Volume 9 Issue 7 No.73 November 2013
Contents Cover Story, The Red Poppy Famous Freemason – Harry Houdini The Order of the Free Gardeners Lodge Ancient Stirling No.30. Rays of Masonry Old Tiler Talks Some Deeper Aspects of Masonic Symbolism – Part 2 The First Freemasons Money and Metallic Substances The Masonic Dictionary Main Website – The Doorway of Freemasonry
In this issue: Page 2, ‘The Red Poppy.’ Ever wondered why we wear a red poppy in remembrance, this moving article tells us how it all began, and why the Scots poppy is different. Page 7, ‘Harry Houdini.’ A Famous Freemason. Page 11, ‘The Order of the Free Gardeners’ Fraternal Societies throughout the World. Page 15, ‘Lodge Ancient Stirling No.30.’ Another History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 18, ‘Rays of Masonry’, “Events and the Mason”, our Regular monthly feature. Page 19, ‘The Old Tiler Talks’. “Kinds of Masons”, the thirtieth in the series from Carl Claudy. Page 21, ‘Some Deeper Aspects of Masonic Symbolism – Part 2’. A three part article. Page 26, ‘The First Freemasons’. A Poem. Page 27, ‘Money & Metallic Substances’. The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple. Page 28, ‘The Masonic Dictionary’ Gavel.
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The Doorway of Freemasonry’ by William Harvey [link] The front cover artwork is a stock picture of a poppy in Flanders field.
The Red Poppy Why we wear a poppy as a symbol of remembrance.
caught the attention of a Canadian soldier by the name of John McCrae. He noticed how they had sprung up in the disturbed ground of the burials around the artillery position he was in. It was during the warm days of early May 1915 when he found himself with his artillery brigade near to the Ypres-Yser canal. He is believed to have composed a poem following the death of a friend at that time. The lines of the poem have become some of the most famous lines written in relation to the First World War. In Flanders Fields
Brethren, at this time of year it is traditional to wear the poppy as a symbol of remembrance, a tradition that began as a result of the poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae. The field poppy is an annual plant which flowers each year between about May and August. It's seeds are scattered on the wind and can lie dormant in the ground for a long time. If the ground is disturbed from the early spring the seeds will germinate and the poppy flowers will grow. This is what happened in parts of the front lines in Belgium and France. Once the ground was disturbed by the fighting, the poppy seeds lying in the ground began to germinate and grow during the warm weather in the spring and summer months of 1915.. The field poppy was blooming when the ANZAC and British Forces arrived at the start of the campaign in April 1915. The sight of these delicate, vibrant red flowers growing on the shattered ground
In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved, and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands, we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields. How the red Flanders poppy became the modern-day symbol of Remembrance was the brainwave of an American woman, Miss Moina Michael. “The Poppy Lady” On the 9th November 1918, two days before the Armistice was declared at 11 o'clock on 11th November. Moina Belle Michael was on duty at the YMCA Overseas War Secretaries' headquarters in New York. She was working in the 2
reading room, a place where U.S. servicemen would often gather with friends and family to say their goodbyes before they went on overseas service. On that day YMCA hall was busy with people coming and going. The Twentyfifth Conference of the Overseas YMCA War Secretaries was in progress at the headquarters. During the early part of the morning as a young soldier passed by Moina's desk he left a copy of the latest November edition of the “Ladies Home Journal” on the desk. At about 10.30am Moina found a few moments to herself and browsed through the magazine. In it she came across a page which carried a vivid colour illustration with the poem entitled “We Shall Not Sleep”. This was an alternative name sometimes used for John McCrae's poem, which was also called “In Flanders Fields”. Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae had died of pneumonia several months earlier on 28th January 1918. Moina had come across the poem before, but reading it on this occasion she found herself transfixed by the last verse: Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands, we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields. In her autobiography, entitled “The Miracle Flower”, Moina describes this experience as deeply spiritual. She felt as though she was actually being called in person by the voices which had been silenced by death. 3
At that moment Moina made a personal pledge to “keep the faith”. She vowed always to wear a red poppy of Flanders Fields as a sign of remembrance. It would become an emblem for “keeping the faith with all who died”. Compelled to make a note of this pledge she scribbled down a response on the back of a used envelope. She titled her poem "We Shall Keep the Faith". Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields, Sleep sweet - to rise anew! We caught the torch you threw And holding high, we keep the Faith With All who died. We cherish, too, the poppy red That grows on fields where valor led; It seems to signal to the skies That blood of heroes never dies, But lends a lustre to the red Of the flower that blooms above the dead In Flanders Fields. And now the Torch and Poppy Red We wear in honour of our dead. Fear not that ye have died for naught; We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought In Flanders Fields. Three men attending the conference then arrived at Moina's desk. On behalf of the delegates they asked her to accept a cheque for 10 dollars, in appreciation of the effort she had made to brighten up the place with flowers at her own expense. She was touched by the gesture and replied that she would buy twenty-five red poppies with the money. She showed them the illustration for John McCrae's poem “In Flanders Fields” in the Ladies Home
Journal, together with her response to it “We Shall Keep the Faith”. The delegates took both poems back into the Conference. After searching the shops for some time that day Moina found one large and twenty-four small artificial red silk poppies in Wanamaker's department store. When she returned to duty at the YMCA Headquarters later that evening the delegates from the Conference crowded round her asking for poppies to wear. Keeping one poppy for her coat collar she gave out the rest of the poppies to the enthusiastic delegates. According to Moina, this was the first group-effort asking for poppies to wear in memory of “all who died in Flanders Fields”. Since this group had given her the money with which to buy them, she considered that she made the first sale of the Flanders Fields Memorial Poppy on 9th November 1918. Moina Michael was determined to put all her energy towards getting the Poppy emblem adopted in the United States as a national memorial symbol. She was encouraged by a positive reaction to the idea by the press. She began a tireless campaign at her own expense, starting with a letter to her congressman in December 1918. In the letter she asked him to put the idea to the War Department, which he immediately did. She wanted to act swiftly so that this new national emblem might be already be produced in the form of pins, on postcards and so on in time for the signing of the peace treaty at Versailles in June 1919. She realized that after the war the numerous signs related to the war - the Red
Cross, War Loan insignia, Service Flags which had been evident all over the United States during it's involvement in the war would gradually be removed. Moina considered that a replacement emblem, the red poppy, could be used to fill those empty spaces as a symbolic reminder of those who had not returned home to celebrate the end of the war. Her religious upbringing inspired her to believe that the Flanders Memorial Poppy was indeed a spiritual symbol with more meaning behind it than pure sentimentalism. She likened the new optimism for a world returned to peace after the “war to end all wars” to the magnificent rainbow which appeared in the sky after the terrible flood in the bible. Originally Moina intended to use the simple red, four petalled field poppy of Flanders as the Memorial Poppy emblem. However, in spite of the interest raised by the appearance of the new emblem at the time, and Moina's continued efforts to publicize the campaign, this emblem was not taken up by any group or individual to help establish it as a national symbol. By March 1919 she had moved back to Georgia to take up her place at the University of Georgia. With the return of thousands of ex-servicemen to the state Moina realised that there was not only a need to honour the memory of those who had died in the service of their country, but also a need to remember that those who were returning also had mental, physical and spiritual needs. During the summer months of 1919 Moina taught a class of disabled servicemen. There were several hundred ex-servicemen 4
in rehabilitation. She thought the emblem could be developed so that it could be used to help all servicemen who needed help for themselves and for their dependants. By 1920 Moina Michael was beginning to lose hope that the Memorial Poppy idea would ever come to fruition. She was in a dilemma about whether to pursue her own academic career or whether to abandon it in order to devote herself entirely to the Memorial Poppy campaign. However, in the early 1920s a number of organizations did adopt the red poppy as a result of Moina's dedicated campaign. In 1919 the American Legion was founded as an organization by veterans of the United States armed forces to support those who had served in wartime in Europe during the First World War. In August 1920 Moina discovered by chance that the Georgia Department of the American Legion was to convene on 20th of that month in Atlanta. Prior to the convention she searched out the delegates and the Navy representative promised to present her case for the Memorial Poppy to the convention. The Georgia Convention subsequently adopted the Memorial Poppy and also agreed to endorse the movement to have the Poppy adopted by the National American Legion and resolved to urge each member of the American Legion in Georgia to wear a red poppy annually on 11th November. One month later, on 29th September 1920, the National American Legion convened in Cleveland. The Convention agreed on the use of the Flanders Fields Memorial Poppy 5
as the United States' national emblem of Remembrance. A French woman by the name of Madame Anna E Guérin was present at the 29th September National American Legion convention. Anna was a representative of the French YMCA Secretariat. She was inspired by Moina Michael's idea of the poppy as a memorial flower and she also believed that the scope of the Memorial Poppy could be expanded to help the needy. She considered that artificial poppies could be made and sold as a way of raising money for the benefit of the French people, especially the orphaned children, who were suffering as a result of the war. Anna Guérin returned to France after the convention. She was the founder of the “American and French Children's League” through which she organized French women, children and war veterans to make artificial poppies out of cloth. Her intention was that these poppies would be sold and the proceeds could be used to help fund the restoration of the war-torn regions of France. Anna was determined to introduce the idea of the memorial poppy to the nations which had been Allied with France during the First World War. During 1921 she made visits or sent representatives to America, Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand. In 1921 Madame Guérin made arrangements for the first nationwide distribution across America of poppies made in France by the American and French Childrens' League. The funds raised from this venture went directly to the League to help with rehabilitation and
resettlement of the areas of France devastated by the First World War. Millions of these French-made artificial poppies were sold in America between 1920 and 1924.
of war and in their peace keeping duties. Importantly, for nearly 90 years it has raised millions of pounds to support the needs of veterans and their families, living in Scotland.
Madame Anna Guérin travelled to Canada, where she met with representatives of the Great War Veterans Association of Canada. This organization later became the Royal Canadian Legion. The Great War Veterans Association adopted the poppy as its national flower of Remembrance on 5th July 1921.
And from that time the red poppy has been sold each year by The British Legion from mid October to raise funds in support of the organization's charitable work.
The first British Poppy Day Appeal was launched that year, in the run up to 11th November 1921. It was the third anniversary of the Armistice to end the Great War. Proceeds from the sale of artificial French-made poppies were given to ex-servicemen in need of welfare and financial support.
Our readers might notice that the picture used at the top of this article features a poppy with four petals and no leaf. This is what is known as the ‘Scottish Poppy.’ And this is the official reason why we have one.
In 1921 Anna Guérin sent some French women to London to sell their artificial red poppies. This was the first introduction to the British people of Moina Michael's idea of the Memorial Poppy. Madame Guérin went in person to visit Field Marshal Earl Douglas Haig, founder and President of The British Legion. She persuaded him to adopt the Flanders Poppy as an emblem for The Legion. This was formalized in the autumn of 1921. By 1922 Haig established the first Poppy Factory in Richmond, Surrey, but such was the demand for poppies that few were reaching Scotland. In 1926 his wife, Lady Haig, established a Poppy Factory in Edinburgh to produce poppies exclusively for Scotland. Since then the poppy has become a symbol of remembrance and for the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces, both at times
This article came from a combination of two sites, The Great War and Scotland poppy, and the website can take no credit.
Why is there a different poppy in England, Wales and Northern Ireland? Since Earl Haig first launched the Poppy Appeal in Scotland in 1921, we have always had our own unique design. The Scottish poppy features four petals, whereas the poppy produced by the Royal British Legion for the Appeal in England, Wales and Northern Island has two petals and a green leaf. Why can I not buy a poppy with the green leaf on it in Scotland? Apart from being botanically incorrect it would cost £15,000 to make leaves for all poppies - money we feel is better spent on veterans. We might be slightly biased but we think the Scottish poppy looks nicer too! Now you know why we Scots wear a poppy without a leaf!
With or without, Just buy one please. Lest we forget! 6
Famous Freemasons Harry Houdini
As the famed magician was shackled and then lowered upside down into the waterfilled Chinese Torture Cell, gazing through the glass front illusion at the immersed man, the audience sat transfixed knowing that unless escape was possible within precious minutes certain death by drowning would result. His very name conjures up visions of magical miracles, thrilling escapes, death defying stunts and a mysterious persona capable of the impossible. While he died three quarters of a century ago, the average person still thinks of Houdini when asked to name a famous magician. What aura of greatness, mystique, and depth of charisma encompassed this man, rising from humble beginnings to the rarefied pinnacle of glory, to have left such an indelible imprint on the pages of history. In truth, there were two Houdinis; the performer as the world saw him, and Eric Weiss the man and 7
Freemason, a personality obscured from view by the public persona. Born Erich Weiss in Budapest on March 24, 1874 [the usually cited date is April 6 of that year in Appleton, Wisconsin, the date his mother had claimed]. If the date and location have been the subject of confusion, recent research clearly indicates the Budapest origin. Circumstances surrounding the family's departure for America remain cloudy, although anti-Semitism undoubtedly played a major role. Harry Houdini was a complex personality, a romantic ever willing to embellish his rather mundane and plain beginnings. Throughout his life, there are clear instances where he invented and/or "embroidered" events to enhance both his personal and professional image, having an incessant need to "colour" events that there might be an aura of mystery and glamour involved. With Hungarian friends in Appleton, Houdini's father had accepted a Rabbi's position there. Unfortunately, being old world conservative, he was unable to adapt to more liberal American ideas and the family relocated, first to Milwaukee, and then to New York. The family always in need of money, young Eric took a variety of odd jobs to help out. With virtually no formal education, he left home at age 12 to "make his fortune" but after a year or two eventually relocated to New York where his family now lived. At age 17, he was captivated by the memoirs of the great French magician Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin and it's perhaps not surprising he was drawn to what he believed to be the glamorous world of entertainment and magic where he might find fame and fortune. He was so impressed by Houdin's life that when a
stage name became necessary he simply added an "i" to Houdin becoming Houdini. Houdini and his brother Theo began a magic act playing grubby beer halls, lodge banquets, dime museums and any other bookings they could obtain, but the early years were a struggle. In the famous Coney Island, N.Y. amusement park, for example, they worked for coins thrown into a hat and in the 1892 Chicago World Columbia Exposition, Harry gave 20 shows daily at a sideshow for $12 a week. During his early years, working carnivals and similar venues, he gained a world of information and experience in show business. As an adult, Houdini was somewhat shorter than average, about 5'4", with blue eyes, dark curly hair and with a rather careless appearance, yet his face seemed to project a burning handsome intensity. Immensely strong both in mind and body, through exercise and balanced living, he developed his physical state to an amazing degree of fitness with literally muscles of steel and a determination of mind to match. An outstanding swimmer, he also developed an extended underwater breath control technique which, together with his superb physical condition, would prove so essential in later years as an escape artist. Different versions surround Houdini's meeting of and marriage to Wilhelminia Beatrice Rahner, or "Bess," and separating fact from fiction, like much of Houdini's life, is a difficult task. What is certain is that the Houdinis always celebrated June 22, 1894, as their anniversary. A match between rigidly Catholic and Jewish families might seem improbable, but it proved both successful and enduring for the Houdinis'. After the marriage, Bess replaced Theo in the act becoming the principal assistant. Success was still a fleeting entity, however, and they
continued working traditional areas such as sideshows, circuses, beer halls, etc., often working ten to twenty shows daily. At one point, in Nova Scotia in 1896, with no funds left for a room, they were forced to sleep in a hallway and Houdini even considered giving up show business. It was in 1895, looking for something different from other entertainers, that he thought of a challenge to local police stations on his ability to escape from their handcuffs and jail cells. By 1898-99, primarily as a result of these successful escapes, his reputation began to spread, better bookings followed, and after years of struggle things began looking up. Then, booked into a large vaudeville circuit by an important impresario, the turning point arrived. Bigtime vaudeville was then the most popular form of entertainment, the fledgling motion picture industry not yet the phenomenon it would eventually become. For the Houdinis, it was their "breakthrough" and an end to one-night stands and burlesque days. Houdini spent years learning the mechanics of locks and handcuffs until he was one of the world's experts in the field. A master of opening secure devices of all types, he possessed a skill the likes of which has not been seen since and likely never will again. Additionally, Houdini had an amazing ability and brought charisma and sheer magnetism to his presentations, mesmerizing audiences until they "believed" in his miracles, a rare talent indeed. There was also the publicity he created to enhance his image. He developed not only into a performer of unsurpassed ability, he could almost be said to be the creator of the modern "hard sell" so extravagant were his methods and claims. The great showman Barnum touted his circus acts-Houdini touted himself. It's 8
possible no greater exponent of self exploitation and advertising has ever lived. If "Chutzpah" were a marketable commodity, Houdini would have been worth billions! The French conjurer Robert-Houdin wrote: "A magician is not a juggler. He is an actor playing a role---the role of a sorcerer." Houdini played the role to magnificent perfection. So baffling were his methods considered, some even attributed his legendary escapes to occult or supernatural powers. No less a respected individual than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle believed Houdini had the power to dematerialize himself in one place and reappear in another. If a modest success was being achieved, it was not yet total success for Houdini. Thus, in 1900 he and Bess sailed for England where other American magicians had done well, a gesture of immense confidence since he had no English bookings. London was not initially a "pearl" in his oyster. However, through perseverance, a bit of luck, an escape from Scotland Yard's cuffs and a trial appearance at London's famed Alhambra Theatre he was on his way. In time and with helpful publicity, successful engagements followed in France, Holland, Germany and Russia and he and Bess would spend the next five years enjoying their European success. As his fame grew, he broke all existing attendance records in city after city becoming the most outstanding, sought after, and highest paid vaudeville entertainer on the Continent and British Isles. His ego was of monstrous proportions, however, suffering few imitators. He had "arrived" and believed he was the best! As a consequence, he was 9
fiercely jealous, not only of any contemporaries who also performed escapes, but indeed competitors of any kind. Through the years, he devoted much time and effort "fighting" against those who either "attacked" his act or who he felt debased the escape art through the use of trick or "gaffed" items quietly failing to mention his own use of similar hidden methods. Needless to say, he garnered tremendous publicity in the process. Amazingly generous and thoughtful of retired or destitute magicians or their families, he carried his largess to such measures he often paid their rent or otherwise extended aid. He also gave benefit performances at charity hospitals and orphanages. His generosity, while often kept in the shadows, was legion. Possibly he felt he, too, would someday be in need, possibly he was simply implementing the Masonic tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief and Charity, or perhaps it was a bit of both. The Houdinis never had a home life or settled down in the conventional sense of the word, spending much of their life "on the road" performing at one venue or another, their residence a series of rooming houses and hotels. Their life was the theatre, the circus, or wherever they happened to be performing. While he bought a twenty-six room New York townhouse and moved his mother there, it was little more than a storehouse of magic and a place he occasionally visited. The years were rolling by and Houdini realized he could not always dangle upside down high above the ground freeing himself from a strait jacket. He needed new worlds to conquer and so in 1919 he moved into movies, first in a "cliff-hanger"
serial and then "cliff-hanger" feature films. He would invariably be chained, roped, or otherwise immobilized by villains in sequences which required his imminent release to escape death and rescue the heroine from an equally perilous situation. Needless to say, he always prevailed. WW-I naturally put a stop to his European appearances and fiercely patriotic he tried to enlist in 1917 but at age 43 was rejected as being too old. Not to be derailed, for the next two years he performed at military benefits, canteens and training camps usually at his own expense, often working with stars such as Will Rogers, Tom Mix, and Jim Corbett. Also active in selling "Liberty Bonds," he chalked up sales of $1,000,000 virtually single handedly. Interestingly, while he later began to expose spiritual charlatans, he had himself followed the same path and had given psychic presentations early in his career, spiritual ism then in vogue. In time, he became embarrassed at the gullibility of his audiences and revised the act to emphasize magic and escapes rather than spiritualism. Could mediums communicate with the Netherworld? While keeping an open mind on the subject, he developed a total aversion to psychic fraud, spending years both studying and lecturing on the issue and became a fervent crusader in exposing fraudulent mediums. A member of the Craft, Houdini was not alone among Masonic magicians, a group which included such notables as Harry Keller, Howard Thurston, and Harry Blackstone. Initiated in St. Cecile Lodge, N.Y., July 17, 1923, he was Passed and Raised July 31 and August 21 and in 1924 he entered the Consistory. Immensely proud of his Masonic affiliation, he gave a
benefit performance for the Valley of New York, filling the 4,000 seat Scottish Rite Cathedral and raising thousands of dollars for needy Masons. In October 1926, just weeks prior to his untimely death, he became a Shriner in N.Y.'s Mecca Temple. On October 22, 1926, during an engagement at the Princess Theatre in Montreal, a first-year college student asked permission to test the entertainer's abdominal muscle control and strike the magician, a part of Houdini's act. Houdini, accepting the challenge, mumbled his assent, whereupon the student struck before the necessary muscles could be tensed, obviously a critical requirement. Houdini ignored later stomach pains in the tradition of "the show must go on." Arriving in Detroit the next day, he was diagnosed with acute appendicitis but again insisted on performing. Finally, with a temperature of 104, he was taken to Grace Hospital where a ruptured gangrenous appendix was removed but peritonitis had unfortunately set in. Despite medical predictions of imminent death, his strong will to live was such he held on almost a week, finally succumbing the afternoon of October 31, 1926, at the age of 52, Halloween Day. Perhaps a symbolically magical date for his final curtain. His body was taken to New York with funeral services held at the W. 43rd St. Elks Lodge Ballroom with some 2,000 in attendance. The impressive service included eulogies by Rabbis, a Broken Wand Ceremony by the Society of American Magicians, tributes from the National Vaudeville Artists and Jewish Theatrical Guild, rites by the Mt. Zion Congregation, the Elks, and Masonic Rites 10
by St. Cecile Lodge. Burial was then in Machpelah Cemetery, Brooklyn, a site Houdini had personally selected. The Literary Digest called Houdini "the greatest necromancer of the age-perhaps of all time." Be that as it may, before Houdini died he said he would send a message to his wife from beyond the grave if it were possible. Many séance attempts have been made to bring Houdini's spirit back but none have succeeded. In the Middle Ages, Houdini would likely have been burned at the stake by the Church as being a "sorcerer" in the same manner Protestants were burned, charged by the Church as being "heretics." By the beginning of the 20th Century, however, history had moved on and in today's world the magical arts enjoy unprecedented prestige. There is little doubt Houdini presented his "death defying" escapes in a dazzling manner, one peculiar to his own personality and to the era in which he lived. He was, after all, a showman first and foremost, a product of a particular era, an era ready to "believe," and perhaps in some respects an era unworldly and naive by comparison with today's technological wonders. As Sherlock Holmes said: "We reach. We grasp. And what is left in our hands at the end? A shadow." Sometimes, however, in lieu of fading, the shadow endures and becomes an all pervasive reminder of a unique figure whose larger than life persona lingers on. Houdini's shadow not only endures, but his name has entered into the hallowed realm of legend. Article by Bro. William E. Parker is a Past Grand Senior Warden of the French National Grand Lodge in Paris. He is a prolific Masonic writer whose articles have been printed in numerous Masonic publications.
Fraternal Societies Of the World ‘The Order of the Free Gardeners’
The Order of Free Gardeners is a fraternal society that was founded in Scotland in the middle of the 17th Century and later spread to England and Ireland. Like numerous other friendly societies of the time, its principal aim was the sharing of knowledge—secrets—linked to the profession and mutual aid. In the 19th Century, its activities of mutual insurance became predominant. By the end of the 20th Century it had become almost entirely extinct. In 1849, The Ancient Order of Free Gardeners Scotland formed at Penicuik. In 1956, due to falling attendances in Scotland, the Grand Lodge charter was transferred to Cape Town, South Africa and remains there. In September 2005, saw the Ancient Order returned to Scotland
when the Countess of Elgin Lodge no. 105 received its Charter to meet in Dysart, Fife. Although the Free Gardeners always remained independent of Freemasonry, the history and organisation of the two orders show numerous similarities that shed light on the birth of the latter.
Tweeddale. From its origin, it admitted numerous non-gardeners as members. It created a charitable society to benefit the widows, orphans, and poor of the lodge, sponsored a horse race and organised an annual horticultural fair before transforming itself little by little into a mutual aid society. It reached a membership of 212.
History The most ancient evidence of the order is a record of the minutes of the Haddington lodge, opened 16 August 1676, which begins with a compilation of fifteen rules called Interjunctions for ye Fraternity of Gardiners of East Lothian.
The lodges of Haddington and Dunfermline expanded their recruitment area widely without authorising creation of new lodges. It was only in 1796 that three new lodges were created: at Arbroath, Bothwell, and Cumbnathan.
Scotland was, in the 17th century, subject to civil unrest and intermittent famines. Rich landowners were interested in Renaissance architecture and the design of formal gardens for their vast estates. The first members of the Haddington lodge were not gardeners by profession, but small landowners and farmers who practised gardening for pleasure. Not practising an urban profession, they could not obtain the status of a guild and modelled their organization on the Masons, who had an organization, additional to and independent of their guild: the lodge.
During the 18th Century, about twenty other lodges were created, always in Scotland, and on 6 November 1849, they organized a meeting with a view to create a Grand Lodge. Establishments then accelerated, and in 1859, in Edinburgh, the Grand Lodge gathered representatives from more than 100 lodges, including three established in the USA.
This organisation set up in Haddington could be viewed as a primitive form of union. It organised cooperation between members, provided practical training and ethical development, and supported the poor, widows, and orphans. The lodges of gardeners were also the first to organise floral exhibitions, from 1772. About 1715, a lodge similar to Haddington was founded in Dunfermline, supported by two members of the local aristocracy, the Earl of Moray and the Marquess of
At the peak of the movement there were more than 10,000 Free Gardeners for the Lothians alone, belonging to more than 50 lodges. Encouraged by this success, competing horticultural societies appeared during the 19th Century. Unlike the Free Gardeners, they did not have a charitable role, mutual help, or rituals, and they would accept anybody, male or female, who paid their dues. In the 20th Century, the two World Wars called up most of the members. The economic crisis of 1929 weakened their charitable capacities. The social protection laws weakened the attraction of mutual aid, before the National Insurance Act 1946 removed their entire purpose. Even before 12
the Second World War, the number of deaths exceeded the number of admissions to the lodges. In 1939, the minutes of the Haddington lodge were interrupted until 1952, when its eight last members attempted in vain to relaunch it. Despite the recruitment of new members, the Haddington fraternity pronounced its dissolution on 22 February 1953. The Dunfermline lodge lasted until the middle of the 1980s. These disappearances were part of a wider social change. In 1950 there were around 30,000 Friendly Societies in the UK, while in 2000 there were fewer than 150. In 2000, the research of Bob Cooper counted no more than a single lodge (in Bristol) for Great Britain, but mentioned the survival of the Order of Free Gardeners in the Antilles (Caribbean British Order of Free Gardners) and in Australia. In 2002, a conservation society was created in Scotland with aims of research and conservation of the traditions of this Order and some lodges were revived on this occasion. As of 2013, The Grand United Order of Free Gardeners still operates in Victoria, Australia from the East Kew Masonic Centre. It meets monthly under the auspices of the Victorian Grand Lodge #1, and is the only known lodge operating in the southern hemisphere.
Ritual Fraternity documents from the end of the 17th century reveal no trace of secret knowledge or rituals. However, the interest rapidly shown by the members of the aristocracy suggests this association did not exclusively deal with mutual assurance. The oldest known mention of the existence of an initiation secret in this order appears 13
on 28 January 1726, when the fraternity studied an internal complaint that accused one of its members of defaming certain of its officers in saying they could not correctly give its words and signs. In 1772, other documents established that the fraternity of the Free Gardeners had 'Words' and 'Secrets'. An 1848 document mentions a teaching, in the form of 'Signs, Secrets and Grips'. Historians have at their disposal complete rituals of the Apprentice, Companion and Master dating from 1930. Minutes of the lodges show that the ritual of the order progressively developed, from a fairly basic ceremony of transmission of the 'Word' at its very beginnings, to a system of three grades similar to that of Freemasonry at the end of the 19th Century. The admission ritual of the Free Gardeners' apprentices shows many similarities to that of Freemason apprentices. Adam could thus symbolically be the first Free Gardener. Use is made of the compass and the square, to which is added the knife, presented as 'the simplest tool of gardening', allowing 'pruning the vices and propagating virtues by cuttings'. At the end of this ceremony, the apprentice received the apron of his grade. The second degree made reference to Noah, the 'second Gardener' and made the Companion symbolically accomplish a voyage that led him towards the Garden of Eden then towards that of Gethsemane. The third degree made reference to Solomon, the 'third Gardener', and to the symbol of the olive tree. The aprons are of two types: Long aprons, reaching the ankle, embroidered with numerous symbols relating to the legends of the order. Shorter aprons, with a semicircular bib, strongly resembling the aprons
of the Freemasons of Scotland. That of the president is embroidered with the letters P, G, H, E, initials of Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel (Tigris) and Euphrates (the four rivers of the Garden of Eden) and A, N, S, initials of Adam, Noah and Solomon, to which is added the letter O, probably for 'Olive'. Generally, the symbolism utilized by the Free Gardeners seems to have been strongly influenced during the 19th Century by that of Freemasonry. On numerous objects of the order dating from the very beginning of the 20th Century, one finds an emblem composed of a square, a compass and a grafting knife. As there is not a trace of this emblem in the earlier documents, it is probable that it had also been inspired lately by that of Freemasonry.
The first members There is little information on the professions of the members before the end of the 17th Century. During this period the Haddington lodge included merchants, tailors and clerks as well as gardeners. All the members of the lodge were originally from the county. On the other hand, the lodge at Dunfermline, former capital of Scotland, prided itself on counting among its members 'numerous renowned persons of Edinburgh, as well as East Lothian including the Marquess of Tweeddale, the count of Haddington (Earl of Haddington), Lord William Hay etc.'. The first record of the Dunfermline lodge was established in 1716 with the signatures of 214 members. At this time the membership was composed of a majority of gardeners by trade, but also numerous artisans and two members of the local aristocracy. Rapidly, the membership grew and the social level roseâ€”to the point that
the professional gardeners no longer formed the majority of new membersâ€”but the recruitment remained local. In 1721, 101 new members of all social statuses were admitted into the lodge, from gardeners and butchers to the Duke of Atholl. The following years saw a fairly large number of aristocrats initiated in Free Gardening in the Dunfermline lodge, even while they remain on the edge of the Haddington lodge, which remains mainly active. Most of these people possess famous gardens. Starting from 1736, the date of the creation of the (Masonic) Grand Lodge of Scotland, this tendency ceased and there were no more initiations of aristocrats in the Dunfermline lodge.
Comparisons with Freemasonry In the 1720s, Scotland had a profusion of societies, fraternities, and clubs. Freemasonry and the Order of Free Gardeners are merely those that spread the furthest and lasted the longest. Those two orders present important similarities concerning their organisation and development. Both were born in Scotland in the middle of the 17th Century among groups of professional workers who very quickly accepted members from other professions. In both cases, members of the original profession became minorities from the beginning of the 18th Century. In both orders also, certain lodges open very rapidly to 'accepted' members and in particular to the local nobility, whereas others, like that of Haddington for the Free Gardeners and that of Edinburgh for the Freemasons, are more reticent. Almost all known members who belonged to the two orders were Free Gardeners before becoming Freemasons. The largest group of Free Gardeners who later became 14
Freemasons joined the Kilwinning Scots Arms Masonic lodge founded in 1729. There were nine members of the free gardeners Dunfermline lodge. None of them were gardeners by trade, they were aristocrats and soldiers. Freemasonry expanded rapidly in England and, after creation of the Grand Lodge in London in 1717, across the entire world. On the other hand, the Order of Free Gardeners remained principally Scottish. In both cases, the Scottish lodges seemed to have difficulties grouping together into larger structures called Grand Lodges. In the case of the Order of Free Gardeners, the first Grand Lodge only formed in 1849, and 15 lodges remained independent until the disappearance of the order. In both cases, it is in particular the lodges founded before their Grand Lodge that remain the most reluctant to renounce their independence. Sourced from Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia For more information regarding the Free Gardeners, view the website for the Adelphia Bluebell Lodge No.4. Click here. Article from a suggestion by Bro. Archibald Hoey, thanks.
The seal of Lodge Ancient Stirling No. 30. 15
Lodge Ancient Stirling No. 30 The history of the Masonic craft in Stirling is of two distinct periods: the speculative lodge (now known as Ancient Stirling, No.30), whose minutes start so abruptly with the installation of Office-bearers on 28th December 1741, and the operative masons who worked at the castle and built the two churches mentioned in the Charter of David I in 1129 from which the revenues went to the Abbot of Dunfermline. These churches were identified as the Chapel Royal in the castle and the Parish Church of Stirling, which was burnt down by a Douglas. Who built the two churches and the town around them which had grown before the twelfth century dawned? From the days of the twelfth century, when recorded history shows us in Stirling emerging from the mists that surrounded the origin of the castle and town, the ancient burgh has not looked back. Its place in the national, civic, ecclesiastical and social development of Scotland has been well told, and it does honour to the â€œSons of the Rock" and their forbears. Freemasons owe much to the searches towards the close of the last century into the history of the many fine examples of the skill of the operative craftsmen down through the centuries. From 1406 onwards the stones of the old town proclaimed the glory of the old Lodge of Stirling in Kirk and monasteries, the old lodgings of the nobility, the dwellings of wealthy merchants in the old quarter of the town. The castle itself has two distinct periods, the Gothic period which dates back before
recorded history and where we find the first written record of the appointment of Robert Cochrane in 1473 as Master Mason and Master of Works at Stirling Castle. In the book, The King's Masons, there is a record of accounts rendered by him and audited by Dr Dickson, Curator of the Historical Department of Register House, Edinburgh. There seems little doubt that the accounts covered work done on the Great Parliament Hall of Stirling Castle. The Parliament Hall with its great windows, within the Castle of Stirling, belongs to this period and the delicacy of the mouldings as well as the chaste character of the outline bespeaks an admirable type of Gothic design. The whole structure is in marked contrast to the later work of Nicholas Roy, a Frenchman, erected for King James V under French influence which contains strange and fantastic decoration. In the year 1496 Sir Thomas Smith, a "Priest", was Master Mason and Master of Works with Walter and John Meridon, acting Masons; he was succeeded in turn by the Abbot of Lindores (then Keeper of Linlithgow Palace), then by Sir W. Betoone and Andrew Atoune. In the Privy Seal Writ dated 3rd January 1529 Sir Thomas Nicholay was appointed Master Mason and Master of Works at Stirling. The Master being a priest and the royal castle being so near Cambuskenneth Abbey, we may infer that the appointment was made on the recommendation of the Abbot, then in such high favour with the Crown. The appointment of Nicholas Roy was made under Privy Seal Writ dated 22nd April 1539. He was responsible for the French influence in the extending of the castle. In 1557 James, Earl of Arran was Regent of Scotland, and he appointed John Roytell as Principal Master Mason
for life and in this way the French connection was maintained. In 1599 we find that the second of the Schaw Statutes named Stirling as the Third Head Lodge of Scotland in accordance with their Ancient privileges; this document lay hidden in the muniment room of Eglinton Castle until 1861 when it was discovered. It shed an entirely new light on Masonry as organised at that date. The document is now held by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. The St Clair Charter of 1628, supporting the claim by William St Clair of Roslin as being hereditary Grand Master, was signed by John Servrite as follows: "I John Servrite Master of ye Crafties in Stirling, with my hand at pen, led by the notes subseryv and for me because I cannot writt-J. Henrysone, notaries asservit." It was also signed on behalf of Stirling by John Thompsone and James Rynd, thought to be Deacons of the Lodge The" Charter â€œused by the present Speculative Lodge is in fact a copy of the ancient charges used by the Operative Lodge at the reception of members. It was forwarded to Brother Woodman, Clerk to the Grand Lodge of Scotland, for his inspection and later it was forwarded to that eminent Masonic Historian, Brother W. J. Hughan, who placed it as belonging to Grand Lodge No. 1 family. In his book The Ancient Charges he lists the document as D9 and gives a very full report on it, and dates it as 1650 circa. The Speculative Lodge, whose begin with the installation of bearers on 28th December 1741, their possession the ancient
records Officehave in charges 16
belonging to the Operative Lodge (which is recognised as a Charter by Grand Lodge), a copy of the alleged Charter by King David I dated 1147, and two ancient brass plates, believed to be seventeenth century, on which are inscribed the different steps in Masonry Taking these items in the above order, we find that the Ancient Charges which were used by the Operative Lodge at the reception of candidates, and which is different in style to all other known copies, is 2 feet wide and 20 inches long with the writing running across the full width of the document and contains two certificates at the bottom which were quite new to Brother Hughan, who states that he believed that this was the first time such certificates had been made known. The document which is now mounted on cardboard and framed has for long been looked upon by the members as a â€œCharter" and the meetings would not be deemed legal unless it is exhibited in the Lodge room and is recognised as such by Grand Lodge. A copy of the alleged Charter by King David I dated 1147 was inscribed in the Lodge minute book covering the period 1738 to 1822 by Past Master Brother Alexander Craig, being in accordance with a request from the Brethren of the Lodge as minuted in the minutes of the meeting on 23rd December 1784. For this work Brother Craig was granted a draught on the Treasurer for the sum of Two Pounds, two shillings sterling-this information can be found on folio 149 of the old minute book. It is apparent that Brother Craig either made a mistake in the date or that the document is false as two signatories John of Monteath and Robert of Lennox were not created Earls until 1149 17
The seventeenth century brass plates do in fact relate to the various degrees in Freemasonry including many of the higher orders which were at that time worked by this Ancient Lodge. We find in the minutes of 5th February 1784 that three Brethren were advanced to" Excellent "and exalted to" Super Excellent"; they were John Hair, Allan McDonald and Robert Munroe (Sgt. Major) all of the 76th Regiment. While the minute of 5th June 1784 states that John Buchanan and James Ferguson from Callander were "Knighted". From these humble beginnings there emanated the oldest Royal Arch Chapter in the world, i.e. Stirling Rock, No. 2. The Lodge of Stirling was not present at the formation of Grand Lodge. Perhaps the brethren of that day felt that, as the Third Head Lodge of Scotland, they should have been consulted. However, since joining Grand Lodge in 1738 the Lodge has carried out its duties with dignity and whole-heartedly supported that great body, as proved by the fact that the Lodge has provided five Grand Masters since that date. They are: 1748-49 Hugh Seton of Touch; 1885-92 Walter Hendry, Earl of Mar and Kellie (Hon. Member); 192~29 Archibald Douglas Campbell, 4th Lord Blythswood; 1937-39 Brig. Gen. Sir Norman A. Orr-Ewing, Bart; 1965-69 Major Sir Ronald A. Orr-Ewing, Bart Since 1745 the Lodge has carried out the following consecrations: Lodge of AIloa, No. 69, Ayr and Renfrew Militia St Paul's, No. 271, Bannockburn Bruce and Thistle, No. 312, Grangemouth Zetland, No.391, and Ben Ledi Callander, No. 614, which had in fact been working for over 100 years under a dispensation from Ancient Stirling which gave them the right to elect their own Office-bearers and to receive,
pass, raise, advance and exalt, but the ceremony of Knighting had to be referred to the Ancient Lodge. It was therefore appropriate that we should consecrate the Lodge under Grand Lodge Rules on 24th September 1878. At the consecration of Lodge Zetland, No. 391, Ancient Stirling represented Grand Lodge and wore the Grand Lodge regalia. The Office-bearers who occupied the chairs were the R.W.M., Brother Dyson, and his Wardens, Brother Pebbles, S.W., and Brother Rutherford, J.W., while the Charter of Constitution was read by the Secretary, Brother McLean. Other Lodges present on that auspicious occasion were Nos. 13, 17, 48, 69, 181 and 392. The consecration of the Military Lodge of the Ayr and Renfrew Militia, St Paul's, No. 271, was a momentous occasion, being carried out in the Guildhall where the Lodge was supported by our Sister Lodge Stirling Royal Arch, No. 76. The Charter of Constitution and Erection having been issued by the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and having been read, the Lodges unanimously consecrated the above Lodge No. 271 with every solemnity agreeable to Masonry There are many instances of deputations attending such as the Wallace Monument, Causewayhead, Stirling; the G.P.O. Building, Glasgow, where the stone was laid by H.R.H. Prince of Wales; the Forth Bridge at South AIloa; the Bruce Memorial at the Field of Bannockburn; the Third Home at Dunblane. It will be seen that even in distant days when travelling was difficult the Brethren of Ancient Stirling always responded to appeals from Grand Lodge, or Provincial Grand Lodge, for Lodges to send deputations to any important function.
As it was then, so it is today, Grand Lodge or Provincial Grand Lodge never issue an invitation of any kind without it being answered by the Brethren of this Ancient Lodge with the same fervour as their predecessors. We in Stirling are proud of our heritage and to be members of that great fraternity of Brethren, the Grand Lodge of Scotland This History of Lodge Ancient Stirling No. 30 was written by Bro. James Scougall P.M. My thanks go to No.30 whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright owners.
Rays of Masonry â€œEvents and the Masonâ€? The Mason, by virtue of the teachings and principles of Masonry, and as the inheritor of the wisdom of the ages should be an active participant in every problem and question of today. The hours of refreshment do not find the Mason without that which was his during the hours of labor. It is his privilege and responsibility to carry it forth in the world of men. We must forever be the conveyors of thought. Our decisions as individuals must be based upon the experiences of the past and upon all the moral and spiritual wisdom obtained or unobtainable. Moving events represent a part of any progressive system. Change is inevitable. Our concern must be to see that that which is good shall be moved into the future. In the activity of the present, this decision must be made. The architect will design a house for tomorrow that is quite different from the house of today. The Mason's interest is in seeing that the elements of home, the love 18
of parents and children, and all that makes a house a home be moved into the future. The literature of tomorrow will be different from the literature of today in style and expression. The Mason's interest is in the important fact that books will be written and that men will be free to read them. Let us have a part in the writing of the book of tomorrow by bringing into the future the glorious possibilities of man and the undying ideal of man's right to follow the dictates of his conscience. In the administration of government there will be changes. The Mason's interest is in seeing that our government of tomorrow stands firmly on the foundation of "We, the People." Let us carry forth into the future the ideal of the dignity of the individual, and his right to worship God in his own way. The Mason will move into the future all that will make a future for mankind. Dewey Wollstein 1953.
Wages of a Mason Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) â€œMasonic labour is purely a labour of love. He who seeks to draw Masonic wages in gold and silver will be disappointed. The wages of a Mason are earned and paid in their dealings with one another; sympathy that begets sympathy, kindness begets kindness, helpfulness begets helpfulness, and these are the wages of a Mason.â€? 19
Kinds of Masons. "I am almost through!" The New Brother displayed a sheaf of cards to the Old Tiler. "Soon I will have joined them all and become every kind of Mason there is." "What do you know about the kinds of Masons there are?" asked the Old Tiler, interested. "You have not been a Master Mason long enough to gain all that knowledge!" "That's not hard to gain, with all the brethren poking petitions at you. There are Scottish Rite Masons and York Rite Masons and Templar Masons and Chapter Masons and council Masons and..." "Oh!" the syllable said much. The Old Tiler added, "I didn't understand. I thought you couldn't have learned yet." "Learned what? Are there some more kinds of Masons?"
"Indeed, yes! answered the Old Tiler. "A great many kinds. But seven you haven't mentioned stand out more prominently than others." "Do tell me! I thought I had joined most of them..." "You don't join these. You become one, or are made one, or grow into one of them. For instance, there is the King Solomon Mason. He thinks that everything that Solomon did as a Mason is right and everything he didn't do is wrong. To him Masonry was conceived, born and grew up in the shadow of King Solomon, and every word of the legend is literally true, much like the man who refuses to believe the earth is round, because a verse in the Bible refers to the 'four corners of the earth!' The King Solomon Mason lives his Masonry according to his light; perhaps it's not his fault it is so dim. "To the ritual Mason the importance of Masonry is the form of its words. A good Mason in his belief is one who can repeat a lecture from end to end without a slip. A man may do battle, murder, or cause sudden death, commit arson or run away with a neighbor's wife; if he knows his ritual letter perfect, it 'was all a mistake!' The man who doesn't know his ritual letter perfect is not, in this man's eyes, a good Mason; not though he give to charity with both hands and carry love for his fellowman in both head and heart. "The practical Mason looks at life from a utilitarian standpoint. He prefers electricity to candles for Lesser Lights because they are simpler and prefers candles to electricity because they are cheaper. He thinks a choir impractical because it produces nothing permanent, and would rather spend the money for printed matter or a new carpet. He is at his best when
raising money for a new temple and at his worst when asked to express himself upon the spirit of Masonry. His hand is in his pocket for charity, but never for entertainment. He is usually on the finance committee, and recommends a budget in which rent and heat and light are bigger than relief. "The heart Mason is the opposite. He is full of impractical schemes. He wants to start a new temple which will never be built. He talks much of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, but is absent when the hat is passed and the committee on funds needs a few workers to go out and gather in. The heart Mason is the lodge sob-sister; he usually seconds any motion to spend any amount of money for flowers or to send a brother away for his health, and always makes a little tear-filled speech about the fatherless loved ones, even if the dear departed died a bachelor. The business Mason belongs because he thinks it helps his job. He usually sits next to the solid businessman in lodge and likes to tell people what he does. If he is a Past Master, he never comes to lodge on time, so that he can get a special welcome at the Altar. His favorite speech is about the man who tried to advertise his business in lodge and how evil this was; in the speech he always mentions his own business. He wears an extra large sized pin and prints squares and compasses on his letterheads. "We dominate another kind by the expressive term of belly Mason. He is most faithful in attendance at lodges where there may be a feed. He will cheerfully spend twenty cents carfare and a long evening to get a fifteen-cent sandwich. If there is to be a sit-down meal he will sit up all night to be on time. If the affair is in another lodge 20
and needs tickets he will take time off from his job to hunt a brother who has a ticket and doesn't want it. He usually manages to cross the lodge room while the cigars are passed so he can dig into the box twice. If the crowd is small, he is the last man to get a smoke, so he can take all that are left. If the crowd is large, he is among the first, to make sure he doesn't get left. "And then there is the regular Mason- the fellow who does his best with the time and brains he has. He is the great bulk of the fraternity. He pays the dues and fills the chairs and does the work. He is seldom a fine ritualist, but he is usually an earnest one. He is not very practical, and would spend more than we have if it wasn't that he is too sentimental to permit the charity fund to be robbed. He passes the sandwiches and coffee, and if there is any left he gets his; but he doesn't care so long as the evening is a success. He isn't a student, but something in the heart of Masonry has reached deep into his heart, and so he comes to lodge and does his best. He is not learned, but he is not stupid. He is not hidebound, and yet he is conservative. He loves his lodge, but not so much he cannot see her faults. He is most of us." "And what class of Mason am I?" asked the New Brother, uneasily looking at his sheaf of cards. "You have cards enough to be considered a Mason for almost any reason," answered the Old Tiler. "But I'll take your word for it. What kind of Mason are you?" "I don't know for sure, but I know what kind I am never going to be!" answered the New Brother, putting his many cards away. This is the thirtieth article in this regular feature, ‘The Old Tiler Talks,’ each month we publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
Some Deeper Aspects of Masonic Symbolism Arthur Edward Waite PART II THERE are two ways in which the Master Degree may be thought to lapse from perfection in respect of its symbolism, and I have not taken out a license to represent it as of absolute order in these or in any respects. This has been practically intimated already. Perhaps it is by the necessity of things that it has recourse always to the lesser meaning, for it is this which is more readily understood. On the other hand, much must be credited to its subtlety, here and there, in the best sense of the term. There is something to be said for an allegory which he who runs may read, at least up to a certain point. But those who made the legend and the ritual could not have been unaware of that which the deeper side shows forth; they have left us also the Opening and Closing as of the great of all greatness — so it seems to me, my Brethren — in things of ceremony and ritual. Both are devoid of explanation, and it is for us to understand them as we can. For myself it is obvious that something distinct from the express motives of Masonry has come to us in this idea of Raising. The Instituted Mysteries of all ages and countries were concerned in the figuration, by means of ritual and symbolism, of New Birth, a new life, a mystic death and resurrection, as so many successive experiences through which the Candidate passed on the way of his inward progress from earthly to spiritual life, or from darkness to light. The Ritual or Book
of the Dead is a case in point. It has been for a long period regarded by scholarship as intimating the after-death experiences or adventures of the soul in the halls of judgment, and so forth; but there are traces already of the genesis of a new view, chiefly in the writing of Mr. W. Flinders Petrie, according to which some parts at least of this great text are really a rite of initiation and advancement, through which Candidates pass in this life. THE BOOK OF THE DEAD If I am putting this rather strongly as regards one important authority, it is at least true to say that he appears to discern the mystical side of the old Egyptian texts, while there are others, less illustrious than he, who have gone much further in this direction. It is very difficult for one like myself, although unversed in Egyptology, to study such a work as "Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection," by E. Wallis Budge, without feeling very strongly that there is much to be said for this view, or without hoping that it will be carried further by those who are properly warranted. So far as it is possible to speak of the Kabiric Mysteries, there was in those an episode of symbolical death, because Kasmillos, a technical name ascribed to the Candidate, was represented as slain by the gods. Some of the rites which prevailed within and around Greece in ancient times are concerned with the idea of a regeneration or new birth. The Mysteries of Bacchus depicted the death of this god and his restoration to light as Rhea. Osiris died and rose, and so also did Adonis. He was first lamented as dead and then his revivification was celebrated with great joy. There is no need, however, to multiply the recurrence of these events in the old
Mysteries nor to restrict ourselves within their limits, for all religions have testified to the necessity of regeneration and have administered it's imputed processes. That which is most important — from my point of view — is the testimony belonging to Christian times and the secret tradition therein. THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERIES Of course, to speak of this it is necessary to trend on subjects which at the present are excluded, and very properly so, from discussion in a Craft Lodge, when they are presented from a religious and doctrinal angle. I shall not treat them from that standpoint, but rather as a sequence of symbolism in the form of dramatic mystery, alluding slightly, and from a philosophical point of view only, to the fact that in certain schools they are regarded as delineating momentous experiences in the history and life of man's soul. That new birth which conferred upon the Eleusinian mystae the title of Regenerated Children of the Moon — so that each one of them was henceforth symbolically a Son of the Queen of Heaven — born as a man originally and reborn in a divine manner — has its correspondence on a much higher plane of symbolism with the Divine Birth in Bethlehem, according to which a child was "born" and a son "given," who, in hypothesis at least, was the Son of God, but Son also of Mary — one of whose titles, according to Latin theology, is Queen of Heaven. The hidden life in Egypt and Nazareth corresponds to the life of seclusion led by the mystae during their period of probation between the Lesser and Greater Mysteries. The three years of ministry are in analogy with the Temple-functions of the 22
mystagogues. But lastly, in Egypt and elsewhere, there was the mystic experience of the Pastos, in which the initiate died symbolically; as Jesus died upon the Cross. The Christian "Symbolum" says: — Descendit ad inferos: that is, "He descended into hell"; and in the entranced condition of the Pastos, the soul of the Postulant was held or was caused to wander in certain spiritual realms. But in fine, it is said of Christ: — Tertia die resurrexit; "the third day he rose again from the dead." So also the Adept of the Greater Mysteries rose from the Pastos in the imputed glory of an inward illumination. THE MYSTICAL FACT There was a period not so long ago when these analogies were recognized and applied to place a fabulous construction upon the central doctrines of Christian religion, just as there was a period when the solar mythology was adapted in the same direction. We have no call to consider these aberrations of a partially digested learning; but they had their excuses in their period. The point on which I would insist is that in the symbolism of the old initiations, and in the pageant of the Christian mythos, there is held to be the accurate delineation of a mystical experience, the heads and sections of which correspond to the notions of mystic birth, life, death and resurrection. It is a particular formula which is illustrated frequently in the mystic literature of the western world. Long before symbolical Masonry had emerged above the horizon, several cryptic texts of alchemy, in my understanding, were bearing witness to this symbolism and to something real in experience which lay behind it. In more formal Christian mysticism, it was not until 23
the 16th century and later that it entered into the fullest expression. Now, that which is formulated as mystic birth is comparable to a dawn of spiritual consciousness. It is the turning of the whole life-motive in the divine direction, so that, at a given time — which is actually the point of turning — the personality stands symbolically between the East and the North, between the greatest zone of darkness and that zone which is the source of light, looking towards the light-source and realizing that the whole nature has to be renewed therein. Mystic life is a quest of divine knowledge in a world that is within. It is the life led in this light, progressing and developing therein, as if a Brother should read the Mysteries of Nature and Science with new eyes cast upon the record, which record is everywhere, but more especially in his own mind and heart. It is the complete surrender to the working of the divine, so that an hour comes when proprium meum et tuum dies in the mystical sense, because it is hidden in God. In this state, by the testimony of many literatures, there supervenes an experience which is described in a thousand ways yet remains ineffable. It has been enshrined in the imperishable books of Plato and Plotinus. It glimmers forth at every turn and corner of the remote roads and pathways of Eastern philosophies. It is in little books of unknown authorship, treasured in monasteries and most of which have not entered into knowledge, except within recent times. THE PLACE OF DARKNESS The experience is in a place of darkness, where, in other symbolism, the sun is said to shine at midnight. There is afterwards that further state, in which the soul of man
returns to the normal physical estate, bringing the knowledge of another world, the quest ended for the time being at least. This is compared to resurrection, because in the aftermath of his experience the man is, as it were, a new being. I have found in most mythological legends that the period between divine death and resurrection was triadic and is spoken of roughly as three days, though there is an exception is the case of Osiris, whose dismemberment necessitated a long quest before the most important of his organs was left finally lost. The three days are usually foreshortened at both ends; the first is an evening, the second a complete day, while the third ends at sunrise. I is an allusion to the temporal brevity ascribed in all literatures to the culminating mystical experience. It is remarkable, in this connection, that during the mystic death of the Candidate in the Third Degree, the time of his interned condition is marked by three episodes, which are so many attempts to raise him, the last only being successful. OPERATIVE MASONRY Two things follow unquestionably from these considerations, so far as they have proceeded. The interest in Operative Masonry and its records, though historically it is of course important, has proceeded from the beginning on a misconception as to the aims and symbolism of Speculative Masonry. It was and it remains natural, and it has not been without its results, but it is a confusion of the chief issues. It should be recognized henceforward that the sole connection between the two Arts and Crafts rests on the fact that the one has undertaken to uplift the other from the material plane to that of morals on the surface and of spirituality in the real intention. Many things led up thereto, and a few of them
were at work unconsciously within the limits of Operative Masonry. At a period when there was a tendency to symbolize everything roughly, so that it might receive a tincture of religion â€” I speak of the Middle Ages â€” the duty of Apprentice to Master, and of Master to pupil, had analogies with relations subsisting between man and God, and they were not lost sight of in those old Operative documents. Here was a rudiment capable of indefinite extension. The placing of the Lodges and of the Craft at large under notable patronage, and the subsequent custom of admitting persons of influence, offered another and quite distinct opportunity. These facts notwithstanding, my position is that the traces of symbolism which may in a sense be inherent in Operative Masonry did not produce, by a natural development, the Speculative Art and Craft, though they helped undoubtedly to make a possible and partially prepared field for the great adventure and experiment. THE OLD CHARGES The second point is that we must take the highest intention of symbolism in the Third Degree to some extent apart from the setting. You will know that the literary history of our ritual is rather non-existent than obscure, or if this is putting the case a little too strongly, it remains that researches have so far left the matter in a dubious position. The reason is not for our seeking, for the kind of enquiry that is involved is one of exceeding difficulty. If I say that it is my personal aspiration to undertake it one of these days, I speak of what is perhaps a distant hope. That which is needed is a complete codification of all the old copies, in what language soever, which are scattered throughout the Lodges and libraries of the whole Masonic world, together with an approximate 24
determination of their dates by expert evidence. In my opinion, the codices now in use have their roots in the 18th century, but were edited and re-edited at an even later date. I have now brought before you in somewhat disjointed manner â€” as I cannot help feeling â€” several independent considerations, each of which, taken separately, institutes certain points of correspondence between Masonry and other systems of symbolism, but they do not at present enter into harmony. I will collect them as follows:(1) Masonry has for its object, under one aspect, the building of the Candidate as a house or temple of life. Degrees outside the Craft aspire to this building as a living stone in a spiritual temple, meet for God's service. (2) Masonry presents also a symbolical sequence, but in a somewhat crude manner, of Birth, Life, Death and Resurrection, which other systems indicate as a mystery of experience. (3) Masonry, in fine, represents the whole body of its Adepti as in search of something that has been lost, and it tells us how and with whom that loss came about. These are separate and independent lines of symbolism, though, as indicated already, they are interlinked by the fact of their incorporation in Craft Masonry, considered as a unified system. But the truth is that between the spiritual building of the First Degree and the Legend of Solomon's Temple there is so little essential correspondence that the one was never intended to lead up to the other. The symbolism of the Entered Apprentice 25
Degree is of the simplest and most obvious kind; it is also personal and individualistic. That of the Master Degree is complex and remote in its significance; it is, moreover, an universal mythos. I have met with some searchers of the mysteries who seem prepared to call it cosmic, but I must not carry you so far as this speculation would lead us, and I do not hold a brief for its defense. I am satisfied in my own mind that the Third Degree has been grafted on the others and does not belong to them. There has been no real attempt to weld them, but they have been drawn into some kind of working sequence by the Exhortation which the Worshipful Master recites prior to the dramatic scene in the last Master Degree. To these must be added some remarks to the Candidate immediately after the Raising. The Legend is reduced therein to the uttermost extent possible in respect of its meaning, though it is possible that this has been done of set purpose. LIVING STONES It will be seen that the three aspects enumerated above fall under two heads in their final analysis, the first representing a series of practical counsels, thinly allegorised upon in terms of symbolical architecture. The Candidate is instructed to work towards his own perfection under the light of Masonry. There is no mystery, no concealment whatever, and it calls for no research in respect of its source. Its analogies and replicas are everywhere, more especially in religious systems. It is a reflection of the Pauline doctrine that man is or may become a temple of the Holy Spirit. But it should be observed in this connection that there is a rather important though confusing mixture of images in the address of the Worshipful Master to the Candidate, after the latter has been
invested and brought to the East. It is pointed out to him that he represents the cornerstone of a building — as it might be, the whole Masonic edifice — but he is immediately counselled to raise a superstructure from the foundation of that corner-stone — thus reversing the image. That of the corner-stone is like an externalization in dramatic form of an old Rosicrucian maxim belonging to the year 1629: — "Be ye transmuted from dead stones into living, philosophical stones." From my point of view, it is the more important side of the symbolism; it is as if the great Masonic edifice were to be raised on each Candidate; and if every Neophyte shaped his future course both in and out of Masonry, as though this were the case actually, I feel that the Royal Art would be other than it now is and that our individual lives would differ. Part 3 of this article will appear in the next issue.
THE FIRST FREEMASONS In times of old date, when (as stories relate) Good men to the gods had admission, When those who were grieved might with ease be relieved By offering a humble petition; Some few, why remained in their morals sustained, Submissively made applications To build a retreat, if the gods should think meet, To shield them from wicked invasion. Delighted to find thence were yet in mankind Some laudable sentiments planted, Without hesitation they gave approbations And instant their wishes were granted.
Then for artists they sought, and famed architects brought, Who the various employments were skilled in; Each handled his tools, and by science and rules They straightway proceeded to building. Fair Wisdom began first to sketch out the plan By which they were all to be guided; Each order she made was exactly obeyed, When the portion 'of work she divided: The great corner-stone was by Charity done, But Strength was the principal builder; When for mortar they cried 'twas by Friendship supplied, And Beauty was carver and gilder. Having long persevered, a grand temple they reared A refuge from folly and scandal, Where all who reside are in Virtue employed Nor fear the, attacks of a Vandal. But if in their rage they should ever engage In the attempt, 'twould be always prevented; The door is so high, 'twould be madness to try, And the wails are all strongly cemented. The gods all agreed 'twas an excellent deed, And to show the affection they bore ‘em, A treasure they gave, which the tenants still have, Scoured in their sanctum sanctorum. Thus blessed from above with a token of love, Each brother with joy should receive it; Safe locked in his heart, it should never depart, Till called for by Heaven that gave it. 26
Money & Metallic Substances Some of the formulators of the ritual must have been fair Hebraists, since they utilised material found in rabbinic sources though they gave it a Masonic significance. An example is the practice of divesting a candidate of “all moneys and metallic substances”. The candidate is later informed that this particular aspect of his preparation for the initiation ceremony is to test his charitable instincts. When called upon to for a charitable donation he finds himself in the embarrassing situation of being unable to comply, but he assures the Lodge that he would if he could. Elsewhere I have written about the ethic of charity and why it is such an important aspect of the Masonic system of morality. The idea of entering a Lodge without money reflects in the first instance the Biblical teaching that man enters the world naked and bare: “Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb” (Job 1:21). This is the origin of calling nakedness one’s “birthday suit”. Rabbinic law lists several “withouts” that apply to a person seeking admittance to the Temple: “A man may not enter the Temple mount with his staff or his shoe or his money bag or with the dust on his feet” (Mishnah Berakhot 9:5). The Masonic candidate who is divested of moneys and metallic substances is following a Jewish tradition that ensured that the sanctity of the holy place would not be compromised, though according to the Gospels (Mark 11, Matt. 21, Luke 19) Jesus found money-changers had moved from the surrounding streets and were actually operating inside the Temple precincts. A further echo of the Mishnah teaching is the removal of the candidate’s shoe, which in
turn derives from a Biblical source pre-dating the Temple – the Divine command to Moses to remove his shoes at the Burning Bush (Exodus 3), “for the place where you stand is holy ground”. On holy ground one does not need the protection which solid shoes provide; the Temple priests ministered without shoes; and to this day orthodox Jews do not wear leather footwear on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, which in a sense is holy ground in time. Who told the redactors of the ritual what the Mishnah said? As far as we know, there were no rabbis amongst them, and probably not even Christian proselytes from Judaism. Some of the names in early speculative Freemasonry were clergy, but how good their Hebrew was we can only surmise. However, there were early attempts at translating the Mishnah into other languages (Latin, late 17th century; German, mid-18th century). The impressive Hebrew sections of some of the libraries were accessible to Christian Hebraists, some of whom were in reasonably regular correspondence with Jewish scholars. In England, Jacob Abendana, chief rabbi of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation for a few years from 1681, completed a Spanish translation of the Mishnah; his younger brother Isaac Abendana, who taught Hebrew at Cambridge, translated the Mishnah into English and Latin for the university. Isaac later moved to Oxford and taught Hebrew there. Mishnah material was thus available – in translation – as were parts of the Midrash, the rabbinic exegesis of both the legal and non-legal parts of the Hebrew Scriptures, and Christian scholars could consult these treasures without great difficulty.
By Rt. Wor. Bro. Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple, AO RFD, Past Deputy Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales & the Australian Capital Territory. Click the name to go to his website.
THE MASONIC DICTIONARY Gavel
The common gavel is one of the working tools of an Entered Apprentice. It is made use of by the Operative Mason to break off the corners of the rough ashlar, and thus fit it the better for the builder's use, and is therefore adopted as a symbol in Speculative Freemasonry, to admonish us of the duty of divesting our minds and consciences of all the vices and impurities of life, thereby fitting our bodies as living stones for that spiritual building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. It borrows its name from its shape, being that of the gable or gavel end of a house; and this word again comes from the German gipfel, a summit, top, or peak the idea of a pointed extremity being common to all.
The true form of the gavel is that of the stonemasons hammer. It is to be made with a cutting edge, as in the engraving, that it may be used to break off the corners of rough stones, an operation which could never be effected by the common hammer or mallet. The gavel thus shaped will give, when looked at in front, the exact representation of the gavel or gable end of a house, whence, as has been already said, the name is derived.
The gavel of the Master is also called a Hiram, because, like that architect, it governs the Craft and keeps order in the Lodge, as he did in the Temple
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor. 28
Published on Oct 29, 2013