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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
om...
"Tubolcain" wrote in message

.. .
THE MM'S BOOK

by J.S.M. Ward

PREFACE

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

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

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

its
esoteric meaning contains some of the most profound spiritual

instruction
which it is possible to obain to-day.

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

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

its
directness and apparent simplicity rests its tremendous power. The

exoteric
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

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

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

is a
allegory.

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

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

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

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

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

the
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.

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

turmoil
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,

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

strange
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

for
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

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

a
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

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

convey
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

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

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

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

in
our ceremonies further and deeper meanings.

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

been
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

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

an
outline history of Freemasonry " from time Immemorial."

PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION

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

which
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

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

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

idle
hour.

J.S.M. WARD.

CONTENTS

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

INTRODUCTION

By Sir John A. Cockburn,

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

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

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

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

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

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

all
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

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

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

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

elucidation
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

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

firm
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

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

represented
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

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

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

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

the
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

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

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

the
equilibrium attained by the conjunction of the square and compasses.

These
respectively stand for the contrasted correlatives which pervade

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

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

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

Ward
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

of
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

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

Heaven
to all believers. Incidentally this little volume clears up many

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

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

were
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,

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

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

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

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

John A. Cockburn.

CHAPTER I

QUESTIONS AND P.W.

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

series
will not need much help in understanding the significance of the

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

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

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

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

The manner of preparation for the second degree stressed the masculine

side,
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,

and
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

a
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.,

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

on
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

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

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

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

the
highest moral character.

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

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

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

ability,
to comprehend its inner meaning.

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

not
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

that
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

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

therefore
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

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

point
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

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

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

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

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

never
exercised. For example, a particularly appropriate question would be

"What
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

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

of
realising.

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

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

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

those
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

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

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

his
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

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

the
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

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

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

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

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

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

altering
the Ancient Landmarks. When the Irish followed our example they

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

which
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

in
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

as
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

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

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

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

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

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

allegory.

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

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

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

the
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

perform
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

acquired
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,"

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

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

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

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

in
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

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

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

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

While
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

comparatively
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

corrupt
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

mediaeval
magical ceremonies are full of corrupt Greek words indiscriminately

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

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

large
pieces of Biblical history were imported wholesale into our rituals in

the
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.

Thus,
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

if
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

for
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

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

of
investigation for themselves.

PREPARATION

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

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

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

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

of
great significance. This interpretation implies that the Cand. is

hampered
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

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

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

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

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

to
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

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

will
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

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

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

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

book
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
chapter.

CHAPTER II

THE OPENING

Having satisfied himself that all present are symbolically upright and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

symbol
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

circle
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

it
the following significant symbolical act takes place.

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

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

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

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

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

This instrument may therefore be considered as standing for the Divine

Spark
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

the
moral code and by the spiritual laws of our being.

But after these preliminaries the proceedings become of an even more

exalted
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

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

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

death.

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

comes
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

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

return
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

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

are
finite beings we cannot hope to comprehend the Infinite.

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

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

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

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

it
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

throughout
the ages.

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

of
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

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

this
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

and
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,

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

that
exalted position we can only attain after long journeys through the

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

presence
of the King of Kings.

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

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

by
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

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

Divine
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

be
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

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

tells
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

rite,
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

end
of the quest is.

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

of
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

assistance,
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

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

spirituality.

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

not
invoked, and the title used corresponds more closely to the Hindu name

for
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

the
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

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

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

closed
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

from
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."

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

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

there
is a perfectly logical Christian interpretation of the whole of the

Craft
ceremonies, this fact becomes of increasing significance.

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

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

this
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

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

CHAPTER III

THE SYMBOLICAL JOURNEYS, ETC.

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

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

not,
this act in a sense indicates that his heart, and therefore he himself,

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

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

the
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,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

realised
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

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

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

the
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

the
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

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

steel.

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

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

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

has
benefited by the lessons of life and acquired intellectual knowledge.

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

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

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

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

to
be entombed. (tymboxein).

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

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

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

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

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

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

and
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

J.D.,
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

the
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

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

be
considered to have committed sacrilege, and almost certainly would be

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

certain
that the same idea underlies this apparently unimportant diffirence

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

and
second.

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

ritual,
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

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

refused
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

a
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

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

the
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

through
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

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

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

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

if
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

Operative
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

Architect
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.

Thus,
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

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

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

the
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

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

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

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

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

feet
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

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

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

a
Christian interpretation of our Craft ceremonies. Mystically

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

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

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

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

sacrifice
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

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

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

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

the
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

has
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

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

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

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

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

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

and
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

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

of
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

that
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

body,
typified by the Sq..

CHAPTER IV

THE EXHORTATION

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

for
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

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

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

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

transforms
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

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

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

supplies
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

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

practically
the same, but henceforward there are many marked differences.

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

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

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

the
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

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

to
note and explain them where necessary.

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

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

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

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

descends
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.

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

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

these
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

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

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

the
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

Latin
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

these
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

is,
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

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

final
stroke.

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

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

our
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

second
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

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

pity
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

we
shall refer later in the chapter.

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

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

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

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

removed,
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

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

I
cannot say.

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

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

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

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

the
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

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

and
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

on
its feet. (1)

(1) See Ward, Who Was Hiram Abiff?

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

manner
in which Hercules recovered Alcestis and ransomed her from the bondage

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

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

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

the
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

the
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

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

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

has
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

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

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

known
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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Anheru,
`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

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

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

of
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
preserved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

well
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

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

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

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

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

Rev.
xxii, 16.

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

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

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

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

said
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;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

unworthy,
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.

CHAPTER V

THE S....TS

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

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

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

calamity
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

to
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

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

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

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

of
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

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

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

with
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

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

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

transformation
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

third
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

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

still
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

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

of
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,

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

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

places.

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

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

Those
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

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

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

derived
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.

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

except
among masons who are descended masonically from the Grand Lodge of

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

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

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

Lazarus.
(1)

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

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

is
employed.

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

worship,
and was similarly employed in Ancient Egypt. Major Sanderson suggests

that
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

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

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

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

to
their

(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

natural
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

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

had
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

I
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

it
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

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

many
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

some
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

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

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

shown
that the brotherhood of man necessitates the Fatherhood of God.

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

regular
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

three
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
Calvary.

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

also
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

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

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

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

CHAPTER VI

THE BADGE

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

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

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

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

modern
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

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

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

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

an
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

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

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

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

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

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

the
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

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

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

the
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.

The
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

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

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

triangles
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

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

a
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

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

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

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

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

the
M.M..

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

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

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

and
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

is
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

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

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

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

aspect
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

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

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

to
tall it, the Transformative side.

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

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

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

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

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

correspondence
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

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

the
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

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

the
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.

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

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

as
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

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

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

separated
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

seven
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

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

Matter,
etc.

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

been
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

14,
which is the sum total. We may regard it merely as a curious and

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

Set
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

p..rs,
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

of
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

accident
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

of
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the
Holy Wisdom.

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

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

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

associated
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

devote
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

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

addition
to their Operative significance, have right through the ages been

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

point
upward, is depicted in circumstances indicating that the wearer is

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

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

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

CHAPTER VII

THE LEGEND

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

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

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

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

gives
the following interesting interpretations, which we will proceed to

expand
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

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

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

there
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

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

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

the
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

is
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.

3.
v. 15. It is of interest to note that Quetzacoatl, the Mexican

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The
ears of corn are obviously synonymous with the wafer or consecrated

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

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

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

of
M.M. to that of I.M.

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

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

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

of
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

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

the
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,

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

sets
the soul free to mount to greater heights of spiriruality.

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

the
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

Heaven.

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

harvest,
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

of
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
dead.

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

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

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

not
a new company of ffiteen. In many ways this is more logical, and

certainly
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

public
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

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

innocent,
and should therefore likewise have been instructed to wear white gloves

and
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

in
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

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

cross
roads. (See frontispiece).

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

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

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

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

Symbolically,
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

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

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

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

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

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

the
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

aboard,
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

picture
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

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

replacing
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

forget
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

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

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

of
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

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

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

their
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bible,
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

themselves.
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

r...d
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

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

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

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

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

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

an
ancient source and have an allegorical meaning. One proof supporting

this
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,

while
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

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

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

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

Shiva,
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

tree,
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

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

student
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

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

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

is
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,

with
entirely different explanations as to their origin. They are indeed

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

way.

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

some
rituals it is given with much interesting detail of a picturesque

nature.
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

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

been
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

have
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

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

degrees,
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

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

the
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"

(1
John, 2. 16). In other words, the sins of the flesh, the sins of the

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

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

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

himself.
From the more strictly Christian standpoint the three scoundrels are

Herod,
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

is
our five spiritual faculties which themselves rise up in judgment

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

but
strict justice.

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

must
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

which
oppress the sun.

CHAPTER VIII

THE TRACING BOARD, ETC.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

of
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

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

representing
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

use
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

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

an
Egyptian Sarcophagus. Nevertheless, though the ritual does not justify

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

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

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

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

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

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

true
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

the
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

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

aisles,
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

is
intended to represent the means by which the Divine Light penetrates

into
the deepest recesses of every man's nature.

The squared pavement has already been explained under the section

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

therefore
referred to it. Briefly, it indicates that man's progress towards the

centre
is through alternate experiences of good and evil, darkness and light,

mercy
and severity, life and death.

The Porch which is the entrance to the Sanctum Sanctorum is the gateway

of
death.

The working tools, "as in other cases, contain much sound moral teaching

of
typical 18th Century work, but there is one implement which deserves

rather
more than passing attention. For what follows I must express my

indedtedness
to W. Bro. Sir John Cockburn, P.G.D. The s..k...t does not appear to be

much
in use among Operative masons. It is used by gardeners, but the

Operative
mason has other means for marking out the ground for the foundations.

This
implement has more than a superficial resemblance to the Caduceus of
Mercury, and Sir John Cockburn suggests that it has been employed to

replace
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

Deacons
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

Grand
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

the
Deacons than is a dove. A dove is the emblem of peace and a carrier

pigeon
bears messages, but neither of these birds do all the work of the

Deacons.
Mercury, however, was the Messenger of the Gods, and carried the
instructions of Jupiter, thus fulfilling one set of the duties of a

deacon.
He was also the conductor of souls through the underworld; taking the

dead
by one hand, and uplifting the Caduceus in the other, he led the Shade

from
the grave, through the perils of the underworld, to the Elysian Fields;
before his Caduceus the powers of evil fled. In mediaeval escatology it

is
Christ who leads the Souls on a similar journey, uplifting in His Hand

the
Cross of Salvation. Even to-day the jewels of the Deacons in a Mark

Lodge
bear the Caduceus, a mute but convincing witness to the use of this

emblem
in Freemasonry.

We can thus see that on the one hand a deliberate effort was made to

delete
from our ceremonies the Caduceus, probably because it was considered to

be
Pagan, while on the other hand it was clearly quite easy for ignorant
masonic furnishers, in the course of years, to make the Caduceus

approximate
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,

even
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,

it
is an ancient landmark, an emblem of the dead and forgotten Mysteries,

and
symbolical of Him who leads the soul from the darkness of the grave to

the
light of the resurrection.

Before leaving the M.M. degree let me say to all installed masters that

if
they have received the P.W., not the W. of an Installed master, but the

P.W.
leading from the M.M. to that further degree, they will find in it

evidence
not of a mere hint of the resurrection, but of the Resurrection itself,

and
a close association with the version of that doctrine set forth in the

life
of the Perfect Master.

CHAPTER IX

THE CLOSING

Here we are reminded that we are working in symbolism, for we come back

from
the West, i.e., the grave, to this material world. But we have only

obtained
substitutes, and we offer them as some consolation to the spirit, i.e.,

the
W.M. The advance to the centre of the room is an obvious reference to

the
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

in
the ceremony, but it is worth noting that the word shows clearly that

the
s....t is to be found only through the death of the body. The actual

Hebrew
word whose corrupt form we use really means " My son is slain." It is

also
well to remember that the p.s. and the s. of G.& D. (Scottish form) are,

old
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

be
helpful. The p.s. is often associated with Shiva, the Destroyer, and is

also
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

is
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

has
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

the
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.

Indeed,
the lion's grip appears to be the grip of all the Mysteries. It was the

Grip
of Mithra, and by this grip Osiris was raised. Among the Druids it was

also
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

five
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

till
the true ones are discovered. This last remark indicates that the quest

is
not ended or abandoned, in reality it has just begun; the first stage

only
has been passed, which stage is death. It also tells every Craft Mason

that
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

the
soul of the trammels imposed on it by the body, and so our life's work

on
earth, as symbolised in the Lodge, is closed. The knocks indicate that

the
spirit now dominates the soul and body and before we leave these heights

it
is well to point out that almost all the great religious teachers have
taught that in some mysterious way this physical body will be

transformed,
and still be used after death. In short, that matter, as well as spirit,

is
part of God. Science has shown that matter is indestructable, though its
form may be changed completely, and so even after the symbolical death

and
resurrection, three knocks are still required.

CHAPTER X

CONCLUSION

This then concludes the third degree. More than any other degree in

Craft
Masonry it has embedded in it ancient landmarks, brought down from a

long
distant past. Under the surface lie hidden, meanings within meanings,

which
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.

If
they too will strive to discover further alternative meanings, I shall

feel
this labour of mine has been well repaid.

Let me again warn them that just because Masonry is so old, its rituals,

in
the course of years, have been again and again revised, and newer

meanings
have continually been grafted on to the old stock. We are not entitled

to
say one meaning is right and another wrong. Both may be right.

Christianity
itself has taken over a vast mass of pre-Christian ceremonies and

symbols,
and the student is perfectly entitled to consider that both the

Christian
and the pre-Christian interpretations of these symbols are equally

deserving
of respect.

There is also another point which should be borne in mind. Again and

again
we find that incidents and phrases which appear to have come from the

Bible,
on closer investigation are found not to correspond exactly with the
Biblical narrative. At one time there was a tendency to say that in

these
cases it was our duty to substitute the Biblical version for the
"Inaccurate" traditional form. With all due respect I venture to say

that
such action is totally unjustifiable. Masonry is not the Bible. It is a
traditional ritual into which 18th century revisers inserted fragments

from
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

great
deal more about this period than did our 18th century predecessors, and

the
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

our
ceremonies.

Such apparent contraditions, and even mistakes, as appear to exist,

should
be carefully retained, for they are sure indications to the conscientous
student of a connection with a long distant past, which modern methods

of
research may enable us finally to trace to its origin. If, however, they

are
revised out of existence, future generations will have nothing to help

them
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

it
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

that
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

peculiarly
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

of
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


--
WW


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| `----------'------'----------,
.' .-.The Wright Brotherz .-.[]`-.
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/ /
=/ /
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/_____,'



 




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