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George Washington Lodge No. 820
Ancient Free & Accepted Masons

under the American Canadian Grand Lodge  United Grand Lodges of Germany

Zhd. Gashthaus Schleppi
Saarbrucker 80
66901 Schonenberg-Kubelberg

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If you more words that can be added to this dictionary, please be so kind to email them.

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Aaron - enlightened

He was the brother and assistant of Moses, and the first high priest under Mosaic dispensation; hence, he was the founder of the "Aaronic" priesthood.

Aaron's Rod

The staff carried by Aaron, brother of and assistant to Moses, as a token of his office which miraculously blossomed as evidence of his Divine choice as High Priest. It was afterwards preserved in the Ark of the Covenant.

Abhorrence of Evil

Required of all true Masons.

Abif - his father

An honorary title given to Hiram, the Tyrian builder. The word is used often in original Hebrew scriptures, but it does not appear in English versions.

Abraham - father of a multitude

Abraham, earlier known as Abram, the son of Terah of Ur, and whose name was changed to Abraham by God, was the founder of the Hebrew race. He was noted for his faith, for piety, and for his loyalty to God.


The timber of the Shittim tree, widely used in making the sacred furniture of the Temple. In speculative Masonry, the term is used as a symbol of the immortality of the soul.

Accord - agreement; concurrence

To make to conform or agree; bring into harmony. Required of all Masons in order to attain true Brotherhood.

Active Member

An active member is one who maintains his membership in a Masonic Lodge by the payment of his regular dues and who takes part in the work and responsibilities of the Craft. One who fails to do these things may remain a Mason in heart, but deprives himself of the benefits of membership.

Adam - earthborn: ruddy

This is the name given to the first man in Biblical creation, and the name denotes that he was derived from the ground.


The Worshipful Master is the sole judge with reference to the adjournment of a Lodge.


One of the most exacting duties in the ethics of Freemasonry is that a Mason shall not publicize the faults of a Brother Mason, but shall whisper good counsel in his ear. An admonition must be given with the language of brotherly affection, the magic tongue of love, and with the persuasive attitude of "mercy unrestrained."

Adonai - The lord

While this proper name is not found in our English Bible, it occurs in several passages of the original Greek and Hebrew texts, and is the special title of the pre-incarnate Son of God. 


Going from one degree to the next after showing proficiency in the preceding degree.


A fundamental tenet of Freemasonry is that God is supreme, pre-eminent, and exalted above all creation, and the He alone is to be worshipped. Throughout all of the Degrees and in all of the ritual of Masonry God is worshipped in adorations which are expressed in both silent and oral prayers.


Freemasonry believes that adversity should be accepted as a test of character and met with courage and prayer. Also, a Mason should go to the aid of a Brother Mason in adversity.

Adverse Ballot

In case the ballot on a petition for the degrees or for affiliation is adverse, the Master may, if he so desires, spread the ballot again to make certain no error occurred. In so doing, he should state his reason for the second spreading. The ballot shall not be spread a third time.


Ancient Egyptian Order Nobles Mystic Shrine (Prince Hall Shrine).


Affirmations instead of oaths are entirely inadmissible in Freemasonry.

Age, Lawful

This is the age when a man may apply to join a Masonic Lodge. In many jurisdictions, it is the age of twenty-one (21); in others, such as the Grand Lodge of Missouri, it is eighteen (18).


 In conformity with.

Aid of Deity

A fundamental principle of Freemasonry as illustrated in David's intercession for Solomon for the task of building the Temple.


An alarm in Freemasonry means "a notice of the approach of someone desiring admission," given by the Tiler.


A Mason owes allegiance first to the Lodge in which membership is held; and, second, to the Grand Lodge under which the Lodge is chartered. Should there be a conflict between the regulations of the Lodge and the supreme body (Grand Lodge), then allegiance to the supreme body is mandatory.


An allegory is a story told through symbols, or an idea so expressed.


Analogy or comparison; a story told to illustrate a principle. It comes from the Greek meaning "to say something different."

All Seeing Eye

A perpetual and permanent symbol in the Lodge and work of Freemasonry, signifying the omnipresence and omniscience of God. An emblem reminding us that we are constantly in God's presence.

Almsgiving - gratuitously relieving the poor

Solemnly charged upon all Masons on the basis of Divine Commandments.


First and last Greek letters of the alphabet. The beginning and the end of all things; the first and the last, often mentioned in the Scriptures and in several of the Masonic degrees.

Altar - place of sacrifice or worship

The altar holds the central place in the Lodge room of Freemasons. Lying on the altar is the Holy bible, the principal Light of Masons, which is open during the work of the Lodge. Here, Masons voluntarily kneel and assume the oaths and obligations of the several Degrees.


From the Hebrew meaning "verily, truly, certainly." One person confirms the words of another. Masonically, answered by "So mote it be."


In those Degrees of Masonry where the ceremonies and instructions relate to life and death, man's journey over the sea of life is symbolized by Noah's Ark, and the hope of immortality and a safe landing in the haven of eternal security is symbolized by the anchor.


Old, time honored.

Anger - vexation; ire; rage

The tenets of Freemasonry teach its members to avoid and to subdue every element of ire and wrath, or enraged emotions and malicious emotions and sentiments.

Anno Benefacio (A.B.) 

Latin for "In the Year of the Blessing." Used by the Order of High Priesthood for dating their documents. (1930 added to the current date.)

Anno Depositionis (A.Dep.) 

Latin for "In the Year of the Deposit. "The Cryptic Masonic date designation. (Add 1000 to the current date.)

Anno Domini (A.D.) 

Latin for "Year of our Lord."

Anno Inventionis (A.I.)

Latin meaning "In the Year of Discovery." The Royal Arch date designation. (Add 530 to the current date.)

Anno Lucis (A.L.) 

Latin mean­ing "In the Year of Light," the date used by Ancient Craft Masonry. (Add 4000 to the current date.)

Anno Mundi (A.M.)

Latin meaning "In the Year of the World." The date used by the Scottish Rite. (Add 3760 to the current year until September; if after September, add 3761.

Anno Ordinnis (A.O.)

Latin meaning "In the Year of the Order." The date used by the Knights Templar. Subtract 1118 from the current date.)


To apply oil to, or pour oil on, particularly holy oil as a sign of elevation to kingship or consecration to priesthood. Hence, "anointed," one accepted by the Lord, as "The Lord's anointed." . Comes from the custom of the Egyptians and Jews.

Anxiety - painful uneasiness

Freemasonry discourages every form of undue concern about material things, and stresses simple trust in God and his providences.


Comes from the Latin word apprehendre meaning "to grasp to master a thing" Hence the leaner


The badge of a Mason. Originally among priesthoods as a badge of office and a means of ornamentation. The Masonic apron should be white lambskin, fourteen inches wide and twelve inches deep. From the French word napron meaning "an apron of cloth." From earliest times in Persia, Egypt, India, the Jewish Essenes, the white apron was a badge of honor and candidates were invested with it, or a sash, or a robe. Its reference is to purity of heart, to innocence of conduct. The use of an apron or some equivalent investiture, as a mystic symbol, was common among Ancient Masons. Hence, in the First Degree of Freemasonry, the initiate, at his initiation and not at some subsequent time, is presented with the pure white lambskin apron as a reminder of that purity of life and rectitude of conduct which is so essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge above where the Supreme Architect of the Universe resides forever. This apron becomes his permanent property as the "badge of a Freemason." As he advances in Masonry, he may receive other aprons of varying types, but never one that equals this first one in emblematic significance and Masonic value.

Apron, Washington's

George Washington was presented with an apron at Mount Vernon by the Marquis Lafayette. Many of the emblems of Freemasonry had been wrought in the needlework upon white satin by Madam Lafayette for the making of this apron, and it was conveyed from Paris to George Washington's home Lodge by Lafayette himself as a special honor.

Arch, Holy Royal

Job compares Heaven to an arch supported by pillars. This is, of course, allegorical, even as is the name "Holy Royal Arch" degree in Masonry. The pillars which support the arch are emblematical of Wisdom and Strength; the former denoting the wisdom of the Supreme Architect, and the latter the stability of the universe.


One who designs buildings.


The art or science of building.  The five orders of architecture recognized in Freemasonry are Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan and Composite. The Doric order represents the West; the Corinthian Column represents the South. The Gothic, or pointed style of architecture, was intimately connected with the Middle Ages, over which Freemasonry maintained exclusive control.


A place for the safe keeping of records ; the records themselves.

Ark of the Covenant

The Ark of the Covenant was a chest originally constructed according to specific instructions given to Moses by God, and was the only article placed in the Holy of Holies in the Temple. Within the Ark were placed the two tables or tablets of stone on which the Ten Commandments were engraved, Aaron's baton which had budded as a token of his divine appointment to the office of High Priest, and a pot of manna.

Artificers - a craftsman or skilled workmen

A skilled worker, craftsman. A person adept at designing and constructing, an inventor. Tubal-cain was the first notable artificer mentioned in history. The best available of these master craftsmen were employed in the building of the Temple.


Branches of learning, as in the lecture of the F.C. degree. In E.A. degree: skills.

Arts, Parts and Points

These terms are used in the mysteries of Masonry. Arts represents the knowledge or things made known; Parts, the degrees into which Masonry is divided; and Points, the rules and usages of Masonry.

Arts and Sciences

Freemasonry recognizes the seven principal arts and sciences as: Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music and Astronomy.

Asher - fortunate; happy

Asher was the eighth some on Jacob and the founder of the tribe of the same name. In the tribal blessings promised to him, his tribe was to enjoy richness and royal dainties. Hence, entrusting the Masonic initiates with the mysteries of the Order is symbolized by the tribe of Asher.

Ask, Seek, Knock

The applicant for membership in Freemasonry Asks for acceptance, Seeks for Light, and Knocks for initiation.


A block of stone from which a column, capital, or other finished product is carved or hewn; A stone as taken from the quarry; an unpolished stone.

Atheism - denial of the existence of a Supreme Deity

No atheist can become a Mason. Every candidate must confess faith in God before crossing the threshold of the Lodge. This confession is an essential element in all the work of a Masonic Lodge.


One who does not believe in God.

Audi, Vide, Tace

These Latin words form the motto often found on Masonic medals and documents. They mean: Hear, See, Be Silent.

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Babbler - senseless talker

Freemasonry recognizes the unprofitableness of vague and senseless talk, and forbids babbling in and out of Lodge.

Backbiting - slandering an absent party

Every form of slander, especially the speaking of evil of an absent Brother, is expressly forbidden by the principles and laws of Freemasonry.

Badge of a Mason

See Apron (above).


Balloting on the acceptance or rejection of a candidate is secret; small round white and black balls are used in voting. White balls elect; black balls reject. In casting the ballot, all members are required to base their ballot on personal knowledge, information of the committee on investigation, and reputed character of the candidate. Under no circumstances are members to allow themselves to be influenced by personal likes and dislikes of the candidate or by a spirit of prejudice or revenge.

Every member is required to vote conscientiously for the good of the Order and in Brotherly consideration of the applicant. The candidate is rejected if one or more black balls are cast against him.

Banishment - compulsory exile of one who is unworthy

The practice of Freemasonry in banishing from its membership unworthy persons is fully sustained by Biblical authority and practice.


The removal of one or both shoes has been for many hundreds of years a token of reverence and a symbol of yielding one's self to the control and sovereignty of another.


Operative Masonry has as its chief objective beauty and symmetry in architecture in building of King Solomon's Temple; speculative Masonry emphasizes the beauty of character and the virtues of true manhood.


Among the ancients, the beehive was a symbol of an obedient people and an emblem of systematized industry. Hence, Freemasonry has adopted the beehive as a symbol on industry -- a virtue stressed in ritual and by lectures. What one may not be able to accomplish alone may be easily performed when all work together at one task.


A Lodge must never be closed without a solemn invocation of Divine Blessing.

Benevolence - disposition to do good; charitableness

Strictly speaking, Freemasonry is not to be classified as a benevolent institution; but the disposition and practice of benevolence of the widest and most generous scope are strongly stressed by the Fraternity.

Bible - sacred Book of Christendom

Masons accept this Book and believe in it as the Law of God, as the Great Light of Freemasonry. It is an open Book on the altar during all work of the Lodge, and certain appropriate passages are used for the different Degrees.

Bigotry - intolerance toward those of different creeds or religious affiliations

Masonry has always been bitterly opposed to religious intolerance of every kind. As an institution, it has bee the harbinger of religious and civil freedom, liberty of conscience, and separation of church and state.

Blazing Star

Symbol of light; of Divine direction in the journey through life; symbolizes a true Freemason who, by perfecting himself in the way of truth (knowledge), becomes like a blazing star. In English lodges, symbolizes sun which enlightens the earth, dispensing its blessings to all mankind and giving light and life to all things.


Blue is the color of Freemasonry. As the color of the vault of Heaven, which embraces and covers the entire earth, it is to a Mason the symbol of universal friendship and benevolence. Expect for white, blue is the only color ever used for decoration in a Master Mason's Lodge. The name "Blue Lodge" designates the Symbolic Lodge in which the first three degrees are conferred.

Blue Lodge

A term which has grown into use over the years meaning the three degrees of the lodge, or Symbolic Masonry. In the early years, Master Masons wore blue lined aprons. Blue is symbolic of perfection, benevolence, truth, universal friendship, fidelity.

Boaz - strength

Comes from the Hebrew meaning "in strength." The name of the left-hand pillar that stood on the porch of King Solomon's Temple, and adopted into speculative Masonry because of its symbolic meaning. It was broken to pieces by the Babylonians and carried to the city of Babylon.

Book of Constitutions

An emblem of law signifying that our moral and spiritual character is grounded in law and order and that no man can live a satisfying life who lives lawlessly.

Book of Constitutions guarded by the Tyler's Sword

An admonishment to the Mason that he should be guarded in his words and actions; obedience to the law.

Book Of The Law 

The sacred book which reveals the will of God. To Christians, the Bible; to the Brahman, the Vedas, etc.

Bourn; Bourne

A boundary, as between properties; limit

Brass - hard metal formerly made primarily of copper, but later of certain alloys

This metal was used extensively in the building of the Temple.


The term is used in speaking of Masons, and in this connection is preferable to "brothers."

Broken Column

Columns or pillars were used among the early Hebrews to signify nobles or princes; it is from such that we get the expression "pillar of the church." Masonically, the broken column refers to the fall of one of the chief supporters of the Craft; an untimely death.

Brotherly Love

Freemasonry recognizes the Divine requirement that godly men love their neighbors and that this love should be for all mankind. Emphasis is lain upon the privilege and duty of special love for members of the Fraternity. There are certain bonds and obligations in Freemasonry which are fulfilled only in the spirit of true brotherhood.

Building of the Temple

Speculative Masonry was evolved from the organization of the workmen in the construction of Solomon's Temple and the union of operative masons who labored on that notable and Holy Building. Much of the ritual is traced directly back to the building of the Temple.


From time immemorial, Freemasons have given special attention to the interment of their dead, and the proper burial of a Brother Mason is regarded as a sacred and binding duty. Solemn, beautiful and profoundly meaningful burial rites and ceremonies are provided for deceased Brothers where such are requested by the Brother himself or by members of his family.

Busybodies - meddling persons

The principles and tenets of Freemasonry forbid every form of whispering, talebearing, gossiping and slander.

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Not regular.

Cable Tow

A cable tow is a rope or line for drawing or leading. A compound word of Masonic coinage combining cable (a rope) and tow (a rope for pulling). Symbolically, it represents the covenant by which all Masons are bound; the tie by which the candidate is bound to his brethren; the length of a Mason's cable tow is the scope of his ability to go to the relief of a brother in need. In early years the distance was three miles; in present time it is usually considered about forty miles.

Cabul - sterile

As an expression of appreciation for the assistance given him in the building of the Temple by Hiram, King of Tyre, Solomon presented to him a district in northern Galilee containing twenty small towns. The area was barren and quite poor. Hiram gave to the district the name "Cabal," meaning "displeasing."

Calendar, Masonic

Masons date their official documents in a manner peculiar to themselves. The various dates for the different bodies are based on important points in history.


A tent-like covering. "Canopy of heaven", the sky.


Of basic importance

Cardinal Points

East: Wisdom; West: Strength; South: Beauty; North: Darkness.

Cardinal Virtues

Cardinal comes from the Latin cardo meaning "chief or fundamental."  These are the pre-eminent or principal virtues of which all others hinge. As set forth in the Entered Apprentice Degree, they are Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice - virtues of morality as laid down by Plato. 


Freemasonry recognizes the fact that man has certain fleshly appetites which are natural to humanity, and admits their satisfaction in a temperate measure through legitimate channels (marriage). Yet, Freemasonry teaches moderation, self-control, temperateness, regularity, and lawfulness in all carnal desires and relations.


Instructions of Freemasonry.


Members of the Tall Cedars of Lebanon, a non-Masonic organization composed of Freemasons.

Cedars of Lebanon

Among the finest and most perfect cedars ever known in history of the world were those of Lebanon. Through his alliance with Hiram, King of Tyre, Solomon secured cedars from these mountains for use in construction of the Temple.

Celestial Canopy

Symbolic covering of the lodge; heavenly.


Brotherly love binds Freemasons of all coun­tries, races and creeds in one common brotherhood.

Chalk, Charcoal and Clay

Freedom, fervency, and zeal.


In the erection of King Solomon's Temple, a series of chambers were built on three sides of the Temple (north, south and west). This building against the wall of the Temple were three stories high (30 feet). These small chambers were used for Temple offices and for storage.


The ornamental tops or capitals of pillars.


Among the most beautiful and forceful features of the work of Masonry are the solemn and exacting charges given to the candidate as he advances from one Degree to another.

Charity - acts of inward love

The three great cardinal virtues are Faith, Hope and Love. Charity as an act of genuine, heart-felt love is so closely related that it is sometimes employed in the place of Love, and is regarded as one of the three great cardinal virtues. Charity in its various implications and forms of action hold a high place in the life of every Freemason.


A document setting forth a set of granted rights and privileges given by the Grand Lodge to the constituent Lodge at the tinic of Constitution.  The Master is its custodian, and must see to its security at all times.  The charter must be in the Lodge room during all communications of the Lodge, preferably in the Master's charge, but it may be on the Secretary's desk, or in the archives of the Lodge. It should not be framed to hang on the wall.  The request of a visitor to inspect the charter in advance be granted or refused.  Should the charter be lost or destroyed, the Grand Master or Grand Secretary should be notified at once. Pending the issuing of a duplicate charter, a permission, or dispensation to continue work should be obtained from the Grand Master.

Chasity - purity in sexual relations

Freemasonry stands uncompromisingly for the purity of womanhood and for the protection of a woman's chastity. Sacred obligations with respect to certain phases of chastity have been assumed by every Mason, and he is bound in honor and under severe penalties to keep untainted these obligations.


To correct by discipline.

Checkered Floor

The Mosaic Pavement.

Christian Virtues

Faith, Hope, and Charity.


A figure which has neither beginning nor end and symbolizes eternity; the universe.


The movement is in imitation of the apparent course of the sun, and so is in the form of an ellipse.  After the obligation the Senior Deacon with the candidate should make all turns square.


To draw a circular line by the compasses; symbolic of the boundary line of Masonic conduct. Literally encircled hence limited.


Perhaps no institution or organization has contributed more to good citizenship than Freemasonry. Democratic principles, good government, freedom of conscience and civic liberty have always been championed by Masons. Many of the world's great patriots and statesmen of all nations have been members of the Fraternity. Loyalty to one's government, faithfulness in all the duties of citizenship, and active support of public institutions are demanded throughout all the rituals of Freemasonry.


Concealed, usually for some secret or illicit purpose. In Freemasonry, illegal, not authorized.

Clay Ground

The use of this term in Masonic work is based on the fact that a special clay found only in the Jordan Valley was used in casting the two great pillars, called Boaz and Jachin, which stood before the Great Porch of Solomon's Temple. This same clay was also used for casting ornaments and vessels used in the Temple.


Opening made by a crack or crevice; a hollow between two parts.

Clods of the Valley

This term is used in Masonic ritual in its Biblical meaning and signifies the sweetness of rest for the dead of the Lord.

Clothed, Properly

With white gloves and apron, and the jewel of his Masonic rank. Today the gloves are usually dispensed with.


It has always been the custom among all peoples for designated officers, leaders, and people of rank to wear special regalia or a particular type of clothing which indicates a person's official position. Based on this custom and upon Biblical examples, and for reasons of dignity and beauty, Masons follow this practice.


From the Latin culmen meaning "a pillar to support or adorn a building." In Masonry the symbolic Significance pertains to the supports of a lodge; Three columns are employed; the columns of Wisdom, Strength and Beauty.

Columns, Wardens

Represent Jachin and Boaz. While the lodge is at work the columns are erect and horizontal, respectively; while on refreshment, such positions are reversed.


A Masonic Lodge meeting is called a "communication" because it dates back to the earliest meaning of the word -- the having of things in common, the fellowship of men engaged in a common purpose, governed by a common principle, and participation in common interests and activities.


A mathematical instrument for dividing and drawing circles; an instrument indicating the magnetic meridian.


The compasses are emblems of virtue, the true and holy measure of a Mason's life and conduct.  One of the Working Tools. Freemasons have adopted the plural spelling to distinguish it from the magnetic compass.


Strife or struggle.

Contention Among Brethren

Whenever and wherever men are grouped together for any purpose or a brotherhood is formed, differences of opinion will arise, conflicting interests will present themselves and the spirit of true brotherhood can be threatened. Among Freemasons, every effort must be put forth to prevent such circumstances from producing contention. Masons can agree to disagree.

Corn, Vine and Oil

Three elements of consecration. In ancient times these were regarded as the basic commodities for the support of life and constituted the wealth of the people. Today in the U.S. we think of corn as maize, but the original meaning is an edible grain or cereal. The Hebrew word for corn means "to be increased or to multiply."


This is usually the stone that lies at the corner of two wall of building in which certain historic documents are placed and on which historic inscriptions are engraved. In Masonic buildings, it is always placed at the northeast corner, and this position is preferred in buildings for which Masons perform the cornerstone-laying ceremony. Beautiful and meaningful symbolisms are associated with the laying of cornerstones as a dedication to the one living Great Architect of the Universe.


The ornamented slab placed above the capital of a pillar, and extending beyond it.


The horn of plenty; a symbol of abundance.

Covenant of Masons

A covenant is a contract or agreement between two or more parties on certain terms. In becoming a Mason, a man enters into a covenant with the Fraternity, agreeing to fulfill certain promises and perform certain duties. On the other hand, the Fraternity and its members bind themselves to certain ties of friendship, brotherliness, protection support and benefits. The breaking of a covenant is subject to stated penalties.


This is strictly a Masonic term; it means an intruder, profane, pretender, or one who accidentally enters where he is not wanted. This is not to be confused with the word eavesdropper or one who deliberately tries to overhear and see what is not meant for his eyes and ears. He is a person who may seek the secrets and benefits of Freemasonry unlawfully.


The term "craft" applies to persons collectively engaged in a trade or mechanical operation. It is used of operative Masons and the vast number of men employed in the building of the Temple are referred to as Craftsmen. In speculative Masonry, the entire Fraternity is spoken of as the Craft, whereas individual members are Craftsmen.


Freemasonry recognizes Jehovah as God and as the Great Architect of the Universe, the creator of all things, both material and spiritual. And it accepts the account of Creation given in the Book of Genesis and confirmed by other Scriptures. To a Mason, earth and the heavens declare the Glory of God.


The sacred cubit is 36 inches; the profane cubit is 18 inches.

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The platform, or raised floor, in the East of the lodge where the Master sits. In the lodge, the steps to this should be three. The Senior Warden's place should be raised two steps and that of the junior Warden, one step.


Symbolizes that state of ignorance before light (knowledge) is received.

Darkness to Light

Physical darkness is symbolic of ignorance and of spiritual blindness. Applicants for the enlightenment of Freemasonry are, of course, in total ignorance of the rituals and symbolisms of the Order. They are, hence, required to enter the Lodge in complete darkness. They are in search of Light, and this is given to them as they advance through the several Degrees of Masonry.


David was the youngest son of Jesse of Bethlehem who was chosen and anointed to become the successor of Saul as King of Israel while only a lad and shepherd of his father's flocks. He served King Saul as a musician, later as a military leader of some genius, bravery, and great heroism. However, he was bitterly persecuted by the King because of his jealousies. At the age of thirty, David was anointed King at Hebron and later established his throne at Jerusalem. He reigned forty years and was permitted by God to make extensive preparations for the building of the Temple which was later erected by his son and successor, Solomon. He was forbidden by to build the Temple because he was a warrior while his son, Solomon, would be a man of peace.


From the beginning, the period of twenty-four hours embracing one season of light and one of darkness has been regarded as a day. Among the ancients, the day began at sunset and ended at sunset the next day instead of running from midnight to midnight.


District Deputy Grand Master, an assistant who acts for the Grand Master in a particular district.


Comes from the Greek diakonos meaning "messenger or waiting-man."


In every Masonic Lodge there are two officers called Senior and Junior Deacons. Their duties comprehend general surveillance over the Lodge, the introduction of visitors, and to serve as proxy for the Worshipful Master in certain circumstances.


The Masonic idea of death is accompanied with no gloom, because it is represented on as physical sleep for an unknown period of time, from which there will be an awakening of the body and a resurrection of a spiritual body capable and fitted for eternal life. From beginning to end, the rituals of Freemasonry teach and symbolize the doctrine of man's immortality and repudiate every iota of the doctrine of annihilation at death. In Masonic philosophy, death is the symbol of initiation completed, in which the resurrection of the body will be its final consummation.


The Ten Commandments.

Dedicated to the memory of the Holy Saints John 

Dedication is a less sacred ceremony than consecration. Hence, lodges are consecrated to God, but dedicated to patrons of the Fraternity.

Demit or Dimit

A release; a resignation of membership; a paper certifying a withdrawal from a lodge (or Masonic body) when in good standing. Both spellings are used, although DIMIT is peculiar to Freemasonry only. In the U.S. some jurisdictions use the former spelling, but the majority use the latter, "Dimit."

Desires Shall Fail

This quotation is used in its figurative significance, referring to the fact that in the infirmities of old age men are no longer concerned about the carnal and secular things of the earth.


Lacking means, as without money or food.

Destruction of the Temple

The Temple built by Solomon underwent many defamations and was several times stripped of its golden adornments and treasures, sometimes by foreign attacks and sometimes by Judean kings for payments of tribute. These were judgments sent upon the nation for apostasies. The final destruction of the Temple was the burden of many prophecies and took place as predicted by God under the onslaughts of the armies of Nebuchadnezzar (586 B.C.).

Dew of Hermon

The dews of Mount Hermon, and of Palestine in general, were sources of irrigation, fertilization and refreshment for vegetation and agricultural growth. The phrase is employed as a symbolic expression of the bedewing influences of Divine Grace.


Book of laws of a Grand Lodge in the U.S.; sometimes called The Code.


Permission to do that which would be forbidden otherwise.


Physical or mental anguish. 

Distressed Worthy Brother

To go to the aid of a distressed worthy Brother is not only the aid of every Mason, but is solemnly enjoined by Holy Writ. Masons believe and practice the Bible's edict of "we are our Brother's keeper."  A brother in distress does not necessarily mean that he is without funds.

Doors Shall Be Shut

The expression, "The doors shall be shut in the street when the sound of the grinding is low" refers to the decrepitude of old age.


An old man in his dotage is one whose fruit has ripened and rotted, who has suffered the loss of judgment and memory, and is in that state of intellectual decrepitude which makes him incapable of comprehending the lessons of Freemasonry; in other words, an advanced age when the mind is no longer able to comprehend clearly.

Due East and West

Moses built the Tabernacle due east and west, and this practice was carried on by the church builders. The Freemason travels from the West to the East (light) in search of a Master from whom he may gain instruction, or light,

Due Form

A Masonic body is opened or closed in "due form" when performed fully according to a prescribed ritual. Distinguished from "ample form."

Due Guard

A mode of recognition peculiar to Freemasons.

Duly and Truly Prepared

That the candidate is truly prepared in his heart and mind to receive further enlightenment; also, properly clothed, Masonically.

Dust to Dust (or Dust To Earth)

Man's body was made from the earth and must return to dust in one form or another. The use of this phrase points to the mortality and frailty of the physical being and to the need of recognizing the immortality of the spirit of man.

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Ear, The Attentive or Listening

The Hebrew word means not only to hear, but to understand and to obey.


From the Sun worshipers down through the ages, the East has always been considered the most honored place because the sun rises in the East and is the region from which light rises.


One who attempts to listen surreptitiously; literally, one standing under the eaves and thus gets only the "droppings."


The imaginary line followed on the earth's surface by the direct ray of the sun during the year. It niakes an angle of 23' 27' with the equator. Jerusalem is located in approximately 31' 30' north attitude, that is, approximately 7' 3' north of the ecliptic.


A representation of an idea by a visible object; a symbolical figure or design.

Emblem of Innocence

Throughout the Holy Scriptures, the lamb is used as an emblem of innocence, and the white leather lambskin apron is regarded as an emblem of purity after which Masons ever strive for in life.


Symbolical, representing.


Having a border.


The desire to equal or surpass; ambitious rivalry.

Entered Apprentice 

In Operative Masonry the apprenticeship lasted seven years; if then found acceptable, the apprentice’s name was entered on the books of the lodge and he was given a recognized place in the craft organization.


The use of equivocal language, e.g., words capable of two interpretations, cryptic, evasive, ambiguous.

Eternal Life

The immortality of the soul is a fundamental dogma of Freemasonry. Hence, the faith and belief in eternal life beyond the grave. The doctrine of a future resurrection of the body is also a tenet of Freemasonry.


The first mathematician to Systematize the science of geometry.


In Masonry, the evergreen is used as a symbol of the immortality of the soul.


The examination of a brother to determine his geniuses should not aim at displaying the committee's knowledge. It is a test of the visitor. He need not be able to answer questions from the Posting Lecture. He should know the signs, grips, and words.


Forcible ejection from membership for such reasons as un-Masonic conduct, crimes, etc. It is the most severe of Masonic penalties and deprives the person of all rights and privileges formerly enjoyed from his lodge and the Fraternity as a whole.

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The evidence of things not seen; confidence; trust.

Faithful Servant

The faithful servant is one who is diligent in his stewardship, dutiful to his master and loyal in the face of temptation and trial.

Fatherhood of Good

Masonry believes that man is the offspring of God by creation, that God made mankind all of one blood and that God is, by virtue of His creation of man and of His goodness to man, man's Father.

Faithful Breast

Symbolically, the initiate is instructed that the lessons he has received are to be treasured in his heart and remembered, and not to be forgotten; that which is told in confidence will be so held.

Fears Shall Be In The Way

This phrase describes the failing of courage of old age, the nervous and excited state of mind natural to declining man.




A craftsman no longer an apprentice who has been admitted as full member, but who has not yet reached the status of a master. The fellowcraft age represents the stage of manhood.

Fiat Lux Et Lux Fit

Latin motto meaning "Let there be light, and there was light."



First landmarks of Freemasonry

Modes of recognition with no variation.

Flight to Joppa

The story of Jonah's flight to Joppa in his effort to escape a Divinely-entrusted responsibility and service for God is strikingly used in Masonic ritual.

Foreign Country

This expression, which is employed of the travels of Master Masons of the operative class following the completion of the Temple in search of labor and for wages, is correctly understood by few who hear it. In its symbolic meaning, it does not refer to the activities of those who have completed the Master Degree. Hence, Heaven is the "foreign country" into which Master Masons travel, where the True Word, not given in this life, is to be received, and where the Master Mason is to receive his wages.

Form of a Lodge

An oblong square or parallelogram, twice as long as wide. At the time of the Temple, the only known world was the Mediterranean Sea and the countries to the north, south and east, forming an oblong. Thus, the Freemason's lodge was the world itself.


The importance and essential value of this virtue of true manhood for Masons is enforced by the use of the story of unfaltering courage and faith of the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace and by Daniel's bravery in the lion's den.


The deeply laid and solid foundation of the Temple strikingly symbolizes the necessity for a good foundation in the building of character and in life's vocations.

47th proposition of Euclid

Derived its name from the fact that it was the 47th problem in Euclid's geometry. Sometimes called problem or theorem, which are also correct. The 47th Proposition, or problem, is to prove that in a right angled triangle, the sum of the squares of the two sides is equal to the square of the hypotenuse. Masonically, it is an emblem of the arts and sciences and reminds us that next to sinfulness, the most dangerous enemy of life is ignorance.


A brotherhood, in which blood-bonds are replaced by a common devotion to a principle, code, or creed.


The origin of the use of the term "free" in speculative Masonry is in the fact that the operative Masons who worked on King Solomon's Temple were exempted from imposts, duties and taxes as were their descendants. They were, therefore, declared to be "free."

Free Born 

A free soul; one having attained mastery of himself by self discipline. It is a misconception that this refers to one not born into slavery.


The early builders in Operative Masonry times were free men, not serfs or bondsmen and were free to move from one place to another as their work demanded. Thus, they came to be called "Freemasons."

Furnishings of a Lodge

Holy Bible, Square and Compasses, Charter or Dispensation.

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G, Letter

"G": The letter -G- is the Saxon representative of the Hebrew Yod and the Greek Tau; The initial letter of the name of the Eternal in those languages. It has a double meaning, representing, first, the Supreme Deity as the Great Architect of the Universe and the one true and living God of all Masons; and, secondly, the pre-eminence of the science of geometry in the rituals of Freemasonry. In this twofold symbolism, the letter "G" represents to the Mason unity of Heaven with the earth, of the Divine Being with the human, of the temporal with the eternal, and of the finite with the infinite.  The letter "G" is one of the most sacred symbols in Freemasonry. The Lodge cannot open, and no work can be performed unless this sacred letter is conspicuously seen in its regularly assigned place of honor in the Lodge hall.


Grand Architect of the Universe.

Gates of the Temple

The Temple of Solomon had only one entrance or portal, but the walls of the enclosure had a gate at each points of the compass. Freemasonry makes special symbolic use of three of these gates, the one on the east, the one on the west, and the one on the south. These gates are symbols of the progress of the sum, rising in the east, reaching its zenith in the south, and setting in the west. They also symbolize birth, life, and death as well as youth, manhood and old age.


Derives its name from its shape-that of the gable or gavel end of a house. It is a tool used by a stonemason and resembles a hammer having a pointed end for cutting. The Working Tool gavel differs from the upright gavel, or "Hiram." (See Hiram.)

Glory and Beauty of the Day

Daylight has many beauties, many advantages, and many blessings; but its supreme glory is in marvelous utterances of the goodness and glory of God.


The Hebrew words for Beauty, Strength, and Wisdom (the supports of Freemasonry) are Gomer, Oz, and Dabar. The initials of these words compose the English name of the Deity.

Golden Bowl Be Broken

This sublime and unique rule of conduct in man's relation to and treatment of his fellow man spoken by the Saviour has been adopted by Freemasons, and it is used with its full significance in all the ramifications of human actions.

Grand East

The place where the Grand Lodge holds its communications and from which place the edicts are issued.

Grasshopper Shall Be A Burden

This expression is a figure of the weakness accompanying old age.

Great Lights

The Holy Bible, Square and Compasses. The Bible represents the will of God, the Square is the physical life of man and the Compasses represents the moral and spiritual life.

Great Porch

This was the name give to the vestibule at the entrance into the Temple of Solomon.

Great and Sacred Name

Any name that is used as a title of Deity is held sacred by Freemasons, and all names of our God are to be uttered with profound reverence and never thoughtlessly or blasphemously.

Great White Throne

This term refers to the pure and glorious throne of God. Before it, every knee must bow and every tongue confess that Christ is God to the Glory of the Father.


Every brother following his raising should be taught to start with the grip of an Entered Apprentice Mason and go through the grips, passes, and words to the Grand Masonic Word.

Ground Floor of the Lodge

Mount Moriah, the site on which Solomon's Temple was erected, is symbolically referred to as the "ground floor of the Lodge."

Guild (Gild) Masons - Guttural

From the Latin guttur meaning "the throat."


From the Latin "guttur", the throat.

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This was the title given to the overseers and princes appointed by Solomon to supervise the workmen in the preparation of the material and in the building of the Temple.


A distinctive tenet of Freemasonry is that there is a Heaven of bliss beyond the grave. The symbolic meaning of the "foreign country" in which the Master Mason seeks wages is Heaven, the higher state of man's existence after death and following the Resurrection.


Obligated in a degree which the Mason has not had conferred on him. To "heal" is to "make valid."


Pronounced "hail" and means to keep guarded, or secret. Sometimes spelled "hale."


Half of the earth's surface, as the western hemisphere, the northern hemisphere.


Literally the symbols in the priestly writings of the Egyptians. Generally, a symbol or sign the meaning of which is known only to the initiated.


An upright gavel made in the form of a maul and used by a presiding officer.


Hiram, King of Tyre.

Hills and Valleys

In ancient times, and even today, high elevations suggest the worship of God. The hilltop or mountaintop is a symbol of "Holiness unto the Lord."


According to history, verifiable, capable of documentary proof.  We also speak of traditional and legendary history, meaning popular belief, not upheld by fact.


Throughout Masonic ritual, the absolute and superlative Holiness of God is recognized, and every representation of the Deity in symbols, attitudes and words must be in the most reverent manner.

Holy of Holies

The ancient Tabernacle erected by Moses at Mount Sinai was divided into two compartments or rooms. At the west end was the Most Holy Place constructed of a perfect cube fifteen feet in all dimensions. It was separated from the other room, the Holy Place, by curtains. The only article of furniture in the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant which contained the Book of Law, the stone tablets on which God had written the Ten Commandments, a pot of manna and Aaron's rod that budded. The Most Holy Place was entered only by a high priest once each year on the Great Day of Atonement. Like the Tabernacle, King Solomon's Temple was divided into two compartments. The Most Holy Place was a perfect cube forty feet in all its dimensions. All the walls were overlaid with fine gold as was the floor. Again, the only article of furniture was the Ark of the Covenant.

Holy Place

One of the two compartments of the Tabernacle of Moses was the Holy Place or Sanctuary at the east end of the Tabernacle. The furniture of the Holy Place consisted of the great Candlestick, the table for shewbread and the altar of incense with its censer and snuffers. In King Solomon's Temple, the Holy Place, sometimes referred to as the Greater House, followed the pattern of the Tabernacle, but was much larger. Instead of one candlestick, there were ten: five on the right side and five on the left, all made of pure gold. The Altar of Incense occupied the west end of the Sanctuary and was also made of pure gold, as was it censer.


Respect, as applied to men; worship, as applied to deity.


A blindfold which is a symbol of secrecy; mystical darkness.

Hour Glass

An emblem of the passage of time.  Emblem of life.

House Not Made With Hands

This expression comprehends the eternal dwelling place of God and the resurrected and glorified body of the redeemed in the life beyond.

Human Senses

There is here the recognition of the truth that all the natural faculties and endowments of man are the products of the creative energy of God and are loving gifts from Him.

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I Am That I Am

This is the English translation of the most distinctive and significant title of Jehovah God given to Moses at the burning bush. In its original Hebrew form, it was regarded with such sacredness by the Israelites that it was never spoken above a whisper. It signifies the "self-existent, independent, unsearchable One."

ILL. or Illustrious

A title used in addressing members of the 33rd.


Giving or showing an example.


A drawing, picture, or example.


Showing by example or picture.


Much of the ritual in Freemasonry assumes the doctrine of man's immortality, and in many specific instances, professions of this fundamental tenet are uttered.


Without distinction between.

Indwelling of God

That God deigns to dwell among his people and with the hearts of the pure and the good is a fundamental truth to Masons.

Ineffable Name

It is generally agreed among the Believers that the correct pronunciation of the most sacred name of God has been lost, and to this traditional fact Masons assent. In it believed, however, that the mysteries of this Ineffable Name is held by the Messiah until the Day of Resurrection.

Inner Door

Just as the mysteries of God's truth are available to those who earnestly knock, so admittance to the lessons of Freemasonry are opened by the proper knock at the Inner Door of the Lodge.


From time immemorial, the lamb has been regarded as an emblem of innocence. Since Masons are required to strive after perfect innocence, especially in the Masonic conduct, the apron worn by them must be made of pure white lambskin.


Jesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudworum, meaning "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews."


Capable of being read or understood


The grave is the natural resting place for the bodies of the dead, but it is not the final abode of these bodies. We honor our dead in interment, but we await their Resurrection.


Kept sacred or unbroken.

Iron Tools

In order that perfect quiet and reverence might prevail in the building of the Temple, no iron tool of any kind was employed.

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Jachin - He doth establish

Comes from two Hebrew words meaning "God will establish." Jachin is a combination of two words, Jah, the poetical name of Jehovah, and iachin, meaning establishment. The full significance of the name is, therefore, "With God's help to establish," the symbolical meaning given to in the work of Freemasonry.  The two great pillars of Solomon's Temple supporting the Great Porch, known as Solomon's Porch, were called Boaz and Jachin, Jachin being the right hand pillar . 

Jacob's Ladder

The story of Jacob's dream or vision is which he saw a stairway leading from earth to Heaven and angels descending and ascending on it holds an important place in Masonic ritual. It is employed as a symbol of the progressive course from earth to Heaven, and of the transition from death to life.


The poetical name of Jehovah.

Jesus and the Temple

The parents of Jesus carried him to the Temple when he was only forty days old for purification ceremonies. At the age of twelve, he attended the Passover in Jerusalem and visited the Temple. After beginning his public ministry, he honored the Temple on a number of occasions, cleansed it twice, taught the people, performed miracles within its sacred precincts, and otherwise recognized it as the House of God, even though it was being greatly profaned

Jewels, Movable and Immovable

The Movable jewels are the Rough and Perfect Ashlars and the Trestle Board and are so called because they are not confined to any particular part of the lodge whereas the Immovable jewels: the Square, Level, and Plumb, have definite locations. They are called "jewels" not because of their materials, but because of their meaning. The word "jewel" comes from the Greek meaning "bright or shining."

Judah - praised

Judah, the fourth son of Jacob and the founder of the tribe bearing his name, is also the representative of a key point in ancient Masonry. Judah distinguished himself on a number of occasions and was given Messianic distinction in the tribal blessings of his father and by Moses. The royal house of Israel was of the tribe of Judah, even as was Jesus the Messiah. The tribe of Judah was the first to cross the Jordan and enter the Promised Land. For this reason, and because of its distinction as the tribe of David, Solomon and the Messiah, Judah represents or symbolizes the entrance of the candidate into the Light and liberty of Freemasonry.

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Keepers of the House Shall Tremble

This expression is a figure of the failings of the body in old age or as weakened by the approach of death. The usual interpretation is that the arms and legs are the keepers.

Koran, The

The Sacred Volume of Mohammedan Law.

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"In all ages the Lamb has been deemed an emblem of innocence." The candidate is therefore given a white lambskin apron.


In ancient times, it was customary to mark the boundaries of lands by the means of stone pillars or heaps of stones. The removal of such landmarks was a grievous crime and an evidence of fraudulent intent by the offender. In speculative Masonry there are also ancient and universal customs of the Order which gradually grew into operation as rules of action, and the same rigid rule with reference to ancient landmarks applies to these.

Lawful Age

A man of discretion.

Lawful Information

hat one has tested by trial and examination, or knows that such has been done by another.

Lay or Inlay

The manner or position in which something is situated (lay). To set (a piece of wood, metal, etc.) into a surface to form a design that is usually level with the surface (inlay).

Legally Constituted

A Lodge working under proper authority and Charter from a Grand Lodge.


According to popular belief or report, but without proof. A legend usually carries with it the idea of the miraculous.


Capable of being read.

Level of Equality

The level in Masonry is a symbol of the fraternal equality of mankind as the offspring of God, all races and nations having been made of one blood. The fundamental principle that all men are created equal, with certain inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is basic in Freemasonry.

Liberal Arts and Sciences

Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, and Astronomy.


Throughout the ritual and work of Freemasonry, Light is the symbol of knowledge, and just as God spoke into existence physical light, so He is the original source of all true knowledge. The Great Light of Masonry is His inspired work. Masons are pledged to strive after more and more Light as life goes on and should seek above all things Light Eternal.

Light of Life

The source of enlightenment and knowledge for life's darkness, perplexities and doubts, as well as for life's responsibilities and duties, is the Holy Bible -- the Great Light of Masonry.

Lily Work

The lily has always been an emblem of peace. For this reason, lily work occupied a place of conspicuousness and distinction in the ornamentations of the Temple and its furniture.

Lion of the Tribe of Judah

In the tribal benediction pronounced upon Judah, the "lion's whelp" is used emblematically of strength. Hence, the ensign on the banner of Judah was a lion. The phrase in the Masonic ritual, "The lion of the tribe of Judah," is Messianic and refers to Christ, the anointed of God and royal head of God's Kingdom.


Two or more Freemasons, "in regular assembly and properly opened and prepared for work or business," constitutes the Lodge.

Lodge of the Holy Saints John of Jerusalem and Lodge of St. John

Masonic tradition has it that the primitive, or mother, Lodge was held at Jerusalem and dedicated to St. John the Baptist, and then to St. John the Evangelist, and finally to both. This Lodge was therefore called "The Lodge of the Holy Saints John of Jerusalem." From this Lodge all other Lodges are supposed, figuratively, to descend.

Lost Word

The lost word was the ineffable name of God, but the term is used symbolically of Divine Truth.  That for which the Mason search is to discover the divine in himself and in the world that he might achieve mental satisfaction and ultimate happiness.

Low Twelve

The hour of midnight; darkness is a symbol of death as well as of ignorance.

Lux E Tenebris

Latin meaning "Light out of darkness."

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Making A Mason "At Sight"

By a Grand Master's prerogative, some constitutional requirement is set aside-usually the ballot, and a man is made a Master Mason without waiting or instruction between degrees.


Relating to the hand, from the Latin "manus", a hand.

Masonic Ages

The age of an Entered Apprentice is said to be three years (the symbol of peace or perfect harmony); that of a Fellowcraft, five years (the symbol of active life); and that of a Master Mason, seven years (the symbol of perfection).

Master of the Lodge

This title signifies "teacher," not Lord. The Master of the Lodge should be well informed in the mysteries, symbols, allegories and principles of Freemasonry. Masonry is a science of morals, clothed in symbols and any Brother who becomes a teacher of this science must fully understand the allegories in which it is enveloped, the symbolisms with which it is illustrated, the myths and legends of Masonry, and their mystical applications to everyday life. What the sun is by day to the world, the Master is to the Lodge.

Master Builder

In the material realm, a master builder is one who is qualified in intellect and training to do constructive building of symmetrical and perfect order -- an architect, skilled worker and capable artisan. Hiram Abif (Abith), the widow's son of the tribe of Naphtali, was such a master builder. With the very best materials furnished him by King Solomon, he carried to completion an edifice of magnificence and superlative beauty and glory. In speculative Masonry, a master builder is one who is qualified in heart and mind, by skill in moral and spiritual science, and by Holy consecration to erect temples of immortal characters.


Motivated solely by a desire for monetary or material gain; greedy, venal.


The position of the sun at noon.

Metal Tools

In ancient Israel, the use of metal tools in the actual construction of sacred altars and edifices was forbidden; hence, the preparation of all materials for the building of Solomon's Temple was done in the forests and quarries.

Money Changers

These were exchange bankers who set up tables in the precincts of the Temple where they provided Jewish coins for Temple offerings in exchange for foreign moneys, charging fees for their services. Jesus drove them from the Temple, declaring that they had made the "House of Prayer a den of thieves."


A hill in Jerusalem on which the Temple of Solomon was built.

Mosaic Pavement

Tessellated pavement or checkered floor. An inlay floor composed of black and white squares.

Mouth to Ear

The method whereby the esoteric work of Freemasonry is passed on from one Mason to another, or from one Mason to the candidate who is qualified to receive such information.

Mystic Tie

This phrase refers to the bond of fraternal love, to the solemn vows of eternal Masonry, irrespective of differences in race, nationality and conflicting interests. By this mystic tie, men of the most discordant opinions are united in one band, meet at one altar, even when fighting in opposing armies or affiliated with different religions. It is, indeed, an indefinable spiritual tie, spiritual tie not easily broken; fellowship among Masons and those under its influence are rightly spoken of as "Brethren of the Mystic Tie."

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Names of the Temple

The Temple built by Solomon, which occupies such importance throughout the symbolisms and legends of Freemasonry, is given a number of names in the Bible: The Palace of Jehovah, The House of Sanctuary, and The House of Ages.

Naphtali - my wrestling

Naphtali was the fifth son of Jacob and the founder of the tribe bearing his name. In the tribal blessing given him by his father, and confirmed by Moses, wise counsel and prosperity were to be the chief characteristics of the tribe. Naphtali represents the investiture of the lambskin apron bestowed in the West and South.

Neither Naked Nor Clothed

Neither unclothed, or defenseless, nor clothed and self-sufficient.

New Name

With the change in character and fortune, it is often appropriate that one be given a new name.


Members of the Mystic Shrine.

North Side

In Masonic symbolism the North Side of the Lodge represents God's exalted throne.

Northeast Corner

As one progresses through the rites and symbolisms of Freemasonry, receiving more and more Light, he reaches the Northeast Corner with all the outward appearances of a perfect and upright Mason, a true and tried representative of the cornerstone of a great moral and spiritual edifice.

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A solemn affirmation, in the name of God, that what one testifies is true.


A promise or pledge of obedience. From time immemorial, men have entered into covenants of brotherhood and friendship under solemn oaths of fidelity and loyalty, and whenever the circumstances and purposes warranted it, secrecy has been pledged. This practice among Masons has man precedents and is based on the truths and principles set forth of the Great Light of Masonry. The Mason takes an obligation, not an oath, that he will not depart from the promises he makes. The obligation in such covenants is given in the name of God, and perjury in such obligations is subject to severe penalties. All vows voluntarily taken in Masonry must be faithfully performed and are never subject to revocation.

Oblong Square

A right angle with one side longer than the other.

Opening of the Lodge

It is absolutely necessary that the Lodge be opened in due and ancient form. Without these ceremonies, the assembly is not a Masonic Lodge. This is true because the Master must be reminded of the dignity and character of himself and of his position. And the other officers must be impressed with the respect and veneration due from their sundry stations. But more important, the Fraternity in Lodge assembly and in work must maintain a reverential awe for Deity, and must look to the Great Light of Freemasonry, the Holy Bible, for guidance and instruction. Thus, in the opening of the Lodge, the Great Architect of the Universe must be worshipped, and His blessings upon the work about to be performed must be supplicated. At the same time, prayer is offered for peace and harmony in the closing of the Lodge.


Aloud, spoken.

Oriental Chair

He seat of the Master in the East; the Oriental Chair of King Solomon.

Ornaments of a Lodge

The Mosaic Pavement, Indented Tessel, and Blazing Star.


Name of Jebusite from whom David purchased a threshing floor in Jerusalem in which King Solomon’s temple was built.  This was previously the site of the alter.

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Passing the Chair

The ceremony of installation of the presiding officer.


A term applied in Masonry to an officer who has held an office for the term for which he was elected, and has then retired, as Past Master, Past Senior Grand Warden.

Peace on Earth

The principles and tenets of Freemasonry and the teachings of the symbols and legends of the Fraternity are conducive to "peace on earth and good will to men." Due recognition is given to the Truth that only as the Prince of Peace reigns in the hearts and lives of men can the world ever have real peace.

Pearly Gates

The splendor and beauty and glory of Solomon's Temple and of its appointments were but symbols and prophecies of the superior Temple, that house not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens, with its gates of pearl.


Belonging to the breast; from the Latin "pectus", the breast.


Belonging to the feet, from the Latin "pedes", the feet.


The columns before the Master and Wardens of a lodge.

Perfect Ashlar

Every Mason is expected to perfect or "polish" himself in building his character in order that he may become acceptable in the sight of God and be fit to take his rightful place in the finished work of Masonry.

Perfect Lodge

One which contains the constitutional number of members.

Perfect Points of Entrance

Symbolic action called for on entrance into a lodge.

Perfect Square

A right angle with the sides equal.


Having willfully told a lie while under lawful oath or affirmation; having broken an oath.


The title of the ruler of ancient Egypt.


Friends of truth.

Pillars of Brass

Important and significant features of the architecture of King Solomon's Temple were two giant bronze shafts which stood in striking relief in front of the entrance to the Great Porch at the east entrance of the Temple, one on the left and one on the right. Each was seventy feet high and twenty-four feet in circumference. They were highly ornamented by a network of brass overhung with wreaths of bronze pomegranates, each row containing one hundred. Each of these giant pillars had a chapiter at the top, ten feet in length, making the total height of each pillar eighty feet. On the top of these chapiters were great bowls for oil, called pommels, over which were hung festoon-like wreaths of pomegranates, interspersed at various points with lily work. These two great shafts were given the names Boaz and Jachin.

Pillars of Wisdom

The seven great pillars of wisdom are regarded by Masons to be of superlative worth in the building of a moral and spiritual edifice.

Pitcher Be Broken at the Fountain

The heart is the fountain of human life, and the great vein which carries the blood to the right ventricle is symbolically called the pitcher. When this is broken as a result of the decrepitude of old age or by human disease, death soon follows.


Pertaining to the planets.


An instrument for erecting perpendiculars.


This tool of operative Masonry used to form and regulate a perfect perpendicular in erecting walls is employed in speculative Masonry as a symbol of justice and uprightness in our deals with our fellowmen. Divine truth is the plumbline in the erection of a moral and spiritual edifice. The Working Tool of a Past Master; the perfect emblem of uprightness.


Almost from the moment that a candidate for Freemasonry crosses the threshold of the Lodge, the duty of rendering aid and sustenance to those who lack in this world's necessities is urged upon him.


The Great Porch of the Temple of Solomon was magnificent and expansive, and its value to the appointments and uses of the Temple was invaluable. Hence, this porch is given a distinctive recognition in the ritual and teachings of Masonry.


A ruler, sovereign, or monarch.

Pot of Incense

Signifies that, of all forms of worship, it is more acceptable to God to be pure and blameless in our inner lives than anything else.


Petitions to Deity in behalf on one's own needs, intercessions for others, communion with God, and prayer in all its elements of praise and worship are fundamentals in the tenets of Freemasonry. From the time a candidate crosses the threshold of the Lodge to the topmost Degree in Masonry, the privilege and duty of prayer are urged upon him, and every step is taken in a Holy atmosphere of Divine worship.


In all the work of Freemasonry, emphasis is placed upon the importance of adequate preparation of moral, ethical and spiritual vocations. Preparation of the heart is the first essential in Masonry, and certain outward preparations symbolic of, and manifesting, inward preparedness are required.


The word comes from the Latin pro meaning "before" and Janum meaning "a temple."  Hence, in Masonry it means those who have not been in the Temple, that is, not initiated into the Fraternity of Craft , a non Mason.


Means not only proficient in the ritualistic work, but before the world in daily living.


Growing out of the cardinal virtues which are emphasized throughout the Degrees of Masonry is the practice of prudence by which we are instructed to regulate our conduct by the dictates of reason and in obedience to the cardinal virtues of faith, hope and love.

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No terms at this time

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"Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason" refers to the final symbolic ritual of the Third Degree celebrating our faith in the Final Resurrection of our bodies, to the Divinely Revealed Truth that these vile bodies shall be fashioned into the likeness of the risen and perfected and glorified body of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Rest period symbolized by noon.

regular Lodge

One working under a charter or warrant from a legal authority.


One of the Masonic penalties which can be and is enforced to reprove.


From the beginning, Freemasonry has been built on two cardinal beliefs: A belief in God, and a belief in a Resurrection to a future life. This later belief assumes faith in the immortality of man in his soul or spirit life, and recognizes the need of Redemption or Salvation from sin through Divine Grace. Throughout the rituals and symbolisms of Freemasonry, and in all of its mythical teachings and legends, belief in these truths is exemplified and demanded.

Reverence for God

The very nature of God, His attributes and qualities, His creation, preservation and sovereignty over man, His redemptive grace and love, even His name, demands of man a reverent attitude at all times. God, Himself, and His name which stands for his personality, supremacy, majesty and glory are always revered in the Lodge of Masons, and the same attitude toward God should characterize the personal life of every true Mason. Anything and everything that represents God to the mind of man should be held sacred.


Comes from the Latin ritualis meaning "ceremonial forms."

Rough Ashlar

The unenlightened member; man in his natural state before being educated.

Rubbish of the Temple

Hindrances in the erection of the Temple of Solomon caused by the scattered rubbish is a figure of worldly and material things of life which prevent proper moral, ethical and spiritual growth or the building of that spiritual structure of character and usefulness which is the supreme end of Freemasonry. These are to be removed with diligence and faithfulness.

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Sabbath Day

Freemasonry recognizes man's constitutional requirement for one day's rest from the ordinary secular toils of life, and accepts as part of its fundamental teachings of the Divine establishment of the Sabbath Day. By legendary instructions, through symbolisms, and by precept, the privilege and duty of Sabbath observations are inculcated. The Sabbath Day is honored as an allotted period for rest and Divine Worship.


Holy places dedicated to the services and worship of God are a necessity for man. They are to be revered even as the name of God and utilized by man for his spiritual culture and for communion with the Most High. Moses erected a Sanctuary under the directions of God, and Holy places for worship have been perpetuated ever since. In the Bible, this name is ascribed to the Most Holy Place in the Tabernacle and in the Temple.

Sanctum Sanctorum

The Latin phrase referring to the Holy of Holies or innermost chamber of King Solomon's Temple where the Ark of the Covenant was kept.

Scripture Readings

It is not only required that the Bible on the altar in the Lodge be spread open as a necessary preparation for opening the Lodge and during its work, but that it be opened at certain passages during the several Degrees. For the First Degree, the assigned passage is Psalms 133; for the Second, Amos, chapter 7; in some jurisdictions, 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, and for the Third, Ecclesiastes, chapter 12.


Masonry's only secrets are in its methods of recognition and of symbolic instructions. Its principles and aims have never been secret.

Self Support

The duty of supporting one's self and his family by individual initiative and personal labor is a universal tenet of Freemasonry.


An ear of corn; a test word; a watchword; slogan.  A word used by followers of Jephthah to test certain of the Ephraimites who sought to escape across the Jordan after having refused to fight in the armies of Israel was Shibboleth. Because of their Ephraimite dialect, they pronounced it Sibboleth.

Signs, Masonic

Modes of recognition often serving as a reminder of some event or pledge.

Silver Cord

"Or ever the silver cord be loosed" is a figurative expression in the beautiful passage descriptive of the delibitations of old age or approaching death. It is thought to refer to the weakening of the spinal cord which results in the loosening of the nervous system.

Solomon - peaceable

Solomon was the son of David and Bathsheba, and David's successor on the throne of Israel. Though not the oldest of David's sons, he was chosen by his father to be his successor and was crowned king prior to David's death, when only about twenty-one years of age. He was solemnly charged by his father to build the Temple for which large funds had already been gathered. Solomon prayed especially for wisdom which was given to him by God above the measure of any other man in history. The league made with Hiram, King of Tyre, by his father was perpetuated, and by his assistance the Temple was carried to completion within seven and one-half years, beginning the fourth year of his reign.


The point in the ecliptic at which the sun is farthest from the equator (north in summer, south in winter).

Sons of Light

During the building of King Solomon's Temple the Masons were so called.

Speculative Masonry

Freemasonry in its modern acceptance; the application of the implements of Operative masonry to a system of ethics.

Spiritual Temple

Freemasonry draws many sublime lessons and deduces many worth truths from the symbolisms of the building of King Solomon's Temple, as well as from operative Masonry and architecture respecting the more important superstructure of moral, ethical and spiritual components knows as the Spiritual Temple. The building of this Temple is in vain without Divine aid. It fact, it must be build of God as the Chief Architect, and all the material that goes into it must pass His inspection and approval.

Sprig of Acacia

Symbolizes the immortality of the soul.

Stand To and Abide By

This is a unique pledge of every mason and means that he convenants himself to stand by and obey every regulation of the Order, that he will be governed at all times by its laws and rules, and that the landmarks of the Fraternity will be followed faithfully in every detail.

St. John the Baptist

Masons honor St. John the Baptist as the forerunner of the Messiah and Saviour. The names of the Holy St. John the Baptist and the Holy St. John the Evangelist are reverently associate in significant rituals of the Masonic Fraternity.

St. John the Evangelist

As a disciple of St. John the Baptist, John, a son of Zebedee and brother of James, was among the earliest to follow Jesus and to enter into full Christian discipleship. He was numbered among the Apostles and was designated as the "disciple whom Jesus loved." He was author of five of our New Testament books: the Gospel bearing his name; three Epistles; and the Revelation of Jesus Christ. In Masonic history and in rituals, St. John the Evangelist is highly honored and his memory beautifully commemorated.

Stations and Places

Officers are elected to stations and appointed to places.


A notification from the Master to appear. For its neglect, because it comes directly under the province of his obligation, a member may be disciplined and/or punished.


Temporary privation of power or rights, such as suspension for nonpayment of dues. One of the Masonic penalties.

Sword pointing to the Naked Heart

Signifies that justice is one of the most rigorous laws and if we are unjust in our hearts, the center of our being, the inevitable result of injustice will find us out.


Signifies or represents some truth, idea or fact, but is not itself the thing it represents.

Symbol of Glory

The Blazing Star in the old lectures. The star in the center represented Deity, hence, the "Symbol of Glory."

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This was a moveable structure build under the directions of Moses at Mount Sinai according to the pattern given to him by God in a special revelation. In its truest sense, the Tabernacle was a representation of the presence of God in the midst of Israel, and the central place for worship. This is the model Solomon used to build his Temple.

Table of Shewbread

This article of furniture in the Tabernacle was a table made of acacia wood and of the ordinary make-up with legs. It was furnished with dishes, bowls, spoons and covers, all made of pure gold. Upon this table was placed twelve cakes of bread made of fine flour, in two rows of six cakes, called shewbread (also referred to shewbread). These cakes or loaves were removed every Sabbath and fresh bread supplied in their place. Only the priests were allowed to eat this removed bread. In King Solomon's Temple, instead of just one table, ten were used. They were patterned after the table of the Tabernacle, except they were made of pure gold and were much larger.


King Solomon's Temple holds a place of universal and pre-eminent interest due, in great measure, to Freemasonry which has kept alive through the centuries many fascinating legends and romances, innumerable symbols and rituals, a goodly number of rites and ceremonies associated with the building of the Temple and with its history. Refer to the section in this web site entitled, King Solomon's Temple for additional information concerning the Temple.

Temple Builder

The legend of the Temple builder which forms a significant feature of the Third Degree in Freemasonry and the basis of profound lectures has been an essential part of Masonic ritual and Degree work throughout the history of the Order. Its authenticity cannot be questioned nor can its importance in the rites of Freemasonry be overestimated.

Temple of the Body

The symbolism of Solomon's Temple in the science of speculative Masonry, and the several rites of the Order based upon operative Masonry in the construction of the Temple, are intended to convey and inculcate great moral, ethical and spiritual truths. Among these truths is the teaching that man's body is to be made a fit Temple for the indwelling of God, and than many of the symbolisms in the building of King Solomon's Temple find their realities in human life and experience.

Ten Commandments

Masons recognize and honor the Decalogue incorporated in the laws of Moses as being of Divine origin and accept them as the moral code by which all human relations with God and with mankind should be regulated.

Tenets of Freemasonry

Dogmas; principles, beliefs, doctrines; teachings of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. A Tenet is something obviously true; that which is universally accepted without question.


Belonging to the earth.

Tessellated Pavement

Checkered floor of black and white, symbolic of the triumphs and the despairs throughout life.


In ancient Israel and other societies, the putting off of the shoes was a testimony of reverence for God or for an earthly superior, and as a token of confirmation in making contracts with fellowmen. The practice in certain rituals of Masonry may be traced back to this ancient custom.


A Greek word signifying "four letters.' It is a name given by the Talmudists when referring to God or Jehovah.

Token, Masonic

A sign used for recognition to prove that a man is a Mason.

"To that undiscovered country from whose bourne no travelers returns"

Comes from Shakespeare's Hamlet (Act III, Scene 1).

Tracing Board

Or emblematic chart. Emblems used to illustrate the lectures.


According to a belief handed down from generation to generation, but not supported by any sure or exact evidence. A tradition need have nothing of the miraculous in it.


The passing over from one stage to another.

Traveling from West to East

In Operative Masonry workmen traveled from one job to another and the word "traveling" came to signify a form of work. Hence, a Mason works his way toward the East (place of light) by improving himself as he progresses through life.

Three Chambers

The upper, middle and lower chambers of King Solomon's Temple were rooms adjoining the main building fitted for quiet communication with God, as places for the preparation of priests and for storage of Temple vessels and instruments.   Emblematical of youth, manhood, and age.


In operative Masonry, the workman known as the Tiler placed over the finished edifice a roof of tiles, and thus provided protection for the building. The symbolism of his work is invested in the office of Tiler (spelled Tyler in some jurisdictions) in speculative Masonry. His duty is to provide protection for the Lodge when it is organized and ready for business, closing the doors, keeping away eavesdroppers and intruders, and guarding the sacred precincts from intrusions of any kind.

Trestle Board

The carpet or board upon which the Master inscribes the designs for guidance of the Craft. In the present day it refers to the meeting notice sent to the membership.

Trials, Masonic

Are held in Masonic courts of law in which testimony is heard and the accused either found innocent or guilty.

Troubles of Life

Freemasonry recognizes the fact that man in his sin-fallen state is the natural heir to sufferings, frailties, weaknesses, trial and troubles; and that release and renewal of strength may be found only in God and the use of the means of Divine Grace and Providence.


The Working Toot of the Master Mason. Symbolically, to spread the cement of Brotherly Love to fit the capstone to complete the building.

Trust in God

In this life, mans knows not what an hour or a day may bring forth. Paths upon which he must travel are unknown, and many unseen and unexpected dangers await him. Even when among friends, there is a constant need for Divine wisdom, sustenance, strength, aid and guidance. Hence, as the candidate crosses the threshold of the Lodge, and throughout all the ceremonies and rites of Freemasonry, he is required to "put his trust in God."


Artificer in brass and iron.  The first Master Craftsman, son of Lamech and Zillah. (See Genesis IV:22) a descendant of Adam through the Cainite line.  Tubal-cain is regarded in Masonry as the father of skilled workmanship in artistic productions for building purposes.


City of Sidonian Empire which is only 120 miles by sea from Jerusalem.  King Hiram or Tyre provided materials for the building of the Temple.

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The mystic tie of true fraternalism is love. But, even where brotherly love prevails, differences of opinion, conflicting ideas, unenlightenment on the part of some, prejudices and varied interests in life endanger the spirit of genuine fellowship and unity. Hence, Masons are constantly taught to avoid "confusion among the workmen," discord, strife, jealousies and vain discussions on non-essentials; and to cultivate zealously and fervently the spirit of true unity in the Lodge and in the Fraternity.

Unmasonic Conduct

Conduct of a Mason which violates the laws of the Craft and his obligation thereto.

Untempered Mortar

The use of mortar not composed of the correct ingredients or in which these ingredients are improperly mixed in operative Masonry is certain to result in a weak and defective building, in a building that will soon disintegrate and tumble down. In speculative Masonry, such untempered mortar is symbolic of dishonest and fraudulent mistures in the building of character or in the construction of the institution of Freemasonry. It represents hypocrisy, the representation of evil as good, the employment of bad materials in moral, ethical and spiritual architecture.

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Veiled Allegory

Uttering a thing in parabolic form (i.e., parable) with its meaning hidden. Many of the sublimest truths of Freemasonry are thus spoken, and even those who have been given the mysteries of speculative science must delve into the caverns of Masonic mystery to gather these hidden gems of truth.

Veil of the Temple

This was the curtain or partition which separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. It served as a constant reminder to worshippers than only the High Priest, and he only once a year after having made proper atonement for his own sins and for the sins of the people, was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies. As a result of the atonement of Christ in his death on the cross, this veil was rent and destroyed, and through Him as High Priest an open door into the Heavenly Sanctuary has been prepared for all true worshippers.


To visit a lodge outside of your "regular" lodge.  Visitation is a privilege and not a right.


The laws of ancient Israel with respect to the treatment of strangers or visitors have full recognition and force among Freemasons. In fact, no Mason is allowed to regard as a stranger or visitor any Brother Mason, even though he has no acquaintance with him, and even if he may be of some other religion, country or nationality.


Volume of the Sacred Law.


A brother cannot vouch for the Masonic standing of a brother unless he has sat with him in a Masonic Lodge. Knowledge of his standing or membership in a body requiring Masonic membership as a prerequisite is not grounds for avouchment.




The "vows of a Mason" are the inward and spiritual covenants of the mystic ties of the Fraternity which have their outward expression in the formal obligations assumed in the several Degrees of the Order. The vows are the covenants of heart and conscience which serve as the main force of heart and character in faithfully observing the obligations verbally expressed before the altar.

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Wardens Columns

At the beginning of the opening ceremonies both columns are down, The Senior Warden's column is elevated down when the WM declares the Lodge open. It is lowered when the Master declares the Lodge called from labor to refreshment, or when, ill the closing ceremonies.  The Junior Warden's column is elevated up, when the Lodge is at refreshment. It raised at the moment when the Master declares the Lodge at refreshment, and is lowered when he calls the Lodge to labor. The Senior Warden's column is lowered and raised at the same times.

Wages, A Master's

Symbolizing the fruits of a man's labors in Masonic work.  It is certain that the operative Masons who labored in the construction of King Solomon's Temple were paid wages, but there is no Biblical reference as to the daily wage paid. Speculative Masons perform certain labors which are moral and spiritual, and their wages or rewards are spiritual. The true and enlightened Mason finds his rewards in the gratifying and beneficial results of his studies, and in the fruitful products of his Masonic deeds.

Wayfaring Man

A traveler or transient, one with no settled home, is often referred to as a wayfaring man.


White is symbolic of purity in its various uses in Masonry.

White Stone

The white stone is a token of fraternal friendship and helpfulness as well as enduring alliance.

Widow's Son

Masons are sometimes referred to as "sons of the widow" as this was the title applied to Hiram, chief architect of Solomon's Temple.

Widows and Orphans

Masons are solemnly pledged to make special provision for widows and orphans in need, especially among families of the Fraternity.

Winding Stairs

The Temple of Solomon was equipped with an impressive winding stairway consisting of fifteen steps leading from the porch to the second floor. Elaborate and extensive symbolisms are attached to these winding stairs in the work of Freemasonry.  Is one which tries a man's soul. He must approach it with faith believing that there is a top, that by a long and arduous climb he will reach a Middle Chamber.  A place of light.

Working Tool of a Past Master

The plumb line.


Title of honor and respect as used in Worshipful Master, From the Anglo-Saxon, worthship (worthy); honorable or respectable. The term has no religious or sacred implication. 

Worthy and Well Qualified

That by his character and moral living, the candidate is worthy to be a member.

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No Words at this time

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Year, Masonic

While the civil calendar reckons from the Year of our Lord and is designated A.D., the Masonic calendar dates from the year when God said, "Let there be Light," and is designated A. L.


The tenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

York Rite

The degrees of the lodge, Chapter, Council, and Commandery.

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Intensity of purpose and of earnestness.


The Persian Volume of the Sacred Law.


The point in heavens directly over head of the spectator; great height.


The mountain or hill in Palestine on which Jerusalem was built.

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