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Masonic Cipher & Symbols
From Oakland-Durant-Rockridge Lodge #188 Website
Masonic Cipher & Symbols© contains the Masonic "poundex" substitution cipher characters in upper and lower case, as well as the numerals and a complete set of common punctuation marks (not shown). The symbol set includes the jewels of the officer line and all the symbolic emblems explicated in the three Degrees of Blue Lodge Masonry (F&AM of California), except the very most esoteric.
There are two related versions of the Masonic cipher. The version used here is that explained informally to Blue Lodge members, and is not an official part of any authentic Masonic teachings in the Grand Lodge of California. The other is sometimes taught in Royal Arch Masonry, and differs in that the first half of the alphabet (A-M) is assigned to the plain outlines, while the second half (N-Z) are the dotted characters. It should be noted that as simple "substitution ciphers" neither provides more than a superficial cryptographic security.
The security afforded by this cipher is enhanced somewhat by combining it with a simple, separately communicated keyword, as follows:
Select a keyword of any length, for example 'MASONS'. Use a different keyword for every message, because this will still be a substitution cipher, even though the specific substitutions change. The longer the message using the same keyword, the easier it is to decode a substitution cipher without knowing the keyword.
Write the unique letters of the keyword in the "poundex" pattern (in our example, just M, A, S, O and N, since 'S' appears twice in 'MASONS'):
Then continue to fill in the pattern with the remainder of the alphabet, remembering not to repeat any letters of the keyword:
Now, for each letter in the pattern, the substitution symbol is the outline of the cell, with a dot for the second letter in each pair:
M = H = X =, etc.
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Last modified: March 22, 2014