Ancient Masonry
Initiating a Member.
by C.C. Zain, Elbert Benjamine May 1922



Issued under the auspices of The Brotherhood of Light.
Serial No. 10. Course IV.--E.
Box 1525, Los Angeles, Calif. January 1917 February 1927
Ancient Masonry
Part V. Initiating a Member. by C. C. Zain

Since the day when the spiritual children of the Golden Age wandering in an earthly paradise were instructed in the arcane laws of life by visitants from celestial worlds, even down to present-day orthodoxy with its fantastic and misunderstood ritual, the Mysteries have been conducted in every land and clime. Their primary object has ever been the same; to impress upon the soul the vital truths of man's past history and future destiny. Their rightful purpose is to enlighten the participant concerning his divine source, the nature of his deific attributes and potentialities, the sublime angelic goal toward which he struggles, and the manner in which he can best hasten his journey to the heights, and thus, no longer bound and shackled by sense and environment come into full possession of his spiritual heritage.

The ease with which a thing may be remembered depends upon its associations and the vividness of the impression; psychological laws that have ever been made use of to implant important truths indelibly upon the mind of the candidate. In the first place, the difficulty of obtaining permission to undergo initiation conveys the impression that something of tremendous importance is to be revealed in the Mysteries, an impression subsequently strengthened by the administration of terrible vows and the acceptance of solemn obligation. Then, with the initiation under way, the situations are so intense, often so terrifying, that their impress is left graven indelibly upon the tablets of memory. Thus did the ancients as well as moderns perpetuate their ideas in never to be forgotten symbolism.

Those whose physical natures were dominant and whose inner perceptions were yet latent had this symbolism seared on their minds with such vividness as easily to be recalled and meditated upon at will. Thus the meaning would filter through from the inner spaces as their soul powers slowly unfolded. To others, of a more sensitive nature, the stress of the trials, and the mystery surrounding the ritual, frequently produced a psychic awakening in which there was true illumination. In this higher consciousness the full meaning and spiritual purport of each symbol was clearly recognized, and their more acute perceptions opened to them new worlds and a realm of undreamed of possibilities.

Now Modern Masonry, no less than Ancient Masonry, explains by its symbolic ritual that the soul descended from a spiritual Eden into material conditions of toil and suffering for the sake of experience. Only through experience are Love, Wisdom, and Self-Consciousness, acquired. And only through the conscious application of love, guided by wisdom, is the soul able to win its way homeward again to realm of infinite light, a self-conscious, immortal being. There, in full possession of matured Wisdom and realized Love, he becomes an Angel of the Blest, a Deific Being, the arbiter and creator of a future universe. Such is the glorious destiny of man as taught by seers and sages and as revealed by the ritual of Ancient Masonry.

Though man is now pilgrim in a vale of tears, far from his native land, besieged by perils and hampered by a thousand difficulties, the road to redemption lies straight ahead. Not salvation by the sacrifice of others; Not a vicarious atonement ! Not by the blood of the innocent! No! Such is not the message of Ancient Masonry handed down through a million generations. Instead, it teaches the sacrifice of man's animal nature on the altar of love's devotion, the consecration of the lamb, or creative principle, to a nobler purpose; to the purpose of building an enduring temple for King Sol, the indwelling Ego. Such sacrifices alone enable man to atone for past mistakes, and thus attain salvation, a salvation that frees him from blind fatality and the restrictions of matter.

Ancient Masonry teaches that each soul is a responsible entity working out its own deliverance from a voluntary and purposeful incarceration in matter. Freedom can be obtained only through knowledge of the laws of nature and conformity in thought and deed to them. It is the exemplification of these laws relating to the development of the body, intellect, and soul, that constitute the paramount message of Ancient Masonry to the Twentieth Century world. Those who in the long forgotten past learned in the Mysteries who and what man really is, and the sublime height to which he may attain, be thought themselves of other souls that in the future would attempt to climb the same rugged path their feet had trod. When they gained one victory after another in the struggle for mastery, finally attaining freedom, they therefore left an outline of the work to be done, of methods to be used in surmounting obstacles, of laws to be obeyed in order to triumph. This outline of incomparable value is the ritual of Masonry.

The candidate seeking admittance is called upon to state that his desire for the rites of initiation is entirely voluntary, free from compulsion, and actuated by a favorable opinion of the institution. Now in the Bible story, the serpent in the Garden of Eden represents the wisdom which tempts the soul to leave its spiritual paradise and descend into matter. The soul realizes that only through partaking of the fruit of good and evil, partaking of material experiences, can it develop self-consciousness. This fruit of its experiences in relative conditions brings to it

Life, wisdom, and love. The candidate, therefore, by his statement of voluntary choice, indicates that the soul, when entering upon the Cycle of Necessity which constitutes its initiation, is not under compulsion, but acts through the desire to reap the benefit of material incarnation.

Furthermore, the soul entering upon this cyclic pilgrimage, must abide by the laws of nature, even though at times this means toil and suffering. Such is indicated by the candidate's declaration that he promises to conform to all the ancient and established usages and customs of the Fraternity.

The black and white balls used in balloting to determine if the candidate is acceptable represent the soul's experiences in material environment preceding its birth into human form; for before the human state is reached the impersonal monad must traverse the whole scale of life from mineral upward, subjecting each in turn. Through the dual powers of attraction--represented by white balls- and repulsion-- represented by black balls--it evolves through all the lower forms of life, in each progressive organism annexing to its domain the attributes and functions inherent to that state. Consequently, in the supreme form of man the scale of life is complete, and he has within his own constitution all types of life, forms, powers, and functions, expressed upon the planet earth, and likewise the germs of every state in the infinite realms above.

Having conquered all states below the human, by the Law of affinity he is drawn into the fiery vertex of his parents during their union. The particular soul whose need for expression most closely corresponds to the polarity and spiritual state of the parents becomes magnetically attached to the ovum of the mother. One or more black balls among the white ones indicate the affinity at the time considered is insufficient to make incarnation possible; but if the ballot is clear, it indicates that no strong repulsive forces are present, and that conception takes place.

The ballot boxes are passed by the two Deacons, representing Venus and Mars, the planets of love and passion, of attraction and repulsion. It is the vibrations of love and passion that attracts the soul to its future parents. The ballot box is passed three times to indicate that the vibrations making conception possible may spring form one or more of three distinct planets. When vibrations form one plane preponderate a soul of a very different character is attracted than if the vibrations are chiefly those of another plane. If the union is purely physical, the interplay of animal magnetism attracts a soul whose need for expression is largely physical. If in the union there is love based on mutual admiration, trust, esteem, and kindred mental qualities, a higher type of entity will be drawn into the magnetic current. And should there be marked harmony between the parents on all three planes, engendering soul love as well as magnetic affinity and mutual mental interests, the conditions will be fulfilled for bringing into the world the highest type of mental and moral genius, endowed with a physique capable of sustaining him in his untiring efforts for the benefit of mankind. From such unions have sprung the noble philosophers, the inspired reformers, and the truly great men of all times.

When the candidate has been accepted he is let into a small room adjoining the main lodge, where he is prepared by the Senior Deacon for his entrance into the lodge room proper. This small room, or ante-chamber, represents the womb of woman, where each soul ushered into mundane existence is prepared for its final earthly initiation. During the period of gestation the foetus briefly passes through the various stages that correspond to the lower forms of life by which it has ascended to its present estate, lastly, of course, having passed through and subjected the realms of animal life. As the Senior Deacon represents the animal soul, the organization of which in the animal kingdom paved the way to incarnation in human form, we find him rightly chosen as the one to prepare the candidate for human experience, to lead him symbolically through the avenue of physical birth into the realm of self-consciousness.

The animal soul, corresponding to the Senior Deacon, supervises the various automatic functions of the body. Thus it is that the heart beats, the lungs breathe, and the processes of digestion, assimilation, and secretion, are carried on largely independent of conscious thought and direction. When conception takes place, it is also the animal soul that directs the building of the embryos, the clothing with a material form, the soul soon to see in human form the light of day. Therefore, in the ante-chamber of the lodge, first making him remove all his garments but his shirt, the candidate is clothed by the Senior Deacon.

Covering the upper portion of his body, and thus representing the astral form in which the soul functions just before incarnation, the shirt is not removed. The astral form, whether in or out of matter, covers the soul through all the various transformations by which it scales the cyclic rounds of evolutionary life on earth.

His lower garments removed, and in their stead he is clad in red flannel drawers. Flannel is made from the wool of sheep, and is therefore under the dominion of the astrological sign Aries. Aries is the sign of creative energy, and when the Ancient Masons wished to denote virility, they used as symbol a sheep, a ram, a lamb, or some garment made from them. Aries rules the head of man, and thus signifies mental creative energy as well as that physical, but in this instance the color is red, denoting blood, lust, and carnal desire; the physical aspect of the planet Mars. The shirt, which the candidate still wears, indicates that the soul has not evolved high enough to be free from its astral body. It is still bound and limited by an astral raiment largely organized by the grosser desires and impulses of the animal realms through which it has just ascended; the red drawers indicating animal passion and the use of creative energy for sensual gratification.

To represent the soul's inability to see and comprehend either physical facts or spiritual truths when first into human form, the candidate is blindfolded. This condition is also typical of the masses of humanity, who have no knowledge either of physical science or of esoteric wisdom. They grope through life swayed by every wind that blows, accepting as fact assertions of others who pose as repositories of wisdom, yet who are as destitute of the true light as they themselves.

Such understanding as they have is negative, based upon the authority of others. This is symbolized by the left, or negative, foot alone being unshod, free for action, while the right is hampered by a shoe made from the skin of an animal. Right understanding is as yet restricted by, and immersed in, the animal propensities. In this stage of development, as well as at birth, man's emotions and aspirations spring from material motives. This is shown by the candidate's left breast being bars. Furthermore, man's works at this stage are executed upon the physical plane. This is signified by one arm being hampered by clothing, while the left, or negative, arm, to be free to work, is left bare.

Now the ego, or spiritual potentiality, is incapable of descending into material conditions, which the soul alone can enter; but at all times there is a faint vibratory line of communication between the two. Thus the soul is vitalized and sustained, receiving energy from the ego to enable it every to struggle upward. This line of rapport, by which the soul at all times is connected with the ego, is represented by the cable-tow.

This cable-tow is placed around the neck and left arm of the candidate. The neck is ruled by Venus, the planet of love. The cable-tow placed around the neck, therefore, points to the power of affection to strengthen the line of communication between the soul and ego. The arm is the agent of service, and the cable-tow around the left arm indicates the paramount value, as an agent for strengthening the bond between soul and ego, of being of greatest possible service to others on the physical plane. The power of love to lead the soul from the lower to the higher is further emphasized; for it is the duty of the Junior Deacon, representing Venus, the planet of love, lead the candidate to the door of the lodge.

As the candidate enters the lodge, the Senior Deacon, representing Mars, the planet of strife, presses a compass in a painful manner against his naked left breast. The mother's love for her unborn child conducts it up to the period of parturition, where stern and cruel Mars takes charge of affairs. In so far as the higher laws of life have been violated by passion and sensualism, in that much does the offspring inherit a body and mind tortured by emotions and desires that conflict with these laws. It is only when man's desires are not contrary to the spiritual laws of his being that he is able to escape misery and suffering, sickness and failure, and the thousand and one ills to which the flesh is heir. The higher laws are represented by the compass, and the purely physical desires and emotions that sometimes conflict with these laws to cause suffering are symbolized by the left breast.

Inside the lodge the candidate kneels while a prayer to the Father of the universe is offered asking that his life may be consecrated to service, and that wisdom may become to him. When asked in whom he places his trust, he answers: "In God". It is only when the neophyte consecrates his life to Deity and places his faith in divine providence that he may expect the assistance of unseen helpers who will conduct his initiation and will lead him to the light. Man's inward yearning for something higher than the purely physical, his devout aspirations and unselfish resolutions, are prayers that ascend to the upper spheres and attract forces and intelligences that unknown to himself lead him to the fulfillment of his hopes. It has been truly said that nothing is impossible to a good and determined man; for faith is the avenue to the soul world.

The candidate is led three times around the room while Master reads the 133rd. Psalm, which has already been explained. This indicates that man must evolves through three planes, the physical, the astral, and the spiritual. The Junior Warden represents the spiritual body, therefore, to convey the thought that on the third, or spiritual plane, man functions in a spiritual body, the candidate is halted in front of the Junior Warden. Furthermore, as the Senior Warden represents the divine soul, and the Master represents the ego; both of which are also present on the spiritual plane, he is next led to the Senior Warden and finally, as representing the most interior of all, to the Master.

The Master demands to know from whence he comes and whither he travels. To which he replies that he comes from the west and travels to the east in search of light. The answer is entirely correct; for the west, astrologically considered, is feminine, and thus symbolizes matter, while the east is masculine, and symbolizes spirit. The soul involved form spirit into matter, but is now on the ascending arc, evolving from matter to spirit. It therefore is traveling eastward, toward the source of light, toward spirituality.

Spirituality, however, is not gained by hap-hazard effort. Its attainment requires systematic endeavor based upon a full understanding of just what is sought and the various steps by which it may be reached. The candidate, therefore, is next instructed in the proper manner of approaching the east. He is taken back to the west, or material plane, and caused to advance by one upright regular step, to the first step, his feet forming the right angle of an oblong square, his body erect at the altar.

This oblong square is made by the candidate stepping forward with his left foot and drawing the heel of the right foot into the hollow of it, making the feet stand at right angles. The feet symbolize understanding, and thus placed represent the union of male and female. The upright body symbolizes will. The first step toward the light, therefore, according to the Ancient Masons, is the will to understand the mysteries of generation. This symbolic attitude also implies that man should always keep his desires and passions under the control of a resolute will. He should never be inconsiderate of the finer feelings and delicate sensitiveness of woman, should never force unwelcome attentions upon her, but permit her to abide her own pleasure; for in forming the oblong square it is the left, or feminine, feet, that makes the first advance.

The teachings of the Ancient Masons in this respect, as revealed by symbolism, seem to be this: They regarded marriage as a sacred institution, in which man and woman should assist each other through arousing tender and sympathetic emotions, noble aspirations, and spiritual ideals. Undue aggressiveness on the part of either is sure to defeat this end, because love is not subject to demand, but must be won. The man who forces attentions upon a woman, even though she be his wife, quickly turns affection into disgust and love into loathing. Nor should the woman who, as soon as the legal know is tied, ceases to put forth and effort to retain the love and admiration of her husband, expect to arouse in him those higher feelings and emotions that give to marriage its constructive power.

Love thrives upon kindness and tender consideration. Little attentions, thoughtfulness for the welfare of the other, and sympathetic understanding, tend to sustain the warmth of affection between man and wife. Unless the desire for marriage is mutual there is not fusion of the magnetic forces, and the energies set in motion by one, meeting with no energies of opposite polarity with which to blend, act as balanced forces that set up discords within the astral constitution. But when desires are mutual, and the energies aroused are of approximately equal intensity, finding complete expression by each, there is a fusion of forces that sets up harmonies within the astral constitution, and these have great constructive power.

Perhaps is should be emphasized, as to symbolism indicates such emphasis, that both should find complete expression if the energies set in motion are to conduce to health, happiness, and attainment. But such emphasis may be found in much detail in the works on psycho-analysis in which the pathological condition that may arise from such lack of expression is termed the incompletion complex. The advantage of marriage, from a purely physical standpoint, may also be left to the vital statisticians; who show that spinsters are much more subject to disease than married women, and that bachelors are markedly less long lived married men.

That magnetic forces, then, may act constructively, and not destructively, it is necessary that there should be kindred feeling which establish a rapport between husband and wife. Through this rapport there is an exchange of energies, and a complete blend that causes the forces to act, not divergently, but in unison. This principle--that there must be unity of desires, unity of thought, and unity of emotions--according to Ancient Masonry, is important not alone on the physical plane of endeavor, but also on the plane of purely mental union and the planet of purely spiritual marriage.

Aside from this unity, the grade of feeling aroused is the important thing. Like attracts like. If thoughts are high, if the heart is filled with pure love and sacred devotion, if the soul outpours in tender blessings, invisible energies are attracted of like quality. They are attracted at such times even more readily than at any other; because when the soul is aroused to great intensity it contacts more fully the inner worlds. The intensity that has the power to contact the astral and draw a soul and provide for its incarnation is an intensity that at the time places the person directly in touch with astral forces. If the thoughts be evil, evil energies are attracted; but if the thoughts be noble, and the aspirations lofty, the higher spheres are contacted and the energies attracted are spiritually constructive.

On the physical plane we partake of food by eating. About 72 per cent of all protoplasm, however, is oxygen, a large portion of which is partaken of through breathing. We partake of food through breathing quite as truly as through eating; and as a relative measure of the importance of the two methods of food gaining it is known that we can go without eating or drinking considerable time, but can only survive a short time without breathing. On the higher astral, and on the spiritual plane, man no longer must eat organic substance to live, he no longer eats his fellows--for even plants are his lowly kin.--In these higher realms he is nourished entirely through a process similar to breathing.

Furthermore, even while yet occupying a physical body, his astral body to some extent, and his spiritual body entirely, is nourished by a process similar to breathing. Every mental state adds its energies to the astral body. Every mental state also has an attractive power. Deep thought, or depressive thoughts, cause a person on the physical planet markedly to lesson his breathing. Surprise, good news, or excitement, causes a person to take a deep breath, or to breathe deeply. Acting on principles not dissimilar, every emotion, every mental state, affects the breathing on the inner plane. It affects it not merely as to quantity, but also as to quality. The refinement of the substance built into the astral body depends upon the refinement of the thoughts and feelings. And it is only when the feelings and emotions are up to a certain refinement that they can influence spiritual substance in any way. But if the emotions are intense, and at the same time lefty, tender, and unselfish, as they are when true refined love is in the ascendant, they cause a respiration of spiritual substance. They contact this inner plane and draw to the spiritual body spiritual nourishment which builds up and strengthens it. Lofty, noble, tender, aspiring emotions build up the spiritual form by supplying it with spiritual food.

Possessing an understanding of the mysteries of generation, and keeping his desires under the control of a resolute will, the next step of the candidate symbolizes wedlock. It is made before the altar, to indicate that of all the acts possible to man, this is the most holy, and enabling, when actuated by love, and its inner laws are obeyed. It is then that the inner spaces open and the germs of divine power are contacted. This is the mystery of the holy Shekinah, so carefully guarded by the Jewish Kabbalists. The candidate steps off with his right foot, and kneels on his left knee, The knees forming right angles. This position gives the appearance of a hollow square, or room, above which the body is virtually. perpendicular. He then places his left hand, palm up, under the Holy Bible, and his right hand on the compass and square that are on the Bible. In this position he is required to take the oath.

The Bible is the "Oral Law", the compass and square symbolize the "Written law", and the position of his hands symbolize union. His attitude before the altar signifies his willingness to sacrifice his lower nature to the higher self. Symbolically, he thus swear s strictly to obey both the spiritual laws and the physical laws of generation; and in token of his sincerity he is required to kiss the book twice.

As the result of obedience to these laws, and the realization of the higher love, his soul aspires to wisdom and awakens to a knowledge of higher truths. This aspiration and knowledge draw to him those who are able further to enlighten him. To indicate this, the brethren clap their hands and stamp feet on the floor, whereupon the bandage drops from his eyes. The clapping of hands signifies the work of those who strive to spread the light, the stamping of foot signifies their understanding, and the bandage dropping from the eyes indicates the illumination that results from the noble sentiments inspired by pure love.

When love has removed the scales from his eyes the candidate perceive Three Great Lights which are revealed by Three Lesser Lights. The Three Great Lights of Masonry, so the Master explains to him, are the Holy Bible, the Square, and the Compass. The bible, or Oral Law, contains in its symbolism the knowledge gained by investigating nature's laws in the remote past. The compass and Square, or Written Law, represent the actual forces of nature. The square relates to the physical world, to the realm of effects, and the compass relates to the inner planes, the realm of causes. Together they embrace all natural law, and exemplify the Hermetic Axiom, "As it is above, so it is below".

The Three Lesser Lights of Masonry are three burning tapers place on candlesticks, standing in a triangular group. They typify man's reason, his physical senses, and his psychic senses. Man perceives with his physical senses the physical universe. With his psychic senses he perceives the inner worlds. With this reason he gathers together the separate strands of experience, outer and inner, and thus gains knowledge of both exoteric and esoteric law. He can both read the records left in books by men, and read the records left in the astral world, as well as make independent investigation.

In the universal temple the three greater lights are the Sun, Moon, and Venus; and the three lesser lights are their corresponding qualities of Life, Light, and Love, that give purpose to existence, serve as beacons to light the pilgrim on his lonely way, and beckon him encouragingly to struggle ever upward.

The grip of an E.A. Mason is a pressure of the thumb at the base of the other's index finger. In palmistry the thumb denotes power of will. The base of the first finger is ruled by the planet Jupiter, as is also the phrenological faculties of veneration, benevolence, hope, spirituality, and those impulses that spring from generosity and the feeling of good fellowship. When, then, the Master says:" I now present you my right hand in token of friendship and brotherly love", he indicates the paramount importance of unselfishness and good will in spiritual attainment. The grip symbolizes the will to be kind and benevolent. Its name is Boaz, and in naming it the word is halved, the candidates saying the letters "B-O," and the Master saying "A-Z."

Boaz is the left hand pillar of the porch of Solomon's Temple. In the cosmic lodge it typifies the southern half of the ecliptic; for when the sun enters this half the nights are longer than the days and winter gains the victory over summer. In humanity, Boaz represents the formative powers of woman; in the individual man it represents his left side and his negative attributes. Even as man and woman each contain within themselves both positive and negative qualities, so each half of the ecliptic contains a positive and a negative season., the two being divided by the solstice. Thus the signs Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius, belong to B-O, and Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces, to A-Z. Now as the sun, typifying the soul, reaches the sixth sign, which is an earthy sign, or six pots of stone, it turns, by means of the vineyard, water into wine. Wine is symbolic of the creative energy of the Lamb, but as the sun is in the sign of the Virgin and at the commencement of the feminine season, it here must symbolize the creative function particularly of woman. The cross upon which the sun is crucified is that where summer and winter meet, the cross of Libra where the sun crosses the celestial equator. By this crucifixion the sun is drawn down into the signs of winter, even as the soul is drawn from a spiritual state into matter, thus entering the region of Boaz. Consequently, the wine pressed in autumn from the grape, and the blood flowing from wounds of a crucified sun as his forces wane, both express the redemptive power of woman's creative periods which make possible the weaving of a material garment, or shroud, for the incarnating soul.

The sun reaches its lowest point, or the soul's birth into matter, at the time it enters the earthy sign Capricorn, thus being born in the manger of the goat. Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn, therefore he is persecuted by the ruler of the country, by Herod. Egypt is the land of darkness and privation, and this is the time of year marked by dearth and famine, hence the sun flees into Egypt. Nevertheless, the twelfth day after birth at Christmas, the sun may be perceived to be gaining in power. This twelfth day is called the Epiphany, meaning appearance; and so we learn that the Christos, when twelve years old, put in an appearance at the temple and manifested his true character. During the remainder of his youth, due to the clouds that obscure the sky at this time of year, although gradually conquering this region of sin as he moves northward, he is lost to view.

By the Hermetic System of Astrology, one day's movement in the sky measures out the influences for one year in the life of man. The sun's movement through the 30 degrees of Capricorn equals thirty years of life--thirty years of age before it enters the sign of the Man, Aquarius. From the urn of Aquarius flow forth the baptismal rains of winter that melt the snow and ice and purify the earth; and as soon as the sun is thirty degrees of age, the baptism takes place. Furthermore, as soon as he has left the sign of Satan behind him--the sign Capricorn--we find him tempted, by saying, "Get thee behind me Satan". In Aquarius, the sign of wisdom, of knowledge of good and evil, his true work begins. The emotions--shown by the water from the Aquarius urn--lifts his soul to a spiritual baptism, and the Holy Ghost descends in the form of a dove, sacred to Venus the planet of love, and lights upon him.

As the result of wisdom and inspiration, intuition and reason, the personal love engendered in Aquarius expands as the sun moves northward toward the region of Jachin, or spirit, until it becomes the teaching of brotherly love, or love for all mankind, the utopian ideal of the sign Pisces. From this sign of the fish, then, he draws his disciples to become anglers of men.

After delivering to the world his spiritual message, as indicated by light predominating over darkness, the days being longer than the nights while the sun is in the northern half of the zodiac, the sun again approaches the autumnal cross to enter Boaz. Judas is there , represented by the sign of death, Scorpio, thirty degrees--thirty pieces of silver--from the cross of Libra. After the crucifixion the sun descends into the tomb of Capricorn, the lowest point in it cycle, where it enters this earthy sign. At this point, which is the winter solstice, the sun in so far as north and south movement is concerned apparently is stationary. But after three days in the tomb, the stone is rolled away by the angel of the Lord, the angle of the Law, in this case the southern angle of the ecliptic. His ascension into the spiritual region of Jachin, into the summer zodiacal signs, takes place on Easter, which is the first Sunday after the First Full Moon after the sun crosses the vernal equinox.

Man immersed in frigid materialism has as little genial warmth as the sun after it dies on the autumnal cross. To be rejuvenated he must experience a higher love, a higher union, even as the sun is resurrected and rejuvenated on the rosy cross of the vernal equinox. Union, like that of the autumnal equinox, may result in death and destruction, the icy selfishness of winter; or, like that of the vernal cross, bring warmth, affection, and the blush of dawn of a new era. The sun, resurrected by the virile powers of the Lamb, or Aries, typifies the soul drawn by pure affections from material winter into Jachin, the realm of spirituality. The true ascension does not take place in the case of the sun, however, without the assistance of the moon, for Waster depends upon Full Moon. Likewise, the noblest efforts and highest ideals of man depend upon the refining influence of woman, and he ascends into the truly spiritual realms only with her cooperation.

As to the word Boaz, we find in the tarot that the letter "B" is "The Gate to the Sanctuary", and the letter "O" is "The Lightening Struck Tower". The former pictures a woman as the gate to the holy of holies, and the latter indicates the destructive use of the creative forces. The letter "A" is "The Magus", typical of intelligence and will; and the letter "Z" is "The Chariot of Triumph", illustrating victory over temptation and sovereignty of mind over matter.

The letters thus represent the progress of the sun through the negative half of the year, first descending into darkness, and later ascending in triumph over it. They also sign-board the way by which the discerning may triumph over physical limitations and reach spiritual illumination.

The candidate is told that the lamb-skin apron has been worn by the great men of earth; and as typifying the virility that must sustain all worthy effort this is undoubtedly true. It is also said to be more ancient than the Golden Fleece or the Roman Eagle, and more honorable than the Star and Garter. The Golden Fleece is symbol of the sun's virile powers in the sign of the Ram. The Roman Eagle is symbol of the sun's fruitfulness in the sign Scorpio: for the eagle is one symbol used for this zodiacal sign of sex. The five-pointed star typifies intelligent man. The garter, upon which the Star and Garter order is founded, was originally a girder used by women at their creative periods. The under thus honors woman's power to mold the destiny of the human race, and consecrates itself to use its creative energies intelligently.

The shape of the apron is a square surmounted by a triangle. The lower portion is the passive square, Boaz, typifying the four elemental realms, the four lower sections of man's constitution, the formative powers of woman, and matter as distant from spirit. The trine above, with its point tapering toward heaven, symbolizes the active Jachin, typical of the higher trinity of man's constitution, the creative attribute of man, spirit as distinct from matter, and the divine fire of heaven.

The strings of the apron tied about the candidate's waist, the region ruled by the sign Libra, corresponding to the autumnal cross, divides his body into two halves as the zodiac is divided by the equinoctial colure. The portion of the body below the waist is ruled by those signs in which the sun is found in summer. They body also naturally is divided into right and left, halves, this dividing line corresponding to the solstitial colure, which divides both Jachin and Boaz into positive and negative portions. The apron strings crossing this vertical division divides the body into four sections. He thus accurately represents the universe above divided into the four quadrants that give rise to the four seasons. The apron, a trine above and a square below, or a full complement of seven, symbolizes the seven planets which move ceaselessly through the four quadrants of heaven. The point of the apron, representing the sun, is worn exactly over the solar, or sun, plexus.

In this degree, typical of the material plane of effort, the square only covers the origin of Scorpio. This indicates that the creative energy is expended on the physical plane. The rapport between body, soul, and spirit, therefore, is imperfect, and the higher trinity of man's constitution has but little influences over the lower quaternary. The raising of the creative forces to a higher planet of expression, the process of regeneration, is indicated by turning up one corner of the apron. To indicate that the forces have been so completely spiritualized that the lower quaternary is completely controlled and directed by the higher trinity, the flap of the apron is permitted to fall down over the square. This signifies that the ego manifest completely through the body.

In concluding the initiation the candidate is asked for a piece of money, or for something metallic. As he has nothing of the kind with him he tries, but in vain, to borrow. Money represents value, but to the soul the thing of value is wisdom. Knowledge is earned through experience. Man is born into the world in ignorance, and by his own efforts he must earn wisdom. He cannot borrow wisdom from another, nor can another learn his lessons for him. Experiences on the physical plane are of various kinds, and even as metal is of more value than common earth, so are certain experiences, symbolized by metal, of higher quality and greater values than others. These finer experiences, though still on the physical plane, are not to be slighted, for they are necessary steps in progression.

By the same symbol is also conveyed the information that knowledge of the higher mysteries can never be purchased for material considerations. The candidate's effort to purchase his way into initiation fails, as it must always fail; for the real truths of nature are revealed only to the worthy, and without price. "Knock and it will be opened unto you."

The Brotherhood of Light
Box 1525, Los Angeles, Calif.
Serial No. 10, Branch Letter -- E
Course IV. Branch of Science -- Ancient Masonry
Part V. Initiating a Member.
 
Examination Questions.


1. What is meant by the compass pressed against the left breast?

2. What is symbolized by the red flannel drawers?

3. What is symbolized when one or more black balls appear in the ballot-box?

4. What is the psychological effect of impressive ceremonies?

5. What is signified by the candidate trying to borrow money?

6. Why, in giving it, is the word Boaz halved?

7. What is signified by the clapping of hands when the bandage is removed from the candidate's eyes?

8. What is symbolized by the cable-tow once around the neck and left arm?

9. What is represented by the ante-chamber where the candidate is prepared for initiation?

10. What is signified by the candidate promising to conform to the ancient and established customs of the Fraternity?

11. Give the symbolism of the Masonic Apron as worn by E.A. Masons.

12. Give a brief synopsis of the birth, life, crucifixion, and resurrection of the sun.

13. What is the significance of the candidate taking the oath with the left hand under and the right hand over the Bible, upon which rests compass and square?

14. Why is the candidate's left arm bare?

15. What is symbolized by the black and white balls used in balloting?

16. What is the paramount message of Ancient Masonry?

17. What is symbolized by the Golden Fleece and the Roman Eagle?

18. What is symbolized by the Three Lights of Masonry?

19. What is symbolized by the candidate's feet making on oblong square while his body is erect at the altar?

20. Why is the candidate blindfolded, and why is the left foot unshod?

21. What is signified by the candidate's stating he seeks initiation of his own volition?

22. What significance has the lamb-skin apron?

23. Why does the candidate travel from west to east?

24. Why is the candidate permitted to retain his shirt?

25. When is Easter, and what does it symbolize?

26. What is the nature of the salvation as taught by Ancient Masonry?