The Apron & Royal Blue degree begins:
“Why do you wear royal blue?
Because I am free and accepted.
Why do all those who are free and accepted wear royal blue?
Because it was the colour worn by the principal workmen employed at the building of King Solomon’s household.”
This catechism reveals the reason why Blackmen wear royal blue aprons in their official ceremonies and demonstrations. It shows the significance of this garment and the reason for its colour. Although it makes allusions to Scripture in support of its teaching, one will search in vain to find such Black instruction presented anywhere in Holy Writ. Firstly, nowhere in the sacred pages indicates that “royal blue … was the colour worn by the principal workmen employed at the building of King Solomon’s household.” This is obviously another secret society ‘add-on’ to the scriptural account.
Secondly, wearing the royal blue colour in a religious secret fraternity does not deem anyone “free” or “accepted,” although there is nothing novel in religious groupings claiming this. The term “free and accepted” is not a phrase that is unique to the Royal Black Institution but has been widely used by Freemasonry from its inception in the 18th century to describe the religious condition of its membership. In any case, the very name ‘Free-Mason’ is a total misnomer. Anyone who is knowledgeable about this organisation will certainly know that, biblically speaking, there is nothing “free and accepted” about the Masonic Lodge.
This boast was also made by the religious apostates of Christ’s day. This is evident in John 8 where Christ says to the Jews, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” To this they retorted: “We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?” (vv 32-33). Christ responds to this claim: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you” (John 8:34-37).
These professors of religion had no revelation of their own pitiful spiritual state. They were totally depending upon their own self-righteousness – which was folly. Whilst they knew God’s Word, the Saviour told them: “My word hath no place in you.” Christ then solemnly concluded: “If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham … If God were your Father, ye would love me … Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do” (vv 39, 42, 44).
This is a serious heavenly warning for those within these secret bodies who think they are free, when in fact they are bound in the bondage of sin and rebellion. It is also a strong general admonition to the religious hypocrite. Matthew Henry succinctly remarks on this reading: “None are free indeed but those whom Christ makes free.” The only ones that are truly free are those that know Christ and have experienced God’s great salvation. That’s why Galatians 5:1 counsels the believer to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.” Unsaved Blackmen are not “free,” but bound by weighty chains of sin. Yes, they may be physically free in that they can live active lives, but they are not spiritually free.
It is clearly wrong for the Royal Black Institution to deem its members “free” in a spiritual sense. Remember, we are dealing with a religious brotherhood, the vast majority of whom make no profession of salvation. We should not miss the tenor of the counsel being conveyed here. Firstly, it is spiritual instruction. Secondly, it is given in the midst of a religious meeting. That is what makes it especially concerning.
Also, whilst the Blackman may be “accepted” in the eyes of the Royal Black Institution, the real question is: Is he accepted in the eyes of God? Does he know the joy of sins forgiven? It is not the wearing of a blue Masonic apron that signifies that a man is “free and accepted” but saving faith in Christ and His final sacrifice for sin on the cross. Christ’s death was the transaction that secured man’s freedom. Those who receive God’s free gift of salvation by faith enter into the glorious liberty and reality of the new birth. In salvation, the spiritual prisoner is set free and the shackles of sin that held him down are broken.
Ephesians 1:6-7 tells us that Jesus “hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” This is true freedom. This is real acceptance. This is man’s only hope of being “free and accepted.”
The Black expands more upon this matter in its climactic Grand Charge (the overview degree that is explained at the end of all the candidate’s Black travels), some of which was expunged a few years ago. We learn on this subject: “Having donned your apron you found yourself in the peculiar position of a revolter in search of those who had wilfully taken away the life of your Grand Master. Having loyally acquitted yourself you were ordered to go wear your apron and be free.”
This concluding lecture (which has been amended in recent years) adds meat to the bones of what is being impressed in the Apron & Royal Blue catechism, and provides further illumination on the meaning behind the wearing of the blue apron. No secret society statement should be taken in isolation for it is all part of an overall unfolding revelation of a hidden mystery. Every line must be carefully analysed and meticulously pieced together in order to grasp the overall doctrine being taught. It is therefore imperative that we examine all the related material on a given subject in order to make an informed observation on it.
We should particularly note that those who formulated this theology (as in the Masonic teaching) were careful to identify freedom with finding Hiram (the Grand Master of the Black). Hiram is again seen as the fictitious and substitute (and therefore false) christ of the secret fraternal world. He is once again identified as the Grand Master of the Black. It is particularly difficult for the initiate to discern such things in the midst of his travel as it is couched in such peculiar terms and presented in such a disjointed way. Notwithstanding, whatever way you look at it, this is another obvious slight upon the matchless character and standing of Christ.
The fictional Masonic character Hiram is constantly usurping the place of Christ in secret society dogma. In the Black instruction before us, liberty is secured for the Blackman when Hiram is found. Like all secret societies, the Black subtly sows its extra-biblical concepts into the fabric of the Black degrees in such a mysterious way that it is not always easy to detect. This instruction is misleading and a total distortion of truth. It is only when a man finds Christ (or, better put, when Christ finds him) that he experiences freedom. Encountering Christ removes the burden of sin and despair and releases a man into newness of life.
The paradoxical thing about this imaginary Masonic character is that Hiram the embodiment of “the Word” is dead. Having found him dead the finders are commended and reckoned eligible to wear their blue aprons. This is certainly poignant and even symbolic of what the Royal Black Institution really represents. Anything Satan offers is a pretence and ultimately deadly to the soul, nothing of which could be more representative than this phoney instruction. Again, freedom to the Black knights is depicted as encountering a dead Hiram (Masonry’s substitute Christ), which is the very converse of Christianity where those who find Christ experience life. The Lord said in John 10:10, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
The apron is one of the most prominent and distinctive garments belonging to the Royal Black Institution. Whilst worn by most Blackmen with great pride, a great deal of ignorance surrounds its real significance and ancient origins. The Black apron is a close copy of the Masonic one, and was inherited directly from Freemasonry. Whilst the apron’s most recent past can be found largely within the Masonic Lodge its ancient roots go back much further. In fact, the origin of the apron stems back to the Garden of Eden, when sin entered into the world at the fall. There, Adam and Eve realising their fallen state before God, attempted to hide themselves. Genesis 3:7 says, “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”
Adam and Eve tried to cover their nakedness by sewing aprons together to conceal their exposed state. Adam’s apron spiritually signified him trying to disguise his sin. The Lord was not happy with man’s efforts, as He never is with such labours. For that reason He removed their self-made garments and gave them a divine covering which was graciously provided and was pleasing to Him. Genesis 3:21 reveals, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”
This is the first indication of a blood sacrifice in the Bible. This divine provision revealed an eternal truth to sinful man, that “without shedding of blood is no remission” for sin (Hebrews 9:22). This blood sacrifice in the Garden was God’s preview of Calvary. Through this blood atonement He established a covenant with sinful man. Through it He revealed the only means of sacrifice acceptable to God. It is therefore amazing that the Royal Black Institution should display this item of clothing as a religious garment of respect – a token of their personal esteem as members of the Lodge.
Not surprisingly, this garment of shame and iniquity became a badge of honour within the cult and occult world. Since the Garden, the apron has become a revered piece of clothing and a cherished symbol within most pagan groupings. Former French Mason Monsieur Copin Albancelli poignantly states in his book Le Pouvoir Occulte Contre la France (1908), speaking of secret societies: “It is professed in these societies that all the Christian God commands is disagreeable to Lucifer; that in consequence one must do all that the Christian God forbids and that one must shun like fire” (taken from Secret Societies and Subversive Movements by Nesta H. Webster).
This is found throughout the Black and its related fraternal societies. Whether in symbol, dress wear, procedure or teaching, whatever is censured, forbidden or seen to be the subject of God’s displeasure in Scripture is elevated in the secret societies to a place of honour. Wherever you find heathenish religion in its most raw form you will normally find the ceremonial apron employed. We will look at the apron in further detail in the Royal Green Degree where the candidate actually impersonates Adam in the Garden at the moment of the fall. Like every other symbol which became an abomination to God and which became identified with sin and idolatry in Scripture the apron took on a great significance in ancient mystery religion.
Albert G. Mackey explains in The Symbolism of Freemasonry: “The rite of investiture, called, in the colloquially technical language of the Order, the ceremony of clothing … placing upon the aspirant some garment, as an indication of his appropriate preparation for the ceremonies in which he was about to engage, prevailed in all the ancient initiations.”
Top Irish Freemason George Power describes its ancient origins: “All through the ages the apron has had an important and symbolic meaning. In Ancient Egypt monuments were often made to include figures wearing triangular aprons pointing upward. In Central America gods were depicted in sculpture and drawings wearing aprons. Ancient Chinese representations show figures wearing semi-circular aprons. Primitive tribes in Central Africa invested their youths with aprons of leaves on their initiation into manhood.” Masons who visit the tombs of ancient Egypt are astounded by the religious symbols painted upon the walls. There displayed before them are the same grips, signs, postures, symbols, and even the apron, used for their own initiation” (New World Order p. 23).
G.A Browne in A Masonic Pilgrimage to the East ( New Age, June 1934 ) contends, “The religious symbols, grips, aprons on the walls and tombs of ancient Egypt would tend to make a Freemason almost believe he is witnessing a scene at a (Masonic) initiation” (Dawning of the New Age p. 60).
Christian writer David S Julien agrees in his findings: “One only has to look at ancient statues and carvings to see the importance of aprons in early cultures and civilizations. For example, initiates of the proto-Christian Essenes, Mithras, and Saduccees of Jesus’ day wore aprons, as did the ancient initiates of early Chinese societies, Mayans, Incas, and Aztecs. More recent civilizations such as the Hopi, Vikings, and Zulus wore aprons as emblems of high office. Aprons frequently adorn the statues of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian Gods. The Ancient Persians also used the apron as a national emblem. Therefore the apron as a symbol of ‘work’ or ‘labor’ is almost as old as time itself” (Reasoning from the Scriptures with Masons).
The blue apron itself is also found widely within the cults. Former Mormon, 32nd degree Freemason, Wiccan witch high priest and now Christian authority on the Occult, William Schnoebellen describes his own initiation into Mormonism in his book Joseph Smith and the Temple of Doom. Speaking of his Salt Lake endowment ceremony he testifies: “‘Lucifer’ walks in wearing the unofficial uniform of the Mormon priesthood, a black suit. He stands out in stark contrast to everyone else in the endowment, who are dressed in total white. From the standpoint of stagecraft, it definitely makes Lucifer the most important, outstanding performer. He also wears a blue apron, filled with Masonic markings.”
Schnoebellen continues, “It struck me odd that there was such a staged emphasis on the apron being a symbol of Lucifer’s ‘power and priesthoods’ during the LDS Ritual. It is said not only once but twice! Immediately following that disclosure, Lucifer instructs Adam and Eve (and all the temple patrons) to put on their own aprons.” Schnoebellen concludes: “The apron is the symbol of Luciferian priesthood power in all satanic cults that I am familiar with. It is also worn in a myriad of forms in virtually all Masonic rites and also in many hermetic, magical lodges and Rosicrucian orders.”
It is ironic that Satan should be represented by the same blue Masonic apron in the Mormon ceremony as the Blackman employs in his fraternal activities. Surely this shows how effortlessly the Black correlates with these other dark groupings. This is plainly a pagan custom. It is not a biblical tradition nor is it a practice that is known to evangelical Protestantism; it is alien to both and belongs far outside the faith which was once and for all delivered to the saints. The Black apron is a sophisticated pagan artefact crawling with much magic symbolism.
Like all Occult symbols it has two distinct sets of meaning. First, an outward or exoteric form which is taught to the ignorant (that is, a symbol which is hidden behind an outer shell which most people think they can understand). This is normally articulated in the lower levels of Masonry. Secondly, the real occult meaning known as esoteric knowledge which is familiar to an inner circle of disciples, intelligible to them and closely guarded by them. This is normally revealed to the higher initiates.
Freemasonry makes no secret of the pagan roots of the ceremonial apron. It too uses the blue apron with the square and compass prominently positioned in the centre of the apron. George Power in his book Masonic Collection outlines the importance of the colour blue within the mysteries – modern and ancient – and confirms its heathen lineage: “Among the Ancients, to be initiated into the mysteries was to obtain perfection; and so what better colour than blue could be used to represent initiation into the greatest of fraternal institutions – Freemasonry. Among the Druids ‘blue’ symbolised ‘Truth’. The Egyptians used ‘blue’ as a sacred colour signifying ‘heavenly nature’. Jeremiah tells us that the Babylonians clothed their idols in blue. To the Chinese blue is the symbol of Deity. The Hindu God ‘Vishnu’ was dressed in celestial blue, indicating ‘the wisdom of God.’ To medieval Christians blue was the emblem of ‘immortality’” (The Significance of Blue – Blue Lodge p. 29).
Masonry therefore turns to its pagan origins to support the usage of its colours. It certainly does not provide an acceptable reason for the prominent ceremonial use of blue within a supposedly Protestant order like the Black. Colours within the occult and secret societies represent idea and beliefs. Former witch David Meyer writes: “Colour coding is a sacred secret, in the occult world.” Masonry applies several superstitious concepts to this apron that embodies esoteric thinking. As the Mason progresses from the 1st degree to the 3rd his apron changes from white to blue. In the 1st degree his white apron represents purity of soul. In the 2nd degree blue rosettes are added indicating advancement has been made in esoteric truth. In the 3rd degree the blueness of the apron denotes further progress in the initiate’s mystical journey. No colour is used by chance in esoteric learning.
Masonic writer W. L. Wilmshurst verifies this in The Meaning of Masonry. He contends, “The unadorned white Apron of the First Degree indicates the purity of soul contemplated as being attained in that Degree. The pale blue rosettes added to the Apron in the Second Degree indicate that progress is being made in the science of regeneration and that the candidate’s spirituality is beginning to develop and bud through. Blue, the colour of the sky, is traditionally associated with devotion to spiritual concerns. In the Third Degree still further progress is emblematized by the increased blue adornments of the Apron, as also by its silver tassels and the silver serpent used to fasten the apron-strings.”
Square & Compass
Like every other major image the Royal Black Institution owns, the square and the compass have been acquired from the Masonic Lodge. Most Blackmen know this emblem is Masonic but few ever go to the bother to discover what it really originally symbolised within Freemasonry. In examining any image it is essential to ascertain what the initial creators intended it to mean. In the lower degrees Masonry places an innocuous explanation upon this badge. However, as the Mason progresses into the higher degrees and consequently grows in esoteric knowledge he sees the Masonic symbols as multi-layered object lessons.
In the 1st degree of Masonry the initiate is told that the square and compass is employed: “To square our actions; the compasses, to circumscribe and keep us within bounds of all mankind, but more especially with a brother Mason.” This is similar to the Black explanation. It says, “The compass teaches us to encompass the brethren with brotherly love and loyalty. The square being an emblem of virtue teaches us to pursue virtuous paths.”
However, Masonic spokesman Gregory H Peters provides insight into the gradual revelation that occurs in the Lodge and gives us a general overview of the whole issue of the apron and the attached imagery in The Esoteric Significance of the White Lambskin Apron. He states: “As with all symbols of Masonry our emblems are richly variegated, and what may appear as a straightforward explanation may oftentimes contain deeper layers of meaning and symbolism as one contemplates the symbols. While the surface interpretations of our symbols teach a moral lesson, one may open up to deeper layers of interpretation with contemplation upon the symbols, each layer building upon other one … A simple layer of interpretation of the whiter apron indicates that its placement at the waist is to purify the sexual instincts of man, which if left unchecked, has more often than not resulted in errors of thought, word and deed. Thus the purity alluded to with the color and the placement of the apron has a practical, ethical instruction.”
Peters goes on to submit that the apron acts “as a ‘shield’ at the position of the procreative center. This interpretation is not a call to abstinence, but rather for a disciplined and focused channelling of the procreative urge. This focus has been termed ‘occult chastity’, in which the procreative urges are dedicated to illumination, or to Deity.”
Evangelical expert on Masonry Martin Wagner concurs: “The apron in its entire symbolisation signifies that by means of the sex principles and the sex organism in which these principles inhere, the Great Architect, the god in Freemasonry is perpetually reproducing life, perpetually rebuilding the temple of humanity, and that these mysterious life processes go continually on in the region of the temple over which this apron is worn as a veil. It is in this phallic sense that the Masonic apron is a badge of immortality, or of life to come” (Freemasonry, an interpretation p. 404).
Masonry, like all secret societies, carefully guards it secrets. It reveals its beliefs by gradual enlightenment. The further the candidate travels into the mysteries the more he discovers. In the lower levels the explanation given to the candidate is simple, moral and superficial. As the initiate’s journey continues, his spiritual instruction gets more detailed and explicit. The most authoritative Masonic writer ever, is commonly held to be Albert Pike (1809-1891). He rose to Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the thirty-third degree (Mother council of the World) and Supreme Pontiff of Universal Freemasonry. In his book Morals and Dogma (accepted universally as ‘the bible of Freemasonry’) Pike admits: “Masonry like all religions, all the Mysteries, Hermeticism and Alchemy, conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve to be misled; to conceal the Truth which it calls Light, from them, and to draw them away from it.”
He further states, “The Blue Degrees are but the outer court or portico of the Temple. Part of the symbols are displayed there to the Initiate, but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations. It is not intended that he shall understand them, but it is intended that he shall imagine he understands them.” Pike says of the square and the compass: “The Square … is a natural and appropriate Symbol of this Earth and the things that belong to it are of it, or concern it. The Compass is an equally natural and appropriate Symbol of the Heavens, and of all celestial things and celestial natures … The Earth, therefore, the great producer, was always represented as a female, as the mother,–Great, Bounteous, Beneficent Mother Earth. On the other hand, it is the light and heat of the Sun in the Heavens, and the rains that seem to come from them, that in the Springtime make fruitful this bountifully-producing Earth, that restore life and warmth to her veins, chilled by Winter, set running free her streams, and beget, as it were, that greenness and that abundance of which she is so prolific. As the procreative and generative agents, the Heavens and the Sun have always been regarded as male; as the generators that fructify the Earth and cause it to produce.”
This type of dualistic language will be foreign to most normal people, especially when they are totally unfamiliar with esoteric thinking and doctrine. However, it is the common vernacular of paganism and the Occult. The sun is constantly identified with the male and the moon with womanhood. Pagan symbolism and practice is a mixture of devotion to the host of heaven and to the procreative act. The candidate receives enlightenment on this matter in the lofty 28th degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite – the Knight of the Sun or Prince Adept grade. However, it must be pointed out that few Masons ascend this high.
The initiate is there informed: “The Persians, the Assyrians, the Chaldeans, all worship the sun. Sun worship was introduced into the mysteries not as a material idolatry, but as the means of expressing an idea of restoration to life from death, drawn from the daily reappearance in the east of the solar orb after its nightly disappearance in the west. The sun is the symbol of sovereignty, the hieroglyphic of royalty; it doth signify absolute authority. Sol is the fire of heaven which lights the generative fires of earth, the genial parent who renews in its season all nature, and gives fertility to both animal and vegetable creation, and which, therefore, came to be worshipped as the giver of procreative power. As men are, so will their ideas of God be; each one, according to his cultivation and idiosyncrasies, projects on his mental canvas the highest ideal of the Illimitable of which he is capable. Had man worshipped nought less noble and elevating than the sun he would have done well.”
We must remember this is not a commentary but the actual wording of the 28th Masonic degree. It is certainly highly revealing. Evangelical writer E.M. Storms adds further illumination to the subject: “To the Ancients, God became known as a ‘Creative Principle’ or a ‘Generative Principle’ – the pro-creative or reproductive power of nature … these Mystery Religions degenerated into orgiastic nature worship and fertility cults. Out of this depravation came phallic cults venerating the reproductive parts of male and female as religious symbols” (Should a Christian be a Freemason? p. 44).
Evangelical authorities on the Lodge, Jim Shaw (former 33rd degree Mason), and Tom McKenney explain in their book The Deadly Deception: “The Square represents the female (passive) generative principle, the earth and the baser, sensual nature, and the Compass represents the male spiritual native. The Compass arranged above the Square, symbolises the (male) sun, impregnating the passive (female) Earth with its life-producing rays. The true meanings then are two fold, the early (human) representations are of the man and his phallus and the woman with her receptive cteis … The cosmic meaning is that of the active Sun (deity, the Sun God) from above, imparting life into the passive Earth (deity, the earth/fertility goddess) below and producing new life” (p.143).
Masonic and Christian authorities are in surprising agreement on this matter. Leading authorities in the Lodge over the years concede that it carries both a cosmic and a sexual significance. Top Masonic writer J.S.M Ward explains in his book An Interpretation of our Masonic Symbols, “The square and the compass when united form the emblem of the feminine or Preservative side of nature. The true emblem is the Vesica Piscis. In Latin ‘Vesica Piscis’ means ‘bladder of fish’, it also means pointed and shape in architecture. Like most Occult symbols it has a hidden sexual meaning. The oval or lozenge shape represents a woman or womankind.”
Well known Masonic authority Albert Mackey in his Masonic Encyclopaedia agrees, explaining: “Both witches and Masons revere the powers of human reproduction (albeit most Masons do so unknowingly). The most obvious example of this is the ceremonial Masonic apron, which covers the ‘Holy of Holies’ of Freemasonry, the male groin area. This fact has been adequately documented in many places.”
It is plain from reading these diverse analysts that we are looking at a pagan garment covered in huge esoteric significance. We see from these experts that the square and compass carries a veiled Occult meaning. They all seem to attribute a sexual connotation to its form and placement on the apron. The creators of this symbol were of course Masonic occultists, so such an obscene design is not surprising.
Unfortunately, the Black took this symbol and adopted it as its own without the slightest apprehension. Today, the square and compass is one of the most cherished emblems within the Royal Black Institution. The dualistic esoteric meaning attached to the image is nothing new in Occult imagery; most of paganism’s symbols carry subliminal cosmic and sexual messages. The dress, colours and symbols that are employed within secret religious fraternities (modern and ancient) are as important in their connotation as are the teaching and practices that are used in their rites. They are carefully designed to reinforce the mystic teaching and to impress deep spiritual meaning.
The Letter G
The value and meaning of the letter G in the middle of the Black and Masonic square and compass is also covered in mystery and ambiguity. The Black explains: “The letter G in the centre occupies the most prominent position in the emblem; therefore, the password it represents should occupy the most prominent position in our lives.” Although it does not expressly state so, it seems that the Black is cryptically referring to the living God. This poses an immediate question: If it is, why does the Royal Black Institution not simply spell God’s name in full? Why do they need to play ambiguous esoteric games with the revelation of the name of God? Further, if this is referring to God, why is His name said to be a “password”?
Is there any need for such obscure messages in a so-called Protestant society? This behaviour is common within Masonry and the Occult and represents a custom that is alien to evangelical practice and scriptural revelation. Secret societies take pleasure in concealing God, whereas biblical Christianity takes joy in revealing Him. However we look at it, it is clear that these secretive fraternities are continually attempting to hide God and bring man to the fore in His place.
Another equally problematic issue is the Black identifying the God of heaven with a religious garment that is represented in Scripture as a symbol of sin and shame. How can it justify its use of the square and compass, which has a deeply Occult significance? Even in this explanation of the letter G, God is not mentioned but simply inferred. Nothing within secret societies is ever straightforward – one has always to read between the lines. The initiate has to assume a lot. The cryptic name of God is placed in the most prominent position on this pagan garment and strategically placed in the middle of the square and compass in order to impress hidden esoteric thought.
When the Black acquired the square and compass it also obtained the mystical G in the middle of it. The letter G figures prominently in Freemasonry. Masonry also places the letter G in the middle of its blazing star (a five-pointed Occult symbol). In the lower degrees the initiate is told that this letter stands for God. Later he is told it signifies Geometry. When he arrives at the higher degrees the G (or God) is revealed as the generative principle. Amazingly, Masonry’s leading writers make no effort to conceal this. In fact they are quick to justify this Kabbalistic concept.
Masonry’s greatest authority, Albert Pike, suggests that the letter G in English speaking lodges actually represents a variation of the Hebrew letter YOD or JOD for Jehovah. Other top Masonic commentators support this idea. In his book Morals and Dogmas, he explains: “In the centre is the Hebrew JOD (initial of ????), the Animating Spirit of Fire, the generative principle, represented by the letter G., initial of the name of Deity in the languages of the North, and the meaning whereof is Generation” (Morals and Dogmas).
J.S.M. Ward says in The Fellowcraft’s Handbook: “The pentacle represents man with his five senses, with the G at the center to remind us of the divine spark within us … we only begin to recognize the God within us when we have lived a good life. There is also, probably, a reference to the word ‘Generation’, which is naturally associated with the life of the fully developed man. The meaning of this is that the power of begetting is a God-like gift, for it creates physical life, and we must use it with respect for the noblest.”
33rd degree Mason A.E. Waite contends, “G which Freemasons place in the center of the Burning Star signifies Gnosis and Generation, the two sacred words of the ancient Kabbalah” (The Mysteries of Magic: A Digest of the Writings of Eliphas Levi p. 205)
Another top authority who understands it thus is Albert G. Mackey, who maintains, “The Ineffable Name of God in Hebrew, being read cabalistically, includes within itself the male and female principle, the generative and prolific energy of creation; and here we have, again, the widely-spread symbolism of the phallus and the cteis, the lingam and the yoni, or their equivalent, the point within a circle, and another pregnant proof of the connection between Freemasonry and the ancient Mysteries.”
Mackey continues, “it is a corruption of the old Hebrew symbol, the letter yod, by which the sacred name was often expressed. This letter is the initial of the word Jehovah, or Ihoh, as I have already stated, and is constantly to be met with in Hebrew writings as the symbol or abbreviature of Jehovah, which word, it will be remembered, is never written at length … Having, then, the same meaning and force as the Hebrew yod, the letter G must be considered, like its prototype, as the symbol of the life-giving and life-sustaining power of God, as manifested in the meaning of the word Jehovah, or Ihoh, the generative and prolific energy of the Creator” (The Symbolism of Freemasonry).
The more one travels up the Masonic ladder the more alarming the teaching becomes. One discovers the real occultic sense behind the secret teaching and the peculiar imagery being used. It is by way of a gradual enlightenment that is acquired through staged initiation. One cannot take any secret society symbol, prop or garment at face value as it normally carries a secret Occult meaning that can only be discerned through mystical enlightenment. Nothing within the underworld of secret societies is included by chance but is carefully designed to represent some esoteric concept.
Blackmen and Masons who have not journeyed to the higher grades of the Masonic Lodge will probably protest the meaning that is being forwarded here, but this is probably because they have not fully exhausted their mystical secret society travels. The G certainly represents God, but it is not the God of the Bible. It is the Masonic god; a pagan sexual god. The God of the Bible, Jehovah, is subtly replaced by the Masonic alternative god in Masonic theology. This occurs progressively as the candidate climbs the degree ladder.
Evangelical writer E.M. Storms explains in his in-depth study: “The letter ‘G’ which is placed over the Master of the Lodge is really a substitute for the Hebrew letter YOD which is the Kabalistic symbol for the ‘Creative Energy’ represented by the point. That point … is the male sex organ in disguise. The tragedy of the whole thing is that the Christian Mason believes that the letter ‘G’ stands for his God through Jesus Christ, or geometry, which is a subject lectured on in some degrees. But the ‘Prince Adept’ degree is very clear as to what this ‘G’ or YOD represents” (p. 51).
The serpent is one of the most familiar representations of Satan in Scripture. It is not surprising then that it has taken on a cherished position within the Occult and secret society world down through the centuries. In every pagan association and all of the ancient occult history the serpent holds a place of awe and notoriety. Albert C. Mackey remarks in his Masonic Encyclopaedia: “As a symbol the serpent obtained a prominent place in all the ancient initiation and religions.”
A fastidious study of paganism will confirm that Satan, the arch-enemy of our souls, was venerated within all of the mysteries in the form of the serpent. Mackey continues: “In ancient times, the serpent was an object of adoration in almost all nations. It was, in fact, one of the earliest deviations from the true system, and in almost all the ancient rites we find some allusion to the serpent. It was worshipped in India, Egypt, Phoenicia, Babylonia, Greece, and Italy. Indeed, so widely was this worship distributed, presenting everywhere so many similar features, that it is not surprising that it has been regarded by some writers as the primitive religion of man” (p. 924).
All the ancient mysteries and their modern-day offspring in the fraternal world bear the serpent’s mark upon their activities. Whether it is done overtly or obscurely they lure their followers into adherence to him through a web of secrecy and deception. 33rd degree Mason, Manly P. Hall, explains in The Secret Teachings of All Ages: “The serpent is the symbol and prototype of the Universal Savior, who redeems the worlds by giving creation the knowledge of itself and the realization of good and evil.” This admission is amazing, especially coming from one of Masonry’s leading writers. Whilst uninformed lower degree Masons may dismiss such assertions, high grade Masons are well aware of the satanic nature of the Lodge.
Masonic writer George Oliver attests in Signs and Symbols: “The Serpent is universally esteemed a legitimate symbol of Freemasonry” (p. 36). There can be no doubt that most people get entangled in this evil ignorantly, being carefully weaned into these ancient doctrines by a gradualist travelling of the degrees. The serpent is the symbol which best represents the god of the secret society underworld. The same is the arch-enemy of the God of the Bible.
Satan’s fingerprints are found all over Freemasonry’s symbolism, theology and regalia. We return to Wilmshurst’s earlier comments: “In the Third Degree … progress is emblematized by the increased blue adornment of the Apron, as also by its silver tassels and silver serpent used to fasten the apron strings … The silver serpent is the emblem of Divine wisdom knitting the soul’s new made vesture together” (p. 136). Here we see the hidden significance behind this symbolism. This certainly must alarm those who would class themselves as God-fearing men within the Royal Black Institution, wearing as they do the same Masonic apron.
Masonic authority C.S.M. Ward agrees with Wilmshurst, explaining, “In the Kabbalah we find clear traces of fact that under certain circumstances the serpent is regarded as ‘The shining one’, the Holy Wisdom itself. Thus we see that the serpent on our aprons denotes that we are encircled by the Holy Wisdom.”
Ezekiel 28:12, 15 tells us that Satan was “full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty … till iniquity was found in thee.” Lucifer no longer owns such qualities, having been removed from his privileged heavenly position. Occultists worship Satan and believe him to be what he was before his eviction from heaven. This is not so. Satan is the prince of darkness and demands devotion from all his devotees. This is normally secured through ritualised trickery and intrigue.
It was Masonry and the Occult which popularised the serpent as a clothing fastener. Today this symbolism has worked its way into popular dress-wear being used as a buckle on many attachments. Allowing for the fact that the Black apron is a close reproduction of the Masonic original, it is not surprising that it is also sealed with a serpent. The esoteric world places great reverence on the serpent, which, of course, as already noted is a symbol of Satan in Scripture. Every Masonic or secret society apron we look at is buckled by a serpent. The serpent is not just restricted to the Masonic apron; it is quite prevalent in higher degree Masonry imagery and central to its theology.
The Lodge venerates this snake in its teaching, procedures and imagery. When former Mason Jim Shaw went to the Masonic temple to receive his 33rd degree, he testified: “The thing that is most noticeable is the way the walls are decorated with Serpents. There are all kinds, some very long and large. Many of the Scottish Rite degrees include the representation of Serpents and I recognized them among those decorating the walls.”
The serpent is probably the most venerated of all occultic symbols because it represents the angel of light, Lucifer, and because after the fall in the Garden of Eden it became a cursed creature by God. In the Garden of Eden we see Satan tempt Adam and Eve into eating of the forbidden fruit. Satan is seen in the form of a serpent. God then judged the creature saying to it: “Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon the belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life” (Genesis 3:14). What God curses, Satan usually elevates. This is the pattern with these covert religious societies.
In the Scriptures Lucifer is clearly depicted as the serpent. In Revelation 12:9 he is described as “that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.” Satan is man’s great enemy. 1 Peter 5:8 says that he is “your adversary.” Revelation 12:10 tells us that he is “the accuser of our brethren.” 2 Corinthians 4:4 tells us he is “the god of this world.” John 14:30 says he is “the prince of this world.” Ephesians 2:2 makes clear he is “the prince of the power of the air.”
Secret fraternities identifying with Satan by way of symbol and cryptic teaching expose the real influence behind their orders. The paraphernalia attached to them is plainly contrary to that of evangelical Protestantism. Whilst the serpent is accommodated in these secret societies, he is resisted and rejected in the true Church.
Christians know that the religious apron has nothing to do with evangelical practice. It is a ceremonial garment unknown to scriptural and sanctified procedures and is absent from the gatherings of the people of God throughout the centuries. They are also familiar with its shameful roots in the Garden story – as a symbol of satanic rebellion. Many Christians will also be aware of its popular usage within the pagan world. Wherever you see heathen worship depicted, the ceremonial apron is to the fore.
In spite of this, most professing believers (inside or outside the Black) will probably be unaware of the disturbing Occult meaning behind the use of the square and compass with the G in the middle, and the serpent fastener that seals the apron. In fact, the vast bulk of Blackmen would probably be ignorant of the Occult significance that underlies the square and compass. They would have little understanding of the pagan roots of this emblem. That cannot be said for the founders of the Black Preceptory who were immersed in the intricacies and inferences of Masonic thought, symbolism and practice. They would all have been seasoned higher degree Masons.
Most Blackmen wear the apron with pride believing it to be a distinguishing badge of their Order. Whilst they are conscious that the symbols represent Black secret concepts and teaching, most would struggle to recall what exactly they are. This would also be common within the lower echelons of the Masonic Lodge. Most would simply view it as a badge of honour. This does not in any way excuse the Blackman’s wearing of this emblem, but it shows the lack of knowledge involved in the use of much of the institutional imagery and paraphernalia. Most must know this is Masonry’s badge and should therefore question it on that basis alone. When challenged on this, Blackmen generally become uncomfortable and try to reason that they use these for a distinctly different purpose.
In the light of the evidence we have been looking at, it is a shame that men who profess Christ, Christianity and Protestantism are so content to don this crude regalia. Frankly, the only place for the Black’s apron is the fire. Any Christian owning such regalia (dress, books, certificates or artefacts) should destroy them. Deuteronomy 7:25-26 instructs: “The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.”
David followed this instruction in 2 Samuel 5:21 after he had defeated the Philistines in the valley of Rephaim. The Bible records: “And there they [the Philistines] left their images, and David and his men burned them.”
Paul the Apostle was faced with a similar circumstance in his day as he preached the Word of God in Ephesus. This was not therefore an Old Testament phenomenon. This time the Spirit of the Lord convicted the new converts to destroy their accumulated heathen artefacts. The Bible says, “And fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed” (Acts 19:17-20).
Oh that this would be a reality in our own land and that this alien imagery would be purged from Protestantism! Oh that we would experience such a spiritual awakening and revival that it would purge this sin out of the camp.
Remainder of the Apron and Royal Blue degree
The Royal Black Institution consists of eleven degrees, as follows: –
(1) Royal Black degree – exposed and biblically examined
(2) Royal Scarlet Degree – exposed and biblically examined
(3) Royal Mark degree – exposed and biblically examined
(4) Apron and Royal Blue degree – exposed and biblically examined
(5) Royal White degree – exposed and biblically examined
(6) Royal Green degree – exposed and biblically examined
(7) Gold degree – exposed and biblically examined
(8) Star and Garter degree – exposed and biblically examined
(9) Crimson Arrow degreee – exposed and biblically examined
(10) Link and Chain degree – exposed and biblically examined
(11) Red Cross degree – exposed and biblically examined
The Institution also possesses a final retrospective degree, which is essentially an overview of the 11 degrees that the candidate has traversed.
Red Cross Grand Charge – exposed