After serving in the East, what characterizes the office of Past Master (P.M.)? If anything, the P.M. has a wider range of service than ever before; there’s a world of Freemasonry that requires their experience, much as we need the Masters of crafts to mentor and teach new workers. Life for the P.M. is not fading, not at all. If anything, the world becomes far vaster than they could ever imagine.
What, the curious Freemason asks, has the Yggdrasil to do with Freemasonry? In the first instance, it is a symbol of something, and we Freemasons enjoy a good romp through symbol dissection. Second, Freemasons have their own tree, and it is interesting the symbolism that coincides and collides when we look at the two motifs. The Tree of Freemasonry is the acacia (Western), or in Latin, Acacia Vera or vachellia tortilis. The tree is an evergreen tree, common in warmer climates, and is found in Africa, the Middle East, and other temperate climates. The tree’s wood is used to build weapons and furniture, and its resin is used in incense and perfumes. Biblically, it is referred to as the shittah tree and was the wood Moses used to build the Ark of the Covenant and it was used in the construction of the Tabernacle. While it has many practical uses, I see there is one reason it is such a symbol of immortality: it is an evergreen.
What do Dharma and Freemasonry have in common? Dharma is, according to the ancient Sanskrit, “to hold, to maintain, to preserve.” In the early Vedas and other ancient Hindu texts, Dharma referred to the cosmic law that created the ordered universe from chaos. According to theosophy, Dharma [from the verbal root dhṛ to bear, support] means equity, justice, conduct, duty; right religion, philosophy, and science; the law per se; the rules of society, caste, and stage of life. This definition of Dharma ties immediately to what we know is the goal of Freemasonry: Ordo ab Chao – Order from Chaos.
Do Freemasons have the “luxury of anger”? The longer one stays on the path of Freemasonry the less we have the luxury of anger or hatred, nor the privilege of animosity or of fear of any kind. The Mason learns that the divisions of people, of whatever kind they might be, are meaningless and unnecessary, and that we Freemasons are dedicated to the eradication of division and strife. Our personal quarrels and piques do not matter one whit to our work as Freemasons.
THE Flaming Sword, more popular in literature than perhaps in actual use or fact, seems to be symbolically related to several key concepts, all appropriate to the office of the Tyler, or guardian of the Temple entrance. It may represent that only those that hold Truth or Wisdom may enter holy places or stand in the presence of that Truth.
As we progress through the degrees of Freemasonry, we begin to apply a deeper meaning to the reason for the sounds we hear, the lessons we learn. We understand that if the Lodge room is a blueprint of the universe, music is the harmony of that universe, connecting our brains to a larger realm.
Always vote your conscience. If the right choice does not appear, continue to look for in the search you may find exactly that which you seek.
He that hath ears to hear – let him hear – and he that hath eyes to see – let him look! When he has both listened and looked, and understood the truth behind the 47th problem he will see a new meaning to the reception of a Fellowcraft, understand better that a square teaches morality, and comprehend why the “angle of 90 degrees, or the fourth part of a circle” is dedicated to the Master!
Let’s lift the idea of Freemasonry as being purely masculine, and look the world of Hermetic principles and gender. Where does the Feminine find itself within Freemasonry?