Anno Lucis Year of Light refers to the biblical account of the creation of the universe wherein God spoke and said: "Let there be light,...and there was light." (Genesis 1:3) Anno Depositionis Year of the Deposit. The date is used by Royal and Select Masters. The Cryptic Masonic date designation. (Add 1000 to the current date) Anno Inventionis Year of Discovery. The Royal Arch date designation. (Add 530 to the current date). The date used by Royal Arch Masons. Anno Ordinis Year of the 0rder. The date used by Knights Templar. (Subtract 1118 from the current date). Anno Mundi Year of the World. The date used in the Ancient and Accepted Rite. (Add 3760 to the current year until September; if after September, add 3761). Today's Date
Symbolism of Stairs (Jacob’s Ladder)

Symbolism of Stairs (Jacob’s Ladder)


In the second degree, the candidate is "requested to ma an ad by a fl of wi st, co of th, fi an se st, to a pl re th Mi Ch of Ki So Te." Besides the fact that the Mi Ch was on the second floor necessitating the use of a staircase, what does this symbol mean?

The stairs also play an important role in two other parts of Freemasonry, namely Jacob’s ladder in the first degree, and the 30th degree of Knight Kadosh. The ladder symbolizes the lessons learned in life, which, if properly used, brings us higher and higher in knowledge; however, if lessons are forgotten the danger of falling is continuously present.

The most common usage of the ladder is indeed ascension to Heaven, or coming closer to God. In Islam, Mohammed is said to have seen a ladder which he climbed up to reach God. In Egyptians tombs, many amulets have been found in the shape of a ladder. In the Book of the Dead it says, “My steps are now in position so that I may see the Gods.” Most usage of the ladder is symbolizing to go from this world to the next. However, this thought only assumes that there are two worlds, whereas most cultures assume three, the present, the higher (like Heaven) and the lower. Thus, the ladder can be seen to symbolize the different stages. Each stage can then be subdivided into smaller ones (like three, five and seven) to symbolize further, smaller, breakthroughs needed to be able to advance, such as puberty, adulthood, and old age.

It is also interesting to note that the number of steps is an odd number. Indeed, Vitruvius noted that most ancient temples had odd numbered steps. He cited the reason for this to be that any pilgrim climbing the stairs would necessarily arrive at the top with the same step as the one he started out with. Hence, if the first step was taken with the right foot, it would be the right foot to reach the top. This was considered a good omen.

It could also be because in the Pythagorean system, odd numbers were considered more perfect that even numbers. It can therefore be said that the usage of odd-numbered stairs was intended to symbolize the perfection the candidate was expected to reach.

Also interesting is the exact number of stairs. Some tracing boards of he 18th Charm show only 5 steps, whereas in Hemming lectures (used in England) the total number of steps was given as 25, divided into series of one, three, five, seven, and nine.


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