The Sacred Number Nine

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
Christopher Tilley, 33°
(Posthumously)


*Editors Note* Chris Tilley was an amazing man and Freemason. He was active, he was passionate and he was a researcher. Chris graduated last year and when he left us it was surreal. The outpouring for him was astounding. All who knew him, miss him. I was scrolling through some old emails and I cam upon an email from Chris. In it, he said, "Hey Robert, let me know what you think. You don't need to publish this, in fact it's probably silly. But let me know." I read it. I really liked it. But I never published it. I don't think he wanted the attention. Before deciding to publish this posthumous article, I reached out to some of my Brothers at the Valley of St. Louis for a blessing. They felt it would be a fitting tribute to Chris. So below is Chris' piece. This is dedicated to Chris and his family, friends and Brothers.
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Most Freemasons are familiar with the numbers 3, 5, and 7, but those are just a few that have symbolic meaning. As an active Cryptic Mason, I have heard the number nine used in the Select Master degree. I would like to share what I have found about the number nine with you. In Freemasonry, Rosicrusianism, and in the Holy Bible, there are many important numbers that are repeated. I believe the number nine to be one of the most symbolic numbers. As we study Geometry, Pythagoras, and the Ancient Mysteries, numbers will become more relevant. This paper will be very repetitive with -you guessed it- the number nine.

Jesus was about 33 years old when he died 3x3=9. Jesus expired at the ninth hour. Jesus appeared nine times to his disciples and apostles after his resurrection. King David ruled for 33 years 3x3=9. The number nine is used 50 times in the Bible. St. Paul enumerates nine fruits of the spirit; love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Galatian’s 5:22) and 5+2+2=9. The Nine spiritual gifts of God enumerated by St. Paul are: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, prophecy, distinguishing spirits, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12, 4-11) and 12+4+11=27, 2+7=9.
” Now Peter and John went up together into the Temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour” (Acts 3:1).
 “And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour, and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, behold a Man stood before me in bright clothing” (Acts 10:30). 

According to Revelation 144,000 are to be saved. This number 1+4+4 added up also equals nine. These are just some examples of the importance of the number nine in the Holy Bible.

There are also a few subtle Blue Lodge hints of the number nine. At the close of Lodge of Master Masons, the Master, Senior and Junior Wardens gavel 3 times each to equal nine. In the second section of the Master Mason degree the main characters include 3 Kings, 3 Craftsman, and the 3 Ruffians, which adding up to nine. The size of the Masonic apron should be 144 square inches and exclusive of the flap. The numbers added means 1+4+4 makes our beloved lambskin nine. Our Jurisdictions (MO) Grand Honors are made by a 3 step movement repeated 3 times to equal nine.

In a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons (MO), the opening consists of the Companions forming a chain and balancing three time three and 3x3=9. Next, three Companions form a three triangles together which three triangles is nine. The number nine plays a huge part in the way the Companions deliver the password. When the password is given, it is split into three parts and delivered three time to equal nine.

The Royal Master and Select Master degrees of the Cryptic Council also have many appearances by the number nine. In the Royal Master degree a certain character with the initials “H.A.” conducts a Companion around three times and knocking three times each time and this also equals nine. Later in the degree, nine Cherubim are needed. The number of the Select Master degree is actually nine. The original name of the Select Master degree was “Select Masons of Twenty Seven” and 2+7=9. The Secret vault that contained the Ninth Arch kept the Sacred Treasure. The hours of labor started at nine at night. Select Masons cannot open a Council without having nine Select Masters present. The top three officers gavel nine times each to open Council. Nine claps are given in the York Rite Grand Honors.

In the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, the highest degree is the 33rd degree which is 3x3=9. The symbol for the 32nd degree is three triangles that form a nine pointed star. The 18th degree that is full of symbolic and religious symbolism has 1+8=9. The Royal Order of Scotland’s symbol is a nine pointed star. The Rosy Cross degree is about the battle of Bannockburn in 1314 which is 1+3+1+4=9. In this battle 63 Knights Templar assist King Robert the Bruce in battle 6+3=9. Allied Masonic Degrees is limited to 27 members 2+7=9.

The SRICF is limited to 72 members and 7+2=9. Up till 1908 each college was limited to 36 members and 3+6=9. There are 9 grades in the SRICF college system. An early document numbers the grades in reverse order with the Grade 9 Magus actually being grade 1 this would mean 1=9 or 9=1. This is very interesting considering the number one is divisible in any number and can be added to any odd number to make it even and can make any odd number even.

I will now give more examples of the number nines symbolic meanings. The number nine was the symbol of Man and nine is an imperfect number. The number ten is a perfect number and is the symbol for God. The number nine was the first square of an odd number (3x3). It meant failure and was imperfect because it was short of the perfect number ten. On the Great Seal, the pyramid has 72 stones 7+2=9 with the top stone missing. 

The Quabbalistic tree of the Jews consist of the nine branches or worlds. The alchemists symbol is 3x3=9. The nine is the esoteric number of Man. Mystery groups all included the nine. An example would be “The Nine Worlds of the Odinic Mysteries. There are thirty three segments in the human spinal column, which is 3x3=9. This could have symbolism if we consider our spine as the Ninth arch and the Word being in our heart.

I came to my own conclusion after finding so many examples of the number nine throughout Masonry and the Bible. The number nine represents Man in his imperfect state who holds the sacred treasure within him. The outside of Man is the Temple. Inside Man, under the last Arch is his heart and the True word of God, which is safely deposited therein. This word that we have searched for is inside us if we believe and ask forgiveness for our Sins. The Atheist or irreligious libertine who does not repent the “Word” will always be Secret or hidden away. As H.A. says in the Royal Master degree “but if I die the Word will be buried there.”, which I believe means the word is in him and will die with him. Since the word is within us and we are the number nine then the Sacred number 9=The Word.

~CT


Stop Wasting Your Time with Freemasonry and Do Something Worthwhile with Your Free Time!

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Darin A. Lahners


If you recall when the working tools of an Entered Apprentice Mason were being explained, you were told that we are to make use of the twenty four inch gauge for the noble and glorious purpose of dividing our time. As it is divided into twenty four equal parts, it is emblematical of the twenty four hours of the day. You were taught to divide the twenty four hours into three equal parts. You were told to devote eight hours for the service of God and a worthy distressed brother, eight for our usual vocation and eight for refreshment and sleep. Nowhere did you hear anything about time being used for the purposes of pursuing the activities of Freemasonry.

Do you consider Freemasonry service to God? According to the Masonic Service Association of North America (https://www.msana.com/religion.asp) : 
“Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion. It requires of its members a belief in God as part of the obligation of every responsible adult, but advocates no sectarian faith or practice. Masonic ceremonies include prayers, both traditional and extempore, to reaffirm each individual's dependence on God and to seek divine guidance. Freemasonry is open to men of any faith, but religion may not be discussed at Masonic meetings.”
 However, under this section, it reiterates that each member place his duty to God above all other duties: 
Freemasonry Supports Religion. Freemasonry is far from indifferent toward religion. Without interfering in religious practice, it expects each member to follow his own faith and to place his Duty to God above all other duties. Its moral teachings are acceptable to all religions.” 
So, it seems that service to God would fall under one’s religious activities, and not within the scope of Freemasonry.

Do you consider service to a worthy distressed brother part of Freemasonry? Yes, of course it’s a large part of Freemasonry. However, in the Entered Apprentice Charge, you were taught about the duties that we owe to God, our neighbors and ourselves. The charge reminds you to act upon the square with your neighbor, rendering him every kind office that justice or mercy may require, relieving his distresses and soothing his afflictions, and by following the Golden Rule, doing to him as you would want him to do to you in a similar case. Therefore, your duty is not only to a worthy distressed brother, but rather to all of humanity. It’s obvious that serving all of humanity will take up a large part of the eight hours given for service to God and worthy distressed brothers. It’s pretty obvious that all of your Brothers that aren’t showing up for Masonic activities are busy performing that task.

Unless your vocation is Freemasonry, then you’re not going to be able to pursue Freemasonry during those eight hours you are at work. That then leaves the eight hours for refreshment and sleep. Are you able to attend lodge while you’re asleep? I mean I know a few grumpy Past Masters that I’ve seen doze off during meetings, but I don’t think that is what the explanation had in mind. What about during refreshment? If a lodge is at refreshment, then they are not performing Masonic labor, so one can only think that if you are refreshing yourself, that you are not performing it either.

You might remember that you were told in your Entered Apprentice degree that it was hoped and expected that you would apply yourself to the study of Masonry. You will recall from your Fellowcraft Charge, that the impressive ceremonies of that degree were calculated to inculcate in the mind of the novitiate the importance of the study of the liberal arts and sciences, especially of the noble science of Geometry, which forms the basis of Freemasonry. It is clear that while you’re wasting your time in lodge; your missing Brethren are hard at work learning this useful knowledge.

Stop wasting your time with Freemasonry and do something worthwhile with your free time! I’m serious. Yes, you read that correctly. You didn’t pay attention during your degrees! All of the brothers that aren’t showing up for stated meetings, degree work, and Lodge social events; they obviously are not showing up for the reasons given above. They’re managing their time according to the 24 inch gauge! They’re pursuing the study of the Liberal Arts and Sciences, especially Geometry! Why aren’t you? Why are you continuing to attend paralyzing business meetings? Why do you subject yourself to the same mundane experience meeting after meeting? 

There is a line within the Fellowcraft obligation regarding answering and obeying all due signs and summons if within the length of your cable tow. What is the length of your cable tow? Is it long enough to allow you to continue to prop up lodges and appendant bodies that aren’t giving you any meaningful experience?

I hope by this point in the article, my attempt at satire isn’t lost on you. Maybe it is, and you’ve only read the title and not the article and you’re flaming me on social media. Let’s do some basic math. In most cases, out of the dues paying membership of your lodge, you have 90% - 95% that are not participating actively. Out of that percentage, there is maybe 5%-10% that might participate. Maybe they’ve not attended in a long time, and they’re embarrassed about forgetting the passwords. Maybe they’ve been ill, and no one from the lodge has checked in on them. Or maybe they just got tired of attending a two hour long business meeting without getting anything that improves them as men out of it?

If you’re not getting new members, or you’re failing to get members to show up, then our lodges leadership needs to take a good look in the mirror. There’s obviously something wrong with what some of us are currently doing. We're not going to figure it out by talking to the guys that still show up for lodge meetings, degree work, social events and the like. We need to engage those that are not showing up. We need to reach out to those members. Ask them what’s keeping them from attending, and work to correct that. Ask them to help turn things around. Engage them! Give them a role, and support them in it. Or stop wasting your time with Freemasonry and do something worthwhile with your free time. The choice is yours.

~DAL


WB Darin A. Lahners is the Worshipful Master of St. Joseph Lodge No.970 in St. Joseph and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), and Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL). He’s a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, a charter member of the new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter No. 282, and is the current Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club No. 768 in Champaign – Urbana (IL). He is also a member of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. You can reach him by email at darin.lahners@gmail.com.

No 13th Floor? It Must Be A Masonic Conspiracy! - It's not a Re-Post if it's New to You

by Midnight Freemasons Contributor
Todd E. Creason, 33°


*Editors Note* It's been about five years since this piece was originally posted by the founder, Todd E. Creason. Does your building have a thirteenth floor? 

I'm sure everyone has noticed that in many hotels and skyscrapers, builders have left off the 13th floor.  It's due to a condition known as triskaidekaphobia--yes, that's right, fear of the number 13!  Otis Elevators estimates that about 85% of tall buildings do not have a 13th floor.  Some buildings skip it altogether.  Some might refer to the 13th floor as 12B, or use it as a mechanical floor.

Thirteen is just considered an unlucky number.  According to superstitious folks, it's unlucky for a number of reasons.  There were 13 people at the last Supper.  Also a year with 13 moons was unlucky for church monks in charge of keeping track of the calendar.  It caused confusion, rescheduling of religious festivals, etc.  There are traditionally 13 in a witches coven.  Of course then there's also Apollo 13--the only unsuccessful moon mission.  It's a common fear and it has nothing to do with Freemasonry what-so-ever. 

Brother Scott Wolter

But Why Is Friday The Thirteenth Considered Particularly Unlucky?
Well that's not exactly a Masonic conspiracy either--unless you believe there is a link between the ancient Knights Templar and modern Freemasonry (which a few researchers believe does exist).  On Friday, October 13, 1307, King Philip had Knights Templar from all over France rounded up by his agents, tortured and once confessions of heresy were extracted from them, finally executed.  This brought an end to the order of warrior monks that had protected the Holy Land for more than 200 years.  Pope Clement later issued a papal bull ordering all the Templars arrested and their assets seized everywhere.  Every indication is that the Knights Templars were not actually destroyed for heresy, but because of the tremendous wealth, property and power they had attained--all things that King Philip wanted.  Others believe that the Knights Templar may have been in possession of certain truths that the Roman Catholic Church didn't want known.  Speculation about what that might be runs wild and provides fodder for conspiracy theorists and fiction authors like Dan Brown alike--was it the Holy Grail?  The Ark of the Covenant?  Evidence Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married?  A bloodline of Jesus Christ? That's a very short version of a very long story.  WB Adam Thayer wrote a much better piece about the Knights Templar here if you want to read a more detailed account.

What ever the reason for the the destruction of the Knights Templar, it is one of the possible reasons why Friday the 13th is considered unlucky (although there will be a few that disagree with that assertion), and why that date on our calendar give some a sense of dread.

And by the way--Happy Friday the 13th!

~TEC

Todd E. Creason, 33° is the Founder of the Midnight Freemasons blog and continues to be a regular contributor. He is also the author of the From Labor to Refreshment blog, where he posts on a regular schedule on topics relating to Freemasonry.  He is the author of several books and novels, including the Famous American Freemasons series. He is a Past Master of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), and currently serves as Secretary, and is also a member of Homer Lodge No. 199.  He is a member the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, the York Rite Bodies of Champaign/Urbana (IL), the Ansar Shrine (IL), Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees, Charter President of the Illini High Twelve in Champaign-Urbana (IL), and a Fellow of the Missouri Lodge of Research.  He was recently awarded the 2014 Illinois Secretary of the Year Award by the Illinois Masonic Secretaries Association.  You can contact him at: webmaster@toddcreason.org

Despite Bandits The Masonic Treasure Remains Safe


by Midnight Freemasons Founder
Todd E. Creason 33°

World reknown detective Sherlock "Ray" Cummings investigating robbery. He thinks the bandits may have entered through this door perhaps... or it could be termites.  The real mystery is why Ray travels around with a deerstalker cap and pipe in his car???
The morning after Christmas, Greg Knott and I got a call from a member of our Lodge—Greg is the Master, and I’m the Secretary.  This member had gone up to the Lodge and discovered that somebody had broken in.  As I was talking to him, I was remembering some of those pictures I’ve seen of Lodges that have been broken into and then are maliciously vandalized.  It sickened me to think about what I might find when I got up there.  When we got there, we found that our exterior door had been badly damaged when the door was forced open.  And the internal door was even worse—that door was basically destroyed.  There was some minor damage to the door that leads into the Lodge room.  The Lodge room and the kitchen had been ransacked.  The fireproof safe by my desk (Secretary) had been destroyed.  They’d ripped it apart but failed to get the door open.  The foamed concrete fireproofing material and the masonry dust from the interior walls of the safe was broadcast over a wide area.  Nothing stolen that we've found but some change from the kids charity jar.

A County Sheriff and his K-9 Tanto arrived along with a pair of crime scene investigators.  They photographed.  They dusted.  The took a few things of interest with them (including our last bag of Doritos that those criminals had helped themselves to).  All in all, things could have been much worse. 

I put out a call, and the next morning about ten Masons showed up from a few different Lodges, and within an hour we had it all cleaned up.  The safe was so badly torn up we couldn’t get the door open.  One of the Masons was a locksmith, and using the tire iron from his Jeep within a few seconds he accomplished what the bandits had not—he had the door of the safe open.  And the treasure we keep locked inside was perfectly fine and undamaged.  
The "treasure."  Hope the bandits don't have allergies--they're kind of dusty.
Obviously, the majority of the effort applied by the thieves was on that fireproof safe.  They had to have spent considerable time trying to pry that door open without success judging from the damage.  They must have believed there was some great Masonic treasure inside.  Perhaps cash or jewels.  Or maybe bars of solid gold.  Or maybe the Holy Grail or a map to the Oak Island Treasure.  Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the “Wizard of Oz” maybe?  Who knows what they thought was in there.  But the reality is that’s where we keep our original membership records going back about 140 years, including our log book that every member of our Lodge has signed upon being raised a Master Mason.  That’s all you’re going to find in most Lodge safes anywhere—old dusty records.  I really wish after all that work they spent on that safe they’d gotten it open—I’d have liked to have seen their faces when they saw all those old ledger books.  The safes in Masonic Lodges are meant to protect records in the event of a fire, not valuables from theft. 

Freemasons don’t keep their treasures in a safe.

There’s only one way to get at the treasure guarded for generations by Freemasons.  You have to join.  Our treasures are contained within our ritual traditions.  Our asset is the knowledge we pass on to our members.  The great wealth and power of our Fraternity is in the great benefit of these principles we learn when they are applied in our lives.  Freemasons are not collectors of wealth, they are investors in men. 

They haven’t caught these bandits yet.  I think they will.  Obviously, these criminals are not geniuses—do you know they left three autographed copies of my first book sitting right there on the corner of my file cabinet? 

~TEC

Todd E. Creason, 33° is the Founder of the Midnight Freemasons blog, and an award winning author of several books and novels, including the Famous American Freemasons series. Todd started the Midnight Freemason blog in 2006, and in 2012 he opened it up as a contributor blog The Midnight Freemasons (plural). Todd has written more than 1,000 pieces for the blog since it began. He is a Past Master of Homer Lodge No. 199 and Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL) where he currently serves as Secretary. He is a Past Sovereign Master of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. He is a Fellow at the Missouri Lodge of Research (FMLR). He is a charter member of the a new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter No. 282 and currently serves as EHP. You can contact him at: webmaster@toddcreason.org