NAME. All Hebrew names are significant, and were originally imposed with reference to some fact or feature in the history or character of the persons receiving them. Camden says that the same custom prevailed among all the nations of antiquity. So important has this subject been considered, that "Onomastica," or treatises on the signification of names have been written by Eusebius and St. Jerome, by Simonis and Hillerus, and by several other scholars, of whom Eusebe Salverte is the most recent and the most satisfactory. Shuckford (Connect. ii. 377) says that the Jewish Rabbins thought that the true knowledge of names was a science preferable to the study of the written law.
NAME OF GOD. The true pronunciation, and consequently the signification, of the name of God can only be obtained through a cabalistical interpretation.
It is a symbol of divine truth. None but those who are familiar with the subject can have any notion of the importance bestowed on this symbol by the Orientalists. The Arabians have a science called Ism Allah, or the science of the name of God; and the Talmudists and Rabbins have written copiously on the same subject. The Mussulmans, says Salverte (Essai sur les Noms, ii. 7), have one hundred names of God, which they repeat while counting the beads of a rosary.
NEOPHYTE. (From the Greek νέον and φυιὸν, a new plant.) One who has been recently initiated in the Mysteries. St. Paul uses the same word (I Tim. iii. 6) to denote one who had been recently converted to the Christian faith.
NOACHIDAE. The descendants of Noah, and the transmitters of his religious dogmas, which were the unity of God and the immortality of the soul. The name has from the earliest times been bestowed upon the Freemasons, who teach the same doctrines. Thus in the "old charges," as quoted by Anderson (Const. edit. 1738, p. 143), it is said, "A mason is obliged by his tenure to observe the moral law as a true Noachidae."
NOACHITES. The same as Noachidae, which see.
NORTH. That part of the earth which, being most removed from the influence of the sun at his meridian height, is in Freemasonry called "a place of darkness." Hence it is a symbol of the profane world.
NORTH-EAST CORNER. An important ceremony of the first degree, which refers to the north-east corner of the lodge, is explained by the symbolism of the corner-stone.
The corner-stone of a building is always laid in the north-east corner, for symbolic reasons.
The north-east point of the heavens was especially sacred among the Hindoos.
In the symbolism of Freemasonry, the north refers to the outer or profane world, and the east to the inner world of Masonry; and hence the north-east is symbolic of the double position of the neophyte, partly in the darkness of the former, partly in the light of the latter.
NUMBERS. The symbolism of sacred numbers, which prevails very extensively in Freemasonry, was undoubtedly borrowed from the school of Pythagoras; but it is just as likely that he got it from Egypt or Babylon, or from both. The Pythagorean doctrine was, according to Aristotle (Met. xii. 8), that all things proceed from numbers. M. Dacier, however, in his life of the philosopher, denies that the doctrine of numbers was taught by Pythagoras himself, but attributes it to his later disciples. But his arguments are not conclusive or satisfactory.
OATH OF SECRECY. It was always administered to the candidate in the ancient Mysteries.
ODD NUMBERS. In the system of Pythagoras, odd numbers were symbols of perfection. Hence the sacred numbers of Freemasonry are all odd. They are 3, 5, 7, 9, 15, 27, 33, and 81.
OIL. An element of masonic consecration, and, as a symbol of prosperity and happiness, is intended, under the name of the "oil of joy," to indicate the expected propitious results of the consecration of any thing or person to a sacred purpose.
OLIVE. In a secondary sense, the symbol of peace and of victory; but in its primary meaning, like all the other Sacred plants of antiquity, a symbol of immortality; and thus in the Mysteries it was the analogue of the acacia of the Freemasons.
OLIVER. The Rev. George Oliver, D.D., of Lincolnshire, England, who died in 1868, is by far the most distinguished and the most voluminous of the English writers on Freemasonry. Looking to his vast labors and researches in the arcana of the science, no student of masonry can speak of his name or his memory without profound reverence for his learning, and deep gratitude for the services that he has accomplished. To the author of this work the recollection will ever be most grateful that he enjoyed the friendship of so good and so great a man; one of whom we may testify, as Johnson said of Goldsmith, that "nihil quod tetigit non ornavit." In his writings he has traversed the whole field of masonic literature and science, and has treated, always with great ability and wonderful research, of its history, its antiquities, its rites and ceremonies, its ethics, and its symbols. Of all his works, his "Historical Landmarks," in two volumes, is the most important, the most useful, and the one which will perhaps the longest perpetuate his memory. In the study of his works, the student must be careful not to follow too implicitly all his conclusions. These were in his own mind controlled by the theory which he had adopted, and which he continuously maintained, that Freemasonry was a Christian institution, and that the connection between it and the Christian religion was absolute and incontrovertible. He followed in the footsteps of Hutchinson, but with a far more expanded view of the masonic system.
OPERATIVE MASONRY. Masonry considered merely as a useful art, intended for the protection and the convenience of man by the erection of edifices which may supply his intellectual, religious, and physical wants.
In contradistinction to Speculative Masonry, therefore, it is said to be engaged in the construction of a material temple.
ORAL LAW. The oral law among the Jews was the commentary on and the interpretation of the written contained in the Pentateuch; and the tradition is, that it was delivered to Moses at the same time, accompanied by the divine command, "Thou shalt not divulge the words which I have said to thee out of my mouth." The oral law was, therefore, never intrusted to books; but being preserved in the memories of the judges, prophets, priests, and wise men, was handed down from one to the other through a long succession of ages. But after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans under Adrian, A.D. 135, and the final dispersion of the Jews, fears being entertained that the oral law would be lost, it was then committed to writing, and now constitutes the text of the Talmud.
ORMUZD. Worshipped by the disciples of Zoroaster as the principle of good, and symbolized by light. See Ahriman.
OSIRIS. The chief god of the ancient Egyptians, and worshipped as a symbol of the sun, and more philosophically as the male or generative principle. Isis, his wife, was the female or prolific principle; and Horus, their child, was matter, or the world--the product of the two principles.
OSIRIS, MYSTERIES OF. The Osirian Mysteries consisted in a scenic representation of the murder of Osiris by Typhon, the subsequent recovery of his mutilated body by Isis, and his deification, or restoration to immortal life.
OVAL TEMPLES. Temples of an oval form were representations of the mundane egg, a symbol of the world.
PALM TREE. In its secondary sense the palm tree is a symbol of victory; but in its primary signification it is a symbol of the victory over death, that is, immortality.
PARABLE. A narrative in which one thing is compared with another. It is in principle the same as a symbol or an allegory.
PARALLEL LINES. The lines touching the circle in the symbol of the point within a circle. They are said to represent St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist; but they really refer to the solstitial points Cancer and Capricorn, in the zodiac.
PASTOS. (From the Greek παστὸς, a nuptial couch.) The coffin or grave which contained the body of the god or hero whose death was scenically represented in the ancient Mysteries.
It is the analogue of the grave in the third degree of Masonry.
PELASGIAN RELIGION. The Pelasgians were the oldest if not the aboriginal inhabitants of Greece. Their religion differed from that of the Hellenes who succeeded them in being less poetical, less mythical, and more abstract. We know little of their religious worship, except by conjecture; but we may suppose it resembled in some respects the doctrines of the Primitive Freemasonry. Creuzer thinks that the Pelasgians were either a nation of priests or a nation ruled by priests.
PHALLUS. A representation of the virile member, which was venerated as a religious symbol very universally, and without the slightest lasciviousness, by the ancients. It was one of the modifications of sun worship, and was a symbol of the fecundating power of that luminary. The masonic point within a circle is undoubtedly of phallic origin.
PHILOSOPHY OF FREEMASONRY. The dogmas taught in the masonic system constitute its philosophy. These consist in the contemplation of God as one and eternal, and of man as immortal. In other words, the philosophy of Freemasonry inculcates the unity of God and the immortality of the soul.
PLUMB. One of the working tools of a Fellow Craft, and a symbol of rectitude of conduct.
POINT WITHIN A CIRCLE. It is derived from the ancient sun worship, and is in reality of phallic origin. It is a symbol of the universe, the sun being represented by the point, while the circumference is the universe.
PORCH OF THE TEMPLE. A symbol of the entrance into life.
PRIMITIVE FREEMASONRY. The Primitive Freemasonry of the antediluvians is a term for which we are indebted to Oliver, although the theory was broached by earlier writers, and among them by the Chevalier Ramsay. The theory is, that the principles and doctrines of Freemasonry existed in the earliest ages of the world, and were believed and practised by a primitive people, or priesthood, under the name of Pure or Primitive Freemasonry. That this Freemasonry, that is to say, the religious doctrine inculcated by it, was, after the flood, corrupted by the pagan philosophers and priests, and, receiving the title of Spurious Freemasory, was exhibited in the ancient Mysteries. The Noachidae, however, preserved the principles of the Primitive Freemasonry, and transmitted them to succeeding ages, when at length they assumed the name of Speculative Masonry. The Primitive Freemasonry was probably without ritual or symbolism, and consisted only of a series of abstract propositions derived from antediluvian traditions. Its dogmas were the unity of God and the immortality of the soul.
PROFANE. One who has not been initiated as a Freemason. In the technical language of the Order, all who are not Freemasons are profanes. The term is derived from the Latin words pro fano, which literally signify "in front of the temple," because those in the ancient religions who were not initiated in the sacred rites or Mysteries of any deity were not permitted to enter the temple, but were compelled to remain outside, or in front of it. They were kept on the outside. The expression a profane is not recognized as a noun substantive in the general usage of the language; but it has been adopted as a technical term in the dialect of Freemasonry, in the same relative sense in which the word layman is used in the professions of law and divinity.
PURE FREEMASONRY OF ANTIQUITY. The same as Primitive Freemasonry,--which see.
PURIFICATION. A religious rite practised by the ancients, and which was performed before any act of devotion. It consisted in washing the hands, and sometimes the whole body, in lustral or consecrated water. It was intended as a symbol of the internal purification of the heart. It was a ceremony preparatory to initiation in all the ancient Mysteries.
PYTHAGORAS. A Grecian philosopher, supposed to have been born in the island of Samos, about 584 B.C. He travelled extensively for the purpose of acquiring knowledge. In Egypt he was initiated in the Mysteries of that country by the priests. He also repaired to Babylon, where he became acquainted with the mystical learning of the Chaldeans, and had, no doubt, much communication with the Israelitish captives who had been exiled from Jerusalem, and were then dwelling in Babylon. On his return to Europe he established a school, which in its organization, as well as its doctrines, bore considerable resemblance to Speculative Masonry; for which reason he has been claimed as "an ancient friend and brother" by the modern Freemasons.
RESURRECTION. This doctrine was taught in the ancient Mysteries, as it is in Freemasonry, by a scenic representation. The initiation was death, the autopsy was resurrection. Freemasonry does not interest itself with the precise mode of the resurrection, or whether the body buried and the body raised are in all their parts identical. Satisfied with the general teaching of St. Paul, concerning the resurrection that "it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body," Freemasonry inculcates by its doctrine of the resurrection the simple fact of a progressive advancement from a lower to a higher sphere, and the raising of the soul from the bondage of death to its inheritance of eternal life.
RITUAL. The forms and ceremonies used in conferring the degrees, or in conducting the labors, of a lodge are called the ritual. There are many rites of Freemasonry, which differ from each other in the number and division of the degrees, and in their rituals, or forms and ceremonies. But the great principles of Freemasonry, its philosophy and its symbolism, are alike in all. It is evident, then, that in an investigation of the symbolism of Freemasonry, we have no concern with its ritual, which is but an outer covering that is intended to conceal the treasure that is within.
ROSICRUCIANS. A sect of hermetical philosophers, founded in the fifteenth century, who were engaged in the study of abstruse sciences. It was a secret society much resembling the masonic in its organization, and in some of the subjects of its investigation; but it was in no other way connected with Freemasonry. It is, however, well worth the study of the masonic student on account of the light that it throws upon many of the masonic symbols.
ROYAL ART. Freemasonry is so called because it is supposed to have been founded by two kings,--the kings of Israel and Tyre,--and because it has been subsequently encouraged and patronized by monarchs in all countries.
SABIANISM, or SABAISM. The worship of the sun, moon, and stars, the צבא השמים TSABA Hashmaim, "the host of heaven." It was practised in Persia, Chaldea, India, and other Oriental countries, at an early period of the world's history. Sun-worship has had a powerful influence on subsequent and more rational religions, and relics of it are to be found even in the symbolism of Freemasonry.
SACELLUM. A sacred place consecrated to a god, and containing an altar.
SAINTE CROIX. The work of the Baron de Sainte Croix, in two volumes, entitled, "Recherches Historiques et Critiques sur les Mystères du Paganisme," is one of the most valuable and instructive works that we have in any language on the ancient Mysteries,--those religious associations whose history and design so closely connect them with Freemasonry. To the student of masonic philosophy and symbolism this work of Sainte Croix is absolutely essential.
SALSETTE. An island in the Bay of Bombay, celebrated for stupendous caverns excavated artificially out of the solid rock, and which were appropriated to the initiations in the ancient Mysteries of India.
SENSES, FIVE HUMAN. A symbol of intellectual cultivation.
SETH. It is the masonic theory that the principles of the Pure or Primitive Freemasonry were preserved in the race of Seth, which had always kept separate from that of Cain, but that after the flood they became corrupted, by a secession of a portion of the Sethites, who established the Spurious Freemasonry of the Gentiles.
SEVEN. A sacred number among the Jews and the Gentiles, and called by Pythagoras a "venerable number."
SHEM HAMPHORASH. (שם המפירש the declaratory name.) The tetragrammaton is so called, because, of all the names of God, it alone distinctly declares his nature and essence as self-existent and eternal.
SHOE. See Investiture, Rite of.
SIGNS. There is abundant evidence that they were used in the ancient Mysteries. They are valuable only as modes of recognition. But while they are absolutely conventional, they have, undoubtedly, in Freemasonry, a symbolic reference.
SIVA. One of the manifestations of the supreme deity of the Hindoos, and a symbol of the sun in its meridian.
SONS OF LIGHT. Freemasons are so called because Lux, or Light, is one of the names of Speculative Masonry.
SOLOMON. The king of Israel, and the founder of the temple of Jerusalem and of the temple organization of Freemasonry.
That his mind was eminently symbolic in its propensities, is evident from all the writings that are attributed to him.
SPECULATIVE MASONRY. Freemasonry considered as a science which speculates on the character of God and man, and is engaged in philosophical investigations of the soul and a future existence, for which purpose it uses the terms of an operative art.
It is engaged symbolically in the construction of a spiritual temple.
There is in it always a progress--an advancement from a lower to a higher sphere.
SPIRITUAL TEMPLE. The body of man; that temple alluded to by Christ and St. Paul; the temple, in the construction of which the Speculative Mason is engaged, in contradistinction to that material temple which occupies the labors of the Operative Mason.
SPURIOUS FREEMASONRY OF ANTIQUITY. A term applied to the initiations in the Mysteries of the ancient pagan world, and to the doctrines taught in those Mysteries. See Mysteries.
SQUARE. A geometric figure consisting of four equal sides and equal angles. In Freemasonry it is a symbol of morality, or the strict performance of every duty. The Greeks deemed it a figure of perfection, and the "square man" was a man of unsullied integrity.
SQUARE, TRYING. One of the working-tools of a Fellow Craft, and a symbol of morality.
STONE OF FOUNDATION. A very important symbol in the masonic system. It is like the word, the symbol of divine truth.
STONE WORSHIP. A very early form of fetichism. The Pelasgians are supposed to have given to their statues of the gods the general form of cubical stones, whence in Hellenic times came the Hermae, or images of Hermes.
SUBSTITUTE WORD. A symbol of the unsuccessful search after divine truth, and the discovery in this life of only an approximation to it.
SUN, RISING. In the Sabian worship the rising sun was adored on its resurrection from the apparent death of its evening setting. Hence, in the ancient Mysteries, the rising sun was a symbol of the regeneration of the soul.
SUN-WORSHIP. The most ancient of all superstitions. It prevailed especially in Phoenicia, Chaldea. and Egypt, and traces of it have been discovered in Peru and Mexico. Its influence was felt in the ancient Mysteries, and abundant allusions to it are to be found in the symbolism of Freemasonry.
SWEDENBORG. A Swedish philosopher, and the founder of a religious sect. Clavel, Ragon, and some other writers have sought to make him the founder of a masonic rite also, but without authority. In 1767 Chastanier established the rite of Illuminated Theosophists, whose instructions are derived from the writings of Swedenborg, but the sage himself had nothing to do with it. Yet it cannot be denied that the mind of Swedenborg was eminently symbolic in character, and that the masonic student may derive many valuable ideas from portions of his numerous works, especially from his "Celestial Arcana" and his "Apocalypse Revealed."
SYMBOL. A visible sign with which a spiritual feeling, emotion, or idea is connected.--Müller. Every natural thing which is made the sign or representation of a moral idea is a symbol.
SYMBOL, COMPOUND. A species of symbol not unusual in Freemasonry, where the symbol is to be taken in a double sense, meaning in its general application one thing, and then in a special application another.
SYMBOLISM, SCIENCE OF. To what has been said in the text, may be added the following apposite remarks of Squier: "In the absence of a written language or forms of expression capable of conveying abstract ideas, we can readily comprehend the necessity, among a primitive people, of a symbolic system. That symbolism in a great degree resulted from this necessity, is very obvious; and that, associated with man's primitive religious systems, it was afterwards continued, when in the advanced stage of the human mind, the previous necessity no longer existed, is equally undoubted. It thus came to constitute a kind of sacred language, and became invested with an esoteric significance understood only by the few."--The Serpent Symbol in America, p. 19.
TABERNACLE. Erected by Moses in the wilderness as a temporary place for divine worship. It was the antitype of the temple of Jerusalem, and, like it, was a symbol of the universe.
TALISMAN. A figure either carved in metal or stone, or delineated on parchment or paper, made with superstitious ceremonies under what was supposed to be the special influence of the planetary bodies, and believed to possess occult powers of protecting the maker or possessor from danger. The figure in the text is a talisman, and among the Orientals no talisman was more sacred than this one where the nine digits are so disposed as to make 15 each way. The Arabians called it zahal, which was the name of the planet Saturn, because the nine digits added together make 45, and the letters of the word zahal are, according to the numerical powers of the Arabic alphabet, equivalent to 45. The cabalists esteem it because 15 was the numerical power of the letters composing the word JAH, which is one of the names of God.
TALMUD. The mystical philosophy of the Jewish Rabbins is contained in the Talmud, which is a collection of books divided into two parts, the Mishna, which contains the record of the oral law, first committed to writing in the second or third century, and the Gemara, or commentaries on it. In the Talmud much will be found of great interest to the masonic student.
TEMPLE. The importance of the temple in the symbolism of Freemasonry will authorize the following citation from the learned Montfaucon (Ant. ii. 1. ii. ch. ii.): "Concerning the origin of temples, there is a variety of opinions. According to Herodotus, the Egyptians were the first that made altars, statues, and temples. It does not, however, appear that there were any in Egypt in the time of Moses, for he never mentions them, although he had many opportunities for doing so. Lucian says that the Egyptians were the first people who built temples, and that the Assyrians derived the custom from them, all of which is, however, very uncertain. The first allusion to the subject in Scripture is the Tabernacle, which was, in fact, a portable temple, and contained one place within it more holy and secret than the others, called the Holy of Holies, and to which the adytum in the pagan temples corresponded. The first heathen temple mentioned in Scripture is that of Dagon, the god of the Philistines. The Greeks, who were indebted to the Phoenicians for many things, may be supposed to have learned from them the art of building temples; and it is certain that the Romans borrowed from the Greeks both the worship of the gods and the construction of temples."
TEMPLE BUILDER. The title by which Hiram Abif is sometimes designated.
TEMPLE OF SOLOMON. The building erected by King Solomon on Mount Moriah, in Jerusalem, has been often called "the cradle of Freemasonry," because it was there that that union took place between the operative and speculative masons, which continued for centuries afterwards to present the true organization of the masonic system.
As to the size of the temple, the dimensions given in the text may be considered as accurate so far as they agree with the description given in the First Book of Kings. Josephus gives a larger measure, and makes the length 105 feet, the breadth 35 feet, and the height 210 feet; but even these will not invalidate the statement in the text, that in size it was surpassed by many a parish church.
TEMPLE SYMBOLISM. That symbolism which is derived from the temple of Solomon. It is the most fertile of all kinds of symbolism in the production of materials for the masonic science.
TERMINUS. One of the most ancient of the Roman deities. He was the god of boundaries and landmarks, and his statue consisted only of a cubical stone, without arms or legs, to show that he was immovable.
TETRACTYS. A figure used by Pythagoras, consisting of ten points, arranged in a triangular form so as to represent the monad, duad, triad, and quarterniad. It was considered as very sacred by the Pythagoreans, and was to them what the tetragrammaton was to the Jews.
TETRAGRAMMATON. (From the Greek τετρὰς, four, and γρὰμμα, a letter). The four-lettered name of God in the Hebrew language, which consisted of four letters, viz. יהוה commonly, but incorrectly, pronounced Jehovah. As a symbol it greatly pervaded the rites of antiquity, and was perhaps the earliest symbol corrupted by the Spurious Freemasonry of the pagan Mysteries.
It was held by the Jews in profound veneration, and its origin supposed to have been by divine revelation at the burning bush.
The word was never pronounced, but wherever met with Adonai was substituted for it, which custom was derived from the perverted reading of a, passage in the Pentateuch. The true pronunciation consequently was utterly lost; this is explained by the want of vowels in the Hebrew alphabet, so that the true vocalization of a word cannot be learned from the letters of which it is composed.
The true pronunciation was intrusted to the high priest; but lest the knowledge of it should be lost by his sudden death, it was also communicated to his assistant; it was known also, probably, to the kings of Israel.
The Cabalists and Talmudists enveloped it in a host of superstitions.
It was also used by the Essenes in their sacred rites, and by the Egyptians as a pass-word.
Cabalistically read and pronounced, it means the male and female principle of nature, the generative and prolific energy of creation.
THAMMUZ. A Syrian god, who was worshipped by those women of the Hebrews who had fallen into idolatry. The idol was the same as the Phoenician Adonis, and the Mysteries of the two were identical.
TRAVELLING FREEMASONS. See Freemasons, Travelling.
TRESTLE BOARD. The board or tablet on which the designs of the architect are inscribed. It is a symbol of the moral law as set forth in the revealed will of God.
Every man must have his trestle board, because it is the duty of every man to work out the task which God, the chief Architect, has assigned to him.
TRIANGLE. A symbol of Deity.
This symbolism is found in many of the ancient religions.
Among the Egyptians it was a symbol of universal nature, or of the protection of the world by the male and female energies of creation.
TRIANGLE, RADIATED. A triangle placed within a circle of rays. In Christian art it is a symbol of God; then the rays are called a glory. When they surround the triangle in the form of a circle, the triangle is a symbol of the glory of God. When the rays emanate from the centre of the triangle, it is a symbol of divine light. This is the true form of the masonic radiated triangle.
TRILITERAL NAME. This is the word AUM, which is the ineffable name of God among the Hindoos, and symbolizes the three manifestations of the Brahminical supreme god, Brahma, Siva, and Vishnu. It was never to be pronounced aloud, and was analogous to the sacred tetragrammaton of the Jews.
TROWEL. One of the working tools of a Master Mason. It is a symbol of brotherly love.
TRUTH. It was not always taught publicly by the ancient philosophers to the people.
The search for it is the object of Freemasonry. It is never found on earth, but a substitute for it is provided.
TUAPHOLL. A term used by the Druids to designate an unhallowed circumambulation around the sacred cairn, or altar, the movement being against the sun, that is, from west to east by the north, the cairn being on the left hand of the circumambulator.
TUBAL CAIN. Of the various etymologies of this name, only one is given in the text; but most of the others in some way identify him with Vulcan. Wellsford (Mithridates Minor p. 4) gives a singular etymology, deriving the name of the Hebrew patriarch from the definite article ה converted into ת, or T and Baal, "Lord," with the Arabic kayn, "a blacksmith," so that the word would then signify "the lord of the blacksmiths." Masonic writers have, however, generally adopted the more usual derivation of Cain, from a word signifying possession; and Oliver descants on Tubal Cain as a symbol of worldly possessions. As to the identity of Vulcan with Tubal Cain, we may learn something from the definition of the offices of the former, as given by Diodorus Siculus: "Vulcan was the first founder of works in iron, brass, gold, silver, and all fusible metals; and he taught the uses to which fire can be applied in the arts." See Genesis: "Tubal Cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron."
TWENTY-FOUR INCH GAUGE. A two-foot rule. One of the working-tools of an Entered Apprentice, and a symbol of time well employed.
TYPHON. The brother and slayer of Osiris in the Egyptian mythology. As Osiris was a type or symbol of the sun, Typhon was the symbol of winter, when the vigor, heat, and, as it were, life of the sun are destroyed, and of darkness as opposed to light.
TYRE. A city of Phoenicia, the residence of King Hiram, the friend and ally of Solomon, whom he supplied with men and materials for the construction of the temple.
TYRIAN FREEMASONS. These were the members of the Society of Dionysiac Artificers, who at the time of the building of Solomon's temple flourished at Tyre. Many of them were sent to Jerusalem by Hiram, King of Tyre, to assist King Solomon in the construction of his temple. There, uniting with the Jews, who had only a knowledge of the speculative principles of Freemasonry, which had been transmitted to them from Noah, through the patriarchs, the Tyrian Freemasons organized that combined system of Operative and Speculative Masonry which continued for many centuries, until the beginning of the eighteenth, to characterize the institution. See Dionysiac Artificers.
UNION. The union of the operative with the speculative element of Freemasonry took place at the building of King Solomon's temple.
UNITY OF GOD. This, as distinguished from the pagan doctrine of polytheism, or a multitude of gods, is one of the two religious truths taught in Speculative Masonry, the other being the immortality of the soul.
WEARY SOJOURNERS. The legend of the "three weary sojourners" in the Royal Arch degree is undoubtedly a philosophical myth, symbolizing the search after truth.
WHITE. A symbol of innocence and purity.
Among the Pythagoreans it was a symbol of the good principle in nature, equivalent to light.
WIDOW'S SON. An epithet bestowed upon the chief architect of the temple, because he was "a widow's son of the tribe of Naphthali." 1 Kings vii. 14.
WINDING STAIRS, LEGEND OF. A legend in the Fellow Craft's degree having no historical truth, but being simply a philosophical myth or legendary symbol intended to communicate a masonic dogma.
It is the symbol of an ascent from a lower to a higher sphere.
It commences at the porch of the temple, which is a symbol of the entrance into life.
The number of steps are always odd, because odd numbers are a symbol of perfection.
But the fifteen steps in the American system are a symbol of the name of God, Jah.
WINE. An element of masonic consecration, and, as a symbol of the inward refreshment of a good conscience, is intended under the name of the "wine of refreshment," to remind us of the eternal refreshments which the good are to receive in the future life for the faithful performance of duty in the present.
WORD. In Freemasonry this is a technical and symbolic term, and signifies divine truth. The search after this word constitutes the whole system of speculative masonry.
WORD, LOST. See Lost Word.
WORD, SUBSTITUTE. See Substitute Word.
WORK. In Freemasonry the initiation of a candidate is called work. It is suggestive of the doctrine that labor is a masonic duty.
YGGDRASIL. The sacred ash tree in the Scandinavian Mysteries. Dr. Oliver propounds the theory that it is the analogue of the theological ladder in the Masonic Mysteries. But it is doubtful whether this theory is tenable.
YOD. A Hebrew letter, in form thus י, and about equivalent to the English I or Y. It is the initial letter of the tetragrammaton, and is often used, especially enclosed within a triangle, as a substitute for, or an abridgement of, that sacred word.
It is a symbol of the life-giving and sustaining power of God.
YONI. Among the nations and religions of India the yoni was the representation of the female organ of generation, and was the symbol of the prolific power of nature. It is the same as the cteis among the Occidental nations.
ZENNAAR. The sacred girdle of the Hindoos. It is supposed to be the analogue of the masonic apron.
ZOROASTER. A distinguished philosopher and reformer, whose doctrines were professed by the ancient Persians. The religion of Zoroaster was a dualism, in which the two antagonizing principles were Ormuzd and Abriman, symbols of Light and Darkness. It was a modification and purification of the old fire-worship, in which the fire became a symbol of the sun, so that it was really a species of sun-worship. Mithras, representing the sun, becomes the mediator between Ormuzd, or the principle of Darkness, and the world.