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Real Masonry Today

The word 'craft' does not in any way represent witches , cults or anything evil. Ignorance of the significance and deeper meaning of the practice of the Craft', and the lack of knowledge from whence it came , leads uneducated people to believe it is evil. What we found is that the practice of the ritual by the High Priests of Egypt over 3500 years ago, was conducted in the 'First Temple' of God, which was in Egypt. It was detailed and obedient to the laws of God, or Ra, as written in the ancient Our link to The exerpts of God's laws can be found on the 'Exerpts' page'.
Masonry is the practice of making a man as good as he can become, as it has been done for thousands of years.

Practice of the 'Craft' means the practice of an 'art' or specialized skill. It does not in any way refer to 'witchcraft'.

The 'degrees' that are taught are based on pure history, therefore are not secret except, that they are meant to be symbolic lessons, with philosophical, moralistic and religious meaning. This, only the initiate may be privledged to know and the Masters may teach. However the craft is NOT a religion or a substitute for one.

Entered Apprentice : definations in the Kabalistic ( cabalistic) codes.

This, the so-called religious groups would deny. They will try to tell you Masons worship Hiram or the 'Worshipful Master'. They will try to convince you that the 'living resurrection ceremony' is somehow based on Devil worship. If so, why was this ceremony practiced by Jesus?. A number of forgeries and alleged exposes of Masonry were created during the last century. Most of the claims of "Satanism" in Masonry can be traced to one or two of these fraudulent sources. Other such allegations are simply made-up claims about what various Masonic emblems and symbols stand for. They will do anything to discredit the truth and keep you blinded to it.
Our page on 'Pit of Serpents' explains the actual meanings of the symbols missinterputed by the anti's.
When you read excerpts from the Dead Sea Scrolls, you will understand the signifiance of the 'Master' who was Jesus. They never mention this in their accusations and lies.

There is no Worship in the Lodge, except to God in prayer. That is because, before there were; Hebrews, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Parsees and Christians, there was only God. Apparently the religious groups do not understand the meaning of the word 'ancient', [ Ancient, free and accepted.. ] which refers to 'before' these perjudice, organized, religions even existed. Therefore no prayer is ever offered to any of the above "Sons" of these or any religion, which are many, in the Lodges all over the world.. Some religious groups would have you believe there is no other 'Son' except theirs who may be Jesus, or Buddha or Mohammed, ect. I can prove this to be absolutely incorrect. Therefore again referring to the HATE campaign, the prejudice and the uneducated so-called righteousness, which they claim to have and are using to continue their smear campaign against Masons.

Each Lodge excepts that Volume of the Holy Writings which may be in use in the country of the respective Lodge. There are seven sets of Holy Writings in use in the East, and in the countries stretching from Israel to New Zealand. An open volume of the Sacred Law, "the rule and guide of life," is an essential part of every Masonic meeting. The Volume of the Sacred Law in the Judeo/Christian tradition is the Bible; to Freemasons of other faiths, it is the book held holy by them. Festivals are held to commemorate the 'Grand Architect of the Universe' and the building of the First Temple of God ( 'with Hands' ).
The point is, they, ALL MEN, ALL people, are ALL under ONE GOD.

It is important to understand that Freemasonry does not teach a man to believe in God, or in religious freedom, or in moral conduct, or in acts of charity. He must bring those beliefs with him into the brotherhood, where he will find them encouraged and reinforced. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Paul Revere were not taught to love liberty in their Masonic lodges. They joined because the beliefs they already cherished were shared by other Masons and encouraged by the brotherhood. They became Masons in order to be with like-minded men.

Any man who joins a Masonic lodge expecting to learn the true pathway to God will be disappointed. He will hear no description of heaven, no description of hell, nor will he be handed a prescription for salvation. He must learn about such things from his minister, priest, rabbi or on his own; They are not taught in the lodge.

The reason is simple: Religious differences drive men apart They always have and always will, and so they work against the concept of a fraternity where men of common moral convictions, but disparate religious convictions, can meet to live and work together for the good of all.

Again, Masonic Law requires that no discussion of 'religion' is allowed in the lodge. X-Masons for JESUS would have you believe this is wrong, evil, because they are running a HATE campaign. Hate is based on ignorance. Ignorance is manifested by the Angel of Darkness who doesn't want men to know the truth. Freemasonry is far from indifferent toward religion. Without interfering in religious practice, it expects each member to follow his own faith and to place his Duty to God above all other duties. Its moral teachings are acceptable to all religions.

The spiritual teachers of all time used words that are full of Love; and caring for your fellow man. Is this not Love and respect for your Brother who lives in a foreign country and OUR Father who is in Heaven, who regards us as 'ALL his children'? We are all connected to each other and God, in this connection we cannot hate our brother or sister who is 'like minded' and at the same time love God or any of the 'Sons' of God. It isn't possible. God did not teach any of us to hate somebody because their beliefs are different. But we find certain 'religious groups' who do this openly. They claim they are purging evil where they find it. They are openly judging people they don't even know. We have found the best defence is asking them where they would look for history on any particular person. Then we invite them to look in the same place for history on Jesus, Moses, and the religious cult they promote, IT'S FOUNDATION, and the RULES and reason of that foundation. If they look they will find their cult is based on the same religious background that became Masonry.

There are more and more people becoming members of the Masonic Family who are practitioners of the "Alternative Polytheistic" religions, and "Deism" in Western Civilization is very much influenced by Judeo-Christian doctrine, but it is not a Christian organization. Freemasonry takes on the flavor of the predominant religion the nation it resides within. There are Hebrews, Christians, Muslims, Deist, and even Pagans who are members of Freemasonry. This Website is for those who are interested in doing their homework before deciding what someone else believes is right or wrong. If you look closely you will see that they are all connected.

More history from...Old Epsomian Lodge No. 3561

The Founding Fathers - Masons

It is certain that there were Christians among the founding fathers of the United States, however, historical evidence militates against the view that those who formulated the fundamental documents of American government were, in the main, Christians. To the contrary, not a few who wrote and signed the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation and the Constitution were Deists, Theists and Freemasons. Webster's Dictionary defines "theism" and "deism":
Theism - "belief in the existence of a god or gods; specif: belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of man and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world."
Deism - "a movement or system of thought advocating natural religions based on human reason rather than revelation, emphasizing morality, and in the 18th century denying the interference of the Creator with the laws of the universe."

Thomas Jefferson, a Deist, wrote the Declaration of Independence, which opens with a statement of rights deriving, not from the God of Holy Scripture, but Nature's God and the Natural Law. Jefferson describes his views of Jesus Christ, the Christian religion, and his own religious beliefs. "Of this band of dupes and impostors, Paul was the great Coryphaeus, and first corruptor of the doctrines of Jesus. These palpable interpolations and falsifications of His doctrines, led me to try to sift them apart. I found the work obvious and easy, and that His past composed the most beautiful morsel of morality which has been given to us by man".

Thomas Paine, a theist, published his pamphlet "Common Sense" in January of 1776, which turned the tide of public opinion in favor of declaring independence. Paine's arguments against all forms of monarchy dissolved any lingering attachment to Great Britain. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence declaring the colonies free and independent states. Although Paine quoted Scripture to denounce the concept of monarchy, his later work, Age of Reason, is a treatise on the implausibility of the Bible and the irrationality of Christianity. Paine believed in one God, but rejected all religions, saying:

Osiris "My own mind is my own church." He also maintained an interest in Freemasonry. His pamphlet, Origin Of Free-Masonry, proposed that Masonry's embodiment of the sun worship of ancient Druidism was a legitimate alternative to Christianity. He notes that Freemasonry's concept of, "...Osiris and Isis, theologically represented the Supreme Being and universal Nature..." Isis being nature, is represented sometimes as 'black' or dirt. She also represents the vegetation and the cycles of the seasons. Osiris is 'green' for vegetation or red for earth. His greater importance is a representation of resurrection and eternal life..
Founding Fathers This site details the founding fathers, and what Masonry had to do with it.

Portions of the Temple and The Lodge also confirm that Masonic ceremonies were conducted for Washington's inauguration and the laying of the cornerstone of the Capitol building: The cornerstone is and always has been Jesus, but because his name isn't mentioned in the Lodge, ignorant 'brothers' who are not enlightened, take this as an insult to christianity. Wake Up guys! Jesus/Christ is not ignored.

On the American dollar bill was printed the 'Great Seal' of the United States. It is unmistakably Freemasonic - an all seeing eye in a triangle above a thirteen-stepped, four-sided pyramid, beneath which a scroll proclaims the advent of a 'new secular order,' one of Freemasonry's long-standing dreams.

"...The United States was not created as a republic of the kind implied by that word today. Most of the men responsible for creating it were staunch Freemasons, and the new nation was originally conceived as the ideal hieratic political structure postulated by certain rites of Freemasonry. The state as a whole was seen as an extension, and a macrocosm, of the Lodge."
- Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Messianic Legacy

"...St. Andrew's Lodge of Boston, which had perpetrated the Boston Tea party in 1773 conferred a Templar degree already on August 29, 1769 after applying for the warrant in 1762 from the Scottish Grand Lodge in Edinburgh. That application was made almost a decade before the American Revolution began. Some Templars were not only anti-Hanoverian, they sought the abolition of all monarchy."
- William Bramley, The Gods of Eden

"At the beginning of 1776, the more moderate Freemasonic-oriented factions in the Continental Congress still prevailed. Their position had been enunciated once again the previous December, when congress again defied Parliament but continued to affirm allegiance to the crown. Now, however, the mood began to change and more radical elements began to gain the ascendancy. Thomas Paine's pamphlet, 'Common Sense', did much to polarize attitudes and convert many hitherto loyal colonists to the principle of independence from the mother country."

"On 11 June 1776, the Continental Congress "appointed a committee to draft a declaration of independence. Of the five men on this committee, two - Franklin and...Robert Livingston - were Freemasons...The other two - Thomas Jefferson and John Adams - were not, despite subsequent claims to the contrary.... The nine signatories who can now be established as proven Freemasons, and the ten who were possibly so, included such influential figures as Washington, Franklin and, of course, the president of the Congress, John Hancock. The army, moreover, remained almost entirely in Freemasonic hands."
- Brian Francis Redman ("The Big C")

"While in France, Dr. Franklin was privileged to receive definite esoteric instruction. It is noteworthy that Franklin was the first in America to reprint Anderson's Constitutions of the Free-Masons, which is a most prized work on the subject, though its accuracy is disputed. Through all this stormy period, these impressive figures come and go, part of a definite organization of political and religious thought, a functioning body of philosophers represented in Spain by no less an individual than Cervantes, in France by Cagliostro and St.-Germain, in Germany by Gichtel and Andreae, in England by Bacon, More, and Raleigh, and in America by Washington and Franklin. Coincident with the Baconian agitation in England, the Fama Fraternitatis and Confessio Fraternitatis appeared in Germany, both of these works being contributions to the establishment of a philosophic government upon the earth."
- Manly P. Hall, Rosicrucian and Masonic Origins pp. 408-409

Masons believe that there is only one God and that people employ many different ways to seek, and to express what they know of God. Masonry primarily uses the appellation, "Grand Architect of the Universe," and other non-sectarian titles, to address the Deity. God had many names in history. In this way, persons of different faiths may join together in prayer, concentrating on God, rather than differences among themselves. Masonry believes in religious freedom and that the relationship between the individual and God is personal, private, and sacred. Read this wonderful analogy from Phoenix masonry, about the ...The Masonic Altar...
. .."let us never forget--what has been so often and so sadly forgotten--that the most sacred Altar on earth is the soul of man--your soul and mine; and that the Temple and its ritual are not ends in themselves, but beautiful means to the end that every human heart may be a sanctuary of faith, a shrine of love, an altar of purity, pity, and unconquerable hope".

Freemasonry lacks the basic elements of religion: (a) It has no dogma or theology, no wish or means to enforce religious orthodoxy. (b) It offers no sacraments. (c) It does not claim to lead to salvation by works, by secret knowledge, or by any other means. The secrets of Freemasonry are concerned with modes of recognition, not with the means of salvation. from the pages of THE MASONIC INFORMATION CENTER Information or See ...Masonic Law. The Masonic Code of Ethics and the 'Law', as written by the Grand Lodge of England in 1721.

In The York Rite, on the other hand, the 'initiate' must sign an oath to defend the Christian faith against those who would harm or oppress Christians, because of their beliefs or religion. This is the "whole" of what Jesus taught. Freedom of religion. You have the right to search for God any way you choose. This is also the reason the Templars were called "The Order of the Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon". These men, The Templars, actually were an order of warrior monks prominent during the Crusades. The Order was protected by the Pope under it's first official sanction in 1118.

However what we found is that the True Christian beliefs were destroyed by the Romans in 60AD. What you don't hear is that the origional Knights knew something the Romans didn't know and that was what they were protecting.
Unfortunately the Knights in the U.S. of today were not part of what was left of the true Christians. Their membership is dwindeling because they are forcing the members to be totally dedicated to modern Christianity. They celebrate Easter without any hint that this might be a pagan 'copied' Roman and Greek ritual that is really thousands of years old and doesn't have anything to do with Jesus. see 'Christ's Mission' for the documented historical truth they are ignoring.

It is possble however that the Knights are just following their French counterparts by pretending to be christians in order to keep their secret. The secret will destroy present christianity. Forbidden pages explains this further.

'The Word' - this is the 'root and morrow of freemasonry' and is climaxed with the 32nd Degree. This degrees is only available as a member of the two Higher Orders of Masonry. The Knights Templar, which in turn is within the York Rite body of Cryptic Masons, and which represents Christianity.
And the Scottish Rite Degree of 'Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret', which represents all religions. [ the fundamentalists don't like this either because their's is the so-called 'only' religion. ] The Cryptic Council completes the Royal Arch degree with the teaching of preserving the 'Word'. published by the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons, 1996 ( this, if you will recall from the title page, was the promise of Thoth ) Grand Master Hiram and the Word

A Mason has a professed belief in the One and Only Supreme Power, God, and One's Eternal Life. ( This is a universal belief shared by all Masons. ) An examination of the the degrees will reveal that there is a basic theology of Masonry, as follows:
"There is a Supreme Being Who created the Universe, Who has established and revealed a moral law, And to Whom we must give account in a life after this".
He also becomes aware that Divine Truth can he found in the initiation , which is symbolic of the 'sacred vault of death'. There after, he should become 'enlightened' and aware that he must be responsible for the welfare of his family, his brothers, their widows and orphans and works for the 'overall good of mankind'. Only the true 'seeker' will find 'enlightenment'. ( This 'enlightenment' is the secret you must find on your own. ) Many Mason's actually never find it. A Mason therefore, is carefully chosen and he must be of good moral and ethical character.

A Mason cannot be formally charged with a crime or commit moral terpetude, less he face the risk of expulsion from the lodge. He must be a 'good' man. There is no such thing as a "bad" or "evil" mason, however from time to time there are those who 'fall down' simply because they do not understand their mission or the absolute true path of those who proceeded them. These are the ones who leave the craft who do not understand where the craft began or the meaning of 'brotherhood' which it keeps in place.

With over five million members, unsuitable men undoubtedly slip through the screening process. Some members will fail to live up to the standards they followed at the time they joined the fraternity and become guilty of conduct that would have barred them from membership in the first place. Masonic teaching advises that a man who seems to be straying from decent behavior be approached privately, to be questioned or admonished.

For those who stray too far there is provision for indictment, investigation, and a hearing. Minor offenders may be suspended for periods of time based on the gravity of the offense. Serious offenders may be ejected from Freemasonry. Some men meet that fate and become embittered. Masons know that such a man may become an aggressively vocal anti-Mason, sometimes willing to help other anti-Masons by twisting the truth of his own Masonic experience, or engaging in outright lies to "get even" with the brotherhood that would not tolerate his behavior. Others who follow that path were not ejected but resigned in anger because they had not prevailed in some issue, or were not elected by their brothers to a coveted post. Their numbers are very few, but their voices can be very loud.

A word that gets lots of attention; 'Baphomet' it means 'wisdom' in Greek and that is what it was intended to mean by the Templars. This word is contained in the Atbash cipher which was a Jewish code system that was also used in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Masonic system acts now as the witness of the Ancient Wisdom and Mysteries; it is a feeble light, but it is there all the time to show the true line of succession of the primitive doctrine and to guide its members on the way of peace and perfection. More about the deliberate misinterpertation of many words, symbols and traditions on 'The Pit of Serpents page'.



The qualifications to be a Mason are clear and distinct. There are physical, moral and spiritual qualifications. In California, the petitioner must be a man of at least 21 years of age. He must be free of any previous felonious criminal convictions and be of good moral character. He must also believe in a Supreme Being and the immortality of the soul.

The physical qualifications are necessary because the person must be free to make his own life decisions and be responsible for himself. The moral qualifications are self-evident for the viability of any brotherhood and the lofty ideals of our society. The two spiritual qualifications not only inform the entire structure of Freemasonry but also align the Fraternity with the great Mystery Schools and religions of the world. It is the transition from belief to knowledge that seals the mark of true spiritual initiation.


Ideally, the candidate should find his way to the door of Freemasonry on his own. If a man senses the stirrings in his heart for a deeper understanding of life than that he has heretofore found, he will seek until he finds the Fraternity. This turning of the heart is really the beginning of his initiation. Therefore, each candidate who comes seeking light is said to be first prepared in his heart.

While Freemasonry is not a religion, its ceremonies are of a serious nature, dignified in their presentation and impart teachings that, if properly understood, obligate a man to lead a better life. To get the greatest good from the ceremonies, a candidate should first prepare his mind to understand and absorb these teachings. The candidate should pay strict attention to every part of the ceremony, in order that he may gain some understanding of the teachings of Freemasonry. The methods we use in teaching may be new and unusual to the candidate, but these methods have been used for many centuries and have not changed significantly since they originated. Finally, he should remember that every Mason in the Lodge room is his friend and brother.


The Obligation is the heart of the Degree; for when it is assumed by the candidate, he has solemnly bound himself to Freemasonry and assumed certain duties which are his for the rest of his life. The taking of the Obligation is visible and audible evidence of the candidate’s sincerity of purpose. The Obligation has a two-fold purpose. In addition to binding the candidate to Freemasonry and its duties, it also protects the Fraternity against someone revealing the modes of recognition and symbolic instruction. The candidate should understand that the great truths which Masonry teaches are not secret, but the manner in which Freemasonry teaches these truths is considered secret.

Like much in the Fraternity, the roots of this practice are ancient. Making vows was a common practice in the Mysteries and was even a form of personal religion to the general populace. In many ways the vow defined their relationship with the deities of their homeland. Many vows were expressed in terms such as promises to a deity in return for safe voyages, successful crops, healing and so on. Although the nature of making vows and obligations has changed in modern times, it remains a very powerful method for setting direction in one's life and the building of character. The Latin obligato literally signifies a tying or binding. The relationship between the Cable Tow and the Obligation, along with the changing nature of this relationship as the candidate progresses, should not go unnoticed.


The goal of our ancient operative brethren was to become masters, so they might posses those secrets, which would enable them to practice the art of the builder, no matter where they traveled, even in foreign countries.
The term "foreign countries" is used symbolically in Speculative Masonry, and is not meant to refer to a certain geographical location. Freemasonry itself is a foreign country to every new member. To fully appreciate and enjoy the privileges of membership, he must become familiar with its territory. He does this by learning its language, customs, and history.
Once Raised, many of our members continue their journey into the inner recesses of the Craft. This can be a most rewarding experience. Truly, Freemasonry is the journey of a lifetime. We must continue to search for light and truth whereever it may be found, even in foreign countries.
The term "foreign countries" may also be a metaphor for the spiritual worlds. The ancients, and some not so ancients, concerned themselves with vast spiritual worlds. Their method of gaining admission was through secret passwords, grips, signs, and sometimes-angelic names and holy words.


In the search for "That Which Was Lost," we are not actually searching for a particular word. Our search is a symbol for our "feeling of loss" or "exile" from the Source of Life. What we are searching for is Divine Truth, which should be the ultimate goal of all men and Masons.
The Book of Genesis gives us a clue to the power of speech. In it, we learn that the first Act of Creation occurred when "God said." The utterance of the Word is also closely connected with the idea of Light, and therefore knowledge. Having the power of speech is perhaps the noblest attribute of man, because he can communicate his thoughts to his fellows. Thus, The Word has been carried down through the ages as synonymous with every manifestation of Divine Power and Truth.

We must always search diligently for truth, and never permit prejudice, passions, or conflicts of interest, to hinder us in our search. We must keep our minds open to receiving truth from any source. Thus, Masons are devoted to freedom of thought, speech and action. In our Craft Lodges, we have but a substitute for the True Word. Each person must ultimately seek out and find the True Word for himself, through his own individual efforts.
Some Masons feel that the names of the Ruffians give us a blatant hint at the Lost Word. Indeed, there is an allusion to the sacred syllable of the Vedic texts found in these names. But again, that word is itself a symbol of the underlying Reality that upholds and sustains the world. Some Masons feel that the Lost Word is spoken of in the scriptures variously as "the sound of rushing waters" and "I heard behind me a Voice like a great trumpet," or "a great roar like a lion" and such.


Most people do not understand what being "Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason" means. This Degree is the sublime climax of Symbolic Freemasonry. If you learn only that the living, dying and raising of a Master is a drama, designed to teach the virtues of fidelity, faith and fortitude, you have received only partial light and have seen nothing but a moral lesson. This Degree seeks to answer the age-old question put forth by Job - "If a man die, shall he live again?"
The Degree delves into the deepest recesses of man’s nature. While it leads the initiate into the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Temple, it probes into the Holy of Holies in his heart. As a whole, the Degree is symbolic of old age and by the wisdom of which we may enjoy the happy reflections consequent on a well-spent and properly directed life, and die in the sure knowledge of a glorious immortality.
It teaches no creed, no dogma, no doctrine, no religion; only, that there is immortality.

Seal of Solomon According to C.C. Zain, these three ruffians represent the Midheaven, the Ascendant and the Descendent position of the sun. The solar motif is picked up because their collective name has the gematria value of 1908 and thereby measures a Seal of Solomon with sides of 318, hence HlioV - the Sun. They also, in some fashion, personate the new moon because 1908 divided by three is 636, value of H Nou Mhnia - The New Moon. The conjunction of the sun and the new moon are a central part of the ritual of Master Mason. Zain explains:

"It was the usual custom of the Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, every day at high twelve when the craft went from labor to refreshment, to enter into the sanctorum. " Now if we turn for a moment to the Kabala we find that the holy of holies . . . also represents a spiritual union of man and woman, a union represented in the sky by the joining of the sun and the moon, that is the new moon. And as our narrative relates to the temple of the sun, his holy of holies . . . is the sign ruled by it, Leo.

The three Juwes are named as Jubela, Jubelo and Jubelum and obviously have a common root in Jubel. Zain tells us that Jubel is a sign of the sun. According to Albert Pike, the correct Hebrew spelling of this name is IVBL. This seems suitable because it equates him, through a gematria value of 48, with the Old Testament character ChM - Ham. Zain tells us that Ham also represents the sun ascendent (like Jubela) in the Royal Arch chapter.

In English Jubela, Jubelo and Jubelum have a combined gematria value of 2762. This indicates their role in the death-rebirth process because in 1 Cor. 15, 42 we are told of the resurrection: Speiretai en fqora egeiretai en afqarsia - It is sown in corruption: it is raised in incorruption (2762). Therefore they represent the corruption of death - but simultaneously portend the fact that this is not a death without hope.

The gematria total of the trio is 757 or 197, according to whether or not the final M is counted high. The former figure accounts them 'cursed', due to equivalence with the Greek word EparatoV; and, in context, it is interesting to note that the English root Jubel - 827- is equated with O EparatoV - 'the Cursed'. The lower figure (197) is on a level with H Arph - this was the 'sickle' with which Uranus was castrated by his son Chronos. This connects with the story of Noah and sons, for in the Talmud Ham actually unmanned Noah in his drunkeness, rather than merely looking at him (this fact accounts for the severity of the punishment he received). The story of Hiram and the Juwes seems closely modelled on that of Noah, albeit with the ruffians seeking a 'virile' word, rather than a virile member. There are also parallels with the story of the resurrection of Osiris, brought about by means of Isis and a substitute phallus.

It is more than probable, however, that the naming of the Juwes was also predicated by Hebrew considerations. Albert Pike spells their names as IVBLA, IVBLV and IVBLVM. Looking at the names, it seems as if the suffixes have been added to provide a clue as to the nature of the Master's word (their efforts to extract this word from Hiram Abif were what caused his murder). These suffixes combine to make the solar word AVM / AVN (for more on this go to The Lost Master's Word below).

a vesica piscis In another link to the story of Noah, we can observe the presence of the critical solar number 666. The Hebrew names of Noah and his son Ham are NCh and ChM and have values of 58 + 608 = 666. The value of Noah's three sons is exactly three times 666: ChM, ShM and IPhTh make 608 + 900 + 490 = 1998 = 3 x 666. One way of representing this relationship is by drawing two circles that intersect to form a vesica piscis - (The vesica piscis is a symbol made from two circles of the same radius, intersecting in such a way that the center of each circle lies on the circumference of the other. The name literally means the bladder of the fish in Latin. In the Christian tradition, it is a reference to Christ, as in ichthys. Ichthys The mandorla can easily be seen as a grail or chalice, connecting the symbol to Avalon.) if the circles have combined circumferences of 1998 the vesica will have a circumference of 666. This ties in with the gematria value of The Juwes because a square drawn around the conjoined circles has a perimeter of exactly 1908. It is also noteworthy that the diameter of the circles is 318, hence HlioV - the Sun, and also the number of servants symbolically circumcised by Abraham.

Note: This gives us proof the churchology story about the number 666 obviously isn't true.

However, it is possible that the spellings provided by Pike are not correct. The book in which they are given is prefaced with a quotation from a 12th century work, Artephii Liber Secretus, "Is not this an art full of secrets?: and believest thou, O fool! that we plainly teach this Secret of Secrets, taking our words according to their literal interpretations?." So there may be some deliberate inaccuracies; and it seems to me quite possible that Jubelo should be spelt IVBLAa. Accepting this hypothesis gives the trio a gematria total of 821 or 261.

821 equates them with the murder victim himself HIRVM (albeit by an atypical spelling of the name). It also portends the thing the Juwes tried to steal - O LogoV AlhqinoV - The True Word. If we add the two 821s we get 1642 - value of ChVRM BN ALMNH - Hiram, Son of the Widow.

261 links them to both Luna the moon, and MVRIH - Mount Moriah. The latter plays a crucial role in the death of Hiram, as this is the place where his body was buried. This grave is described as being located "at the lowest point in the daily journey of the moon".

Albert Pike provides us with the Hebrew original of this word, MVABAVN and tells us that this means 'Moab On' or 'emanation of virile energy'. He doesn't tell us that the Hebrew word is valued at 756 and so equated with the Greek Egeirai kai peripatei - 'Rise up and walk' (Acts 3,6):


In The Three Pillars we have the three great supports of Masonry - Wisdom, Strength and Beauty. The Three Steps remind us of how youth, manhood and old age is each an entity in itself, each possessing its own duties and problems, and each calling for its own philosophy. The Pot of Incense teaches that, to be pure and blameless in our inner lives is more acceptable to God than anything else, because that, which a man really is, is of vastly greater importance than that which he appears to be. It is also a symbol of prayer and meditation.

The Beehive recommends the virtue of industry and teaches us that we should never rest while our fellow creatures are in need of assistance. It should be mentioned that bees have also been symbols of messengers from the heavens. The Book of Constitutions Guarded By The Tyler’s Sword is the emblem of law and order, and reminds us that our moral and spiritual character is grounded in law and morality as much as is government and nature. It teaches that no man can live a satisfactory life who lives lawlessly.

The Sword Pointing To A Naked Heart symbolizes that one of the most rigorous of these laws is justice, and that if a man be unjust in his heart, the inevitable results of injustice will find him out. The All Seeing Eye shows that we live and move and have our being in God; that we are constantly in His Presence, wherever or whatever we are doing. The single Eye is found in many countries from Egypt to India: The Eye of Horus, the Eye of Shiva and so on. The Anchor and Ark stand for that sense of security and stability of a life grounded in truth and faith, without which sense there can be no happiness.

The Forty-Seventh Problem of Euclid, or the Pythagorean Theorem, is a very potent symbol and is so important in Freemasonry that it cannot be overemphasized. It is the Sacred King of the scalene (limping) triangles. Its properties have incredible implications in many different areas. Plutarch informs us that the Egyptians attributed the holy family of Osiris, Isis, and Horus to this specific triangle: Osiris the vertical (3), Isis the horizontal (4), and Horus the diagonal (5). Remember that after Osiris is killed, Horus becomes the Son of the Widow.

In The Hourglass we have the emblem of the fleeting quality of life. The Scythe reminds us that the passing of time will end our lives as well as our work, and if ever we are to become what we ought to be, we must not delay.

The Goat

The origin of this humourous initiatory jest about the Goat is shrouded by the veils of time. Several Older brethern I have conferred with seem to have no idea of where or when it originated. It could have originally been imported from America by that practical joker and fellow Mason; Benjamin Franklin. Or it could be a unique recent development of post World War II Masonry.

Certainly I can find no references to the Goat or even "riding the Goat" in Mackay's Masonic Encyclopedia, Duncan's Ritual, Morals and Dogma by Albert Pike or even FreeMasonry and its Etiquette by William Preston Campbell-Everden. Even such anti-Masonic writers as Walton Hannah (Darkness Visible and Christian by Degree) make no reference to it, and it would certainly be something he would not be loathe to use to slander the Craft. see The Goat

The Apron is an inheritance from the past.

For one purpose or another, and in some form, the Apron has been used for three or four thousand years. In at least one of the Ancient Mysteries, that of Mithras, the candidate was invested with a white Apron. So also was the initiate of the Essenes, who received it during the first year of his membership in that order, and it is significant that many of the statues of Greek and Egyptian gods were so ornamented, as may still be seen. Chinese secret societies, in many cases, also used it, and the Persians, at one time, employed it as their national banner ... The Apron and Lots of Other stuff The apron is worn with pride. It is a symbol reflecting the ancient art of Stonemasonry.
The other mention of an apron in biblical text is found in Acts and concerns the healing of the sick and ( they say ) does not relate to Freemasonry. This is primarily because Christian references were supposedly removed from the initiations.

The earliest ceremonial aprons appear to have been simple and unadorned. As time went on, mystical symbols and other decorations were added. Perhaps the most significant change to the apron occurred during the reign of the powerful Canaanite priest-king, Melchizedek, who had achieved a very high status in the Bible. Melchizedek presided over an elite branch... the Melchizedek Priesthood. Beginning around the year 2200 BC, the Melchizedek Priesthood began to make its ceremonial aprons out of white lambskin. White lambskin was eventually adopted by the Freemasons who have used it for their aprons ever since."
- William Bramley, The Gods of Eden

"The apron shown here contains a wealth of symbolism: the beehive, emblematic of the Masonic lodge itself; the trowel, the mallet, and the trestleboard; the rough and trued ashlars; the pyramids and hills of Lebanon; the pillars, the Temple, and checkerboard floor; and the blazing star and tools of the Craft. The center of the apron is occupied by the compass and square, representative of the Macrocosm and the microcosm, and the alternately black and white serpent of astral light. Below is an acacia branch with seven sprigs, signifying the life centers of the superior and the inferior man. The skull and crossbones are a continual reminder that the spiritual nature attains liberation only after the philosophical death of man's sensuous personality."

Information has been found, of Tutankhamun ( Tut ), Grandson ( or Son in-law )of Akhenaten, as having had an apron on when his tomb was found and his mummy uncovered.

Jewish prophets often wore aprons, as ecclesiastical dignitaries of the present day still do. The same custom is found even among savages, for, as Brother J.G. Gibson has remarked, “Wherever the religious sentiment remains — even among the savage nations of the earth — there has been noticed the desire of the natives to wear a girdle or apron of some kind.”
from the pages of ... THE APRON THE GOLDEN BOWL AND THE SILVER CORD and this esoteric site The silver cord

The Rose and the Cross

The cross is a symbol that is about as universal and ancient as any symbol that has emerged out of man's psyche. The cross symbolizes the meeting at right angles of horizontals and perpendiculars. Forces going in quite opposite directions but meeting at a central point, a common ground. It can symbolize the union of opposites and the dualism in nature. It can be the outstretch archetypal man with the infinite possibilities of growth being immortal. It represents eternal life. The cross can symbolize the decent of Spirit into matter. It is the intersection of the level of time with the Eternity of the Spirit.

The cross is the axis of the cycle of the year whose spokes are the equinoxes and solstices. It is the crossroads where the four directions meet. In a Christian sense the cross signifies acceptance of sacrifice, suffering, and death as well as immortality. There is a legend that the cross of Christ was made out of wood from the Tree of Knowledge, the cause of the Fall, making it the instrument of Redemption. In the Egyptian mythos the crux ansata or - a type of cross - was a symbol of life, immortality, and health. It is held by the gods and goddesses. It also represented the union of Isis and Osiris.

The Tree of Knowledge was not the cause an any 'fall'.

Numerologically, the cross is sometimes represented by the number four. Within our own teachings: "No.4 is the Mystic number, and indicates the operative influence of the four elements. Under this number, or the geometrical square, Pythagoras communicated the Ineffable Name of God to his chosen disciples." In the Hebrew alphabet the last letter is called Tav. And Tav means "mark" or "cross" and its original form was written much like ankh or cross. I could go on with many more examples but I think we can see that the cross transcends human culture in both time and space. It is a symbol that ties us all together as a Brotherhood of Mankind. It is a symbol that goes to the very root of our being.

The rose (Latin, rosa, in Greek, rhodon) also is a symbol that has a rich and ancient history. And like the cross, it can have paradoxical meanings. It is at once a symbol of purity and a symbol of passion, heavenly perfection and earthly passion; virginity and fertility; death and life. The rose is the flower of the goddess Venus but also the blood of Adonis and of Christ. It is a symbol of transmutation - that of taking food from the earth and transmuting it into the beautiful fragrant rose. The rose garden is a symbol of Paradise. It is the place of the mystic marriage. In ancient Rome, roses were grown in the funerary gardens to symbolize resurrection. The thorns have represented suffering and sacrifice as well as the sins of the Fall from Paradise.

The rose has also been used as a sign of silence and secrecy. The word sub rosa "under the rose" referring to the demand for discretion whenever a rose was hung from the ceiling at a meeting. In the Mysteries roses were sacred to Isis. It is also the flower of her son Harpocrates or younger Horus, the god of silence.

Numerologically, the rose represents the number 5. This is because the wild rose has 5 petals. And the petals on roses are in multiples of five. Geometrically, the rose corresponds with the pentagram and pentagon. Our teachings state: "No.5 is the emblem of Health and Safety; represents Spirit and the four elements." The Pythagorean brotherhood used the pentagram as the symbol of their school.
see.. A Brief Study of the Rose Cross Symbol

Also see Eighteenth Degree, Knight Rose Croix Jim Tresner, 33°, Grand Cross

Then Peter said, Silver and Gold have I none: but such as I have give I to thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping stood up, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.

756 is also the value of the village EmmaouV, which was where Jesus first appeared to his disciples after his resurrection (Luke 24, 13). Furthermore, the Greek spelling of Hiram - Ceiram - has this value, and the word AparabatoV meaning 'imperishable'. One could add that a vesica 756 in width has a circumference of 3168 (the perimeter of the archetypal temple and value of KurioV IhsouV CristoV - Lord Jesus Christ) and that 756 is the side length of the Great Pyramid as measured in feet.

It may be significant that the Greek words for 'Jesus Christ of Nazareth' employed in the raising described above are Ihsou Cristou to Nazwraiou and have a value equal to that of O lewn o wn ek ths fulhs Iouda h riza Dabid - 'The lion of the tribe of Judah and root of David' (value 4178, from Rev. 5, 5). The connection comes from the fact that the new Master is raised by the 'Lion's Grip'. The latter expression has solar connotations because its value is 365 - the number of days in the solar year. This would appear to tie in with the fact that the AVN in MAVB-AVN is the Hebrew name of Heliopolis, the city of the Sun. The lion is a solar animal and emblematic of the sun's virile power.

The English version of the word has a value of 153. This is a very significant number, particularly as it provides the number of fishes caught by the disciples in their post-resurrection fishing trip on the sea of Galilee (John 21,11). The number 153, the 17th triangular number, has for hundreds of years been interpreted to signify 'the resurrection to eternal life'. The number 17 features here too because it is the gematria value of the central syllable, 'Hah'.

It is also a fact that 153 is the value of H Magdalhnh - The Magdalene. Mary Magdalene is very closely associated with the resurrection of Jesus, as she was the first to discover the empty tomb and encounter his risen form. If the resurrection is viewed in terms of the Greek mysteries, she would have been acting in the role of initiatrix - like Isis raising her dead husband Osiris.

The word 'Mach-ben-ach' means, according to Pike, 'the place where the murdered one was hidden' and derives from the Hebrew MChBANK. Valued at 121, this is also equated with the Magdalene, because it is the value of 'Maria' (English/Latin). At the same time 121 provides the name of another Egyptian city of the Sun SVNH - Syene: this was used as a solar observatory to measure the Tropic of Cancer (the sun's northernmost vertical trajectory). Maybe this was where the body of the murdered solar hero (Osiris) was concealed?

The Original Master's Word
It is possible that AVN was the original Master's Word. It has the significant value of 707: this represents half of the square root of two. The ancient importance of this number is testified to by our finding O QeoV ErmhV - The God Hermes, and ParqenoV Mariam - The Virgin Mary, equally valued.

Was the sacred AVN intended as O logoV alhqeiaV - 'The word of truth' (James 1, 18)? Albert Pike hints as much when he writes, "In my opinion, the Substitute or covering Word was of three syllables, in order to hint to the Initiate that the True Word was also triliteral; and Muabon, reversed gives NobAUM . . . AVN (the name of the City called by the Greeks Heliopolis) means 'robustness, strength, vigour, the virile energy' ".

Another possibility is that AMVN is the Word: this is the divine name that combines the masculine AVN with the maternal AM - to create a god of balanced sexual polarity. Amun/Ammon was the primary deity of ancient Egypt.

AMVN also happens to be the Hebrew word for an architect or builder (i.e. a Mason).

With the definite article added, we also see that H'AMVN takes a gematria value of 752, which is equal to the primary divine couple of ancient Greece, Hra kai ZeuV - Hera and Zeus. In Hebrew 753 will provide us with another well-balanced couple, ABRM ShRI - Abram and Sarai (alternatively, ABRHM ShRH - Abraham and Sarah). Additionally, 753 gives us a combination of AVRIM V'ThMIM - Aurim and Thumim - Light and Truth.

In Masonic ritual the Lost Master's Word is frequently explained to refer to (removed). This is interpreted to mean life-force or virile vigour - which is especially apt, as its value of 1520 equates it with both the fertile procreative energy of 'The Vernal Equinox' and the fertilising instrument O IquV FalloV.

It is also worth pointing out that the Hebrew word for 'marrow' MCh is an anagram of ChM - Ham, the son of Noah. Ham represents the sun in Masonic ritual at the midheaven station. Notice too that 'Ham' is 'Mah' in reverse. The names of father and son are written NCh and ChM and have a combined value of 58 + 608 = 666. This is the supreme solar number and not a number associated with a devil. Their lower value of 58 + 48 = 106 is equal to the lower value of MVABAVN. from

Skull & Crossed Bones

Premise - emblem of mortality - symbol which refers to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Crucifixion took place at Calvary, or Golgotha. Golgotha means the place of the skull. The skull and crossed bones represents the only biblical location where a cross and a skull may be united. Consequently it celebrates the death of Jesus Christ ( freedom from the Material world, from flesh ) It is significant to note that the shape of the cross is consistent with the St Andrews Cross, national flag or ‘saltire’ of Scotland.

The Hand Shake and other Info.. The Hand Shake.. from What is Freemasonry ?..Portabello Lodge UK.

Blindfold or Hoodwink

Premise - a specific reference to the torture of Jesus Christ, an ancient and accepted practise of initiation. In Freemasonry it is universally accepted that the initiate should be hoodwinked or blindfolded. This is such that the initiate may obtain no knowledge of Masonic Rites in the improper way.

It is used upon Jesus Christ after he had been captured and was placed upon him during beating. Signifiant of the trials of the flesh which one must overcome. The Entered apprentice enters in a state of Darkness and after stating his desire to seek light the hoodwink or the blindfold is removed.

Noose or The Cable Tow Premise - An allegorical Symbol used to illustrate the Masonic obligation to Freemasonry and used to symbolise noble virtues.

It is worn by the entered apprentice during initiation and may take the form of a rope and a noose placed around the initiates neck. The end of the rope is hung over the back of the initiate. It is used as an allegorical trial of fortitude in the first Degree. For if the initiate had attempted to retreat during the initiation he would have strangled himself and have been an accessory to his own death.

The Latin code of gematria is the key that unlocks the meaning of some of Freemasonry's greatest secrets. It does this both in conjunction with the codes for Hebrew and classical Greek and more especially by virtue of the fact that it also provides the means to procure the cabalistic coding of English. The three cabalistic codes are all recorded in one of the main sourcebooks for the esoteric teachings of high degree Freemasonry - Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy (1531).
also see .. Entered Apprentice

It allegorically refers to the obligation of a Mason to attend their lodges, when summoned, if within the distance of 3 miles. This distance being metaphorical

Some of the passwords must only be communicated between individuals while each member is within the length of the cable tow. The tracing board of the first or Entered apprentice should be enclosed by a form of cable tow or a cord. The cable tow, usually in association with four tassels, represents the four cardinal virtues.

Removal of a Shoe

Premise - entering a solemn and ancient obligation as a member of Freemasonry, a symbolic action intended to represent the submission of the right of redemption. The removal of a shoe is an ancient and accepted method of recognition that one is entering into a solemn and, in antiquity, legal obligation.

It reflects the submission of someone to give up their rights to something. In some biblical versions it is called the submission of the right of redemption or of repurchase. This has extremely sinister implications of viewed in the wrong manner.

While this is performed in the First Degree, there is no satisfactory Masonic explanation as to why it may be repeated in the Second or why both shoes are removed in the Third Degree, other than reinforce the initial action.


Premise - The initiate is wearing an aspect of costume specifically associated with the symbolic attack of the devil.

No explanation of why a specific type of slipper is given. It is simply associated with the submission of a shoe representing a legal and solemn agreement. The initiate may be asked in the future ‘What did you give?’ referring to the initiation into Freemasonry itself. He will answer ‘my shoe’. After removing one shoe in the first and second degrees, or both shoes in the third, the initiate wears slippers. These are specifically mule type footwear.

The mule type slipper does not have a rear backing. It should more accurately be regarded as a sandal or clog. Alternatively the candidate is described as being slipshod. Slipshod specifically means down at the heel. The import of both is the same. It exposes the heel/s of the initiate. The heel is one of the few body parts to come under attack by the devil in biblical text. Taken from Genesis 3

Submission of Jewellery and Money

This serves two purposes. The candidate enters neither clothed nor naked, shod nor bare foot and in a symbolic state of poverty, ready to receive the light of Freemasonry. He is asked to reflect upon the noble virtue of charity and must confirm that if he did have something to give he would gladly do so.

Depriving the candidate of valuables is not intended to sport with the candidates feelings when asked to make a contribution. It serves to impress upon the candidate the significance of charity even more. This element of symbolism is taken from Proverbs 1 verses 10 -15. It describes the finding of all precious substance and the initiate submits all his valuables.

It also describes restraining your feet from the path of the wicked. In the First Degree the initiate is required to take very specific steps, led with the left foot, each step being longer than the last. In the Third Degree this is further extended with the initiate being required to walk over his own grave in a very particular manner. The steps are deliberately intended to be awkward to complete. The initiate must make a determined effort and display clear intent in order to complete them.

It also describes being swallowed alive and whole as one that lots to have one purse. This is achieved by entering the brotherhood and the payment of the required dues, which may be viewed as a substantial amount of money but usually isn't .

It also describes laying snares for the innocent without cause. In addition, the usually accepted view that a candidate must request membership stems from this passage. It is disguised in ‘mystery’ and legend.
All the above from.. Welcome to Freemasonry Pro’s & Cons.

The weeping virgin with disheveled hair, in the monument of the 3°, used in the American Rite, is interpreted as a symbol of grief for the unfinished state of the Temple. Jeremy Cross, who is said to have fabricated the monumental symbol, was not, we are satisfied, acquainted with Hermetic Science. Yet a woman thus portrayed, standing near a tomb, was a very appropriate symbol for the 3°, whose dogma is the resurrection. In Hermetic Science, according to Nicholas Flamel (Hieroglyphica, Cap. 32), a woman having her hair disheveled and standing near a tomb is a symbol of the soul." -- Mackey's Encyclopaedia, Vol. II, 842.

The legend of the columns, of granite and brass, erected by Enoch, is described as 'probably symbolical'. That of bronze, which survived the flood, is supposed to symbolize the mysteries, of which Masonry is the legitimate successor from the earliest times the custodian and depository of the great philosophical and religious truths, unknown to the world at large, and handed down from age to age by an unbroken current of tradition, embodied in symbols, emblems, and allegories."
General Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma

We found another description of the columns which are made, one of brick and the other stone. The pyramid page and our story about Enoch takes you to the truth..

More detailed explanations A BASIC MASONIC EDUCATION COURSE

The York Rite, like the Scottish Rite, is an appendant body of Masonry, and confers degrees beyond the Blue Lodge's three degrees. It consists of nine degrees additional degrees: Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and Royal Arch Mason; the Cryptic Degrees of the Royal Master, Select Master, and Super Excellent Master; and the Chivalric Orders of the Order of the Red Cross, Order of the Knights of Malta and the Order of Knights Templar.

"The Temple degrees, which comprise the top degrees of the York Rite are specifically Christian. Or at least, it can be stated that the oath is: in some Grand Lodges in the US and abroad, one need not be a Christian, but rather only be willing to take a Christian OATH. The difference here is that there are some who would willingly swear to defend the Christian faith on the grounds that they would defend any man's faith. The Chapter (or Royal Arch) and Council Of Royal And Select Masters (Cryptic Rite), which comprise the first two sections of the York Rite, are not specifically Christian."
- Andrew Fabbro, Freemasonry FAQ Version 1.2

Royal Arch

"The Master Mason who wants to be 'exalted to the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch' must fist prove himself by answering the text questions of the Craft Third Degree before he is given a grip and a password (the meaning of which is 'my people having obtained mercy') to allow him to enter. The candidate wears his Master Mason's apron and is blindfolded with a length of rope tied about his waist."
- Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

In the ritual of the Royal Arch, or Seventh Degree, the candidate re-enacts the excavation of the first temple of Solomon . In the first part of the ceremony he must search in darkness until he finds a vellum scroll. The candidate is then readmitted with two other Companions playing the parts of the three Master Masons of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego.

"As they enter they take part in a ceremony known as Passing the Veils, which represents a Priest of the Temple approaching the Holy of Holies of the Temple of Solomon."
- Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

The three sojourners, freed from captivity in Babylon, offer their services to Zerubbabel to help rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem after the Jews returned from captivity in Babylon. They are assigned the lowly job of repairing the foundation.

"The whole narrative is told as though those conducting the excavation were Jews from Babylon digging in the ruins of the first Temple, but we believe it is actually describing the discoveries of the Knights Templar at the site of the last Temple. It can only refer to the ruins of Herod's Temple because the type of arch described in the ceremony is an arrangement of stones supporting each other in compression to form a curved load-bearing structure which was unknown at the time of Zerubbabel. The curved arch employed wedge-shaped, precisely cut stones requiring little or no mortar, and since it is that type of arch with three keystones which plays such a prominent part of the Royal Arch ceremony, it is absolutely certain that the setting of the story re-enacted in the ritual is Herod's Temple, which was constructed using Roman engineering principles."
- Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

In the next part of the ceremony, the three masons return and discover the keystone of the principal arch of King Solomon's Temple and the master's jewels. The account continues as they are questioned by the First Principal:

"A. We repaired to the place as before, which I descended as before. The sun shone forth with such redoubled splendor that I was enabled to descend; in the eastern-most part thereof was a trunk of curious form, overlaid with gold, having on the top and sides certain mysterious characters; availing myself of this I gave the signal and ascended; on arriving at the top of the arch I found my hands involuntarily placed in this position to guard my eyes from the intense light and heat that arose therefrom above; with the trunk we repaired to the Grand Council.
Q. What was their opinion of the trunk?
A. That it was the Ark of the Covenant.
Q. What were its contents?
A. A pot, a rod, and a book.
Q. What was their opinion of the pot?
A. That it was the pot of manna, which Moses by divine command, laid up in the side of the ark as a memorial of the miraculous manner in which the children of Israel were supplied with that article of food for forty years in the wilderness.
Q. What was their opinion of the rod?
A. That it was Aaron's rod, that budded and blossomed, and bore fruit in a day, which Moses also, by divine command, laid in the side of the ark as a testimony, to be kept for a token.
Q. What was their opinion of the book?
A. That it was the book of the law in which it was written, I am the Lord, I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac and Jacob by the name of God Almighty, but by my great and sacred name was I not know unto them.
Q. What does it contain?
A. A key to the mysterious characters upon its top and sides, by which they found those upon its sides to be the initials of our three ancient Grand Masters, S. K. of I. [Solomon, king of Israel], H. K. of T [Hiram, king of Tyre], and H. Abiff. Those upon its top, the Grand Omnific or Royal Arch word, which we as Royal Arch Masons should never give except in the presence of three Royal Arch Masons, we first agreeing by three times three, and under a living arch."
- Duncan's Masonic Ritual and Monitor or Guide to the Three Symbolic Degrees of the Ancient York Rite

"By this time the sun had attained its greatest altitude, and shining in al its splendor, darted its rays immediately into the aperture, which enabled me to distinguish those objects I had before but imperfectly discovered. In the center of the vault I saw a pedestal of pure virgin marble, with certain mystic characters engraven thereon, and a veil covering the upper face of the altar. Approaching with reverential awe, I lifted the veil , and beheld what I humbly supposed to be the sacred word itself."
- Masonic ritual quoted in Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

Thus, in the Persian Mysteries of Mithras, there was a ladder of seven rounds, the passage through them being symbolical of the soul's approach to perfection. These rounds were called gates, and, in allusion to them, the candidate was made to pass through seven dark and winding caverns, which process was called the ascent of the ladder of perfection Each of these caverns was the representative of a world, or w state of existence through which the soul was supposed to pass in its progress from the first world to the last, or the world of truth. Each round of the ladder was said to be of metal of measuring purity, and was dignified also with the name of its protecting planet. Some idea of the construction of this symbolic ladder may be obtained from the accompanying table.

7. Gold .............. Sun ............... Truth
6. Silver ............. Moon ........... Mansion of the Blessed
5. Iron ............... Mars ............ World of Births
4. Tin ................ Jupiter ......... Middle World
3. Copper .......... Venus .......... Heaven
2. Quicksilver ... Mercury ....... World of Pre-existence
1. Lead ............. Saturn .......... First World
- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry.

It is alleged that in the mysteries of Brahma and in the Egyptian mysteries this ladder is also to be found. But this fact seems a little doubtful especially as the Egyptian mysteries little is known. The ladder is, however, to be seen among the hieroglyphics. In the Brahmic mysteries there is, we are told a ladder of seven steps, emblematic of seven worlds. The first and lowest was the Earth; the second, the World of Pre-Existence; the third, Heaven; the fourth, the Middle World, or intermediate region; the fifth, the World of Births; the sixth, the Mansions of the Blest; and the seventh, the Sphere of Truth. Some little difference of opinion exists as to the representation of the Brahmic teaching. It has been stated that in Hermetic or higher Masonry, so-called, the seven steps represent Justice, Equality, Kindness, Good Faith, Labor, Patience and intelligence. They are also represented as Justice, Charity, Innocence, Sweetness, Faith, Firmness and Truth, the Greater Work, Responsibility. But this is quite a modern arrangement in all probability. In Freemasonry it has been said that the ladder with its seven rungs or steps represents the four cardinal and three theological virtues which in symbolism seems to answer to the seven grades of Hermetic symbolism.

It must be remembered that we have no actual old operative ritual before us, and on the other hand we must not lay too much store by the negative evidence of later rituals - that is, because we do not find until then actual mention of certain words and symbolisms therefore conclude they did not exist earlier. On the whole, Jacob's ladder in Freemasonry seems to point to the connection between Faith and Heaven, man and God, and to represent Faith, Hope and Charity; or, as it is declared, Faith in God, Charity to all men, and Hope in Immortality.
- Source: The Craftsman - December. see Jacob's Ladder

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