The fact that our Masonic ritual employs the dramatization of a myth in the final section of the Sublime Degree is of major importance in our consideration of the supporting educational endeavors involving the instructor and the new Master Mason.

An understanding of the ultimate meaning and reality which underlies the Third Degree can not be transfused into or imposed upon the initiate, but rather involves an individual quest in which knowledge is amalgamated with spiritual conviction to produce an integrated wisdom, an embracing compassion, and an over-arching faith that there exists both a communion and a covenant between the Creator and the created. Such a state of being and of commitment to the Light comes only to those who are willing to undertake the necessary dedication to the pursuit of truth.

Whether the new Master Mason is aware of the necessity of his own religious and intellectual involvement in this search for the significance of the Sublime Degree and whether he has sufficient motivation to undertake this quest depends upon the success of his preparation during his proceeding Masonic experience. Fundamentally, the foundational work accomplished jointly by the new mason and the instructor must be accomplished before the enactment of the Third Degree. It would be a mistake, however, to conclude that the valuable assistance of the Masonic instructor ends with the review of the Fellowcraft Degree. As the instructor is aware, and as the new Master Mason must realize, the Sublime Degree is not the end but the beginning of the journey toward the East of Symbolic Masonry.

The goals of the instructor working with the new Master Mason should include the following:

A. The providing of materials which assist the new Master Mason in reviewing his Masonic experience acquired in the three degrees.

B. Acting as a sounding board upon which the new Master Mason may try and test his growing concept of the nature and purpose of Freemasonry.

C. Providing information upon the various sources of information on the Craft.

D. Stimulating the new Master Mason to ask wider and more deeply probing questions concerning himself, the Craft, and the philosophy of Freemasonry.

E. Assisting the new Master Mason in finding a meaningful place in the activities and services of his lodge. (This duty is shared with the officers and members of the lodge.)

With these goals in mind, the following section provides some suggestions and useful information for the instructor.


Review of the Major Symbols and Working Tools of the Three Degrees:

The newly raised Master Mason is in an excellent position to review the Working Tools and major symbols of the three degrees, and the sooner this review is done following his raising the more likely he will be to continue his own Masonic education. The aim of such a review is to bring together all those symbols and working tools in a unified whole. Of course, understanding the combined meaning entails much more than an identification of the parts, but a simple familiarity is essential before interrelationships between the working tools and symbols can be explored.

Supplementary Sheet M.M. – 3 along with the accompanying questions provides a means of review and identification of the principal symbols and the working tools. The instructor will find that while some of these symbols have struck a cord of response in the new Master Mason’s mind and are thus remembered, others remain vague or forgotten completely.

Reviewing the working tools of the Master Mason provides the opportunity for review of all the working tools. In conducting such a review, it is advisable to go over both the operative and speculative applications. Having the actual set of tools present during the review and allowing the new Master Mason to again handle these tools as they are discussed will contribute greatly to the value of this review.

The Trowel: As the trowel receives special notice in the Third Degree, the instructor may wish to discuss its symbolic implications in some detail with the new Master Mason.   As in the case with so much of symbolic ritual, tremendous range of implications is compressed within the symbol of the trowel. The following presents a possible avenue of development by the instructor and the new Master Mason.

What is the genesis of that “cement which unites us into one sacred band”?

What should be the motivation which activates a brother as he takes the symbolic trowel in hand and joins this society of brothers?

Abraham Maslow has listed in ascending levels the human needs which generate our motivational desires and which lead us into social interactions. Lowest in Maslow’s list we find the physiological needs – the need for food, shelter and for clothing. Next comes the need for security and safety. Once the physiological needs have been met and a sufficient security has been gained, there follows the need for social affiliations and for comradeship. The next level of needs stems from the seeking for recognition and esteem within our social group. At the top of Maslow’s list of needs and motivational drives is what he terms “self actualization.” Here the drive comes from the inner satisfaction of achieving one’s best. In Masonic terms, self actualization is that state in which the duty to be a builder (and the best builder one can be) becomes our happiness. As in the case of all humans, the motivational drives of the mason arise from all the levels characterized by Maslow, but it is the highest level which is the goal of the Master Mason. In that state, it is not for physical sustenance, or for security, or acceptance, or even for the esteem of his brethren that he labors, but rather with a “noble contention, or rather emulation, of who can work and best agree.’

Finally there may be an additional step in the growth of the individual mason in which “self” no longer contends and in which it is the needs of the Craft and its work for “the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God” which is the primary motivation. In such a case, self-actualization blends into true inspiration.

Is it, perhaps, the sharing of this united commitment to the highest which the mason knows which truly cements the sacred band and which has and will continue to unite the craft?

The Compasses: The Compasses provide the instructor with another rich and open-ended topic to share with the new Master Mason. Unlike the prominent plumb, the level, and the square, the compasses is not included in the working tools, yet it is everywhere present (either explicitly or implicitly) in our Masonic ritual. Not only is it dedicated to the Craft with that most important utilization (the keeping of our passions within due bounds), but it is closely tied, both in operative and symbolic practice, to the square and to the symbol of the point within the circle.

Brother Joseph Fort Newton calls the compasses the most spiritual of symbols. William Blake’s “The Ancient of Days,” a depiction of the Creator with the Compasses though highly anthropomorphic gives us more poignantly than can words Divine symbolism of this instrument – establishing the bounds of creation and scribing the pathways of order in chaos. There is an intimate relationship between this symbolism of Divine creation and the symbolic use of the compasses by the individual mason in keeping his thoughts and actions within due bounds with all mankind. The new Master Mason should ponder why friendship, morality, and brotherly love are said to be contained within the points of the compasses.

Interestingly, the compasses was utilized by operative masons to prove their squares upon which the right relationships of their building depended. Supplemental Sheet M.M. – 1 explains this method.

Anchored upon the central point, it is the compasses’ outward reach which scribes the circle thus establishing one of the most expressive of Masonic symbols.

(References for the Instructor: The Craft and Its Symbols, pp. 36-37, for the point within the circle; Short Talk bulletins, Point Within in the Circle,” August 1931., “Symbolism: The Circle,”February 1962, and “The Compasses,” May 1924.)

With the great number of topics which might be considered and expanded upon at this stage of the new Master Mason’s experience, it is important for him to have the opportunity of appreciating just how remarkable has been the expansion of his own circle of understanding as well as the extended reach of his own symbolic compasses since his start as an accepted candidate. It is of equal importance for him to realize that there is within the Craft – within its mission, its fraternal sharing, and its outreach of inspiration – a universe of potential growth.

Asking the Powerful Questions: More important than knowing easy answers is the asking of those questions which, though of considerable difficulty, lead to understanding. There is a fine set of questions employed by Brother Roscoe Pound in his evaluation and comparison of key Masonic thinkers (see Pound, Masonic Addresses and Writings, p. 4).

A. What is the nature and purpose of Freemasonry? (Or what ought it to be?)

B. What is its place in the rational scheme of human activities? (Or how is Masonry related to other human institutions and does it have a unique mission?)

C. What are the fundamental principles by which Masonry is governed in attaining these ends?

The Hiramic Legend and The Lost Word: For the new (and older) Master Mason, no consideration is more central or important than the search for the meaning of the Hiramic Legend and The Lost Word. The Masonic experience of too many masons has been “short circuited” through accepting ready-made and simplistic versions which purport to give meaning but which in fact are travesties.

In addition to the treatment given in the Pollard Plan Booklet for the Master Mason, the following quotes may serve to “trigger” further discussion between the instructor and the new Master Mason. (References for Instructor: Newton, The Religion of Masonry, especially Chapter Two; Jones, Freemasons’ Guide and Compendium, see under Hiram Abif in the index of that volume; Roberts, The Craft an Its Symbols, pp. 81-88; Short Talk Bulletin, “The Importance of the Legend ~ November 1982.)

Statement made by Edwin Booth who was recognized as one of the foremost Shakespearean actors of his day (1833-1893). (Not to be confused with John Wilkes Booth.)

“In all my research and study, in all my close analysis of the masterpieces of Shakespeare, in my earnest determination to make those plays appear real on the mimic stage, I have never, and nowhere, met tragedy so real, so sublime, so magnificent as the legend of Hiram. It is substance without shadow – the manifest destiny of life which requires no pictures and scarcely a word to make a lasting impression upon all who can understand. To be the Master of a lodge, and to throw my whole soul into that work with the candidate for my audience and the lodge as my stage would be a greater personal distinction than to receive the plaudits of people in the theaters of the world.”  Alan Roberts writing in The Craft and Its Symbols (pp. 84-85):

I. “Through the ‘secrets’ of the Fraternity, we learn that nothing constructive can ever be gained by force. Violence destroys; it never builds. It is much easier to be a wrecker than a builder. Man will always encounter wreckers, ruffians, enemies anxious to extort from him his good name or to acquire something without working for it. There will always be those who will try, through force or otherwise, to make others compromise their fidelity and their trust . . . There is something of the ruffian in all men. The good and the bad are constantly at war with each other in hearts and minds.” (See Roberts p. 85 for consideration of the point that destruction need not always take a physical form and for an interesting interpretation of the symbolic blows.) George Steinmetz writing in The Lost Word – Its Hidden Meaning, pp. 129-130):

“At some time, thousands of years ago, the sun rose in the Sign of Leo the Lion (Zodiac constellation) at the spring equinox (season of regeneration), hence he (the new Master Mason) is said to have been raised by the strong grip or Lion’s Paw.” (Note: Steinmetz’s work must often be considered with some circumspection; however, here he has suggested a very interesting topic for discussion.)  From The Master Mason, instruction booklet of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, (p. 7):

“But the degree of a Master Mason has one other great mystery to show us. We speak of it sometimes as ‘The Word,’ sometimes as ‘that which was lost’, and again as ‘The Lost Word.’ To us it is the symbol of the very truth concerning God and man and the relationship of God to man and man to man. We never find it, yet we constantly seek it with only the assurance that some time, somewhere, when our labors here on earth are ended, when our temple is completed, when Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty exist in one and the same time, then we shall know it in all its fullness. Until then, we must be content with a substitute. So Masonry must remain an unfinished story.”

Joseph Fort Newton writing in The Builders (pp. 288-289):

“When is a man a Mason?…When he knows how to pray, how to love, how to hope. When he has kept the faith with himself, with his fellow man, with his God; in his hand a sword for (against) evil, in his heart a bit of a song – glad to live, but not afraid to die! Such a man has found the only real secret of Masonry, and the one which it is trying to give to all the world.”


Objective: To provide the new Master Mason(s) with the opportunity of discussing the Pollard Plan Booklet, Number Four, with the aim of assisting him in gaining an overview of the Master Mason Degree as viewed in relation to his past Masonic experience and his future role within the Fraternity.

Setting: This session may be held at any location which is conducive to open, private, and uninterrupted discussion. While the previous review sessions involving the Pollard Plan Booklets have stressed the importance of a one-to-one relationship between the instructor and the new Mason, in this case a group discussion involving the instructor and a number of new Master Masons might have advantages by increasing the sense of belonging to a brotherhood of men with similar interests and concerns.

Preparation: The instructor may wish to have a number of the source books commonly used in Masonic studies present at this session – the objective being to simply acquaint the new Master Mason(s) with these works and not to develop a lengthy research.

In addition, the instructor should have a copy of the List of Regular Lodges Masonic (sometimes referred to as The Tyler’s Book), issued by the Grand Lodge, and a copy of the Grand Lodge Proceedings. Too often we tell a new Mason about some item without taking time to actually show him that item.

Atmosphere: As in past sessions, the atmosphere should be one of mutual exploration and not indoctrination and of encouragement of discussion rather than a demonstration of erudition on the part of the instructor. In cases of group discussions, the instructor should tactfully guard against the domination of one or more individuals while without embarrassment seek to “draw out” the more reticent into participation.


Outline of the Pollard Plan Booklet

  • The Sublime Degree pp. 1-2
    • The obligation p. 1
    • The Hiramic Legend p.1
    • The legend as a means of instruction p.1
    • The culmination of the Craft System p. 1
    • The Master Mason in history pp. 1
    • Early practices in conferring the degree p.1
    • Outstanding features in the degree p.1
    • The Grand Masonic Word p.2
    • The appeal of the Master Mason degree p.2
  • The Mason and His Lodge pp. 2-3
    • Lodge membership and lodge charter p. 2
    • Attendance at lodge meetings p. 2
    • Payment of dues p. 2
    • Responsibility at the ballot box p. 2
    • Becoming a working member of the lodge p. 2
    • Dignity and decorum in the lodge p. 3
  • The Grand Lodge p. 3
    • The mason’s relationship to the Grand Lodge p. 3
    • Officers of Grand Lodge p. 3
    • History and statistics p. 3
    • Distinguished masons associated with our Grand Lodge p. 3
    • Charity Fund of the Grand Lodge p. 3
    • Masonic library p. 3
    • The Proceedings p. 3
  • Visitation pp. 3 – 4
    • Reason for p. 4
    • Imposters and clandestine lodges p. 4
    • Prince Hall Masonry p. 4
    • Regular lodges p. 4
    • Privilege of visitation p. 3
    • Being avouched for and examinations p. 4
  • Masonic Law and Discipline p. 4
    • Landmarks p. 4
    • Masonic Common Law p. 4
    • Statute Law p. 4
    • Decisions p. 4
    • By-laws of regular lodges p. 4
    • Masonic
    • Civil
    • Non-payment of dues
    • Other Masonic offenses
    • Trial proceedings
    • Categories
    • Violations p. 4
    • Jurisdiction over offenders p. 4
    • Penalties p. 4
    • Ritualistic penalties p. 4
    • Statute Law in other jurisdictions p. 4
  • Wearing Masonic Insignia p. 5
    • Types of insignia p. 5
    • Wearing Masonic ring p. 5
    • Masonic emblems on stationery p. 5
    • Unethical use of Masonic insignia p. 5
  • Masonic Etiquette & Courtesy pp. 5 – 6
    • Masonic Titles p. 5
    • Grand Honors p. 5
    • The Master’s  Hat p. 5
    • A Seat in the East p. 5
    • Lodge Room Etiquette p. 6
    • Tell Your Friends p. 6
    • Further Details from Elder Brother p. 6
  • The Additional Degrees p. 6
    • The other rites p. 6
    • The York Rite p. 6
    • The Scottish Rite p. 6



Notes to above:

1. Note to Instructor: The new Master Mason should understand that though the additional degrees may well expand his Masonic insight, none can provide by either ancient rubric or newer contrivance a short cut in that quest for the character of a master builder of the spirit and the mind.

2. Note to Instructor: Page 1 of the Pollard Booklet, Number Four, provides an excellent source on the additional degrees, should the new Master Mason have particular questions. The chart “The Steps of Freemasonry” available through the Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Company may also be useful as a visual display.

3. Note to Instructor: Though it is not wise to confuse the new Master Mason with unnecessary scholarly argumentation, the instructor should realize that no subject has been argued at such length as has the historical origin of the Third Degree. The new Master Mason should not construe this statement in the booklet to mean that the degree, as we now know it, can be directly traced to the Middle Age. (Reference: Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia, p. 408 and. 159-162; Jones, Masons’ Guide and Compendium, pp. 146-247.)

4. Reference for Instructor: Jones, Freemasons’ Guide and Compendium, Chapter Seven; Newton, The Builders, pp. 143-184.

5. Note to Instructor: George Washington was raised in Fredericksburg Lodge in Virginia on August 3, 1753. (Ref. Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia, pp. 677-679; Heaton Lodge at Fredericksburg, M.S.A., 1981.)

6.  Note to Instructor: The learning of the Master Mason’s Obligation is a part of the new Master Mason’s work with his Elder Brother; however, the instructor may wish to check to see if the new mason has any points he wishes to discuss. The regulations of the operative Craft found in the “Gothic Constitution” are very closely allied to our present obligation. The new Master Mason may find this fact intriguing. (Ref. Compare obligation to the Regius Manuscript, Coil, pp. 285-286.)

7.  Note to Instructor: For information on penalties, refer the new Master Mason to page 1 of the Pollard Booklets

8.  Note to Instructor: The term “landmark” is of interest in and of itself being derived from those prominent markers of boundaries. The term as used in Freemasonry represents a subject of intense Masonic debate. The Landmarks as recognized by the Grand Lodge of Maine were first drawn up by the eminent Masonic scholar, Albert G. MacKay (Ref. Maine Masonic Textbook, Chapter XIV). For general discussion see Coil’s Masonic

9. Some caution should be exercised in using the term “resurrection” in relation to the teachings of Freemasonry. Technically, the word pertains to doctrines concerning the rising from the dead usually in some form of bodily representation. It is more accurate to say that Freemasonry teaches the immortality of the soul. (Ref. Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia, pp. 517-518.)


10. Note to Instructor: The reference to “mystery cult” and to the “Graeco/Roman world” pertains to a complex of religious rites which dealt with the central issue of life, death, and rebirth. These rites include the mythical figures of Dionysius, Orpheus and the so-called Eleusinian Mysteries. (Ref. Encyclopedia Americana under “Mystery Cults,” and Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia, pp. 206-207.) We must remember that from most ancient times, mankind in widely separated locations has established very similar dramatizations and symbolism in his attempt to understand life and death, as well as the hope of something beyond the grave. Similarities, however intriguing, do not necessarily indicate any direct relationship with ancient practices. As the Pollard Booklet wisely points out, Masonic scholars have not demonstrated an unquestioned source for the Hiramic Legend.

11. Reference for Instructor: Freemasons’ Guide and Compendium, Chapter l.

12. Note to Instructor: The new Master Mason should understand that this sited fact does not necessarily indicate any Christian source of the Hiramic Legend, but may indicate the use of more ancient symbolism known to the operative Craft being employed to express the Christian message.

13. Note to Instructor: This paragraph deserves special attention by the new Master Mason. It states clearly a most fundamental and profound consideration in the understanding of Freemasonry and its teachings. (Ref. Short Talk Bulletins, M.S.A.; “The Legend of the Lost Word,’ May I 928,~ ‘1The Lost Word,” November 1955; also Tried and Proven, pp. 45-47; and Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols, pp. 81-90; Coil’s Mason Encyclopedia,p. 516.)

14. Note to Instructor: Material for reviewing the symbols described in the Third Degree Lecture is provided in hand out sheets numbers 2 and 3.

15 Reference for Instructor: Tried and Proven, pp’. 57-59.

16.Suggestion to Instructor: The instructor may wish to ask the new Master Mason to list those duties to his lodge which the new mason feels are most important to the continuing of its labors.

17. Note to Instructor: The obvious truth entailed in this advice should not mislead the instructor into thinking its wisdom self-evident to the new Master Mason. This may be a good opportunity for the instructor to share the good which he, himself, derives from lodge attendance.

18. Note to Instructor: Special attention should be given to the phrase “sobering responsibility.” Though our ritual and our lodge practice clearly defines the duty of a mason in respects to the ballot box, any man sensitive to human feelings will be faced with a difficult decision sooner or later in his Masonic experience concerning this matter. Perhaps no other consideration calls for so much soul-searching as does this important “sobering responsibility.”

19. Note to Instructor: An important part of any new Master Mason’s education is an early involvement in the work of the lodge both its degree work and its service to others. This involvement should not be left to chance or to the individual brother’s initiative alone but rather should be purposefully “engineered.”


20. & 21. Note to Instructor: Unfortunately, the new Master Mason may have witnesses and probably shall see examples which fall short of both dignity and decorum. The instructor should address any past experiences which may be bothering the new mason. He should be frank in his discussion of the fact that not all masons understand the important consideration being treated in this section of the Pollard Booklet. He should be encouraging the new Master Mason to join with those who take Freemasonry’s degree work seriously. In addition, the new mason may be able to suggest ways in which the work in his lodge might be made more impressive.

22 Note to Instructor: The new Master Mason may need additional information to fully appreciate the present day relationship between the individual mason and the Grand Lodge as seen against the background of those traditions which reflect the medieval era of the operative Craft. Unless he senses the necessity of order and proper government of the Fraternity, such a phrase as “liege subject” may seem quite out of keeping with a democratic society.

23. Suggestion to Instructor: It may be worthwhile to point out that Past Grand Masters and Past Grand Wardens are permanent members of the Grand Lodge and that these members along with the present officers of Grand Lodge and the three representatives from each subordinate lodge have one vote each.

24. Reference for Instructor: Pollard, History of Grand Lodge of Maine. The instructor may wish to make mention of some prominent member of Grand Lodge who belongs or has belonged to the new Master Mason’s own lodge. The name of Ralph Pollard should be added to the list of Maine’s great masons.

25. General Note: All lodges should build a library which has those essential sources used in the program of Masonic education. However, the Grand Lodge Library is apt to be the only source for many Masonic works not in the lodge library. Special emphasis should be placed upon this exceptional opportunity to use this fine collection. The new Master Mason should copy down the address of the Grand Secretary. Note should be made of the list of 11Recommended Books(1 on pages 20-22 of the Pollard Booklet along with mention of those sources which have been used in the course of the review sessions.

26. Note to Instructor: The new Master Mason should be told that he will have an opportunity to see and to practice the necessary steps for passing an examination to sit in another lodge. This instruction session will be part of the “Fourth Night Program.”


27. Note to Instructor: The new mason should be shown a copy of The List of Regular Lodges Masonic. He may have questions concerning the meaning of “clandestine lodges” even after having read the Pollard Booklet.


These sections will be either reinforced by “The Fourth Night” instructional session or are such that the new Master Mason can study them independently. The instructor should check to see that the new mason realizes the fund of information contained in these pages and to see if he already has any questions over this material. For this purpose, the outline of the booklet provided in this manual maybe helpful.

The new mason should realize that the practices discussed in Section V are still very much in effect, and that the ostentatious use of the Masonic emblem and especially its use for personal aggrandizement are counter to the spirit and the purposes of Freemasonry. He should make himself familiar with those points of Masonic etiquette which will be essential in his participation in the business and work of his lodge. The elder brother should emphasize these points during the first times that the new master mason attends his lodge.


Culmination – the high point or the final destination toward which all preceding activity has been leading.

Jurisdiction – the rights and authority to direct and control.

Sovereign authority (in this case ) – an authority over which there is no other authority.

Magistrate – person who has the authority to govern and/or to administrate the laws of city or state.

Royal Burgh – in earlier times a city which had been granted a charter from the King.

Synonymous – that which is the same as something else.

Discernible – able to be seen or proved to be present.

Ritual – that part of our Masonic teachings and degree work which is written down (usually in code) and which is officially recognized as being correct.

Landmarks – those most important statements of the Fraternity which describe its beliefs and practices just as boundary markers show the extent and place of pieces of land.

Righteous man – a person who lives by that which he feels is right and morally good.

Vicissitudes – changes in our lives which fall upon us by chance, usually referring to unfavorable events.

Blissful – without worry, pain or troubles.

Mystery cults – ancient religious groups joined by particular beliefs and ceremonies concerning life, death and immortality.

Miracle or Morality Plays – plays or short dramas put on to teach particular religious beliefs and moral actions. These were used when most of the people could not read the Bible

Inspiration – that which gives one a feeling of well-being, new understanding and the will to live in a particular way.

Crude – not fancy. As used in this context, the term does not indicate a lack of good taste but rather a simple, frank presentation

By virtue – by right or by given authority.

Imbibe – to fill with.

Customs and usages – those ways of doing which over the years have come to be regarded as proper and expected.

Blackball – an object which may not always be a ball in shape with which a voter may express his wish not to accept a person for initiation. This is a very old item used in secret ballots.

Dignity – acting with good sense, proper respect, and a serious attitude which fits the situation.

Decorum – proper and expected conduct and appearance.

Executive – that part of the leadership in an organization which has to do with conducting and managing its affairs.

Legislative – that part of an organization which makes the rules under which the group will function.

Judicial – that part of an organized society which judges and makes sure that the laws are carried out.

Prerogatives – rights, powers and recognized privileges.

Immemorial – referring to the past

Annual per capita assessment – a required contribution to the working funds of the Grand Lodge or individual lodge made once each year and figured as so much for each member of each lodge.

Avouched for – a statement made by a mason which proves the proper Masonic membership of another mason.

Imposters – persons who claim to be masons and who are not.

Victimize – to wrongly treat and take advantage of others by fraud for one’s own ends.

Clandestine – referring to lodges meeting in secret and without the proper recognition of the Fraternity.

Spurious – false and not genuine although it may appear to be so.

Civil law – the law of the land in which one lives.

Reprimand – to tell someone that they are or have acted wrongly and to warn of consequences should such acts continue.

Suspension – to remove the rights and privileges for a certain length of time.

Expulsion – to remove a mason from the Fraternity and to take away all standing as a Freemason.

Statute Law – rules and regulations which are written down as permanent law for the government of a society or state.



The Proving of the Square


Symbols of the Third Degree and appropriate questions.


Review of symbols from the three degrees and appropriate questions.


Outline of the Master Mason Charge


Glossary of Words used in the Third Degree



There is a fascinating and intimate association between the symbols employed by Freemasonry and the concepts and ideas they represent. What is true of individual symbols is equally the case with combinations of symbols which offer analogies that lead our thoughts to new appreciation’s and explorations. The old operative method of proving the square offers such an intriguing association involving the square, the compasses, the circle, and the point within the circle. One may also add the ancient symbolism of the triangle to further enrich this old “secret” of the trade.

1. Draw a circle using the compasses.

2. With a straightedge draw a line which cuts the circle in halves by running through the center of the circle.

3. Place a dot on the circle’s circumference at any place you choose.

4. Draw two lines which connect the dot on the circumference with the two points where the straight line crosses the circle’s circumference as shown below:


You have now formed a perfect right angle by which a square can be tested.

Note: See Allen Robert’s The Craft and Its Symbols, pp.62-63.



1. Which of figures represents esoteric symbols? p125symbols.gif (15739 bytes)

2. What is the meaning of term “esoteric”?

3. Which figure is associated with a well spent life?

4. When you look at figure ”a”, what comes to your mind?

5. Industry is the theme of which figure?

6. What is the name of the great mathematician associated with figure “k”?

7. Which figure is associated with greed, ignorance, and violence?

8. Faith and hope are symbolized by which figure?

9. One symbol represents the duration of human life while another has to do with the stages of human life. Which figures are they?

10. A pure heart is symbolized by which figure?

.11. Circumspection is a key word in the meaning of which figure?

12. Is there any relationship between the lessons taught by the symbols shown in figures “f” and “j”?

13. In what regards do figures “i” and “a” belong together?

14. Man’s ability to reason and to construct useful designs is symbolized in which figure?

15. What relationship do figures “d”, “l” and “n” have?

16. Is there any connection between the meaning of symbols “a” and “h”?




sheetmm3A.gif (28894 bytes)

1. The badge of a mason

2. The working tools of a Fellowcraft.

3. The ornaments of a lodge.

4. State of perfection and state of imperfection.

5. Symbolizing the advance of architecture through history.

6. The immortality of the soul.

7. Symbol associated with the spreading of brotherly love.

8. The working tools of an Entered Apprentice.

9. The working tool especially associated with a Master Mason.

10. Symbol associated with faith, hope and charity.

11. Symbol of human life (may be more than one)~

12. Symbol of a wise division of time.

13. An instrument which symbolizes equality.

14. Symbol of the lesser lights.

15. Symbol of the pure heart.

16. A symbol which teaches morality and right actions.

17. A symbol of a mason’s devotion to the arts and sciences.

18. Two objects represented by the lesser lights.

19. A symbol of youth, manhood and age.

20. A tool closely associated with the Craft but not a working tool.

21. Symbol of rectitude.

22. A symbol which teaches us to circumscribe our desires.

23. A symbol of circumspection and watchfulness.

24. A symbol of innocence.

25. An instrument which can be used to prove a square.

26. Symbol of those designs and plans by which a mason should live.

27. Symbol of Divine Providence (may be a symbol within a symbol).

28. Emblem of industry and of taking one’s part.

29. Symbol associated with the bounds of a mason’s obligation.

30. A symbol of plenty.

31. Symbol associated with ancient branches of learning (may be a symbol within a symbol).

32. Jewel of a master of a lodge.

33. Symbol of time as well as of death.

34. Symbol associated with a genius and master of geometry.

35. Symbol which includes the fact of good and evil in life.

36. The Great Light of Freemasonry (in our jurisdiction).

37. The jewel of a junior warden.

38. Symbol of the human senses (may be a symbol within a symbol).

39. A symbol associated with violence and death.

40. Symbol associated with the universality of Masonry (may be a symbol within a symbol).

41. Symbol of strength.

42. Symbol involved with the inevitability of divine justice:

43. Symbol of a well spent life.

44. Symbol representing an individual brother (may be a symbol within a symbol).

45. The jewel of the senior warden.




  • Zeal, progress, and conformity to regulations recognized
  • Duties assumed:
    • Dignity of character
    • Obedience to tenets of the Order
  • Authorizations
    • To correct errors
    • To guard against breach of fidelity in other masons
  • Conduct
    • Preserve the reputation of the Fraternity
    • Relationships with inferiors, equals, and superiors
    • Universal benevolence and excellence of example
    • Preservation of the ancient landmarks and usages
  • What is Involved
    • Your virtue, honor and reputation
    • Supporting with dignity the character you now bear
    • No motive to cause violation of duty or vows
  • Reward:

Meriting the honor and confidence of your brethren



Affability (adj.) – easy and courteous in manner; mild

Artificer (n) – a skillful designer, one who constructs with skill

Atheist (n) – one who disbelieves in GOD or the existence of GOD

Benevolence (n) – any act of kindness or well-doing; charity; humanity

Chastity (n) – the state of being a virgin; purity

Circumscribe (v) to confine within bounds; restrict

Dotage (n) – Feebleness of mind, due to old age; senility

Fidelity (n) – faithfulness in the discharge of duty or of obligation

Induced (v) – to lead to or produce, to reach a conclusion by the process of reasoning

Libertine (n) – one who acts without moral restraint; a dissolute person.

Nonage (n) – immaturity

Province (n) – authority assigned or belonging to a person

Sublime (adj.) – being of the highest degree; supreme; utmost

Tenet (n) – an opinion that a person or organization maintains as true

Unsullied (v) – to prevent injury to or tarnish of

(List compiled by W. Brother Arthur Fowles)

Background for the Instructor – The Craft and It’s Symbols is, for both symbols and working tools which are arranged by degree; Speculative Masonry by MacBride, Chapter II (The Law of The Square); Short Talk Bulletins as follows “Presenting the Working Tools,” August 1961; “Tool Symbolism,” February 1952; “A Living Perpendicular,” November 1955; “Horizontals,” November 1966; “The Level and The Plumb,” June 1924; and “The Square,” April 1924

Maine Masonic Textbook

Short Talk Bulletin, “The Trowel,” October 1960