MASONRY AND ITS SYMBOLS
Harold W. Percival
Meaning of the lodge as a room and as the brothers. The officers, their stations and duties. The three degrees as the foundation of Masonry. The work. A Mason’s own lodge.
The lodge as a room or hall is an oblong square, which is a half of a perfect square, and which is inside or outside the lower half of a circle. Each lodge meets in the same room, alike furnished, but the lodge working in the Apprentice degree is styled the Ground Floor, the lodge working the Fellow Craft degree is called the Middle Chamber, and the lodge working the Master degree is called the Sanctum Sanctorum, all in King Solomon’s Temple. The lodge in this sense symbolizes, with the present day humanity, the part of the body from the breasts and from the back opposite the breasts to the sex. When the temple is rebuilt the Ground Floor will be the pelvic section, the Middle Chamber the abdominal section, and the Sanctum Sanctorum the thoracic section.
The lodge, as a number of brothers who compose it, represents certain working centers and their activities in the body of a Mason. These are shown by the officers stationed in the West, South and East. These are the three without whom there can be no lodge. The breasts, standing for the Boaz column, where the sternum is, are the station of the Senior Warden in the West. The places of the coccygeal gland and anus, which are the ends of the two tubes, are the station of the Junior Warden in the South. A place in the spinal cord opposite the heart is the station of the Master in the East.
The Senior Deacon in front of and to the right of the Master, and the Junior Deacon at the right and in front of the Senior Warden make five, and the Secretary at the left and the Treasurer at the right of the Master, make seven. These are the seven officers of the lodge. In addition there are the two stewards, one on each side of the Junior Warden in the South, and the Tyler, the guard at the door.
The Senior Warden’s duty is to strengthen and support the Master and assist him in carrying on the work of the lodge.
The Junior Warden’s duty, according to the ritual, is to observe and record the time, to call the craft from labor to refreshment, to superintend that, to keep them from intemperance or excess and to call them to labor again. His station is there but there is no organ or conduit from Boaz to Jachin. His duty is to observe the time, that is, sun time, the Master standing for the sun, and moon time, the Senior Warden for the moon. This relates to sex power, the moon, and to Doer power, the sun, that is to say, the duty of that center is to observe the time and the seasons of the lunar and solar germs. He should call the craft, that is, the Masons working in the part of the temple called the lodge, and the elemental workmen who labor outside, in the quarries, in other parts of the body. The four senses and the elementals in the systems all go to the sex center to get refreshment. The center of the Junior Warden should balance the forces of Boaz and Jachin and with these forces refresh the workmen of the temple.
“As the sun rises in the East to open and govern the day, so rises the Master in the East to open and govern his lodge, set the craft to work and give them proper instructions,” says the ritual. The Master is the sun, represented by the solar germ, in the body, as the Senior Warden is the moon. The Master dispenses his light from his seat in the East, that is, the spinal cord back of the heart, to the Senior Warden at the breasts, through whom his orders are issued.
The remaining officers of the lodge, considered as centers in the body, are assistants to these three main officers, near whom they are stationed and whose orders they execute. The Secretary and Treasurer record and keep on the breath-form the accounts of the transactions of the lodge, which are carried over from lodge to lodge, that is from life to life.
The lodge as a number of brothers who compose it stands also for the embodied Doer portions or contacts of the Triune Self and their aspects. The Junior Warden is the Doer and his two stewards are the active and the passive side of desire-and-feeling. The Senior Warden represents the Thinker and the Junior Deacon is the active side, called reason. The Master is the Knower and the Senior Deacon is I-ness, the passive aspect. It may be noted that the Senior Warden and the Master have each only one assistant.
The degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason, are the foundations of Masonry, which is the building of an immortal body. The Entered Apprentice is the Doer, the Fellow Craft the Thinker, and the Master Mason the Knower in contact with the body. They carry on the work of the lodge in the trunk of the body and are assisted by the other officers. The work of the lodge is kept before the eyes of Masons by the opening of the lodge, the order of business, the initiating, passing and raising of candidates and the closing of the lodge. All is done with impressiveness and becoming dignity. The real work is the initiating, passing and raising of the Doer-in-the-body to conscious relation with its Thinker and Knower parts.
Every Mason should open his own lodge, that is, begin in the morning the work of the day with the dignity of the opening of his masonic lodge. He should recognize the stations and duties of the parts and their centers in the body and charge them to see that the workmen, that is, the elementals functioning in the body, are properly employed. He should recognize that he is the candidate to be initiated by the trials of the day, and that he must pass through them with temperance, fortitude, prudence and justice, so that he may be exalted and receive more Light.
Copyright 1980 by The Word Foundation, Inc.