Volume 11 Issue 5 No. 87 September 2015
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Contents Cover Story, Masonic Education Famous Freemason – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart The Order of Owls The Coronation Lodge No. 934 Rays of Masonry Old Tiler Talks Did You Know? The All-Seeing Eye Which Temple? The Masonic Dictionary Main Website – The Great Light – The History of the Bible
In this issue: Page 2, ‘Masonic Education’ A Subject too often overlooked. This is an excellent Lecture. I urge everyone to read this!
Page 7, ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.’ A Famous Freemason.
Page 10, ‘Order of Owls.’ Fraternal Societies throughout the World.
Page 12, ‘The Lambskin.’ An Old Poem.
Page 13, ‘The Coronation Lodge No. 934.’ A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges.
Page 15, ‘Rays of Masonry.’ “The March of Masonry”, our Regular monthly feature.
Page 16, ‘Universal Freemasonry’ The differences of Freemasonry throughout the World explained!
Page 18, ‘The Old Tiler Talks.’ “Burdens”, the Forty-fourth in the series.
Page 20, ‘Did You Know?’ The Origin of the Five Points of Fellowship.
Page 22, ‘The All-Seeing Eye.’ One of Freemasonry’s oldest symbols.
Page 26, ‘Which Temple?’ The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple.
Page 27, ‘The Masonic Dictionary.’ Usages.
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The Great Light – The History of the Bible.’[link]
The front cover artwork was sourced and adapted by the editor.
Masonic Education A subject too often overlooked.
Conrad Hahn, a most distinguished Mason, once observed, "The lack of
educational work in the average lodge is the principal reason for the lack of interest and the consequent poor attendance in Masonry over which spokesman have been wringing their hands for at least a century". This quote stirs one to think about the importance and value of Masonic education within the Masonic Fraternity. It should further stir us to think about why this important aspect of Freemasonry has been so badly overlooked. We must not kid ourselves into thinking that Masonic education is playing the prominent part in Freemasonry that by right it should. Before we offer an answer to that question why has this situation come about, let us first ponder the lodge of our ancestors back 250+ years ago. What value was Education then and what kind of education was being proposed then? This leads to the all important question, "Why has this situation come about?" The real problem in trying to answer this question is that there is no easy answer. We, as a Fraternity, have
reached the point where far to few of our members have even the faintest idea of why they are Freemasons, let alone, have any real knowledge about our history and heritage. To those of you who are "ritual purists" please do not let my next statement shock you. But the real truth of the matter is we have come to depend on the ritual as the
basis for Masonic knowledge. The ritual does not make Masons. It only makes members! We cheat, wrong and defraud any candidate who is left hanging at the end of the 3rd Degree, having heard a lot of words and really not knowing what they mean. Until the Degrees are explained to the candidate he has no idea of what he has gone through. To suggest that the explanation is complete with the lectures of each Degree is again burying our head in "Masonic Sand." Let me stress no one loves the ritual more than I do. The ritual has an important place in the life of the person who is becoming a Mason. But, that place is not the "throne from on high" from which there is no more to learn. In my opinion, it is far easier to memorize and recite the ritual than it is to study the history and meaning of Freemasonry. So, we tend to be far more comfortable in working the Degrees than in working with the candidate to teach him what our beautiful craft is all about. Has this always been so? The answer, of course, is no. But we have drifted so far away from true knowledge within our Fraternity that now it is very difficult to try to turn the tide. But we are going to have to do that very thing! What are in fact the origins of Freemasonry? Where did it begin? How did it reach the present state in which we find it today? Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could answer these questions in ten words or less. We can not. We can only surmise what in fact may have happened. Historically, of course, Freemasonry did not begin with the forming of a Grand Lodge in London in 1717. Quite obviously, there had to have been Lodges to be formed at that time. So, they must have had some history prior to that date. When did it all begin? We simply don't know. One thing has always bothered me with the 2
explanation we are usually given. That is: Why did the ancient Guilds of Cathedral builders need such an elaborate method of recognition. Why would they have needed signs and words, if in fact our early origins were with tradesmen plying their skill in building cathedrals? That they would wish to keep secret the method by which they constructed a building might perhaps be possible. But, they were out in the open, visible to anyone who wished to come near the building and certainly not in any danger from an outside enemy. So why would they need to have methods of recognition that would not have been known to the casual observer? This question has always intrigued me. Please let me tell you right now, I do not know the answer. One of the better theories that I have read concerning this matter is in a book by John Robinson entitled, Born in Blood. John Robinson will be your guest lecturer later this year. He has much to offer and I hope you will make every effort to attend and hear this very fine man present his theories on the origins of Freemasonry. Let me just say briefly that his theory is that Freemasonry very likely began with the suppression of the Knights Templar in the year 1307. At that time the Templars were crushed in France, but by the delay of the King in enforcing the edict in England and Scotland many escaped. It is Mr. Robinson's theory that they went underground and had to devise a method of recognition enabling them to travel safely and to establish safe houses where they would have an opportunity to rest and refresh themselves. It also gave them the ability to recognize each other as members of the order! While the suppression of the Knights Templar may or may not have anything to with early Freemasonry, it 3
certainly makes more sense to me that secret signs and words in this type of environment were far more necessary than with the simple workman plying his trade in building a cathedral. Just one more thought from this particular theory. The suppression of the Knights Templar occurred on October 13, 1307. The particular day of the week was a Friday and ever since that event Friday the 13th has been considered to be the unluckiest day of the year. Now, the suppression of the Templars was crude and bloody but it was not an unusual event in those times. War, pillage, and confiscation of property were a way of life. There were other orders in existence who had their troubles as well. What was there about the Knights Templar that made them known and recognized and respected? Why do I say respected? Because there wasn't any rejoicing at their suppression. Instead the day is remembered as unlucky! The only conclusion that I can reach is that this order held the respect of the people and their destruction brought about the omen of bad luck. Why were they so respected? Obviously, there is no absolute answer to that question, but one could surmise that if they were indeed practicing the principles of Freemasonry they would certainly have had the respect of the people! My conclusion is that Freemasonry has existed for a very long time. Not perhaps, as we know it today, but as an order of men doing good work where they were permitted to exist. This observation is not to be taken in the context of the claims of many Masonic writers, such as: Masonry goes back to the times of Solomon or even Noah and the flood. In Masonic writing we must be very careful when making claims like this. Many times ancient symbols, which have in more recent times been co-opted by Freemasonry, are mistaken as evidence of
early Masonic existence . Let me give you one example. The All Seeing Eye on the one dollar bill is certainly well known in Masonic circles and, unfortunately, has mistakenly been interpreted as a Masonic symbol. It is in fact an ancient symbol which was taken into Freemasonry in far more recent times. This lack of understanding of ancient signs and symbols has, in my judgment, misled many Masonic historians into false conclusions. The study of history, particularly, where the written word was not used requires a well trained person when interpreting its meaning. That is why we need to do a far better job of interpreting early Masonic history than we have done in the past. If Masonic history began in earlier times than we normally talk about, it is obviously going to make a reconstruction of our past difficult because we have very few written records to go by. Remember these were times when few people could read or write. So, we don't have minutes of early Lodge meetings available. Also remember, if their very lives were at stake, that was another strong inducement not to put very much information into written form! The purpose of my tracing this obscure part of our history is simply to say to you that I very strongly believe that there was a far more significant purpose to the origins of Freemasonry than simply erecting buildings! I do believe that Freemasonry evolved into that stage, during its development, but the Cathedral builders reflected a time in our history and not its beginning! Let me carry this thinking one step further and bring it into the late 1700's. Benjamin Franklin and Voltaire did not join a workers guild! They joined what they believed to be an educational society which was called, "Freemasonry." These were extremely intelligent men who had no
time to waste on things that were not important to them, and yet Franklin was an active Freemason and Voltaire joined only shortly before his death! What was it that they saw in Freemasonry that eludes us today? Well let's focus our thoughts more on modern Freemasonry and see what we can determine. It has been said that Freemasonry in Europe was for the elite and in America for the masses. With the great numbers of members that we have attracted over the years, there seems to be a certain amount of truth in that statement. Today we tend to overlook the fact that even though our numbers are dwindling we still have in excess of two and one-half million Freemasons in the United States alone. It would seem that when Freemasonry caught fire it did so in massive numbers. In the 1920's we were in the three millions in membership. In the 1950's and early 60's in the four millions and have been on a decline ever since. But, if we look at the membership in the 1700's, when by any standard of measurement Freemasonry was certainly at its most influential peak, there were not very many Freemasons! Lodges were small, intimate and every Brother knew every other Brother. With larger numbers, perhaps also, came the seeds of our own downfall. It is very difficult to have personal knowledge of each Brother when our numbers are so large. One of the most frequent complaints we hear in Freemasonry is a Brother saying that "I was in the hospital and no one came to see me. The chances are no one even knew he was in the hospital! We also have an extremely mobile population. It is no exaggeration to say that somewhere in the 30% range of the 4
members of each Grand Lodge live somewhere else, other than the Jurisdiction in which they where raised. How do you keep a personal relationship with a Brother when you don't even know where he is? It would seem to me that one of the greatest mistakes we have made in Freemasonry is to try to run it as we did in the 1700's. You can't run an organization with a few thousand members the same way as you do one with millions of members. It just can't be done! We did not develop, through Masonic education, the training programs, the communication, the leadership that was necessary to deal with these vast numbers. When we talk about the "old days" when all of the leading men of the town were in Freemasonry we overlook the fact that the town was very small and everybody knew everyone else. Now we have vast cities where people don't know everyone else. Yet we still think of Masonry in terms of those earlier times. It's impossible not to conclude that we simply have to do a much better job of communicating with and educating our membership! It is no secret that we have thousands upon thousands of books on Masonry and for the most part the one thing they have in common is that they are unread. We have to find a way of developing material that will be used in the Masonic community. Realistically we have to get right down to the Blue Lodge Level and insist that every Lodge must offer a course in Masonic education. If they don't have the resources within the Lodge to provide that education then it must be done either by another Lodge or at the district level. We can no longer turn out members who do not know anything about our Fraternity. The price we are paying for that mistake is clearly evident today! Programs can be developed but it does require commitment on the part 5
of the Grand Lodge but, more importantly, commitment, on the part of knowledgeable Masons within each Lodge who will actively accept the responsibility to see that all Masons are taught about the Fraternity. Certainly Grand Lodges can be of tremendous help in developing a program common to all Lodges within their Jurisdiction a program that would be at least enough to whet the appetite of the recipient so that he would want to do more on his own but one that would teach him basic Masonic information! During a recent study by the Masonic Renewal Task Force one of the issues that kept repeating itself over and over again was the lack of interest by our present members. The membership of Freemasonry can really be divided into three groups. If you will, imagine three side by side circles or, as I call them, a snowman lying down, the largest circle being the base which is the greatest percentage of our membership and largely inactive, a smaller circle in the middle which would be the body with a somewhat active membership; and the tiniest circle of all, the head, with the smallest group of Masons and the most active. It is with the large, inactive base that our attention should be directed. The deaths occurring are roughly the same in number as the new members being brought in, so one offsets the other. Where we are losing our members is in the two categories of non-Payment of dues and demits. Surveys have shown that of this very large base of membership, when asked why they pay their dues, 33% responded "to maintain membership" and 15% didn't even know why! These are the ones who, through lack of interest, are now leaving Freemasonry. This group I believe represents the residue of the "aura of Freemasonry" that used to say to a man "You Should Belong." Many joined
believing this. Now we have a group of men who never quite knew why they joined and over the years have never found out why, have reached that point where, either through lack of interest, or cutting back financially have no incentive to remain in Masonry. They have been around for years and have never been active and now see no need to stay a member. We are losing that group. We are not replacing them and unless and until we can find a way to communicate intelligently with them and show them a reason why being a Freemason is important they will continue to drift away. It is inevitable! But the good news is we can do something about this situation! We can do something about lack of interest and that my Brothers is the challenge facing Freemasonry today! At the very least inactive members should be invited to attend the instructional classes for new members that we have already talked about. Let me not present Freemasonry as all doom and gloom. It most certainly is not. We have a tremendous amount of good work going for us. Let me share with you some words from the May 1991, Short Talk Bulletin entitled, "And The Greatest Of These Is Charity." This quote is from that Short Talk Bulletin which was written by S. Brent Morris, a well known Masonic author: "A study of Masonic Charities is a study of the evolving needs of the American society. When food and shelter were immediate and almost daily concerns, Masons responded with firewood and the fruits of their harvests. When care of the aged, widows, and orphans were worries, Masons erected retirement homes and orphanages. When education was needed, Masons built schools, and when these basic needs moved ever farther from common experience,
Masons turned their philanthropy to crippled children, burn victims, the speech and language impaired, cancer patients, and others." It is very clear that when Masons are challenged, they will respond! These are visible challenges of people needing help. Now we must accept the invisible challenge of Masons needing greater understanding of the history and purposes of the Craft! Perhaps Freemasonry could never be more graphically described than in another quote from a Short Talk Bulletin. This one is entitled, "Ellis Island - The Golden Door" and was written by a man who is not a Mason, Mr. Dennis Hearn. Mr. Hearn worked very closely with members of the Grand Lodge of New York and did a great deal of research into the history of Freemasonry as the Ellis Island project developed. His association with Masons led him to this conclusion: "The Freemasons among our Founding Fathers brought to their work the ancient Masonic Landmarks of Truth and Brotherly love, and they fashioned a constitution which, by the depth and strength of its conviction, embedded those principles in the conscience of a nation. While we as a people have not always lived up to them, neither have we been able to ignore them." Those are very beautiful words to describe Freemasonry. Isn't it time we
reintroduced ourselves to the meaning of Freemasonry and got back to living and practicing this beautifully descriptive picture of our order? Sourced from the Short Talk Bulletin. This excellent Lecture was authored by Richard E. Fletcher, PGM, Vermont. Please give this thought provoking article some serious consideration, and feel free to share it with your Brethren. (editor)
Famous Freemasons Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart was made a Freemason in 1784. He was initiated in Lodge 'Zur Wohltatigkeit' (Beneficence) on 14th December but it is not known when he was passed and raised or whether he ever took office. He is recorded in a list of members as having completed his third degree and he is known to have been a very regular attendee of Lodge. It is not known who introduced him to freemasonry but it is clear from the overtly Masonic cantata Ok, Seele des Weltalls (To Thee, Mind of the Universe) that he had absorbed Masonic ideas some time before his initiation into the craft. It is known that both his father-in-law and brother-in-law were Freemasons, but they were not members of Mozart's lodge. Joseph Lange, who had married Mozart's old love Aloysia Weber was also a Freemason, but like wise not a member of 7
the lodge, so it is probable that he was proposed by one of his noble acquaintances. In 1786, at Emperor Joseph II's orders lodge 'Zur Wohlthatigkeit' was amalgamated with the lodges 'Zurgekronten Hoffnung' (Crowned Hope) and 'Drei Feuern' (Three Fires) into 'Zur neugekronten Hoffnung (New Crowned Hope), under the leadership of the wellknown scientist Ignaz von Born. A list of members dated 1791 shows that 'Zur neugekronten Hoffnung' had 89 attending members, 111 absent members and 12 serving members. Wofgang Mozart is listed among the attending members and his occupation is stated as Imperial Kappelmeister - which he was not! Among the members are no less than four Counts Esterhazy, as well as several others of the highest nobility, and no less than 49 Officials of the Imperial Court as well as officers of provincial and noble courts throughout the Empire. Mozart was in good company. The Esterhazy family of Hungary were possessed of fabulous wealth and Prince Nicholas Esterhazy was the patron of Joseph Haydn, who started life as the son of a 'free serf' on the Harrach estates (Field-Marshall, Frederick, Count Harrach was a member of lodge Zur neugekronten Hoffnung). The Esterhazy family as a whole were enlightened and humane masters of huge estates in Hungary, Austria and Bohemia. It is worth stressing at this juncture that the vast majority of the Austrian and Hungarian Freemasons were devout and active members of the Roman Catholic Church. They were all intelligent and well-informed men who saw no contradiction between Freemasonry and
their faith, even though they were well aware of the opposition of the clergy. Mozart's major contribution to Freemasonry was, as might be expected, in the field of music. In 1785 he composed the cantata Die Maurerfreude (Mason's Joy) which was performed in lodge 'Zur gekronten Hoffnung' on 24th April to honour Ignaz von Born, Master of lodge 'Zur wahren Eintracht' (True Concord) on his being made a Knight of the Empire. Also in 1785 he composed Maurerische Trauermusik (Masonic Funeral Music) to be played at a lodge of sorrows. This Music was in honour of two deceased brethren; Franz, Count Esterhazy de Galantha and Georg August, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, honorary member of the 'Three Eagles' lodge in Vienna and a member of the 'Three Globes' lodge in Berlin. It is clear to experts on music that Mozart associated certain musical characteristics with Masonic ideas: tied notes and suspensions, descending pairs of slurred notes, parallel thirds and sixths, the rising interval of the major sixth, dotted rhythms and various rhythmic embodiments of Masonic ritual knocks, were used consciously as musical symbols, bearing mind that music is the geometry of sound. The Symphonies Nos. 39 and 41, the Clarinet Quintet, the Clarinet Concerto, the Requiem Mass, the opera La Clemenza di Tito all have Masonic aspects and Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) is wholly Masonic. His last completed work 'Eine kleine Freymaurer Kantata' (Little Masonic Cantata) was performed on the occasion of his last visit to his lodge, only a month before his death. Apart from Mozart's wholehearted involvement, the year 1785 saw further injections of talent from the world of
music. On 11 February, Joseph Haydn was initiated into lodge 'Zur wahren Eindracht' and on 6 April Leopold Mozart, whilst on a visit to Vienna, was initiated in to the same lodge. By special dispensation, Leopold Mozart was passed on 16 April and raised on 22 April. Amongst other prominent musicians, Paul Wraniszky, Music Director to Count Johann Baptist Esterhazy, and Vittorio Colombazzo the celebrated oboeist, were members of Mozart's lodge. Mozart enjoyed his Freemasonry at a time when the craft in Austria was strong and protected by a benevolent Emperor who was well aware that many of his most trusted friends were members of the craft. But just as Mozart was near to the end of his days, so Freemasonry in Austria was drawing close to its' demise. Mozart's remaining years were typified by intense musical activity coupled with serious indebtedness. Mozart had borrowed freely from his fellow Mason, Michael Puchberg, the textile manufacturer and banker. His indebtedness was partly due to Constanze's health problems, which required expensive treatment at the spa at Baden. Also, many of his wealthy patrons were called away to the war against the Turks. Nevertheless, the 'Magic Flute' was a great success and he was commissioned to compose the opera La Clemenza di Tito for Leopold's coronation as King of Bohemia. Mozart was also commissioned by Count Walsegg-Stupach, under conditions of strict secrecy, to compose a requiem for his wife. Count Walsegg was an amateur musician who commissioned works that he then performed as his own. It was the Requiem Mass, which Mozart was composing on the very day of his death. Mozart sometimes commented that he 8
thought he was composing his own requiem - a comment that was taken seriously by some of his friends. Mozart's health rapidly deteriorated during 1791. On 18th November he was able to conduct fine Kleine Freimaurer Kantata at the dedication of a new Masonic temple but within a few days he became seriously ill and died, probably of rheumatic fever on 5th December 1791. Because of his Freemasonry, his sister-in law Sophie had great difficulty in finding a priest to perform the funeral service, but this nevertheless took place at St. Stephens cathedral on 7th December. The mourners included van Swieten, Salieri, Albrechtsberger and Sussmayer (two pupils of his), Hofer and Lange. Van Swieten arranged the funeral and its simple nature was in keeping with the spirit and customs of the times and so as not to put demands on the widow's purse. The grave was not marked and has never been found. A benefit concert was later held, which paid off all Mozart's debts and provided Constanze with a useful lump sum. So Mozart was far from forgotten in his last days and, had he lived, would undoubtedly have gone on to ever greater things. His financial position had also greatly improved by the time of his death, his indebtedness considerably reduced. But what would Mozart have made of the suppression of the Freemasons? Undoubtedly, he would have been greatly distressed to see the disappearance of a society of upright and enlightened men, all of them true friends. Would Mozart have fought back? We cannot be sure, but The Magic Flute with its' Masonic message, is a clear indication that Mozart made a conscious use of music to promote Masonic ideas. After his death the 9
authorities made several attempts to 'reinterpret' The Magic Flute in order to come up with a meaning palatable to the Emperor and his aristocratic government. They did this by changing the characters, so that Mozart's good guys (the enlightened freemasons) became the Jacobin revolutionary bad guys, and Mozart's bad guy's (the aristocratic tyrants) became the good guys. The authorities didn't dare close the opera down altogether and neither did they get away with their new interpretation. Mozart's Masonic statement outlived them all. Sourced from the website of the Grand Lodge of the State of Illinois .
Did You Know? In the initiation ceremony the candidate is told 'it is customary at the erection of all stately and superb edifices to lay the first or foundation stone at the N.E. corner of the building'. Is there any symbolic reason for this? Answer: I do not know of any symbolical reason for it and I am firmly convinced that the N.E. corner was chosen for purely practical reasons. There is a record of the laying of the first corner stone of Crowland Abbey, Lincolnshire in 1114 â€œon the Eastern side facing the Northâ€?. (A.O.C. 73). Further, a note from a master builder was published in A.O.C. 75 page 241 in which he explained that for practical reasons, i.e. the position of the sun at sunrise the North East corner is the most suitable. The above answer was given by W. Bro. Harry Carr, a former Secretary of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076.
Fraternal Societies Of the World â€˜Order of Owlsâ€™
The Order of Owls is a secret fraternal order founded in 1904 in South Bend, Indiana by John W. Talbot. According to its literature, the purposes of the society were "to assist each other in business, to help each other in obtaining employment, to assist the widows and orphans of our brothers, to give aid to our brother in any way that they may need, and assemble for mutual pleasure and entertainment." Its "catechism" said "Owls do good, speak kindly, shake hands warmly, and respect and honour their women". The order originated among a group of men who engaged in different businesses
and periodically met for mutual assistance. This group included John W. Talbot, Joseph E. Talbot, George D. Beroth, J. Lott Losey, John J.Johnson, John D. Burke, William Weaver and Frank Dunbar. They got around to discussing the teachings and methods of different fraternal orders and decided to create a new one, named after the owl.
After several months of planning by "the best constitutional lawyers in the Middle West", the constitution was adopted and the order was founded at the law offices of Talbot and Talbot on Nov. 20, 1904 in South Bend, Indiana. The local units of the Order are called "Nests" and include officers such an "Invocator" who served as chaplain. The central organization was evidently the "Home Nest" in the early twentieth century, but it was reportedly called the "Supreme Nest" in 1979. The head of the organization was the Supreme President. 10
The headquarters are called the "Supreme Offices" as late as the 1920s, but had moved to Hartford, Connecticut by the 1960s. Membership was open to men regardless of their religion. At least as late as 1979, though, membership was limited to white males. In 1911 the Order claimed over 300,000 members in the US, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Australia, South Africa and elsewhere. In 1924 the Order had 643,748 members in 2,148 lodges. It had approximately 100,000 members and 1,500 Nests in 1951. In 1957 the Order claimed a membership of 202,000. In 1970 it had 40,000 members and 5,000 in 1989.
enjoyments until after death" Other Owls literature stated claimed they were "the only great secret fraternity which does not claim in any manner to be a religious body." After being attacked by the Catholic weekly Newark Monitor in 1907, Supreme President Talbot replied that the order was founded by "sober men of Catholic education" and reported that 4 of its supreme officers were Catholics, 2 others were married to Catholics in the church and four out of seven of the trustees were Catholics. Furthermore, he claimed that the Owls was the only secret order in which there was nothing objectionable to Catholics other than the Ancient Order of Hibernians which Talbot claimed he had joined twenty years prior.
Ritual The Order of Owls worked four degrees and had a secret ritual, signs, grips and passwords. The initiate was required to recite a lengthy obligation, before he could join the order. An Owls circular in the early 1920s stated that "We have a beautiful ritual, but no religious observances. Nothing in the ritual is offensive to any man's religion or irreligion." Religious controversies The ritual of the Order of the Owls stated "We advocate no creed. We know there are so many gods, so many creeds, so many paths that wind and wind. We believe that the art of kindness is all this old world needs." They elsewhere stated that their Order was "a secret society of good fellows, who believe in love, laughter and the Kingdom of Heaven ON EARTH. It does not believe in postponing ones 11
Later, when a Catholic pastor had warned his congregation against the Owls, Talbot wrote him back on Dec. 13, 1910 saying that it had come to his attention that he had a copy of the ritual and was making parts of it known; Talbot protested that the ritual was property of the Home Nest, which was the supreme organization of the order, and "amply protected in a legal manner" and threatened legal action, but nothing came of the matter. The Order of Owls refused to respond from inquires from the Lutheran Churchâ€“ Missouri Synod's Commission on Fraternal Orders in in 1947, 1957, 1960, or 1961. In 1921 Supreme President John W. Talbot was convicted of a "morals charge" involving a nurse who worked at one of the Owls' hospitals. He was sentenced to five years in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary and a $5,000 fine. This was his second offense.
On Aug. 9 1912 the Grand Rapids "Local Nest" seceded to form the Order of Ancient Oaks saying "The Order of Owls is governed by one John W. Talbot and four associates, at South Bend, Ind. who run things to suit themselves and give no account of the moneys received. The Order has no legal standing anywhere in the U.S. and is careless in admitting new members." This had all come out in an investigation by the Grand Rapids Nest and several other dissatisfied Nests. According to the Grand Rapids Herald the Owls had suffered no less than 40 secessions, the revolters taking various names. On May 27, 1921, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that 200 members had left the Order of the Owls to form the Supreme Order of the White Rabbits. Lodges of the White Rabbits were located in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois and Ohio. Many chapters have been disbanded, but as of the early 21st century, some continued to operate in such places as Duluth, Minnesota, Perkasie, Pennsylvania and Parkersburg, West Virginia. One recently organized Nest in Baltimore, Maryland was raided in 2005 as "an illegal poker den with political, criminal, and lawenforcement ties." Sourced from a variety of sources freely available on the internet
THE LAMBSKIN Be proud of that lambskin more ancient by far Than the fleece of pure gold or the eagle of war. ‘Tis the emblem of innocence and nobler to wear Than the Thistle of Scotland or order so rare. Let the King wear his purple and point to his crown That will fall from his brow ere his throne tumbles down. But the badge of a Mason has much more to give, Than a kingdom so frail it cannot long live.
Let the field marshal boast of the men he can guide The infantry columns and heroes that ride. But that white leather apron his standard outranks As it gleams from the East to the death river’s banks. ‘Tis the badge of the orphan, the symbol of love, Our charter of faith in that Grand Lodge above. Whilst the high and the low in its whiteness arrayed, One blood and one kin by its magic are made.
Kingdoms fall to the earth cities crumble to dust, Man was born but to die, swords were made but to rust. But that white leather apron through ages passed on, Has survived with the Lodge of the holy Saint John.
So be proud of that lambskin which level uplifts, That white leather apron most priceless of gifts. Tis the badge of a Mason more ancient by far, Than the fleece of pure gold or the eagle of war.
Coronation Lodge No. 934
He was assisted by members from the Royal Navy’s “Atlantic Fleet Lodges”, especially by Bro. The Reverend Rorison, who was serving on H.M.S. Cornwallis.
A Short History
On 22nd November 1912, the Provincial Grand Master reported that he had the pleasure of being present at Coronation Lodge on the occasion of the initiation of the ‘Basha’ of Tangier. All workings were carried out in Arabic, the ritual having been previously translated. By May 1913, the Lodge reported to the Provincial Grand Lodge that candidates of many nationalities were being initiated, and was doing splendidly, with Arabs taking great interest in Freemasonry. At the height of the Great War on 22nd May 1915, the Provincial Grand Master reported to Grand Lodge that sadly many members of Lodges in the Province had being called for war service. Lives were lost on both sides with Coronation Lodge suffering the most as its members derived from many nationalities. The Right Worshipful Master at the time was a German Brother.
It is not known with absolute certainty, why or how the adoption of the name Coronation by the Founders came about, but it is very likely attributed to the celebration of King Edward VII’s coronation in the same year. On 29th July 1902, The Grand Lodge of Scotland received a petition for the formation of Coronation Lodge in Tangier, Morocco. This petition was signed by 39 founder members and also had the support from the two lodges in Gibraltar, i.e. Lodge St. Thomas No 576 and Lodge Al Moghreb Al Aksa No 670. Grand Lodge granted the Charter on the 7th August 1902. The Consecration of Coronation Lodge No 934 was carried out on Saturday 23rd August 1902 at the Cecil Hotel, Tangier by the Provincial Grand Master of Gibraltar, Bro. William F. Roberts P.M. under the banner of Lodge Al Moghreb Al Aksa. Bro. Russell E. C. Edye a Master Mason of Lodge Southern Cross No 398 S.C. was Installed as Right Worshipful Master by Bro. J. de Soto Lyons P.M. of Lodge 670 and assisted by Bro. Peter Freeman Lyons R.W.M. of Lodge 670 and Bro. John D. Munro P.M. of 576. But it was not until 28th November 1902 that Coronation Lodge was accepted as a member of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Gibraltar. On the 16th May 1908, Bro. Peter Freeman Lyons consecrated a new hall for Coronation Lodge in Tangier, Morocco. 13
Many Brethren left Tangier never to return. On 24th July 1920, the Lodge commissioned the erection of a new Temple in Tangier at a cost of £700. A year later the Lodge was experiencing difficulties in raising the funds to pay for its construction. The Provincial Grand Master came to the Lodge’s aid and on 18th November 1921 he requested the other Lodges in the Province to assist Coronation with a financial loan to help pay for the plot of land. By 19th May 1922, there was a good response to his appeal and the Lodges in Gibraltar raised the generous sum of £255. St Andrews Lodge No 966 in Malta provided a further £30. The new Temple was completed in early 1922 and on 27th May of that same
year, the Temple was consecrated by the acting Provincial Grand Master, Bro. J. D. McClachan, who gave a very interesting address on the origins and nature of Freemasonry. Shortly after, the Provincial Grand Master gave his authority for the Lodge to work certain degrees in Spanish. The translation of the “Cowan” ritual was used, with the minutes and correspondence continuing in the English language. Authority was also granted for the Lodge to open and close in Spanish, if the presiding Brother thought it necessary. It was the first time ever that a Scottish Lodge ritual had been translated into the Spanish language. On 13th August 1924, a special one off Past Master’s Jewel was struck and presented in Coronation Lodge to Bro. Major J. A. Legget R.A. on behalf of the Brethren of the three Constitutions and especially for the excellent work he had done for the Lodge. Fifteen years later, Bro. Major J. A. Legget became Provincial Grand Master of the Scottish Constitution in Gibraltar. During World War II, Coronation Lodge lost most of its members and was on longer active. It was eventually declared dormant by Grand Lodge on the 25th May 1945. But on 20th May 1948, after 7 years of inactivity, Coronation Lodge was reopened and started working once more. On the 30th May 1952, Lodge Al Moghreb Al Aksa travelled to Tangier and conferred the Mark Master Mason’s degree on all the members of Coronation, thus giving the Lodge sufficient members to work the degree in the future. Notwithstanding that Coronation was based in Morocco and had many non-British members, the Lodge
made a contribution for a gift to be presented to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh on their Royal visit to Gibraltar. A total of £110 was raised between the District Grand Lodge and Daughter Lodges for a beautifully engraved rose bowl. On 9th September 1954, a special meeting was held at the office of the Right Worshipful Master in the British Consulate to decide what action to take regarding the Lodge premises. This had degraded to a state of disrepair and the structure was no longer safe. As there were insufficient funds to undertake the works, it was agreed to rent the building to the Coca-Cola company, until sufficient funds were available to pay for the necessary repairs. Future meetings were held at the Theatre club in the old British Centre. After attaining independence from the French and the corresponding decline of western influence, the political climate in Morocco became less tolerant to Freemasonry. During the summer of 1957 at a ladies night held at the Tangier Country Club, a number of influential Moroccan dignitaries were invited to demonstrate to the Moroccan authorities that British Freemasonry was no threat to their country. However, on 18th December 1959 an application was made to the Moroccan authorities for the registration of Coronation Lodge. After many months of delay the Moroccan authorities refused to recognise the organisation and were ordered to cease all activities immediately. Efforts by the British Consulate in Rabat produced no results. On instructions from the Grand Lodge of Scotland the Lodge agreed to declare itself dormant. The premises were hired out to a Moroccan carpenter at the rent of 1,500 pesetas per 14
month (approximately £6).On 7th January 1964, the District Grand Lodge wrote to Bro. A. H. Selley in Tangier, enquiring whether the existing members would agree to the transfer of the Lodge Charter to Gibraltar. A favourable reply was received from Bro. Selley and the other six remaining members in Tangier. On 20th September 1964, the Grand Lodge of Scotland agreed to the request and authorised the transfer. The Charter once obtained was sent to Grand Lodge for amendments. The Master of the Mons Calpe (the Gibraltar-Tangier ferry,) Bro. Don Delf (a member of Coronation Lodge) assisted by the first Officer, brought over to Gibraltar the Charter together with some Lodge records and Regalia. These were handed over to the District Grand Master, and the District Grand Secretary. In February 1965, Coronation Lodge held its first Installation Ceremony with Bro. Anthony J. Segui BEM becoming the first Master in Gibraltar. By 1967, Coronation Lodge was now fully established in the Gibraltar Masonic Institute. The District Grand Master urged members of Daughter Lodges to affiliate and support the Lodge. A good response was received from both 576 and 670 with many members affiliating. In order not to compete with the other Sister Lodges it was initially agreed not to Initiate any candidates. On the 25th March 1977, twelve years after transferring to Gibraltar the Lodge initiated its first candidate in Gibraltar. It thus became a full working Lodge and an equal partner in the District. This History of The Coronation Lodge No. 934 was sourced from the Lodge’s Website This can be viewed http://www.coronationlodge.gi/ Our thanks go to the Lodge No .934 whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright owners.
Rays of Masonry “The March of Masonry” There is no such thing as a state of Masonry. Masonry is forever the Mason learning, thinking, loving, praying and achieving, step by step, day by day. Every success opens the door to another opportunity for greater learning, for further progress, for steady improvement. We strive and fail, and find the truth that all success is created from the broken pieces of failure. Even as we grope in darkness and feel a sense of futility, we are in the process of growing, and Light comes to lead us into greater darkness, and out again into More Light. What do we mean when we refer to Masonic failure? There is no failure in Masonry except that which comes when we lose sight of the real goal of achievement, the attainment of the Middle Chamber. All our efforts are wasted unless we forever keep in mind that Masonic education, Masonic training, Masonic study, must be directed toward final triumph, which is at-one-ment with the Grand Architect of the Universe. Masonry has been described as "the realization of God by the practice of Brotherhood." In those few words are revealed clearly the sole purpose of our Institution. Why is Brotherhood a slow evolutionary movement instead of a natural and spontaneous condition? Why are there wars and why does man seek to destroy man and even the very earth, God's beautiful gift to man? Because Brotherhood must be established upon a sharing of spiritual qualities. In all countries where Masonry is firmly
established, there you will find the natural union of hearts and minds and- peace. Let the skeptical and the enemies of Masonry ponder over this fact. Masonry, let us remember, is "the realization of God through not the theory, but the practice of Brotherhood." Dewey Wollstein 1953
We have to distinguish between Masonic Spirit and organisation. No one knows what constituted the Ancient Landmarks; each Masonic writer, or historian, or jurist, has set up his own Landmarks, and termed them Ancient, and the jurisdictions have adopted them, depending on who has been their patron saint. Originally the Landmarks were set up as a guide, to distinguish the Masonic Fraternity from many other societies which were at the time occupying the attention of intellectual England. In spite of, and notwithstanding the Landmarks, Freemasonry grew and changed until, today, no historian will suggest that our Freemasonry is the same as it was in 1717. Then the order was
distinctly Christian in character and ritual; today, we pride ourselves on the universality of Freemasonry, welcoming Christian, ,Jew, Parsee, or Mohammedan, provided he believes in God and the Brotherhood of Man. And Freemasonry does not even set tip any specifications as to the nature of God, except that he is a just God, Creator and Controller of the Universe. Having set up our standards, we begin separating the legitimate from the illegitimate; all those who agree with us are considered "legitimate", and those disagreeing "illegitimate". One jurisdiction does not place its Sacred Volume on the altar, but places it on the Master's pedestal. Another jurisdiction is persecuted, and for self-protection, is compelled to become interested in the political situation to protect itself from complete disintegration. Here is a jurisdiction, whose parenthood is somewhat obscure, but which is honestly endeavouring to practice the principles of charity and brotherhood to the best of its ability. A Grand Lodge perfectly regular in every way is found to be working in the same territory as another "legitimate" Grand Lodge; American-Canadian jurisprudence specifies that Only one Grand lodge may occupy a territory at the same time. All these are, according to Canadian standards, illegitimate. We notice another jurisdiction which has all our required landmarks, but its legitimacy is all that it has to support it. It fails to practice what it preaches, and stands for nothing in the territory which it occupies. And occasionally, we find something being, taken out of the legitimate, and placed in the illegitimate class, or vice-versa. As Masonry spread out of England in the early 19th century, it changed according to 16
the history, political situation or ethnic background of a given country. In Europe they generally placed more emphasis on the intellectual work, the lodges recruiting members mainly from the upper classes, and from the intelligentsia. Masonry was more a gathering place for they elite, even if not necessarily for the kings and nobles, but for writers, teachers, politicians, or sometimes leaders of the financial, and economic community. Though soon enough an animosity, and later open breach developed between progressive Masonry and the dogmatic Catholic Church, there were many high ranking priests who took part in the work of the lodges. The persecutions by Catholic rulers and dictators limited the development of Masonry in certain countries, while in some, like England or Sweden, the monarch, if male, was usually the head of the Grand Lodge. On this continent Masonry thrived freely. Members were not restricted, or subject to persecution. In the countries of Europe the numbers of the brethren were relatively low, but in America, they seem to concentrate more on enlisting an ever increasing number of members, and many jurisdictions emphasise the ritual and charity work, more than Masonic education and intellectual work. In many European countries there were concurrent jurisdictions, to name a few: Germany, France, Czechoslovakia, and this helped to raise the standard of Masonic activity. Though the Old Charges, the first codification of Masonic rules, was printed in 1723, literacy was far from being widespread, particularly in Eastern Europe. Printing was expensive, and very few people could afford to buy books; never mind learning to read and write. Even the 17
nobles usually kept a secretary, who not only wrote their letters, but also read those received. So our rituals were not always available in written form, but were usually passed by word of mouth, from one generation to the next. This procedure occasionally resulted in distortions, and translations sometimes caused further changes. Because of national characteristics, they also changed from time to time, and due to persecutions, even more secrecy was required in all communications. It is not surprising that, in spite of the original common root, by the early 20th century, when the work came out in printed form almost everywhere, there were large discrepancies between the rituals of different jurisdictions. Some customs, like wearing gloves, were kept in certain countries, whilst dismissed in others. The presentation of one lady's glove as an initiation is almost unknown on this continent. The character of the very important part of the European style initiation ceremony, which takes place in a separate darkened chamber, was completely changed, when transplanted to America. Even signs, words and passwords, knocks, were either changed, or interchanged between degrees. In the central European ritual, used in Austria-Hungary, partly in Germany, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, and also in some South. American lodges, the words of the first and second degrees are interchanged, and a password exists also in the first degree though not always used. This is the one which is used here in the third. Lodge regaliaâ€™s are worn in most, of the lodges, not only in Europe, but on other continents too, and as I mentioned in the beginning, the V.S.L. is not necessarily
placed on the altar, but on a table in front of the W.M. As a matter of fact, an altar does not necessarily exist, but. a carpet, like our tracing board in the lodges, and the three lights of Wisdom, Strength and Beauty are placed around it, with usually a flag in the fourth corner. Though they are different organisations, different rituals, I believe in the universality of Freemasonry; and may I close my words quoting one of our famous Hungarian writers and masons of the 13th century, Ferenc Kazinczy, who said: "Masonry creates a small circle of good hearted people, within which we are able to forget all the great inequality, which exists in the outside world. A circle in which both the king and a person of the lowest station are equal brothers; in which we are able to forget the senselessness of the world, and we shed tears of joy as we see that it is love of the common good which stirs every member, as if they had but one single soul; we find much truer friends than in the outside world; where everybody is trying his best, according to his ability, to ease the burdens of his fellow men; where every member is obliged to read and to study, also to teach the others, as instructed by his brother Masons. Sourced from the 1982 Newsletter of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario.
Burdens â€œI am inclined to think that Masons do too much for each other,â€? announced the New Brother. "Who has been doing too much for you?" asked the Old Tiler. "Why, no one, that I know of." "Well, who have you been doing too much for?" "Well, er--I wouldn't say I had been doing too much. But we all do too much. It gets to be a burden sometimes. " "What do you mean, burden?" countered the Old Tiler. "A burden is something heavy which you carry, isn't it?" asked the New Brother. 18
"You think what we do for our brethren is a burden?" "Sometimes it seems that way. Too many calls on our time. Too many calls on our sympathy. Too many calls on our charity. Yes, I think it's a burden." "Last week I walked to work" answered the Old Tiler. "I don't usually because my rheumatism says walking is too hard a job. My legs,'' his eyes twinkled, ''are a burden to me! But that day it was so bright that the old legs forgot to growl, so I walked. I saw a little lad of about ten looking after a small child of about two, who toppled on his nose and yelled. Ten years old picked up the squalling baby and soothed him, then put him across his shoulder and staggered up the sidewalk with him. "I asked him, 'Sonny, isn't that child too heavy for you?' 'Heavy?' he answered me, 'Heavy? Why, sir, he's my brother.' "Little brother would have been too heavy for me -- maybe because of my old legs and perhaps because he wasn't my brother! The facts are that one weighed 60 pounds and the other 30 pounds. The stagger and the straining arms were facts. The cheek flushed with effort was a fact. But two years old was brother to ten, and that made him 'not too heavy.' "A burden is, after all, what we think it. You would look desperately at the task of carrying a 200-pound sack on your back. But if it were 200 pounds of gold, and it was to be yours after a mile, you wouldn't find it 'too heavy.' "Years ago a brother of this lodge went to Alaska in the gold rush days. He and his partner had to tramp five miles through a 19
blinding snowstorm and heavy drifts to get food to a starving camp. On the way this brother played out, or thought he did. He told his partner he was all in and they'd better abandon the load and try to get back before they died. "'Oh, no,' said the partner. 'I'll pull it!' Which he proceeded to do. Whereupon the man who was 'all in' became so ashamed and angry at himself that he stepped back into the sled harness and pulled, too, and together they got the load to camp. It was 'too heavy' only while he thought it was. "Masonry my son, is a state of mind. You can't put it on the scales or measure it with a scoop. Because it has no material existence it cannot carry a child of two, or a sack of flour. Its burdens are burdens of the heart. "Minds and hearts have unlimited strength, if we but know how to call it up. The tired business man who can barely get up the steps at night and falls in bed as soon as dinner is over, forgets the physical weariness if his child is sick. He sits up all night nor thinks it a burden. "I rather like you, my son; you say what you think and while you very seldom do think, you think you think. But I cannot agree that Masonry does too much for her brethren or that anything Masonry or a Lodge or an individual brother may do in the name of Masonry is a burden." "Not all brethren are real Masons, any more than all that looks the part is real gold. Lots of men wear the pin and know the words and give the signs who are but shadow Masons; they are all show on the outside and as full of meat as a balloon. To these, doubtless, there are Masonic
burdens. But to the real Mason, any weight which must be carried is not heavy because ‘it’s my brother!’" "I will not be called a Masonic balloon!" objected the New Brother. "As I cannot quarrel with what you have said I will fill that balloon with a new attitude of mind. I will never think a Masonic duty is a burden again." "It is your Masonic duty, my son," smiled the Old Tiler, "to give me a cigar if you have it." "And here is a match and I'll light it for you, too!" agreed the New Brother. This is the Forty-fourth article in this regular feature, ‘The Old Tiler Talks,’ each month we publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
Did You Know? What is the origin of the Points of Fellowship?
Answer: A summary of the seventeen oldest ritual texts, from 1696 to 1730, shows the Points, variously described, in fourteen of them, including five of the earliest versions from 1696 to c.1714. They certainly date back into operative times, most of them belonging to the second degree in the two-degree system, perhaps as early as the mid -1500s. As to the question of origin, twelve of our fourteen texts are without a single word to indicate where the Points came from, or
what they mean. Only two of the latest versions, dated 1726 and 1730, contain clues as to their purpose. They appear, in each case, as part of our earliest legends, the first concerning Noah, and the second relating to Hiram Abif. The Points, in both stories, describe the actual mechanics of exhuming corpses from their graves, and the legends suggest that the participants were trying to obtain a secret from the dead body. The Points, with some much-improved versions of the Hiramic legend, appear again in several French exposures from 1744 to 1751, but none of them, English or French, gives a word of explanation of what the Points really meant. Yet their complexity alone implies that there must have been an explanation; nobody would have used them if they were utterly meaningless. Dealing with this problem in his Prestonian Lecture, 1938, Douglas Knoop cited three Biblical examples of `miraculous restoration of life', in each case by something closely resembling the Points: I. Kings, XVII, v.21, in which Elijah raised the son of the widow in whose house he lived. II. Kings, IV, v.34, in which Elisha revived the child of the Shunamite woman. Acts, XX, vv.9 10, in which St. Paul resuscitated a young man who was taken up dead after a fall. They are all interesting, but the second, with Elisha, gives the story in useful detail: "And he [Elisha] went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands 20
upon his hands; and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm". Bro. Knoop was suggesting that the Points are closely akin to what we describe nowadays as the `Kiss of Life'. But he carried his argument a stage further, saying that in the 16th and 17th centuries these Bible stories would have developed into `necromantic practices', i.e., the art of foretelling the future by means of communication with the dead. Here, I have to abandon his theory. One may well imagine the kind of person who would become involved in `black magic' after reading those verses in the Old and New Testament, but it is difficult to believe that they could have affected the whole of the mason craft during several centuries. We are dealing with operative masonry, long before the appearance of speculative interpretation, and in a problem of this kind a practical explanation would be much more helpful. Regardless of the precise words in which the Points appear in the various early versions (or in the standardized versions that came later), it seems likely, if they ever had a practical purpose, that they were taught and used originally as a means of raising a broken body, or reviving someone who had been killed by a fall in the course of his work. Accidents of this kind must have been common in operative times and, searching for early documentary evidence on the subject, I went back to the Schaw Statutes, 1598. They were promulgated by William Schaw, Master of Works to the Crown of Scotland and Warden-General of the Mason Craft, `to be observed by all the master masons within this realm'. They are the earliest official regulations for the management of operative lodges, and 21
contain incidentally, the oldest official regulation on scaffolding: Here it is, wordfor-word, in modern spelling, but three obsolete terms are shown in [...]: Item, that all masters, enterprisers of works, be very careful to see their scaffolds and walkways [futegangis] surely set and placed, to the effect that through their negligence and sloth no hurt or harm [skaith] come to any persons that work at the said work, under penalty of being forbidden [dischargeing of them] thereafter to work as masters having charge of any work, but they shall be subject all the rest of their days to work under or with another principal master having charge of the work. This was the strictest rule in the whole of the 1598 code. All other offences could be satisfied by a fine, but not this one. A master, at the peak of his career, found guilty after an accident of careless scaffolding, was condemned for the rest of his life never to use scaffolding again, except under or with another principal master. He could not blame an underling; it was his personal responsibility. I believe that this rule explains the origin and purpose of the Points, and it also solves the biggest problem of all, i.e., why the twelve oldest versions of the Points are without any kind of explanation. The masons did not need it. They learned those procedures in the normal course of their training, just as a child learns the alphabet as a preliminary to reading. The Points were simply the masons "Kiss of Life'.
The above answer was given by W. Bro. Harry Carr, a former Secretary of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076.
The All-Seeing Eye
one form or another, has been identified with early religions and mysteries from their beginnings. It seems natural for men to personify his members in order to symbolize a virtue. The foot is universally a symbol of swiftness; the arm, of strength; the hand, of fidelity. The hand we extend to clasp that of a friend must be open, showing it contains no weapon; the knight of old removed his mailed gauntlet before offering his hand, to indicate that he greeted a friend from whom he feared no attack. From this we get our modern concept that it is good manners to remove a glove before shaking hands.
In the modern Masonic ritual the AllSeeing Eye is combined with the Sword, pointed at a Naked Heart; which latter emblem apparently came to American Freemasonry through Webb. The quotation from his Monitor (1797) is as follows: “The Sword pointing to a Naked Heart demonstrates that justice will sooner or later overtake us, and although our thoughts, words and actions may be hidden from the yes of man, yet the All Seeing Eye, whom the Sun, Moon and Stars obey, and under whose watchful care even comets perform their stupendous revolutions, pervades the whole, and will reward us according to our merits.” The Sword and Naked Heart were probably adopted by Preston from early initiation ceremonies of the Continent, probably French, in which even today we find some degrees of some rites dressed with swords which are pointed at the candidate. But the essential part of this symbol, the AllSeeing eye, is hoary with antiquity, and, in
The eye was adopted early as a symbol of watchfulness, for reasons too obvious to set forth. By a natural transition, the watchful eye never slept, and which thus saw everything, speedily became the symbol of Deity. Hear the Psalmist (XXXIV): “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” Again (CXXI), “He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” A Proverb reads: “The yes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” Egypt symbolized her God and King, Osiris, by a open eye; it was in all the Temples, and is frequently found sculptured in stone together with a throne and a square, symbolic of Osiris’ power and rectitude. One of the great curiosities of the world is the similarity, often identity, of ideas, inventions, discoveries, conceptions of peoples far removed, the one from the 22
other, both in time and geographical location. The primitive loom, for instance, is strikingly similar in Egypt, India, South America, Africa and among the Esquimaux. The Swastika (symbol made of four joined squares), often termed the oldest of symbols, is to be found literally all over the world. So is the point within a circle, and the square as an emblem is found in early Egypt, Rome and China, to mention only three. It is not surprising, therefore, to find so obvious a symbol as a watchful eye typifying Deity in the uttermost ends of the earth. That it was called the “All-Seeing Eye” in Vedic hymns a thousand years older than Christianity, and in a land as far as India from that we are wont to consider the cradle of Masonry, is a fact to make any student think.
the peacock a sacred bird because of the resemblance of the feathers to an eye.
Forty years ago the Reverend J.P. Oliver Minos drew Masonic attention to one of the Ric-Veda Hymns especially addressed to “Surya,” or the Sun: “Behold, the rays of dawn, like heralds, lead on high. The Sun, that men may see the great all knowing God. The Stars slink off like thieves, in company with Night, Before the All-Seeing Eye, whose beams reveal his presence, Gleaming like brilliant flames, to nation after nation.”
The sun is the source of a hundred myths; familiar is that of Helios, who drove his chariot daily across the sky. The Scandinavian God Sunna was in constant dread of being devoured by the wolf Fenris (symbol of the eclipse); Phaeton was the son of Phoebus, the sun, and stole his fathers chariot to drive across the heavens. Unable to control the fiery steeds, he came to near the earth and parched Libya into a land of barren sands, blackening the inhabitants of Africa and so heating that continent that it never recovered normal temperature! Had not Zeus transfixed him with a thunderbolt, he would have destroyed the world.
In the religions of India the eye is of high importance and prominence. Suva; one of the most important of the Gods of India, is pictured with three eyes, one more brilliant than the other two. Drawings are for sale in the market places of Benares and other Indian cities which visiting Masons often think are Masonic, merely because they portray the All-Seeing Eye. Indian religious devotees consider 23
As a symbol of Deity the eye is a natural hieroglyph. The connotation of sleeplessness, vision, knowledge is easily grasped by even a child-like intellect. But it is also, and for the same reason, a symbol of the sun; indeed, sun worship antedated almost all, if not all, other forms of worship. The sun was worshipped by too many peoples in too many lands and ages to attempt to catalog here. Shamash was sun God to Assyrians, Merodach to the Chaldees, Ormuzd to the Persians, Ra to the Egyptians, Tezzatlipoca to the Mexicans, Helios to the Greeks and Sol to the Romans to mention only a few.
Modern poets and ancient have sung of the sun as thee eye of day; we recall: “The night has a thousand eyes And the day but one But the light of the whole world dies When the day is done.”
Diogenes Laeritus thought of the sun as an incorruptible heavenly being when he wrote: “The sun, too shines into cesspools and is not polluted.” Dryden translated Ovid to read: “The glorious lamp of heaven, The radiant sun, Is nature’s eye.” Hear Milton: “Thou sun! world both eye and soul!”
Of this great
Freemasonry does not make of the eye a symbol of the sun. Her All-Seeing Eye is one emblem, her sun another, each with a distinct meaning. One of the Lesser Lights represents the sun; the sun shines out from between the legs of the compasses, open sixty degrees on a quadrant, in the Past Master’s Jewel, all symbolic of the Masonic light which must come from the East from which comes all truth. It has been written: “The sun is the symbol of sovereignty, the hieroglyphic of royalty, it doth signify absolute authority,: By analogy, if the lodge is the symbol of the world, then the Master, who controls the time of opening and closing, may well have one of the Lesser Lights as his symbol. Mackey goes further to say that the Master is “himself” a symbol of the rising sun , the Junior Warden of the sun at meridian, and the Senior Warden of the setting sun, just as the Mysteries of India the three chief priests symbolize Bramha, the rising sun, Siva, the meridian, and Vishnu the setting sun. In the Orphic mysteries the sun was thought to generate, as from an egg, and come forth with power to triplicate himself; triple power (such as is found in a Lodge under a Master, Senior and Junior Warden) is an idea as old as mythology, as
may be seen in the trident of Neptune, the three-forked lightning of Jove, the threeheaded Cerebus of Pluto. See how fitly the sun, as a symbol of authority, the sun, as man’s earliest deity, and the sun, as origin of the eye as a symbol of God, can be united. In his “Symbolic Language” Wemyss wrote: “The sun may be considered to be an emblem of Divine truth because the sun, or the light of which it is the source, is not only manifest in itself, but makes other things manifest; so one truth detects, reveals and manifests another, as all truths are dependent on and connected with each other, more or less.” So does the Master make Masonic truth manifest to the brethren; so does the Great Architect manifest His Divine truth to all men. If it is further necessary to show a connection between eye and sun, sun and God, and thus eye and God; refer again to the passage from Webb, which couples the All-Seeing Eye with the sun, moon and stars. Sufficient has been said to make it evident that the All-Seeing Eye is not a modern symbol, or one lightly to be regarded or passed over in silence, merely because modern ritual makes comparatively little of it. Alas, many brethren are so ill-instructed in the ancient Craft that it is a matter of some wonder to them why officer’s aprons, when decorated with emblems so often have the All-Seeing Eye upon the flap; why that pregnant symbol is so frequently engraved upon working tools, or the square and compasses which lie upon the Altar. Throughout the Craft emphasis is put upon the number three; three Light (greater and lesser); three steps on the Master’s carpet; three steps at the beginning of the Winding 24
Stairs; three principal officers; three degrees; three due guards; etc. ,etc. The number three is but another way of expressing the idea of a triangle, one of man’s earliest, if not the earliest symbol for Deity, inasmuch as it is the simplest closed figure (signifying endlessness) which can be formed with straight lines. The emphasis upon three, then, is Freemasonry’s symbol of omneity of Deity - His being without beginning or ending. The letter “G” as a symbol of Deity particularly speaks of the reverence we owe to the supreme architect; His omniglory. Lodges are opened and closed with prayer, symbol of the loving omnipresence of the Great Architect; Freemasons believe that where two or three are gathered together in His name. there His is also, in the midst of them. On our Altar lies His Holy Book, rule and guide of our faith, symbol of His Omnipotence, since in it are the prophecies and histories of the powers of the Most High. The All-Seeing Eye is significant of His Omniscience; that the Supreme Architect sees all and knows all, even the hidden secrets of the human heart. Here, indeed. is the kernel of the nut, the inner meaning of the symbol which has come down to us from so many diverse ages, so many religions, which has been interwoven with sun and pagan gods and myths, nature religion and many kinds of worship, which was old when Egypt was young and ancient when India was new. The All-Seeing Eye is to Freemasons the cherished symbol not only of the power but of the mercy of God - since, as has been 25
beautifully said to comfort us who cannot always do as we know we should, or even as we want - “to see all is to know all; to know all is to understand all; to understand all is to forgive all.” Therefore the thinking Freemason has reverence for this symbol. He treats it not as one of many; rather as among those to be held in tenderest thought and most precious memory. The Sword pointing to the Naked Heart may thunder of justice, but the All-Seeing Eye whispers of justice tempered with complete understanding, which is man’s most lovely conception of Him who judges erring men. Sourced from the STB December 1932.
TOAST TO THE VISITORS Tonight I have the pleasure To all I must confess To give to you this toast To our visitors and guests. The Fellowship you bring tonight Is something which can’t compare You know we like to see you And Glad your always there. The Harmony, the chats and jokes we have With our old and new found friends We wish it could last for hours And some how never end. But .. all good things must come to an end And we must go are separate way We hope you enjoyed yourself tonight And return again someday And now I ask the members To raise a glass in cheer To toast to all out visitors Who supported us this year. by Mike Bauer Portobello Lodge No. 226
Which Temple? For the builders of the medieval period, the Jerusalem Temple, as the first great edifice built to the glory of God, was an inspiration as they worked on the great cathedrals. We take it for granted that the Temple they were thinking of was the First Temple, the sanctuary which King David had hoped to build but his son Solomon erected in his stead. But Solomon’s was not the only Temple in Jerusalem. The Royal Arch celebrates the Second Temple erected in 516 BCE by Zerubbavel – a more modest structure than its predecessor, even though the prophet Haggai had enthused that “the glory of the latter house will be greater than the former” (Hag. 2:9). The story of the Temples does not end there. There was a third Temple; the cruel monarch Herod tried to placate the Jews by rebuilding the sanctuary in much more ornate fashion, but to little avail. It did not improve his standing with his subjects, and before long the Romans destroyed it in the year 70 CE. Yet it must have been an impressive edifice. According to rabbinic hyperbole, “Whoever did not see Herod’s building never saw a beautiful building in his life” (Bava Batra 4a). In the following century the Roman emperor Hadrian had ideas of creating a pagan temple on the sacred site, which provoked the Jews to revolt. The Jewish leader, Bar Kochba, defiantly struck coins “for the building of the Temple”, but he, his forces and plans were defeated. As Christianity spread and the Roman Empire became Christianised under Constantine, a further bizarre chapter opened. The emperor Julian – “The Apostate” – was a pagan opponent of Christianity. Believing that his sun-god Phoebus was a universal god and more or less the same as the Jewish
Deity, he convinced himself that he could counter the Christian belief in Jesus’ prophecy that the site would remain in ruins and that he could gain support from the Jews if he built a Temple in Jerusalem. The project, spearheaded in 363 CE by one Alypius of Antioch, began but was never completed. Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” says that the Jews gave money and many came to Jerusalem to show their support, but it is more likely that the Jewish Diaspora showed more suspicion than interest. The building works were abandoned, probably because of bursting balls of fire. Julian was wounded in a campaign in Mesopotamia and may have been assassinated by one of his own officers. By the Middle Ages, the Temple was merely a memory. Christian masons believed that the lack of a physical Temple was compensated on a spiritual level. Still, it gave them enhanced pride in their own craftsmanship to hope that their work would be worthy of the Temple. Temple symbolism carried over into speculative Freemasonry; one outcome was the practice of calling Masonic meetingplaces Temples, though this gave the impression that the craft was a rival religion with its own houses of worship. To allay criticisms, Masons today prefer to call their meeting places Masonic centres. Christians continue to attach little significance to building a Temple in the earthly Jerusalem. Jews, on the other hand, continue to believe that in the days of the Messiah, a new Temple will arise.
By Rt. Wor. Bro. Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple, AO RFD, Past Deputy Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales & the Australian Capital Territory. Click the name to go to his website.
THE MASONIC DICTIONARY Usages
The peculiarity of constant intercourse between the Kings of Israel and Tyre pending the construction of the Holy House, has been frequently commented upon. That this was so is evident from the old sacred Scriptures, as well as from cumulative history by Joseph us and others. This ancient custom of intercommunication would not be so marked, had these two kings ever met, yet during the years of construction, gifts and messages seem to have led to the more intimate custom of propounding problems and difficult questions. Hence the inducement to speculate upon whether there was any secret tie between these two Kings or merely friendship and business. The customs, habits, and usages of the ancients are visible in every form and ceremony of Masonic work, as well as in the instruction, except where modern innovators have injured, while endeavouring to improve, the time worn yet mellowed services of the Brotherhood. One of the most beautiful expressions occurring in the Catechism of Freemasonry is the answer to an interrogatory as to the position of the hand in assuming the vow of the First Degree; to wit, "In accordance with ancient usages the right hand has always been deemed the seat of Fidelity. "A somewhat similar expression occurs in relation to the casting off of the shoe; answer, "This was in accordance with the usages of the ancient Israelites; a man plucked off his shoe and gave it to his neighbour; this was testimony in Israel. "The shoe was the symbol of subjection when sent by rulers to princes (see Ruth iv, 7). It was the symbol of humiliation and surrender with Germans and Israelites. The formal divestiture was surrender of title.
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor. 27
Published on Aug 28, 2015