Solomon

Welcome to Solomon.

Feed your curiosity! If there’s something you’ve never really understood about Freemasonry, then you’ll probably find the answer in a nugget. These are simple, short, readily understood bites of information, and found in Seek & Learn area of the Solomon web site.

Read them on your own; talk about them with other brethren, encourage your DC or Lodge Secretary to mention them in Lodge meetings. A Lodge of Instruction would also be an ideal opportunity for discussing a point of masonic knowledge and sharing ideas. Masonic knowledge is like the quest for the Holy Grail, it’s a journey, and the process in the adventure and enjoyment.

They could even form a topic for debate when there is no ceremony to perform. Once you’re registered as a Solomon user and enrolled in a module, type a word into the search bar, and you’ll get a list of matches to browse. The Seek & Learn section of the web site is here.

Did you know only one lodge in Lincolnshire delivers the ritual on ‘Why we wear white gloves’ in the first degree? Go have a look at it.

Solomon will continue to be added to and improved on a regular basis so keep coming back to have a look at what’s new. Usually these papers are presented as ‘Nuggets’ and interactive other resources to explore.

Our ‘what’s what’ guide to help you explore Solomon.

The Solomon database is vast, but it’s been carefully structured to support a brother through every stage of his masonic journey. Usually these papers are presented as ‘nuggets’ – short articles on a particular topic – but there are also videos and interactive resources to explore.

Exploration starts with enrolling. It’s easy to do, but it’s important to prevent brethren accidentally straying into areas they don’t want to see yet, such as a higher degree.

After registering and logging in you’ll be offered three options
• Seek & Learn : This is for personal study. This is where you’ll find the nuggets
• Share & Encourage: This is for Lodges and Chapters. It contains nuggets, presentations, demonstrations and quizzes
• Support & Promote: Here’s where you’ll find documents, ideas and resources to support learning and development

Getting started: Click on the words Seek & Learn to be taken directly to the First Degree page. Click ‘enrol me’ (in the panel under the picture) and off you go!

Are you thinking of becoming a Freemason?

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

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Quiz

Each Solomon module include a range of interactive resources for your development. Quizzes feature as a personal challenge designed to test what you know, and highlight gaps in your knowledge. The quizzes are there for a bit of fun and crucially to summarize the teachings of each degree.

Let’s start with the First Degree. When you’re registered and enrolled (processes we explain in earlier posts), you’ll be able to scroll down through the First Degree module to find the quiz on the First Degree and then the First Degree Tracing Board. There are three levels.

• Entry
• Intermediate
• Advanced

The First Degree Tracing Board is one of the most comprehensive pieces of ritual in Craft masonry. Go to entry level and click on the Entry level quiz. What score will you get?

Solomon shared

The Nuggets are there for brethren to read, but also to be demonstrated, discussed or shared within an Open Lodge. A Lodge of Instruction would also be an ideal opportunity for discussing a point of masonic knowledge and sharing ideas. Masonic Knowledge is like the quest for the Holy Grail, it’s a journey and the process in the adventure and enjoyment.

Log in and go to the second section Share and Encourage. Then click onto Share and Encourage: First degree. Scrolling to near the bottom of the screen at this link you’ll find the demonstrations on the First Degree. There are many to choose from. Download ‘Coming into the Light’ and share the delivery amongst masonic friends!

Where did it all begin?

What is the history of Freemasonry in England?

No one can say with certainty how or when the Masonic fraternity was formed. This is an area of much research and has a whole section on Solomon: Seek and Learn; Masonic History. A widely-accepted theory among Masonic scholars is that it arose from stonemason’s guilds during the Middle Ages.

Some of the language and symbols used in the rituals come from this era. The oldest document that makes reference to Masons is the Regius Poem, printed about 1390, which was a copy of an earlier work. In 1646 Elias Ashmole recorded his initiation in Warrington in his diary and this remains the first firm evidence of a speculative initiation taking place in England. Continuing throughout the 1600s evidence of non-operative lodges increases.

On the 24th of June 1717, four lodges met in the Goose and Gridiron Tavern in St Paul’s Churchyard in London and thereby formed the first Grand Lodge of England and indeed the first Grand Lodge in the world. Antony Sayer was elected the first Grand Master and records from that point in time are more detailed.

So, where’s a brief history of Freemasonry? A research paper containing some ideas of the answer is here.

Just been through your First Degree?

Congratulations! You’ve just joined the United Grand Lodge of England, the oldest grand Lodge in the world, and by becoming an Entered Apprentice Freemason you have taken your first step on an amazing journey. Those who’ve been through the ceremony know it’s a very special experience. These brothers of yours will also readily admit that they had more questions than answers after the meeting when they joined. We’re sure you feel the same way.

Here’s where Solomon can help you. It’s an online repository of papers and simple, short, readily understood nuggets of information, all brought together on the Solomon web site. There is even the specially-organised First degree area.

Read them on your own; talk about them with other brethren; discuss with your mentor. They are there for your daily advancement in masonic knowledge. So, register, enroll into the First Degree Module and reflect on that first, very special start of your masonic journey. Let’s start with one question: What is the symbolism of the Entered Apprentice apron? The nugget containing the answer is here.

Now you’re a Fellowcraft Freemason

You’ve taken the second step in your masonic journey – and we feel sure you had another memorable experience. Remember it’s a ceremony that many thousands of masons have been through. Just as with the initiation ceremony, those Freemasons will admit they have many questions, and it’s important to reflect as they learn more about the fraternity and its symbolism. Feed your curiosity! If there’s something you’ve never really understood about the Second Degree, then you’ll probably find the answer on Solomon – and you may find many more things you didn’t know you didn’t know. Everything is presented on the website as simple, short, readily understood bites of information, and found in Seek & Learn area of the Solomon web site.
We strongly recommend that you continue to discuss your questions with your personal mentor and masonic friends but also investigate the resources on Solomon and research what others think. Just enroll onto the Second Degree in Seek and Learn.
Some typical questions
1. Without scruple and diffidence? What does that mean? Look here.
2. Why did I advance in that manner? Look here
3. What are the seven Liberal arts and sciences? Look here.

Now you’re a Master Mason

This is the third step in Craft masonry and, some would argue, the beginning of your masonic life. Solomon is at hand to answer any of the questions you may have. You should always ask other brothers as well, which why we have appointed a mentor, whose role is to encourage you, help you find out what you want to know, and where to find the answers. It’s not always easy to know what the questions you want to ask, but let’s consider some that might come after you’ve been raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason.

1. Whence come you? Look here.
2. Why a point within a circle? Look here.

In the chair of Solomon

Congratulation on attaining the chair of King Solomon! But what happens next? It’s a memorable year, and for many the pinnacle of their Masonic career, achieved after working through a range of offices on the ladder.
As a Master you’re the figurehead for lodge brethren and they look to you for advice and support. Any Installed Master will tell you that this can be daunting. Where do you go for advice and ideas? There are no doubt wise heads around you in Lodge – perhaps your Director of Ceremonies or the Secretary would be a good place to start. But don’t overlook Solomon, where there are nuggets of covering things Installed Masters, or those coming up to the chair, will benefit from knowing.
Let’s start with one question: What are the do’s and don’ts of appointing your officers? A paper containing some advice on ensuring the traditions are followed is here on the Solomon website

The Holy Royal Arch – the Root and Marrow

It is said that joining the Holy Royal Arch is a brother completing his journey in pure and antient Freemasonry. The ceremony is described as completing, and therefore enhancing, the third degree. Many brethren who are also Companions within the Order of the Holy Royal Arch, often know as Chapter, are convinced that it is a very special order that deepens their masonic knowledge.
Solomon has 12 Craft Lectures to introduce the Order. Find them here.

Is there an opportunity for your Lodge to present and discuss one these papers? To share your chapter enthusiasm? How about Wine, women and the King?

The Apron

I feel certain that no Freemason will ever forget the night of initiation. At a particular moment you, now a brother, are clothed in a white leathern apron. Its various symbols are explained. From that point on, regardless of various embellishments and additions, all of which have meaning, you wear a white leathern apron in every Lodge meeting.

Let’s not forget as equals and brothers we are all addressed in the same white apron as our forefathers did before us. Freemasonry can trace its history in the United Kingdom back hundreds of years. Our present-day aprons are regulated by the Book of Constitutions, but have they always been as they are today?

Why is the history of such an integral part of our identity? For the nugget to answer that very question look here.

A column- what does that mean?

After becoming a Freemason you will know there is a rich meaning to all the symbols that adorn a lodge. These decorations guide the ceremonies and workings and are an object of research. Some symbols have a single clear meaning whilst others have multiple potential interpretations. The brothers in your lodge will also readily admit that they their researches our guided by what’s in the lodge room and its ceremonies.
Here’s where Solomon can help you with its nuggets and in depth research papers. It supports all freemasons just as three great pillars or columns support or lodges. These have several meanings and are named after the three most celebrated noble orders of architecture, namely the Ionic, the Doric and the Corinthian.
Let’s start with one question-
So what is the symbolism of one of those pillars? A research paper containing some ideas of the answer is here.

The Lodge room carpet- Why is it chequered?

For all their variations – and there are many – Lodge rooms share a symbol that makes them all look distinctly Masonic. It’s the carpet. It’s also known as the chequered Pavement, but why is it black and white squares? It is a coincidence? Unlikley!

Why is the carpet chequered? For the nugget to answer that very question look here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question? You can always ask other brothers as well as your mentor, whose role is to encourage and guide you, for the answer – but what questions should you ask. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know…

Solomon is at hand to give a full and descriptive answers to any questions you may have. It gathers together common questions and puts them together in a short paper. Questions such as What do Freemasons do when their Lodge meeting is over? And Why do Freemasons wear aprons?

What are the frequently asked questions that members themselves have come up with? For the answers to the ones above, and a lot more, see here.