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Alphabetically Arranged with Cyclopedic Meanings and Bible References


The Tabernacle, Tent, or Portable Temple, was constructed so that it could be readily taken down, moved from place to place, and erected at will.  It  was especially adapted to the needs of a nomadic people.  Being constructed on geometrical and scientific principles, it readily lent itself to a practical system of removal and erection which was essential in the case of so large and costly a structure.  The Tabernacle consisted of an oblong or rectangle, called the Court, in the rear half of which was the tent or covering of the Sanctuary. Under this Tent, the Holy and Most Holy Places were defined by partitions of boards and pillars, securely joined by means of rods, rings, etc. A careful study of the entire structure reveals an architectural gem, serviceably conceived, beautifully designed, mystically embellished, celestially canopied, and inspiring the beholder with profound reverence and peaceful security in the thought of an ever present and Indwelling God, and typifying the encampment of the Angels of the Lord around about them that fear Him.   A study of the ceremonies, the sacrificial offerings, and the priestly ministrations of the Tabernacle will reveal the great spiritual mystery of the Indwelling God, as made manifest by Moses during the sojourn in the wilderness.  EXAMPLE

Table of Shewbread - See Shewbread

Tall Cedars of Lebanon

In Scriptural symbology, the cedar-tree, says Wemyss (Symbolic Language of Scripture), was the symbol of eternity, because its substance never decays nor rots. Hence, the Ark of the Covenant was made of cedar; and those are said to utter things worthy of cedar who write that which no time ought to obliterate. The Cedars of Lebanon are frequently referred to in the legends of Freemasonry, especially in the advanced Degrees; not, however, on account of any symbolical signification, but rather because of the use made of them by Solomon and Zerubbabel in the construction of their respective Temples. Phillott (Smith's Bible Dictionary) thus describes the grove so Celebrated in Scriptural and Masonic history: "The grove of trees known as the Cedars of Lebanon consists of about four hundred trees, standing quite alone in a depression of the mountain with no trees near, about six thousand four hundred feet above the sea, and three thousand below the summit.


The Hebrew word rendered "Talmud" signifies doctrine.  It is the given name to a collection of Jewish laws, traditions, and commentaries of the early centuries of the Christian Era.  First, about the beginning of the Third century, Rabbi Jehuda put into written form what was known as the oral law handed down from Moses, but did not put into written form many Jewish traditions and customs and essential parts of the written law, which was called the Mishna.  Toward the end of the Fourth century, extensive commentaries and discussions on the Mishna by various Rabbis were published, and the combined publication of the Mishna and these commentaries were called the Talmud.  While the Talmud contains many trifles, and much controversial material, it preserves an elaborate compendium of Jewish customs and some valuable historical data, and is widely used by critics in Bible research.  In many passages of the Talmud, illustrations of the Masonic System are furnished.  Traditions and legends, especially of the higher degrees, are either found in or corroborated by the Talmud.  For example, the treatise entitled Middoth gives us the best description of King Solomon's Temple now available.  However, it must be remembered that in no sense is the Talmud a Masonic document.


A playing card, seventy-eight to the pack; fifty-six are called the Lesser Arcana and are divided into four suits; the wands or clubs, the cups or hearts, the Swords or spades, and the pentacles or diamonds. Each suit contains four court cards, the King, Queen, Knight and Page, with ten spot cards, numbered from ace to ten. The spots are usually presented in geometrical designs and sometimes combined with pictures illustrating the inner meaning of the cards.  The rest of the cards, known as the Greater Arcana, comprises a series of symbolic pictures. Each of the cards has a special title and a number. The doctrine behind these symbols has many forms and meanings; veiled as it is by symbols, it speaks many languages, and its emblems convey a message to students of alchemy and astrology. As one writer upon the Subject says "it is full of meaning no matter by what path the student may have approached the truth which is at the head of the ancient mysteries, and though its symbolism expresses Universal ideas it also represents a particular version of sacred science, being a Symbolic alphabet of the occult philosophy of Israel.;' In its present form the Tarot dates from the fourteenth century, but many authorities believe it to have come down to us from a much earlier Source. Those who credit the cards with a more modern origin derive the name from Tarote, meaning spotted, and in French frequently applied to the checker work on the backs of playing cards.


The "Tassel" consists of a cord with tassels on the end.  It represents the "Mystic Tie"; that bond which unites men of diverse opinions into one sacred band of Friends and Brothers. 

Tasting and Smelling

Of the five senses, hearing, seeing and feeling are only deemed essential to Freemasons.  Tasting and Smelling are therefore not referred to in the instructions, except as making up the sacred number five.  Preston says:  "Smelling and Tasting are inseparably connected; and it is by the unnatural kind of life which men commonly lead in society that these senses are less fit to perform their natural duties."


Recorded in the book of Ezra as the governor beyond the river, he was governor of a province west of the river Euphrates in the time of Darius Hystaspis.  And was part of the chief opposition to the rebuilding of the temple, by the Jews on their return from captivity.  He and Shethar-boznai was ordered by Darius to get thee far from thence and let the work on this house of God alone.  Ezra 5: 1-17 -  Ezra 6:1-15

Tau Cross

The Tau Cross, or Cross of Saint Anthony, is a cross in the form of a Greek T.  The Triple Tau is a figure formed by three of these crosses meeting in a point, and therefore resembling a letter T resting on the traverse bar of an H. This emblem, placed in the center of a Triangle and Circle--both emblems of the Diety--constitutes the jewel of the Royal Arch as practiced in England, where it is so highly esteemed as to be called the "emblem of all emblems," and "the grand emblem of Royal Arch Masonry."  The Prophet Ezekiel speaks of the tau or tau cross as the Mark distinguishing those who were to be saved, on account of their sorrow for their sins, from those who, as idolaters, were to be slain.  It was a mark or sign of favorable distinction; and with this allusion we may, therefore, suppose the triple tau to be used in the Royal Arch Degree as a mark designating and separating those who know and worship the true name of God from those who are ignorant of that august mystery.  EXAMPLE


One of the four cardinal virtues, the practice of which is inculcated in the First Degree.  The Mason who properly appreciates the secrets which he has solemnly promised never to reveal, will not, by yielding to the unrestrained call of appetite, permit reason and judgment to lose their seats, and subject himself, by the indulgence in habits of excess, to discover that which should be concealed, and thus merit and receive the scorn and detestation of his brethren.  And lest any brother should forget the danger to which he is exposed in the unguarded hours of dissipation, the virtue of temperance is wisely impressed upon his memory, by its reference to one of the most solemn portions of the ceremony of initiation. Some Freemasons, very properly condemning the vice of intemperance and abhorring its effects, have been unwisely led to confound temperance with total abstinence in a Masonic application, and resolutions have sometimes been proposed in Grand Lodges which declare the use of stimulating liquors in any quantity a Masonic offense. Put the law of Freemasonry authorizes no such regulation. It leaves to every man the indulgence of his own tastes within due limits, and demands not abstinence, but only moderation and temperance, in anything not actually wrongs.   EXAMPLE


Imparting a certain degree of hardness to a steel tool or spring. The item is heated to a cherry red and allowed to cool until the tip becomes yellow down to grey, and then is quenched in oil or water. The color at which quenching occurs governs the degree of tempering required for the item.


The Greeks had temenos, a sacred enclosure, a plot of ground marked off to be a holy place; the Latins had templum, a consecreated place. A temple is a building set apart because it is holy, dedicated to religious uses. It has its place in Masonry largely because of the prominence of Solomonís Temple in the Ritual. It is interesting to note that in Masonic nomenclature the ideal life, here and hereafter, is described metaphorically as a temple, one of a thousand examples of the extent to which Freemasonry is saturated with religious language and emotions.

Temple Builder

The legend of the third degree is an important landmark, the integrity of which has been well preserved.  There is no rite of Masonry, practiced in any country or language, in which the essential elements of this legend are not taught.  The lectures may vary, and indeed are constantly changing, but the legend has ever remained substantially the same.  And it is necessary that it should be so, for the legend of the Temple Builder constitutes the very essence and identity of Masonry.  1 Kings 7:13-37

Temple of Herod

This was not the construction of a third temple, but only a restoration and extensive enlargement of the second, which had been built by Zerubbabel.  To the Christian Mason it is interesting, even more than that of Solomon, because it was the scene of our Lord's ministrations, and was the temple from which the Knights Templar derived their name.  It was begun by Herod 7 B.C., finished A.D. 4, and destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70, having subsisted only seventy-seven years.

Temple of Solomon

The first Temple of the Jews was called hecal Jehovah or beth Jehovah, the palace or house of Jehovah, to indicate is splendor and magnificence, and that it was intended to be the perpetual dwelling place of the Lord.  It was King David who first proposed to substitute for the nomadic tabernacle a permanent place of worship for his people; but although he had made the necessary arrangements, and even collected many of the materials, he was not permitted to commence the undertaking, and the execution of the task was left to his son and successor, Solomon.  See ARTICLE.

Temple Of The Body

Of what, is the Solomonic Temple a symbol?  To the Master Mason, the Temple of Solomon is truly the symbol of human life; for, like life, it was to have its end.  Masonic teachings are not intended to convey a historical fact concerning the erection of a building, but ever to keep in sight, the beauty of that temple as a symbol of life in which he should live as a man and Mason.  St. John 2:19  -  1 Cor. 6:19 

Temple, Spiritual - See Spiritual Temple

Ten Commandments

Freemasonry, throughout all the Christian world and among all Hebrews, recognize the Ten Commandments as the fundamental laws given by God to Israel and to mankind, as the moral code by which they should regulate their lives, both in relation to God and to their fellowman.  Ex. 20:1-18 -  Deut. 5:1-21


The tent, which constitutes a part of the furniture or paraphernalia of a Commandery of Knights Templar symbolizes duties of Knights.  They were the protectors of Christian pilgrims on the plains, the hills, and the desert.  To them the Knight gave the crust of bread, the draught of water, and the protection of the sword, without which they could not survive.  In performance of these perilous duties the Knight lived in a lonely tent.


A red earthenware, usually unglazed.

Tessellated Border

From the Latin word tessella, a little squared stone.  Applied in Freemasonry to the Mosaic pavement of the Temple, and to the border surrounding the Tracing-Board, probably incorrectly in the latter case.  Browne says in his Master Key, which is supposed to present the general form of the Prestonian lectures, that the ornaments of a Lodge are the Mosaic Pavement, the Blazing Star, and the Tessellated Border; and he has defined the Tessellated Border to be "the skirt-work round the Lodge."  


What was the custom in Israel with reference to putting off the shoes?  Among the ancient Israelites, the shoe was made use of in several significant ways.  To put off the shoes imported reverence, and was done in the presence of God, or on entering a dwelling of a superior.  To unloose one's shoe and give it to another was the way of confirming a contract.  Thus we read in the book of Ruth, that Boaz having proposed to the nearest kinsman of Ruth to exercise his legal right by redeeming the land of Naomi which was offered for sale, and marrying her daughter-in-law, the kinsman, being able to do so, resigns his right to Boaz.  Ruth 4:7-8  -  Exo. 3:5  -  Deut. 25:5-10  -  Josh. 5:15

Tetractys, Sacred

The Greek word signifies, literally, the number four, and is therefore synonymous with the quaternion; but it has been peculiarly applied to a symbol of the Pythagoreans, which is composed of ten dots arranged in a triangular form of four rows.

This figure was in itself, as a whole, emblematic of the Tetragrammaton, or sacred name of four letters, for tetractys, in Greek, means Four, and was undoubtedly learned by Pythagoras during his visit to Babylon. But the parts of which it is composed were also pregnant symbols. Thus the one point was a symbol of the Active Principle or Creator, the two points of the Passive Principle or Matter, the three of the world proceeding from their union, and the four of the liberal arts and sciences, which may be said to complete and perfect that world.

This arrangement of the ten points in a triangular form was called the tetractys or number four, because each of the sides of the triangle consisted of four points, and the whole number of ten was made up by the summation of the first four figures, 1 + 2 + 3 +4= 10.

Hierocles says, in his Commentaries on the Golden Verses (v, page 47): "But how comes God to be the Tetractys? This thou mayst learn in the sacred book ascribed to Pythagoras, in which God is celebrated as the number of numbers. For if all things exist by His eternal decrees, it is evident that in each species of things the number depends on the cause that produces them.... Now the power of ten is four; for before we come to a complete and perfect decade, we discover all the virtue and perfection of the ten in the four. Thus, in assembling all numbers from one to four inclusive, the whole composition makes ten," etc.

Dacier, in his notes on these Commentaries and on this particular passage, remarks that "Pythagoras, having learned in Egypt the name of the true God, the Mysterious and Ineffable Name Jehovah, and finding that in the original tongue it was composed of four letters, translated it into his own language by the word tetractys, and gave the true explanation of it, saying that it properly signified the source of nature that perpetually rolls along."

So much did the disciples of Pythagoras venerate tetractys, that it is said that they took their most solemn oaths, especially that of initiation, upon it. The exact words of the oath are given in the Golden Verses, and are referred to by Jamblichus in his Life of Pythagoras.

I swear it by Him who has transmitted into our soul the sacred tetractys The source of nature, whose course is eternal.

Jamblichus gives a different phraseology of the oath, but with substantially the same meaning. In the symbols of Freemasonry, we will find the sacred Delta bearing the nearest analogy to the tectractys of the Pythagoreans.

The outline of these points form, it will be perceived, a triangle; and if we draw short lines from point to point, we will have within this great triangle nine smaller ones. Doctor Hemming, in his revision of the English lectures, adopted in 1813, thus explains this symbol:

The great triangle is generally denominated Pythagorean, because it served as a principal illustration of that philosopher's system. This emblem powerfully elucidates the mystical relation between the numerical and geometrical symbols. It is Composed of ten points so arranged as to form one great equilateral triangle and at the same time to divide it into nine similar triangles of smaller dimensions. The first of these, representing unity, is Called a monad, and answers to what is denominated a point in geometry, each being the principle by the multiplication of which all Combinations of form and number are respectively generated. The next two points are denominated a dead, representing the number two, and answers to the geometrical line which, consisting of length without breadth, is hounded by two extreme points. The three following points are called the triad, representing the number three, and may be considered asks having an indissoluble relation to all superficies which consist of length and breadth, when Contemplated as abstracted from thickness. Doctor Hemming does not appear to have improved on the Pythagorean symbolization.


In Greek, it signifies, a word of four letters. It is the title given by the Talmudists to the name of God, Jehovah, which in the original Hebrew Consists of four letters.


This is the doctrine of one God, eternal, self-sufficient, omniscient, omnipotent, pervading all creation, Creator, Preserver, Protector, and Benefactor of all things and of man.  It is a denial of atheism -- the doctrine that there is no God, of polytheism -- the doctrine that there are many gods, of deism -- the doctrine that there is no God of supernatural revelation, of pantheism -- that all nature is God and that God is all nature.  It is in this one God that Masons confess their faith and trust, and upon recognition of the revelations of this one God Masonry is founded.

Threefold Cord

A triple cord whose strands are of different colors; it is used in several Rites as an instructive symbol. A striking allusion to the strength of a triple cord is found in Ecclesiastics (iv, 12) "And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." Yet we must remember, as Whittier says in the Moral Warfare of the cause at heart, So let it be in God's own might - We gird us for the coming fight - And, strong in Him whose cause is ours In conflict with unholy powers, We grasp the weapons He has given,- The Light, and Truth, and Love of Heaven.

Three Tenets of Freemasonry

Of the three tenets of a Freemason's profession, which are Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, it may be said that Truth is the Column of Wisdom, whose rays penetrate and enlighten the inmost recesses of our Lodge; Brotherly Love, the Column of Strength, which binds us as one family in the indissoluble bond of fraternal affection; and Relief, the Column of Beauty, whose ornaments, more precious than the lilies and pomegranates that adorned the pillars of the porch, are the widow's tear of joy and the orphan's prayer of gratitude.


Plastic materials which, through heating, can be re-softened and reshaped many times; for example, celluloid, horn, shellac, amber, bitumen, tortoise shell, etc.

Thiourea formaldehyde

A plastic derived in 1925 that could be molded in delicate mottled colors. One of three plastics using formaldehyde, the others being Urea which came out at about the same time, and Phenol, commonly known as Bakelite, invented in 1907.

Those That Look Out Of The Windows Be Darkened

Refers to man, when the eyes become dimmed with old age.  Eccles. 12:3


A sacred number in Freemasonry, with which all labor is commenced and finished.  This number reminds us of the three great lights, the three kingdoms of nature, the Holy Trinity, or the words of Christ:  "Where two or three are assembled in my name, there will I be in the midst of you."  The Christian can also take the number three as the grand distinguishing doctrine of his faith.  There are three principal parts in a man: body, soul, and spirit.  Faith, love, and hope support and adorn life.

Three Burning Tapers

The "Three Burning Tapers" symbolically represent the Sun, Moon and Worshipful Master and are placed in a triangular position about the Altar and are thus explained:  As the Sun rules the day, so does the Moon govern the night, and so should the Worshipful Master, with equal regularity, endeavor to rule and govern the Lodge.

Three Great Lights

The "Three Great Lights" in Masonry are the Holy Bible, Square and Compasses.  The Holy Bible is dedicated to the service of God because it is the inestimable gift of God to man, and on it we obligate our Brethren.  The "Square" to the Worshipful Master because it is the proper Masonic emblem of his office, and the "Compasses" to the Craft because by a due attention to their use we are taught to circumscribe our desires and keep our passions within due bounds toward all mankind, especially a Brother Mason.

Threshing Floor

Among the Hebrews, circular spots of hard ground were used, as now, for the purpose of threshing corn. After they were properly prepared for the purpose, they became permanent possessions. One of these, the property of Oman the Jebusite, was on Mount Moriah (First Chronicles xxi, 15 28). It was purchased by David, for a place of sacrifice, for six hundred shekels of gold, and on it the Temple was afterward built. Hence it is sometimes used as a symbolic name for the Temple of Solomon or for a Master's Lodge. Thus it is said in the instructions that the Freemason comes "from the lofty tower of Babel, where language was confounded and Masonry lost" and that he is traveling "to the threshing-floor of Oman the Jebusite, where language was restored and Masonry found."

The interpretation of this rather abstruse symbolic expression is that on his initiation the Freemason comes out of the profane world, where there is ignorance and darkness and Confusion as there was at Babel, and that he is approaching the Masonic world, where, as at the Temple built on Oman's threshing floor, there is knowledge and light and order.

Tiler - Tyler

An officer of a symbolic lodge, whose duty is to guard the door of the Lodge, and to permit no one to pass or repass, except such as are duly qualified, and have permission of the Worshipful Master.  A necessary qualification of a Tiler is, therefore, that he should be a Master Mason.  Although the Lodge may be opened in an inferior degree, no one who has not advanced to the third degree can legally discharge the functions of Tiler.  The Tiler need not be a member of the Lodge which he tiles; and in fact, in large cities, one brother very often performs the duties of Tiler of several Lodges.  This is a very important office, and, like that of the Masters and Wardens, owes it existence, not to any conventional regulations, but to the very landmarks of the Order; for, from the peculiar nature of our Institution, it is evident that there never could have been a meeting of Masons for Masonic purposes, unless a Tiler had been present to guard the lodge from intrusion.


Thin sheet iron or steel which has been thinly coated with tin by being dipped in a molten bath of that metal.  Tin is a metallic element, used to alloy with other metals, such as copper to produce bronze, or lead to produce pewter, and as a component of solder. But the term tin should not, strictly speaking, be used to refer to tin-plate. Tin-plate may be painted or bear printed design work, particularly lithography.


Signs, tokens, and words do not constitute Freemasonry, but are local marks whereby Masons know each other, and may be altered, or entirely done away, without the least injury to scientific Freemasonry.  It is with many Freemasons to absurd a belief, and still more absurd practice, to build our science upon so shallow a foundation as signs, tokens, and words, which I fear constitute with some the only attainment they look for in Freemasonry.  That certain signals may be necessary, I do readily allow; but deny that such mechanism shall constitute a principal part of our Institution.  Gen. 9:12 -  Gen. 17:11 -  Job 21:29  A token is generally a numismatic item similar to a coin and unofficially issued as a unit of exchange or for advertising or other purposes.


Tin-plate decorated with painted or stenciled designs. The word derives from the French taule, meaning sheet iron.


The grand characteristic of Masonry is its toleration in religion and politics.  In respect to the latter, its toleration has no limit.  The question of a man's political opinions is not permitted to be broached in the Lodge; in reference to the former, it requires only that, to use the language of the Old Charge, Masons shall be of "that religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular opinions to themselves." (Constitutions, 1723, p. 50)  The same Old Charges say, "No private piques or quarrels must be brought within the door of the Lodge, far less any quarrels about religion, or nations, or state policy, we being only, as Masons, of the Universal religion above-mentioned; we are also of all nations, tongues, kindreds, and languages, and are resolved against all politics, as what never yet conducted to the welfare of the Lodge, nor ever will."


In the early rituals of the eighteenth century, the tongue is called the key to the secrets of a Freemason; and one of the toasts that was given in the Lodge was in these words: "To that excellent key of a Mason's tongues which ought always to speak as well in the absence of a Brother as in his presence; and when that cannot be done with honor, justice, or propriety, that adopts the virtue of a Mason, which is Silence."

Tongue of Good Report

Being "under the tongue of good report" is equivalent, in Masonic technical language, to being of good character or reputation.  It is required that the candidate for initiation should be one of whom no tongue speaks evil.  The phrase is an old one, and is found in the earliest rituals of the eighteenth century.


Having the device, lettering, or numbers on a phaleristic item brought out in higher relief by use of a graver.


A thermoplastic organic material that can be molded under heat and pressure. Taken from the thirteen epidermic plates covering the marine hawksbill turtle.  Worked in a similar manner to horn, but at a lower temperature, as high heat tends to darken and camouflage the richly mottled tones. Often difficult to distinguish from horn, and later reproduced in celluloid.  Sadler Bros., South Attleboro, Mass. made imitation Tortoisene.  Tortoise was used primarily for combs and hair ornaments as well as fine examples of Art Nouveau jewelry.  EXAMPLE

Touch (or Touch mark)

Maker's mark, impressed with a punch.


A hard siliceous stone or modern square of Wedgwood on which a piece of silver or gold of known quality can be rubbed to compare its mark with that of a piece being assayed.

Town mark

The mark assigned to a city Assay Office in Britain and applied as a hallmark.  The mark is no guarantee that the maker had premises in that city.  A number of London and Birmingham makers are known to have had their products assayed at Chester.


A symbol or trade name by which a manufacturer may be identified. Not much used on match holders in Britain, but quite extensively used in the United States, particularly on items in silver and gold. Trademarks were registered in Britain, the United States, and elsewhere.  A distinction should be made between a trademark and a hallmark, as required by English and other European countries.  Because the United States has never had a goldsmith's or silversmith's hall, there are no true hallmarks on American silver.


In Masonry, there are two kinds of tradition; First, those which relate to events, either historical and authenticated, or legendary; both of which are employed almost entirely for allegorical or symbolical teachings.  Second, those which refer to customs and usages of the Fraternity, especially in matters of ritual observances.  These traditions constitute the unwritten law of Masonry; they have been handed down by oral preservation; they are confined almost entirely to the Ritual of the Institution, although they are sometimes of value in interpreting doubtful points in written laws and regulations.  They must be preserved and passed on in Ancient and Accepted form; they are not to be altered or modified.  Emblematically and symbolically, they represent much that is most basic and vital in Masonry.

Tramping Masons

This is an opprobrious title given to men using their Masonic membership for mercenary purposes, traveling from city to city and from Lodge to Lodge seeking aid by tales of fictitious misfortune or distress.  Such unworthy men should be turned away from every Lodge, and denied by every Mason.  Transient Masons whose vocations force them from place to place and who are worthy, tested, tried and true should be given the fellowship and companionship of Lodges wherever they may be.

Transfer ware

Transferring designs and patterns from paper to ceramics.  Items were first glazed and fired.  The print was then placed ink side down on the ceramic and left to dry. The print was then sponged and the paper rubbed off with a damp cloth.  Transfer ware began in the early 1800s, reaching its peak of popularity between 1860 and 1900, but then began to drop off with the introduction of photographic illustrations, probably largely from France.  Used extensively on Sunderland Lustre Pitchers and Liverpool Pitchers.  EXAMPLE


In the symbolic language of Freemasonry, a Freemason always travels from West to East in search of light--he travels from the lofty tower of Babel, where language was confounded and Freemasonry lost, to the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, where language was restored and Freemasonry found.  The Master Mason also travels into foreign countries in search of wages.  All this is pure symbolism, unintelligible, in any other sense.


Although this officer takes no part in the ritual or ceremonial labors of the Lodge, yet the due administration of his duties is closely connected with its welfare.  He is the financial officer or banker of the Lodge; and to prevent the possibility of any collusion between himself and the presiding officer, while they give the appointment of all other officers to the Master, have prudently provided that the Treasurer shall be elected by the Lodge.  His duties are threefold:  He is to receive all moneys due the Lodge from the Secretary.  He is to make due entries of the same and he is to pay them out at the order of the Master, and with the consent of the Lodge.  As the banker simply of the Lodge, he has nothing to do with the collections which should be made to the Secretary, and handed over to him.  These funds he retains in his hands, and disburses them by the order of the Lodge, which must be certified to him by the Master.  His accounts, so far as the receipts of the money are concerned, are only with the Secretary.  Of his disbursements, of course, he keeps a special account.  His accounts should be neatly and accurately kept, and be always ready for the inspection of the Lodge or of the Master.  For all the funds he receives from the Secretary he should give a receipt to that officer, and should take receipts from all persons to whom he pays money.  The emblem of his office are crossed keys.

Trench Art

Trench Art is any 3-D object made by soldiers, POWs, the wounded, and civilians, in the context of armed conflict and its aftermath.  Most famously such objects are engraved artillery shell-cases from the First World War (from whence the genre takes its misleading name), but objects can also be made from bullets, shrapnel, bone, stone, wood and various kinds of textiles.  Such objects include talismanic jewelry, writing equipment, smoking equipment, ornaments for the home, or simple keepsakes and souvenirs - all items resonate with the human emotions and reactions to war of their maker and in a different sense of the buyer or inheritor.  EXAMPLES

Trestle-Board / Tracing Board

The Trestle-Board is defined to be the board upon which the Master inscribes the designs by which the Craft are to be directed in their labors.  The French and German Freemasons have confounded the Trestle-Board with the Tracing Board.  The two things are entirely different.  The trestle is a framework for a table--in Scotch, trest; the Trestle-Board is the board placed for the convenience of drawing on that frame.  It contains nothing but a few diagrams, usually geometrical figures.  The Tracing-Board is a picture formerly drawn on the floor of the Lodge, whence it was called a Floor-Cloth or Carpet.  It contains a delineation of the symbols of the Degree to which it belongs.  The Trestle-Board is to be found only in the Entered Apprentice's Degree.  There is a Tracing-Board in every Degree, from the first to the highest.  And, lastly, the Trestle-Board is a symbol. the Tracing-Board is a piece of furniture or picture containing the representation of many symbols.  See The Builder - January 1923 for a more definitive article.


The equilateral triangle appears to have been adopted by nearly all the nations of antiquity as a symbol of the Deity, in some of his forms or emanations, and hence, probably the prevailing influence of this symbol was carried into the Jewish system, where the yod within the triangle was made to represent the Tetragrammaton, or sacred name of God.  EXAMPLE


The "Trowel" is an instrument made use of by operative Masons to spread the cement which unites the building into one common mass; but we as Free and Accepted Masons, are taught to use it for the more noble and glorious purpose of spreading the cement of brotherly love and affection; that cement which unites us into one sacred band, or society of friends and brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, but that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree.  EXAMPLE

Trowel and Sword

Based upon the practice of the workmen in post-exilic times in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, under Nehemiah, in which they carried in one hand the trowel as an instrument of construction and the sword in the other as a means of protection against enemies of the enterprise, this combination has been adopted as a symbol in the Fifteenth Degree of the Scottish Rite.  "Next to obedience to lawful authority, resistance to lawless violence is an essential part of social duty."  Example of the Jews under Nehemiah... Neh. 4:17

Trust in God

Every candidate on his initiation is required to declare that his trust is in God.  He who denies the existence of a Supreme Being is debarred the privilege of initiation, for atheism is a disqualification for Freemasonry.  This pious principle had distinguished the Fraternity from the earliest period;  and it is a happy coincidence, that the Company of Operative Masons instituted in 1477 should have adopted, as their motto, the truly Masonic sentiment, "The Lord is all our Trust."  Psalms 56:11-13 -  Psalms 91:1-16 -  Isa. 26:3,4


The real object of Freemasonry, in a philosophical and religious sense, is the search for truth.  This truth is, therefore, symbolized by the Word.  From the first entrance of the Apprentice into the Lodge, until his reception of the highest degree, this search is continued.  It is not always found and a substitute must sometimes be provided.  Yet whatever be the labors he performs, whatever the ceremonies through which he passes, whatever the symbols in which he may be instructed, whatever the final reward he may obtain, the true end of all is the attainment of Truth.  This idea of truth is not the same as that expressed in the lecture of the First Degree, where Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth are there said to be the "three great tenets of a Mason's profession."  In that connection, Truth, which is called a "Divine Attribute, the foundation of every virtue," is synonymous with sincerity, honesty of expression, and plain dealing.  The higher idea of truth which is symbolized by the Word, is that which is properly expressed to a knowledge of God.  Jesus Christ is the Truth; to know the Truth, which means to know him, makes men free; his is manifest in the written word... John 14:6 -  John 8:31,32 -  John 17:17 -  2 John 1:4


Q.  Who was Tubal-cain?

A.  He was the son of Lamech, a descendant of Adam's son Cain, and noted as an "artificer in brass and iron."  Masonic tradition makes him the founder of smith-craft," and Josephus tells us that "he exceeded all men in strength," and was renowned for his war-like achievements.  Son of Lamech; an artificer... Gen. 4:19-22


A delicate light blue stone found in Persia (now Iran), Mexico, and in the United States in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado. It was used for ornamental purposes. Often used on pocket match holders as a small rounded element forming a part of the thumb lifter on the front edge of the lid.

Tuscan Order Of Architecture

The simplest of the five Orders of Architecture, as its columns are never fluted, and it does not allow the introduction of any kind of ornament. It is one of the two modern Orders, not being found in any ancient example. Hence it is of no value in Masonic symbolism.

Twelve Original Points

They were in the ancient English lectures, used in the ritual from 1738 till 1813, when they were taken out, and the four perfect point, substituted.  They constituted the basis of the system, and without which no man ever was or can be legally and essentially received into the Order.  Every candidate must pass through these forms and ceremonies.  The are--opening, preparation, report, entrance, prayer, circumambulation, advancing, obligation, entrusting, investiture, placing in the northeast corner and closing.  These points were symbolized by each one of the twelve tribes of Israel, the sons of Jacob.  Gen. 49:1-3

Twentieth Landmark

What is the doctrine of the Twentieth Landmark?  Subsidiary to the nineteenth landmark and this belief in God, as a landmark of the Order, is the resurrection to a future life.  This landmark is not so positively impressed on the candidate by exact words as the preceding; but the doctrine is taught by very plain implication and runs through the whole symbolism of the Order.  St. John 11:25-26

Twenty-four Inch Gauge

The twenty-four inch gage is a rule two feet long, which is divided by marks into twenty-four parts each one inch in length.  The Operative Mason uses it to take the necessary dimensions of the stone that he is about to prepare.  It has been adopted as one of the working-tools of the Entered Apprentice in Speculative Freemasonry, where it divisions are supposed to represent hours.   Hence its symbolic use is to teach him to measure his time so that, of the twenty-four hours of the day, he may devote eight hours to the service of God and a worthy distressed Brother, eight hours to his usual vocation, and eight hours to refreshment and sleep.  In the twenty-four inch gage is a symbol of time well employed, following as best we can the example of the lines told to us by Longfellow in the Psalm of Life:   Lives of great men all remind us, We can make our lives sublime, And departing leave behind us, Footprints on the sands of time.  The Masonic essence of the lesson is ability, preparedness and readiness, recalling the suggestion of William Shakespeare to the workmen in Julius Ceasar (act 1, scene i, line 5), "Where is thy leather apron and thy rule?  What dost thou with thy best apparel on?"  EXAMPLE


An ancient city of Phenicia, which in the time of King Solomon was celebrated as the residence of King Hiram, to whom that monarch and his father David were indebted for great assistance in the construction of the Temple at Jerusalem.  Tyre was distant from Jerusalem about one hundred and twenty miles by sea, and was thirty miles nearer by land.  An intercourse between the two cities and their respective monarchs was, therefore, easily cultivated.  The inhabitants of Tyre were distinguished for their skill as artificers, especially as workers in brass and other metals; and it is said to have been a principal seat of that skillful body of architects known as the Dionysian Fraternity.

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