ISSUE 20, January 2007
Editorial
Historic: Dr Thomas Barnardo - children's saviour
Travel: South African journey
London Gala Evening: Royal Masonic Variety Show
Centenary Celebrations: Scouting's milestone
Quarterly Communication: Speech by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech by the Pro 1st Grand Principal and Report of the Cttee of General Purposes
Library and Museum: Facets of Fraternity
   Specialist Lodge: Internet Lodge - Masonry on the Web
Special Events: Spamalot and the Alternative Hair Show at Grand Lodge
Freemasons' Hall: ADelphi System - A computer revolution
Mark Master Masons: Duke of Kent at 150th anniversary
Breeches Bible: A Lodge locker's secret
Masonic Arboretum: Planting an idea
Education: Events and The hoodwink
Masonic Charities: RMTGB and Grand Charity and Legacy appeal and RMBI and NMSF
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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‘And God said, let there be Light;
and there was light.’
Genesis 1, Chapter 3
Despite the ritual, only a very ill-informed man can imagine that the hoodwink is for the purpose of concealing the Lodge room and the Brethren from the Initiate until he is obligated.
    Yet these thoughts do pass before the minds of the Brethren as they wait with keen anticipation to watch the effect that the ceremony has upon the candidate.
    There is nothing secret about the inside of a Masonic temple. The architect who designed the building, the contractors who completed the contract, and all his workmen, down to the charwoman who regularly sweeps and dusts and maintains the place, have all seen the inside of the Lodge room.
    The United Grand Lodge of England has held conducted tours on a daily basis around the temple at Great Queen Street for many years. In many Lodges, it has always been the custom to invite the Ladies and non-Masons who attended ladies evening festivals to “have a look around the Lodge room”.
    This is to say nothing about the recent policy of “openness” and the resulting implications of “Freemasonry in the Community” So what is the meaning, and the purpose behind the hoodwink?
    What is its symbolism?
    Many different rituals required that the eye should not see until the heart has conceived the mysteries of the Order.
    It was, therefore, commonplace for the aspirant to membership to be always shrouded in darkness as a preparatory step to the reception of the full light of knowledge (whatever that may be!) The time for the confinement of a candidate into darkness and solitude varied dramatically across the different mysteries.
    Among the Druids of Britain the period was nine days and nine nights! Some of the Grecian mysteries required three times nine days! In the select Persian Orders the period of time was extended to the incredible period of 50 days of darkness, solitude and fasting.
    So, upon reflection, we have all had a relatively comfortable ride during our admission into the Craft! Taking our minds back to the creation of the world, darkness is thought of existing before light was created.In the Old Testament, as well as many other ancient religions and philosophies, darkness is symbolic not only of ignorance, but of sin, evil and wrong.
    This is not so with regards to Masonic darkness of the hoodwink. The reason for this is because evil, sin and wrong are matters of a voluntary nature. They are the result of going against knowledge. There is no thought in any Masonic degree that the candidate is or does evil.
    The hoodwink is not voluntary.
    The candidate submits to the hoodwink because the degree requires him to do so.
    It is a requirement to emphasize ignorance now and knowledge to come. Not sin now and redemption to come.



“We’re ALL in darkness – a fuse has blown!”

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