Contents Page 2, ‘The Masonic Lodge Structure’. A tongue in cheek look at the Lodge Structure.
Page3, ‘The Scottish Rite – part 6,’ In the last part of this article we look at the 31st to the 33rd degree, the regalia and their teachings.
Page 5, ‘The Masonic Encyclopaedia’, This month we look at the letter, ‘N’, from Naphtali to North East.
Page 6, ‘The Mother Lodge’, The cover story for this month is about Lodge Mother Kilwinning No.0.
Page 9, ‘The Blue Blanket’, The Lodge of Joumeymen Masons in the City of Edinburgh and the ‘Blue Blanket.’
Page 12, ‘Book Review’, The Ashlar Magazine.
Page 13, ‘On the Level’, Masonic trivia from cyberspace!
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘Oaths, Oath Taking and Mental Reservation’ by Brother Richard Martin Young. “The nature and necessity of oaths and oath taking is currently under general discussion in the United Kingdom, due to the social and demographic changes which have occurred in recent years, and so it is time for Freemasons to consider carefully the nature of the oaths and concomitant obligations current within their fraternities.” This excellent article looks at the history of oaths and their significance in Freemasonry. [link]
The Masonic Lodge Structure…..
MASTER. Leaps tall buildings in a single bound Is more powerful than a locomotive Is faster than a speeding bullet Walks on water Gives policy to God SENIOR WARDEN. Leaps short buildings in a single bound Is more powerful than a shunter Is just as fast as a speeding bullet Walks on water if the sea is calm Talks with God JUNIOR WARDEN. Leaps short buildings with a running start and a favourable wind Is almost as powerful as a shunter Cant’ keep up with a speeding bullet Walks on water of an indoor swimming pool Talks with God if special dispensation is received
Doggie paddles Talks with animals INNER GUARD. Runs into buildings Recognises a locomotive two out of three times Is not issued with ammunition Can stay afloat with a life jacket Talks to walls TYLER. Falls over doorsteps when entering buildings Says ‘Look at the choo-choo’ Wets himself with a water pistol Plays is mud puddles Mumbles to himself SECRETARY. Lifts buildings and walks under them Kicks locomotives off the tracks Catches speeding bullets in his teeth and eats them Freezes water at a single glance He is God! Author Unknown
SENIOR DEACON. Barely clears a garden shed Loses a tug of war with a locomotive Can fire a speeding bullet Swims well Is occasionally addressed by God JUNIOR DEACON. Makes a high mark on the wall when trying to leap buildings Is run over by the locomotive Can sometimes handle a gun without inflicting self-injury
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 or try to find an article about it.
The Scottish Rite….part 6 Continuing from last month, we now take a look at the last of degrees in the Scottish Rite, the 31st through to the 33rd. The Consistory Degrees are very different from each other in form and content. The 31° reveals the dynamic relationship that has existed for centuries between human law as a means of achieving justice, and divine justice as an ideal. The 32° reviews the degrees of the Lodge of Perfection, the Chapter of Rose Croix and the Council of Kadosh. In it we learn the very ancient roots of Masonic Truth - in the East!
31° - Inspector Inquisitor. In this degree the apprentice learns prayerful self-examination. The mistakes today should not be committed tomorrow. Simply, the daily look at ones self to learn to live with the future. No apron is worn in the Supreme Tribunal, but the traditional apron displayed is of pure white lambskin with a Teutonic Cross of black and silver embroidered upon the flap. The jewel is a silver Teutonic cross. The jewel is suspended from a white collar, with a gold triangle with a "31" inside it. The duty is to judge yourself in the same light as you judge others, considering both actions and motives.
"Where Freemasonry flourishes, there will be found the highest type of citizenship and the best standard of living." - Albert Pike
SPES MEA IN DEO EST
"MY HOPE IS IN GOD"
32° - Master of the Royal Secret. The lessons taught in this degree are that
genuine brotherhood requires mutual regard, opinion, esteem and charity. We always look for the good in all and make allowances for other's shortcomings. We trust the Supreme Architect to lead us to friendship, morality and brotherly love. The apron of this degree is white, lined in black, with a double-headed eagle and a plan of the Camp of the Princes. The jewel worn is a golden Teutonic Cross. In the center are the letters XXXII, surrounded by a green wreath. The cap of a Master of the Royal Secret is black silk with a black band trimmed in gold. In the center front is a double-headed eagle emblem with a rayed equilateral triangle above in gold. The triangle is red, has 32° in its center and is trimmed with gold. The duties are: a Soldier of the Light seeks truth and knowledge; a Soldier of Freedom demands for the people free vote and voice and attains freedom of voice, vote and opinion for himself; a Soldier of the True Religion combats spiritual tyranny with reason and truth; a Soldier of the People encourages men to be self-reliant and independent; a Soldier of Scottish Rite Masonry is zealous and ardent in the performance of his duties to God, his country, his family, his brethren and himself.
Court of Honour The Scottish Rite confers a number of honours upon members who have contributed extraordinary service to the Rite, to Masonry in General and to the World at large.
Knight Commander of the Court of Honour. The Rank of Knight Commander of the Court of Honor is not a Degree, but an Investiture, bestowed upon members deserving recognition for faithful services to the Rite or to mankind. At the biennial session of the Supreme Council, certain Masters of the Royal Secret are chosen to be invested with the Rank and Decoration of Knight Commander of the Court of Honour. The respective Sovereign Grand Inspectors General or Deputies nominate members for this honor, and they must also be unanimously approved by The Supreme Council. This Investiture is a prerequisite to receiving the Thirty-third Degree. The Rank of K.·.C.·.C.·.H.·. may not be requested, and if requested must be refused. The cap of the Knight Commander Court of Honour is red with a darker red band trimmed in gold. In the center front is a representation of the Knight Commander Jewel, a Passion
Cross with fancy arms, featuring in the center a trefoil embroidered in green encircled by "Kt.路. Comm.路. Court of Honour" embroidered in gold.
Council. The active members of the Supreme Council are chosen from among them. The cap for an Inspector General Honorary is white with a white band edged in gold, featuring the symbol for this honorary Degree, a red slanting Patriarchal Cross.
DEUS MEUMQUE JUS
"GOD AND MY RIGHT "
33掳 - Inspector General Honorary The Thirty-third Degree is conferred by the Supreme Council upon members of the Rite in recognition of outstanding work in the Rite or in public life. At its biennial session the Supreme Council elects members of the Rite to receive the Degree. Members unanimously so elected become honorary members of the Supreme Council. The Thirty-third Degree may not be requested, and if requested must be refused. The Degree is granted solely out of recognition for outstanding services. These 33掳 Masons are Inspectors General Honorary and honorary members of the Supreme
Grand Cross of the Court of Honour. This is the highest individual honor that The Supreme Council bestows. It is voted very rarely to Thirty-third Degree Masons only for the most exceptional and extraordinary services. The Grand Cross cap is white with a blue band. On the front is a replica of the Grand Cross jewel, which is composed of a Teutonic Cross, with an embroidered crimson rose with green leaves at its center. 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, to whom we are fraternally grateful.
Masonic Encyclopaediaâ&#x20AC;Ś. Naphtali The territory of the tribe of Naphtali adjoined, on its western border, to Phoenicia, and there must, therefore, have been frequent and easy communication between the Phoenicians and the Naphtalites, resulting sometimes in intermarriage. This will explain the fact that Hiram the Builder was the son of a widow of Naphtali and a man of Tyre.
Neophyte Greek , meaning newly planted. In the primitive church. it signified one who had recently abandoned Judaism or Paganism and embraced Christianity; and in the Roman Church those recently admitted into its communion are still so called. Hence it has also been applied to the young disciple of any art or science. Thus Ben Jonson calls a young actor, at his first entrance "on the boards," a neophyte player. In Freemasonry the newly initiated and uninstructed candidate is sometimes so designated.
North The north is Masonically called a Place of Darkness. The sun in his progress through the ecliptic never reaches farther than 23 28' north of the equator. A wall being erected on any part of the earth farther north than that, will therefore, at meridian, receive the rays of the sun only on its south side, while the north will be entirely in shadow at the hour of meridian. The use of the north as a symbol of darkness is found, with the present interpretation, in the early instructions of the eighteenth
century. It is a portion of the old sun worship of which we find so many relics in Gnosticism, in Hermetic philosophy, and in Freemasonry. The east was the place of the sun's daily birth, and hence highly revered; the north the place of his annual death, to which he approached only to lose his terrific heat, and to clothe the earth in darkness of long nights and dreariness of winter.
North-East In the important ceremony which refers to the Northeast Corner of the Lodge, the Candidate becomes as one who is, to all outward appearance, a perfect and upright Man and Mason, the representative of a spiritual Cornerstone, on which he is to erect his future moral and Masonic edifice. This symbolic reference of the Corner-stone of a material edifice to a Freemason when, at his first initiation, he commences the moral and intellectual task of erecting a spiritual temple in his heart, is beautifully sustained when we look at all the qualities that are required to constitute a "well-tried, true, and trusty" Corner-stone. The squareness of its surface, emblematic of morality its cubical form, emblematic of firmness and stability of character and the peculiar finish and fineness of the material, emblematic of virtue and holiness show that the ceremony of the Northeast Corner of the Lodge was undoubtedly intended to portray, in the consecrated language of symbolism, the necessity of integrity and stability of conduct, of truthfulness and uprightness of character, and of purity and holiness of life, which, just at that time and in that place, the candidate is most impressively charged to maintain.
Next Month the Letter â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. The Webmaster
The Mother Lodge â&#x20AC;Ś Lodge Mother Kilwinning No.0.
The history of the Mother Lodge dates back to the year 1140 at the building of the Abbey , the ruins of which lie to the rear of the Lodge . The Lodge was founded in the chapter house within the Abbey and remained there until the reformation in 1560 when the Earl of Glencairn , a blood enemy of the Earls of Eglinton who hold a long tradition with the Lodge , sacked the Abbey . Little is known of the masons at this point but they still met at various locations including the Abbey in 15981599 , the house in the Crossbrae in the town centre in 1643 ( the " masons howf " ) and the court house of the Earl of Eglinton . In the mid 1700,s the masons decided to build a new Lodge and in 1779 the old Lodge was built at the entrance to the Abbey . Unfortunately 100 years later due to decay and fear of the building collapsing it was demolished and a new Lodge was built 30 yards from the former site and remains there today . The present Lodge was consecrated in 1893.
Before the forming of Grand Lodge in 1736 Mother Kilwinning was a Grand Lodge in her own right issuing warrants and charters to Lodges wishing to enjoy the privileges of Freemasonry, many Lodges still carry Kilwinning's name today . Scotland being a small country it was undesirable to have two Grand Lodges so Mother Kilwinning gave up this right . However in 1745 Grand Lodge decided to number lodges by seniority and oldest records , unfortunately Mother Kilwinning's minute books date back to 1642 , previous records thought to have been smuggled by the monks to France during the reformation or destroyed in the disastrous fire at nearby Eglinton Castle . Mother Kilwinning was placed second on the roll of the Grand Lodge a position she strongly disagreed with , so withdrew and continued to issue charters as before . This dispute lasted until 1807 when the Grand Lodge of Scotland and the Grand Lodge of Kilwinning met in Glasgow and settled their differences and a new and binding agreement was reached , that being that Mother Kilwinning was placed at the Head of the Roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland and now has the famous and distinctive Number ' 0 '. The master of the Lodge would by right of that office become Provincial Grand Master of Ayrshire .Mother Kilwinning also gave up the right to issue warrants and charters . In 1860 during a search in
Eglinton Castle the now famous Schaw statutes of 1598 and 1599 were found . William Schaw the " Maister o' Work and "Warden o'er a' the masons " wrote that Kilwinning was the "Heid ( Head )
the building collapsing it was demolished and a new Lodge was built 30 yards from the former site and remains there today . The present Lodge was consecrated in 1893.
Ludge o' Scotland . Had these statutes been available in 1745 there would have been no doubt about Kilwinning's position in Freemasonry. This agreement lasted for 176 years until amended 1983, where once again Masonic change was required of Mother Kilwinning . The Master of Kilwinning no longer becomes Provincial Grand Master of Ayrshire , instead
Mother Kilwinning has the right for all time being to nominate a Brother to become Grand Lodge Bible Bearer;
There was erected and consecrated the Provincial Grand Lodge of Kilwinning with Mother Kilwinning having the sole right to nominate the Provincial Grand Master in the Province of Kilwinning . These changes further ensure Mother Kilwinning's still present singular position and autonomy in the Masonic world .
The history of the Mother Lodge dates back to the year 1140 at the building of the Abbey , the ruins of which lie to the rear of the Lodge . The Lodge was founded in the chapter house within the Abbey and remained there until the reformation in 1560 when the Earl of Glencairn , a blood enemy of the Earls of Eglinton who hold a long tradition with the Lodge , sacked the Abbey . Little is known of the masons at this point but they still met at various locations including the Abbey in 15981599 , the house in the Crossbrae in the town centre in 1643 (the "masons howf ") and the court house of the Earl of Eglinton . In the mid 1700,s the masons decided to build a new Lodge and in 1779 the old Lodge was built at the entrance to the Abbey . Unfortunately 100 years later due to decay and fear of
Brethren, this will become a regular feature in the newsletter for a wee while, featuring some Scottish Lodges. If you have a brief history of your lodge and would like to see it here, drop me a line. Next month, we will publish a short Historical Sketch of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning No.2.
The Blue Blanketâ&#x20AC;Ś. The history of the Blue Blanket by: Bro. Ian P. Watson, P.M. Bro. Watson is a member of the Lodge of Journeymen Masons No.8 Lodge Elgin and Bruce No. 1077 Southern California Lodge of Research He also authored the history 'Lodge of Journeyman Masons No.8' The 'Blue Blanket' is a Scottish Craft banner of great antiquity about which several books and articles have been written. Most, if not all, of those histories (including my own lodge history) contain many inaccuracies due to the fact that the main reference used has been Alexander Pennecuik's history of "The Blue Blanket". Unfortunately, several Masonic encyclopaedias have also used this as a source for reference. The 'story of the 'Blue Blanket' has become almost a myth in Edinburgh. The true story of the 'Blue Blanket' is so interesting it is not necessary to embellish it with fiction. The 'Blue Blanket' is not mentioned by any historian prior to 1482 but Pennecuik states that it is "highly probable" that the origin of the 'Blue Blanket' dates back to the first Crusade (1096-1099). The story goes that a number of Scottish craftsmen rallied to the Christian cause and as a sign of recognition they carried with them a banner which they hoped to plant on the walls of Jerusalem. This banner was supposed to carry the inscription "In thy good pleasure build thou the walls of Jerusalem" from Psalm 51. The banner,
at this time, was reputedly called 'The Banner of the Holy Ghost' and those who served under it 'The Knights of the Holy Ghost'. In his book Pennecuik quotes some vague French references. He also writes about Pope Urban II and King William I of Scotland as contemporaries which they could not possibly have been--the former died in 1099 while the latter was born in 1143. It is possible that he has mistaken King William II of England for King William I of Scotland. In addition he states that on their return from the Crusade "they...dedicated this Banner...to St. Eloi in St. Giles' Church in Edinburgh". The chapel of St. Eloi (patron saint of the Hammermen of Edinburgh), situated in St. Giles' Church, was not built until several centuries later--about the beginning of the 15th century. The most likely date of the origin of the 'Blue Blanket' was in 1482. King James III of Scotland appointed several commoner friends to positions of title and trust. Among those friends was one Robert Cochrane on whom he conferred the titles of 'The Earl of Mar' and 'Secretary of State'. Cochrane was already the King's Master Mason and was, possibly, the architect of the Great Hall in Stirling Castle. These elevations in rank incensed the nobility since they were of the opinion that no man of such low birth should ever be given a title-no matter how much he deserved it. In July 1482 King James III assembled his army on the Burgh Muir -at that time a large expanse of countryside outside of Edinburgh but now an area with-in the city boundary. When the army
reached Lauder--a small town south of Edinburgh--the nobles (led by Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus) rebelled and seized Cochrane and several others. They hanged Cochrane and the others at Lauder Bridge and, thereafter, imprisoned the King in Edinburgh Castle. The King was held under the supervision of two of his uncles--the Earl of Athol and the Earl of Buchan. The country was in great turmoil and was in conflict with the English who were looking for recompense over the payment of the dowry of the King of England's (Edward IV) daughter, Lady Cecily. The English had marched an army of 10,000 men, led by the Duke of Gloucester (later King Richard III) and were camped on the Burgh Muir. The Queen sought help from Provost William Bertraham. The Provost and the community took to repay the dowry which amounted to the sum of 6,000 marks (the merk was an ancient form of money in Scotland). This act stopped the threat of attack by the English. Bertraham then rallied the craftsmen who approached the steward of the castle and the King was set free.
Burgh'. This banner was one of the first to use the thistle as a symbol of Scotland. The banner affectionately became known as the 'Blue Blanket' from its background colour which reflects the background of the Scottish flag. The Hammermen of Edinburgh were the guardians of this craft banner. The Hammermen Guild included the crafts of blacksmiths, goldsmiths, lorimers, saddlers, cutlers, bucklemakers, armourers amongst others. The Hammermen's seal included an effigy of Saint Eloi. According to the first charter of the Hammermen each applicant for membership was examined by the Deacon and Masters of their respective craft to determine their worthiness. In 1496 the Hammermen received a grant of the chapel of St. Eloi in St. Giles' Church and hung the 'Blue Blanket' there. They were to pay 40 shillings for the care and upkeep of the altar and its priest. Any member found guilty of a breach of the laws of the charter was fined eight Scots shillings which went toward the support of the Corporation's altar of Saint Eloi in the Church of Saint Giles.
King James III rewarded the city with many honours. The list of privileges and honours was called the 'Golden Charter'. The craftsmen were given a banner by the King which the Queen, personally, inscribed with a Saltire (St. Andrew's Cross), a thistle, an imperial crown and a hammer as well as the following words: "Fear God and honour ye King with a long Iyffe and prosperous reign and we shall ever pray to be faithful for ye defence of his sacred Majesty's royal person till death". The King decreed that the banner should be called the 'Standard of the Crafts Within the
One of the worst defeats ever inflicted on a Scottish army happened during the summer of 1513. King James IV of Scotland declared war on England and, like James III, assembled his army on the Burgh Muir. It is probable that the army was 50,000 strong (although estimates as high as 100,000 have been suggested) with another 10,000 men joining it as it headed south into England. According to tradition Provost Alexander Lauder of Blyth led the burghers and craftsmen out of the city by the West Bow (west town gate) to assemble, with the rest of the King's
army, on the Burgh Muir. These craftsmen carried the 'Blue Blanket' with them to Flodden in the north of England. The battle of Flodden was a disaster for the Scots. However, unlike many of the Scottish banners at Flodden the 'Blue Blanket' survived and was returned to Edinburgh. King James Vl (I of England) had cause to criticize the craftsmen's work. The craftsmen displayed the 'Blue Blanket' to remind him that he had no divine right to do so. King James Vl wrote in his 'Basilikon Doron' or 'Book of Instruction' to his son, Prince Henry: "They think we should be content with their work, how bad and dear soever it may be; and if they be in anything controuled, up goeth the Blue Blanket". The protestant faith had made the people of Edinburgh more aware of their rights and the lower classes of society became a formidable force. The 'Blue Blanket' is held in the care of the Deacon Convener of Trades. During the mid 18th century the banner was displayed every time the Deacon Convener and his court sat in judgment in any craft dispute. Over the centuries several 'Blue Blankets' have been made. The original banner was 10 feet 2 inches long by 6 feet 6 inches wide. The Museum of Antiquities, Edinburgh, claim they have one of those 'Blue Blankets' but I believe it is a copy of the Lodge of Journeymen Masons banner since we have an identical one in our lodge rooms. The only 'Blue Blanket' I know of is a 17th century replica in the Trades Maiden Hospital, Edinburgh. This is displayed in a beautifully carved frame
which was presented by three members of the Lodge of Joumeymen Masons No. 8 who emigrated to California in 1870. The Lodge of Joumeymen Masons holds the right to carry the 'Blue Blanket' since it is the oldest operative lodge in the City of Edinburgh. As all the Crafts were included in the Incorporation of Hammermen, which was responsible for the banner, it was fit-ting that the Blue Blanket be entrusted to the representatives of one of the constituent crafts. The Lodge of Joumeymen Masons No.8 has carried the banner on four occasions at the laying of foundation stones: 1. The old Grand Lodge Hall on the 24th June 1858. On this occasion the Blue Blanket was presented, in the grounds of Holyrood Palace, to the Lodge of Journeymen Masons No.8 by the Deacon Convener of Trades in the presence of four thousand Masons. 2. The Wallace Monument, Stirling on the 24th June 1861. 3. The new Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh on the 4th July 1867. 4. The Duke of Athol's Memorial Logieriat, Perthshire on the 10th August 1868. The Blue Blanket is the motif displayed on the tie of The Lodge of Joumeymen Masons No.8 and holds a special place in the hearts of the brethren from that famous lodge. Brethren, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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.
Book Review ……. The Ashlar Magazine Scotland’s Premier Masonic Magazine The Ashlar is the only Masonic magazine published in Scotland. First published in February 1997, the magazine continues to be produced 3 times a year, in January, March and September to suit the timetable of Scottish Freemasonry. The Ashlar is unique in the publishing world in that it employs no one, pays no one other than Royal Mail and partly the Printer and foreign readers think its contents superb which tells you of the hidden talent among the ordinary members in Scotland. Also, the profits from the company’s Masonic publications go to Grand Lodge of Scotland charities. Each issue crammed full in it’s 72 pages only costs £2.50 with p&p extra, the annual subscription is £7.80, and is available online directly from the publisher through their website. Issue 36 of 'The Ashlar' is a Robert Burns Special - January 2009 being the 250th Anniversary of the birth of our National Bard- and Special this issue truly is. Crammed full of interesting articles, poems and anecdotes concerning Burns; his family; and associates. Burns promoted the classless and universal aspects of Freemasonry in his work- who will ever forget the words:- "A Man's a Man for A' That" 'The Ashlar' affords brethren from throughout the world- regardless of rank and station- the opportunity to air their views on all aspects of Freemasonry in general and Scottish Freemasonry in particular, and it is truly one of the jewels in the Scottish Masonic crown. In this issue, writers range from the 'ordinary' Master Mason to some of the most illustrious and well-respected names in Masonic circles - wouldn't our Rabbie truly approve! Review by Brother Kenneth C. Jack
Book Reviews……. Circle publications and Masonic publishing also produce a wide range of Masonic Books, as from next month we will include a book review page as a regular feature in the newsletter when we will examine of some of the books available from them.
On the Level Masonic items that I have come across Surfing the net!
The most Masonic beer in the World! This beer is brewed in Canada and only sold in Japan. However our correspondent tells us It tastes like ****! Until next month, Keep the faith!