A MASONIC DECK OF CARDS
Created by R.W. Bro. H. Daniel Knox, P.D.D.G.M. Waterloo District. Canada.
and adapted for sharing in “The Educator” by V.W. Bro Norman McEvoy
In many countries Masonry is not accepted and in fact it is prohibited.
This fact has led Brethren who wish to practice our craft to create what could be considered an underground movement.
I am told by a very reliable source that there are men who have had their Masonic Furnishings and Jewels made into miniature form and transported by them from place to place, mostly in private homes. They are said never to have met in the same place twice in approximately two years In a effort not to be found.
I have also learned that should a foreign mason be caught, he would be jailed for approximately two weeks or until his deportation papers are prepared and he is then deported. Should a local mason be found out, very serious consequences apply, as much as life in prison
What I am sharing in this paper is the work of a brother who overcame this hurdle by carrying a simple deck of cards with him which, by his skillful work, related to him, the following:
A Ritual Book; Almanac; Calendar and most important of all, his Volume of the Sacred Law.
He had taken his playing cards to Lodge one evening, and when asked by the Worshipful Master, what he intended to do with them, he offered the following:-
His explanation was as follows;
The Ace; in the Pythagorean System.
The number one is identified with reason, because it is unchangeable.
It reminds us that there is but one Supreme Being which we ought humbly to adore.
The Deuce or Two is opinion– relating to possible strife and disorder.
Also, it is the representative number of the pillars of Fire & Cloud;
the import of which is found in the VOSL.
The Three==three is the perfect number.
The ancients believed their world to be ruled by Three Gods;
Jupiter (Heaven) ; Neptune (Sea) & Pluto (the Underworld)
The fates controlled birth; life & death
The Trinity is the basic Christian Creed, and Jesus arose from the dead on the Third Day.
The numeral three describes Masonry almost in its entirety; Three Great Lights;
Three Lesser Lights; Three Degrees;
Three working tools in each Degree;
Three Grand Masters; and the list goes on & on.
The Four, is associated with Justice & Solidarity;
It reminds us of the Four Tassels representing the FOUR Cardinal Virtues;
Temperance; Fortitude; Prudence and Justice.
The Five, is the mystic number of the Pythagorean System, and philosophy,
because it is the sum of 2 & 3, the first even & odd numbers.
It also calls to mind the five noble orders of Architecture.
The Six represents the six days the Great Architect of the Universe laboured to
Build his Temple and rested on the seventh.
The Seven is the sacred number and the luckiest.
There are seven days in the week.
Seven deadly sins :- Pride; Wrath; Envy; Lust; Gluttony; Avarice and Sloth.
There are seven vitues:- Faith; Hope; Charity; Temperance; Fortitude. Prudence
The Eight is the number of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5.3=11) one of which comes
to mind” Blessed are the pure in heart for the shall see God”
The Nine, refers to the number of stars visible in many Lodge Rooms:-
Seven in the West;
One in the Mosaic pavement &
the bright Morning Star in the East.
The Ten, denotes strength and goodness,
The Ten Commandments
The original Landmarks of Masonry, and the very foundation of our Society.
The Jack or Knave alluded to that nefarious Fellowcraft;
Jubelum, who, when his companions Jubela and Jubelo failed in their attempts,
he felled the Grand Master Hiram Abif & took his life.
The Queen, “The Widow” “Is there no help for the Widow’s Son”
I am sure as we have traveled through life, when circumstances have dictated it,
there has been a answer to this question.
The King Can only have reference to King Solomon.
In closing== a Quick summary:-
There are 365 spots in a deck of cards, the number of days in a year.
52 cards in a deck, the number of weeks in a year.
12 Face Cards, the number of months in a year.
There are 4 suits ==The number or Seasons in a year, often referred to as :-
Spring == The time of childhood
Summer == The time of Youth
Autumn == The time of Manhhod
Winter == The time of Old Age.
I have found this paper very interesting in that it provides possible explanations as to the extent that some of our Brethren must go to, in order to practice our craft. My feelings are with those Brethren and the risk taken to practice what the majority of us simply take for granted. True or Untrue this paper demonstrates an accurate view of our Lodge Set-Up & certainly has given me a very different approach to its possible history & hidden meaning of our Furnishings & Philosophy.
Have a Wonderful Day & God Bless