Glossary

Browse the glossary by clicking on any of the letters below.

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Alphabetically Arranged with Cyclopedic Meanings and Bible References

Aaron - enlightened

Was the brother and assistant to Moses, the first high priest under the Mosaic dispensation; hence the founder of the "Aaronic" priesthood.  In the degree "Chief of the Tabernacle," the presiding officer represents Aaron as the "Most Excellent High Priest."  Ex. 40:13  In the degree "Prince of the Tabernacle," the Senior Warden impersonates Aaron.  Lev. 10:8,11  Upholding the hands of Moses by Aaron and Hur the origin of one of the signs of the Second Degree.  Ex. 17:12

Aaron's Rod

The staff which Aaron carried as a token of his office miraculously blossomed as an evidence of his divine choice as high priest.  It was afterwards preserved in the Ark.  (Seen here)  A celebration of these facts forms a part of the Royal Arch degrees.  Num. 17:8  Heb. 9:4

Abif - his father

Why was Hiram, the builder, and ancient Grand Master called "Abif?"  A Hebrew word, signifying "his father."  It is often used in the Scriptures as a title of honor.  It was given to Hiram, the Tyrian builder, probably because of his distinguished skill.  The Scriptures refer to him as the "Widow's Son."  1 Kings 7:14  Also see Hiram Abif.  Illustration of Hiram Abif

Abraham - father of a multitude?

Abraham, earlier known as Abram, the son of Terah of Ur, and whose name was changed to Abraham by God, was the founder of the Hebrew race.  He was noted for his faith, for piety, and for his loyalty to God.  In the degree of the "High Priesthood" significant use is made of the episode in his career in which he paid tithes to Melchizedek.  Gen. 14:17-24  Heb. 7:1-4

Acacia

Acacia is the name given to the wood of the Shittah tree, Shittim in the plural.  It was used in the construction of the Tabernacle and making the sacred furniture.  Ex. Chapters 25 to 28.  This tree is found in different species in various parts of Palestine.  Its wood is very hard, and is esteemed sacred among the Hebrews.  As an evergreen this tree presents an uninterrupted appearance of youth and vigor.  Among Masons it is the symbol of the Immortality of the Soul.  Exo. 25:10  One of the symbols of Israel's promised restoration.  Isa. 41:19  An Illustration of a Sprig of Acacia

Accessories

Accessories played a prominent part in the late 19th and early 20th century costume.  They held the unique position of being useful jewelry, combining beauty and utility.  The useful articles included the memorandum tablet, the lorgnette, the chatelaine, buckles, hatpins, fashionable fans, pocket opera glasses, sash pins, various beaded bags and purses for the women, along with match safes, cigar cases, watches, chains and fobs used by the men.  The chatelaines were equipped with several chains to accommodate the following "necessities:"  Coin purses, vanity cases in the form of lockets for powder puffs and mirrors, silver card cases, a pencil, a place for lip salve, vinaigrettes, a bon bon box for scent pills, and a tiny writing tablet.  These accessories added an intangible expression to the individual.

Accolated

A design on a medallion with two heads facing the same direction and overlapping.  A related term is vis-á-vis.  Synonymous terms are "accolled", cojoined, and jugate.  EXAMPLE

Active Members

An active member is one who maintains his membership in a Masonic Lodge by the payment of his regular dues and who takes part in the work and responsibilities of the Order.  One who fails to do these things may remain a Mason in heart, but deprives himself of the benefits of membership.

Adam - earthborn

In the Biblical record of man's creation and of the name given to him, which denoted that he was derived from the ground, are symbolized in the Entered Apprentice degree as the candidate comes into his first perception of Masonic Light.  Also, in the Twenty-Eighth Degree of the "Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite," the presiding officer of the "Knights of the Sun" is called "Father Adam," symbolic of his investigation of the great truths which concern the interest of the race.

Adjournment

The Worshipful Master is the sole judge with reference to the adjournment (or closing) of a Lodge.

Admonish; Admonition

One of the most exacting duties in the ethics of Freemasonry is that a Mason shall not publicize the faults of a brother Mason, but shall whisper good counsel in his ear.  Particularly is he to admonish an erring brother with reference to the peril of those faults and infirmities which lie within his own heart, and which stifle and crush virtue.  These admonitions are to be given in a Masonic way -- not with self-sufficient pride, not in imperious tones, not in the language of harshness; but with the magic tongue of love, with the language of brotherly affection, and with the persuasive attitude of "mercy unrestrained."  The purpose and manner in which a brother is to be admonished is found in these biblical verses... Rom. 15:4 - Col. 3:16 - 2 Thess. 3:15

Adonai - the Lord

While this proper name is not found in our English Bible, it occurs in several passages in the Hebrew text, and appears to be a special title of the pre-incarnate Son of God.  Adonai is used as a significant word in several of the high degrees of Masonry, alluding to, or symbolic of the True God, or Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  "The Lord said unto my Lord" -- Jehovah said unto my Adonai, or Jesus Christ his Son... Ps. 110:1

Adoniram - high lord

What was the duty of Adoniram at the building of the Temple?  Chief receiver of tribute under David and Solomon.  He was appointed by Solomon to superintend the contribution towards building the temple, as well as the levy of 30,000 Israelites, to work by monthly courses in the forest of Lebanon.   1 Kings 4:6  1 Kings 5:14  A tradition preserved in the "Royal Masters Degree" designates him as the one person whom the three Grand Masters had intended first to receive the communication of certain secret knowledge reserved as a fitting reward to be bestowed upon meritorious craftsmen at the completion of the Temple.  Thus he is referred to as "the first of the Fellow Crafts."

Adoration - reverent honor

Q.  What forms of adoration are practiced in Masonry? 

A.  A fundamental tenet of Freemasonry is that God is supreme, preeminent, and exalted above all creation, and that he alone is to be worshipper.  Throughout all of the degrees and in all of the rituals of Freemasonry God is worshipped in adorations which are expressed in silent and oral prayers and by different reverent positions of the body.  Adoration of God enjoined and exemplified... Ps. 104:1-6  -  Isa. 6:1-3

Adversity - a state of ill-fortune or destitution

Q.  What is the attitude of Freemasonry toward adversity? 

A.  That it should be accepted as a test of character and met with courage and prayer; and that a Mason must always go to the aid of a brother in adversity.  Ps. 119:81-88  -  Heb. 12:5-11  -  Job 30:25  -  Rom. 12:15

Affirmation

Q.  May a candidate be accepted by taking an "affirmation" instead of an oath? 

A. Affirmations instead of oaths are entirely inadmissible in Freemasonry.

Agate  

A fine grained natural gemstone with variegated colors, in stripes, cloudy or moss-like forms.  The most common is the banded or striped agate.  Among the varieties of quartz known as agate, is black onyx often used for cameos and intaglios.  The carnelian or red agate is prized for beads and intaglio seals.  Moss-colored agate or gray-striped agate from Scotland was very popular during Victorian times while Brazilian agates and those mined in India contributed to requirements for mass-produced jewelry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.   EXAMPLE

Age, Lawful

This term is generally used of the age at which a young man becomes a lawful citizen, twenty-one in most states of the Union.  However, this age varies in some countries or may be set aside for special reasons.

Aholiab

A skillful artificer of the Tribe of Dan, who was appointed together with Bezaleel, to construct the tabernacle in the wilderness and the Ark of the Covenant.  Exo. 31:6.

A. I. 

How do Royal Arch Masons compute their year?  The Royal Arch Masons begin their computation with the year in which Zerubbabel began to build the second temple, which was 530 years before Christ.  So that 530 plus 2001 equals 2531 the Masonic year of the Royal Arch.  Ezra. 5:2

Aid of Deity

Q.  Do Masons emphasize the need of Divine aid?

A.  The rituals of Freemasonry from beginning to end, and in all the lectures, teach the need of the Aid of Deity in every enterprise of the Order and in the lives of individual members.  The mysteries and rites of Masonry are founded in the main upon the construction of Solomon's Temple; David in preparing the materials for the building of the Temple and Solomon in its erection relied heavily upon Divine aid.  David prayed for Solomon in anticipation of the building of the Temple... 1 Kings 3:9  - 1 Chr. 29:19  Example of Jacob's prayer... Gen. 32:24-32  Instructions on how to pray... Matt. 6:15-16  Answers to prayers promised... Isa. 65:24

Ajouré

A French term applied to metalwork that is pierced through, perforated or openwork. 

Alarm

An Alarm in Freemasonry means "a notice of the approach of someone desiring admission," given by the tiler by three distinct knocks on the door.  An alarm of a different character given by the tiler signifies the desire for communication with the Lodge for some other reason.

Alaska Silver

Base metal of secret composition.  According to contemporary ads, "Its purpose is to imitate solid silver at a fraction of the cost."  It is subject to damage if left 12 hours or more in acidic foods, fats or grease.  It is also a trade name used on silverplated flatware sold by Sears Roebuck & Co., c. 1908.  In the 1908 catalog was the statement that Alaska Metal was their special formula of composition metal made to imitate solid silver.  Contains no silver.

Alexandria, School of

When Alexander the Great built the city of Alexandria in Egypt, with the intention of making it the seat of his empire, he invited learned men from all nations, who brought with them their peculiar notions.  The Alexandria School of Philosophy which was thus established, by the commingling of Orientalists, Jews, Egyptians, and Greeks, became eclectic in character, and exhibited a heterogeneous mixture of the opinions of the Egyptian priests, of the Jewish Rabbis, of Arabic teachers, and of the disciples of Plato and Pythagoras.  From this school we derive Gnosticism and the Kabbala, and, above all, the system of symbolism and allegory which lay at the foundation of the Masonic philosophy.  To no ancient sect, indeed, except perhaps the Pythagoreans, have the Masonic teachers been so much indebted for the substance of their doctrines, as well as the esoteric method of communicating them, as to that of the School of Alexandria.

Alien Workmen on the Temple

Q.  Did Solomon employ aliens in building the Temple?

A.  Yes. among the laborers were Amalekites, Ammonites, Hittites, Moabites, Philistines, Rehobites, and Syrians as a result of David's conquests of these people... 2 Sam. 5:17-25  -  2 Sam. 8  -  1 Chr. 18

Allegiance

A Freemason owes Masonic allegiance first and foremost to the Lodge in which his membership is held; and second, to the Grand Lodge under which the Lodge is chartered.  Should there be a conflict between the regulations of the Lodge and the supreme body, them allegiance to the supreme body is mandatory.

Alloy

A substance composed of two or more metals intimately united, usually intermixed when molten.

 

All-Seeing Eye

What is the source of this symbol and its meaning?  An important symbol borrowed by the Freemasons from the nations of antiquity.  Among the Egyptians, Osiris, their chief deity was symbolized by an open eye.  "The eyes of Jehovah are in every place," beholding and watching, the evil and the good.  The "All-Seeing Eye" is a symbol of watchfulness and the eye of the Grand Architect.  It is the symbol of his Divine watchfulness and care of the Universe.  The All-Seeing Eye, whom the Sun, Moon, and Stars obey, and under whose watchful care even comets perform their stupendous revolutions, pervades the inmost recesses of the human heart, and will reward us according to our merits. The "Rays" represent "Light".  Freemasons are emphatically called "The Sons of Light" because they are entitled to be in possession of the true meaning and knowledge of this symbol.  It is in fact the first of all symbols presented to the initiate, and continues to be presented to him in various forms throughout his Masonic career.  But as Light not only came from God, it also makes mans way clear before him, so it is employed to signify moral truth.  Prov. 15:8  Psalm 33:18  All-Seeing Eye Illustration

Almond Tree Shall Flourish

Of what, is the Almond Tree a symbol?  The Almond Tree when in full bloom is covered is covered in white blossoms, and is a symbol of man, when the hairs of his head turn grey.  Eccles.  12:5

Almoner

An officer elected or appointed in the continental Lodges of Europe to take charge of the contents of the alms-box, to carry into effect the charitable resolutions of the Lodge, and to visit sick and needy brethren.  In the United States this officer does not exist, his duties being performed by a committee of charity.

Almsgiving - gratuitously relieving the poor

This virtue is intimately interwoven with the whole superstructure of Freemasonry and its practice is inculcated by all the principles of the Order.  The initiate is early instructed in the beauty of charity by the most impressive ceremonies, and the same benevolent designs are repeated as he advances to higher degrees.  No true Mason can live for himself alone; he must live for others who need his assistance.  He must give, expecting nothing in return, without consideration of future advantages, and wholly free of mercenary aims.  Masons accept the Divine injunctions of the Bible for almsgiving... Lev. 25:35  -  1 Cor. 13:2  -  1 Tim 6:17,18  An Illustration of Relief    An Illustration of Charity

A. L.

How do masons compute the Masonic year?  Between the creation of the world, according to sacred chronology, and the advent of Christ, 4000 years intervene; thus A. L. 2001 added to 4000 gives the Masonic year, 6001.  The Masonic era commences with the creation of the world (Anno Mundi), or Masonically expressed, (Anno Lucis), year of light or year of the Lodge.  Genesis 1:1

Alms-Box

A box which, toward the close of the Lodge, is handed around by an appropriate officer for the reception of such donations for general objects of charity as the brethren may feel disposed to bestow.

Alpacca

German silver and nickel silver are synonymous trade names of an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc.

Altar  - place of sacrifice or worship

Of what importance is the Altar to the Lodge?  The Altar is undoubtedly the most important piece of furniture in the Lodge.  In all of the religions of antiquity, it was the usage of the priests and the people, to pass around the Altar in the course of the sun, that is to say, from the east, by way of the south, to the west, singing hymns of praise to Deity as part of their worship.  See ("Great Paschal Hallel,") or hymn of praise, consisting of Psalms (113 to 118).  The most important article of furniture in a Lodge room is the altar, on which rests a copy of the Holy Bible open at an appropriate passage and recognized as the principal light of Masonry.  Before this altar the candidate for the mysteries of Masonry bows in prayer; symbolically, he offers up to God the incense of praise, lays on the altar the passions of his heart, and dedicates to God and to the service of Freemasonry his affections and faculties.  The presence of the altar in the center of the Lodge room serves as a constant reminder of the religious character and purpose of all Masonic rites and ceremonies.  An Illustration of a Masonic Altar

Altered

Deliberately and spuriously changed with the intent to increase the value of an item.

Aluminum

A lightweight, soft, silvery metal.  It was not refined for commercial use until the late 1880s.  It could not be soldered like other metals in the Victorian and Edwardian periods.  EXAMPLE

Amber 

A fossil resin derived from trees that grew millions of years ago; may vary in color from pale yellow to brown.  Can be heated and molded.  Used for decorative purposes, and as a constituent of lacquer on 19th century papier maché.

Amen

What is the significance of the word Amen?  The response to every Masonic prayer is "So mote it be," meaning Amen collectively.  The word in Hebrew signifies verily, truly, certainly.  And is where one person confirms the word of another, and adds his wish for the success of another.  It is a response to prayer.  The Talmudists have many superstitions in respect to this word.  Thus, in one treatise, it is said that whosoever pronounces it with fixed attention and devotion, to him the gates of Paradise will be opened; and, again, whoever enunciates the word rapidly, his days shall pass rapidly away, and whosoever dwells upon it distinctly and slowly, his life shall be prolonged.  Rev. 22:21

Amos

What is the usage of opening the Bible at a proper place?  In this country, most of the Lodges have adopted the usage of opening the Bible at a proper place.  In the second degree the passage adopted is Amos 7:7-8, in which the allusion is evidently to the plumb-line, an important emblem of that degree.  Amos 7:7-8

Amulet

A piece of stone or metal, or other substance, marked with certain figures, to be worn about the person as a protection against danger.  The name as well as the thing, comes from the East.  It is from the Arabic, hamail, a locket--anything hung around the neck.  Among the Turks and some other nations every person thinks an amulet necessary to safety.  Amulets were in vogue among the Greeks, the Egyptians, and Romans.  They were introduced into Christendom by the Basilideans.  The amulets of this sect were stones with the mystic word Abraxas engraved upon them.  They were highly valued by the Jews, and in past times Christians have worn them, having the mark of a fish, a cross, or a symbol of the Savior.  EXAMPLE

Anchor

Q.  Of what, is the Anchor an emblem? 

A.  The hope of glory, or of the fulfillment of all God's promises to our souls, is the golden or precious anchor, by which we must be kept steadfast in the faith, and encouraged to abide in our proper station amidst the storms of temptation, affliction, and persecution.  Heb. 6:19  In the Third Degree of Masonry where the ceremonies and instructions relate largely to life and death, man's journey over the seas of life is symbolized by Noah's Ark, and the hope of immortality and a safe landing in the haven of eternal security is symbolized by the anchor.

Anchor and Ark

Of what, is the Anchor and Ark emblematic?  The Ark and Anchor are emblems of a well grounded hope and a well spent life.  They are emblematical of that Divine Ark which triumphantly bears us over this tempestuous sea of troubles; and that Anchor which shall safely moor us in a peaceful harbor, where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest.  Gen. 7:1  Illustration of Anchor and Ark

Ancient Craft Masonry

The degrees that constitute Ancient Craft Masonry are the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason; and the Supreme Order of the Royal Arch, since this Rite is a compliment of the Third Degree of Blue Lodge Masonry.

Annealing

Reheating of silver or copper to keep it malleable while it is being worked.

Anodized

Objects made of aluminum and certain aluminum alloys that have been treated to protect against abrasion and corrosion by artificially thickening the layer of aluminum oxide on the surface of the object.  To anodize, the object is connected to the positive source (anode) in an electrolytic bath of chromic or sulfuric acid.  When current is applied, oxygen is generated in the bath that thickens the oxide layer.

Annual Communication

Many of the Grand Lodges of the United States hold only one annual meeting; thus reviving the ancient custom of a yearly Grand Assembly.  At these annual communications it is usual for the three principal Lodge officers to receive a per diem allowance for their mileage and traveling expenses.

Annual Proceedings

Every Grand Lodge in the United States publishes a full account of its proceedings at its Annual Communication, to which is also almost always added a list of the subordinate Lodges and their numbers.  Some of these Annual Proceedings extend to a considerable size, and they are all valuable as giving an accurate and official account of the condition of Masonry in each State for the past year.  They also frequently contain valuable reports of various committees.

Anvil

An iron block on which metal is hammered and shaped.

Apocryphal

Classical term for a fake.

Applied / Appliqué

A part made separately to the main object and usually applied by soldering, but may also be applied by means of lugs.  Usually a decorative element.

Apron

There is no one of the symbols of Speculative Masonry more important in its teachings, or more interesting in its history than the lambskin, or white leather apron.  Its lessons commence at an early period in the Mason's progress, and it is impressed upon his memory as the first gift which he receives, the first symbol which is explained to him, and the first tangible evidence which he possesses of his admission into the Fraternity.  The color of a Mason's apron should be pure and unspotted white.  It appears certain that the use of an apron or some equivalent investiture, as a mystic symbol, was common among the ancients,  In ancient Israel the girdle formed a part of the investiture of the priesthood, and for the ordinary priest it was of plain white.  The superior orders of the priesthood were adorned with highly ornamented girdles.  In the mysteries of the Mithras, in Persia, the candidate was invested with a white apron.  The Jewish sect of the Essenes clothed their novices with a white robe.  Like other portions of the Masonic ritual, the ceremony of clothing the newly initiated candidate with a white apron of lambskin belongs within the veil of antiquity.  In the Hebrew religion and in Christianity, even as in many other sects, white has always been an emblem of purity.  The lamb has always been considered as an appropriate emblem of innocence, and hence we are taught, in the ritual of the first degree that "by the lambskin," the Mason is reminded of "that purity of life and rectitude of conduct which is so essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe forever presides."  The apron becomes his personal property as "the badge of a Mason."  As he advances in Masonry he will receive other aprons of varying types, but never one that equals his first one in the emblematic significance and Masonic value.  1 Peter 1:19  EXAMPLE

Arch, Holy Royal

Q.  What is the significance of this title?

A.  Job compares heaven to an arch supported by pillars.  This is, of course, allegorical, even as is the name "Holy Royal Arch" degree in Masonry.  The pillars which support the arch are emblematical of Wisdom and Strength; the former denoting the wisdom of the Supreme Architect, and the latter the stability of the universe.  Job's comparison... Job 26:11

Architecture

Architecture is one of the first occupations in which man employed himself.  The science commenced with miserable huts; the next step was to erect altars on which to offer sacrifices to the gods; regular dwellings followed next in rotation, after which, in rapid succession, came palaces for princes, bridges over the most rapid streams to facilitate communication; pyramids and cathedrals, proudly pointing to the heavens.  Thus we have inherited the title of Mason from one of the most ancient and most honorable occupations of mankind.  The working tools of an operative Mason have become our symbols, because we can find no better or more expressive ones.  No occupation is so widely extended; and so closely connected with others, as that of a Mason; and the various paths by which mankind strive to gain an entrance into the imperishable temple are innumerable.  An Illustration of the Five Orders of Architecture

Archives

What was used as the Archives of the Temple?  Our traditions state that the hollow of the cylinder of the pillars, Boaz and Jachin, was used as the archives of Masonry, and contained the sacred rolls which comprised the history of the Hebrew nation, their civil and religious life, the works of the prophetical and inspired writers, and the complete system of universal science.  1 Kings 7:21

Argentine

An alloy of tin and antimony used as a base for plating; nickel silver; German silver; also "British plate;" known in China as Paktong.

Ark of the Covenant

Q. Who built the Ark of the Covenant and of what was it composed? 

A.  The Ark of the Covenant was a chest originally constructed by Moses at God's command and placed in the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle.  It was constructed of Shittim wood overlaid in gold.  It was richly ornamented and became the receptacle in which were kept the two tables of stone, on which were engraved the ten commandments.  It contained, likewise, a golden pot filled with manna and Aaron's rod that budded.  It was at first deposited in the most sacred place in the tabernacle, and afterwards placed by Solomon in the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Temple.  When the Temple was destroyed by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar, the Ark was carried to Babylon and destroyed.  Exo. 25:10  For for treatment on the Ark of the Covenant see article on the Temple.  EXAMPLE of the Ark  Legends of the degree of "Select Master" in Royal Arch Masonry deal with the loss of the Ark to the Babylonians and sustain the claim that it was never recovered, and that neither the Temple of Zerubbabel or Herod's Temple contained the Ark.

Arithmetic

Is the art of numbering, or that part of the mathematics which considers the properties of numbers in general.  We have but a very imperfect idea of things without quantity, and as imperfect of quantity itself, without the help of Arithmetic.  All of the works of the Almighty are made in number, weight and measure; therefore, to understand them rightly, we ought to understand arithmetical calculations; and the greater advancement we make in the mathematical sciences, the more capable we shall be of considering such things as are the ordinary objects of our conceptions, and be thereby led to a more comprehensive knowledge of our great Creator, and the works of the creation.

Armorial

Relating to heraldic arms or bearing them.  

Art Deco (circa 1925)

A stilted, stylized design, a transition from Art Nouveau which found its influence in the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs (Paris), as well as in the art of Africa, the American Indian, ancient Egypt, Greek and Roman architecture, and proponents of Cubism and Dadism.

Arts, Liberal

The seven liberal arts and sciences are Grammar, Rhetoric, Arithmetic, Logic, Music, Geometry, and Astronomy.  They are beautifully explained in the second, or Fellowcraft's degree and in alphabetical order in this glossary.   Illustration

Art Nouveau

An art style begun in the 1890s, characterized by a graceful, attenuated interpretation of natural forms.  The style contains designs in jewelry which incorporate undulating curves, spirals, and flowing lines, and especially the use of the female form as introduced by Rene Lalique, master of "high" Art Nouveau jewelry.  The influence of Japanese art forms is also most apparent, popularized by the 1876 trade between Japan and the Continent as well as earlier Oriental art and wares exhibits (1854).  Art Nouveau derives its title from Samuel Bing's Paris Shop, Galeries de l'Art Nouveau (1895).  In its various interpretations, it was known as:  AmericaArt Nouveau; EnglandArt Nouveau or Morris Style; France: l'Art Nouveau, Style 1900, or Le Style Moderne; Austria and Czechoslovakia:  Recession, Secession, of Sezession; Belgium:  Les Vinget (Brussels), for the 20 proponents of the "new art," or l'Art Nouveau; Germany (or German-speaking countries): Jugenstil, after the magazine, Jugend, meaning "youth" or "new born."  (In Germany, sometimes Lilien Stil); Holland:  Stijl; Italy:  Stile Liberty, after London's Liberty & Co., the Regent Street department store, featuring "modern" merchandise; Spain: Arte Joven, meaning "young art."  EXAMPLE

Asher - fortunate, happy

What was the symbolism of the tribe of Asher?  Eighth son of Jacob, and the ninth point of the ancient English lectures of the original points that formed the basis of the system of Speculative Science, in allusion to the twelve tribes of Israel.  Intrusting the candidate with the mysteries, was symbolized by the tribe of Asher, as it was said that he was an inheritor of richness and royal dainties.   Gen. 49:20  Benedictions promised to the tribe of Asher... Deut. 33:24,25

Ashlar

"Freestone as it comes out of the quarry."  In Speculative Masonry we adopt the ashlar in two different states, as symbols in the Apprentice's degree.  The Rough Ashlar, or stone in its rude and unpolished condition, is emblematic of man in his natural state--ignorant, uncultivated and vicious.  But when education has exerted its wholesome influence in expanding his intellect, restraining his passions, and purifying his life, he then is represented by the Perfect Ashlar, which, under the skillful hands of the workmen, has been smoothed, and squared, and fitted for its place in the building.  

Ask, Seek, Knock

In referring to the passage of Matthew vii. 7, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you," Dr. Clarke says: "These three words--ask, seek, knock--include the ideas of want, loss, and earnestness."  The application made to the passage theologically is equally appropriate to it in a Masonic Lodge.  You ask for acceptance, you seek for light, you knock for initiation, which includes the other two.  Matt. 7:7

Aspirant

One who eagerly seeks to know or to obtain something.  It is applied to one about to be initiated into Masonry.  There seems, however, to be a shade of difference in meaning between the words candidate and aspirant.   The candidate is one who asks for admission; so called from the Lat. candidatus "clothed in white," because candidates for office at Rome wore a white dress.  The aspirant is one already elected and in the process of initiation, and coming from aspiro, to seek eagerly, refers to the earnestness with which he prosecutes his search for light and truth.

Assay

The test made to prove that the metal (usually silver or gold) is of the required quality.

Astronomy

Is that sublime science which inspires the contemplative mind to soar aloft, and read the wisdom, strength, and beauty of the great Creator in the heavens.  How nobly eloquent of the Deity is the celestial hemisphere!--spangled with the most magnificent heralds of his infinite glory!  They speak to the whole universe; for there is no speech so barbarous, but their language is understood; nor nation so distant, but their voices are heard among them.  The heavens proclaim the glory of God; The firmament declareth the works of his hands.  Assisted by Astronomy, we ascertain the laws which govern the heavenly bodies, and by which their motions are directed; investigate the power by which they circulate in their orbs, discover their size, determine their distance, explain their various phenomena, and correct the fallacy of the senses by the light of truth.

Atheist

An atheist is one who does not believe in the existence of God, who rejects the Bible as a Divinely inspired revelation, and who denies the physical, moral, and spiritual evidences of a Creator endowed with supreme power, omniscience, justice, and love which fill the universe.  A belief in God is one of the Landmarks of the Masonic Order.  Psalms 14:1 -  Job 34:9 -  Psalms 10:5-11 -  Psalms 53:1 -  Prov. 24:7

Attribute

An object that is associated with a historical or mythological figure or of a deity.  For example, the attributes of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, include the dolphin, the horse, and the trident.

Attribution

The identification of an item from a standard reference or by various characteristics such as issuing authority, date or period, manufacturer, inscription, or metal content.

Audi, Vide, Tace

These words often form the motto found on Masonic medals and documents; they mean, Hear, See, Be Silent.

Authentication

Authoritative determination of the genuineness of an item.

Automata

An object with mechanically operated parts.

Aventurine

Copper particles in glass producing the effect of sprinkled gold dust. Also a variety of quartz.

Avouchment

The regulations by which avouchments are to be governed appear to be three:  (1)  A Mason may vouch for another, if he has sat in Lodge with him.  (2) He may vouch for him if he has subjected him to a skillful private examination.  (3)  He may also vouch for him if he has received positive information of his Masonic character from a competent and reliable Brother.  Of these three, the first is the safest, and the last the most dangerous.  It is essential that the voucher should be a skillful Mason, for it is better to subject the visitor to a formal examination, than to take the avouchment of an unknowing Brother, though he may declare that he has sat in Lodge with the person desirous of being admitted.

Award Certificate

A document that accompanies an award and certifies its issue.  Award certificates have the original or facsimile signature of the authorizing official or official and often their seal of office.  Typically, award certificates are embellished documents adorned with such elements as decorative lettering, a representation of the badge of the award, and the national or Masonic coat of arms.  Synonymous terms are award document, bestowal document, brevet, and diploma.

Axe

In the construction of King Solomon's Temple, every piece of timber, stone, or metal, was brought ready cut, framed, and polished, to Jerusalem; so that no other tools were wanted or heard than were necessary to join the several parts together.  All the noise of axe, hammer, and saw was confined to Lebanon, the quarries and the plains of Zeredatha, that nothing might be heard among the Masons of Zion save harmony and peace.

Azure

Sky-blue.  The appropriate color of the symbolic Lodge.  A favorite color in heraldry; employed in blazonry.

 

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