high priest acted as the mediator between the fallen human race and God.
Therefore, he should represent holiness, purity and consecration through his ministry, differing from the rest of the people. As a representative of Jesus in this world, every believer must reflect the character of Jesus in his/her life.
We have the privilege of enjoying God’s blessings as priests. (1 Peter, 2: 9)
“And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the L-RD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the L-RD continually.”
Exodus 28: 30
The Urim and Thummim stones were used by the Hebrew High Priest for Divination, the act of seeking knowledge through indirect means from God. “Urim” (white) translates to “Curse, fault, guilt, or No.” Thummim (black) translates to “Light, Truth, Innocence, or Yes.”
“They can help you to read the omens.”
It’s in the Bible.
These stones were the only form of divination permitted by God. The priest carried them in a golden breastplate.” —from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Black Onyx stone
Balance, Grounding, Protection, Strength
A strength giving, balancing and grounding stone; providing support in difficult or confusing circumstances, and during times of enormous mental and physical stress. It helps to balance conflicting energies and drives, absorbs and transforms negative energy, helps alleviate fears and worries.; promotes vigor and stamina. It also centers your energy and aligns it with a higher power, accessing higher guidance
Some beliefs & usages:
Place black onyx in the northeast corner of your home to encourage wisdom and enlightenment. (source: www.earthegy.com)
“To realize one’s destiny/Personal Legend is a person’s only obligation.”
It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is.
At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives.
It prepares your spirit and your will, because there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
“All things are ONE.”
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
“And dreams are the language of God. But if he speaks in the language of the soul, it is only you who can understand.
“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”
“The Soul of the World is nourished by people’s happiness.”
“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.”
“People fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”
“Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.”
“The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.”
“We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.
“This is what we call love. When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there’s no need at all to understand what’s happening, because everything happens within you.”
“When you want something with all your heart, that’s when you are closest to the Soul of the World. It’s always a positive force.”
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
“Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to heart.”
“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say. “
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.
“You must always know what it is that you want.”
“The secret of life, though, is to fall even seven times and get up eight times.”
“People need not fear the unknown if they are capable of achieving what they need and want.”
“And, when you can’t go back, you have to worry only about the best way of moving forward.”
“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.
“We make a lot of detours, but we’re always heading for the same destination.”
“In order to find the treasure, you will have to follow the omens. God has prepared a path for everyone to follow. You just have to read the omens that he left for you.
“God placed them along your path.”
“If you start by promising what you don’t even have yet, you’ll lose your desire to work towards getting it.”
“When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.
“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.
“Never stop dreaming, follow the omens.”
“Everything in life is an omen.”
“There is a language in the world that everyone understand. The universal language that deals with the past and the present of all people. It is the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of a search for something believed in and desired.”
“Everything on earth is being continuously transformed, because the earth is alive … and it has a soul.”
“If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now.”
The cap is considered a part of the uniform and is treated as such. Consequently, it must not be removed when the flag is passing, while saying the Pledge of Allegiance, or participating in a prayer. On such occasions as the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance or the performance of the national anthem in song or music, the cap remains on the head, and the Scottish Rite Mason places his right hand on his heart. During prayer, the cap remains in place, but the head is slightly bowed and the hands are placed in the “Sign of the Good Shepherd”: the left arm folded over the right with fingers outstretched and touching the shoulders comfortably. This dignified position reflects the compassionate spirit of the Scottish Rite in recalling the Good Shepherd as He carried a lamb over His neck, holding its feet with His crossed hands.
32° Masters of the Royal Secret, Cap
The cap of a Master of the Royal Secret is of circular black silk. It is surrounded with a black band which is trimmed in gold. It has a gold cord, which extends across its top, and is affixed at both sides by a gold button, which is embossed with a double-headed eagle. The front of the cap is adorned by a double-headed eagle in gold bouillon, above whose heads is a red triangle, embellished by golden rays, and bearing the numeral 32.
32° Knight Commander of the Court of Honour, Cap
The cap of a Knight Commander of the Court of Honour is of circular red silk. It is surrounded with a red band which is trimmed in gold. It has a gold cord, which extends across its top, and is affixed at both sides by a gold button, which is embossed with a double-headed eagle. The front of the cap is adorned by an embroidered version of the jewel, trimmed in gold bullion wire.
33° Inspector General Honorary, Cap
The cap of an Inspector General Honorary is of circular white silk. It is surrounded with a white band which is trimmed in gold. It has gold cord, which extends across its top, and is affixed at both sides by a gold button, which is embossed with a double-headed eagle. The front of the cap is adorned by a Patriarchal Cross, which is trimmed with bullion wire.
33° Grand Cross of the Court Honour, Cap
The cap of a Grand Cross of the Court of Honour is of circular white silk. It is surrounded with a blue band which is trimmed in gold. It has a gold cord, which extends across its top, and is affixed at both sides by a gold button, which is embossed with a double-headed eagle. The front of the cap is adorned by an embroidered copy of the jewel, which is trimmed with gold bullion wire.
33° Deputy of the Supreme Council, Cap
The cap of a Deputy of the Supreme Council is of circular white silk. It is surrounded with a scarlet band which is trimmed in gold. It has a gold cord, which extends across its top, and is affixed at both sides by a gold button, which is embossed with a double-headed eagle. The front of the cap is adorned by a Patriarchal Cross, which is trimmed with gold bullion wire.
33° Sovereign Grand Inspector General, Cap
The cap of a Sovereign Grand Inspector General is of circular violet silk. It is surrounded with a violet band slightly darker than the cap itself, and this is trimmed in gold. The band is adorned with laurel vine, leaf, and berry. The cap has a gold cord, which extends across its top, and is affixed at both sides by a gold button, which is embossed with a double-headed eagle. The front of the cap is adorned by a purple Patriarchal Cross with crosslets, which is trimmed with gold bullion wire.
33° Sovereign Grand Commander, Cap
The cap of Sovereign Grand Commander is of circular purple silk. It is surrounded with a purple band slightly darker than the cap itself, and this is trimmed in gold. The band is adorned with laurel vine, leaf, and berry. The cap has a gold cord, which extends across its top, and is affixed at both sides by a gold button, which is embossed with a double-headed eagle. The front of the cap is adorned with a slanting three-armed a purple Cross of Salem with crosslets, which is trimmed with gold bullion wire.
Fifty Year Member, Cap
“Masonry is duty, and its honors the reward of work, which is the performance of duty.” These words, from the ritual of the 4° Secret Master, are perhaps understood no better than by those who have labored for many years in the quarries of Masonry. For those who have been Scottish Rite Masons for no less than fifty years, the Supreme Council’s Fifty Year cap is truly a crown of honor.
The cap is of circular light blue silk and is surrounded with a similar blue band trimmed in gold. It has a gold cord extending across its top and is affixed at both sides by a gold button embossed with a double-headed eagle. The front is adorned above the band by the numeral 50 surrounded by a green silk embroidered laurel wreath.
“Scottish Rite Ritual” Monitor & Guide by Arturo de Hoyos
There are greater and better things in us all, than the world takes account of, or than we take note of; if we would but find them out.
We have all the light we need, we just need to put it in practice.
Will is the dynamic soul-force.
True thoughts have duration in themselves. If the thoughts endure, the seed is enduring; if the seed endures, the energy endures; if the energy endures, then will the spirit endure. The spirit is thought, thought is heart; the heart is the fire; the fire is the Elixir.
The double law of attraction and radiation or of sympathy and antipathy, of fixedness and movement, which is the principle of Creation, and the perpetual cause of life.
One man is equivalent to all Creation. One man is a World in miniature.
Philosophy is a kind of journey, ever learning yet never arriving at the ideal perfection of truth.
The eyes of the cheerful and of the melancholy man are fixed upon the some creation; but every different are the aspects which it bears to them.
To work with hands or brain, according to our requirements and our capacities, to do that which lies before us to do, is more honorable than rank and title.
The universal medicine for the Soul is the Supreme Reason and Absolute Justice; for the mind, mathematical and practical Truth; for the body Quintessense, a combination of light and gold.
Doubt, the essential preliminary of all improvement and discovery, must accompany the stages of man’s onward progress. The faculty of doubting and questioning, without which those of comparison and judgment would be useless, is itself a prerogative of the reason.
A man should live with his superiors as he does with his fire: not too near, lest he burn; nor too far off, lest he freeze.
The sovereignty of one’s self over one’s self is called Liberty.
Faith begins where Reason sinks exhausted.
Almost all the noblest things that have been achieved in the world, have been achieved by poor men; poor scholars, poor professional men, poor artisans and artists, poor philosophers, poets, and men of genius.
That which causes us trials shall yield us triumph: and that which make our hearts ache shall fill us with gladness. The only true happiness is to learn, to advance, and to improve: which could not happen unless we had commence with error, imperfection and ignorance. We must past through the darkness, to reach the light.
The Universe should be deemed an immense Being, always living, always moved and always moving in an eternal activity inherent in itself, and which, subordinate to no foreign cause, is communicated to all its parts, connects them together, and makes the world of things a complete and perfect whole.
He who endeavors to serve, to benefit, and improve the world, is like a swimmer, who struggles against a rapid current, in a river lashed into angry waves by the wind. Often they roar over his head, often they beat him back and battle him. Most men yield to the stress of the current. Only here and there the stout, heart and vigorous arms struggle on towards ultimate success.
Man is thus both human and divine: and the apparent antagonisms in his Nature are a real equilibrium, if he wills it shall be so; from which results the Harmony, not only of Life and Action, but of Virtue and Perfection.
What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.
The name of George Washington claims a place in our American Masonic history. As the “Father of our Country” he is a source of pride to every American Freemason and we are proud to call him a “Brother” in our time-honored Fraternity. He was “raised” to the sublime degree of a Master Mason in Lodge #4 of Fredericksburg, Virginia on August 4th, 1753. On December 20th, 1788 Brother Washington was elected the first Worshipful Master of Alexandria Lodge #22.
It was during the Revolutionary War that the young Marquis de Lafayette came to America from France and joined General George Washington’s army for the Battle of Brandywine 1777. The affection each man held for each other as Friends and Brothers was legend. The American cause had become Lafayette’s cause. The legacy that developed through this affection led to the presentation of a special Masonic Apron at Mt. Vernon in August of 1784. It was made of white satin and hand-embroidered by Madame Lafayette.
This apron has become a study in symbolism. Symbols are silent emblems having meaning only when interpreted and given the unique character of the interpretation process, it is also understood that no symbol has an absolute meaning.
On October 26, 1816, the legatees of the Washington estate presented a Masonic apron to the Washington Benevolent Society of Pennsylvania. A short note, currently framed with the apron, was presented, reading:
To the Washington Benevolent Society. The Legatees of GEN. WASHINGTON, impressed with the most profound sentiments of respect for the noble institution which they have the honor to address, beg leave to present to them the enclosed relick (sic) of the revered & lamented “Father of His Country.” They are persuaded that the Apron, which was once possessed by the Man, whom the Philadelphians always delighted to honor, will be considered most precious to the Society distinguished by his name, and by the benevolent, and grateful feelings to which it owes its foundation. That this perishable memento of a Hero whose Fame is more durable than Brass” (sic) may confer as much pleasure upon those to whom it is presented, as is experienced by the Donors, Is the sincere wish of the Legatees. October 26th, 1816.
In 1829, the Washington Benevolent Society decided to donate the apron to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. Recorded in the proceedings of the Quarterly Grand Communication, dated Monday, December 7th, is the following:
A communication was received and read from the Washington Benevolent Society of Pennsylvania, dated the 3rd July, 1829, accompanied by the Masonic Apron of our deceased Brother George Washington which had been presented to that Society by his Legatees, Viz:
“At a stated meeting of the Washington Benevolent Society of Pennª. held on the 3rd day of July 1829. It was resolved that the Masonic Apron of General Washington be deposited with the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, provided that the creditors agree to this disposition of it.” Signed George Geyl, Ass. Secretary.
On Motion and Seconded, Resolved, That Brothers Josiah Randall, James Harper and John K. Kane, be a committee to acknowledge the receipt of the above and in conjunction with the Hall Committee, to place Washington’s Apron in a suitable and conspicuous situation in the Grand Lodge Room.
The apron has been in the possession of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania ever since and is a prized piece of both American and Masonic history. In the past year, a team of conservators has worked on the apron and its accessories, such as the frame, reverse glass matting, and the note from the legatees of the Washington estate, in an effort to stabilize and preserve these delicate items. A new display case has also been constructed, utilizing the most current and up-to-date methods and materials in order to protect and exhibit the apron. The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania is grateful to the conservators who worked on this project and to the Independence Foundation for providing the preservation funds necessary to undertake such an endeavor.
One of the earliest lessons taught the Masonic Initiate is, that every Masonic Temple, itself a symbol of the Universe, and of the soul of every upright and worthy man, is supported by three great columns, WISDOM, STRENGTH AND BEAUTY or HARMONY. The inmost meanings of these three columns, I am not at liberty to make known here. They involve the highest truths of Philosophy, and the profoundest Mysteries of Nature. When the Mason is advanced, however, to a certain point, he learns that these pillars of the old Temple are replaced with three others, the names of which are familiar to you all — FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY — virtues which every Mason and every man and woman ought to possess: FAITH — in God; that He is good and wise and merciful, a Father and not a Tyrant; whom we are as children to love, and not as slaves to fear; —in Human Nature; confidence in our kind, in the honesty of men’s purposes and intentions; in man’s capability for improvement and advancement; the same Faith in others that we would have them put in us; —and Faith in ourselves; —in our power to do some good, and exert some influence upon our fellows: Faith, that if we are but earnest, honest and sincere, we can help destroy ignorance, error and Wrong, and become immortal in our good influences living after we are dead; that noble and modest confidence in our selves, which is the secret of all success, and the parent of all great and noble actions …
HOPE, in the ultimate annihilation of Evil in the Universe; in the final triumph of Masonry, that shall make of all men one family and household; in the Cessation of war and bloodshed, and the advent of Peace and Liberty; in the final enfranchisement of the human soul and intellect in every country on the globe; and in a Hereafter, where man, immortal, shall be happy …
CHARITY, taught us by Faith and Hope, for those who differ with us in opinion, for them and for their faith, and even for their errors; that Charity which relieves the necessities and distresses of men, and with open hand gives the suffering and destitute solace and comfort; and which forgives and utters merciful judgment upon the faults and shortcomings of others; believes them better than they seem, and teaches us to judge and do unto others as we should wish them, and think it right for them to judge and do unto us. To be TRUSTFUL, to be HOPEFUL, to be INDULGENT: —these, when all around us are selfishness, despondency, ill-opinion of Human Nature, and harsh and bitter judgment, are the true supports of every Masonic Temple, and the bases of every manly and heroic nature. And they are also the old pillars of the Temple under different names: for he only is Wise who judges others Charitably and deals with their errors Mercifully, he only is Strong, who is Hopeful; and there is no Beauty of proportion or harmony, like a firm Faith in God, our fellows and ourselves.
— Albert Pike, from the “Scottish Rite Ritual” Monitor & Guide book by Arturo De Hoyos