Enciclopédia Mackey – INITIATION ~ INNS




A term used by the Romans to designate admission into the mysteries of their sacred and secret rites. It is derived from the word initia, which signifies the first principles of a science. Thus Justin (Liber or book xi, chapter 7) says of Midas, King of Phrygia, that he was initiated into the mysteries by Orpheus, Ab Orpheo sacrorum solemnibus initiatus. The Greeks used the term Muat la, from ,uuar71puav, a mystery. From the Latin, the Freemasons have adopted the word to signify a reception into their Order. It is sometimes specially applied to a reception into the First Degree, but he who has been made an Entered Apprentice is more correctly said to be Entered (see Mysteries).


Professor Sayce, in his Hibbert Lecture, on the origin and growth of religion as illustrated by the religion of the ancient Babylonians (page 241), tells us of a tablet which describes the initiation of an Augur, a prophet, a soothsayer or fortune-teller, one foretelling future events by interpreting omens and giving advice upon these things, and states how one of these must be “of pure lineage, unblemished in hand or foot,” and speaks thus of the vision which is revealed to him before he is “initiated and instructed in the presence of Samas and Rimmon in the use of the book and stylus” by the ascribe, the instructed one, who keeps the oracle of the gods.” He is made to descend into an artificial imitation of the lower world and there beholds “the altars amid the waters, the treasures of Anu, Bel, and Ea. the tablets of the Gods, the delivery of the oracle of Heaven and Earth, and the cedar-tree, the beloved of the great gods, which their command has caused to grow.”


Latin, meaning As a memorial. Words frequently placed at the heads of pages in the Transactions of Grand Lodges on which are inscribed the names of Brethren who have died during the past year. The fuller phrase, in Latin, of which they are an abbreviated form, is In perpetuam rei meinoriam, meaning, As a perpetual memorial of the event. Words often inscribed on pillars erected in commemoration of some person or thing.


An officer of a Lodge, according to the English system, whose functions correspond in some particulars with those of the Junior Deacon in the American Rite. His duties are to admit visitors, to receive candidates, and to obey the commands of the Junior Warden. This officer is unknown in the American system.


Name of the sixth grade of von Hund’s Templar system.


There is a well-known maxim of the law which says Omnis innovatio plus nontate perturbat quam utilitate prodest, that is, every innovation occasions more harm and disarrangement by its novelty than benefit by its actual utility. This maxim is peculiarly applicable to Freemasonry, those system is opposed to all innovations. Thus Doctor Dalcho says, in his Ahiman Rezon (page 191), “Antiquity is dear to a Mason’s heart; innovation is treason, and saps the venerable fabric of the Order.” In accordance with this sentiment, we find the installation charges of the Master of a Lodge affirming that “it is not in the power of any man or body of men to make innovations in the body of Masonry.”

By the “body of Masonry” is here meant, undoubtedly, the landmarks, which have always been declared to be unchangeable. The non-essentials, such as the local and general regulations and the lectures, are not included in this term. The former are changing every day, according as experience or caprice suggests improvement or alteration. The most important of these changes in the United States has been the tendency to abolition of the Quarterly Communications of the Grand Lodge, and the substitution for them, of an annual Communication. But, after all, this is, perhaps. only a recurrence to first usages; for, although Anderson says that in 1717 the Quarterly Communications “were revived,” there is no evidence extant that before that period the Freemasons ever met except once a year in their General Assembly. If so, the change in 1717 was an innovation, and not that which has almost universally prevailed in the United States.

The lectures, which are but the commentaries on the ritual and the interpretation of the symbolism, have been subjected, from the time of Anderson to the present day, to repeated modifications.

But notwithstanding the repugnance of Freemasons to innovations, a few have occurred in the Order. Thus, on the formation of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, as they called themselves in contradistinction to the regular Grand Lodge of England, which was styled the Grand Lodge of Moderns, the former Body, to prevent the intrusion of the latter upon their meetings, made changes in some of the modes of recognition—changes which, although Dalcho has said that they amounted to no more than a dispute “whether the glove should be placed first upon the right hand or on the left” (Ahitnan Rezon, page 193), were among the causes of continuous acrimony among the two Bodies, which was only healed, in 1813, by a partial sacrifice of principle on the part of the legitimate Grand Lodge, and have perpetuated differences which still exist among the English and American and the Continental Freemasons.

But the most important innovation which sprang out of this unfortunate schism is that which is connected with the Royal Arch Degree. On this subject there have been two theories: One, that the Royal Arch Degree originally constituted a part of the Master’s Degree, and that it was dissevered from it the Ancient; the other, that it never had any existence until it was invented by Ramsay, and adopted by Dermott for his Antient Grand Lodge. If the first, which is the most probable and the most generally received opinion, be true, then the regular or Modern Grand Lodge committed an innovation in continuing the disseverance at the Union in 1813. If the second be the true theory, then the Grand Lodge equally perpetuated an innovation in recognizing it as legal, and declaring, as it did, that “Antient Craft Masonry consists of three degrees, including the Holy Royal Arch.” But however the innovation may have been introduced, the Royal Arch Degree has now beeome, so far as the York and American Rites are concerned, well settled and recognized as an integral part of the Masonic system. About the same time there was another innovation attempted in France. The adherents of the Pretender, Charles Edward, sought to give to Freemasonry a political bias in favor of the exiled house of Stuarts, and, for this purpose, altered the interpretation of the great legend of the Third Degree, so as to make it applicable to the execution or, as they called it, the martyrdom of Charles I. But this attempted innovation was not successful, and the system in which this lesson was practiced has ceased to exist. although its workings are now and then seen in some of the advanced Degrees, without, however, any manifest evil effect.

On the whole, the spirit of Freemasonry, so antagonistic to innovation, has been successfully maintained; and an investigator of the system as it prevailed in the year 1717, and as it is maintained at the present day, will not refrain from wonder at the little change which has been brought about by the long cycle of these many years.


Latin, meaning In perpetual memory of the thing.


The initials of the Latin sentence which was placed upon the cross: Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum, meaning Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. The Rosicrucians used them as the initials of one of their Hermetic secrets: Igne Natura Rerun vatur Integra7 meaning that BJ fire, natureis perfectly renewed. They also adopted them to express the names of their three elementary principles salt, sulphur, and mercury by making them the initials of the sentence, Igne Nitrum Roris Invenitur. Ragon finds in the equivalent Hebrew letters nor the initials of the Hebrew names of the ancient elements: Iaminim, water; Nour, fire; Ruach, air; and Iebschah, earth.


A Court or Tribunal especially established in the twelfth century by Innocent III, to apprehend and punish heretics or persons guilty of any offense against orthodoxy. Freemasonry has always been the subject of much disapproval by the Roman Catholic Church and the Fraternity has been victimized by Papal pronunciations and Bulls issued by one after the other of the popes. Although Freemasonry makes a subscription to a belief in the existence of a Supreme Being a necessity yet the Roman Church chooses to regard its teachings as atheistic and as such has pursued, tortured, imprisoned and burned the Brethren of the Order at every period during the entire course of the Inquisition. Llorente, everywhere regarded as a reliable authority as he was secretary of the Inquisition at Madrid from 1789 to 1791, having access to the original documents and records, says in his History of the Inquisition:

The first severe measure against Freemasons in Europe was that decreed on December 14, 1732, by the Chamber of Police of the Chatelet at Paris: it prohibited Freemasons from assembling, and condemned M. Chapelot to a penalty of 6000 lives for having suffered them to assemble in his house. Louis IV commanded that those peers of France, and other gentlemen who had the privilege of the entry, should be deprived of that honor if they were members of a Masonic Lodge. The Grand Master of the Parisian Lodges, being obliged to quit France, convoked an assembly of Freemasons to appoint his successor. Louis XV, on being informed of this declared that if a Frenchman was elected, he would send him to the Bastille.


A record of the 1590’s shows that at that period there were Lodges in existence in Great Britain which had both Operatives and non-Operatives in their membership; and the records of that period indicate that such Lodges had been in existence long before 1590. The first written version of the Old Charges was made it is believed, in the middle of the Fourteenth Century, or during the latter half of it. These Lodges were small in membership, therefore only a few of the men in the building trades were in them. These two facts together suggest that there must have been some special occasions, some particular event, or unusual set of circumstances, at some time and place, to account for these special Masonic organizations. There are two known historical occasions, either one of which would satisfy this theory. One of these has been carefully studied by Bros. Knoop and Jones in a paper published in Economic History, February, 1937, entitled “The Impressment of Masons for Windsor Castle” and to a more limited extent by Knoop, Jones, and Hamer w in The Two Earliest Masonic MSS., pp. 12, 13, 23. On page 12 of the latter they write: For the supply of these wage workers the Crown relied to a considerable extent upon impressment. The practice of pressing masons, as well as other craftsmen and laborers, was very common at this period. (1300 to 1400.) fin some eases orders were issued to sheriffs to take masons and to send them to certain royal works by specified dates; in other cases the master mason or clerk of the works at some particular building operation was authorized to press ‘ such labor as was required. Occasionally the Crown would authorize the Church or other employers to ‘impress masons.” After referring to the cases of impressment in Wales, they write on page 23: “The influence exerted, however, was probably slight compared with that exercised by the greatly increased use of impressment from 1344 onwards and in particular by its wholesale adoption in 136S3, when Masons from almost every county in England were assembled in such large numbers at Windsor Castle, that the continuator of the Polychronicon could write that William Wykeham had gathered at Windsor almost all the masons and carpenters in England. Though the chronicler’s statement was doubtless an exaggeration, the vast gathering of Masons at Windsor in 136S3 must have marked an epoch in Masonic history and probably contributed more than any other single event to the unification and consolidation of the Masons’ customs, and very possibly led to their first being set down in writing.” (Note. It does not follow that violence was used in the impressment of masons and carpenters; it Mras the only available means by which large numbers of craftsmen could be brought together at one time and place.) In his The Masonic Poem of 1390, Circa, (page 28) Bro. Roderick H. Baxter notes a similar concentration of craftsmen, a ad, as will transpire from the paragraph, it has one advantage over the above suggestion. He is referring to the Regius MS.: “So far as the location of the writing is concerned, Dr. Begemann, after a careful and minute philological enquiry into the dialects of the country, succeeded in placing it at the South of Worcestershire or Herefordshire or even the North of Gloucestershire. [Dialects in the period hardly stopped short of being separate languages.] Assuming this conclusion to be correct— and no one, so far as I am aware, has ever tried to controvert it—we have only to examine the architectural remains in this district, to find that great activity of building was proceeding at the time of writing. The cathedrals of Worcester, Hereford and Gloucester—to say nothing of the various abbeys and minor buildings in the neighborhood—all exhibit remarkable traces of the architecture of the period, and although a similarity of activity could of course be traced to other parts of the country, I think this evidence may fairly be accepted as confirmatory of our learned Brother’s view [Begemann]. so far as I am personally concerned, I would like to assume that the poem [Regtus MS.] was written for the benefit of the craftsmen engaged in the erection of the beautiful (and unusually placed) cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral, for Mr. Wyatt Papworth tells us, that the work was completed under Abbot Froucester between 1381 and 1412, dates which very nearly coincide with the range of time during which experts have placed the writing. ” There is yet a third possibility, although it has no connection with the subject of impressment, and it has the advantage of conforming to an old tradition. This is the possibility that the required set of special circumstances may have occurred at York. According to old records the first church was built there in 627 A.D. (This is according to Bede.) This was destroyed by fire in 741 A.D. In 767 A.D. a second, and much larger church was built, but this also was destroyed by fire in 1069 when Northumbrians attacked the city. In 1070 a Norman, Archbishop Thomas, rebuilt the church; in 1171 a new Choir was built; a new Nave was begun in 1291 and completed in 1340. This latter date brings us into the period presupposed for the original version of the Old Charges, and when, according to this writer’s own hypothesis, the first independent, permanent Lodges began to appear. The Presbytery was begun in 1361, completed in 1373. The Choir (presupposing the old one had been lost by fire) was begun in 1380, completed in 1400. In 1405 the central tower was begun, and other equally important operations continued until 1472. (A set of Fabric Rolls is authority for much of this data.) Thus, as Albert G. Mackey says, “For the long period of eight hundred and forty-five years, with some halting, the great work of building a cathedral in the city of York was pursued by Freemasons . . . ” (And other buildings also; see Clegg’s Mackey’s Revised History of Freemasonry, page 1135 ff.) Dr. Begemann placed the writing of the Refries MS. in Herefordshire—Worcestershire—Gloucestershire but the Regius was a copy of an original; the latter may well have been written in York.)`


George Pomfret was in 1728 appointed by the Grand Lodge of England to be Provincial Grand Master of East India (not to be confused with the East Indies) but nothing farther is known of him. The following year Captain Ralph Farwinter succeeded him, and in 1730 constituted Lodge No 72 in Bengal. (In 1731 he sent a gift of money and liquor to the Grand Lodge at London; he did not receive a reply until two years afterwards. India suffered as much as did the Provincial Grand Lodges in America from the silences, always long and often absolute, of the Grand Secretary in London; the Grand Secretary- ship appears for many years to have been a paralytic arm of the Mother Grand Lodge except in the immediate circles of London.) The first Lodge on the Coast of Coromandel was established at Madras in 1752. In the Presidency of Bombay, Lodge No. 234 was constituted at Bombay in 1758, and Lodge No. 569 at Surat in 1798; a Provincial Grand Master was appointed in 1763. Ceylon received no Lodge until 1761, when a military Lodge was brought there by a regiment with a Charter from the Ancient Grand Lodge. It will thus be seen that the planting of the Craft in India coincided with the period of its establishment in America, and by English merchants, soldiers, and sailors first, followed by Irish and Scottish. The Lodges were of the same pattern, used the same Constitutions and Rituals, were composed of men of the same type; and as with Indians here so with Hindus there, it was not until long afterwards and then in small numbers only that they began to be admitted into membership. Of Freemasonry itself, there was in India no trace before the white man arrived. Some Theosophists, Rosicrucians, and other occultists have argued that Freemasonry originated in India, but they produce no facts and their reasoning is weak—as when one of them argues that the thread worn by a Brahmin around his neck is the origin of the Cable Tow! In no other land in the world were the social, political, and religious customs less likely to produce Freemasonry, or anything similar to it in principles and teachings. The whole people were cut asunder by a caste system which made impossible any universality or meeting on the level or fraternalism; the 500 or so native states were (and still are) under personal despotisms which have always forbidden free associations; the religious cleavages are as abysmic as the caste cleavages; and nothing is farther from the truth than the notion that because the religion called Hinduism finds room in it for a million gods it would therefore find room in it for a million religions; its gods are Hindu gods, and it has never yet found room in itself for Mohammedanism, Judaism, Buddhism (it drove Buddhism out of India), Lamaism, Parsceism, or Christianity though it has been surrounded by these and many other religions for centuries. Indians are much given to the use of symbols, rites, ceremonies, and once had a large gild system; but the same has been true of every other people. Nothing in Indian philosophies, which are neither so numerous nor so profound as Americans have been led to believe (most of them are unbelievably crude) coincides at any point with the philosophy of Freemasonry- None of the many origins of Freemasonry had their first roots in India.


American Indians, including those in Canada, Mexico, Central, and South America (perhaps 25,000,000 in all), are divided into peoples, and these peoples are divided into either tribes or clans, or both; and they are remarkable for their large number of independent languages—among the Pueblo villages in New Mexico, no one of which has a population over 3,000, four separate languages are used. But it is equally extraordinary that in spite of these multiplying units of peoples and languages, and the lack of central or general states and governments, Indians are everywhere singularly at one in a continual use of ceremonies, for innumerable purposes, and on innumerable occasions—some of them improvise ceremonies on the spot for some special purpose. A learned Indian in the Pueblo of Isleta said: we are a race who always have believed in the power of ceremonies.” In the tens of thousands of ceremonies in North, Central, and South America together, there are countless emblems, symbols, rites, signs, passwords, etc. It was inevitable that one of those should occasionally coincide with some symbol or rite of Freemasonry (the Navajos have an outdoor ceremony strikingly like the Third Degree); it was from this inevitable coincidence that the belief arose a century ago that the Indians (the Mayan were an Indian people) had possessed Freemasonry before Columbus came, whereas in fact they had none of it, and at the present have none except among the comparatively few Indian members of regular Lodges. (See The Builder; consult index under Arthur C. Parker, and Alanson Skinner. See also page 480 of this Encyclopedia.) (It is among the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico and of Arizona [the Hopis are a Pueblo people] that the Indian prepossession with and great talent for ceremonies can be studied best, because they have carried ceremonies to their perfection, and to an extreme. See in especial The Delight Makers, by Adolph Bandelier. It is the “classic on the American Indian”; the characters are fictitious, but otherwise, as Pueblo Indians themselves admit, nothing else in it is fictional. Next in rank to it is Zuni Folk Tales, by Frank Hamilton Cushing; G. P. Putnam’s Sons; New York; 1901. Since Cushing [who lived at Zuni Pueblo] wrote his path-finding study, Hodge, Hewitt, Webster, and a long succession of specialists have produced a large literature.) The principal feature of the Pueblo cosmology is shipapu, or Underworld, from which Indian peoples came to the Upper World and to which they return, the entrance being at the “Four Corners,” a spot roughly in the region where Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado meet. In shipapu are the katcinas, which are not gods, or demons, or nature forces, but a “Something” impossible for a white man to envisage; each of them is in control of one of the many large cycles or things or regular occurrences, such as winds, rains, growing crops, seasons, death, etc. The Pueblo Indian believes that his ceremonies can set into action, or stop, or otherwise affect these katcinas. They are therefore, in his eyes, not dances, or prayers, or religious rites, or symbols, but a means of getting something done; a ceremony may set a katcina into action just as a horse may set a wagon in motion. Such ceremonies obviously have nothing in common with Masonic ceremonies; so also with ceremonies used by other Indian peoples, which, though they are unlike Pueblo ceremonies, are the same in principle.


The sketches and floor plans of the Goose and Gridiron on pages 412 and 413 are reminders of the fact that the inns and taverns in which the Speculative Lodges met in Great Britain and America during the Eighteenth Century were not like the modern hotel or bar-room, but were a center of hospitality of a type no longer met with; nor were they like the present-day English “pub.” The inn was often one of the most distinguished buildings in a town; beautifully constructed and furnished; and managed by an inn-keeper and a staff who made of hospitality a trained profession. Except in the smallest villages the majority of inns were built with at least one large room designed for Lodges and clubs, and these usually had a private service stairway from the rear, so that even after a Lodge’s doors were closed it could still make use of the facilities of the kitchen, the wine cellar, and the staff of servants. Each inn had a sign in front which consisted of a picture and which gave it its name—The King’s Head, The Boar’s Head, The White Horse, etc. A Masonic Lodge took its name from the inn in which it met, and it was not until the end of the Century that Lodges began to be numbered. Even as late as the end of the Nineteenth Century American Lodges here and there continued to meet in hotels; there are some of these old buildings still standing, especially in the Middle West, and on the old coach runs; in more than one of them the old fashioned judas window is still in an upstairs door, though it has been a half century since Lodges made use of them. Lodge meetings in inns and taverns were never completely satisfactory; some Lodges must never have found them satisfactory to any degree, because their Minutes show that they kept moving about every one or two years. A lack of privacy, the inconvenience of having to pack furniture and paraphernalia away after each meeting, difficulties with landlords, and the over-nearness of the bar, these were disadvantages; but it is probable that the many small early Lodges could not have managed under any other system. A joke has been made of the fact that the first Grand Lodge of Speculative Freemasonry held its first Grand Communion in a tavern but no Eighteenth Century Englishman or American would have seen any point to the joke; learned societies, clubs, religious groups, literary circles, scientific bodies (like the Royal Society), artists’ groups, public officers, army and navy clubs, clubs of philosophers, an endless number of such societies met in the same rooms. A good tavern was highly respected in any community; its “mine host” often was the first citizen of his town. See The English Inn; Past and Present, by H. D. Eberlein; J. B. Lippincott Co.; Philadelphia; 1926.

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