The following was presented February 2, 2021, by Education Officer Joe West.
The Masonic Deck of Cards
- u/BeardManAlbert, Reddit: r/freemasonry
One evening a Lodge Mentor retired with a young Brother who could not witness a ceremony in a higher degree. The Mentor produced a pack of playing cards and said to the younger Brother, “Did you know that you can learn a great deal about Freemasonry from these?”
“No, indeed,” said the young Brother. “What can they teach me?”
“They are useful for improving your memory,” said the Mentor. “Look here, now.”
- The ACE it reminds me of the Great Architect of the Universe.
- The TWO reminds me of the two great pillars at the entrance of King Solomon’s Temple
- The THREE reminds me of the 3 who rule the Lodge, the WM, the SW and the JW.
- The FOUR reminds me of our progression in the Craft. Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, Master Mason, and Worshipful Master.
- The FIVE reminds me of the 5 noble orders of Architecture, Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite.
- The SIX reminds me of the 6 principles of our order, Brotherly Love, Relief, Truth, Faith, Hope, and Charity.
- The SEVEN reminds me of the 7 liberal arts and sciences, Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric, Arithmetic, Music, Geometry, and Astronomy.
- The EIGHT reminds me that we have members from all faiths. Muslims believe that there are 8 paradises, signifying God’s mercy. In Buddhism 8 is a lucky number.
- The NINE reminds me of the working tools. Three for each of the three degrees.
- The TEN reminds me of the 10 Commandments on which our order is based. TEN was also the Pythagorean symbol of perfection or completeness.
- The JACK reminds me of the word we share in the Fellow Craft Degree.
- The QUEEN reminds me of the widow who bore the famous son and, also our Sovereign.
- The KING reminds me of King Solomon the principal figure of our order.
- There are TWELVE face cards which remind me of the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 signs of the Zodiac.
- There are TWO COLOURS which remind me of Night and Day. Good and Evil.
- There are FOUR SUITS which remind me of Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude and Justice.
- “I am most grateful,” said the young Brother. “I will never forget all that you have said. But tell me, there are two cards that you haven’t yet explained.”
“Oh, those,” said the Mentor. “Those are the two JOKERS who Proposed and Seconded you after telling you that it would take no more than one evening a month!”