SRA 76 Monthly Magazine
Cover Story, Ethiopia in Freemasonry Did You Know? Jephthah Famous Freemason – Gene Autry Scotch Cattle Lodge Stepps No. 1213 Rays of Masonry Old Tiler Talks The Square The Compasses Did You Know? God – a Freemason? The Emblems of Freemasonry Main Website – The Rope and the Sword
Volume 12 Issue 5 No. 95 September 2016
In this issue: Page 2, ‘Ethiopia in Freemasonry’ Why Ethiopia? This excellent article tells us the reason. Page 5, ‘Did You Know?’ Why do the Winding Stairs go anti-clockwise? Page 6, ‘Jephthah. Who was he? Page 8, ‘A Masonic Stamp.’ A Masonic postage stamp from Brazil . Page 10, ‘Gene Autry.’ A Famous Freemason. Page 12, ‘Scotch Cattle.’ Fraternal Societies throughout the World. Page 14, ‘Lodge Stepps No. 1213.’ A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 16, ‘Rays of Masonry.’ “The Middle Chamber”, our Regular feature. Page 16, ‘The Old Tiler Talks.’ “Eyes Lifted High”, the Fifty-second in the series from Carl Claudy. Page 18, ‘The Square and the Compasses.’ The oldest symbols in freemasonry. Page 25, ‘Did You Know?’ When the Bible first appear in the Lodge? Page 27 ‘God – a Freemason? The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple. Page 28‘ The Emblems of Freemasonry.’ Emblems of freemasonry in the first Degree.
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The Rope and the Sword.’[link] The front cover artwork is a stock map picture of Ethiopia displaying it’s location in Africa.
Ethiopia in Freemasonry I had a revelation the other night that I thought I would share. It has been bugging me ever since a recent practice for a third degree in Colorado work as to why the ruffians seek to escape to Ethiopia via ship, but are ultimately turned away by the ship captain due to the fact that they don’t have King Solomon’s pass. My Grandfather once told me that it had a symbolic meaning, and it should not be interpreted literally, but he never told me what it was. True, as some scholars have pointed out, the country of Ethiopia is associated with the Queen of Sheba- a wife of King Solomon, and the Kebra Nagast text suggests that their son Menyelek stole the Ark of the Covenant from King Solomon and took it to Ethiopia where it resides today- (the Ark being important in certain later Masonic rituals). The Ark itself was stored in the Sanctum Sanctorum of King Solomon’s temple, and with no Ark to fill this sacred space, it would be an unfinished Sanctum Sanctorum indeed. In fact, the Queen of Sheba and the Ark are also featured on many of the cathedrals of Notre Dame in France, and some have also associated the Queen of Sheba with the mysterious “black Madonna” statues that have likewise been found at many cathedrals in Europe, and which were based on the idea of Solomon’s Temple. The Kebra Nagast text is one of many Coptic texts from Ethiopia, which are recognized as apocryphal. The text itself suggests that the ancient kingdom of
Ethiopia was founded by the son of King Solomon, Menyelek, who had supposedly stolen the Ark. Aside from the story of the Ark being taken from King Solomon, the Kebra Nagast text also discusses some of King Solomon’s travels in his air ship, which allowed him to travel the distance in a few hours in the time that would take a person on foot three months to travel. The text says he inherited the “heavenly carriage” from his forefather (presumably David) 1. According to the text, Ethiopia was a get away home for King Solomon, where he would fly in to for refreshment and relaxation, and obviously to hang out with the Queen of Sheba. To this day there are flat mesas in India and Iran that are called the “Thrones of Solomon”, which legend likewise suggests that King Solomon flew in and landed on. All talk of flying aside, the Kebra Nagast text indicates that Ethiopia was a special place to King Solomon, and the Master Mason degree suggests that for whatever reason the ship captain who had King Solomon’s pass was going to Ethiopia- which is “the very place” that the ruffians were hoping to go as well. Ethiopia is also the origin of another text linked to Freemasonry, known as the Book of Enoch. This text had resided in Ethiopia for 1,500 years prior to its discovery and translation into French and English in Axum by James Bruce in 1765. Bruce was a Freemason at Lodge Cannongate Kilwinning, and he was a descendant of Robert the Bruce. Bruce presented his translation of the Book of Enoch to the King of France, and on his return to London he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. What is striking about the Book of Enoch is that it contains text that is also only found in early Masonic ritualeven though this Masonic ritual was being 2
practiced before the discovery and translation of the Book of Enoch. This has led some researchers to draw in the Knight Templar theory of Freemasonry origins, as the Knights Templar are known to have been very active in Ethiopia in the 13th century. The theory is that they too had come across the text at that time and preserved it- only later to be incorporated into Masonic ritual 2. “Ethiopia” was also used as a term to generally describe a land of dark skinned people in general, and as such, early mapmakers and explorers associated the name “Ethiopia” with everything from Egypt to India. (Sometimes the words “Ethiopia” and “India” were likewise interchangeable, which also explains the confusion with why the Native Indigenous Americans came to be known as “Indians”. Some have seen in this symbolism the idea that Freemasonry has retained a tradition from earlier cultures outside of Europewith Egypt being the prominent source. At many times in the past the land of Egypt itself was referred to as Ethiopia. If the ruffians sought the secret of a Master Mason and couldn’t get it from Hiram, perhaps they symbolically sought to try and obtain these secrets from a Masonic country of origin? However I felt like there had to be more to the meaning and symbolism behind Ethiopia. There was something about the word "Ethiopia", which seemed to have significance when the symbolic alchemical “green language”- or “language of the birds”, was applied. I looked through all my books on Freemasonry and all my alchemical books and couldn't find anything specifically related to Ethiopia however. Ethiopia is mentioned as existing in the Master Mason ritual, but I have not 3
found a Masonic researcher who could explain why it was there. In fact, what I did find is that in the Emulation Ritual of Great Britain, this Ethiopia reference doesn't even exist. However it does exist in the Scottish system and certain other systems in Europe- though some say the very origin of it comes from American Freemasonry. So I had to ask, why was it put in there? From my perspective, everything in Masonic ritual was added for a reason, and a place like Ethiopia wouldn’t be added arbitrarily. There are two theories behind the word "Ethiopia". One theory is that it comes from the Egyptian words "Et"-"op"-"Bia"which translates as "truth of the higher land". This may loosely have some association with why the ruffians sought shelter there- but personally, I think this may be forced interpretation as to why it was inserted into the third degree. In fact, if it was introduced into American Freemasonry in the late 1700’s, it is hard to conceive of it being put in due to the meaning of its Egyptian translation. Most words of significance in the symbolic lodge of Freemasonry have either a Hebrew, Greek, or Latin origin. The other theory behind the word is that it comes from the Greek Aithiops- or Aithiopia. Now the meaning behind this is very relevant in my mind- especially from an alchemical standpoint. "Aithio" means "to scorch" or "to calcinate" in Greek, and was associated with fire. The Greek word “ether” or “aither” has similar origins, and related to the idea of “heavenly fire” or “divine fire”. "Ops" translates as "face" in Greek. So it has been suggested that "Aithiops"- meant "scorched face" or "black" and therefore referred to the color of the skin of the native inhabitants of that
country. This may be it's origin, but it still doesn't explain why it would be put in Masonic ritual unless the word itself had a symbolic meaning- like the second degree password meaning "I revere a stone" in Greek 3. However if we remember that all the symbolism associated with the third degree is centred around fire- including: the penalty of the obligation, the password and what he did, the shape of the MM's apron being an old alchemical cipher symbol for a calcination dish, and the Master Mason's grip being in the form of the Hebrew letter "shin"- which was associated with fire in the Hebrew qabbalah, then it begins to make sense why a reference to "scorching" or "calcination" may be in there. Qabbalistic traditions have associated the abdomen with water, the chest with air, and the head with fire, and the Master Mason’s penal sign likewise separates the water element so that air and fire exist- also mentioned in the penalty of the obligation for the 3rd degree. Fire appears again and again in the third degree- emphasizing it as a symbol.
face” in Greek would be "Aithiopia". In this light, we see that the ruffians destroy Hiram and try to go to Ethiopia, just like in alchemy you have to destroy the herb and then "calcinate it's face"- after which you can "raise it" back to life through the alchemical process. Ultimately the ruffians cannot accomplish the travel to Ethiopia because as Fellow Crafts, they don’t have King Solomon’s Master Mason passassociated with fire. If they did have the password associated with metallic operations by fire, then they could accomplish the calcinating associated with the word “Ethiopia”- ultimately gaining the secrets of a Master Craftsman. This seems to make sense in light of the other alchemical associations, and it would explain why Ethiopia was inserted into the ritual. After the fact, within the degree lecture, we learn that Hiram’s monument consists of a virgin weeping over a pot of Hiram’s ashes (among other things), thus suggesting a cremation had occurred with Hiram- again relating back to the idea of calcinations by fire.
However, what about the "face" part- or the “ops” in Aithiops? In order to understand this, we need to look at it alchemically. In alchemy, right after you have leached the oils out of an herb through distillations (which has been associated with the second degree and the heart and vital parts of the herb being flown to the highest pinnacle of the distillation tower or Aithenor), you then “kill” the herb by calcinating it with fire so that you can liberate it’s salts. One of the terms for the residual matter that you torch is called "caput mortum" in alchemycoming from Latin and meaning "dead head", (which is alluded to with the first degree penal sign) 4. Obviously a "head" symbolically has a "face"- so to “torch the
Many early American Freemasons were practicing alchemists- Benjamin Franklin being one of them, so if “Ethiopia” was inserted into the third degree ritual by the early American Freemasons, then this alchemical theory should be considered as a possible reason as to why. Perhaps it was also inserted for other symbolic reasons, as with everything in Freemasonry, there are multiple levels or layers of meaning. As mentioned, the Book of Enoch was discovered in Ethiopia and translated by a prominent Freemason of Scottish descent in 1765, and maybe American Masons caught wind of this and thought it needed to be part of the ritual? Freemasonry is a house of many keys, but we need to figure out which locks they go into. Ethiopia is a 4
symbol associated with King Solomon, the Ark of the Covenant, Egyptian mysteries, and alchemy- all of which have their place within the rituals of Freemasonry. Therefore all of these possibilities need to be carefully considered when trying to interpret its role in the Master Mason degree. This one place - Ethiopia, which is found within the third degree and which at first glance appears a random and irrelevant place of travel, therefore seems to have tremendous implications within the corpus of Masonic history and arcana.
1) The Queen of Sheba and Her Only Son Menyelek (Kebra Nagast), translated by Sir E.A. Wallis Budge, Dover, London, 1932. 2) Uriel’s Machine, Knight and Lomas, Fair Winds Press, Gloucester, 2001. 3) σιβωλιθος− “I revere a stone” in Greek. 4) The Alchemical Keys to Masonic Ritual, Timothy Hogan, Lulu ISBN: 978-1-4357-04404, 2007. Ethiopia in Freemasonry By Timothy Hogan, PM, 32* KCCH, KT Timothy Hogan is a PM of East Denver #160, and member of Enlightenment #198 and Research Lodge of Colorado. He is a 32* KCCH in the AASR SJ, a KT in the YR, PSM of East Denver AMD Council # 425, and member of the Royal Order of Scotland and the SRICF. He is author of Alchemical Keys to Masonic Ritual, and Revelation of the Holy Grail, and has served as Senior Editor of the magazine L’Initiation The SRA76 magazine is immensely grateful to Brother Timothy Hogan for giving us permission to reproduce his great article.
Did You Know? Q. In Craft Masonry all movements are made clockwise, `with the sun', but in the Second Degree, the five steps up the Winding Stairs are made anti-clockwise. Why? A. There is an exaggeration in this question, which demands comment. The clockwise procedure is custom, not law, even in those Lodges where clockwise movements have become a fetish. In English Lodges, the Altar is in the East, forming a pedestal in front of the W.M. When the Candidate in the Second Degree is led up to it to take his Obligation, he is supposedly copying our ancient Brethren who went into the Temple by an entrance on the south side and made their way, by a Winding Stair, to the `middle chamber', whose precise location is not specified. But the majority of English workings relating to those steps start the Candidate at the N.E., and lead him to the Altar in the East. In plain fact, we are not even trying to copy the supposed ancient practice, and the two procedures cannot be reconciled. I have never seen an interpretation of the `Winding Stairs' in K.S.T. which proves that they rose clockwise or anti-clockwise, and although Lodge customs in such matters should not be changed lightly, the objection to the anti-clockwise approach would be removed if the Candidate were to begin his journey from a point in the middle of the floor, travelling clockwise towards the Altar. This procedure is practised in many overseas jurisdictions, especially in those which have their Altar in the centre of the lodge.
This question is closely connected with the illustrations of the Winding Stair on the Tracing Boards. A glance at the illustrations in Dring's famous paper on Tracing Boards (AQC 29) shows the vast majority of the Winding Stairs spring from left to right, i.e., anticlockwise. But Figures 25, 34, 36 and 56 all show the stairs springing clockwise, from right to left. This is a problem that must have troubled many of the artists who designed the Boards, as well as the students who followed them, and the relevant verses in I Kings, vi, 5-10, do not throw any light on this point. Reverting to the clockwise fetish; it probably had its origins in two quite separate sources: 1. An interest in the movements of the sun (its rising, its meridian, and its setting) to be found in many of our earliest versions of the ritual. These themes continue in our ritual to this day and they certainly gave rise to our modern clockwise procedure. 2. The custom of `Drawing the Lodge' which led to the practice of `squaring', as described in the preceding answer. In the course of time, these two practices merged quite naturally, and our modern ceremonies are all the better for this degree of uniformity which is so much admired by our visitors from overseas. The above answer was given by W. Bro. Harry Carr, a former Secretary of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076.
Jephthah In the Fellowcraft Degree in Craft Masonry is the first time we hear of this man Jephthah. All we are told of him is "..Jephthah, a judge of Israel," andâ€? after which Jephthah ruled quietly in Israel until the time of his death, in all six years." When Jephthah's father Gilead was a young man he succumbed to urges of the flesh and took up with a harlot, Jephthah was the result of this union. Jephthah grew to be a man of valour but when Gilead's legitimate sons came of age they drove Jephthah from his home and his lands saying to him "You will have none of our inheritance you are the son of another woman." We are told in the book of Judges Chapter 11 that Jephthah went into exile in the land of Tob "and worthless men banded together with Jephthah and went our raiding with him." This tells us that Jephthah was a good leader and that he had organized a small army that followed him and were quite successful in their endeavours. It came to pass that the people of Ammon made war on the Israelites. The Israelites had no leaders of stature to fight the Ammonites, so, a delegation of elders was sent to seek the aid of Jephthah. Jephthah reminded them that they were the ones that permitted his brothers to exile him from Israel and his people. The elders desperate to protect their lands and families told Jephthah that if he would return and lead the army against the Ammonites he would be made head of Gilead. 6
Jephthah replied "If you take me back home to fight against the people of Ammon, and the Lord delivers them to me, shall I be your head?" To which the elders replied "The LORD will be a witness between us, if we do not do according to your words." Jephthah returned to Gilead and in Mizpah they made him commander over the army and the head or leader of Gilead. Jephthah then set up negotiations with the Ammonites but they would not listen to anything he had to say. (The Ammonites were the descendants of Lot's son, and inhabited a tract of country east of the river Jordan and had always been hostile towards the Israelites.) So as he marched into battle against the Ammonites he made a vow; "If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's and I will offer it up as a burnt offering." Jephthah secured a great victory "from Aroer as far as Minnith -- twenty cities -and to Able Keramin." It was a very bloody battle with much loss of life and many great prizes were captured and the Ammonites "were subdued before the children of Israel."
Upon Jephthah's return home his daughter came dancing and singing from the house to honour her father and to celebrate his great victory. But, Jephthah, seeing this said to his daughter, "Alas, my daughter, you have brought me very low! You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my word to the LORD, and I cannot go back on it." 7
Jephthah's daughter agreed that the vow must be carried out but begged to be given two months, "...that I may go and wander on the mountains and bewail my virginity, my friends and I." Jephthah permitted this and when the two months were over the vow was carried out. To this day the daughter's of Israel go four days each year to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite. Now the Ephraimites started causing some trouble for Jephthah, the Ephraimites inhabited the centre of Judea between the Mediterranean and the river Jordan. They were described as "a stiff-necked and rebellious people," which coincides with history, which describes them as haughty and tenacious. The problem was that they had not been called upon to take part in the war with the Ammonites and felt that they had been deprived of their share of the rich spoils of the war. The Ephraimites attacked Jephthah's army and were defeated with great losses. The land of Gilead was on the west side of the Jordan river and the Ephraimites lived on the east. After their defeat they attempted to retreat to their lands but Jephthah set sentries at the fords of the river. His army detected their enemy by a defect in their dialect. They spoke the same language as the other tribes of Juda, they had a different pronunciation of some words and could not pronounce any word begging with "SH", which they pronounced "S". So, when called upon to say SHIBBOLETH they pronounced it SIBBOLETH, "which trifling defect" says the ritual, "proved them to be enemies." This test to a Hebrew was a palpable one, for the two words have an entirely different
signification: shibboleth means an ear of corn, and, sibboleth means a burden. Because the Ephraimites could not "frame to pronounce this word" their fell on the field of battle that day forty-two thousand. From that day on it seems that Jephthah lived a life of peace and was a Judge in Israel until his death some six years later. Thus is the story of Jephthah a man highly regarded by Masons, not because of his use of this word that we have adopted in our Ritual, but, because he was a man of honour, of truth and of duty. A man of honour in that he honoured the Grand Architect of the Universe, and he held to his word. This promise which was so painful and costly; he knew his duty and carried it out. Can we as Masons be any less, we must hold fast to our honour, our duties, and our promises. Ever remembering those promises solemnly made at the sacred altar of Freemasonry. This article by Bro. Wayne D. Anderson, MPS Markland Lodge #99 Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia and sourced from the Masonic Trowel.
A New Masonic Stamp In order to commemorate 120 years of the foundation of Loja MaĂ§Ă´nica Charitas II (Masonic Lodge Charitas II), we are delivering to the masonic authorities and to the members of the same Lodge a diploma relating to this celebrative date. This diploma has an official stamp issued by Empresa Brasileira de Correios e Telegrafos (Brazilian Post and Telegraph Company), which is below traced and described.
The image of the stamp is circular. The denticular circle symbolizes the Dented Border of the Mosaic Pavement, which, by its turn, makes us to meditate on the Union Chain, driving us to remember of the Universality of the Masonry. The sun and the moon, on the lateral extremities of the circle, tell us that we have to work every day, from midday to midnight. The two brushwoods that surround the stamp are acacia brushwoods, which symbolizes the finitude of life and the immortality of the soul. The equilateral triangle, with its three equal sides, make us to remember the equality, one of the pillars of Masonry. The eye inside the triangle represents The One That Sees Everything, i. e., The Great Architect of the Universe. The Compass and the Square, in this position, tell us that the matter still dominates de spirit. Inside the Compass and Square is inserted the letter G, the first letter of Geometer, that means God. Put high up the stamp are the dates of 1895 and 2015, showing the year of the foundation of the Lodge and the year when it completes 120 of existence. This short article was sent to the editor by one of our Brazilian brethren who receives the magazine.
Visiting “Visiting” is undoubtedly a central pillar of Freemasonry. At the simplest level, it is the opportunity to share comradeship, to enjoy each other’s company, and as we move from “labour to refreshment” to enjoy the society of the Festive Board. But of course, visiting another Lodge offers much more than this, it provides opportunities to exchange ideas, to achieve a better understanding of the ceremony, and to make a fuller, more complete sense of the ritual. Visiting reinforces those shared experiences that transcend the individual and his Lodge. Visiting helps serve as a guide, in our search for meaning and understanding within our Masonic journey. We are often led by a sense of aesthetics, to explore the linguistic and visual beauty of the ritual, as we seek out a different perspective to our own Lodge practices. This is perhaps the reason why we seek further understanding, in another Brother’s Temple? To see different interpretations; and to help develop those fundamental ideas, which underpin freemasonry and unite our life. Those essential Masonic principles, which link morality, ethics and religion. Through our attendance in another Brother’s Lodge we are often able to reinterpret our understanding of Freemasonry, but more than that, visiting helps us see that the most elegant and simple social and physical structures, are probably the ones, which hold the greatest truth. 9
“When we learned Pythagoras's theorem, we learned something about every rightangled triangle in the world, for all time. If we understand Newton's laws, we have grasped something about every particle that has ever existed”, (“Time”, S. Baxter 1999). In Freemasonry, if we understand the allegorical lessons of moral truth, we have grasped insights into every moral issue that ever existed and have become fuller, more complete citizens of the world. “Visiting” is therefore, a sense of expanding horizons and consciousness, of fellowship, of enjoyment and advancement. It is where the prosaic meets the profound. It is about making better sense of a peculiar system of morally, lifting the veil of allegory and reflecting on the symbolism which permeates our ceremonies in all its forms. “Visiting” therefore can make a significant contribution in promoting the link between Masonic principles and universal. From A Masonic Short Talk Bulletin.
THE WINDING STAIR Upon the Winding Stairway to the Centre, Each Mason has his own peculiar place, And so that each may earn his right to enter He has tremendous difficulties to face. The Mystic Way is hard, but all must try, To turn the ashlar rough to living stone, Hand, also head and heart to purity; A work that must be carried out alone. Upon the stair we stretch our hand behind To help the backward brother on his way, But looking upward those in front we find, Prepare to shed on us a helping ray. Thus every soul is bound to every other And earns the privilege to call him “Brother."
box office attraction, behind Mickey Rooney, Clark Gable, and Spencer Tracy.
Autry made 640 recordings, including more than 300 songs written or co-written by him. His records sold more than 100 million copies and he has more than a dozen gold and platinum records, including the first record ever certified gold. His Christmas and children's records Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) and Peter Cottontail are among his platinum recordings. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the second alltime best selling Christmas single, boasts in excess of 30 million in sales.
Born in Tioga, Texas on September 29, 1907, Gene Autry was raised in Texas and Oklahoma. Discovered by humorist Will Rogers, in 1929 Autry was billed as "Oklahoma's Yodeling Cowboy" at KVOO in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He gained a popular following, a recording contract with Columbia Records in 1929, and soon after, performed on the "National Barn Dance" for radio station WLS in Chicago. Autry first appeared on screen in 1934 and up to 1953 popularized the musical Western and starred in 93 feature films. In 1940 theater exhibitors of America voted Autry the fourth biggest
From 1940 to 1956 the public listened to him on Gene Autry's Melody Ranch radio show that was heard weekly over the CBS Radio Network, featuring Autry's trademark theme song Back In The Saddle Again. In addition, Autry's popularity was apparent during his personal appearance tours. The first performer to sell out Madison Square Garden, his concert and rodeo appearances throughout the United States and Europe are legendary and served as a model for other performers. Autry did two shows a day, seven days a week, for 65 to 85 days at a stretch. Entertainer Gene Autry joined the Army Air Corps in 1942 and became Sgt. Gene Autry. During the war, he ferried fuel, ammunition, and arms in the China-IndiaBurma theater of war and flew over the Himalayas, the hazardous air route known as "The Hump." When the war ended Autry was reassigned to Special Services, where he toured with a USO troupe in the South Pacific. In 1950, Autry became the first major movie star to use the television medium. 10
Always a man of vision, Autry excelled and for the next five years through his Flying A Pictures he produced and starred in 91 half-hour episodes of The Gene Autry Show for CBS Television. This success lead him to produce such popular TV series as Annie Oakley, The Range Rider, Buffalo Bill Jr., The Adventures Of Champion as well as the first 39 episodes of Death Valley Days. He carried his love for entertaining and sharp business sense into broadcasting, where, under the Golden West Broadcasters banner, he owned such award-winning stations as KMPC radio and KTLA Television in Los Angeles as well as other stations across the country. Autry's great love for baseball prompted him to acquire the American League California Angels in 1961. Active in Major League Baseball, Autry held the title of Vice President of the American League until his death. Autry's long-cherished dream came true with the opening in November 1988 of the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, since acclaimed as one of the finest museums on the West. Autry intended to give something back to the community that had been so good to him. In January 2004 the museum merged with the Southwest Museum. As part of this affiliation, an umbrella company was created. The new Autry National Centre consisted of three entities: the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of the American West, and the Institute for the Study of the American West. In 2015 the museum became one entity, the Autry Museum of the American West. Today thousands of visitors, children and adults alike, learn the fascinating history of 11
America's West through world-class collections of art and artefacts. Autry is the only entertainer to have all five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one each for Radio, Recording, Motion Pictures, Television, and Live Theatre/performance. Gene Autry was raised a Mason in 1927 in Catoosa Lodge No. 185, Catoosa, Oklahoma. He was a 33rd Degree Mason and Honorary Inspector General and was given the prestigious award of the Grand Cross of the Court of Honour. Life member of Long Beach, Calif. AASR (32Â°) and was a life member of Al Malaika Shrine Temple, Los Angeles, Calif. Among the many hundreds of honours and awards Autry has received were induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame; the American Academy of Achievement Award, the Los Angeles Area Governor's Emmy from The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; and the Board of Directors Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Achievement in Arts Foundation. Gene Autry was also inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and he received The Songwriters Guild Life Achievement Award. He was also honoured by his song writing peers with a lifetime achievement award from ASCAP. In response to his many young radio listeners aspiring to emulate him, Autry created the Cowboy Code, or Ten Cowboy Commandments. These tenets promoting an ethical, moral, and patriotic lifestyle that appealed to youth organizations such as the Boy Scouts, which developed similar
doctrines. The Cowboy Code consisted of rules that were "a natural progression of Gene's philosophies going back to his first Melody Ranch programs—and early pictures." According to the code:
Fraternal Societies Of the World Scotch Cattle
The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage. 2. He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him. 3. He must always tell the truth. 4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals. 5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas. 6. He must help people in distress. 7. He must be a good worker. 8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits. 9. He must respect women, parents, and his nation’s laws. 10. The Cowboy is a patriot. Brother Gene Autry died at his home in Studio City, California on October 2, 1998. He was 91 years old. This Biography of Gene Autry was collected from a number of sources widely available on the internet is not an original work.
Scotch Cattle was the name taken by bands of coal miners in 19th century South Wales, similar to the Molly Maguires in Pennsylvania, who, in disguise, would visit the homes of other local miners who were working during a strike or cooperating with employers against the local mining community in other ways and punish them by ransacking their property or attacking them physically. They were featured in Alexander Cordell's book, set in this era, Rape of the Fair Country against a backdrop of the Newport Rising of 1839, Chartism and militancy in the South Wales Valleys of the mid 19th century. Some members of these bands were probably idealists, but some also were merely looking for a chance to loot property from the groups' targets—or even, in some cases, from bystanders. Such groups may have been active as early as 1808, although their activity cannot be confirmed before 1822; the last confirmable reference to a Scotch Cattle raid dates from 1850. As late as 1926,
however, pickets in that year's great strike dressed themselves as Scotch Cattle. The origins of the groups' name have been lost, but several possible interpretations have been offered. Some of the disguises worn by Scotch Cattle were actual cowskins, and this alone may have provided the name. Alternatively, it may have been meant to evoke the fierceness of certain breeds of actual Scottish cattle, such as Highland cattle, or may have referred ironically to a herd of Scottish cattle owned by a local mine-owner in the early 19th century. The central aim of the Cattle was to enforce solidarity among the mining community. Men who worked during a strike might be warned by a posted notice that they were at risk of an attack; if the target did not comply, a "Herd" would visit his house in the night. Composed of as many as 300 men and led by a "Bull", the Herd would in most cases have been called in from a neighbouring town, to eliminate the possibility that the target might identify and report one of its members. The members of the Herd would all wear disguises, although these varied widely in quality, ranging from elaborate cowhide costumes on the one hand to women's clothing and simple reversed jackets on the other. After announcing their presence by blowing on horns and rattling chains, the Herd members would smash the house's doors, windows, and furniture and burn fabric items in a bonfire. If the homeowner resisted, he would be beaten severely. Firearms were used on occasion, but usually without serious effect; in one incident in 1834, however, a miner's wife was killed by a visiting Herd, a crime for which one man was later executed and two imprisoned. Herds also on occasion looted truck shops, which were always a target of miners' ire for their allegedly unfair price levels and monopoly on local business. Less idealistically, the Herd might also raid and attack the homes of
uninvolved families that happened to be located near the target home or business— and even some official raids were probably motivated more by the desire to plunder the target's house than the need to enforce solidarity. But in the South Wales valleys of the 1820s, they started to do things differently. If they felt they were being unfairly treated, they would send a warning letter to their boss to set out their grievance. If this was ignored, a group of around 10 to 20 workers would gather, faces blackened – some wearing animal skins and horned headgear, some dressed in women’s petticoats. Some blowing horns and bellowing like cattle. Some armed with axes, clubs and chains. And they would march to the home of the employer for something which became known as the ‘midnight terror’. They would force their way into the property and start to destroy the possessions. Sometimes the target himself would be beaten, but mostly they were left alone. The gang wouldn’t steal anything. They wouldn’t touch any of the food in the house. But the furniture would be smashed, the windows broken and clothes burnt in the fireplace. And once they were done – they’d disappear back into the night. On the front door, the victim would find a bull’s head daubed in red paint – the calling sign of the Tarw Scotch (the Scotch Bull).
These societies which are featured in the newsletter do really exist; there are virtually hundreds of them throughout the World
Lodge Stepps No. 1213
A MEETING of Freemasons in the District was held in the Union Public Hall, Stepps, on Thursday Evening, llth September, 1919, at 8 o'clock. There were about 30 Brethren present, and the business considered was the question of promoting a Masonic Lodge in Stepps. There was a general desire in favour of the formation of a Lodge, but the meeting was ultimately adjourned until 25th September to allow others of interest being present. The Meeting was held in due course and it was unanimously agreed to organise a Petition to obtain a Charter. Subsequent meetings were held and the Petition, properly signed by 60 Brethren and supported by Lodges Scotia No. 178, and St. Kentigern No. 976, was duly sent to Grand Lodge of Scotland, who granted Charter on 6th May, 1920. The Lodge was consecrated and erected on 25th June, by Bros. A. Hagart Speirs, Provincial Grand Master, assisted by other Office-Bearers of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow.
The year 1919 and the village of Stepps was without a Masonic Lodge, although there were many Brethren resident in the district. It was pretty obvious that when these members met, they conversed along the lines of starting a Masonic Lodge in the village. This enthusiasm was so evident that a meeting was held on Thursday, 11th September, 1919 at 8 p.m. There were over thirty members present and Bro. James McNab of Lodge Clydesdale No. 555, and a Past Master of Lodge Albert Edward 592, was invited to take the Chair, with Bro. James McCartney of Lodge Greenock St. John No. 175, Acting Secretary. Bro. J. McKie as Treasurer. The Chairman in his opening remarks referred to the reason for the meeting and in his opinion he felt sure that the time was ripe for such an undertaking, i.e. the Formation of a Masonic Lodge in Stepps. It was moved by Hugh Chisholm and seconded by Bro. Alex. Whyte, both members of our neighbouring Lodge "Cadder Argyle" No. 147 that we apply for a Charter. As a result of this meeting it was requested that Bro. McCartney should circularise all known Masons in the District, inviting them to attend a subsequent meeting to be held in the Union Hall, Cardowan Drive, Stepps, on Thursday, 25th September, 1919 at 8 p.m. Bro. James McNab supplied the Intimation Circulars. From then until 25th June, 1920, a number of petitioner's Meetings were held to agree; Name of Lodge. Colour of Regalia. Dates of Meeting.
Application to be included under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow. Consecration: The consecration and erection of Lodge Stepps, No. 1213, was held in the Union Public Hall, Stepps, on 25th June, 1920 at 6.30 p.m. Bro. A. A. Hagart Speirs of Elderslie D.L., J.P. Provincial Grand Master of Glasgow officiating, ably assisted by Bro. the very Rev. William Munro Denholm S.P.G.M. and other Provincial Grand Lodge Office-Bearers. The Lodge was opened for the first time and raised to the Third Degree by the P.G.M. who with the assistance of his Office-Bearers, carried out the ceremony of consecration and erection in due course and ancient form in accordance with Masonic custom and in a very efficient manner. The Provincial Grand Lodge was then closed and Lodge Stepps, No. 1213, opened in the First Degree by the P.G.M. who, assisted by Bro. William Munro Denholm, S.P.G.M. installed the OfficeBearers in their respective office. The R.W.M. thanked the P.G.M. for conducting the ceremonies of consecration of the Lodge and Installation of its O.B.'s and as a souvenir of the occasion, several members of P.G.L. were presented with a silver sweet plate. It was unanimously agreed to confer H.M. of the Lodge on the R.W.P.G.M. Bro. A. A. Haggart Speirs graciously accepted the honour and then was duly installed as the first H.M. on the Roll of Lodge Stepps. The obligation was given by Bro. John Frazer of Lodge 1213, and P.M. of Lodge Thistle, No. 87. 15
The P.G.L. Office-Bearers retired and the Lodge was called from labour to refreshment, when a pleasant and enjoyable evening was spent in harmony. The reason put forward for inclusion within the P.G.L. of Glasgow was that a Majority of the Petitioners were in business in the city and were constantly in touch with business men who followed a similar vocation. At one of these interim meetings, it was reported by the Secretary that Grand Lodge had agreed to Grant a Charter, and the Lodge would be 1213, on the roll. In the meantime, approaches were made to Lodge Scotia No. 178, and Lodge St. Kentigern No. 976, to be our sponsors and to support us in our claim to work under the authority of the P.G.L. of Glasgow. Both Lodges readily accepted. Prior to the consecration, the first OfficeBearers were elected to office. The furnishings of the Lodge were all gifted by Founder Members, and likewise, the steps which lead to the platform in the Public Hall. Regalia: Lodge Colours - Royal Blue Meetings: 2nd and 4th Thursday (September to April); 2nd Thursday only (May to August) Province: We had been accepted by and into the Glasgow Province The first volume of the Sacred Law was gifted by Bro. Alex Whyte. Lodge Stepps No. 1213 has a website which the reader can visit to learn more of this old Lodge and its meeting dates. This can be viewed at, http://www.lodgestepps1213.co.uk/
Our thanks go to the Lodge No .1213 whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright owners.
Rays of Masonry “The Middle Chamber” It is an atmosphere of silence and reverence. The Fellowcraft has brushed shoulders with the world. And now for a brief moment he pauses. He has reached a point in the road that marks the end of the day's work. Faithfully he has labored to overcome difficulties, which were really "blessings in disguise." Because of these obstacles, he is strong. He has learned many things. The superfluities of life are now seen in their true light. Now he knows the real meaning of wages due a Fellowcraft, the gifts of the Divine Creator. His wages are Supreme Gifts, Corn, Wine, and Oil. They are his "plenty"; not too much, not too little, just what is due him. Now he realizes that the presence of the One before him was with him on his journey up a Flight of Winding Stairs. He is offered Peace, Rest, and Strength. The hallowed Middle Chamber breathes the air of Love, Tolerance, Service and Sacrifice. The Temple is not yet completed, but the Fellowcraft no longer questions the plans of the Architect. In this Middle Chamber there are no false barriers. The Fellowcraft has learned the fictitiousness of creeds that separate man from man. The Symbol before him is the Living Proof that men are brothers. It is only a brief pause. But now strong and unafraid the Fellowcraft resumes his journey. Dewey Wollstein 1953
Eyes Lifted High I’m so tired of hearing about brotherhood!" complained the New Brother. "I'm sold on it, but I am weary of hearing it preached!" "I make my bow to you!" answered the Old Tiler. "All my life I have wanted to meet the perfect brother!" "Why, Old Tiler!'' cried the New Brother joyfully, "I never expected to hear that from you! Are you, too, tired of the preaching of brotherhood?'' "Oh, no!" responded the Old Tiler. "I meant that if you are if you are weary of hearing of brotherhood, you know all about it. The human mind tires of what it has already beheld. We long to hear the new and the unknown, to see the strange and the unusual. We tire of that which is well known. You weary of brotherhood, because you know all about it. The man who knows all about brotherhood is, 16
obviously, the perfect brother. So I make my bow!"
Highway, that winds through darkness up to light, through night, to day."
"I thought there was a trick in it somewhere!'' grinned the New Brother, somewhat shamefacedly. "Of course I don't know all about it. What I am trying to say is that I weary of being preached at, rather than weary of the preaching."
"That's beautiful!" cried the New Brother.
"That is something else!" smiled the Old Tiler. "We all resent being preached at. And I know what ails you – that good brother from the far jurisdiction who spent half an hour talking platitudes. But you should look behind what he says to the motive before you let him weary you. A little boy I know sat down beside me recently and read me a chapter out of his school history. I knew the history and I knew the boy. I wasn't especially interested in either. But the boy was grateful for some small favor I had done him and because his history was a new story to him, he thought it would please me. I was bored by the history, but pleased with the child's effort to entertain me. "Brother Small Talk in his dry and uninteresting remarks means to do right. He is an honest and earnest Mason. He is following Oxenham's lovely lines as well as he can, and . . . " "Who is Oxenham?" interrupted the New Brother. ''Oh, don't you know? A poet. Listen . . ." the Old Tiler stopped for a moment, and then, very softly, quoted: "But once I pass this way. And then . . . and then . . . the Silent Door swings on its hinges; opens . . . closes . . . and no more I pass this way. So, while I may, with all my might I will essay sweet comfort and delight to all I meet upon the pilgrim way. For no man travels twice the Great 17
"Indeed it is!" agreed the Old Tiler. "It is the very Skekinah of brotherhood; the glow of beauty which surrounds that which is holy. Brother Small Talk knows he will pass this way but once, and so, while he may, he essays sweet comfort and delight to all the brethren he meets upon the pilgrim way of Masonry. His idea of 'sweet comfort and delight' is to spread the doctrine of the brotherhood of man and the Fatherhood of God." "But," objected the New Brother. ''It doesn't spread it to bore people with platitudes. I've heard what he said a thousand times." "Ah, but now you are criticizing God!" answered the Old Tiler. "Look for the motive. God didn't give him much of a mind or provide him with many ideas. But Brother Small Talk does the best he can. His heart is right and his Masonry is good, and he tries to spread his ‘sweet comfort and delight’ as he goes along. To him his thoughts are beautiful. They touch his heart. And so, with a pleasant voice and a smooth flow of words, he gives them to his brethren, not knowing that they hear nothing that isn't better said in the ritual. Do you know Abou Ben Adhem?" "No," answered the "Member of this lodge?"
The Old Tiler smiled. "Not exactly," he answered. "He never lived; and yet he will live forever." The Old Tiler quoted softly; "Abou Ben Adhem, may his tribe increase, awoke one night from a deep dream of peace, and saw, within the moonlight in his room, making it rich and like a lily in bloom, an Angel, writing in a book of gold.
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold, so to the Presence in the room he said 'What writest thou?' The Vision raised its head and with a look made of all sweet accord, answered. 'The names of those who love the Lord.' 'And is mine one?' asked Abou. 'Nay, not so,' replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low, but cheerily still, and said. 'I pray thee, then, write me as one who loves his fellowmen.' The Angel wrote and vanished. The next night it came again with a great wakening light and showed the names whom love of God had blessed; and lo, Ben Adhem's name led all the rest." "That is very beautiful, too,'' said the New Brother, softly. "Aye, that is beautiful," answered the Old Tiler. "Brother Small Talk, with his platitudes and his love of his fellowmen is beautiful, too. Look within, my boy, to the Motive. Do not 'Judge men by what they do, but by what they try. We all fail; if the Great Architect judged by accomplishment, what a pitiful state would we be in! But if He judges us by what we try, if He regards not our stumbling feet, but our eyes fixed on the star, then will Brother Small Talk meet kindly friends and a great welcome when he approaches the Tiler's door of the Grand Lodge above, for his eyes are lifted high!" "I will never be tired of any man's sincere talk again!" assured the New Brother. "And, Old Tiler, write me that about the pilgrim way, and Abou, too, will you, please?" The Old Tiler grunted as he reached for his pencil. This is the Fifty-second 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 Holy Bible lies open upon the Alter of Masonry, and upon the Bible lie the Square and Compasses. They are the three Great Lights of the Lodge, at once its Divine warrant and its chief working tools. They are symbols of Revelation, Righteousness and Redemption, Teaching us that by walking in the light of Truth, and obeying the Law of Right, the Divine in man wins victory over the earthly. How to live is the one important matter, and he will seek far without finding a wiser way than that shown us by the Great Lights of the Lodge. The Square and Compasses are the oldest, the simplest and the most universal symbols of Masonry. All the world over, whether as a sign on a building, or a badge worn by a Brother, even the profane know them to be emblems of our ancient Craft. Some years ago, when a business firm tried to adopt the Square and Compasses as a Trade- Mark, the Patent Office refused permission, on the ground, as the decision said, that "There can be no doubt that this device, so commonly worn and employed by Masons, universally recognized as existing; whether comprehended by all or not, is not material to this issue." They belong to us, alike by the associations of history and the tongue of common report. Nearly everywhere in our Ritual, as in the 18
public mind, the Square and Compasses are seen together. If not interlocked, they are seldom far apart, and the one suggests the other. And that is as it should be, because the things they symbolize are interwoven. In the old days when the earth was thought to be flat and square, the Square was an emblem of the earth, and later, of the earthly element in man. As the sky is an arc or a circle, the implement which describes a Circle became the symbol of the heavenly, or sky spirit in man. Thus the tools of the builder became the emblems of the thoughts of the thinker; and nothing in Masonry is more impressive than the slow elevation of the compasses above the Square in the progress of the Degrees. The whole meaning and task of life is there, for such as have eyes to see. Let us separate the Square from the Compasses and study it alone, the better to see its further meaning and use. There is no need to say that the Square we have in mind is not a Cube, which has four equal sides and angles, deemed by the Greeks a figure of perfection. Nor is it the square of the carpenter, one leg of which is longer than the other, with inches marked for measuring. It is a small, plain Square, unmarked and with legs of equal length, a simple try-square used for testing the accuracy of angles, and the precision with which stones are cut. Since the try-square was used to prove that angles were right, it naturally became an emblem of accuracy, integrity and rightness. As stones are cut it fit into a building, so our acts and thoughts are built together into a structure of Character, badly or firmly, and must be tested by a moral standard of which the simple try- square is a symbol. So, among Speculative Masons, the tiny try-square has always been a symbol of 19
morality, of the basic rightness which must be the test of every act and the foundation of character and society. From the beginning of the revival in 1717 this was made plain in the teaching of Masonry, by the fact that the Holy Bible was placed upon the Altar, along with the Square and Compasses. In one of the earliest catechisms of the Craft, dated 1725, the question is asked: "How many make a Lodge?" The answer is specific and unmistakable: "God and the Square, with five or seven right and perfect Masons." God and the Square, Religion and Morality, must be present in every Lodge as its ruling Lights, or it fails of being a just and truly Constituted Lodge. In all lands, in all rites where Masonry is true to itself, the Square is a symbol of righteousness, and is applied in the light of faith in God. God and the Square - it is necessary to keep the two together in our day, because the tendency of the times is to separate them. The idea in vogue today is that morality is enough, and that faith in God if there be a God - may or may not be important. Some very able men of the Craft insist that we make the teaching of Masonry too religious. Whereas, as all history shows, if faith in God grows dim morality becomes a mere custom, if not a cobweb, to be thrown off lightly. It is not rooted in reality, and so lacks authority and sanction. Such an idea, such a spirit - so wide-spread in our time, and finding so many able and plausible advocates - strikes at the foundation, not only of Masonry, but of all ordered and advancing social life. Once men come to think that morality is a human invention, and not a part of the order of the world, and the moral law will lose both its meaning and its power. Far wiser was the old book entitled "All in All
and the Same Forever," by John Davies, and dated 1607, though written by a nonMason, when it read reality and nature of God in this manner: "Yet I this form of formless deity drew by the Square and Compasses of our Creed." For, inevitable, a society without standards will be a society without stability, and it will one day go down. Not only nations, but whole civilizations have perished in the past, for lack of righteousness. History speaks plainly in this matter, and we dare not disregard it. Hence the importance attached to the Square of Virtue, and the reason why Masons call it the great symbol of their Craft. It is a symbol of that moral law upon which human life must rest if it is to stand. A man may build a house in any way he likes, but if he expects it to stand and be his home, he must adjust his structure to the laws and forces that rule in the material realm. Just so, unless we live in obedience to the moral laws which God has written in the order of things, our lives will fall and end in a wreck. When a young man forgets the simple Law of the Square, it does not need a prophet to foresee what the result will be. It is a problem in geometry. Such has been the meaning of the Square as far back as we can go. Long before our era we find the Square teaching the same lesson which it teaches us today. In one of the old books of China, called :The Great Learning," which has been dated in the fifth century before Christ, we read that a man should not do unto others what he would not have them do unto him; and the writers adds, "This is called the principle of acting on the Square." There it is, recorded long, long ago. The greatest philosopher has found nothing more profound, and the oldest man in his ripe
wisdom has learned nothing more true. Even Jesus only altered it from the negative to the positive form in his "Golden Rule." So, everywhere, in our Craft and outside, the Square has taught its simple truth which does not grow old. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master of North and East Yorkshire recovered a very curious relic, in the form of an old brass Square found under the foundation of an ancient bridge near Limerick in 1830. On it was inscribed the date, 1517, and the following words: "Strive to live with love and care Upon the Level, by the Square." How simple and beautiful it is, revealing the oldest wisdom man has learned and the very genius of our Craft. In fact and truth, the Square Rules the Mason as well as the Lodge in which he labors.. As soon as he enters a Lodge, the candidate walks the square steps around the Square pavement of a rectangular Lodge. All during the ceremony his attitude keeps him in mind of the same symbol, as if to fashion his life after its form. When he is brought to light, he beholds the Square upon the Altar, and at the same time sees that it is worn by the Master of the Lodge, as the emblem of his office. In the North-East Corner he is shown the perfect Ashlar, and told that it is the type of a finished Mason, who must be Square-man in thought and conduct, in word and act. With every art of emphasis the Ritual writes this lesson in our hearts, and if we forget this first truth the Lost Word will remain forever lost. For Masonry is not simply a Ritual; it is a way of living. It offers us a plan. a method, a faith by which we may build our days and years into a character so strong and true that nothing, not even death, can destroy it. Each of us has in his own heart a 20
little try-square called Conscience, by which to test each thought and deed and word, whether it be true or false. By as much as a man honestly applies that test in his own heart, and in his relations with his fellows, by so much will his life be happy, stable, and true. Long ago the question was asked and answered: "Lord, who shall abide in thy Tabernacle? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart." It is the first obligation of a Mason to be on the Square, in all his duties and dealings with his fellow men, and if he fails there he cannot win anywhere. Let one of our poets sum it all up: It matters not whate'er your lot Or what your task may be, One duty there remains for you One duty stands for me. Be you a doctor skilled and wise, Or do your work for wage, A laborer upon the street, An artist on the stage; Our glory still awaits for you, One honor that is fair, To have men say as you pass by: "That fellow's on the Square." Ah, here's a phrase that stands for much 'Tis good old English too, It means that men have confidence In everything you do, It means that what you have you've earned, And that you've done your best, And when you go to sleep at night Untroubled you may rest. It means that conscience is your guide, And honor is your care; There is no greater praise than this: "That fellow's on the Square." And when I die I would not wish A lengthy epitaph; I do not wish a headstone large, Carved with fulsome chaff, Pick out no single deed of mine, If such a deed there be, To 'grave upon my monument, For those who come to see, Just this one phrase of all I choose, To show my life was fair: Here sleepeth now a fellow who Was always on the Square." 21
In out study of the Square we saw that it is nearly always linked with the Compasses, and these old emblems, joined with the Holy Bible, are the Great Lights of the Craft. If the lodge is an â€œoblong squareâ€? and built upon the Square (as the earth was thought to be in olden time), Over it arches the Sky, which is a circle. Thus Earth and Heaven are brought together in the lodge the earth where man goes forth to his labour, and the heaven to which he aspires. In other words, the light of Revelation and the law of Nature are like to two points of the Compasses within which our life is set under a canopy of Sun and Stars. No symbolism can be simpler, more profound, more universal, and it becomes more wonderful the longer one ponders it. Indeed, if Masonry is in any sense a religion, it is Universe Religion, in which all men can unite. Its principles are as wide as the world, as high as the sky. Nature and Revelation blend in its teaching; its morality is rooted in the order of the world, and its roof is the blue vault above. The
lodge, as we are apt to forget, is always open to the sky, whence come those influences which exalt and ennoble the life of man. Symbolically, at least, it has no rafters but the arching heavens to which, as sparks ascending seek the sun, our life and labour end. Of the heavenly side of Masonry the Compasses are the symbol, and they are perhaps the most spiritual of our working tools. As has been said, the Square and Compasses are nearly always together, and that is true as far back as we can go. In the sixth book of the philosophy of Mencius, in China, we find these words: “A Master Mason, in teaching Apprentices, makes use of the compasses and the square. Ye who are engaged in the pursuit of wisdom must also make use of the compass and the square.” Note the order of the words: the Compass has first place, as it should have to a Master Mason.. In the oldest classic of China, THE BOOK OF HISTORY, dating back two thousand years before our era, we find the Compasses employed without the Square: “Ye officers of the Government, apply the Compasses.” Even in that far off time these symbols had the same meaning they have for us today, and they seem to have been interpreted in the same way. While in the order of the lodge the Square is first, in point of truth it is not the first in order. The Square rests upon the Compasses before the Compasses rest upon the Square. that is to say, just as a perfect square is a figure that can be drawn
only within a circle or about a circle, so the earthly life of man moves and is built within the Circle of Divine life and law and love which surrounds, sustains, and explains it. In the Ritual of the lodge we see man, hoodwinked by the senses, slowly groping has way out of darkness, seeking the light of morality and reason. But he does so by the aid of inspiration from above, else he would live untroubled by a spark. Some deep need, some dim desire brought him to the door of the lodge, in quest of a better life and a clearer vision. Vague gleams, impulses intimations reached him in the night of Nature, and he set forth and finding a friendly hand to help knocked at the door of the House of Light. As an Apprentice a man is, symbolically, in a crude, natural his divine life covered and ruled bay his earthly nature. As a Fellowcraft he has made one step toward liberty and light, and the nobler elements in him are struggling to rise above and control his lower, lesser nature. In the sublime Degree of a Master Mason far more sublime that we yet realize - by human love, by the discipline of tragedy, and still more by Divine help the divine in him has subjugated the earthly, and he stands forth strong, free, and fearless, ready to raise stone upon stone until naught is wanting. If we examine with care the relative positions of the Square and Compasses as he advanced through the Degrees, we learn a parable and a prophecy of what the Compasses mean in the life of a Mason. Here, too, we lean what the old philosopher of China meant when he urged Officers of the Government to “apply the 22
Compasses,” since only men who have mastered themselves can really lead or rule others. Let us now study the Compasses apart from the Square, and try to discover what they have to teach us. There is no more practical lesson in Masonry and it behoves us to learn it and lay it to heart. As the light of the Holy Bible reveals our relation and duty to God, and the Square instructs us in our duties to our Brother and neighbour, so the compasses teach us the obligation which we owe to ourselves. What that obligation is needs to be made plain: It is the primary, imperative, everyday duty of circumscribing his passions, and keeping his desires within due bounds. as Most Excellent King Solomon said long ago, “Better is he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” In short, it is the old triad, without which character loses its symmetry, and life may easily end in chaos and confusion. It has been put in many ways, but never better than in the three great words:
long keep his respect for others, and goes down the road to destruction, like a star out of orbit, or a can into the ditch. The old Greeks put the same truth into a Trinity of maxims: “Know thyself; in nothing too much; think as a mortal”; and it made them masters of the art of life and the life of art. Hence their wise Doctrine of the Limit, as a basic idea both of life and of thought, and their worship of the God of Bounds, of which the Compasses are a symbol. It is the wonder of our human life that we belong to the limited and to the unlimited. Hemmed in, hedged about, restricted, we long for a liberty without rule or limit. Yet limitless liberty is anarchy and slavery, as in the great word of Burke, “It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that a man of intemperate passions cannot be free; his passions forge their fetters.”
Self-knowledge, Self-reverence, Self-control;
Liberty rests upon law. The wise man is he who takes full account of both, who knows how, at all points to qualify the one by the other, as the Compasses, if he uses them aright, will teach him how to do.
and we cannot lose any one of the three and keep the other two. To know ourselves, our strength, our weakness, our limitations, is the first principle of wisdom, and a security against many a pitfall and blunder. Lacking such knowledge, or disregarding it, a man goes too far, loses control of himself, and by that very fact loses, in some measure, the self-respect which is the corner stone of a character. If he loses respect for himself, he does not
Much of our life is ruled for us whether we will or not. The laws of nature throw about us their restraining bands, and there is no place where their writ does not run. the laws of the land make us aware that our liberty is limited by the equal rights and liberties of others. Our neighbour, too, if we fail to act toward him squarely may be trusted to look after his own rights. Custom, habit, and the pressure of public opinion are impalpable restraining forces,
which we dare not altogether defy. These are so many roads from which our passions and appetites stray at our peril. But there are other regions of life where personality has free play, and they are the places where most of our joy and sorrow lie. It is in the realm of desire, emotion, motive, in the inner life where we are freest and most alone, that we need a wise and faithful use of the Compasses. How to use the Compasses is one of the finest of all arts, asking for the highest skill of a Master Mason. If he is properly instructed, he will rest one point on the innermost centre of his being and with the other draw a circle beyond which he will not go, until he is ready and able to go farther. Against the littleness of his knowledge he will set the depth of his desire to know, against the brevity of his earthly life the reach of his spiritual hope. Within a wise limit he will live and labour and grow, and when he reaches the outer rim of the circle he will draw another, and attain to a full-orbed life, balanced, beautiful, and finely poised. No wise man dare forget the maxim, “In nothing too much,” for there are situations where a word too much, a step too far, means disaster. If he has a quick tongue, a hot temper, a dark mood, he will apply the Compasses, shut his weakness within the circle of his strength, and control it. Strangely enough, even a virtue, if unrestrained and left to itself, may actually become a vice. Praise, if pushed too far, becomes flattery. Love often ends in a soft sentimentalism, flabby and foolish. Faith, if carried to the extreme by the will to believe, ends in over-belief and
superstition. It is the Compasses that help us to keep our balance, in obedience to the other Greek Maxim: “Think as a Mortal” that is remember the limits of human thought. An old mystic said that God is a circle whose centre is everywhere, and its circumference nowhere. But such an idea is all a blur. Our minds can neither grasp nor hold it. Even in our thought about God we must draw a circle enclosing so much of His nature as we can grasp and realize, enlarging the circle as our experience and thought and vision expand. Many a man loses all truth in his impatient effort to reach final truth, and who seeks to impose his dogma upon others, who becomes the bigot, the fanatic, the persecutor. Here, too, we must apply the Compasses, if we would have our faith fulfil itself in fellowship. Now we know in part - a small part, it may be, but it is real as far as it goes - though it be as one who sees in a glass darkly. The promise is that if we are worthy and well qualified we shall see God face to face and know ever as we are known. but God is so great, so far beyond my mind and yours, that if we are to know Him at all truly, we must know Him together, in fellowship and fraternity. And so the Poet-Mason was right when he wrote:
“He drew a circle that shut me out, Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout; But love and I had the wit to win, We drew a circle that took him in.”
Both these articles are sourced from the Short Talk Bulletin Volume 2 April and May 1924. The end quote is from the poem ‘Outwitted.’ By Edwin Markham.
Did You Know? Q. When did the word `Bible' first appear in Masonic literature? When did the Bible first appear in a Masonic lodge?
A. If you insist on the word `Bible', its first appearance in a Masonic context seems to be in the later 1600s. No part of the Bible was printed in English until 1525, and the first complete Bible in English was not printed until 1535. At this date, therefore, one would hardly expect to find the Bible in general use any-where outside a Church or Monastery, or in a really wealthy household, and this may well explain the absence of early references to the Bible in our oldest Masonic documents. Many versions of the MS. Constitutions or Old Charges contain instructions, usually in Latin, prescribing the form of administering the oath. The earliest of these instructions appears in the Grand Lodge No. 1 MS., dated 1583. It begins: Tunc unus ex Seniorbus tenerit librum ..., and the passage may be translated: Then one of the elders holds out a book and he or they (that are to be sworn) shall place their hands upon it and the following precepts shall be read. Here the book might mean the `Book of Charges' (i.e., the copy of the Constitutions), but the word `book' is ambiguous, and a doubt remains. 25
In many of the later cases the reference to the book may safely be assumed to refer to the V.S.L., e.g., the Harleian MS. No. 1942, which is another version of the Old Charges belonging to the second half of the seventeenth century. It contains a form of the masons' oath of secrecy, in which the final words show clearly that the Holy Book was used for this purpose: `... soe helpe me god and the holy contents of this booke'. Possibly the first clear reference to the Bible in this connection appears in the Colne No. 1 MS., dated c. 1685: Heare followeth the worthy and godly Oath of Masons. One of the eldest taking the Bible shall hould it forth that he or the(y) which are to bee maid Masones, may Impoase and lay thear Right hand upon it and then the Charge shall bee read. The oldest Lodge Minutes in Scotland begin in 1598; they belonged to the now-dormant Lodge of Aitchison's Haven. Those of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel), No. 1, begin in 1599; Lodge Mother Kilwinning, No. 0, in 1642, etc. All these ancient Lodge records, and many others, have been published, but a careful check of the earlier minutes reveals no hint of a Bible as part of the Lodge equipment. The same applies to the oldest English Lodge records (Alnwick, 1701, and Swalwell, 1725). Yet, having regard to the deeply religious character of those days, it is probable that from the time when printed copies became readily available, the Bible was amongst the most constant items of Lodge equipment. At Lodge Mother Kilwinning,
the minutes in 1646 record that Fellows were; `sworne to ye standart of ye said lodge ad vitam', and the Deacon swore his oath `de fidelij administratione'. It is almost certain that a Bible would have been used, yet the earliest record of the purchase of a Bible was in 1766, when the Lodge ordered `two song books' as well! An inventory of equipment of the Lodge of Peebles in 1726 shows: `One Bible, the Constitutions of the Laws of the Haill Lodges in London', etc. A schedule of property of the Old Dundee Lodge, Wapping, London, in December, 1744, records: `A Bible . . . [valued at] 15.0'. Another was presented to the Lodge in 1749. The Minutes of the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 2, for November, 1759, report that one of the members; `could not provide a proper Bible for ye Use of this Lodge . . for less than 40/-, and ye Lodge ordered him to provide one and not to exceed that sum'. But, of course, these random notes only appear in those cases where the lodge Clerks or Secretaries thought fit to record them, and very little early evidence has survived. For the most interesting descriptions of the use of the Bible amongst Masons we have to go outside the normal lodge records, examining instead the early aides-memoire and exposures which claim to describe the admission procedures of their times, and in these sources there is ample material:
The Forme of Giveing the Mason Word Imprimis you are to take the person to take the word upon his knees, and after a great many ceremonies to frighten him you make him take up the bible and laying his right hand on it you are to conjure him to sec(r)ecie .. Impr. you are to put the person, who is to get the word, upon his knees; And, after a great many Ceremonies, to frighten him, yow make him take up the Bible; and, laying his right hand upon it. A Mason's Confession, 1755-6, describing Scots procedure in c. 1727. [From the candidate's preparation for the Obligation.] ... and his bare elbow on the Bible with his hand lifted up ... The Mystery of Freemasonry, 1730. Q. What was you doing while the Oath was tendering? A. I was kneeling bare-knee'd betwixt the Bible and the Square, taking the solemn Oath of a Mason. [From the preparation for the Obligation.] ... my naked Right Hand on the Holy Bible; there I took the Obligation (or Oath) of a Mason. The above answer was given by W. Bro. Harry Carr, a former Secretary of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076.
God – a Freemason? As I sit in Lodge I glance at the letter “G” suspended from the ceiling. I have seen it countless times and hardly even given it a thought. Like so much else it is a comforting fixed point in my life. Whilst “G” is there in the Lodge room the world is in order. I am reminded of Browning’s words, “God’s in His heaven – all’s right with the world”. Good poetry perhaps, but bad theology. God has no physical shape; He cannot be placed anywhere geographically; neither in the heavens nor on earth. The truth is that God – by sheer definition – is everywhere. That is, everywhere that human beings let Him in. In the Lodge room too. The piece of metal suspended from the ceiling is not God, nor even an idol. It is a symbol, like so much else in Freemasonry; a symbol that Freemasonry is religious, requires a belief in The Supreme Being; that what the Mason is and does, ought to demonstrate that God is in his life. Which God, which concept of God? That depends on one’s cultural baggage. A Jewish God, a Christian God, a Muslim God? All of these, and none. The Jew thinks with a Jewish mind, the Christian and Muslim with their particular mindset. God Himself is unadjectival. But then comes a problem. If we cannot attach an adjective to God, can we nonetheless describe what He does? Cawdray’s Treasurie of Similies published in 1609 quotes an earlier source, A Spiritual and Most Precious Perle by Werdmuller, published in 1550. “As the Free-Mason heweth the hard stones,” it says, “even so God the Heavenly FreeMason buildeth a Christian Church”. The
historian notes the 16th century use of the term Freemason and indeed even earlier sources indicate that it was in use in the 14th century. But that’s not quite my point. My point is the analogy between God and the Freemason. According to the Bible, man is made in the image of God; here God is made in the image of man. Anthropomorphism – applying human terminology to the Almighty. The Jewish sages say, “The Torah speaks in the language of human beings”. We know it is poetry and we cannot take it literally when God’s strong hand redeems the slaves and His eyes gaze upon His creation. Nor do we read too much into the professional metaphors – “I the Lord am your healer”. If we took the poetry too seriously we would have problems. God could not possibly be a physician; He never took a medical degree, nor does He have certification from a medical board. In that sense He cannot be a Freemason either. No-one nominated Him for membership, He was never initiated, He has no Masonic regalia. But God as an architect who has a plan for His edifice (the world), and a builder who makes His creation beautiful and firm – that makes some sense to us. So the letter “G” in the Lodge room does not mean that He is literally a Freemason nor that He needs us to tell Him how to do His job. Nor even that He is made in our image. It is there to remind us that He is omnipresent and omniscient, and to ensure that we look up and work in a way that will earn His approval. I almost added, “and be passed by the Divine Foreman”. But maybe that would take anthropomorphism too far. 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 EMBLEMS OF FREEMASONRY The First Degree The All-Seeing Eye The All-Seeing Eye is to remind the Freemason of the Omniscience of God under whose watchful Providence even comets perform their stupendous revolutions. Nothing is hid from God who knows our every thought and action and who will reward or punish according as we obey or disregard His divine commands. The Blazing Star. The Blazing Star in the Centre refers us to that grand luminary the sun which enlightens the whole world, and by its benign influence, dispenses its blessings on all mankind. It is an emblem of Prudence which should be the guiding star of life. It is placed in the centre to be ever present to the eye, that the heart may be attentive to its dictates. It commemorates the Star which appeared in the East to guide the wise men to Bethlehem to proclaim the birth and the presence of the Son of God. The Seven Stars. The Seven Stars which form so prominent a figure in a Masonic Lodge allude to as many regularly made Masons, without which number no Lodge is perfect, nor can any candidate be legally initiated into the Fraternity. By representing the perfect Lodge they are emblematical of that ethereal mansion above which is veiled from mortal eye by the starry firmament. Pavement. The mosaic pavement is the beautiful flooring of a Freemason’s Lodge. By reason of its being chequered and variegated it points out the diversity of objects which decorate and adorn creation, alike in its animate and inanimate parts. The Great Architect of the Universe out of his bounteous Liberality has spread the earth with a beauteous carpet. The mosaic work is an emblem of the world chequered with good and evil, pain and pleasure, grief and joy. Mosaic work was introduced into Freemasonry to remind the brethren of the uncertainty of all earthly things. To-day man may tread in the flowery meads of prosperity; tomorrow he may totter along the uneven paths of weakness, temptation and adversity. By such an emblem the Freemason is taught not to boast of anything, but to give heed to his ways, and walk with humility before God. This monthly feature is taken from William Harvey’s book, “The Emblems of Freemasonry” 1918.
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor. 28
Published on Aug 28, 2016