Friday, June 1, 2007

The Day I Became a Master Mason


Tuesday was a peculiar day; coming off of a three/four day weekend is hell. You have a mountain of e-mails to catch up on, add to the fact that I was out of town all last week, and you have for one busy Tuesday. At lunch it dawned on me that “Tonight you will be raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason.” I then didn’t think about it for the rest of the day, entrenched in research and government politics (two things that never go together). Around 1600, everything was starting to wind down, people starting to go home for the day, and I started to think more and more about what was in store for me that evening, the preparation that I had done up to this point, and wondering if I was properly prepared.

Around 1715 I got in my truck and I drove out to the lodge, trying to keep calm. I found myself to be as nervous as I was when I first drove to the lodge back in October. When I arrived, I made my rounds to the various brothers. I was asked many times if I was ready or nervous, both being answered in the affirmative. After while I talked to Brother Sean, he had a friend who had submitted an application, I had lost sight on that status and asked him about it. He got this look on his face as if I kicked him in the gut and he told me that the guy went and discussed being made a Mason with his Minister who told him that once he became a Master Mason he wouldn’t be considered a Christian anymore. He e-mailed Sean last Tuesday and told him that he was withdrawing his application to be made a Mason. Sean had a sense of frustration, this is reasonable considering how much interest the guy seem to have at first, but that’s the way the “cookie crumbles”.

During dinner they made light hearted comments about Goats/Sheeps and the usual rubs, it annoyed me a little, while I understand the sophomoric humor, it was a situation I was taking pretty seriously, but again everyone has different perceptions. Also, given the military nature of our lodge it isn’t unreasonable for there to be this attitude, as when you are new in the military it is customary to make you the brunt of a lot of torment. I remember being a 2Lt and having to do the Superman, a thing to this day I cringe at the thought of it, but that’s another story. Normally I wait downstairs for them to do lodge business before conferring the degree, which is usually a good 40 minute wait. This time in less than five minutes they called for me. I went into the antechamber as before and changed into a similar yet different outfit. The Senior Deacon came out fixed the “mistakes” that the Master of Ceremonies made and then proceeded to start the degree.

During the ceremony when being lead around, I could feel a difference in the tone of the ritual, it was much more solemn and a strange feel. The obligation seems to be the majority of the first part, it was also asking me to be willing to give up my safety and comfort to aid a brother, something that I take seriously.

At a later point in the ceremony I was directed to go to the alter and pray, at that moment everything got personal and the ritual took on a whole different meaning, and it became something completely different. During my journey of the last six months I have stayed away from exposes, internet articles, anything that dealt with the ritual. I did this to keep the ritual as a complete surprise to me, and I know that there are men who read this blog in hopes of getting a little insight as they to start their journey of Masonry, what to expect, etc. To them I say stay away from books, media and other works that delve directly into the ritual, I don’t know what my experience would have been like if I had done that, but I have a feeling it wouldn’t of been as powerful, so no I didn’t peep behind the curtain.

During the ceremony, you learn the inevitable meaning of when evil overtakes good. This experience is something that all grown men have gone through in their life (at least from their perception of being good), and from that experience takes on a whole new level of symbolism and teaching. During the ritual, I enjoyed being the candidate for once, and not trying to capture every word uttered or phrase spoken, there will be plenty of time for that.

After the ritual and I received my lambskin apron, I realized that my journey while coming a long way is still in it’s infancy, and that is the most beautiful part.

Here is to exploring the 3rd degree and receiving further light in masonry.

8 comments:

Widow's Son said...

Welcome to the Brotherhood. May you travel well.


Widow's Son
BurningTaper.com

Traveling Man said...

Welcome Brother!

Although we have never met, and you have never seen my face. Know that one a great distance away is pleased and proud of the journey you have already made.

Your joys, your sorrows, your triumphs and afflictions have become ours. Know that there are steadfast men at your side always ready to aid you in your laudible undertakings.

Congratulations!

Traveling Man

Carter said...

Enjoyed your post Brother. Welcome and congratulations. I too am newly raised and took the very same approach you did to my study...stayed away from all the expose stuff until I had been raised. I'm glad I did. Funny thing is that since being raised, I have now read most of the exposes and supposed "conspiracy theories", and find them most amusing. You realize pretty quickly that these folks really have no idea what they're talking about. However, I will say that some do make for very interesting reading material.

I'm very proud to be part of this and hope you will be too. I feel the same way you do...this journey is just in its infancy.

Mike Bryant said...

Congratulations! As for me, I just received the Fellowcraft degree this weekend and am very excited to be raised as a Master Mason when my time comes.

raman said...

I saw the light of masonry some 26 years ago and am a past master of my Lodge Asoka in Chennai, India (under Grand Lodge of India) where I continue to serve as Treasurer for the 14th year in succession.

Not being too computer savvy, I am new to masonic blogs (or blogs posted by masons) and stumbled onto your blog from traveling man's. That blog I found while Googling for something else altogether for my Lodge's website http://lodgeasoka.tripod.com that I webmaster.

Good wishes on your quest and may your step be sure.

Happy meet again.

Dwarak said...

I READ YOUR ARTICLE WITH GREAT INTEREST AND A SENSE OF SATISFACTION DESCENDED ON ME AFTER I FINISHED.
MAY THE GAOTU PRESERVE YOU AND MAKE YOU AN ARDENT AND TRUE MASON.
W.Bro. R.DWARAKANATH p.g.sUPDT OF WORKS., P.Dy. R.G.M.
PAST MASTER THE MOUNT LODGE No.14, CHENNAI, INDIA
DO VISIT "themountLodge14.org"]

Unknown said...

Brother, it is a most powerful and uplifting experience; and a great feeling of accomplishment.The real journey now begins...welcome to manhood with meaning...travel Light

Coopfam said...

Congrats Brother, I was recently Raised to a Master Mason on 5/5/12, still searching for more light!