the glossary by clicking on any of the letters below.
A | B |
C | D |
E | F |
G | H |
I | J |
K | L |
O | P |
Q | R |
S | T |
U | V | W
| X | Y | Z
Alphabetically Arranged with
Cyclopedic Meanings and Bible References
A gem or bead
cut in convex form and highly polished, but not faceted.
Tow is a rope or line for drawing or leading. Gaedicke says
that, "according to the ancient laws of Freemasonry, every brother must
attend his Lodge if he is within the length of his cable tow." The
old writers define the length of a cable tow, which they sometimes called,
"a cable's length," to be three miles for an Entered
Apprentice. But the expression is really symbolic and, as it was defined
by the Baltimore Convention in 1842, means the scope of a man's reasonable
ability. Hos. 11:4
Q. What did Hiram
King of Tyre receive for his part in the building of the Temple?
country in Galilee given to Hiram King of Tyre, by Solomon, as a reward for
his assistance in building the temple. The history of this event is
given in the degree of Intimate Secretary of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish
Rite. The reward was twenty cities, and when Hiram King of Tyre came out
of Tyre to see these cities that Solomon had given him; And he said what
cities (are) these which thou has given me, my brother? And he called
them the land of Cabul (meaning displeasing) even unto this day. This
legend is the subject of the degree of Intimate Secretary in the Scottish
Q. How does the old
Hebrew covenants parallel the penalties of today?
A. Recorded in Genesis
and the book of Jeremiah is the calf used in the old Hebrew covenants,
performing certain ceremonies of cutting an animal a certain way, and dividing
it in the midst, and walking between the parts thereof as the covenant is
formed. This dividing an animal was not confined to the Hebrews but
borrowed from them by all the heathen nations. Gen. 15:9-11 Jere.
Call From Labor to Refreshment
expediency requires the suspension of the work of the Lodge in the Master's
Degree for some special reason, the Worshipful Master may close the Lodge
without the usual formal closing ceremonies, and in so doing this phrase is
This is the
Latin name for the place where Jesus's crucifixion took place, called in the
Hebrew Golgotha, meaning a "skull." It is a small hill or
eminence, situated due west from Mt. Moriah, on which the Temple of Solomon
was built. This small hill is identified with certain events referred to
in the Third Degree. The fact that Mount Calvary is situated in a
westward direction from the Temple, and near Mt. Moriah; that it is
on the direct road from Jerusalem to Joppa; that it is outside the
gate of the Temple, lend importance to Masonic legends. The cleft,
or cave, in the rock forming this hill in which subsequently the burial
of the body of Jesus was made also identifies Calvary with the spot where the
weary traveler sat down to rest; and the resurrection of Jesus from
this cave-sepulcher is most strikingly represented in Masonry. Other
interesting traditions relating to Mt. Calvary are preserved in Freemasonry.
One is that it was the burial place of Adam, and that the place where he who
brought ruin and death upon mankind was buried afterwards became the place
where the Saviour of mankind died, was buried, and rose again. Another
tradition relates the erection of a nine-arched vault by Enoch beneath the
bowels of Mt. Calvary and that deposited on the foundation-stone was the
Ineffable Name which is the symbol of Divine Truth in speculative Masonry.
Luke 23:33,50-53 - Matt. 27:33,57-60 - Mark 15:22,42-42
- John 19:17,18
similar to a cameo of those specially manufactured numismatic specimens,
usually coinage, that have a frosted design and lettering against a brilliant,
mirror-like field. The cameo effect is characteristic of a frosted
- See article on Tabernacle and Temple.
this term, whether qualified with the words "celestial" or "cloudy," refers to
the expanse of the heavens. The term symbolizes the universal sphere of
Freemasonry; it has its seat in every clime under the heavens. It also
teaches how widely extensive is the sphere of usefulness for a Mason.
- See Babylonian Captivity
principal constituent of natural rubber. (From the French word for India
(English) or Karat (American)
unit of weight for gems, or a measure for gold tabled at 1/24th part of pure
gold in an alloy. The term "Carat" is a symbol for unit
weight of gems and gemstones (ct.) 1 ct. diamond = 1 ct. The symbol
"K" used for gold: 24K = 18 parts gold to six parts alloy and
so forth down the scale. Carat marks began about 1890. European
carat marks were 9, 15, or 18. American jewelry was primarily 14 karat,
but American and Canadian used 12K and 18K also. 10 carat gold was used
for less expensive pieces and for the earlier Victorian pieces which were made
before stringent hallmarking was in effect.
A small black
spot on the metallic surface of a numismatic item that has been formed by the
chemical reaction of organic material, such as a skin, wood, or food particle,
with the surface of the item. Another way carbon spots are thought to
occur is when organic particles settle on the metallic surface prior to
"annealing", a process that softens the metal by heat. After annealing,
the particles would be reduced to a cinder.
An open design
that resembles filigree, but not as fine and delicate. Flat sections of very
thin metal, cut out to a simple pattern such as foliage, and soldered on to
the surface of the object to be decorated.
cardinal virtues are Fortitude, by which we are taught to resist temptation;
Prudence, by which we are instructed to regulate our conduct by the dictates
of reason; Temperance, by which we learn to govern the passions; Justice,
which constitutes the cement of civil society. EXAMPLE
recognizes the fact that man has certain fleshly or carnal appetites which are
natural to humanity, and encourages their satisfaction in a temperate measure
and through legitimate channels. Yet Freemasonry teaches moderation,
self-control, temperateness, regularity, and lawfulness in all carnal
requirements and relations. Gen. 2:19,25 -
Gen. 3:19 - Gen. 4:1 - Prov. 23:1,2 - Rom. 8:5,6
An agate stone,
usually blood-red color, but some stones may vary from yellow to brown.
Also called Sardonyx.
A kind of map,
on which are pictured the emblems illustrative of the several degrees of
Freemasonry, and by reference to which neophytes are instructed. They
were formally traced upon the floor, hence the term carpet. EXAMPLE
or ornate framing device usually encircling a coat of arms, personal initials,
or one of the elements of the English hallmark system.
provided by the issuing authority for the storage and transportation of jewels
and badges. The case is meant to compliment the jewel and accompanies it
during presentation. A typical case is attractive and well constructed
and consists of a lid hinged to a bottom compartment, a button type tension
catch to open and close the lid, and interior satin lining. The exterior
of the case has a covering of Leatherette or some other texture, and the top
of the lid is often stamped with the name of the maufacturer. A
synonymous term is presentation case.
glass or plastics, formed in a mold by pouring in a molten state.
Brass / Cast Iron
A hard but
brittle metal, easily broken when using rivets. Iron or brass is melted
in a furnace and run off into a crucible which is transported to the mold and
the molten metal poured in. The molds are prepared in advance, with the
smaller objects to be cast made by placing a wooden pattern on a board inside
one half of a steel box, which is filled with sand. The steel box is inverted
and another half box placed on top and more sand added. The box halves
are separated, the pattern is removed, and runners are cut out to take the
molten metal. The box halves are then rejoined and a pouring cup placed
on top, ready to receive the molten metal. Also see Lost
From time immemorial the timbers of the cedar tree have been considered of
unusual value because they never decay not rot. The cedar tree was in
ancient times a symbol of eternity, and the cedar wood was sacred among the
Hebrews. The Ark of the Covenant for the Tabernacle was made of cedar.
For these reasons King Solomon used exclusively cedar timbers in the building
of the Temple. Since the most excellent cedar forests of the world have
always existed in Mt. Lebanon, Solomon formed an alliance with Hiram, king of
Tyre, and secured from these forests the necessary timbers for building the
Solomon sent to Hiram King of Tyre saying, now therefore command thou that
they hew me cedar trees out of the Forest of Lebanon, so Hiram gave Solomon
cedar trees and fir trees according to all his desire.
1 Kings 5:2-10 - Ps. 92:12 -
1 Kings 5:2-10 - Ezra 3:7
Illustration of the Forest of
nitrate with additives to create various colors to simulate other materials
such as ivory, shell and horn; French ivory (commonly used for dresser sets
and similar products) was just another name for celluloid simulating ivory.
Also transparent sheets. Early forms were highly inflammable. Known under
several trade names. The most common use of celluloid was for the covers of
matchsafes. One of the specialties of The Whitehead & Hoag Co. of
Newark, New Jersey was celluloid advertising items; they held a patent for a
method of printing on pyroxylin (celluloid), granted on June 6, 1905, but
applied for on May 25, 1900. EXAMPLE
is the mystic tie of Fraternalism? The symbolic tie that binds men
together, the cement of brotherly love. The Lodge is strongly cemented
with love and friendship, and every brother is duly taught secrecy and
prudence, morality and good fellowship.
1 Thes. 4:9
The art of
making objects of clay and similar materials treated by firing. All forms of
pottery, glazed and unglazed.
This is the
formation of the Brethren in a circle, holding each other by the hands.
Each brother crosses his arms in front of his body, giving his right hand to
his left hand neighbor and his left hand to his right hand neighbor. It
is a symbol of the close connection of all Masons in a common brotherhood, and
is usually practiced around the grave in Masonic Burials.
A cup used in
religious rites. It forms a part of the furniture of a Commandery of
Knights Templar, and some of the higher degrees of the French and Scottish
Rites. It should be made either of silver or gilt metal. The stem
of the chalice should be about four inches high and the diameter from three to
Charcoal, and Clay
By these three
substances are beautifully symbolized the three qualifications for the
servitude of an Entered Apprentice--freedom, fervency, and zeal. Chalk
is the freest of all substances, because the slightest touch leaves a trace
behind. Charcoal, the most fervent, because to it, when ignited, the
most obdurate metals yield; and clay, the most zealous, because it is
constantly employed in man's service, and is constantly reminding us that from
it we all came, and to it we must all return. In the earlier lectures of
the last century, the symbols, with the same interpretation, were given as
"Chalk, Charcoal, and Earthen Pan."
An Illustration of Chalk,
Charcoal, and Clay
cutting troughs in the metal into which the melted enamel is poured. After
firing, the surface is ground flush and polished.
A confused and
shapeless mass, such as is supposed to have existed before God reduced
creation into order. It is a Masonic symbol of the ignorance and
intellectual darkness from which man is rescued by the light and truth of
Masonry. Hence, ordo ab chao, or, "order out of chaos,"
is one of the mottoes of the Institution.
cocked hat worn in the United States bodies by Knights Templar. The
regulations of the Grand Encampment of the United States, in 1862, prescribe
that it shall be "the military chapeau, trimmed with black
binding, one white and two black ostrich plumes, and appropriate cross on the
left side." EXAMPLE
This term refers to the uppermost
part of a column, pillar, or pilaster, forming the head or crown and placed
immediately over the shaft and under the entablature. Because of the
highly ornamented and peculiarly constructed chapiters of the two pillars
which stood in the porch of King Solomon's Temple, they are largely referred
to and explained in the Fellow-Craft's Degree.
See Pillars of the Porch Ex. 38:17,19 - 1 Kings 7:16
So called from the
"Old Charges," because, like them, it contains an epitome of
duty. It is the admonition which is given by the presiding officer, at
the close of the ceremony of initiation, to the candidate, and which the
latter receives standing, as a token of respect. There is a charge for
each degree, which is to be found in all of the monitors and manuals from
- Inward and outward acts of
speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become
as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of
prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge; and though I have
all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am
nothing." 1 Corth. 13:1,2. Such was the language of an
eminent apostle of the Christian church, and such is the sentiment that
constitutes the cementing bond of Freemasonry. The apostle, in comparing
it with faith and hope, calls it the greatest of the three, and hence in
Masonry it is made the topmost round of its mystic ladder. We must not
fall into the too common error that charity is only the sentiment of
commiseration which leads us to assist the poor with pecuniary
donations. Its Masonic, as well as Christian application is more noble
and more extensive. The word used by the apostle is, in the original, love,
a word denoting that kindly state of mind which renders a person full of
good-will and affectionate regard toward others. John Wesley expressed
his regret that the Greek had not been correctly translated as love instead of
charity, so that the apostolic triad of virtues would have been, not
"faith, hope, and charity," but "faith, hope, and
love." Then would we have understood the comparison by St. Paul,
when he said,, "Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though
I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me
nothing." Guided by this sentiment, the true Mason will
"suffer long and be kind." He will be slow to anger and easy
to forgive. He will stay his falling brother by gentle admonition, and
warn him with kindness of approaching danger. He will not open his ear
to his slanderers, and will close his lips against all reproach. His
faults and his follies will be locked in his breast, and the prayer for mercy
will ascend to Jehovah for his brother's sins. Nor will these sentiments
of benevolence be confined to those who are bound to him by ties of kindred or
worldly friendship alone; but, extending them throughout the globe, he will
love and cherish all who sit beneath the broad canopy of our universal
Lodge. For it is the boast of our Institution, that a Mason, destitute
and worthy, may find in every clime a brother, and in every land a home.
1 Cor. 8:1 - 1 Cor. 13:1-13 - 2 Tim. 2:22
a document issued by a Grand Lodge, or Chapter, or other grand body, to a
certain number of members, empowering them to organize a Lodge or Chapter,
etc., and confer degrees. A Lodge can never be opened for labor unless
the Charter is present; and it is the right of every visiting brother to see
it before he enters the Lodge.
A method of
producing ornamental designs on sheet metal using steel tools or punches to
raise or indent the surface; done by hand.
- purity in sex relations
immemorial one of the chief characteristics of Freemasonry has been its
uncompromising demands for adherence to the seventh and tenth Commandments as
applied to personal purity. In a peculiar devotion Masonry stands for
the protection of the chastity of womanhood, as every Mason knows from the
sacred obligations he assumed in this particular issue of morals.
Gen. 39:7-20 - Job 31:1 - Deut. 5:18.21 -
1 Cor. 7:1-9
expression for the act of acquiring only the most desirable items from a
collection or dealer's stock, especially when the true value of the items is
not known by the owner.
known as the Cherubim were made and placed on the Mercy Seat which covered the
Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle erected by Moses. As to the exact
form of the Cherubim we have no information, but there were two wings which
extended over the Mercy Seat, quite evidently symbolic of the protecting and
overshadowing power of Deity. In this sense reference is made to the
extended wings of the Cherubim in the degree of Royal Master.
Ex. 25:18,20 - 1 Kings 8:7 - Heb. 9:5
A French term,
used to describe Western decorative motifs considered, or supposed, to be
typical of or related to Chinese arts.
letter X (chi) transposed over the letter P (rho). The Chi_rho monogam
was a popular emblem from early Christianity for the name of Christ and is
thought to have derived from the contraction of chi and rho into Chr, the
first three letters in Christ. Also known as the Labarum (standard) of
Constantine because of the prominence of the monogram on the standard.
The chisel in the
American Rite is one of the working tools of a Mark Master, and symbolizes the
effects of education on the human mind. For as the artist, by the
aid of his instrument, gives form and regularity to the shapeless mass of
stone, so education, by cultivating the ideas and by polishing the rude
thoughts, transforms the ignorant savage into the civilized being. In
the English ceremonies, the chisel is one of the working tools of the Entered
Apprentice and has the same reference to the advantages of education.
Preston (Illustrations of Masonry, 1812, page 86) thus elaborates its
symbolism as one of the implements of Freemasonry: "The chisel
demonstrates the advantages of discipline and education. The mind, like
the diamond in its original state, is unpolished; but as the effects of the
chisel on the external coat soon present to view the latent beauties of the
diamond, so education discovers the latent virtues of the mind and draws them
forth to range the large field of matter and space, in order to display
the summit of human knowledge, our duty to God and man." EXAMPLE
steel-gray metal plating that takes a high polish. It is brittle and hard,
earliest recorded cigar cutter was probably made in Britain, but in the United
States there were dozens of patents for such devices in a wide range of
A monogram of letters intertwined.
and religious cult requires the spirit and practice of watchfulness, but with
a Mason it becomes a positive duty, and the neglect of it becomes a heinous
crime. With reference to the mysteries of Masonry the instructions are:
"You shall be cautious in your words and carriage, that the most penetrating
stranger shall not be able to discover or find out what is not proper to be
imitated ; and sometimes you shall divert a discourse and manage it prudently
for the honor of the Worshipful Fraternity." No man who has passed
through the Entered Apprentice Degree can ever forget the experience in which
this warning was illustrated. Ex. 23:13 -
institution, except the church, has contributed more to good citizenship than
Freemasonry. The Ritual of all the degrees, the ethical instructions
given, and all the fundamental principles of the Order are inducive to the
highest ideals of civilization. Democratic principles, good government,
civic liberty, freedom of conscience, individual rights and responsibilities
in civic affairs are championed by Masons. Loyalty to one's government,
faithfulness in all the duties of citizenship, and active support of public
institutions are required of all Masons. Neh. 2:3
- Prov. 14:34 - Prov. 29:4,14 - Rom. 13:1,6 - 1 Pet. 2:13
or badge consisting of a core, usually a base metal such as copper, and a
surface layer of a more valuable metal such as silver. Cladding is used
to achieve a desired appearance at less cost.
The clay used in
casting the pillars of Boaz and Jachin had a peculiar characteristic, and is only found in the
plains of Jordan between Succoth and Zeredatha, about 35 miles from Jerusalem.
The pillars and sacred vessels of the Temple were cast there by Hiram Abif.
The clay in this area is of unusual tenacity and is peculiarly fitted for
making molds; it is used to this day by the jewelers of Jerusalem in making
moulds for casting small articles of brass and other similar purposes.
It is said to be the best matrix-clay in Palestine.
1 Kings 7:46 - 2 Chr. 4:17
religion of the Hebrews, even as in the religion of all the ancients, "clean
hands" are a symbol of purity. Washing of the hands was a requirement
before entering into any form of religious service, and was sometimes done as
a symbol of innocence. Such is the symbolic significance of the
injunction in ancient Masonry: "Cleanse your feet, wash your hand, and
then enter." The white gloves worn by Masons as a part of their clothing
alludes to this symbolizing of clean hands.
Job 17:9 - Ps. 24:3-6 - 1 Tim. 2:8
The word is
twice used in Masonry, and in each time in an opposite sense. In the
Ritual of Masonry it means to separate, a meaning now obsolete, and
used technically. As used in the Past Master's Degrees, the meaning is
adhere. With the meaning of cleft asunder...
Num. 16:31 With the meaning of to
adhere... Ps. 137:6
Clefts of the Rocks
The whole of
Palestine is very mountainous, and these mountains abound in caves, caverns,
and deep clefts, which were anciently used as places of refuge and as dens for
robbers. Hence the concealment of certain persons in the cleft of the
rocks in the Third Degree of Masonry.
Isa. 2:19,21 - Jer. 49:16
Clods of the Valley
these words are to signify the sweetness of rest for the dead in the Lord.
Rev. 14:13 - Job
melting the enamel into areas defined by wire soldered to the surface to be
Closing a Lodge
by motion is unknown in a Masonic Lodge; the ceremony for closing is solemn
and imperative; it must never be omitted, performed in a hurried or careless
manner, nor abbreviated. The Worshipful Master alone can dismiss the
Brethren, and only in conformity to established usage. See Call from
Labor to Refreshment.
Mason is said to be properly clothed when he wears white leather gloves, a
white apron, and the jewel of his Masonic rank. The gloves are now
often, but improperly, dispensed with, except on public occasions.
"No mason is permitted to enter a Lodge or join in its labors unless he
is properly clothed."
"death to the old life"; this death is necessary before one can take part in
the mysteries of Freemasonry and enter upon its duties. Like the
"Phoenix," the resurrection to a new life is inferred. The
"Coffin" containing the remains of a deceased friend and Brother
reminds Masons that we are the custodians of a great heritage passed along to
us in the story of the "Hiramic Legend".
1830, Coin, Pure Coin, Dollar, Standard, Premium or C or D were used to
fine silver, with 100/1000 of copper.
Masonic colors, like those used in the Jewish tabernacle, are intended to
represent the four elements. The white typifies the earth, the sea is
represented by the purple, the sky-blue is an emblem of the air, and the
crimson of fire.
are employed to signify the
supports of a Lodge; the columns of Wisdom,
Strength, and Beauty.
Commemorative Metal or Piece
issued to observe or honor an event, place, or person or to preserve its
memory. Commemorative pieces include medallions, glassware and any other
item to celebrate a cornerstone laying, anniversary, conclave or an
historically important visit.
fine or higher.
Gavel" is an instrument made use of by operative Masons to break off the
corners of rough stones, the better to fit them for the builder's use, but we
as Free and Accepted Masons, are taught to use it for the more noble and
glorious purpose of divesting our hearts and consciences of the vices and
superfluities of life, thereby fitting our minds as living stones for that
spiritual building - that house not made with hands - eternal in the heavens.
The meeting of a
Lodge is so called. There is a peculiar significance in this term.
"To communicate," which, in the Old English form, was "to
common," originally meant to share in common with others. The great
sacrament of the Christian church, which denotes a participation in the
mysteries of the religion and a fellowship in the church, is called a
"communion," which is fundamentally the same as a
"communication," for he who partakes of the communion is said
"to communicate." Hence, the meetings of Masonic Lodges are
called communications, to signify that it is not simply the ordinary
meeting of a society for the transaction of business, but that such meeting is
the fellowship of men engaged in a common pursuit, and governed by a common
principle, and that there is therein a communication or participation of those
feelings and elements that constitute a true brotherhood. The
communications of Lodges are regular or stated and special or emergent.
Regular communications are held under the provision of the by-laws, but
special communications are called by order of the Master. It is a
regulation that no special communication can alter, amend, or rescind the
proceedings of a regular communication.
As in Operative
Freemasonry, the compasses are used for the admeasurements of the
architect's plans, and to enable him to give those just proportions which will
ensure beauty as well as stability to his work; so, in Speculative
Freemasonry, is this important implement symbolic of that even tenor of
deportment, that true standard of rectitude which alone can bestow happiness
here and felicity hereafter. Hence are the compasses the most prominent
emblem of virtue, the true and only measure of a Freemason's life and conduct.
As the Bible gives us Light on our duties to God, and the square
illustrates our duties to our neighborhood and Brother, so the compasses
give that additional light which is to instruct us in the duty we owe
to ourselves--the great, imperative duty of circumscribing our passions, and
keeping our desires within due bounds. "It is ordained," says
the philosophic Burke, "in the eternal constitution of things, that men
of intemperate passions cannot be free; their passions forge their
fetters." Those Brethren who delight to trace our emblems to
an astronomical origin, find in the compasses a symbol of the sun,
the circular pivot representing the body of the luminary, and the diverging
legs his rays. In the earliest rituals of the eighteenth century, the compasses
are described as a part of the furniture of the Lodge, and are said to belong
to the Master. Some change will be found in this respect in the ritual
of the present day. The word is sometimes spelled and pronounced compass,
which is more usually applied to the magnetic needle and circular dial or card
of the mariner from which he directs his course over the seas, or the similar
guide of the airman when seeking his destination across unknown territory.
The state of preservation of an
item. The condition of a particular item is usually indicated following
one of several grading scales, such as Mint, Extremely Fine, Very Fine, Fine,
Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor, that were originally established to provide
standards for various states of preservation. To overcome the various
difficulties in grading an item, the designated grade is frequently qualified
by a short statement summarizing the item's defects or favorable aspects.
When the item includes enamels or gemstones, the grade should be qualified if
there is any damage to the enamels or any missing gemstones. If there
are no major defects, a single word is often used to qualify the overall
grade, such as "about" as in "about extra fine". Other qualifying terms
include "almost", "brilliant", "choice", and "near". Condition assumes
more importance when the item is readily available in the collector's market,
but condition is of less importance when the item is rare or of historical
Corn, Wine and Oil
are the materials used by Masons for consecrating purposes. Corn is the
symbol of nourishment; wine is the symbol of refreshment, and oil is the
symbol of joy. They are also emblematic of peace, health, and
plenty. The ceremony of consecrating religious edifices to the sacred
purposes for which they are intended, by mystic rites, has been transmitted to
us from the remotest antiquity. "History," says Dudley,
"both ancient and modern, tells us that extraordinary rites, called rites
of consecration or dedication, have been performed by people of all ages and
nations, on the occasion of the first application of altars and temples, or
places, to religious uses." Thus, Moses consecrated the tabernacle,
Solomon the first Temple, and the returned exiles from Babylon the
second. Among the Pagans, ceremonies of the most magnificent
nature were often used in setting apart their gorgeous temples to the purpose
of worship. A Masonic Lodge is, in imitation of these ancient examples,
consecrated with mystic ceremonies to the sacred purposes for which it had
Contention Among Brethren
Masonry recognizes the right of
differences of opinion and freedoms of individual thinking and action on
matters where no fundamental principles of the Order are involved; but
friction, partyism, schisms, and dissentions in the brotherhood are forbidden.
One of the main sources of strength in Freemasonry is unity, solidarity, and
conformity in ritual and fraternalism. Here are the Biblical warnings
against friction and contention in fraternal relations, and directions for
preventing and correcting these evils. Matt.
5:23,24 - Mark 3:24,25 - 1 Cor. 3:3,4 - 1 Cor. 12:14-26 - Jas.
On June 27, 1975 a new international agreement,
the Convention and Marking of Articles of Precious
Metals came into force. The signatories to date are Austria,
Britain, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland.
There are four marks, as follows:
a common control mark,
a standard of fineness mark,
an assay office mark, and
the sponsor (or maker's) mark.
A metallic element having a reddish brown
color, used as an electrical conductor and in the manufacture of alloys.
Its element symbol: Cu
What coed was used by the Masons during the
middle ages? The threefold cord was very much cherished by the Comocine
Masters during the middle ages, as well as the Companions of the Royal Arch of
today. Eccles. 4:12
The corner stone is the stone
that lies at the corner of two walls, and forms the corner of the foundation
of an edifice. In Masonic buildings it is now always placed in the
northeast; but this rule was not always formally observed. The symbolism
of the corner stone when duly laid with Masonic rites is full of significance,
which refers to its form, to its situation, to its permanence,
and to its consecration. As to form, it must be perfectly square
on its surfaces, and its solid contents a cube. The square is a symbol
of Morality, and the cube of Truth. The situation at the corner of the
north and east, the north representing darkness and the east representing
light, presents the symbol of Masonic progress from darkness to light, and
from ignorance to knowledge. The Corner-stone is supposed to be of a
more permanent and durable quality than any other part of the building,
lasting beyond the decay and ruin of the building, and therefore reminding the
Mason that when his earthly Tabernacle of his shall have pass away, he has
within him a sure foundation of eternal life, a corner-stone of immortality
emanating from the Divine Spirit, and which will survive the tomb, returning
to his Creator and God, above the decaying dust of immortality and the grave.
The proper setting of the stone by the implements of Operative Masonry -- the
square, the level, and the plumb -- reminds the Mason that his virtues must be
tested by temptation and trial, by suffering and adversity, and he must be
declared to be "well formed, true, trusty" by the Master Builder before he can
become "a living stone for that house not made with hands, eternal in the
heavens." In Masonic symbolism, it signifies a true Mason, and therefore
it is the first character which the Apprentice is made to represent after his
initiation has been completed.
or Horn of Plenty
The old Pagan myth
tells us that Zues was nourished during his infancy in Crete by the daughters
of Melissus, with the milk of the goat Amalthea. Zues, when he came to
the empire of the world, in gratitude placed Amalthea in the Heavens as a
constellation, and gave one of her horns to his nurses, with the assurance
that it should furnish them with a never-failing supply of whatever they might
desire. Hence it is a symbol of abundance, and as such has been adopted
as the jewel of the Stewards of the Lodge, to remind them that it is their
duty to see that the tables are properly furnished at refreshment, and that
every Brother is suitably served. Among the deities whose images are to
be found in the ancient Temples at Elora, in Hindustan, is the goddess Ana
Purna, whose name is compounded of Ana, signifying corn, and
Purna meaning plenty. She holds a corn measure in her
hand, and the whole therefore very clearly has the same allusion as the
Masonic Horn of Plenty. In the Masonic system
it is the symbol of joy, peace and plenty. It is the official jewel of
the Stewards of the Lodge. EXAMPLE
Wine & Oil
corn, wine and
oil in Operative Masonry were the wages a Fellow-Craft was paid for the
performance of his duties. In Masonic rites they are elements of
consecration of the Lodge, and in other forms of consecration rites.
Corn, the emblem of food, reminds the Mason that he is to be nourished by the
hidden Manna of Righteousness; wine, the emblem of refreshment, reminds him
that he is to be refreshed with the word of the Lord; oil, the emblem of
Divine anointing, reminds him that he is to rejoice with joy unspeakable in
the riches of Divine grace. The carrying of Corn, Wine and Oil in a
procession reminds a Mason that in the pilgrimage of life he is to give bread
to the hungry, cheer to the sorrowful, and consolation to the sick and
afflicted. In Speculative Freemasonry, the ritual explains Corn, Wine and Oil
to wit: "It is emblematical
of nourishment, refreshment, and joy and teaches Masons this important
lesson... That we should be ever-ready to nourish the needy, refresh the
destitute, and pour the oil of joy in the hearts of the afflicted." EXAMPLE
A disease of metals, usually caused by exposure
to air heavily laden with water, or to high relative humidity. Different
metals have distinctive appearances when corroded. Rust in iron, steel
or tin plate is usually a reddish color. Brass and bronze will darken
and ultimately turn green, at which point it becomes known as verdigris.
Aluminum will develop white crystals on the surface. Silver turns black,
to become tarnished, usually the result of sulphur-containing compounds in the
air. If allowed to flourish, these forms of corrosion may destroy the
surface finish of an object. For remedial action, a professional
conservator should be consulted.
In several of the high degrees of Masonry the
meetings are styled Councils; as, a Council of Royal and Select Masters, or
Princes of Jerusalem, or Companions of the Red Cross.
A part of the room in which the ceremonies of
the Companions of the Red Cross are performed.
Council of Companions of the
A body in which the First Degree of the Templar
system in this country is conferred. It is held under the Charter of a
Commandery of Knights Templar, which, when meeting as a council, is composed
of the following Officers: A Sovereign Master, Chancellor, Master of the
Palace, Prelate, Master of Dispatches, Master of Calvary, Master of Infantry,
Standard-Bearer, Sword-Bearer, Warder, and Sentinel.
Council of Royal and Select
The united body in which the Royal and Select
degrees are conferred. In some jurisdictions this Council confers also
the degree of Super-Excellent Master.
Council of Royal Masters
The body in which the degree of Royal Master,
the eighth in the American Rite, is conferred. It receives its Charter
from a Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters, and has the following
officers: Thrice Illustrious Grand Master, Illustrious Hiram of Tyre,
Principal Conductor of the Works, Master of the Exchequer, Master of Finances,
Captain of the Guards, Conductor of the Council, and Steward.
Council of Select Masters
The body in which the degree of Select Masters,
the ninth in the American Rite, is conferred. It receives its Charter
from a Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters. Its officers
are: Thrice Illustrious Grand Master, Illustrious Hiram of Tyre,
Principal Conductor of the Works, Treasurer, Recorder, Captain of the Guards,
Conductor of the Council, and Steward.
An object made to imitate a
genuine item with the intent to deceive or defraud. Synonymous terms are
forgery and fake.
Covenant of Masonry
What is a covenant or
obligation? A covenant is an agreement between two or more parties on certain terms, and there
can be no doubt that when a man is made a Mason he enters into a covenant with
the Institution. On his part he promises to fulfill certain promises and
to discharge certain duties, for which, on the other part, the Fraternity bind
themselves by an equivalent covenant of friendship, protection and
support. Jere. 34:18-20
How were the old Jewish Covenants
performed? The first mention of a covenant in form that is met with in
the Scriptures is that recorded in the fifteenth chapter of Genesis, where to
confirm it, Abraham in obedience to divine command took a heifer, a she-goat,
and a ram, "and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one
against the other." In the book of Jeremiah it is again alluded to
and the violation of the covenant is also expressed. These ceremonies
briefly alluded to in the passages which have been quoted were performed in
full as follows: The parties entering into a covenant first selected a
proper animal, such as a calf or kid among the Jews, a sheep among the Greeks,
or a pig among the Romans. The throat was then cut across with a single
blow, so as to completely divide the windpipe and arteries without touching
the bone. This was the first ceremony of the covenant. The second
was to tear open the breast, to take from thence the heart and vitals, and if
upon inspection the least imperfection was discovered, the body was considered
unclean and thrown aside for another. The third ceremony was to divide
the body in twain, and to place the two parts to the north and south, so that
the parties to the covenant might pass between them coming from the east and
going to the west. The carcass was then left as a prey to the wild
beasts of the field and the vultures of the air, and thus the covenant was
ratified. And the Masonic student can readily understand how these old
Hebrew covenants parallel Speculative Science as a part of the basis of the
system Jere. 34:18-20
What is the difference between a Cowan and an
eavesdropper? An eavesdropper is an intentional listener. A Cowan
may therefore be classed as an unintentional listener in Speculative
Masonry. It is a Scotch term of contempt. A drydyker. One
who builds dykes or walls without mortar. So therefore according to
Speculative Science, Masonry has no place for anyone that builds their
symbolic walls without the cement of brotherly love.
What does the word Craft signify? The
term applied to persons collectively in a trade, or mechanical
occupation. In free or Speculative Masonry it signifies the whole
Masonic Fraternity wherever dispersed. Dan. 8:25
Enamel or porcelain with minute
cracks usually a sign of aging.
From the Greek, to hide. A
concealed place, or subterranean vault. The caves, or cells underground,
in which the primitive Christians celebrated their secret worship, were called
cryptae; and the vaults underneath our modern churches receive the name of
crypts. The existence of crypts or vaults under the Temple of Solomon is
testified to by the earliest as well as by the most recent topographers of
Jerusalem. Their connection with the legendary history of Masonry is
more fully noticed under the head of Vault Secret.
The degrees of Royal and Select Masters.
Some modern ritualists have added to the list the degree of Super-excellent
Master; but this, although now often conferred in a Cryptic Council, is not
really a Cryptic degree, since its legend has no connection with the crypt or
The division of the Masonic system which is
directed to the investigation and cultivation of the Cryptic degrees, It
is, literally, the Masonry of the secret vault.
This symbol is called by the French Masons, pierre
cubique, and by the German, cubik stein. It is the Perfect
Ashlar of the English and American systems.
What is a cubit measure? In ancient
times, the length equaled the length of the arm from the elbow to the tip of
the middle finger. It was customary for the Master of the work to use
the length of his own arm as a standard. Roman cubits were about 17 2/5
inches; that of the Hebrews 22 inches, but its length is now generally stated
as 18 American inches. 1 Kings 7:15
A monogram of letters intertwined.
An alloy of seventy-five
percent copper and twenty-five percent nickel.
Q. What was the decree of Cyrus?
A. Ordered the
release of the Jews from captivity, and furthermore ordered the rebuilding of
the temple. This order and command applied to the Jews only, to erect
this building. At the head of these people was Zerubabbel, known as,
Sheshbazzar, at the Persian court. Ezra. 1:1-11
here to return to the Glossary Index