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Masonic Words: Explained

Our hosts discuss various terminologies commonly used in Freemasonry.

The hosts of Craftcast
The hosts of Craftcast

In Episode 8, Season 2 of Craftcast, the Freemasons Podcast, the hosts engage in a wide-ranging conversation encompassing their recent Masonic activities, personal experiences, and an informative segment dedicated to explaining key Masonic terminology.

James begins by sharing about his recent work trip to Hong Kong, where he was unfortunately unable to attend Masonic lodge meetings despite receiving a kind invitation. 

Shaun then reveals his ongoing struggle with anxiety around flying, describing the strategies he uses to manage his fear, such as using noise-cancelling headphones and playing games on his phone. 

Meanwhile, Stephen discusses his involvement with the upcoming University Scheme Conference, for which he has been working tirelessly on an exciting new project - the University Society Support Network. He expresses his excitement at the prospect of this project being launched, as the feedback from initial test runs has been highly encouraging.

The hosts then transition into their "Masonic Explainer" segment, where they randomly select Masonic terms and provide clear and concise explanations of their meanings.

The first term they discuss is "PGM," which stands for Provincial Grand Master. The hosts explain that a Provincial Grand Master is the head of Freemasonry within a particular region or "Province," such as East Lancashire, West Lancashire, or North Wales. They are responsible for leading and overseeing the Lodges within their designated area.

Next, they address the term "VSL," which stands for Volume of Sacred Law. The hosts explain that Freemasonry is a non-political, non-religious organisation, but one of the requirements for membership is a belief in a Supreme Being. The VSL refers to the Holy books of different faiths, such as the Bible, Quran, or Torah, which are open in the Lodge room as a reminder of this fundamental belief and the accountability that Freemasons have to a higher power.

The hosts then discuss the term "Light Blue," which refers to Master Masons who have not progressed to District, Provincial, or Metropolitan Grand Rank. They explain that the apron worn by Freemasons changes colour as they advance through the Degrees, with the Light Blue apron being the distinctive marker of a Master Mason who has not yet attained a higher rank within the organisation.

Finally, the hosts delve into the role of the "Tyler," who is the officer responsible for guarding the door of the Lodge. They emphasise the importance of this role, as the Tyler is often the first person a Candidate for Initiation encounters during the Ceremony. The hosts share their own experiences of the calming and reassuring influence exerted by the Tyler, who helps prepare the Candidates and allay their nerves as they embark on their Masonic journey.

Throughout the discussion, the hosts emphasise the importance of Freemasonry's inclusive nature, where members of diverse backgrounds can come together in harmony. They also touch on the symbolic significance of various Masonic elements, such as the rough and smooth Ashlars, which represent the journey of self-improvement that Freemasons aspire to undertake.

Towards the end, Shaun candidly reveals his aspirations to become the Worshipful Master of his Mother Lodge, a position known as "The Chair." The hosts discuss the importance and responsibilities of this role within the governance of a Masonic Lodge, underscoring the gravity and significance of this position.

As the episode concludes, the hosts encourage listeners to reach out to them with any Masonic terminology they would like explained in future episodes, underlining their commitment to educating both Freemasons and non-Masons about the intricacies and traditions of the organisation.

Interested in exploring more Masonic terms? Check out our Glossary to learn more commonly used Masonic terms and their meanings.


Listen to the full ‘Masonic Words: Explained’ podcast.

Listen to the rest of the Craftcast podcast.

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