Rainbow Girls

The International Order of Rainbow Girls is a Masonic youth organization. It teaches young women, between the ages of 11-20 years of age, leadership training through community service. They learn about the value of charity and service through their work and involvement with their annual local and Grand (state or country) service projects.

It was founded in 1922 by Reverend W. Mark Sexson, a Freemason, was asked to make an address before South McAlester Chapter #149, Order of the Eastern Star, in McAlester, Oklahoma. He had studied the Masonic youth organization for boys: “DeMolay” and he suggested that a similar organization for girls would be beneficial.

Members are expected to serve their community, be law-abiding, acknowledge the authority of the Supreme Assembly, and show loyalty to the other members.

https://www.gorainbow.org

Hourglass

To live a full life and make the most of our time. It is a reminder to work for a life of compassion, honesty, and integrity so that we may improve not only our own lives but those in our community as well.

The hourglass is an ancient tool to measure time. This tool was in common use before the invention of clocks. The hourglass includes two glass bulbs with a narrow passage through which the sand passes. Each grain of sand indicates the passing of time. The wings symbolize that time is fleeting.

In masonic literature this symbol is used to remind the Mason that his life is continuously passing by. The present will be the past. And each moment that passes leaves less sand in the top part of the hourglass that indicates how much time is remaining.

It is used as a Memento Mori, like the skull and crossbones, or the sprig of acacia. It tells the Freemason to live a full life and make the most of his time. It is a reminder to work for a life of compassion, honesty, and integrity so that each one may improve not only their own lives but those in their community as well.

Euclid’s 47th Problem

In right-angled triangles the square from the side subtending the right angle is equal to the squares from the sides containing the right angle.

Euclid was a Greek philosopher who is called the father of Geometry. He lived in Egypt around 300 BC. He wrote one of the most influential mathematical textbooks in all of history: the “Stoicheion” or Elements. In it he captured much of the mathematical achievements of ancient Greece.

It is also referred to as the 3:4:5 ratio, or the Pythagorean Theorem. It is related to the concept of sacred numbers. This mathematical principle is used to create perfect squares, and was highly important in the laying of foundations during the building of temples and palaces in the ancient times, including ancient Egypt, Babylon, Greece and Rome.

It is also used to remind Freemasons to “square their square when it gets out of square”.

https://www.masonic-lodge-of-education.com/47th-problem-of-euclid.html

http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/euclid_unveiled.html

Past Masters

After a Worshipful Master has finished his term in office he will become a Past Master. This is a position of great honor. Depending on the  jurisdictions Past Masters have differing responsibilities. In some lodges the junior Past Master, or most recent Worshipful Master, becomes the Tiler. In others they become the incoming Marshall or Secretary. Even if a particular lodge does not have any such formalized progression, each Past Master is still put into an position of trust and leadership. He will be expected to provide counsel and guidance to the active Worshipful Master.

Past Masters are the only ones who are eligible to wear the special emblem of the Sun, Compasses and Quadrant. The Quadrant replaces the traditional Square. The sun represents the Masonic Light, or Wisdom, that a Past Master encompasses and is supposed to pass on. It also signifies that the Past Master has observed the Sun at Meridian height, (the South), setting (the West), and Rising (the East).

The Quadrant, or Protractor, is opened to 60 degrees. This is the angle of an equilateral triangle, where all three sides are the same length.

In some European jurisdictions, mostly in Great Britain, the 47th Problem of Euclid suspended by a square is used as a past Master symbol. The 47th Problem of Euclid is used to prove a square, a vital skill to ancient builders. Suspended by the square, the symbol represents knowledge and wisdom that a Past Master has gained from his service to his Lodge and Freemasonry in general.

In the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Texas Past Masters are allowed to wear a special apron that includes the emblem of their office. This is one of the few officially recognized aprons that are allowed by the Grand Lodge of Texas.

Anchor and Ark

The Anchor is a symbol of well-grounded hope and a life well spent. It has long been a symbol of stability. It is believed that the anchor became a symbol of hope with early Christians. Drawings and carvings in the catacombs of Rome depict the early usage of this symbol in the Christian faith.

Early Freemasons were enamored with Antediluvian, or pre-flood, symbolism. This included Noah’s Ark, rainbows, doves, and more. The ark reminds us of the rough and unpredictable seas that we have to traverse in life. A strong belief in deity helps provide the safe passage.

“The anchor and the ark are emblems of a well-grounded hope and a well-spent life. They are emblematical of that Divine ark which safely wafts us over this tempestuous sea of troubles, and that anchor which shall safely moor us in a peaceful harbor where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary shall find rest.”
(quote: Albert Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry)

Ark and the Anchor

Pot of Incense

Incense is not typically burned in a Masonic lodge, but the symbol of a pot of incense is used as an allegory for a pure heart (the pot or censer) and the prayers that arise from it to heaven, symbolized by the clouds of rising smoke.

“The Pot of Incense is an emblem of a pure heart; this is always an acceptable sacrifice to the Deity; and as this glows with fervent heat, so should our hearts continually glow with gratitude to the great and beneficent author of our existence for the manifold blessings and comforts we enjoy.” (quote by Thomas Smith Webb)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_use_of_incense

Odd Fellows

The Independent Order of the Odd Fellows is a fraternal order that was founded in 1819 by Thomas Wildey in Baltimore, MD. It is based on the original Order of the Odd Fellows that was founded in London, England in 1730. The International Order has over 600,000 members in 10,000 lodges, in 26 countries.

The three links represent: Friendship, Love and Truth. The organization is non-political and non-sectarian, and is open to both men and women for membership. Beyond fraternal and recreational activities, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows promotes the ethic of reciprocity and charity, by implied inspiration of Judeo-Christian ethics.

Similar to Freemasonry the order offers progressive degrees to attain ever more enlightenment and philosophical insight.

Several theories aim to explain the etymological background of the name “Odd Fellows”, often spelled “Oddfellows” in British English. In the 18th century United Kingdom, major trades were organised in guilds or other forms of syndicates, but smaller trades did not have equivalent social or financial security. One theory has it that “odd fellows”, people who exercised unusual, miscellaneous “odd trades”, eventually joined together to form a larger group of “odd fellows”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_Order_of_Odd_Fellows

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odd_Fellows

Widow’s Sons

The Widow’s Sons are Masonic Riders Association, and NOT a motorcycle club or MC. It was founded by Bro. Carl Davenport from Chicago, IL in 1998. The riding association is open to Masons who ride a street or highway-legal motorcycle and are in good standing with their blue lodge. The purpose of the organization is to allow Master Masons in good standing to join together and enjoy their hobby of riding motorbikes. It has a charitable purpose of offering aid and assistance to Masonic Widows and Orphans.

Due to the issues with the 1% or outlaw motorcycle clubs, there is some controversy about the idea of having a motorcycle organization that is associated with and officially approved of by a local Grand Lodge. Several Grand Lodges, including Texas, do not condone or officially allow for such organizations within their jurisdictions.

Meaning of “Masons, Free and Accepted”

Masons’ name comes from the occupation of their original members – stonemasons who built castles and cathedrals in England and Scotland. The word “free” was added during the Middle Ages. Because stonemasons possessed knowledge and skills not found everywhere, these men had the privilege of traveling between countries.

Over time, many men who were not builders were drawn to the practices of Freemasonry. To encourage intellectual diversity, stonemasons began accepting men from other professions into the fraternity. These men were known as “accepted Masons.” This trend continued, and accepted members eventually outnumbered operative members. Today, the names “Freemasonry,” “Masonry,” and “Free and Accepted Masons” are used interchangeably to refer to the fraternity.

https://www.chicofreemasons.org/faq

Top 10 Masonic Buildings in USA – Part 2

Here is the second part of our list of the top 10 masonic buildings in the USA. This list is not in order and is highly subjective. If we left off your favorites, please forgive this oversight.

Masonic Temple and Masonic Library and Museum, Philadelphia, PA
The Masonic Temple was constructed in 1873, and is located across the street from the Philadelphia City Hall. It houses the Pennsylvania Grand Lodge F&AM. When it was constructed the New York Times described it as “the largest, costliest, and most magnificent structure consecrated to Masonry in the World.” Besides a massively grand staircase, the temple contains an Egyptian room, a Corinthian room, a Moorish room, a Renaissance hall, a Norman hall in Rhenish Romanesque style, and the Ionic hall, with full-length portraits of “Right Worshipful Past Grand Masters,” among others.

Masonic Hall, New York City, NY
Located in the Flatiron District in Manhattan, NY, this building spans an entire city block. It houses the Grand Lodge of NY, and has several different lodge rooms to allow the dozens of individual lodges that meet there to have meetings simultaneously. In addition it houses the Chancellor Robert R Livingston Masonic Library and Museum.

Santa Fe Scottish Rite Temple, Santa Fe, NM
The Scottish Rite Temple of Santa Fe, NM was build in 1911 in a Moorish Revival Style to build a connection between the Spanish building tradition of New Mexico and that of the Moors in southern Spain.

Scottish Rite Cathedral, Indianapolis, IN
It was constructed between 1927 and 1929 at the cost of $2.5 million. Every dimension of the structure (in feet) is evenly divisible by three (reflecting the three degrees in Freemasonry), with many also being divisible by 33 (reflecting the degrees a member of the Scottish Rite can achieve). Throughout the Cathedral are over 100 ‘stained glass’ windows (actually painted glass) that depict the three craft lodge degrees of Masonry, the degrees of the Scottish Rite, symbols of York Rite Freemasonry, plus images of liberal arts, sciences, and even technology of the 1920s at the time of its construction. About 1,100 persons can be seated in the theater and another 200 on chairs in the arena.

San Antonio Scottish Rite Temple, San Antonio, TX
This magnificent edifice was completed after three years construction in 1924 at a cost of $1.5 million. It is five and a half stories tall and houses the Scottish Rite theatre in addition to several lodge rooms, commercial kitchen, ball room, dining room, and an elegant ladies parlor. The ball room offers seating for up to 500 guests, and the auditorium has a seating capacity of 2,062.