From the Commander of Kadosh (May 2019)

posted May 7, 2019, 7:16 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 7, 2019, 7:20 PM ]

Esoteric Freemasonry

Defined as knowledge intended for, or understood by, only a few, Masonic Esoterica is even perceived as meant for even fewer. It is an often-debatable vein of Freemasonry that man traditionalists argue as fuel to the already mythic origins of the fraternity. Even worse, that in many cases Masonic Esoterica is a later addition added to flavor its origin. All said, Masonic Esoterica exists, whether mystical or not, some masons as some time felt that these things were connected and were relevant to one another. This excerpt strives to explore these aspects of Esoterica and illuminate some of its function to the mystery schools.

The 47th Problem of Euclid

There are so many symbols, words and phrases in Freemasonry used both as part of its rituals as well as part of its vocabulary, that studying and trying to understand the “meanings” them is a very worthwhile and a rewarding journey. One such prominent symbol and phrase, is the 47th problem of Euclid, which is one of the main symbols introduced in the Third Degree.

In the Year 3650 (300 B.C.E.), Anno Mundi, which was 646 years after the building of King Solomon’s Temple, Euclid, the celebrated geometrician, was born.

Euclid has been always associated with the history of Freemasonry, and in the reign of Ptolemy Soter, the Order is said to have greatly flourished in Egypt, under his auspices. The well-known forty-seventh (47th) problem of his first book, although not discovered by him, but long credited to Pythagoras, has been adopted as a symbol in Masonic instruction.

The Plumb Rule

The jewels of the three principal officers of a Lodge are also the working tools of the Fellowcraft degree. They are the: PLUMB, LEVEL, and SQUARE. Why are these jewels given these distinctions? There are two basic reasons: First, in earlier times, the Fellowcraft was the ultimate degree. There was no Master Mason degree. The Fellowcraft was the Journeyman of today.

The Ashlars

We are told that the Ashlars lie open in the lodge for the brethren to moralize on. Did you ever see a brother contemplating the Ashlars and trying to derive some moral benefit from them? For the most part they are quickly referred to and just as quickly forgotten. The Ashlar is the freestone as it comes from the quarry.

The Qur’an in the Craft Degrees

Over the years, several times the question has arisen about handling the Qur’an for use in a Lodge, and which verses to use for the conferral of degrees upon Muslim candidates and Brethren. In fact, the very first time that this writer ever browsed on-line, he happened upon the Welcome Wall, and found posted there the entry of an Australian Brother who had been the last one to post to the Wall before I opened the web site.

The Holy Saints John, duality in the construct of one

The Saint’s, John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, appear to Freemasons in several places in our catechisms. Their proximity and use in our rituals have been questioned for many years as to their use and placement. Looked at together, saint John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist serve to represent the balance in Masonry between zeal for the fraternity and learned equilibrium. The Saints John, stand in perfect parallel harmony representing that balance.

Saint John the Evangelist

December 27th is Saint John the Evangelist day, which is the 2nd feast day in the year to celebrate the Holy Saints John. The placement of the holiday also marks the winter solstice, which is directly opposite Saint John the Baptist’s day at the summer solstice in June making a notable completion in the cycle of the solar year. The actual dates are slightly off, but you get the symbolism.

Behind The Symbol

Archaeologists have discovered many old cities, built on the ruins of still older cities, which in turn were erected upon the remains of cities still older. These several cities were built, existed for a time, were destroyed and forgotten and new cities built above. The artifacts found at the top are totally different from those found at the bottom of the complete excavations, as in natural, since the several cities may have been thousands of years in building, life, destruction and rebuilding….

Corn, Wine, and Oil

The wages which our ancient brethren received for their labors in the building of King Solomon’s Temple are paid no more. In the lodge we use them only as symbols, save in the dedication, constitution and consecration of a new lodge and in the laying of cornerstones, when once again the fruit of the land, the brew of the grape, and the essence of the olive are poured to launch a new unit of brotherhood into the fellowship of lodges; to begin a new structure dedicated to public use.