Tidings from the West
Greetings Brethren and tidings from the West,
A Master Mason is told in the charge after initiation that, “Our Ancient Landmarks you are carefully to preserve and not to suffer them on any pretense to be infringed”. After taking his official obligation, the Worshipful Master is told that he “Should cling to the Old Landmarks, and be sternly opposed to their infringement”. The Landmarks of the Order are obviously very precious indeed to merit such attention. Having been reminded of them in our rituals, we know what we should and should not do where Landmarks are concerned....BUT WHAT ARE THEY!?....... Is there a list I can memorize? You will not find any mention of the ‘Ancient Landmarks’ in the ‘Ancient Charges’. We first find reference to them in Anderson’s Constitutions of 1723: Regulation 39, which allowed Grand Lodge to make regulations ‘Provided always that the Ancient Landmarks be carefully preserved’. The Ancient Landmarks, which according to the traditions, have existed from time immemorial, have never been specifically defined but, rather, have been mentioned in only general terms, as those things which are ancient, cannot ever be changed, must always be held sacred and inviolate, and must always be adhered to. In terms of this definition therefore, nothing that can be changed without materially affecting the Craft or its system in any way, can be a Landmark. Likewise, neither can something that can be disregarded with impunity.
Our budding "Unity Lodge #18 Educational Evening" had a great turnout last month with WB Denny Wilcox leading the discussion on the deeper meaning and symbology of the EA Degree ritual. At our next Educational Evening on 16 May, I intend to lead a discussion on Albert Mackey’s 25 Landmarks and share some of the information I have found during some research. I hope you will attend and find it interesting.
Kevin K. Bailey