Category Archives: Ark Mariner

Olive Branch

In the Ark Mariner degree the story of Noah and the Flood plays a big part. In the emblem above you see a rainbow coloured ribbon, a rainbow and a dove holding an olive branch. The latter was a sign for Noah that the water level was dropping and that there was land again.


One of the emblems of the Junior Warden in de Mark degree. It is also the emblem of the Warder in the Royal Ark Mariner degree (crossed axes for the Guardian there too) and (seen above) emblem of the Guard in Knight Templar Freemasonry. In the Swedish Rite of St. Andrew it is a symbol of the 6th degree.

Also in the (historical) “Scottish Master” degree, the axe was one of the items on tracing boards.

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According to Voss the hourglass was introduced in the late 18th century. It can sometimes found on tracing boards, symbol charts or grave slabs, either or not with wings. Just as in non-Masonic context, the symbol refers to fleeting time. It is doesn’t often seem to have a ritual meaning, but it can be found on some Ark Mariner tracing boards.


Like the Ark no longer a very current symbol in “craft” / “symbolic” / “blue” degrees, but it can stil be found on tracing boards sometimes. It also appears in some additional degrees, such as the Ark Mariners. Usually signifies “hope”.


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.