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Mason/Knights Symbolism help

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posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 05:19 AM
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I'm busy with a small research project which may - if I'm correct - have some exciting results.

I'm looking for a good collection of Masonic symbols and their explanations. Also of "Knights of the Templar" symbols and their explanations. For example, what would/could I use to translate stuff like this:

Example 1
Example 2
Example 3
A website will be great, but literature may also be presented.

I'm sure you get the idea. Thanks in advance.




posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 08:44 AM
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Originally posted by Gemwolf
For example, what would/could I use to translate stuff like this:




They really don't translate into anything. They are Masons Marks.

Stonemasons always chose a symbol for themselves, and marked their stones with that symbol. The stones were later inspected, and they received wages based on the proficiency of their work (through mark identification).

In Freemasonry, this forms the basis of the Mark Master degree, which, in the USA, is the first degree received in a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons.



posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 06:32 PM
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I couldn't get the second and third links to work. The first one had some characters on it that resembled runes, to my eye anyway. So I did a quick bit of googling and came up with this book, which you may have already come across.

The book itself is on monastic ciphers; however, in an appendix, the author notes that there are similarities between those and mason's marks. He also provides additional resources, so perhaps there's a lead for you to follow there.

I found the use of runic characters in churches in any context interesting, as, in Scandinavia, they largely (but not completely) were replaced with the Roman alphabet during the period of Christianization around the 11th-12th century. They continued to be used later on in various parts of the region in trading or calendrical contexts, but seldom in churches.

Good luck, sounds like an interesting project.



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 01:10 AM
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Light is right again.
The marks you have in the first link are the personal 'marks' oft he mason who was working there. This was a pretty common thing for masons to do when they worked on a building.



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 04:45 AM
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Would it be reasonable to ask why those stonemasons chose those marks in particular? It seems like they would have had some sort of meaning or purpose beyond simply being a design the individual mason liked.

I don't mean to suggest that they formed some sort of proto-Masonic code, but the fact that several are actual runes and many are rune-like seems significant, at least to my uneducated mind. Do either of you have a resource you'd recommend that discusses this?



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 06:12 AM
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Originally posted by articulus
Would it be reasonable to ask why those stonemasons chose those marks in particular? It seems like they would have had some sort of meaning or purpose beyond simply being a design the individual mason liked.


You're looking into this deeper than you need to. Carving an identifying mark on the block was a lot quicker than carving your name, and given that illiteracy was high in those days much more practical. The mark would probably have been given to them by the Master Mason.

I had a great visit to Kenilworth Castle the other day. In the gatehouse you can see the different masons marks on the blocks. From what I could tell "E" was the most prolific but they all looked pretty well square to me.

Sadly a lot of non-masons have been carving on the stones too. The oldest graffiti I found was 1753 - which made me wonder... when does graffiti become history in its own right?



I don't mean to suggest that they formed some sort of proto-Masonic code, but the fact that several are actual runes and many are rune-like seems significant, at least to my uneducated mind. Do either of you have a resource you'd recommend that discusses this?

No, this is a co-incidence. Some marks are letters, some are geometric symbols and some are more like squiggles. The key attribute of each on is that it should be unique and quick to carve. This is not a code or anything like that - don't forget these are operative masons and they far pre-date their speculative descendants.



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 06:28 AM
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Thanks Trinityman, your explanation does make sense. It's easy to over-analyze things that you don't have a complete understanding of. Like I said, I didn't suppose that they had anything to do with any sort of code, and I certainly didn't mean to imply that I saw any connection to modern speculative Masonry.

I was mostly curious about the runic characters. After all, as you pointed out, most stonemasons and other tradesmen in the medieval period would have been illiterate, so I was surprised to see the letters from an alphabet that had not been used in the British Isles for several centuries by the time the cathedrals were being built. But then again, I suppose that that fact would help make the mason's mark more distinctive.

And looking at the list of marks on the first link, I can see about as many that resemble cattle-brands of the western U.S.A.; now that I've made that connection, I'll see if I can connect the dots between 13th-century church builders and 19th-century cow farmers. I'll bet it has something to do with Templar treasure.



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 07:04 AM
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So what you guys are saying is if I have a set of characters and/or symbols which I know is from a Mason origin (which doesn't come from a building/site), there isn't a "Secret Translation Book" that could help me figure out what the message says? This is of course hypothetically speaking. In other words there isn't a "secret language" or character set used by Masons?



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 09:13 AM
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Originally posted by Gemwolf
So what you guys are saying is if I have a set of characters and/or symbols which I know is from a Mason origin (which doesn't come from a building/site), there isn't a "Secret Translation Book" that could help me figure out what the message says? This is of course hypothetically speaking. In other words there isn't a "secret language" or character set used by Masons?


All I'm saying is the marks on the stones made by operative masons were to show who made the block, and are nothing to do with any language or code. Perhaps you are thinking of the pigpen cipher?

Have a look here also.

Personally I have never used such a code but I guess it might still be in use by some masons somewhere in the world. Not much use now though is it with the solution on Wiki?



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 10:46 AM
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reply to post by Trinityman
 


Aha. Now we're talking business! Would a mason be able to recognise a set of characters as characters from a certain cipher?



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 11:14 AM
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I have seen old Masonic Apprentice books for sale on Ebay, very interesting stuff.
One item you may be interested in is a Templar’s Knights Shield made from some of the rarest material available.
There is a photo of it on the web site mach3ti.com...
It is made from SR-71 Titanium and Super high temperature resistant nickel alloy called Hastelloy X.
These materials were developed by the worlds most technologically advanced top secret groups on Earth, Called (Skunk Works).
You should check it out at MACH3Ti.com.



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 11:34 AM
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reply to post by Gemwolf
 


Its a tough one. Most of them are runes far older than Masonry. Some are Alchemical symbols in nature and some are as described builders marks. The thing is with that chapel there are far more informational symbolic things than just what the Knights and Masons studied. It seems to be a blend of other things as well that are not even connected. I often wondered if the place was built as not only a hall but a multi purpose place for several groups to meet in as well as hold church.



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 01:48 PM
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reply to post by Illahee
 


Let's say that said hypothetical message wasn't connected to a building. Let's say it's just a cipher on a piece of paper?



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 03:26 PM
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reply to post by Gemwolf
 


Freemasons for the most part do not use that kind of cipher.. it's much to cool for Masonry.


A masonic cipher that I believe most Masons use is typically words with letters taken out.. you could read it, if you knew what it already said.. it's so that, even though you know it, you can follow along in practice and correct those who miss a word.

I have never seen any other form of cipher by Masons, old or new..

Would it be impossible that there was once an old language like that between Masons? No, not impossible, but improbable..




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