Welcome Brethren To the Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No.76 Newsletter December 2008
Brethren, welcome once again to this the last edition of the Stirling Royal Arch No.76 newsletter for the year 2008. This edition is slightly longer than normal, because of the Scottish Rite article, and we have included a xmas card for all our readers, so a Merry Christmas to you and yours from all at Lodge 76 whether your freezing in Canada or having a Barbie’ in Aussie. Anyway on to this month’s newsletter,
December’s contents…. In the main lectures and articles web site, the article for this month is ‘The Four Hiram’s of Tyre,’ by A.S. McBride. “It will, no doubt, surprise many Masons, as well as non-Masons, to be told that there are four Hirams of Tyre mentioned in the scripture narrative of the building of King Solomon's Temple of Jerusalem.” So says Brother McBride of the McBride ritual fame. This little known article
researches the four Hiram’s of Tyre and McBride gives a short history on each of them. This is a good article for the esoteric’ amongst us! [link] Page 2, Cleopatra’s Needle, this little article by the editor of the newsletter (me) tells the story of how this Egyptian relic came to be standing on the embankment in London. Page 3, The Scottish Rite, The Scottish Rite organization, confers the 4th through 32nd degrees in degreeconferring meetings. In part 2 of this article we look at the 8th to the 14th degree, the regalia and their teachings. Page 6, the Masonic Encyclopaedia, this month we look at the letter, ‘J’, from Jacobins to Jewels. Page 6, The National Monument in Edinburgh, the cover story for this month, describes the monument overlooking Edinburgh on the Calton Hill. Page 7, ‘Odds and Sods’, on this popular page, have a very merry Christmas.
with the British government to preserve and remove this ancient artefact. In 1875 the General went to Egypt and found the obelisk hidden in the sand and with assistance uncovered it and had it examined. On his return to England, General Alexander represented the case of this magnificent monument to his friend a Professor Wilson, who upon hearing Alexander’s plea, agreed to underwrite the cost of rescuing the relic and bringing it back to London, where it now stands for the entire world to see.
What has Cleopatra’s Needle in London got to do with Freemasonry, nothing! It’s no more than an obelisk which is over 3,500 years old that was once buried in the sand in Alexandria in Egypt and in 1878 ended up on the embankment in London. It is not a Masonic symbol; it has nothing whatsoever to do with Freemasonry no matter what the conspiracy theories might say, and it’s not a phallic symbol that we masons worship. But, believe it or not………it does have a connection with Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76. In 1867, the obelisk was in danger of being broken up for building material as the owner of the ground on which it lay wanted the site cleared. It was saved from destruction by a General Sir James Edward Alexander who for ten years pleaded with the owner of the site and
General Sir James Edward Alexander came from Powis Logie just outside Stirling, he was descended from the Mayne’s of Powis and had spent almost his whole life in the service of the military. He was a distinguished soldier, explorer and writer, and as a Captain in the 42nd Royal Highlanders, (the black watch) on the 27th December 1832, he was initiated into the mysteries of Freemasonry in Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76, and thus is the link between Cleopatra’s needle in London and our wee Lodge in Stirling, albeit a tentative one. This story of Brother Sir James Edward Alexander will be included in my forthcoming booklet, “A Who’s Who of members of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch in the 19th Century,” which will be available in the New Year as part of the forth coming 250th anniversary celebrations.. When you will be able to read of Brother Alexander and some other brethren who have a connection with our ancient Lodge.
The Scottish Rite…. Continuing from last month, we present the next degrees within the Scottish Rite, beginning with the 8° through to 14°, which is the last degree in the Lodge of Perfection.
8° - Intendant of the Building We should strive for perfection by using the great principles of God's inherent love, charity, morality and kindness. The apron of the 8th Degree is white with red and green, with a balance, a ninepointed star, and a triangle with the Hebrew letters BETH for Ben-Khurim; YOU for Jakinah; and ALEPH for Achar. The jewel of this Degree is a gold triangle with the same three letters. The duties are benevolence and charity.
9° - Elu of the Nine (Elected Knight of the Nine) Truth, candor and generosity. The foundation of Scottish Rite Masonry is most reflected in this degree. We should use these truths to shape our lives and conduct. The apron of the 9th Degree is white, lined with black and sprinkled with blood, with an arm holding a dagger and a severed head held by the hair. The jewel of this degree is a dagger, hilt of gold and blade of silver. The duties are enlightenment of soul and mind, vigilance, tolerance and being on guard for fanaticism and persecution.
10째 - Elu of the Fifteen (Illustrious Elect of the Fifteen) This degree teaches us to be tolerant and respect the opinions of others. Freedoms of political and spiritual ideologies should be shared by all. The apron of the 10th Degree is white, with a black flap with three archshaped gates, over each a head on a spike. The jewel of this degree is a dagger as in the 9th Degree. The duties are enlightenment of soul and mind, vigilance, tolerance and being on guard for fanaticism and persecution.
12째 - Master Architect This degree teaches faith in morality, virtue and God. "Life is what each man makes of it; the optimist turns a trial into a blessing". The apron of the 12th Degree consists of a white outer shell lined with blue and gold, symbolizing the Craft Degrees, with a protractor, plain scale, sector and compasses. The jewel is a heptagonal medal of gold. The duty is to seek wisdom through knowledge.
11째 - Elu of the Twelve (Sublime Knight Elect of the Twelve) This degree teaches sympathy. We should be compassionate to our brother Masons and to all mankind as well. The apron of the 11th Degree is white, lined with black, with a flaming heart in the centre. The jewel is a dagger suspended from a black cordon inscribed with the words "Vincere aut Mori" the pledge "that you will rather die than betray the cause of the people, or be overcome through your own fear or fault". The duties are to be earnest, true, reliable and a champion of the people.
13° - Royal Arch of Solomon (Knight of the Ninth Arch) Liberty in our mind and hearts and motivated by duty and honour are the lessons of this degree. The apron of the 13th Degree is purple, bordered with white and with the "Enochian delta" (hexagram with inscribed Tetragrammation) in the centre. The jewel comprises a circular medal of gold. The duties are to seek knowledge and to be motivated by duty and honour.
14° - Perfect Elu (Grand Elect, Perfect and Sublime Mason) This degree teaches us to reflect and scrutinize ourselves. We should strive to be true to ourselves and our God. The apron being of white silk, bordered in gold with the Ineffable Delta in the Center, is truly emblematical of the degree. The jewel of the 14th Degree is split; one being a quadrant (compass open to ninety degrees) topped by a crown and with a nine-pointed star on the obverse; the other being a five-pointed blazing star with the Tetragrammaton on the reverse. The compass is opened on a segment of a circle inscribed with the numbers 3, 5, 7, 9. The duties are to assist, encourage
and defend the brethren; to protect the oppressed and relieve want and distress; to enlighten the people and serve the common good. VIRTUS JUNXIT MORS NON SEPARABIT " Whom Virtue Unites Death Shall not Separate" The degrees of the Lodge of Perfection are better known as the "Ineffable Degrees" of Scottish Rite Masonry because their principal purpose is the investigation and contemplation of the ineffable (unspeakable) name of Deity. Brethren, I hope you have enjoyed the second part of this article, in next month’s issue we will look at more of the degrees in the Scottish Rite. The 15th degree to the 18th, known as the Chapter of the Rose Croix. Then in part 4 and part 5 we will look at the regalia and descriptions of the Council of Kadosh, which is the 19th through to the 30th degrees. And finally in part 6 the 31st and the 32nd degrees, known in the Scottish Rite as the Consistory and then the 33rd degree of the Court of Honour, the Inspector General Honorary. Permission to use this article and the pictures was granted to the newsletter from the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite Masons of the Orient of Minnesota and webmaster George M. Hough. Brethren, I’m always on the look-out for interesting articles such as this for the newsletter. If anyone has a story/article/lectures/photos or even an idea, please get in touch, I will be only too happy to include it.
Jacobins A political sect that sprang up in the beginning of the French Revolution, and which have origin to the Jacobin clubs, so well known as having been the places where the leaders of the Revolution concocted their plans for the abolition of the monarchy and the aristocracy. Lieber says that it is a most surprising phenomenon that "so large a body of men could be found uniting rare energy with execrable vice, political madness, and outrageous cruelty, committed always in the name of virtue." Barruel, in his History de Jacobinisme, and Robinson, in his Proofs of a Conspiracy, both endeavour to prove that there was a coalition of the revolutionary conspirators with the Illuminati and the Freemasons which formed the Jacobin Clubs, those Bodies being, as they contend, only Masonic Lodges in disguise.
Jah In Hebrew M. Maimonides calls it the two-lettered name, and derives it from the Tetragrammaton, of which he says it is an abbreviation. Others have denied this, and assert that Jah is a name independent of Jehovah, but expressing the same idea of the Divine Essence. It is uniformly translated in the authorized version of the Bible by the word Lord, being thus considered as Synonymous with Jehovah, except in Psalm lxviii, 4, where the original word is preserved: "Extol Him that rideth upon the heavens by His name Jah," upon which the Targum comment is "Extol Him who sitteth on the throne of glory in the ninth
heaven; Yah is His name." It seems, also to have been well known to the Gentile nations as the triliteral resume of God; for, although biliteral among the Hebrews, it assumed among the Greeks the triliteral form, as IAO Macrobius, in his Saturnalia, says that this was the sacred name of the Supreme Deity; and the Clarian Oracle being asked which of the gods was Jao, replied, "The initiated are bound to conceal the mysterious secrets. Learn thou that IAQ is the Great God Supreme who ruleth over all".
Jewels Every Lodge is furnished with six jewels, three of which are movable and three immovable. They are termed jewels, says Brother Oliver, because they have a moral tendency which renders them jewels of inestimable value. The movable jewels, so called because they are not confined to any particular part of the Lodge, are the Rough .Ashlar, the Perfect Ashlar, and the Trestle-Board. The Immovable Jewels are the Square, the Level, and the Plumb. They are termed Immovable, because they are appropriated to particular parts of the Lodge, where alone they should be found, namely, the Square to the East, the Level to the West, and the Plumb to the South. In the English system the division is the reverse of this. There, the Square, Level, and Plumb are called Movable Jewels, because they pass from the three officers who wear them to their successors.
Next Month the Letter ‘K’.
The Cover Story…. The National Monument, Edinburgh. The National Monument on the top of Calton Hill overlooking Edinburgh is Scotland’s memorial to the Scottish Soldiers and sailors who died in the Napoleonic Wars.
folly, and some say it was supposed to look the way it does. I tend to take the latter view, it is a wonderful artefact and its location is perfect, as the views from the top of Calton Hill, are spectacular, and if you ever visit Edinburgh, take a walk up there, its well worth it.
The design is based on the Parthenon at Athens. Some of the largest pieces of stone ever taken from the Craigleith Quarry in Blackhall were incorporated. It would also serve as a National Mausoleum where illustrious Scotsmen would be laid to rest in the catacombs. It was estimated that £42,000 was required. The subscription received the support of many eminent people including George IV, the Duke of Atholl and Sir Walter Scott, but after 16 months only £16,000 had been raised. During the first phase 1826-29, the twelve pillars cost £13,500, and due to the lack of further funds the impetus was lost.
P.S Not far from the National Monument, there is the only memorial outside the U.S.A. that commemorates the American Civil War. It remembers the Scottish who fought in the Union Army, and it was a Poet Laureate of Canongate Kilwinning No.2 in Edinburgh who was responsible for its erection, but that’s another story for another day!
The foundation stone which weighed six tons was laid in 1822 by the Grand Master of Scotland, the Duke of Hamilton. Lodges the length and breadth of Scotland attended the laying of the foundation stone with at least 3000 brethren taking part in the procession, Lodge Stirling Royal Arch being represented and the occasion recorded in the minute book.
The photograph on the front cover was taken by the Webmaster.
There are many different points of view regarding the National Monument, some say it was never finished, some say it’s a
I’m especially looking for Masonic artefacts that you might think the Brethren of this newsletter might like to share.
Brethren, I’m always on the look-out for interesting articles such as this for the newsletter. If anyone has a story/article/lectures/photos or even an idea, please get in touch, I will be only too happy to include it.
From all at Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No 76. Until next month, Keep the faith!