Category Archives: Adoption

Cup

The emblem of Electa in the Order of the Eastern Star. More about OES here.

Crown and Scepter

Emblem of Esther in the Order of the Eastern Star. More about OES here.

Sheaf

A sheaf is the emblem of Ruth in the Order of the Eastern Star. More about the OES here.

Also see ear of corn (which might just as well be a ‘sheaf of corn’).

Sword and Veil

A veiled sword is the emblem of Adah in the Order of the Eastern Star. More about OES here.

Baton and Scroll

Emblem of the Conductress in the Order of the Eastern Star.

More about the OES here.

Inverted Pentagram

The inverted pentagram is often food for conspiracy nuts, but what you see above is simply the logo of the Order of the Eastern Star (and the plan of their “chapter room”, see below), an appendent body for Freemasons and their female relatives. They have a different ritual and symbolism from Freemasonry. There exist a whole range of variations to this pentagram in the OES. In this basic form, the symbols refer to the positions and symbols of the officers. The jewels of the officers have their own specific emblem in the middle.

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Tower with Ladder

This image can be found on an Adoption apron. Some rituals refer to Jacob’s Ladder and the Tower of Babel, but this would have to be a combination of the two. Perhaps it is a reference to the ‘tower test’ (walking over a seesaw).

Snake in Tree

In lodges of Adoption the story of Adam and Eve and the Fall are prominent, so the snake in a tree is most likely the serpent that tempted Eve.

Jacob’s Ladder

A ladder is a fairly common Masonic symbol. It appears on many Entered Apprentice tracing boards. Often it refers to the ladder that Jacob saw in a dream and which was used by angels to travel up and down. This image is from a second degree “adoption” tracing board, but there is also a third degree “adoption” tracing board with this image.

Tower of Babel

Tower of Babel as can be seen on the second degree “adoption” tracing board.

Interestingly, the image can also be found on an image (of a tracing board) of the oldest known ‘high degree’ ritual from 1747. See here.

Triangular Bowl

The “terrine triangulaire” can be found on the first, second and third degree “adoption” tracing boards (in France). “Adoption” lodges were early lodges for Freemasons and their wives, working in another ritual than those in the men’s lodges.

Ark

The symbol used to be fairly current in “craft” degrees, but later started to mostly appear only in adoption rituals or in additional degrees such as Ark Mariners (it is also the emblem of the Provincial there). Especially when combined with a rainbow, the change is big that you are looking at (Royal) Ark Mariner symbolism. The Ark also seems to still be part of York Rite symbolism.

The meaning is often a reference to the story of Noah‘s ark, but in some Memphis-Misraim texts it explicitly says that the ark is the soul tossed about on the waters of vice.

Interestingly, the image can also be found on an image (of a tracing board) of the oldest known ‘high degree’ ritual from 1747. See here.