Thursday, May 15, 2008
Prentiss Tucker-The Lost Key: An Explanation of Masonic Symbols (1927)
Symbols play a big part in our lives, but we often take them for granted. To Illustrate the meaning of symbols, this book uses the example of the American flag, and explains what the symbols found on the flag really mean. The Important point is that without an understanding of American history, we'd not know how to interpret the symbols on our flag. The same holds true for all symbols. Lacking enough background information causes us, many times, to miss their full meaning. The Lost Key is a book for Freemasons, and explains the meanings of their symbols. Masons are members of a longstanding fraternal order that functions along the lines of a mystical brotherhood. A number of rituals are performed as one progresses up the ranks, usually in the form of an initiation. Often times, Masons themselves do not know what the symbols within these rituals truly mean while they are being performed- so therefore, do not fully understand what they are really doing and the true purpose of the initiation. There are thirty-three degrees, or levels, in Freemasonry. This particular book covers the symbols found within the first three degrees of Freemasonry, making this an excellent guidebook for the beginning Mason, as well as providing a more complete understanding for those in the higher levels, who administer or oversee their rituals. In recent years, statistics show that Freemasonry has begun to lose some of it's members. The older books like The Lost Key, have gone out of print and younger masons may not have fully understood the purpose of their initiations--at least enough to hold their interest. The symbols found within Freemasonry operate on a number of different levels. Now that The Lost Key has been put back into print, it may help to enrich an organization that traditionally attracts high-standing members of communities across North America and the rest of the world.