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High Priest

The 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)

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Urim & Thummim

Ancient Stones of Divination

“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)

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All about Caps

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.

Information source:

“Scottish Rite Ritual” Monitor & Guide by Arturo de Hoyos

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George Washington Lafayette Apron

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.

Source: http://phoenixmasonry.org/picture_page.htm

Visit the Museum and Library of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania

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The Three Great Pillars

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

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The 14° Ring

Scottish Rite Masons are entitled to wear the Fourteenth Degree ring, which is a plain flat gold band with a triangle enclosing the Hebrew letter yod (), the initial of the Hebrew name of Deity. Your Lodge of Perfection may have presented one of these rings to you, or you may have received it in another form, such as a ring in a Lucite paperweight. Inside the ring should be your name, the date you received the Fourteenth Degree and the motto Virtus junxit mors non separabit (Virtue has united and death shall not separate). The ring may be worn upon any finger of either hand. The promise connected with this that you will wear it during your lifetime, and that you will provide that, after your death, it shall go into the hands of no other person than your widow, your eldest son, or the friend whom of all others you love most. However, it is not to be worn by such a recipient. If you were not presented with an actual ring, you may buy one from a Masonic supply company. Masters of the Royal Secret may also choose to purchase and wear a 32° ring; however, these are unofficial, and not strictly a part of the Scottish Rite regalia.

— from the “Scottish Rite Ritual” Monitor & Guide book by Arturo De Hoyos

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About Albert Pike

Albert Pike was the Master Builder of the Scottish Rite and was chiefly responsible for its current development and ceremonial. His ritual revisions and philosophy have influenced those of most Supreme Councils worldwide, and his writings are among the most insightful and profound in the history of Freemasonry. The great English Masonic historian, Robert F. Gould, wrote that Pike “was himself probably the most gifted of all the scholars and antiquaries whose writings have from time to time cast a luster on the literature of Freemasonry” (Ars Quatuor Coronatorum 16 [1903], p.28)

Born in 1809, Pike became a Mason in 1850, became active in the York Rite, and received the 32 degrees in 1853 and immediately became interested in all aspects of the Scottish Rite. Between 1854 and 1855 he transcribed and began studying its degrees and, in the latter year, was appointed to a committee to revise the rituals. He was the only member of the committee to produce any results, and his self-published revision, though never officially adopted, would serve as the foundation for the majority of Scottish Rite rituals world-wide. His revisions made the Rite a connected system of moral, religious and philosophical instruction. His world experience was vast. He was, among other things, an explorer, lawyer, Indian agent, Civil War Brigadier General (CSA), author, editor, historian, poet, translator, publisher, philosopher, scholar of Vedic literature, and polyglot.

He received the 33 degree in 1857, became an Active Member in 1858, and was elected Grand Commander of the Supreme Council in 1859 – a position which he held until his death in 1891. He requested that if a monument was placed on his grave, it should bear the simple inscription, “Laborum ejus Superstites aunt fructus vixit” (He has lived. The fruits of his labors of live after him). At the closing of each Session of the Supreme Council the following memorial is offered in his remembrance:

And now to the memory of him who said — “When I am dead, I wish my monument to be builded only
in the hearts and memories of my Brethren of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, and my name to be
remembered by them in every country, no matter what language men speak there, when the light of the
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite shall shine and its Oracles of Truth and Wisdom be reverently
listened to.

— from the “Scottish Rite Ritual” Monitor & Guide book by Arturo De Hoyos

read on Wikipedia

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Presidents of the United States Who Were Freemasons

  1. GEORGE WASHINGTON (1732-1799)
    1st President (1789-1797)
    Initiated: November 4, 1752, Fredericksburgh (Fredericksburg) Lodge No. 4, Fredericksburg, Virginia.
    Brother Washington was raised to Master Mason at the age of 20 in 1753. He became Worshipful Master on December 20, 1788, and was inaugurated President of the United States on April 30, 1789, thus becoming the first, and so far the only, Brother to be simultaneously President and Master of his Lodge.
  2. JAMES MONROE (1758-1831)
    5th President (1817-1825)
    Lodge records lost) Initiated: November 9, 1775, St. John’s Regimental Lodge in the Continental Army. Monroe was not yet eighteen, but “lawful age” had not yet been universally fixed at twenty-one. In 1775, Brother Monroe took Membership in Williamsburg Lodge No. 6, Williamsburg, Virginia.
  3. ANDREW JACKSON (1767-1845)
    7th President (1829-1837)
    (Lodge records lost) Initiated: The record for Brother Jackson has not been located. He seems to have been a Member of St. Tammany Lodge No. 1, Nashville, Tennessee, as early as 1800. It was the first Lodge in Tennessee, organized in 1789, under a Dispensation from the Grand Lodge of North Carolina. The name was later changed to Harmony Lodge No. 1 on November 1, 1800. Brother Jackson is officially listed as a Member in the Lodge Return to the Grand Lodge of North Carolina and Tennessee for 1805. On December 27, 1813, the Grand Lodge of Tennessee was granted its own Constitution. Brother Jackson was the sixth Grand Master of Masons of Tennessee, serving from October 7, 1822 until October 4, 1824.
  4. JAMES KNOX POLK (1795-1849)
    11th President (1845-1849)
    Initiated: June 5, 1820, Columbia Lodge No. 31, Columbia, Tennessee. Brother Polk assisted in the Cornerstone Laying of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., May 1, 1847.
    Governor of Tennessee 1839-1841.
  5. JAMES BUCHANAN (1791-1868)
    15th President (1857-1861)
    Initiated: December 11, 1816, Lodge No. 43, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Brother Buchanan became Worshipful Master of Lodge No. 43 1822-1823; and in 1824 was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the Counties of Lancaster, Lebanon and York.
  6. ANDREW JOHNSON (1808-1875)
    17th President (1865-1869)
    (Lodge records lost during the Civil War) Initiated: May 5, 1851, Greenville Lodge No. 119, Greenville, Tennessee.
    Military Governor of Tennessee, 1862-1865.
  7. JAMES ABRAM GARFIELD (1831-1881)
    20th President (July 2 – September 19, 1881)
    Initiated: November 19, 1861, Magnolia Lodge, No. 20, Columbus, Ohio. Owing to Civil War duties, Brother Garfield did not receive the Third Degree until November 22, 1864 in Columbus Lodge No. 30, Columbus, Ohio. On October 10, 1866, he Affiliated with Garrettsville Lodge No. 246, Garrettsville, Ohio, serving as its Chaplain in 1868-1869. Brother Garfield then became a Charter Member of Pentalpha Lodge No. 23 of Washington, D.C. on May 4, 1869; in fact, he was one of the Petitioners for the Lodge Charter.
  8. WILLIAM McKINLEY (1843-1901)
    25th President (1897-1901)
    Initiated: May 1, 1865, Hiram Lodge No. 21, Winchester, Virginia. Brother McKinley Affiliated with Canton Lodge No. 60, Canton, Ohio on August 21, 1867; and Demitted from same to become a Charter Member of Eagle Lodge No. 431, also in Canton. Following Brother McKinley’s death on September 14, 1901, the name was changed to William McKinley Lodge effective October 24, 1901.
    Governor of Ohio, 1892-1896.
  9. THEODORE ROOSEVELT (1858-1919)
    26th President (1901-1909)
    Initiated: January 2, 1901, Matinecock Lodge No. 806, Oyster Bay, New York. Brother and President Roosevelt visited the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania (in its present home, the Masonic Temple at One North Broad Street) on November 5, 1902, for the Celebration of the Sesqui-Centennial of Brother George Washington’s Initiation into Freemasonry. Governor of New York, 1899-1901. Brother and President Roosevelt issued an Executive Order, dated, October 17, 1901 changing the name of the “Executive Mansion” to the “White House”.
  10. WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT (1857-1930)
    27th President (1909-1913)
    Initiated: February 18, 1909. Brother Taft was made a “Mason at Sight” within the Body of Kilwinning Lodge No. 356, Cincinnati, Ohio, by Grand Master Charles S. Hoskinson. His father and two brothers were also Members of this Lodge. Brother and President Taft addressed the Brethren, saying, “I am glad to be here, and to be a Mason. It does me good to feel the thrill that comes from recognizing on all hands the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man.” Brother and President Taft visited the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania on the occasion of a Special Communication held in the Masonic Temple (One North Broad Street), on March 12, 1912.
  11. WARREN GAMALIEL HARDING (1865-1923)
    29th President (1921-1923)
    Initiated: June 28, 1901, Marion Lodge No. 70, Marion, Ohio. Because of some personal antagonism, Brother Harding’s advancement was hindered until 1920, by which time he had been nominated for President. Friends persuaded the opposition to withdraw the objection, and on August 27, 1920, nineteen years after his Initiation, Brother Harding achieved the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, in Marion Lodge. At his request, Brother Harding took the Oath of Office of President of the United States upon the same Bible as was used by Brother George Washington for the same purpose on April 30, 1789 (the Altar Bible of St. John’s Lodge No. 1, New York City).
  12. FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT (1882-1945)
    32nd President (1933-1945)
    Initiated: October 11, 1911, Holland Lodge No. 8, New York City. Brother Roosevelt participated in the Raising of his son Elliott (1910-1990) on February 17, 1933, in Architect’s Lodge No. 519, also in New York City. He was present, but did not participate in the Degrees when two other sons, James (1907-1991) and Franklin D., Jr. (1914-1988) became Members of their brother Elliott’s Lodge, on November 7, 1935. Brother and President Roosevelt was made the first Honorary Grand Master of the Order of DeMolay on April 13, 1934 at the White House. Brother Roosevelt was a cousin of former president and Master Mason, Theodore Roosevelt.
    Governor of New York, 1929-1933.
  13. HARRY S TRUMAN (1884-1972)
    33rd President (1945-1952)
    Initiated: February 9, 1909, Belton Lodge No. 450, Belton, Missouri. In 1911, several Members of Belton Lodge separated to establish Grandview Lodge No. 618, Grandview, Missouri, and Brother Truman served as its first Worshipful Master. At the Annual Session of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, September 24-25, 1940, Brother Truman was elected (by a landslide) the ninety-seventh Grand Master of Masons of Missouri, and served until October 1, 1941. Brother and President Truman was made a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33°, and Honorary Member, Supreme Council on October 19,1945 at the Supreme Council A.A.S.R. Southern Jurisdiction Headquarters in Washington D.C., upon which occasion he served as Exemplar (Representative) for his Class. He was also elected an Honorary Grand Master of the International Supreme Council, Order of DeMolay. On May 18, 1959, Brother and Former President Truman was presented with a fifty-year award, the only U.S. President to reach that golden anniversary in Freemasonry.
  14. GERALD RUDOLPH FORD (1913-2006)
    38th President (1974-1977)
    Initiated: September 30, 1949, Malta Lodge No. 465, Grand Rapids, Michigan, along with his half-brothers Thomas Gardner Ford (1918-1995), Richard Addison Ford (1924-) and James Francis Ford (1927- ). The Fellowcraft and Master Mason Degrees were Conferred by Columbia Lodge No. 3, Washington, D.C., on April 20 and May 18, 1951, as a courtesy to Malta Lodge. Brother Ford was made a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33°, and Honorary Member, Supreme Council A.A.S.R. Northern Jurisdiction at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, on September 26, 1962, for which he served as Exemplar (Representative) for his Class. Brother and President Ford was unanimously elected an Active Member of the International Supreme Council, Order of DeMolay and its Honorary Grand Master, at its Annual Session held at Orlando, Florida, April 6-9, 1975; Brother Ford held this post until January 1977, at which time he became a Past Honorary Grand Master, receiving his Collar and Jewel on October 24, 1978 in Topeka, Kansas, from the Hon. Thomas C. Raum, Jr., Grand Master, Order of DeMolay.