Briev Masonic Vocabulary

A

Acàcia: Symbol of immortality and incorruptibility.

Altar: Table over which the Holy Law Volume, the square and the Compass are conveniently laid out, these are called Three Large lights.

 

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C

Compass: It is the third of the Great Lights which enlighten the lodge. As a cosmologic symbol, the compass is used both in the East and the West with the image of the sky associated to the square which represents the Earth.

E

Engrave: Write.

 

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G

Grand Master: Maximum authority of obedience.

I

Initiation: Ritual ceremony which is carried out when a profane is admitted to the Order. The Greek term (which does not exist in Modern Greek) means spiritual awakening while in Latin it is commencement (beginning).

 

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Irradiate: To expel a brother judged as unworthy of belonging to the lodge.

L

Light: This notion is the equivalent to the freemasonry essence, since the reception light constitutes the culminating point of initiation and the Masonic teachings area round this word.

Lodge (Workshop): Temple where the masons meet to carry out the work typical to each degree. It is necessary that it is directed east-west, so that all altars in the Orient and entrances/lobbies are in the west. The most accepted etymology of the word indicates that it is of sacred origin (loka or loga) and it means universe.

M

Mallet (Mall): Hammer with two ends of wood or ivory. It is the attribute of the Venerable and the Vigilantes and it is used in lodge work sessions.

Mandil: Apron used by the brothers in their works, the decoration varies according to the degrees.

Masonic Degrees: The free masonry as a hierarchical society is divided in degrees. The first is the one which forms the symbolic freemasonry (from the 1st to the 3rd) or blue. Each degree entails certain initiation rituals. The operative freemasonry, linked to the guilds of the medieval constructors was constituted just by three degrees (Apprentice, Partner and Teacher), which are the basic ones and in cavalry there were the pageboy, squire and Knight.

Meeting: Work meeting at a lodge.

O

Obedience: Federation of lodges which accept the same authority, they are called Grand Orient or Grand Lodge; are also called Powers and are generally national or pertaining to the state.

Oblong: Alms which frees each mason in finishing the meetings and which is destined to charity work.

Orient: City where one or more lodges have been established. It symbolizes the cardinal point where the Masonic light comes from. The Eternal orient is found beyond death.

 

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R

Ritual: The word has two meanings for the freemasonry: Ritual with capital letter refers to a particular branch of the order, like those of York or Ancient Scottish or the Accepted. When it is in lower case, it refers to various Masonic ceremonies and works.

Royal Art: One of the names given to the masonry understanding as an ideal of life and ascending. At the end of the 18th century, it was used as a synonym for masonry but as the century went on, this name was eliminated and was substituted by Masonic Order has it was done by the grand Orient of France in 1774. On the other hand, in the classic texts on alchemy, the word ars regia is used to refer to this and to the process which the follower has to follow to culminate the artwork.

S

Salary Increase: Moving up to a higher degree.

Stone: The stone is fundamental to the freemasonry. The "Pure Stone" is the one extracted from the quarry and is shapeless, it waits to be polished: it represents the human nature which is still not polished. The Cubic Stone on its tip is the basic symbol of the 14th degree. (Grand Perfect elect) is covered of hieroglyphs that represent all human knowledge.

Shoot Down Columns: Dissolve a lodge or altar.

Symbol: One of the freemasonry Rituals (Emulation) declares that this is a particular system of morality guided by allegories and illustrated by symbols. The symbol is a sensitive representation of an idea and the principle which it possesses is the existence of analogical relationship between the idea and the image it represents; suggests, it does not express; for this reason is the language of all traditional metaphysics. It is based on the correspondence between two orders of realities and is never arbitrary. A symbol announces a superior reality through a subordinate (intelligible). Berkeley is an idea which is the language which the Infinite Spirit speaks to the finite spirits.

Square: It is the second of the Great Lights. It symbolizes the moral integrity and the Masonic working tool of the second degree.

Solstitial Banquet: Ritual banquet which the masons celebrate coinciding with the two solstices corresponding to the two of Saint John, in the winter and in the summer which makes them the two most highlighted parties in the order.

 

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T

The Great Architect of the Universe: Expression which means God, such use is not sole to the masonry. There are ancient texts which call Christ as the "Great Architect of the Church" and the celestial Architect of Hinduism (Vishvakarma) makes reference to the same concept.

 

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Trunk of Charity: The place where the brothers deposit their oblong at the end of the meetings.

V

Volume of the Holy Law: The first of the Three Great Lights which along with the Quarry and the Compass is always present when work is done at the lodge. It is usually the Bible open to the Gospel of Saint John, while the Anglo-Saxon and the Hebrews open the first testament; the Arabs use the Alcoa and the Hindus the Book of the Close Seasons.

W

White Open Meeting: The one in which the profane speaks to a Masonic auditorium admitting profane.


Last update: 31 / March / 2015