Thursday, February 21, 2008

Masonic Patent: The Masonic Degrees

Several movies like, National Treasure, Book of Secrets have popularized Masonic imagery. The page 47 mystery and its Masonic ties are highlighted here ... y aquí. This Masonic Patent, (click the image for a larger picture), is representative of the Masonic initiates experience. Masons attend a series of initiations called degrees. There are three initial degrees that an initiate attends before they are a full fledged Master Mason. These are the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason degrees. Each of these initiations consists of a similar ceremony, each with it's own unique symbolism that imparts some new Masonic lesson. The symbolism of the three initial degrees of Freemasonry with some overlap are shown in the tree highlighted areas of the patent.

Much of the source material for these posts will come from the California Grand Lodge's degree manuals. Notice the highlighted text at the bottom of the patent. The degree manual fort the EA has this to say:

The term “initiation” comes from the Latin word initiare, which is a late Hellenistic translation
of the Greek verb myein. The main Greek term for initiation, myesis, is also derived from the
verb myein, which means “to close.” It referred to the closing of the eyes, which was likely
symbolic of entering into darkness prior to reemerging and receiving Light, and to the closing of
the lips, which was a reference to the vow of silence taken by all initiates.
Next: The Masonic Working Tools.

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