Friday, April 20, 2012

The Lost Fellow-Craft | Tracing Board

There is more to Freemasonry than most of us realize. Freemasons for Dummies is just what it claims -for dummies. After reading the essay The Lost Fellow-Craft, by Masonic historian Jeff Peace, I was left mesmerized by the profundity of our ancient and noble Order.

The Lost Fellow-Craft takes you on a journey through time and your own Masonic degrees to reveal the true Word of a Master Mason. It's the best Masonic post I've read in a long time.

The Lost Fellow-Craft at Tracing Board Freemasonry by Bro. Jeff Peace, Halcyon Lodge 498, Grand Orient USA.


MP said...

I find it interesting that Jeff says the following:

The Master’s word, or replacement word, has always been a source of both mystery and imagination for the public, and in truth, for Freemasons as well. As a Freemason I am surprised that we consider it any differently than the secret words used in the other rituals, more especially because the other words have been in use much longer. Perhaps the fact that the Master’s word cannot be found in any known language, or readily related to some other part of the known ritual sets it aside as truly different, but I believe its purpose is no different than the other words.

He seems to have missed what many jurisdictions teach:
The translation for both renditions is normally given as “What! The Builder!” “The Builder is dead!”
Please see
I first heard "What! The Builder" as the explanation given in my MM in DC in 1996 ... and yet, if one had read Mackey's Lexicon of Freemasonry, they would find an explanation given for each individual syllable of both versions of the substitute word, which would lead them to understanding that it was the first word spoken (which is what they were told to use as the substitute), in alarm, when our GMHAB was found.

I have also seen, in Mackey's Lexicon, a translation that would mean either "he is struck" or "there is rotting/smell".

For all that Br. Peace has claimed to be involved in esoteric research, it amazes me that he could not find the exoteric explanation of the words, and their origin in corrupted understanding of the Hebrew language by our English forebears.

Tubal Cain said...

I spoke with Bro. Jeff about your comment to get a better understanding of his interpretations. He told me that the "replacement word" did not enter into the ritual until the 1750's, and pointed me to a ritual written by Desguliers, and a letter written by the Grand Secretary of the 'Moderns'.

He went on to say that the replacement word was not a corruption of Hebrew, but a veiled allusion to something meaningful to the Masons of the 18th century.

Mackey has been proven wrong countless times. To his credit he tried to compile accurate information, but was too far removed from the source materials to be certain of the accuracy of his claims. AQC Lodge of Research and others provide far more accurate materials, along with source documentation.

Bro. Jeff is trying to remove the "veil" and allow modern Freemasons a glimpse into the fraternity 300 years ago.

MP said...

He told me that the "replacement word" did not enter into the ritual until the 1750's

And he's wrong, as attested to in the research link I provide to you, which clearly shows that the Sloane manuscript had that word in 1700.

Tubal Cain said...

"And he's wrong, as attested to in the research link I provide to you, which clearly shows that the Sloane manuscript had that word in 1700."

Actually, you're both right.

Bro. Jeff was speaking specifically about the idea of their being a "replacement word". He was not speaking about the word itself. He mentioned to me many of the words found in the paper you linked to, and pointed to documents earlier than the Sloan MS.

A blog is not the place to have a descussion of a complex subject such as this. If you want to understand his essay more clearly, and debate the finer points, you should contact him.

And, in the future please try not to jump to conclusions until you have a complete understanding of what the other person is saying. This is a blog, not a textbook.

Thank you.