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Master Mason Handbook

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Old July 15th 04, 03:33 PM
Doug Robbins
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Default Master Mason Handbook

WTF does this have to do with photography?

"Wilbur" wrote in message
"Tubolcain" wrote in message

.. .

by J.S.M. Ward


THE third degree in Freemasonry is termed the Sublime Degree and the

is truly justified. Even in its exoteric aspect its simple, yet

power must leave a lasting impression on the mind of every Cand.. But

esoteric meaning contains some of the most profound spiritual

which it is possible to obain to-day.

Even the average man, who entered The Craft with little realisation of

real antiquity and with the solemnity of this, its greatest degree. In

directness and apparent simplicity rests its tremendous power. The

and esoteric are interwoven in such a wonderful way that it is almost
imopssible to separate the one from the other, and the longer it is

the more we realise the profound and ancient wisdom concealed therein.
Indeed, it is probable that we shall never master all that lies hidden

this degree till we in very truth pass through that reality of which it

is a

The two degrees which have gone before, great and beautiful though they

are but the training and preparation for the message which the third

holds in almost every line of the ritual. Here at length we learn the

purpose of Freemasonry. It is not merely a system of morality veiled in
allegory and illustrated by symbols, but a great adventure, a search

that which was lost; in other words, the Mystic Quest, the craving of

Soul to comprehend the nature of God and to achieve union with Him.

Different men vary greatly; to some the most profound teachings appeal,
while to others simpler and more direct instruction is all they crave.

there is hardly a man who has not, at some time or other, amid the

and distraction of this material world, felt a strange and unaccountable
longing for knowledge as to why he was ever sent here, whence he came,

whither he is wending. At such times he feels Iike a wanderer in a

land, who has almost forgotten his native country, because he left it so
long ago, but yet vaguely realises that he is an exile, and dimly craves

some message from that home which he knew of yore.

This is the voice of the Divine Spark in man calling out for union with

Source of its being, and at such times the third degree carries with it

message which till then, perhaps, the brother had not realized. The true
s...ts are lost, but we are told how and where we shall find them. The
gateway of d. opens the way to the p. within the c., where the longing
spirit will find peace in the arms of the Father of All.

Thus it will be seen that the third degree strikes a more solemn note

even that of d. itself, and I have endeavoured in this little book to

in outline form some part at least of this sublime message.

As in my previous books, I freely confess that I have not covered the

ground. Not only would it be impossible to do so in a book of this size,

in so doing I should have defeated one of my principal objects in

namely, to inspire others to study for themselves and endeavour to find

our ceremonies further and deeper meanings.

The success of the earlier books shows clearly that my efforts have not

in vain, and that the brethren are more than anxious to fathom the inner
meaning of the ceremonies we all love so well. This book completes the
series dealing with the meaning of the three craft degrees, but their
popularity has convinced me that the experiment of producing a small and
inexpensive handbook has been completely justified. I have therefore

encouraged to write further volumes, and the next of the series will be

outline history of Freemasonry " from time Immemorial."


The success of the first edition of this book has necessitated a second
wherein I have corrected a few printing errors and added a few points

may help my brother students.

From the number of letters I have received from all parts of the world,
thanking me for the light these books throw on the meaning of our
ceremonies, it is clear that the new members who are entering our Order

tending to take an increasing interest in the meaning of our Rites and

no longer content to regard the Ceremonies merely as a pastime for an




Introduction by The Hon. Sir John Cockburn, M.D., K.C.M.G., P.G.D.Eng.,
P.D.G.M. S.Australia

Chapter 1 Questions and P.W.

Chapter 2 The Opening

Chapter 3 The Symbolical Journeys, etc.

Chapter 4 The Exhortation

Chapter 5 The S..s

Chapter 6 The Badge

Chapter 7 The Legend

Chapter 8 The Tracing Board, etc.

Chapter 9 Closing

Chapter 10 Conclusion


By Sir John A. Cockburn,

W.Bro. Ward has lost no time in supplying his large circle of readers

this little book on the 3 degree. With becoming reverence he touches on

last great lesson which Masonry presents to the mind of the Craftsman.

the manifold blessings that Freemasonry has conferred on mankind none is
greater than that of taking the sting from death and robbing the grave

victory. No man can be called Free who lives in dread of the only event

is certain in his life. Until emancipated from the fear of death, he is

his life long subject to bondage. Yet how miserably weak is this phantom
king of Terrors who enslaves so many of the uninitiated. As Francis

remarked, there is no passion in the mind of man that does not master

dread of death. Revenge triumphs over it; love slights it; honour

to it; grief flieth to it. Death has always been regarded as the

of the Great Mystery. It was only at the promise of dissolution that the
seeker after the Elixir of Life exclaimed Eureka. Masonry regards death

as the gate of life, and the Master Mason learns to look forward with

but humble confidence to the moment when he will receive his summons to
ascend to the Grand Lodge above.

Brother Ward very properly attaches much significance to the Pass Word
leading to the 2 degree and 3 degree. In the Eleusinian Mysteries an ear

corn was presented to the Epoptai. This, as an emblem of Ceres,

by the S.W., is appropriate to the F.C.'s, who are under the guidance of
that officer, while the name of the first artificier in metals, which is
reminiscent of Vulcan, the Celestial Blacksmith, seems specially

to the attributes of the J.W., as it was in the days before 1740. The

sees in the lozenge formed by two of the great lights a representation

the Vesica Piscis. This symbol, whose literal meaning is "the bladder of

fish,' is of deep significance. Some see in it the essential scheme of
ecclesiastical architecture. But as the spiritually blind are unable to
discern similitudes, so those who are gifted with deep insight are apt

over estimate analogies. The Vesica Piscis being, as Brother Ward

states, a feminine emblem, and therefore one sided, can hardly represent

equilibrium attained by the conjunction of the square and compasses.

respectively stand for the contrasted correlatives which pervade

and, like the pillars, are typical when conjoined of new stability

from their due proportion in the various stages of Evolution. The
progressive disclosures of the points of the compasses seems to indicate

ultimate realisation of the spirituality of matter; the at-one-ment and
reconciliation at which Freemasonry and all true religions aim. Brother

repeatedly points out the similarity that exists between the lessons of
Christianity and of Freemasonry. It is indeed difficult to distinguish
between them, The Ancient Mysteries undoubtedly possessed in secret many

the truths proclaimed in the gospel. St. Augustine affirms that
Christianity, although not previously known by that name, had always
existed. But whereas the hope of immortality was formerly in the

confined to a favoured few, the new Convenant opened the Kingdom of

to all believers. Incidentally this little volume clears up many

which are obscure in the Ritual. For example, there could be no object

directing that the F.C's, who, on account of their trust-worthiness,

selected by the King to search for the Master, should be clothed in

white to
prove their innocence. That was already beyond question. The order was
evidently meant for the repentant twelve who took no actual part in the
crime. This and similar inconsistencies in the Ritual may be accepted as
evidence of its antiquity. Had it been a modern compilation such
contradictions would have been studiously avoided.

It is probable that many earnest Masons may not agree with all Brother
Ward's interpretations. Nor can such unanimity reasonably be expected.
Freemasonry, as a gradual accretion of the Wisdom of Ages Immemorial,

traces of many successive schools of thought. But all its messages are
fraught with hope for the regeneration of humanity. The author intimated

desire in this series of handbooks to lead others to prosecute the study

Masonry for themselves; and indeed he has abundantly proved that in its
unfathomable depths there are many gems of priceless ray serene which

well repay the search. Brother Ward is heartily to be congratulated on
having attained the object he had in view.

John A. Cockburn.



Those of our Brethren who have read the previous two books of this

will not need much help in understanding the significance of the

which are put to the Cand. before being raised. Practically every

has been dealt with in detail in the previous books; the majority of

are taken from incidents in the Lectures and Tracing Board, and since

latter was explained at some length we shall not now detain our readers

The manner of preparation for the second degree stressed the masculine

which is characteristic of it. The admission on a S. indicated that the
Cand. had profited by the moral training rcceived in the First degree,

that his conduct had always been on the S.. There is, however a deep
esoteric meaning in the apparent platitude that it is the fourth part of

circle. Among all the ancient nations the circle is a symbol of God the
Infinite, Whose name we discovered in the second degree in the M.Ch.,

we leamt that it consisted of four letters. Thus the Cand. was admitted

one letter of the Mystic Name, and if the four Sq.s are united with the
circle in a peculiar way they form the cosmic cross, emblem of matter,
within the circle of the Infinite.

We have in the last book considered at such length what is implied by

words "Hidden mysteries of nature and science," that we need here only

our readers to that section, wherein we saw that in former times these
hidden mysteries undoubtedly referred to certain occult powers, which

be dangerous if acquired by a man who had not proved himself to be of

highest moral character.

The "wages" we receive consist of the power to comprehend the nature of

Who resides in the M.Ch. of the Soul of every Mason. The F.C. receives

wages without scruple or diffidence because the Spiritual benefit he
receives from Freemasonry is in exact proportion to his desire, and

to comprehend its inner meaning.

He cannot receive either more or less than he has earned, for if he has

understood the profound lesson of the Divinity within him, naturally he
cannot benefit therefrom.

His employers are the Divine Trinity, of Whom Justice is one of the
outstanding attributes. God could not be unjust and remain God. This
conception is almost a platitude, but the average man, while realising

God will not withhold any reward earned, is at times apt to assume that
because God is love He will reward us more than we deserve. This is

a mistake, for God could not be partial without ceasing to be God,

the F.C. receives exactly the Spiritual wages he has earned, and neither
more nor less, but some F.C.'s will nevertheless obtain a greater reward
than others, because spiritually they have earned it.

The significance of the names of the P....rs was explained in the last

but in view of the nature of the third degree it seems advisable to

out once more that their secret Kabalistic meaning is (1) Being

fortified by
every moral virtue, (2) you are now properly prepared, (3) to undergo

last and greatest trial which fits you to become a M M.. Thus we see

even the w..ds of the preceding degrees lead up to this, the last and

As in the former case, the remark of the W.M. that he will put other
questions if desired indicates the possibility of members of the Lodge
asking qucstions based on the Lectures of the Second Degree, or even on

Tracing Board. It is, indeed, a pity that this right is practically

exercised. For example, a particularly appropriate question would be

was the name of the man who cast the two great p....rs ? " As it is, the
Cand. in a dramatic way represents the closing incidents in the life of

great man, whose importance till then he has hardly had any opportunity


Having answered these test questions, the cand. is again entrusted with

P.W., etc., to enable him to enter the Lodge after it has been raised to

Third degree during this temporary absence. We have in the previous book
explained that the raising of a Lodge should alter the vibrations of

present by a process well recognised in the ceremonies of Magic, and, to
enable the Cand. quickly to become in ttme with these higher spiritual
vibrations, a word of "power" is given him, which in a moment places him

the same plane as the other members of the Lodge. This word he has to

not only outside the d....r of the Lodge, but also immediately before

presentation by the S.W. as "Properly prepared to be raised to the Third
Degree." It is only after this has been done that the real ceremony of

Third Degree, so far as the c. is concerned, begins, and therefore that

full force of the vibrations of the M.M.'s come into play.

The P.W. itself is of the greatest significance, more especially when
combined with the P.W. leading from the First to the Second degree. At

time the P.W.'s were reversed. T.C. being the W. leading to the Second,

Sh... . the W. leading to the Third. This is still the case in those

Grand Lodges, such as the Dutch and the French, which derive from us

1740, when the W.s were altered owing to certain un-authorised

This alteration was one of the just grievances which brought about the
secession of the so-called "Ancients," who charged Grand Lodge with

the Ancient Landmarks. When the Irish followed our example they

the prohibition of the introduction of m..ls until the Third degree,

is a logical procedure, for clearly you have no right to bring them into
Lodge until you have been symbolically introduced to the first artificer

that material. As the W.s now stand they convey the following spiritual
lesson:- the F.C. is one who finds the simple necessities of life, such

C. and W., sufficient for his requirements. They are plenty to the
spiritually minded man, whose soul becomes clogged and hampered by the
acquistion of worldly possessions and since it is hard for a rich man to
enter the Kingdom of Heaven, immediatdy the Cand. has symbolically

W.P. he is Sl....n.

T.C. conveys the lesson that W.P. in themselves bring death to the soul

prevent its upward progress. To-day, the river of death connected with

P.W. leading to the Second degree has largely lost its significance,

when it was a P.W. leading to the Third, it was in itself a fine


We must remember that Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress was well known and

read at the beginning of the 18th Century, and those who were

our rituals at that time could not have been blind to the similarity of

allegory hidden in the w. Sh. and the account by Bunyan of Christian's
fording the river of death on the way to the Holy City. The change of

1740 destroyed this allegory, and its survival in the Tracing Board is

merely one of those numerous footnotes which, to the careful student,

invaluable indications of the various transformations though which our
ritual has passed during the course of years. Nevertheless, I do not

the change, as I think the present spiritual lesson is even finer than

former one, but the other arrangement was more logical. Firstly, from

practical point of view the F.C. required the use of m..1 tools to

his operative tasks, and in the process of his work acquired W.P., in
contradiction to the E.A., who did only rough work and received only
maintenance: i.e., corn, wine , and oil. Secondly, from the symbolical
standpoint the sequence was also more logical, for the F.C., having

wealth by means of his skill, was brought to the river of d., and passed
through it in the Third Degree.

According to Bro. Sanderson, in his "Examination of the Masonic Ritual,"

actual translation of the Hebrew w. Sh. is an " e. of c., or a f. of

hence the manner in which it is depicted in a F.C.'s Lodge-while the w.

in Hebrew means only a blacksmith, though another w. similarly

means acquisition. Hence, as he points out, " an allegorical title has,

translating the Old Testament, been mistaken for the name of an actual
person, for the name itself means `A worker in M...t...ls'" Therefore

connection with H.A.B. is obvious. Bro. Sanderson, quoting from the

Discipline," by S. L. Knapp, says, "In a work on ancient ecclesiastical
history the following occurs, 'By a singular plasus linguae the moderns

substituted T.C. in the Third Degree for tymboxein-to be entombed.' "

I am unable to say whether Knapp is justified in this statement, it is
quitee probable that this P.W., and indeed all the P.W.s are

modern substitutes, taken from the Bible to replace ancient W.s of power
whose full meaning was lost and whose form in consequence had become

and unintelligible. The Greek word tymboxein would be peculiariy

suitable fo
r a P.W. leading to the Third Degree, in view of its meaning, and

magical ceremonies are full of corrupt Greek words indiscriminately

with equally corrupt Hebrew and Arabic. There is, therefore, nothing
intrinsically improbable in the suggestion that this ancient Greek word

the original from which T.C. has been evolved. We know as a fact that

pieces of Biblical history were imported wholesale into our rituals in

18th Century, and what is more likely than that an unintelligible work,
already so corrupt as not even to be recognisable as Greek, should be
amended into a well known Biblical character? However, the word as it
stands, because of its Hebrew meaning of acquisition, can correctly be
translated as W.P., while as meaning an artificer in M. it clearly

refers to
H.A.B., who made the two p.....rs, and whom the Cand. is to represent.

following this line of interpretation, we perceive that the Cand. really
represents H.A.B. when he enters the Lodge, although under the disguised
title conveyed by the P.W..

In dealing with these P.W.s I have endeavoured to show that there are
meanings within meanings, and the same is true of practically every
important incident in the whole ceremony. In a book of thissize it is
obviously impossible to attempt to give all of these meanings, and even

one did the result would be to befog the young reader and so prevent him
from getting a clear and connected interpretation of the ceremony. It is

this reason that, in the main, I am concentrating on one line of
interpretation, but I have thought it desirable in this section to give

hint to more advanced students, so that they can follow up similar lines

investigation for themselves.


In English and Scotch workings there is no c.t. around the Cand. in
preparation for the Third Degree, but in the Irish working it is wound

around his n., in the Second degree twice, and the First three times. If

regard the c.t. as symbolising those things which hamper a man's

progress, the gradual unwinding of it as used in Irish workings becomes

great significance. This interpretation implies that the Cand. is

in Body, Soul and Spirit in the First Degree, whereas by the time he has
reached this point in the Third Degree the Body and Soul have triumphed

the sins which peculiarly assail them, and in that stage symbolised by

Degree itself the Spirit has only to triumph over Spiritual sins, such

Spiritual Pride. With this exception the manner of preparation is the

in all these British workings, and indicates that the Cand. is now about

consecrate both sides of his nature, active and passive, creative and
preservative, etc., to the service of the Most High.

The explanation already given in the previous books of the various

such as being s.s., holds here, and a brief glance at the other volumes

render it unnecessary for me to take up valuable space therewith in this
third book. The Can. is then brought to the Lodge door and gives the

Kn.s of
a F.C. These Kn's indicate that Soul and Body are in union, but the

is still out of contact whereas the proper Kn's of a M.M. (2/1)

that the Spirit dominates the Soul and is in union with it, the body

fallen away into significance. It will be remembered that in the first

of this series I pointed out that the three separate kn's of an E.A.
symbolise that in the uninitiated man, Body, Soul and Spirit are all at
variance. Meanwhile the Lodge has been raised to a Third Degree by a
ceremony whose profound significance demands consideration in a separate



Having satisfied himself that all present are symbolically upright and

men, the W.M. asks the J.W. if his spiritual nature has evolved

to control both soul and body. The J.W. suggests that he should be

not only by the emblem of upright conduct, but also by the Compasses.

these combined with the Square form a lozenge, which is itself a symbol

the Vesica Piscis, emblem of the female principle. The Compasses,

are the instruments with which geometrical figures are created, and more
especially the Circle. By means of two circles the triangle, emblem of

triune nature of God,. is produced, while the Cirde itself is the emblem

Eternity and therefore of Spirit. A point within the cirle forms the

for the Hindu conception of the Supreme Being, Paramatma, whence we have
come and whither we shall all ultimately return. At the centre of the

rests all knowledge; there shall we find every lost secret. Now such a
figure can only be drawn with the help of the Compasses, and in drawing

the following significant symbolical act takes place.

One point of the Compass rests at the centre, and the other makes the

of the Infinite. No matter how far the legs of the Compass be extended,

how large the Circle, the fact remains that one leg is always at the

Thus the Compasses, while they travel through infinity, are at the same

never separated from the centre, and from that point cannot err.

This instrument may therefore be considered as standing for the Divine

in Man, in all its manifestations. One of these is conscience; but the
Divine Spark has many attributes and names.

So the J.W.'s reply indicates that he is prepared to be tested both by

moral code and by the spiritual laws of our being.

But after these preliminaries the proceedings become of an even more

nature. All that has gone before has been but preparation for the Great
Quest on which we must now set forth. It is the quest of the Soul for
realisation of God, and at-one-ment with Him. This is the Mystic Quest

all ages, and, true to the ancient symbolism, it starts from the East,

place of Light, and goes towards the West, the place of darkness and


The East represents God, Who is our home. It indicates that each soul

out from the place of Light, from Light itself, that is, from the very
substance of God, descends through the Gateway of the Dawn and becomes
incarnate in Matter. But it brings with it a sense of loss and

for it has come out from God, and the Divine Spark within it longs

whence it came. Having lost the secret of its true nature and the way of
return, it wanders in darkness, seeking and for most men the way of

is through the Western portal, the gateway of Death, for so long as we

finite beings we cannot hope to comprehend the Infinite.

Yet there are some few exceptions to the general rule, who, while still

the flesh, have a vision of the Divine splendour, are caught up in it,

became one with God. To such men the return to ordinary mundane

seems unreal and shadowy. Where others believe in God they Know Him, but

is almost impossible for them to convey to others the experience through
which they have gone. Yet that such experiences are real, as real as any
other fact in life, is attested by a long line of witnesses right

the ages.

To the average man, however, the first real step towards the realisation

what constitutes God is through the portal of physical death; - but even
then the end is still far off.

Hence the answer explaining how the true secrets came to be lost

not the cause of the loss, but the first step towards the recovery, and

fact is borne out by the subsequent events in the ceremony itself.

Note, it is the body only that dies, and by its death enables the Soul

Spirit to re-discover in part the secrets which were last. Yet this

death of
the Body effectually debars the communication of these secrets to the
sorrowing F.C.'s left behind. It is the passing through that veil which
separates life and death which stars us on the road which ends with God.

It must never be forgotten, however, that the genuine secrets are never
recovered in the Craft, although symbolically we rise from the grave,

that secret can only be discovered at or with the C.-i.e., with God. To

exalted position we can only attain after long journeys through the

of existence beyond the grave. In our symbolism there is nothing which
indicates that immediately after death man is fit to pass into the

of the King of Kings.

But the Divine Spark within us is never really separated from the Great

All-Pervading Spirit. It is still part of it, though its glory is dimmed

the veil of flesh. Therefore, just as one arm of the compasses ever

rests on
the centre, no matter how far the other leg travels; so however far we

travel from God, and however long and hard may be the journey, the

Spark within us can never be truly separated from Him, or err from that
Centre. Thus the point of the Compasses at the centre of the circle may

considered to be the Spirit, the head of the Compasses the Soul, and the
point on the circumference the body.

So the task is set and the brethren go forth on the quest, that quest

must lead through the darkness of death, as the ceremony that follows

in allegory. It is not correct to say that the search hinted at in the
Opening ceremony is suddenly abandoned, and those who think this
misinterpret the whole meaning of the legend. Never in earthly life

shall we
find the answer we seek, nay, even death itself will not give it; but,
having passed beyond the grave, through the four veils of the Scottish

and so into the H.R.A., we find an excellent answer in allegorical and
symbolical language, whilst the jewel of the degree emphasises what the

of the quest is.

Nor must it be forgotten that the body alone cannot realise the nature

God, and that is why without the help of the other two, H.A.B. neither
could, nor would, disclose the S........t.

The W.M.'s promise to help indicates that the Spirit will render

but though the Spirit subsequently raises man from the grave it is not
sufficiently evolved to give him the true secret. This can only come

when the Spirit has raised the Soul to a far higher stage of


Though this is the degree of Destruction, that form of the Trinity is

invoked, and the title used corresponds more closely to the Hindu name

the All-Embracing than to their form of the Destroyer. This no doubt is
deliberate, for the symbol of this degree is the same emblem which among

Hindus denotes the Most High, namely the Circle with a Point within it.

v In
some Scotch rituals, after the Lodge has been opened in the first degree

I.P.M., or the D.C., opens the V.S.L., and, strange to say, does so with

words, "In the beginning was the Word." Similarly, when the Lodge is

in the first degree the book is closed with the words, "And the word was
with God." Here then we get two striking features: 1) the use of words

the first chapter of the Gospel according to St. John, and 2) their
correlation with the phrase in the Third Degree, "At, or with the C."

procedure suggests that the lost W. is the Logos, or Christ, and

what we have previously pointed out in the earlier books, i.e., that

is a perfectly logical Christian interpretation of the whole of the

ceremonies, this fact becomes of increasing significance.

Before closing this chapter, I would like to add that the Third Degree

itself to a Christian interpretation even more markedly than the former
ones, and several of the higher degrees in Freemasonry adopt and expand

line of teaching.

In view of the fact that in the Middle Ages Freemasonry was undoubtedly
Christian, we cannot lightly reject this view of the inner meaning of

ceremonies, but as the frame work of our ceremonies apparently goes back
before Christian times, a non-Christian interpretation is equally



The Can. is admitted on he C....... s, and this fact is of far greater
significance than most brethren probably realise. Firstly, as has been
noted, one arm of the C.s is always at the C., no matter how far the

may travel, and from the point of view of the Can., though he knows it

this act in a sense indicates that his heart, and therefore he himself,

at or on the C........e. Secondly, the C....s in this degree link up

the Sq. used in the former degree on a similar occasion. We have seen in

previous books that the Sq. and C........s are united on the Ped. in

such a
way as to form the vesica piscis, the emblem of the female principle,

the symbol of birth and rebirth. Hence symbolically thc Can. passes

the vesica piscis. Also after entering the Lodge in this, as in the

degrees, he kn....s while the blessing of Heaven is invoked, and as he

so the wands of the deacons are crossed above his head. He thus

in a triangle, the emblem of Spirit, and itself connected with the

Two equilateral triangles make a lozenge, which is produced from the

piscis-formed by two circles, as shown by the first proposition in

In view of the great stress laid upon Geometry throughout the whole of

rituals these facts cannot be ignored. Our Operative Brn. must have

that the whole science of Geometry arises out of this first proposition,
which shows how to make a triangle (the emblem of the Trinity and the
Spirit) by means of two circles whose circumferences pass through the

of each other. In doing so they form the vesica piscis, which gives

first of all to the triangle, and secondly, to the double triangle, in

form of a lozenge. This last emblem is symbolised by the sq., denoting
matter, and the c...s, denoting spirit. The above facts throw a flood of
light upon the interplay between these Masonic emblems.

Before leaving this subject it is worth while pointing out that the Can.
likewise takes every Ob. in Craft masonry within this triangle, and that

same method is employed in other ancient rites, including those of the
Society of Heaven and Earth in China, where the Can. kn...s on one

while two others are held over his head so as to form a triangle of


The Can. now starts on his three symbolical journeys. He first satisfies

J.W., representing the Body, that he is an E.A., i.e., a man of good

character. He next satisfies the S.W., representing the Soul, that he

benefited by the lessons of life and acquired intellectual knowledge.

comes the third journey, when he is once more challenged by the Soul,

demands the P.W., the full significance of which has already been

Let us combine these meanings! He comes laden with worldly possessions,
which in themselves carry the seeds of death, unconsciously representing

his person the worker in metals who made the twin colunms, and is about

be entombed. (tymboxein).

Therefore the Soul presents him to the Spirit as one properly prepared

carry out the part of his great predecessor. There is a point here which

need to realise, for it is one which is often overlooked. In the

degrees only one Deacon was instructed to lead the Can. by the proper

to the E., but here both are needed. From the practical point of view

is no obvious reason why the help of the J.D. should be invoked at all,

as the ceremony is usually carried out he does nothing but look on. I
believe, however, the S.D. should first go through the S...ps and the

should assist the Can. to copy his example. If thus were so we should

get an
almost exact repetition of the analogous ceremony in the R.A. where the
p.s., corresponding to the S.D., is helped by an assistant. Thus, with

Can., in both cases we get a Trinity, only one of whom actually descends
into the g., or, in the other case, into the v.

As Major Sanderson has pointed out in An Examination of the Masonic

among the primitive, races usually, a man who stepped over an o.g. would

considered to have committed sacrilege, and almost certainly would be

but, on the other hand, we do know that in many Initiatory Rites either

Can., or someone else for him, steps down into a gr., and is

symbolically sl...n therein. If this be the true interpretation of this

of the ceremony, the reason for the presence of the two deacons in

to the Can. becomes clear. It is only the Body that descends into the

the Soul and the Spirit have no part therein. Thus, for the moment,

only temporarily, these three represene the triune nature of man, while

three principal officers represent the triune nature of God. The fact

this is undoubtedly true in the case of the R.A., makes it almost

that the same idea underlies this apparently unimportant diffirence

the arrangements in the third degree, and those followed in the first


Again and again when one comes to study carefully the details of our

one finds little points, such as these, which would certainly not have
survived the drastic revision of 1816 if there had not been present some

who really did understand the inner meaning of our ceremonies, and

to allow important lessons to be lost by the removal of what, at first
sight, appear to be unnecessary details.

Therefore, those of us who value the inner meaning of our ceremonies owe

deep debt of gratitude to these men, even though their actual names be
unknown to us, and on our part a duty is imposed on us that we shall not
hastily tamper with the rituals, merely because we do not ourselves see

full significance of a phrase or think that by revising it we can make

wording run more smoothly.

The next factor we must consider most carefuUy is the actual sp...s
themselves. These make the Latin cross of suffuring and sacrifice.

Sometimes the sp..s are not done quite correctly, for the Can. should be
careful to face due North, due South, and due East respectively. This
procedure undoubtedly refers to the three entrances of the Temple

which H.A.B. endeavoured to escape. Hence it is we see that the Master
himself trod out the cross of Calvary during the tragedy, and in a sense
made the Consecration Cross of the Temple.

In a mediaeval church, and even to-day at the consecration of a church
according to the Anglican ordinance, there should be a dedication cross
marked on the building. In the Middle Ages these were usually marked on

pillars, and apparently corresponded to the mark made by an illiterate
person when witnessing a deed. The Consecrating Bishop sometimes drew

cross on the pillar or wall, or sometimes merely traced over a cross

painted there for the purpose. Any new piece of work in a church, even

only a new fresco, had its dedication cross. For example :-At Chaldon
Church, Surrey, the dedication cross is marked on the margin of a fresco
depicting The Brig of Dread, described at length in Freemasonry and the
Ancient Gods.

Bearing these facts in mind, we shall perceive that, even from the

point of view, the manner of advancing in this degree, and the manner in
which H.A.B. met his end, had a peculiar significance. The Great

of the Temple must have traced the dedication cross the whole length and
breadth of the Temple in his own blood. Moreover, such dedication

crosses as
have actually survived are nearly always found to be painted in red.

H.A.B.'s last work was, as it were, to commence the consecration of the
Temple which was completed by K.S., for until that cross had been marked
either on the wail or pavement, according to mediaeval Operative ideas

building could not be consecrated. Therefore, the Can., who is

the same drama, must obviously do likewise, and in so doing dedicates

Temple of his body.

But there is still more hidden within this ceremonial act. The ancient
Knights Templar were accused of trampling on the cr., and a careful
examination of the evidence taken at the trial shows that in reality

took a ritual sp., somewhat similar to those taken by the Can. in this

One of the esoteric meanings indicated is the Way of the Cross which

to Calvary. Furhermore, having thus traced out a cr. he is subsequendy

on it, and this fact is emphasised by the position in which his legs or

are placed. The foot of this cr. reaches to the Ped., on which rests the
O.T. If, therefore, this symbolical cr. were raised as it was on Calvary

would rest on the O.T., and the Can. would face the E., and would be, as

were, on a mountain. This fact should be borne in mind by those who seek

Christian interpretation of our Craft ceremonies. Mystically

interpreted, it
indicates that every aspirant for union with the Divine must tread the

of the Cross, and suffer and die thereon, in order that he may rise to a

life, a realisation of his union with the Infinite. v Even those who are
disinclined to admit the possibility of a Christian interpretatior, of

Craft degrees, must recognise the fact that this cr. is the cr. of

and means that the true aspirant must be prepared to sacrifice

everything in
his search after Truth.

The number of the sp...s is the combination of the Trinity and of the

elements, representing matter. It is the same number as forms the

lodge, and also the seven elements which form man, whether we interpret

according to the ancient Egyptian system, or in the more modern form of

five physical senses, the Soul and the Spirit. In the latter case it
indicates that the man must be prepared to sacrifice, or shall we say
dedicate to God, Body, Soul and Spirit.

There are yet other profound meanings in this one ritual act, but enough

been written to set my readers pondering for themselves, and we will
therefore proceed to consider the next point in the ceremony.

The Ob. itself contains one or two interesting points. Thus it indicates
that a M.M.'s Lodge must always be open on the C.. This shows us at once
that we are dealing with a ceremony with a mystical meaning, for the C.
means the same as the middle ch. in the second degree-the secret chamber

the heart, where dwells the Divine Spark-and so tells us in veiled

that all that happens thereafter is a spiritual experience, which sooner

later comes to every mystic. The special moral obligations which the

undertakes should be noted, but require no explanation. It is, however,
difficult to understand why they should be deferred until this stage. In

ancient charges similar obligations are imposed apparently on the E.A.,

this seems more logical.

The Py. varies even in different parts of England, but in essentials is
always the same. You are s. at the c., and the manner of disposal is

reminiscent of the way in which the dead are cremated in India in honour

Shiva. There the corpse is burnt near running water, preferably near the
Ganges, and the ashes are thrown into the air over the river to the four
cardinal points, that the winds may scatter them. It must be remembered

Shiva represents the destructive attribute of the Diety and he makes the
P.S. of a M.M. on his statues. His is the element of fire, and all these
facts must be born in mind when considering our own Py.

The position of the Sq. and Cs., in addition to the explanation given,
indicates that the spirit, represented by the Cs., now dominates the

typified by the Sq..



The opening part of the exhortation gives a convenient summary of the
previous degress and quite clearly indicates that the first inner

meaning of
the series is Birth, Life which is of course educational and preparatory

its sequel, and Death. The phrase relating to the second degree "And to
trace it, from its devlopment through the paths of Heavenly Science even

the throne of God Himself," shows plainly its real significance. As

out in the F.C. Handbook, in the Mid. Ch. the F.C. discovers not only

name of God, but that he himself is the fifth letter Shin which

the name Jehovah into the name Jeheshue, or Messias, the King.

But according to the old Kabala Jeheshue must be raised on the cross of
Tipareth, and the significance of this fact is impressed on our Can. by

incidents now to take place. The average Christian need not trouble

the subtleties of the Kabala, for the story in the New Testament

him with a very similar interpretation.

The W.M. having, almost casually, given him this key to the inner

meaning of
what is about to follow, proceeds at once to the most dramatic part of

ceremony. Up to this point almost all forms of our ritual are

the same, but henceforward there are many marked differences.

ritual may be regarded as containing the bare minimum, but the

details found in many Provincial workings in England, and in Scotland,
Ireland, America, and many of the Continental Lodges, are too important

be ignored. There is no reason to assume that they are innovations; on

contrary all the evidence points to the fact that they are integral

parts of
the ceremony which, for various reasons, were omitted by the revisers of

ritual who met in the Lodge of Reconciliation. I shall therefore proceed

note and explain them where necessary.

Whereas in Emulation working as soon as the Ws. are called on the

retire, in most others, in the Provinces, etc., they fall back to the

of the g.. Thus with the W.M. the W.s form the triangle of Spirit, and

the D.s the Sq. of matter, on which the triangle rests, for the M.

from his chair and stands in front of the Ped.. As a practical piece of
advice I would recommend that the J.W. should not direct the Can. to c.

f. until after the S.W. has dealt with him, for it is impossible for him

drop on his respective k...s if his f. are c., whereas by carrying out

instructions before the last attack he will fall the more readily.

In most of the old Scotch rituals the Can. journeys round the Lodge, is
attacked by the J.W. in the S., by the S.W. in the W. (note that), and
returns to the M. in the E., where the final incident takes place. I

however, our English system of having the attack in the N. instead of in

W. is preferable, and is probably the correct form. In the Scotch ritual

three villains have names, and the same is the case in America. They are
Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum. The word itself clearly comes from the

word meaning "To command," and refers to the fact that they commanded

him to
give up the S....s. But the terminations of the three names appear to

have a
curious esoteric reference to India. It can hardly be by accident that

three names form the mystic word AUM. The U in India in this case is
pronounced almost like O, and when this word is disguised, as it usually

it is written OMN. If this be so we have the Creative Preservative, and
Annihilative aspects of the Deity emphasised in the Third Degree, and it

the Destructive aspect, symbolised by the letter M, which deals the


This variation is therefore of importance, but I must warn my readers

not all Scotch workings have it, some of them being much more akin to

own, even having the attack in the N.. Practically all of them, however,
have the perambulations, during which solemn music is played. The usual
procedure is for the brethren to pass round the gr. once making the P.

S. of
an E.A.. When this is done the J.W. makes his abortive attempt. The

round is made with the H. S. of an F.C., after which the S.W. tries and
fails. The third round is made with the S. of G. and D. of a M.M., on

conclusion of which the Can. is r... by the lion's g.... It is a great

that the use of this name for the M. M.'s g. is falling into disuse in
London, for it has in itself important symbolical references, to which

shall refer later in the chapter.

In many parts of England it is still customary to place the Can., either

a c----n or in a g. made in the floor, and the same method is found in

other parts of tke world. Indeed, in the Dutch ritual the Can. is first

all shown a c..n in which is a human skeleton. This is subsequently

though he does not know it and he thinks when he is laid therein he will
find himself in its bony clutches. Even as near London as Windsor there

is a
Masonic Temple which has a special chamber of d. with a g. actually in

floor and until recently it was still used although whether it is to-day

cannot say.

Let us now turn to consider the meanings of the main incidents. The

meaning of the degree is obvious; it prepares a man for his final end

hints of a possibility of life beyond the grave but it must be admitted

the lesson is not driven home with the same force as it is in most of

ancient mysteries. Osiris Himself rose from the dead and became the

Judge of
all who followed after Him, and because of this fact His worshippers
believed that they too would rise. In our legend, however, it is only

dead body of H.A.B. which is lifted out ofthe g. in a peculiar manner,

in the legend there is not even a hint as to what befell his Soul. The
question is often asked why they should have raised a c..s and placed it

its feet. (1)

(1) See Ward, Who Was Hiram Abiff?

One explanation probably is, by analogy with the Greek story of the

in which Hercules recovered Alcestis and ransomed her from the bondage

Thanatos-Death himself. We are told that Hercules wrestled with Thanatos

would nor let him go until he had agreed to allow Hercules to bring her

from the realm of the Shades to the land of living men. It may be that

corpse here represents Death. It is also worth noting that Isis joined
together the fragments of the body of Osiris, and the "Setting up" of

backbone of the God was a ceremony carried out every year by the ancient
Egyptian Priests. The body of Osiris apparently was raised from the bier

Anubis in precisely the same way as the M.M. is r.. When it was set on

feet life returned to it. One fact is certain, that in every Rite which

as its central theme symbolic d. the Can. is r. by the same g., and in
precisely the same manner, and this manner becomes a method of greeting

of recognition among all who have passed through this type of ceremony.

example :-it is known and used in the Dervish Rite, among West African
Negroes, among the Red Indians of Central America, and was apparently

to the ancient Druids, for it is carved on a stone found at Iona. In the
ancient rites of Mithra it also appears to have been the method used

upon a
similar occasion. These facts show that it is an ancient landmark and

one to
be most carefully guarded.

The use of the phrase The Lion Grip is peculiarly significant, as Major
Sanderson shows in his work, An Examination of the Masonic Ritual.

he points out that in the Book of the Dead the Supreme God, whether Ra

Osiris, is appealed to as the " God in the Lion form," and in all such

the prayer of the Soul is that he may be permitted to " Come forth " in

East, rising with the sun from the d..s of the g.. In Egypt the lion was

`personification of strength and power, but it is usually associated

the idea of the regeneration of the Sun, and therefore with the
resurrection. Major Anderson goes on to point out as follows. "Shu

`the Lifter') who as the light of the Dawn was said to lift up the
sky-goddess from the arms of the sleeping Earth, is often represented as

lion, for only through him was the rebirth of the Sun made possible.

is called the lion of yesterday, and Ra the Lion of tomorrow : the bier

Osiris is always represented as having the head and legs of a lion."

Thus as
Major Sanderson indicates, the expression "the lion grip" is a survival
from, the Solar cult, and therefore a landmark which should be carefully

The Bright Morning Star whose rising brings peace and Salvation, almost
certainly was originally Sirius, but to Englishmen it must seem strange

Sirius should be said to bring peace and Salvation. The association of

ideas with the Dog Star is undoubtedly a fragment which has come down

Ancient Egypt, for the rising of Sirius marked the beginning of the
inundation of the Nite, which literally brought salvation to the people

Egypt by irrigating the land and enabling it to produce food. That

was an object of veneration to the philosophers of the ancient world is

known to all archaeologists, and many of the Temples in Egypt have been
proved to have been oriented on Sirius. There is also a good deal of
evidence showing that some of the stone circles in Great Britain were
similarly oriented on Sirius by the Druids. It is therefore not

that this star is still remembered in our rituals. Naturally it has

a deeper spiritual meaning in the course of years, and may be regarded

representing the First Fruits of the Resurrection, the sure hope of our
Redemption. This aspect is set forth in the lectures drawn up by

who regarded it as the star of Bethlehem, and as typifying Christ. See

xxii, 16.

At this point the Can.. who has been carefully put in the N., the place

darkness, is moved round by the right to the South. From the practical

of view this is to enable the M. to re-enter his chair from the proper

but there is also an inner meaning. Immediately after death the Soul is

to find itself on the earth plane amid murk and darkness. Lacking mortal
eyes, it cannot perceive the sun, and, on the other hand, is still so
immersed in matter that it cannot yet see clearly with its spirit eyes;

this stage rapidly passes away, and the Soul is received into a higher

of existence, being brought thither by messengers of Light. The position

the North represents this period of darkness on the earth plane, and

this is not accidental is shown by the fact that in most rituals the

are not turned up until the phrase "That bright morning star, etc." has

uttered. Then the M., representing one of these spirit messengers, leads

Can. gently round to the South, thereby symboling his entry into the

of light. And who is this messenger? Every installed master who has

the P.W. leading to the Chair should realise that, no matter how

he represents the risen Christ. Thus we see the peculiarly appropriate
nature of the act coming after the reference to the bright morning star,
which also in another sense represents the risen Christ.



Having thus been brought into the place of light the Can. is given not

Gen. Ss, but only substitued ones. This fact must often have puzzled the
Can.. The pratical reason given in the ritual, though perfecdy

to a R.A. mason, cannot be the real one. In view of the unexpected

no-one could have thought K.S. was breaking his ob. by nominating a
successor to H.A.B. and giving him the full ss..ts. Actually according

the R.A. story he did something much worse, for he wrote them down and
placed them somewhere, in the hopes that they would be subsequently
rediscovered, and he had no assurance that their discoverers would even

masons, much less that they would keep their discovery secret. Of course
this is also an allegory, and from this stand-point perfectly correct.

lost s...ts are the nature and attributes of God, which must be realised

each man for himself, and no other man can really communicate them.
Moreover, this complete realisation of the nature of God, and the union

the Divine Spark within us with the Source of All, can never be achieved
during mortal life. Even after death we shall need to leave the world

behind and travel far, before we can hope to attain that state of

evolution which will enable us to approach the Holy of Holies, and gaze

unveiled eyes upon Him, Who is the beginning and the end of all.

With regard to these substituted s..ts. let us note that they grow out

those used by the F.C.. Having already shown in the last book that the

of the F.C., and in fact the real s..t of that degree, is the

of Jehovah into Jeheshue,

we see that this is most appropriate. To use modern language, the second
degree teaches of the birth of the Christ Spirit within us, while the

indicates that mystically we, like the great Master, must die and rise
again. As St. Paul says, " Die daily in Christ."

The sn.s given are probably all of great antiquity. Of some we have

which shows that they were venerated in ancient Egypt and Mexico, are

employed in the primitive Initiatory Rites of the savages, and are
associated with the Gods in India. For example, the P.S. is used by

the Great Destroyer, Who when He makes it, holds in His hand the lariet

death. The sn. of G. and D. is found all round the world, as I have

shown in
full detail in Sign Language of the Ancient Mysteries. Ancient Mexico,

Quetzacoatl makes it, can be matched with Easter Island in the far

Peru, West Africa, East Africa, New Guinea, Malaya and many other


Major Sanderson points out that the second Cas. Sn. is depicted in

pictures as being used by those who are saluting Osiris in his coffin.

who desire will find it in Papyrus 9,908 in the British Museum.

The English sn. of g. and d. (for up till now we have been speaking of

Scotch form) is almost certainly not the correct one. Its general

would incline one to believe that it is a penal sn., though whence

it is difficult to say. A little thought will indicate the nature of the
penalty as being somewhat similar to that of one of the higher degrees.

far as I can find it is not recognised as a sn. of g. and d. to-day,

among masons who are descended masonically from the Grand Lodge of

but in a picture by Guercino of Christ cleansing the Temple, in the

Rosso, Crenoa, both this and the Scotch form are shown, while the G. of

constantly appears in mediaeval paintings, e.g., in the Raising of


The so-called Continental form undoubtedly comes from a well known high
degree, where it is much more appropriate: it is apparently restricted

the Latin countries, whereas even in Germany it is the Scotch form that


The sn. of Exul. is a form used to this day in of Asia to indicate

and was similarly employed in Ancient Egypt. Major Sanderson suggests

it was copied from the position in which Shu upheld the sky.

Thus we see that six out of the so-called seven sn.s can be shown to be

ancient origin, and it is quite probable that further research will

us to prove that the other one is equally old. Such sn.s as these

had a magical significance, and the explanation given in the ritual as


(1) see The Sign Language of the Mysteries by Ward.

origin is no doubt of a much later date than the sn.s themselves.

Indeed, a
careful study of certain of the sn.s will show that they are not the

sn.s which would have been used to indicate the feeling they are said to
express. For example, in the sn. of h...r the left hand would not

be placed in the position in which we are taught to put it, if this sn.

originated as related in. the story. So obvious is this that some modern
preceptors of Lodges of Instruction have to my knowledge altered the
position of the left hand in order to make it conform to the story, but

venture to think that in so doing they are committing a very serious
mistake, nothing less than the removal of an ancient landnrark.

Some day we shall probably discover the real origin of this sn., but if

is altered that will of course become impossible.

The lion's grip and the actual position of r..s...g are equally old,

and, so
far as we can find, this manner of r..s...g is employed in every rite,
whether ancient or primitive, which deals with the dramatic

of d.. As a manner of greeting it is employed by the initiated men in

Red Indian Trihes, in West Africa, among the Senussi in North Africa,

and in
the Dervish Rites. (1)

The parts of the b. brought in contact with each other are all parts
presided over by some sign of the Zodiac, and there would appear to be

old astrological meaning which has now become lost. It may possibly have
been connected with Gemini, the Twins, and this fact is made the more
probable by the survival of the name "The Ln's Gr." The explanation

although possibly of a fairly recent origin, nevertheless contains a
valuable inner meaning, for it shows that we cannot hope to advance

God unless we do our duty to our fellow men. Thus in dramatic form is

that the brotherhood of man necessitates the Fatherhood of God.

It hardly seems necessary in this book to point out again that the

st. forms a tau cross and teaches us that we must trample under foot our
animal passions, if we desire to approach near to God. We note, however,
that the Can., in advancing to obtain the s..ts, has perforce to make

tau crosses, and the Christian Mystic will

(1) For further explanation see Ward, Who Was Hiram Abiff?

doubtless perceive in this a hidden reference to the three crosses on

Finally, as has already been pointed out, the penalties of the first and
second degrees draw attention to two important occult centres, and so

in this degree the Solar Plexus, the most important occult centre of

all, is
indicated, and since the object of every Mystic is to achieve the

vision, the fact that the monks of Mt. Athos, near Salonica, do so by

their eye on this part, shows that there is a very special reason for

special form of the p.s of the third degree.



On his re-entering the Lodge the Can. is presented, and in due course
invested by the S.W., as in the previous degrees, thereby indicating

even after death man's spiritual advancement is registered by the Soul.

Badge itself, however, is full of symbolic meaning, and though in its
present form it is of comparatively recent date, it is evident that

who designed it had a much deeper knowledge of symbolism than some

critits are apt to believe.

Firstly, the colour, which is that of Cambridge University, and likewise
that used by Parliament when fighting King Charles, has a much deeper
significance than is generally known. It is closely related to the

colour of
the Virgin Mary, which itself had been brought forward from Isis and the
other Mother Goddesses of the ancient world. It is possible that the
designers were also influenced by the existence of certain Orders of
Knighthood which had their appropriate colours, for the aprons of Grand
Lodge Officers have Garter blue, but this blue is also the colour of

and the colour associated with the Royalist cause at the time of the

War. At any rate, it is appropriate that our aprons should thus employ

colours of the two great Universities of England. There is, of course,

exception in the case of the red aprons allocated to Grand Stewarts, for
which there are historical reasons into which we need not now enter. We

however point out that the dark blue aprons of Grand Lodge are often,

erroneously, spoken of as the Purple, indicating a Royal colour, and

implying no doubt that Brn. entitled to wear this colour are rulers in

Craft, and represent the masculine element. Light blue, on the other

represents the feminine or passive aspect, and is most appropriate for

ordinary M.M., whose duty it is to obey, and not to command. Indeed, the
M.M.'s apron contain: other emblems which indicate this feminine aspect.
These are the three rosettes, which symbolise the rose, itself a

for the Vesica Piscis, and they are arranged so as to form a triangle

the point upwards, interpenetrating the triangle formed by the flap of

apron. The two triangles only interpenetrate half way, therein differing
from the double triangles seen on the jewels worn by R. A. Masons, which
completely overlap. These two triangles deserve a little careful study.

lower triangle with its point upwards is the triangle of fire, the

emblem of
Shiva, and the symbol of the Divine Spark. The triangle made by the flap

the apron, which has its point directed downwards, is the triangle of

and is thus to some extent representative of the Soul. These two

are within a sq., the emblem of matter, and therefore of the body, and

so we
see that the M.M.'s apron symbolically represents the triune nature of

whereas the R.A. jewel, (the only high degree jewel which may be worn in

Craft Lodge) has these two triangles within a circle, which is the

emblem of
the Infinite. In this case the triangle of water presents the

aspect, the triangle of fire, the destructive aspect, the point or eye

the centre, the creative aspect, and the circle, the everlasting nature

the Supreme Being. There is therefore a curious correspondence, and also

marked difference, between the jewel of the R.A. Mason, and the apron of


Viewed from another standpoint the apron has another set of meanings.

triangle represents Spirit, and the Sq., matter. The flap forms a

entering into the sq., and so depicts the entry of Spirit into matter,

therefore, man. The E.A.'s apron should have the flap pointing upward,
indicating that the Divine Wisdom has not yet truly penetrated the gross
matter of our bodies. This custom is unfortunately going out of use in
modern Masonry, which is a great pity, as undoubtedly a valuable lesson

thus lost. The F.C. has the flap pointing downward for several reasons.
Firstly, to indicate that wisdom has begun to enter and therefore to

matter; secondly, to represent the triangle of water and thus indicate

Soul and Body are acting in unison; thirdly, because this triangle is

emblem of Vishnu the Preserver, and so emphasises - the fact that the

of God taught in this degree is the preservative aspect, whereas the
addition of the three rosettes in the third degree shows, not only the

of Body, Soul and Spirit, but also that the great lesson of this degree

the importance of the Destructive side of the Diety, or as we may prefer

tall it, the Transformative side.

What, however, of the two rosettes worn by the F.C.? Firstly, they

the dual nature of man, and have a very clear reference to the two

Similarly, no doubt, they indicate that the F.C. is not yet a complete

united being ; Body and Soul are in union, but unlike the M.M., these

are not in complete accord with the Spirit. Thus we obtain a

between the knocks of the F.C. and the two rosettes. Furthermore, the
triangle is incomplete, showring that the F.C. is not yet a complete

and this correlates with the position of the C.s when taking the ob. in

F. C. degree.

Two other features of the apron must also be considered. Firstly, the
tassels, which appear originally to have been the ends of the string

which the apron was bound round the waist. There is little doubt that in

18th century the aprons had not the present symbolic tassels, but were
fastened round the body in a very similar way to that in which the E.A.

F.C. aprons are to this day. It is interesting to note in this

that the actual aprons worn by the officers of Grand Lodge for the year,

distinct from the Past Grand Officers' aprons, have no tassels at all.

In the course of years, no doubt, the ends of the strings were

ornamented by
tassels, and to this day the aprons of the Royal Order of Scotland are
bounmd round the body by an ornamental cord with tassels, which are tied

front in such a way that the two tassels stick out from underneath the

These tassels, when the final form of our aprons was fixed, were

from the bands which fasten the apron, and attached to the apron itself,
becoming as we now see simply strips of ribbon on which are fastened

chains. When this change took place it is clear that those who made the
alteration deliberately chose the number 7, and intended thereby to

convey a
symbolic meaning. We have already explained the numerous symbolic

of the number 7; for example, it represents God and Man, Spirit and


Naturally they had to have two tassels to balance, and it would have

very inartistic to have had four chains on one tassel and three on the
other, and so it would be unwise to lay too much stress on the number

which is the sum total. We may regard it merely as a curious and

coincidence that the body of Osiris was stated to have been divided by

into 14 pieces. But in addition to these details as to the historical
development of the tassels, we must not forget that in many of the 18th
century aprons the two p....rs are depicted. These aprons were usually
decorated by paintings on the leather, and varied considerably from

Lodge to
Lodge, but one of the most usual kinds of decoration included the two

and the remembrance of these may very probably have influenced those who
designed our present apron.

The modern arrangement by which the apron is fastened, namely, a piece

webbing with a hook and eye attachment, gave a fine opportunity for some
really profound symbolism, and I feel certain that it was not an

which led to the universal adoption of the snake to serve this purpose.

There are two kinds of symbolism attached to the snake in all ancient
religions. Firstly, the snake as the enemy of man, and therefore as the
representative of the powers of evil; and secondly the snake as emblem

the Divine Wisdom. " Be ye wise as serpents" does not refer to the
craftiness of the Devil, but to the Divine Wisdom itself.

In Ancient Egypt the Soul as he passed through the Underworld met with
serpents of evil, and also with serpents of good. In India, legend tells

of a whole order of beings, the Serpent Folk, who are of a Spiritual

different from man, possessed their own rulers, and were endowed with
superhuman wisdom. Some of these are considered to be friendly to man,

others are hostile. The Sacred Cobra is well known to every student of

religions, and is essentially good. Actual worship is paid to the

throughout the whole of India, and in many other parts of the world, and

the Kapala we get clear traces of the fact that under certain

the serpent is regarded as "The Shining One" -the Holy Wisdom Itself.

we see that the serpent on our apron denotes that we are encircled by

Holy Wisdom.

Finally, the serpent biting its tail, and thus forming a circle, has

been regarded as the emblem of eternity, and more especially of the

Wisdom of God. Nor must we forget that the snake is peculiarly

with Shiva, whose close symbolic association with the third degree has
already been clearly shown.

Much more might be written on the meaning of the apron, but we cannot

any more space to this subject, interesting though it may be, although
before considering our next point it will perhaps be well to recall what

already been mentioned in the E.A. handbook, viz., that aprons, in

to their Operative significance, have right through the ages been

in connection with religious ceremonial. On the monuments of Egypt a
garment, which can best be described as a triangular apron with the

upward, is depicted in circumstances indicating that the wearer is

part in some kind of ceremony of initiation. In ancient Mexico the Gods

depicted wearing aprons, and it is not without interest to note that the
modern Anglican bishop wears an apron, although it appears to have

from a long flowing robe somewhat the shape of a cassock.



After the ceremonial investiture of the Cand. the W.M. continues the
narrative of the traditional history. At least this is the case in most
English workings, but in some Scotch workings the whole story is told

and subsequently the Cand. and the other Brn. act the chief parts.

one of the most important points to realise is the correct meaning of

name H.A.B. . Major Sanderson in An Examination of the Masonic Ritual

the following interesting interpretations, which we will proceed to

further.-" The title H.A.B. is taken direct from the Hebrew of 2 Chron.,
Chapter 4, verse 16., and means, ` H. His father.' H. means 'Exaltation

light, their liberty or whiteness, he that destroys'; It is of interest

note that abib in Hebrew means `Ears of corn,' or `Green fruits,' and

is just a possibility that this is the correct title of H."

Bearing these translations in mind we at once perceive a whole series of
inner meanings hidden in the name of the principal Architect. Taking the
Christian interpretation of our rituals :-firstly, we shall remember

Christ said " If I am raised up (or exalted) I shall draw all men unto

Secondly, Christ died to make us free, that is, to give us liberty from

bonds of death and hell. Thirdly, mediaeval divines were never tired of
referring to Christ's whiteness and purity, and relate many beautiful
legends and allegories to drive home this lesson. One phrase alone will
suffice to bring this aspect of the Christ to our minds, i.e. , that He

constantly spoken of as " the lily of the valley." Fourthly, He came to
destroy the bonds of death and hell, nor must we forget the old prophecy
spoken concerning the coming Christ and the serpent, representing Satan,

It (Christ) shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel," Gen.

v. 15. It is of interest to note that Quetzacoatl, the Mexican

who fought and overthrew the great giant of evil, was himself smitten in

foot, near to a fall of water, subsequently died from the wound, and
ultimately rose again from the grave. In India Krishna similarly died

an arrow wound in the heel. Moreover, in mediaeval frescoes Christ is
constantly represented as crushing the head of the great dragon under

left foot, while in His right hand He upraises a staff on which is a

Such scenes are usually described as " The Harrowing of Hell."

Fifthly, if the word abib is the correct rendering for the second half

the name in question, we get a clear reference to the Sacramental bread.

ears of corn are obviously synonymous with the wafer or consecrated

which in mediaeval days alone was given to the laity: while the

translation, "Green Fruits," brings to our mind the Biblical saying that
Christ is "the first fruits of them that slept" (1 Corin, 15. 20).

this possible Christian interpretation in mind, installed masters will
perceive the deep significance of the P.W. which leads from the degree

M.M. to that of I.M.

But in addition to these Christian interpretations of H.A.B. there was

another, which in some senses may be regarded as older, and the key to

is supplied by India. In this sense H.A.B. takes on the characteristics

Shiva, the Destroyer.

Firstly, "Exaltation of life" reminds us of the legend that Shiva on a
certain day increased in stature until He overtopped the universe, and,

as a
result, overthrew Brahma, the Creator, and was ackowledged by Vishnu as

superior. On that great day He gathered unto Himself the beginning and

end of all things, Alpha and Omega, and henceforth birth and death alike
were in His hands.

Secondly, "Their liberty" refers to the fact that, to the pious Hindu,

by death grants liberty from the toil and anguish of this world, and

the soul free to mount to greater heights of spiriruality.

Thirdly, Shiva is always spoken of as the "Great White God, white with

ashes of the dead who are ever burned in His honour." Nor must we forget
that these ashes are always scattered to the four cardinal points of


Fourthly, He is in His very essence " The Great Destroyer."

The "Ears of corn" are symbols of Vishnu the Preserver, Who Himself,
according to numerous Hindu legends, was slain and rose from the dead,
thereby paying allegiance to the Lord of Death ; and so:

Fifthly, we obtain the idea of the Resurrection as symbolised by the

ears of
corn, which are planted in the earth and bring forth an abundant

the "Green fruits" of the fields. In this connection it is as well to
remember that the central theme of the Eleusinian Mysteries was the ear

corn which was shown to the Cand. at the most solemn point of the whole
ceremony, and similarly taught the doctrine of the resurrection from the

The next point that strikes us in the legend is the number of craftsmen

"went in search." The Irish version is of peculiar interest, for it

that it was the twelve who relented who afterwards "went in search," and

a new company of ffiteen. In many ways this is more logical, and

has a deep symbolic meaning. It is logical in that it shows that the
penitent twelve did their best to make amends for ever having allowed
themselves to listen to the wicked schemes of the other three, and the
subsequent decree of K.S., ordering them to wear white gloves and white
aprons as a mark of their innocence, is most appropriate. It was a

announcement that K.S. forgave them their indiscretion and acquitted

them of
responsibility for the crime.

On the other hand, in our version there seems no logical reason why K.S.
should order an entirely new batch of F.C.'s to wear these emblems of

innocence, since they clearly had nothing to do with the crime, and
moreover, all the others, except the penitent twelve, were equally

and should therefore likewise have been instructed to wear white gloves

aprons. It must be remembered that these white gloves, etc., were not
bestowed as a reward for having taken part in the search, but are
specifically stated to have been ordered to be worn to denote innocence.

The Irish account goes on to state that the twelve set out from the

and went together in one company until they came to a place where four

met, and formed a cross; then they divided into four companies, and

went North, three East, three South, and three West. Thus they trod the

of the Cross. In some old Irish workings we are told that the three who

North never returned. This symbolically implies that they went into the
Place of Darkness. As the tendency in modern Irish masonry appears to be

adjust its ritual in main essentials to our English workings, it is but

that I should say that I have a tangible proof of this form of legend,

the shape of an old Irish apron dated 1790, which, unlike modern Irish
aprons, has a number of paintings on it depicting incidents in the

One of the paintings shows the twelve F.C.'s separating at the four

roads. (See frontispiece).

It is clear from all accounts, whether English, Irish, Scotch or

that the scoundrels, the agents of death, were found by those who went

the direction of Joppa, that is in the W., but we are left in

doubt as to whether the b. was found in the E. or in the S..

however, it would clearly be in the S., for H.A.B., like the Christ, was
struck down at High Twelve, when the sun is in the S.. From a practical
point of view it is fairly obvious that the scoundrels who were carrying
away the b. could never have reached Joppa if they had once gone E., for
they would have had to fetch half a circle round Jerusalem, a procedure
which would have rendered their chance of escape almost hopeless. By

S. they might hope to throw their pursuers off the track, and then turn

at an angle, reach Joppa, and escape by boat. That this was their

is clear from many old forms of the legend, and especially in those

in America. King S., however, foresaw this possibility and prevented

escape by forbidding any ships to sail. In the American working one of

officers of the Lodge enacts the part of a sea captain, and even wears a
yachtman's cap. The villains come to him and beg him to take them

but he refused because of the embargo ordered by K.S.. That the same
incident was known in the old Irish working is shown by the little

on the same Irish apron depicting the arrest of the villains on the sea
shore, for in the back ground there is a ship.

Let us interpret the meaning of the Irish working first. From the

standpoint the twelve F.C's represent the twelve apostles, Mathias

the traitor Judas. But in the non-Christian, and possibly earlier
interpretation, these twelve would of course be the twelve signs of the
Zodiac, searching for the sun which had been eclipsed. We must never

that in addition to the deep spiritual meaning hidden in our ritual

there is
also a Solar Myth embedded, which has in the course of years become
allegorized and filled with deeper spiritual truths.

But being English masons we must be prepared to find an explanation of

fifteen. In ancient Egyptian times the month consisted of 30 days, and

year of twelve such months, plus five extra days. Now the first fifteen,

whom twelve recanted, presumably represent the first half of that month,
while the second half of the month is represented by the fifteen who

went in
search. But spiritually the meaning of the fifteen is fairly clear. Man

five senses and is triune in nature, and thus implies that Body, Soul

Spirit must cooperate in trying to find God, and employ on that quest

five senses.

Lest there be any misapprehension here I would explain that man is
considered to have not only the five physical senses, but also

senses of Soul and Spirit. The phrase "To see with the eyes of the

is perfectly well known, and similarly we can speak of the eyes of the

To give concrete examples :-Students of psychic science constantly speak

clairaudience and clairvoyance. While it is not necessary to accept this
type of phenomena, it is clearly obvious that if man survives death at

his Soul must have a means of communicating with other Souls and that

correspond in some way to our physical senses. In like manner how are we

describe the visions of the great seers and prophets, related in the

except by the possession of spiritual sight ?

Bearing this in mind, we obtain the following interpretation of the fate
which befell the three F.C. Lodges into which the fifteen formed

Those who found nothing represent the physical senses of man, which are
useless beyond the grave : the next company must therefore represent the
Soul, for despite the logic of the physical world, it is the Soul which
realises that death does not end all, and so it was one of these who

the M But the power which tells us what is right and wrong, and which
ultimately punishes us for our offences, is what we call conscience, and
thus assuredly is the Divine Spark within us-the Spirit.

Let us now turn to consider the details connected with the dlscovery of

body. The incident of the shrub is such a striking analogy with a

one found in AEneid, wherein AEneas finds the body of the murdered

by plucking up a shrub which is near him on the side of a hill, that

students suggest that in the revision of our ritual this incident was

from Virgil. But, in Who was Hiram Abiff, I show that both refer back to

ancient source and have an allegorical meaning. One proof supporting

view; is that this particular tree, the Acacia, has from time immemorial
been more or less sacred in the near East. In ancient Egypt the earliest
forms of the legend of Osiris relate that it was an acacia which grew up
round the coffin of Osiris, and not a tamarisk as in the later versions.
(See An Examination of the Masonic Ritual, by Major Sanderson). In like
manner this tree is sacred in Arabia, India, and many parts of Africa,

it is the ****tim wood of the Old Testament, from which the ark was

made. No
doubt in this reverence for the acacia we have a survival of the

veneration for trees, usually spoken of as "tree and serpent worship."

India the assouata tree is stated to be a symbol of Trimurti, The Three

One. Its roots represent Brahma, its trunk Vishnu, and its branches

the Destroyer.

At any rate we can regard the acacia tree as in itself an emblem of the
resurrection, for the tiny seed which is buried brings forth a mighty

covered with fragrant blossoms.

The account of the manner in which the Cas. S...s came into existence,
though ingenious, can hardly be taken as historic. As we have already

with this point previously, we shall only say that every folk-lore

is well aware that, in the vast majority of cases, legends purporting to
explain the origin of a certain custom do not give the real origin at

but merely indicate that the origin of the custom has been lost, owing

its great antiquity. The very manner in which some of the S..s are given

sufficient to indicate that they did not originate in the way suggested,
while, on the other hand, we find these same S...s all round the world,

entirely different explanations as to their origin. They are indeed

landmarks, and the utmost care should be taken not to alter them in any


The next incident in the legend is the capture of the scoundrels. In

rituals it is given with much interesting detail of a picturesque

All agree that they were apprehended in a tavern, and many say explicidy
that it was near the sea shore. Some of the rituals state that the

were overheard lamenting as follows:- "One said, 'Oh, that my t. had

c.a. rather than I should have done it;' while another more sorrowfully
exclaimed, `Oh, that my h...t had been t.o. rather than that I should

struck him;' and a third voice brokenly said, `Oh, that my b. had been

s. in
t. rather than that I should have smitten him,' " This last version is

interest as explaining the legendary origin of the py. of the three

and incidentally it shows how legend incorporates facts into a story, in
order to explain something whose original meaning is lost. It would also
appear from this version as if the scoundrels had not intended to

kill their victim but merely to terrorise him, and in the excitement of

moment lost their heads. Symbolically this contains a valuable piece of
teaching. According to one interpretation the three scoundrels represent
"The lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life"

John, 2. 16). In other words, the sins of the flesh, the sins of the

such as covetousness, and spiritual pride, the most deadly of all.

These sins assuredly destroy man both physically and spiritually, yet it

truly be said that in giving way to them no man intends to destroy

From the more strictly Christian standpoint the three scoundrels are

Caiaphas, and Pontius Pilate, and it is perfectly clear that Pilate and
Herod, at any rate, did not wish to kill our Lord; but were caught in a
position from which they found it impossible to escape.

Returning to the deeper mystical interpretation we notice that the
scoundrels were found in the West, the region of Death, which teaches us
that the just retribution for all our sins, whether of body, soul, or
spirit, will overtake us after death, and that though in one sense it is
God, here shadowed forth by K.S., who punishes, yet in another sense it

our five spiritual faculties which themselves rise up in judgment

us. We ourselves, doom ourselves, and therefore we can obtain nothing

strict justice.

Without pretending that we have exhausted this subject, this brief
explanation of the true character of the scoundrels and their captors

suffice, and we will only mention in passing that here also there

appears to
be a half forgotten astrological reference to the three winter months

oppress the sun.



The next part of the narrative is incorporated in most English workings

the Tracing Board. The most interesting feature is the description of

g.. It is obvious that peculiar stress is laid on the centre, even in

present form of our ritual, because of the way in which the measurements

given. Why should it not have been said that it was six feet long? In

old rituals the g.. or rather the monument, is described as a dome,

made a complete circle at its base, and was three feet from the centre

way. If so it must have been like a small replica of the earliest form

the Buddhist Pagoda, and the Master was thus buried at the centre. In

that c
ase the top of the dome would have been five feet from the surface of

ground, and we should thus get the correct symbolic use of 5 as

the body, and 3 as representing the spirit, while enabling the human

body to
be decorously interred. It seems probably that when the g.. was made to
conform to the type familiar in England, a desperate effort was made to
retain the 3 and 5. It is worth noting that there is no mention of the

of any c...f...n, despite the picture on the tracing board, and if a
c...f....n had been used at the supposed date of the incident it

would not have been of the European shape depicted, but much more like

Egyptian Sarcophagus. Nevertheless, though the ritual does not justify

existence of any c..f....n on the tracing board, it was an integral part

the ancient mysteries of Osiris, and its retention in other ritual is

certainly an ancient landmark. On the same tracing board may be seen

letters in the Masonic cypher, which are practically never explained.

often when transliterated, among other things, they will be found to

the P.W. leading to the three degree. This fact is of interest, for the

meaning of that W., as already explained, is a w...k...r in m...ls, the
correct description of H.A.B. The fact that he was buried as near the
Sanctum Sanctortum as possible, symbolically denotes that he had reached

centre, and was in union with the Source of All.

The Dormer window historically is the hypostyle, the method by which
Egyptian and classical temples obtained light. The pillars of the

nave of such temples rose considerably higher than the roofs of the

thus leaving openings through which the light could enter the building.
These, however, were many in number, and it is difficult to justify the
apparent statement that there was only one such opening. Symbolically it

intended to represent the means by which the Divine Light penetrates

the deepest recesses of every man's nature.

The squared pavement has already been explained under the section

with the mosaic pavement, in the first degree, and our readers are

referred to it. Briefly, it indicates that man's progress towards the

is through alternate experiences of good and evil, darkness and light,

and severity, life and death.

The Porch which is the entrance to the Sanctum Sanctorum is the gateway


The working tools, "as in other cases, contain much sound moral teaching

typical 18th Century work, but there is one implement which deserves

more than passing attention. For what follows I must express my

to W. Bro. Sir John Cockburn, P.G.D. The s..k...t does not appear to be

in use among Operative masons. It is used by gardeners, but the

mason has other means for marking out the ground for the foundations.

implement has more than a superficial resemblance to the Caduceus of
Mercury, and Sir John Cockburn suggests that it has been employed to

this "Heathen" emblem. For my part, I think this is most probable, for

it is
clear that at the beginning of the 19th century a deliberate attempt was
made to eliminate this emblem from our ceremonies. The jewel of the

in the 18th century was not a dove, but a figure of Mercury, bearing the
Caduceus. A number of these old jewels can be seen in the library of

Lodge, and there are still a few old Lodges which continue to use them,
instead of the modern jewel. Now this jewel is far more appropriate to

Deacons than is a dove. A dove is the emblem of peace and a carrier

bears messages, but neither of these birds do all the work of the

Mercury, however, was the Messenger of the Gods, and carried the
instructions of Jupiter, thus fulfilling one set of the duties of a

He was also the conductor of souls through the underworld; taking the

by one hand, and uplifting the Caduceus in the other, he led the Shade

the grave, through the perils of the underworld, to the Elysian Fields;
before his Caduceus the powers of evil fled. In mediaeval escatology it

Christ who leads the Souls on a similar journey, uplifting in His Hand

Cross of Salvation. Even to-day the jewels of the Deacons in a Mark

bear the Caduceus, a mute but convincing witness to the use of this

in Freemasonry.

We can thus see that on the one hand a deliberate effort was made to

from our ceremonies the Caduceus, probably because it was considered to

Pagan, while on the other hand it was clearly quite easy for ignorant
masonic furnishers, in the course of years, to make the Caduceus

more and more to a masonic tool, so as to fit it in with other avowedly
masonic implemens. As a masonic tool it has very little significance,

to a Speculative, and is of no practical value to an Operative, but the
Caduceus would be peculiarly appropriate to the third degree. In short,

is an ancient landmark, an emblem of the dead and forgotten Mysteries,

symbolical of Him who leads the soul from the darkness of the grave to

light of the resurrection.

Before leaving the M.M. degree let me say to all installed masters that

they have received the P.W., not the W. of an Installed master, but the

leading from the M.M. to that further degree, they will find in it

not of a mere hint of the resurrection, but of the Resurrection itself,

a close association with the version of that doctrine set forth in the

of the Perfect Master.



Here we are reminded that we are working in symbolism, for we come back

the West, i.e., the grave, to this material world. But we have only

substitutes, and we offer them as some consolation to the spirit, i.e.,

W.M. The advance to the centre of the room is an obvious reference to

other centre. The s...s are communicated by the body to the soul, which
passes them on to the spirit. The meaning of these s....s is dealt with

the ceremony, but it is worth noting that the word shows clearly that

s....t is to be found only through the death of the body. The actual

word whose corrupt form we use really means " My son is slain." It is

well to remember that the p.s. and the s. of G.& D. (Scottish form) are,

signs which come down from the ancient mysteries, and are still found
throughout the world. A brief summary of that has already been said may

helpful. The p.s. is often associated with Shiva, the Destroyer, and is

found appropriately used at Burobudor in Java; it refers to that occult
centre, the solar plexus. In view of what the lost s...t is, this sign

therefore most significant. In other words, it is a hint to those who
deserve to know while it conceals from those who do not.

The Scottish sign of G. & D. is found all round the world, and always

the same meaning of an appeal for heIp. It is used in the most primitive
initiatory rites of a boy into manhood, and in Kenya the boy takes it to
indicate that he is ready for the operation of circumcision to begin. In
Nyasaland, among the Yaos, it is associated with a grave, and in Mexico

Preserver is shown making it. He was slain and rose from the dead, and

it is
constantly found in Mexico in the form of a carving, consisting of a
skeleton cut in half at the centre and making this sign, as, for

example, at
the Temple of Uxmal.

The manner of communicating the s..s and the gr. are equally old.

the lion's grip appears to be the grip of all the Mysteries. It was the

of Mithra, and by this grip Osiris was raised. Among the Druids it was

known, as is shown by a carving at Iona. I have, however, gone into the
evidence for the antiquity of our signs so fully that I will not take up
further space here.

We may as well add, however, that the number "5" no doubt refers to the

senses of man, just as the seven steps remind us of the Egyptian
sub-division of every mortal.

Having received the sub. s...s the W.M., or Spirit, confirms their use

the true ones are discovered. This last remark indicates that the quest

not ended or abandoned, in reality it has just begun; the first stage

has been passed, which stage is death. It also tells every Craft Mason

he a good craftsman till he has at least taken the Royal Arch.

Thus the spirit acknowledges that death is a step forward. It has freed

soul of the trammels imposed on it by the body, and so our life's work

earth, as symbolised in the Lodge, is closed. The knocks indicate that

spirit now dominates the soul and body and before we leave these heights

is well to point out that almost all the great religious teachers have
taught that in some mysterious way this physical body will be

and still be used after death. In short, that matter, as well as spirit,

part of God. Science has shown that matter is indestructable, though its
form may be changed completely, and so even after the symbolical death

resurrection, three knocks are still required.



This then concludes the third degree. More than any other degree in

Masonry it has embedded in it ancient landmarks, brought down from a

distant past. Under the surface lie hidden, meanings within meanings,

I make no pretence to have exhausted. Already this book has exceeded in
length either of the two previous ones, but to do full justice to the
sublime degree one would require a volume four times as large as this. I
trust, however, that I have given some help, more especially to younger
brethren, which will aid them to glimpse the deeper side of Freemasonry.

they too will strive to discover further alternative meanings, I shall

this labour of mine has been well repaid.

Let me again warn them that just because Masonry is so old, its rituals,

the course of years, have been again and again revised, and newer

have continually been grafted on to the old stock. We are not entitled

say one meaning is right and another wrong. Both may be right.

itself has taken over a vast mass of pre-Christian ceremonies and

and the student is perfectly entitled to consider that both the

and the pre-Christian interpretations of these symbols are equally

of respect.

There is also another point which should be borne in mind. Again and

we find that incidents and phrases which appear to have come from the

on closer investigation are found not to correspond exactly with the
Biblical narrative. At one time there was a tendency to say that in

cases it was our duty to substitute the Biblical version for the
"Inaccurate" traditional form. With all due respect I venture to say

such action is totally unjustifiable. Masonry is not the Bible. It is a
traditional ritual into which 18th century revisers inserted fragments

the Bible, because that was the only book dealing with the period of the
masonic incidents which was then available to them. To-day, we know a

deal more about this period than did our 18th century predecessors, and

modern investigator has just cause to lament the well meaning, but
misdirected, zeal of these worthy masons, who thereby have probably
destroyed for ever valuable landmarks, which would have helped us to
discover the historical growth and the symbolic meaning of many parts of


Such apparent contraditions, and even mistakes, as appear to exist,

be carefully retained, for they are sure indications to the conscientous
student of a connection with a long distant past, which modern methods

research may enable us finally to trace to its origin. If, however, they

revised out of existence, future generations will have nothing to help

in the task of unravelling the true history and meaning of Freemasonry.

If a Sn. does not correspond with the explanation of the manner in which

is said to have originated, don't alter the way of giving the Sn., for

it is
an ancient landmark. Rather try to discover if anywhere in the world

Sn. is still used in some old ceremony which may throw light on its true
origin. If H.A.B. was not buried in a c...f...n, don't eliminate the
c...f...n from the tracing board, but rather bear in mind that his great
prototype, Osiris, was so buried and that the c...f...n played a

important part in the legend which recounts his death : which legend was
hoary with antiquity before K.S. was born.

Finally, let me say that even if a man can never fathom the full meaning

the third degree, yet there is no man worthy of the name who has passed
through that third degree but will certainly have learnt one important
lesson, namely, how to d., and thereby will be the better man.

Watch out for these Freemason guys. This is a very racist organization.

See - http://www.freemasonrywatch.org


=\ \
.---. =\ \
| WB \ =\ \
| `----------'------'----------,
.' .-.The Wright Brotherz .-.[]`-.
\ _/.____|_|______.------,______|_|_____)
/ /
=/ /
=/ /
=/ /


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