It has often been asked WHY the candidate is placed in the N.E. Corner of the Lodge and there presented with what is commonly referred to as the Charity Lecture.
My research has lead me to the information related below which was published in the Masonic Light, Quebec, in December 1950.
“Why the North East?
Well, it was a custom of the medieval craftsmen, from whom we speculative masons descend, to always place the corner stone of the wall of the building they were erecting according to plan, in the N.E. Corner of the projected building.
This custom had come to them from the Jews, who in turn, had taken it from the Egyptians, the latter holding the belief that NORTH EAST was the point of the compass from which the sun began it’s journey when it was first created.
So the newly admitted apprentice is placed in the North East Corner because he is held to figuratively represent the corner stone of the Lodge- it is while he is in this corner that he will receive those lessons on which he will build his future moral and Masonic edifice. In other words, the placing of the apprentice in the N.E. Corner is to impress upon him all the qualities required to constitute a “well-tried, true and trusty corner-stone”; truthfulness and uprightness of character; purity and holiness of life, which, just at that time and place, the candidate was most pressingly charged, in consecrated language, to maintain.