“Those emblems are there for a reason.”
The artwork showing our emblems is enticing– even beautiful. In fact those emblems are one of 3 things that pulled me into the Order. Before I joined the Order I used to think “What do those things even MEAN?!” The mystery behind them did the trick– I joined a lodge and I was made Odd.
The candidate is told something about our “mystic rites,” and these emblems are an example. The meaning behind them can be, if you so choose, quite deep. They can give insights into our personal lives and predict the future. But are you using them to help you discover yourself? Using these emblems for contemplation and reflection can lead toward psychological growth, inner reconciliation, a feeling of accomplishment and better judgement and discretion.
You can choose to use them in a variety of ways, but I’d say the main approach would be to use them to view and analyze your daily life. They can serve as a mirror for you to illustrate your perspectives on life events. Another approach might be to go much deeper within yourself, but those uncharted depths might be best to do after you’ve practiced with emblems a bit.
When I’m talking about “reflections and contemplation,” I’m not talking about sitting on the floor with legs crossed and chanting with incense (although you can certainly do that). I’m talking about choosing an emblem for the day and keeping it in your mind as the day unfolds. Can you apply the emblems definition? Can you see examples of it in your life as you mow the yard, shop for groceries, or fill up your gas tank? When this happens, take note of it. Later, write it down or spend time at the end of the day going back over it.
Here are a couple of ways to use them for reflection and contemplation. Remember this is a self-conscious activity. You must be aware at all times:
- Apply one symbol a day and work the entire emblem collection as laid out in the ritual book. Monday might be “all-seeing eye day,” Tuesday might be “three links day,” and so on. Go in order and read each emblem’s description. It’s perfectly fine to choose only a word or sentence from the description to focus on. Or simply use the entire description. Follow what it says the entire day taking notice of times you’ve applied it or noticed how it fits into what you’re doing at the time. Write it down if you’re a diarist or keep a commonplace book.
- Another way might be to choose one symbol a day and combine it with Friendship, Love, and Truth. For example, on Thursday you would combine the ax with friendship. On Friday combine the ax with Love. And on Saturday combine the ax with Truth. Then, choose the next symbol and repeat.
- You could also choose to work only the emblems of a certain degree.
In fact there are dozens of ways you can combine these symbols to help you learn about yourself and your day-to-day life. In part two of this series, I’m going to give an example of how I used the first method: one emblem a day for 7 days.
READ PART II:
Scott Moye is an award-winning history educator and collector of Arkansas folklore. He grew up on a cotton farm and is currently a museum worker. Hobbies include: old house restoration, writing, amateur radio, Irish traditional music, archery, craft beer, old spooky movies, and street performance. He is a member of Marshall Lodge #1, in Marshall, Arkansas. He is a founder of Heart In Hand Blog. Shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org