reply to post by Amaeus
The mask in the center is the Hoodwink and worn by the Masonic Entered Apprentice (1st) Degree preparing for initiation. Its all part of the ritual of
becoming a Mason.
The symbolism of the hoodwink is twofold: First, it emphasizes the veil of secrecy and silence
surrounding the mysteries of Freemasonry; second, it represents the mystical darkness, or
ignorance, of the uninitiated. It is removed at the appropriate time, that is, when the candidate is
in the proper state to receive Light.
PREPARATION FOR INITIATION
If a man senses the stirrings in his heart for a deeper understanding of life than that he has
heretofore found, he will seek until he finds the fraternity. This longing of the heart is the
beginning of his initiation, which is why each candidate who comes seeking Light is said to be
first prepared in his heart. While Freemasonry is not a religion, its rites are of a serious nature,
dignified in their presentation, and which impart teachings that, if properly understood, obligate
a man to lead a better life. To get the greatest good from the rites, a candidate should prepare his
mind and heart to understand and absorb the teachings of Masonry. The candidate should pay
close attention to every part of the ritual. The forms of the rituals may be new and unusual to the
candidate, but such forms have always been part of the initiation traditions of the world.
ENTERING THE LODGE
As an Entered Apprentice takes his first step into the lodge room, he enters into a new world: the
world of Masonry. He leaves the darkness, destitution, and helplessness of the world for the light
and warmth of this new existence. It is not an idle formality, but a genuine experience, the
beginning of a new life in which duties, rights, and privileges are real. Entrance into the lodge is
symbolic of the movement from the outer to the inner, from the world of material senses into the
world of his true self.
If a candidate is not to be an Apprentice in name only, he must stand ready to do the work upon
his own nature that will make him a different man. Freemasonry offers no privileges or rewards
except to those who earn them; it places working tools, not playthings, in the hands of its
members. To become a Mason is a solemn and serious undertaking. Once the step is taken, it will
change the course of a man’s life for the better.
I hope that helps.