Opening the Lodge | Chapter 1

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ILLUSTRATIONS
—OF—

MASONRY, ETC.

A Description of the Ceremonies used in opening a Lodge of Entered Apprentice Masons; which is the same in all upper degrees, with the exception of the difference in the signs, due-guards, grips, pass-grips, words and their several names; all of which will be given and explained in their proper places as the work progresses. One rap calls the lodge to order—one calls up the Junior and Senior Deacons—two raps call up all the subordinate officers, and three, all the members of the lodge.

The Master having called the lodge to order, and the officers all seated, the Master says to the Junior Warden, ‘Brother Junior, are they all Entered Apprentice Masons in the south?’

Ans. ‘They are, Worshipful.’

Master to the Senior Warden, ‘Brother Senior, are they all Entered Apprentice Masons in the west?’

Ans. ‘They are, Worshipful.’

The Master then says, ‘They are, in the east,’ at the same time he gives a rap with the common gavel or mallet, which calls up both Deacons.

Master to Junior Deacon, ‘Brother Junior, the first care of a Mason?’

Ans. ‘To see the lodge tyled, Worshipful.’

Master to Junior Deacon, ‘Attend to that part of your duty, and inform the Tyler that we are about to open a lodge of Entered Apprentice Masons, and direct him to tyle accordingly.’ The Junior Deacon then steps to the door and gives three raps, which are answered by three raps from without; the Junior Deacon then gives one, which is also answered by the Tyler with one; the door is then partly opened and the Junior Deacon delivers his message, and resumes his situation

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and says, ‘The door is tyled, Worshipful.’ (at the same time giving the due-guard, which is never omitted when the Master is addressed.)

The Master to Junior Deacon, ‘Brother, by whom?’

Ans. ‘By a Master Mason without the door, armed with the proper implement of his office.’

Master to Junior Deacon, ‘His duty there?’

Ans. ‘To keep off all cowans and eaves-droppers, see that none pass or repass without permission from the Master.’ (Some say without permission from the chair.)

Master to Junior Deacon, ‘Brother Junior, your place in the lodge?’

Ans. ‘At the right hand of the Senior Warden in the west.’

Master to Junior Deacon, ‘Your business there, Brother Junior?’

Ans. ‘To wait on the Worshipful Master and Wardens, act as their proxy in the active duties of the lodge, and take charge of the door.’

Master to Junior Deacon, ‘The Senior Deacon’s place in the lodge?’

Ans. ‘At the right hand of the Worshipful Master in the east.’ [The Master, while asking the last questions gives two raps, which call up all the subordinate officers.]

Master to Senior Deacon, ‘Your duty there, Brother Senior?’

Ans. ‘To wait on the Worshipful Master and Wardens, act as their proxy in the active duties of the lodge, attend to the preparation and introduction of candidates, and welcome and clothe all visiting Brethren. [i.e., furnish them with an apron.]

Master to Senior Deacon, ‘The Secretary’s place in the lodge, Brother Senior?’

Ans. ‘At the left hand of the Worshipful Master in the east.’

Master to the Secretary, ‘Your duty there, Brother Secretary?’

Ans. ‘The better to observe the Worshipful Master’s will and pleasure, record the proceedings of the lodge; transmit a copy of the same to the Grand Lodge, if required; receive all moneys and money bills from the hands of the Brethren, pay them over to the Treasurer, and take his receipt for the same.’

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The Master to the Secretary, ‘The Treasurer’s place in the lodge?’

Ans. ‘At the right hand of the Worshipful Master.’

Master to Treasurer, ‘Your duty there, Brother Treasurer?’

Ans. ‘Duly to observe the Worshipful Master’s will and pleasure; receive all moneys and money bills from the hands of the Secretary; keep a just and true account of the same; pay them out by order of the Worshipful Master and consent of the Brethren.’

The Master to the Treasurer, “The Junior Warden’s place in the lodge, Brother Treasurer?’

Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. A website dedicated to both the ancient and modern teachings of Gnosticism.

First Degree Initiation | Chapter 2

If there are any candidates to be brought forward, that will be the first business to be attended to. I will therefore proceed with a description of the ceremonies used in the admission and initiation of a candidate into the first degree of Masonry.

A person wishing to become a Mason must get some one who is a Mason to present his petition to a lodge, when, if there are no serious objections, it will be entered on the minutes, and a committee of two or three appointed to enquire into his character, and report to the next regular communication. The following is a form of petition used by a candidate; but a worthy candidate will not be rejected for the want of formality in his petition:

To the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Brethren of Lodge No. —, of Free and Accepted Masons. The subscriber, residing in ——, of lawful age, and by occupation a ——, begs leave to state that, unbiased by friends, and uninfluenced by mercenary motives, he freely and voluntarily offers himself a candidate for the mysteries of Masonry, and that he is prompted to solicit this privilege by a favorable opinion conceived of the institution, a desire

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of knowledge, and a sincere wish of being serviceable to his fellow creatures. Should his petition be granted, he will cheerfully conform to all the ancient established usages and customs of the fraternity.

(Signed)

A. B. At the next regular communication, (if no very serious objection appears against the candidate) the ballot boxes wilt be passed; one black ball will reject a candidate. The boxes may be passed three times. The Deacons are the proper persons to pass them. One of the boxes has black and white beans or balls in it, the other empty, the one with the balls in it goes before, and furnishes each member with a black and white ball; the empty box follows and receives them. There are two holes in the top of this box with a small tube, (generally) in each, one of which is black and the other white, with a partition in the box. The members put both their balls into this box as their feelings dictate; when the balls are received, the box is presented to the Master, Senior and Junior Wardens, who pronounce clear or not clear, as the case may be. The ballot proving clear, the candidate (if present) is conducted into a small preparation room, adjoining the lodge when he is asked the following questions and gives the following answers. Senior Deacon to Candidate, “Do you sincerely declare, upon your honor before these gentlemen, that, unbiased by friends, uninfluenced by unworthy motives, you freely and voluntarily offer yourself a candidate for the mysteries of Masonry?”

Ans. “I do.”

Senior Deacon to candidate. “Do you sincerely declare, upon your honor before these gentlemen, that you are prompted to solicit the privileges of Masonry by a favorable opinion conceived of the institution, a desire of knowledge, and a sincere wish of being serviceable to your fellow creatures?”

Ans. “I do.”

Senior Deacon to candidate, “Do you sincerely declare upon your honor before these gentlemen, that you will cheerfully conform to all the ancient established usages and customs of the fraternity?”

Ans. “I do.”

After the above questions are proposed and answered and the result reported to the Master, he says, ‘Brethren

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at the request of Mr. A. B. he has been proposed and accepted in regular form. I therefore recommend him as a proper candidate for the mysteries of Masonry and worthy to partake of the privileges of the fraternity and in consequence of a declaration of his intentions, voluntarily made, I believe he will cheerfully conform to the rules of the order.”

The candidate during the time is divested of all his apparel (shirt excepted) and furnished with a pair of drawers kept in the lodge for the use of candidates. The candidate is then blindfolded, his left foot bare, his right in a slipper, his left breast and arm naked, and a rope called a Cable-tow round his neck and left arm, [the rope is not put round the arm in all lodges] in which posture the candidate is conducted to the door where he is caused to give, or the conductor gives three distinct knocks, which are answered by three from within; the conductor gives one more, which is also answered by one from within. The door is then partly opened and the Senior Deacon generally asks, “Who comes there? Who comes there? Who comes there?”

Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. A website dedicated to both the ancient and modern teachings of Gnosticism.

Closing the Lodge | Chapter 3

The work of the evening being over, I will proceed to give a description of the manner of closing the lodge. It is a very common practice in lodges to close a lodge of Entered Apprentices, and open a lodge of Fellow Crafts, and close that, and open a Master Mason’s lodge, all in the same evening.

Some brother generally makes a motion that the lodge be closed; it being seconded and carried:—

The Master to the Junior Deacon—”Brother Junior,” [giving one rap which calls up both Deacons,] “the first as well as the last care of a Mason? (more…)

Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. A website dedicated to both the ancient and modern teachings of Gnosticism.

First Section of the Lecture on the First Degree | Chapter 4

Having described all the ceremonies and forms appertaining to the opening of a lodge of Entered Apprentice Masons, setting them to work, initiating a candidate, and closing the lodge, I will now proceed too give the lecture on this degree. It is divided into three sections. The lecture is nothing more or less than a recapitulation of the preceding ceremonies and forms, by way of question and answer, and fully explains the same. In fact, the ceremonies and forms (generally Masonically called the work) and lectures are so much the same that he who possesses a knowledge of the lectures cannot be destitute of a knowledge of what the ceremonies and forms are. As the ceremonies used in opening and closing are the same in all the degrees it is thought best to give the whole in one insertion; it being the sincere wish of the writer that every reader should perfectly understand all the formulas of the whole Masonic fabric, as he then will thereby be able to form correct opinions of the propriety or impropriety, advantages or disadvantages of the same.

First Section of the Lecture on the First Degree of Masonry. “From whence come you as an Entered Apprentice Mason?”

Ans. “From the holy lodge of St. John, at Jerusalem.” “What recommendations do you bring?”

Ans. “Recommendations from the Worshipful Master, Wardens and brethren of that right worshipful lodge, whom greet you.”

“What comest thou hither to do?”

Ans. “To learn to subdue my passions, and improve myself in the secret arts and mysteries of ancient Freemasonry.”

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“You are a Mason, then I presume?”

Ans. “I am.”

“How shall I know you to be a Mason?”

Ans. “By certain signs and a token.”

“What are signs?”

Ans. “All right angles, horizontals and perpendiculars.”

“What is a token?”

Ans. “A certain friendly and brotherly grip, whereby one Mason may know another, in the dark as well as in the light.”

“Where were you first prepared to be made a Mason?”

Ans. “In my heart.”

“Where secondly?”

Ans. “In a room adjacent to the body of a just and lawfully constituted lodge of such.”

“How were you prepared?”

Ans. “By being divested of all metals, neither naked nor clothed, barefoot nor shod, hoodwinked, with a Cable Tow  about my neck, in which situation I was conducted to the door of the lodge.”

“You being hoodwinked how did you know it to be a door?”

Ans. “By first meeting with resistance, and afterwards gaining admission.”

“How did you gain admission?”

Ans. “By three distinct knocks from without, answered by the same within.”

“What was said to you from within?”

Ans. “Who comes there? Who comes there? Who comes there?

“Your answer?”

Ans. “A poor blind candidate who has long been desirous of having and receiving a part of the rights and benefits of this worshipful lodge, dedicated to God, and held forth to the holy order of St. John, as all true fellows and brothers have done, who have gone this way before me.”

“What further was said to you from within?”

Ans. “I was asked if it was of my own free will and accord I made this request, if I was duly and truly proposed, worthy and well qualified, all of which being answered in the affirmative, I was asked by what further rights I expected

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to obtain so great a favor or benefit.”

“Your answer?”

Ans. “By being a man, free born, of lawful age and well recommended.”

“What was then said to you?”

Ans. “I was bid to wait till the Worshipful Master in the east was made acquainted with my request and his answer returned.”

“After his answer returned what followed?”

Ans. “I was caused to enter the lodge.”

“How?”

Ans. “On the point of some sharp instrument pressing my naked left breast in the name of the Lord.”

“How were you then disposed of?”

Ans. “I was conducted to the center of the lodge and there caused to kneel for the benefit of a prayer.” [See page 19.]

“After prayer what was said to you?”

Ans. “I was asked in whom I put my trust.”

Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. A website dedicated to both the ancient and modern teachings of Gnosticism.

Second Section of the Lecture on the First Degree | Chapter 5

“Why was you divested of all metals when you was made a Mason?”

Ans. “Because Masonry regards no man on account of his worldly wealth or honors; it is, therefore, the internal and not the external qualifications that recommend a man to Masonry.”

“A second reason?”

Ans. “There was neither the sound of an axe, hammer, or any other metal tool heard at the building of King Solomon’s temple.”

“How could so stupendous a fabric be erected without the sound of axe, hammer, or any other metal tool?”

Ans. “All the stones were hewed, squared and numbered in the quarries where they were raised, all the timbers felled and prepared in the forests of Lebanon, and carried down to Joppa on floats, and taken from thence up to Jerusalem, and set up with wooden mauls, prepared for that purpose; which, when completed, every part thereof fitted with that exact nicety, that it had more the resemblance of the hand workmanship of the Supreme Architect of the Universe, than that of human hands.”

“Why was you neither naked nor clothed?”

Ans. “As I was an object of distress at that time, it was to remind me, if ever I saw a friend, more especially a brother, in a like distressed situation, that I should contribute as liberally to his relief as his situation required, and my abilities would admit, without material injury to myself or family.”

“Why were you neither barefoot or shod?”

Ans. “It was an ancient Israelitish custom, adopted among Masons; and we read, in the book of Ruth, concerning

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their mode and manner of changing and redeeming, ‘and to confirm all things, a brother plucked off his shoe and gave it to his neighbor, and that was testimony in Israel.’ This, then, therefore, we do in confirmation of a token and as a pledge of our fidelity; thereby signifying that we will renounce our own wills in all things, and become obedient to the laws of our ancient institutions.”

“Why were you hoodwinked?”

“That my heart might conceive before my eyes beheld the beauties of Masonry.”

“A second reason?”

Ans. “As I was in darkness at that time, it was to remind me that I should keep the whole world so respecting Masonry.”

“Why had you a Cable Tow about your neck?”

Ans. “In case I had not submitted to the manner and mode of my initiation, that I might have been led out of the lodge without seeing the form and beauties thereof.”

“Why did you give three distinct knocks at the door?”

Ans. “To alarm the lodge, and let the Worshipful Master, Wardens and brethren know that a poor blind candidate prayed admission.”

“What does those three distinct knocks allude to?”

Ans. “A certain passage in Scripture, wherein it says, ‘Ask and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.'”

“How did you apply this to your then case in Masonry?”

Ans. “I asked the recommendations of a friend to become a Mason, I sought admission through his recommendations, and knocked, and the door of Masonry opened unto me.”

“Why was you caused to enter on the point of some sharp instrument pressing your naked left breast in the name of the Lord?”

Ans. “As this was a torture to my flesh, so might the recollection of it ever be to my heart and conscience, if ever I attempted to reveal the secrets of Masonry unlawfully.”

“Why was you conducted to the center of the lodge, and there caused to kneel for the benefit of a prayer?”

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Ans. “Before entering on this, or any other great and important undertaking, it is highly necessary to implore a blessing from Deity.”

“Why was you asked in whom you put your trust?”

Ans. “Agreeable to the laws of our ancient institution, no atheist could be made a Mason, it was therefore necessary that I should believe in Deity; otherwise no oath or obligation could bind me.”

“Why did the Worshipful Master take you by the right hand and bid you arise, follow your leader and fear no danger?”

Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. A website dedicated to both the ancient and modern teachings of Gnosticism.

First Section of the Fellow Craft Mason Lecture | Chapter 8

“Are you a Fellow Craft Mason?”

Ans. “I am—try me.”

“By what will you be tried?”

Ans. “By the square.”

“Why by the square?”

Ans. “Because it is an emblem of virtue.”

“What is a square?”

Ans. “An angle extending to ninety degrees, or the fourth part of a circle.”

“Where were you prepared to be made a Fellow Craft Mason?”

Ans. “In a room adjacent to the body of a just anti lawfully constituted lodge of such, duly assembled in a room or place, representing the middle chamber of King Solomon’s temple.”

“How were you prepared?”

Ans. “By being divested of all metals; neither naked nor clothed; barefoot nor shod; hood-winked; with a cable-tow twice round my neck; in which situation I was conducted to the door of the lodge, where I gave two distinct knocks.”

“What did those two distinct knocks allude to?”

Ans. ‘The second degree in Masonry, it being that on which I was about to enter.”

“What was said to you from within?”

Ans. “Who comes there? Who comes there?”

“Your answer?”

Ans. “A worthy brother who has been regularly initiated as an Entered Apprentice Mason, served a proper time as such, and now wishes for further light in Masonry by being passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft.”

“What was then said to you from within?”

Ans. “I was asked if it was of my own free will and

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accord I made this request; if I was duly and truly prepared, worthy, and well qualified, and had made suitable proficiency in the preceding degree; all of which being answered in the affirmative, I was asked by what further rights I expected to obtain so great a benefit.”

“Your answer?”

Ans. “By the benefit of a pass-word.”

“What is that pass-word?”

Ans. “Shibboleth.”

“What further was said to you from within?”

Ans. “I was bid to wait till the Worshipful Master in the east was made acquainted with my request, and his answer returned.”

“After his answer was returned what followed?”

Ans. “I was caused to enter the lodge.”

“How did you enter?”

Ans. “On the angle of the square, presented to my naked right breast, in the name of the Lord.”

“How were you then disposed of?”

Ans. “I was conducted twice regularly round the lodge and halted at the Junior Warden in the south, where the same questions were asked and answers returned as at the door.

“How did the Junior Warden dispose of you?”

Ans. “He ordered me to be conducted to the Worshipful Master in the east, where the same questions were asked and answers returned as before, who likewise demanded of me from whence I came and whither I was traveling.”

“Your answer?”

Ans. “From the west, and traveling to the east.”

“Why did you leave the west and travel to the east?”

Ans. “In search of more light.”

“How did the Worshipful then dispose of you?’

Ans. “He ordered me to be conducted back to the west, from whence I came, and put in care of the Senior Warden, who taught me how to approach the east, by advancing upon two upright regular steps to the second step, my feet forming the right angle of an oblong square, and my body erect at the altar before the Worshipful Master.

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“What did the Worshipful Master do with you?”

Ans. “He made a Fellow Craft Mason of me.”

“How?”

Ans. “In due form.”

“What was that due form?”

Ans. “My right knee bare, bent, my left knee forming a square, my right hand on the Holy Bible, Square and Compass, my left arm forming an angle supported by the Square, and my hand in a vertical position, in which posture I took upon me the solemn oath or obligation of a Fellow Craft Mason.” [See page 52 for obligation.]

“After your oath of obligation what was said to you?”

Ans. “I was asked what I most desired.”

“Your answer?”

Ans. “More light.”

“On being brought to light, what did you discover different from before?”

Ans. “One point of the Compass elevated above the Square, which denoted light in this degree, but as one point was yet in obscurity, it was to remind me that I was yet one material point in the dark respecting Masonry.”

Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. A website dedicated to both the ancient and modern teachings of Gnosticism.

First Section of the Master Mason Lecture | Chapter 11

“Are you a Master Mason”

Ans. “I am—try me, prove me—disprove me if yon can.”

“Where were you prepared to be made a Master Mason?”

Ans. “In a room adjacent to the body of a just and lawfully constituted lodge of such, duly assembled in a room representing the sanctum sanctorum, or holy of holies, of King Solomon’s Temple.”

“How were you prepared?”

Ans. “By being divested of all metals; neither naked nor clothed; barefoot nor shod; with a cable-tow three times about my naked body; in which posture I was conducted to the door of the lodge, where I gave three distinct knocks.”

“What did those three distinct knocks allude to?”

Ans. “To the third degree of Masonry; it being that on

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which I was about to enter.”

“What was said to you from within?”

Ans. “Who comes there? Who comes there? Who comes there?”

“Your answer?’

Ans. “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.”

“What further was said to you from within?”

Ans. “I was asked if it was of my own free will and accord I made that request; if I was duly and truly prepared; worthy and well qualified, and had made suitable proficiency in the preceding degrees; all of which being answered in the affirmative, I was asked by what further rights I expected to obtain that benefit.”

“Your answer?”

Ans. “By the benefit of a pass-word.”

“What is that pass-word?”

Ans. “Tubal Cain.”

“What next was said to you?”

Ans. “I was bid to wait till the Worshipful Master in the east was made acquainted with my request and his answer returned.”

“What followed after his answer was returned?”

Ans. “I was caused to enter the lodge on the two extreme points of the compass, pressing my naked right and left breasts, in the name of the Lord.”

“How were you then disposed of?”

Ans. “I was conducted three times regularly round the lodge, and halted at the Junior Warden in the south, where the same questions were asked and answers returned as at the door.”

“How did the Junior Warden dispose of you?”

Ans. “He ordered me to be conducted to the Senior Warden in the west, where the same questions were asked and answers returned as before.”

“How did the Senior Warden dispose of you?”

Ans. “He ordered me to be conducted to the Worshipful Master in the east, where by him the same questions were asked, and answers returned as before, who likewise demanded

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of me from whence I came, and whither I was traveling.”

“Your answer?”

Ans. “From the east and traveling to the west”

“Why do you leave the east, and travel to the west?”

Ans. “In search of light.”

“How did the Worshipful Master then dispose of you?”

Ans. “He ordered me to be conducted back to the west, from whence I came, and put in care of the Senior Warden, who taught me how to approach the east, by advancing upon three upright, regular steps to the third step, my feet forming a square and my body erect at the altar before the Worshipful Master.”

“What did the Worshipful Master do with you?”

Ans. “He made an obligated Master Mason of me.”

“How?”

Ans. “In due form.”

“What was that due form?”

Ans. “Both my knees bare bent, they forming a square; both hands on the Holy Bible, Square and Compass; in which posture I took upon me the solemn oath or obligation of a Master Mason.”

“After your obligation, what was said to you?”

Ans. “What do you most desire?”

“Your answer?”

Ans. “More light.”

[The bandage round the head is now dropped over the eyes.]

“Did you receive light?”

Ans. “I did.”

“On being brought to light on this degree, what did you first discover?”

Ans. “Three great lights in Masonry, by the assistance of three lesser, and both points of the compass elevated above the square, which denoted to me that I had received, or was about to receive all the light that could be conferred on me in a Master’s Lodge.”

Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. A website dedicated to both the ancient and modern teachings of Gnosticism.

Fellow Craft Degree | Chapter 15

The Holy Bible ought to be opened at the 7th chapter of Amos and one point of the compass elevated above the square.

Preparation of Candidate Fellow Craft Degree.—He is ushered into the “preparation room” as before, and divested of all his clothing as in the preceding degree. In this case the right leg of the old drawers is raised up above the knee, the right sleeve of the shirt is rolled up above the elbow, the slipper is now put upon the left foot, the left heel being slip shod. The hoodwink is again put over both eyes and the cable-tow is put twice around the naked right arm and an apron tied on, in which condition he is “duly and truly prepared” and led by the Junior Deacon to the door of the lodge as before.

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Worshipful Master to Candidate:—You will advance to the altar, kneel upon your naked right knee, your left forming a square, your right hand resting on the Holy Bible, square and compass, your left forming a right angle Supported by the square in which due form you will say, “I,” with your name in full, and repeat after me.

Due Guard of a Fellow Craft.—Hold out the right hand a little from the body and on a line with the lower button of the vest, the palm being open and turned down-ward; also raise the left arm so as to form a right angle at the elbow, from the shoulder to the elbow being horizontal and fore-arm perpendicular.

 

Sign of a Fellow Craft.—Made from the due-guard by dropping the left hand carelessly to the side and at Om same time raise the right hand to the left breast, with the palm towards the breast and the fingers a little crooked; then draw the hand smartly across the breast from left to right and let it drop perpendicularly to the side.

Sign without Due Guard.—The usual way outside the lodge). Draw the right hand, palm open and fingers a little crooked, smartly across the breast from left to right and drop it carelessly by your side.

Pass Grip of a Fellow Craft.—Take each other’s hands as in ordinary hand-shaking and press the top of your thumb hard against the space between the first and second knuckles of the right hand. Should the person whose hand you hold be a Fellow Craft, he will return a like pressure on your hand, or else may give you the grip of an Entered Apprentice.

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Pass of Fellow Craft—Shibboleth. It is the name of this grip.

Real Grip of a Fellow Craft.—Take each other by the right hand as in ordinary hand-shaking and press top of your thumb hard against the second knuckle. Should the man whose hand you shake be a Fellow Craft, he will return a similar pressure on your hand, or may possibly give you any one of the two preceding grips.

Word of Fellow Craft—Jachin. It is the name of this the real grip.

Fellow Craft or Second Step.—Step off one step with the right foot and bring the heel of the left foot to the hollow of the right; your feet forming the angle of an oblong square.

Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. A website dedicated to both the ancient and modern teachings of Gnosticism.

Entered Apprentice, or First Degree | Chapter 1

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Seven Freemasons, viz., six Entered Apprentices and one Master Mason, acting under a charter or dispensation from some Grand Lodge, is the requisite number to constitute a Lodge of Masons, and to initiate a candidate to the First Degree of Masonry.

They assemble in a room well guarded from all cowans and eaves-droppers, in the second or third story (as the case may be) of some building suitably prepared and furnished for Lodge purposes, which is, by Masons, termed “the Ground Floor of King Solomon’s Temple.”

The officers take their seats, as represented in the Plate on page 8. Lodge-meetings are arranged as follows, viz.: a “regular” is held but once a month (i.e. every month on, or preceding, the full of the moon in each month); special meetings are held as often as the exigency of the case may seem to demand, if every night in the week, Sunday excepted. If Tuesday should be Lodge night, by Masons it would be termed, “Tuesday evening on or before the full of the moon, a regular night.”

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LODGE OF ENTERED APPRENTICES, FELLOW CRAFTS, OR MASTER MASONS. 1. Candidate prays. 2. First stop. 3. Second stop. 4. Third stop. 5. Room where candidates are prepared. 6. Ante-room where members enter the lodge. 7. Hall. 8. Doors. 9. Door through which candidates are admitted into the lodge. 10. Door through which members enter. 11. Altar. 12. Treasurer. 13. Secretary. 14. Senior Deacon. 15. Worshipful Master. 16. Junior Warden. 17 and 18. Stewards. 19. Senior Warden. 20. Junior Deacon. 21. Tyler.

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All business relative to Masonry is done at a “regular,” and in the Third, or Master Mason Degree. None but Master Masons are allowed to be present at such meetings; balloting for candidates is generally done on a “regular,” also receiving petitions, committee reports, &c., &c.

A petition for the degrees of Masonry is generally received at a “regular” (though, as a common thing, Grand Lodges of each State make such arrangements as they may deem best for the regulation of their several subordinate Lodges).

At the time of receiving a petition for the degrees of Masonry, the Master appoints a committee of three, whose duty it is to make inquiry after the character of the applicant, and report good or bad, as the case may be, at the next regular meeting, when it is acted upon by the Lodge.

Upon reception of the committee’s report, a ballot is had: if no black balls appear, the candidate is declared duly elected; but if one black ball or more appear, he is declared rejected.

No business is done in a Lodge of Entered Apprentices, except to initiate a candidate to the First Degree in Masonry, nor is any business done in a Fellow Crafts’ Lodge, except to pass a Fellow Craft from the first to the second degree. To explain more thoroughly: when a candidate is initiated to the First Degree, he is styled as “entered;” when he has taken the Second Degree, “passed.” and when he has taken the Third, “raised” to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason. No one is allowed to be present, in any degree of Masonry, except he be one of that same degree or higher. The Master always wears his hat when presiding as such, but no other officer, in a “Blue Lodge” (a “Blue Lodge” is a Lodge of Master Masons, where only three degrees are conferred, viz.: Entered Apprentice, 1st; Fellow Craft, 2d; Master Mason, 3d. Country Lodges are mostly all “Blue Lodges“).

A Lodge of Fellow Craft Masons consists of five, viz.: Worshipful Master, Senior and Junior Wardens, Senior and Junior Dear hens; yet seven besides the Tyler generally assist, and take their seats as in the Entered Apprentice’s Degree. The Fellow Craft Lodge is styled by Masons “the Middle Chamber of King Solomon’s Temple.”

Three Master Masons is the requisite number to constitute a Masters’ Lodge, which is called by Masons “the Sanctum Sanctorum, or, Holy of Holies of King Solomon’s Temple.” Although three are all that is required by “Masonic Law” to open a Third Degree Lodge, there are generally seven besides the Tyler, as in the other degrees.

Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. A website dedicated to both the ancient and modern teachings of Gnosticism.

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