Secret society - free mason

About secret societies, free masonry, simbols, rithuals, order, ... Some articles are taken from "Mysteries of Freemasonry" by Captain William Morgan "The Symbolism of Freemasonry" by Albert G. Mackey, M.D. 1882. "Secret Societies" by David MacDill, Jonathan Blanchard, and Edward Beecher Those three books have free licence and no copyright law has broken.

Monday, October 30, 2006

History of Freemasonry

History of Freemasonry (from wikipedia)

The first Grand Lodge formed in Freemasonry was The Grand Lodge of England (GLE), founded in 1717, when four existing London Lodges met. This rapidly expanded into a regulatory body, which almost all English Lodges joined. From the 1750s onwards, two competing English Grand Lodges vied for supremacy - the "Moderns" (GLE) and "Ancients" (or Athol) Grand Lodges. They finally united in 1813 to form the present United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE).
Goose and Gridiron, Home to a London Lodge forming GLE
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Goose and Gridiron, Home to a London Lodge forming GLE

The Grand Lodges Scotland and Ireland were formed in the 1720s, and Freemasonry was exported to the British Colonies in North America by the 1730s - with the English "Ancients" and the "Moderns" Grand Lodges and the Grand Lodges of Scotland and Ireland chartering offspring ("daughter") Lodges, which in turn set up Provincial Grand Lodges. From the American Revolution, and again after the breach caused by "War of 1812", independent US Grand Lodges formed themselves within the State boundaries. Some thought was briefly given to organizing an over-arching "Grand Lodge of the United States", with George Washington as the first Grand Master, but the idea was short-lived. The various Grand Lodges did not wish to diminish their own authority by agreeing to such a body.[40]

The oldest jurisdiction on the continent of Europe, the Grand Orient de France (GOdF), was founded in 1728. Most English-speaking jurisdictions cut formal relations with the GOdF, however, around 1877.[20] The Grande Loge Nationale Française (GLNF)[41] is currently the only French Grand Lodge that is in regular amity with the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and its many concordant jurisdictions worldwide.

Originally, there was mutual recognition between UGLE and the Grand Orient de France. However, this was changed when the Grand Orient de France removed the term of the Great Architect of the Universe at their convention in 1877, following the request of the protestant clergy Fréderic Desmons who stated that Freemasonry is based on unconditional freedom of conscience and human solidarity; nobody is excluded because of its belief. The United Grand Lodge of England removed their recognition of the Grand Orient de France, and soon afterwards the majority of Grand Lodges around the world followed suit. A Schism was formed. Additionally, while the Grand Orient de France has no female Freemasons itself, it has mutual recognition with Co-Freemasonry, which admits both women and men as Freemasons. Female Co-Masons are allowed to attend the rituals of the GOdF. These are the main reason, why "regular" Grand Lodges consider "liberal" lodges to be irregular. "Regular" Freemasons are not allowed to take part of the rituals of "liberal" Lodges, although they are recognized by "liberal" lodges and made welcome if they do.

Due to the above history, Freemasonry is often said to consist of two branches not in mutual regular amity:

* the UGLE and concordant tradition of jurisdictions (termed Grand Lodges) in amity, and
* the GOdF, European Continental, tradition of jurisdictions (often termed Grand Orients) in amity.

In most Latin countries, the GOdF style of European Continental Freemasonry predominates, although in most of these Latin countries there are also Grand Lodges that are in regular amity with the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and the worldwide community of Grand Lodges that share regular "fraternal relations" with the UGLE. The rest of the world, accounting for the bulk of Freemasonry, tends to follow more closely to the UGLE style, although minority variations exist.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

After the Candidate History Has Been Given

An Address to be Delivered to the Candidate after the History Has Been Given.



"Brother, your zeal for the institution of Masonry, the progress you have made in the mystery, and your conformity to our regulations, have pointed you out as a proper object of our favor and esteem.

"You are bound by duty, honor, and gratitude to be faithful to your trust; to support the dignity of your character on every occasion; and to enforce, by precept and example, obedience to the tenets of the Order.

"In the character of a Master Mason you are authorized to correct the errors and irregularities of your uninformed brethren, and to guard them against a breach of fidelity.

"To preserve the reputation of the fraternity unsullied, must be your constant care, and for this purpose, it is your province to recommend to your inferiors, obedience and submission; to your equals, courtesy and affability; to your superiors, kindness and condescension. Universal benevolence you are always to inculcate; and, by the regularity of your own behavior, afford the best example for the conduct of others less informed. The ancient landmarks of the Order, entrusted to your care, you are carefully to preserve; and never suffer them to be infringed, or countenance a deviation from the established usages and customs of the fraternity.

"Your virtue, honor, and reputation are concerned in supporting, with dignity, the character you now bear. Let no motive, therefore, make you swerve from your duty, violate your vow, or betray your trust: but be true and faithful, and imitate the example of that celebrated artist whom you this evening represent: thus you will render yourself deserving the honor which we have conferred, and merit the confidence that we have reposed."





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Thursday, October 19, 2006

THE THIRD, OR MASTER MASON'S DEGREE

alpha mason symbol
The traditional account of the death, several burials, and resurrection of Hiram Abiff, the widow's son (as hereafter narrated), admitted as facts, this degree is certainly very interesting. The Bible informs us that there was a person of that name employed at the building of King Solomon's Temple; but neither the Bible, the writings of Josephus, nor any other writings, however ancient, of which I have any knowledge, furnish any information respecting his death. It is very singular that a man so celebrated as Hiram Abiff was, and arbiter between Solomon, King of Israel, and Hiram, King of Tyre, universally acknowledged as the third most distinguished man then living, and in many respects, the greatest man in the world, should pass off the stage of action, in the presence of King Solomon, three thousand, three hundred grand overseers, and one hundred and fifty thousand workmen, with whom he had spent a number of years, and neither King Solomon, his bosom friend, nor any other among his numerous friends, even recorded his death, or anything about him.

A person who has received the two preceding degrees, and wishes to be raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason, is (the Lodge being opened as in the preceding degrees) conducted from the preparation room to the door (the manner of preparing him is particularly explained in the Lecture), where he gives three distinct knocks, when the Senior Warden rises and says, "Worshipful, while we are peaceably at work on the third degree of Masonry, under the influence of humanity, brotherly love, and affection, the door of our Lodge appears to be alarmed." The Master to the Junior Deacon, "Brother Junior, inquire the cause of that alarm." The Junior Deacon then steps to the door and answers the three knocks that have been given by three more (the knocks are much louder than those given on any occasion, other than that of the admission of candidates in the several degrees); one knock is then given without, and answered by one from within, when the door is partly opened, and the Junior Deacon asks, "Who comes there? Who comes there? Who comes there?" The Senior Deacon answers, "A worthy brother, who has been regularly initiated as an Entered Apprentice Mason, passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft, and now wishes for further light in Masonry, by being raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason." Junior Deacon to Senior Deacon, "Is it of his own free will and accord he makes this request?" A. "It is." Junior Deacon to Senior Deacon, "Is he worthy and well qualified?"

circle mason symbol

A. "He is." Junior Deacon to Senior Deacon, "Has he made suitable proficiency in the preceding degree?" A. "He has." Junior Deacon to Senior Deacon, "By what further rights does he expect to obtain this benefit?" A. "By the benefit of a pass-word." Junior Deacon to Senior Deacon, "Has he a pass-word?" A. "He has not, but I have it for him." Junior Deacon to Senior Deacon, "Will you give it to me?" The Senior Deacon then whispers in the ear of the Junior Deacon, "Tubal Cain." Junior Deacon says, "The pass is right; since this is the case, you will wait till the Worshipful Master be made acquainted with his request, and his answer returned." The Junior Deacon then repairs to the Master, and gives three knocks, as at the door; after answering which, the same questions are asked and answers returned, as at the door; when the Master says, "Since he comes endued with all these necessary qualifications, let him enter this Worshipful Lodge in the name of the Lord, and take heed on what he enters." The Junior Deacon returns to the door and says, "Let him enter this Worshipful Lodge in the name of the Lord, and take heed on what he enters." In entering, both points of the Compass are pressed against his naked right and left breasts, when the Junior Deacon stops the candidate and says, "Brother, when you first entered this Lodge, you was received on the point of the Compass pressing your naked left breast, which was then explained to you; when you entered it the second time, you were received on the angle of the Square, which was also explained to you; on entering it now, you are received on the two extreme points of the Compass pressing your naked right and left breasts, which are thus explained: As the most vital points of man are contained between the two breasts, so are the most valuable tenets of Masonry contained between the two extreme points of the Compass, which are 'Virtue, Morality, and Brotherly Love.'" The Senior Deacon then conducts the candidate three times regularly around the Lodge. [I wish the reader to observe, that on this, as well as every other degree, the Junior Warden is the first of the three principal officers that the candidate passes, traveling with the Sun, when he starts around the Lodge, and as he passes the Junior Warden, Senior Warden, and Master, the first time going around, they each give one rap; the second time, two raps; and the third time, three raps. The number of raps given on those occasions are the same as the number of the degree, except the first degree, on which three are given, I always thought improperly.] During the time the candidate is traveling around the room, the Master reads the following passage of Scripture, the conductor and candidate traveling, and the Master reading, so that the traveling and reading terminates at the same time:

"Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them: while the Sun, or the Moon, or the Stars be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain; in the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, and the doors shall be shut in the streets; when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low. Also, when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail, because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets. Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth, as it was; and the spirit return unto God who gave it."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Dionysiac Artificers - part 1

After this general view of the religious Mysteries of the ancient world, let us now proceed to a closer examination of those which are more intimately connected with the history of Freemasonry, and whose influence is, to this day, most evidently felt in its organization.

Of all the pagan Mysteries instituted by the ancients none were more extensively diffused than those of the Grecian god Dionysus. They were established in Greece, Rome, Syria, and all Asia Minor. Among the Greeks, and still more among the Romans, the rites celebrated on the Dionysiac festival were, it must be confessed, of a dissolute and licentious character. But in Asia they assumed a different form. There, as elsewhere, the legend (for it has already been said that each Mystery had its legend) recounted, and the ceremonies represented, the murder of Dionysus by the Titans. The secret doctrine, too, among the Asiatics, was not different from that among the western nations, but there was something peculiar in the organization of the system. The Mysteries of Dionysus in Syria, more especially, were not simply of a theological character. There the disciples joined to the indulgence in their speculative and secret opinions as to the unity of God and the immortality of the soul, which were common to all the Mysteries, the practice of an operative and architectural art, and occupied themselves as well in the construction of temples and public buildings as in the pursuit of divine truth.

I can account for the greater purity of these Syrian rites only by adopting the ingenious theory of Thirwall, that all the Mysteries "were the remains of a worship which preceded the rise of the Hellenic mythology, and its attendant rites, grounded on a view of nature less fanciful, more earnest, and better fitted to awaken both philosophical thought and religious feeling," and by supposing that the Asiatics, not being, from their geographical position, so early imbued with the errors of Hellenism, had been better able to preserve the purity and philosophy of the old Pelasgic faith, which, itself, was undoubtedly a direct emanation from the patriarchal religion, or, as it has been called, the Pure Freemasonry of the antediluvian world.

Be this, however, as it may, we know that "the Dionysiacs of Asia Minor were undoubtedly an association of architects and engineers, who had the exclusive privilege of building temples, stadia, and theatres, under the mysterious tutelage of Bacchus, and were distinguished from the uninitiated or profane inhabitants by the science which they possessed, and by many private signs and tokens by which they recognized each other."



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