The Masonic Trowel

... to spread the cement of brotherly love and affection, that cement which unites us into one sacred band or society of brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, but that noble emulation of who can best work or best agree ...

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

 Masonic quotes by Brothers

Search Website For

Add To Favorites

Help Me Maintain OUR Website!!!!!!

List of Contributors

PDF This File

Print This Page

Email This Site To ...

The sacred tree of the Osirian Mysteries, classically called the Erica, which see
The Hebrew word. The tenth month of the Hebrew civil year, and corresponding to the months June and July, beginning with the new moon of the former.
A Peruvian triune symbol, signifying one in three and three in one.
Born in Tennessee, in 1787. He was one of the founders, in 1813, of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, and was for seven years Grand Master of that Body. He was also a contributor to the literature of Freemasonry, having published in 1845 a Master Mason's Manual; which was, however, little more than a compilation from the preceding labors of Preston and Webb. In 1847, he commenced the publication of a Masonic periodical under the title of the Portfolio. This was a work of considerable merit, but he was compelled to discontinue it in 1850, in consequence of an attack of amaurosis, loss of sight. One who knew him well, has paid this just tribute to his character: "Simple in feeling as a child, with a heart warm and tender to the infirmities of his Brethren, generous even to a fault, he passed through the temptations and trying Scenes of an eventful life without a soil upon the purity of his garments." He died June 2, 1858, aged seventy-one years.
The name given in German Lodges to the Carpet or Floor-Cloth on which formerly the emblems of Freemasonry were drawn in chalk. It is also sometimes called the Teppich.
A playing card, seventy-eight to the pack; fifty-six are called the Lesser Arcana and are divided into four suits; the wands or clubs, the cups or hearts, the Swords or spades, and the pentacles or diamonds. Each suit contains four court cards, the King, Queen, Knight and Page, with ten spot cards, numbered from ace to ten. The spots are usually presented in geometrical designs and sometimes combined with pictures illustrating the inner meaning of the cards.
The rest of the cards, known as the Greater Arcana, comprises a series of symbolic pictures. Each of the cards has a special title and a number. The doctrine behind these symbols has many forms and meanings; veiled as it is by symbols, it speaks many languages, and its emblems convey a message to students of alchemy and astrology. As one writer upon the Subject says "it is full of meaning no matter by what path the student may have approached the truth which is at the head of the ancient mysteries, and though its symbolism expresses Universal ideas it also represents a particular version of sacred science, being a Symbolic alphabet of the occult philosophy of Israel.;' In its present form the Tarot dates from the fourteenth century, but many authorities believe it to have come down to us from a much earlier Source. Those who credit the cards with a more modern origin derive the name from Tarote, meaning spotted, and in French frequently applied to the checker work on the backs of playing cards.

Those who connect the cards with many more centuries of age refer the name to Thoth, an Egyptian Deity resembling the Greek Clod Hermes, anti later identified with Hermes Trismegistus. Thoth was the God of intelligence, magic, Science and invention, who taught the people to write and calculate. The philosophical aspects of the subject are treated in Les 22 Arcanes du Tarot Kabbalistique, LeSymbolisme Hermétique, also the beautiful treatise Le Tarot des Imagiers du Moyen Age with specially designed set of the symbolical cards, all three of these works by Oswald Wirth of Paris; the Tarot of Bohemians, by Papus, the pen name of Dr. Gerard Encausse; An Introduction to the Study of Tarot by Paul F. Case, New York, 1920, and a general discussion is in Prophetical, Educational and Playing Cards, by Mrs. John King Van Rennselaer.
In the earliest Catechisms of the eighteenth century, it is said that the furniture of a Lodge consists of a "Mosaie Pavement, Blazing Star, and Indented Tarsel." In more modern catechisms, the expression is "indented tessel," which is incorrectly defined to mean a tessellated border. Indented Tarsel is evidently a corruption of indented tassel, for a definition of which see Tessellated Borden.
We meet with this expression in some of the old Cateehisms as a corruption of Trestle-Board
Used in the Degree of Knight of the East in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, according to the modern ritual of the Southern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States, for Tirshatha, and applied to the presiding officer of a Council of Princes of Jerusalem (see Tirshatha).
An island forming the seventh state of the Commonwealth of Australia. The Grand Lodge of Ireland established a Lodge in this country in 1823 which did not long remain active. The first English Lodge, Tasmanian Union, No. 781, was constituted at Hobart Town in 1846. English Freemasonry, however, had many difficulties to contend with before it was firmly established. Hope Lodge had been granted a Dispensation in 1852 and the Rev. R. K. Ewing was elected Master. In 1856 two Lodges were formed from it, namely, Faith and Charity, and Brother Ewing was appointed Provineial Grand Master for the two.
Tasmanian Union Lodge did not countenance these proceedings and was suspended by Brother Ewing. It remained closed for nine months. When Brother Ewing left Tasmania in 1870 the Provincial Grand Lodge ceased to exist, but in 1875 a new one under Brother W. S. Hammond was opened. Towards 1876 the clouds began to disperse and by 1885 there were seven Lodges under each of the English and Irish Grand Lodges and four under the Grand Lodge of Scotland. On June 26, 1890, the Grand Lodge of Tasmania was constituted with all due ceremony.
In the English and French Tracing Boards of the First Degree, there are four tassels, one at each angle, which are attached to a cord that surrounds a tracing-board, and which constitutes the true tessellated border. These four cords are described as referring to the four principal points, the Guttural, Pectoral, Manual, and Pedal, and through them to the four cardinal virtues, Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justiee (see Tessellated Border, also Tulith) .
The Hebrew word tsitsith means both fringes and tassels in the Old Testament.
Note Deuteronomy (xx, 12), where the older translation has fringes and the Revised Version gives borders, the latter agreeing with border of Mark (vi, 56) and Luke (viii, 44). Where the Revised Version has border throughout, the Authorized Version has hem in Matthew (ix, and xiv 36). As symbols of great importance their use was ordered in Numbers (xv, 3S, 40), "Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments, throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God."
Of the five senses hearing, seeing, and feeling only are deemed essential to Freemasons. Tasting and smelling are therefore not referred to in the instructions, except as making up the sacred number five. Preston says: "Smelling and Tasting are inseparably connected; and it is by the unnatural kind of life which men commonly lead in society that these senses are rendered less fit to perform their natural duties."
Tatnai was a Persian Satrap or Governor of the Province west of the Euphrates in the time of Darius and Zerubbabel; Shethar-Boznai was an officer under his command The two united with the Apharsachites in trying to obstruct the building of the Second Temple, and in writing a letter to Darius, of which a copy is preservedin Ezra (6-17).
In this letter they reported that "the house of the great God" in Judea was being builded with great stones, and that the work was going on fast, on the alleged authority of a Deeree from Cyrus. They requested that search might be made in the Rolls Court whether such a Degree was ever given, and asked for the King's pleasure in the matter. The decree was found at Ecbatana, and a letter was sent to Tatnai and Shethar-Boznai from Darius, ordering them no more to obstruct, but, on the contrary, to aid the Elders of the Jews in rebuilding the Temple by supplying them both with money and with beasts, corn, salt, wine, and oil for the saerifiees. Shethar-Boznai, after the receipt of this Decree, offered no further obstruction to the Jews. Their names have been hence introduced into some of the high Degrees in Freemasonry.
The last letter of the Hebrew alphabet is called Tau, and it has the power of the Roman T. In its present form n, in the square character now in use, it has no resemblance to a cross; but in the ancient Hebrew alphabet, its figure X, or +, was that of a cross. Hence, when it is said, in the vision of Ezekiel (ix, 4) "Go through the midst of the city, and set a mark (in the original"n, tau) upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof"— which mark was to distinguish them as persons to be saved, on account of their sorrow for sin, from those who, as idolators, were to be slain—the evident allusion is to a cross. The form of this cross was X or +, a form familiar to the people of that day. But as the Greek letter tau subsequently assumed the form which is still preserved in the Roman T. the tau or tau cross was made also to assume the same form; so that the mark tau is now universally recognized in this form, T.
This tau, tau cross, or tau mark, was of very universal use as a sacred symbol among the ancient From the passage of Ezekiel just cited, it. is evident that the Hebrews recognized it as a sign of salvation; according to the Talmudists, the symbol was much older than the time of Eze}ziel, for they say that when Moses anointed Aaron as the High Priest, he marked his forehead with this sign. Speaking of the use of the tau cross in the Old Testament, Didron says in his Christian Iconosraphy (page 370) that "it saved the youthful Isaac from death, redeemed from destruction an entire people whose houses were marked with that symbol, healed the envenomed bites of those who looked at the serpent raised in the form of a tau upon a pole, and called back the soul into the dead body of the son of that poor widow who had given bread to the prophet."

Hence, in Christian iconography, the tau cross, or cross of the Old Testament, is called the Anticipatory Cross, because it anticipated the four-limbed Cross of the Passion, and the typical cross because it was its type. It is also called the Cross of Saint Anthony, beeause on it that saint is supposed to have suffered martyrdom.
Maurice, in his Indian Antiquities, refers to it the tiluk, or mark worn by the devotees of Brahma.
Davies, in his Celtic Researches, says that the Gallicum tau, or the tau of the ancient Gauls, was among the Druids a symbol of their supreme god, or Jupiter.
Among the Egyptians, the tau, with an oval ring or handle, became the Crux Ansata, and was used by them as the constant symbol of life. Doctor Clarke says (Travels v, page 311) that the tau cross was a monogram of Thoth, "the symbolical or mystical name of Hidden Wisdom among the ancient Egyptians . "
Dupuy, in his History of the Templars, says that the tau was a Templar emblem. Von Hammer, who lets no opportunity of maligning the Order escape him, adduces this as a proof of the idolatrous tendencies of the Knights. He explains the tau, which, he says, was inscribed on the forehead of the Baphomet or Templar idols as a figure of the phallus; hence he comes to the conclusion that the Knights Templar were addicted the obscene worship of that symbol. It is, how ever, entirely doubtful, notwithstanding the authority of Dupuy, whether the tau was a symbol of the Templars. But if it was, its origin is rather to be looked for in the supposed Hebrew idea as a symbol of preservation. It is in this sense, as a symbol of salvation from death and of eternal life, that it has been adopted into the Masonic system, and presents itself, especially under its triple combination, as a badge of Royal Arch Masonry (see Triple Tau).
A cross of three limbs, so called because it presents the figure of the Greek letter T (see Tau).
In a survey of 41 of the 49 Grand Jurisdictions made in 1932 the Masonic Service Association, Washington, D. C., summarized its findings:
Masonic property used wholly for fraternal purposes is tax free in 24 of the 41 Grand Jurisdictions. Where it is not used wholly for Masonic purposes it is tax free in 16 of 41 Jurisdictions. If it is partly commercial (as when rooms in a Masonic Temple are rented for offices and stores) it is tax free in 4 of the 41 Jurisdictions, but is taxed, or may be taxed, in 35, the "may be" accounting for the discrepancy in the figures. These figures may have changed during the decade since but on the whole they represent the meldence of taxation State by State.

The question has been in courts from 200 to 300 times in the majority of cases the legal arguments have hinged upon one or another, or both, of two questions: How shall Freemasonry be defined, and under what laws does the definition bring it; is it, for example, a religion, educational, charitable organization or note If a Masonic property is partly commercial, partly not should the whole of it be taxed; or only the commercially used portion? Masonic lawyers who have opposed taxation have had difficulty in their arguments because the Grand Body they represent has seldom possessed a legal definition of itself—perhaps because to do so would involve a formal and official definition of Freemasonry, which is something it prefers to avoid.
In at least two States (and perhaps more) this difficulty has been circumvented by asking the State legislature to adopt a law covering Freemasonry by namej This would appear to be just and non-discriminatory because Freemasonry is sui generis and cannot be subsumed under any general classification. On the other side, members of legislatures who favor taxation of Masonic properties have difficulty with the fact that even if a Masonic Body receives rents or interest from endowments the money is not profit, goes into nobody's pocket, but is used for fraternal and benevolent purposes; and also they are in the dilemma of having to decide whether if they tax Masonic properties they ought not also to tax churches, and hospitals not owned by the State.
Mentioned in the Institutes of Manu as a class of pariahs, or the lowest in society, but are referred to as the inventors of brick for building purposes, as is attested by Vina-Snati and Veda Vyasa. In the course of time they were banished from the towns, the rites of burial, and the use of rice, water, and fire. They finally emigrated, and became the progenitors of great nations.
Royal Arch Masons in America apply this word rather inelegantly to designate the three candidates upon whom the Degree is conferred at the same time. It is also used generally in referring to any group of workers.
In the Master's degree in some of the Continental Rites, and in all the advanced Degrees where the legend of the Degree and the ceremony of reception are intended to express grief, the hangings of the Lodge are black strewn with tears. The figures representing tears are in the form depicted in the illustration. The symbolism is borrowed from the science of heraldry, where these figures are called buttes, and are defined to be "drops of anything that is by nature liquid or liquefied by art." The heralds have six of these Charges, namely, yellow, or drops of liquid gold; white, or drops of liquid silver; red, or drops of blood; blue, or drops of tears, black, or drops of pitch; and greens or drops of oil. In funeral hatchments, a black velvet cloth, sprinkled with these "drops of tears," is placed in front of the house of a deceased nobleman and thrown over his bier; but there, as in Freemasonry, the guttes de larmes, or drops of tears, are not painted blue, but white.
The Hebrew word The fourth month of the Hebrew civil year, corresponding to the months December and January, beginning with the new moon of the former.
See Caryatides.
In the Seventeenth Century German archeology, full of vigor and beginning to employ "scientific methods," discovered so many things about ancient Jerusalem and Solomon's Temple that a great public interest was aroused. One of the manifestations of the latter was the excitement occasioned by the exhibition of a large scale model of the Temple, attributed to Chancellor Schott. This was taken over to London in 1723 and again in 1730, and there attracted endless throngs; newspapers were filled with it; clergymen preached about it; the Royal Family held a special view. At the same period John Senex, publisher, sold innum erable copies of a plan and drawings, which was at about the time he was publishing Anderson's 1723 Book of Constitutions, and was Junior Grand Warden. A long description of the Temple written by the al ready-famous Sir Isaac Newton some years before his death was published, and ran through one edition after another.
Previously the states of Holland employed Rabbi Leon to build a replica of the Temple. He constructed a model as large as a room, complete in detail; Holland gave up the project on amount of the cost (as the World's Fair at Philadelphia was to do two centuries later, when it began a like project), and made a present of the "great model" to the Rabbi. He in turn took it over to London (after exhibiting it in Paris and Sienna), secured a patent from the King to display it in the British Capital, published an explanatory brochure to accompany it, put it on exhibit, and aroused great popular enthusiasm. It was carefully preserved and again exhibited in London some eighty years later with equal success.

Irish Lodges, already full of speculation about the symbolism of Solomon's Temple, became more interested in the Temple than ever. An oratorio of "Solomon's Temple" was given in Dublin, and it was inserted by Laurence Dermott in editions of his Ahiman Rezon (Book of Constitution) of the Antient Grand Lodge; and in his Preface Dermott gives a florid account of Leon's model. Also, the Arms of the Antient Grand Lodge were taken from one of Leon's works—he was one of the most respected and learned Hebrew scholars in Europe, as is shown by the biographical treatise on him (a brilliant essay), "Rabbi Jacob Jehudah Leon," contributed to Ars Quatuor Coronatorum; Vol. 12; page 150; by J. Chetwode Crawley. By one of those seemingly impossible coincidences which are seldom found in history, an older and far more popular and lasting and important tradition of another Temple had come to England to change the architectural face and living habits of the country; and much more profoundly affected the Mason Craft than the Hebrew enthusiasm was to do.
Only, this was not a Jewish Temple, or Solomon's, but a Greek Temple. (To call Jehovah's House at Jerusalem a "temple" is a misnomer; the word is pure Greek; so was the style and type and uses of the building.) Palladio of Venice was Europe's supreme architect from the Renaissance until now. He drew a line across architecture and divided it into before and after, brought Gothic to an end, taught the principles, then recently re-discovered, of Greek architecture first to Italian Masons and through them to Europe; was the Shakespeare of his art.

After Inigo Jones King's Commissioner of buildings, visited Venice he returned to England and introduced the Palladian (also called the Italian, or the Classic, or the NeoClassic) there, and Mason Lodges and clubs of amateur artists began studying Palladio as the Primitive Chris tians had studied their Gospels, and with as much zealousness. After the Lodge of Antiquity had beeome a Lodge under the Grand Lodge, its Master or Lecturer read Palladio to the Lodge; and its "old Master," Sir Christopher Wren, had carried the Palladian style to its supreme glory in St. Paul's Cathedral Palladio had found that almost the whole set of principles (they were principles of proportion) of the Greek style could be exhibited, and therein studied and mastered, in five columns, which he caned the Five Orders. A model which he himself had made when building St. Paul's was used by Sir Christopher Wren while he was Master of Antiquity.
If any Mason will ponder the Allegory of the Temple in the Second Degree and the Rite of HA.-. in the Third he can see for himself how weighty is the hypothesis that both were fabricated in their present form at the time when the Jewish Temple and the Greek Temple, as it were, met in London. Two great traditions crossed, and the point of crossing lay in the center of Freemasonry. It is obvious that the form and inspiration of the Allegory in the Second Degree is Greek in origin, and that in the Third it is Hebrem. It is possible, and to an unknown extent it is probable, that the germ, or first simple form, of each had existed in the Craft long before Palladio; but the form as now used has stamped on it too many of the hall-marks of the Eighteenth Century to make any doubt feasible of its origin.
And, more extraordinary still, Freemasonry itself had received its origin, form, and substanee from the Gothic, begun in the Twelfth Century, and Masonry was probably always pure Gothic until the Palladian period; thus the three greatest architectural styles—and an architectural style is the principal public form always taken by a culture— became embodied together in the Three Degrees. Matthew Arnold was later to say that European civilization consists of a union of two civilizations, the Greek and the Hebraie; in reality it was a union of three, for the great Medieval civilization had as large a part in shaping our modern civilization as either of the other two; and it helps to explain the largeness, the power, the inexhaustibleness of Freemasonry, that it combined the three within itself.
(John Bunyan wrote a whole book on the symbolism of Solomon's Temple, as fine a work of literature as his Pilgrim's Progress, but not having the latter's popular appeal. See elsewhere in this Supplement ARCHITECTURE, FIRST & CHIEF GROUNDES"; for a number of other articles consult Index.)
1. Solomon began the building of his Temple about 967 B.C., and completed it in about six and one-half years. This was in reality a collection of buildings, inside a wall, and the Temple proper was probably at or near the center, a structure 90 to 100 feet long, about 30 to 35 feet in width and at its highest about 50 feet. The entire system of buildings, taken as a unit, was the greatest single building feat ever undertaken by the Jewish people before or since. This was the First Temple.
For nearly five centuries it was the center and capital of Hebrew peoples, not only in Palestine but wherever they might live. It and the city were looted and w destroyed by the Babylonian hordes under Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B-C- (It may be more than a coincidence that the only successful—though temporary— attempt ever made by the Egyptians to achieve monotheism occurred while this First Temple was still standing It is likewise interesting to note that many of the tales, traditions, legends, and historical occurrenees about Solomon or his Temple need not refer to so early a date as 967 B.C. but may refer to it as of any date as between 967 B-C. and 586 B.C.)

2. When after a half century Cyrus permitted the Jews to return to Jerusalem they began almost at once to rebuild the Temple under their "prince," or leader, Sheshbazzar, who began work in 536 B.C.; it was completed by Zerubbabel in 516 B.C. after twenty years of slow, hard labor by a poverty-stricken people, and then was only half restored. After 168 B.C. this building was looted, attacked, razed, rebuilt, and finally destroyed almost completely. This was the Second Temple.

3. One of the looters was Herod. In 40 B.C. Antony and Octavius gave him the title "King of Judea." Between 20 B.C. and 19 B.C., and for political reasons of his own, he began to rebuild the Temple, and on a larger scale. It was not completed until between 62 A.D. and 64 A.D. Only two years after this latter date the Jews began their revolt against Roman rule; in about four years, or 70 A.D., the whole "Temple was burnt to the ground and utterly destroyed.?' This was the Third Temple.

(Historians long were skeptical about the descriptions of the three Temples on the ground that structures of such size and elaborateness called for a technical knowledge which did not exist in ancient times. Modern archeological discoveries have removed that objection by proving that as early as 1000 B.C. many of the technical arts were at a high stage of development. Thus, and to cite only two examples, Tutankhamen's physicians had the use of complete sets of surgical instruments, and practiced many forms of anesthesia; shorthand, a technique without which modern business could hardly function, was known to ancient Egypt; in 1934 the Egypt Exploration Society published a book Greek Shorthand Manuals compiled from papyri and waxed tablets unearthed by archeologic excavations.)
German for Knights Templar (see also Ritter).
or TEMPELHERRENORDEN. The title in German of the Order of Knights Templar
One of the four cardinal virtues; the practise of which is inculcated in the First Degree. The Freemason who properly appreciates the secrets which he has solemnly promised never to reveal, will not, by yielding to the unrestrained call of appetite, permit reason and judgment to lose their seats and subject himself, by the indulgence in habits of excess, to discover that which should be concealed, and thus merit and receive the scorn and detestation of his Brethren. And lest any Brother should forget the danger to which he is exposed in the unguarded hours of dissipation, the virtue of temperance is wisely impressed upon is memory, lay its reference to one of the most solemn portions of the eerenzony of initiation. Some Freema ons, very properly condemning the vice of intemperance and abhorring its effects, have been unwisely led to confound temperance with total abstinence in a Masonic application, and resolutions have sometimes been proposed in Grand Lodges which declare the use of stimulating liquors in any quantity a Ma onie offense. Put the law of Freemasonry authorizes no such regulation. It leaves to every man the indulgence of his own tastes within due limits, and demands not abstinence, but only moderation and temperance, in anything not actually wrongs
See Knights Templar.
The Latin title of a Knight Templar. Commonly used in the Middle Ages.
The Order of Knights Templar was dissolved in England, by an Act of Parliament, in the seventeenth. year of the reign of Edward II, and their possessions transferred to the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, or Knights Hospitaler. Subsequently, in the thirty-second year of the reign of Henry VII, their possessions were transferred to the King. One of the privileges possessed by the English Templars was that their lands should be free of tithes; and these privileges still adhere to these lands, so that a farm being What is termed Templar land, is still exempt from the imposition of tithes, if it is occupied by the owner; an exemption which ceases when the farm is worked under a lease.

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

This site is not an official site of any recognized Masonic body in the United States or elsewhere.
It is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion
of Freemasonry, nor webmaster nor those of any other regular Masonic body other than those stated.

DEAD LINKS & Reproduction | Legal Disclaimer | Regarding Copyrights

Last modified: March 22, 2014