From the East
In every Masonic lodge there are two columns placed at the door of the preparation room. If one of your family or friends inquired as to their significance, how would you explain? We of course are taught that these columns represent the pillars of the porch of King Solomon’s Temple, that on the left named Boaz, denoting strength and the one on the right named Jachin, denoting establishment. Every candidate must pass through these important symbols of our craft, which are explained in the first two degrees. After this, they generally drop from further attention. But it is interesting to consider historically the various discussions and interpretations of these lodge monuments.
From the earliest times, it was customary to erect pillars, pointing to the sky, to exhibit gratitude for providential favors or to commemorate remarkable events. It is thought that since the pillars were non-weight bearing structures for the temple that Solomon’s purpose was ornamental and referred to the pillar of cloud and of fire which went before the Israelites in the wilderness. This represented the Deity’s promise to give the strength to establish his house of Israel. So, in passing through the porch daily, one was reminded of God’s promise, which inspired confidence in his protection. In the several scriptural references to the details of the columns, this is present.
A more complex interpretation is found in the Kabalistic (Jewish) texts. These teach an allegory of the descent of spiritual man in the Heaven into the kingdom of this world. By these two pillars, minds, spirits and souls descend and the city of Zion or Jerusalem should be built. This spirituality is, a house not made with hands such as Masons are to build in their hearts. When in lodge, observing our pillars, I think it is always important to consider their meaning, which can serve to strengthen our endeavor.
But returning to my original question, I believe a concise answer would be that the two pillars are the symbol of the strength and stability of the institution of Masonry. Secondly, in reference to the pillars of fire and cloud, it is symbolic of our dependence on the superintending guidance of the Great Architect of the Universe by which alone that strength and stability are secured.
J. Ralph Linn, WM, MD
From the Secretary
We began our Summer with four of our Brothers being raised to the sublime degree. Congratulations to Brothers, Billy Black, Cam Caudle, Adrian Prince and Neal Saunders.
What a great turnout we had July 9th on The Square in uptown Charlotte to mark the 250th anniversary of our founding Master, Colonel William Polk’s birth. It was a great gathering as aproned brothers from numerous lodges who came out of Phalanx crowded into Polk Park, and were led by our Grand Master David Cash to a special program featuring famed world explorer, author, and descendant, Milbry Catherine Polk. You can see the photos on our website.
Mike Hamrick, PM