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Slipper & Shoe. According to Freemasonry the removal of a shoe is an ancient and accepted method of entering a solemn and legal agreement. The slipper, or to be slipshod, is representative of the candidate entering Freemasonry neither clothed nor shod.
The removal of a shoe is found in association with the First Degree password Boaz. However, this is not the pillar Boaz in Solomon’s Temple. Rather, it is King David’s Grandfather, named Boaz. Ruth 4.
It is indeed representative of a solemn agreement. However, it is specifically a display of the submission and cession of a right over something. In the King James version it is repeatedly described as a relating to redemption..
One wonders what right the candidate is submitting. Indeed, the Master Mason may be asked ‘What did you give to become a Freemason?’, to which the standard reply is ‘My shoe’. It is suspected that the symbolism is supposed to represent much more than a shoe.
A slipper is worn. In the First Degree the right foot is slipshod. In the Third both feet are slipshod.
Slipshod literally means to have shoes down at the heel. Alternatively, mule type slippers are used. The effect is the same, the heel is deliberately exposed.
Biblically, the heel is especially significant. It is the specific body part which is attacked by the devil in Genesis 3.
Bare Legs. Freemasonry provides no explanation of why the legs are exposed by the candidate during the initiation other than that the candidate enters neither clothed nor shod. In the Third Degree both legs are exposed.
Biblically, the only text which encourages the baring of the legs is contained in Isaiah 47. This concerns Babylon, which is of-course associated with the biblical Harlot of Revelations.
This association is given more credence when the popular Masonic term ‘Son of the Widow’ is considered. The same chapter also describes Babylon as a widow.
Furthermore, the symbol of the masonic eye also has an association with Babylon.
Bare Breast. In the First Degree the left breast is exposed and the compass held to it, representing the heart, the repository of the secrets of Freemasonry. Freemasonry provides no explanation of why the right breast may be exposed in the Second Degree (variations of ritual in geographical areas) or why both breasts are exposed in the Third Degree.
Genesis 3, which first introduces the devil, associates the breast with the devil.
Bare Arm. Freemasonry provides no explanation of why one arm is exposed or why both are exposed in the Third Degree.
It is likely representative of reaching. In this regard please use the link to another illustrated site which deals with this.
Apron. If a search for keywords is carried out it can be seen that the apron only appears in two locations in biblical text.
It is not surprising that the first of these is Genesis 3. This is the same biblical chapter from which the symbolism of the bare breast, exposed heel and the bare arm are taken.
The apron is referred to after the original biblical deception by the devil. Adam and Eve sewed together fig leaves to create aprons.
Consequently, and in consideration of the other dress symbolism employed, it is difficult to imagine another interpretation for the meaning of the apron other than it being a celebration of the success of the original deception.
Biblical Text Used
Biblical quotations in this site are taken from two sources. The first of these is the King James Bible, which is logical for an organisation perceived to be Protestant at the time of its official formation in England in the 1700’s.
The second is the Douay Rheims, a Catholic version of the bible popular in the 1700’s. It may not be widely appreciated but Freemasonry described itself as ‘Masons of the Catholick religion’ Article VI,2 of the Old Charges 1723 and as ‘Masons of the most ancient Catholic religion’ in the same charges, Article VI.1, in 1738. The latter is the same year as the first Papal announcement was made condemning Freemasonry.
Consequently, the use of a Catholic version of the bible is an ideal avenue for disguise for a secret so called Protestant body and it is used as a source of biblical information in the initiations.
Which Protestant of the day would have even considered the possibility that a Catholic version of the bible could have been employed by Freemasonry? None, unless they were indeed religiously tolerant. A principle which Freemasonry teaches.
Hence the quotations included in this site are taken from either the Douay or the King James Versions of the Bible. Both have been employed by Freemasonry
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This site is not an official site of any recognized Masonic body in the United
States or elsewhere.