the glossary by clicking on any of the letters below.
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Alphabetically Arranged with
Cyclopedic Meanings and Bible References
I Am That I Am
This is the
English rendering of the name which the Great Architect, Jehovah God, directed
Moses to use when making known his commission to Israel to lead them out of
Egyptian slavery to the Promised Land. It signifies I am the Eternal
who passes not away. It is a special title of God which indicates
that he is the self-existent, independent, unsearchable One. It
is a significant word in the high degrees of the York, American, and several
other Rites. Origin of the title... Ex. 3:14
which teaches the doctrine of images and symbolic representations. It is
a science collateral with Freemasonry, and is of great importance to the
Masonic student, because it is engaged in the consideration of the meaning and
history of the symbols which constitute so material a part of the Masonic
system. Iconography is culture-specific, hence such expressions as
"Egyptian iconography" and "the iconography of Christian art."
the worship paid to any created object; throughout history some form of
idolatry has constituted much of the religious mankind. The forms of
idolatry are generally reckoned as four in number: Fetishism,
consisting in the worship of animals, trees, rivers, mountains, and stones;
Sabaism, the worship of the sun, moon, and stars; Shintoism, the
worship of deceased ancestors or national leaders; Idealism, the worship of
abstractions or Mental qualities. In all of these forms of idolatry
there may be elements of religious truths, or an intermixture of truth with
error. Whenever any of the of Freemasonry have been practiced in a
distorted and perverted system of idolatry, they are known as "Spurious
Freemasonry." True Freemasonry rejects all form of idolatry and teaches
the worship of the one and only true living Deity.
Psalms 106:28 - Isa. 44:17 - Ex. 20:2,3 - Col. 2:18
without personal faith in the immortality of the soul, would be like "an arch
resting on one pillar, like a bridge ending in an abyss." Not only does
the ritual of Freemasonry teach the doctrine of man's immortality; but in
symbolic action this tenet of Masonry is illustrated in a most profound
manner. No man who has been "raised to the sublime degree of a Master
Mason" can ever forget the inculcation of the truth of man's immortality.
In Speculative Science the
symbol of Immortality is the Acacia or Evergreen.
St. John 19:5
- Job 14:13-15 -
Job 19:23-27 - Luke 20:27-38
double-headed eagle. The prominent symbol of the Scottish Rite of
of incense" was a part of worship common to all nations of antiquity,
including the Hebrews, the Egyptians, and the Hindus. Among the Hebrews
this was a symbol of prayer, of holy devotions, of purity of affections in
divine worship. It has in Masonry similar significations; hence the
of incense has been adopted as a symbol in the Third Degree, and the "burning
of incense" is practiced in some of the high degrees.
Ex. 30:1,7 - Psalms
of raised; the design, lettering, or numbers are recessed rather than
projecting above the field on a medal, coin or medallion. A synonymous
term is intaglio.
border which surrounds the Mosaic pavement (See Tessellated
inculcated amongst Freemasons, because by it they are enabled not only to
support themselves and families, but to contribute to the relief of worthy
distressed Brethren. "All Masons," say the Charges of
1722, "shall work honestly on working days that they may live creditably
on holy days" (Constitutions, 1723, page 52.) The Masonic
symbol of industry is the beehive, which is used in the Third Degree.
Prov. 10:5 - Prov. 12:11 - Eph. 4:28
Indwelling of God
deigns to dwell among his people and within the hearts of the pure and good is
a fundamental truth dear to Masons.
1 Cor. 3:16,17
The Jews are quite
aware that the true pronunciation of the word is lost, and regarded it as one
of the mysteries to be revealed in the days of the Messiah. They hold,
however, that the knowledge of the Name of God does exist on earth, and that
he by whom the secret is acquired, has, by virtue of it, the powers of the
world at his command. Hence they account for the miracles of Jesus by
telling us that he had gotten possession of the Ineffable name. Rightly
understood, they seem to mean that he who calls upon God rightly, by this his
true name, cannot fail to be heard by him. St. John 1:1
- John 14:14
A method of
providing decoration, by setting thin strips of wood, stone, or other
materials into a panel flush with the surface. EXAMPLE
Just as the
mysteries of God's truth are available to those who earnestly "knock," so
admittance to the mysteries of Freemasonry are open to those who make the
proper "knock" at the Inner Door... Jer. 29:10-14 -
What is the
symbol of Innocence? In all ages the lamb has been deemed an emblem of
innocence. Hence it is required that a Mason's apron should be made of
lambskin. 1 Peter 1:19
innovations in the Rites and Ceremonies of Ancient Free and Accepted Masonry
A plural term
for all types of portable (worn) awards or distinctions. Insignia is the
broadest category of phaleristic items and includes badges, collars, habits,
medals, sashes, ribbons, fourragères, Ärmelbands, and Armschilds. The
singular term is insigne.
The act by which
an officer is put in possession of the place he is to fill. In
Freemasonry it is, therefore, applied to the induction of one who has been
elected into his office. The officers of a Lodge, before they can
proceed to discharge their functions, must be installed. The officers of
a new Lodge are installed by the Grand Master, or by some Past Master deputed
by him to perform the ceremony. The ceremony is an old one, and does not
pertain exclusively to Freemasonry. The ancient Romans installed their
priests, their kings, and their magistrates; but the ceremony was called inauguration,
because performed generally by the augers. The word installation
is of comparatively modern origin, being medieval Latin, and is compounded of in
and stallum, meaning a seat.
incised relief decoration done with abrasive wheels. On jewelry, carved design
hollowed out of the surface. A form of engraving creating a sunken
design. Often seen as the stones in Masonic rings. A synonymous
term is incuse.
purpose and in conduct is symbolized by the plumb.
is regarded by the Masonic Fraternity as a vice wholly incompatible with a
true Masonic character, and habitual indulgence in strong drink subjects the
offender to the penalty of expulsion. Prov.
23:19-35 - Rom. 13:13 - Eph. 5:18
of Freemasonry are required to be taken with an honest determination to
observe them; and hence the Freemason solemnly affirms that in assuming those
responsibilities he does so without equivocation, secret evasion, or mental
qualifications of a candidate which refer to a condition known only to
himself, and which are not patent to the world, are called internal
qualifications. They are: 1st. That he comes forward of his own
free-will and accord, and unbiased by the solicitations of others. 2nd.
That he is not influenced by mercenary motives; and, 3rd, That he has a
disposition to conform to the usages of the Order. The knowledge of
these can only be obtained from his own statements, and hence they are
included in the preliminary questions which are proposed before initiation.
one of the chief foundation-stones of Freemasonry; Universality and
Love are fundamental principles of the Fraternity. Indeed, the
arch-enemy of Freemasonry is intolerance. There may be individuals who
natural powers are limited and circumscribed and whose prejudices may lead
them into a spirit of intolerance; but the Fraternity frowns upon such, and
there is no institution that has greater resistive powers against this great
enemy of man than Freemasonry. The Third and Tenth Degrees, A. A.
Scottish Rite, strongly emphasize the doctrine of tolerance.
Matt. 9:38-40 - Luke 9:49,50
The value of
a phaleristic item based solely on its metallic and gem content. As
distinct from numismatic value and market value.
of an apron to a candidate in the ceremony of initiation.
We are told
that in the building of King Solomon's Temple there was not heard the sound of
any metallic tool. All stones were fitted, and numbered in the
timbers were prepared in the forest of Lebanon, whence they were
brought by floats to Joppa, and thence carried over land to Jerusalem.
Stones and wood-work thus prepared fitted into the architectural plans of the
building with such perfection that the whole, when completed, seemed rather
the work of the Grand Architect of the Universe than that of mere humans.
Among Masons these remarkable facts symbolize the entire peace and harmony
which should prevail among Masons when laboring on that spiritual temple of
which the Solomonic Temple was the archetype. 1 Kings
5:18 - 1
Kings 6:7 - Deut. 27:5,6
The twelve original points,
that formed a part of the basis of the system of Speculative Masonry, was a
lecture, used in the early English lodges from 1738 to 1813 when they were
taken out and the four points, substituted. Each move the candidate made
while going through the ceremony was symbolized by one of the twelve tribes,
the sons of Jacob. Gen. 49:1-33
The ninth son of Jacob, and the
sixth point of the ancient English lectures, which alluded to the
circumambulation about the altar, because, as the tribe of Issachar was a
thriftless and indolent tribe, they required a leader to advance them to equal
elevation of the other tribes. Gen. 49:14
was used to make miniature Masonic working
tools, and probably as decorative elements. Walrus ivory was also
used in Masonic Maritime
artifacts. It is difficult to positively identify the
difference. Many reproductions look like ivory or Walrus tusk, the hot
pin test will surely tell. Heat the tip of a sewing needle with a
lighted match and while it is still hot push the pin into the item... if it
smells like burning plastic... its plastic! The hot needle will not
penetrate real ivory. It may also be confused with bone. As ivory
ages it naturally turns yellow and develops black cracks.
here to return to the Glossary Index