Monday, September 22, 2008

Modes of Recognition

About a week ago, Brother Dogood over at The Middle Chamber, posted about the atrocity that has befallen his jurisdiction regarding those sacred Modes of Recognition. As I read through his thoughts I began to think about the purpose of the Modes of Recognition in Freemasonry.

How many times do we hear in lodge, "Step off, give the due guard and sign!" Or hear those words that accompany our other modes of recognition. Perhaps we don't hear the words enough, but we should be seeing those due guards and signs quite regularly in lodge. Don't forget, those are modes of recognition as well as the grips. I will ask again though, what is their purpose?

Anciently, when illiteracy was the norm, there was no such things as a Dues Card. Theories abound that one way our ancient, operative brethren could tell a mason from a cowan was through the modes of recognition. Hopefully, the uninitiated would not know the modes of recognition and therefore not be admitted into the lodge. If there was an operative purpose to the Modes of Recognition, that is it!

Today, though, the Modes of Recognition tie us with the traditions of the past. One of the glowing aspects of Speculative Masonry is that it is something ancient. We mainatin the wording of the rituals, lectures, even the Landmarks are preserved because Masonry is Preserving. Many say we should let go of Washington, Franklin, and Roosevelt, that Today is Today. But, they forget that many are drawn to Masonry because it can historically be traced for centuries. And the Modes of Recognition help tie us through those centuries.

But, is there an actual pupose for Modes of Recognition today? We have Dues Cards, and if it's lost, a quick phone call, which could be made anywhere in the world would confirm our membership. So the ancient use of the Modes is outdated and serve no purpose. But we as Speculative Masons use them for a more noble and glorious purpose.

We are taught that the Modes of Recognition, specifically the grips, are used so a mason can tell one in the dark as well as the light. This makes me think immediately about the old quote, "What you are doing is screaming so loudly that I can't hear what you are saying." I personally believe that the Modes of Recognition help us remember to be men of integrity in the dark as well as the light. I was always taught that the type of man that I was, was who I was when I was by myself, or when I am in the dark! All of our symbols are well calculated to increase knowlegde and promote Virtue, our symbols are used to teach us how to be masons. Shouldn't we be masons in the Dark as well as the Light. Shouldn't we use the Modes of Recogntion as Speculative Masons.

Sincerely and Fraternally,

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hello and Welcome

I thought that I would send this blog off with a start by saying hello, introducing who I am, and what this blog is for and about!
So, Here we go!
Hello, I am Jason L. Mair. I am currently the Junior Steward of Canyon Lodge #13 in Midvale, Utah. I was initiated on May 8th, 2007, Passed on September 18, 2007, and Raised to the Sublime Degree on October 16th, 2007. Since becoming a Mason I have met men I look up to who I would not have any other way. I have made friends, regardless of race, color, or creed. Masonry is one of the many things that have changed my life for the better, but I am jumping ahead!! I am also a member of El Kalah Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, or Shrine for short. I am a member of the Klunkers Unit, you know, the mini-cars, we have a hoot.
I was born and raised in Midway, Utah and have spent my entire life, except for the last few years, in that small town. Yes, I am a small town gentleman! At the age of 19 I left Midway to travel to Orland Florida, where I served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It is true what they say, they are the best two! After coming home, I married (2/3/07) miss Margaret Jacobus and we have been happily :) married for the past year and a half. We currently live in Salt Lake City while we are going to school, we are currently attending at Salt Lake Community College. We are both majoring in Elementary Education, Margaret wants to teach 2nd grade, especially children who are deaf, and I want to teach 5th grade. I currently work at a school for children with autism and it is a blast, sometimes they don't pay me enough though;) and somedays I would do it for free, but don't tell my supervisor! I enjoy all things masonic, reading, writing, heraldry and history-especially Scottish, genealogy, flyfishing/tying, and everything else! Where does the time go?
What is the Sprig of Acacia? This is my blog; my feelings, my journeys, thoughts, studies, and reflections on Freemasonry, Ancient and Acceptable. This blog is not a lodge room and the things said herein will probably, most likely, not be politically correct. If you are offended, I apologize for the fact that you are offended, not for offending you! You can easily close the window! That being said, I hope that we can rise above those things that can easily offend, and have meaningful, open discussions. And it must be said, The opinions expressed herein are my personal opinions and reflections and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Canyon Lodge #13, The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Utah, El Kalah Temple A.A.O.N.M.S., The Imperial Council A.A.O.N.M.S., or any other organization that I belong to, Masonic or not. And, as is customary, may we Meet on the Level, Act by the Plumb, and Part on the Square!