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King Solomon and His Followers- CO edition?
Posted: 05 December 2016 01:40 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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I am EA. I will be taking my proficiency exam TONIGHT.

I’ve been studying for about 5 months by Clear Text Key, mouth to ear coaching, and a little bit of letter key. But mostly Clear Key Text.

CO does not use this book anymore, I think some of the ritual text may have changed a bit? I have this book in full coded cypher. I’d also like to learn to read this cypher. Any suggested resources for learning to read the cypher for my own benefit in addition to (aside from) my degree studies?

I asked a couple of my coaches about it and they didn’t really have any suggestions about how to go about learning it. They learned it by reading it AND being coached mouth to ear at the same time. obviously they are already sinking time in to helping me learn my proficiencies, they are not really in the mood to pursue teaching me a cypher in a book the CO no longer uses.

https://img0.etsystatic.com/008/0/6245715/il_570xN.386824522_dnwr.jpg

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Entered-06-20-16
Passed—02-20-17
Golden City Lodge #1
Golden, CO

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Posted: 05 December 2016 01:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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BTW those words are mine…. not my coaches.

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Entered-06-20-16
Passed—02-20-17
Golden City Lodge #1
Golden, CO

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Posted: 05 December 2016 02:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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The only place you can learn to read the cipher is from a brother who knows the ritual in the cipher.
I agree, you’d be wasting your time learning cipher for ritual that isn’t done anymore. 

After you have been raised a Master Mason and have taken the time to learn the ritual that CO does, then perhaps you could study this old cipher in your spare time, but I wouldn’t prioritize that work.  If your GL doesn’t use it….don’t use it.  If the ritual has changed, you’re wasting your time.  Of all the things to learn in FM, I think the effort to learn outdated cipher is misplaced.  Just my opinion though.

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Dan

Past Master, Columbian Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Boston, MA
Senior Deacon, Friendship Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Wilmington, MA
32° Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Boston
Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Aleppo Temple

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Posted: 05 December 2016 02:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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IMO you have enough to learn without trying to learn a cypher code to a book that your jurisdiction does not even use.  Trust me, you will find plenty to learn down the road as you go through the degrees and beyond.

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Bro.Ed Pickett Jr.
Worshipful Master 2017
La Belle Vallee Lodge No 232 F&AM;
Jersey Shore, Pa.
Initiated 1-14-13, Passed 2-11-13, Raised 3-11-13

Master of First Veil 2017
Lafayette RAC No. 163
Lock Haven, Pa.
Mark Master 1-16-14,Most Excellent Master 2-20-14, Royal Arch Mason 3-20-14

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Posted: 05 December 2016 04:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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AFTER you become a MM you could look to what is known as an Observant Masonry Lodge for information on the old cipher.  Enlightenment Lodge 198 is one in particular.  They may have the information you are curious about.  However, as the others have said, if your GL does not use it, do not concern yourself with learning it now.  You need to know the currently utilized ritual more than you need to be able to read obsolete material.

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W:. Bro. Paul Hulseapple
St. Georges Lodge #6
Worshipful Master for the 2016-17 A.D 6016-17 A.L. year

32°AASR Valley of Schenectady
St Georges Chapter #157 Royal Arch Masons
Scribe

St. George’s Council # 74 Cryptic Masons
Giles Fonda Yates Council #22 Allied Masonic Degrees
Jr. Warden

St. George’s Commandery #37

Schenectady NY

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Posted: 05 December 2016 06:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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I’m not concerned about learning it NOW. I agree, I have plenty of work to do already. I don’t want to get the cart before the horse.

But I don’t research which fish live in a certain region and what bait they like on the same day I go to the lake. I get familiar with those details while I plan out my trip and place it on the calendar.

I did what I could research Freemasonry before I showed up on the steps of the lodge to introduce myself. I’m already looking into which appendant bodies would most likely interest me.

These are no attempts to dig anything I shouldn’t. But I am waaaay behind the curve at 41 years old and only just now being exposed to Masons. Everyone is at lodge, dinners and practice jabbering about Eastern Star, DeMoley, Rainbow, Shrine, Royal Arch and all these other terms like it’s old hat and I have never been exposed to any of this conversation before. So I am feeling around to see what is what.

Thanks for the replies. Especially PDH, that was most helpful.

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Entered-06-20-16
Passed—02-20-17
Golden City Lodge #1
Golden, CO

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Posted: 05 December 2016 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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You could also look into a Lodge of Research.  I don’t know of any off the top of my head though. Again, that would be after you become a MM. I would strongly suggest you stop looking into the old cipher as it will only confuse you at this point.

When members start using terms you don’t know, my advice is to ask them about what they are. It will, or should, be taken positively as it shows interest. Don’t be surprised if you get only general answers while you are an EA and FC though.  Of the several groups you mentioned, 2 are youth groups. DeMolay is for the boys and Rainbow is for the girls.  Eastern Star is a group that ladies may join.  The officers in that body are all women with the exception of one, the Worthy Patron. York and Scottish Rite are two separate bodies that a MM can choose to join. Personally, I feel that the York Rite completes the story begun in the first 3 degrees. That is just my opinion and I know others who feel the same way about Scottish Rite. Neither opinion is universally right or wrong. Bottom line though, learn and understand your EA, FC and MM degrees before considering where to go next. Without the craft/blue lodges, there wouldn’t be the others.

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W:. Bro. Paul Hulseapple
St. Georges Lodge #6
Worshipful Master for the 2016-17 A.D 6016-17 A.L. year

32°AASR Valley of Schenectady
St Georges Chapter #157 Royal Arch Masons
Scribe

St. George’s Council # 74 Cryptic Masons
Giles Fonda Yates Council #22 Allied Masonic Degrees
Jr. Warden

St. George’s Commandery #37

Schenectady NY

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Posted: 05 December 2016 10:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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You are expected to ask lots of questions now. The person who you should ask is your sponsor. He is your personal guide through the degrees and the Fraternity.

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John Ruggiero, 32°
Master, Ancient York Lodge, Lowell, MA.

God never sends us anything we can’t handle. Sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much. - Mother Teresa

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Posted: 06 December 2016 07:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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As a new EA myself (Older than 45 even) I can agree with what many have cautioned you against. 

However, like you, I also find myself in situations where the discussions left me wondering about what they were just talking about. (while I am ALWAYS one to ask questions, sometimes the time is not right)  This is when my EA class instructors come in, for answering my questions.

I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t share 1 bit of information that I “figured out”.. I searched EVERYTHING I could to try and prepare myself for what to expect.  My sponsor (1st line signer of my petition to join the lodge) advised me against doing this.  I can tell you that in all my research, right now, it has truly confused me to the extent that I stopped researching things and focused on what I am currently doing.  Between the misinformation and the accurate information that has no current context for me to put into place, it was more of a hindrance.

I am certainly not one to shy away from things, but knowing where to step back can speak volumes for you in the future.

Welcome and good luck in your degree.

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Brother Ken

St. John’s 1P, RI
EA 10/19/16
FC 1/18/17
MM 3/15/17

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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Posted: 06 December 2016 12:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Brother John - 05 December 2016 10:55 PM

You are expected to ask lots of questions now. The person who you should ask is your sponsor. He is your personal guide through the degrees and the Fraternity.

No such dedicated sponsor exists for me. There are a couple of men who show up on Thursday to help anyone with memorization practice that shows up. (usually JUST ME) I call these men my coaches. But I don’t interact with them much aside from these coaching sessions.

Not relevant to the question about cyphers BUT, I passed my EA proficiency last night <yay>. The lodge is pretty busy in the coming months and the new on coming WM told me that the lodge would not be ready to perform a FC degree until at least February. I’m not in any rush and it’ll be nice to have a bit of break from memorization. However that also means I can’t study my FC at all until after that happens. Again those are new developments this morning that HAD nothing to do with my interest in learning the cypher. It was / is just an interest has nothing to do with degree ritual itself. There is a lot more info in the book than degrees.

I now understand what Demoley, Rainbow, Star ect are. I was using those terms as an example to illustrate how green I am to the world of Masonry.

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Entered-06-20-16
Passed—02-20-17
Golden City Lodge #1
Golden, CO

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Posted: 06 December 2016 02:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Brother Joseph - 06 December 2016 12:06 PM
Brother John - 05 December 2016 10:55 PM

You are expected to ask lots of questions now. The person who you should ask is your sponsor. He is your personal guide through the degrees and the Fraternity.

No such dedicated sponsor exists for me.

Who signed your petition (other than you)?

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John Ruggiero, 32°
Master, Ancient York Lodge, Lowell, MA.

God never sends us anything we can’t handle. Sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much. - Mother Teresa

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Posted: 06 December 2016 02:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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If, as he suggested in his post, he showed up to the lodge to introduce himself to start the process, he may not know who signed his petition.  He may not have had the chance or opportunity to inquire as he is a Fellow Craft at this point.

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Brother Ken

St. John’s 1P, RI
EA 10/19/16
FC 1/18/17
MM 3/15/17

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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Posted: 06 December 2016 03:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Brother Joseph - 06 December 2016 12:06 PM

No such dedicated sponsor exists for me. There are a couple of men who show up on Thursday to help anyone with memorization practice that shows up. (usually JUST ME) I call these men my coaches. But I don’t interact with them much aside from these coaching sessions.

I would speak with the Master, outgoing and incoming as there SHOULD be someone working with you. From my own experience, not having someone to guide you through this portion is a big problem.

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W:. Bro. Paul Hulseapple
St. Georges Lodge #6
Worshipful Master for the 2016-17 A.D 6016-17 A.L. year

32°AASR Valley of Schenectady
St Georges Chapter #157 Royal Arch Masons
Scribe

St. George’s Council # 74 Cryptic Masons
Giles Fonda Yates Council #22 Allied Masonic Degrees
Jr. Warden

St. George’s Commandery #37

Schenectady NY

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Posted: 06 December 2016 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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I know who vouched for me on my petition. One is the outgoing WM. Neither of the men who signed my petition have had any teaching / coaching / mentoring relations with me and no one was ever acknowledged as assigned to me as a “mentor”. My coaches are willing to talk to me about anything I ask, one of which has been great for exactly that. But these men are just Brothers serving the lodge and serving the Craft voluntarily of their own time and knowledge. Not assigned to anything in relation to what we are discussing here.

I am calling them coaches because they are helping with my degree work. I don’t know if there is another term for their role. (these men are just “there” on X day at X time to help ANYONE that wants to work on degrees, just so happens I am usually the only one)

I’m only telling you all this as part of conversation and answering your inquiries. I was simply looking for direction from a broader Masonic base than what I have had access to. It seems all lodges do things a little differently.

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Entered-06-20-16
Passed—02-20-17
Golden City Lodge #1
Golden, CO

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Posted: 06 December 2016 04:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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Brother Ken - 06 December 2016 07:47 AM

As a new EA myself (Older than 45 even) I can agree with what many have cautioned you against. 

However, like you, I also find myself in situations where the discussions left me wondering about what they were just talking about. (while I am ALWAYS one to ask questions, sometimes the time is not right)  This is when my EA class instructors come in, for answering my questions.

I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t share 1 bit of information that I “figured out”.. I searched EVERYTHING I could to try and prepare myself for what to expect.  My sponsor (1st line signer of my petition to join the lodge) advised me against doing this.  I can tell you that in all my research, right now, it has truly confused me to the extent that I stopped researching things and focused on what I am currently doing.  Between the misinformation and the accurate information that has no current context for me to put into place, it was more of a hindrance.

I am certainly not one to shy away from things, but knowing where to step back can speak volumes for you in the future.

Welcome and good luck in your degree.

Thanks, I have no desire to dig up anything that will spoil my experience. I knew this was possible when I started looking into joining Masonry. So I have also tried to understand some things, without discovering anything I shouldn’t know yet. This is why I can’t view FC and MM business, I assume this is for my own benefit of the experience when it is my turn.

Looks like I’ve used the word mentor too many times when the actual word is sponsor. I wouldnt know since I don’t have either. I didn’t even know that I should have one.

Congrats on your degree and welcome. Hope your journey is mysterious and rewarding.

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Entered-06-20-16
Passed—02-20-17
Golden City Lodge #1
Golden, CO

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Posted: 07 December 2016 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Terminology can be a fleeting experience.

You are correct in that many lodges do things differently.  I would guess this is because each state has it’s own Grand Lodge to help guide each “Blue Lodge” in it’s state (this is usually your “home” lodge that you petitioned to join - simple explanation).  And each state can do things differently, so long as it follows general Freemasonry guidelines and principles. (over simplification)

Normal terms that I have learned that might help you..

1st line / 2nd line signers (sponsors) - Each petition to join a lodge (so far as I know) has 2 people that sign it.  1st line is usually someone that knows/gets to know you.  2nd line may know/get to know you, but sometimes may just “sign” it at the request of the 1st line signer or officer.  This allows the process to start.

The process is generally the background check and “investigation” where they come out and talk to you (usually with your immediate family present, to ensure there is no reservations about joining from your family (family first, then work, then Freemasonry).

Mentor/Instructor - This is usually the person or persons who are tasked with helping to “teach” the incoming candidates and guide them through the 3 degrees. Sometimes they Brothers are called Lodge Education Officer / Director.

While each jurisdiction is different, I hope these terms help you.

And thank you, it has been a wonderful experience so far.  Although, I am an extremely inquisitive person, so I have issues with patience.  There are many things that I inquire about, but repeatedly get told that I will learn them when the time is right.

Ironically, it has gotten to the point where we have created a “Question Box”.  Each question I ask that cannot be answered yet, goes into the box and will be reviewed at each degree, to see if it can be answered yet.  Once “it is time” the question will be read and answered. (most have already been marked with a “MM” which indicates that it cannot be answered until I am a Master Mason.

I am sure that if I misstated something, those who know more than I will correct me.

Welcome Brother!

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Brother Ken

St. John’s 1P, RI
EA 10/19/16
FC 1/18/17
MM 3/15/17

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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