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Alphabetically Arranged with
Cyclopedic Meanings and Bible References
The eagle has
been a symbol among the different peoples of the world from time immemorial.
In Egypt, Greece, and Persia it was sacred to the sun; among pagans it was the
emblem of Jupiter; among the Druids it was the symbol of their supreme god.
The strength, swiftness, boldness, and generous treatment of its young are
variously employed in the Scriptures. In the jewel of the Rose Croix
Degree the eagle is displayed at the foot of the cross. It is there very
appropriately selected as a symbol of Christ, in his Divine character bearing
his redeemed children on his wings, teaching them with unequaled love and
tenderness to poise their unfledged wings and soar from the evils of the world
to a higher and holier sphere. Very significant is the fact that the
wings are displayed as if in the very act of flight. Here are some
similar symbolic uses of the eagle in the Holy Scriptures...
Deut. 32:11 - Hab. 1:8
Ear, The Listening
In the Hebrew
Sacred Writings stress is laid upon the idea that true hearing requires
both understanding and obedience. Such is the meaning of the phrase,
"Let him that hath ears to hear, hear." One of the three precious
jewels of a Fellow Craft Mason is the "Listening Ear." Thus he is
admonished not only to receive lessons of instructions from his teacher, but
that he should treasure them in his breast, so as to ponder over their meaning
and carry out their design. Divine requirements for true hearing
which involve understanding and obedience can be found in the Holy Scriptures
here... Matt. 11:15 - Matt. 13:15-18 - Mark 8:18 - Rev.
All pottery ware
made of clay and fired except porcelain, china or stoneware.
Ancient Mysteries, the East was regarded as peculiarly sacred. As
the cardinal point of the sun-rising it was considered symbolic of Light, not
only by sun-worshipers but by those of more enlightened religious
intelligence. Hence the East is the seat of the highest officer
of a Masonic Lodge -- the Worshipful Master; Lodge halls or rooms are oblong
from East to West; candidates travel from the West to the East in
search of Light.
This name was
given to a cowan, or a person who sought to listen in on secrets to
which he was not entitled, because of an early form of punishment. A
detected cowan was forced to stand beneath the eaves of a house during a
downpour of rain until he was soaked almost to the drowning point.
A tropical tree.
The heartwood yields heavy, deep black wood, hard and durable, and takes a
good polish. Commonly used in the early to mid-Victorian period.
Edict of Cyrus
recognition of the permission of Cyrus for the Jews to carry back with them
the precious ornaments and sacred vessels of the Temple of Solomon which had
been preserved is commemorated in the Royal Arch Degree, and referred to in
the Fifteenth Degree, or Knight of the East, of the Scottish Rite.
See Babylonian Captivity.
The reign of
Edward VII, which departed from Victorianism into an opulent, elegant period,
which was contrasted by a challenge to social values, morals, and political
change. It was also the period of the greatest innovations of
"high" Art Nouveau jewelry.
Conduction of an
electric current by an electrolyte of charged particles. The process creates
plated objects in silver, gold and other metals. ILLUSTRATION
consisting of a base metal coated with silver, gold, nickel or brass by the
process of electrolysis.
A sacred word in
some of the high degrees, being one of the names applied in Scripture to the
Lord Jesus Christ. It is a Greek form from the Hebrew, Immanual, and
signifies "God is with us." A prophetic title of Christ
confirmed when the Saviour was to be incarnated in human flesh...
Isa. 7:14 - Matt. 1:23
is an occult representation of an idea, principle, or truth which cannot be
seen with the natural eye, but may be perceived by the mind and heart.
Thus, the square is in Freemasonry an emblem of morality; a plumb line, of
rectitude of conduct; and a level, of equality of human conditions.
Emblem is very generally used as synonymous with symbol, although
the two words do not express exactly the same meaning; an emblem is a visible
object representing an idea; a symbol represents an idea or truth by an image
whether that image is presented by a tangible object or through words uttered
in the form of a parable, legend, tradition, or myth. All emblems are
symbols; but all symbols are not emblems. Like the Bible, Masonic
history and teachings are filled with emblems, as well as symbols.
designs on the surface of sheet metals by means of dies. Hard steel dies are
made in pairs, the male die taking the form of the inside of the object and
slightly smaller than the female die which forms the external part of the
object. A sheet of the desired metal is placed between the two dies and
compressed, thus forming the desired design. EXAMPLE
Latin; plural, emeriti.
The Romans applied this word--which comes from the verb emerere, to
gain by service--to a soldier who had served out his time; hence, in the
Supreme Councils of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of this country, an
active member, who resigns his seat by reason of age, infirmity, or for other
cause deemed good by the Council, may be elected an Emeritus member, and will
possess the privilege of proposing measures and being heard in debate, but not
One of the words in the high degrees. It signifies integrity,
fidelity, firmness, and constancy in keeping a promise, and especially
Truth, as opposed to falsehood. In the Scottish Rite, the Sublime
Knights Elect of Twelve of the Eleventh Degree are called "Princes Emeth,"
which mean simply men of exalted character who are devoted to truth.
The title given
to the Commander or presiding officer of a Commandery of Knights Templar, and
to all officers below the Grand Commander in a Grand Commandery. The
Grand Commander is styled "Right Eminent," and the Grand Master of
the Grand Encampment of the United States, "Most Eminent." The
word is from the Latin eminens, "standing above," and
literally signifies "exalted in rank." Hence, it is a title
given to the cardinals in the Roman Church.
Powder or paste
made from silicate of glass and powdered metallic oxides, placed on metal to
which it is fused in a furnace. The
use of vitreous enamel coatings on Masonic watch FOBs began to appear later in
the nineteenth century.
Vitreous or “glass-like” enamels consist of finely ground minerals,
usually including quartz, suspended in a viscous liquid that allows the enamel
to be applied to the surface with a brush.
Various metallic oxides create the colors, and other oxides are added
to make the colors opaque.
When properly heated in a kiln, these substances fuse into a hard,
Enameling is ages old but translucency was only fully achieved in the
The metal surface beneath the translucent
enamel could be artfully varied by machining, carving or foiling to suggest
depth, or to add an interesting pattern or reflectivity.
If machined in symmetrical designs the patterning is called guilloché.
If the surface was simply routed out the result was called basse-taille.
If small, individual voids were created and filled with opaque enamels,
it was termed champlevé.
If the enamel colors were separated by fine soldered wires, and
flush polished, it was called cloissoné.
However, the most common form of fired enamel on Masonic watch FOBs was
direct painting with opaque colors.
This enameling technique most closely approximates traditional oil
painting and yields the most life-like image. EXAMPLE
assemblies of the Knights Templar were formally called Encampments. They
are now styled Commandries in America, and Grand Encampments of the States are
called Grand Commandries. In England they are now called "Preceptories."
A method of
producing delicate tracery decoration on the surface of articles by machine.
stationary steel-pointed graver incises fine lines on the article, which is
held in a movable frame that has another pointed tool on the opposite side to
the article, in contact with a cylinder with indentations. The latter tool
follows the indentations and guides the article against the graver which
reproduces the prescribed designs. EXAMPLE
into sheet metal with sharp tools, a scorper or graver, by hand, metal being removed in the process.
A synonymous term is incised.
Enoch was the
most notable saint of the antediluvian period, the seventh of the patriarchs,
and the great-grandfather of Noah. He is reported to have "walked with
God" for three hundred years, and it is said that he did not die a natural
death, but was momentarily translated into the place where God is. His
Hebrew name was Henoch, signifying to initiate and to instruct. Traditions
and legends of some of the higher degrees of Freemasonry present the claim
that Freemasonry in its science of morality and ethics and in its emblematic
and symbolic mysteries existed as a Craft in the days of the patriarchs, and
in the times of antiquity. The great Masonic "Legend of Enoch," sustains
this claim in a most remarkable way. According to this legend Enoch
initiated and promoted a "Craft" in which the sublimest truths of Freemasonry
were taught by emblems and symbols and through mystics and mysteries.
These were preserved in an underground temple which was discovered in
excavations long after the great Deluge. Many Oriental writers abound in
traditional stories which sustain the great Masonic "Legend of Enoch."
Apprentice, the Mason was taught those elementary instructions which were to
fit him for further advancement in his profession, just as the youth is
supplied with that rudimentary education which is to prepare him for entering
on the active duties of life; as a
Fellow Craft, he is directed to continue his
investigations in the science of the Institution, and to labor diligently in
the tasks it prescribes, just as the man is required to enlarge his mind by
the acquisition of new ideas, and to extend his usefulness to his fellow
creatures; but, as a Master Mason, he is taught the last, the most important,
and the most necessary of truths, that having been faithful to all his trusts,
he is at last to die, and to receive the reward of his fidelity.
- resentful begrudging
regarded as the meanest of vices by Freemasonry. Every Mason is solemnly
charged; "None shall discover envy at the prosperity of a brother," and
warnings against this vicious temper constantly appear throughout all the
degrees. Biblical injunctions against envy enforced in Masonic ritual...
Prov. 14:30 - Rom. 13:13 - 1Pet. 2:1
is the very essence of Freemasonry; no matter what their rank in life may be,
when in the Lodge all are brothers, sons in common of a Heavenly Father.
The level is the symbol of equality among Masons; "we meet on
A heraldic term
for a shield (Latin: scutum) with armorial bearings. EXAMPLE
portion of Masonry which is hidden in emblems, symbols, allegories, legends,
and other forms of mystery, and are wholly apart from monitoral teachings.
decoration bitten in with acid. The untreated area is coated with wax to
resist the acid. Usually associated with printing, but also used on glass and
occasionally metalwork. EXAMPLE
of eternal life permeates all the Mysteries of Freemasonry; it is the
fundamental basis of the Third Degree in a very special emphasis.
Co-equal with emphasis on this tenet of Masonic Faith is belief in the future
resurrection of the body. Hence Masons believe in an eternal heaven for
the redeemed of the Lord. Biblical teachings on the subject of Eternal
Life... Matt. 25:46 - John 6:54
plant is a symbol of the immortality of the soul. The ancients,
therefore, as well as the moderns, planted evergreens at the heads of
graves. Freemasons wear evergreens at the funerals of their brethren,
and cast them into the grave. The
acacia is the plant which should be
used on these occasions, but where it cannot be obtained, some other evergreen
plant, especially the cedar, is used, as a substitute.
A candidate is
said to be exalted, when he receives the Degree of Holy Royal Arch, the
seventh in American Masonry. Exalted means elevated or lifted up, and is
applicable both to a peculiar ceremony of the degree, and to the fact that
this degree, in the Rite in which it is practiced, constitutes the summit of
ancient Masonry. The rising of the sun of spring from his wintry sleep
into the glory of the vernal equinox was called by the old sun-worshipers his
"exaltation"; and the Fathers of the Church afterward applied the
same term to the resurrection of Christ. St. Athanasius says that by the
expression, "God hath exalted him," St. Paul meant the
resurrection. Exaltation, therefore, technically means a rising from a
lower to a higher sphere, and in Royal Arch Masonry may be supposed to refer
to the being lifted up out of the first temple of this life into the second
temple of the future life. The candidate is raised in the
Master's Degree, he is exalted in the Royal Arch. In both the
symbolic idea is the same.
Examination of Candidates
Freemasonry, the rituals and ceremonies of the different degrees of Symbolic
Masonry, are conferred in emblems, symbols, allegories, legends, and must be
committed to memory by the candidate following each degree and before
advancing to the succeeding degree. Instructions are given the candidate
in private by some brother. From time immemorial it has been required
that before accepting a candidate for the advancing degrees he must pass a
credible examination on the work of the previous degree in open Lodge.
The necessity for an adequate comprehension of the mysteries of each degree
before passing to the succeeding degree, of proficiency in the work through
which the candidate has already passed, is absolutely essential.
Q. What is the
meaning of this word and how recorded in the Bible?
A. Recorded in the
Bible as "cut off!" Temporary suspension. Further temporary
suspension. Final cutting off. Psalms 37:9
category of non-money, non-legal tender numismatic items, including tokens and
unofficial medals and badges. An exonumist is a specialist in exonumia.
Q. What is the difference between esoteric
A. Esoteric, the unwritten ritualistic work
designed for and understood by the specially initiated alone. Exoteric,
that part suitable for the uninitiated public.
Extended Wings of the Cherubim
wings of the Cherubim in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle and in the
Temple were recognized as a symbol of Jehovah's presence and protection.
This expression in the ceremonies of the Royal Master is intended to teach
symbolically that he who comes to ask and to seek Divine Truth should begin by
placing himself under the protection of Jehovah who is alone the source of
Truth. See Cherubim.
This was the
name of the stone in the neighborhood of king Saul's residence beyond which
the falling of Jonathan's arrow warned David of danger, and was the parting
place of these two most intimate friends. Hence its use in the honorary
degree called the "Mason's wife and daughter." Scene of the incident
used symbolically... 1 Sam.
- help; or the helper
Of what does the
book of Ezra give an account? Of the return of the Jews from their
captivity in Babylon and the rebuilding of their ruined temple. This
work was carried out with difficulty because of the enmity of some of their
neighbors and the lack of a spiritual religion among many of the Jews.
here to return to the Glossary Index