Masonic Dictionary – B

BALLOT

In the election of candidates, lodges use white and black balls, and no person can be “admitted a member of a private lodge, or made a Mason therein if two black balls appear against him.” In many lodges, one black ball, under their by-laws, is sufficient to exclude, but in any case should two be found the applicant must be refused. This rule is sometimes thought by young Masons to be severe, but it is one of our Antient rules, handed down for a long period, for, as the Antient constitutions say, “the members of a particular lodge are the best judges of it, and if a turbulent member were imposed on them, it might spoil the harmony or hinder the freedom of their communications, and even break and disperse the lodge, which ought to be avoided by all the true and faithful.” “Before declaring the result of the ballot, the ballot box shall be placed on the altar for examination by any member of the lodge, and the result having once been declared by the Master, no further ballot on the subject shall be allowed.” A candidate against whom two or more black balls have been cast cannot be balloted for in the same or any other lodge within twelve months from the time of such rejection.

– Source: Pocket Lexicon of Freemasonry

BALLOT BOX

The box in which the ballots or little balls or cubes used in voting for a candidate are deposited. It should be divided into two compartments, one of which is to contain both black and white balls, from which each member selects one, and the other, which is shielded by a partition provided with an aperture, to receive the ball that is to be deposited.

Various methods have been devised by which secrecy may be secured, so that a voter may select and deposit the ball he desires without the possibility of its being seen whether it is black or white. That which has been most in use in the United States is to have the aperture so covered by a part of the box as to prevent the hand from being seen when the ball is deposited.

– Source: Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry

COLUMN OF BEAUTY

One of the three principle supports of Masonry, the others being Wisdom and Strength. The column of the J.W. which is the Corinthian and is placed in the S. represents Beauty.

– Source: Pocket Lexicon of Freemasonry

BEEHIVE

The bee was among the Egyptians the symbol of an obedient people, because, says Horapollo, “of all insects, the bee alone had a king. ” Hence looking at the regulated labor of these insects when congregated in their hive, it is not surprising that a beehive should have been deemed an appropriate emblem of systematized industry. Freemasonry has therefore adopted the beehive as a symbol of industry, a virtue taught in the instructions, which says that a Master Mason “works that he may receive wages, the better to support himself and family, and contribute to the relief of a worthy, distressed brother, his widow and orphans” ; and in the Old Charges, which tell us that “all Masons shall work honestly on working days, that they may live creditably on holidays.”

There seems, however, to be a more recondite meaning connected with this symbol. The ark has already been shown to have been an emblem common to Freemasonry and the Ancient Mysteries, as a symbol of regeneration–of the second birth from death to life. Now, in the Mysteries, a hive was the type of the ark. “Hence,” says Faber (Origin of Pagan Idolatry, volume ii, page 133), “both the diluvian priestesses and the regenerated souls were called bees; hence, bees were feigned to be produced from the carcass of a cow, which also symbolized the ark; and hence, as the great father was esteemed an infernal god, honey was much used both in funeral rites and in the Mysteries.” This extract is from the article on the bee in Evans’ Animal Symbolism in Ecclesiastical Architecture.

– Source: Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry

BIBLE

In far too many lodges, Bible is a term used for the more appropriate and inclusive term, Volume of the Sacred Law. While it is beyond argument that the majority of members in North America are Christians of one denomination or another and that the Holy Bible is their Volume of Sacred Law, it is not to be assumed that such is the case for all members. To the Jew the TaNaCh is Sacred; the Koran for the Moslem, etc. To refer to the book on the altar as The Bible is as unmasonic as if it were referred to as the Koran or TaNaCh.

– Source: MasonicDictionary.com

BIBLE

Among Christian Masons the Holy Bible is undoubtedly the chief of the greater lights, for, placed in the centre of the lodge, it sheds its rays East, West and South. Amongst Hindus, Persians and Mahometans, their sacred books take a similar position.

– Source: Pocket Lexicon of Freemasonry

BLUE

There can be no doubt that Blue is the color of the craft lodge. The term Blue Lodge is one that seems to be a North American colloquialism and one MasonicDictionary.com wishes would become extinct. But Blue Lodge is preferred over Red Lodge as a description of Capitular Masonry.

 

– Source: MasonicDictionary.com


BLUE

This is the proper colour of the Antient degrees of Freemasonry, and is generally explained as being emblematic of friendship and charity, teaching us that in the mind of a Mason these virtues shall be co-exstensive with the blue vault of heaven.

 

– Source: Pocket Lexicon of Freemasonry

Blue Lodge

There can be no doubt that Blue is the color of the craft lodge. The term Blue Lodge is one that seems to be a North American colloquialism and one MasonicDictionary.com wishes would become extinct. But Blue Lodge is preferred over Red Lodge as a description of Capitular Masonry.

– Source: MasonicDictionary.com

Blue Craft Lodge

In Anglo-Saxon, craft meant cunning, skill, power, dexterity, etc. The word became applied to trades and occupations calling for trained skill on the part of those practicing it. The distinction between such trades and those not requiring trained workmen, so rigidly maintained, was one of the hallmarks of the Middle Ages. Freemasonry is called a Craft, partly for historical reasons, partly because, unlike so many fraternities, it requires a training (given in the form of initiation ceremonies) of those seeking its membership.

-Source: 100 Words in Masonry

Blue Craft Masonry

It is from the Saxon craft, which indirectly signifies skill or dexterity in any art. In reference to this skill, therefore, the ordinary acceptation is a trade or mechanical art, and collectively, the persons practicing it. Hence, the Craft, in Speculative Freemasonry, signifies the whole body of Freemasons, wherever dispersed.

– Source: Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry

Blue Ancient Craft Masonry

The degree of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason are so called, as these were the only degrees antiently conferred by the craft.

– Source: Pocket Lexicon of Freemasonry

BONE BOX

In the early lectures of the eighteenth century, now obsolete, we find the following catechism:

Q. Have you any key to the secrets of a Mason?

A. Yes.

Q. Where do you keep it?

A. In a bone box, that neither opens nor shuts but with ivory keys.

The bone box is the mouth, the ivory keys the teeth.

And the key to the secrets is afterward said to be the tongue.

These questions were simply used as tests, and were subsequently varied. In a later lecture it is called the Bone-bone Box.

– Source: Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry

 

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