Tag Archives: building

Destroyed Temple

Probably the oldest ‘high degree’ was that of “Scottish Master” (or “Scots Master”) which might have been worked in England as early as the 1730’ies. There is a text from Berlin, dated 1747, in the Kloss collection with the content of the degree. The story is that of master builders from Scotland who were not content with the replacement of the master’s word in the third degree. They went to the Holy Land to find clues to what the original master’s word might have been. They search the rubble of King Solomon’s Temple (hence the destroyed temple) and find “4 column-pieces lying on the ground in the shape of a saltire” (an X, see crossed pillars), which is convenient, because Scottish Master lodges are dedicated to Saint Andrew.

The image shows a “Scots Master” tracing board. It appears to be one of three drawings of the Swede Carl Friedrich Eckleff (1723-1786) Eckleff: “allegedly […] received [St Andrew’s or Ecossais degrees] from Strasbourg in 1756, and Chapter or Templar degrees […] from Geneva in 1759.” Out of which he created the nine-degree Swedish Rite. Similar images can be found in Germany in the same period.

Temple Built Foursquare

The journal Ritual, Secrecy, and Civil Society Vol. 5, No. 2 / Vol. 6, No. 1 • Fall 2017 / Spring 2018 (can be found online) has a text translated from the Kloss collection Scottish Master and Knight of St. Andrew of the Scottish Lodge l’Union in Berlin 7th of October 1747 (note the year). The original was written in France. This may well be the oldest ritual text of a ‘higher degree’ and the text seems to be similar to rituals that were worked in the London area in the 1730’s. Above you can see a tracing board from the text. It has several images that later appear in other ‘high degrees’. One that I had not seen before is the “la temple en square” with a very specific form (bottom right).

Feddersen reproduces the same tracing board, but then from Denmark. He calls it a tracing board of the first Danish Scottish lodge “Dahl” from 1747.

Also see sanctuary.

Sanctuary

The journal Ritual, Secrecy, and Civil Society Vol. 5, No. 2 / Vol. 6, No. 1 • Fall 2017 / Spring 2018 (can be found online) has a text translated from the Kloss collection Scottish Master and Knight of St. Andrew of the Scottish Lodge l’Union in Berlin 7th of October 1747 (note the year). The original was written in France. This may well be the oldest ritual text of a ‘higher degree’ and the text seems to be similar to rituals that were worked in the London area in the 1730’s. Above you can see a tracing board from the text. It has several images that later appear in other ‘high degrees’. One that I had not seen before is the “sanctuaire” with a very specific form.

Feddersen reproduces the same tracing board, but from Denmark. He calls it the tracing board of the first Scottish lodge in Denmark “Dahl”, from 1747.

Also see Temple built Foursquare.

Cathedral / dom

Even though it is a persistent myth that Freemasonry stems from the cathedral buildings, an actual cathedral is seldom part of Masonic symbolism. Here we have a tracing board that (according to Feddersen was used by the Grand Lodge of York in Germany between 1947 and 1973. (Feddersen D/62.)

Encampment

This fairly well known image is the tracing board of the 32nd degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. What is interesting, is that this image is already in the Francken manuscript from 1783 which was to be the basis of that Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.

Temple on Side

A French tracing board from the early 1700’s has a temple on its side and also the Master’s chair is flipped over. Feddersen (F/19a and F/24) describes it as a third degree tracing board, but the pillars at the entrance are also broken, so this is not your typical third degree as these elements may refer to a destroyed temple.

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).

Town

Dąbrowski has an unidentified “American Masonic Symbols”, see below. The chart is titled: “Masonic Chart of the Scottish Rite”, so I suppose the symbols refer to degrees in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. There are quite a few symbols on it that are unfamiliar to me, such as this one. I don’t even know what it is supposed to be, some village, town or city?

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Five Pillars

Dąbrowski has an unidentified “Masonic Symbols”, see below. The image itself says: “Templar Chart” so I suppose these are symbols from Templar degrees.

Five pillars can be seen every now and then. In the USA they are (sometimes) part of the 2nd “craft” degree. It also appears in the 12th degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite sometimes. I suppose they refer to the orders of architecture.

In the image above, the pillars have the letters T, L, P and F. In this case it appears to be one of the temples portrayed on this chart (of a reference to the other two). In this case the Temple of Honor and Temperance.

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Arch

The Arch can be frequently found in Freemasonry in different forms and contexts. With a keystone you can find it in the Royal Arch, the Royal Arch degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, York and other rites and in the Mark degree. Without a capstone it appears in other degrees.

Several meanings can be given to the arch. A connection, a door, sometimes the significance lays in a detail (such as the capstone).