing. "Masonry is strong only as its bonds are strong. Its greatest bond is not charity, relief, knowledge, learning, ritual, secrecybut brotherhood. The feeling you have for 24
one who has sat in lodge with you is brotherhood. You have sworn the same obligations, seen the same work, experienced the same emotions-there is a bond between you. Whatever makes that bond stronger is a help to Masonry. "A picnic brings Masons together informally. It brings children together to play. You learn that Smith is different from what he appears in the lodge-there he is shy, retiring, almost insignificant. On a picnic lie is in his element; playing with the children, having a good time with the men, helping the women-and you like Smith better. There are a thousand Smiths and a thousand of you, and it is a picnic or a ball game or an outing of some sort which brings you together. "Ladies' nights show women that Masonry is innocent, happy, good. They learn what sort of men their husbands and brothers and sweethearts and sons see every week. They learn to associate a name and a personality with a position; they discover that the Master s human, the Secretary is nice, the junior Warden decent, the Senior Warden delightful. Such contacts spread the good repute of the order. Some men don't get as much out of the lodge as they might; it's their fault, perhaps, but we are not supposed to look for our brothers' faults. If the ladies' night makes the come-but-seldom brother feel that his lodge is doing something for him, it is worth while. "There are other uses for money than hoarding it. There are better ways of spending it than upon new costumes and furniture. One good spending is to make someone happy. If this lodge has spare funds to provide some pleasure for itâ€™s 25
ladies, we should so spend it. If we have cash to finance a picnic or a ball game, it's wise to use it so. The gravity and solemnity of the third degree will not be hurt by the fun you have, any more than our reverence for the Creator is damaged by a Sunday School picnic or a church entertainment. "Son, Masons are human. We arE not better or different or larger, finer or more learned than our fellows. We strive toward perfection by means of a fraternal vehicle which the years have proved to be strong, well made, able to carry us to happiness and honour. If it could be damaged by picnics and ladles' nights, it would have fallen to pieces long ago. If its dignity was so slight that it was injured by a Masonic ball game, it would have been a laughing stock the day after baseball was invented. "Get outside of Masonry and look in on it; see it for what it is, not for what it merely appears to be during a degree. When you see Masonry as love for one's fellow, brotherhood between men, charity to all, and reverence for God, you won't think that gambols on the green of life can hurt it." "I have to go in lodge now," the New Brother announced. "What's your hurry?" asked the Old Tiler. "Got to support the motion to spend enough to give the girls a real feast!" grinned the New Brother, as he retied his apron strings. This is the sixty-ninth article in this regular feature, â€˜The Old Tiler Talks,â€™ each month we publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
The Sponsor and Mentor What are his duties and obligations to his candidate and, ultimately, the Craft? All too often a newly made Mason, usually at the Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft stages in his Masonic career, drops out and eventually demits or receives a nonpayment of dues suspension. Is it his fault? No, it is yours! You, as his sponsor and mentor, began ignoring him the minute the ink from your signature had dried on his petition for initiation. You were not there for his initiation, passing or raising. You failed to assist him with his memory work. You failed to introduce him throughout your jurisdiction by not inviting him out to visit other lodges with you. You failed to phone him on a regular basis or visit him, to ensure he is not having any difficulties with his memory work. You failed to invite him and his wife out to a ladies night, to ensure his wife felt part of the Masonic community. He probably does not know the protocol for these types of social functions as of yet and never assume he does. Basically, you left him standing alone, thus leaving him with the feeling he is not part of the Masonic fraternity, subsequently losing interest in his lodge and never returning. This, my brethren, is OUR fault, not the members who lose interest. They lose interest because they are not stimulated in lodge, their sponsors forget their obligations and most of all, they are being ignored/disregarded amongst the lodge members who should be taking these new
members under their wing and making him feel welcomed and part of the circle. It is estimated that there is an alarming rate of approximately 20% of new members, usually EA or FC, who have lost interest in the lodge and have demitted, or not returned. It is your duty as a sponsor/mentor to ensure, once you petition someone, that you strive to stay with him throughout the entire process. You should support and directed throughout the process. This must continue until such time he is either accepted into the circle, which should be automatic, considering our purpose, or until they are comfortable enough on their own to build their own friendships amongst the brethren. Don't just assume that because he receives his monthly summons he should feel welcome to attend the stated meetings. Ensure you remind him of the meetings and offer to drive him there for the first few. Be there from his entering the lodge, signing the porch book, introducing him to members he has not yet met and sit with him. After the close of the lodge, sit with him at the festive board until it is time to leave. I have heard of an incident. A friend of mine moved from one province to another. When he visited a lodge in that jurisdiction, he was surprised to see one of his sponsors from his mother lodge, who also moved away. His sponsor did not recognize him at first and asked him if he would have a problem with a board of trial. Another friend of mine was sponsored a few years ago and one of his sponsors lived across the street from him. Not once did his sponsor visit or phone him to see how his memory work was or if he required assistance. Luckily, this newly made Mason was a fast learner, a keen member and went through 26
all the degrees by himself, without any assistance from his sponsors at all. In closing brethren, if you are going to sponsor someone, be there for him after the ink on his petition dries, from start to finish. I realize that many of us, due to family and work commitments, cannot be there all of the time. But there is always that second person who affixed his signature on that petition and has the same obligation as you do. Just remember that every new member we lose, we are also losing the possibility of the ten people he may have sponsored throughout his Masonic career and so on. If we, as a fraternity, are to survive, we must remember the duties and obligations owed to our new members. Just remember before you sponsor someone - will you be there for him??? The Sponsor and Mentor - His duties and obligations to his candidate and, ultimately, the craft - by W. Bro. Donald M. Scandrett. Sourced from the Masonic Trowel website.
Objections to Freemasonry Freemasonry is not well known. This is why outsiders sometimes denigrate or deride the movement. Because the objections are predictable and consistent, it is important to try to forestall them in advance. Mackeyâ€™s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry lists the principal sins of which Freemasonry is generally accused â€“ its supposed secrecy, exclusivist charity, admission of unworthy members, claim to 27
be a religion, administration of unlawful oaths, and puerility. The following are answers to these objections: Is Freemasonry secret? Though Masonry has its secrets, it is not a secret society. Its principles are far from being hidden from view, its members make no secret of their Masonic affiliation and even publicise it, and its meeting places are clearly identified and in many cases open to public inspection when not in use for Masonic meetings. Those aspects of Masonry which are secret are basically limited to modes of recognition which identify a man as a Mason and indicate the level or rank that he has attained within Masonry, and certain rites and ceremonies which ritualize doctrines which themselves are open and available. And even those few things which are Masonic secrets are not locked up within a restricted circle, since new members are continually entering the movement and learning them.
Does Freemasonry unworthy members?
Not knowingly. Applicants have to be recommended by existing members of the organisation, and criteria for acceptance include good reputation, civic responsibility and family stability. Once admitted into Freemasonry, the member receives constant reminders of his ethical duty and social responsibility.
Is Masonic charity exclusivist? The many Masonic benevolent institutions never refuse a helping hand to individuals or families in need, though it is true that in some respects priority is accorded to
Masons and their families. Like all community groups that foster a special feeling of fellowship, Freemasonry urges mutual responsibility within the group, just as any sibling should be able to rely upon another in a family. Mackey says, “It is well known that those who are nearer should be dearer”, and adds that membership of a family or other group should confer a feeling of security.
Does Freemasonry claim to be a religion? It does not claim to be, nor is it, a religion. Adherents of many faiths are among its members, and hardly any religious group raises objections to its believers being Freemasons. A Freemason must profess a belief in a Supreme Being, but the movement as such has no theological tenets or sectarian rituals. It is not a religion, a theology or a denomination. It stands for an attitude of personal humility and ethical responsibility motivated by belief in God, whatever the way in which one understands or celebrates Him. Members are encouraged to involve themselves in the religious denomination of their choice or upbringing. The use of Biblical terminology is Masonic rituals and the references to Biblical personages, especially King Solomon, reflect the Scriptural strand in our western culture.
Does Freemasonry unlawful oaths?
Though the wording of solemn obligations (they are promises not oaths) entered into by Masons is not publicised, there is nothing immoral, criminal, treacherous, or for that matter frivolous in such obligations. Nor do these obligations in any way compromise a
Freemason’s duty to his family, profession, religion, or country. On the contrary, they reinforce the loyalties and commitments to which a person is already lawfully bound. Freemasons do not consider their Masonic obligations as in any way higher than the law of the land. The fact that so many eminent leaders in many walks of public life, known for their integrity and patriotism, have been and are Freemasons, is enough evidence that Freemasonry does not and can not countenance any compromise with the law.
Is Freemasonry puerile? Perhaps because its rites and ceremonies are not open to public view, the movement is sometimes ridiculed by outsiders who invent and imagine supposed rituals which they then proceed to attack as outlandish or childish. Every club, organisation or community has its ways of doing things – running a meeting, addressing the chair, keeping the records. Anything can be criticised as childish or absurd, but the fact is that tradition and ceremony lend character and even drama to the affairs of the group. Masonic ceremonies symbolize principles and teachings which might otherwise remain so theoretical and vague as to be in danger of evaporating. True, the best ritual can be performed in sloppy and even absurd fashion, but if those taking part do so with intelligence and dignity and explain the symbolism of the ceremony, it is not puerile but poetic. The accusations against Freemasonry are fallacious and unfair. The movement deserves a better deal. By Rt. Wor. Bro. Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple, AO RFD, Past Deputy Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales & the Australian Capital Territory. Click the name to go to his website.
DID YOU KNOW? Question: Are there women Freemasons? Answer: Not that we recognize as such. A female duly elected, properly prepared, initiated and obligated, passed and raised, who signed the bylaws of a regularly constituted Lodge, would not be a Freemason, as all which had been done with her would be illegal, and one illegally initiated is not a Freemason. The third of the Old Charges states emphatically: "The persons admitted members of a Lodge must be good and true Men, freeborn, and of mature and discreet Age, no Bondmen, no Women, no immoral or scandalous Men, but of good Report." There appear to have been at least two historic instances in which a woman was initiated. Prior to the formation of the first Irish Grand Lodge, an Irish Lodge, meeting in the home of Arthur St Ledger First Baron Kilmayden and Viscounte Doneraile, had its privacy invaded accidentally by the Honorable Elizabeth St Ledger, later Mrs. Richard Aldworth. The Lodge members decided the only way to preserve secrecy was to obligate her; she was, therefore, duly obligated both as an Apprentice and as a Fellow Craft. The second instance concerns Helene, Countess Hadik Barkocgy, born 1833, "made a Mason" in Lodge Egyenloseg, warranted by the Grand Orient of Hungary. The last of her family, at her father's death she was permitted by the Hungarian courts to take the place of a son, receiving his full inheritance. In this was an extensive Masonic library in which she became much interested. In l875 the Lodge mentioned admitted her! 29
The Grand Orient of Hungary took immediate action on this "breach of Masonic vow, unjustifiably conferring Masonic degrees, doing that which degrades a Freemason and Freemasonry, and for knowingly violating the statutes." The Deputy Master of the Lodge was expelled, the officers of the Lodge had their names struck from its rolls, and the members were suspended for various periods of time. To the honour of the Grand Orient be it said, its final pronouncement--apart from these merited punishments--was unequivocal. There are a dozen or more stories of other women "made Masons" but none of them withstands critical examination. There are Lodges, which admit women to their membership, but none of them are under the Grand Lodges that we consider to be "regular." Question: What is a demit? Answer: Permission given a member to terminate his membership; the paper representing that permission. In nearly all Grand Jurisdictions, obtaining a demit is a formality; a Lodge is obliged to grant a demit to him who asks it! Provided he is in good standing and no charges have been or are about to be preferred against him. The theory is that as he joined his Lodge of his own free will and accord he should have the right to leave it in the same way. In some Grand Jurisdictions a member may receive a demit only to join another Lodge, or to remove from his Grand Jurisdiction to another. The Questions and answers from â€˜Did you Knowâ€™ 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.
The Working Tools of an Online Mason As the World changes around us, by necessity we must adapt ourselves to keep pace. This is equally true with Freemasonry. In addition to the many physical lodges around the world, there is now an online lodge that many brethren are members of. This is an excellent choice for those who cannot attend a regular lodge for any number of reasons. Many of us communicate online through email or social networking sites, enhancing our ability to keep in touch and share relevant information. Though it brings us closer, it also has its own cautions, for nothing launched onto the net ever truly disappears. Throughout the many ceremonies in which we participate, we are introduced to the working tools of each degree. We, of course, understand that each tool is symbolic of both a moral lesson and a technique to aid in self improvement. In this modern era I believe there is a set of tools that is unique to the online world.
local and worldwide, and the keyboard allows us to input text and commands through various programs. But as we are not operative, but rather free and accepted or speculative Masons we apply these tools to our morals.
The Mouse In this sense, the mouse demonstrates that the smallest of gestures can contribute to larger actions, and that even a single touch can put great things into motion.
The Modem The modem reminds us that, like the Great Architect of The Universe, the cyberverse forever saves and stores words and actions which can never truly be undone.
The Keyboard The keyboard teaches us that, with effort, our thoughts and words can be translated into any language, and so must be used with care, for words are both a tool for good and a weapon.
And so, my brethren, I now present to you the working tools of the virtual, or online Mason: the mouse, the modem, and the keyboard.
Thus with a steady hand, a greater connection, and patient words, we hope to log on to the Great Architectâ€™s network, from whence all goodness emanates.
The mouse is used to navigate and interact with the online world. The modem enables our computers to connect to networks both
By Bro. Ryan McKay, Prince of Wales Lodge No. 14, Masonry in Manitoba magazine.(this setup by SRA76)
THE BACK PAGE ABRACADABRA A term of incantation or magic which was formerly worn about the neck as an amulet or protection against various diseases, especially the tertian ague. It was to be written on a triangular piece of parchment in either of the forms here illustrated: ABRACADABRA BRACADABR RACADAB ACADA CAD A
ABRACADABRA ABRACADABR ABRACADAB ABRACADA ABRACAD ABRACA ABRAC ABRA ABR AB A
The word may be written or read either way, and the triangles can point up or down, with no alteration of the efficiency according to believers in the value of the idea. The word occurs in the Carmen de Morbis et Remediis of Q. Serenus Sammonicus, a favorite of the Emperor Severus in the second and third centuries, and is generally supposed to be derived from the word abraxas. That the letters contain a hidden spiritual or mystical meaning is doubtless true. Hoefer in his Chemistry, among other curious lore, points out that the first three letters are the initials in Hebrew representative of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and that the C. A. D. are the Greek letters also indicative of the 'Trinity'. Hoefer doubtless had in mind the Ab, Ben, Ruach, Acadosch, Hebrew for Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The reader will note these four initials as well as the first four letters of the last word. Much speculation has been expended on the word and the supposition that it comprises the initials of several sacred words is as reasonable as any other. Godfrey Higgins, (Celtic Druids, page 246), gets the word Abracadabra not from the Latin but from the Erse language, the tongue of the Gaels of Scotland and the Celts of Ireland. Deriving the word from Abra, meaning God, and Cad, meaning holy, Higgins obtains a combination signifying the holy God. Sourced from Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry and Kindred Sciences by Albert G. Mackey m.d.
The Monthly Masonic Magazine of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76.