Message from the East
The Letter “G”

Undoubtedly the founders of English - Speaking Freemasonry were thoroughly cognizant and well informed when, from the twenty six letters of the English alphabet, they selected the letter “G” for the use in English-speaking Lodges. The transition was made from the Hebrew letter “Yod” which was in regular usage at that time by Masonry on the Continent of Europe, and the letter “G” dovetails with Masonic teaching and symbolism as it has come down to us. The fathers of English - speaking Freemasonry must have been well versed in the Hebrew Kabbala and with one of its branches known as Geometria, by means of which the hidden meaning of Hebrew words was extracted from the sum of the numerical values of the letters which composed it, for each letter of Hebrew alphabet has a numerical value.

The letter “G” is the third letter in Hebrew, Greek, Chaldean, Syrian and Samaritan alphabets. It is the fifth letter in the Arabic alphabet, and the seventh letter in the English alphabet. Significantly, we find that the letter known as Gimel (Hebrew) and Gamma (Greek), both spelled with five letters, are each a counterpart of the third letter in their respective alphabets. Indeed, the Greek letter Gamma in combination with the Greek letter Eta, the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, means Earth. In Grecian mythology, man and women are said to be a resultant of the marriage of the letters Gamma and Eta. The letter “G” is the first letter of the seven-lettered word Genesis, the English name which has been given to the first book of the Great Light of Masonry, the Holy Bible.

As Fellowcrafts in our study of the Liberal Arts and Sciences, our attention was directed, among other things, to the study of music and astronomy. In our study of music, we come to learn that the note G is the fifth in the key of C (the third letter of the alphabet), while, as we scan the heavens through our powerful light - finding telescopes, we soon discover the third of the constellations, Gemini. Likewise, our astronomical research quickly brings to the foreground the seven - lettered word Galileo, the martyred one, great physicist and astronomer, who incurred torture, eventual blindness and early death at the hands of the Inquisition for daring to shout aloud to all mankind that the earth and other planets revolved about the sun and that the earth rotated on its own axis.

To the world at large, the letter ”G” is recognized as being the initial letter of the English word God (just a one - letter deviation from the Hebrew letter “Yod,” synonymous with God). A responsibility, therefore, rests upon each Mason who, symbolically, stands before the world bathed in the radiance emanating from the word God, for the three - letter - word God, or its equivalent, stands at the very summit in every spoken language as the symbol of that great Divine Spiritual Force which created, formed and now rules and governs the Universe. It symbolizes a force so potent, so mysterious and so little understood, even in this enlighted age, that it defies definition by the most learned theologian or scientist, or by the most eloquent of divines.

It represents a force concerning which psalmist and poet have sung in all humility and reverence from the earliest of days. Ralph Waldo Emerson asked:

“Knowest thou what wove yon woodbird nest
Of leaves and feathers from her breast?
Or how the fish outbuilt her shell,
Painting with morn each annual cell?
Or how the sacred pine - tree adds
To her old leaves new myriads?”

Gilbert Keith Chesterton inquired of the “Elder Father”: “Canst thou tell what in the heart of a cowslip blossom lies,” or “tell me what is in the heart of the smallest of seeds?” To which the answer came:

“God Almighty and with Him
Cherubim and Seraphim
Filling all eternity
Adonai Elohim.”

The letter “G” is to many the first letter of the Name to whom we will ever bow the head and bend the knee in adoration and in prayer as, with Tennyson, we humbly say:

“Hallowed be thy Name---Hallelujah,
Infinite Ideality,
Immeasurable Reality,
Infinite Personality,
“Hallowed be thy Name---Hallelujah.”

Respectfully submitted,

George Theofanis
Worshipful Master

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