Masonic ritual and symbolism

A masonic initiation. Paris, 1745.
A Third Degree tracing board

Scripted words and actions that are spoken or performed during the degree work in a Masonic lodge.

- Masonic ritual and symbolism
A masonic initiation. Paris, 1745.

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The Man Who Would Be King

Story by Rudyard Kipling about two British adventurers in British India who become kings of Kafiristan, a remote part of Afghanistan.

Story by Rudyard Kipling about two British adventurers in British India who become kings of Kafiristan, a remote part of Afghanistan.

Khyber Pass caravan c. 1880s
A Kalash festival
Map of Kafiristan 1881
Abdal Kadir, last malik of the Red Kafirs of Kunisht
Gardner
Harlan
Brooke
Schlagintweit
McNair

Dravot and Carnehan were shocked to discover that the Kafirs practiced a form of Masonic ritual, and their reputations were cemented when they showed knowledge of Masonic secrets beyond those known by even the highest of the Kafir priests and chiefs.

The Masonic Square and Compasses (found with or without the letter G)

Freemasonry

Lodge.

Lodge.

The Masonic Square and Compasses (found with or without the letter G)
Lodge in Palazzo Roffia, Florence, set out for French (Moderns) ritual
Print from 1870 portraying George Washington as Master of his Lodge
Freemasons Hall, London, home of the United Grand Lodge of England
Freemasons' Hall, London, c. 1809
Ottoman noble Ahmad Nami dressed in full Masonic attire in 1925
Example of Masonic symbols in Szprotawa Poland
Freemasonry structure showing the symbols associated with the organization
Goose and Gridiron, where the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster, later called the Grand Lodge of England, was founded
View of room at the Masonic Hall, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England, early 20th century, set up for a Holy Royal Arch convocation
Erasmus James Philipps, first Freemason in present-day Canada, Old Burying Ground (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Masonic initiation, Paris, 1745
Masonic Temple of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, one of the few Masonic temples that survived the Franco dictatorship in Spain
Lodge in Erlangen, Germany. First meeting after World War II with guests from US, France and Czechoslovakia, 1948.
Forget-me-not

In addition to such business, the meeting may perform a ceremony to confer a Masonic degree or receive a lecture, which is usually on some aspect of Masonic history or ritual.

Modern artistic depiction of Solomon's Temple, at the Israel Museum

Solomon's Temple

The first Temple in Jerusalem, according to the Hebrew Bible.

The first Temple in Jerusalem, according to the Hebrew Bible.

Modern artistic depiction of Solomon's Temple, at the Israel Museum
Modern-day reconstruction of Jerusalem during the reign of Solomon (10th century BCE). The temple stands on the original Mount Moriah, as it looked prior to its expansion by King Herod in the 1st century BCE
King Solomon dedicates the Temple at Jerusalem. Painting by James Tissot or follower, c. 1896–1902
Chaldees destroy the Brazen Sea, Painting by James Tissot, c. 1900
Proposed reconstruction of Solomon's Temple (2013) based on 10th century BCE shrine model discovered in Khirbet Qeiyafa
Plan of Solomon's Temple, published 1905
Plan of Solomon's Temple with measurements
Molten Sea, illustration in the Holman Bible, 1890
Asherah was worshipped until King Josiah
Digital rendering of Solomon's Temple (2010)
Model of the First Temple, included in a Bible manual for teachers (1922)
Depiction of Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem by the 16th-century French scholar François Vatable

Rituals in Freemasonry refer to King Solomon and the building of his Temple.

King Solomon in Old Age (1866 by Gustave Doré)

Solomon

Solomon (, Šəlōmō), also called Jedidiah (, Yǝḏīḏǝyāh), was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Christian Old Testament, a fabulously wealthy and wise monarch of the United Kingdom of Israel who succeeded his father, David.

Solomon (, Šəlōmō), also called Jedidiah (, Yǝḏīḏǝyāh), was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Christian Old Testament, a fabulously wealthy and wise monarch of the United Kingdom of Israel who succeeded his father, David.

King Solomon in Old Age (1866 by Gustave Doré)
The Anointing of Solomon by Cornelis de Vos (c.1630). According to 1Kings 1:39, Solomon was anointed by Zadok.
Luca Giordano: The Dream of Solomon: God promises Solomon wisdom
Solomon receiving envoys of the tributary nations
Solomon and the plan for the First Temple. Illustration from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Co.
A sketch of Solomon's Temple, based on descriptions in the Scriptures.
King Solomon with his wives. Illustrated in 1668 by Giovanni Battista Venanzi.
The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon. Oil on canvas painting by Edward Poynter, 1890.
Renaissance relief of the Queen of Sheba meeting Solomon—Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise at the Florence Baptistry
"Vanity of vanities; all is vanity". Isaak Asknaziy illustrates an old and meditative King Solomon.
Solomon was said to have sinned by acquiring many foreign wives. Solomon's descent into idolatry, Willem de Poorter, Rijksmuseum.
The United Monarchy breaks up—Jeroboam rules Israel (blue) and Rehoboam rules Judah
Judgment of Solomon. Engraving by Gustave Doré, 19th century.
Solomon's Wealth and Wisdom, as in 1Kings 3:12–13. Illustration from a Bible card published 1896 by the Providence Lithograph Company.
Russian icon of King Solomon. He is depicted holding a model of the Temple (18th century, iconostasis of Kizhi monastery, Russia).
Mausoleum of Solomon, Aqsa Mosque compound, Jerusalem
Solomon at his throne, painting by Andreas Brugger, 1777

Masonic rituals refer to King Solomon and the building of his Temple.

Architect Hiram, St. John's Church, Chester (1900)

Hiram Abiff

Central character of an allegory presented to all candidates during the third degree in Freemasonry.

Central character of an allegory presented to all candidates during the third degree in Freemasonry.

Architect Hiram, St. John's Church, Chester (1900)
Bronze statue by Nickolaus-Otto Kruch, Berlin, Germany (2013)
Lomas and Knight claim the wounds of Sequenre Tao II make him a match for Hiram Abiff

In his book The Sufis, the Afghan scholar Idries Shah suggested that Dhul-Nun al-Misri might have been the origin of the character Hiram Abiff in the masonic Master Mason ritual.

1829 illustration of Morgan by The Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon

William Morgan (anti-Mason)

Resident of Batavia, New York, whose disappearance and presumed murder in 1826 ignited a powerful movement against the Freemasons, a fraternal society that had become influential in the United States.

Resident of Batavia, New York, whose disappearance and presumed murder in 1826 ignited a powerful movement against the Freemasons, a fraternal society that had become influential in the United States.

1829 illustration of Morgan by The Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon
William Morgan Pillar, April 2011

Members of Freemasonry criticized the Mormons for their adoption of Masonic rituals and regalia.

Image of a 3rd-century (AD) glass bowl which depicts Solomon's Temple. Boaz and Jachin are the detached black pillars shown on either side of the entrance steps.

Boaz and Jachin

According to the Bible, Boaz ( Bōʿaz) and Jachin ( Yāḵīn) were two copper, brass or bronze pillars which stood on the porch of Solomon's Temple, the first Temple in Jerusalem.

According to the Bible, Boaz ( Bōʿaz) and Jachin ( Yāḵīn) were two copper, brass or bronze pillars which stood on the porch of Solomon's Temple, the first Temple in Jerusalem.

Image of a 3rd-century (AD) glass bowl which depicts Solomon's Temple. Boaz and Jachin are the detached black pillars shown on either side of the entrance steps.
Romanesque representation of one of the pillars in Dalby Church, Sweden, 11th century
Hiram the Architect, in Freemasonry known as Hiram Abiff, flanked by the pillars. Stained glass window, St John's Church, Chester, 20th century
The High Priestess or The Popess (II) in the Rider–Waite tarot deck

Columns representing Boaz and Jachin can be found in most Masonic lodges and are emblematic of their use in Masonic ritual.

The red cross, a commonly used symbol for Freemasonry in the Swedish Rite

List of Masonic rites

Series of progressive degrees that are conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority.

Series of progressive degrees that are conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority.

The red cross, a commonly used symbol for Freemasonry in the Swedish Rite

In the United States, the Grand College of Rites focuses on the collection and publication of texts from both Masonic ritual not currently used in the United States, and defunct quasi-Masonic rituals used by other fraternities and societies.

A Third Degree tracing board

Tracing board

A Third Degree tracing board

Tracing boards are painted or printed illustrations depicting the various emblems and symbols of Freemasonry.

The reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States (1776). The Latin phrase "novus ordo seclorum", appearing on the reverse side of the Great Seal since 1782 and on the back of the U.S. one-dollar bill since 1935, translates to "New Order of the Ages" and alludes to the beginning of an era where the United States of America is an independent nation-state; conspiracy theorists claim this is an allusion to the "New World Order."

New World Order (conspiracy theory)

Conspiracy theory which hypothesizes a secretly emerging totalitarian world government.

Conspiracy theory which hypothesizes a secretly emerging totalitarian world government.

The reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States (1776). The Latin phrase "novus ordo seclorum", appearing on the reverse side of the Great Seal since 1782 and on the back of the U.S. one-dollar bill since 1935, translates to "New Order of the Ages" and alludes to the beginning of an era where the United States of America is an independent nation-state; conspiracy theorists claim this is an allusion to the "New World Order."
Anti-NWO demonstration in Prague, 2010
American televangelist Pat Robertson wrote the 1991 best-selling book The New World Order.
John Nelson Darby
A Masonic Lodge room
Adam Weishaupt, founder of the Illuminati, an 18th-century Bavarian liberal and secular secret society
Cover of a 1920 copy of The Jewish Peril
Magnate and colonist Cecil Rhodes advocated a secret society which would make Britain control the Earth.
H. G. Wells wrote the books The Open Conspiracy and The New World Order.
American writer Jim Marrs claimed that former Nazis and their sympathizers had been continuing Nazi policies worldwide, especially in the United States.
British writer David Icke claims that shapeshifting aliens called Reptilians control the Earth.
2007 graffiti on a brick wall: "Stop The New World Order"
The American militia movement claim that a coup d'état will be launched by a "Secret Team" in black helicopters
The reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States (1776). The Latin phrase "novus ordo seclorum", appearing on the reverse side of the Great Seal since 1782 and on the back of the U.S. one-dollar bill since 1935, translates to "New Order of the Ages" and alludes to the beginning of an era where the United States of America is an independent nation-state; conspiracy theorists claim this is an allusion to the "New World Order."

The esoteric nature of Masonic symbolism and rites led to Freemasons first being accused of secretly practicing Satanism in the late 18th century.